Title: Origin of a Superweapon
Location: Thunderhead Pass
Date: 10 May 2015
Summary: Bulkhead meets with Hot Rod and explains his role in the development in the Vamparc weaponry. It leaves Rod with more questions than answers.
Thunderhead pass. Where few seekers dare to tread and plenty of open space between checkpoints to set up clandestine meetings. Not that Bulkhead is the most clandestine mech ever, but he knows what he's doing enough to have set up a meeting point between two of the checkpoints after a transport as carried through the area. After driving up the narrow pathways with his all-terrain drive, he finally protoforms where he had transmitted to Hot Rod to meet..
...just to realize that Hot Rod may not have the capability to get up here on wheels. Uh. Make a note of that for next time, Bulk. Not everyone is as well-built as you are for this type of turf.
Getting here takes some doing. Luckily, Hot Rod has the radio to distract him! Doing his part for peace, freedom, and reunification, he hotheads the whole drive down -- at which point he realizes he has a whole 'nother drive /up/ ahead of him. Somewhere at the base of the mountains, he groans. Right. The pass. The checkpoints. The -- path? Oh, scrap this.
Unable to navigate the narrow path on wheels, Hot Rod takes the last of it on two feet, complaining the whole time. He's audible before he's visible -- and that's saying something. "--what's wrong with a decent road, I ask. Forget this nature stuff, give me a nice long drive-- Bulkhead! Come on, where are you?"
As Bulkhead sees Hot Rod pass below, the first thing the mech does is check to make sure he's not being followed. Once that's satisfied, he leaps from his perch on one of the railings and lands on the mainetance path below. "Over here, Hot Rod!" the large mech offers, even as he moves to take off his backpack. There's no weapons showing, at least as he continues to look around and seethes at his radio, his large chin jutting out. "He's not ever modest about accepting bribes, either." he rumbles.
Hot Rod adjusts his step to head to Bulkhead, and drops into a seat on a nearby rock once he finally makes it close enough to do so. "What've you got against cities, anyway?" he asks with a sort of tease in his voice. "Except maybe the Decepticons grabbing you for questioning, I guess." And just questioning, right? --right? "Why come all the way out here?"
Snapping his attention away from the radio, Bulkhead frowns. "That's exactly why I have made my way from cities and such, I know." he fumbles a little as he thinks on it. "...I was privvy to a lot of Zeta Prime's work, Hot Rod. And I ain't proud of it all. Least of all.. this." Opening the pack, he pulls out a device. It's nearly ruined, but it's the most intact one he could find. "This is the best put together vamparc generator I could find in those husks in Nyon." he admits solemnly and looks down.
"Look. I ain't told anyone this yet. So until I can, it's between us. Deal?" he asks as he looks up to Hot Rod. "I was there when this thing was used on Swindle. I saw it go into action. And I saw the plans of what Zeta Prime was gonna do to it. This one? This one is small compared to the one that he was planning before his death." the large mech admits.
"One that Megatron may very well have the plans for now, because I've been locked out of the system."
"By the time I realized what Zeta Prime was going to do, it was too late. This.." he holds up the device, as Bulkhead sighs. "This wasn't brought about Autobot science, as far as I can tell." he admits as he sets it back into his backpack and seals it. "I was looking at the reports and background, to speak with the original inventor of it, to see if there was a failsafe."
"It's first documented use, Hot Rod..." he takes out a datapad and sets it next to the rock where the flamed one is looking away. "...was an attack on Sky Lynx nearly 20,000 vorn ago. Starscream used a weapon very similiar to the effects of this one on him. Sky was able to destroy one of the weapons that another seeker was carrying and brought it in for research." the large mech comments as he sets his jaw. "When Sentinel Prime perished, the weapon and its research disappeared. It didn't turn up again until Zeta Prime rolled it out. And I was scared. I didn't know what Zeta Prime would have done if I had spoken up. He'd probably turned the damn thing on me. And if that makes me a coward.. then I'll spend the rest of my spark trying to make up for it."
Hot Rod turns his hand up in a gesture of peace. "Yeah, well, you won't be the only one with something to make up for after all of this." He sighs with a shift to turn. There's no blame in his gaze as he considers Bulkhead. He doesn't consider very long before saying, "Look, you seem to have a good spark. I could tell that right away." Speaking of not thinking, and going with instinct...! "So that's where it came from -- but the real question is what now, right?"
"Cons made it. Bots perfected it. Cons have it now. I ain't smart and I can even connect those dots." Bulkhead admits with a frown. "I'm going to have to find a place to hide and work." he admits. "Someplace away from Con optics and audials. Because I'm gonna try to find a way to make this not work. And then use it to make sure this terrible weapon ain't used ever again. I don't know who I can trust. But ya seem like a good kid with your spark in the right place and you should know about everything I know. I won't be coming back to Nyon. Once the Cons realize what I stole or destroyed from those Destructors, I ain't gonna be invited to anymore of their shindings except maybe to Hotel Garrus-1." he admits. "So, if I don't see ya again, keep your aft protected, Rod. I know there's a lot to take in, and we're all scared, but don't let fear be your only guide."
"Starscream wasn't a Decepticon, then. He was a member of the Senate," says Hot Rod, like the two were mutually exclusive. "I bet you anything he was working /with/ them on that."
Hot Rod shakes his head. "Not that it matters. It's not just them, us -- I mean, I'm neither, so maybe it just looks different to me. The important thing is how to keep anyone -- no matter what brand they wear -- from fielding that kind of tech. You might not have access to the system anymore, but what if you did? Could you wipe it all?"
Bulkhead gets confused with Hot Rod logic. "He was a Senator, but he worked with a Con to attack a Bot with a weapon he helped with and.. uh... err.. he wasn't a Con?" that doesn't compute in the large mech's head. And it leaves him momentarily confused before he shakes it off at Hot Rod's follow-up question. "If I could get into the Decagon mainframe.. maybe. But I ain't a hacker or a computer genius. I build stuff. Or break it. Sometimes both." he says with a shake of his head. "Without my access, I can't even do basic coding, much less anything big. You're going to have to find someone else that can do all that code mumbo-jumbo. Or someone that still has access."
Like Prowl, goes unsaid.
Definitely not Prowl.
Hot Rod's thinking, thinking, /thinking/ -- "Do you know Wheeljack?" he asks after a moment. "He's like a one-mech nerd squad, and he was working with Pax, so he's one of the good guys. He might be able to get access /or/ do some code mumbo-jumbo ... but if he can't, I bet he'd know someone who could. And anyway, he'd definitely have a better idea of what needs to be wiped." Reaching over for the datapad, he pushes it in Bulkhead's direction. "You should take that to him. See if he can help with it."
"Keep it. When ya talk to Megatron next, ask him who that weapon was originally made for." Bulkhead says as he nods. "I know Jackie, but they got him locked down pretty tight right now. I'll try to find him. Anyway, I should get to moving. Another transport will be rumbling through in about three breems and you don't want to be here when it arrives. You'll get smushed." he says as he slides down and protoforms into his transport form before rolling out.
Noooo. Hot Rod doesn't want to keep it. He's visibly reluctant to do so, and it's only that Bulkhead is already rolling out that he does. It's just slightly too undignified to chase after him and throw it -- although tempting. Anything to duck responsibility. "Good luck," he calls after Bulkhead. "Stay safe!" Then he's left alone to figure out what -- if anything -- he's going to do. Is nothing an option???