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16 July 2008 @ 02:42 pm
Last and Alone - Secret Part 4  

Last and Alone – Secret
Part: 4
Rating:  T
Characters:  Perceptor, The Monolith Team
Warnings:  Mech x Mech hinted at/mentioned occasionally
Universe:  G1-ish/Last and Alone/Monolith
Disclaimer:
I, in no way, shape, or form, own the Transformers© franchise or the characters it contains.  They belong to Has/Tak, No infringement intended.  Any OC’s to my knowledge are solely mine. 
Summary:  Perceptor was once part of a gestalt, but the others were destroyed.  Since he should never have survived the deaths of his teammates, it’s a secret he has kept for thousands of vorns.  Now Jazz is tracking it down.  An unexpected continuation of a prompt I took on.  It only pretends to have a plot.
 


 Part 3



Part 4

 

“Basically it’s an electrostatic discharge rifle upgraded for 250 thousand volts plus a few other special modifications to the charge as well.”  Foist had a hand wrapped around the barrel of a dull black in color heavy rifle that he held out towards Cavalier.  “Due to all the extra’s, it’s unfortunately only  good for two shots and at this point, I’m not sure the second shot won’t take out whoever fires it, but if you hit the spark merge point, ‘pop’ the gestalt breaks into its component members who should then also be disoriented enough to prevent an immediate remerge.” 

Cavalier took the rifle from Foist as he asked “At 250 thousand that’s double the standard for this type of weapon.  And special modified as well?  What are the modifications?”

Foist’s optics brightened.  “Oh, well, first …”

Cavalier winced and quickly looked from the rifle to Foist and interrupted the black and red engineer before he could really get started.  He knew better than to give Foist permission to explain something, especially when a merge later on would give the same explanation and be less painful to ones patience as well as easier on ones understanding.  Perceptor smiled at that thought from Cavalier as it slid thru his processor.

Cavalier looked around at the rest of the team feeling them out through the bonds.  Then back at Foist as he handed the rifle back.  “And why would you make a weapon that neutralizes our biggest advantage, pun intended there.”  And Perceptor smiled again, this time at the question.  They might be an exploration and defense team, but Cavalier always thought of strategy and tactical advantage.  This rifle had certainly been a step in the opposite direction, not something he would like.  “And why for Primus sake,” Cavalier continued “if you’re going to invent a weapon is it only good for two shots?  And since when do you invent weapons anyway?!” 

Those had been good questions Perceptor thought.  Foist was their engineer and by less than democratic vote, their weapons supervisor.  And while he had not known much about weapons before Monolith, he was no glitch about them now.

Foist shrunk back a step having felt Cavaliers frustration through the bonds; then both defensive and pleading tones in his voice answered his team leader, “It’s not for use against us and Monolith, nor Totality’s team either.  It’s just in case this new gestalt they’re getting ready to bring online causes problems.  And it’s only good for two shots because of the components being used in the discharge.  I can only get so many power packs on it and still keep it mobile.  And If I want to keep it mobile, I’m limited on insulation options to protect the shooter.  And you’re lucky it can shoot twice as it is.  I had to work really hard to get two shots out of it.  But I figure even the best sniper misses sometimes, and while Slider and Cep are good shots, they’re not that good.”

Again Perceptor felt Cavalier’s unspoken thoughts.  Perceptor and Slider were indeed the best shots on the team.  Far enough above average in accuracy that they won as often as they lost in contests against Cybertron Security Force members; still they weren’t sharpshooter or sniper quality.  The rest of the team were merely average.  Just barely in Foist’s case.  It had always been amusing to Perceptor that the weapons mech of the team had turned out to be the worst shot.  Though their weapons were always target accurate and in immaculate working condition.

Tonic took up the conversation then, “The Lab Tech Twistline is concerned about these new guys.  He’s not said much, only that they’re not like us first two teams.  He’s concerned about what the Gestalt will be like once they finally merge.”

“And I suppose you helped with this Tonic?  And probably you as well Slider?  After all, you must have accessed the specs on this guy?”  Cavalier was fragged a bit at the team not bringing up their concerns prior to introducing the weapon and Perceptor felt it.  It had remained a secret since the team had not merged recently.  Which was also the reason it had come out now.  The team needed to merge soon; they had been pushing their limit on time without a merge.  And something this controversial was better to have in the open prior to a merge rather than upset Monolith with a potential surprise conflict.    

Perceptor directed his attention back to the conversation as Tonic nodded his affirmative to his team leader.  But Slider, being Slider, responded verbally; huge smile in place.  “Of course I slaggin’ accessed the files.  They have yet to figure a way to keep me out.”

At this point Perceptor interrupted.  “Cav, it makes since.  Think, we weren’t summoned back when Totality’s team finally merged and he came on-line for the first time, but both teams are here for this group?  From a scout’s perspective… I’d say Twistline is not the only guy worried here.  It would have taken someone a lot higher up the blame chain than Twistline to force Command to recall both teams.”

“Gazer, you have an opinion on this?”  Questioned Cavalier as he looked at the only team member who had not yet given a verbal opinion.  “I think Perceptor’s observation is most likely correct.”  As always the quiet mech’s verbal response was simple seeing no reason to expand on an already expanded topic.

The tension from the rest of the team eased as they felt Cavalier capitulate through the bond.  Cavalier felt it as well.  He was the only one of the six with a military background, having been recruited – and he used the term recruited lightly- from the Martial Academy.  After everything, he still had faith in a command structure, even though the group they worked for was somewhat questionable at times.  The Cybertron Colonial Command had been somewhat controversial at its creation vorns ago, and had almost moved ‘underground’ so to speak in their operations.  The better to not upset the good citizens and government officials who disagreed with the need to explore and expand beyond Cybertron and its moons. 

Though fully sanctioned by the government the CCC was a don’t ask, don’t tell group.  The gestalt projects were completely top secret.  As far as the public was concerned the Monolith and Totality teams were merely exploration teams.  Being the way it was, not all of the colonists chosen for experimental colonies were exactly volunteers either.  Some had just up and disappeared from their lives one day.  Hmmm.  That sounded familiar.  Perceptor himself nodded at the thoughts regarding the CCC.

Still, with the rest of the team’s processors agreeable already, Cavalier would go along with them.  Right or wrong, there was no way he would split from his team.  He sometimes thought this to be an unfortunate side effect of the gestalt, the inability to separate.  Though in fairness, the Monolith team had turned out to be extremely similar minded in their desires for Cybertron and it was rare for the team to be at odds for long. 

“And that’s another thing Cav.  All of us had met Totality’s members before they merged for the first time.  Has anyone met these new guys?  I chatted up Spinster last cycle, and he said none of his team had met them, unless Rockshot is keeping the information to himself.  But I doubt that, since you yourself haven’t met them.  And the excuse from command that both teams have been out in the field is just a useful excuse, not legitimate."

Cavalier directed his attention back to Foist again.  There was a lot to consider and he disliked that this was being sprung on him in this manner.  “Just how long have you been working on this new toy of yours?  We’ve back less than two orns and Totality not even one yet.  And I don’t recall any of these thoughts the last time we merged.”

“I’ve told you before, it pays to be friends with the labbies.  You should try it.  Twistline is very friendly, and he actually has some morals.”

“That’s because he’s young.  Younger than all of us when this whole thing started.”  Cavalier said unsurprisingly disregarding Foist’s advice.  No matter that he would never give up the gestalt, even if there was a way for him to do so; he still held the lab scientists and technicians responsible for the potential life he had lost.  That Twistline had not been part of the original process made no difference to him. 

Perceptor’s thoughts were more ambiguitious.  He did not like the technicians and scientists responsible for his unexpected path in life, nor did he dislike them.  He was friendly with them, but not friends.  Tonic and Gazer held the same view.  Slider had made it his hobby to make the Lab Techs and command regret ever thinking his computer skills were anything they wanted on the team.  That they had enhanced his very impressive computer skills with further training in espionage and infiltration only added to their frustrations when the Monolith team was in base.

Perceptor focused again as Foist continued “Yes, well, he’s young, he’s friendly, he cares, has morals and I stay in touch with him.” Foist admitted well aware of Cavaliers stance on the labbies.  “And sometimes it pays off.  He’s been dropping hints for nearly a meta-cycle that he does not like the new team.  That the new team is different from us or Totality’s team.  And Slider’s already confirmed it from his hack.”  Foist nodded at Slider who offered over a datapad.

“Cav, just look at these guys skill set; you’ll see this is not an exploration and defense team with some offensive capabilities thrown in for good measure.  No offense to you, but these guys all came from the Cybertron Security Force and the Martial Academy before that.  And they did not have the best of records in either place.”

Cavalier sighed, looking at the datapad he could see the skill set this new team had was…aggressive, no science mechs among them.  His teammates were in agreement, and there was no point in pursuing the why’s to deeply at this point when a merge would clear everything.  “Alright, were off topic here anyway for the moment.  Foist, back to your toy.  You created a weapon, to be used against gestalts, there being so many of us” and Cavaliers tone dripped with sarcasm, “on the off chance that the new one is going to go rogue?” followed by skeptism.  “You did this without any authorization or previous discussion what so ever?” and finally miffed authority.

“Yeah.”

Perceptor felt how that last point continued to grate Cavalier as he cycled the air in his systems in a sigh.  Then he pushed it aside, “Fine.  So it can neutralize the links and force a gestalt to break into its components?”

“Actually it’s going to force the merge point to overload thus forcing the energy back…Ah, basically correct.” Foist ended quickly upon Cavaliers glare.

“But you have to have a direct hit at the spark merge point for it to work?”

“Yeah.”

“And I seem to remember a little fact that each gestalts is in a different location based somehow on the composition of the individuals and the way they form up?”

“Yeah.”

“So if this guy goes rogue upon merging, someone’ll have to get close enough to a rampaging gestalt to scan for the point.”

“Slider got the specs for these guys.”

“Last I checked... the merge point does not show up on specs until after the fact.  It was a surprise random variable that the labbies did not foresee.  Monolith’s would be a somewhat difficult shot due to the torso armor.”

“All true, but Totality’s would be pretty easy.  His armor does not cover the location.  So hopefully this new guys will be easy as well.”

“I still can’t believe that you’re offering up a way to neutralize us.  That is so not what we want the labbies or command having.  As much as I respect the chain of command, I don’t want to give them an off switch.  And there are those with more power than our own command group.”

“Command will never know about it.”

“Famous last words Foist.  Command won’t know up until the point we have to use it.  Even if you keep the design solely in your processor buried behind firewalls, they’ll want it as soon as they see it.  And face it, as soon as we merge, it’s not just your processor that knows, it’ll be all of ours.”

“Yes, but knowing and actually accssessing are two different things.  So everyone buries these memories deep behind our most secure firewalls.  We’ll be the only ones with it.  And only the one rifle for now.  It’ll stay safe.”

“Again, famous last words Foist.  And the rest of you guys really are ok with this? Cavalier questioned as he looked again at the rest of the team.

“Maybe we should merge?” offered Gazer. 

Perceptor’s comm. unit announced a location ping targeted at him.  He frowned, that had not happened during the discussion.  The team had merged and everything had sorted itself out, so his comm. unit now fully buzzing at his failure to acknowledge was puzzling.  Perceptor’s optics flashed online in surprise, and he hastily yanked himself out of Cavalier’s memory of the past event. 

Perceptor shook himself and cycled air as the memory was buried behind firewalls again, then looked around the room he was currently in to get his bearings.  As deeply as he had been in the memory, that kind of rushed exit was disorienting.   Teletran sent his comm. unit another announcement of a location inquiry placed by Jazz.  Perceptor smirked; the saboteur had been steadily increasing the difficulty level Perceptor had to go to, to avoid him as the days progressed. 

Slider would have enjoyed this.  But Jazz, as good as he was held nothing when compared to Slider; at least as far as Perceptor was concerned.  Though the black and white Special Op’s officer would probably disagree.  Slider had had an amazing talent when it came to -as he had put it- sweet talking computers and their programming and getting them to do what he wanted; and Perceptor had access to all Slider’s knowledge as well as the ability to utilize it.  Perceptor sighed at the thought.  Primus, he missed Slider.  Primus, he missed the team.  Primus he…  He shook himself as he felt the danger and seductiveness of riding the teams’ memories so quickly one after the next.  Vorns ago he had made the choice to live rather than loose himself in memories.  He had every intention of following thru on that choice no matter how painful.

Teletran sent a third announcement.  Perceptor’s initial thought that Jazz would not drop the comment about gestalt mates he’d let slip during the battle four days ago was apparently accurate and annoying.  It was beginning to interfere with his work.  He was really going to have to deal with the mech, but not at this moment.  He had every intention of doing it on his own terms. 

Quickly hacking into Red Alert’s camera system thru hard link to a computer terminal, Perceptor flipped thru the camera images, scanning for candidates.  Perfect, Hound and Trailbreaker were headed out.  He moved on to Teletran and the Ark’s locating system so that the next location ping for him would still ping him- so he’d still know-, but give Trailbreaker’s location instead, then he backed his way out, shut down the computer and slipped out of the meeting room he’d been hiding in; headed for his lab.  He made sure to go in the opposite direction the cameras had indicated Jazz was coming; passing more cameras that he’d just thrown into a temporary loop of empty hallways.

Part 5 - Secret 

 

 
 
 
kirin_saga: Not Forgottenkirin_saga on July 17th, 2008 12:30 am (UTC)
A nice look into the past here. The fact that it was a dream/memory was a bit unexpected. I'd thought that you have actually taken us to the past until Perceptor woke up.

And we get more information on Perceptor's Gestalt mates! I love how Foist was the one who built the weapons but was the worst shot of them all.

The fact that none of them agreed to be bonded as a Gestalt is a bit worrying (and since Perceptor's thoughts, in the very first part of this that you wrote, said that they had volunteered... does that mean that they didn't know what the end result of the experiment was going to be?). It makes me think that the Decepticons were the force behind Cybertron Colonial Command, especially since the 'new' Gestalt was so aggressive.

I also love how Perceptor, thanks to Slider (and his name is explained! He slides through computer security!), can so successfully hack into Red's camera system and Teletraan. Although if/when Jazz learns it was Trailbreakers location he received instead of Perceptor's... well, Jazz is going to have even more questions and will be even more determined to find Perceptor. He might even get someone else's help, since (I'm assuming) Perceptor's ability with computers is not widely known. Jazz would have to inform someone.

I'm looking forward to the conversation between Jazz and Perceptor (assuming Jazz ever finds him, that is).

Excellent chapter!
cmdrtekkcmdrtekk on July 17th, 2008 03:20 am (UTC)
It was my goal for it to be a surprise that Perceptor was actually in a memory. Hope it was not disappointing. I thought it turned out ok. I really was looking for a way for us to see a little more about his gestalt mates, and see one way he can look/access his teammates memories as so much more than just looking at a simple data file so to speak vs. a more inclusive experience.

Yes! I was thrilled to offer the explanation on Slider's name. Yes he slides through computer security with ease.

I am pleased you liked the chapter. I have wavered over if this was the way to go. Hope you continue to enjoy.

Thank you for reading and commenting.
tainry: PerceptorCoopertainry on July 17th, 2008 04:04 am (UTC)
Oh hooray! Very interesting look at the old gestalts in general and his team in particular. Like Kirin, I'm looking forward to Jazz and Perceptor finally talking, however and whenever that happens. <3
cmdrtekkcmdrtekk on July 17th, 2008 04:18 am (UTC)
I think we are all interested inthe two of them talking. Now if only Perceptor were interested in that. XD

Thank you for reading and commenting.
mmousemmouse15 on July 17th, 2008 04:24 am (UTC)
Yes, the memory/dream sequence worked VERY well. I love the names of the gestalt mates, and it's very interesting seeing how Perceptor is avoiding Jazz - wow, Slider had some serious hack skills! Very fun to see all this.

I too, look forward to the conversation between Perceptor and Jazz, and to finding out more about Perceptor, since I found this very intriguing: Vorns ago he had made the choice to live rather than loose himself in memories. He had every intention of following thru on that choice no matter how painful.

That means he deliberately chose to survive. How? I'm quite curious now.
cmdrtekkcmdrtekk on July 18th, 2008 05:40 am (UTC)
Pleased that you have enjoyed the story so far. I hope that it continues to entertain.

Thank you for reading and commenting.
snugsbunnysnugsbunny on September 12th, 2008 09:53 am (UTC)
I like this more insight into the inner workings of the collective mind of the gestalt.

The merge between memory and reality was well done, and I liked the mention of slider, and his ability to sweet talk computers. Even giving a definition to his name really as to how he slides into them XD

This is excellent and I'm trying to get this all read now, its quite exciting.