[The feed that opens is staticky, coming as it is from the outer edges of the network's range, and bears a face that should be familiar to many. Upon closer inspection though, one might notice this Wing is a little rougher around the edges compared to recent newer arrivals. His glyph too, is a brilliant Vectorian gold edged with a strong violet glow. A touch of concern marks Wing's face as he looks right and left before speaking into the feed. The jet is clearly wary of his surroundings.] Haveners! It's been quite a long time. I wish happier news brought me to this, but alas, the recent disruption of the Lamdba affects us all. [Behind Wing, over his shoulder, there's a stealthy, disturbingly flesh colored shape slithering down the slope on all fours.] We hope-- [There's a flash of steel and white and red behind the jet: Drift doing what he does best, which is, apparently, slicing things into sushi, the two--the whatever-it-is and Drift--disappearing offscreen in a grunting flail.]
[The sound of combat rings out off screen, grabbing Wing's attention. The feed is jostled as he almost ends it--clearly Wing is tempted to join the fray--but he seems to change his mind at the last moment.] Please. Please be wary if you leave the Haven. The wastelands is strewn with foreign debris and creatures stranger than ever roam the land! [Yeah, and on that note... Drift appears--victorious, of course--holding what appears to be a severed head--actually two, one a smaller, almost vestigial one like a goiter from the neck of the main one--into the camera's range. ] Anyone else running into these , for example? [Stay classy, Drift.] ((OOC: Action and network both fine! Responses will be from either--if you have a preference, let us know! ))
[The feed fizzles on, something big in the way for a moment. It soon becomes apparent that it’s a giant metal foot. The Link is turned slightly on its side, and angled so it’s looking up at Drift and Wing. It was apparently Drift’s foot in the way.]
[The two are facing each other, moving in slow, deliberate movements. It’s almost like a dance, but not, and way too slow to really be...anything. What are these hippies up to?! Whatever it is, it’s clear that Wing is the one slowly guiding Drift through these odd, slow moves.]
[And Drift has clearly had enough of this. He stops, not hiding his frustration very well at all.] ( Watch the hippies dance. )
[Some people, upon discovering they'd been magically uprooted from wherever they were and mysteriously transported to a weird almost-but-not-quite Cybertron against their will, would probably be angry. At the very least they might be annoyed, maybe a little frustrated or panicked. This guy seems to be the exception. He looks a bit puzzled, sure, but he also looks MAYBE a little too calm and cheerful for someone in his position.
Oh, the video's recording! Excellent. He claps his hands together in that 'let's get down to business' sort of way.]
Oookay, from what I understand so far, it's probably safe to assume that you're all pretty used to confused new people popping up from time to time. I think I'm caught up on the basics, so I hope to avoid the whole panicking stage. Actually, everything I've heard so far is pretty fascinating. Just, you know, a little jarring. I have a few theories, but... well, I'll save them for when I have a better idea of what to expect here. The Acolyte I spoke to didn't give me too much information to work with. Well wait... okay, that's not true. I mean, it was pretty informative over all, but there isn't really a whole lot I can do with what they told me other than accept it. I don't like to complain, but it wasn't really all that helpful in a day-to-day life sort of sense.
So! Um. Anyway, my name is Drift. If anyone happens to have any helpful tips for a new arrival, I'd love to hear them. And... I think that's all I've got! Thanks for your time.
[They hadn't been back in Haven long before the dreams came. Whether they were warnings or threats was hard to tell, but the foreboding nature could not be missed. The third time Drift woke from them it was certain, a thing not to be ignored, and after finding Vector Prime those fears were confirmed.]
[It was like the last piece of the puzzle falling into place, the strike of a match. Wing and Drift had been gone out in the wastelands for months, but they'd only spent the first portion of that time celebrating their union. The rest was putting a plan into action: a hidden retreat, a sanctuary, not as plush as the Haven but very likely safer. They'd made certain of that.]
[They just didn't think the time would come so soon that they'd have to use it.]
[But it's not just for them. Any peaceable individual deserves safety and sanctity. So before they go on their way, leaving Haven behind, a message, a cryptic riddle, left for those who might dare to unravel the mystery and seek out a similar way of life. There's no real time for goodbyes, but this, they can do.]
A shadow falls
with weight and consequence
ware the needled stretch of its darkness
changing all it touches
a haven's beacon dims.
A twinned flame bound by steel and spark burns
as once deep under sand,
kindles brighter, in hope to warm
the sparks of the weary seeking solace.
Inside the crystal spark upon which light shines
near healing's refuge
a patient and earnest seeker can find his way.
[If a cunning individual deciphers the clues and goes to the small crystal geode cave near Solus' Temple (the same one where Drift and Wing were united as conjunx endurae) and is patient enough to wait for what is quite likely a long time, at a certain time of day when the light strikes a certain crystal a message--laser etched into the crystal--will be reflected onto the floor. Included with it is a rough map to the general area of the next clue.]
Life persists( Private to Barricade and Ambulon )( Private to Blurr, Kagerou, and anyone else considered Wing's or Drift's close friend )((ooc: This is a prelude to the Pillar event and is the narrative for Wing and Drift's endgame. They've left Haven for good, created their own neutral, safe sanctuary where there is food and shelter, and will continue to build on it. They won't reply to this post but feel free to post reactions, threadjack and discuss. Going forward, any character wishing to drop the game may leave Haven by choice and go in search of this place as an alternative to the Badlands (mod approved).))
far beyond placid waters
'Lo a light on the horizon
southerly flickers, should only the dedicated find
Peace in your heart? Have sanctuary.
[It's been long enough that Drift is finally getting actually worried. Especially after Wing had disappeared similarly. He and the jet had looked, as much as they could, checking the room in Vector's, and he's skimmed the rough tracks that passed as roads, looking for the distinctive treads and...nothing.]
[There's a thing called respecting someone's privacy and then there's a point where that just doesn't work anymore.]
Anyone seen Perceptor?
Or Tarn, for that matter?
[Because he's putting two and two together and getting something very, very ugly.]
[The camera shows Wing's quarters, a breeze lightly rustling a curtain behind the two mechs. Drift's standing, almost pacing, as though he's been talked into this and is still not very comfortable.]
[He hesitates, trying to gather the right words. It's so much easier when he's writing it for someone else.]
A lot--more mechs than we even know--died here, or went missing. Everyone deserves to be remembered, whether we have their bodies or not. They were all like us, and we, any of us, could disappear or....worse, ourselves.
[Ghosts, zombies, the unknown fate of the badlands: so many options, all of them terrible. Wing doesn’t like any of those notions, but this idea is heartening. He rises from his seat near the window.]
If there’s one thing recent events have taught us, it’s that memories have a power of their own. We need a way, not just to mourn, but to remember those no longer with us, both past and future. To honor them. And maybe keep hope alive for the lost.
We were thinking of a place, not like a cemetery, but some place that recalls them as they were. This is for all of us, not just Cybertronians, so we were kind of wondering. How do you celebrate the memories of those you've lost in your worlds?
[Haven, you know what? You look like you could really use one of Drift's wackadoodle theories right now. ]
The First Forged aren't telling us everything.
[Drift does not mince words. Bad guys, yes. Words, not so much.]
There were other settlers here before us. Over and over again. They died. We're not the first. We're not special or chosen. [And part of him hates that thought.]
And the First Forged couldn't--or didn't--protect them. [This is all review for the old-timers, but there are new people here, and besides, it's a dot he's trying to connect up.]
Wing and I and the others found a cave where some of them had lived. They died. All of them. But they're trapped here, as ghosts. [Another dot.]
And worse--we went back, and their bodies were...reanimated. Like zombies. They attacked us. They were trying to protect something in the cave.
[He frowns, because he really doesn't like public speaking, especially this next part.]
A lot of people disappeared recently. Like whatever it is--the call, Unicron, whatever--like it's gaining strength, picking up steam. We need to do something. Because I don't know about you, but, well, for a lot of reasons, I don't want to have to suddenly find myself fighting a zombie Ultra Magnus.
[Or Vandal. No, he can't even go there in his head. He's connecting dots and it is a really unpleasant picture.]
[Drift doesn't look happy. He looks, in fact, like he's arming himself, giving the Great Sword one last sluice of water before he speaks, nestling it against his back.]
I have two theories. [One thanks to Skids. ] I'm going to check one out.
[It's hard to pick a lesser of two evils here, though.]
Also. I'm sorry for the, uh, ghosts. I'm going to try to take care of that, too.
[ The video feed clicks on to a good view of Alpha Trion's library. Two white swordmechs surrounded by books may be an unlikely scene, but here Drift and Wing are. If the dour looks are any indication, they came here seeking something and did not find it. ]
[ Wing's greeting is not as cordial as usual; he's a bit too troubled by recent developments. ]
Haven. We've been out exploring. And found some...unexpected things. Evidence that there were others here before us, living outside of the Haven. [ Wing doesn't say for how long they'd been living, he'll leave those grisly details out for now. ] They chose to leave. Something drove them out, made them think the wastelands would be better than living here.
[ The jet's mouthplates close around the rest of the troubling details but the firm line they make serves as a clue. ]
They were like us. A mixed group: Cybertronians. Organics. And what happened to them.
I don't think it's Unicron.
[ Drift's getting tired of bugbear Unicron. ]
The names Thermal or Overclock mean anything? Bix? Emeri? Gouge?
[ Someone might know. It seems...horrible to die like this and have no one know, no one remember. ]
[ Wing's helm shifts as they exchange a look. ] And to the First Forged: Did you know these individuals? What happened, why did they leave?
[ Because judging by the contents of the datapad they found...it wasn't a pleasant little vacation. ]
Regardless. We need to have some memorial for them. Even if we didn't know them. Because next time...it could be us.
[ Signs and portents seem to be the theme of this broadcast. As if to prove the point, something catches Wing's attention in his peripheral while Drift is talking. His optics track obvious movement...almost like a person walking away down the rows of bookshelves, except the space appears quite empty. ]
[ The confused jet's optics widen to gold saucers. His audials and pinions flare out more than most would even guess possible and he makes a grab for Drift's wrist. There's a startled yelp and a gasp and then the feed gets jostled, Drift's open-mouthed expression the last thing the communicator catches before the feed cuts. ]
[In light of Dr McCoy's recent how to be a human download, Drift's decided that as someone who has survived--barely--the experience himself, he could offer some advice of his own. Slightly less snark-flavored.]
I, uh, I spent some time as a human. Before. And so, well.
[A shrug. Get to the point, Drift.]
You have to chew this 'food' stuff. [Trust him on this.]
Canned peaches are good but you should only eat them with an expert. Utensils will take, uh, lots of practice.
Pants are....horrible. So are skirts.
[Don't get him started on hats.]
Hope your clothing has pockets. These things, trust me, don't have onboard storage. [DON'T ASK.]
Shoes feel weird--you can't feel the ground, really. But you should probably wear them. Especially in the Junk Pile.
[Let's all give Vandal a vote for sainthood for having put up with Drift and these valuable lessons.]
[Drift's been running a perimeter of the Badlands for a few days now, on the lookout for Megatron's mysterious attacker, as he'd promised. It's been...good, getting away, and just lapping miles under his wheels, in that almost zen-like focus of driving. And it's given him an idea.]
You know what this place needs? [He is excited so he will just rush to the answer.]
It needs a good race track. Not one of those just...oval things, but a fun one, with sharp turns and slopes and different surfaces. Like rallycross, on Earth.
Anyone want to help?
((OOC: X-23, if you want to run into Drift, feel free to action up this post!))
[It's not often Drift loses his temper. At least, it's not often that any one sees it. ]
[You're seeing it now, his blue optics blazing nearly white, one hand shaking as he holds up some white wrapping paper and a bit of red ribbon. It's all he intends to show anyone.]
This some kind of a joke?
[If it is, apparently Drift doesn't find it very funny.]
[Drift has had a thought. So here he is with yet another of his inimitable locked posts.]
Those of you who saw Vandal's place it's... [A grimace. Yeah. He doesn't have to explain that, does he?]
We need to fix it. Get her a place she can stay that has, you know, no bad memories. And is safe.
[So here's the idea, and now a sort of awkward shuffle because, yeah, building and interior design really aren't his fortes.]
Wing's taken over the investigation for Vandal. He's faster, smarter, and a member of the Law Committee. I think it's time we agree and admit this is a crime and not a disappearance, anyway.
[Also, Wing didn't die recently. That, uh, probably helps his CV, too.]
Going out into the Badlands. There's...something I need to find out there.
[He hesitates, then locks the feed from Wing.]
Anyone come back, and, uh, remember things? That they haven't lived through?