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Isn't a Sagaie an African Spear?

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Buster Witwicky

Buster Witwicky

Characters: Buster Witwicky, Backblast, Chance

Location: University of Oregon

Date: April 13, 2017

Summary: Buster and Chance investigate a strange vehicle reported on the UO campus.

As logged by Buster - Thursday, April 13, 2017, 7:16 PM

University of Oregon <UO>

The University of Oregon (UO) is a public, coeducational research university in Eugene, Oregon. The second oldest public university in the state, UO was founded in 1876, and graduated its first class two years later. The University of Oregon is one of 60 members of the Association of American Universities. The Carnegie Foundation classifies the University of Oregon as a "high research activity" university. Former Oregon Attorney General David B. Frohnmayer is the current president of the university. Richard Lariviere, current provost at the University of Kansas, will replace him in 2009. The University of Oregon receives much of its funding from the UO Foundation, an independent not-for-profit organization.


Backblast has been out at one of the local off-road tracks. He's cruised back to the university and he's now chilling in the car-park, talking a couple of the owners of the larger, better trucks. After they head on to their classes the six-wheeler ponders his next move, his engines running and gently shaking his frame.

At first glance Backblast appears to be a Panhard ERC-90 Sagaie, a six-wheeled scout car armed with a long-barrel 90mm cannon and two 7.62mm machine guns. It's only on closer inspection that his British licence plate and nonstandard details that his Autobot allegiance is revealed.

He's a bit more decorated than the usual Panhard, with the winged "Suicide Jokey" crest between his 2nd and 3rd axle. His name is written in cursive script on the rear panels, above the wheels. His turret, as is traditional for many armoured vehicles, bears two red, angry eye decals. Visible from above, he bears the Autobot crest and his serial number.

http://imgur.com/a/BJIes


A rental jeep from a dog-friendly place was Chances' vehicle today as he rumbled along the road.

Risk actually rides in the back, one of the passenger seats removed so the dog could sit on the floor itself and look out the window, panting and leaving nose marks all over it. In the passenger seat was Buster, as both of them head out back to the University from wherever they were before to check out the new, strange vehicle seen. Things were on high alert since the University got an alert of a possible cobra spy in the area.


Professor Buster Witwicky is a tall man with blonde hair and a neatly-trimmed beard. He wears a tweet jacket with elbow patches over jeans and white button-up shirt. Right now he looks a bit rumpled and his clothes are covered in dog hair, even though Chance was nice enough to put a tarp down over his seat. "So, what sort of vehicle was reported again?" he asks Chance. "A 'Sagaie'? Isn't that a kind of African spear?"


And that's the other reason BB is in the area. There's a spy in the vicinity and while Backblast's sigint gear was damaged during his long patrol, he's still got the big antennae and, even if he can't figure out what's being said he can pick up on mysterious radio transmissions.

The big six-wheeled armoured car's turret is visible in the parking lot, towering even over the clodhoppers he's been driving with.


"Probably. Who knows with vehicles these days what the next one will be named after. There it is." he gestures, slowing down to pull into the lot... parking on the far side. Just in case. "They can't be THAT bold can they?" he marvels a little, the jeep turned off and locked.


Professor Witwicky squints at the markings on the ATV. "Isn't than an Autobot symbol?" he asks. "I don't recognize him, but it might be one of my brother's friends come to check up on me, like you did." He gives Chance a grin. "I feel so popular this week. This must be what Spike's life is like all the time." Buster opens the car door, seeming unafraid that this might be a Cobra or Decepticon in disguise.


"Less explosions and lasers I bet." joked Chance, opening the other door. Boots on the ground, he opens the back door too, Risk of course joining them. He clips a leash to her and gives her head a tousle.


Backblast is quite clearly bearing the Autobot symbol on his flank and roof, as spotted by Buster. He doesn't notice the others approaching him yet, though his turret does pan around, as if he's looking around.

He's just chilling there... making no real effort to hide. If anything he's there as a visual deterrent... perhaps someone in the EDC called in a favour. Maybe he's been sent here to keep him out of the way.


Chance wells "If its a Decepticon, its' doing a good job with the 'in disguise' part of their race." he quips to Buster. A glance down to Risk, who was just sniffing about idly, not alerted or concerned at all.


"I definitely prefer to avoid explosions and lasers," Buster admits. "I helped the Autobots out during the great flood -- even got pretty close to Ratchet -- but overall I prefer quieter campus life." He looks over the ATV as they approach it. "Well, it's a ground vehicle with an Autobot symbol, so I'm hoping it's what it seems -- if it's more than meets the eye, we might be in trouble."

Nonetheless, Buster waves to the Panhard as they approach. "Hellooo!" he calls out. "Anybody in there?" he laughs.


There's a laugh. "I don't know about in here, guv, but there's definitely someone 'ere." He chuckles. "Stand back, yeah?"

Once he's got a little space, he transforms. "Name's Backblast."

With the classic transformation cog noise, Backblast unfolds into a robot.


Buster takes a step back, and looks impressed but not entirely surprised. Nonetheless, he glances at Chance and says, "I still don't think I'll ever get used to that."


"Well, that was one way of finding out." remarks Chance under his breath. He peers up, backing he and Risk up on occasion to look down, moving to give a polite salute "Hello there.... Backblast? I'm Chance, that's Risk, and this here is Buster. We were just making sure there weren't any problems."


Backblast smiles "Nice to meet ya both. Mr. Chance and you'd be Buster Whitwiky right?" He gives a relaxed salute to them both, pulling an enercig from somewhere though he doesn't light it. "All good mate, same reason I'm here. I can't decrypt signals at the moment... had a nasty moment with a sharkticon out by Omicron Perseii 7. I was swimming, he managed to put a hole in my hull and the water ruined my decryption systems. I can still pick up if there's stuff being sent, but I can't tell you what the messages are."


Buster smiles and nods, pretending all of that didn't just go way over his head. "I'm Buster Witwicky, yes," he confirms -- that part he did get. "So you're here to prevent trouble?" he asks, putting things together slowly. He steps slightly closer, looking up at the Autobot with interest.


Backblast nods "Yeah that or keep me out of it." He admits, grinning sheepishly. It's clear that, relatively speaking he's quite young. "And they said so long as I kept my ear open I could try myself on the off-road courses around here. There's some pretty fun terrain here"


Chance watches with puzzlement at what Backblast pulled out, frowning. He then states "Sorry to hear that. I hope you're all uh, dried out now? And there was a sighting near the campus here that we needed to keep an eye on... thanks a lot for attending it though! " he remarks, then chuckles at Backblasts' last quip. "Sounds like it though. Havent tried them myself."


"I'm not much of an off-roader," Buster admits, to the surprise of no human that's met him. "I'm more likely to read about it than do it," he laughs. Looking at Chance, he says curiously, "Tell me more about this sighting. I didn't get a chance to ask on the way." He sticks his hands in the pockets of his tweet jacket.


Backblast nods, idly holding the enercig in his mouth, Bogart-style. He probably thinks it makes him look dashing. "Yeah but but it completely shot my decryption gear. I had a lovely kit.. was one of a kind. They don't build sets like that anymore. It's all solid-state digital nowadays and decryption is an analogue job, in part. Calculations only go so far and then it's all about feel. I'm gonna get to work re-building my set at some point but I'll have to find thermionic valves an' electromechanical switches that can take the kick of energon power. But enough about that, yes. Do tell about this sighting."

It's only now that he lights his enercig, careful to blow the smoke away from any humans nearby


Chances' eyes go wide as he sees Backblast light up... and he actually goes sheet white. Risk barks a few times, whining anxiously herself as the Joe was speechless, just listening to the technical talk, one hand on the leash, the other in his jacket pocket, already forgetting about Buster's question.


Backblast blinks at Chance, and then pinches out his enercig "Mr. Chance?"


Buster's eyes almost literally glaze over at the technical talk - he certainly isn't the technically-savvy member of his family. He watches the ener-cig manipulation with amusement, wondering if this is a native Cybertronian thing or an affectation picked up on Earth. He doesn't ask, however, deciding to keep his eyes and ears open and his mouth shut.


"Errm... well, I guess I shouldn't question an expert... just usually not used to seeing people smoking while carrying heavy explosives... and gas tanks.


Backblast blinks a bit. "Oh! Uh, well yeah." He chuckles a bit. "I'm not actually carryin' gasoline - it's all Energon - and if there's a ruptured case for the ninety mil, a stray spark from my cig is the least of my problems. Gotta give the French their due, they make a good shell casing."


Buster keeps a fixed smile, but this is almost as bad at hanging out with his dad and brother -- he has no idea what they're talking about, the same as if he launched into an comparative discussion of contemporary Swedish drama and Swedish theatre. He nods every once in a while if he thinks it's an appropriate time.


"Well, fair enough I suppose. I'm in EOD, so its like 'not even a cellphone allowed. No flint or steel either.' " he explained, starting to regain some color into his face. And then he looked to Buster "You ask something?"


Backblast nods "Then outta respect for your sanity I won't smoke until you're out of sight." He chuckles, putting his cigarette back but not lighting up.


Buster blinks and belatedly realizes Chance is talking with him. "Oh!" he says, rejoining the conversation. "You said there was a sighting on campus. Was it Cobra? Any idea that they were after?"


"Ah yes. And yes, we think so. And not sure. She was scoping it out. Not a smart thing to do as it caught attention. Her pic's been sent to the Dean and appropriate authorities. Hopefully she cleared out though." Chance smiled thankfully at Backblast, appreciating it.


Backblast listens, nodding. "Nobody copied me in on that one I'm afraid... can ya tell me?"


"Weird," Buster replies to Chance's report. "I wonder what they're after. We do have some research facilities here, but I'm over on the comparative literature side and don't know much about it." He smiles up at Backblast. "I'm sure having an Autobot tank here is sure to deter them, then."


Chance pulls out his phone, and taps up a security screen capture of Astrid, sitting in a private bar room... across from Chance and Risk, drinking beer. He shows it to Backblast, and Buster "Who knows? New territory to invade, people to abduct, young impressionable partygoers to brainwash... " he says. "She's a mind-screwer. So don't listen to a thing. Don't even try to ARGUE with her."


Backblast nods a little "I'll keep an eye out for 'er. Maybe when I'm not feeling like I want to be obvious I can find a good hiding spot..."

As he speaks, his blue optics track over the local area for places where he can hide. Idly, he adjusts his rifle, leaning the butt on the ground and then lazily leaning on the massive gun


Buster nods quickly. "You don't have to worry about me in that respect. If I see a Cobra agent, I'm calling you immediately. Spy games aren't my forte." He looks over at Backblast. "I can't imagine there are many places where you can hide unsuspiciously!" he laughs.


"Call the police. They can contact the local heads. I was sent out here to check on you specifically." advises Chance, now fully recoloerd now as he looks up as well "Yeah. Hrm. Wish something could be done about that..


Backblast smirks "You'd be surprised... I see a couple of places around here I could conceal, with a bit of work"


Buster chuckles. "OK. I feel so special!" He looks back at Backblast. "Well, if you need help being a robot in disguise, let me know. I'm crap at repairs, but I can still help in little ways -- I've worked with the Autobots before."


Chance chuckles "I was gonna suggest one of those shaped tarps that look like Vee-Doubleyou vans." he teases.


Backblast snorts "I'm a bit big fer them. I'd look like a camper with a turret." He laughs. He nods at the waterfront over the river or... ah there's plenty of places in both shapes I can sneak myself."


"That's one way to keep people from disturbing you while you're camping!" Buster laughs.


Chance nods "Probably even hold off a moose for a while." he admits approvingly.


Backblast chuckles quietly. "It would be, at that"


Buster grins. "We don't get a lot of moose in Oregon, aside from in the Blue Mountains north of Elgin. Although apparently we have a bit of a Cobra infestation -- although I hope the presence of the two of you will help weed that out."


"Well, sadly I return to base tomorrow. BUT I know my buddies area already in town to take over for me," Chance says.


Backblast nods "I'll probably only be around for a little myself too... just long enough to see if I can pick up the fact tat she's making comms."


Buster nods. "Well, I'll keep my eyes open, and if I spot any Cobra I'll call the police, first, but also let you guys know, just in case. I have an EDC communicator around here somewhere, if I can remember how to use it."


Chance says, "Good man. Maybe give it a test-go tonight to refresh your memory."


Backblast nods "Sounds like a plan." He agrees. "I'm gonna go on a patrol of the area and look for good places to hide out, I think."


"Alright," Buster replies. "Good night, Backblast. It was great to meet you. Chance, can you give me a ride back to campus?"


"Sure! Anywhere in between? Pizza? Coffee? Dog biscuits? " Risk barks once, and jumps at that, twisting in a little circle with a whine.


Buster chuckles. "Some coffee would be great -- I'll buy you a cup as thanks for the ride."


Backblast waits for them to get clear and then transforms again. He drives away on four wheels, with the central pair raised for better road-handling.

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