Apox Box Part One: Raiders Of The Lost Paperwork

Who: Nightbeat, Monstereo
IC Year: 2029
Location: Clakta
TP: The Maltese Apocalypse


Main Lobby - First Floor

The Main Lobby has undergone a somewhat dramatic change. Scaffolding is erected everywhere, there's cranes loading equipment, and many of the lobby floor panels have been removed, exposing Metroplex's inner circuitry. Construction crews move through the area quickly, all busy performing their necessary tasks.




Autobot Museum

Building Equipment

Nightbeat paces back and forth, hands clasped behind the small of his back.

Nightbeat looks and brightens a bit as Monstereo comes out from the repair bay. "All done in there? I've been, uh...'requested' to never, ever enter the repair bay again unless I'm in need of serious repairs or I'm helping carry someone in there."

Monstereo gives a regal bow. "All done. Booboos patched and babies hatched. Hands are scrubbed and trumps be clubbed."

Nightbeat peers at Monstereo for a bit. "I'll take that to mean you're ready to go. Gimme a second to see who else is available for our little road trip."

Monstereo rubs his hands together. "Mmmyes. Avengers Assemble!"

Nightbeat hmms. "You know...according to the roster, maybe nobody is available. Well, let's head for the shuttle. I got a doozy checked out for our use."

Monstereo snaps fingers on both hands simultaneously and points then to the west. "Taking the Great Space Coaster to enlightenment. All aboard!" He heads that way.

Landing Pad AC

The smell of heated tarmac hits you first as you survey the landing and liftoff point for all flights to Cybertron. The wreckage of previous battles here are off to the back in a jumbled heap. To the southeast is the massive form of Autobot City itself, a bit battle-scarred, but still operational. Surrounding you on all other sides are forests of large conifer trees. The spaceport absolutely sparkles with a new shine - in fact, it's almost blinding in direct sunlight. Spots are a thing of the past, and each building has a brand new coat of paint. Even the *scrap* piles look like they've been cleaned off and straightened up.



Autobot Shuttle Ol' Rusty

Autobot Hovercraft Defender II

OOC Shuttle Note

Autobot Shuttle Alpha Trion

Autobot Sensor #6596

Shuttle Terminal - Autobot City

Nightbeat stands in front of the Rusty, feet slightly spread with fists on his hips. He looks up at it proudly. "Isn't she a beaut?"

Nightbeat has left.

Nightbeat enters the Autobot Shuttle Ol' Rusty.

You enter the Autobot Shuttle Ol' Rusty.

Monstereo enters, looking around the interior. He really can't tell the difference between Autobot shuttles. Everything is always so standardized. Ah but this one is O'l Rusty.It's got character. :p He takes the copilot seat even though he's got no flyboy skills in him. "Which buttons shouldn't I press?"

Nightbeat sits down and starts some preflight checks. "Uh...maybe it would be better if you just take care of the weapons systems. They're pretty standard. Not that I think we're gonna need 'em, anyway." He surrepitously pushes a small switch on the side of the pilot's console that says 'Weapons Power' to the OFF position. "You ready to go?"

Monstereo gives the thumbs up, just as the shuttle launches. G-force! :p

Nightbeat tries to plug in his datapad, but the ports in the Rusty's consoles seem to be of a different format (and not used very much at all, judging by the dust and rust). Nightbeat frowns, trying to force the padd in, then grins at Monstereo. "Uh...minor technical issues. You know how it is." Finally he reaches into a compartment and pulls out a wire to plug in his datapad the old-fashioned way. He sets the datapad on the console, occasionally having to catch it if it starts to slide off. All this is so that he can call up his list of planets on a small screen. First on the list is 'Clakta'. "Let me see if I remember the way..."

Outside, Trifid Nebula

Outside, The Trifid nebula is a particularly beautiful stellar factory that glows with the blue light of scattered starlight, as well as the red light of hydrogen emission as it generates more and more new stars. The blue haze surrounds the red in a lovely display, each color distinct from the other.



Monstereo looks around for some duct tape... and finds a third of a roll in his subspace. He duct tapes the padd in place. No good crashing while distracted. He cues some space flying music video:

Nightbeat sets the shuttle for a slow approach to Clakta. "Guess that wasn't as hard as I thought it would be."

Monstereo peers at the planet... "This baby got zoom? Ah there we go..." He rubs his chin. "Which order did they visit this one in?"

Nightbeat says, "Order? According to the ship's logs, they came to this planet three times in the 2nd century after the ship was commisioned. That was about 80 years after it disappeared. But on the list of 'potential planets', this one was just the closest." He brings the shuttle in for a landing. "Hmm...I'm transmitting our ID codes using an old intergalactic freighter company. No sense in letting people know we're Autobots. Yet."

Monstereo taps his temple and smiles. "Paranoia and wise caution. I love juggling acts. Good idea. Can we let them know we're Junkions?" He starts heading towards the ship exit hatch.

Nightbeat stands up and follows. "I dunno, I wouldn't be surprised if they figure that part out for themselves," he replies vaguely.


Up close, Clakta is a very active planet. The vegetation here is minimal, although whether that's natural, or whether it's slowly been killed off by Insectoid expansion and pollution is tough to determine. Massive cities constructed straight out of hard granite look like they've been hollowed out of the ground rather than constructed. But that'd be impossible, right? Clakta's spaceport is a busy place, with ships landing and taking off constantly. The sky is dark and cloudy, which obscures what would otherwise be the beautiful Trifid nebula. The darkness is almost depressing. Regardless, this planet possesses just about any facility one can imagine.

Thing Contents:



Autobot Shuttle Ol' Rusty

Monstereo steps out and takes a good long gaze around. "The Jetsons meet Bedrock. I've never seen anything like it."

Nightbeat says in a low voice to Monstereo, "Okay partner...follow my lead." He heads out into the busy spaceport. Along the way he stops and asks a few insect-like natives on the way about where he can go to talk to people who would know about historical shipping contracts, especially those involving Monacus, Nebulon or Cybertron. After the first few, Nightbeat turns to Monstereo. "You want to try a few?" He gestures at an insectoid handing out brochures for some Clakta time-shares.

Monstereo smiles and nods to Nightbeat. "I'll take a shot..." Instead of heading right for the Insectoid, Monstereo steers towards a bar and enters briefly, returning with a flask. He then heads towards the Insectoid and smiles. "Quite the day, huh? Makes ya thirsty a day like this outside working hard." He swirls the flask making faint sloshing sounds. The smell of the alcoholic beverage waifs through the air. "Bet a thirsty fella like you could tell me where I can find someone with info on historical shipping records, contracts and all that involving places like Monacus, Nebulon or Cybertron?" He holds the flask up.

Luckily, the insectoid in question is a no-account barfly used to pushily making his pitch for drinking money and then handling any follow-up rejection. All kinds of off-worlders come here, and the barfly is used to communicating with them in various galactic languages. The lure of easy alcohol is just enough, and the he quickly directs Monstero to the Clakta Galactic Trading Co., oldest shipping company on the planet. A local office is located just outside of the spaceport, in fact.

Nightbeat comes into the bar holding a few Clakta time-share brochures, which he immediately crumples up and dumps in the trash as he enters. His heightened senses let him hear the exchange even from outside. "Wow," he comments to Monstereo, slightly impressed. "You done this before?"

OOC note - OOC Nightbeat dohs...I kinda misread that. :)

Monstereo smiles as he hands over the flask to the helpful Insectoid and then turns to Nightbeat. "Don't make a big deal of it. Let's roll, Starsky." He points towards the Clakta Galactic Trading Co.

Nightbeat heads for the offices of the CGT. Outside the doors, he stops for a quick, hushed conversation with the Junkion. "So how do we want to play this? The Junkion angle might actually come in handy - Junkion traders aren't too uncommon, and they're known for going everywhere and anywhere, and trading with all comers. Most of their trading partnets usually consider it a huge bargain too, since the Junkions place a..." he glances at Monstereo. "'Unique' value on most goods and services." He puts a hand on the door, ready to pull it open and enter but waiting to see if Monstereo agrees with his plan, or has any other ideas of his own...

Monstereo thumbs up. "It's a plan. It's simple. It's thoughtful. It plays to my strengths... that being it's true for me. And if all else fails, I've brought a little backup plan." He pats his chest hood-plating. He opens the door and motions Nightbeat in.

Nightbeat follows the gesture, exression carefully neutral, then shrugs easily and walks inside.

From the inside, the Clakta Galactic Trading Company field office looks almost like a US Post Office. There's a main lobby area and also a backroom for authorized personnel only, where who knows what might be going on. A few bored Insectoid clerks man desks, but nobody is waiting in line (ok, so maybe not so much like a Post Office). Nightbeat glances around, then walks over to a clerk and begins. "Excuse partner and I represent the Junko-Nebulo Free Traders Alliance. We were recently goin' through our records, and they show that we have some historic trading agreements that are still valid. Can you help us with that?"

The clerk looks a little confused, that's not the kind of question it normally gets, but goes back into the back rooms to ask.

Nightbeat's gaze follows it even after the clerk disappears out of sight. He whispers to Monstereo, "They're talking with a manager on who would have access to the old records...something about a data-storage unit across town...we might be in luck."

Monstereo blinkies and murmurs, "How do you know he isn't getting coffee and making fun of us?"

Nightbeat says, "In my line of work, dealing with beauracry isn't just a science - it's a necessity. I've been in offices just like this one all over the galaxy. When you ask them anything out of the ordinary, they always have to take it up to the next level. Office or team manager, usually. They may or may not decide to help in the end, but at least they'll discuss the problem at length, and talk about anything either one of them knows." Nightbeat then taps the side of his own head. "That and I've got a highly enhanced sense of hearing. Another plus in my line of work."

After a few minutes, the Insectoid clerk comes out with a stack of paperwork. "I'm sorry, we aren't allowed to give those records out. If you could fill out these triplicate...we can enter your request in the queue and then contact your planetary representative. Thank you and come again!"

Monstereo steps up and takes the forms. "Ofcourse... but I'll also need the standard Y-38 Service Complaint forms as well now. I hope you've got a strong back." The Junkion smiles pleasantly.

Nightbeat takes Monstereo gently by the elbow and tugs, trying to lead him out of the office. "We'll, just finish filling these out in our transport," he explains to the clerk. To Monstereo he mutters softly, "Nice one."

Monstereo exits like an upstanding citizen and not some mooching lowlife adventurer hunting information that should be public domain. :p

Nightbeat tosses the pile of blank forms into the nearest trash can, then waits for a break in traffic before stepping into the middle of the street and transforming. He pulls out and starts to head down the street, slow at first so that Monstereo can follow. "According to the map, the Clakta Galactic Trading Co. document storage warehouse is this way..."

Nightbeat transforms into vehicle mode.

Monstereo becomes the epitome of macho-machinery, transforming into monster truck mode. Even on an alien world, it stills draws testosterone laced stares of envy and feelings of rebellion and rowdyness are stirred up. He follows Nightbeat down the road. "X marks the spot... in triplicate?"

The Junkion robot makes a clickety-ratcheting series of sounds as he transforms into the disguise of a monster truck... labelled Monstereo. Are you fooled? ;)

A pair of dark cars pulls out of the traffic behind the pair. One takes a few side-routes to pulls ahead of the pair, while the other cruising along behind, weaving through traffic. Occasionally one or the other will take a turn and seem to disappear, only to re-emerge later behind, alongside, or in front. Both cars sometimes end up behind or in front of the Autobot-and-Junkion team. There's very little pattern, nothing to make the targets suspicious unless they are particularly paranoid - a classic front-and-follow tail.


Nightbeat leads the way across town, finally pulling to a stop down the street from the warehouse. It's a large facility, about the size of a six-story building on Earth. Any firm that's been in business (and thriving) for as long as the GCTC has acquired a HUGE amount of papers - contracts, purchase orders, logbooks, just about anything involved with official business that had someone's signature, ID marking or other hand-written legal notation. "Hmm," Nightbeat emits. "Nobody on duty inside, as far as I can tell. But I make a guard and at least two cameras on every ground entrance. That sound about right, Monstereo?"

Monster Truck <Monstereo> chuckles. "Whatever you say, Toots." The monster truck considers, "So the trick is to get the nuts inside without crunching the shell. I can't go Susan Storm... Can you make with the invisi-wizardry?"

Nightbeat emits, "No...Slaggit! We really could have used Mirage or Yellowjacket on this little adventure. Or Moonracer or Hound. Heck, I'd even settle for Foxfire or any of Blaster's casettes!"

Monster Truck <Monstereo> chuckles. "What about /my/ little Cassetteon buddy? O-Dat, eject." Inside the driver cab of the monster truck, the stereo tape deck ejects a small gold and black tape that transforms into a pint-sized transformer robot known as O-Dat, sitting in the passenger seat. "Oh.. we're on a different planet? Sweet."

Tricked-Out Porsche <Nightbeat> hmms. "Didn't know you could do that. Is he any good at B and E? Well, that's okay, maybe we can make this real easy for him. Okay, here's what we're gonna do..." His voice lowers into a conspirational whisper, occasionally stopping alltogether if a car or pedestrian passes by.

Monster Truck <Monstereo> listens to the scheme and occassionally pipes in a "Uh-huh" while O-Dat just scratches his head absorbing the information and idly playing with the fuzzy dice hanging from the mirror.

Ten minutes later, Nightbeat walks up and rings the buzzer on the front door of the CGTC warehouse, a Monster truck parked on the street behind him. He holds up O-Dat, who has been placed carefully in a FedEx-style sized just right for his casette mode. It's paper-thin, so that O-Dat can slip out easily on his own or even explode out if he transforms. "Delivery," Nightbeat begins. "Audio transcripts sent over from the Junko-Nebulo Trading Alliance."

The Insectoid rent-a-cop stares blankly at Nightbeat. "What am I supposed to do with this?"

Nightbeat shrugs easily. "Don't know, don't care...just sign and take it off our hands. Put it inside for now, I guess. When someone comes along who knows what they're doing, they'll put it where it belongs."

Grumbling, the rent-a-cop complies.

Nightbeat heads back around the corner and waits for Monstereo. "Okay, let's see what your Mech can do..."

Monster Truck <Monstereo> pulls out and around the corner, transforming back to robot mode. He wishes he had a giant trenchcoat. Instead he cues up some quiet tense spy music using a lot of percussion. He gives it some time before opening his radio and signalling the Tape inside, "O-Dat, envelope eject. Operation, tiptoe through the warehouse. Activate camera and transmit to me." He takes out a datapadd and a small wire zips out from his wrist the short distance to the datapadd and connects. The small screen flickers to life displaying O-Dat's point of view.

The rugged monster truck legend in the making makes a clickety-ratcheting series of sounds as it transforms into the Junkion robot Monstereo.

From the inside, the warehouse is clean and neatly organized, if very dark - all of the lights are off, and the only illumination comes from the windows, which don't help much since the sky outside is perpetually dark and cloudy on this world. But there's just enough to make out that there are rows upon rows of shelves, each stacked to the ceiling with endless longboxes. Each one is carefully labelled to show what world or partner company the documents inside involve, and also the time period covered. It looks like everything on the ground floor is fairly recent, and the higher O-Dat goes in the building the older back the documents stored will cover.

Nightbeat crowds Monstereo a bit, trying to see the screen. He then brings out his own ever-present datapad, showing the time period that the Vanderdecken visited this world. "It must be a few floors up, at least." He muses...

Monstereo nods. "Hear that, O-Dat? Skip a few levels till you reach the corresponding time frame... and be careful to look out for Koopas!" O-Dat pauses, "Oh..." and takes a moment to figure it out and then nods once, the view on the screen showing as much. "Gotcha, boss." The Tape heads for the way up.

On the fifth floor, O-Dat finally finds records of the time period in question. Sure enough, on one shelf there are a series of boxes with 'Cybertron (Autobot) trade ship - Venderdecken' on the label. There's one box for each of the three trips that Nightbeat found in the two additional ones.

Nightbeat crowds even closer, looking from Monstereo's display to the padd and back again. "Monstereo...those last two trips to Clakta weren't even recorded in the ship's logs. Not the logs that I looked at, anyway." He turns to look at the Junkion. "I think we just hit paydirt."

Monstereo nods. "Hit paydirt with K-DIRT." He smiles and hits record on the datapadd and says, "O-Dat, flip through the file boxes and record on your end. We'll stop to smell the roses when we're out of here." O-Dat activates his recorder and starts going through the boxes, flipping through every page rapidly. Monstereo smiles, his innovation doing very well.

Nightbeat nods approvingly. "Not bad...Monstereo, the resolution on this camera is amazing. We ought to turn him lose on that pile of clutter back in the Iahex lab." When O-Dat is halfway through the job, Nightbeat starts looking around. "Hmm...don't think we can get him out the way he came in. But I think I see a fire exit on the sixth floor. If he can grab that power cable and shimmy out over the next building, he can drop down to us and we'll be home free."

Monstereo looks up. "Yeah I dunno...." He looks a little worried. Meanwhile inside O-Dat continues until the final page in the final box is flipped. He neatly replaces everything and awaits instruction. Monstereo looks around for an alternative exit strategy.

Nightbeat hmms. "Well, he's your guy, and you know best what he's capable of. It's your call on how we get him out." Nightbeat looks around to in case he can spot any other promising solutions...

Monstereo sighs. "Yeah yeah... alright." He looks to the datapadd again. "Cease recording. O-Dat, move up one level and then head to the fire exit on the south side." O-Dat moves after processing the instructions.

The fire exit is in good condition and seems free of a fire alarm system - strange, maybe office security practices have evolved in different ways here than on Earth or Cybertron. In any case, it should be easy for O-Dat to force his way out.

And the little Junkion Cassette does so... that case, he can easily make it down to where Nightbeat and Monstereo are waiting on the street below!

Monstereo transmits, "Okay, now... carefully... use that line above to go across to the next buildings rooftop. You can do it, Spidey!" And so he does so, humming the theme from Super Mario Bros. O-Dat makes his way across.

Nightbeat starts to hum along. When he realizes it, he shoots a sore look at Monstereo and then stops. "Almost there...I think he just needs to drop now." Glances back towards the warehouse. "No sign that anyone's the wiser in there."

Monstereo opens his chest-hood tape deck cover and signals O-Dat, "O-Dat, transform and come on down, you're the next contestant on The Getaway."

Up above, O-Dat processes and then without any fear complies, His hands and legs release the cable, and in mid-drop he transforms into tape mode.

Monstereo shuffles back and forth, side to side getting under the falling tape. ~swish-click~ O-Dat falls right into storage place. Monstereo lets out a big sigh of relief and closes up his cover.

Nightbeat gives them both a casual nod, looks back at the warehouse one more time - still no sign of activity - and ventures a small smile. "Quick and quiet, just the way we in Intel like it." He transforms and slowly pulls out into the street.

Nightbeat transforms into vehicle mode.

Monstereo pats his chest cover when Nightbeat isn't looking and then transforms, following out. He activates his music player:

The Junkion robot makes a clickety-ratcheting series of sounds as he transforms into the disguise of a monster truck... labelled Monstereo. Are you fooled? ;)

As Nightbeat leads the way back towards the Spaceport, the two dark cars from earlier pull up again, following the 'Junko-Nebulo Trading Alliance' operatives just as they did before. This time however, Nightbeat edges closer to Monstereo, while still driving along in car mode. "Psst! Monstereo...don't make any sudden moves...but I'm sure we're being followed. The dark truck up ahead, with the grey highlights. And the brown sedan we -- shh!"

The brown sedan in question slowly accelerates and passes the pair, inconspicuous as ever. For a while the two dark cars drive alongside each other, then the dark truck lets itself drift back until it's behind the Nightbeat and Monstereo again. Their motions still seem totally innocent and random - to an observer who doesn't know specifically to watch for them.

Nightbeat waits for a bit, then goes on, "The brown sedan who just passed us. It took me a while to be sure - those guys are good. Best front-and-follow I've seen this side of MI-6 back on Earth. But I can tell by the exhaust fumes. The car with the grey highlights has got a glitchy carbon-converter. Smelled it a couple of times on the way over here, then again just now. Gotta be the same car. Took me a couple more blocks to be absolutely sure, and that's when I noticed the brown job. I -think- there's just two though."

Monster Truck <Monstereo> observes and then murmurs, "So.... whatchoo wanna do?"

Tricked-Out Porsche <Nightbeat> emits, "Hmm...I dunno. I was hoping you'd have some idea. I guess we could just keep heading back to the spaceport, and wait to see if they make the first move?"

Monster Truck <Monstereo> thinks on this. Then finally, "Screw that. Pull over." The monster truck brakes hard and pulls over, skidding to a stop.

Tricked-Out Porsche <Nightbeat> pulls to a stop obligingly and waits, engine idling. The whole procession has getting close to the spaceport by now, but traffic has quickly died down over the last few streets and corners, until it's practically just these four cars. One last turn and the group would be on the long straight road leading directly to the dock where the 'Ol Rusty is waiting.

But when the Nightbeat and Monstereo suddenly stop, the dark van hesitates briefly and then accelerates, pulling ahead until it's next to the brown sedan that was already in front. Both cars gun the engines and then skid to a stop, turned sideways to form a makeshift roadblock at the corner of the street leading to the Spaceport. Suddenly, both of the dark vehicles unfold small hatches on top and extend small laser weapons!

Nightbeat transforms into robot mode. "Take cover!" He dives to one side, into an alleyway.

Nightbeat transforms into robot mode.

Monster Truck <Monstereo> transforms and rises up, unhooking one of his wheel-shields from his back. He dives to the opposite side of the street and sighs. "I'm too old for this ~stuff~." His dialogue censor changed that last word, it happens whenever there is a Tape present. :p Monstereo withdraws his sonic rifle from storage and looks across the way to Nightbeat.

The rugged monster truck legend in the making makes a clickety-ratcheting series of sounds as it transforms into the Junkion robot Monstereo.

No sooner have Nightbeat and Monstereo taken cover, then a massive barrage of laser bolts fills the street they just vacated. Those laser weapons might be small but they seem to make up for it with a truly stupendous rate of fire.

Nightbeat waits in amazement for the barrage to die down. As soon as it does he sticks his two photon pistols out of the mouth of the alley, both held vertical one above the other so that only the weapons themselves are visible. He fires off two quick blasts without having to aim. POOM-POOM!

There's a brief shout of surprise from somewhere out of sight.

Nightbeat frowns. "I thought I heard...transforming?"

Suddenly a huge explosion blows up the edge of the building Nightbeat is taking cover behind, sending him flying deeper into the alleyway!!

Nightbeat groans and then pulls himself out of rubble. "Monstereo...they're transformers! And we may be outgunned here!!"

Monstereo grumbles and then radios, <Plan B then... Some sound effects ventriloquism...> He aims his sonic rifle further and slightly upwards to the sky above his own alley. <Don't freak out. This is Hollywood magic.> He cues up a series of sound effect files and starts emiting them from his weapon.

~It starts with distant sirens... and helicoptor blades thumping at low decibels as if on approach. The sounds grow. Then a voice speaks, sounding as if being broadcast from a speaker system, "Clakta law enforcement coming through, please pull over." It keeps repeating growing steadily louder.~

Nightbeat flashes a smirk at Monstereo. "Nice." He readies his heaviest weapon, a largish plasma blaster, and then takes a moment to collect himself. But then he stops and tilts his head to one side. "There it is again!...and engines this time. Monstereo, I think they're leaving!" He pokes his head cautiously around the alley, then steps all the way into the open. But this time engines and tire-screeching can be heard clearly.

Monstereo steps out to look, rifle still emitting the series of sound effects and held hidden in his alleyway. Monstereo never shows his poker hand :p

The two cars, now back in vehicle mode - during the brief fight, their robot modes were never seen by Nightbear or Monstereo - are now far away, headed straight for the spaceport...and they disappear inside! Moments later, a small sub-orbital shuttle lifts off and heads for the sky. It's a generic transport, the kind that many larger ships carry specifically for landing and boarding.

Nightbeat lowers his plasma blaster and brushes off a few pieces of stone and masonry, watching them go. "I have to believe that they were very ready for a quick getaway."

Monstereo turns off the sound effects and cues up another song, blasting it into the air. :

Monstereo wipes his free hand across his forehead. "Whew. Hostile. Who were thse guys?"

Nightbeat shrugs. "No clue. We can check the records later. If I see 'em again (or hear or smell 'em) I'll know." Hr turns and heads back for the spaceport and the trusy Autobot shuttle waiting there. "Let's get back to Autobot City. I need a recharge and some time to go over the clues that O-Dat discovered. Once we know more, we can come back here, or go to wherever the trail takes us next. Only next time, it'll be with a bigger team. Something tells me we're gonna need back-up."

Monstereo laughs. And the duo ride off. Cue end credits.

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