Log Title: A Holographic Homecoming
Location: Los Angeles, California
Date: 9 February 2017
As logged by Major Bludd
At long last, Bludd and Raya arrive outside the mansion, still holo'd as Vipers. Raya looks at Bludd. "Show's over?" she asks, somewhat distracted by how badly damaged the building and grounds look. "You said everything was alright, right?" she asks worriedly. Raya walks to the gate and frowns at the makeshift chain replacing the one Cal burned through. She reaches out tentatively and touches the barrier lightly, almost as if expecting all of this is just a hologram, too.
Bludd looks over the state of the mansion, particularly the gate, with some concern. Did it look this bad when he left? "We probably better drop the disguises, yeah," he says, glancing around first to see that there aren't any Cobra-types in the immediate vicinity. He smiles at Raya. "Is that how you say it? 'Show's over'?"
At the mansion, Taria watches as she spots the two vipers at the gate. "Damn." She says to herself, before she taps at her earrings. "Synergy.....I think we're about to have visitors...."
Raya glances over, invisibly smiling behind her illusory helmet. She then looks down at the ground. "Yeah. Usually Jem or Kimber would say, 'Show's over, Synergy,' to let her know she can drop the illusion. You could probably just ask in plain English, though," she laughs.
Back inside, Synergy says through Taria's Jemstar earrings, "It's OK, Taria. It's just Sebastian and Raya in disguise. I should have warned you," she says apologetically.
"I usually do." Bludd grins. "But just this once..." He lifts the wrist with the necklace wrapped around it, bending to speak into it. "Show's over, Synergy."
"As long as it's them and not some actual Cobra agents." Taria says as she walks her way over towards the side door and peeks out the door, trying to get Raya's and Bludd's attention.....and to make them run for the door she's at....
GAME: Raya PASSES an INTELLIGENCE roll of Average difficulty.
Raya can't help but laugh at the spectacle of an internationally-wanted mercenary quoting Jem's line to a necklace on his wrist, and turning back to his civilian guise. As Raya's own disguise melts away, she opens the gate and ducks inside, holding it open just enough for Bludd to join her. As soon as he's through, Raya re-"locks" the gate, reestablishing the illusion, at least, that the entrance is secure. "Maybe we can get Synergy to whip us up some threatening-looking defenses," she whispers quietly.
Bludd ducks quickly in through the gate. "If she's stable enough to keep it going... though you might want to be careful designing strong defenses for the mansion. If Cobra thought they were threatening you'd be getting a lot of attention you don't want. Might be better to make the place look totally wrecked, like there's nothing of value in it any more." He shrugs. "But we can work that out later. Right now, I'm betting you're eager to see Kimber and the girls again."
Raya nods. "You're right. That's probably a better idea. And, yeah. I've missed everyo--"
Alerted by Synergy to the homecoming guests, Kimber suddenly bursts out of the side door and runs towards Bludd and Raya, arms up, screaming -- discretion be damned. "Oh, my Gawd!" she yells. "Raya! You brought her back! Outrageous!" She runs up and hugs Raya, practically lifting her up off the ground. Just as quickly she lets go and pounces Bludd. "Oh, my Gawd, 'Bastian!" she shrieks. "I love you!" she yells, and then looks IMMEDIATELY embarrassed at the outburst, turning bright red from ears to neck.
Bludd laughs as Kimber comes barreling out of the house and greets Raya, bracing himself to be pounced. His cheeks colour at her words, and he looks exceptionally uncomfortable for a moment until he gets his reaction under control. He squeezes Kimber briefly, bestowing on her a look of relief and affection, then releases her and steps back, avoiding glancing over at Raya the entire time.
Raya erks as she's swept up in Kimber's gangly arms, and widens her eyes as she's dropped and Kimber gushes her pronouncement to Major Bludd right there on the lawn. "Um, hi," she says quietly, although she knows she's being completely ignored. She glances towards the mansion, looking for sign of any of the other Holograms or Starlight Girls.
Kimber, of course, rebounds quickly. "Oh, my Gawd! I'm so glad you got back OK. I was sooo worried!" Her words tumble out in a rush, and she looks like it's taking all of her might not to launch herself back onto Bludd and never let go.
"How about we get inside before we alert the entirety of cobra that there are people living here." Taria says as she gets to the group, nudging Kimber in the process. "That means also keeping your professions of love to a dull roar, Kimber." She then smirks and looks at Sebastian, before heading back into the house.
"Everything's under control," Bludd assures Kimber. He gestures to Raya. "I found your bandmate, she didn't bring down the police on me or beat me with drumsticks, and we didn't get nicked by Cobra on the way in." He smiles, then tilts his head in thought. "We did chance to see a young woman who moved unbelievably fast," he adds, "and some other people doing seemingly impossible things to tanks and things in the street on our way here though." He looks over as Taria approaches, assuming she's part of the family but automatically assessing her potential as a threat. He casts Kimber a questioning look.
Kimber looks embarrassed again for less than half a second, and then looks at Raya and grins. "Thanks for trusting him, Raya! It means a lot to me."
Raya smiles. "It's OK. I figured if you trusted him, I had no choice. And, yeah," she says, looking at Taria and agreeing with Bludd. "So many weirdos in LA now! It's like lucha libre out there or something."
Catching Bludd's look, Kimber belatedly makes introductions. "This is Taria, 'Bastian! New lead singer of the Holograms! Taria, this is the guy I've been telling you about!" she adds needlessly. Kimber grabs Bludd's hand and tries to drag him back to the mansion. "You've been gone soooo long!" she complains. "But you should meet Tonka -- he helped Taria rebuild Synergy!"
"Not everything's under control Raya. We're still pretty dug in here. Cal and I had to cut our way in through the front gate. Cal's off on a mission at the moment though." Taria says as she leads them into the house, but she looks at Bludd. "A woman who moved unbelievably fast and others who were doing seemingly impossible things. Can you describe what they wore?" She then chuckles. "yeah, Tonka's downstairs, helping Synergy out." She then shakes her head. "You didn't have to tell him I was the lead singer, Kimber." She says giving her a playful nudge.
Bludd offers Taria a disarming smile and a nod. "Pleased to meetcha." He allows Kimber to tug him back toward the mansion. "The woman was wearing some kind of yellow bodysuit," he tells Taria. "I didn't get a good enough look at the others. They were a bit farther off." To Kimber he says, "Glad someone came round to help Synergy. Her holograms made it a lot easier for us to get back here."
Raya looks around at the damaged mansion, and then back at Taria. "Mind if I go check on the girls?" she asks, looking a little overwhelmed.
At the same time, Kimber nudges Taria back lightly with her pointy elbow. "Oh, come on! We have no secrets here! Besides, as much as I like them, you weren't going to be singing with the Moonshadows forever," she insists. She then stares adoringly up at Bludd. "Yeah! With Aja in Vegas and Rio MIA, Tonka was really a godsend. I'm not sure Taria and I could have figured it out by ourselves!"
"Yeah I know. Kinda hard to not think about the moonshadows now though. Hope they're okay." Taria hears what Bludd said and ponders. "I hope the tiVo's still working. I know I've seen them before." She then smirks at Kimber. "I know I wouldn't have. And yeah, go check on the girls, Raya. We really could use your help here."
"Tell me about this Tonka," Bludd says to Kimber. "Synergy said..." He frowns in thought for a moment. "He's is a very small Autobot? Just how small?" He looks over toward Taria. "The tiVo?" he asks. "The only thing on television around here is Cobra propaganda. Why would you wanna record that?"
"He's a very small Autobot," Kimber nods. "He transforms into a little truck!" When Bludd turns to Taria, Kimber grins at Raya. "I'll help show her around the new setup!" she announces, and grabs Raya's hand this time, dragging her towards the stairs. "You two play nice, now!" she insists, and disappears in a swirl of pink and white.
Taria smirks at Kimber as she heads for the stairs, while she tugs Bludd, lightly towards another room...one with the tivo in there. "She pokes at some of the controls and sighs. 'I know I remember something like what you described." She says as she flips through the recoded pieces....until she gets to one named 'Professor Sharpe'. "I think this is it." She says as she pokes the play button.
"Toy truck..." Bludd gazes after Kimber a moment before Taria seizes his arm and thus his attention. He watches the screen, though the back of his mind is mulling over the data of a very small toy truck Autobot.
It's about this time that the tiny Autobot appears from up the the stairs and walks across the house towards Taria's voice. Rounding the corner, he doesn't look up as he starts talking. "Heya, Taria, I've just been looking over..." It's about this time he looks up at the visitors and spots Bludd. His optics widen, and he freezes in his tracks. "Ohhhhh shit..." he mutters, and starts thinking of escape routes.
It takes a little bit, but Taria seems really focused on the TV show. Finally, she pauses it as she hears Tonka's voice and turns a bit. 'hey Tonka." She hears his exclamation, and blinks....before she jumps. "Oh right. Tonka there's...."
A flash appears and Synergy materializes in the room. "Tonka, you have nothing to worry about. This is Sebastian, Kimber's friends."
Taria looks to Synergy. "I guess if anyone can vouch for someone, Synergy, it's you." She says before nudging Bludd. "Are those who you're talking about?" She says pointing to six people on the screen....all in yellow and blue jumpsuits.
The Autobot's voice is one of those Bludd remembers well: it seems like only yesterday Tonka fell onto his home in Switzerland. His gaze locks onto the small robot. "Oh, not -you-," he complains. "You gonna explode their front door too?" He glances back toward the television, regarding the figures on the screen for a moment before returning his gaze to Tonka. "Looks familiar," he tells Taria without looking away from the Autobot.
"Hey, I wouldn't have had to if you hadn't pulled the old 'You know too much, now I must kill you' routine." Tonka says, still not sure, but Synergy's assurance is enough to get him to relax a bit. "Still, I willing to let bygones be bygones if Synergy's vouching for you."
Taria stays off to the side, with Synergy, while the two hash it out....
Bludd eyes Tonka with deep suspicion for several moments, his mind working over the details of their last meeting. Nobody ever came to his Swiss home looking to arrest him, so he assumes either Tonka didn't give out the location or the Joes/Interpol/whoever else hasn't opted to act on it yet. "My housekeeper thought I was nuts," he comments, "trying to catch a toy truck under a bucket." It's hard to tell if he's sore over the point or not; his expression remains guarded as he waits to gauge Tonka's response.
"You didn't?" Bludd regards Tonka curiously. "Well. I suppose I can forgive the exploding door, then. You also apparently helped build Synergy a new ... body... machine... whatever it ought to be called." He gives a resigned sigh. "For which I owe you some thanks." He sounds as if he'd rather have Dr Mindbender do dental surgery on him than utter the phrase.
"Yeah... it was a tough build, but we got it done." Tonka says. "Actually looking to beef up her electronics some." he says, relaxing a bit. Though he does glance around the room for any metal buckets...
"Thanks Synergy." Taria says just before Synergy disappears. "And thank you, Tonka." She then looks to Sebastian. "Sebastion. Look at the screen now." She says pointing....
Bludd looks back to the television, focusing more closely on the figures on the screen. "Yeah, the girl there," he says, indicating Rock-One. "That looks like the one who zipped up in front of us. The one who popped the head off a BAT."
Tonka moves a bit closer to see what's on the screen, though he doesn't quite know what is going on yet.
Taria presses play and it launches into the 'after action introduction, which Professor Sharpe seems to be doing. "I introduce to you, The Bionic Six! Bionic One! Mother One! IQ! Sport One! Karate One! and Rock One!"
Taria makes a bit of a face. "They were out hassling you? or were they doing more in the city?"
"The girl did hassle us, but we -were- disguised as Vipers. The others were wrecking Cobra equipment too, so I 'm guessing they're not on Cobra's side." Bludd frowns at the television. "So what is this, this Bionic Six? If I hadn't just seen the girl do what she did, I'd assume they were in some kind of science-fiction movie or something. They could be dangerous."
Tonka finds some place to climb up and get a better view. For now, he says nothing but just watches.
"Cobra aren't exactly the friends of too many people at the moment. they did take over the US after all." Taria says with a sigh. "I don't know too much about them since this news feed had the reporters taking cover most of the time."
"True, but anybody who's got the power to create a sonic boom by running or crush a tank into scrap metal with their bare hands is a potential threat. To anybody." Bludd strokes his bearded chin thoughtfully. "Want to be on the watch for them when you go out for groceries. At least until we know something positive about them."
"As opposed to creating completely mechanical humanoid drones that will attack anything that doesn't register as friendly?" Taria says with a smirk to Bludd. "I know about your and Kimber's history, Bludd....including whom you worked for before." she then lets out a breath. "From my experience with things....there usually seems to be a yin to every yang. Black, White...that sort of thing." She says rewinding the tivo....and showing the beginnings of a fight. "I'm guessing that....this other group here, are like the opposites of the Bionic Six....their enemies." She says showing Dr Scarab, along with 6 other people, with Glove being one of the leaders.
Bludd returns Taria's smirk. "You do, do you? Did Kimber fill you in, then?" He regards the screen again and the new set of figures displayed there. "Whoever they are, if they're a force to be reckoned with, we'll know soon enough." He glances to Tonka. "How're you coming on Synergy's upgrades?"
"Not bad, actually. About got a circuit upgrade put together that should increase her range and imaging resolution." Tonka says.
"She did. What happened before, and how you and her......you know." Taria says before sighing. 'Don't hurt her, okay?" She says before looking to Tonka. "I'm sure Synergy will appreciate the upgrades."
Bludd smiles at Tonka. "That'll come in handy, I'm sure." He draws himself up to his full height and turns to Taria, regarding her with a serious, borderline offended expression. "While I am here," he intones, "and alive, no harm will come to Kimber or any of her family." A flash of regret crosses his face. "I can't undo what I did to them while I was working for Cobra. I've made my apologies to those I can, and I will protect them through this."
Tonka widens an optic hearing Bludd isn't working with Cobra. But he keeps this surprise to himself. "Yeah.. and that's just the beginning. With some luck I might be able to get her components miniaturized to a point where she can be put almost anywhere."
"I can't exactly 'threaten' you, Sebastian, but I'm just looking out for Kimber. She's been like a big sister to me and I'm one of the Orphans here. So, I care about her, Aja, Shana, Raya, Rio and Jerrica more than you may realize." Taria then sighs. "Just think of it this way, Sebastian....we're a very close knit family that that been through many hardship, like Eric Raymond trying to shut down Starlight House and throw us out into the street, then take over starlight Music because he just wanted money. then have Jerrica thrown in jail for not taking care of us. and worse, Eric Raymond burning down the old foster home JUSt so we'd get put out on the street." She then gestures around her. "That's why we're here. So....we're a very close knit family, and.....you're the 'new person'. Kimber and Synergy has vouched for you, Sebastian.....but trust doesn't have an on/off switch. Obviously, we have a lot of secrets." She then touches the jemstar earrings. "With the biggest one being obvious. I didn't even want to tell Tonka about Synergy......"
Bludd nods slowly to Taria. "I understand you family has been through a lot. And I also understand the nature of trust. Kimber trusts me with her secrets -- she gave me her necklace, after all, introduced me to Synergy. All I can do is go forward. I can't change what's been. I don't expect all of you to trust me as Kimber does. I do hope you'll give me a chance to prove to all of you I deserve your trust."
Tonka climbs down off his perch. "Well, you didn't try to slap a metal bucket on me the instant you saw me, so that's something." Tonka says with a grin. "Anyways, I'm gonna get back on those upgrades. I'll be down with Synergy if you guys need something."
"Don't forget to recharge, Tonka." Taria then looks to Sebastian. "It's why I said it like that, Sebastian. but I trust Kimber....so I'm going to trust you with mine." She then pushes her hair back and touches the earrings. "Showtime Synergy..." she whispers....and her form flashes with the same light that usually announces Synergy's arrival.
Instead, a different person stands where Taria stood, just a few short moments ago. "I'd like to introduce you to Starr....lead singer of the Holograms." Taria says quietly, "Showtime, Synergy." and changes into Starr.
Bludd grins at Tonka. "See you later, then." He turns his attention to Taria, gazing at her curiously until she transforms into Starr. "So that's Starr," he says with a smile. "Kimber had mentioned Starr, but not Taria. I assumed you, or rather she, were another Starlight Girl or band member. So this is a secret identity kind of thing? Nobody knows you're one and the same?"
"Exactly. And...I'd like to keep it that way." Starr then smiles. "And....that's my olive branch, Sebastian...."
Bludd regards Taria, or rather, Starr, for a long moment. "Thank you," he says finally, ducking his head ever-so-slightly to her. "I'll keep your secret."
Starr says Quietly, "Show's over, Synergy." and turns back into Taria Kacardi.
"We still have to make sure Aja, Shana, Jerrica and Rio are safe. But the priority is making sure the Starlights are safe." Taria then sits in a chair. "One headache after another."
"Are there girls who should be living here at the mansion that aren't here?" Bludd asks. "Kimber said she knew where two of the Holograms were. Las Vegas hasn't been taken so far as I know, and the other is in Paris, I think she said."
"Aja's in Vegas. I don't know why she'd be there. I imagine Shana's in paris. She decided to be a fashion designer after Jerrica left, and Paris is one of the main fashion hubs." Taria ponders a bit.
Bludd nods absently as Taria speaks. "Well, Cobra's got no major dealings in Paris. So Shana's safe from 'em there. Synergy asked me to come back here to protect the mansion." He glances at his watch. "Tomorrow we can chat about what the priorities are, and where I can be of the most use. For now, I'm gonna make my rounds, like I did before I left for Mexico. Check the grounds and the rooms, make sure everything's in order."