Autobot City - Repair Bay
This is the main repair bay for the Autobots. Several operating tables lie in a row here, and a long bench lines one wall. On the bench are assorted tools used in repairing damaged Transformers. Scattered throughout the room are various repair bots, awaiting the arrival of more wounded to repair. The room gives you the perception of being immaculately clean, not a tool out of place.
On the left side of the operating arena are wide sliding doors that open into the recovery ward. Less frantic than the busy repair bay, it consists of two rows of immaculate beds on opposite walls for those needing peace and quiet to rest and recover from their repairs. The sounds of quiet conversations between medic and patient, or between visitor and patient, are about all that disturb the quiet.
Albinimus Prime <Ultra Magnus>
Nightbeat sits in a corner of the repair bay, wearing a visored helmet.
"Satuday, June 21st. It was a mild evening but only in this little corner of the world... it won't last long. It never does. My name is Monstereo. I'm a lot of things. Healer. Conisour of fine items. Public broadcasting figure. A snazzy dresser. The barber to the Pope. Treasure hunter. Tresure hider. Number 101 on America's 100 top hottest machines. And a pretty decent Narrator for hire."
Nightbeat smirks slightly. He turns his head towards Monstereo and says in a very, very weak voice, "Monstereo...that you? Glad you're hear. It's more poetic this way."
Monstereo strolls over.
"I was working late, pulling some volunteer duty for the Autobots. They're a nutty bunch of guys and dolls. No sooner did I walk in then I see my old friend Nightbeat. He's a private eye. A gumshoe. A sleuth. And he's wearing a funny hat. I asked him what was on his mind."
Monstereo asks, "Howdy 'Beat. What's sparking your neural circuitry?"
Nightbeat turns his head to follow the sound of Monstereo's voice. He goes on in that weak, warbly voice, "Just thought it would be better if I let you know in person. Don't think I'm gonna make it..." he voice cuts out alltogether.
"Well that was a doozy of a greeting. But I'd seen plenty bad things on duty before and didn't waste a second more with my ridiculous narration."
Monstereo deploys his scanner and assesses what is up with Nightbeat.
Nightbeat taps his own chest a few times, and after a brief crackle his voice comes back, strong and steady as ever. "Sorry, vocal unit glitch. Anyway, I don't think I'm gonna make it -out of here- for the forseeable future. But I had a thought about this whole Apocalypse Box business."
Monstereo stands back and puts his scanner away.
"I'd been caught off guard as a sucker, and I wasn't even being played. It looks like I was losing my touch. I'd have to revisit my roots on the mean streets of Planet Junk. I looked Nightbeat over again."
Monstereo says, "Is it your optics?"
"Nightbeat had suffered a pretty nasty overload just recently. His optics had blown out leaving him blinder than a mob hit witness. I'd given him a quick webcam patch for the trip home after that gig. We had been in the middle of some ruins surrounded by hostile decepticons. We'd been playing them for fools dressed up to blend in with them. Then our cover was blown. The case of the mysterious Apocalypse Box. An artefact we'd been tracking the origins for for weeks now and still we hadn't figued out what the dang thing was for. So naturally I was interested to hear what was rolling around inside Nightbeat's nogging about it... so I shut up with this narration and let him talk."
Monstereo says, "Lay it on me."
Nightbeat nods. "Yeah, my optics...turns out we don't exactly have spares of enhanced optics, since not many people go in for those kinda upgraded versions. But then on the other hand, if I try and use normal optics I'm not at my best. Too many spectrums of vision missing, everything is just too small for me to focus." He points at a small dartboard across the room, which is free of darts since they're all sticking out of the walls and floor around the board. "A week go, I coulda hit a bullseye every time. Now I could spend some time getting used to normal grade optics, but then where does that leave my career?" He shakes his head. "No, I think I'm not gonna be much use to anyone until I can get someone to whip me up a pair of customs. But in the meantime...I was going over the last thing I -do- remember seeing on Charr. And I wanted to see if it matched with your recollection. What did you see when you picked up that arm?"
Monstereo rubs his chin and looks up and away, out of focus.
"The memory was still clear in my mind. You don't forget something like that."
Monstereo says, "It flared up. Disintigrated in a powerful beam of light that shot up into the sky."
Nightbeat nods. "That's about the last thing I remember too. But I didn't get a complete scan off before --" he gestures at the helmet. "You know. But the way I see it, that beam of light's about the only clue we came away with from our little adventure. Windfall's obviously non-functional, no sign of the whatever-it-is he took. But the closer you got to him, the more -you- glowed. Not any the rest of us, Bot or Con, -you-. And then when you actually touched him? Zap."
Monstereo pops open his chest armor hood, revealing his tape deck. It pops open and out ejects the Apocalypse Box.
"Things were nuts down there on Charr. And despite knowing it was enemy territory, I'd gone ahead and brought the artefact along with me just in case we'd needed it to tie in with any clue we might have found there that cold night. I still wasn't sure if it was the right move or a fatal mistake."
Monstereo says, "It was this. I had it tucked away." He then pops down his goggles. "I put these on when the light flared up. I saw the whole thing. Trajectory."
Vigil's optics glow green as he awakens from a recharge cycle. "Ultra Magnus...Where is Ultra Magnus?" He asks, looking about to see Monstereo and Nightbeat. "Is Ultra Magnus alright?"
Nightbeat looks over at Vigil. "Huh? Sure thing, he'll be fine. Believe it or not, he's been through worse than that before. Check out the file on him sometime." He turns back to Monstereo. "Of course...you had the Apocalypse Box, and it was reacting to...what? Residual energy? Apocalypse Particles? Anyway, once you got close enough, that when the fireworks really started. Trajectory, huh? As in, you know where that beam of light was going, what it was pointing at? Nice work. I think we're in business again."
"I ran from the battle he was in." Vigil says softly, humiliated. When they began speaking, he raises his head to watch them. "Can I help with anything?" He asks the two other transformers.
Monstereo turns to see the sleepyhead awaken and become vigilant. "Good morning, starshine." He motions over to another med table where Ultra Magnus lays dormant. Alive. Looked after. "Don't worry, be happy." He then turns to Nightbeat again. "Uh huh. Just a consultation with star charts based on our position from Charr and some calculations and the path lay revealed for brave little scouts."
"Simple enough, sure. But what if I hadn't seen what I saw? Would the mystery of the Box haunt me for the rest of time or would I be better off not knowing? .... Naaaaaah."
Monstereo says, "And maybe this time we'll find something more illuminating than some freaky fireworks. The answer my friend is blowing in the wind." He turns back to Vigil. After a pause Monstereo replies, "You can't help what you can't help. Battle is crazy. One on one with Cyclonus, Ultra Magnus went down. And he's fricken Mighty with a capital M. As for helping what you can help, we scould use all the help we can get. You're more than welcome."
"I didn't really know who this guy was. He wore his lasercore on his sleeve though. So I took to liking him."
Nightbeat turns his head in Vigil's direction again. He nods slowly. Time to try a rare attempt at empathy, which as a detective he does have in good supply, although he usually uses it to get info or a confession out of a subject and not to reassure. "You're not the only one that had to pull back that night. Sky Lynx, Powerglide, Pipes, Tracks, Jazz, the list is really long. But what's really important is that that the Decepticons didn't get any oil, and the fire got put out." He pauses for a second, then mutters, "Eventually."
He leans his head back in the direction Monstereo's voice came from and says in a low, quick voice. "Outstanding. I'll talk to Blaster about getting you some help in tracking down where that thing was pointing. I gotta tell you, I probably won't ready to go with you this time...but I'll make sure you've got support. And that they know it's -your- op."
Vigil nods and just lays back down. "Alright. What can I do to help?" He asks, just looking up at the ceiling for now as he waited.
Monstereo scratches at a horn for a moment, looking between both Nightbeat and Vigil. "Gee whiz. Alright hang on a minute..." He thinks.
"They were looking to me to lead the way. Normally I was just the token Jukion on the away missions, never complained about it either. But now... well i did start all this afterall. It was my blazing curiousity that kept nagging not just myself, but others to help figure out what the Apocalypse Box was supposed to do and whereit came fron. Those where just the beginning questions too. There were more. Still unanswered. But was I going to quit now that the reigns were dropped in my lap?"
Monstereo looks up with resolve. "When the time comes, you will be contacted. Be prepared to adapt to anything this crazy universe has to throw at us. It's been doing a lot of that since we started this excellent adventure or bogus journey..."
Nightbeat settles back in the comfort of his repair bay table, hands tucked behind his helmeted head. "That's great to hear, Monstereo. Sounds like you'll have more than enough volunteers to go along with you. Wish I could go with you guys myself," he says mildly, but something makes you think that's a huge understatment. Nightbeat's probably going to go crazy during his little forced vacation.