11363/Rossum's Research

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Rossum's Research
Date of Scene: 20 April 2020
Location: The Foundry
Synopsis: Lockdown tries to deliver on his contract, only to find out he's been had.
Cast of Characters: Blurr, Lockdown

Blurr has posed:
    Once Lockdown had supposedly fulfilled his contract with his client, a Decepticon named Rossum, he had been instructed to return to the Foundry, a lab and refinery facility located on a planet deep in Decepticon-controlled space. It's there that Rossum anxiously awaits the bounty hunter's arrival...as if his life depended on it.

    ...well, it was very possible that it -did-.

    In fact, as the Tactician is en route to the star system where the lab was located, he receives a transmission from Rossum. << Lockdown, have you secured the data? >>

Lockdown has posed:
The Tactician has state-of-the-art FTL and sublight engines from across the galactic stage. Cybertronian technology mixes with other galactic technology to create a rather mixed grid.

Some jury rigging was required, for sure.

As he comes out of a subspace tear to his destination, he's already received a comm transmission. He bursts back on the encrypted frequency he was provided, even as he sets the autopilot to take him into the system, to the lab proper. ((Datachip retrieved. Was stolen and thief ran to a backwater planet called Terra to hide with it. Hunted the Autobot for weeks across the planet. Coming in with it now))

Blurr has posed:
    << Perfect. I'll meet you at my office in the west towers. Rossum out. >> The transmission cuts off, as the scientist waits for Lockdown to arrive and make his way up there. The bounty hunter would have no trouble getting in, as he had already been given authorization to enter the facility.

Lockdown has posed:
The Tactician docked smoothly, and out of the port came Lockdown, who completely ignored all the security as he went by.

Lockdown might be authorized, but he was well known for considering the war as a petty squabble he only barely tolerated getting involved in. Anyone who tried to get in his way? They just got a throat grab, and a shove back, "Get out of my way, child." Lockdown grinded out, contempt evident in his voice.

He was one of the best bounty hunters in Cybertronian space... but his attitude made working with him to be... an acquired taste.

Once he was inside the office, Lockdown pulled the datachip out of a utility chamber in his torso, and tossed it underhanded right to Rossum. "Payment to the usual account."

Blurr has posed:
    Rossum looks about as anxious as he'd sounded on the comms when Lockdown comes in. He is significantly shorter than Lockdown, with a mostly orange and yellow paintjob, tan-colored faceplates and yellow optics. His helm is equipped with extra lights and scanning equipment befitting a scientist or medic.

    "Oh! Lockdown, phew, thank Primus you're here." he says, catching the data drive and nodding. "Yes, yes of course I've already made a downpayment and I'll be sure to get you the rest but first uh---you wouldn't mind sticking around for a few breems while I just make sure everything is in order first, y-yeah?" he asks.

Lockdown has posed:
"Do what you need to do. You hired me to retrieve the chip, verify it to your sparks content." Lockdown crosses his arms, red eyes watching the Decepticon like a hawk.

He doesn't expect to be cheated... but you gotta keep an eye on clients just in case.

Blurr has posed:
    "Thank you, thank you." Rossum nods, looking pretty relieved at this. He knows who Lockdown is, and frankly, he doesn't want to get on his bad side. Though of course there are -much- worse bad sides to be on, which was the reason for this whole thing in the first place.

    He takes the drive and sticks it into a nearby workstation, bringing the contents up on a holoscreen...

    And stares at it in abject horror, frantically scrolling through the contents. "No...nononononno..." he whispers in a panicked tone, starting to look all the more terrified. Shutting it off he stares at Lockdown. "Y-you! You sold me out, didn't you?!" He glances out the window fearfully, as if expecting someone or something to come after him this instant. "But why, I even gave you a downpayment! Y-you're supposed to be one of the best in galaxy! Reliable. Honorable!"

Lockdown has posed:
"What in the slag are you talking about? You hired me to retrieve a datachip. I did that. You never said anything about the contents of that chip, therefore, I had no reason to verify anything on it." Lockdown points out, matter of factly. "If the contents of the chip are not to your satisfaction, you have only yourself to blame for not informing me of the contents... or at least giving me a reader to verify the data."

Then, Lockdown marches *right up* to Rossum, literally inches away from his face.

It would only be more intimidating if it were from Megatron himself.

"Blame me for your mistake after I chased an Autobot across an entire primitive planet and nearly slagged my own reputation there in the process, and you'll have worse problems than a data swap." Lockdown warns.

Blurr has posed:
    Rossum cringes away fearfully when Lockdown becomes angry, pressing himself up against the back wall and bringing his arms up in a defensive posture. "I-I'm sorry! I-I just assumed you would have looked at it anyway and figured the Autobots wouldn't have gone to such lengths to protect, much less -steal-, intel from the -10th cycle-! I know the Rule of Thirds isn't all common sense but I figured at least -that-..."

    But Rossum stops himself before he manages to make Lockdown blow a gasket and then his own -head- off. "Vector Sigma..." he says quietly his voice shaking as he stares at the floor. "I'm a dead mech aren't I..."

Lockdown has posed:
"It wasn't my job to care what was on the chip. Only to retrieve it." Lockdown once again confirms, before he backs off. "I thought it was strange, but I I've heard of worse ciphers." Lockdown notes as he heads back to the center of the office, "I'm happy to negotiate another contract to retrieve the data itself this time. I've got a good idea of where the Autobot is, and I'll know if he tries to leave the planet."

A pause... then, "No one else knows about this contract still, you still have time to send me back."

Blurr has posed:
    "..." Rossum looks...moderately relieved at the mention that no one else knows about any of this yet. But, he is still quite distraught. "Okay...okay..." he pauses a moment, trying to calm down.

    Finally, he composes himself and looks back up at Lockdown. "Right. Since your reputation precedes you, I'm trusting that you're telling the truth and whatever cursed Autobot stole the data is the one who tricked you. It's not your fault, I-I...it's mine. I didn't want to tell you because I was afraid someone else might pay you off to give it to -them-, and tell them about my--about my failures..." And then they'd tell Megatron, and then he'd be a dead mech. "But I guess I haven't a choice, now."

    He sighs deeply, sinking into his chair. "What do you know about phase-sixers, Lockdown? You know, Sixshot, Heretech...Black Shadow?"

Lockdown has posed:
"I don't betray clients without exceptionally good reasons... like an obvious ambush." Lockdown offers in reply as he moves to sit down in a chair in the office. "I've heard of them, not much else. What do they have to do with anything?"

Blurr has posed:
    "Then you must know they are superwarriors. Built to make a joke out of even the Autobots' strongest soldiers. Sixshot could shred an entire unit in a matter of breeems." Rossum replies, a bit of arrogance even creeping into his voice. "And why, all because of an extremely rare metal...ununtrium. This place, the Foundry, is where the infusions take place. Where they're -made-..." he says, gazing out the window for a moment.

    Then back to Lockdown. "It's one of the most important edges we have over the Autobots in this war. What they stole, from -me-, is a series of developmental studies I did toward the beginning of this project. Procedures, methodology, test results...anatomical data on every subject at various relevant points during the experiment. And most importantly, the locations of all currently known and potential ununtrium deposits in throughout the galaxy--as sparse as they may be. The bottom line is if whoever stole this manages to get all this information into the hands of their superiors, they will have -all- the information they need to create their -own- phase sixers..."

    He trembles a bit at this, no longer looking proud. "That's why they didn't just do the typical subspace transmission, it's too -important-. They couldn't risk someone else intercepting it. And I'm sure they wanted to make sure we had -no- idea until their first subject was ready so they could ambush us..."

    "Lockdown, I -cannot- let that happen." The scientist says desperately. "I -need- you to find that data and make sure it -never- gets to Prime, Prowl, or any of their command structure. Destroy it if you have to! I'll even pay you double, I promise...you have to understand, if Megatron finds out about this, he'll send the Justice Division after me..."

    And if Lockdown has been working with the Decepticons for any significant amount of time, he'd know the DJD have a habit of taking great amusement in finding the most agonizing and sadistic ways to destroy those who have either committed treachery or have failed the cause in a big way...

Lockdown has posed:
Given that most of Lockdown's contracts come from the Decepticons, and that he's likely run into the Justice Division *himself* during the war, it's safe to say he's well aware of it.

"So, find the Autobot, get him to talk." Lockdown continues, "Find the data, retrieve or destroy it."

Blurr has posed:
    Rossum nods quickly. "Yes, yes...whatever you can do to make sure he does not deliver it to Command." But he frowns. "You said you'd know if the Autobot tries to leave the planet, but if he cheated you it's likely -he- was waiting for -you- to leave the planet before taking action, which you already have...which leads to me to believe we may b-be...too late..." he admits, again looking terrified. "But if that's the case, why hasn't he left yet?" This quandary is puzzling him, and he doesn't like not knowing their game plan one bit.

    "Which Autobot was it, anyway?" He's not sure if that would mean anything to him, but maybe. "Did you recognize him?"

Lockdown has posed:
"I can't access their military comms obviously, but unless he has cloaking technology better than mine, I'll know when he tries to leave." Lockdown grinds his mouth as he thinks, "He's one of the younger Autobots. Blurr. He's one of those children who thinks their only trick is all they need."

Then, Lockdown stands up, starting to head to the door, "Half now, half on delivery. Doubled, as agreed." Lockdown states as he heads for the door... then, he looks back to Rossum, "Anything I should know before I take subspace back to the dump?"

Blurr has posed:
    "You shouldn't need to, if they were planning on using a subspace transmission they would have done so, and I'd already be dead because there's no way Soundwave would miss that. But..." Rossum rubs his head. "Why in the name of Primus would they take it to some middle of nowhere system like Sol? Why wouldn't they just take it straight to hub-command? Slag it, it doesn't make any -sense-..." He shakes his head. "I don't like this. I don't like this at -all-."

    Then his optics widen at the mention of Blurr. "Blurr?" Oh, -slag-. "Oh frag...-frag-...right. Of course they would send -him- after something like this!" The scientist mutters, pacing frantically for a few seconds. Finally, he stops at the door where Lockdown is. "Look, I know you think he's as good as a protoform, but you should know he didn't just happen. The Senate didn't just make him a perfect racer, it was only supposed to -look- that way. It was more like they were trying to find a way to create their own 'Outliers'. Ones they could control." He turns, going back to sit at his desk. "Don't ask me how I know that."