592/Scouting Trip

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Scouting Trip
Date of Scene: 30 September 2018
Location: Toraxxis Plains
Synopsis: Hound leads Swivel and Hyperdrive on a mission to the Toraxxis Plains to observe the state of a ruined fuel factory and the surrounding area after the fires.
Cast of Characters: Hound, Swivel, Hyperdrive


Hound has posed:
Hound would love to ease the newbies in gently, show them the ropes in comfort and safety until he completely knows that they're ready to face the harsh realities out there... but that's not the world they live in. Nowadays it's more 'sink or swim', new recruits being thrust into dangerous situations whether they feel ready or not. Hound, however, is determined to make sure they swim, not sink. So he is here with them today, two of the newbies, Swivel and Hyperdrive, to show them some of the ropes on how he goes about scouting. The Crucible has shut down and it's... relatively safe out here now. Enough that he leads the two fresh faces to the Toraxxis Plains to survey the burned out damage and see if there's anything left to salvage. He stands atop a ridge, blue optics scanning the wide open spaces in front of them. Glancing back at the recruits, he asks, "How's it goin'? You two feeling ready to do some surveys?"

Hyperdrive has posed:
Hyperdrive grins a little at Hound as he slowly follows up. He's a little

Hyperdrive has posed:
Hyperdrive grins a little at Hound as he slowly follows up. He's a little winded but that's the mixed benefit of being a hovercar. He's able to traverse more terrain alot easier, but there's no tires to settle down on when everyone is stopped. Of course that didn't stop him from parking on a nearby boulder or in different odd angles in an attempt to get a laugh from Swivel. He glances around, "Kinda nice ta get outta the base...."

Swivel has posed:
    Swivel had both an eagerness to check out what remained the the Crucible and the outlying area, but also a keen awareness of just how dangerous it could be. Being with a superior officer also lends itself to giving the little off-roader some concern. However, Hound had never seemed overly intimidating compared to some of the others. For the most part, though, as Swivel rolled along on her four large wheels, she focused on Hyperdrive as a source of assurance. Somewhat. There was always the concern that her friend JUST might pull her into some shenanigans. Though she doubted he'd do that on a mission! Instead he just seemed trying to lighten the mood with his amusing antics.
    When they come to a stop and Hound speaks to them, Swivel transforms to her bipedal mode, surveying the area briefly before looking back to Hound. "Ready and eager, sir." She's just not sure if she's eager to find what she can find, or eager to get it over with.

Hound has posed:
Hound smiles at Hyperdrive. "It is, isn't it? I imagine you guys get to feeling a bit cooped up there sometimes." He looks out over the landscape, "...At least *I* do. I love being out here, with the open skies and interesting terrain." A sadness crosses his face as he studies an especially scorched spot. "....Though right now, maybe it's... *too* interesting. I hate to see it like... this." He turns to look at Swivel and manages a smile for her, as well, genuine and friendly. He nods. "Good. I wish we had... nicer things to check out, but scouts like us can do a lot of good surveying the damage in an area like this, see what resources might still be available, and, well, you never know what you might find. Sometimes you find people in need of help, and that's a great feeling when you can make a difference like that."

Hound steps forward, face sobering as optics squint. "My scans so far don't detect anything much, but let's keep going. Maybe make it up to that little hill over there- see it? Tiny spots like that might not be much but they give us a little bit of height to take a look around." With that, he transforms and rolls out.

Hyperdrive has posed:
Hyperdrive nods, listening to what Hound has to say. Its always good to listen to the older mechs who have been around a bit longer than he has. He tilts his head and glances over at where Hound is indicating. "Ya know if you need me to scout anythin weird and out of the way I can get ta places pretty quick if ya need me to." He transforms and spins around in a circle waiting for Swivel to tranform so he can be her cover....or rather so he can hover over her with his repulsars at least until she decides to shoot err shoo him away. And yes he's going out of his way to try and cheer someone up.

Swivel has posed:
    Swivel peers up at Hound with her head tilted just slightly to the side, listening to him and watching him as he gazes out and indicates the vast plains. She then looks out to the scorched remains. The remark about heling people and making a difference gets a small smile and a series of nods from Swivel, but she says nothing. What more is there to say?
    When Hound indicates the hill, Swivel nods her head. "Oh... I know a few things about the adVANTAGE of VANTAGE points," Swivel twitters with a small smile. Then, seeing Hyperdrive already transformed and hovering about she transforms and heads straight for the hill, undeterred by Hyperdrive's shenanigans.

Hound has posed:
Hound leads them to the new spot. As they drive (or hover) there's indications of burnt out refuse and signs of the factory that once existed in the area. The fuel source seems extinguished but the charred remains are still somewhat apparent. As they get closer to the new hill they begin to see the blackened hull of the factory itself. Not much is left. Transforming again, Hound holds a hand out to the other scouts and whispers, "Quiet. I'm not picking anything up but a scout should excercise caution in an unknown situation."

He starts moving slowly to the hill top to peer over the side, where they have an unobstructed view of the factory. Nothing seems to stir except the squeak of some gears barely hanging onto a metal panel, rustling in the wind, surrounded by yards of jagged, blackened metal and strips of machinery. "Hyperdrive, I may have you go on ahead, check things out. It'd be more dangerous for us to walk along that scrap metal- looks like you could hover right over it."

Hyperdrive has posed:
Hyperdrive stops picking on Swivel long enough to transform and see what Hound is pointing out. He remains quiet though the grin on his face is pretty telling of the fact that he's having a bit too much fun. Of course that might be the reason Hound calls him out to check something. So he looks to where he's being pointed to scout. He nods and gives a quick grin before moving closer to find a good angle of descent and then transforms. His hovercar mode is pretty quiet. Hyperdrive does do a bit of a test hover over the area in question to see if the area below it is mostly stable. He hovers. So if the ground goes out completely, that's a problem. But so far it seems relatively safe and so he does one more quick scan before suddenly darting across the terrain, heading for the spot that Hound indicated. The speed is done to cross quickly in case there is a collapse and also to make it harder to hit him.

Swivel has posed:
    When called for quiet, Swivel does comply. Swivel is not silent in her altmode. However, she also doesn't have a loud, roaring engine like some of the larger vehicles out there. Nonetheless, her engines cut at the call for quiet. She does not exit her vehicle mode, however, and just idles while Hyperdrive goees to check things out, as ordered. She doesn't begrudge Hyperdrive the chance to show off or have a little fun, and is content to wait for further orders. But she does, in a quiet whispery voice, inquire, "Think we'll actually find anythin' out 'ere, sir, or is this just a make sure there's nothin' that we missed sort of mission?"

Hound has posed:
Hound looks over to Swivel and answers back quietly, "To be honest, probably the latter, Swivel. If I thought there was anything truly dangerous out here I'd have brought more backups. But... this is the life of a scout. Lots of long stretches of nothing, then suddenly, sometimes when you leats expect, you find something. Don't think, though, that if we find nothing this mission is a failure or doesn't mean anything important. The Autobots really DO need folks out here, in the wild places, the unknown places, keeping an optic on things for the exact reason that you never know when something *will* turn up. And if we find nothing, then that saves others from wasting finite energy on trips out here. We've got to guide them on where to go and where to... well, not waste time, I guess."

As for Hyperdrive, he'll mostly find what he'd expect- the factory's ruins. Nothing much of interest seems to be left, though he might detect some kind of soft, scratchy sound coming underneath a big pile of scrapped metal.

Hyperdrive has posed:
Hyperdrive gets across safely and when he gets over to the point, he transforms again and very slowly and quietly begins to walk and check the area. When he goes to peek his head over the little ridge, he stays as low as possible. Remaining quiet and alert, he doesn't move until he thinks he hears something. Tilting his head slightly to get a better pinpoint on the sound, he begins to stalk toward the point out of curiousity. He leans down, trying to investigate the source of the sound.

Swivel has posed:
Swivel remains still as she listens, exression unreadable on account of still being in her vehicle mode. After a moment or two, though, she finally says, "You know, that's a good point. Really makes me think. Turnin' up nothing is still checkin' somethin' off of a list of things to do or places to check. Process of elimination and whatnot." Swivel continues to carefully watch Hyperdrive as she rests, allocating more resources towards her sensors and scanners now that she isn't in motion. "I don't moind doin' wot others moight consider grunt work. Besoids. I loik toughin' it out." She likes toughing it out less when she's being shot at, of course. But right now things seem to be peaceful. Swivel notices Hyperdrive leaning down to look at something, and she tenses, rolling forward just a little and halting again, merely observing. This was Hyperdrive's task. She'd best keep her focus diffused to her entire surrounding.

Hound has posed:
Hyperdrive will be met with silence at first, but if he investigates more closely, the scrabbling sound scratching against metal continues, then suddenly scuttles back, followed by a HISSSS. There's... something hiding in there and it's not happy.

Hound smiles at Swivel and nods. "Exactly." His smile seems to grow as she continues and he leans in to add, "Glad to hear it. I'm like that, too. People like us, we don't have to be the flashiest, or the grandest, but what we do is as important to a functioning, healthy society as what anyone else does." Hound then looks over where Hyperdrive is, watching as he seems to hone in on something.

Hyperdrive has posed:
Hyperdrive startles for a moment. He then lifts his head and looks around before lowering it again. Pulling a small container out, he opens it and retrieves an energon goodie. The young mech leans down, trying to find the right spot to put the treat where whatever it is can feel safe and he himself will still be able to see what's going on. There's a bit too much curiousity going on for Hyperdrive's own good but that's never stopped him before.

Swivel has posed:
Swivel would smile if she could. Instead her headlights gently pulse brighter before dimming again. "Never pretended ta be anythin' grand. But the many gears and cogs are important in any great machine." Swivel continues to watch Hyperdrive. She edges just a bit closer trying to see what he is doing. Oh. Oh. "Oh not again..." A memory of Hyperdrive interruting a certain unofficialy interrogation with a turborat chomping on his hand comes forward as she identifies what LOOKS like an energon goodie being set down. But Swivel isn't going to stop him. How ELSE will he learn? Hound may be able to hear the subtle sound of her engines coming alive, ready to burst forward in case Hyperdrive ends up dealing with more than he bargained for.

Hound has posed:
There's another long pause, a lingering silence before the metal scrabbling sound starts again, slowly this time, then a long snout pokes out from the rubble. Not a turborat this time, no, something bigger. Red eyes focus intently on Hyperdrive as a grown turbofox comes forward from the darkness just enough to sniff at the nearby energon goodie. It looks back up at the mech, hissing at him, but it seems less aggressive than simply defensive. Then it scoots forward, closer, closer, before darting to try and snatch the goodie and retreat back to its hiding spot.

Hound grins as he nods to Swivel, "They are. *We* are." He reaches out and pats her fender briefly. "You're going to do well, I think." Then he's back to watching Hyperdrive. "Hmm? Again?" He asks her, then radios Hyperdrive and Swivel, "<< What's that down there? We're coming down to help...>>" He begins to make his way down the little hill.

Hyperdrive has posed:
Hyperdrive's optics brighten as he sees the turbofox up close. He watches it disappear again under the hiding spot. Turning his head so he can see hound he sends back a message to the pair. <<It's a turbofox! I've never seen one up close like this before. This is awesome!>> He continues to watch the hiding spot that the fox disappeared into. He then grabs another treat and tosses it into the hole, not trying to lure it out this time. <<Oh and I didn't see anything of consequence over here. Just the critter!>>

Swivel has posed:
    The moment Hound begins rolling, Swivel heels like the obedient little private she is. "Yes, sir. 'Yperdroive 'as a knack for gettin' into trouble with 'is insatiable curiousity. But as 'e is still with us today, 'e also 'as a knack for getting back OUT of trouble. Bless 'is spark." Not that Swivel is really religious, as might be determined from the cheekiness of her tone.
    <<"Glad ta see ya didn't get yer 'and devoured this toim.">> Swivel transmits as she rolls down the hill with ease. <<"Looks loik the feral elements 'ave found it fit ta resettle 'ere. Still... this close to an old portal I'd be wary...">> After all, she'd read one theory on the monsters found in the rift that they were originally ordinary beast forms that were corrupted by high levels of psychosonorum. Of course, there wasn't really much evidence to SUPPORT said theory. Might make for a neat novel, though!

Hound has posed:
Hound slows down as he gets Hyperdrive's response, optic ridge lifting. Now he seems curious, too. "<< Turbofox? That's interesting.... be careful, though, they do bite... >>" The green scout looks hard at the rubble near Hyperdrive as if hoping to catch a glimpse of the turbofox himself. "<< Alright, then, if there's nothing else of interest here we can start thinking of heading out. >>" He turns to nod at Swivel. "Ahhh, I see. Heh, not too surprisin'. Scouts and curiosity kind of go together like.... well, like things that go together." He looks up. "The stars and the moon, maybe. But as you say, learning when to be curious and when to be cautious is an important balancing act."

As he heads down and approaches, the turbofox grabs the extra treat, too, then scurries back into the rubble- where several other, smaller, scuffling sounds can be heard. Soon there's some whining and yipping... almost like some fox kits yelping with excitement as Mom comes with food. Sure enough, as Hound and Swivel get closer, two little heads pop up to stare at them before scrambling back down into the metal bits.

Hyperdrive has posed:
Hyperdrive glances around again and realizes that through the parent fox has settled here, there may not be enough food for everyone. He glances at the foxes and then opens up his energon treat container and tosses a few more out. This time leaving them to where Hound and Swivel might see them. He's also making sure to walk away so that he's not between them and the food. When he gets closer to Hound he asks, "When they have the turborat and glitchmice traps at the base can they be switched to hold the critters instead of offline them? We can then run the traps out here and release what's caught....just a thought/

Swivel has posed:
    "Or loik red and blue? Those make purple. I loik purple. Though I like a bluer purple more'n a redder purple. Maybe because blue is a more cautious colour and red is more bold," Swivel gabs, seeming to forget for a moment how many ranks higher Hound is than her. And then she remembers herself and she halts. "Er, or, like, as you said, sir, star and moons. I mean, moon and stars."
    When Hyperdrive hands out more of his goodies and suggests feeding them with captured turborats and glitchmice, Swivel giggles. "Cute idea. But I wonder, if there wasn't anythin to sustain 'em, why would they 'ave settled 'ere?" That causes Swivel to stall and think. However, she begins a slow, broad turn to head back towards base, not sharing the questions and conclusions she's begin to draw from the possible significance of there being wildlife present.

Hound has posed:
Hound grins when he sees the turbofox kits, stopping to watch them watch him before they duck down again. As he walks up to Hyperdrive, his smile grows. "I like that idea, Hyperdrive. I'll talk to someone when I get back, see if we can do that. I think we ought to." He seems to beam at the smaller mech. "How very kind of you. Now *that* is the Autobot spirit I like to see!"

He looks back to Swivel. "Yeah, that works too. Two colors that are beautiful on their own- or combined." He doesn't seem to mind Swivel voicing her own mind, in fact he seems to like it. The Autobot Officer has been nothing but kind himself the whole trip. Some officers might seem a bit hoighty-toighty or detached from the lower ranks, but not Hound. He's friendly to all. Looking back, he adds, "Yes, I think they must be finding some food, and that's good... but with all the ecological damage we just inflicted on this planet, I think any little bit we can do to help it is the right way to go." His expression turns a bit sad, then returns to neutral. "Alright, Hyperdrive, Swivel, thanks for your work. We'll head out now." The scout transforms and starts doing just that. Meanwhile, the turbofoxes stay mostly hidden, though the adult does peer out at Hyperdrive one last time, uttering a little *yip* at him softly, before disappearing once more.

Hyperdrive has posed:
Hyperdrive grins. "I'd agree with ya Swivel but if they're just offlinin the critters anyway, why not let these guys eat them. Either way, since I fed all my snacks away, heading back ta base sounds like a great idea." He gives the fox a quick wave before he transforms to follow Hound, happy with the praise he received.

Swivel has posed:
    Swivel is momentarily brought out of her whirling thoughts. "Oh, I didn't say it wasn't worth doin'. Just.. curious." Swivel quietly says. But she doesn't add much else as she slips into contemplation once again as they return to Iacon.