Transformers Universe MUX
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Log Title: Scraplet Investigation

Characters: Airachnid, Ratchet, Red Alert, Starlock, Takedown

Location: Valvolux - Northeastern Cybertron

Date: October 08, 2019

TP: Scraplets TP

Summary: Red Alert and Starlock investigate a missing medic.

As logged by Red Alert - Tuesday, October 08, 2019, 10:11 PM

Valvolux - Northeastern Cybertron

Once a burgeoning manufacturing area known for its custom regulators, Valvolux has seen some of the most violent fighting in the long and bitter wars. Its hollowed-out factories and shattered roadways display the scars of millenia of conflict. The Cybertronian Ministry of Energy and Nutrition lies in ruins, long ago picked clean by scavengers. With Cybertron witnessing a new reawakening, however, Valvolux is being rebuilt and is beginning to thrive once more.


Red Alert

Red Alert rushes through the main square, Starlock at his side. He's heading towards the industrial district and Valvolux's main hospital there. "I'd radio ahead, but I'm sure Discretion would intercept and perhaps block it," he says conspiratorially. "Takedown knows we're here, but I'm not sure how much latitude we'll have, so we must be cautious. Knightmare's optics are everywhere!" he warns in a hushed tone, picking up his pace.


Starlock raised a ridge. "Why? I'm sure long as we're not causing any problems, we'll be okay?" She'd say, and ask, almost wondering /why/ it would be an issue, she was well aware she hadn't done well to endear herself to Knightmare, but didn't think it /that/ bad.

She'd continue it to keep pace with long strides, attempting not to draw attention by running and.. Well, just a shorty trying to catch up with the guy with longer legs.


Red Alert lowers his head and his voice. "This is their town, not ours. They're not going to like some Autobot poking around in their business. These are former Decepticons in which we're dealing. Ratchet's blind altruism may have placed him in extreme danger." Red Alert looks around attentively as they slip into Valvolux's industrial sector. The formerly rundown area is full of new construction and signs of revitalization.


Starlock makes a face remembering that, still though, she didn't think to much on it, but she was going to be cautious all the same...Though she couldn't exactly tell Red alert to calm down, that would be /rude/ and invalidating... "Prep for the worst, hope for the best?" She'd say softly, with a blink.

Starlock took note of the construction, silently wondering to herself if she'd ever be able to get such help with rebuilding Harmonex.. but that was something to worry about later, not right now. She'd keep walking beside Red Alert.


"Prepare for the worst, at least," Red Alert agrees dourly. He slips from building to building, looking over his shoulder as if worried he's being followed. Finally, ahead, he spots a well-lit building: the Valvolux Medical Center. "There is it." He stops, looking around slowly. "I must scan for spies. Ratchet might be in grave danger," he repeats. He slowly draws his particle beam rifle. "I'm glad to have someone with me who can take care of herself," he comments.


Starlock was silently thinking to herself about just how fragging /shady/ they must of looked with how Red Alert was being and it was a thought that caused her to at least grin, doing her best to stifle the chuckles wanting to escape.

Starlock was /almost/ going to let him go ahead but then she sees him draw his weapon and paused and started stepping ahead of him. "Er, yes, but quiick little note of advice, don't go in with that drawn." She'd chirp, pointing at the rifle. "Keep your hand near it, in its hoister, for a quick draw, but do not walk in with that drawn, encase everything is fine, that way you wont get in trouble." She'd advise.


Red Alert listens a moment and then nods. After another long scan, he holsters the rifle. "No sign of anything unusual, but that's usually when bad things happen," he advises. Straightening up, he strolls out into the street looking exaggeratedly casual. Of course, that just makes him look like a cop, even if he didn't have a light bar stuck to his back. He nods to Starlock to indicate the coast was clear.


Starlock let out a light chuckle and shook her helm, and followed beside him, giving him a thumbs up as she did. Well, least Red Alert wasn't going to get /shot/ upon entering... or a wrench thrown at him, which would be slightly deserved but still! Less injury the better. Starlock's casual and relaxed stride beside him probably also wasn't helping his cause, or who know, maybe been! Depended on how someone looked at it... Though something still nagged at her.


Red Alert leads Starlock into the hospital and walks right up to the information desk. He immediately produces his rubsign. "I'm Director Alert of Autobot Security," he announces officiously, as if he had any jurisdiction here. "I'm looking for a fellow Autobot - a medic by the name of Ratchet. I have information of good authority that he is here, and I demand you produce him at once!" His blue optics widen threateningly.


Aaand there's the second hand embarrassment! Starlock hides it well though and gives a sheepish smile, and attempts to do her best to smooth this over, at least with the receptionist. "Ahahah.. Apologizes... We're here looking for Ratchet, he'd not checked in since coming here and we just wish to ensure he's okay." She'd state, bringing her hands in front of her, and together to look more polite, that sheepish smile says in place though, and her ridges knit.


"I'm Medical officer Starlock, I work under Ratchet, if that helps." She'd nod.


The receptionist looks from Alert to Starlock and nods slowly. She seems more impressed by Starlock's medical cross than Alert's badge. "Yes," she says at last. "He's in the infectious ward. I can buzz you in, but you must be very cautious about contagion. Perhaps the medical officer should go, and you could remain here.... Director?"


Red Alert ogles. "Why don't you want me up there?" he demands. "What is it you don't want me to see?"


The receptionist leans back quickly in her chair. "Or you can both go. By Solus Prime!" She presses a button below the desk.


Starlock would nod at the warning and have her mask slide into place as a precaution. She would look up at Red Alert with a half-lidded look. "I'm sure it's just a safety precaution to ensure you, yourself, don't get infected and thus not cause further spread..." She'd state a bit dryly. "Don't.. Don't touch anything unless you're told it's okay, got it?" She'd warn.


Red Alert nods to Starlock. "Don't worry about me being careful -- Caution can never be overused," he agrees. "You go into the ward," he says in a low voice as they make their way to the lift. "I'll stand outside and keep guard," he whispers. He spends the short trip up to the third floor carefully studying the lift panel and emergency exits in case of fire.... or attack. He helpfully points out the override to Starlock in case he becomes incapacitated.


Starlock didn't exactly believe that, fact, she knew that wasn't true at all, having been burned in the past for being /too/ cautious.. But she doesn't correct him, that's one those things that needs learned the hard way, least in her opinion. She also wasn't exactly going to say no to /that/ information, though she didn't think she'd use it today, there may come another time she'd may need such.

She'd make her way in once she knew Red Alert was stationed inside and took a deep vent, mentally preparing herself for what was inside aand the questions from Ratchet that were likely to follow.


The ward manager lets Starlock into the restricted medical area, leaving the high-strung Red Alert outside. The medbay is full of beds lining each wall. On each bed is a patient - some missing limbs or showing bad chew marks on their exposed flesh. Ratchet himself stands among them, finishing up a report. He ends the recording and then approaches Starlock with a smile. "Hey!" he chuckles. "What are you doing here?"


Starlock quirked a ridge at the bite marks, that and the missing limbs, that was /definitely/ something she'd not been expecting, didn't look like a plague, that was for sure...Well not a illness done one. She looked at Ratchet and relaxed, he was smiling, and chuckled. "Looking for you, panicked a little when I realized you'd not reported back." That and she got one of her feelings of impending doom, which.. oddly hadn't left.

"You alright? and.. any idea what's going on here?" She'd question, glancing around, she'd debate dropping her tone only to realize.. There was no point, Red could probably hear them. "Red Alert is also waiting outside."


Ratchet smiles but looks embarrassed. "I'm sorry. I was following a lead and ended up here. I didn't realize how much time had passed. I-" There is the sound of arguing out in the hall, and Red Alert's raised voice can be heard. Ratchet frowns, saving his report for the moment but not sending it. He approaches the ward door, stopping and waiting in the quarantine airlock for Starlock to join him if she wishes.


Starlock looked back at the arguing... She could guess what was probably happening, given how they came in and Red Alert's behavior. She'd glance at the patients a moment before joining Ratchet's side, dropping her voice. "Look like they've all been chewed on by /scraplets/" She'd muse and cringe under her voice.


"That was my diagnosis," Ratchet says quietly. "But I'm not sure that's something the Dominicons want known. If they ask, you've seen nothing and heard nothing from me - got it?" Before Starlock can answer, the airlock opens, revealing Red Alert arguing with the Dominicon Takedown.


"...that you Autobots can just waltz into any restricted area you like. Our alliance has its limits. We're a sovereign polity," Takedown is saying.


Starlock was going to say something when she sees Takedown and Red Alert, knitting her ridges and cringes hearing their arguing, partly grateful her face was hidden behind her mask... Ratchet would get a nod though, as they had something else to deal with. "Uhhh.." She'd say as she looked at the two.


Red Alert stares at Takedown. His optics look like they're ready to bulge out of his faceplate.


Takedown turns at Ratchet and Starlock emerge from the infectious disease ward. "How long was she in there?" Takedown demands of the ward nurse.


"Just a few astrominutes," the nurse replies. "I'd just let her in when you arrived."


Takedown frowns. "Chief Ratchet," she says. "I'm afraid I'm going to have to confiscate your logs and ask you to come down to headquarters for questioning."


"Not without me accompanying him!" Red Alert exclaims.


"Fine," Takedown replies drolly. "You can come as well."


Starlock's optics settled into a half-lidded position with a flat look, not this /shit/ again... She'd sigh. "I'm coming with." She'd announce, crossing her arms. "Gods above and below, if I knew this was going to be a problem.." She'd reach into her subspace and pull out an old, small pauldron cape, and tied it in place around her neck, it was an old cybertronian aid worker identifier from way back in the early years. "I'd put this on."


Ratchet turns to Starlock. "I'm sorry I wasn't able to fill you in on what's going on, but I'm sure all of this will be straightened out quickly." He gives Starlock a look, and then Red Alert a stronger look. "I'm going to head down to the station with Takedown. Make sure everyone knows I'm OK, OK? We don't want an interfactional incident."


"No, we do not," Takedown agrees, also giving Red Alert a strong look.


Red looks at them both. "I don't intend to start anything," he huffs.


Takedown nods, and brings the entire little group to the station.

Later, in Takedown's Office

Takedown steps out of her security office and smiles at Starlock. "OK, Starlock. Your turn. Care to step into my office?" Over the last few groon she's interviewed both Ratchet and Red Alert, who has calmed down once his fears of them being held and railroaded were sufficiently addressed.

Starlock

Starlock nodded and walked into the office, her optics a bit distant as she'd worked herself quietly, into a dissociated state of mind in preparation for this, mostly in a bid to protect herself, so one would find Starlock's body posture was rather... stiff, and her demeanor, and atmosphere about her more cold then normal.


Takedown's body language is relaxed as she gestures Starlock to a chair on the other side of the Dominicon's desk. The security office is rather bare - chairs, desk, camera. No bare overhead light, but no one has gone out of their way to make the room comfortable, either. Nonetheless, Takedown walks over to a low bar and turns to Starlock. "Refreshment?" she offers. "You've been waiting a while," she points out.


Starlock would give a nod to Takedown, as she took a seat, trying to keep from shrugging her pauldrons, as the anxiety that was attempting to overtake her dissociation had made her pauldrons feel rather... tense, and prickly. "I'd appreciate that, thank you." She'd say politely with a node of her helm.


Takedown pours two drinks from the same container. She places both on a tray and sets it on her desk in front of Starlock. She then moves back around behind her desk and settles into her seat. For such a heavily-armed femme, she moves rather gracefully - almost like a dancer. She smiles at Starlock and lets her pick which container from which to drink. "So," she says as a conversation starter. "Your friends are an interesting duo," she smiles.


Starlock gives a nod of thanks and takes a moment considering, her fingers twitching before she takes one and starts sipping on it. "Yeaah, I've only known Red for a couple of days but I can understand where he comes from, so I don't attempt to invalidate his feelings or emotions." She'd admit honestly.

"Ratchet's the reason I have a spinal strut." She'd smirk.


Takedown grins, taking the other drink and sipping it as well. She leans back in her seat. "They're both impressive in their own ways. I can understand where Alert is coming from as well, doing this same job for Valvolux," she smiles. "This shouldn't take long - I just wanted to follow up with a few things. Why would you say you were in Valvolux this cyberweek?" she asks, turning her chair slightly but keeping her optics firmly on Starlock.


"Was lookin' for Ratchet, he'd not signed in the work when he was supposed to, and I got worried along with..." She'd give pause. "One of those feelings I get, when something awful is going to happen, starting to think it was own just my own paranoia and anxiety getting to me." she'd say with a wave and a huff.

"....Ratchet's someone I care for." She'd say vaguely, Besides Aid? and Secretly Soundwave? And wherever Sky Lynx was, she didn't really.. /have/ anyone else.


Takedown nods with an understanding smile. "I get it," she empathizes. "If my 'sister' Widget were missing, I'd move heaven and Cybertron to find her." She raises her optic ridge. "So, when you found Ratchet in the medical ward, what did you see? Were your ill portents realized?"


"No." she'd say simply, which was probably odd, but she was being honest. "Ratchet was fine, which was a relief, but the feeling didn't leave, specially once I saw the state of the injured." Not ill, injured, she'd tap her chin platting. "Considering I only had a glance I cannot give any proper diagnosis, but much like Ratchet, if help is needed, I'm willing to provide, I am a doctor first and foremost."


Takedown smiles sympathetically and inclines her head. "I sincerely appreciate that - Ratchet made the same offer. Right now, however, we'd prefer to take care of things ourselves. If word got out that we had a scraplet infection in the city - do you know the panic that would sow? We must balance both health and public safety," Takedown maintains.


"S'understanble... Though I do think you're putting yourself in a bit of bad position by not making it publicly known, if that is what it is." She'd pause and nod. "Where there is one scraplet, there is /many/ and they will quickly eat through anything and anyone, identifying nests and flooding them with water will be the best to rid of them." She'd muse, before huffing, and looking back to Takedown. "longer it is hidden, the more trouble will brew."


Takedown listens to Starlock's advice and nods in understanding. "I hear what you're saying, and if it gets bad, we'll certainly reach out to the interfactional community. Right now, though, we have things under control and don't want to cause a panic. Ratchet was talking about closing the embassy and pulling all Autobots out of Valvolux. I think now's a bad time to cut ties with our city, when we're relying so much on each other in this time of need post-Fallen."


Starlock nods. "..I can however see his reasoning, with the Decepticons threatening to attack Iacon while it's down, can't exactly risk having personnel here wounded due to accidentally wondering into something like this." She'd point out with a raised ridge.


Takedown nods. "Excellent point, and I vow to personally guarantee any dangerous areas are properly quarantined. The real danger is people like Ratchet coming into the city and digging around dangerous areas without alerting us to his activities - if he'd wandered into a scraplet patch poking where he shouldn't have, we'd have been in a tough spot." Takedown smiles again. "Luckily, nothing untoward happened, and to be honest, we appreciate having someone of Ratchet's caliber helping diagnose the problem."


Starlock raises a ridge. "I understand, but Ratchet, is Ratchet, his kindness and stubbornness are both his vices and virtues, and I expect no more or no less from him." she'd huff, after sipping on her drink more. "Our patients' welfare, and well being come before ourselves." she'd idly muse.


Takedown grins. "I'd expect no less." She turns her chair back around and suddenly stands, offering her hand. "Well, that's pretty much all I needed. I appreciate you coming in and talking with us. We just like to know what's going on around here so there are no surprises!" she laughs. "You're all free to go. Ratchet and Alert should already be outside. Do you have any questions for me?" After shake (or spurn) she moves to open the door for Starlock.


Starlock shakes her helm, and gets up, just looking up blankly at Takedown, her optics a bit dim. "No." She'd say simply, and raises a ridge, tilting her helm up at her, a slight judging visible. "...Only a statement, which is my faction, has little to do with whom I am, and has never been a deciding factor in what I do." She'd state, remembering the arguing outside of the medical ward, before she started walking out to join the other two.


Takedown studies Starlock seriously for a long moment before nodding. "As a former Decepticon, I can understand not wanting to let a badge determine your entire identity and destiny. It's been good to meet you, Starlock. You can be sure I'll be assessing you as a person - not just another Autobot." Takedown holds the door open for Starlock and then heads out into the night, where Ratchet and Red Alert are already waiting. Ratchet looks faintly embarrassed; Red looks suspicious.


Airachnid appears in the market after stopping at the Gate and checking in as she obeys the rules for entering Valvolux.. though the guards did give her the 'Look' before allowing her passage. She changes forms after drawing a few more looks because of her Drider form before she starts wandering the market, pausing at a few of the stalls that seemed to bear lab-type equipment and mostly keeping to herself as she whistles quietly.


Starlock nods back as she keeps walking, not letting herself hunch or deflate as she is still in her dissociated state, everything felt numb to her, but she's now not actively trying to keep herself in that state, so she relaxes some, but looks utterly exhausted, before pointing at Red Alert. "...Told you so." She'd chuckle weakly.


Red Alert, who has been scanning the crowd suspiciously since he was released from Valvolux Security, immediately detects the presence of the Decepticon spark hunter. His body straightens to near-vibrating tension.


Ratchet, who was in the middle of an off-color story, looks around to see what's set Red off this time. A piece of trash blowing in the wind? A reflection off something shiny? You never know with Red.


Takedown chuckles at Starlock and Red before casually scanning the crowd. She spots Airachnid, of course, but is much more relaxed about it. Her gate guards alerted her the moment the spark hunter entered the city, and Takedown's security forces has optics on her. As long as Airachnid causes no problems, Takedown has no problem with her presence in Valvolux.


Airachnid is the picture-perfect example of a tourist; she is polite to the merchants she speaks to, even the one who was a bit rude just because of her alignment. She eventually ends up with a small box of equipment as she stops at a small stall selling a variety of drinks, to which she raises a hand and twiddles her fingers at all the optics she has noticed watching her as well as those she can't see and when she see's a particular hulking citizen one staring at her with a murderous look she strikes a pose and blows a kiss at him before going back to her drink.


Starlock quirks a ridge when Red Alert doesn't answer her and looks about with a tilt of her helm, before shaking her head tiredly, and looks to Ratchet. "You guys alright?" She'd question in a exhausted tone, a smile to them both.

She catches a slight glance at the spider femme and raises a ridge in confusion, that was a con she'd not seen or met.


Red Alert finally tears his gaze away from Airachnid long enough to glance at Starlock. "Oh. Sorry. I recognize that femme from the wanted files on the wire. It's Airachnid. She's very dangerous."


Hearing the name, Ratchet's head snaps over and suddenly he's in the game. "Airachnid? Here?" he asks. "I though she was dog-catching on Delta Pavonis IV," he smirks, although there is a tinge of anxiety in his voice.


Takedown closes up the security office and goes to report to Knightmare what she's learned. Her boss is NOT going to be pleased.


Starlock hems, nodding at both of them, seeming a bit.. out of it and shakes her helm. "Well, if you want then, we can start heading back.." She'd murmur. "Not really sure who she is so." She'd shrug, clearly not as put off as them, which may not of been a good thing.


Red Alert says, "Yes. Let's head back. We have a lot on which to report." Red Alert gives Airachnid another threatening look, and then transforms to head back to Iacon.


Airachnid finally goes over to a stall selling slabs of metal and starts talking with them, pointing out a few pieces as she sips her drink while her extra limbs curl and flex close to her body but at the golden oldie medics' comments she half turns and waves towards them with a bit of a smirk this time then winks, "Hello there! It's nice /someone/ remembers me." She pays for her metals and sits them into her box before she heads back out with another lazy wave, the spiderlady whistling to herself as she heads off.


Ratchet seems a bit unsettled as Airachnid waves towards him. He transforms quickly and prepares to follow Red Alert out of the city.


Gates of Iacon - Iacon - Northwestern Cybertron

The Iacon gates are a legendary shield system of triple reinforcement. Several large cannons are mounted strategically along it, even four of the dreaded warp cannons! Turreted guard towers line the semi-circular perimeter out of the necessity of war. Golden walls rise a good 10 stories tall overlooking the arched entrance to Iacon's main dome. Autobot sentries guard the main entrance, ever watchful of potential Decepticon threats. A large protected entrance is near the main staging area. Over a deep empty moat extends a bridge that can be retracted during an attack.

Trailbreaker

Trailbreaker and Dust Devil stand outside the city, monitoring its forcefields.

Red Alert, Ratchet, and Starlock return to the city. Ratchet and Red immediately head inside to make reports.

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