Salvation: Part II

“Sounds good to me.” Sidestep replied. “I’d be perfectly content if I never had to do it again. Although I’m guessing I’ll have to when we start interrogating other suspects.”
He extended his hand to Lurch for a handshake.
“I’m sorry I gave you a rough time. I struggle to trust people.”

Lurch quickly accepts the handshake, if only because it would have inconvenienced him more not to.

“The interrogation was fruitless, then?” Shockwave guesses.

“It was,” Lurch huffs. Now that SideStep was out of his head, he was seemingly back to his usual, irritable self. "For over a month now I’ve been wrongfully accused and harassed, and finally subjected to this undignyfing procedure which- to the surprise of no-one with a half-functioning brain module- turned up fruitless.

“…But, this ordeal has made me more aware of the, ah, urgency of your search, SideStep,” he continues, “and I will help you in any way I can.”

SideStep gives a faint grin, somewhat regretful of how far he’d taken things.
“Thanks, Lurch.” he nods.

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“Right. Of course.”
Starchaser said. She was about to walk off, until she saw Broadwing walk in. As did Click, who immediately got excited.

She walked over to introduce herself. Fascinated by the strange looking bot.

“Hello there. The name’s Starchaser. And what’s yours?”
She asked cheerfully.

“Broadwing… Nice to, meet you.”
The decepticon said. Surprised to meet someone new who wasn’t outright horrified by his appearance.

Click was chirping and chattering excitedly within Starchaser’s cockpit. Scratching to get out. She opened the hatch, and the insecticon happily jumped into Broadwing’s arms.

“Little buddy!”
He said excitedly.

“Wait. You two knew each other?”

“Click… Was a companion… Before I… Well…”
Broadwing trailed off. This new person seemed nice. Best not to scare her off.

“Hey, if you don’t want to talk about it, that’s fine.”
Starchaser said, realizing how uncomfortable Broadwing seemed.

“So what are you anyway? I’ve never seen anyone like you!”
She said eagerly, walking around Broadwing, looking him over.

Broadwing felt cornered. His origins, much like his outbursts, were a sensitive topic. But she would probably find out sooner or later. Best to be upfront about it.
“Shockwave… Made me. Not animal… Not decepticon… I’m not sure… What I am…”

“Dude that’s wicked!”
Starchaser exclaimed. Much to Broadwing’s surprise and confusion.

“You’re not… Scared?”
He asked.

“Hell no. That’s wild! You’re like your own thing. That’s awesome. Oh you gotta show me what you turn into.”

“Um… Okay.”
Broadwing shifted into beast mode. He stood awkwardly. Still not sure how to handle the situation. Meeting someone who not only doesn’t mind his abnormalities, but embraces them? Adamantly at that.

“Primus, this is wild!”
She began to poke and prod, holding his wings open, fascinated by every detail.

She then gasped and took a few steps back.
“Wait! I just got an idea. Wait here. I’ll be back in a while.”

She then raced off over to Thrift.

Broadwing stood there, not really sure what to make of what just happened.

Click blipped and chattered eagerly.

“Really?.. We just met. I think… it’s a bit early to say something… like that.”
Broadwing replied.

The insecticon chirped again. A more emotional tone this time. The decepticon beast sighed.
“Yeah… I missed you too.”

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Lurch nods in return, before facing Shockwave.

“This is a fascinating machine you’ve built, doctor,” he says.

“It was SideStep and his companions who supplied me with the necessary materials to build it,” Shockwave replies. “Epsilon-5 has just given me yet more to further improve its capabilities.”

“Need another jet?” Thrift asks Starchaser as she approached. “Or are ya looking for one for my more exotic wares?”

“What do you have for beast flyers? I want to know everything you got. Do we need to go back to your shop, or do you keep your cards on you?”

Garand and Zepar try their best to get to Broadwing. Eventually, they got to the hall where Shockwave’s lab was located, Zepar causing Garand to stop.

“Shockwave’s probably busy.” Zepar said.

“Be that as it may, the thief is right there and I have some stern words for him about his behavior.” Garand said before marching right up to Broadwing with Zepar in tow. (@MaximusPrimal)

Epsilon kept to himself as he drank the Energon he purchased from the Sunrise.

Broadwing had since left, tired of waiting so long at Shockwave’s door. He was currently in the engine chambers.

SideStep nodded.
“Now, if you two will excuse me, I’m sure the captains would like me to inform them on the developments.”
He nodded to Shockwave and Lurch before transforming into vehicle mode and skidding out of the laboratory towards the bridge.

Spectrum nodded.
She looked over the arm and hand, making sure everything was in place and finished.

“I keep a few on hand, for situations like these,” Thrift says, opening a compartment in his thigh to produce a small deck of datacards.

“Now, you looking for something with pretty feathers, or something more scary-looking?” he asks. “Beast modes offer a surprising amount of versatility, depending on what you wanna do with 'em.”

On the bridge, ■■■■■■■■■■■■ was overseeing preparations for takeoff. With the New Decepticons gone and the Green Omega Key recovered, he currently saw no reason to stay on this planet much longer. Outside the viewport, the sun hung high, washing the mountains and glowing, machine-filled geoglyphs in its light. Flyby and Brakeswitch look out from their stations at the wreckage of the Death’s Head.

“Captain,” SideStep said, transforming and walking towards ■■■■■■■■■■■■. “I interrogated Lurch. He’s not the spy, or if he is he’s somehow able to suppress his memories and thoughts. Additionally, he’s offered his services to find the spy.”

“Are you done?”
Fortress asked.

“I want something fierce. Intimidating and lethal, but still agile and elegant.”
Starchaser replied.

“I t-t-think s-so!” Spectrum sputtered.

“Thank you.”
He said kindly.

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■■■■■■■■■■■■ nods.

“Thank you, SideStep,” he says. “Though honestly, I can’t decide whether to be relieved or disappointed.”

“Maybe relieved that Lurch isn’t the spy, but disappointed that we still haven’t caught whoever it is yet?” Broadband offers.

“Yes, that might be it,” ■■■■■■■■■■■■ decides. “Thank you.”

Broadband shrugs. “I try, cap.”

Thrift begins browsing through his deck of cards. He flips through various jets, armored cars, and even a chimera or two before stopping at a hologram of a two-headed creature bearing a passing resemblance to Earth’s pteranodon. Passing, of course, as pteranodons didn’t normally have two heads, twin tails tipped with barbs, bladed wings,and sharp ridges on the sides of their beaks.

“We can adjust the colors, of course,” Thrift says. “If silver-caked-with-rust isn’t your style.”

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Darkside was still in the room as well, fiddling with the control panel.

“I dunno, she didn’t seem that mad.” Juliana said, ever the optimist.

“It’s definitely interesting, but maybe something with only one head? I’m not sure how that’d work if I tried it out.”

“Ah,” Sprocket says, walking up behind him. “I see I’m not the only Golden Age tech enthusiast left aboard, after all!”

Thrift shrugs.

“I’m no expert on the subject- you’d have to ask my less than reputable friend for the details- but from my understanding it just takes a little rewiring to distribute your neural net between the heads.”

“Right. Well, still, do you have any other options? Maybe more back at your shop?”
She asked again.

Thrift shuffles through the deck one more time, but comes up empty-handed.

“Yeah, back at the ship,” he says.