TP: Dungeon Crawl TP
As logged by Autocthon
Sewers beneath Valvolux - Level 1 – Valvolux
The dark, dank sewers beneath Valvolux are half-filled with industrial runoff - waist-deep for most Cybertronians; much deeper for Micro Transformers and Mini-Cons. Even this deep, the vibration from the factories above can be felt as a dull rumble. The liquid moves sluggishly towards a slow whirlpool hinting at an unseen drain beneath the surface. The stench is horrible - an awful combination of burnt oil and rotten insulation. The air itself leaves a greasy slick on every surface. The lazy current gives the illusion of movement even when unlucky visitors remain completely still.
Backblast is chilling in the corner with his little stove, making and handing out energon tea and wearing his alloygator.
Imager looks at where that Alloygator mauled her, and it’s not because Backblast is being a psychobot. "So....I mean, half of us can't fit down the chute here, and there's gunk and stuff down there. So.....now what?"
Backblast looks thoughtful "Find an alternate route? Place like this is gonna be a rat-run, all sorts of tunnels and things."
Slugfest scampers into the room
Scales nods and looks down the sewer. "We haven't even been to the end of this, yet." She sighs and flops on the ground. "An' I don't think it's very safe for anybody down in there. The leeches live in that stuff, and they can swarm and make the gunk hit ya, so not even flying keeps you out of it. They're not tough, but it's hard to fight when you can't see what's got ya."
Imager eyes Scales, "Are we talking runny gunk or thick gunk? Because matter consistency is sort of a big deal with me." She shrugs, "If it were me, and it is, because I'm me....I'd ask Big Yellow to find a way down there, and flame all those lil things, fire'd kill the gunk and the critters. real nice, prolly better than my shotgun in that particular instance."
Typhoon is down in the tunnels with the others. Her left leg looks mauled, but patched up. She sits with her back to one of the sloped walls, looking at the scanners built into her forearms. After a moment of silence, she shifts and turns in place. With a sharp spike of effort, she pulls a panel off the wall, and shines a light into the darkness beyond. Finally she looks up. "Backblast. Do you still have that circuit-tester thingy?"
Backblast blinks and nods "Hmm? Yeah, I do, always have it. It's part of my standard sig-int setup." He pulls out the tester he uses, walking over and offering it to Typhoon.
Scales blinks her swirly optics slowly at Imager. "It was liquid enough that I didn't bother using -my- fire breath. An' I saved the shocks until I was out of it. Conductive medium isn't the best place for 'lectricity."
Typhoon takes the tester and starts applying it to several connections running behind panels lining the runoff tunnel. After a moment she nods to herself. "Some of these are still active. I think they run under the factory complex. If we follow 'em, we might find another way down. There's SOMETHIN' under here drawin' a lot of power. I'm curious to see as-ta what." Imager responds to Scales, "Ah...that's...bad. Mech, I am just ALL out of sorts down here. Too big for most of these ways down, too wet for me too..and now you talk about electric shocks..." She raises a hand and stage whispers to Scales, "Also. Not. Good." She steps towards Typhoon doing Weatherbot things and watches absently, "Mebbe, I should lobby for a retrofit." She generates a hologram of herself, shrunk down to about Rumble size, and eyes it for a moment. "Eh...less intimidatin', tiny but fierce..."
Backblast nods as he watches Typhoon work. "Same here, but... I'm not familiar with the way it all works. I'm... I work with signals, not wires." Typhoon struggles to her feet, favoring her left leg. "I think I can map us out a differ'nt route. Who wants ta come with me?"
Backblast holds up a hand "Always."
Sneaking through the tunnels to try to spy on the Autobots is a tiny robo stego! He pelts lil stubby feets trying to catch up to them, but doesn't want to make too much noise to draw attention to himself. After all, he's spying!
Scales gets up and gets herself some of the energon tea and sips. "Well, I'm comin!"
Typhoon grins at Backblast. "All right!" she enthuses. Her grin widens to be joined by Scales. Ty looks at Imager. "How about you, ma'am? I think it'll be dryer..." Ty doesn't yet notice the little stego.
Imager puts a hand on her hip, "Well that's sorta the entire thing we're lookin for, the question is finding a way there that we can get through...and one without much deathfluid." Her headlights kick on as she peers down the tunnel, a frown still on her faceplate. "I just don't think you all understand the gravity of the situation here, that's all I'm saying." She waggles a hand at Typhoon, "Deathfluid rolls downhill, but...we gotta try, right?"
- GAME: Backblast PASSES a DEXTERITY roll of Very High difficulty.
Backblast starts to move with Ty, keeping his rifle in hand. He stops, aiming at something with a frown. "Hrm..."
Backblast says, "Wait, I got... do you see that?""
Typhoon gives Imager a forced grin. "Uh, right, ma'am." Ty turns, starting to follow the electrified conduits north out of the runoff tunnels and beneath the factories. She pauses when she heard Backblast's "hrm", turning around to look. She shines a light in Sluggy's direction.
Scales backs up to the wall to get a little safety and peers in the same direction.
Imager will be last in this expedition, as she carefully tries to stay clear of the fluid, whatever it may be. Remaining silent, she unholsters her shotgun just in case. For now at least, her muttering has paused.
Slugfest screeches to a halt as the light is shined on him. He raises a little feets tentatively, about ready to bolt! GAME: Scales PASSES an INTELLIGENCE roll of Average difficulty.
GAME: Slugfest FAILS an AGILITY roll of Very High difficulty.
Backblast frowns, sighting down his scope and trying to figure out what it is he's seeing. "Small... don't know if it's hostile."
- GAME: Slugfest FAILS an AGILITY roll of Very High difficulty.
Scales says, "Hey! It's Slugfest! He's a Decepticon tape dino!"
Imager scowls, "Great, I knew the Cons had to be doin somethin down here, now we got proof. Snag the little twerp, see what its been up to!"
Backblast blinks "Oi! Stego!" He calls out. "You here for trouble?"
The tiny stego pauses, blinking in the bright beams that make him a literal deer in the headlights. "...no," he says to answer Backblast.
Scales stalks a little in the direction of the other tape, crest up in a threatening position. "You here to SPY?" she demands.
Typhoon says, "He's seen us. We cain't just let him report back to Soundwave. we'll be shoulder-deep in Cons inna second!" Backblast looks to the other Autobots for lead on what to do.
Backblast looks to the others "So we taking him out, tying him up, or...?"
Scales pauses, one paw in the air in hesitation. "-He's- not all that bad, but I don' wanna see a lot -more- Decepticons show up.."
Typhoon says, "I guess grab him before he disappears into a tunnel? Can any of y'all jam radio signals?"
Backblast blinks "Now that I can do." He grins, a radio antenna extending from his backpack. "Course, anything nearby that can hear radio is gonna pick it up..."
Typhoon says, "I guess that's better than swimming in Decepticons!"
(RADIO) Backblast starts jamming all radio signals in the immediate area.
Slugfest goes to Underground Conduits - Valvolux - Northeastern Cybertron.
Scales dashes after the tiny stego!
Typhoon says, "There he goes! After him!"
Typhoon crouches down and tries to follow Slugfest into the tunnels, though she’s not as fast in the tight environment as Scales.
Underground Conduits - Valvolux - Northeastern Cybertron
Below the factories of Valvolux are low power conduits connecting the various buildings. There isn’t a lot of room above and below the piping -- just enough for Micro Transformer workers to get in to fix things, and maybe larger bulk Cybertronians if they squeeze very very carefully. Regular lighting is built into the passageways, but whether they’re working or not depends on the level of the local brownouts. Under many of these lights is scribbled the following graffiti:
- "The Founder Lives"
Scales hunts through the conduits for Slugfest, sniffing and scanning with her infrared.
The tiny scared stego darts into another tube, hopefully one small enough that most of the others can't follow him? He pelts lil feets trying to put as much distance between himself and the 'bots.
Typhoon, being the largest of the trio, has the hardest time with the cramped conduits. She duck-walks through the tunnels, peering into little side accesses where only little tapes can fit.
- GAME: Scales FAILS an INTELLIGENCE roll of Above Average difficulty.
Backblast moves surprisingly stealthily, all his lights quenched. Only the cold blue glow of his eyes is visible
Typhoon is more like a Mac Truck, banging her head on pipes and cursing in American Southwestern English
Scales hops from perch to perch, sometimes spreading wings to glide across small gaps.
- GAME: Slugfest FAILS an INTELLIGENCE roll of Average difficulty.
Typhoon stops to test some of the lines. "Careful, Scales. Some of these wires are live, and the insulation has long been eaten away!"
- GAME: Backblast PASSES an INTELLIGENCE roll of Above Average difficulty.
Backblast scans around as he moves, peering into every little hole and crevasse. He's not using his scope... but at the same time, big things at a distance look pretty similar to small things up close, it's just like looking for another sniper. "Live wires, lovely."
Typhoon picks her way through the conduit, trying to scan for stegos while not touching anything live. "All this goes somewhere... and not all up to th' factories above," she observes. "Some of this seems older than the city itself," she frowns. "I don't know who wired all this, but it's crazy - way more'n you need for a couple'a factories, from what I can tell," she says in her unprofessional opinion.
Scales slows down, taking more time to verify perches before jumping to them. "Well," she comments between hops. "This was. A great big city. Right?"
As Backblast is scanning over the area he notices beneath one of the scrawled "The Founder Lives" is what could be a drawing of a hammer with the head on the bottom, as if the whole thing had been flipped over and is resting on the floor.
Backblast frowns and turns his light on, shining it over the graffiti. "Huh. Not what we're looking for, but useful." He says. "If we find anyone living down here, they might be friendly if we say we ain't out to hurt this Founder fella. If that's what's down here, anyway..."
Typhoon nods in response to Scales. "Yep. 'Best parts in all of Cybertron' ta hear the locals tell it. Place fell to ruin long ago, though - jus' gettin' it's feet back under 'em a-for the Decepticon attack." She looks over at Backblast and frowns. "You think there's really anyone like that down here, Backblast? I was hopin' for somethin', but robo-Paul Bunyan ain't seem too likely."
Backblast shrugs, and motions at the writing. "Someone had to have written that."
Scales pauses in her pursuit for the moment and sits. "So.. this is kind of like a tech Atlantis, maybe? Ancient wisdom and treasure buried by hubris?"
Typhoon frowns. "More likely a hidden base of Decepticon sympathizers," she scowls with unusual cynicism. She shrugs. "Still, Dusty an' them found Vector Sigma sommere around down here, so who knows what we might find. I jus' hope we don't wake up somethin' like th' Dweller again." Ty shivers at the memory. "Any sign o' th' stego?"
Backblast shrugs "Frak if I know. Maybe the Founder's the source of the power draw, some big frak-off Titan dude or something." He sniffs. "Ah don't worry, you got a Suicide Jockey with you, we're monster-killers... Encore's still got Bomb Burst's arm, he's thinking of mounting it over the bar at the Rollout."
He flicks the light off and resumes looking around.
- GAME: Scales FAILS an INTELLIGENCE roll of High difficulty.
- GAME: Scales PASSES an INTELLIGENCE roll of High difficulty.
Scales hums, optics flicking over the other graffiti. "Y'know, that's the only one that has anything on it besides words? Maybe it's a clue."
Backblast nods "Maybe... should we try and push through it or... let's find that stego first."
Slugfest runs one way, then another, whining and trying to find the way out before any of the Bots find him! He sees a smaller pipe and runs into it!
Typhoon steps carefully over some fallen debris and rotten insulation. She approaches Backblast and Scales to examine what they've found. She stares a moment, and then huffs and frowns. "I ain't never been no good at no puzzles. We need Hurricane for this. She's good at them video games where y'all gotta solve stuff to move on."
Ty places her fists on her hips in frustration. "Maybe Scales can focus on th' lil' stego, and we can try to find our way further without goan back through the sewer muck?"
Backblast nods, looking to Scales. "You got this?"
Scales nods and crouches, stalking as she looks through the openings. "In the video games, clues helpfully light up for you. I don't think that's going to happen here." She peers at a pipe opening.
Backblast nods and peers at the hammer symbol, investigating the wall for signs of moving rocks, or hidden switches.
- GAME: Backblast PASSES an INTELLIGENCE roll of Very High difficulty.
- GAME: Typhoon PASSES an INTELLIGENCE roll of Average difficulty.
"Ah, well, no wonder!" Ty hisses in frustration. "I ain't never goan find a way out." She looks around the room, and then starts using her circuit-tester to try to map out where exactly the power is going in this room. Mapping is her thing, ever all, even if she's usually mapping terrain and not circuitry. She sits cross-legged in front of a central router, carefully testing line after line.
Try as he might Backblast cannot get the wall to movem slide, or find a hidden switch. Just as he's about to give up the whole thing as a wash he looks up, and then down to the floor and spots... something peeking out from beneath him foot; a discoloration there than can't be solely attributed to the accumulation of dirt and grime over the passage of time.
About this time Ty does find a live circuit drawing more power than it should be that seems to run from the light above that odd graffitti, down the wall, under the floor, and disappears as it burrows further into the subsurface of Valvolux.
Backblast is about to bring his rifle up and shoot the wall when he spots the spot of discolouration, shifting his foot aside in order to peer at it closer. "Got something..." he says. If it's a button, he pushes it.
Sadly, it is not a button; with a bit of cleaning Backblast can see that it's not one but two of those hammers crossed in the middle of a floor panel.
Scales stops and stares into one of the pipes. "I seeeee you..." she calls out. "C'mon, Slugfest! We won't hurt ya unless we gotta."
Ty's voice brightens. "Hey, y'all! I found somethin'!" She double-tests the line before saying anything else. Nodding, she continues. "I found a source of the power draw - there's somethin' below us. 'Blast, Scales - see any way we could get down to a lower level - hopefully someplace not infested with leeches?" Ty continues testing wires to try to get a measure of the energon transfer.
Slugfest is completely lost now; he has no idea which way to go. So he whimpers indecisively until he hears Scales calling out to him. So he scampers down the pipe and just peeks out at the end of it.
Backblast frowns "Odd. Got a floor panel with two crossed hammers... doesn't seem to be a button or anything." He frowns. "Maybe this isn't a secret door."
Scales steps back and beckons to Slugfest with a paw. "C'mon! I've got an energoodie for you if you're good and come sit with Ty, okay?"
Whatever that line is it is drawing an unusual amount of power. It is slightly higher than the readings Discretion pointed out, but, given that time has passed, it is within expectations.
Slugfest pokes his nose out a little further at the mention of energon goodies. "Oh, okay," he says, slowly inching out of the tube but ready to dart back in at a moments notice if any of the other mechs get the notion that they'd like a stego-saw-back-plate necklace.
Backblast thinks for a while, and then tries to pry up the panel
Ty looks over from where she sits on the floor. "Yeah, there's something here, alright. I think this is the power draw that that Dominicon picked up." She looks over at Backblast. "Actually, it's running right under you, 'Blast! Whatcha got over there? Be careful - don't get zapped!" Ty glances over at Scales, and the carefully-emerging Slugfest. She gives Slugfest an encouraging grin.
Scales backs (carefully!) over to Typhoon, optics on Slugfest all the while. She retrieves the promised energoodie and holds it where it can be seen.
Backblast looks over at Slugfest, with the alloygator's head on his like a baseball cap, or Crocodile Dundee. He attempts to give him a friendly smile... but with the alloygator's energon still drying on his face... it may instead be terrifying.
- GAME: Backblast PASSES a STRENGTH roll of Above Average difficulty.
Slugfest looks up nervously at Backblast, but the lure of the glowing pink-iridescent energon goodie lures the tiny stego from his hole. He moves slowly, eyeing the others to make sure they don't try to grab for him!
Ty holds still, not wanting to spook the little stego. She carefully puts away the circuit sensor, not making any sudden movements.
Backblast returns to using one of his entrenching tools to lever the floor panel up
Scales sets the energoodie down right next to Ty. "I'm going to go check that panel and see if there's a latch involved." She backs a few steps off and then turns to go join Backblast and inspect the edges of the panel.
Backblast shoves the pick end of his entrenching tool beneath the panel and begins to pry. To his credit it does seem to move, some, but not enough to come free; almost as if it's being held down by something.
GAME: Scales PASSES a TECHNICAL roll of Average difficulty.
Scales says, "Oh, hey.. it's bolted down here at the corners. I c'n remove those!"
Backblast nods and pauses to let Scales investigate. He nods to her. He smiles, and gestures to the panel. "By all means, thank you."
Ty grins, not sure why she's been assigned to stego-watching duty, but taking her new role seriously. "Come on, little dino. I ain't goan hurtcha. I ain't goan ta PETCHA, but I ain't goan hutcha, either." Ty tries to smile non-threateningly, and definitely does a Pit of a better job that Backblast.
Slugfest slowly ambles over to where Scales left the energon goodie, and then noms it, eyeing Typhoon suspiciously. His tail wags a bit as he gobbles up the treat.
Scales examines the bolt carefully, then retracts some of her claws in favor of the correct bits. It takes some walking around in tiny circles, but she unscrews the bolts and carefully sets them aside.
- Continued in "Dungeon Crawl Part 3"