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Bob: *sitting at a table idly playing with tiles*

Tessara: *talking to one earnestly*

Auspex: *watching with indulgent good-humor*

Bob: *trying out patterns and comparing colours and textures*

Tessera: *chat chat chat taste nibble... antennae toward the door* Ooooooo

Bob: *looks that way and freezes*

Auspex: *brow furrows at Bob. She turns to look at what it is that has everyone's attention*

*A large gorilla looks back at her, his mouth open slightly and his dark eyes full of surprise*

Auspex: *blinks. Blinks more. There is a furry organic-looking creature in her front hall...* Er....

gorilla: *turns slightly, disclosing bands of metal around his torso and one arm* Well this is just prime. Looks like I need to slap a Vok.

Bob: *blink blink*

Auspex: *upon further reflection, a furry, organic-looking creature with some metallic content and a definite spark* ...I take it you didn't plan to be here? *her voice is gentle, but with a definite hint of amusement*

gorilla: Not unless this is the bridge of my ship. *turns back to look at her, frowning.*

Tessera: *funny little happy welcoming squeak, and then babble*

Auspex: *Primus sends reassurance, and a sense that there is a purpose for this. Better than random Nexus nonsense, she supposes...* This is a sanctuary of Primus, actually.

gorilla: *the suspicion in his frown grows as longing jolts his spark* And last time it was a house in Midwestern suburbia. *looks down at himself* No disguises this time, though.

Auspex: *tilts her head, puzzled* You are wary. You are not certain I am truthful?

gorilla: I'm not certain you're real. *eyes go to Bob, who looks back seriously. They narrow as he takes in the Seeker's badges*

Auspex: *optics brighten slightly* Not real? I was real a moment ago; I believe I still am. *the humor is gentle, and her concern is evident, in spite of it*

I am not certain how you came to be here, however. I suppose if you are suddenly somewhere you were not, unreality would be a possible explanation. But it would not be the first time a mech has come here... unexpectedly. It is sometimes Primus' way. *catches his glance at Bob, she frowns slightly as she picks up his mistrust* Bob is studying servanthood. Even if he were a Decepticon by more than mark, he would not harm you here.

gorilla: Decepticons are ancient history. So are bots of your make. And the last time I was suddenly somewhere else I was stuck in a carefully constructed dream courtesy of some... people with a god complex.

Tessera: *happyhappyhappy!*

Auspex: *'hmm's thoughtfully, studying his organic appearance. She would mention that she has met some from what she thinks is his reality... that may 'prove' to him that she is a program, however. This is not a time to explain the Nexus*

You are from the future, I think. But... you were planted in a false reality? I see... that would make the reality of this situation difficult to trust... and I'm not sure there is a way I can refute it. What... sort of people were they? I rather hope they weren't Quintessons. *frown*

gorilla: *frowwwwn, though he's watching curiously as Tessera goes up Auspex's arm. Something about that steady little chirp makes it hard to feel as suspicious as he feels this situation warrants.* The Vok. Sentient energy beings that like to mess with peoples' heads.

Auspex: *echoes thoughtfully* The Vok..? I'm not certain I've heard of them. They sound very like the Quintessons... why are they interfering with children of Primus? *she's not getting much positive feedback from Primus about them. This, of course, does not make her a happy servant*

I promise you, this is perfectly real, and not the machinations of... anyone who wishes to make Cybertronians into experiments. I'm not sure they would make a promise in Primus' name, but I am.

gorilla: ...You have a bug on your head.

Bob: 0.o

Auspex: *blinks, glances up for a moment* So I do. She lives here. Would you like to talk with me?

Tessera: Optimus!

gorilla: *mouth drops open* What...? *blinks and looks back to the white femme* I don't think the Vok know who Primus is. *more frown* Unless they picked it out of my brain.

Tessera: *utterly pleased that she guessed aright. Running in circles on Auspex's head and babbling exuberantly*

Auspex: *blinkblinks up at Tessera, surprised both at the pronouncement of the visitor's name,and the running* I surely hope they don't have that much control over minds. Primus would not appreciate their meddling. *more frown*

*she is still debating what sort of things she should share... even without describing the Nexus, knowledge of the future could be attributed to her abilities as a seeress, but may also cause suspicion that someone is pulling information from his head. This could be awkward...*

Primal: *sighs and sits up, his arms folded across his chest* They've taken over people's bodies and worked through them. *more quietly* And there's a ten year old girl back where I came from who was born in the last dream they stuck me in. *turns his head and looks at the murals, his yearning rising sharply*

Auspex: *nods ruefully* The Quintessons were known for similar tricks. But... a new being? They created her..? A Cybertronian? *now that doesn't sit well at all.... She diverts her unease as his emotions change timbre and she notes his interest in the mosaics*

Study them, if you wish, if they will ease some of your doubts. They are visions of the past, the history of Cybertron, and of Primus. You... seem rather homesick, I think. Is that also the work of these Vok, keeping you from your home?

Primal: *looking at the images, his face stoic* She's human... with a Maximal spark. *drops to all four again and walks over to put a hand on the nearest mosaic, not noticing the slight hush in the little bug bot's chirping and activity*

Bob: *watches him in silence, praying*

Auspex: *stunned to silence for a few moments. LOLs, she can understand (barely)... but... experimentation? With humans, and Cybertronians, and... they are attempting to insult the Greater Creator, as well, at this rate*

...I see. That... is unlike anything I have heard of. *at least, nothing outside of LOLs, but they are nonsensical by nature* How... did they manage that? *there's surprised wonder in her voice, and she sends Primus a clamorous mix of bewilderment at himself, anger at the Vok, and hope for the child's well-being*

Bob: *hand on Auspex's shoulder as his ruby optics look down at her with silent compassion*

Tessera: *little taste taste kisses on Auspex's helm*

Auspex: *gives both a faint smile of reassurance, though her attention remains mostly focused on the pseudo-organic visitor*

Primal: *after a long silence of crying out inwardly to Primus and feeling so homesick it feels like his spark is shaking loose he speaks, his voice gruff and his feelings still doubtful and suspicious* Is Primus saying anything?

Auspex: *optics flicker as she senses the depth of his longing for home. She sighs sympathetically* He says much about your pain, and your wish to be where you belong. He also says much about your wish for this girl's safety and happiness. He accepts her with no qualms, though he does not approve of the methods. *she peers at him steadily, waiting for more clarification*

Primal: *shoulders hunch as his hand clenches against the mural* I belong right where my ship is parked. *and he is steadfast in that, though it hurts and raises concerns for his crew*

Auspex: *gently* But it is not where you wish to be, and not where you wish for your people to be. I assume you are leader of a group of... no, you are not Autobots, are you? But similar? *She does assume he is a Maximal, and most likely the leader of the unfortunate Maximal party that was selected to 'get rid of' Rampage, stranded on Earth, as she's heard tell in the Nexus... it does match up with what he's told her, so far. But she is careful not to seem to know more than she should, even with her subtle clairvoyance. She doesn't wish to cause him needless paranoia*

Primal: *staring at the mural, his jaw firmed as he pleads inwardly for some sign. Some way of knowing if this is real, and if it is how.* It's where I need to be. *and there is some comfort in that.*

Auspex: That is a wise thing to say, though it is difficult in practice, I know. This child... causes you to be torn, blessing though she may be. Perhaps Primus brought you here to find reassurance in your decision...

Primal: *turns and stares at her, brow ridge lowered as he wonders just how the heck she knows that.*

Tessera: oooo! *happy!*

Auspex: *softly* I am given empathic knowledge, and your emotions speak clearly. And I know what it is to want the same thing for two peoples, and yet find them mutually exclusive at times... *she nods at the depiction of the Great War for emphasis*

Primal: *stares more, then sighs and slumps his chin to his chest* It's where I want to be. It's only the thought of never seeing Cybertron again.... *frown intensely at the floor*

Bob: *softly* He doesn't feel the peace.

Auspex: Circumstances are not always as final as they seem. At the moment, you are on Cybertron. Sometimes, the impossible happens.

Primal: *turns back and puts his hand on the mural again.* Not the one I know. *upset and confusion changes nonetheless into budding belief and wonder* -Primus... did you bring me here? Is this actually real?-

Auspex: *frowns slightly* It is younger, yes... but it is here, and it is real. There are many possibilities your future may yet bring, and even your present can be transient, as you can see. I don't pretend that it is a comfortable transition, especially considering the ways of these Vok... but Primus does not seek to confuse you, as they would.

Primal: But why bring me to the past? *turns to look at her again, his hand still on the mural.* What's he trying to tell me?

Auspex: That, I am not yet sure of. There might be any number of reasons you have come to this time and place. Perhaps I can better understand what he wishes to say to you, if you tell me more about your circumstances? It may make this more real to you, if nothing else. *her gaze speaks of quiet sympathy and support*

Primal: *hunkers down, one set of knuckles on the floor as his dark eyes study her* We wound up stranded on Earth not all that long after humans appeared. A Predacon ship came down with us. The captain of the other ship aspires to greatness and calls himself Megatron. We have reason to believe that he's trying to change time so that the Autobots never won the last Great War.

Auspex: *optics widen. Of course, she's heard of this Megatron and his plans before, from Predacons in the Nexus... still, the sheer audacity of the entire plan never ceases to astound her* Does he not realize that may cancel out his own existance? Or, I suppose he feels it is worth the risk... and so you find yourself attempting to prevent him from trying. That is a heavy task...

Primal: I'm not sure he's even thought it all through. *shakes head and looks exasperated. Then he sighs.* And then there are the Vok.

Auspex: *makes a face* Foolish, then...

*she follows after his change of subject* Tell me about them? Do you have any idea why they are doing what they do?

Primal: Yeah. They were playing god. And apparently we spoiled their experiment. So during our first year there they kidnapped me and did I'm not sure I want to know what. In the course of it I found myself believing I was a human man in suburban America, with a pregnant wife named An.

Bob: :\

Primal: I eventually saw through the illusion. But when they threw me back An was there too. And so was Windracer.

Auspex: *wide optics, again. She sighs as Primus rumbles with discontent in the back of her mind, shaking her head* That... what were they hoping to accomplish? Never mind how... and so, the human woman in the illusion was a real human...? They experimented on her, as well?

Primal: She's the leader of the local tribe. We met them right after that. *looks down as though troubled to admit it* They call themselves Maximals, and they've been in some of our worst skirmishes with the Preds. One of my crew taught them simple technology to go along with their gifts. *and the Maximal Council would NOT be happy to learn any of this*

Auspex: *grimaces* Fortunately, you became allies... but it resulted in them being brought into your fight. And you feel somewhat responsible for that? Because of the child, or because of your presence on the planet?

Primal: Our presence. We weren't really supposed to be there to start with, and we sure as slag weren't supposed to make ourselves known to the locals to the point where my men drink 'beer' with them and flirt with their women. *or where a child with a Maximal spark calls Primal her father*

Auspex: *optics flicker* Well... that could be problematic, yes... *she is silent a moment* However... somehow I think you weren't exactly given much choice in the matter.

Primal: *quietly* The Ark is buried deep, with protective shields all around it. We could let the Council know where we are and go home. *shakes head, indicating that they've chosen not to*

Auspex: *frankly states what she's reading from him* And you would be leaving the natives alone with a band of renegade Predacons, with a leader who would stop at very little to see his vision come to pass. Worse, leaving the natives behind with a half-Cybertronian sparklet created by the Vok, and using your spark to do so. *she shakes her head* You cannot be expected to have no attachment, the damage to the timeline aside...

Primal: We'd still be tried as traitors for what we're doing. And... I'm not that sure the time line's being damaged. *thinks of the old stories that Dinobot has told him about, about the mighty beings sent by God to help people long ago*

Auspex: You are influencing the people, who would not have known of you otherwise; whether that is 'damage' or not is subjective, I think. I would not see it is such, personally. But I have a feeling that your superiors would be unreasonable, no matter what action you took, or did not take. *She's heard stories, after all... not to mention the reason they were sent so far from home, in the first place* There is no easy solution, no matter how some might wish to force one.

Primal: *nods, his expression going a little grimmer as he asks very quietly* What does Primus say about the situation?

Auspex: *pauses a moment to consider both Primal's impressions, and Primus' general position* Do not fear disapproval; Primus is pleased that you wish to care for your offspring. She is a unique being, and there are those of your people who would not understand her worth. He is not opposed, if you feel you must leave, but duty to one's creation is a strong thing. I am also not certain it would be a wise thing, given Megatron's goals.

Perhaps others could be sent to aid you, but again, that may not end well, in regards to the little girl... and Primus does not think very highly of their approach to... unusual sparks. *After all, one of his people's directives was to dispose of one...*

But it is certain, that you have abandoned nothing, in your decision to stay. *her gaze is meant to encourage*

Primal: *chest heaves a little, and then he turns back to the mural* Thank you.

Bob: *frowning with sympathy for the other mech's tears, even though he knows they're mostly relief*

Auspex: *sighs softly, speaks gently* As I said, there is no concrete answer for the best course of action... but what is right, is being done, and sometimes, that is enough. The Vok have done strange and evil things to you, but a spark is a spark, however it was created. And still... I, at least, would feel safer for the old ones in stasis, if someone would remain to watch over them. I only regret that you and your people are somewhat homesick, there. If you could find aid from your people on Cybertron... but I am not sure that will happen. *she frowns*

Primal: *quietly* No. That's not going to happen. We're deserters. We're on our own. This isn't even the job we were sent out to do.

Auspex: *winces... there was the exploring, and then there was the 'disposal'... she assumes he means the latter* Sometimes what you think you were sent to do, reveals itself to be for another purpose entirely - especially when the reason was duplicitous, in the first place.

Primus' will, and bureaucracy, do not always coincide, I'm afraid. He will lend you solace, and strength to do what is right - rather than what your people would have you do - if you ask him.

Primal: I've been asking... and he has. *turns back to her frowning as he thinks of the being he and his crew were sent out to get rid of, and wonders if his relief at that pod being destroyed by the Vok when their 'moon' exploded is wrong.

Auspex: *nods slowly* Then peace will come, eventually, if you are no longer burdened with what unpleasant tasks you may have been given, when you came. You may never be fully comfortable... though I would hope for it. Though, these Vok add some uncertainty to your safety, that I do not like. They have free reign on the planet?

Primal: *frowning* We haven't heard from them since the day Rhinox ate a mutant plant they left after it ate one of the Predacons. But that doesn't mean they won't be back.

Auspex: *optics widen, brightening considerably* Ate one of the... it... *she shudders* And one of yours... *she blinkblinks, failing to completely get her mind around that*

Primal: *nods, a faint hint of humor coming into his eyes* He'd been dreaming that it ate Tigatron and Airazor... two of ours. Rhinox tends to listen to his dreams, so he went to check it out for himself. I arrived in time to see the aftermath.

Auspex: *optics still wide, she nods once, deciding she may rather not know all the details* Clairvoyant dreams... some people have them; that may be a useful thing, in your situation.

Though... I see the Vok do not limit themselves to sentients. Nor do they... make much sense, at a cursory glance. *she frowns in confusion, finding herself of little help in attempting to explain them*

Primal: *frowning again as he studies her. He's got a feeling she might know more than she's saying. But that could very well be just because Primus talks to her....*

Tessera: ThrrrptVok!

Primal: *chuckle* Couldn't say it better myself.

Bob: :)

Auspex: *chuckles softly* That... does seem to sum them up nicely.

*she's silent a moment, mulling over what he's told her* What troubles you the most, about all of this?

Primal: *folds his arms across his belly and leans against the wall as he thinks that over. After a few moments he sighs* Now... just the thought that Windracer will never see Cybertron.

Auspex: *slight frown* That might be true. Perhaps if the attitudes of your people change, you will be able to return, someday. Your home planet is something you wish to share with your offspring... though she may also not be well-suited for it, depending on just how human she is. Suffice it to say, if Primus wishes her to experience Cybertron, he will find a way, though it may not be how you might expect.

Primal: *nods, sighing* She's very human. And her gift is stronger than anything I've seen in the humans of my own time. *then he ducks his head slightly and taps himself on the chest. Amusement comes from him as he expects a report from Rhinox on what Rattrap and Dinobot are fighting about this time, but the amusement switches to alarm as an excited Rattrap tells him that the last two stasis pods left in orbit have finally come down and what shape their contents were in.* Primus....

Auspex: Gift...? *she isn't sure what he means, exactly. But now, he seems to be in contact with one of his crew. His sudden alarm, in turn, dismays her, until Primus sends calming reassurance. She frowns, somewhat confused at the dichotomy* What is it?

Primal: *looks up* We jettisoned some stassis pods on our way down, and two of them fell into a stable orbit. It seems they encountered a meteor or something because they just came down. *nearly on top of the Axalon, too* One protoform's a blank, and it's a good thing, because the other was nearly destroyed. Rhinox is our medic, and he's attempting a transfer. *worried* Do you have any idea on how I can get back? -Wait... how did my communicator just work?-

Bob: *worry sympathy, bit scared*

Tessera: *happy*

Auspex: *optics flicker* I am somewhat unfamiliar with how protoforming works... but that does not sound promising. To be of some consolation, Primus assures that this dilemma will not end badly.

But, yes... you need to return home, then. As for getting there... I am not sure, to be truthful.

*after a moment of reflection, and conference with Primus, she turns to the mech sitting beside her* Bob... er, you wouldn't happen to have a spare PINpoint, would you? *she seems embarrassed to ask - she really should have one to give unexpected guests, but it's not come up like this, before*

Bob: *is already getting to his feet* Yes. I'll go get it.

Primal: *watches him go* ...What's a PINpoint?

Auspex: *gives him a weak, apologetic smile as he goes*

*turns back to Primal* It's an interdimensional means of travel, of a sort. It... would be a long and involved explanation, to describe how it works, and why such a thing exists. Basically, it will find what universe you live in, and send you back. It may also allow you to return here, if you wish.

Primal: ...So I'm not the only visitor you've had from somewhere else.

Bob: *returns, intent on the coordinate finder; the wire from his wrist port plugged into a simple disk style PINpoint*

Auspex: *smiles faintly, shaking her head* You are not the first. Primus sends me many visitors from other worlds, actually. I am not sure why he has chosen me to be a multiversal servant, but I take it in stride. *her optics brighten in slight amusement* Though, generally, my visitors have their own PINpoints. Personally, I find them very disconcerting; I don't often use one, and so there is a distinct lack of spares to be found here. *her smile turns rueful*

Fortunately, Bob seems to have one. *she pats his shoulder in appreciative thanks. She may have had to send Optimus to the Nexus, if Primus did not return him directly - that may have been awkward*

Bob: *smiles at her, his spark full of affection, then finishes programming the PINpoint and offers it shyly to the Maximal* *softly, in his odd voice* Press the button to go home. And if you ever want to come back just press it again.

Primal: *surprised by the slight spark of fear that he sees in the taller mech's optics, but takes the disk, nodding* Thank you.

Bob: *his optics smile, but it never gets to his mouth as he slips back to Auspex's side*

Auspex: *seems relieved now that that problem has been solved* I wish you well, and feel free to come here, whenever you feel you need encouragement, or someone to listen. Remember that Primus is with you, and with your offspring, and that you have his support. I will pray for your protoforms, as well.

*she gives him a gentle, reassuring smile* Be safe.

Primal: *grave nod* Thanks.

*and then he's gone*

Bob: *settles back in his chair, and then blinks as he acquires a Chiproach, who wants him to tell her about the tiles. Does so softly as he communes*

Auspex: *leans her chin on her hand, watching them silently, musing over her conversation with Primal. Bob may be too focused on Primus to hear, but she feels the need to speak aloud, though she keeps her tone soft*

I have met others from his universe, in the Nexus. His Cybertron is rather a dark place, and the leaders of the planet are, if not corrupt, at least blind to the shortcomings of their beliefs. I would be afraid for his young one, if she were to visit.

Bob: *looks at her with fearful alarm even as he continues speaking gently to his little sister* //They would hurt her?//

Auspex: *replies in kind* //They may. They studied the spark of one of my generation, who remained as a very powerful free-spark after he died. They attempted to duplicate his strength, to make a mech that could not die. It... did not end well. They attempted to 'dispose' of their subject, after he proved to be dangerous, and not at all stable. Unfortunately, the job was given to Optimus and his team. They were only explorers...// *disapproval colors her tone somewhat sullen*

Bob: D: *faintly as he puts a protective hand over the chattering Tessera* //Oh dear.//

Auspex: //I would hope they would leave an apparent human child alone... but I am not sure they would react favorably to her origins, if they discovered them. But the point is somewhat moot, as Optimus' team suddenly find themselves guarding their own ancestors from destruction. It's... all very complicated. I do hope his reality takes a better turn than the others.//

*she reaches over to pat at Bob's hand* //But I am being unnecessarily gloomy. Primus will take care of them, I know that.//

Bob: //Guarding their own... without ever having been in the Nexus?// *blink, then offers a shaky smile. //Yes. He will. That's why he brought that Optimus here.// *fear fades into faith*

Tessera: *peeking out between his fingers, chirping quizzically*

Auspex: *chuckles softly* //Universes have a way of causing the strange and unusual, at times, with or without the Nexus. Time travel usually does.//

*she scritches Tessera's back as she peeks out*

Bob: *lets the Chiproach go* //Ahhhh. I'll remember that.// *then looks at his mentor and gives her a hug*

Auspex: Don't stumble into any strange time anomalies, my sanity begs you. *with a little chuckle of amusement, she returns his hug*

Bob: I'll try not to. *stands and gently urges her to her feet* Let's go to the garden and commune.

Auspex: *nods silently in agreement, moving to retrieve Tessera, if she wishes to come along*

Tessera: *is agreeable to the plan, and quite happy to play at the edge of the fountain as Auspex and Bob spend the rest of the waking cycle in the peaceful coolness of the garden*

((co-written with primus_seeress))