Log Title: Visit to Vector Sigma
Date: January 17, 2017
TP: End of Days TP
Summary: Seaspray encounters the legendary super-computer Vector Sigma!
As logged by Seaspray - Tuesday, January 17, 2017, 7:28 PM
Vector Sigma Chamber - Cybertron
- The Vector Sigma Chamber is a large, circular area. The walls of the chamber are blue steel, seeming untarnished, unlike the tunnels surrounding the chamber.
At first the room is dark, although the echo of footsteps speaks to its size. Slowly something at the center of the room starts to radiate light, revealing itself to be a large shining multi-faceted sphere. The spheroid begins to rise off its pedestal, and its golden glow soon becomes so intense that it becomes difficult to gaze at directly. A quiet thrum in the room grows in vibration as something massive within the walls whirrs to life.
- "I am Vector Sigma. Before Cybertron was, I was!"
The disco ball goes silent once more.
Shockwave steps into the room, taking in the sights and the thundering voice of the golden sparkle orb of destiny. He is careful, however, to allow Dust Devil to take the lead. His status as Vector Sigma's apparent chosen, coupled with Starscream's warning of the super computer's tendency to be fickle and easily perturbed, leads Shockwave to believe that the consumer of dust should be their guide. He is silent despite the gravity of the moment.
Dust Devil walks forward. Glancing up at the gilded granter of life. "Vector Sigma, I have brought Shockwave before you so that you can answer his questions about the changes of Cybertron. I know that despite our differences, Vector Sigma has been the beginning for many bots and cons alike."
Even more so than Shockwave, Seaspray is happy to let Dust Devil take the lead. The seamech is really out of his league here, and remains by the door, silent and a bit agog. He tries to focus his attention on the Decepticons, wary of any trick, but in the face of Vector Sigma it is difficult for him to feel anything but awe and to focus on anything but the shiny progenitor of life.
Yeah. To be fair... last megacomputer Counterpunch was hoping to see right now. With a full dance party around at least. As a spy you become nothing a quest for answers.
For the cause.
For the mission.
But... asking the questions is giving something away, sometimes too high a price to pay... and, with others around, he's without the wherewithal to ask the things he most sorely craves to know.
There is a flicker of light, barely seen against the intense glow of Vector Sigma. A ghostly-white hologram appears of an ancient, wizened sage. His helmet is crested and he sports a long mustache and beard. His shoulders are spiked, and he appears to have a long, dramatic cape. On his stomach is a glowing white symbol. The hologram smiles to itself, and seems almost embarrassed to be there. Alpha Trion has connected.
- "I am the beginning, and I will be the end - Cybertron's fate is intertwined with mine. Should I survive, Cybertron shall survive; should I fall, the planet is lost."
The disco ball grows silent again, not directly addressing Dust Devil's remarks. Instead it hovers silently, aside from the underlying thrum of the room.
Shockwave focuses on multiple sights and sounds at once, like the walking computer he is. He hears Dust Devil's question and Vector Sigma's unhelpful reply. He sees the flicker of a hologram that is Alpha Trion - some remnant or a mere projection by the super computer? No matter. He turns his head slightly, focusing his singular optic on Dust Devil while he contemplates Vector Sigma's words. His suspicions, at least in part, were addressed with the cryptic words, but he would know more.
"Then are you in danger, Vector Sigma?" he asks without emotion, his voice amplified to be heard over the humming and sounds of Cybertron grumbling outside.
Dust Devil's focus goes from shiny bauble to faint ghost outline. His optics brighten and he stares at the spectre. Of course there's so much he would love to say but not with the decepticons present. He finally is able to pul his optics from the presence to Shockwave and then back to Vector Sigma, to await the answer. Though he glances at Alpha to see if it is he who will answer or Vector Sigma.
Seaspray's optics widen at the (literal) specter of Alpha Trion's appearance, and he looks from Trion to Shockwave to Dusty to Sigma (shielding his optics at the last, and ignoring Counterpunch for now, possibly at everyone's peril). He keeps his vocalizer off for now, however, letting the Big Kids handle this while he remains near the door as backup if things get ugly.
Counterpunch sidles to one of the walls and stays out of the light. As much of it as there is. At the end of the day there's a command structure and the CO's got the floor. Which works rather well for Counterpunch. As, really, if there's somehow a failure in Shockwave's logical matrices Counterpunch can just feed the relevant questions via radio. Make the boss look good if it comes up. Never hurts.
The Ghost of Alpha Trion smiles benignly at the gathering of Transformers before him, giving Dust Devil a mischievous wink. "Well, well, well," he says vaguely, his voice seeming to come from the air of the room more than from the hologram itself. "What an interesting collection of individuals. Where did you acquire such friends as these, Dust Devil?" he asks curiously, giving a nod Shockwave.
- "The threats to me take many forms - what threatens me threatens the planet. But what has been menaced may be protected; what has been destroyed may be restored."
The disco ball grows silent once more, hovering in place, letting Alpha Trion do the talking. Cyberquakes shake the corridor outside, threatening another collapse - cracks appear even within the chamber of Vector Sigma.
Shockwave ignores all the shaking and quaking and rocking and rolling of the chamber as the Lite-Brite Disco Ball of Destiny grows silent. He turns his head to Dust Devil and then to Alpha Trion just in time to register that nod. Were he a being of less direct focus, he would potentially inquire about his gallivanting with Starscream, but he refrains - namely because he simply doesn't care.
"Alpha Trion," Shockwave states flatly, dismissing the question of who or what this incarnation is, "As you are here, I take it you are speaking for Vector Sigma. Speak, then. It is apparent that time grows short." He pauses, "Or does it? You do not seem particularly concerned with what is happening to Cybertron."
Dust Devil doesn't mention that there are times Alpha Trion doesn't seem particularly concerned about anything. Nope, he just keeps his focus on Alpha and manages a slight grin at the wink. "It's amazing what ya find beneath Cybertron's surface. I was on my way here to discuss Snaptrap with you, when there was a collapse and we came across Shockwave. As he hasn't attacked and his questions are legit....I...I took the liberty ta bring him here ta get his answers. Perhaps if they hear what is happening, they might believe and perhaps be a little less....militant with those of Cybertron's neutral areas. I would have come first and discussed this with you. But it didn't seem like a viable choice. At least without havin there be some less than accidental damage."
Seaspray continues to be awed at what he's witness to -- an audience with Vector Sigma! The Ghost of Alpha Trion! A conversation with Shockwave that doesn't end with his painful, if logical, death! The minibot flexes his fingers nervously, remaining quiet while the adults are talking but beginning to vibrate with anxiety at the entire situation. When Bee asked him to keep an optic on Dust Devil this isn't what he had anticipated happening.
Okay, Seven, I'm gonna explain this one last time then I'm leaving you here. Vector Sigma's in Cybertron's core. Yeah, the middle bit. So there's nothing but half a planet in every direction. Which means if there's a collapse then it won't be exactly be like a planet to the face but there'll be that much mass of falling on you it'll be the devils own work telling the difference. Disembodied voices that are a side effect of over-compartmentalised thinking... can't take 'em anywhere. Also, maybe it's just crazy... i.e. him but is Alpha mickied?
The Ghost of Alpha Trion seems amused at Shockwave's assertion. "I'm not sure I'm qualified to truly speak for Vector Sigma, but as a favor to an old friend I will do what I can. As I've said previously, Cybertron will survive this, thanks to the actions of the little fellow with the scales. But there is a choice between destruction and resumption of the status quo, and in my ... commune... with Vector Sigma, I may have glimpsed at a path to Cybertron's restoration... although it won't be easy."
Mischief continues to sparkle in Trion's holographic optics. He looks to Dust Devil. "You may have been wise to bring Shockwave here -- better to work together than to die beneath Cybertron -- and I can speak from experience!" He laughs quietly at his own joke, his light chuckle seeming to emanate from the walls of the room. He then looks at Shockwave, his expression serious. "If Cybertron is restored, there will be enough energon for all. Continuing to fight for virtually limitless resources would be... illogical." He cocks his head with an 'eh... see what I did there?' expression.
While Alpha Trion speaks, Vector Sigma merely hovers in place, its glow shimmering, casting the room in cascading waves of light.
Shockwave would look surprised, were he capable. Since he isn't, Alpha Trion gets an expressionless blinking box in response to his clever quip. Still, the effect is achieved, and Shockwave appreciates the hologram-ghost-overpriced-Disney-theme-park-effect's line of thought. "I see," he states, clearly thinking, "We are ill served by Cybertron's destruction, even if this destruction is not total annihilation." He digests the rest and makes a calculated response: "I am not here for the war. I am here to preserve our planet. What is to be done?"
Dust Devil smiles a bit more at Alpha's behavior. "And are there....safe zones? Areas that we might stage Decepticons, neutrals and Autobots, where they would be safe from any of the more violent upheavals in Cyberton's rebirth? I'm sure it would help ease some of the fear and stress if they could be where the world isn't changin. I'm willin ta help where I can."
Seaspray glances up fearfully as the room shakes again, and more cracks appear on the ceiling of Vector Sigma's training. He resists the urge to suggest that while this is all edifying, perhaps they could speed it up, instead merely glancing worriedly at Dust Devil, and perhaps taking the tiniest step backward towards the entrance. He wouldn't leave Dust Devil here, of course, but the rest of them? They can be crushed for all he cares.
That figures. Counterpunch thinks but fails to elaborate upon. The shakes and quakes are rocking and rolling out so, maybe, time's a factor... but, until it's a-raining roof, nothing he can do that wouldn't be mistaken as aggressive action. Still. The planet reviving's good... and bad news considering. Again, considering, not elaborating.
"That... is the difficult part," the Ghost of Alpha Trion admits. He glances at Vector Sigma. "It's in there, but... even a mind as vast as mine," he says without a trace of humility, "is merely a drop in the ocean compared to Sigma's." He looks at Dust Devil. "I'm not sure there are any safe places left on the planet until this is over and Cybertron recovers, or doesn't -- even here." He looks at Shockwave. "Remember -- restore the planet. Do what needs to be done. I will find out what I can." Alpha Trion looks to Vector Sigma, and then flickers out as his light merges with that of Vector Sigma once more.
Vector Sigma rises slightly higher, and glows with more intensity.
- "There is another Key," it announces, "even greater than mine. It was hidden so no mech may find it, and it accesses a room into which no mech may venture. As Cybertron approaches a dying sun, access this room once more, and the planet will be restored."
Above, Cybertron shakes and quivers again, and on the surface of Vector Sigma, the smallest crack appears, letting out even more brilliant light. With another, more violent quake, the fissure in Vector Sigma's shell grows larger.
"Corruption!" it suddenly booms, and a blast of energy expels from the sphere, blasting Counterpunch against the wall.
"That is my intention," answers Shockwave calmly, "Or I would not bother to be here. A dead husk of a world is simple to achieve. I did not expect restoration to be so simple." Then Trion leaves and the purple one watches. He is still passive, his arms having remained at his side this entire team, his posture as utterly non-threatening as he is able to manage. Then it happens.
Vector Sigma shake-shake-shakes his booty until his crack is showing. And Counterpunch gets blasted.
Shockwave does not attack, but whirls on Dust Devil to glare at him with as much gusto as his single optic allows him to: "What is happening? Explain this!" He points a finger toward Counterpunch.
"Ouch... was it someting I said?" then Counterpunch chuckles, considering he hadn't said a single thing since walking into the chamber. That... was odd. Felt a little... yeah. He doesn't know. Which is the worst thing he could possibly ever think. Also. It's quieter round here. That is a BIG freakin' crisis. Prime real estate in the capital, highest building on the planet, lobby, conference facilities, fifty star accomodation, gym, pools and a full frontal sign saying 'This... is a crisis.' There no numbers around. Not even One.
Dust Devil frowns as Alpha Trion leaves. The riddles don't exactly help. He watches in horror as Vector sigma begins to crack. "I can't explain what I don't understand. You got the friggin optic of optics, check and see what sorta energy is comin from it. Might give us at least some idea ta what is goin on. You seem ta have a knack with the energy weapons, I'd hope you could scan this. I've got a forcefield but I can't tell if I need ta protect us from it or protect Vector Sigma." Looking to the ball he yells, "Alpha Trion what's goin on?" He puts a hand against the wall to stabilize himself. "I don't know if he'd be reformattin too....or if somethin is goin wrong."
As things start to fall apart, literally, Seaspray steps back into the room and puts his hand on Dust Devil's arm. "Dusty, we need to go. Now. We've gotten all we can from this guy -- we can talk to Prime and Skids and get this figured out, but the knowledge isn't going to leave this room if we're all crushed to death!" he gargles frantically. "I can't get through all this rock to radio Bumblebee -- we need to go!"
Alpha Trion fails to reappear, and Vector Sigma offers no further elucidating riddles. Instead, as the room continues to shake, more cracks appear in the ceiling... and across the surface of Vector Sigma itself. Pure energy pours from the cracks, blinding to behold, as if the soul of Cybertron itself is starting to become unleashed. Chunks of ancient metal and stone begin to fall from the ceiling, crashing down amongst the Transformers.
Shockwave stares at Dust Devil for only a moment longer before whirling around and doing a swift scan of the energy blasting out of Vector Sigma. He does not speak of his findings, however, saying only, "Your companion is correct, Dust Devil." He catalogues the data he acquired swiftly for later examination and states sharply, "Counterpunch, come! We are leaving this place. Vector Sigma and whatever remains of Alpha Trion have offered all that they can. I believe they will survive this. We, however..."
Shockwave turns and does the most logical thing possible in this situation: Exit, stage left.
Dust Devil isn't logical. And he is visibly torn between what is happening with what remains of Alpha Trion and Vector Sigma and his own safety. Looking up at the ceiling above the ball, he tries to figure if it is going to hold or not. But Seaspray is also right. And at least one of them needs to get to the surface. Unfortunately, Seaspray might not do that on his own. "I'll be back....I promise!" He follows out, unhappily, but determined to make sure Seaspray doesn't end up as lubricant between debris beneath the surface of Cybertron.
Seaspray is less torn. Yes, wisdom of the ages. Yes, the possible fate of Cybertron. Right now, though, they need to get to the surface, or they'll all be dead with nothing to show for it. As soon as Dusty makes his intentions known to follow him out, Seaspray makes a break for it, not leaving Dusty behind, but not dawdling either to see what happens to Vector Sigma.
"Run! Move! Roll out! Ambulate! Whatcha waitin' for?! A freakin' invitation!?!" Counterpunch shouts, fixing his fall with a full fronatl flip from the floor to his feet. Huh. He feels G-R-E-A-T-! Turning to the cracking Vector Sigma Counterpunch says, "Thanks? I think? In any case... Tee-Bee-Cee-El!!" Without further forethought he blasts off of the floor having to correct for complications he wasn't expecting. Once stabilised he makes a move to the left... still having to use way more afterburn than he should. Maybe Siggy gave him the double choc-apocalypse special and he'll have to drink diet for a while.
As the Transformers flee, the ceiling collapses behind them, burying Vector Sigma under unmeasurable tons of rubble. The light dims behind them, and they find themselves in the corridor outside the chamber, being stared down by a horde of (at the moment) unmoving Centurion droids. If Vector Sigma survived, there might be hope for the planet if the Transformers can decipher what he said. If not, then the planet is truly doomed.
Dust Devil struggles behind Seaspray, really wishing that the ceiling would elect to stay up on its own. As it stands, he keeps a keen eye on the ceiling above seaspray, and has raised his forcefield more than once to keep anything from hitting the aquatic wonder.
Seaspray notices and appreciates the forcefield assist, and gives the Centurion guards a wary gaze as the Autobots move away from Vector Sigma's chamber. He watches the Decepticons escape, and relaxes a fraction once they're out of sight without an attack. At last he turns to Dust Devil. "Can you get us back to the surface?" he gargles. "Ideally before the rest of the tunnels cave in?"
Dust Devil nods quietly. He looks back at the chamber once before it is out of view. "This isn't the most fun way ta get back...but its the quickest. And if you don't mind takin turns being a skateboard fer the other, we should get there is mostly one piece." He picks a path that only mechs sized closer to Dust devil and Seaspray could slink through. At least that keeps Shockwave from following."
"That's A-OK with me!" Seaspray enthuses, and happily trades off being a transport and a driver, depending on the terrain back to the surface, and then from Iacon to Earth!
Command Center - Ground Floor - Autobot City
Once you enter this gigantic room, the first thing you notice is the huge mainframe sitting against the far wall. Looking a bit like an iupdated version Teletraan One, the main computer of Metroplex runs constant checks on the perimeter defenses of Autobot City, keeping the network current. The gigantic viewer takes up most of the wall, and currently displays the area outside Metroplex's gates. Several smaller monitors bear different images, some a satellite-uplinked view of Earth, others of complex data readouts. From here, Earth's situation can be ascertained almost instantaneously.
Along the other walls are assorted computer terminals, linked to Teletran II, that are used by individual Autobots for data processing and accessing information from the main computer core. On the north wall is a large portrait of Cybertron, apparently the artist's conception of the fabled Golden Age.
Spike smiles nervously at Bumblebee, "I just wish he was here...to tell me I'm doing the right thing, or say I'm totally botching this."
Bee is talking to Spike in the command center, keeping his voice low but trying to be reassuring at the same time.
Seaspray hurries into the command center with Dust Devil, looking banged to the pit like he's been through a gauntlet of flung boulders and just made it to the other side. He's cut and dirty and looks thrilled just to have made it back to the city.
Spike quickly shuts up as he sees Seaspray enter. "Jeez...you look like you've been shelled - need me to patch you up?"
"Eventually, yes, please, but right now there's no time!" Seaspray gargles. "We've been to see Vector Sigma, and Dust Devil has brought back a message!" Seaspray steps back, letting the younger mech speak.
Spike looks over at Dust Devil and doesn't say anything.
Dust Devil is limping and looks like whatever fun Seaspray had, Dusty joined in. Has quieted down near the end of the trek. Optics look up when he realizes that he's being spoken of. "Oh...sorry. Little overusage of the forcefield. Cybertron needs us ta find a key....it was hidden so no mech could get it and it goes ta a room that no mech can go in. And we need ta find this by the time we pass a dyin sun.....do that and Cyberton will be restored."
Spike looks like any color he has - has been effectively been drained from him. He gulps "Who...uh...who told you this, Dusty?" He looks over at Bumblebee. Spike is definitely an agnostic sort of guy, but even he isn't blind to these types of 'Primus, just give me a sign of what to do!' moments.
Bee looks quickly at Spike, his bright blue optics narrowing in a cagey expression so unlike what people expect of Bumblebee. His optics meet Spike's eyes, and he nods, feeling roughly the same thing his best friend in feeling. Primus, what timing! He looks back at Dusty, quiet now to let the exhausted Autobot speak.
Seaspray goes to help Dusty stand, making sure the young Autobot doesn't collapse right here in the command center. As bad as Seaspray looks, Dusty looks worse.
Dust Devil smiles at Seaspray and well he's more that happy to find a spot on the floor to sit so that Seaspray doesn't have to hold him up. "I....I mean we....well...me and seaspray....and shockwave and that other guy....we all went ta Vector Sigma and spoke ta him and Alpha Trion. They gave us the clue...right before rubble buried the chamber."
Spike gulps. He looks a bit cagey, then looks at Dust Devil and Seaspray. "I better set up the med bay."
Bumblebee nods. He gives Spike a meaningful look. "Talk after?" he asks evasively.
Spike nods. "Sure..."
Seaspray sits with Dusty and waits for the medbay to be ready. He means to look after the younger mech, but instead he passes out, himself.