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Ark-19: The Enemy Within

The local Solar System. From the Sun to Earth's orbit and the Moon. And from there all the way into the outer regions of the system beyond Neptune and the dwarf planets beyond it.

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Re: Ark-19: The Enemy Within

Postby MaP_Prime » Thu Oct 16, 2008 7:32 pm

Command Deck

As Smokescreen reported to Ironhide about the presence of Cybertronian code existing in this human internet Bumblebee crossed his arms over his chest as he listened. The Autobot second in command began to ponder what the computer specialist was saying. Although Bumblebee was certain that the computer mainframe and systems were fine, Smokescreen was one of the best when it came to such matters and if he said the system was clear it was clear. However, Bumblebee still had his concerns. Even though his primary responsibility was espionage and intelligence gathering, the yellow mini-bot had taken it upon himself to also make sure that Ark-19's stealth systems, communication traffic and its various sensor outputs were all operational and encrypted so no one could trace any of the electronic footprints of the Autobot's on Earth.

"At any time during your diagnostic Smokescreen did you detect there could be any problems with our stealth systems? Or even with the encryption codes that mask our communications and sensor outputs? I've had some concerns lately that something might be wrong as I have noticed the same group of humans poking around the shore line of the lake for the past few weeks. Although they act like normal tourists to the area I have my suspicions they could be something else, but I just want to make sure our anti-detection systems are up and functioning properly."

Bumblebee was not one to be paranoid, but his concerns had been growing as he had monitored some of the surveillance equipment he had deployed along the coast line just to keep an eye on things around Ark-19's hiding spot. Although humans were primitive they weren't stupid, but he was sure the stealth systems were beyond the capability of humans to crack. However, he had spent some time monitoring this human internet to see if it held any promise for his purposes of gathering intelligence. During his searches he had come across a number of human websites that were based around the idea of alien infiltration of Earth, though most believe in so-called "little green men" not giant alien, transforming mechanoids.

"Actually Ironhide I would like permission to deploy more sophisticated surveillance equipment to compliment what we already have out there."
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Re: Ark-19: The Enemy Within

Postby Smokescreen85 » Thu Oct 16, 2008 9:13 pm

Motto: "Transform and smoke 'em!"
Weapon: Twin Shoulder-Mounted Rocket Launchers
Command Deck

Smokescreen turned to the yellow minibot, who expressed concerns regarding the ship's stealth systems and encryption codes. Bumblebee's interest in computers surprised Smokescreen since the minibot's main function was espionage. Of course, Smokey's primary function was diversionary tactics on the battlefield, but here he was conducting maintenance checks on the Ark-19's systems. Computers have always been a side interest to him with racing and gambling coming first. However, running computer diagnostics had become a major duty of his since Smokey's arrival on this planet four years ago. Being that he has seen little to no action, his diversionary abilities have not been required...yet.

Although, the red and blue mech was able to utilize some of his skills in diversion to create special system safeguards that would deflect attention away from the Autobot ship when connected to the human internet. Basically, if someone or something tried to trace the Ark-19's signal, the safeguards would simply divert the intruder to a human computer server on the other side of the planet, making it appear that the ship's signal was coming from there instead of it's true origins.

"I detected nothing of concern with our stealth systems, Bumblebee. They are functioning normally," Smokescreen stated, hoping to alleviate the minibot's concerns. "Furthermore, the encryption codes and internet safeguards are in place and working fine. As I said before, the human's primitive programs, virus or otherwise, are not advanced enough to hack into our systems." Smokescreen then turned his attention back to Ironhide. "Again, the only potential outside intrusion threat currently lies with a Decepticon-created or modified virus, and even that is only a slim possibility. So, while our systems are as secure as they can be right now, I would still remain vigilant for anything out of the ordinary."
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Re: Ark-19: The Enemy Within

Postby Optimist Prime » Fri Oct 17, 2008 5:23 am

Motto: "One shall stand, one shall fall."
Weapon: Static Laser Gun
Command Center

Brawn took the nod from Ironhide as his cue to sit down. Making his way to his work station he passed Smokescreen and gave him a friendly punch on the leg to emphasize that he probably could throw the Autobot into a lake if he had to. Any comments Brawn had he kept to himself, not wanting to interrupt a conversation about security. As an expert in demolitions, security wasn't his forte.

The workstation designated to Brawn was on the opposite side of the command center from Windcharger, thankfully. Brawn liked the red minibot, but sometimes he was a bit scattered. Whenever Windcharger worked around him he'd be interrupted at regular intgervals with some new piece of trivia. Now that they were on earth it was even worse. The constant compilation of new data was sending Windchargers processors into overdrive. Brawn wasn't sure how the guy could be so enthusiastic over working at a computer terminal, but to Windcharger it was great because he could jump around from subject to subject. In that way, Windcharger had been learning much about earth and it's diversity of culture and geography.
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Re: Ark-19: The Enemy Within

Postby MaP_Prime » Sat Oct 18, 2008 8:57 am

Command Deck

Wheeljack saw that Ironhide was a little busy at the moment and more then likely didn't have the time at the moment to address the inventor. He figured it would be best if he went about is duties until he was needed, Ironhide was unlikely to forget that Wheeljack was there and he would be called upon if the Autobot commander judged that his subordinates abilities were needed. Turning, Wheeljack made his way over to his own station and sat down in front of the panel and began a series of status checks and diagnostics on the ships engineering related systems.

Next to Wheeljack's own computer station was Brawn's. Although the two 'Bots had known each other for a long time, since arriving on Earth 'Jack had not very little chances to talk with the tough mini-bot. It was one of those moments where he thought that he probably had been spending way to much time in his lab. He set his work station to run a diagnostic of the ships power systems, a few solar cycles ago own of Wheeljack's new inventions had malfunctioned during a test and had damaged a number power junctions disrupting several internal systems. Although he had repaired the damage he had been running system checks to ensure everything was working at peek efficiency.

"So Brawn," Wheeljack said as he looked over to the smaller 'Bot. "How have things been? You know I've been giving some thinking, and I've been trying to figure out a way to enhance your hitting power. I was wondering if you'd be interested in trying out some powered knuckles I've been tinkering with. They should let you break open some Decepticon chassis' with one good punch. What do you say? Interested in giving it a try?"
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Re: Ark-19: The Enemy Within

Postby Jeysie » Sun Oct 19, 2008 11:13 am

Motto: "Peace, Love, and Rock n' Roll"
Weapon: Dirge Gun
Computer Lab

Skids sat hunched over the station in his own current little corner of the lab, muttering to himself as he tried to think about/monitor a few dozen things at once. There were a large number of datapads scattered around him, containing information ranging from Earth history, to random cultural studies, to lists of potential alt modes, to headlines of current events. The piles even held a few Ark status reports that somehow managed to worm their way in, no doubt tossed there by some well-meaning fellow lab-dweller who knew he might miss them otherwise. His computer display, meanwhile, was covered in small windows displaying various feeds from Earth TV and radio stations, which he was listening to on a personal audio connection.

He knew some of the others would grumble from time to time about him getting to spend all of his time "fooling around" while they had to do the real work, but Skids thought his work was important, even if it turned out no one else did... the 'Cons were certainly paying attention to whatever cultural aspects they could subvert to their own purposes, after all. And while some 'Bots looked at otherworld culture as a hobby, he didn't have the luxury of observing only the enjoyable things. It certainly seemed that fully half his time was spent monitoring the multitude of Earth's violent "hot spots". This was one of the planets where he thought there was a good chance that the Decepticons would barely have to lift a finger to destroy the place - the humans might well do it for them.

Plus it was hard work trying to keep all of the information straight sometimes. At least this time he had managed to keep the list of possible places to station the Ark free of any backyards belonging to planetary rulers, unlike that one incident he hoped no one else remembered.

One of the radio feeds started to fizzle out on him, and he smacked the console ineffectually and grumbled. It was a frequent problem... even their relatively sophisticated equipment couldn't do much if the source itself tended to fluctuate or suffer interference. Still, maybe Wheeljack would have some ideas for a device that could help... he used one hand to tune into another radio station that was carrying information similar to what the fizzled one had been covering, and raised the other hand towards Wheeljack's lab station.

"Wheeljack? If you're not too busy, perhaps I could tell you about something you could help me with at some point..."

It wasn't until some moments later when he'd finally found a new radio station that Skids realized there'd been no answer. He looked up and found the labs seemed to be empty except for him. A glance at the chronometer further told him that he'd once again spent far too much time bent over his console. He hoped he hadn't missed anything important... he'd heard a few intercom messages, but had tuned them out since they didn't contain his name. He didn't think they had, anyway.

After running through his head a list of places Wheeljack might be, he decided to start with messaging Wheeljack's Command Deck station... even if he wasn't there, maybe someone else would come across the message and tell him where the engineer had gotten off to.

>>"Wheeljack? Please tell me I wasn't imagining things and you actually were here in the labs earlier, it will help my sanity. If you happen to not be too busy at the moment, I could use your help with a potential project. I didn't miss anything again, did I?"<<
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Re: Ark-19: The Enemy Within

Postby MaP_Prime » Sun Oct 19, 2008 11:53 am

Command Deck

Wheeljack had just posed his question to Brawn when Skids contacted him at his work station. The inventory sighed to himself and concluded that Skids had been to engrossed in one of his projects to notice what was going on around him. He more then likely missed Ironhide's call for the brothers to go rescue Jazz... Skids probably didn't even know Jazz was on a mission. Wheeljack figured he wasn't needed on the command deck at the moment he decided he might as well go see what Skids wanted. He leaned over his work station and routed the diagnostics he was running to load up on his station in the lab before standing up.

"Well Brawn I am going to go see what Skids wants. If you're interested in my proposal let me know later and I can see if we can work something out." Wheeljack then switched over to his comm. system. >>Yeah Skids, I was in the lab earlier. I came up to the command deck to see if I could be of any help when Ironhide order Sunstreaker and Sideswipe to extract Jazz, but looks like they don't need me up here. I'm sure if they need us they'll call us so I wouldn't worry to much, I'll be down in the lab in a few astroseconds.<<

After switching off his communicator Wheeljack turned for the exit of the command deck and made his way to the door and down to the lab.

Computer Lab
The door to the computer lab slid open to the computer lab as Wheeljack walked in. Only a few of the other Autobots had a work station here, such as himself, Skids and Smokescreen and a few of the others who had more technical skills that were needed. He walked over to his work station and activated the monitors, the diagnostics he had started were still running and were about 60% finished. Once he made sure everything was still running smoothly he turned and walked over to where Skids was working.

"Alright Skids what sort of project do you have in mind?" He said looking over at the other 'Bots work station and saw a pile of various datapads and a computer screen full of different windows. "Heh, seems you are pretty busy here already."
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Re: Ark-19: The Enemy Within

Postby Jeysie » Sun Oct 19, 2008 1:35 pm

Motto: "Peace, Love, and Rock n' Roll"
Weapon: Dirge Gun
Computer Lab

Skids rubbed his head in consternation after receiving Wheeljack's message, and wondered to the empty lab, "Extract Jazz? Extract Jazz from what?" Figures... he had missed something again. He briefly considered looking through his pile of datapads to see if he could find some report on the matter, but finally decided to just wait and ask the engineer instead. Wheeljack was one of the 'Bots whose comments on his absent-mindedness he could usually live with.

I still need to pay attention more often, though, he chided himself. And maybe one of these days that idea would actually sink in.

He disconnected his personal audio and worked on tidying up the datapads and display windows a little as he waited for Wheeljack to reach the lab and check his work station. He then smiled as Wheeljack came over and commented on Skids' own station.

"'Busy' is an understatement... I vote we sedate everyone on the planet for a few cycles so I can catch up." Skids chuckled a little. "In any case, I had been thinking you might be able to help me with my monitoring... I keep having trouble with signals experiencing interference from the weather, each other, or other issues, and had wondered if there was a way around the matter aside from personally giving all of the humans transmitters that aren't scrap."

He changed to a more serious tone as he continued, "However, if Jazz and the brothers really are in some kind of trouble, it can wait if need be. What's been going on? Is there anything I can help with?" Skids looked sheepish as he finished with, "I see Smokescreen left at some point as well."
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Re: Ark-19: The Enemy Within

Postby MaP_Prime » Sun Oct 19, 2008 3:03 pm

Computer Lab

"I think at the moment it is best to just wait, Ironhide seems to have the situation in hand." Wheeljack said as he shook his head slightly before standing up to rub his chin. "Well it sounds like to me all you need is a simple signal isolator that will let you to receive outside transmissions in a more orderly fashion and record those that you aren't listening to for review later. The only issue is we might have to increase the signal strength of our own communications grid. If we do that we might have to run the idea through Ironhide since Bumblebee already has some concerns that our communications encryption might not be as secure."

Wheeljack turned to his work station. He already had developed the device he had mentioned to Skids, it had been needed on other worlds similar to Earth's level of technology, the only issue is Earth had a greater amount of communication traffic. He opened a compartment and took out small, round component that fit easily into the palm of his hand.

"Just attach this to your receiver and hit this button. It should adjust automatically to clean up the signals you are receiving, streamline them so you can get the ones you want to hear clear and phase out an background interference. Also like I said before it will establish a file to record each individual signal you receive whether you listen to it or not. I just hope it will work, so far we have not had to use it in an environment this full of comm. traffic. My only concern is that it might get overloaded and burn out, or that we might have to increase out signal strength.. which means a great risk of our own communications getting picked up."

Wheeljack attached the device to Skids comm. unit and hit the switch.
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Re: Ark-19: The Enemy Within

Postby Optimist Prime » Mon Oct 20, 2008 7:20 am

Motto: "One shall stand, one shall fall."
Weapon: Static Laser Gun
Command Deck

Brawn continued working away as Wheeljack settled in next to him at another workstation. For an instant he almost wished that he was sitting next to Windcharger instead. It wasn't that he disliked the Autobot inventor, but there was misunderstanding of what Wheeljack really contributed to the Autobot cause. Brawn judged others based on their actions moreso than intentions, and it seemed to him that Wheeljack meant well but was unable to back his intentions with action. So, it was with great trepidation that Brawn conversed with Wheeljack.

Adding to his problems with thinkers like Wheeljack, was his tendency to say whatever he thinks. This bluntness had never ingratiated himself towards Autobots like Wheeljack and Skids. He had even had trouble with Bumblebee until they had accomplished a few duo missions together. He'd seen first hand how courageous the yellow minibot could be in a dangerous situation, and had won Brawn's respect. With Wheeljack it was slightly more complicated.

Brawn, along with all the other Autobots, was well aware that sometimes Wheeljack's inventions didn't work out the way he had planned. As a demolitions expert Brawn could appreciate a good explosion, but he preferred it to be under controlled conditions. Wheeljack's suggestion to "enhance" his hitting power with powered knuckles did not appeal to him at all. It wasn't that he fear an explosion of Wheeljack's invention, he was tough enough to survive a small blast, however why mess with something that's not broken. Brawn was already stronger than most Autobots, and had little trouble tearing Decepticon sheet metal. In fact, it was one of his favorite pastimes.

"Hey Wheeljack. My optics are going to drop out if I have to keep looking at this monitor forever."

Brawn groaned as Wheeljack started into his proposal of upgrading him to powered knuckles, even though he didn't know what that meant.

"I don't know Wheeljack. Maybe one of the other Autobots needs it more than me. I'm already strong enough to throw Thundercracker from here to..."

A message from Skids interrupted their conversation, and just in time too. As Wheeljack got up to leave, Brawn felt a sense of relief.

"Alright I'll let you know. You two brain-bots have fun."

Brawn chuckled to himself and went back to work.

"Powered knuckles? What'll that guy think of next?"
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Re: Ark-19: The Enemy Within

Postby Jeysie » Tue Oct 21, 2008 7:55 pm

Motto: "Peace, Love, and Rock n' Roll"
Weapon: Dirge Gun
Computer Lab

Skids watched his display with fascination as the device went about its behind-the-scenes work, cleaning up the various signals and making them clearer, and causing brief status messages to pop up as it established various files in the system for recording.

He was so fascinated, in fact, that it took several moments for the acrid scent of smoke to register on his sensors. He noticed that (unsurprisingly, he had to admit) Wheeljack's new device was the source of said smoke, and was also starting to emit ominous crackling and popping noises. Skids quickly moved to shut down a few of the signals in the hopes it might help the device keep working... Thankfully, after closing out several of them the device did indeed stop behaving dangerously and settle down.

It wasn't quite perfect... while the signals no longer cut out completely, they still sometimes faded in strength, or the interference played intermingled with the signals. And he couldn't monitor quite as many signals as before.

Still, he was willing to count it as a success... his console not only hadn't been reduced to molten slag or flying debris, it did work some measure better than it had before. He only hoped the engineer would look at it the same way and not get downhearted.

Skids gave Wheeljack an encouraging smile. "This is wonderful... at least I can get signals a bit more consistently now, and I appreciate the recording feature. I could trying setting up a system to scan for and flag certain keywords, perhaps Smokescreen could help me set that up..." He got a mock thoughtful look. "It could free me up to actually venture outside the lab for a change. I could remember what the rest of the ship looks like... convince Ironhide to let me go out in the field more often...

"...risk bumping into Sunstreaker and Sideswipe in the corridors. Hmm. Well, I suppose you can't win everything..." Skids shrugged good-naturedly.
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Re: Ark-19: The Enemy Within

Postby MaP_Prime » Tue Oct 21, 2008 8:39 pm

Computer Lab

After Skids attached the regulation device to his computer Wheeljack looked down at the monitor. At first things appeared to be working normally as Skids was able to focus on the transmissions he wanted while the others were filtered out and stored for later. However, the huge volume of communication traffic on Earth was far greater then he had anticipated. He had first created the device for use on other worlds were the communication traffic was more controlled, orderly and not as great. He could already see something was wrong with the speed the device was handling the transmissions and the speed. He wasn't surprised when it started smoking, though he was surprised to see that it didn't burn out, but someone managed to get it down to a more manageable level even if it wasn't working as well as Skids had hoped.

"Huh, that was unexpected." Wheeljack said as he rubbed his chin. "I guess the processor was just way to over worked and nearly, literally, burned itself out. I'll want to take a look at that later when you're done Skids, I want to take a look at that. I didn't think it could nearly burn out like that and keep working that well... maybe I can fix it to work better." The vocalizers glowed softly as he talked to himself. "Hmm, maybe if I increase the processor speed and size it can handle the high degree of transmissions on this world, and if I put a stronger encryption chip in there it might also help balance out those issues."

Wheeljack never really heard the last few things Skids said to him as he was walking to his own work station and was making mental notes. He sat down at his station and opened up the regulation devices speaks and began to work on the changes he was thinking of as he prepared to build a new one. He was at this for sometime when he finally looked up.

"Hey Skids, have you noticed how quiet it has gotten around here? The brothers were sent out on a mission, and everyone else seems ready to climb the walls to get out of here... just seems kinda odd how everyone suddenly seems so inactive."
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Re: Ark-19: The Enemy Within

Postby Jeysie » Thu Oct 23, 2008 6:49 pm

Motto: "Peace, Love, and Rock n' Roll"
Weapon: Dirge Gun
Computer Lab

Skids looked surprised for a moment as Wheeljack drifted off without seeming to notice his last bit of commentary, but then chuckled quietly as he realized the engineer was busy muttering to himself about how to improve the regulation device. He should have figured that Wheeljack would never get discouraged so long as there was some engineering conundrum he could ponder.

He wasn't particularly insulted or bothered by Wheeljack's sudden lack of attention, either. A scientist drifting off while lost in thought was certainly a common enough occurrence... and, as far as Skids was concerned, preferable to the way many non-scientists' optics tended to glaze over as their processors stopped working in response to complex concepts. He contented himself with studying some of the new features of the regulation device, figuring that eventually Wheeljack would drift back out of his thoughts and share some of them, as scientists were also wont to do.

Skids managed to become so preoccupied with his new "toy", however, that he still jumped slightly when Wheeljack spoke up. He rubbed his head thoughtfully as he considered Wheeljack's question.

"I have to admit I didn't notice how quiet it was until I contacted you on the Command Deck... usually I'm busy paying attention to how noisy the humans are." He smiled a little sheepishly. "If I had to guess, I suppose everyone is waiting to see how Jazz and the brothers fare on the mission. You know far more than I do about what is going on regards that, however...

"Oh, and here you are." Skids deactivated and detached the regulation device and handed it to Wheeljack, then turned back to his display and watched as the signals changed back to their previous functioning. "I just hope that whatever's going on, it isn't happening too close to any of the humans' cities or 'hot spots'..."
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Re: Ark-19: The Enemy Within

Postby Tasbirk » Sat Oct 25, 2008 5:30 pm

(OOC: Sorry for the wait.)

Command Deck- Ironhide

This was getting out of hand. Half the slaggin' crew was up in the command deck, asking about one thing or another. As he passed Bumblebee the report he'd asked to see, Ironhide could feel his circuits starting to sizzle.

The Autobots in question seemed to pick up on his building frustration. Many of them had been with him for a good long time now, and knew how to read him quite well. Wheeljack had the good sense to get out if the line of fire while the getting was good. Brawn and Windcharger got right down to work. Good mechs.

The Ark-19's commander took in the exchange between Smokescreen and his XO before answering either of them. Their reasoning was sound. Particularly when it came to Bee's suggestion of increasing their surveillance.

"Permission granted, Little Buddy," he told the Intelligence Officer. "Get us some new optics out there. Take Smokescreen with you. Smokey, once y'all get the equipment deployed, then continue yer monitoring. Git to it!"

The old veteran slumped into the captain's chair. His thoughts were with his mechs in the field. He hoped they'd do right by Jazz, and get the frak out of there the first chance they got. If not...well, he'd just have to go get them himself and kick the Twins' heads in for making him do it.

"Windcharger," Ironhide said eventually. "I want you to watch fer any word from the Twins or Jazz. You hear word one, I want a recall lock on all three o' em. Let's get those protoforms home, and find out what Jazz learned."
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Re: Ark-19: The Enemy Within

Postby MaP_Prime » Sun Oct 26, 2008 12:26 am

Command Deck

Bumblebee took the report from Ironhide and began to read it over. Like Smokescreen had said everything looked in over and his analysis of the virus seemed accurate. Although he was not as talented computer whiz as Smokescreen, he at least was familiar enough with the systems he was responsible for to know when everything was in order. Satisfied with his own review of the report he handed it back to Ironhide, who was now sitting in the command chair giving out orders to the gathered 'Bots.

"Sure thing Ironhide. When I'm done we'll have enough observation gear out there to spot an Insecticon on the moon!" The yellow minibot said to his commander with a grin. Although that was a great exaggeration on Bumblebee's part he did plan on at the very least doubling what they already had deployed. He turned and began to walk to the door of the command deck, heading for the exit hatch of the Ark that lead to the surface. "Come on Smokescreen we got a job to do." Bumblebee said as the door opened in front of him. "We'll grab more of the observation gear and then get to the surface."

The smaller 'Bot was a little eager to finally get out of the Ark and do something. He also wanted to make sure he was away from Ironhide if something went wrong, although the two had been friends for a long time Bumblebee knew the bigger 'Bot had a not so small tempter. Given the way he had been swamped by the others on the command deck Bumblebee knew his commander could snap at any nano and he wanted to give the big bot some time to cool his circuits.
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Re: Ark-19: The Enemy Within

Postby MaP_Prime » Sun Oct 26, 2008 12:35 am

Computer Lab

Wheeljack accepted the device back from Skids and placed it on his work desk. He took out some of his tools and began to work on it, opening it up first and then began to repair the damaged circuits. He wanted to make sure the damage was repaired before he started to make the improvements he had just come up with. However, several of the components had to removed and he careful cut them out and removed them from the device. This was going to take more time then he thought as he had to rebuild those components.

"I'm sure Sideswipe and Sunstreaker will be careful extracting Jazz. I know though both come across as being a bit carefree, but they have been fighting this war just as long as the rest of us, they know what can happen if they get careless. Considering how densely populated this continent is I think it will be difficult not to avoid a fight near a human city. I am more concerned about JAzz getting back with his aft intact."
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Re: Ark-19: The Enemy Within

Postby Smokescreen85 » Sun Oct 26, 2008 9:32 am

Motto: "Transform and smoke 'em!"
Weapon: Twin Shoulder-Mounted Rocket Launchers
Command Deck

Thank Primus, was Smokescreen’s first thought when he heard that Ironhide was finally letting him go outside and stretch his circuits. He’d been cooped up inside staring at computer screens for far too long and needed to get out before he went stir crazy. Maybe I’ll actually get to race around a little in my Earthen alt mode. Smokey loved his vehicle mode. It was what the humans called a Nissan 350Z. He didn’t know exactly what that meant, and he really didn’t care. He had chosen this form because the car bared a strong resemblance to his original Cybertronian alt mode, and because the 350Z was based on an Earth-style race car, which fit Smokescreen like an iron glove.

“Sure thing, commander," the diversionary tactician replied to Ironhide’s orders. “Once we get the new equipment in place I’ll get right back to monitoring the human internet." With that said, Smokescreen turned and followed Bumblebee through the doorway of the Command Deck and down the corridor.

Storage Depot

Smokescreen entered the storage room and began gathering up the necessary observation gear they would need to deploy along the shoreline. Smokey then came upon some small holographic projectors. “Hey, Bumblebee. Do you want me to grab some of these holo-projectors? We could use them to hide the new surveillance equipment from prying optics, human or otherwise."

Outside Repair Bay / Corridors

His shoulder now fixed, Trailbreaker exited the Repair Bay and began moving through the corridors of the ship. The black mech had previously picked up the commlink message from Ironhide sending Sunny and Siders on a mission to help out Jazz. For a brief nano, ‘breaker had considered going up to the Command Deck and seeing if Ironhide needed him to assist the twins in any way. But then he thought better of it. I wouldn’t be much help out there. I’d just waste more fuel, the defensive strategist thought to himself. Besides, the twins will do just fine without me. The ‘cons don’t stand a chance against them.

Instead, Trailbreaker decided to head back to the labs, where he had been earlier, to see how his friend Smokescreen was coming along with the system diagnostic. “I hope he didn’t get in trouble for watching human racing again. I’d hate to see him get thrown in the brig for something so trivial," he quietly muttered to himself.

Computer Labs

The door slid open and Trailbreaker entered the labs only to find that Smokescreen was gone. Probably took the diagnostic results up to Ironhide, The black mech then noticed Wheeljack and Skids working away at their stations. As usual, ‘jack was tinkering away at some invention of his. He could make an energon bomb out of a human circuit board if given the chance. It may well blow up in his face on the first try, but he’d eventually get it right. “Breaker chuckled at this thought and then remembered that he had meant to ask the Autobot inventor a question regarding his high fuel consumption.

“Hey, guys! How’s it going?" Trailbreaker asked, cheerfully as he approached Wheeljack’s station. “So, Wheeljack, I’ve been meaning to ask you about something. When you have an astrosecond, could you build me a device that would help increase my fuel efficiency levels when I’m out on a mission? That way I don’t continue to waste so much energy. Maybe some kind of new filter that could be installed in my fuel system somewhere. I’d greatly appreciate it."
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Re: Ark-19: The Enemy Within

Postby MaP_Prime » Sun Oct 26, 2008 10:42 am

Storage Room

"I was thinking the exact same thing." Bumblebee replied as he gathered up a stock of the observation gear. "No point in putting all of this down and then having a human child tripping over it."

The smaller bot checked the holographic disguise so that it looked like a rock, or something normal for an Earth shore line. Bumblebee could tell that Smokescreen was just as eager as he was to get out. Earth was a nice planet and Bumblebee had developed an affection for the people of this little planet, and as a result he was not as bothered as some of the others to be stationed here.

Outside Storage Room/Corridors
Bumblebee emerged from the storage room with his supply of gear and turned for the exit hatch. It was to risky to attempt and orbital bounce so close to the ship and a tourist attraction, so Bumblebee had made sure that there was safe, and hidden method for the crew of the Ark-19 to make it to the surface of the lake with little risk of being seen. He had also made sure to set up a scanning device on the section of shore line where the Autobots would emerge to ensure that the area was safe. He checked the scanner and saw that the area was free of any potential eyes and saw that it was clear.

"Alright Smokescreen lets get up there and get this gear down." The minibot said as he walked into the airlock. "Now before we go up I just want to remind you stay in your alt mode, only transform into robot mode only if your life depends on it. Also keep your holomater avatar active at all times as well and obey the human traffic laws. We don't want to draw any attention to ourselves if we can avoid it."

The smaller bot grinned up at Smokescreen and gave him a friendly pat on the arm. When he gave out those orders Bumblebee always felt a little strange, but he just figured it was that knowledge was second nature to him given his role as an intelligence officer and to himself he sounded foolish repeating it. He also felt that saying such a thing could be a little condescending to the other 'Bots, but he figured it was better safe then sorry.

Bumblebee turned to the door and hit the switch that opened the door and he entered the water of Lake Erie and ascended to the surface. Poking his head up and taking a quick look around and not seeing anyone in sight climbed onto the shore line and transformed into his Volkswagen Beetle and activated his holomater avatar.

Computer Labs

When the doors opened Wheeljack barely registered it, he was to busy with his work and talking with Skids. He had just begun working on the replacement components for the device he was going to give to Skids when he heard someone approach him. He figured it was just Smokescreen returning from the Command Deck, but when he heard the voice of Trailbreaker he looked up at the big 'Bot.

"Oh hey Trailbreaker. How's the arm? Was Ratchet able to patch it up?" When he heard Trailbreaker's request Wheeljack rubbed his chin in thought and was quite for several moments. "Hmm, a new filter? That might be doable." He turned to his computer and brought up Trailbreakers schematics, he always liked having the spec for his team mates since he was always trying to think of new ways to improve their weapons and abilities. "Actually I have been trying to find a way to improve our teams fuel efficiency by designing a fuel pump based off of Bumblebee's. But I've been meeting with less then success with it, but a filter might be a better idea." He back taking a detailed look at Trailbreaker's fuel distribution system. "Although I am not comfortable with the idea of creating a new system or device and installing it in you without making sure it will do what it is intended to, I wouldn't mind tinkering with your fuel injection system since it seems to pump way to much fuel into your tubes. I might be able to make it so it injects a more reasonable amount, as I think with the way it is now you just get huge doses that work well for you when you need that extra burst in battle, but when not exerting yourself just burns it up more." He then snapped his fingers as an eye struck him. "Oh I think I got it! I might be able to devise a system that will allow you to control how much fuel you are injecting into your tubes, but we might want to run this by Ratchet first. I am not a medical expert, and I want his approval before I start opening anyone up to tinker around with his inner workings."
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Re: Ark-19: The Enemy Within

Postby Jeysie » Sun Oct 26, 2008 11:48 am

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Computer Lab

"Yes I suppose you're right, Wheeljack." Skids worried anyway, however... he liked the humans and got on well with Jazz, and while he wasn't particularly fond of Sunstreaker and Sideswipe, he wasn't keen on seeing them injured by the Decepticons, either.

He brooded over his display while Wheeljack tinkered with the regulation device, until Trailbreaker came in. Skids waved a greeting to him. "It goes well enough in here, though I hear that things are a llittle crazy planetside. What has been going on with you, Trailbreaker? Anything new happening?"

Skids also listened curiously as Wheeljack pondered Trailbreaker's fuel problems. He didn't know much about engineering himself, being much more well-versed in the "soft" sciences, but he tended to be curious about almost any tidbit of information he could fold into his personal analyses somehow.
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Re: Ark-19: The Enemy Within

Postby Smokescreen85 » Sun Oct 26, 2008 5:19 pm

Motto: "Transform and smoke 'em!"
Weapon: Twin Shoulder-Mounted Rocket Launchers
Corridors – Outside Storage Room

Smokescreen left the storage area with the observation equipment slung over both shoulders and followed Bumblebee to the exit hatch. As he entered the airlock, Smokey was reminded by the minibot of the standard infiltration protocols such as: staying in alt mode, keeping your holomatter avatar on, obeying the traffic laws and so on and so forth. He’d heard them a million times before from Ironhide and even from Trailbreaker. "Don’t worry, ‘bee. I know the rules," he replied, placing one hand gently on the yellow mech's shoulder. "I won’t break them."

Except for that one about obeying the traffic laws, Smokey thought to himself. I may have to bend that one just a little bit. Then the hatch was opened and the diversionary tactician found himself surrounded by cold water that made his circuits tingle. Without delay, the red and blue Autobot swam out and up, heading for the surface.

Lake Erie Shoreline

Emerging from Lake Erie astroseconds later, Smokescreen quickly made his way onshore and transformed into his Nissan 350Z alt mode. His car form was a sleek piece of machinery that any racing enthusiast, human or bot, would envy. Smokey’s coloring really made the vehicle stand out with the hood, roof and spoiler being a deep red while the sides and front were a solid blue. Additionally, a white stripe stretched the length of the car, separating the two colors. And as an added decoration, the number ‘38’ appeared on both doors inside of white squares. This number had no real meaning for Smokey. It was what the humans would call a "custom job" and gave his alt mode more of an Earthen race car vibe without actually being one.

As Smokecreen drove up along side Bumblebee, his holo-driver appeared behind the wheel. Smokey then began scanning the area for any signs of human activity. "I’m not picking much up on my scanners, Bumblebee. There are a few natives walking about a half-mile down the beach, and there are a few vehicles driving by on a road that runs parallel to the shoreline, but that’s about it," Smokescreen advised his superior officer. "Seems we’ve come up onto a remote area. We should be okay deploying the equipment. Where do you want me to start?"

Computer Labs

"My arm’s doing fine. Thanks for asking," Trailbreaker responded to Wheeljack’s inquiry. "Ratchet was able to patch it up without a problem." He then turned to Skids. "Yeah, I heard about Sunny and Siders going out to help Jazz. They’ll do fine. Other than that, not much else going on that I’m aware of."

‘Breaker then listened to Wheeljack’s proposals regarding his fuel system. Tinker around with my inner workings? The black mech thought to himself. Not exactly what I had in mind. "Well that sounds all well and good, ‘jack, but I was really just looking for something small I could just install myself or Ratchet could install if need be. I really didn’t want my system rearranged. I’d be willing the try that fuel pump idea, though, once you get it working."
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Re: Ark-19: The Enemy Within

Postby MaP_Prime » Sun Oct 26, 2008 6:49 pm

Lake Eire Shoreline

Sitting on his wheels in the soft sand of the Lake Erie shore line Bumblebee initiated his own scan of the area just before Smokescreen communicated his findings. The minibots own scans revealed the same information. The area was not as busy, this may could of been a number of reasons, time of day, year, some sort of human ritual that occupied their time or so forth. Bumblebee had created a map of the lakes shoreline and marked the spots where he had deployed the listening devices when the Ark had first arrived on Earth. He then transmitted a copy of that map to Smokescreen. The map showed that most of the shoreline was pretty well covered with Bumblebee's observation equipment, except for the northern portion, that was barely covered at all.

"Well Smokescreen the issue we have here is that this lake lies on the boarder of two human nation-states, although they are friendly towards each other, traveling between them can be problematic. What I want to do first is cross the boarder into the norther nation-state, scout the shore line and deploy our equipment. From there I want to also cover several of the island located in the lake as well." He said as he began to highlight the areas on the map that he wanted to cover. "Once we have the northern shore covered we can then enter the water and make our way for the islands. So we had better get moving, from what Skids tells me from the human news broadcasts crossing the boarder can take several hours."

Bumblebee rolled forward and drove onto the nearest road and began to drive down the highway towards the board crossing. There he ended up stuck in traffic as he slowly inched forward, towards the check point.

Computer Lab

Nodding as he listened to what Trailbreaker wanted wheel check rubbed his chin once again in thought, his vocalizers glowing softly from time to time as he softly muttered something to himself. Wheeljack understood Trailbreaker's reluctance to undergone any major reworking of his internal components, it wasn't an idea he particularly liked himself. Though trying to find better ways to improve the fuel effencency of his fellow Autobot's has been a major concern of Wheeljack of late. Given the dwindling supplies of energon and the increasing reliance on substitutes it was becoming more important to ensure that every drop of fuel was used to full effect. Which meant 'Bots like Trailbreaker, who burned it up like no tomorrow, had a problem.

"Sorry about that Trailbreaker, I got a little ahead of myself." Wheeljack said a little embarrassed. His tendency to try and create new inventions often saw him get over zealous and try to create something grandiose, and over look the little things. "Well, sorry to let you down on the new fuel pump, but so far it has failed every test... if I put it into any living Autobot it would probably kill them, so I don't think I want you to try it out. Instead I think I got something else that night help you." He turned to compartment that held a number of gadgets and opened it, he reached in side and removed a small, roundcap looking gadget. "This isn't a long term solution I'm afraid. I developed it back on Praxus to help out Ratchet when the Decepticons went to stage 6. It was meant to help out the wounded and keep them from going into stasis lock or off line from loosing to much fuel. You just switch it on and attach it to your fuel pump, from there it should monitor how much of fuel you are having pumped into your system and maintain an even distribution of fuel into your tubes." He said to Trailbreaker as he handed him the little cap.

"The only thing is they were never meant for continuous use... since they were only used on the badly wounded... by the time they burned out they were probably no longer needed. This has the added problem of that once they burn out they can't be used again, so you have to get a new one. I'm not sure if Ratchet has an extra ones, and I'll need to build some more for you to have a steady supply of them. Though that one there is an advanced version to use on recovering wounded who still needed to maintain a careful fuel flow... so it should last you a few solar cycles, long enough for me to work up a batch for your regular use." Wheeljack turned back to his computer and made a note to develop more of the regulator caps for Trailbreaker when he remembered something and turned back to the black 'bot. "Oh Trailbreaker, I don't know how well they will work on a 'Bot who is full functionally and in top condition. So it might give out under the strain of constant activity and battle, so be careful. In the mean time I will try to find a more permanent solution to help you."
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Re: Ark-19: The Enemy Within

Postby Optimist Prime » Mon Oct 27, 2008 8:43 am

Motto: "One shall stand, one shall fall."
Weapon: Static Laser Gun
Command Deck

"You got it, Ironhide," came Windcharger's cheery reply. He was more than happy to have a new task to get his attention away from the mundane chore of collating data. Not that he really minded learning about their new environment, but he was a warrior and he needed action to keep him satisfied. If left at a computer console too long, Windcharger had a tendancy to jump around the database reading miscellaneous bits of data. He didn't retain the information like Skids would, but he did have a knack for trivial information.

Switching his computer console to tracking mode, Windcharger used Teletraan's complex topographic imaging and tracking system to monitor exactly what was going on with the twins and Jazz. It took but a few astro-seconds to get a lock on the twins. According to Teletraan, Sideswipe engaged with what must be Laserbeak and Sunstreaker was leaving his brother behind. For some reason Jazz's energon signature was not showing up on Teletraan's projected map. Maybe I need to widen my search grid.

Punching a few buttons, Windcharger began the scan of the surrounding area but still had trouble gettng a lock on Jazz. Clearly, something was wrong here. It seemed there was some kind of interference keeping Teletraan from getting an accurate reading. Windcharger rested his chin in his hand has he pondered the situation, then turned to his commander. "Ironhide, I can't get a lock on Jazz. Something's wrong with Teletraan's readings. Let me send out Skyspy to get a closer look at what's going on.
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Re: Ark-19: The Enemy Within

Postby Smokescreen85 » Mon Oct 27, 2008 5:45 pm

Motto: "Transform and smoke 'em!"
Weapon: Twin Shoulder-Mounted Rocket Launchers
U.S. Interstate Highway - Near Lake Erie

Smokescreen followed Bumblebee onto the nearby highway and headed north towards the large human settlement called Detroit where the border checkpoint was located. As he drove along, Lake Erie became the Detroit River, and Smokey took the opportunity to study the map that his yellow companion had transmitted to him. The minibot was always very thorough in anything his did and this time was no exception. The map was very detailed and gave them a clear visual guide as to where deploying the new equipment would give the Autobots maximum coverage of the northern shoreline. All they needed to do was scout the area to find the perfect spots. Furthermore, Smokey felt that deploying equipment on the numerous islands within the lake was a good idea, as well.

“You can never have too much coverage," Smokey said to Bumblebee as the traffic ahead began to slow. “Putting sensors on those islands will really give us a complete view of our surroundings. Decepticons could easily hide on one of those islands and since they mostly fly, they’d be able to get to them without much trouble." Traffic then came to a stand still and Smokescreen was forced to slam on his breaks coming within inches of Bumblebee’s rear bumper. The diversionary tactician scanned ahead and detected a virtual parking lot for several miles. “You weren’t kidding when you said it would take a while to cross the border."

Great, I finally get out of the ship and now I’m stuck in wall-to-wall traffic, Smokey thought as he sat idling on the roadway. In an attempt to avoid more boredom, the red and blue mech decided to do a little research on crossing the border. Accessing the internet, he discovered that they would need more than a friendly smile to get into the northern nation called Canada.

"Bumblebee, I did some searching on the human 'net and found that we will need certain paper documents and metal currency in order to cross the border. Specifically, our avatars will need them. First, we’ll need photo IDs. A driver’s license should do the trick. But, we’ll also need passports along with a form of money called ‘tokens’. I’ve already found what these documents and tokens look like. Our holomatter emitters should have no problem generating them for us." Smokescreen transmitted the images to the yellow minibot.

“Also, did you know that the border crossing up ahead is actually a tunnel that goes underwater?" Smokescreen informed Bumblebee. “It’s called the Detroit-Windsor Tunnel and it connects the large human settlement that's ahead of us with another settlement called Windsor on the other side of the river. Once we’re across, it should be easy to follow the river south back to the lake where we can then commence scouting the northern shoreline."

Ark-19 - Computer Labs

Trailbreaker took the cap-like device from Wheeljack and closely examined it as he listened to the inventor describe it’s function. The device appeared harmless enough and it was more of what ‘breaker was looking for than a complete reworking of his systems. And the black mech should have no problem attaching this to his fuel pump, himself. He wouldn’t require Ratchet’s assistance.

“Okay, ‘jack. I’ll give this a try and let you know how it works out." Trailbreaker then thought for a moment. “But, I think I’ll wait until I’m called upon for a mission. That way I won’t wear it out just loitering around the ship. It won’t do me much good if that happens," he said with a chuckle. “Thanks, Wheeljack. I appreciate the help."
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Re: Ark-19: The Enemy Within

Postby MaP_Prime » Mon Oct 27, 2008 7:01 pm

U.S. Interstate Highway, Near Lake Erie

After listening to Smokescreen describe the required documents and tokens, and where the road lead to Bumblebee would of smacked himself in the forehead if he were in robot mode. He had been so focused on the topography of the lake he had totally forgotten to look into what would be needed to get across the boarder. Thankfully Ironhide had ordered Smokescreen to come along and he was able to discover the required items he would need his holomater generator to produce. Still he felt somewhat embarrassed about the slip up.

"Thanks for that Smokescreen. That never even crossed my mind to look into that, good thing you had the instinct to check... it would of been a very awkward situation if I reached the check point without that bit of information." The yellow minibot said as he inched forward a little bit. He had anticipated a long delay at the check point, but it appeared he had under estimated the traffic. "Hmm, seems my estimations for the human traffic as well as the location where this road takes us were off. Looks like we are going to be delayed. Oh well... nothing we can do about that now."

Time seemed to crawl by for Bumblebee as he sat in traffic, inching forward ever few minutes. The poor minibot thought he might go into stasis lock after his long wait, but he couldn't think of anyway out of the situation without risking blowing his cover. He wondered how the humans themselves could deal with it, and why two nations who were supposedly friendly towards each other could require such a strain. However, despite his irritation with waiting eventually he reach the check point.

"That is a good point about the islands Smokescreen and that is one I have considered myself. They would be excellent staging areas for Decepticon staging areas for air raids and recon missions. Also I a little worried that humans might be using them as well to try and find us. I know it sounds unlikely, but considering how many groups are obsessed with potential off world activity I am worried someone might have taken notice of us in some way. So I plan on placing observation devices on a few key islands that will let us to keep an eye on the rest of them.

A somewhat grumpy looking uniformed human male was waiting for him and asked to see the documentation Smokescreen had informed him of. His avatar presented the generated documents to the officer he studied them carefully. For a few nanoseconds Bumblebee was worried he had not generated the proper documentation as the officer seemed to be very carefully studying the information and then looked back at his sweetly smiling avatar. Though eventually he was allowed to pay the tokens and move on, but not before his audio receptors heard a conversation between two officers about the possibility of inspecting his vehicle mode. Fortunately they decided it was not needed.

"I can't slow down to wait for you Smokescreen," Bumblebee said as he drove away from the check point and towards the tunnel. "if I get to far ahead I'll find some place to wait for you on the other side of the tunnel."

Bumblebee soon was descending the road into the underwater tunnel as he kept an optic out on his rear sensors to watch his comrade for as long as he could.

Computer Lab

"It's not problem Trailbreaker, I try to help out as best I can, and that seems to be with cooking up little gizmos like that." He said gesturing towards the little cap held in the black Autobot's hand. "And keeping you in the field longer is always a good way to help out the team and keep to really through a wrench in the Decepticon works." The inventor said as he turned back to face his work station. "Though it is looking like I got work piling up."

Wheeljack now had at least two projects that he had to work on right away, and he always had a number of things on the back burner. He looked through his computer files to see what projects he had going on at the moment and began to organize them in order of priority. He placed repairing the frequency device for Skids and the new fuel caps for Trailbreaker at the top of least. Though that meant he had to bump down the new tracking systems and gyrojets for his own shells down.

He turned back to the damaged device he had set aside for Skids and began to work again on replacing the components that had burned out. It took him sometime to get a new device repaired, but in order to insure that it would work under the weight of the human com traffic he had to reduce its efficiency. Once done he stood up and walked over to where Skids was sitting and presented the repaired device.

"Here you go Skids. I repaired the damaged parts and modified the systems to work under the conditions Earth presents. But this means that it is only working at about 75% capacity, and might go down even further to compensate for higher volumes of communication traffic in order to prevent it from burning out again. I hope that helps."
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Re: Ark-19: The Enemy Within

Postby Jeysie » Mon Oct 27, 2008 11:06 pm

Motto: "Peace, Love, and Rock n' Roll"
Weapon: Dirge Gun
Computer Lab

"Thank you, Wheeljack." Skids took the device back gratefully. "Don't worry about the reduced capacity... like I said, it's still a great improvement. Besides, I probably was really watching too many signals at once to pay real attention to..."

He set the device back on his station and brooded for a bit as it readjusted the signals again. The more that Jazz's mission was mentioned, the more curious he was about what was going on... he always found it hard to resist finding out some potentially interesting bit of information. A thought struck him as he killed some time fiddling with the controls.

"Wheeljack? How well can this device clean up signals, precisely? Well enough to pick up signals from the humans' personal transmitters?" Usually only the humans' stronger transmissions could be picked up with any clarity by their receiver, but it was worth asking now that things had been altered...
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Re: Ark-19: The Enemy Within

Postby MaP_Prime » Tue Oct 28, 2008 5:55 am

Computer Lab

Still hunched over his desk, working away on his project for Trailbreaker Wheeljack kept one audio receptor turned to Skids. As the other Autobot talked the inventor still focused on the task he had set before and worked away as he assembled the components he needed for the fuel regulator cap that Trailbreaker had requested. Although not large, it was a surprisingly complex piece of work as it was needed to interface with the fuel systems of a 'Bot and to alter the rate at which fuel flowed. Wheeljack was still concerned that the current design of the cap was not sturdy enough to keep working under intense environments such as a combat, and given that each cap was not usable once they burned out was also a drain on resources. Although he had problems working out the later of those faults he had never considered designing one for use in the field for a mech like Trailbreaker. However, he was working on a small supply to be used by the black Autobot in the mean time until he could work out those two problems. Though he figured he would only get the chance once he saw how well the cap worked under the conditions a mission would place on it.

"Well it is not really designed to enhance the reception of certain frequencies, instead the regulator was meant to shift through all those transmissions coming in and better help you review them. My concern with frequency is more related to the extra output given off by the device as it alters the way the receiver receives transmissions. So it can't help you there." Wheeljack told Skids without looking up from his work. "But if you like once I get this work out of the way for Trailbreaker I can see what I can do about working up a better receiver for you. Though I might have to run it by Bumblebee before we activate or test it. He might have to take a look at it first to make sure it would make our own communication traffic detectable to the humans."
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Return to The Solar System - When Earth Is Not Enough

Transformers Podcast: Twincast / Podcast #90 - Dark Scorponok
Twincast / Podcast #90:
"Dark Scorponok"
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Posted: Monday, April 7th, 2014