Summary: Peacekeeper confronts Clamptight, the Autobot who co-conspired with the Decepticon Bypass to betray their respective factions! Startling secrets about Guiltor will be revealed below!
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.
Peacekeeper rumbles softly and nods, carefully leaning back to stretch her abdomen. "I understand," she nods, deciding against pursuing it. He doesn't seem to be repeating past actions, nor does it seem to affect him much... so she'll wait and see where things go from there. She nods once to Quickswitch in return greeting as he enters and leans forwards, now stretching her back. Recovering from torso injuries is such a pain.
Quickswitch settles back against one of the large med tables and opens a large hatch in his chest, the fuel line. A medical gumby attaches a fuel line while Quickswitch waits patiently, "Peacekeeper, Perceptor," Quickswitch greets. It's without the human component of a wave or anything absorbed from human culture. He doesn't understand it enough to emulate.
Sideswipe's only reply comes in a simple, sweet, sincere, "I love you too." from across the distance, it's followed by a selfsatisfied chuckle, the Lambor twin terribly amused. It all terminates with a final sigh as he sums up the evening, "It's been a good day."
Markdown walks in some time after Andi, shoulders slumped. "Ugh... Crazy Junkions. They just declared their studio to be an independent country! I can't believe it... As if that Guiltor creep wasn't bad enough! It... never ends!"
Peacekeeper is walking around the med-bay, rechecking the state of things while also testing her mobility. Torso injuries are /such/ a pain to recover from and all, and even worse when it's back and abdominal injuries combined. /I'm going to get Sunder back for this one. Probably after I get stronger,/ she muses silently, mentally adding another strike mark against that Sweep. She straightens and looks over at Markdown as he walks in, one hand resting on her back just above her waist. "What's going on with the Junkions?" She asks.
Andi Lassiter crosses the room to where the human-sized desk is kept for her to work from. She gets out her laptop and turns it on to start catching up on the day's reports for Peacekeeper,
Markdown throws his hands up. "Just what I said. KNUJ studios is now an independent Junkion state. But somehow I don't think the United States government is going to just let that happen. Well, Ultra Magnus will deal with it, I guess. Or maybe Rodimus." He sighs. "Nothing much I can do about it, though."
And who should walk in the door just now? Clamptight, Autobot med-tech. His facial expression seems neutral as he steps inside the medical ward,
"Huh," Markdown comments. "Haven't seen that guy in a while."
Peacekeeper turns her gaze towards the door and immediately recognizes the med-tech who enters. "Clamptight..." she murmurs softly. She still remembers Guiltor's warning to her before she left that ship almost a week ago, although she hadn't figured out where Clamptight had disappeared off to lately. She straightens, letting her hand return to her side as she rumbles softly. "Clamptight, I need to speak to you for a minute," she says to the med-tech, motioning towards him. She prays that she won't have to do this the hard way.
Clamptight looks around the room, glancing at Andi, Markdown, and then finally settling his gaze on Peacekeeper. "Um... yes, Peacekeeper?" he says as he approaches her. He's trying not to show it, but he's clearly very nervous about talking to her for some reason.
Andi Lassiter smiles at Clamptight as she waits for her laptop to finish spooling up.
Peacekeeper tilts her helm slightly. She's not /that/ intimidating right now, no matter what her reputation usually is. Something is up. "Your name has come up in something that I've been investigating lately. Is there anything that you'd like to tell me, such as why your name would be involved in anything requiring my investigation?" Her tone is neutral, but firm.
Clamptight's gaze again shifts around the room again. This time there's no hiding his anxiety. "I... Well, no, I have no idea what you're talking about, ma'am. There's an... investigation? About what?"
Markdown gives a concerned look to Andi before he resumes watching Clamptight.
Peacekeeper rests both hands on her hips, her optics narrowing noticeably as her gaze turns penetrating, as if trying to peer into Clamptight's core. "The investigation into the breach of security that has compromised the integrity of my station as Chief Medical Officer and this med-bay as a result," she states. Oh no, she does /not/ sound pleased. "Your name turned up in every file that was confirmed to've been copied with no apparent reason when cross-referenced to other data, not to mention a secondary source that confirmed my suspicions." Her hands close into fists. "Explain yourself, Clamptight."
Clamptight takes a few steps backwards. His frame is actually shaking in fear. They know! "I... no! I was just, um, backing up our files!" He smiles, but it's a nervous smile. "That's all! That isn't wrong, is it? I mean, we do that all the time, right?" Something else Peacekeeper said bothers him. "Who... who's this secondary source, anyway?"
Andi Lassiter turns to her computer to start the first report, and something Peacekeeper says catches her attention. She turns back to look at the others questioningly.
Grim-Repair floats idly out of the Supply Closet. This particular instance, he can be seen toting a Transformer-sized scythe.
Peacekeeper advances forwards for each step that Clamptight retreats, her expression turning cold as she gives Clamptight a full Ratchet Glare. Oh, this med-tech is a cowardly one indeed. She thus finds the wisdom of attempting certain things in the same methodology as Nightbeat--investigating certain events without alerting others of such things--as nessisary... once in a while. "Backing up files is one thing, and that would not be out of the ordinary. However, when the blueprints for our patients are copied and nothing else, then it is not an issue of 'backing up files'," she barks sharply. Her tone drops just as sharply to dangerous calm. "The secondary source... was Guiltor. Normally I would not trust a word from a Quintesson construct, no matter his demeanor at the time of the giving of information, but in this case... it matches." Clamptight's demeanor is proof of his guilt at this rate.
Andi Lassiter blinks, looking from Peacekeeper to Clamptight and back. Guiltor? Oh hell. She steps toward the mechs with the near-silent steps of a very small organic being.
"Guiltor!?" Yes, the Quintesson monster that Clamptight knew he was directly responsible for! "N-n-no!!! You don't understand! It... it's not like that! Nobody was supposed to get hurt, I... I... was just tired of the war!!!" He begins to back up a bit more. "They let human soldiers retire, did you know that? But I can't retire! I was stuck here! I had to find a way out! A ship... and... and... energon... and I'd be free!"
Markdown shakes his head and sighs. "Just keeps getting worse..."
Peacekeeper takes a large step forwards and lashes out with one hand to grab Clamptight's shoulder VERY tightly. "You are a disgrace," she spits, her mouth curling back into a repulsed sneer. "A Primus-fragged disgrace to the Autobots, the medics, and foremost to yourself!" Her voice steadily rises to a thunderous roar as she continues, "How dare you. How DARE you compromise ALL of us for nothing more than a chance to run away from the war? You are lower than a Quintesson construct--you are a cowardly traitor who didn't even have the bearings to do anything else but sabatoge us in exchange for /NOTHING/!" Her optics flash, even if they don't unnarrow from their slit appearance, as events as foreign as 'retirement' pass into one audio and out the other. "And now, you shall be dealt with."
Clamptight's lower lip trembles under the verbal assault. Any backbone he had is completely gone. "Dealt with? No... no... it wasn't supposed to turn out this way! I won't let it turn out this way! LET GO OF ME!!!" Violently yanking his shoulder away, Clamptight turns around and runs. But he realizes he can't just walk out of Autobot City now, he needs... a hostage! He dives for Andi Lassiter, hand reaching out for her.
"Nooooo!" Markdown yells as he tries to grab him, but he's too late.
<OOC> Markdown says, "For reference, Clamptight turns into some sort of Cybertronian construction vehicle with a big clamp for heavy lifting, not that this will matter for very long. :>"
Turnover has arrived.
Peacekeeper looks surprised when Clamptight rips free from her grip, her fingers actually ripping away some armor, and she winces as the torn metal's sharp edges slash her hand and fingers. "GET BACK HERE!" She thunders as she lunges at the now-insane med-tech, hoping that she'll get to him before he gets Andi...
Quiet day, oh sure-- yea right. A chrome orb floats in, then notices the choas before a minibot sized 'droid' walks in looking through a box, "..You think green-- or blue? I think Blue would be better for the fliter..." Turnover glances up with his light large yellow optics, "..light.." He stands there as looks like choas is brewing.
The orb flares red as the human is tried to be attack. Oddly enough the orb doesn't talk but moves swiftly, arching out a megnatic wave that picks up tools and starts to spins them around himself, before he dives in and tries to magneticly toss the tools right into the 'trouble-maker'.
Turnover drops what he does and runs over, "..slag slag slag.. Bit stop! Your gonna hit the human!" He leaps up on a table, trying to get some higher ground and more speed by using the metals sleek surface to slightly skid on. "Andi!"
Clamptight grins deliriously as his fingers near Andi, but then he is tackled around his legs, and falls flat on his face. "Ugh!" But he hasn't given up yet--he tries to pull himself towards Andi, his fingers clawing at her. He's utterly fixated on Andi, now, gritting his dental units together, face wrapped up in desperation. "Hnnnnnghhh!" Tools fly at him, some of them smacking him on the head, but that doesn't seem to help his crazed state that much. "STOP DOING THAT AAHHHHGGGGHHH!"
Grim-Repair stands, permanently fixed in the background, deathscythe in hand. He has, apparently, shut down. This is what you get for waking him up mid-recharge.
Andi Lassiter tries her best to get clear of Clamptight's reaching hand, gasping and throwing herself to one side to avoid a microspanner that bounces off of the medtech and careens straight at her. She's now forced to scramble away from the crazed mech on all fours, aiming for the only safe zone she sees -- a (relatvely) tiny recess in the base of a medtable. Too small for the average Cybertronian hand, but more than roomy enough for a smaller than average human to hide in.
Peacekeeper seems to've caught Clamptight around the legs in a tackle, which at least helped... for now. Seeing that the med-tech seems to've completely lost it, she shouts, "Turnover, Bit--make sure Andi's out of harm's way! Markdown, help me restrain Clamptight before he goes after anyone else!" Quickly getting a better hold on the med-tech's legs with her arms, she moves to a crouch and pulls back, trying to get him /away/ from the human and possibly putting severe stress on the knee-joints bending the wrong way in the process. She also brings her laser-scalpel out from subspace and holds it semi-hidden within one hand. She doesn't want to use it as a weapon, but she may not have a choice at this rate. "NOW!"
Clamptight's hands scrape desperately at the medtable Andi is hiding under, tearing metal strips off of it. "NOOO! I have to get out of here!" he shrieks, then he claws uselessly at the floor as Peacekeeper pulls him away.
Markdown grunts out, "Gotcha, ma'am!" He jumps, kicking his legs forward as he lands on top of Clamptight's shoulders with his elbow. The traitorous medtech squirms helplessly under Markdown's bulk. "You're not going anywhere, jerk!"
Andi Lassiterpresses herself as far back into the little alcove as she can, then after a moment seems to just...disappear from under the table's frame.
Peacekeeper smirks faintly. "I'd almost forgotten that you have a Hummer alternate mode too, since I haven't seen you in a while," she says to Markdown as she lets go of Clamptight's legs--but not without using her scalpel to sever the motor-circuits leading from waist to legs to minimize his struggling. She cycles a breath through her intakes as she stands, looking at the damaged medtable then the floor. "Tch," she hisses, not very pleased at all. "We can't sit on him forever, and I don't want to waste supplies to restrain him..." She ponders, then snaps her fingers. "Of course! Markdown, place Clamptight on a med-table--but don't let him escape." Well, if what she's thinking works, then it wouldn't really matter. She taps the left side of her helm to activate her helm-mounted radio, making doubly-sure that the transmission is encrypted properly. <<TAI, this is Chief Medical Officer Peacekeeper. I need you to activate a full-immobilization forcefield restraint within the medical bay around Clamptight and /only/ Clamptight--effective immediately. Authorization code Epsilon-Omega-Two-Nine-Five. Acknowledge.>>
Markdown nods, then, grabbing Clamptight by his skull, stands up, dragging Clamptight to his feet with him. Then Markdown hefts the guy up by his shoulders and roughly pins him to the table, and waits for the forcefield to activate.
"Authorization code confirmed!" TAI's voice reports in a manner that's a little too cheery for the circumstances. "Activating forcefield!"
As the blue, shimmering field flickers into place around Clamptight, Markdown lets go of him and pulls his hands away, and remarks, "Phew. Crazy little bugger, he turned out to be, huh?"
"I deleted it! Hahaha, I deleted the file! Then I read Wheeljack's files... Oh Primus..." Clamptight sounds like he would sob if he wasn't a robot. "What have I done..."
The Chrome orb, orbatron-- bit was still floating around glowing red as it darted around. Turnover on the other hand was down on the ground, he was shorter then a Cybertronian, taller then a human-- somewhere inbetween really. "Andi-- Its ok.. I'm here.." Turnover stated, crouching down, he was a bit to big to get in himself, but he was small enough to get a hand in if he needed too, maybe an arm-- or.. half his body. But whatever.
Bit floated about, "I'll blast him! Magntize him! Let me at 'em!" So said the little orb who thought he could..
Andi's voice emerges from the base of the medtable, very muffled sounding. "Doesn't anyone ever dust in here?"
Peacekeeper shakes her helm in a mix of disgust and something somewhat akin to pity. "What war can drive medics to do in order to find peace..." she states under her breath. She gives Clamptight a neutral look, her lip curled a bit in a faint sneer. "What have you done indeed... Perhaps you should've thought about that before you betrayed us," she growls at the restrained med-tech. She pauses for a second and folds her arms over her chestplate with a sigh. "Even so... to your credit... at least you can show remorse. Even if it /is/ too late for you." She looks up at Bit as a strained chuckle emits from her vocalizer. "Relax, Bit. It's over." Turnover laughs gently, "I'm affraid not Miss Andi-- after all, I doubt many are as small has we-- or you.. in this case."
Bit seems to go from red to his normal blue glow, "Oh-- shucks, I was hopin' to zap him and few times and chuck him out the door." The orb floats around in a circle for a moment before it goes over to its creator, bobing in the air gently, "Can we keep it! huh? Can we, huh huh?" Turnover just stares at Bit, "..I gotta get you fixxed..."
Andi Lassiter finally emerges from under the medtable base. "What was THAT all about?"
Clamptight sputters, lost in his own little world, "Deleted Pax.bak... it's gone... gone from the system... oh Primus..."
Markdown frowns as he listens to the crazed tech, then remarks to Peacekeeper, "Huh. I'd recommend looking into that, ma'am." He glances at Andi, next. "We're really sorry about that, Andi. That... wasn't something I expected to see today. Most Autobots obviously know better than to endanger the life of a human. Well. If you'll excuse me a moment, I gotta recharge. Been a LONG day..."
Peacekeeper snorts softly, trying to cover her own amusement at the floating drone, then a thought strikes her. "This means making a report, doesn't it...? Slaggit," she groans, rubbing her visor with one hand. She /hates/ making reports. "Aye... I definitely will. Maybe attempt a system restore, try to get some of those files back, but..." she sighs, knowing that's probably futile. "Thanks for your help, everyone."
Turnover was wondering the same thing and kinda ploped down beside Andi. He heard 'Pax.bak' and glanced to Bit. "..Ring any bells with you Bit?"
The orb flickered white a few times, "Negative, I have no systems data on such a file. Most likely have to hook into TIA for that information-- and last time I tired that she..." he seems to make a sniffle sound, "..she hates me.."
Turnover shakes his head, "I wonder why.."
Bit floats about, "I don't know why-- I have a charming Personality!"
Turnover face-palms then groans...
(Later, Peacekeeper would deliver this report to the Autobots:)
Peacekeeper appears on the screen with no spinnies this time, looking a bit weary. "This is Chief Medical Officer Peacekeeper. As many of you remember, there was a security breach within my med-bay a few months ago that resulted in the data of both dead and currently-functioning Autobots to be copied. This data was placed on a disk along with similar data from dead and alive Decepticons, and was attempted to be auctioned off. Despite the fact that the disk was destroyed, I have been silently looking through all the data at my disposal in an effort to find out who was at fault. By the time Guiltor appeared and started creating his brand of chaos, I had already suspected someone on my own staff."
She pauses and seems to glance at a datapad. "Guiltor actually ended up being significant in confirming my suspicions. You see, when the Autobots and Decepticons worked together to bring Guiltor's presence to an absolute end, it appears that the Quintesson construct turned on his masters. He piloted his ship to orbit above Cybertron, where there was a large asteroid/base that the Quintessons were planning to use to destroy our homeworld. He gave us some last information before sending us off of that ship and subsequently destroying the asteroid, the ship, and himself. One bit of information was about what he called 'the Seventh Seacon', which I'm sure has circled among the ranks by now as a rumor. However, before I left the ship, Guiltor basically told me to deal with Clamptight--one of my med-techs who I had suspected of being behind the security breach. However, that med-tech had been missing throughout the time when Guiltor was on Earth."
She takes a seat and rests her arms on the desk's surface, folding her hands together. "That changed last night. Clamptight returned to the med-bay and I confronted him about what I had discovered. He eventually confessed to it and tried to justify his cowardly trechery by claiming that he wished to 'retire' from the war, much like human soldiers are allowed to once they serve a certain time in the service, or reach a certain age." She snorts faintly. "Unfortunately, when I was about to drag him to the brig to be held for treason and misuse of medical information, he managed to escape me and seemed to lose his mind in wishing to escape. He attempted to catch Andi Lassiter, a human who assists me in the med-bay, possibly to hold her hostage. Fortunately, Markdown, Turnover, and myself managed to diffuse the situation before he could get that far."
Peacekeeper's optics narrow. "Once he was fully restrained using the med-bay's forcefield restraints, he began to break down and babble about something called 'Pax.bak'. Turnover was kind enough to search through the medical computers for me, but was only able to find an old video-log from around Earth-Year 1997 of Wheeljack talking about it. It appears there was once an occassion where Optimus Prime was badly injured and it was not known if he would survive. Wheeljack fully copied Optimus Prime's memories using one of his inventions, calling the file 'Pax.bak'. However, Optimus Prime recovered and Wheeljack realized that using this data to 'revive' Optimus Prime may not create an exact copy of the Prime, and could actually make this 'copy'... twisted. Evil. So he buried the file and it remained undiscovered until a few months ago when Clamptight sloppily attempted to cover his tracks by deleting many files he had stolen. He failed in that, and instead deleted Pax.bak from the system--thus, it's most likely that it's completely unrecoverable." She sighs faintly and looks to the side for a second. "Perhaps... that is for the best." She looks back at the screen. "All data pertaining to my investigation is available to anyone Rank 3 or higher. Peacekeeper out."
(And this is the log she saw:)
Wheeljack sits down behind a desk as the video begins to play. He gives a weary sigh, wiping his hands with a chamois rag. "Wheeljack, medical log numbah 58313. Megatron beat the slag outta Optimus the other day. Fixin' 'im was tricky. In fact, Ratchet an' me didn't even think we could do it for a moment there. And, well, I kinda panicked, and I mighta done sumthin' I shouldn't."
Wheeljack is silent for a moment, staring down, as if thinking. "Well, like I was sayin', we didn't know if we could save 'im. So, what I did was I backed him up, just in case, with my latest invention. What I mean by that is, I got all his memories downloaded intah our computer mainframe. Huge friggin' file, you better believe it. Named it Pax.bak. But, turns out, we managed to put Optimus back together after all, an' I guess I didn't have ta back him up after all.
"Just before I deleted the file, I got to thinkin', hey, what if he gets scrapped for real, and I didn't have time to back him up? I don't think I'd forgive myself. So I decided I'd just keep the file in tha database for now. But I dunno. Maybe that's a mistake. I mean, a Transformer is more than just a buncha files on a disc. Just ask Soundwave. He keeps copying his personality to blank cores, and all he gets is a buncha nutjobs. Ya see, every laser core crystallizes all different-like, right? No two are alike, and all. So, if I put those memories ontah a completely new core, well, it would have Optimus's memories, but it wouldn't necessarily be Optimus, personality-wise, due ta differin' data pathways. He could be a totally different person, and if ya were feelin mean, you could even squeeze in some bad memories.
"If ya did that, the Optimus you'd get might be... twisted. Nasty. Evil." Wheeljack stares at the camera for a good long moment. "So. For once in my stinkin' life, I'm gonna put ethics in front 'a science. I'm gonna bury this file somewhere in the archive, and then, I ain't gonna touch it. An' I ain't gonna tell nobody about it, either." Wheeljack looks wistful for a moment. "Still, there's gotta be a real way to backup a core. Some... secret trick that I missed. Or sumthin'. Well, maybe one day I'll figure it out. Wheeljack, signin' out."
(And for even more backstory, here's Soundwave's findings on the matter from the Decepticon point-of-view:)
Audio report, with pictures. The first picture is one of a Decepticon female who clearly transforms into an ambulance.
"This is Bypass, Decepticon medic and psychologist. She rarely served on the frontlines and largely remained behind to repair warriors at Decepticon repair bays. She was also one of the very few Decepticons with knowledge of basic biological anatomy. Occasionally this proved useful. Over the millenia, she displayed increasingly high levels of stress and apathy towards her work. Despite an above average level of skill upon first coming online, as her performance suffered, she was eventually demoted to less important duties, such as janitorial work in the medical wards. It is believed that she was disillusioned by the endless war with the Autobots and no longer saw any value in our cause.
"Despite being disgraced by her demotions, however, Bypass still had many friends amongst Decepticons in the medical and engineering services. And worse yet, she had apparently come into contact with an Autobot medic known as Clamptight via the Earth's Internet. Instead of attempting of attempting to somehow cause this Autobot's downfall through these communications, Bypass commiserated with him, as apparently both she and Clamptight felt the same way about the war. They were both genuinely contemptuous of their respective factions and desired to betray them, and leave the war altogether. So, using their combined knowledge and their contacts, the two medics formulated a data file which would contain a great many technical specifications. These apparently included Optimus Prime and Megatron's technical specifications."
(The next picture shows the interior of the crowded Auction Hall on planet Xarbo.)
"These two then used an alien third-party--possibly a Skuxxoid--to deliver the data file in disc format to the Xarbo Auction Hall, where they expected to earn a tremendous sum of credits and use it to escape the planet Earth. Their plans after this point were somewhat vague and underdeveloped, suggesting a naive outlook on the nature of the galaxy. Simply picking a random star in the cosmos to settle is foolish, as, despite the millions of inhabited planets across the galaxy, most star systems are utterly barren and would not easily support even Cybertronian life. At any rate, their plan to sell this information was thwarted by the reckless actions of the Autobots, who destroyed the disc."
(Another picture appears, of Trokius II, almost but not quite finished.)
"Prior to the battle in which we destroyed Trokius II, Bypass managed to trade places with another medic on board a shuttle bound for that world. She later approached Snaptrap with a copy of the disc, begging for his protection in exchange for the disc. He accepted the offer at first, but as soon as he had the disc, he impaled Bypass on his sword and used her as a living shield. This resulted in her death.
"The security breach I have just described is, regrettably, one of the worst in our history. But the disastrous consequences of the scheme, such as the emergence of Guiltor, could have been prevented if the medical personnel who worked with Bypass, and unintentionally helped her betray us, had paid more attention to her odd behavior and thought to warn their superiors of it. Remember, Decepticons. Jockeying against your peers for a higher position is a normal part of Decepticon life, but turning on the entire faction itself is a severe offense that brings the highest of punishments.
"On a final note, I am devising a computer virus that is capable of lying dormant for some time within computer systems, gradually spreading the virus, before finally activating and deleting certain files. If I manage to infect Quintesson systems with this virus I should be able to delete the technical data that they stole from us.
"Glory to Galvatron. Soundwave, out."