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Characters:  Arcee Blaster Cadenice Imager Optimus Prime  Elita One Cuffs Ironhide Perceptor

Location:  Autobot City - Meeting Room

Date: July 27, 2015

TP:  Spotlight Imager TP

Summary:   Delving into the rough femme's past leads to sparkache


 AUTOBOT SPINNY

 In the command center of Autobot City, several of the Autobots' chain of command are gathered around the two injured Eurythmen aliens. The male nurses a broken leg and a wound on his side, a little bed set up for him by First Aid. The female sits on the table next to him in her own small chair. "Thank you for rescuing us." She says into the little speaker set up to help decrypt their strange singing language.

 Perceptor sits in the background, monitoring the aliens. <<I must say, the most unusual radiation emits from Eurythmen and their planet. Why I found out that it gives us the illusion of extremely poor animation.>>

 Elita One sits perfectly in profile, raising her arm clumsily forward. "Whatever do you mean, Perceptor?"

 Cadenice continues, explaining "Several eons ago, when Eurythma was first being harmonized, a discordant tune was noticed within our framework. A note that could spell disharmony within all of our works. It was sealed away eons ago, locked within the very core of the planet, but now it awakens again, threatening us all."

 Picture that with all that singing, I dare you.

Optimus Prime puts a hand to his chin as he digests the meaning of these words. "What is the nature of this note?" he inquires of the two aliens. "How can we assist you?"

Arcee has made the trip here because she's more than a bit concerned that these aliens have found their way here to Earth. She can imagine how 'thrilled' Red Alert must be, what with the GI Joe team here as well as singing aliens, all sharing space inside Autobot City. And what was this 'awakening threat' they were singing about?? None of it sounded particularly good to her.


Cuffs is here, mostly in the the corner of the room and not officially part of the proceedings, probably to make ReEd Alert feel less worried about the situation.


Blaster pictures all that singing, indeed. Although he is still seriously injured from his battle with Soundwave, Blaster seems nearly rapturous as he listens to the Cadenice's expositional explanation. "What can we do to help, little dudes?" he asks, sounding more like hippyish Beachcomber or Groove than the usual street-talking Blaster. "Anything we can do to help, just sing us a song and we'll join in the harmony. Our resources are yours," he says, perhaps over-committing the Autobots' help in his mellow enthusiasm.


 Cadenice replies, "It is discordance...a living breathing maliciousness within our planet. Our entire culture, our buildings are made in distinct and precise harmony. If it grows too strong, it will bring ruin to everything we have strived to create. We must have your Maestro."


GAME: Blaster PASSES an INTELLIGENCE roll of Average difficulty.

 As Blaster pitches in, the white-haired elfin alien turns to him in her seat. "As you already know, music must be fought with music. Only a song of skill and finesse can banish such a thing as the Last Note.." She adds with a bit of sorrow, "And being as the Last Note is...part of Eurythma, our own songs have done nothing but keep it contained..and it chooses now to break free again. We are doomed without your assistance, you must assist!"


Arcee frowns slightly. Their...maestro?? She wondered if they were wanting Optimus or Blaster to go back to their planet with them. She didn't much like /that/ idea, because they might not get him back if he went with them! But for the time being, she listens quietly.


Cuffs merely rubs his forehead again. This was giving him a headache.


Blaster looks up at Optimus Prime. "By 'Maestro' I'm pretty sure they mean Imager, Optimus. It doesn't make much sense, but they had a little hologram of her and everything. They're really singing her tune, and we may need Imager's help to fight off whatever discordance is threatening their planet, before it drops the beat and it's too late for any of them. It could be a Crystal City remix, Optimus. Not a hit we want covered a second time."


Elita One looks up to Arcee, her arms crossed, the moment of poor animation having passed. She silently motions to a chair next to her, the Femme Commander's sharp optics stay upon the alien in need. "Then perhaps we need to know why they're so interested in her." She hits a few buttons on a datapad, to bring up the Femme's file.


Optimus Prime nods to Elita. "There must be a reason, but we will assist in any way we can." he says. "I've never refused a request for help and I don't intend to start now."


 https://youtu.be/XDeCvF0e7ts?list=PLT-W8v5BDsiFq9l2CDeDV5sOGXEmKKQoc&t=25


"...Wait, wait a minute, they want /Imager/ to go fix their planet's problems? All by herself??" Arcee blurts out with sudden realization. "...We're getting her back, right?"


Blaster's speakers are strangely silent as he listens to the aliens, recording their music and words for later analysis and posterity. He continues to ignore the wounds from his battle - they've been hastily patched, and Blaster seems completely unaware of them. He turns to look at Arcee. "I'm sure they don't mean to keep her, although if they need a long-term musical technician to manage their beat, I'd be happy to volunteer." He looks hopefully at Optimus Prime.


Elita One nods to Optimus, "Indeed. Especially considering all that has happened there in the past..."

 A hologram of Imager pops up, the big bulky femme. Her history starts to pour through, a few noted highlights are brought up.

 One of the few surviving Maestro-Class musicians Cybertron has track of. Instrument of choice: Vioello.

 Holds the Helios Array, allowing her to generate holograms, retrofit during the war to help create Energon cubes.

Originally recruited into the Autobot cause during the early war due to a need to seek refuge. First point of contact - Arcee.

 Trained under Ironhide after reformatting.

Elita One looks over at Arcee, a bit of surprise on her faceplate. "Well let us hope so. I didn't know you two went so far back. Here I had only recently heard of her."

 Cadenice stands up in eagerness. "That's her, That's her! Thats the one! All she must do is to play as she played before, and our planet will be saved once more!"

"I've known her for a long time, yes," Arcee admits. "She once was a musician, it's true, but that was...EONS ago. Look, I'm not saying that we don't have a way to help these beings, but this is a very long shot."

Cuffs stirrs a little in his corner, and lifts a hand to ask a question.


Optimus Prime raises an optic ridge at the mention of Arcee, and glances to her, then back to Blaster. "If there is anyone who is more than capable of... 'throwing down' with music among us, it's you Blaster." he says, with a twinkle in his optic, then he looks back to Arcee. "Sometimes a long shot can be the only option. If I an interpreting this correctly, an entire world could face destruction if this is not stopped."


Elita One looks in Cuffs' direction, then nods once. "Cuffs? Do you have something to add?"

Cuffs says, "Yes. If I'm understanding right, from your words, miss, is that Imager needs to return to your planet again, to play again, to put this 'note' into place, again... but doesnt that mean that after a while, the note will break free, again, if it has in the past?"


Blaster holds up his damaged black hands, and looks with concern at Cadenice as she stands up in eagerness. "Woah, woah! Crank down the volume a bit - you two have had a rough journey. Why not some easy listening while we talk to Imager and see what she can do to help. I'm sure if there's any way we can help, we'll do so." He looks at Optimus Prime. "I'll see what recordings I can dig up from that era - maybe we can start piecing together what was played, when, and if we can lay down the same tracks. Maybe I can beebop to Crystal City and see if I can snag us a sweet vioello. We might need it if Imager no longer has hers." He looks to Optimus Prime for permission while listening for the answer to Cuffs' very good question.


 Cadenice seems a bit worried by Cuffs' remark. It seems apparent that that very thought has gone through her mind as well. She speaks into the little anti-autodune device in response, "We had thought it rendered silent eons ago, only to resurface now. We have no way of knowing if it will ever surface again. Not even our songs can lull it to sleep ourselves."


Optimus Prime looks to Blaster. "See what you can do, Blaster. It appears time is of the essence." he says, before looking to Cuffs. "That's a valid question, Cuffs, but if we can end the threat for perhaps another eon, that is an eon their people will have to live in peace."


Ironhide clomps into the chamber, just to peer around for a moment. Then cross his arms over his chest and trying to look dour like usual, but a faint glint of a half-smirk still can't be hidden from his features. "What's this, someone started a big ol' hootnanny and Ah wasn't invited?"


Cuffs nods at Optimus, and looks back to Cadenice "To sleep. Can it be destroyed? I know we try not to do that, but somtimes its' the only choice. our Maestro is here now - but she may not always be here. And yes - I'm not objecting to sending her now. Just saying, we should perhaps plan for the future." he remarks, and stands to salute his commanding officer as Ironhide arrives.


Elita One looks over to Ironhide, a bit of warmth to her husky demeanor, "Far from it. We were looking into Imager's history here. Apparently we need her music and yet she seems to have retired from it all. Do you have any insight on the matter?"

 Frankly the entire thing sounded convoluted to her, but maybe this just wasn't her episode to star in. The thought crosses her mind, then she shrugs gently.


Blaster nods in agreement with Cuffs and Optimus Prime. "At least a temporary fix gives us an eon to come up with a better, more permanent solution! I'll hit the archives, and see what Golden Oldies I can unearth for our new world-savin' playlist. And maybe see if there are any other vioello masters that might help give Imager a crash course in what she may have forgotten since she traded fortune and fame for energon and holograms!" Starting the beat back up in his shin speakers, Blaster heads out like a mech on a mission, determined to save the world - at, least, the world of Eurythma.


Arcee nods at Optimus, then she considers everything up to this point, rubbing her chin in thought. "She's a great musician, a longtime supporter of our cause, and...and she's my friend. I'd like to go with her if she must take this journey, if only to help guard her against danger."


 Cadenice looks a bit...abashed, as if Blaster had said something silly like 'the sky was green'. "Oh come now, hero. There is a depth to music that even your recording abilities cannot match. Music requires...SPIRIIIIIIT" She holds the note for a while, though since it doesn't come across as musical, its translated as sort of like a scream, which totally ruins her emphasis.


Arcee winces at that 'note' from Cadenice. The nuance of that was /definitely/ lost in translation.


"Com'n kid, Ah keep tellin' ya not to be so formal all the time," Ironhide retorts even as he returns the salute, in the sort of tone of playful jest one would expect for the resident 'grandfather' figure. Then turns his attention back to the conversation at hand, giving Elita a bit of a shrug. "Lot of us gave up doin' things fer trying to win this frag slaggin' war 'Lita, y'know that. But lemme see if Ah can jostle a memory bank or to--Aaaugh!" The old mech cringes and grabs one side of his helm as Cadenice inadvertantly 'screams', disruptiong his concentration for a moment. "Easy thare lass, Blastah ain't the only one here with sensative audios."


Cuffs winces a little, and nods "There is something about nonrecorded vocals and such, even if our own vocals are just 'speakers' of sorts." he agrees with Canendice "However, it can be used to inspire, and get the mood going for the real thing. Nostalgia you know? " he adds to her, to support Blaster. There was the Autobots' internal peacekeeper at it again. He finally sits, with an apologetic glance at Ironhide "Habit, sorry. Its like you. Its' hard to kill." he quips, then winces.


 Cadenice considers the alternatives, then says solemnly, "I will be thankful for whatever the Autobots can do to assist us in our time of neeeed."

The door opens a bit later, the femme in question there. "Uh yeah Blaster said I sh.....holy rustbuckets what did I do?" She actually reels backwards as if the entire chain of command was on her case.

Cadenice makes a pleased sound, "Its her! Its her, the Maestroooo!"

 Imager's optics reconfigure as the surprise is evident. "Oh....Oh slag...uh hello there." She puts her index fingers together as she looks around the room. "so uhhhh whats going on?"


Ironhide jabs a digit playfully at Imager. "Careful lass, Ah'm pro'ly the least close thing to 'holy' 'round here." But rustbucket is fine? Ironhide is use to it. "But it's a good thin' yer here lass, our guest were just talkin' 'bout you." Then goes back to searching memory files. Give the mech time, he's probably running on the Cybertronian equivilent to one of those old 80s modems in his head, slow as hell. At least it doesn't make all the noise.

Usually.


"I think you've just been volunteered to save Eurythma," Arcee answers, turning toward Imager awkwardly. "They say your music is the only thing that can save them. I'm not too clear on how that's going to work, exactly, but they're being pretty adamant about it. I really do think you need a team to come with you, but that's just my two shanix."


Imager stares blankly.


Cuffs stands up again as Imager enters, smiling at her as he offers her his chair. It wasnt at the main table, mind.

He chortles at Ironhide, taking up a place alongside the door now to watch, letting those actually in Command explain things.


... Oh. Ooooh. Yeah, now he remembers. And by the way Ironhide's expression tenses a bit more, it probably wasn't a nice reminder, either. With a huff he recrosses his arms. "They all seem to think yer some kind of musical protegy.. But Ah dunno. Ah reckon ya musta quit by the time yer were givin' t'me to whip into shape 'gain."

Imager rubs a hand across the back of her head as her optics flicker away, "Once upon a time. Sure. I was great. The best even. But that was a life ago...sooo." She looks down at the hopeful tiny Eurythman, a glum tone in her voice, "I uh...can't. Sorry." She manages a sheepish look, "Can't do that no more."


"Imager /is/ a musical prodigy, Ironhide," Arcee insists. "It's just one of those functions that was waylaid by the war." She looks from Ironhide back over toward Imager. "They're saying you /must/ help them or they're going to lost their homeworld."


Imager grumbles, "Can't do it Cee. Its like 'how do you fire a plasma rifle without a cartridge?' You don't. I lost my music eons ago ya know. Just can't do something like that without committing to it."


Cuffs frowns a little, and looks at the aliens again "Can... ANY Maestro do this maybe?" he asks.


 Cadenice looks up in shock, "You've lost your music? This is a tragedeeeeeey. We are doomed. All of us, doomed!" She returns to the side of her ailing Bassoun, "We were supposed to be marriieeeed, and now the disharmony of the Last Note will doom us all."

 She looks at Cuffs, hope in her eyes, "DO you have other Maestros still?"


Cuffs eers a little and looks back "Does it have to be Cybertronian? " he asks in return.


Ironhide taps a digit against a cheek thoughtfully. "Now ya see, that's the part Ah don't get." Or maybe he does, but the old mech is trying to not just have to say it for her. "Yer one of the most committed folks 'round here, Imager. That just ain't somethin' y'all up and drop, war or not. Hell, y'know how many cultures MAKE their music 'bout war? There's somethin' more than just not wantin' to, lass."


Arcee stares at Imager, folding her arms across her chestplate. "Look, I get it, I would be pretty hesitant about being 'volunteered' for a mission like this too. But I'll come with you if you want. If you want a team to back you up, it can be arranged, I'm sure. If there's an entire world at stake here, and potentially...lives lost, then why not try? You have a talent, or...energy, or /something/ that can help them."


Imager considers the thought put before her, "Took three eons of practice for me to put that thing down...it was a real beast. threw half-sorrid notes at me in an everchanging apprecidiao. with reality fluxing tempo...Hard to anticipate and counter that. So someone'd have to be pretty old to have that much experience. That sort of stuff puts even ole Frenzy to shame. Ya know?"


Cuffs had been silent, but states "Would you be willing to give it a try Imager? " he asks, and guestures to the two "For them? Or at least... try to find someone else ?" he always tried to find solutions. However farfetched.


Arcee looks back over toward the Eurythmans, then nods at what Ironhide, and then Cuffs, are saying. "They didn't say anything about you being at the top of your game, they just...need you to play," she adds.


Ironhide walks around the table to stand beside Imager and put his arm around her shoulder. "Com'n lass, time to get some of that old rust off yer back. This is 'bout more than just not playin', innit. Somethin'd be purdy big to make a gal like ya feel like she couldna do it no more. And it sounds like in order to do the Autobot thin' to help them, we're gonna have to do the other Autobot thin' and help you."


Imager winces under the social assault of her compatriots. One was the mech she just couldn't bring herself to be snarky to, the other was the Bot who had her back when nobody else would. She grimaces, upturning her hands, "It's not that easy. Bossmech...Haven't you ever seen mechs who just utterly lost that will to fight? Look at Cerebros. That mech's been ruined by the war...and yeah well I'm not exactly as bad off as him. I'm not enjoying it either. Music's a thing you gotta create. I tried...Primus help me I tried. Cometchaser..." (Her old CO back in the day) "always wanted me to liven everyone up but...well they're all dead now aren't they?" The bitterness in her tone is apparent, "and every time I think about playing. I think about them okay? That I get the bad fortune to get stuck in stasis while they fight and die. And I don't want to play anymore. Okay? That clear up your windshield?"

 She turns her back on the two, actually brushing off the first tender moment Ironhide has probably had in the last solar sweep.

Cuffs blnks a litle and looks from one to the other, then stands with a clearing of his vocords "Excuse me, I think I need to go." as he had an idea this may be easier to solve without him here. Between friends. He nods to each of them and departs through the door.


Elita One considers the situation a bit further, letting the others take the lead here as she thought. "Cuffs."

Elita One gives Arcee an earnest look, then follows Cuffs outside. After the doors close, she considers the moment again, "A hard life to return to...I understand that. I think you are right perhaps that we need to find an alternative. Work with Blaster on this. Find us a Maestro"

Cuffs stops just outside the door, waiting for it to close, and for Elita One to catch up. He nods "I'll scan our records, see if I can find anyone with more than just a casual taste. I know a lot of Autobots /like/ music. But to compose and such? Too bad Fireworks isnt still around. " he promises, and then continues "I still dont know if a human Maestro may work - the humans have a larger population and thus, more musicians. Maybe Spike could get in touch with a few... never put all your energons in one truck, right?"

Wow, Arcee thinks to herself, how remarkably awkward this situation has become in such a short time. "Imager...you can't change the past, alright? And I'm not even going to try to downplay what you've been through. They survive in your memory and in your own spark, though. Their memories endure, and I think something you must consider before turning this mission down outright is...how do you think they would want you to carry on, in this case. Would they help you help this alien race, or not?" She pauses, then adds, "Please give it some more consideration. If not for me, then for /them/, because I think you're quite capable of making a valuable difference to this race."


Elita One adds, "Do not limit your search to just Cybertronians. While Imager may be right that it will take a breadth of experience to counter this creature's song. This does not mean that is not possible. To be fair I know not of a planet more musically inclined than Eurythma nor a city on Cybertron than Harmonex. Yet Harmonex has been ruined for countless ages. Though now that I think on it. The Sonic Canyons still are active at times. I would start your search there."


Imager looks over her shoulder at Arcee...or at least would if her paldron wasn't too big for that. She turns, a hostile tone in her voice. "Don't you think I would if I could?!?" She just about rolls her optics, "I *can't*. Its not that I don't want to. I don't like seeing bad things happen to good places. I mean...come on! I 'Botted' up and stuff. But there's a difference between wanting to help and being able to."

Ironhide lets Imager break free and turn away, at least for a bit so she can have her moment. "Yeah, that's what Ah thought. Ol' Cometchaser was like that, always tryin' to get the best outta others. Y'know, come to think of it.." There's a pause, and then Ironhide trudges over to the room terminal. "Teletran II, bring up the ol' personel registers. Designashun: Cometchaser. Inquiry: Cause of termination."

The city's supercomputer replies back almost instantly "NO SUCH FILE IN RECORDS."

"That ain't right at all." Ironhide's expression only sours more. "Where's the last log files fer that squad?"

"ENTIRE UNIT SAVE MEMBER DESIGNATION IMAGER PRESUMED MKIA."

"Wahl." Ironhide grumps, folding his arms again. "Sounds like we got a bit o' a mystery on our hands... and Ah ain't that fond of unsolved mysteries..."

Imager actually meets Ironhide's gaze at his words. A flat look crosses her faceplate. She shakes her head, "Don't do this. Bossmech. Don't do this."

 The computer continues, a more thorough list.

 "CYPHER. MISSING...PRESUMED KILLED IN ACTION."

 "GLAMOUR. MISSING...PRESUMED KILLED IN ACTION."

 "COVERT. MISSING...PRESUMED KILLED IN ACTION."

 Imager's faceplate cracks as she holds back tears, trying to stare down Ironhide. It's not working...

 "SAFEGUARD. MISSING...PRESUMED KILLED IN ACTION."

 "COMETCHASER. MISSING...PRESUMED KILLED IN ACTION."

 Imager turns her back on the two again, choking herself back. "So what? I'm...Im supposta just...what? Avenge em? Bring their sparks back?" Cuffs listens at this, his headache starting to fade a little as he takes in the information "I'll go scout out Harmonex as well. Someone may still be there. There's always neutrals." he promises "And I'll focus on Autobots, and work my way out - And get some not-quite Maestros assembled. Maybe the power of numbers will make up for the lack of mastery. "

Elita One nods once. "A good thought. Do be as swift as you can. From what I understand there is scarecly a full sweep before things will get out of hand on Eurythma." She puts her hand on Cuff's shoulderplate. "I have faith in you. I'm going to research as well when I have the time."

Cuffs smiles "Thanks. I'll let you know if I find anything, and head back to Cybertron on the next shuttle." he promises, lifting his hand to his chestplate.


"That's 'enough Teletran, we get they point. Close file." Ironhide huffs as he turns away from the terminal. "Don't be absurd lass, ya can't bring back the dead..." He seems to mull on it for a moment. Maybe it's just old habits due to being a security mech for so long as much as it is wanting to help Imager out, but either way all those blank spaces doesn't sit right with him.

"But we can find out what happened to em. Pack yer travel gear, lass." He points at Arcee. "You too, iffen ya wanna help." Then trots back to Imager. "Ah don't care iffen it gets yer music back or not lass. Findin' out what really happened .... well, at least ya won't have to go on not knowin." Waggles a finger at her. "Ah'm trying to do this to help ya, so don't make me make that an order," he half jokes. Arcee has been quiet, but hasn't backed off of Imager or Ironhide. She listens as Ironhide reads the names of Imager's team off the file, then she looks back toward Imager. "I think you know the answer."

Ironhide gets a grin from Arcee. "I would be honored to help, actually," she says.

Imager doesn't respond, but she doesn't protest. She kinda looks at the two for a moment. Genuine gratitude is rare for the big Femme, and while she says nothing, one could make the argument that she was grateful for the support network she has...

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