September 13, 2011, 8:20 PM
Groove NPC Alpha
Alpha 'travelled' as fast as he could. Which wasn't very fast to be honest. He was going to be in trouble for this as well as he moved through his usual channels towards Iacon, slipping in in the usual fashion as he sought out the mind he'd visited before, Groove.
Groove is sitting quietly in the refectory, nursing a barely-touched cube of energon. He's been here for a while, trying to refuel and not really getting anywhere. His tanks are still churning from earlier, and he seems completely absorbed in staring at the swirling pink liquid.
Appearing behind Groove, Alpha looks about, blinking in surprise. Then he nods and kneels behind Groove, staring at the mechs' back. A moment to compose himself - he'd appeared too soon. "... Groove?" he asks simply.
Groove barely even twitches when Alpha speaks, still watching the energon instead of drinking it. "Aid's gone. You probably knew that, though." He says quietly, not looking up.
"... Yes, I know. I just came from him." notes Alpha softly, a hand on his knee as he reaches forwards, pausing then. "... Turn around please Groove."
That catches Groove's attention, and he glances over his shoulder at Alpha momentarily. "...I know asking if he's alright is a stupid thing to do." Debating for a few moments, he does turn about halfway toward Alpha, careful to avoid knocking his cube off the table.
The old mech continues kneeling for now, not moving as much as he could. He smiled, looking rather gray in the face "He is alive. He wished me to tell you he is there, but you already know that. I tried to comfort him as best I could." he glances to his hands.
"That backfired on me too." Groove responds humorlessly, shifting slightly to pull his drink closer. "Why did you leave him there?"
Alpha smiles a little bit "Communication IS two way. He did feel you, I know." he then loses his smile, and drops his optics "I... do not have that ability, not yet at least. There are only six people in the history of Cybertron who can teleport; I am not one of them. If I could have, then rules be damned." he even shivered a little.
Groove stays silent, turning his attention back to the cube. He watches the swirl of shades for a few moments, just thinking. "You do a very good job of faking the ability, then."
"What I do is... hard to explain, but it is limited. And yes, I suppose in a way it is 'faking'. " a pause "If you can keep a secret, it is more like long distance projection." his voice was lower, just between the two of them.
Heaving a sigh out his vents, Groove doesn't bother to lower his voice- it's not like there's anyone around to hear them, and even if there was, he can't bring himself to care at the moment. "So you're what? A hologram?" He props one elbow on the table, resting his head on his hand. "Do you have a reason for being here?"
"A hologram is a good metaphor for it. It works the same way." nods Alpha "I am here because I promised your brother I would tell you where he is. I have little wisdom to offer this time I am afraid. This one is out of my hands."
"He's been captured by the Decepticons." Groove says flatly, optics dimming. The thought is a particularly unpleasant one, and he's noticed how almost everyone has been dancing around actually saying it outright. "I figured that out on my own."
"It is not that hard to figure out, no." admits softly "But your brother did not know that you knew. But I keep my promises, despite the consequences." he glances to the cube "You are not hungry?"
Groove shakes his helm slightly. "I got to experience the results of my brother being tortured and possibly scared him even worse by accident. No, I'm not hungry." He pauses, heaving another sigh of air. "I'm sorry. Saying this has been a bad time would be the understatement of the vorn."
Alpha closes his eyes, pained in the face as he nods "It is fine. You are all under pressure right now. " he states softly, lifting a hand towards Grooves' shoulder "I only wish I could do more but offer encouraging words. It will get better."
Groove pushes the cube around with disinterest, watching the liquid slosh around just short of spilling out. "It's not going to get better until Aid's back. And even then, it won't be better for a long time." He says quietly, not caring as a bit of energon splashes out onto his fingers and the table. "And I don't know how to help any of them. I'm probably just making it worse."
"And wouldn't he being back make things at least a little better? " Alpha raises an eyebrow "You are suddenly very lacking in faith, Groove. As for the last line, I should tell you to be silent, but I lack the energy myself to. You are not, though, making things worse. First Aid felt you, and you did help him."
"I have faith in Primus, in my brothers, and in fate. It is the machinations of mechs that I hold no faith in." Groove says, tone turning chilly suddenly. "I'll be thrilled when Aid's back, but until then he's going to be suffering, and he's not going to be okay when he returns. I felt the same things he did; I still /do/, though not as much."
"Then keep that faith strong. But I do see what you mean." notes Alpha, nodding "Do not let it get you down though. When you are confident and firm, it will bolster him, even when you are worlds apart. For his sake, you MUST be strong."
Groove frowns slightly. "My faith hasn't faltered. I know Aid is strong enough to make it through, I know he'll come back to us, and I know we'll make it through this." He responds, turning to look at Alpha again.
"... it does not keep you from being upset." adds Alpha into the quietness, nodding in understanding "Aid will make it. You will be together again. I wish I could do more to help." he admits. "Things are already in motion though. "
Groove watches Alpha for a few moments, frown deepening slightly as he thinks things through. "...Why didn't you stay?"
"With First Aid? " Alpha looks up again "There was someone approaching. I can rarely remain long in one place either, and if we were caught... I would have had to go, and he would have been worse off."
"If you're not really here, or there, you would have been safe, and he wouldn't be alone." Groove turns fully now, staring at Alpha with an almost frightening intensity. "And how did you know someone was coming? You shouldn't have been able to know that without being able to see the future, or something similar. And if you can do that, /why did you let this happen?/"
Alpha shifts, a little agitated now as he lifts a hand "I would have been safe, but they may have seen me, and that would have put First Aid at risk. I did not want to do that. And I sensed them. It is how I find you and First Aid and others who I have to visit" his optics flashed then, voice rising over the softness, now hard. "And I would NOT have let this happen if I could. Do you think I am cold, that I would WANT to see such a dear, gentle person like that?"
Groove doesn't seem even slightly intimidated by the reaction, still frowning. "I don't know." He answers flatly, "I don't know anything about you. In fact, nobody seems to. How can I possibly know /what/ your motives are, or even if I can trust you?"
"Have I led you astray?" asks Alpha simply, his own irritation still present, although his anger faded fast. "Have I betrayed you? Hurt you or your brothers? I am not Primus - I cannot snap my fingers and make the world a better place. We all have limitations, Groove, and I do my best with what I can do. I risk danger even coming to you so soon after leaving your Brother. It is not easy to do this twice so soon, but I know how much he wanted me to tell you."
"You haven't led me /anywhere./ All you've done is tell me things that are fairly obvious." Groove points out, "And I haven't asked you to do that. I asked why you left a frightened youngling to get /tortured/, and honestly? You haven't given a very good explanation." He knows he's probably being unfair, but he's so sick of being scared he can't force himself to think totally rationally.
"Because I CANNOT MOVE HIM." presses Alpha, his optics flickering in distress. His face turns down long "I can only move myself, and not very well either at times. "
Groove stares at Alpha for a few long moments, still frowning, before turning back to his drink. "You had the ability to be there for him, and you still left." He says quietly, dropping both his hands in his lap. "If we can't trust you to help us in times like this, how can we ever?"
"Groove, believe me - if I could have stayed longer, I would have. But see this." Alpha notes, kneeling before Groove again "If I had stayed, they would have found me. When I left then, they would have hurt First Aid more to find out how I got in, and possibly even killed him. I am trying to help you as much as I can, but you ask more of me than I am capable of. It is not a rule - although there IS a rule about doing that - it is not about myself wanting to or not. It is about that I simply could not."
Groove spares a quick glance for the mech before returning his attention to the cube. "If you can't help- and can't tell us anything we don't know- then the only thing you're doing here is worrying security." He takes a small sip of the energon, not liking the way it settled in his tanks but ignoring it. "They actually /are/ helping, so I would prefer you didn't upset them. Please leave."
Alpha sighs, and nods "I am sorry Groove. I do wish I can help more. I will depart. But I will try to watch over First Aid when I can, okay? " he notes, starting to simply fade out, instead of his usual 'vanish when nobody is looking'
"...if there's nothing you can do, please don't stress him more. I'll try to contact him again later." Groove says quietly, gaze still fixed on the pink liquid he should be drinking instead of playing with. "Thank you for what you have done, little as it is. Goodbye, sir."
Alpha chooses not to argue on the first request. The mech though, does not "You did well. Like strands of rope, you are all stronger when together. Try again to reach him. Goodbye. And good luck." he is gone then.
Groove doesn't look up until he's certain Alpha's gone. He heaves air through his vents before quickly downing the cube, shuddering a little as the fuel hits his tanks. Pushing himself out of the chair, he looks around one last time before exiting the refectory, frowning to himself.