We are a literate, intermediate to advanced AU Transformers RPG Based off of the first season of TFP with dashes of other incarnations sprinkled here or there. Characters from any continuity are welcome however must be restyled to match the TFPrime universe.
Active, with ongoing plotlines, we are always willing to integrate new characters into storylines once incorporated into the setting.
<<This thread is going to be partially open. KO will be let in by the Order, saunter to the bar and ask about Cleaver, and from that point on it's pretty open. Mostly it'll be everyone trying to keep him from FINDING Cleaver. Super bonus points if you can keep KO from figuring out that's what's going on. :D
Happens near the end of the timejump.>>
As the groundbridge collapsed behind him, Knock Out squinted at the local sun setting on the horizon. The light was brilliant and painted the surrounding landscape bright orange-red. It might have been almost pretty if it hadn't also included so much dust and SAND. Sand that the medic could, even now, feel wending its way beneath his plating on little ticklish currents of air.
Knock Out frowned and clamped down as much plating as he could as he walked over to what he'd been informed was the entrance to the DMZ. He kept an optic out for guards and the Order and any other mecha about. He was here to get out of the strained confines of the Nemesis first, chat up his fellow medic second, and only third to scout about on the status of the DMZ and the Order. Lacking the first two on his priority list, however, he would settle for the third.
Not to mention that there had been a slight...ALTERCATION near the DMZ not too long ago. Knock Out kept his hands where anyone could see them and endeavored to look utterly harmless as he approached.
The instant the groundbridge opened, the (still in progress) Order security system was on alert. When it closed again, leaving only a single Decepticon who was clearly taking great pains to appear nonthreatening, Elita was at the security station, hands on her hips, frowning at the display.
After the recent events concerning Megatron and Barricade, the Neutrals at the DMZ would be wary of welcoming another Decepticon's presence, no matter how peaceful their visitor's intentions. Yet they could not close their doors to one faction completely without doing it to both of them, and Cleaver wasn't about to cut ties with the Autobots. Nor, truth be told, was Elita. To preserve the DMZ's status, a careful balance between security and transparency would have to be maintained.
Luckily that balancing act is a specialty of the Order of Solus.
With Cleaver out of the base, it was Elita's call whether or not to let the Decepticon in. Turning the Decepticon away at the door would be impolitic, but Elita would be well within her rights if anything felt off to her. If his business was important - well, they would see. Otherwise, Elita would give him a brief tour of the front hallways and then politely toss him out.
Either way, when the Decepticon arrived at the entrance, he was met by the One with hammer in hand, enough to make anyone think twice about any ill intentions. "Your business?" Elita asked, polite but cold.
<<OOC: Cleaver's gonna be doing a seven-level defrag in the Medbay and not receive this comm., thus Knock Out will be able to be let in without any objection from her (indeed any response). Circuit class knows about the sparkling as a medical thing, but the rest of Solus aren't in on it yet. Cleaver will tag in after Knock Out starts comm.ing her directly.>>
<<OOC: Another idea - because why would Elita let him on if she can't confirm Cleaver's location is secure? - how about Cleaver's not on base at all. She's told Elita One and co that shes's gonna be off base all day so they suppose it's safe to let him in after he tells them what he want or what not. Currently Sides, Moonshot, the Twisters, Cat and other Solus members are the only ones on base. Maybe Flareup in on groundbrige. Have Cleaver tag in coming home early, Flareup lets her on base at the same time Elita let's Knock Out on base, hell maybe just as Elita opens comm to tell Cleaver Knock Out is on base (so she can dive behind the bar or whatever). This way when everyone asks "Who's on base?" they get an answer that would lead them to think it's safe to let KO or Cleaver into base. So it's just lousy timing.>>
<<*is a fan of lousy timing* Let me know if anything that KO says would make them unlikely to let him on the base, and I'll change it. Also if there's anything off in his wording, let me know, as HE knows what he's doing, though _I_ might not!
Also, KO's glyphs are...I guess what you would consider "befitting someone of Elita's station". Polite, acknowledging of her rank, without being obsequious or giving the impression that she has rank over HIM.>>
Well, wasn't that a warm welcome? Granted, the last Decepticons to "visit" had displayed an impressive ability to barely adhere to the letter of the DMZ agreement rather than the spirit. Knock Out supposed that he could forgive the One hefting her hammer at the next Decepticon to walk up to the door.
It was a lovely hammer, though. Not the nicest Knock Out had seen (and he considered himself something of a connoisseur) but certainly respectable and befitting her station.
"Chief Medical Officer Knock Out, here to confer with the DMZ's CMO, Cleaver." Knock Out bowed, slightly, smiling. "My apologies for the abruptness of my visit." He just left it at that. Of course, he'd THOUGHT of trying to set up something with Cleaver ahead of time, but visits were much more informative when the visited hadn't known to prepare.
Knock Out so adored using the element of surprise.
"I also wished to convey my personal hopes that the recent altercation with Haven's residents doesn't permanently affect the DMZ," Knock Out continued. "I witnessed the stasising of one of the perpetrators, and I assure you that Lord Megatron has expressed his intention of enforcing the DMZ in no uncertain terms to the rest of the Nemesis' crew."
All quite true. If Kickback had been put into stasis due to his injuries as much as for his actions and if Knock Out had the feeling that Lord Megatron's displeasure had been more about harassing the Neutrals without clearance rather than harassing them, period, well...the Neutrals didn't need to know ALL the details, now did they?
On the other side of the planet, a battered looking Sea King was drifting quietly in Maine's Brey Harbour.
Cleaver had planned to be out for most of the day putting her holo-emitter to work: collecting packages from her PO box; picking up a dozen kitchen appliances and utensils she wanted to see Cat use after a too long a night watching the cooking channel; buying all the new Playstation, Nintendo and XBox games; and generally doing all the things she enjoyed that drove Sideswipe to despairing and disgusted mocking. She'd gotten as far as delivering the parcels and bundles of subscription magazines into her hold before the gentle bobbing motion and cool water against her undercarriage had drawn her into shallow recharge.
Three hours later, Cleaver onlined to a camera flash from the jetty and a lurching sensation of falling. Her fuel levels were down to 17%, and an anxious check of her operational logs whilst she was offline highlighted the sparkling as the culprit of the increased burn. Predictable, particularly as the chamber had begun fabricating surface plates to cover the newspark's protoform. The medic wasn't scheduled to 'bridge back for another two hours, but she didn't want to wait and play chicken with bingo fuel to the co-ordinates at 8,000 feet.
She sent a request for departure to the harbour master, then ran a level 3 diagnostic whilst listening to the radio chatter to see what else the sparkling had been up to. It took about as long to correct minor systems and clear out the software errors as it did for the navigation warnings to be broadcast, acknowledged and responded to.
Finally, Cleaver spun up her rotors and sent a comm. to Flareup at Haven for a 'bridge home.
"I'm sure he has," Elita said noncommittally, already opening a comm line to the security room. //Cleaver still out? ...Good. I'm letting the Decepticon in under my escort. Ping Cleaver with an update that he's here, and keep me informed if she returns. And make sure Cat is aware of Knockout's position at all times. After what she's been through the last thing she needs is to be surprised by a Decepticon.// Then, quelling her own misgivings, Elita stepped back to allow Knockout inside.
"Cleaver is out at the moment, I'm afraid." Her tone changed, from "glacial" to "brisk day in late fall." "I'm not sure when she'll be back, but you may wait if you wish. Or arrange a meeting at a later date if you cannot - I'm sure a mech with your duties finds them never-ending." It was a common complaint of medics, no matter their faction.
She led Knockout into the main receiving area, half for courtesy's sake and half because it was away from the groundbridge controls in case Cleaver arrived abruptly. "Might I inquire as to what, precisely, you wish to discuss with Cleaver? I wasn't aware the two of you had any correspondence."
"Thank you," Knock Out said as Elita led him inside, his crimson optics sliding idly this way and that. The place certainly looked like exactly what it was: a make-shift base made out of an old mine. It certainly wasn't going to win any design awards, that was for sure.
Elita's question about his and Cleaver's correspondence made Knock Out put on his third-most disarming "oh, I'm just a simple medic" smile and wave a hand in wry vaguery. "Oh, you know, this and that...shop talk, mostly. Workarounds for hard-to-get parts, makeshifting the local materials, that sort of thing." He tilted his helm at the One. "We have discussed a few materials trades. Cleaver's built up different stockpiles than I, and we each have an overstock of something the other lacks. I do hope that such trades will still be...acceptable?"
All of which was true. If it sidestepped the true issue of what had initially caused Knock Out and Cleaver to contact each other, well....
Medical confidentiality aside, Knock Out imagined that it would not be particularly politic to mention the blood of Unicron running through Megatron's lines to the One of the Order of Solus.
"With the usual precautions taken," Elita answered easily, "I don't have a problem with it."
Trade was to be encouraged. Trade was a prelude to truce, and from there - if the stars aligned - to peace. Elita was a great proponent of fraternization between factions. That said, she was aware of the risks inherent in such fraternization - anything from accidental violation of the treaty terms to outright deception and betrayal, and those risks increased the higher up the ranks you went. Knock Out was Megatron's personal medic, a ranking officer in his own right, and not the type to be charmed into neutrality by trading trinkets with Cleaver. His offerings would be treated to a high level of scrutiny.
Cleaver hadn't mentioned any sort of standing arrangement with Knock Out, come to think of it. Had she been worried Elita wouldn't approve? Had she meant to continue to trade with him in secret? Just what had Knock Out given her so far - if he was even telling the truth about any of this to begin with. Elita's optics flickered, the only outward sign of disquiet she gave as she led Knock Out past the groundbridge controls and into the next room. Does Knock Out know about Cleaver's condition?
Disquieted, Elita pinged the bridge crew again to request Cleaver's current location.
Flareup's response was prompt and anxious. ::Uh, she bridged back for fuel eleven seconds ago, simultaneous with my giving her a heads-up about the Con. Sorry, Elita.::
Cleaver had, at least gotten some warning that Knock Out had finally tired of her evasiveness and come to the mine in person. They had not met in person, and had conducted only a handful of parts trades via comm.s and a trio of Eradicons. Since the Order had arrived, there'd not even been that.
With his sophisticated diagnostic scanners, there was no chance that the sparkling would escape Knock Out's notice, especially now that a non-medic had been able to detect and incongruity in her field. Fortress Maximus had expressed surprise. Knock Out would more likely express an interest in dissection, at the very least.
This fear was not far from Cleaver's spark now, trapped on the other side of the Atrium to the Medbay and the safety of her quarters by Knock Out's presence. She'd been going to the energon dispenser when Flareup had warned that the Decepticon was inside (escorted, but still present), and been left with very few options on where to duck out of sight. Cat's shuttle, the kitchen, a full store room and Sideswipe's bar were the only areas within bolting distance.
The bar, at least, had energon in it.
Her frame was long past the point of being able to sprint with anything like comfort or dignity, but Cleaver made a damn good go at it as she crossed the wide, colourfully lit cavern, scraped a blade into the ground and turned to duck beneath the edge of the bartop. When her aft made hard contact with the floor, Cleaver took a moment to huff at the sheer ridiculousness of the situation before pressing a splayed hand to her face.
::Elita, I'm in Sideswipe's bar. Keep Knock Out away from here. He can't get in scanning range.::
"Wonderful! I'm glad to hear it." He was, too. A medic was, at the end of the cycle, only as good as the repairs he could do, and said repairs were often only as good as the parts he had on hand. And, in the end, he was getting a rather good price, all told. The matter replicators on the Nemesis were able to fabricate alloys that one couldn't scavenge from this backwater planet.
And anything he could trade for was one less reason for Ratbat to get his tailpipe in a twist over said replicators' energon usage.
Short "hall"/tunnel, another cavern with several outlets to other caverns. Knock Out continued to chat as they moved, optics continuing to roam. It didn't look as if the Neutrals had significantly altered the space, but that didn't mean that the place was unaltered, and if Knock Out could map any changes, it might gain him a few points with the brass.
"--never been here before. I assume there are private areas that are off-limits? I would hate to wander into them unawahey, there, is that a BAR?"
It might have been an exaggeration, given the location, but there were energon taps and a bar itself and seating, and all told, Knock Out had been in divier dives in the Wreckers. And a bar meant a VARIETY of energon, which was always worth at least investigating, especially after being on Nemesis rations for what seemed like ever.
Oh tin-plated slag no no NO-! "Will be a bar," Elita said, moving gracefully around to block his way without making it a full-body tackle like her spark wanted. "At some point in the future. The furnishings are mostly completed but the taps aren't hooked up to anything." If anything could kill Knock Out's interest in the place, it would be There Is No Energon There. "We're still fueling out of the Haven's still, augmented by the Order's solar collector, of course. You're more than welcome to a cube if you like - the dispensers and additive tins are this way." Bribing the mech away with fuel Elsewhere, tactic number two. Elita firmly, if politely, turned them both around and led Knock Out back down the hallway they'd come from, and silently swearing she'd kick him out if he pushed the issue.
//Cleaver - he's noticed the bar and shown interest. You're no longer in immediate danger of discovery, but that area is no longer safe. I'm taking him to the dispensers; I suggest you head in the opposite direction.//
Cleaver had heard Knock Out's semi-lyrical exclamation of delighted interest before Elita's warning, her straining audials tracking both mecha's paces.
::Acknowledged.:: Frag frag FRAG. ::I'll get out of the base until he's gone.:: And just hope that there's nobody out there, slag and smelt it.
Shifting sideways as quietly as she could, the helo pressed herself back into the first available nook and put her face in her hands. She was hiding under a bar, curled up and rotors bent, pretending not to be home. This behaviour, though steeped in perfectly legitimate fear, irritated the hell out of her.
All this day needs now is for Sideswipe to show up...
Knock Out was a bit surprised at the sudden plate contact from the One, but he was not about to push his luck this early in the game, so he went where he was led, all while wondering what, exactly, was over there that he was not to see. Odd place for them to put anything TOO secret, it being so out in the open....
...perhaps he'd just "happen" to wander past it later on, if possible, so sorry, sense of direction's terrible, don't you know....
Nonetheless, he could certainly play along. "Mmmm...well, I certainly won't turn down a freely-offered cube. I believe I've had energon from this mine before, though never distilled with solar energy. I'd be interested in what you all have come up with. The same energon day after day can get so DULL. As I'm sure you know, having arrived after a long ship voyage yourself...."
<<I'm for doing whatever everyone else wants here. Do we still have the folks who were going to provide the distractions and such? Do we want to continue, or do we want to handwave the rest?>>