Title: Dangerous Game
Date: 19 November 2014
Summary: Blurr accosts an Empty and Soundwave wants to know why.
Polyhex, near its southern sectors, where the slums are. Empties mill about, doing what they can just to survive. Some rifle through waste containers, others try to sell worthless items; still others don't have the strength to do anything but beg the passerby.
Nothing unusual about tonight, it seems. At least at first glance. One of the beggars doesn't look that familiar to the locals, but they don't think much of it--after all with the Clampdown and the way things were going these days, more were being added to their number every cycle. But -some- people have abilities that let them see past the surface...
Soundwave is certainly uniquely one of those. The outlier steps almost silently down the trash-strewn street, his quiet demeanor belying the boxy blue mech's bulkiness and size. He's listening- to sounds, to thoughts, to the very colors each pulse of energy and life brings his way.
He knows these streets... he's perhaps a bit more comfortable on them than most. He lived in a place like this once. He knows what it's like. And sometimes he still patrols- watching, waiting, listening. You never know what information will turn out to be useful, after all.
There is something that seems -off- about that particular empty who seems to be new around these parts. It's hard to put a finger on it at the moment, but if he looked more closely, he might notice that there's a very slight -falter- in some of the rust spots around his joints...as if they weren't real. A typical mech probably wouldn't notice, but someone as keen as Soundwave just might.
Soundwave's visor flickers briefly as he notices this one... odd empty. He doesn't stop as he approaches the mech, nor give much outward sign of noticing anything amiss. But he does reach out mentally, attempting to pick up any thoughts or emotions...
There are a few surface thoughts--this person is after information regarding Kaon supply lines. Not much more than that. He's moving toward one of the run-down residential complexes in the area, apparently unaware of Soundwave following him.
Soundwave tilts his head slightly. This could just be a wild turbo-goose chase, but... there's just enough there that the outlier decides to follow from a distance. Just in case it's something more.
The empty of interest stands in front of a dilapidated door, looking perhaps for a signal or maybe about to knock. However, he seems to sway, and then stumble, suddenly falling forward and slumping against the door with a THUMP.
A few moments pass, and someone finally comes to the door, opening it and looking down at the fallen mech sadly. This one seems to be the compassionate type. He shakes his head and pulls the other empty inside.
Soundwave watches from the shadows. This mech's odd behavior keeps his interest, and even causes a brief moment of concern as the Empty seems to sway and fall. But still... there's something amiss here, so the outlier doesn't rush to the mech's aid. And soon someone else answers that call, assisting the Empty and pulling him in to safety. Soundwave probably should just leave now and let things play out as they will, but that odd sense of something being ...off remains.
Instead, the outlier steps closer, making his way along the building and looking for a window or something to peer in. He also reaches up and pushes a button on his chest, sending a red and black condor soaring from the space within and flying high above, searching for a vantage spot the ground-dwelling mech might not be able to observe from himself.
There are certainly plenty of windows--er, holes Soundwave and his minions could peer through, the structure isn't exactly very sturdy. It has obviously suffered through vorns of lack of maintenance and has fallen into a state of disrepair like the many of the buildings in this particular sector.
The apparent owner of the modest living space can be seen pulling the other empty onto a small, modest berth that looks to be no more than a worn slab of metal in the corner of the room. It's the only one in here. He then brings a dirty glass of energon over, though it looks like it's the worst low grade out there.
He sighs. "Not the best stuff ever but it's all I've got, pal. Sorry..." The mech goes to start searching for injuries or anything he can patch up, but...he frowns. Something isn't right, here...but what?
Soundwave finds a window and peers in, flattened against the wall as much as possible as he watches. He is in no hurry to reveal his presence, so for now simply keeps track- as does Laserbeak above him. The bird radios something to him and he glances upwards, giving a slight shake of his head.
<<Negative. It is not a waste of time. Something is... odd. Further: if we don't watch over these empties, who will?>> The bird seems to ruffle his armor plates a little, flexing his wings reflexively, but he doesnt argue further. Instead he returns to watching from his own, more lofty perch.
The mech stands there, frowning and trying to figure out what's going on for a few moments, then his optics widen when he realizes whoever this is, they are wearing a holographic projector--a disguise. "What in Primus' name..." He turns to leave, but he's too late.
The hologram suddenly disappears, and guess who should emerge from it? Yes, Blurr. He's up and off the berth in a flash, and dashes in front of the unfortunate empty. "Ah-ah-ah, wheredoyouthinkyou'regoinsofasthuh?" Suddenly the empty is being pinned against the back wall. "Got you." The racer says with a grin.
The empty stares at him, horrified. "-No-..."
Soundwave's own optics widen almost as much as the Empty's do. He recognizes Blurr and is wondering how he didn't pick up that it was him before. Well, he picked up something odd... this is apparently what it was. The outlier's optics narrow even as his own mind reaches once more into the speedster's, searching for clues.
His hand once more presses that button, and this time it is a sleek black feline that leaps out. But Soundwave and his tapes do not take action... not yet. For now they wait for the opportune moment to act... the cat stealths around the building as the outlier continues to watch.
"Oh, -yes-." Blurr grins with self-satisfaction, though he lets go of the empty, allowing him to slump down to the floor. "And don't you even -think- about trying to get away because you know who I am, don't you? Yeah, you do." He folds his arms.
"Now, tell me Backdraft, you've been helping smuggle supplies, even -weapons- into Kaon, haven't you? So why don't you go ahead and tell me where their routes are. I know they've been using the catacombs, but it's a question of which -ones-, exactly."
Backdraft stares defiantly at his interrogator. "Look, I don't care what you do to me, you Senate thug. I'll -never- help you!"
Blurr shakes his head. "You know, I don't -want- to have to hurt you, pal. Seriously I don't. So why don't you tell me now, before I have to start using more -physical- powers of persuasion." At this, weapons emerge from his arms. "Never was a very -patient- person, after all!"
Soundwave's attempts to read Blurr's mind return only thoughts about the current situation--nothing deeper. It's true, he's hoping not to have to hurt the guy, but it's not clear exactly why. There is something odd about him, he doesn't seem to have a sense of purpose in this, similar to how he'd been that day he'd seen the speedster at Kalis.
Soundwave does find that a bit odd. Is that some kind of...mental alteration he detects there? There is something odd... it's not the normal energy signature of most minds he encounters.
Still, there isn't a lot of time. This Empty has done nothing wrong- as far as Soundwave can tell, at least- and sounds like an ally to the Decepticon cause. Plus... the outlier truly does feel some concern for this mech. He was once just like him. There's a sudden crash as Ravage jumps through a window upon Soundwave's radioed command. The feline lands amid the shattered glass, then stands there ready to pounce, hissing at Blurr...but there more for distraction than attack- for now.
Meanwhile, Laserbeak perches above and watches. Soundwave stays looking in the window and sends Blurr a radio transmission: <<Inquiry: Why do you keep interfering with my work? With Ratbat's work? Who sent you?>>
Mental alteration? Perhaps. It's a distinct possibility. But no way to know for sure at this point. Blurr starts when Ravage crashes through the ceiling, jumping back slightly. But then Ravage hesitates giving him the opportunity to grab the empty and press his guns up against his head. "I know you're here, Soundwave" he shouts. "So how about you show yourself like a real mech and stop making your little minions do all your -dirty- work for you? I'll make you a deal. You tell me what the slag -you're- doing here, and I'll tell you who sent -me-. How about that?"
Soundwave doesn't do as Blurr says... not immediately, at least. The outlier backs away, then starts inching along the wall outside. He radios Blurr, << I can tell you exactly why I am here. I have nothing to hide. We both work for the Senate, after all. Put your weapons down and we can talk.>>
Ravage circles around, but doesn't attack. Laserbeak perches up above, still hidden. <<But one thing, Blurr. They are not my minions. They are my *friends*. Do you have any, Blurr? Friends stick together... they help each other out.>>
Friends? Of course Blurr has friends! Now whether those friends actually -trust- him is another question altogether. << Of course I have friends, don't be ridiculous. You know who I am. Fine, you want to talk, come in here right now and show yourself. -Then- I'll put my weapons away. >> he replies, still pinning the empty against the wall with his guns.
Soundwave reaches for Blurr's mind, probing... trying to determine whether Blurr is being truthful or not. He inches near a window. His "minions" remain where they are.
It seems that Blurr is indeed telling the truth. He wants information, that much is clear. And now he's not only interested in what Backdraft might know, but also what the slag Soundwave is doing here.
Soundwave decides that moving in may be the logical choice now. So he radios, <<Very well. I am coming in.>> Ravage remains poised to pounce should Blurr make any aggressive moves as the outlier opens a door and enters. Soundwave holds a weapon, but doesn't raise it at Blurr. He raises the other empty hand with a palms-up gesture. << I work for Ratbat. We are infiltrating the Decepticons. However, I have dealings with mechs like him. I need him in one piece.>> Aloud, he says, "Inquiry: What is the meaning of this?"
Blurr tosses the empty aside, letting him fall to the floor. Poor Backdraft doesn't try to escape, seeing that now, -two- Senate goons are in here. "Infiltrating, huh." the speedster folds his arms. "I wasn't going to kill him. Maybe hurt him a bit." He shrugs. "Sentinel Prime sent me. They've been smuggling supplies into Kaon. You probably know that already."
Soundwave gives Blurr a small nod. "Affirmative." He looks at Backdraft, huddled there on the floor. He radios, <<The supply runs are getting to be more frequent. They are planning something, and it is vital to learn what it is. I have been trying to make them believe I am one of them... and it has been..promising.>>
<< Yeah? What do you know so far? >> Blurr asks. There's been some...suspicion surrounding Soundwave. After all he seemed to be trying to stop the racer from destroying a tunnel he knew they were using for the supply lines before. And he'd been seen at the Institute as well. Whose side is the mech -really- on, if any at all but his own?
Soundwave radios back, << I can send you information once I get back to Senator Ratbat's offices. I have managed to locate several tunnels and supply routes so far.>> He plays a dangerous game, but it is one he must continue to play... for now.
"Right then." Blurr turns toward Backdraft, who is still cowering in the corner. "Guess I won't be needing him." But then he looks back up at Soundwave. << What did -you- need him for, exactly, anyway? >> Curiosity? Or suspicion? Difficult to tell, this time around.
Soundwave stops, and tilts his head slightly as he contemplates the Empty. <<He is one I was following. I believe he can lead us to a major supply route, as you do... but he works in conjunction with some of the other smugglers. If he is taken out, they will change what they are doing. All the leg work I've done will be lost.>>
"Heh. Guess so." Blurr shrugs and moves toward the door. He'll be keeping an optic on that one. It's a dangerous game he is playing, indeed. << How much do they trust you, anyway? I might need to look like a supporter myself sometime soon. >> he smirks. << So maybe you could vouch for me. >>
Soundwave replies, << I am ...getting there. It is difficult. Gaining trust is... difficult. But I believe I am making progress.>> He gives Blurr a nod. <<Acceptable, yes.>> Soundwave gestures towards Ravage, and begins heading to the door himself. He pauses to look back at the Empty.... who he is going to have to have a talk with- but not now. At least the Empty lives... and the trade route is intact. But new plans will obviously need to be arranged. Laserbeak stays up above, watching, and will soon rejoin the others.
Blurr waits for Soundwave to leave, then walks over to the empty. "Looks like today is your lucky cycle, pal." he says, smirking as he leans over him and pats him on the shoulder. "But don't get too cocky. See you around." FWISH. And with that, he's gone. The empty looks relieved, having no idea that the speedster had planted something on him when he'd touched him. Will Laserbeak have the acuity to detect it?