Log Title: Workin' on the Reactor
Location: Underground Cavern - Kalis
Date: February 19, 2017
TP: End of Days TP
Summary: Megatron gets help with his secret project.
As logged by Megatron - Sunday, February 19, 2017, 5:27 PM
Underground Cavern - Kalis
- This massive, hidden cavern is filled with a huge fusion reactor and propulsion engines of near staggering size and proportion. It is an effort of either immense vision or incredible folly. Some of the technology is old - this seems to have been a project built over a very long time period and ultimately abandoned before completion. Enough of the framework is finished, however, to tempt the imagination - if the work could be completed, this could be something that could literally move the world.
Megatron is in a massive cavern beneath Kalis, working on his latest secret project -- a set of huge space engines to turn all of Cybertron into a mobile battle platform. His original purpose for building the propulsion engines was for conquest, but his attempt now to finish the project is slightly more virtuous -- Cybertron itself is dying, and its access to a living star may be the only way to not only save but restore it, by moving Cybertron into place around the next star they encounter.
To that end, Megatron has his MedTech CO Nemesis assist him in completing this mission, and has summoned two of Nemesis's technicians, Centerfold and DreadTread, to help in the final preparations.
DreadTread pulls out a Rubix Cube and begins toying with it.
DreadTread continues to twist and turn the colorful puzzle...
Megatron approaches DreadTread, looking down at her as she plays with a Transformer-scaled Rubix Cube. "DreadTread," he says dangerously, his voice rumbling with the rasping quality of a dragged gravestone. "I summoned you here for your expertise in power system electronics. What is this you are doing?" he demands. "And how is it related to getting my fusion reactor online?" His crimson optics narrow with quickly growing rage.
DreadTread stops cold and puts the toy in her pocket. "A simple logic puzzle, my lord...something the humans created, but have no concept of its other potential applications."
DreadTread approaches the reactor and examines it carefully. A low hum emanates from the reactor.
Megatron glowers, clenching one massive fist but belaying his rage for now as DreadTread returns her focus to the task at hand. He follows the reconnaissance medic nuclear technician to the reactor and stands behind her, a little too close for comfort. "I need this working at full power by the time the propulsion engines are complete. Once Starscream identifies a suitable target I will move Cybertron into place. The destruction of Kalis as a result is but a lucky happenstance," he chuckles.
The reactor itself is a pitiful patchwork of both new and old technologies, the seams on the freakish machine visible to even the least technically trained. DreadTread looks at the device with a combination of wonder and bewilderment at what was surely either genius or madness to have conceived such a thing. DreadTread ignores Megatron for the moment...enthralled by this work of pure...insanity. At length, she turns to face her leader. If she's afraid to give her report, she's hiding it well...more or less.
DreadTread says, "My lord...this...device.."" DreadTread clears her throat. DreadTread says, "This device...shouldn't be! I've never seen anything like this before...this...mad combination of cobbled bits and pieces. Truly, my lord, it should not function at all. It would be more feasible...to build one from scratch. Using only human labor. Blind human labor. Than it would be to attempt to repair this reactor as is.""
Megatron's optics narrow, as he reacts like every bad boss whose employees give him an honest assessment of a situation that isn't what he wants to hear. Like the bad boss he is, he ignores the expert recommendation and pushes ahead with the fallacy of sunk costs. "We do not have the time nor the resources to start over from the beginning. I want results, not excuses. Tell me what you need to get this running as-is. Besides human labor -- bringing them here would too soon alert the Autobots of my intentions."
DreadTread nods so slightly as for the movement to be almost imperceptible.
DreadTread says, "I suppose...we could attempt the fuel the core with geothermal energy using an anti-neutrino converter and multi-phasic electromagnetic stabilizer to inject the power directly into the reactor core. However...this is not without risk... And reaching Cybertron's core is extremely difficult and hazardous. This would be much easier on Earth. ...although...I could attempt to convert the power source to an artificial singularity. Although I doubt this device could handle the enormous gravitational forces, even if containment could be maintained with this primitive equipment."
Megatron glowers for a dangerous moment, but then a small smile cracks his dour expression. "Yes," he replies thoughtfully. "The Energon Rejuvenation Matris reactivated the sea of dead energon beneath us," he says, referencing a MacGuffin from a recent TinyPlot, "which could repower geothermic activity below the surface. With all of the cyberquakes releasing pressure from the core, a tap could provide the power we need to kick-start the reactor."
Megatron frowns again at the proposal of creating an artificial singularity. "A bold idea," he admits with a touch of respect, "but one we should save in case this initial plan fails. Nonetheless, draw up plans -- having a backup scenario is not a bad idea."
DreadTread nods. "As you command, my lord. Whatever is not already available in my lab can perhaps be...appropriated from elsewhere.
DreadTread says, "There is one caveat however, my lord. Should we chose to tap into Cybertron's geothermic energy, there is an almost certainty that quake activity will increase exponentially, and the epicenter of each one will be immediately traceable."
Megatron nods. "How quickly can you get the reactor active after you tap that power? If we can ignite the engines soon after, the cyberquakes will be the least of the Autobots' worry. Kalis will be destroyed, and Cybertron will be moving towards its destiny of rebirth! Soon we will have all power we'll ever need, and the Autobots will be vanquished forever! Appropriate all of the materials you need, but do not draw the Autobots to Kalis until all is in readiness."
DreadTread says, "Weeks, my lord. I will have to reinforce the framework of the entire device itself...and some of these components are even older than you."
Megatron frowns. When he first started this project, long ago, he used whatever parts he could scrounge... and now that haphazard method of construction is coming back to bite him in the aft. He glowers, never one to admit his own past mistakes are now causing potential failure in the present. "Unacceptable!" he bellows. "You will work with Nemesis and the Constructicons and have this project ready to fire the moment I demand it!" he orders forcefully.
DreadTread says, "My lord...even the smallest miscalculation could cause a catastrophic chain reaction that would ignite the planet's core."
Centerfold walks in just in time to catch the tail end of the rant, shaking her head as she looks at the... well, the pile of junk they're talking about. She speaks up with a tone of annoyance as she looks up at Megatron, "Harassing my techs with another half-baked project you couldn't figure out?" she reaches out and just pokes at the object, "What is this? Some kind of 'bring your art to work' day?" she then straightens up and looks between DreadTread and Megatron.
<<Decepticon>> Aerospace XO Valour says, "Sir. I'm down. I will no longer be able to keep the Prime occupied."
DreadTread says, "This, Commander, is...a nuclear reactor. Or rather, the remnants of one. What it can be however...remains to be seen."
<<Decepticon>> Shockwave says, "Withdraw as best you are able, Valour. By engaging at all, the Autobots have seen that Megatron's plan bears fruit."
Megatron's optics flash in rage. "You will mind your vocalizer, Centerfold, if you wish to continue to have one." To DreadTread he says, "In that case, you had better ensure you make no miscalculation!" He looks at the two technicians as if having to resist banging their heads together. "I must see to the completion of the Cybertronic propulsion engines," he glowers. "Must I see to the construction of the fusion generator as well?"
Centerfold shakes her head and just glares at Megatron, "I'll mind whatever I damn well please!" she jabs a finger at his chest, "I've told Starscream, I've told Shockwave, and I'll tell you. We're happy to clean up after your messes. We're happy to do whatever mindless half-cock projects you bring to us. But if you want it done right, you will give us what we need to do it, and you'll be respectful about it in the process! We aren't members of your little brigade of cannon fodder, and you need to remember that!" she then looks back down at the... 'reactor' "Your little toy will get fixed, we'll see to it. Keep the brooding and threats out of my department!"
DreadTread whips out her TI-89 calculator....whispering to herself..."Okay...compensate for wind resistance...carry the two..."
DreadTread stops and watches...taking a step back from what is sure to be the blast zone.
Megatron raises his fist and does his own calculation about how much the project will be delayed if he kills the second in command of his medtech division. "You test my patience, Centerfold, and one day you will discover the limit to how far it can be stretched." He lowers his fist. "See to it the reactor gets fixed. Your life now depends on it. Get me what I want, and all will be forgiven -- my respect will be earned. Talk to me that way again, however, and you will discover how quickly you can be replaced."
<<Decepticon>> Shockwave says, "Decepticons, pull back from the perimeter. I want all heavy units to establish a perimeter around the city with air and ground patrols along the border. If the Autobots wish to keep their city, let them rust in it."
DreadTread waits for the reaction of her commanding officer...content that the responsibility be hers.
Centerfold shrugs and doesn't break her gaze, simply nodding slightly, "Already covered that, your toy will get fixed." she waves her hand dismissively at him and looks down at DreadTread, "So, what do we need to make this pile of scrap something that actually resembles a reactor? I'm sure Nemesis has some parts laying around we can scavenge. I think I might have enough broken parts left over from blasted troops to fashion a more...structurally sound casing."
DreadTread nods. "We do indeed. Metallurgical technology has made considerable strides since this...device...was constructed. I am sure I can mold a more suitable framework for the reactor within the next 48 hours.
Megatron smiles, feeling he's done his part of successfully motivate his troops to greater success. He leaves them to their work, walking over to examine the propulsion engines. All the power on Cybertron isn't going to help if he can't get the engines online to move the planet. Slipping from leader mode to engineer mode, he pulls out a tablet and starts going over plans, anger draining from his features as he contemplates the best way to save Cybertron. He will be its hero. It's only a matter of time.
Centerfold watches Megatron wander away, shaking her head. She then turns back to DreadTread and seems to lighten up, "So, new casing... that's easy enough. What about the reactor itself? Can you get me a list of whatever materials you need so I can work with Nemesis to track them down? Last thing we need, however amusing it would be... is for this to blow up in 'Fearless Leader's' face when he hooks it up..." she says that leader bit with a heavy tone of sarcasm.
DreadTread nods. I can.
DreadTread scribbles out a list of stuff written in fluent Star Trek onto a pad and hands it to Centerfold.
Propulsion systems, check. Reactor, check. Power source? Power source... now that is something that's admittedly been bothering Nemesis for some time. For something of this magnitude, it's going to need a LOT of juice. However, Nemesis has an idea about the power source -- which is why he's sitting on his aft in his mobile laboratory, which is open for everyone to see. There's other stuff on various screens within the laboratory, most of it to do with the various projects going on in refurbishing these planetary engines. There's still that one odd holoprojector, though, that's showing what appears to be an icy-blue avian that looks for all the world like it's bathed in slightly darker blue flames.
On his screen, however, is a certain component schematic from a little project he did roughly a year ago. Megatron would recognize it the moment he saw it, though he'd also recognize certain differences in the design. Along one side of the screen are scrolling calculations that finally give results that he's been looking for. He'd smile if it weren't for the half-mask that helps further his Optimus Prime-like appearance, then turns around. "A moment, my Lord? I have something you might find interesting..."
Megatron turns from his study of the propulsion engines, lowering the datapadd on which he'd pulled up his own designs. Locking them automatically, he approaches Nemesis in his Black Repaint Combat Deck. "What is it, Nemesis?" he asks with curiosity, and little of the sanctimonious sarcasm he reserves for underlings like Starscream.
Centerfold takes the pad and nods at DreadTread, "Excellent! Start working on the casing as soon as possible! I'll work with Nemesis on the actual reactor components themselves..." she turns and heads towards Nemesis and Megatron. She just ignores Megatron for the moment and sticks the pad out towards Nemesis, "Nemesis, Megatron gave us some kind of junky reactor to try and fix up. We need the following components to make it more of a reactor and less of a comedic explode-in-your-face device"
DreadTread nods and salutes. "With all possible speed, Commander."
Nemesis brings up a larger viewscreen, transferring the contents of his work-screen to them. "Traditional power sources for a reactor like this will take time to fire up," he notes. "But this might help with that." He gestures up towards the screen. "The Galvatron-clone body I built held numerous similarities to your own design, among them a modified version of what you'd call proprietary technology of yours." The internal circuitry that allows Megatron to open subspace to a black hole and augment his fusion cannon. "Built on a larger scale, this can not only speed up the time required to fully power the engines at lower levels, but also deliver a supercharged burst to augment the reactor output and propel us faster, like a turbocharger in a vehicle. That burst will be a one-shot deal, though, so we'll need to make sure the course corrections for the approaching star, but once that's locked in, we should be good to go."
He seems about to say more when Centerfold pipes up, padd stuck right in his face. Slowly, he turns around to face his XO, arms crossing. "This is archaic technology, to be sure, but hardly 'junky'," he murmurs. "As for those components... that's what Scrapper and his ilk are supposed to be doing. They're the logistics as well as the tech support. I would hope, however, that no one here is going to pull a Wheeljack on us -- especially since the blast from that sort of explosion will likely break Cybertron in half. So let's make sure the work is done right."
Give Nemesis credit: at least he didn't laugh. That's normally not a good thing to do when in the presence of Megatron -- unless he's laughing, but really, how often does THAT happen?
Before Centerfold can take the padd back, however, he takes it and adds several things to the list -- he's apparently that confident that Megatron will pass off on his plan. Then he hands it back. "Send it to Scrapper, let him coordinate the logistics with the rest of the Constructicons."
Centerfold nods simply and takes the padd back, "Got it. I'll work with Scrapper to get what we need so this doesn't blow up in anyone's face..." she looks it over as she muses more, "But on the off chance it does explode, perhaps some paint so we can kill two autobots with one bomb? It'd make a fantastic large-scale delivery mechanism to redecorate the place..." ok, she's really pressing her luck now. "We could be the fearless pink Decepticons!" she states as she looks up between the two, only to turn around and head back towards the 'reactor' without another word.
Megatron glowers dangerously at Centerfold, but before he can crush her head for her temerity, he gets distracted by Nemesis's plan for restarting the reactor. He nods, listening. "Very well. However, your technicians," he glances at Centerfold and DreadTread, "also had interesting ideas of their own. Work with them to develop a cost/benefit risk analysis, and develop both a primary plan and a backup -- assuming a failure with the primary plan wouldn't destroy Cybertron and render a backup plan unavailable." He shakes his head at Centerfold's suggestions.
DreadTread hands Nemesis a pad detailing plans for an electromagnetic containment chamber enclosing an artificial singularity as a perpetual source of power. It has correct spelling and isn't written in Comic Sans or anything!
Centerfold gives DreadTread a nudge as she wanders by, speaking not-so-quietly, "Do we have any barrels of pink paint kickin' around anywhere?" she asks as she suppresses a smile, continuing on her way back to the reactor to examine it.
DreadTread whispers, "Five barrels, in the back storeroom...if memory serves."
Megatron continues to shake his head at the shananigans of Nemesis's Angels, and then goes back to work.