"Yes!" Facelift says. "I-I mean no- I mean- Ugh."
The Butcher of Tetrahex turns his head and shouts into a dark tunnel.
"Drone! Get out here and help the little lady carry this thing, will ya?"
A gurgling his comes as Drones reply, and the hulking insecticon brute lumbers into the light, his toothy maw hanging agape.
Drone helps Spectrum carry the large hand, letting Spectrum lead the way to the hangar where Fortress was.
Salvo looks at the head of her mech.
"Best you ask now," she says. "This'll take a few days."
Halfrunner approaches Epsilon.
"You too, eh?" he says, noting his exhaustion. Most of the Sunrise's patrons were in a similar state, talking quietly among themselves and occasionally sharing a laugh.
Shatterpoint and Topside confer.
"Shockwave's finished the Patch," the Decepticon captain says. "SideStep wants to use it to interrogate Lurch."
"So what's the problem?" Topside asks. He and Shatterpoint had worked rather independently so far, and they'd both given SideStep and the rest a great deal of freedom, given how much they'd taken the lead on this voyage.
"I..." Shatterpoint pauses, for a moment before continuing: "I thought it would be right to inform you first, before we began using it for interrogation. Lurch was already questioned several days ago, and while I can't say he was cleared of all suspicion, the results weren't exactly fruitful."
Topside furrows his brow; this was most out of character for his cohort.
"We were gonna use this to put Broadwing and SideStep's minds back together, weren't we?" he recalls, to which Shatterpoint nods.
"Though given the effect the cybermatter had had on the latter, and the former's demise, it would be a waste not to find another application for it. I am... aware that Autobots are, as a principle, opposed to such invasive methods, but I don't need to remind you what's at stake." The Decepticon's tone was surprisingly sincere, devoid of the cold contempt that had characterized the co-captain these past two months.
"...Fine," Topside says with a resigned sigh. "Give SideStep the go-ahead. But... be careful, you hear? Playing around with bots's minds is... it's a slippery slope we're starting on, is what I'm saying."
Shatterpoint nods. He raises a finger to his temple and contacts SideStep.
"I've discussed the matter with Topside," he says. "He had agreed to let you proceed; I'll have a security detail bring Lurch to the lab momentarily."
"Such a shame we're on borrowed time," he remarks. "Culture arks, proto-colonies, lost outposts... hopefully, when our mission is complete, they'll allow us back out here for some more thorough exploration."