Lair of the Stealth Bunnies
<Cybertron> Divefire says, "Why is it I have to fly from Earth, to Cybertron to fix the space bridge? What the blazes is every one else doing?"
<Cybertron> Motormaster says, "Breaking it more. We like ta make sure you've got plenty of work ta do."
<Cybertron> Divefire lets out a gruff snort over the radio. "I feel so special. Anyway it should be good to go after I replace these circuit boards. What happened up here anyway?
<Cybertron> Motormaster says, "Virus... we think it might've been the Brotherhood. Speakin' o' which, I gotta talk ta ya."
<Cybertron> CatsCradle says, "and we /didn't/ disassemble the rookies, no matter how tempting that was."
<Cybertron> Divefire says, "I'm in the transit chamber if you want to find me. And what rookies?"
Spacebridge Transmat Chamber
You are standing in a silver-gleaming room shaped like the inside of a funnel. Above is the transmat signal converter, translating your dissociated quarks that stream across hyperspace back into physical matter. A faint nimbus of light plays around the forked relay tips, like glowing coals. A sensor relay near the door scans and confirms the validity of your signal. A camera rig tracks all movements within this delicate area.
Motormaster clambers up into the Transmat Chamber, brushing himself off once he's inside and looking about for Divefire.
Divefire is knelt over an open floor panels near the far wall. To his left fresh and clean circuit systems are ready for instillation, on his right a stack of growing crispy fried boards grow with the smell of carbon scorching flowing out and the occasional dark mutter.
Motormaster looks distinctly amused and leans against the wall, finally offering an opinion,"Ya know, Dive, this whole techie thing really suits you. Maybe you should give up th' whole 'crashin' headlong inta people' thing an' leave that to me..."
CatsCradle slips inside quietly, with an armload of tools from Dive's laboratory. Not knowing which he'd need, or even what they are, she grabbed the ones with the least amount of dust. She drops them with a minimal amount of clatter, gives the chamber in general a grumbling look, and curls up on the floor out of the way.
Divefire pauses from inserting a board and tilts his head towards Motormaster, a glint of a smirk on his features. "Right, yeah I can see it now. Divefire the computer jock with attitude." He shakes his head and stands up, walking over the pile of tools and looking towards Cats. "You didn't need to bring these, but thanks." A slight flash of concern touches his face as he picks a tool out and looks to her again. "You okay?"
Motormaster chuckles a bit at the rejoinder,"Well, it's a good thing you came by. Apparently, I'm supposed ta talk ta /you/ about my idea ta infiltrate the Brotherhood of Chaos." He says it dryly, while offering a nod to Catscradle as she enters. Sure, his optics dim a bit at their companionship, but he's dealing, dangit. DEALING.
CatsCradle gives a brief nod. "You'd rather go by his knowledge than... oh, say, Reflector's, wouldn't you?" With a toe, she nudges a tool that had escaped the pile and herds it back to its cousins.
Divefire’s optics narrow slightly as Cats doesn't quite answer his question, but he heads over to where he was working and kneels down again, sending out a shower of sparks as he starts work. "Reflector means well for a camera... Probably knows more about this thing then I do, but of course every one's to busy to actually do the work that needs doing..." He takes a breath and focuses for a second while he finishes off a connection. "So what's this about infiltrating the Brotherhood? You know neither of us are exactly stealthy, certainly no match for the lady in the corner."
CatsCradle snorts very softly. "Reflector still thinks Unicron's a myth. No one should go in, with information from someone who thinks they're little more than story."
Divefire looks across his shoulder to Cats with a raised brow a slightly deeper growl. "What does the camera know about Unicron? I was talking about the bridge here..."
CatsCradle gives a patient sigh. "He knows nothing about Unicron, for all he says he's a researcher. That's why Moto needs to talk to you about infiltrating rather than him.
Motormaster ahems, holds up a hand,"GUYS! Can we save this fer just a bit? Anyhow, the /point/ is that stealth hasn't worked. Even Ghost, bein' aptly named as she is, hasn't been able to track these folks. We need the opposite. We need to be obvious. We need to make them come ta us."
Divefire pauses for a moment, hands still deep in super myth-o-tech as he looks across to Motormaster with an incredulous smirk. "You're thinking, should I be afraid?" Then his expression tightens a little more, the smirk diapering at the seriousness of the topic. "I've been thinking along the same lines, we need a more direct approach. What do you want to do?"
Motormaster snorts,"Hey, I ain't a /genius/ like you lot, but that don't mean I can't add 2 ta 2. And my idea is this... I make it apparent that I don't believe in Unicron, rather loudly, while at the same time pretendin' I'm unhappy with my place in the Decepticons more subtly. Zealots love to convert and recruit discontented disbelievers, right? So they'll come ta me."
Divefire watches Moto walk out of the chamber to think through his plans and goes back to working on the machine, while calling back over his shoulder to Cats. "You sure you're okay?"
CatsCradle gives one of her abbreviated shrugs. "You know I don't do well on Cybertron. I'll be glad to get back to Earth."
Divefire frowns and pulls out the last board in need of replacing, "Right..." He comments in a dry tone which does in fact say 'I know you're not telling me something, but that's fine. Really. It is. Almost.'
CatsCradle rubs her nose. "Well... I do sleep better there..."
Divefire nods slightly, as he slides in the replacement board and starts to connect it in place. "Yeah, I know you do. So nothing to crazy happened here to make it worse then normal?"
CatsCradle chuckles softly. "There's always something too crazy going on in our lives. That," and she points at the burnt-out circuit boards, "was a side effect of those virus-thingies. They were really after the central computer system. And when Shockwave couldn't trace them down, he... um... kinda zapped us into the computer."
Divefire pauses in the spark creating of attaching the last board to the system. Silence echoes out for a few seconds before a growl reverberating from the under panels bellows out. "He did what?!"
CatsCradle lets out a sigh, that is more of annoyance at her lack of techie-speak than anything else. "I don't know how he did it. It wasn't like when we were shrunk down to microbe scale, it was more like injecting our minds in it, or something."
Divefire would facepalm at this precise moment but doesn't since he's still holding onto the circuit board. "Oh great, you mean you went onto the Cybertronian mainframe's cyberspace? Oh I bet that was just so much fun." Ah, sarcasm.
CatsCradle is quiet for a long moment. "Well... some of them looked like they were having fun," she finally says.
Divefire goes back to finishing his work on the bridge for a few moments, then sits up and looks back to Cats. "What happened in there, Cats?"
CatsCradle sorts over words for another long moment. "We weren't... we weren't ourselves when we were in there. I mean --" She breaks off with a soft snort of self-aimed frustration again. "Or too much of ourselves, I guess. Like the computer saw who we really are and transposed our bodies to reflect it." She shakes her head. "I don't know... I don't know if that's right or not. If someone said what it was.." she thinks for a moment, then shakes her head again. "If they did, I don't remember it."
Divefire frowns as he pulls the access cover down and steps over towards Cats, looking down at her. "Listen, what ever happened in there doesn't change the person you are out here."
CatsCradle says softly, "No. It doesn't. Because what we were in there, is what we really are." Her face lights up for a minute. "You should have seen Tempest. She was incredible. Like a creature of vengence. Strong as fire."
Divefire doesn't overly like the sound of that first statement but then gives an indignant brow. "I thought I had that title sown up?"
CatsCradle looks up at him, as if studying him. "No. Not... not the same way. Although... I'm not sure I can find the difference."
Divefire heh's in a gruff tone. "Maybe I should take a trip into this cyberspace thing then."
CatsCradle looks away again, brushing at her hands for a second, then beginning to gather the tools up again. "I don't think you'd find anyone to go with you. Except maybe the rookies. They're too silly to know when to be afraid."
Divefire frowns further in a little announce since he knows he's not going to get a full story tonight. "So, what is it about these rookies you were on about?"
CatsCradle sits back on her heels with a slight smile. "Well, the first one was another we misplaced on Earth. Walked in and sneered Soundwave down. Can't wait to see him try that on Megatron."
Divefire blinks slightly. "So, he's an idiot. Great, you sure Striker didn't find him just to get some form of revenge, then?"
CatsCradle rolls her optics. "He made Striker look flattering."
Divefire winces. Visibly. "Oh that's not good."
CatsCradle waves a hand absently. "The other one is just a young hothead. No one can possibly be as brave as him. That type." She grins. "If I remember right, Scorcher shot him."
Divefire hrms slightly, with just maybe a flush of colour on his face. "Really? Heh, well not like that type isn't new. Scorcher shooting someone is however."
CatsCradle's face shifts to a frown. "I could have that part wrong. A lot of it... isn't very clear."
Divefire’s optics narrow slightly. "Why?"
CatsCradle says slowly, "Because it seems like a really vivid dream... or an extended deja vu. I remember more what it felt like than what actually happened."
Divefire’s optics really don't get any less narrow or less concerned with that statement. "Yeah, and I know exactly how well you dream, too."
CatsCradle looks up at him, the tools forgotten. "I was like I was when I woke up. Starving. And hurt throughout. And with no hopes of energon or healing. I was just... nothing."
Divefire knees down in front of her now, taking a hand in his and holding it softly. "You know you're not nothing."
CatsCradle says faintly, "No. I was a scavenger. And most consider that less than nothing."
Divefire’s optics find hers and keep ahold of the now amber light. "Listen to me, you're not nothing, you're not a scavenger. You're caring and powerful person full of charm, humor and intelligence who captured my spark when I didn't think I had any of it left to be captured."
CatsCradle's own gaze drops, as if his was too intense for her to look at. "I lived that all over again. I mean... you can remember things, but they aren't as intense, and they've dulled a little more each time you look at the memory again. But this was... it was like everything in between never happened."
Divefire thinks for a minute, watching her carefully and trying to find the right words. He's no expert on the mind, even with his own fractured personality. "Maybe... Maybe the cyberspace thing locked onto your strongest emotions?"
CatsCradle hesitates. "Maybe." It doesn't seem like the theory is very comforting to her. "You'd have to ask Soundwave. I'm sure he has an analysis for it. He was there, too."
Divefire sighs a little, shaking his head slightly. "You don't want to talk to him about it though."
CatsCradle looks down at her hands. "Does it matter? I mean... I made it back, and I don't plan to jump back in there again." She shudders. "Don't try it, Diver. If it wasn't for Tempest, I would have stayed in there."
Divefire is silent for a little while longer, thinking about it but not enjoying the puzzle he's faced with. "Well I'm glad she was there, then."
CatsCradle nods faintly. "We're not so different, Tempest and I. But she got strong, and I just... faded."
Divefire optics flare slightly, but remain in their worried set. "I've never known you to fade, Cats."
CatsCradle shakes her head, then quickly kisses his fingers. "That's because you won't let me."
Divefire lets out a slight and soft smile at that. "You're damn right."
CatsCradle smiles in return. "You might not feel that way when you see what I've done to your lab, though."
Divefire raises a brow as his face distorts in a rather amusing pose. "What did you do?"
CatsCradle looks back down at her hands, pulling at her claws a little sheepishly. "Um... well, you see, it took me... oh, close to forever to stop hoarding energon, once I started getting regular rations. The energy crisis was so bad, and I was so frightened of... of being that hungry again. And then they started putting warriors in stasis to conserve energon, and that made me even more scared. So I had these stockpiles tucked away, in the understreets. And I got scared again this week, and figured they'd be safer in your lab, with your security. So I started shuffling them in."
Divefire closes his optics for a moment and breathes out. "How much?"
CatsCradle says in a tiny voice, "A third of my rations. For a very long time." She rushes on with, "A lot of my stockpiles were found, though. I didn't ever think they wouldn't be, but I knew some would stay hidden. But we may have to add a downstairs or something to your lab."
Divefire optics go wide, quickly. "Primus! That's... A lot of energon! My lab, it's... Huge... Primus..."
CatsCradle nods. "I know... I mean... I had stopped keeping track, really. But it was a habit, and I couldn't /not/ stop saving it." She chews on her lower lip. "The twins can't ever be hungry, Diver," she whispers. "They can't. I won't let them."
Divefire replies in a still slightly distracted voice. "Well they won't be if my labs stuffed full of energon.."
CatsCradle rubs at her claws again. "Well, it isn't stuffed yet. I've only been here a couple of days, and there was only so much I could do without attracting some attention. But the storage compartments all are, and I'm still remembering places where I hid. If... if they still exist, anyway."
Divefire muses for a second. "Well, you shouldn't put them all in the lab. That much energon in one place would be bad."
CatsCradle nods absently. "I wasn't really planning on all of it." She tilts her head, considering. "I'm really not sure I can /find/ all of it. And sometimes, when we were really hard up and doing raids, I'd kinda 'discover' an Autobot stockpile, you know."
Divefire nods a little in understanding. "Yeah, well that's understandable. So do you want to show me what you've done to my lab or should I wait for the report?" He smirks slightly at that.
CatsCradle goes back to tugging at her claws. "Mostly it's just a mess. All the stuff that was in the storage cabinets are... um... not any more."
Divefire’s optics shut off again as he mutters slightly. "Oh great... You know I don't even remember what's in those cabinets..."
CatsCradle grins up at him suddenly. "You'll have a chance to be reminded, then!"
Divefire lets out a long sigh. "I can't even remember what most of those things do..."
CatsCradle gives a half-shrug. "The mess won't be going anywhere. I mean... it'd still be there, if you'd rather go back to Earth." Her tone is hopeful.
Divefire stands up slowly and looks around him. "Well, the bridge should be working fine now..."
CatsCradle looks at the controls rather fearfully and her hand creeps into his again. "All right," she says loyally.
Divefire looks down at the control and dials in the right sequence and waits...