Summary: Hazard forces his fellow Autobots to make presentations on how to solve the energy crisis - with dioramas!
Lab equipment fills this room: equipment hanging from the ceiling, sitting on the benches lining the walls, and on the table in the middle. Also on the table in the middle is a terminal connecting to the main computer of Autobot City. Assorted projects lie scattered about amongst tools and other miscellaneous objects that you can't identify.
Hazard stands at the podium, looking studious. On his head is some kind of Doc Brown-esque magnifying contraption with goggles and lasers and a few blinking lights. Unable to see his notes, Hazard coughs, and raises up the contraption so he can read, "Welcome. Thank you all for coming!" he taps his foot a bit and looks around the room. The lab has been rearranged—slightly—for the presentations. On the long wall a series of long tables have been set up to display the DIORAMA devices. People are able to get a look at them from pretty much any seat in the room... of which there are few. Most of the assembled engineer and tech types are standing. The actual med-tables have been pushed into a corner where a few unfortunate Autobots are still recooperating. "I think we all know why we are here -- some out of the box thinking on our Energon" he air quotes, "issues." end air quotes, "Hopefully we can get some lively discussion going... does anyone want to volunteer to show their DIORAMA first?"
Paradigm is standing to the side of the room, arms folded, looking around at the competition. He isn't showing much emotion, nor moves to volunteer himself. he's going to wait for a few others to go, in order to make his fantastic idea look even better
Hazard points towards the new arrival, "Mishap! Step right up."
As always, Roadbuster is taking a huge space rifle apart and cleaning it. He watches the others, working on the impossibly huge cosmic assault rifle in his lap, not aware of how much noise the belt of ammunition he's polishing is actually making. Jignle jingle, like christmas
Mishap enters the lab with a large, heavy looking burlap sack over one shoulder. "Huh? Oh, right" he replies as Hazard gestures at him, moving to the spot indicated, suspicious buzzing noises coming from inside his bag.
Remaining towards the back of the assembled group, Ultra Magnus isn't really here to present any formal ideas to solve the energon crisis—he's no scientist, after all. Instead, he leans against the back wall and observes everyone gathered here more to weigh in the options that those here have thought up. So for now the City Commander just silently observes, hands crossed over his chest as faintly glowing optics come to rest upon Mishap.
Elita One is sitting next to Roadbuster, arms folded. She's a smart lady and a fine warrior-diplomat-terrorist but she's no scientist. No economist, either. She's pretty much living vicariously through Roadbuster's rifle-cleaning, since it's more her domain than solving energon crises via theory and science (although it's a matter of record, for those who didn't read the bbpost before it got deleted, that she's been off-planet negotiating with alien races trying to secure energon-trade contracts here and there).
Skids looks around the room with distaste in his optics. There is always distaste in his optics. Experimental Dinobot brainswap procedures tend to do that to a mech. Finally, he grunts. "Hnnh. Skids not have all day for waiting. Fine, Skids volunteer to go first. Obviously only Skids have ball bearings big enough to start off stupid conference." He glowers at the moderator. "If him Hazard not have problem with that." Skids crosses his arms, looking prickly.
Jingle, jingle, jingle. Foxfire slinks into the lab, wearing a red harness around his neck with bells on it. It seems that someone's gotten into the Christmas spirit and decided the foxbot was a reindeer. No, he is not happy about it.
Hazard sidles away from the podium, "I think Mishap is about ready to present, Skids. Do you want to go after him?" he looks at Mishap.
Quickswitch is sitting at one end of the table, the clicking and jingling of Roadbuster's rifle earning a furtive glance from the Sixchanger, who, huge hulking body made for the rending and strafing of enemies and things and mental calculations thereof, not whatever would solve such a thing as where to find a good stiff drink. He knows a few places. However, he has a word or two to say about this. With thick arms folding over his expansive chest, he looks toward the podium.
Mishap coughs. "Am? Am I? Uh.. no, Skids can go before me" He shifts his weight, the sack slung over one shoulder making another angry buzzing noise.
Roadbuster actually has a diaorama, in an olive drab crated marked 'xAMMOx' with crudely drawn robo skulls on it. "Hazard, if it is acceptable, I'd like to go after Mishap and Skids." jingle jingle little hollow point robo cop killer bullets jingle jingle
Hazard nods towards Roadbuster, "No problem Roadbuster. All ideas are good ideas tonight!" he looks towards Skids and Mishap, "Which ever of you are ready... go right ahead. Skids? Why don't you step up here." he sidles away from the podium to give him some room to present his DIORAMA.
Elita One stares in horror as her diorama /EXPLODES/.
Elita One adjusts her sitting position, half-frowning at that turn of events.
"Fine, Skids present brilliant idea from Skids giant robobrain," he growls, stomping up towards the diorama display area. His fists clench and he raises them, briefly, seemingly about to SMASH all of the displays. But, with a visible effort, Skids overcomes Grimlock's 'anti-science' programming and stomps over to his own. It is crudely made and many parts of it are bent or damaged. There are even some scorch marks. Skids has obviously had a hard time forcing his brains through Grimlock's hatred of... well, brains.
"Hrrn. Skids have theory based on human technology," he begins, pointing at his display. "Humans not clever enough to use idea to fullest, but maybe Autobots will. Skids theory very simple." He turns towards his diorama and... expels air. A series of small paper fans begin to spin weakly, and next to them a lightbult... turns on. "Hnnh. Wind power. We Autobots have no problem with construction of turbines. Skids thing VAWT technology better than HAWT but that up for debate." He grunts. "Maybe off-shore platform for power, but better to have wide, flat place." He growls again, shaking with rage at the very idea of SCIENCE, then tears himself away from the diorama. "Hrrn. Discuss."
Paradigm smoothly raises a hand. "The dominant species of this planet has an illogical attachment to land that they do not even own nor go near. Where do you propose building such turbines, and how will we gain the land?"
Skids grunts again. "Skids jus say, offshore platform possible. Reclaim land, like humans in Japan always doing." He shrugs again, then gestures at the city. "Also, some space available in city. Build turbines on top of buildings, in plazas. Outlying area. Maybe cluttered, but cheaper than geothermal, more durable than solar."
"Wind... is for girls," Roadbuster says, utilizing the only human slang he knows. "Good job, though, Skids. Your mental problem isn't your fault. You're a real trooper."
Paradigm nods as well from the corner. "Yes, quite" he murmers to himself Elita One leans over and glares at Roadbuster, knowing just barely enough human slang to know that she counts as a 'girl.'
Foxfire makes himself comfortable in a corner, thankful that no one has noticed him yet—hopefully. He curls up and disdainfully paws at one of the bells around his neck.
Quickswitch glances in the direction of Elita One and Roadbuster. He doesn't know that particular slang, but gathers its meaning from the exchange with an unobrusive smirk.
Mishap doesn't seem to have any questions, but he attempts to look interested at Skids' proposal.
Hazard muses to himself, "Wind power? Simple... why didn't I think of that?" he makes his way up to the podium, "Excellent, Skids... you are indeed a 'trooper'. Any other questions for Skids before Mishap makes his presentation? Remember that afterwards there will be ener-punch... and we will vote on a winner of the Autobot Scholastic Medal of Scholastic Achievement!"
Sunstreaker stomps into the laboratory, holding a box and looking rather smug.
Slag grumbles. "Me Slag say we find volcano and it warm do thing. Me Slag see show where it work..."
"How in the dickens did you manage to irradiate your quarters?" Hoist asks.
"I don't know," Elita One sighs. "There wasn't even anything radioactive /in/ the diorama."
"Diorama?" Hoist asks, disgusted.
Elita One sighs again.
Mishap says, "Is.. is it my go then?"
Hazard nods, causing his random head-contraption to shut over his face, forcing him to raise it with his off hand again, "Yees Mishap, go right ahead."
Mishap nervously moves up to the podium and unceremoniously dumps the contents of his bag onto its surface. A large, slightly battered holo-projector lands with a thump. "Okay.. just give me an astrosecond... ah, here we go!" With a click, Mishap activates the projector, a wavery, flickering image of a city appearing in the air above it. Taking a datapad from a storage hatch, Mishap mouths words to himself as he reads, then looks up at the assembled Autobots.
"I am Andre...uh... Mishap, and I am here to ask you a question. "Is not a ma..er.. Robot entitled to the sweat.. to the oil of their.. pistons?" His optics flicker in a blink, and he looks up at the audience as if expecting them to help him.
"And.. there's some other stuff here too, I don't understand it, but basically we should build a city underwater. And power it with.. volcanoes? It's like that other idea, but they're safter because they're underwater."
Hazard rubs his chin, even though he does not have a beard and never has (except for the one time), "Um." he looks around at the audience, "Geothermal energy? Interesting... ah... are there any questions for Mishap?"
Skids nods appreciatively. "Hmm. Him Mishap not have bad idea," he says, astoundingly. "Them Decrepticons had underwater base before," adds the Theoretician. "But them not as clever as Autobot poindexters, so not take advantage of underwater volcanic activity."
Paradigm is staring at Mishap, half out of interest, half in surprise that the mech has actually had a good idea. Obviously he stole it from someone, unless Mishap has had an overnight personality transplant. "Yes" he says loudly, still with his arms crossed. "Its a good germ of an idea Mishap. But once again, where would we build such a base, the humans of this world would be aggressive if we tried to build another base somewhere"
Sunstreaker frowns. "Underwater? Man, I hate being underwater, in some cramped submarine, the constant threat of being crushed instantly, with smelly fish everwhere. And I'm not gonna get any sunshine, either. How am I gonna live up to my name?"
Elita One raises a hand. "One note of concern, Mishap. I know you weren't here for this, but the Decepticons recently tried something much along the same lines. It was, to put it bluntly, a disaster and a deathtrap. What do you propose not only to offset the danger of crushing undersea pressures, but also to employ geothermal energy in a non-disrputive fashion?"
Roadbuster slides his astro-killa-gun over to Elita and stomps his foot. He whispers, "But /mine/ has volcanos..." He kicks the chair in front of him, which is unoccupied. He looks over his shoulder and sees Foxfire. He elbows Elita, "Is that antlered fox robot an... intruder?"
Mishap looks down at Andrea Ron..at his notes, rapidly scrolling through them, lips moving as he reads. "The.. the central Atlantic? And we could.. uh.. offset the pressure by.. by.." Mishap goes back to his notes.
Slag snorts. "That me Slag idea. Except not underwater. Me Slag say it silly underwater"
"...By.. not imposing any taxes or limits on research?" Mishap shrugs. "Well, that's it. Do I win?" Foxfire glares at Roadbuster. "Don't let the antlers and bells fool you, dummy. I'm one hundred percent Autobot. No intruders here." Great, someone noticed. Now he'll never live his humiliation down.
Elita One is about to go 'hey, you jerk' at Roadbuster's elbowing, but looks to where he points. "No," she murmurs. "I... well, as far as I can tell, it must be some kind of Junkion thing?"
Hazard smirks, making his way up to the podium, "Not just yet Mishap! Let's hear the rest of the ideas first... I believe Roadbuster was next -- unless there are any more questions about Mishaps underwater geothermal energy plant 'slash' socio-economic wonderland?"
Slag blinks. "What... Socio-ecolympic?". He looks confused at whatever Autobot is near him
Quickswitch achieves a painfully bored expression and slowly raises his head. He taps the corner of a beige box with a reptilian smiley face on it with pointy teeth. The amount of space taken up by him is suddenly negligable as he transforms execptionally quickly into a small laser pistol, laying sideways on top of the box. It's muzzle points toward the podium, giving the Sixchanger view of the presentations. They'd better be good.
Quickswitch is just bored and having a nap.
Taking his 'xAMMOx' crate under his arm, Roadbuster stands in front of the assembly. He punches the crate with his robo-brass-knuckles and it splinters open. An elaborate clay diorama sits there, looking like an alien planet, complete with a glowing volcano.
Patton style, Roadbuster produces an extending pointer-baton. "THIS is planet Roscalon IV. I fought the natives there back in '654." He taps the volcano with the baton. "Since it's impractical to transport as much napalm as we'll need for this operation, we bring an entire shuttle full of human styrofoam..." he pauses, "and we shoot the volcano until it's active, or something. Someone else can figure that out. Anyway, we combine styrofoam and lava, instant naplam." He points again. "We napalm /both/ of these villages, /without/ any evacuation, because I lost so /many/ good men in that campaign...." He clenches his fist, "And we hope that the napalm and dead bodies somehow create a new form of energon."
"Or, once they're all dead, we strip the of their energon. Questions?"
Sunstreaker STARES, mouth wide open.
"Question," Elita One says again, raising her hand. "Can you describe a..." She thinks about who she's talking to, and pauses for a half-beat. "Let's call it a 'worst case scenario,' Roadbuster, where we /don't/ murder anyone?"
Mishap's optics are as wide as Sunstreaker's. "Charming" he mutters.
Skids looks pensive. "Hmm," he says. Then, a moment later, "them natives carbon-based life form or otherwise? Skids think non-carbon-based lifeform maybe have less chance of turning into energon." Hazard's optics follow Roadbuster's presentation with shock, "Uh. Roadbuster?" he pauses, "These are Decepticons we are talking about, right? Or at least... galactic mass murderers? Or perhaps intergalatic file-sharers?"
Slag snorts. "Me Slag say if we need destroy them we no need silly napalm, me Slag can do job easier"
"..." Ultra Magnus pauses, clearing his throat as Elita One speaks up. "Yes, Roadbuster," he concurs after a moment of silence. "Maybe some non-violent approach to your... ... ... scientific idea?"
Quickswitch sits up, as much as a pistol can, "Go to hell, Roadbuster. Something that /doesn't/ involve murder or your personal vendettas?"
"Oh, Elita... it's only murder when the life form is valuable in some way. Trust me, we're better off without them..." Roadbuster says, looking to Hazard. "Well, if you remember the Gorbulon Trade Embargo is '457..." His optic band flickers. "You know what? None of you understand. When the Roscalonians and their Murder-Bats come to you in your sleep, don't cry to me." Roadbuster goes back to his seat.
Except that Quickswitch just talked to him. "I'll rip out your optics and wait to feed them to you until -after- the campaign, Quickswitch. So you can see just how /good/ my idea is." Roadbuster says, snatching his Liefeld rifle back from Elita.
Hazard coughs, and sidles his way up to the podium, "Very well. Perhaps we should move on to the next presenation?"
Elita One picks through the remains of her quarters, looking at the little happy cardboard human holding hands with the little happy cardboard Bumblebee that was to be the centerpiece of her diorama. It glows a dull green.
Elita One hands the rifle back to Roadbuster even as he snatches it, resting her chin on her hand. "Times change, Roadbuster, times change," she murmurs.
Laser Pistol <Quickswitch> springs up and leaps—It is his turn, woohoo!--He lands on two huge robot feet, huge digits closing around his plain baige, green smiley-faced box and heads to the podium. He sets the box down—watching it rumble, "I have two pair. What ones?" he asks Roadbuster with a huge grin. He turns to his diorama right away, tapping at the reptile-smiley, some kind of Cybertronian shorthand morse code. The box falls into four perfect quarters, revealing a projector, "Well..." Quickswitch replies, looking suddenly very nervous and pushing a few buttons on the projector. Suddenly, the image of Tokyo Japan appears, "Apart from the Protectorate's interest in the country of Japan... I mean, I'm--"
Sunstreaker grins, snapping his fingers. "Oh, I get. We're finally going to war with the Protectorate, and we're going to rob them blind of all their resources! Brilliant!"
Slag raises his head up in thought. "Hnnnh, me Slag like that idea too!"
Skids grunts. "Hnnh. Him Quickswitch watch too much a-nee-may. Probably want to harness boundless nuclear rage of Godzilla," he says to the Autobot next to him, not bothering to lower his voice. Apparently one of he traits he lent to Grimlock was 'tact.'
Paradigm mumbles something about a 'bat-gundam'
Mishap whispers "What's a Mat Tomtom?"
The Sixchanger pauses, a picture of a mech-godzilla stomping happily through the city, "I'm on good terms with the Japanese personally... It may not need to be with them--but, a, uh..." Mecha-Godzilla grins toothily, stomping on a car and sending people screaming, "Hmmm, perhaps an exchange of one element for another, something for raw energy to convert to energon. I'm no diplomat," he admits, shrugging. Godzilla Roooooaaaaars and takes a huge bite out of a car and throws it, producing cool movie-style explosions and stomps over things indiscriminately, "Uh--that was the wrong one, oh slag..." Quickswitch lowers his head, brings a hand to his helm, utterly embarrassed like it was his stash of porn or something. Quickly punches a few more buttons, and there's a cool lava planet—one that might look very familliar, "Ah--here it is," he tells the room, "We're all on a similar line of reasoning with harnessing volcanic energy. I propose P-19170159. It's volcanically active, it's far enough away that the Decepticons seem to have no interest in it, it has no inhabitants that could be killed, and no indigenous life. We were able to harness energy when stores got scarce," he /looks/ right at Elita, "Why not make use of the whole planet. The only problem would be getting around the high melting point. What was the compsition of the prison? Use that."
Paradigm hisses back "It is a ridiculous 'human' creation, just about your intellectual level
"Don't worry, Elita. He /knows/ that prison is too good for him," Roadbuster says, twirling a belt of ammo around his finger.
Skids scratches at his head. "How..." he frows. "How we transport energy FROM P-toomanynumbers TO Earth?" he asks. "Or you mean we build energon processing facility ON planet Peewine...something?" Sunstreaker shrugs. "Probably some kinda ceramic stuff. That's about the only thing that could take so much heat and still be efficient. But... do we really wanna go back there? It's... geeze. That place is just bad news."
Hazard looks away from the display out at the audience, "Interesting, Quickswitch. I wasn't aware P-19170159 was active in such magnitude.. there is the matter of transport though." he nods towards Skids as he seems to be picking up his line of thought.
Slag snorts. "Me Slag liked idea with thing that look like him Grimlock"
Quickswitch looks.... annoyed, for mercifully too short a time, so everything is okay.
Quickswitch also looks enormously troubled and confused. Damn going through spectrums of emotion in a crunch-period of time, "So, any questions?"
Hazard looks around, "Any other questions for Quickswitch? Remember that we can all vote afterwards for the awarding of the Scholarly Autobot Medal of Scholastic Achievement."
Mishap puts his hand up. "Yes, is it too late to change my idea to just stealing a really big battery from somewhere?"
"Well, Hazard, I think Quickswitch hopes to transport the energon he's not going to produce on the magical rainbow generated from his lies and his disdain for the chain of command," Roadbuster says.
Elita One returns Quickswitch's stare with a courteously ambivalent gaze of her own, not giving in to any attempts to initiate a staring contest. Shooting Roadbuster a sidelong look but not responding, she says, "It's worth looking into further, although the logistics of accomplishing it might require a more in-depth scientific conference than this meeting." She's either validating Quickswitch's idea to be supportive, or just to tag him back for his glaring.
Hazard says, "Excellent. Thanks Quickswitch. Now, if the audience will indulge me, I will present my own pesonal... *ahem* modest.. proposal"
Hazard presses a few buttons on his datapad, activating the DIORAMA behind him, "My idea is..." *FWOOP* >> DIORAMA ONLINE << "To harness the latend reality-bending energies of a blackhole event horizon." >> DIORAMA DISPLAY INITIATING << "If we set up a satelite in the correct orbit, we can potentially create an infinite-energy system that behaves sort of like a perpetual motion machine." He frowns slightly before continuing, "Of course, there is the issue of getting the energy AWAY from the black hole. As you know... the same fluxuations of the time-space dynamic that allow us to syphon energy also prevent us from getting said energy far enough away from the reach of the event horizon. To accomplish this, we can employ the faster-than-light subspace technology found in our space bridge." Hazard seems proud of himself.
Hazard frowns thoughtfully, tapping on the podium as he trails off slightly while talking about various externalities of time-space fluxuations.
Hazard resumes after a slight pause amongst the murmoring response to his idea, "Now... of course there are some ah... downsides. The usage of subspace technology so close to an event horizon has never been fully explored. The interaction of charmed quarks and positrons with the phased gamma radiation and near-infite supply of heavy mesons... needless to say... I have done some simulations and the potential side effects on the time-space continuum are well... almost an unlimited impossibility to even fathom."
Quickswitch eyes Roadbuster, shrugs at him, and mouths a particularly naster Cybertronian curse at him.
Paradigm is still slouching in the corner. "The problem there Hazard, is that the energy expendature used in the spacebridge operation will far outweigh the small amount of energy taken, the result being a net loss. Unless you can come up with a more efficient solution"
Hazard nods towards Paradigm, "Well, I've given that some thought, but if we are close enough to the event horizon the energy available for operation should be near-infinite. Only limited by our ability to transport it out safely."
Sunstreaker raises his hand. "Did... I mention I hate black holes, too? Can't see the damn things--have to detect 'em by Hawking Radiation. But at least it's easy to stay clear of them. Their gravity well's pretty freaking big." He looks around. "As for the energy extracting thing, uh, I dunno." Mishap looks alarmed. "Wait, does unleaded impassibility mean.. very likely to blow up? Because this sounds really dangerous. And I have this allergy to danger."
Skids frowns at the diorama, deep in thought. After a long moment, he finally responds. "Skids not fan of Flavor Flav," he announces. "Skids not fan of seaweed either." And, here it comes, the synthesis: "So, Skids think risk of turning into Flavor Flav with seaweed legs? Definitely outweigh theoretical benefit."
Hazard frowns, "Unless we run into problems with lamba-weighted tachyon particles."
Slag gapes. "... Me Slag say you all have bad ideas! Me Slag have bestest idea of all! It no sciency idea like him idea, it good idea! It no turn Slag into thing with plant leg or funny hat either!"
Hazard frowns, "According to my simulations that is a..." he taps a few things on his datapad, "Viking helmet. An ancient terran species."
Hazard coughs, obviously his brilliance has stunned most of the audience into silence, "Well then. Shall we move on to Paradigm's proposal?"
Paradigm looms over the Podium, optics glowing with his diorama in his hands. Despite having a three-figure tech, it looks rather... ordinary. Simply a ball in his hand. He slowly gazes over his audience.
"I know a lot of you have talked of tapping the geothermal potential of this world. But you are still thinking too small. You are not going far enough, not outside the box. /This/ is the solution.
He drops the ball, which starts to float in the air, expanding into a likeness of the planet Earth. "Inside the Earth" he continues "is a gigantic geothermal potential."
"The internal heat of the planet is produced by the radioactive decay of potassium-40, uranium-238 and thorium-232 isotopes. At the center of the planet, the temperature rises to 7,000K. There is precisely a mass of 1.083207310^12 km cubed, a massive amount of potential, as you must agree."
"My plan is simple - and logically the most sound. The dominant species of this planet seem violently possessive of any use of their planet, even in areas that they do not go. Therefore it will be a clandestine operation, as not to arouse their primative minds. We use the location of the Ark to drill under the planet's surface, and directly extract the magma, converting it to energon."
He then sticks a syringe into the model of the Earth, drawing out some red fluid. "In order to keep the planet's structure temporarily stable, we will inject a foam-based compound in to replace the missing fluids." He pushes in another syringe full of white liquid to demonstrate this.
"Of course, via this technique, the planet itself would eventually implode in roughly ten thousand years." The model slowly crumbles to dust, reforming back into the original ball. "However, my study of this world has revealed that even at the best estimate, the dominant species, the 'humans' are destroying it at a far faster rate, and will wipe themselves out by at the most, 2675AD. Thus, there are /no/ moral or ethical problems with this plan. Any questions?"
Hazard decides not to comment on this particular 'idea', he instead looks out to the audience expectantly.
Sunstreaker rubs his chin. "Uh... Yeah. So. Where are we putting all the magma? I don't think we have enough, uh, cargo space for it all."
Slag snorts. "Me Slag also think that idea too sciency!"
Mishap puts his hand up again. "Yes, what have you been drinking, Paradigm, and can I have some?"
"...napalm. Maybe we can come to an agreement, Paradigm," Roadbuster says.
Sideswipe simply stares up at the podium at Paradigm explains his idea before he too raises his hand. "I know you said there wasn't anything bad about doing this but this sounds like something the Cons would do. Well, okay, the Cons would do it faster but still."
Paradigm nods at Sunstreaker. "We convert it to energon. This plan would take roughly ten thousand years, and roughly ten metres squared of magma will create one cube. It will be a steady energon supply at a constant rate"
Sunstreaker looks puzzled. His INT and TECH scores aren't high enough to tell him if this is even possible. "I... guess we can do that."
Paradigm turns to Sideswipe. "By all calculations run, the dominant species on this planet will soon destroy the ecosphere themselves. My plan would not disturb the ecosphere until well after sentient life is extinguished. Therefore the only drawbacks to this plan would be useless and illogical sentiment"
Quickswitch shakes his head, "We'd be tearing someone else's planet apart," unacceptable, but—unaccaptable, "I say use the energy generated from P-19170167. The whole planet is volcanically active, there are no inhabitants or life of any kind, we'd have to produce something with a very high melting point to make it possible, and then the transport--but believe me, it's stable, and we never had anyone come looking for us for a Very. Long. Time." he notes each point, grimly. Foxfire is still in his corner, sulking. The bells and antlers are still there—the only thing that would have made his "costume" more embarrassing is a red, glowing nose. ('Must kill Sideswipe,' he tells himself repeatedly.
Paradigm shakes his head at Quickswitch. "No. We already have a heavy base here, and thus will be able to both guard and extract the energon without raising attention from the Decepticons. Plus if we are talking ownership, /we/ were the first sentient lifeforms on this planet, and /we/ will be the last"
Quickswitch says, "There's no moral dilemma. Hey, it worked for 3.5 million years!"
Sideswipe looks over to Foxfire as he stands in his corner and gives him a quick wink before turning back to look at Paradigm again as he raises his arm. "Yeah, but what if the humans find out before they get blown up, if they do? How are we going explain that one?"
"I have to agree with Quickswitch, here," Ultra Magnus speaks up after a long moment. "What the humans decide to do to their planet is their business. We don't have the right, however, to abuse their world like that -- even if they themselves are tearing it apart. From an ethical standpoint... I'd say we'd still have a problem."
"We simply tell the humans that we are stabilising their planet. Their lifespan is too short, and their intellects too small to grasp anything meaningful" Paradigm responds. "And Magnus, it is not the /humans/ planet, they are simply the current dominant lifeform, which an ethos more akin to the Decepticons than anything else. They will drive themselves extinct in a few hundred years, so enacting this now would simply be getting a head start"
Foxfire just glares back at Sideswipe. Enough said.
Elita One picks up the little glowing human-and-Bumblebee, slouched in the half-melted chair of what was previously her quarters. She smiles grimly, as if being let in on a morbid joke, and releases her grasp on the cardboard prop, letting it fall to the ground gingerly.
Elita One says, "I'm with Magnus, Paradigm, and I don't have to be a mind-reader to know that Rodimus Prime will tell you the same. It's not our right to put a death sentence on /any/ planet, under /any/ time frame, using /any/ logic. End of story."
Sunstreaker sighs. "I just know they'd be crapping themselves if they found out, no matter how we tried to explain it." He glances at Foxfire, then his gaze sloooowwwwly turns to Sideswipe. He gives him a look that says, 'You did that, didn't you?'
Quickswitch clears his mech-throat, "We were the first lifeforms on an energy-hotbed designed to prevent anyone from leaving it, there are no current lifeforms on that hellhole to destroy or have moral quandries over. We were never paid any mind for millions of years--" he twitches and there's suddenly no chair anymore—it's crushed under the form of a drill tank, "And... slag it."
Quickswitch says, "And we already know it works--Foxfire, what the hell happened to you?"
Paradigm is about to say some nasty things to Elita, but thinks better of it. "Very well, let sentiment cloud your judgement, as aways, retrospect will prove me right" Then he storms off the podium
Hazard coughs subtly, and sidles up to the podium again, "Alrighty. Obviously some spirited debate going on here!" Hazard makes an attempt to put his academic face on, "Haha! No stone left unturned, right?" he lets out a (somewhat) forced laugh, "Who is next? Sunstreaker, right? Why don't you get up here." he stares hard at Sunstreaker and jerks his head violently as if to say 'right friggin now.... please'
Sideswipe covers his mouth with his hand to conceal the grin that suddenly spreads across his face at Quickswitch's question.
Foxfire grunts, "Sideswipe happened to me. What else?"
Skids shakes his head. "Maybe him Paradigm new, but Skids pretty sure Autobot slogan 'Freedom is right of all sentient beans,' not 'Let's Blow Up Earth.' Maybe Skids missed a meeting." He crosses his arms as Paradigm sulks off. "Hnnnh. You Paradigm need to be less tetchy," he comments. "Reject your idea not mean we reject YOU." He opens his arms again, a strange gleam in his eye. "Us Autobots LOVE you Paradigm."
Quickswitch mutters to Foxfire, "Now... like... with... you."
Foxfire mutters to Quickswitch, "For... a fox, not a..."
Sideswipe turns to look at Foxfire with his face arranged into the very picture of wide eyed innocence. "Hey, Foxfire, come on now. Why do that to someone who was fighting right alongside me?"
Sunstreaker grins, as he opens his shoebox, and holding it out as if it was the Matrix. "Behold! The answer to all our problems!" Inside of his shoebox is a surprisingly well-detailed diorama. It's set on a racetrack, with a stadium peppered with dots, representing the human audience. In the foreground is, unsurprisingly, Sunstreaker in his lambo mode, several feet in the air, tilted somewhat towards the left side. Behind him is a HUGE explosion.. "So, check it out, right? We have extreme races for the humans, right? We drive really crazy, blow things up, make lots of mayhem, and they pay us CASH MONEY. And we use that money to buy oil and electricity. How about it? Now, there's minor risks. Might be some danger of the audience being injured by flying shrapnel and flying cars, but other than that, my plan DOESN'T require GENOCIDE." He glares at Roadbuster.
Sunstreaker ohs, gets up on the podium, and shows off the diorama again.
Slag looks at Sunstreaker's diorama. "Hnnh, me Slag like blowing thing up" he says, nodding approvingly "The problem there, amongst many others" Paradigm emits from the sidelines bitterly. "Is that we would most likely use more energy than we would be able to barter for in this crude, demeaning act of servitude. Additionally, the danger and pointless environmental damage would be considerable"
Skids raises a ro-brow. "Hnnh. Sunstreaker, you plan good... but plan assume sustainability of human energy resources." He gestures at Paradigm. "Paradigm plan not so ethical, but him have point. Humans no good at managing Earth. Humans real low on fossil fuels, use all fossil fuels in SUVs for every housewife." He shakes his head. "Plan good, but humans just not have enough resources to supply them humans AND us Autobots, no matter how much money we have."
Skids adds, after a moment, "Them humans not even have enough energy for them humans."
Foxfire shakes a paw at Sideswipe. "You'd do this to your own brother if he wouldn't kill you for it. One of these days I'll get you back, Lambo Boy."
Revamp bounds into the auditorium with a "Hey, sorry I'm late!" and a box in her arms. As she dumps down a set of tools on the counter, she raises one silvered hand to her mouth. "Sorry 'bout being late, but I found some traffic that needed a lady's touch." She flexes her back-mounted treads to emphasize the point.
"Got the idea when I saw the produce truck overturned on I-5." She pulls out a pickle, and jabs two electrodes in either end. A light display illuminates, along with a decimal. "This represents the fraction of an energon cube that can be extracted from a vegetable. Any kind can be used. Onion. Potato. Just needs to be soaked in a brine solution to be able to carry a current. Great thing about it is that it's a renewable resource. Heck, we can even use the ones the humans don't want to feed themselves or their animals."
Slag glares at Paradigm. "You science bot take away all me Slag fun"
Sunstreaker sighs, lowering his box. He shakes his head sadly. "Man... nobody appreciates me..."
Sideswipe claps in the interest of brotherly solidarity(and it was a nice looking diorama) as he looks over at Foxfire with a hurt look but it's obvious he's trying not to grin.
Skids strokes his chin. "Hnnnh. Biofuel," he comments. "Skids think that also good idea. Can even use some unused space on city for hydropornics." The scrambled Theoretician nods. "Is good suggestion. Maybe we combine biofuel idea with Skids VAWT theory."
Revamp flicks turquoise optics. "Oh? What was that? I wasn't here."
"Again" Paradigm emits. "Its a nice trick. However not sustainable. To grow enough produce to give enough energon we need would take more area than the surface of this planet. Additionally, the energy expended in sowing, harvesting and extracting the energy would be dwarfed by the energy expended in making it happen. So far only /my/ idea has been logical..."
Revamp yanks a wrench out of subspace. "YOU BE QUIET!"
Skids glowers at Paradigm. "We NOT going to blow up Earth!" he repeats. Then to Revamp, "Skids think wind farms good plan. Lots of open space in Autobot city. Can reclaim land in ocean too." He frowns. "Maybe we have to make diplomacys with them human governments, buy land for wind farm and biofuel crops."
Sunstreaker frowns. "Now, hold on! He's got a point. Just how many potatoes, and onions, and pickles are we talking, here? And you better not expect ME to farm 'em all for you."
Skids growls at Sunstreaker. "You want energon?" He curls one hand into a fist, then punches it into his palm. "Then you help with any plan we Autobots decide. No one gets free ride."
Cyber-Puma <Quickswitch> leaps onto the table, "Why are we talking about humans' organic food? That would take too long and use up too much of their land."
Slag glares at Paradigm and stomps up, attempting to push Revamp out of the way. "Me Slag have bestest idea! Me see it in teevee movie!"
Slag pushes a box onto the table, with a bad crayon drawing of a a sun in the sky above some ground. "Me Slag hear it sun very hot! So me Slag say we get panel thing that humans use to get energy from sun, but we put it on sun! It plan work perfectly!"
Sunstreaker pffffts at Skids, waving at him dismissively. "I do want I want."
Cyber-Puma <Quickswitch> says, "And then the Decepticons will come by and smash them."
Elita One looks at Windcharger's design for the new, more energy-efficient Iacon. "Well, see, I added some fins, to lower wind resistance," the minibot notes. "And I think this racing stripe looks pretty sharp."
"Agreed," Elita One says, before shooting Windcharger in the chest.
Optics lighting up sharply, Elita One reaches up to rub her forehead, once again unable to recharge through the night.
As Elita One watches Slag's presentation, she grimaces, remembering her horrible dreams. Luckily, it can be interpreted as a look of horror at Slag's plan to go to the sun.
Cyber-Puma <Quickswitch> says, "And then we smash the Decepticons. They smash us. We smash them. Run out of energon...."
Paradigm glares at Slag. He's going to be mean about everyone else's ideas now until they all realise the only true answer is to suck the Earth dry. "Quickswitch is right. To get enough energy, the panels would have to be numerous. They are also fragile, providing an easy target for Decepticons"
Cyber-Puma <Quickswitch> rests his head on his paws.
Skids grunts. "Not just food. Can use them food they not eat. Can even use them food that going rotten. Garbage used for fuel." He looks at Slag, then nods again. "Solar power is ok, but delicate. Panels get scratched easy just from dust in wind, let alone Decrepticon lasers." He frowns, then holds up his hands. "Skids think we not thinking of big picture here, Autobots. We need not just one idea. We need combine MANY idea. Solar, wind, biofuel. Even Planet Peener volcano energy."
Slag snorts. "Me Slag say we use idea to make volcanoes explode, but we make it volcano explode under them Decepticon! They no know what hit them!"
Paradigm glares at Skids. "And car races too, Skids?"
Hazard steps up to the podium, nodding towards Revamp and Sunstreaker, "Biofuels seems to be a popular suggestion. Thank you, Revamp." he looks out into the audience, "Does anyone else have a DIORAMA to present? Or shall we move onto technical discussion and the awarding of the precious Scholarly Autobot Award of Scholastic Acheivement?"
Slag mutters and goes back to his spot where he was laying down. "Me Slag say him science nerd whine too much..." he mutters
Revamp scoops up the pickle, and tosses it up and down in her palm. "Composting works, ever see how much heat comes from the humans' landfills? There's always the use of nuclear power plants, although that still presents the issues with being renewable, and attacked by Decepticons. Hmm. GEOBACTER!" The halftrack blurts out.
Sunstreaker glares at Paradigm, in turn. "And just what is wrong with car races? I love that idea. And, you know, it's what I'm good at, you know? And we haven't have to kill anybody. Well, on purpose. Somebody might die on accident now and then, but there'd be waivers for the audience to sign..."
Skids nods. "Hrrn. Even car races idea has place. We can use car racing idea for publicity, promote Autobot cause to humans. Help with diplomacys."
Hazard muses, "What if we built some of Skid's windmills on TOP of landfills?"
Cyber-Puma <Quickswitch> says, "Have one in Japan."
Slag snorts. "Me Slag say we build them on sun!"
Gumbytron steps up onto the stage, and drops a mentos into a bottle of coke. It fizzes over. "Ta-daaaa!" he says
Skids stares. Then shakes his head. "That idea worse than napalming villages."
Slag blinks. "Me Slag no get it"
Revamp rambles, on a classic scientist tangent. "Dissimilatory metal-reducing microorganisms, such as Geobacter, have the ability to transfer electrons to the surface of electrodes. Microbial fuel cells are efficient, have long-term stability, and can be used to harvest electricity from many types of waste organic matter or renewable biomass. Immediate application of these microbial fuel cells will be for powering electronic monitoring devices in remote locations, such as the bottom of the ocean. Could possibly genetically engineer better microbes for higher rates of electricity production. And you just thought that was toejam, heh.
Sideswipe has no entry so he turns and strolls casually over to Foxfire before remaining out of reach of him and studying him with interest. "Can you get inside Blaster with those antlers on?"
Paradigm smirks. "Well well, it seems my idea was the most logical and efficient, though if you are squeamish about taking action on a soon to be extinct ecosphere, I suggest we could relocate it to a similarly defended planet
Slag snorts and walks over to Paradigm, glaring at him in true Triceratops fasion. "Me Slag think you idea stupid and too sciency! Me Slag have best idea!"
Sunstreaker looks baffled. "How can you run something on germs?" Yeah, Revamp explained how, but... you know. He's not Perceptor.
Paradigm glares at Slag. "Yes, I'm sure you do, energy production is not a matter for scientists at all, is it?"
Revamp rummages around in the box, and pulls out a half-squished grapefruit, presumably from the wreck she helped clear. She waves one teal arm at Sunstreaker's direction, as if shooing off an incessant insect. "Something about electron transport chains, respiration. All living things have an electrical field around them. It's how the blue, finned ones find the humans to eat them."
Slag glares at Paradigm. "You make stupid idea! You stupid scientist! Me Slag better scientist than you!"
Skids makes placating gestures at Slag and Paradigm. "Hrrn, hrrn. Calm down. Only one way to decide who better scientist between Slag and Paradigm." He makes an expansive gesture with his hand, then clenches that hand in front of him. "SCIENCE-OFF!"
Paradigm nods. "Very well, I will perform a crude 'science-off' to prove to this creature its place"
Slag growls. "Me Slag no need science off! You idea stupid! Me Slag show you wrong when you try silly idea! Me Slag no need waste effort on prove you wrong!". With that, the angry triceratops turns around and stomps out
Perceptor enters his lab carrying a small crateful of supplies. Supplies! Half the roster in his lab! "what the DEUCE?!" he exclaims, looking around sternly at the assembled masses.
Sunstreaker blinks. "What eats humans?" It's clear that he doesn't understand most of what Revamp said, but his attention if fortunately diverted by the prospect of some kind of fight. "Ooh, this oughta be good. C'mon, Slag! Do it!"
Skids shakes his head. "You Perceptor need pay more attention to Autobot MySpace," is his only reply.
Cyber-Puma <Quickswitch> shifts into robot mode—finding himself on the table—and jumps off, "Simple. Get a publicity event in the country of choice for diplomatic relations--" he looks confused for a moment, "--Sunstreaker's racing events. Negotiate for land in exchange for whatever you diplomats see fit to, use that for Skids' windmills. Set up some decoy solar panels so the Cons can have target practice--gather up enough resources for long term geothermal energy harnessing on P-19170167--then, uh, make energon cubes out of potatos on earth to dupe the Cons into thinking we've got some kind of virus..." hey, he's no scientist. Shrugs. Returns to another seat.
Paradigm folds his arms and smirks as Skids leaves the room. "Well then, that was hardly a surprise, was it?"
"I think they're called sharks," Revamp responds to Sunstreaker as she continues to set aside several bruised fruits. "I usually just put people back together, what we've been asked to do is..." She pointedly looks at Quickswitch, "Come up with feasible energy production ideas, when we're not busy looking like a traffic-wreck."
Quickswitch says, "Haven't we always?"
A small minibot like droid is not to far behind Perceptor, assisting in bring in supplies, which the box he has over his head, should crush him, but apparently he has no problem carrying it. Along with a chrome orb, which seems some how magneticly carring its own box under it.
When Perceptor stops, so do they, and the minibot named Turnover, glanced up at his creator, then—at the crowd.
Revamp says, "Just sayin' some of us look more like T-bones than others."
Skids, frustrated over not being able to find the option he wants on the voting panel, succumbs briefly to his Dinobot impulses and simply smacks the machine. It bleeps and blorps. Fortunately, Skids lacks the upper body (or lower body... or any body) strength to do any actual damage. To anything.
Perceptor says, "Does anyone want to tell me what's going on? I kip out for some supplies and when I return there's a crowd."
Quickswitch grins, "We were all waiting for you."
Sideswipe tosses some of his supply of emergency confetti to knock Perceptor off balance.
Gumbytron is still trying to clean all the diet coke off the floor, but failing
Sunstreaker holds up a shoebox, with cardboard cutouts of himself, a race track, an audience, and explosions. "Um. Saving the world?"
"Brainstormin' session to create sustainable energon sources," Revamp drawls out in response to Perceptor's inquiry. The display still blinks cheerily, until the teal halftrack pops out the anode and cathode leads. "Some seem more feasible than others. Gonna get mah butt back on down to the overpasses, probably another wreck that needs cleanin' up."
Quickswitch waves to his friend, "Hey Turnover!" the big mech grins at the mini-drone.
Turnover smiles to Quickswitch, would wave, if he wasn't carrying a box, and nearly makes the mistake of doing so as he is quickly recatches the box, "Hey Quickswitch--" Then—Turnover hears the explination, "Why not create water-mills around earth's own water-falls to conduct electricty and thus turn that into Energon.." He asks, as he goes over to play the box down. The small orb following Turnover over to the spot.
Quickswitch says, "Good idea, I'm voting for yours."
Skids grunts. "You Revamp busy today," he says. "Must get worse closer to 25 December, human time. Them humans always go crazy driving closer to 'Ex-lax.'" He pauses, thinking. "Or maybe Chrislax? Skids not know."
Skids nods at Turnover. "Watermills also good idea, add to wind turbines and biofuel, but still need diplomacys to get humans to agree." He frowns. "Them humans not big fans of us building things on them human land, you know? Is frustrating."
Sunstreaker asks, tentatively, "Can I... vote for myself?..."
"You should" snaps back Paradigm. "Since no-one else is going to"
Sunstreaker hangs his head, sighing. "I get no respect, I tell ya..."
Perceptor sighs and looks around. "Okay I'm just leaving. I have no idea why you're all here, but I swear on the Matrix if you guys leave this place a mess there will be the PITS to pay." he turns on his heel and leaves, promptly.
Gumbytron's efforts at cleaning the floor with acid and red wine have not paid off. He starts to cry
Turnover shrugs gently after he lays down the box, "Its a simple matter of understanding some form of science I suppose, after all.." He said with a smirk, "Water was used by humans in their past to conduct electricty-- so I do not see why they would have a problem with us doing it." He paused in thought before crossing his arms over his chest with a hmm. His large optical sensors dimming gently. "And since it can be done with out destroying the land..."
The orb places down the box and lays ontop of it, flickering a few times, however, Turnover is distracted as his creator makes a hasty exit and sighs.
Skids squints, unsure if the utility mech is trying to make a dig at him. If so, it's an extraordinarly ignorant dig to be making at Skids, Theoretician. "Of course water WORKS, and CAN be used," he reiterates. "Only problem is them humans very territorial. Protective of Earth." He splays his hands in a a gesture of helplessness. "Even if it not have impact on environment, them always caught up in them politics, and it us and 99% of rest of humans who suffer for it."
Turnover shrugs gently, "You could also place out solar pannels into space and collect energy from the very sun."
"Solar Panels idea already brought up," Skids says with a smile. "By him Slag." He doesn't bother to go over the arguments against solar power for a third time.
Turnover ponders gently, "You could also gain power from the volcanic activity-- or from the very gas off that one planet here in the solar system.. I forgot its name.. Venus I think.."
Skids stretches, and heads for the door. "Skids have to get back to Skids quarters, before me collapse. Thinking too much cause mass energy drain since brainswap," he offers, by way of explanation as he heads out. "Hnnh, you Turnover talk to him Quickswitch. Him Quickswitch want harvest geothermal power off planet P... whatever numbers. Only problem is logistics. Is still good idea."
Revamp says, "Low profile, though." Revamp reminds as she boxes up the last of the displays, "Don't want something that the 'Cons can find or attack easily. I'm off to rove the roads. Later."
Turnover watches everyone leave and looks over to the orb, "I guess in the end, what does it matter, huh Orbatron?"
The orb just flickers a gently light blue as it continues to lie there.