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Blackjack
2017-02-12, 06:52 AM
Cybertron.

Birth place of the Transformers – a race of intelligent mechanical beings. A peaceful race. A race that once lived in harmony for aeons untold.

Then came the war.

Optimus Prime folded his arms as the Ark descended upon Cybertron, as the broken spires and soot-blackened corpses of cities stretched out as far as his eyes could see. Once, there was millennia-old civilization here.

Now all that remains in their once pristine homeworld… was death.

Countless comrades lost. Countless enemies slain. Their world, their home, reduced to a dead, empty shell, surrendered to the vermin and the mindless colossi that lurched aimlessly through its surface. The combiners, once created to be their best hope of ending this war, merely caused it to escalate to such a point that both sides of the conflict were decimated. Cybertron itself paid the price. No, their entire race paid the price.

They left Cybertron, they left their home, their birth world, barely recognizable as the Golden Jewel of the Galaxy that it once was, years ago. Optimus Prime had not thought that they would ever return. Scattered across the vast cosmos, fighting battles on so many multiple fronts, Cybertron was barren, devoid of resources or any strategic importance.

The war took its toll on their race. Reduced to smaller forms to conserve energy, the Titan Master procedure was developed – smaller, younger members of their race bonded with the bodies of the larger veterans of the war, forming a partnership like never before seen. A blessing and a curse, for still the war continued. As the numbers on both sides were whittled down, as the dead mounted and as resources run dry, the war was locked in a stalemate that threatened extinction for their entire race.

Yet there was hope. News of a discovery, of a legend lost to time. A new hope. One that might finally tip the balance of the war solely in the favour of whoever claimed it. One that would finally stop the Decepticons’ reign of tyranny once and for all.

Optimus Prime just wished that they were not already too late.
______________

Bridge, The Ark

The sides of Optimus Prime's blue-tinted helmet hissed as metal plates folded away, joints clacked, cables retracted and gears whirred. The central part of Optimus Prime's head detached from the helmet as optic bulbs and faceplate folded and contorted into the limbs of a smaller robot. Small jet boosters slowed down Diac's fall as he landed on the ground. Optimus Prime's now headless body automatically stood rigid with no Titan Master bound to it.

You should not have bonded yourself to me without cause, Diac. You know the risks.

Optimus Prime's voice, ever wise and kind, rang in Diac's head even when he was separated from his Titan. Diac rubbed the side of his temples. It was different with Optimus Prime -- he had talked with other Titan Masters, and when they disconnected, they were disconnected for good. Sure, there might be some lingering parts of the mental-neural handshake, some sense of awareness of what your other partner is feeling, but not quite voices in your head.

But then, none of the other Titans were Optimus Prime.

That may be, Prime. Diac replied, thinking in his head, glancing at the headless body standing rigid behind him. But you had to see our world with your own two eyes. That was worth the risk.

My own sentimentality is worth nothing next to your own integrity, Diac. Our bonding should be kept at the bare minimum. I would not have it -- I will not lose you too. Optimus Prime's voice replied. Stern, but never unkind.

Diac nodded, and rapped a fist against his- Optimus's- leg. Do not sell yourself short, Optimus. You are not the only one who is allowed to keep making sacrifices -- and a few brief minutes will not compromise my identity all that much.

It was a bit of a lie, Diac knew. Every minute, every second, that Diac spent bound to his Titan partner, the more of his soul gets erased and the more of his soul is replaced with Optimus Prime's. It's not because of any sort of malice from Optimus Prime's part, but whether it's because Optimus Prime's spark is unique, or if some remnant of the Matrix of Leadership remained, or simply Optimus Prime being Optimus Prime, the sheer strength of his personality was so strong that anyone who bonded with him for any length of time ended up having their base personalities completely subsumed and overwritten by Optimus Prime. Some scientists propose that it's a particularly severe case of Primus Apotheosis, due to actually sharing a mind and soul with the legendary Autobot leader, while some think that Optimus's mind is unintentionally behaving like a parasite, like a computer virus.

Whatever the case, they have lost countless Titan Master candidates to trying to bond with Optimus Prime. Either they are overwhelmed that the neural bond breaks down and they are immediately violently ejected, or they are sent into a gibbering mess as they try to emulate Optimus Prime, or they act like a parody of the Autobot leader, or they just... expire peacefully.

But Diac had needed the bond with Optimus Prime. He was one of the remaining high-ranking Autobots with the destabilization of the Autobot chain of command after the Combiner Wars, but as much as he is confident in his own abilities, they did not need Diac. They needed Optimus Prime. And Optimus Prime they shall receive.

And perhaps it's because Diac's mindset is relatively similar to Optimus Prime, having idolized the Autobot leader since he was young, but Diac managed to keep his ego, for now.

The fact that he's being so self-sacrificial in regards to this particular bonding session, sacrificing that slight bit of his own soul to allow his partner and mentor a moment of sentimentality, might mean that even more of Optimus Prime is leaking into him.

And honestly... Diac himself couldn't be sure if being even more like Optimus Prime is even a bad thing at all.

Warcry
2017-02-12, 03:36 PM
Science Lab, Nemesis

"Blah, vhy do you disturb my meditations?" Mindwipe opened one eye a crack to glower at his diminutive partner.

"We've dropped out of hyperspace," Vorath told him flatly.

"And?"

"And considering your unhealthy obsession with the dead," Vorath explained with an air of the much-put-upon professor who couldn't believe one of his students was so dense, "I thought you might like to see it for yourself. There's a good view of the planet in the drop bay."

"You make...a good point," Mindwipe dropped down from his perch on the ceiling and glided down to the floor. "Shall ve?"

A flurry of moving parts later and Titan Master and Titan became one, with bat unfolding into a body and small robot compressing into its head. The new, combined being took a moment to get it's bearings, then smiled slightly.

"After all, where better to continue my studies than Cybertron, the galaxy's largest graveyard? Ah-ha-ha!"
_____________________________________________________

Drop Bay, Nemesis

"My Decepticons, we have arrived!" Megatron gestured expansively to the force field that formed most of the floor of the room they stood in. "Take a look at our world. Take a good look at what they did to it! Take a look at the ruin that they made of your world!"

Megatron paused. That wasn't right. He didn't talk that way. Those were his thoughts, but not his words.

Are you so sure about that? Doomshot's rich voice echoed in his mind, taunting him.

Silence, worm. Megatron is no one's puppet!

"A team of so-called scientists down on the surface have found a weapon of tremendous power! But that weapon doesn't belong to them! No, it belongs to us. It belongs to me! And nobody steals from Megatron. So we will find them. We will take them. And we will force them to tell us everything they know. And anyone who stands in our way -- like that ship full of Autobots following us in? They will fail, and they will die. And soon, very soon, Cybertron and the galaxy will be ours again!"

Fine words. Inspiring, really. Doomshot's contempt was obvious. Or they would be, if anyone believed a single thing that came out of your mouth anymore.

Shut up.

Megatron slammed his fist into the bay controls and the force field disappeared. The room was suddenly filled with the din of Cybertron's thin atmosphere whooshing by the ship's lower hull, but he didn't care. He just raised his voice to a full-blown shout as he yelled, "Decepticons, attack!" and jumped out of the ship.

As he transformed to jet mode, Megatron felt an instant rush of relief as the connection to Doomshot was severed. Although he wasn't free of the tiresome rat -- he was still riding along in Megatron's cockpit -- he was at least free of the insolent whelp's constant attempts to pressure and influence his mind.

But, sadly, not free of his voice. "Why do you resist our shared mind?" Doomshot asked mockingly. "Could it be that you feel threatened in your own mind? Why, I do believe that's it, yes..."

"You are no threat to me," Megatron barked. "You aren't the first to try and invade my being, and you won't be the last. And like all the others, you will break and become nothing but an extension of my will."

"Oh?" Doomshot feigned surprise. "Is that what's happening? No. No, I don't think it is." The Titan Master smiled. "I think you are the one who shall break. You will either work with me as a partner, like a proper Titan should, or it is you who will become an extension of my will. The universe cowered once at the name of Megatron and it shall do so again...even if that Megatron is me."

_____________________________________________________

Bridge, The Ark

Furos looked up from his tactical console with a glower on his face.

"It's like we thought, sir. The Decepticons are landing troops. Should I open fire?"

His fingers flew across the weapons controls, trying to get a lock on the Decepticon soldiers pouring out of the hangar. But they were too small for the ship's targetting computer to get a lock. As he'd said in the mission briefing, he would have to aim manually and any shots that missed would run the risk of hitting the dig site.

It was a risk that he was willing to take...but it also wasn't his decision. And if he was being honest, he was glad that someone else had to make that call.

Blackjack
2017-02-12, 04:41 PM
Drop Bay, Nemesis

It is time, my lord Sixshot.

Sixshot's red eyes flared to life as the large Decepticon stood up straight. His partner's slightly-accented voice rang in his head, and he nodded. I see.

Megatron's deep growl of a voice reverberated throughout the drop bay, but Sixshot did not pay much attention. Not out of disrespect, for he still followed the Decepticon leader, but simply because... Sixshot did not care much for motivational speech.

He was a warrior. He was born for war.

He needed no motivation beyond Megatron's two final words: 'Decepticons attack'.

"Prepare for disengagement." Sixshot said, as he took one massive step, and another, and leaped out of the drop bay. limbs retracted, wings folded out, his helmet cracked open and Sixshot's Titan Master Revolver found himself inside the cockpit section of Sixshot's starfighter mode, which shot into the arid sky above the Sonic Canyons, accelerating to keep up with Megatron.

Revolver shook his head. Bonding with Sixshot was a bit of a tiring affair, mostly due to how... intense the six-changer was. "So, Sixshot-sama, we are not engaging the Autobot shuttle?"

"Not until the order is given."

"How very honourable." Revolver replied off-handedly, as he looked out of the windows. "Cybertron pretty ruined now."
_____________________________________________________

Bridge, The Ark

"Not unless you have a clear shot." Diac replied to Furos, putting a hand on his chin, and frowned. "We can't risk hitting the civilians on the dig site. I believe we'll have to engage them... directly. We'll have to get down there in a shuttle, and pray that we are not too late."

"If I may, sir." A timid voice spoke up. Diac turned to look at Convex, their current head of the science department. "My bonded Titan is extremely specialized in the art of sniping. Perhaps we could man the targeted artillery cannons abroad the Ark and take out as many airborne adversaries as we could, while you, Furos and any other Autobot soldiers could catch up?"

Diac nodded. "Very well. You have the bridge, Convex. Furos and any battle-ready Autobot, assemble in the shuttle bay." The Autobot leader leaped up into the air, and transformed into a face which clicked into place within Optimus Prime's horned blue helmet. As Optimus Prime's blue eyes flared to life, his mouth was quickly covered by the faceplate that slid into place with a loud metallic shink. "For our planet, we will bring the battle... to them."

Heinrad
2017-02-12, 07:29 PM
Dig Site, Cybertron:

"BEEP!"

Nightbeat stood there, staring at a heap of rubble. "I just don't get it. I'm a detective, not an archaeologist. I know nothing about this."

"BEEP! BEEP!!!!"

"Give me a crime, give me a MYSTERY! I mean, yeah, uncovering a historical mystery can be fun, I guess, but-"

"BEEEEEEEEEEPPPPPPPPPPPPPPP!!!!!!!!!!!!!"

Nightbeat looked back at his drill mode drone. "No, Roller, there aren't......any......" He trailed off as he looked up. "Oh, slag." He hit his commlink. "I never thought I'd say this again, much less here, but DECEPTICONS! WE'RE UNDER ATTACK!!!!!!!!"

***************
Shuttle Bay, Ark:

Pyro stood in Ginrai's trailer section, checking the readouts on one of the wall displays. Everything looked good. The blue-green light of the displays washed over his face as he smiled. Ginrai was young, but massive. The power now at his disposal....

"Pyro?" Ginrai's rough baritone echoed through the speakers inside the trailer.

Pyro bristled. "What did I tell you to call me when we're alone like this?"

"Oh...... Uh, sorry....... Prime."

Pyro smiled. "Much better. What is it, Ginrai?"

"The call has come down from the bridge for all combat ready Autobots to assemble here. And that's us.... Isn't it?"

Pyro shut down the console. "Yes. That is indeed us." He headed out of the trailer. "Ginrai, transform!"

The semi rig and trailer transformed, revealing a massive Titan as Pyro jumped into the air, transforming, becoming a head that looked very much like what Optimus Prime once looked like, back when he was Orion Pax. He locked into the neck, forming the head of the massive Titan. Then the helm flipped up and locked into position, covering the head with a very Optimus Prime like helmet.

Ginrai's optics narrowed, his shoulder cannons online. "The Decepticons shall not with this day. This I swear!"

**********
Tech Bay, Ark:


Stylor looked up as the call came over the intercom. "Looks like that's us, buddy."

Chromedome, sitting in vehicle mode, started his engine. "You're not going to worry about how long it's going to take you to put me back together after the battle?"

Stylor leaped into Chromedome's cockpit, the canopy hissing shut. "Nah. Not yet, anyway. Let's just try not to get too badly messed up.

"Where's the fun in that?" With a roar, Chromedome took off out of the bay, heading for the shuttle bay.

Clogs
2017-02-13, 11:29 AM
Archaeological dig, Cybertron

"'There are no legends, only poorly recorded historical facts'," Glyph quoted solemnly, over her radio, looking out over the arc-light flooded excavations.

Twenty field archaeologists split into two teams: one team her own, the other working with Drill. All were busy and, as far as possible, quiet. The entrance shaft, just to her left, was sound-baffled, but they still needed to maintain near silence and that meant group radio signals only, which could not leak out due to the depth of the dig.

Drill pushed back his floppy hat, rubbed at his pale green forehead. "Ah, well," he radioed back. "I reckon what we have is a legend, unfortunately."

Side-by-side, the two were of a height, compact and energon-efficient units of similar design origin, one teal and one green. They were both professionals, experienced in field work on many worlds. And they were back home, in an environment that was oddly more alien than many they had been in, filled with danger of their own race's making...

Blackjack
2017-02-13, 02:00 PM
Shuttle Bay, Ark

Diac -- no, Optimus Prime slowed his sprint as he entered the shuttle bay, boarding the first shuttle he could find. Ginrai was already standing by, and other Autobot soldiers were pouring in.

It appears that a Titan bond is not required for you to inspire others so, Optimus. The part of Optimus Prime that was Diac spoke to the part of Optimus Prime that was Optimus Prime.

I am... flattered by those who are inspired by me enough to adopt my look. Optimus Prime replied, his normally unfaltering, ever-confident voice cracking a little. Diac could feel his partner's emotion, and he felt amusement when he realized that the mighty Optimus Prime, legendary leader of the Autobots felt... embarrassment? Pride? Guilt, considering Diac's predecessors? A mixture of those, anyway.

I approve of the version of your old body that he choose. Diac replied, sensing his partner's discomfort. It has a lot of firepower.

Destruction is not always the answer, young Diac. We are better than that.

I am sworn to freedom as much as you are, Optimus. You know that.

"Ginrai." Optimus Prime nodded at the combined form of Ginrai and Pyro. Whatever Pyro's motives are, a word of encouragement never hurts. "It is good to see you are ready for battle."

Warcry
2017-02-13, 04:45 PM
Cybertron Airspace

Mindwipe followed his fellow Decepticons out of the hangar, converting back to beast mode and gliding downwards toward the dig site.

"It is good to stretch my vings again, blah."

"They wouldn't get so cramped if you didn't spend all of your free time hanging from the ceiling, napping," Vorath reminded him, from his cockpit inside the bat's stomach.

"I am not napping," Mindwipe responded tartly. "I am meditating. Is difference. I am doing productive verk, finding vays to use the energies of the dead to benefit of Decepticon cause."

"It's only productive if you get results," Vorath responded with some fatigue. They'd had this conversation more than once before.

"Aren't you the vun who is alvays saying that disproving false hypothesis as good as proving correct vun? Besides, you have your duties as science officer. Vhat am I to do while you're in your lab? The Nemesis is not built for bats." Mindwipe smiled. "I suspect I vill find much more to occupy myself down here."

"One can only hope we both will."

"On that, you vill get no disagreement."
_____________________________________________________

Megatron saw the Autobot starship drawing closer and tried to steer himself up to engage them. But Doomshot held the jet's control yoke tight, and kept him on target by sheer force of will.

"We have a job to do here, remember? Or have you forgotten all about the Metrotitans and Megatitans hidden below? Does the merest sniff of an Autobot so blind you with rage that your dreams of galactic domination suddenly become less important than petty revenge? We are still Decepticons, yes? Still fighting for a cause, and not just Megatron's hollow ego?"

"Shut up," Megatron told him harshly. "Megatron is the Decepticon cause. What's good for me is good for the cause, by definition. Nothing else matters."

"It's that kind of thinking that got your senior staff to chop your head off and replace it with people like me," Doomshot reminded him. "Not to mention all that talk of bringing back Galvatron. And you wouldn't want that, would you? No, I think not. So keep your mind on the task at hand. It will be time to cut loose on the enemy soon enough."
_____________________________________________________

Bridge, The Ark

A part of Furos still bristled at Diac's order to hold his fire, but he was mature enough to know that the other Autobot was right. They were here to protect the dig team, not bombard them from the air.

After Diac left, he shot a glance at Convex. "Don't let Perceptor forget what our actual mission is. We detected several combiners on the way in. The Ark only has eight minutes over the target area before it needs to retreat, and if our science officer is still aboard when it does the rest of us are going to be in serious trouble."

While he waited for a reply, he radioed his Titan. "Hardhead, we're getting ready to deploy. Make ready for battle."

"I am always ready for battle!" came the indignant reply in his head, in a younger version of his own voice.

"Yes, I know that. Obviously I mean to make sure that the others are ready for battle, and that the shuttle has extra ammunition and munitions stores aboard. We don't know how long this deployment will last."
_____________________________________________________

Shuttle Bay, The Ark

Hardhead rolled in in tank mode, his cannon swivelling from side to side as he surveyed the chaos. Soldiers moved this way and that, running the gamut from grizzled veterans like him to raw recruits clearly uncomfortable handling their own rifles.

Hardhead rolled to a stop in front of a group of the latter, a small gaggle of newly-minted Titan Masters who hadn't even been fully trained in mini-vehicle combat yet.

"You two!" He swivelled his barrel to the left. "Double-check the shuttle's cargo bay. Make sure it has a full complement of energon rations. The rest of you, go down to the armoury and bring up as many extra power cells, artillery shells and ammunition as you can carry!"

The group of youngsters froze for a second, obviously terrified that the ship's head of security was barking orders at them from the barrel of a gun. But one of them recovered more quickly than the others, shouted "Sir yes sir!" and snapped off a salute. The others did the same, then ran off as quickly as they could manage.

Hardhead then rolled forward towards Optimus and Ginrai.

"Sirs," he said, tipping his barrel deferentially. "My security team is making ready. We will not allow the Decepticons to take the science team!"

Blackjack
2017-02-13, 05:50 PM
Cybertron Airspace

"You seem a disappointed." Revolver frowned. "You want to fight the Autobots?"

"I know my duty, Revolver." Sixshot replied, his voice booming within the cockpit of his jet mode. Revolver winced, but he had grown used to his mighty partner's eccentricities. A small price to be bonded to one of the deadliest Decepticons alive. "But, to answer your question, yes. I wish to do battle against worthy opponents. The people on the dig site are mere scientists. Weaklings. Barely worth the effort."
_____________________________________________________

Bridge, The Ark

Convex nodded nervously at Furos. "Of course. Yes, I shall not tardy myself beyond the eight minute time-units allocated, and will join the rest of you momentarily on the surface of our home world."

As Convex spoke, Perceptor's larger Titan body entered the Bridge via a Titan elevator system. Convex leaped into the air, and transformed into Perceptor's head, bonding with his mentor and partner. Perceptor's right eye, the one replaced with a huge targeting system, quickly took a bead on the Decepticons as the Titan moved over towards the targeting console. Perceptor extended his fingers, and gripped the controls scaled for the size of a Titan.

"Calculating trajectory." Perceptor spoke, voice without any sort of intonation or emotion. "Calculating. Firing. Target: Decepticon Leader Megatron. "

The Ark's cannons, aimed to burn holes in where Perceptor approximated Megatron's jet mode engines would be, launched two blasts of intense laser blasts.

Perceptor was already calculating how likely it would harm Megatron. The best case scenario was if Megatron's spark was hit, but that was a mere 3.251% chance, considering how well-armoured the Decepticon leader was. The next-best case scenario was a 3.265% chance that it would rupture a fuel tank and take out the Decepticons directly around him. Of course, Perceptor would settle simply for the 73.349% chance of disabling the Decepticon leader.

Perceptor felt a small, nagging voice on the back of his head moaning in disgust that their shared intellect was being used for the purposes of expediting death, to calculate laser blast trajectories and the like. Illogical. Our current function is termination. Failing that, distraction. Your feelings of disgust is immaterial and irrelevant. Do cease.

We are- I am not meant for this barbaric activity. I am only deigning to do this because there are no any other way to save the civilians. Convex replied curtly, but it's clear that Perceptor simply did not care, for the scientist was already locking on to another target, the six-changer Sixshot, and fired.

Clogs
2017-02-13, 07:50 PM
Archaeological dig, Cybertron

Kneeling in his trench, Drillshaft carefully teased layers of rubbish apart with his trowel. The conviction that he was onto something had kept him going here, in the first strip trench near the centre of the dig, when the others had moved away.

The near silence was punctuated by the short, painful screech of one of the sudden strata-shifts that had started to worry him. Any metallurgist would be worried to hear slippage as the compacted industrial waste of vorns settled deeper under its own weight towards the Sonic Canyons floor proper, but he was certain that the sound was becoming more regular, more frequent and coming from directly below the dig.

His trowel caught, jagged his fingers. Careless, he thought. I'm listening rather than looking.

Then he noticed in what the trowel had caught and recognised the shape of a cog.

He stood, hearing his locomotory pistons hiss in protest, and radioed: "Find!"

Heinrad
2017-02-14, 02:33 AM
Shuttle Bay:

Ginrai stiffened in salute as Optimus approached him. "Where the Decepticons are concerned, I am always ready for battle."

He then turned to Hardhead. "Excellent, Hardhead. We will stop the Decepticons from achieving heir goals, no matter the cost."

Chromedome rolled into the bay, transforming to robot mode as Stylor transformed to head mode and locked into place atop Chromedome's shoulders.

"Why are there two Primes?"

Stylor mentally went through what he knew about the crew assignments for the mission. "I think that's....... Our heavy support unit?"

"That doesn't answer my question. There are two Optimus Primes. Why are there two Optimus Primes?"

"Your guess is as good as mine, buddy."

Chromedome walked over to the weapon racks, grabbing two laser carbines.

tahukanuva
2017-02-14, 03:50 AM
Cybertron Airspace

Stepping out of the hangar, Deathsaurus spread his wings to glide down to the surface. Beside him, the diminuative form of Esmeral linked with Eaglebreast to fly alongside him.

"Look, Esmeral," Deathsaurus said sadly, "look what's happened to our home. I shouldn't have left."

"You did what you needed to do," said Esmeral, maneuvering Eaglebreast next to Deathsaurus's head, "Besides, you couldn't have done anything to prevent that combiner madness. You, of all people, know what an arms race is like."

Cybertron's loss had hit Deathsaurus hard. Esmeral was less sentimental, and had been trying to get her conjunx to focus on looking forward. They hadn't even lived on Cybertron for thousands of years anyway, after all.

"You're right, I know. Unfortunately, guilt cannot be so logically assuaged." Deathsaurus nodded sharply as he finished, a signal for the pair to steel themselves for what lie ahead.

-----------------------------------------------------------

Shuttle Bay The Ark

Sentinel strode into the chaos of the shuttle bay. He spotted Hardhead and stepped off towards him. Early in the war, Sentinel remembered, he'd given Hardhead a medal. One of the few that Sentinel didn't end up regretting. Sentinel had always liked Hardhead, thought him one of the few Autobots who had the attitude it takes to win wars. On the way across the hangar, Sentinel spotted Optimus, and regarded the Autobot commander with a glare of barely disguised contempt.

"Hardhead!" Sentinel called, frowning beneath his faceplate at the scene of a veteran Autobot gesticulating with a tank barrel, "I've been informed that I might be needed for.. whatever it is that's been dug up down there. I have not been informed, however, which of these soldiers is supposed to escort me while we're down there."

Blackjack
2017-02-14, 04:41 AM
Shuttle Bay, the Ark

"Very good, Ginrai." Optimus Prime nodded at his doppelganger, before turning to regard Hardhead as the ship's security officer approached them. "Excellent, Hardhead. Autobots... we will not allow the Decepticons victory this day, and neither will we allow the archaeologists to fall to them. Get ready for deployment!"

Sentinel Prime's arrival to the shuttle bay, and the undisguised glare from the former Autobot leader, was not unnoticed by Optimus. He does not like you- us- very much, doesn't he? The part of Optimus that was Diac mused.

Sentinel is a good leader. He and I disagreed on many things, but he still deserves respect. Envy is an unpleasant beast, however, and in time it seems to have eroded Sentinel's opinion in myself. Diac, it would not do for us to incite conflict.

I do not intend to.

Optimus Prime gave a curt nod in the direction of Sentinel, before turning to Hardhead, Ginrai and Chromedome. "Take the shuttle, Autobots. Time is of the essence, and I will run interference." As he said this, A pair of wings and jetpacks unfolded out of Optimus Prime's back.

You just want to break out the new flight tech.

Yes.

Optimus' jet boosters activated as he hovered above the ground, while the Ark's bay doors opened fully. "Autobots, roll out!" With that triumphant roar, Optimus shot into Cybertron's night sky, a blazing comet headed towards the small armada of Decepticons descending upon the dig site.

Warcry
2017-02-14, 04:48 PM
Cybertron Airspace

Megatron saw the blasts incoming and tried to dodge, but Doomshot once again fought him for control of their flight path. The Decepticon leader silently cursed both his partner and his new jet mode, which didn't have the same thick armour as his robot or tank forms. It still absorbed most of the energy of the blast, but enough energy made it through to put one of his two engines out of commission.

"How dare you!" Megatron bellowed inside his own cockpit.

"How dare I? Easily." Doomshot smiled. "We both know that if you'd dodged that blast, you would have turned around and led a charge on the Autobot starship. But our objective today isn't killing Autobots, no, it's capturing scientists. Scientists that are down on the ground -- where you need to head now that you're hobbling on one engine."

Megatron snarled. "I promise you, Doomshot, one day I will repay you this injury tenfold!"

"Must you be so dramatic? The damage is superficial and your self-repair systems will have fixed it before the mission is over. Consider it an...unconventional way to keep you on task, yes..." Doomshot couldn't quite keep the glee from his voice. "Now be a good little Decepticon leader and carry on with the mission. I shall deal with the Autobots, yes... You worry about crashing in one piece."

Doomshot slammed a fist into the cockpit's release lever, then pushed himself up into the airstream that grabbed him and pulled him from inside Megatron. At the same time, one of the secondary pods on the Decepticon leader's wings detached and unfolded. The two fell into one another and the mini-vehicle folded itself around Doomshot's body, taking on the form of a red dragon with golden wings. Then the dragon's wings snapped open and Doomshot glided upwards, a gout of flame shooting from his mouth.

"Sixshot, you and I will engage the Autobot starship. We need to make sure their gunner is too busy to target our troops. We don't want anyone else to suffer the same...unfortunate fate as our dear leader, no... Deathsaurus, lead the rest of the troops down to the planet's surface. Find Megatron, then get on with the mission. We'll join you shortly."

Doomshot didn't technically have the authority to order the other Decepticons around when he wasn't connected to Megatron. But in the short time they'd been paired he'd learned that the other Decepticons were so desperate for any sign of competent leadership from their commander that most of them would happily take orders from his Titan Master instead, just so long as they made sense.
_____________________________________________________

Bridge, The Ark

"Good," Furos told Convex. "There are sky-sleds in the forward bay if you miss the shuttle. Good luck."

The tactical officer nodded curtly, then headed for the lift.
_____________________________________________________

Shuttle Bay, The Ark

Hardhead acknowledged Ginrai's words with a "nod" of his barrel. "Agreed, sir. Failure is not an option!"

As Sentinel Prime came up to speak to him, Hardhead was joined by an arriving Furos. The Titan and his Master transformed and combined without the need for any visible communication between the two. Now in robot mode, he greeted the former Autobot leader with a salute (not technically required, but in his opinion certainly warranted). "A pleasure to have you with us, sir."

Hardhead glanced across the bay himself, his optics narrowing when he spotted Chromedome. Even with the mercurial Stylor serving as his Titan Master, he knew that the other Autobot was one of the most dedicated and talented warriors they had. "Soldier, do you have orders yet? If not, you can consider yourself assigned to VIP protection detail."

Hardhead grabbed several extra shatter-blaster magazines from the rack that the soldiers were wheeling up and snapped them into the storage braces inside his left leg. Then he clamped several extra shells for his main cannon into the storage on his right. Lastly, he pulled back the charging handle on his rifle and quickly inspected the barrel before slamming in a fresh magazine. Behind his faceplate, the Autobot smiled at the prospect of battle as he climbed aboard the shuttle.

Soon now...very soon...

Heinrad
2017-02-15, 12:50 AM
Shuttle Bay, Ark:


Chromedome turned as Hardhead came over to him. His optic band widened slightly at the arrival of Sentinel Prime.

"Oh, great. Him."

"He was a good leader, Stylor."

"Given what he allowed to have happen under his watch, how can you say that?"

"Anyone can lose their way, Stylor. The road to the inferno is paved with good intentions."

"Perhaps. But can't the same argument be made for the Decepticons?"

"None of their intentions can ever be called good. Not after what we've been through."

"VIP detail, Hardhead? Who will I be protecting? Optimus?"
----

Ginrai watched Sentinel enter the bay as he boarded the shuttle.

"His disgrace stains us all."

"The orange guy?"

"Yes, Ginrai. Sentinel. But no Prime. Not anymore. He never should have been. He was weak. He took the easy way."

"He must have been at some point. Otherwise, they wouldn't have made him a Prime, would they?"

"No one is perfect."

Ginrai took a seat, waiting for the shuttle launch.

tahukanuva
2017-02-15, 11:19 AM
Cybertron Airspace

"Affirmative, Doomshot. Be careful up there. I'm sure the Autobots intend to play for keeps, considering the stakes."

"All right, Decepticons!" Deathsaurus bellowed over the comms, "Form up around me! As you can see, our esteemed leader has been injured. We need to get down there, we need to retrieve him, and then we need to clear out that excavation site. When we get there, do what you can to take prisoners, because any intel we can pry out of them could prove valuable. If any of them pose a threat, however, shoot them dead. Whatever we lose in knowledge, we'll gain in making the rest more.. cooperative."

It had been quite a while since Deathsaurus had directly commanded a precise operation like this. While the heat of battle was invigorating, he'd grown surprisingly comfortable commanding from behind the battle lines. He hoped he was still up to the task. Not to mention the new and very stressful variable of fighting with his wife mounted to his shoulders.

"Are you ready for your first taste of conflict, my dear?" he said more privately.

Esmeral hesitated, "I.. think so. I'm excited for the experience. But I also don't remember the last time I was this nervous."

"Heh. Neither do I."

Blackjack
2017-02-15, 01:58 PM
Airspace

"Watch out!" Revolver's warning cry was drowned out by the sound of plates moving, panels retracting, and the whoosh of air as Revolver was greeted with the arid Cybertron air slamming onto his face. Sixshot had transformed out of his jet mode into his winged wolf, which juked down at an arc that caused the blast -- and several follow-up shots -- to completely miss.

It took several moments for Revolver to realize what happened -- whoever was abroad the Ark fired multiple shots to account for Sixshot dodging the first one, but they were all calculated based on what Sixshot would do if he was in jet mode. By transforming into wolf mode, everything was different -- flight path, aerodynamics, speed of flight, even Sixshot's center of gravity were all altered.

Sixshot folded back up into his jet mode, and the whoosh of air was cut short as the cockpit slid itself around Revolver. The Titan Master said nothing -- Sixshot was not one for conversation in battle, and Revolver respected that.

Revolver watched as Doomshot separated from Megatron, and ordered them to pursue. "Acknowledged, sir." Sixshot replied, doing a quick barrel roll to reverse his flight path. Revolver detected a hint of pleasure in Sixshot's voice. Combat! That was what his partner lived for.

Sixshot shot towards the Ark, before transforming once more, hovering above the air in his gun mode. Revolver perched above the barrel, magnetized boots keeping him attached to his larger partner, and nodded with approval as Sixshot's weapon systems hummed to life, and launched several purple blasts of compressed sonic energy and laser blasts towards the Autobot ship.
__________________________________________

"Not today!" Optimus Prime's wings angled backwards as he accelerated forwards and down. The Autobot leader pulled out his double-barreled Barrage Cannon, and launched two explosive shells straight at Sixshot. The projectiles impacted on the side of Sixshot's barrel, disturbing the six-changer's aim that Sixshot's assault hit the hull of the Ark as opposed to its bridge or weapon systems. It was not enough to disable the six-changer, but it did help stave off the attack on the Ark's more essential parts.

Megatron is not stopping. The part that was Diac observed.

I know my old adversary, young Diac. Taunt him. Confusing the Decepticons' leadership would throw the troops into disarray.

"Megatron!" Optimus Prime yelled out loud as he accelerated towards Sixshot and Doomshot were at, launching another round of blasts from his barrage cannon, this time at Doomshot. "Come face me, coward!"
__________________________________________

Bridge, the Ark

Perceptor barely noticed Furos as he left, so focused was he in attacking the Decepticons. He nodded in slight satisfaction as his first set of blasts hit Megatron, but frowned to himself when Sixshot avoided his next barrage. Unacceptable. Not considering an enemy's multiple forms of transformation -- variables that are not calculated.

Don't be so hard on yourself, Perceptor. We all make mistakes.

Not me.

Convex shut up after that, which Perceptor appreciated. In combat, that was a distraction. His mind quickly set to work compensating for the wind, for the sudden jerk in flight path that the pilot of the Ark took when Sixshot screamed towards them. Perceptor was unfazed as Sixshot's blasts raked the side of the shuttle, though it did send some of the less-experienced Autobots into a panic.

Chances at hitting Doomshot: a mere 65.84%. Too small, too agile, and he's moving away. Primary objective is the defense of the civilians.

Chances at hitting Sixshot: 98.56%, yet the variables involved in his multiple changeforms puts in a wildcard factor Perceptor isn't comfortable with gambling at. Threat level is high, however, yet at the same time he is not engaging the civilians. The Ark can take another hit, and Sixshot would probably be occupied by Optimus Prime at the moment. On the other, other hand, Perceptor would really, really love to cut Sixshot open, see how the Decepticons managed the impossible -- five changeforms!

Barbaric! Convex yelled in Perceptor's mind. How could you even consider that?

Discovery requires experimentation. Besides, I am not talking about torture -- an autopsy is hardly barbaric.

Chances at hitting Megatron, on the other hand? The distance is a factor, and the battle raging between Optimus, Sixshot and Doomshot might prove a challenge. Yet the Decepticon leader is crippled, and he's also a high-priority target. Cut off the head. Pay him back. Eye for an eye. Perceptor zeroed in on the Decepticon leader once more, and fired another round blasts aimed at Megatron.

Warcry
2017-02-15, 06:47 PM
Cybertron Airspace

Megatron let out a roar of incoherent rage as Optimus Prime taunted him, but he didn't turn back. But then he couldn't turn back, since one of his engines were on fire.

Then another barrage of laser fire cut through the air right behind him, coming close enough to blacken his armour.

I'm a sitting duck up here. Which means I need to not be here.

The Decepticon leader took a look at the distance that still remained between him and the ground, then grumbled and said to himself, "I can make it."

So he transformed to robot mode and fell like a rock. A headless rock, at that.
_____________________________________________________

Doomshot responded to Deathsaurus. "Don't worry about me. I'm too small of a target for the ship's guns to hit."

I hope.

"Sixshot, do as much damage to the ship as you can, but concentrate on avoiding damage. We don't need to destroy them, no, we just need to keep them busy until they've moved away from the target zone."

As he spoke, Doomshot fired a gout of flame across one of the ship's targeting sensors, trying to baffle the Autobots' gunner.
_____________________________________________________

Mindwipe smiled when he heard Deathsaurus's instructions. He looked forward to planting his feet on the ground of their ruined homeworld.

"As you command, blah."

The bat tucked his wings in closer, falling into a steep dive as his thrusters kicked in to give him more speed.
_____________________________________________________

Shuttle Bay, The Ark

Hardhead gave Chromedome a mildly disapproving look. "Do you really think Optimus would accept an escort, even if he needed one?"

Although Hardhead respected Optimus Prime both as a leader and a soldier, he did not relish serving with him directly. His usual billet had been in spacedock for refits when he'd been pulled for this assignment, after putting in several years of uninterrupted exploration duty. He'd been blessed on that assignment to have a captain who knew that his place was on the bridge and let his tactical, science and technical teams conduct their planetside operations without interference. And while Hardhead knew that Optimus Prime was more than capable of taking care of himself, he was a high-value target just by his mere presence in a combat zone and made the other Autobots' jobs quite a bit more difficult.

Sentinel, thankfully, was more practical in that regard.

"No, I need you to watch over Sentinel Prime."

Although he wouldn't say so in front of their former leader, he trusted Chromedome would understand the unspoken instruction that he was to both protect the ex-Prime and ensure that he didn't try to do anything that ran against their mission. Because if Optimus was a target, Sentinel was something much, much worse: a wild card. Hardhead respected him for what he'd done in the past, but that didn't mean he trusted him. Sentinel had been out of the game too long, and bringing him along was a sign of just how desperate this mission really was.

Clogs
2017-02-16, 12:03 AM
Archaeological dig, Cybertron

Driveshaft became more certain of what he had as he carefully probed around the 'cog': it appeared to be cylindrical, each wide tooth actually a groove along its length. It looked like the other, recovered by Fossar and Ramp in the earliest phase of the project, but was a fraction of the size.

All the archaeologists had gathered quickly at the trench, trowels and brushes in hand, and Drill had brought over a padded tray. One of the team was a recording unit and had deployed three camera drones.

"It's embedded," Driveshaft noted as he moved quickly to release his find. "Straight down. There was quite loose material above it. I think I can get it out without compromising anything."

"Do it," a fem returned. She leaned forwards eagerly: Fossar, a delicate symphony in pink and cerise, her 'tyre' wings indicating she had a two-wheeled robot mode configuration.

Glyph concurred. "I think we can already guess where it comes from..."

A few heads turned to glance at the shrouded bier placed near the entrance way, skilled measuring optics noting that this was most likely.

Furiously raking at the detritus, Driveshaft grunted, pulled the find free. He stood, wiped it with a slip of metallic fabric. "Cybertonium. High grade purity by the surface sheen, but I can't say how high grade until we get it to the surface for analysis, which we cannot do with the other one."

"Reckon it's a match, then," Drilled observed, his Earth British West Country drawl very distinctive, even electronically. "And worth a fortune."

"We only need a thin application of frictionless Cybertronium to maintain our tranforming mechanisms," Glyph observed. "This is unprecedented!"

Heinrad
2017-02-16, 03:35 AM
Shuttle Bay, Ark:


Chromedome could feel Stylor's wince at what Hardhead said. "We'll keep an eye on him."

"On top of trying to keep the Decepticons from stealing whatever the dig team found, we have to guard a war criminal?"

"Look, I know you don't like him. I'm not his biggest fan, either. But he used to be our leader. He was a good mech, once. Maybe he can be again."

"When allicons fly. Without rocket assist."

****
Shuttle:

"What are you doing?"

"I can't fly. I do have jump jets, but at best they might slow our landing before we crashed into the surface."

"We can take a sky-sled. We'll get down there faster so we can defend the dig team. And I really don't feel like sharing a shuttle with..... Him."

"Sentinel."

"His actions shame us all."

"Fine. I just want to say that I've been online for barely a month, and even I know this probably isn't a good idea."

"Don't worry, Ginrai. I'll make you into a hero."

Ginrai stood and strode out of the shuttle. He stopped in front of Hardhead and Chromedome. "Since time is of the essence, I propose taking one of the sky-sleds and making for the surface to guard the dig team until the shuttle arrives."

******
Dig Site:

"BEEP!"

Nightbeat stared at his commlink. "I know they aren't responding. They did mention something about comms interference."

"BEEP BEEP!"

"You've worked with them longer than I have." He looked back up at the sky. "Ouch. Looks like our boys hit one of them pretty good. Yup, his Titan just ejected.... And the jet's coming down....." His optics widened behind his visor. "Oh, this day just gets better and better......"

"BEEP?"

"I think that's Megatron coming in for a hard landing."

Blackjack
2017-02-16, 05:53 AM
Cybertron Airspace

"Well, that's just embarrassing." Optimus Prime mused to himself as Megatron transformed and crash-landed, a headless robot. The Autobot leader shook his head at his nemesis's honestly quite hilarious fate, before changing his attention, and aimed his barrage canon at Doomshot. He's as dangerous as Megatron is, despite his size.

"Time to join your partner." Optimus Prime said, before pulling the trigger.
_____________________________________________________

"Affirmative, sir." Sixshot replied, before realizing that Optimus Prime had turned his attention to the two of them. Good. He relished a fight -- but orders are orders. Still...

Sixshot launched another barrage from his gun mode at the Ark, but before the blasts hit their mark, the six-changer transformed into his robot mode. Revolver folded and clicked into place onto the port on Sixshot's headless body, and Sixshot's combat helmet clicked into place. The six-changer let out a roar as he grabbed his concussion cannons, and returned fire, intercepting Optimus Prime's bullets before they made contact with Doomshot.

"I would consider this maneuver avoiding damage, sir." Sixshot replied as his optics narrowed. "Come, Prime. Pick on someone your own size."
_____________________________________________________

The Ark

Perceptor scowled. He had launched another barrage of attacks to hit the wounded Megatron (illogical! Why would he transform into his robot mode without his Titan Master?) but the gout of fire from Doomshot added a whole new slew of variables for Perceptor to consider. By reflex, he pulled the trigger anyway, but the shots fired lanced so far out of target that they did not even come close to hitting Megatron or any of the Decepticons with him.

Then Sixshot's second barrage hit the hull of the ship, and Perceptor could see from the computer readings that the assault had torn apart at least two of the Ark's gun batteries. "Status report, helmsman!" Perceptor yelled.

"Forward shields holding at 45%, Perceptor, sir! We can't take much more of that assault. Maybe once or twice, and we'll be forced to retreat!"

"Divert power from the posterior shields and auxiliary engines three through six onto the forward shields." Perceptor rattled off, as part of his brain continued to calculate how to best attack, and decided that Sixshot is the priority right now -- he's close, and big enough to hit compared to the elusive Doomshot. "And start pulling back and get ready to jump back to Athenia the moment Hardhead's group disembarks -- the Ark is not an asset we should be losing for this skirmish."

Crazyjabberwock
2017-02-16, 06:04 AM
Bridge of the Peaceful Tyranny, Former Flagship of Tarn

Nickel had finally managed to work the controls with her smaller frame, she was annoyed at how late they were to the call Megatron had given. But Piloting the ship with her smaller titan master frame was the least of her challenges, after Kaon's Decapitation, Tarn vanished during the chaos of the war, Vos was damaged irreparably, stuck in Rifle mode, only good as Her Primary weapon, as a Mercy she put his mind in stasis, Tesarus and Helix Died soon after of Nuke Overdoses while she had been monitoring Kaon's Spark Support, it had taken entirely too long to link up with Decepticon command for her Titan Master upgrade.

Speaking of which, if they were going to Hail the Nemesis and alert Megatron to their presence, they'd have to do it together, with a bit of fear she walked to the Electrical chair that was Kaon's alt mode, it wasn't Kaon himself she feared, it was his mindset, and what she became when hers met it. Kaon had gone quiet since he lost his head, but knew she was there, "Kaon wake the slag up, I need to link up, Megatron needs us." With that he transformed into his robot mode, Nickle took her place as his new head, a set of purple Optics in the place of Kaon's blind blank optics.

When she was first bonded to him she was first assaulted by the last thing he experienced, his decapitation, the pain, the fear, that sense of betrayal... it shook them both to their core. Together they were not quite the Nuke addicted DJD communications office, nor the Diminutive if pushy medic, they were a mess. For convenience they went under Kaon's name when together, Only Nickel knew his real name anyway.

Shaking back into their combined Personality, Kaon walked to the control console and pocketed Vos.

"This is Kaon to Nemesis Control, Reporting in and requesting current mission status, sorry for the delays, it took us some time to reach due to some... technical difficulties, hehehe!"

Kaon chuckled at the thought of a renewed war against the wretched Autobots...

"Oh, I almost forgot, we're not the only pair on here, we have one other Titan Master Bonded team we picked up."


******

Peaceful Tyranny Crew Quarters

In the mostly empty hauls of the peaceful Tyranny Skullcruncher ambled about in his beast mode, more tamed animal then proper Decepticon, it was rumored that he had been lobotomized, but his master, Grax had not found any evidence to support it in the big lug's blurry memories. Grax himself ran over to his partner from his own temporary quarters on the ship

"Come on Skull, the ship just pulled back into sub light, we better link up to look good for the management."

Skullcruncher growled, he didn't like having Grax in his head, the smaller bot concerned himself over pointless things like, impressing people and profit, instead of things like food and survival.

"Skullcruncher, if you do this, there's a whole ship full of Autobot morsels with your name on them!"

That got the Crocodilian bot's attention, he transformed and let Grax take over, Grax was pretty much in command of the big guy in this state and made for the command bridge to Join Nickle and Kaon.


******

Minicon class Autobot Shuttle, Nearing Cybertron orbit

"WE'RE SO LATE!!!"

Sari cried out, The Technorganic Autobot gesticulated in frustration, it had taken forever for her to Get Bumblebee to leave with her. He beeped in protest at her frustrated that she had answered the call so readily when he was content to stay on Earth where it was safe.

The war had made him become protective of her even though she'd grown into something of a veteran herself, When they boned She thought it would force him to see her as an equal again, and he just thought he;d be able to protect her better, but disagreements aside they were still close.

"Bee I swear you'd have stayed there in protest if it didn't mean losing your head!"

she joked at his expense, taking advantage of the fact he could only beep back at her until they bonded

as the shuttle reached Hailing distance of the ark she flickered her holomatter skin off to ensure she wasn't mistaken for an organic civilian, after a quick doublecheck of her palm blasters and energy blades she started hailing the ship.

"Ark command, Autobot's Bumblebee and "Steelheart" Reporting in. Hope we can help."

Sari had used Steelheart as a prepared alias to avoid seeming too out of place, she had dealt with Autobots in the past thinking her kind were gross. Had the shuttle been big enough she;d have simply let Bumblebee hail them but their head might have breached the tiny shuttle

Selkadoom
2017-02-16, 06:08 AM
Cybertron Airspace

Starscream had tailed his 'Illustrious Leader' into the air but had quickly put as much distance between himself and the fire fight as possible, he didn't need to hear the incessant buzzing and screaming of the oafish, annoying, and stubbornly unkillable piece of scrap that Megatron had forcibly bonded to him.

"Uh... Star-botzzz?" came a questioning voice from his cock pit. The little wretch knew better than to touch the controls.

"What is it you buzzing buffoon" the seeker screeched

"Shouldn't we help Megatronzzz?" he asked sheepishly

"Why? He seems quite capable of handling himself." he sneered

"Well if we helpzz him maybe Megatronzzz give us reward?" he asked naively

"... Fine. If this backfires, expect to meet the underside of my boot." he said turning and diving straight down to join Megatron in a dive, though he would take his time to ensure the fire from either side would avoid him.

_____________________________________________________

Scourge was making his way down, pulling close to Deathsaurus on the tip of the spear, the old soldier grinning as Fracas was ready to get into this scrap as well

"Tis been many a cycle since I have seen combat on my old home of Cybertron. I look forward to flexing my servos after so long." he said kicking on his deterrence systems to put out any missile fire tracking him or any cons nearby.

Fracas laughed from the cockpit "You and me both boss." he chuckled.

____________________________________________________

Dig Site

Brainstorm had found himself drafted into the dig team after a rather nasty kerfuffle with Perceptor over carrying and modifying high explosives in his makeshift lab on the Ark. But thata for another cycle to discuss. For now it seemed that he had Decepticons. And that meant targets to test his new weapons oh joy oh joy!

"What should I use first? The Neutrino Neutralizer? The Anti-Laser? Or perhaps one of my less conventional weapons?"

"Why is it you are so utterly infatuated with testing your bizare weapons at other bots? Teslor asked almost reluctantly

"To see if they work of course!" he said happily bounding out "Who wants to try some experimental tech?" he asked far more giddy than any other bots nearby.

Warcry
2017-02-16, 07:07 PM
Bridge, Nemesis

The low-ranking bridge crew left behind were far too terrified to answer a hail from a DJD-affiliated starship, so they forwarded it on to Megatron.
_____________________________________________________

Dig Site (sort of)

Megatron hit the ground several miles away from their target zone, his body moving at several hundred kilometers per hour by the time it finally met the ground. Luckily for him, the Decepticon leader had plenty of experience making rough landings. He'd known that his jet mode would be too fragile to survive the crash, having seen what little was left of more than one Seeker who'd lost an airborne duel with an Aerialbot. And his tank mode, while much sturdier, was also far too rigid for the job. The last time he'd been thrown out of a moving vehicle in tank mode, he'd smashed both of his tread assemblies and broken his turret swivel. In robot mode, though? He'd survived more than one ridiculous fall in robot mode.

As he hit the ground and ragdolled down a hillside, though, he reflected that he'd been able to see the last time he'd done this.

As he finally skidded to a stop with a groan, he reflected on the few positives of the situation.

At least I didn't fall far enough to burn off my armour. Not like that first run-in with Jhiaxus...

The headless Decepticon leader took a moment to gather his wits about him. Two sensor pods popped out of his torso on either side of where his neck would normally be. They didn't allow him to "see" per se, but their sonar and radar packages were able to give him a general idea of where he was and what shape his body was in.

The answers to both of those questions were good ones -- he wasn't that far away from the dig site, with a nice stretch of traverseable ground between him and it, and his body was covered in scratches and dents but otherwise mostly intact. Nothing seemed to be broken badly enough to prevent him from transforming, which was a good thing because he was basically useless in this mode until Doomshot deigned to return.

As he finished his self-assessment, he answered Kaon's call.

"This is Megatron. Lock on to my position and join me on the surface. Don't bring your ship in for a landing. That'll be too likely to attract attention from rogue combiners."

As he started to move, his sensors detected Starscream descending towards him and, as always, had to resist the urge to fire on the defiant air commander. Instead, he decided a show of strength was in order and triggered his transformation cog, painfully folding his damaged body up into tank mode.
_____________________________________________________

Cybertron Airspace

Doomshot steeled himself to dodge Optimus Prime's fire, but Sixshot made that unnecessary.

"I appreciate the help, Sixshot, but don't worry about me."

The small red dragon tucked his wings in, swiftly diving down towards Optimus while spewing flame.

"I shall join my partner, yes. But so too shall you!"

The Titan Master aimed to close the gap with Optimus and get close enough to lay his fangs on the other Transformer's flight tech.
_____________________________________________________

Shuttle Bay, The Ark

"Thank you. I know I can trust you to do the job." Hardhead gave Chromedome a quick nod, then ducked into the hatch. He didn't break stride as he answered Ginrai, the ship around them rocking from Sixshot's barrage.

"The sky sleds are made for someone my size, not yours, so it might make for a rough ride. But if you think you can manage it, then by all means."

As everyone filed aboard, Hardhead pushed forward towards the cockpit. "Make ready for takeoff," he told the pilot. "I want us on the surface and ready to fight in five minutes!"

"Aye, sir."

Crazyjabberwock
2017-02-17, 01:25 AM
Peaceful Tyranny: Now parked in Cybertron Orbit

Kaon and Grax marched to the ship's Escape pods, the smaller landing shuttle among the many things they had lost during the fighting, Kaon used Nickles Mechanical skill to calibrate the descent rates for the pods to and target the coordinates at Megatron's position, an eagerness to meet their leader again after so long smoothing over their other issues. Grax was all too happy for a chance to give the Boss a good impression as well while Skullcruncher was just excited to be pointed at some Autobot snacks.

With their Jury-Rigged Drop pods ready, they entered and made planet fall.

******

Minicon Class Autobot Shuttle, Nearing Cybertron Airspace

Without any Response Sari sent another wave of Autbot Hails, despite her youth she knew better from some bitter experiences then to simply rush in without a plan or idea what your fellow good guys were up to.

"This is Bumblebee and Steelheart to any available autobots, requesting status and prefered landing coordinates"

Blackjack
2017-02-17, 03:50 AM
Cybertron Airspace

I think he's saying you need to keep shooting the Ark, Sixshot-sama.

But the fight is here. Sixshot grumbled mentally, yet he nodded to Doomshot. "As you command." As the smaller Decepticon assaulted the Autobot leader, Sixshot engaged his rocket boots to put some distance between himself and Optimus Prime, before transforming back into his cannon mode, and began charging up again.
_______________________________________

"Prime, get to the dig site. We can handle this." Perceptor radioed. He took aim at Sixshot with whatever remained of the Ark's cannons, and fired, timing the blast to coincide with Sixshot's own attack. The two energy blasts impacted and erupted mid-air between the two combatants, not damaging Sixshot yet preventing damage to the Ark.

The Ark's weapons are too damaged to reload properly, which means a longer recharge cycle. Thus, Perceptor needed to time the shots to achieve his current primary objective -- defend the Ark. It appears that the secondary objective, taking down the Decepticon six-changer, is slightly more difficult to achieve now.
_______________________________________

"Get back here, Sixshot!" Optimus Prime yelled, trying to discourage the six-changer from attacking the Ark, but Doomshot divebombed him and unleashed a gout of flame. The Autobot leader lifted up his free arm, using it to block the brunt of the attack from hitting his face, but it did scorch and melt a sizable portion of the armour plating around his left arm.

Diac, he is going for your flight tech! The voice that was Optimus, not in nominal control of their shared body, spoke in slight alarm.

In response, Diac commanded the body to transform into his plane mode. As plates moved and body parts shifted, Doomshot would find that his dragon's fangs would sink into the hull of Optimus Prime's plane mode, tearing several chunks off -- damaging, yet not quite disabling. Separated and moving independently, Optimus Prime would angle down towards the Decepticons that are landing on the ground.

As Diac was ejected from Optimus Prime's head, his limbs clicked into place, and the Titan Master brought his fists up as he advanced alongside Optimus Prime's hull towards where Doomshot has landed, magnetized boots keeping him from being blown away by the wind howling around them.

"Doomshot." Diac growled, optics narrowing as his own faceplate, mirroring that of his larger partner, slid into place. The Titan Master's fists retracted and were replaced instantly by two energon blades that glowed bright orange with the energy that coursed through them. "I will tear you apart!" Without Optimus Prime's calming influence, Diac roared as he charged the Decepticon, leaping into the air and attempting to stab his energon blade into Doomshot's dragon vehicle's head.

Heinrad
2017-02-17, 03:54 AM
Shuttle Bay, Ark:


"If it's a rough ride, so be it," said Ginrai. "I'll make the Decepticons pay for my discomfort." He charged out of the shuttle bay, heading for the forward bay with the sky-sleds.

----

Chromedome boarded the shuttle.

"Kid will get himself hurt if he's not careful."

"Kid? You're not that old, Chromedome."

"I'm probably as old as Hardhead."

As he started to turn to head back to the passenger(well, okay, cargo) compartment, he noticed the comm panel light up. He reached out and hit a few buttons. "Bumblebee, this is Chromedome. We're heading into a battle situation on the surface of Cybertron. If you can get a fix on this shuttle, follow us down."

tahukanuva
2017-02-17, 04:18 AM
Shuttle Bay, Ark

Though he gave no sign of noticing, Sentinel picked up on the particular wording of Chromedome's reply.

'Keep an eye on' me? Can you believe how brazen they are, Infinitus? I expected their resentment, but I did not think they would be so brazen about it. Apparently propriety is too much to expect from professional soldiers now.

Well, they did assign me to spy on you. I can't say I'm shocked.

"So, you two are to be my escort detail. I'm pleased to meet you.."

Chromedome, sir.

"Chromedome, and your partner.."

I'm afraid I don't know, sir.

Sentinel frowned. "Chromedome's head," he finished, slightly weakly. "Try to stick close to me. I'm confident that I can hold my own, but I'd prefer not take unreasonable risks."

---------------------------------------

Cybertron Airspace

Deathsaurus took stock of the Decepticon force around him; Scourge taking point alongside him, Starscream flying solo some distance ahead, Mindwipe's accent.

"Alright, soldiers! Megatron has made hit the surface. Lock onto his position. We're going to regroup with him, and make haste towards the dig site. The Autobots will be in hot pursuit, and we need to clear the site and set up defensive positions before they get there."

Crazyjabberwock
2017-02-17, 05:16 AM
Minicon Class Autobot Shuttle, Set for Deployment Route

Sari had heard Chromedome's message and locked onto them, guiding the smaller shuttle to land next to theirs. Once close enough to the ground she opened the vessel's bottom panel to deploy with Bumblebee, as they dropped Bumblebee finally transformed and Sari formed into his head, he yelled with an excited cry, relieved to be able to talk again, not to mention actually stretch his limbs after so long inside the tiny shuttle. They skidded next to Chromedome's ship ready to meet up with them.

Selkadoom
2017-02-17, 06:22 AM
Dig Site

Starscream came down with a show of grace that he would only permit to himself, though as his Titan Master bonded to him to form his head the shudder of disgust at allowing that recreant imbecile into his body once again would easily be seen by Megatron indicating he still utterly loathed his position.

"My my Lord Megatron, it seems you should look into brushing up on your aerial skills if those Autobot scrapheaps can land so many hits, maybe I could give you some lessons." he laughed as he started taking pot shots at anybot he caught running with his null beams, using them to shut them down non-lethally.

Waspinator meanwhile was being very very quiet because the last thing he wanted was to upset the jet bot he was currently providing the head to so for now he just calmly twiddled his thumbs and tried to point out targets.


_____________________________________________________________________________________

Brainstorm had handed out weapons to those who had desired them, keeping the more fun and non-lethal experimental tech to himself. He had decided to try his hand at a weapon that would hopefully sow some confusion amongst the ranks of their foes as he let a few blasts out at the Decepticons that were diving at the dig site, taking aim and sending two at Deathsaurus and Scourge, definitely nailing the latter with a solid hit.

_____________________________________________________________________________________
Air Space

Scourge shuddered and shook as the blast hit him but oddly he didn't feel much different, maybe a bit buzzed

"Racas-Fay, Tatus-say eport-ray!" he shouted which just got a confused noise from his partner "Uh, What did you say boss?"

"Racas-Fay, Tatus-say eport-ray!!!" he repeated angry at the fact his partner couldn't understand such a simple command "Boss what the frag are you saying?" Fracas replied causing Scourge to shout

"Eathsaurus-Day, am I amaged-day?" he commed to the commander seeking outside help on this simple request

Warcry
2017-02-17, 10:56 PM
Dig Site

This time Megatron didn't resist the urge to swivel his tank barrel towards Starscream, although to be fair he did see through his gun's targeting sensors in this mode.

"How's the new head feeling?" he fired back archly. "I see it's done nothing to improve your personality."
_____________________________________________________

As they approached the ground, Mindwipe flapped his wings to reduce his airspeed. As his claws touched the ground, he could practically feel himself making a connection to all the many generations of dead ancestors who'd fallen on this awful, wonderful world.

"Home, sveet home. Ah-ha-ha!"

Vorath sighed, but otherwise ignored his partner. "Please exercise caution with the artifacts they've gathered," he said to the other Decepticons. "If the scientists aren't willing to talk, we may need to reverse-engineer their discoveries. And by "we" I mean "me", so please don't make me work any harder than I need to!"

Mindwipe groaned. "Relax. Ve are home. Ve will be successful. The spirits of Cybertron are vith us today."

"That does not make me feel any better."

Mindwipe glanced towards Scourge when he heard the other Decepticon's garbled speech. "Are you unvell? Blah."
_____________________________________________________

Cybertron Airspace

Doomshot triggered a gout of flame as his teeth found purchase on Optimus Prime's wing, hopefully melting some of the Autobot's control surfaces.

But then he saw Diac advancing toward him on foot and quickly let go.

"Ah, the Titan Master," he said, his rich voice echoing with mockery. "Hi-Q, is it? Or perhaps Apex? Supremus Absolutus? Iron Ox? Not that it matters, no...you all wind up the same in the end. Weak. Broken. Erased."

The Decepticon dragon jumped up to meet Daic, but in mid-leap he triggered his mini-vehicle's transformation. The red dragon folded in on itself, ensuring that the Autobot's strike would miss and that he would collide in mid-air with a purple tyrannosaur instead -- a purple tyrannosaur that was spitting paralyzing venom at the Autobot's eyes.

With any luck, the force of the impact would propel them away from Optimus and put them into a freefall...something that Doomshot with his beast mini-vehicle could survive, but his Autobot counterpart likely could not.
_____________________________________________________

Autobot Shuttle

Hardhead gripped tightly to an overhead handrail as the shuttle's engines spun up. They dropped out of the Ark's belly and fell towards the surface of the planet below. An uncomfortable feeling in his servos forced the Autobot to speak up. After all, he was the seniormost person on the shuttle (not counting the deposed leader, at least).

"If Optimus were here, I'm sure he would spin an inspirational, eloquent speech that would leave all of us feeling confident and uplifted." He paused for a moment. "I am not Optimus. If I tried to do that, some of you could commit suicide just so you could stop listening to me."

There was some scattered laughter, mostly from the new recruits who didn't realize yet that their tactical officer was constitutionally incapable of telling a joke.

"So I won't do that. But I will say that I believe in you. Some of you are veterans. More of you are new recruits. All of you are well trained and know what you're doing. Remember your training, keep your wits about you and watch your teammates' backs, and we'll all come home in one piece."

The old soldier fidgeted slightly, uncomfortable being at the centre of attention in any scenario where he wasn't barking orders or shooting.

tahukanuva
2017-02-18, 04:05 AM
Airspace

Deathsaurus veered left as Brainstorm's blast approached, but he was simply to large to avoid the hit, which still managed to graze across one wing. Deathsaurus's beak tersed at Scourge's garbled question.

"Tobot onlethal eaponry o oubt. An't magine wy ey ouldn't oot oo ill."

You've got to be kidding me.

Deathsaurus, with some mental effort, managed to fight though the effect, and was grudgingly impressed that it had worked at all. His ancient body notmally proved incompatible with software-targeting weaponry.

As he approached the ground, Deathsaurus transformed into robot mode, firing his ancillary thrusters to slow his landing. As he hit the ground, Esmeral unlatched from Eaglebreast, which flew to its place on Deathsaurus's chest. Esmeral transformed, docking into Deathsaurus's shoulders, a draconic helmet shifted into place around her, and their two minds became one.

Deathsaurus stood up and got their bearings. They nodded along to Vorath's request to the other Decepticons

"He's right. Defending yourselves takes priorty, but try to dispatch the scientists nonlethally if possible. Once we control the site, Vorath, Esmeral will assist you with your initial examinations until a full dig team can get here."

"How are your speech circuits doing, Scourge? It looked like you took a worse hit then we did."

As they asked, Deathsaurus sent a message over internal comms; "Megatron, this is Deathsaurus. We've made landfall near your impact site. Are you combat operational, please confirm."

Selkadoom
2017-02-18, 04:44 AM
Dig Site

Scourge growled and stomped the floor as Fracas stepped away figuring that giving scourge a gun right now wouldn't be well

"Mon-cay mon-cay mon-cay!" he shouted furious that he couldn't shake the weapons effects off "His-tay is a roblem-pay!!!" he screamed looking at Mindwipe and Deathsaurus in an increasingly aggrivated mania before taking a deep breath "Alm-cay alm-cay." he said softly as he relaxed

"I think we'll manage until we can get some time with a doc." Fracas elaborated turning into his partners firearm.

_____________________________________________________________________________________

Starscream had to fight literally every circuit in his body not to spit a frothing mad tirade at Megatron after the remark about his head but he simply lowered his weapons and sighed

"No worse than yours My Lord" the seeker spitting the words out like they were phlegm. "Waspinator is a lovely partner. He listens and he knows when to not get in my way." He said with some pride in overcoming his handicap.

_____________________________________________________________________________________

Brainstorm snapped his fingers in annoyance that his weapon didn't seem to infuriate the two that appeared to be leading the charge. Well, it hit one but it seemed like he was managing. Perhaps he should switch to weapons that focused more on harassment and area denial. Just not the explodey ones or Perceptor would make him sit through a lecture on why blowing their home up more would be worse than being captured.

For now he swapped out for a nozzle tipped weapon he had dubbed the MARGG, or Magnetic Attraction and Repulsion Gel Gun. He started coating small hidden areas around his part of the camp with the gel and focused the gel on facing outward through a control panel on the chasis of it.

He would wait for the cons before setting the gel off and hopefully throwing them away or pinning them to the ground.

Blackjack
2017-02-18, 06:14 AM
The Ark

"They trying to distract you from the shuttle, Sixshot-sama." Revolver said, gripping his larger partner as another of the Ark's turrets impacted with perfect timing onto the concussion blasts from Sixshot's cannon mode. "Why don't we go for direct strike? Like we practiced."

"Very well." Sixshot transformed into his robot mode, connecting once more with Revolver, feeling the smaller Decepticon's expertise flowing through his mind. Jet boosters engaged, and Sixshot shot towards the Ark, spinning around mid-air to dodge a pair of laser blasts from the Ark's battery.

Then Sixshot moved, and to the blind eye it would seem like he briefly disappeared, and he reappeared in six places, all six charging towards the Ark's gun batteries from different angles.
_________________________________________

Illusion? No. Hard light projection. Slightly more difficult to tell apart... but not for me. Perceptor's monocle focused as it picked apart the electromagnetic spectrum. Hard light projection is far more difficult for people without as much sensors as Perceptor to tell apart -- they can throw a punch or two, they have some mass, they cast shadows... yet they aren't truly solid, not really. Perceptor quickly identified the real Sixshot from his five doppelgangers, and jerked at the gun controls to aim at the six-changer.

But where Perceptor's mind and fingers worked quickly, the Ark's systems did not. The gun batteries were merely halfway through their rotation and targeting sequence when Sixshot slammed onto the gun batteries, launching several blasts of concussion energy at point-blank range.

Perceptor winced. He did not need to look at the readings to note that the Ark was crippled offensively. There were other artillery turrets, of course, weaker ones, but Sixshot got their main cannons. "Disengage and pull back to Athenia, Captain." Perceptor said. "Put all available energy onto forward shields. I'm going hunting."

Saying this, Perceptor stood up, unslung the sniper rifle from where it's attached to his back, and walked up to the Sky Sleds that Hardhead had pointed out before.
_________________________________________

Good technique on the Shadow Clones, Sixshot-sama.

Not enough. They lasted only for two, three seconds, and barely distracted the Autobot gunner. Sixshot pulled away from the Ark as its forcefield hummed to life. The large Autobot ship was visibly moving back to orbit, too. His objective was to cripple and not destroy, anyway, and the six-changer looked around for his prey -- Optimus Prime is too far away, and so has the shuttle departed.

Sixshot transformed into his jet mode, and swooped down, making a beeline for the closer target: the shuttle.

"Well, you're a beginning practitioner of the arts of ninjustu." Revolver said as he found himself sitting inside Sixshot's cockpit once more.

"Metallikato. Why can you not refer to it by its proper name like everyone else?"

"The arts of ninjutsu is known by many names, but its principle is the same -- true power comes from within your spark." Revolver said. "Of course, for now, you have power from your two big hypersonic cannons, so you can rely on them while you train."
_________________________________________

Cybertron Airspace

(OOC: IRON OX hahahaha :lol:)

Optimus Prime made no sound, but felt part of his wing melt away under Doomshot's assault. It wasn't anything critical, though, for the Decepticon let go of it in the face of Diac's assault.

"How long before you yourself is consumed by the maelstrom that is Megatron's mind, Doomshot?" Diac growled. "You will find that at the end of this day, you'll be the one that's broken -- one way or another!"

Diac's swing missed Doomshot's dragon completely as it folded into a tyrannosaur, which spat out venom. Diac's boots attempted to magnetize onto Optimus's wings, but the sight of the venom caused the Titan Master to swing his energon blade wildly mid-air. The heat from the blades burned away a fair amount of the potion, but a not insignificant amount landed on Diac's face. Mercifully, it missed his right optic, but it burned into his left eye, which clamped shut and automatically deactivated in response to the venom.

The force of Diac's impact with Doomshot's ride far exceeded the strength of his magnetic boots, and knocked the Autobot off from his Titan partner. More of a reflex than anything, Diac attempted one last stab at Doomshot, but his blade bit thin air before he tumbled down into Cybertron's night sky.

His last thought before the world spun all around him was: I need to get one of those.
_________________________________________

"Diac!" Optimus Prime yelled, as he quickly put himself into a nosedive. The Prime's plane mode was far from being maneuverable, however, being intended to transport troops and resources as opposed to making sharp jukes in mid-air, but Prime tried his best, angling himself almost vertically as he shot down after his Titan Master partner, using their mental bond as a guide to track down the falling trajectory of his partner.

Indeed, there were many that were lost. Hi-Q, Apex, Convoy, Iron Ox, Sparkplug, Barrel-Roller, Supremus, Optronix... the names Doomshot spoke of aren't even half of the Titan Masters that were lost. Lost to the vastness of my mind. I am NOT losing another one.

As Optimus Prime banked down hard to reach where Diac is tumbling, the Autobot leader could feel panels groan in protest at the sudden change. In response, Diac retracted his energon swords, and in their place two large hooks deployed. Optimus Prime winced -- well, not really, for he had no eyes in his vehicular mode, but the sentiment was there -- as Diac's energon hooks seared into Optimus Prime's hull. They helped Diac attach himself to the larger Autobot, but the hooks were meant to maim, and maim Optimus they did.

Not that that was their main concern now, of course. They were tumbling on a free-fall course down towards the dig site.

Heinrad
2017-02-18, 10:18 AM
Sky-Sled, plummeting towards the Dig Site:

Gravity, a wise man once said, is a harsh mistress.

And right now, Ginrai couldn't agree more.

"PYROOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!"

"Calm down."

"WE'RE GOING TO DIE!!!!!!!!!!"

Ginrai, twice as large and at least twice as heavy as the standard Titan, stood balanced on one leg on the sky-sled, controlling it as best he can with one hand and holding one of his rifles in the other. The sky-sled was managing to keep this from being a terminal plunge, but it was a near thing.

Still, they were going to impact near the dig site fairly hard.........

"There."

"'THERE'?!? 'THERE' WHAT?"

"Stop panicking. There's Megatron AND Starscream. And we will stop them. Right here. No matter the cost."

Ginrai's hand made some small adjustment to the sky-sled's controls, and the plunge steadied a little as he aimed his rifle at Megatron and opened fire.

**********
Dig Site:

"BEEP! BEEEEEP!"

Nightbeat climbed into the driver's compartment in Roller, tapping controls. "I know that's Megatron. I also know we don't have a chance of stopping him. But if that shuttle, the dogfight, and what looks like Optimus Prime plunging towards us is any indication, all we have to do is keep Megatron busy for a few minutes."

Roller switched from drill mode to flight mode. Nightbeat looked at the power indicators for the small lasers mounted on Roller's wings. "And yes, I know we're not going to do more than annoy, but we have to try, don't we?"

With a hum of anti-gravs, the little jet lifted into the air, and took off towards where Megatron had come down.

Crazyjabberwock
2017-02-18, 11:19 PM
Cyberton Surface, Near Megatron's Coordinates

Kaon, Nickel, Skullcruncher and Grax have a rough landing in their Pods, but land in visual range of Megatron, Kaon shakily exits his pod while Grax's heavier frame was unfazed. Kaon Felt an awe for megatron that might have made Lugnut blush, but Nickel managed to keep a lid on it for now, too much brown nosing would be a poor choice.

Kaon Approached his leader and gave a subdued but respectful neal, Grax mirrored the gesture not wanting to step out of line.

"Lord Megatron, it has been too long." Kaon uttered through his new head.

******

Clogs
2017-02-19, 01:30 AM
Archaeological dig, Cybertron

"A legend..." Drill sent directly to Glyph.

Driveshaft, who had clambered up from his trench, took the tray from Drill and, with a grin, ambled away to the steeply-sloping shaft that the team had arduously dug through the layers of waste until they hit the dateable level for which they had sought. He was shadowed by Fossar and the recording mech.

"More than ever, I would like to know how the in absentia Autobot Council had data on this," Glyph eventually replied. "They directed us straight here."

Drill could detect his colleague's thoughtful expression even if most of her face was covered by a fixed mask (to prevent contamination during digs and working both ways, he assumed). Like himself, she had been happy with their commission until the point when the larger unit had been located, by resistance scan, almost directly below where they were currently standing; they had expected to find wreckage, not an apparently complete mech, albeit a headless one.

"We have not, I believe, been given all the salient information. We must consider that, in addition to our quite perilous position here, on Cybertron, there will be further danger once we leave with artifacts that prove we have, quite possibly, found the first Combiner."

Warcry
2017-02-19, 04:12 AM
Cybertron Airspace

"It is I who shall consume that fool Megatron," Doomshot scoffed at Diac. "And he knows it!"

As he and the Autobot Titan Master fell away from each other in separate directions, the tiny purple dinosaur smiled to himself. Not because he thought he'd killed his opposite number -- Optimus Prime would never let that happen, and nor would he crash with lethal force and kill himself -- but because he knew his minor victory would serve to further antagonize his own Titan partner.

If I'm honest with myself, I envy Diac having a partner who isn't infinitely hostile towards him. This would go much easier if Megatron would only listen to me, yes...

As he free-fell, the dinosaur unfolded back into dragon form and Doomshot's wings snapped open, allowing him to glide down gently towards Megatron's position.
_____________________________________________________

Dig Site

"Bah!" Megatron barked. "I am always ready for battle, Deathsaurus. Do not presume to think that this...minor inconvenience has tested my limits."

The Decepticon leader seethed inwardly as Starscream's retort. His own head was, of course, infinitely better than his insolent air commander's...but he would never admit that, and Starscream knew it. Thankfully, he was saved from the need to respond by Ginrai's cannon fire obliterating the landscape around them.

The Decepticon leader responded in kind with a blast from his fusion cannon, but his main gun was meant to deal with ground-based foes, not quick-moving aerial ones...even ones who were three sizes too big for the vehicle they were trying to ride. He doubted the fusion blast would score even a glancing blow.

"Starscream, deal with this fool!" He caught sight of Doomshot gliding in. "My own head has nearly arrived, so when you inevitably fail I will be there to bail you out yet again."

When Kaon and Grax arrived, he greeted the other two Decepticons with a "nod" of his cannon barrel. "You have been absent for far too long," he told the interrogator. "I will expect an explanation...later." He scowled. Something about the DJD officer seemed...wrong, but he couldn't place it. "But at least you're here, which is more than the I can say for the rest of my vaunted secret police."

Then he looked over Grax. "I have no idea who you are, but you seem sturdy enough. Secure the perimeter against intruders while the rest of us deal with that gigantic idiot who thinks he's Optimus Prime."
_____________________________________________________

"Thank you," Vorath said to Deathsaurus.

Mindwipe gave the slowly calming Scourge a look that was equal parts sympathy and curiosity.

I vonder how this vas done to him...

"Blah, if you vant this dealt vith sooner," he told Fracas, "find a safe spot and I can cure him wia hypnosis. Probably."

Vorath nodded proudly, glad to see that his partner was learning not to assume success in unfamiliar circumstances.

Though I'm not sure I would let anyone who talks like this into my speech centres...
_____________________________________________________

Autobot Shuttle

Hardhead was glad that no one seemed keen to talk to him after his decidedly unrousing speech. He simply stared through the shuttle's windscreen and watched the surface grow closer. Soon, very soon, they would land and charge out to meet the Decepticons in battle.

Selkadoom
2017-02-19, 04:52 AM
Dig Site

Brainstorm felt himself pause as the distinctive form of Optimus was seen falling like a rock in the sky and he felt himself worry for his safety ever so briefly before sighing

"Oh frag it all this is going south quickly." he said launching his head off and transforming into his jet mode, Teslor landing atop him with the MARGG next to him, the scientist lined up his trajectory and bolted off. This flight would put him very close to the heart of the fighting but if he could soften the or even negate Optimus's fall, well he'd have to admit he would feel alot better.

Flying as hard as his thrusters could manage he soared overhead of Megatron and between him and Doomshot

"Teslor now!" he yelled as the Titan Master quickly hefted up the gun and sprayed the ground where Brainstorm had estimated Optimus would land, quickly hitting a repulsion field that would push up moderately.

_______________________________________________________

Starscream didn't pause to take the chance to disconnect Waspinator from his shoulders and violently catch him in his cockpit, taking flight with flair and rushing to meet Ginrai

"Alright you behemoth, lets see you deal with a master of the skies!" he yelled letting a barrage of rapid laser fire loose upon him.
________________________________________________

Scourge shook his head in a dismissal of Mindwipe as his head already felt like somebody had pumped it full of circuit speeders and the thought of trading one speech issue for another made him rather uneasy.

For now he pushed forward silently, Fracas clutched in his hand tightly.

Heinrad
2017-02-19, 05:14 AM
Skies near the Dig Site:

Had events not taken the turn they just had, Ginrai and Pyro would be having words soon. But alas, the fickle hand of fate had Megatron roll on the punch location table this day after rolling double boxcars on his to hit roll.

The blast from the fusion cannon arrowed towards the Titan, whose path through the air could be less described as aerobatic, and more described as a straight line plunge.

Ginrai had enough warning to try to angle the sled back, but it was too little, too late. The high energy burst slammed into the Titan's head, directly into the gap through which the head mode Pyro would be able to see out of the armored helm of Ginrai's robot mode.

Ginrai's whole world became one of agonizing pain, as if a star had suddenly formed within his head and decided to go supernova. The massive Titan was catapulted off of the sky-sled and plunged to the ground with all the grace of a boulder falling off a cliff.

Fortunately for Ginrai, he was unconscious by the time he landed.
********
Sky-Sled Bay, Ark:

"What a DUMP!" Firedrive scowled down at the planet below. "Why did I even have to come along for this? This isn't my war, old man."

The sleek looking sports car parked on the deck gave an annoyed growl. "If you hadn't stolen me, Firedrive, you wouldn't be here right now. But since we're bonded-"

"Don't remind me. Biggest mistake I ever made." The young Titan Master snorted in disgust. "All right. Let's get down there."

He leapt into the air, transforming into head mode as the car transformed into a lanky, long limbed Autobot and locked into place as his head.

Hot Rod smirked as he jumped onto one of the sky-sleds and rocketed out of the bay with a howl of pure excitement.

tahukanuva
2017-02-19, 08:41 PM
Near Dig Site

Deathsaurus nodded in response to Fracas's and Megatron's replies.

"Alright, Decepticons, Megatron is just past this hill, and as you can see from the sky, all sorts of Hell is coming down to meet him. Scourge, Mindwipe, we're going to fly ahead to lend support, the rest of you, get there quickly as possible."

As they gave the order, they shifted back to his massive dragon form, with Esmeral reattaching to Eaglebreast, and took to the skies once more.

-----------------------------

Autobot Shuttle

As the shuttle made its way towards the surface, Sentinel examined the faces of the soldiers surrounding him.

See the young ones, Infinitus? They all gawk at me. Like I'm some kind if celebrity. I'm just the primus emeritus, the old bot they drag out at state functions.

Maybe they look up to you, sir.

For what? Standing silently behind Optimus' left side? Anyway, the older soldiers are far more interesting. You've got a couple like Hardhead, who are actually not paying attention to me, because they know I belong here. The rest of them are trying very hard not to pay acknowledge me, even though my presence is burning them up inside. They're facing the floor, or the ceiling, or the exit ramp, but then they start thinking about me, and then their optics wander this way, then they catch themselves and look away again with a start. They blame me, personally, for this war that I didn't even start, and then wasn't allowed to finish. Cowards, unable to face the truth, that's what they are.

Crazyjabberwock
2017-02-20, 03:47 AM
Dig Site
Kaon Saluted his lord, saving the explanation for a proper debriefing, for now he'd stick close to his leader, while Grax and SkullCruncher held the perimeter against autobot attacks.

******

Cyberton surface
Bumblebee was a bit annoyed, the shuttle hadn't landed quite on the time frame they had calculated, they had beaten it to the ground, now holding position at its projected landing point.

Relax bee, better then waiting alone

"Sure, but I was hoping to meet the others again."

Warcry
2017-02-20, 05:43 AM
Dig Site

Doomshot dodged as Brianstorm cut close to him, but the Autobot seemed preoccupied with other business so he didn't overly concern himself. He flew over to Megatron, then allowed his mini-vehicle to split open and drop him down towards his partner, transforming into head mode.

Megatron refused to allow his reluctance to show, transforming eagerly to his somewhat banged-up robot mode and accepting Doomshot into his mind. Then he did his best to push the annoying runt into a far-off corner of it while he caught the mini-vehicle, which had folded up into gun mode. He tucked the extra weapon into the turret cockpit on his back and sprang up, ready to throw himself at Ginrai...only to see that he'd killed the Autobot, almost by accident.

"That was anti-climactic."

He took a few steps closer to the Autobot, but the smoke rising from the inside of his skull testified to the fact that his Titan Master had been killed with a seeing-eye blast right to the face.

"Such is the fate of any who would challenge Megatron," he opined, glancing sidelong at Starscream as he did so. "Since that's dealt with, let's get on with the mission! To the dig site! Starscream, Kaon...alligator guy, with me!"

He transformed back to tank mode, Doomshot riding in his turret as he rolled forward towards the target area.
_____________________________________________________

Mindwipe shrugged. "As you vish," he told Scourge. "Don't say I did not offer."

Now that they were on the ground, there was little reason to remain in bat mode -- his massive wingspan would be a major handicap in the archaeological dig's tightly-packed camp, and even moreso in the tunnels. He also lacked much in the way of long-range offence, something the current situation very much called for. So they transformed to robot mode, with Vorath taking his place as the robot's head.

"Ah, yes. Much better." The shared mind's accent was much less exaggerated than the bat mode's, due to Vorath's influence. Mindwipe still carried a hint of a stereotypical Eastern European vampire's accent about him, but his fellow Decepticons would find him much easier to understand. He drew his viper pistol and equipped his shield, then stretched his robot mode wings and flew off after Deathsaurus, with his thrusters (now located in his feet) making up for the smaller wings' lack of lift.

"As you command, blah. Ve shall defend Lord Megatron."
_____________________________________________________

Autobot Shuttle

Hardhead hit the hatch release before the shuttle's landing gear had even touched down, jumping out of the shuttle and trusting his strong knees to absorb the force of the fall.

"Fireteams three and six, establish a perimeter to defend the shuttle. The rest of you, form up on me!" He transformed to tank mode and rolled towards Bumblebee's shuttle.

Furos landed in the Titan's cockpit and took up speaking exactly where Hardhead had left off. "We'll pick up our late arrival, then head towards the dig site. We'll meet up with Optimus en route!"

Blackjack
2017-02-20, 09:35 AM
Cybertron Airspace

Sixshot, in his jet mode, swooped down towards the Autobot Shuttle as it landed on Cybertron's surface. None among them are worthy to challenge. They are all soldiers, not warriors.

Still, he had to fight for the cause, for without the cause, what use is a weapon?

Sixshot took aim at the Autobots that are coming out with Hardhead and opened fire with his hypersonic concussion cannons, aiming to rattle and disorient as many Autobot soldiers as he could to give Megatron and the others time to recover... whatever it is that they set to recover.
__________________________________

"Apologies." Diac told Optimus Prime as he hung onto his larger partner, feeling the pain his hooks caused the larger Transformer through their mental link. He should've gone after the Decepticons. Saving me should not have been his priority.

But it is. And Diac knew why -- because he's Optimus Prime.

Diac briefly considered a way to get out of their predicament. Transform into their more maneuverable robot mode, rerouting all energy to jet boosters? Unlikely to work. They're plunging at such a rapid velocity that the transformation and expansion of their wings are likely to cause them to be torn apart by the whiplash. Crash-landing? It'll hurt, but Optimus Prime's body can withstand it.

But suddenly, a wave of repulsion hit him. Forceful, yet gentle, as their fall was slowed down with a force from the opposite direction. Diac and Optimus Prime took this chance to transform into their robot mode, Diac locking securely into his slot within Optimus Prime's helm. Whole once more, the Autobot leader looked around for his saviour, and saw Brainstorm.

Optimus Prime recognized the scientist as one of the Autobots sent to the dig site. "My thanks." Optimus Prime nodded to Brainstorm as his jetpack realigned, allowing him to hover in place and reorient himself. "You have saved my life. Come."

Optimus Prime shot down from where he was towards the dig site, seeing that Ginrai has went down to engage the Decepticons. Very enthusiastic, very eager to prove himself as powerful as the Autobot ideal...

And then, as Optimus swooped in, his eyes widened as both Optimus and Diac's sparks were clutched with horror when Megatron's fusion blast hit home, tearing Ginrai's head apart, causing the Autobot to drop onto the ground in an unceremonious, limp heap.

"NO!" Optimus Prime let out a loud, roaring yell. Part of both of them wanted to fly down next to the young Autobot, to ascertain if Ginrai had indeed perished -- but Optimus had seen many soldiers slaughtered by his nemesis's fusion cannon. Way too many.

He was killed trying to emulate me. Optimus Prime thought mournfully.

They will pay, Optimus. We'll make sure of it.

Optimus Prime let out a growl that was equal parts tranquil and angry. "It's you and me, Megatron."

Optimus Prime pulled out the hilt of his own Energon Sword from where it's stored on his back, and it expanded into full length -- several magnitudes larger and more powerful than the ones mounted on Diac's arms. The Autobot leader charged towards Megatron with, before swinging the sword in an arc that led it towards the Decepticon leader's head.

Crazyjabberwock
2017-02-21, 12:05 AM
Megatron's flanks

Kaon ran alongside his leader, regretting his immobile alt mode for the moment, but not enough to complain as he dashed along side him

"we really should make you something more mobile, keeping this pace all the time will be murder on your knee servos!"

Kaon ignored Nickle's complaint for the moment, such matters were immaterial to the moment. He lept up between his leader and the blow meant for his leader, Daring to stand directly between him and Optimus Prime. He charged his dynamo's to blast back with a powerful electrical current.

Grax and Skullcruncher separated, the Master Riding on his Titan's surprisingly nimble atl mode, keeping pace with the Tank mode reasonably well. They charged forward into combat as well.

******

Cyberton surface
Bumblebee and "Steelheart" separated and rolled up to meet with Hardhead ASAP "Incoming fire!" came their warning to Hardhead, the smaller titan master climbing partly out of the driver's seat to try and nail the incoming projectiles with her palm blasters, the small but precise shots disrupting the concussive force of much of Sixshot's barrage

Heinrad
2017-02-21, 04:09 AM
Survival Center, Ginrai:

"Uhnnnnnn......." Ginrai regained consciousness, in a sense. He knew he wasn't dead, that much was a certainty. "Py-er Prime?"

His query was met with only silence.

He reached out, searching the core that was protecting him from the catastrophic damage he/they must have suffered..... And realized that he was alone. Pyro was gone. Truly gone. Even the link shared between Titan and Titan Master was dead.

Which meant Pyro was dead.

"Well. That's just Prime."

******
Dig Site:


Ginrai's battered and burned helmet twitched, whining back on tortured servos, dumping the partially melted remains of Pyro onto the unforgiving ground.

------

"Bmmmmmp."

"No, I am not taking my hand off your vocoder," Nightbeat hissed. "You've only got one volume setting. Loud."

"bmmmmp bump"

"Because I'm not exactly equipped to deal with fully armed Decepticons. All the stuff Brainstorm had required a Titan."

From beneath a jumble of rubble, Nightbeat and Roller had arrived in time to watch Ginrai's fateful landing.

"bmmp bmmmmmp"

"That's kind of morbid, even for you. But you're right, that Titan might still be operational, at least at some level. We just have to figure out how to get over there."

*******
Shuttle:


Chromedome got up to get to the door before Sentinel could. "I told Hardhead I'd keep an eye on you, and I meant it. Please wait for me to make sure you can leave the shuttle in relative safety."

"What's to stop them from blowing up the shuttle after we get out?"

"Stylor-"

"I know, I know. Low probability. But it's still there."

Chromedome stuck his head out, then immediately jumped out, pulling his laser carbines and aiming them up at Sixshot, adding his firepower to Bumblebee's.

*****
Skies over Dig Site:


Hot Rod looped the sky-sled around, spying Skullcruncher. "That'll do nicely......"

"Stay focused."

"Kinda hard with you criticizin' me all the time!"

Hot Rod aimed the sky-sled at Skullcruncher, leaping off of the sled and igniting his boot jets, charging his arm cannons.

Clogs
2017-02-21, 04:59 AM
Archaeological dig, Cybertron

Driveshaft and Fossar climbed the fairly steep incline of the entrance/exit tunnel. The archaeologists had dug this single shaft due to a combination of difficulties that they encountered upon landing at the site at the very edge of the Sonic Canyons, just below the now defunct Tagan Heights industrial area. The higher levels of compacted waste were patchily unstable, but became very difficult to work the lower the dig went; any significant sound was likely to be magnified by the cliffs, even given the distance between them; the ongoing possibility of anyone - or anything - stumbling across their presence.

Cybertron was not totally overrun by rampaging monstrosities and they had landed safely undetected in two landing pods which were now serving as labs for the finds. Both pods had been carefully stacked over with rubbish, but were still probably detectable from directly above by their regular shape.

There were Autobot guards in the mouth of the tunnel and in the pods.

Selkadoom
2017-02-22, 01:56 AM
Dig Site

Brainstorm gave a sigh of relief that his gambit had succeeded in saving Optimus but the sudden and violent result of Ginrai eating a faceful of hot fusion blast sobered him up rather quickly as he felt a rare surge of anger cross his mind as he subspaced out a few more of his more inventive weapons and looked around for some Decepticons to test them on.

Rushing along with Optimus he quickly caught sight of a gropu of approaching Decepticons and locked onto Scoruge and Mindwipe in particular, lifting a small fire arm, and firing two shots that were revealed to be darts at them. One green heading for Scourge, the other Red heading for Mindwipe.

___________________________________________________

Starscream was a bit surprised to see the monstrous Autobot slam into the ground below with such force. He decides to investigate, ignoring Doomshot and Megatrons command as he transformed and had his head meet him, landing next to what he assumed was Ginrai's spasming corpse, figuring it's movements were one of the last few circuits firing commands.

"What a pathetic excuse for an Autobot you make. Dropped in one shot with not so much as a whimper. You're nothing but slag." he laughed kicking the bots body with a few laughs at his own supposed superiority.

____________________________________________________

Scourge and Fracas tailed along with the others, the sweep holding his partner tightly as he tailed with Mindwipe and Deathsaurus Moving to assist his leader in his fight with the enraged leader of the Autobots only to have the small dart launched at him by Brainstorm embed itself into the top of his torso and dig in deeply.

Blackjack
2017-02-22, 04:46 AM
Cybertron Airspace

Some fight in them. Good.

Sixshot's concussion blasts and the returning fire from Chromedome and Bumblebee cancelled each other out, and the six-changer did not suffer any damage from those attacks as a result. He could do the sensible thing, take out the Autobot shuttle -- the eruption of the fuel tank will cause a big explosion that'll injure, if not immediately kill, the Autobots on the ground.

But that would be dishonourable. And unentertaining. So.

As he looped around in the air from his initial strafing run, Sixshot transformed out of his jet mode, wings repositioning, fuselage splitting apart, and claws extending, and landed on top of the Autobot shuttle in his beast mode. He let out a loud howl, before leaping down, claws extended, aiming to bite Chromedome in the head.

Revolver, perched on Sixshot's back with magno-clamp boots, took out his sidearm, aimed it at Bumblebee and Sari and opened fire as best as he could.
___________________________________________

Skies Above the Archaeological Dig

Perceptor swooped down on his Sky-Sled, his flight path taking him on a different arc of descent compared to his foe, Sixshot. Primary objective: secure the archaeologists. If the others are keeping them busy, then... Perceptor frowned. Part of him really wanted to stay on the Sky Sled and take potshots at Megatron, Starscream, Deathsaurus and the other Decepticons. He really did.

But as much as Convex liked to paint him otherwise, Perceptor was still a very logical person -- and logic dictates that the priority now is to secure the objective.

Perceptor spied the pods that Driveshaft's group were using as a makeshift base, and, well, it was a decent formation, Perceptor supposed. To anyone less observant (and not hovering on a Sky Sled) it would've seemed like another pile of rubble. But Perceptor was not most people.

Perceptor's monocle zoomed in to ascertain the Autobot emblems on the guards that were hanging out nearby, and when he's satisfied, he brought his Sky Sled down to meet them. Slinging his sniper rifle onto his back, Perceptor hopped off the Sky Sled and addressed Driveshaft's group as a whole. "Greetings, friends. Perceptor, Autobot Science Division. I am to understand you have some critical information? There is a Decepticon army en route here, and I'm afraid we'll have to evacuate."

Warcry
2017-02-22, 05:07 AM
Dig Site

(OOC: Megatron went back to tank mode -- no head right now.)

Megatron laughed in Optimus Prime's face. "Oh, I think not. This is a battle, not the gladiator stadiums of old." He shifted into reverse to avoid the Autobot leader's sword blow (though he needn't have bothered, thanks to Kaon's efforts) then fired a fusion cannon blast at the Autobot leader's midsection.

"Kaon, Grax, Starscream, fire at will. Once we've killed Optimus Prime, the other Autobots will scatter like the vermin they are."

The Decepticon leader couldn't quite resist throwing a barbed remark at his opposite number. "Really, I'm surprised to see you so upset over me killing one of your cannon fodder. I've done it so many times, surely by now you're used to it."
_____________________________________________________

Mindwipe saw a flash of movement out of the corner of his eye and shifted, managing to -- almost by instinct -- catch the incoming dart on his shield instead of his shoulder. He eyed the new projection coming out of his protective device oddly.

"Vhat is dis?" He looked around with confusion, trying to spot the source of the strange attack.
_____________________________________________________

Autobot Landing Zone

Hardhead's cannon tracked up towards Sixshot, the heavily-armoured Autobot not even attempting to evade any shots that landed near him. There was an audible clunk as a magazine of wide area suppression shells loaded, then four ear-splitting bangs as he fired. Even though they weren't deep into the Sonic Canyons yet, the sound of the cannon blasts echoed and reverberated for several seconds after the shooting itself ended.

The shells exploded half way between the cannon's barrel and Sixshot, filling the sky with a haze of razor-sharp particles that could shred an aircraft's engines and control surfaces, or a cut into a more heavily armoured warrior's skin. Hopefully, the massive Decepticon would have to break off his attack momentarily to avoid serious damage.

As his Titan concentrated on the battle, Furos called out to Bumblebee (who he recognized, by reputation anyway) and his Titan Master (who he did not).

"I'm glad you could make it," he told the smallish Autobot and his partner. "Though considering the welcome, I wouldn't blame you if you were not."

Blackjack
2017-02-22, 09:15 AM
Dig Site

(OOC: Oops, mea culpa! Murder Prime just likes going for the face too much, I guess.)

Optimus Prime growled as Kaon jumped in between him and Megatron. He fully intended on continuing on the strike regardless, aiming to slice the smaller Transformer in half -- the DJD is as bad, arguably worse, than their psychotic master, and Diac, no, Optimus, saw no problem taking one of them out. Of course, he didn't quite manage to do that. In fact, his blade didn't even manage to come into contact with Kaon at all. Optimus was forced to leap aside to avoid Megatron's fusion blast before fully swinging his sword, though, and as a result he missed Kaon entirely. As he rolled and stood up, Optimus's optics narrowed at Megatron's taunt.

Every life is precious. Optimus Prime bit back that reply -- he wasn't sure if it was the portion of him that was Diac, filled with rage and the desire to do nothing less than to blow Megatron's head apart, or if it was Optimus Prime, sad yet angered at the death of Pyro. But both parts of him knew preaching to Megatron would be akin to butting your head against a wall.

Kill one of my cannon fodder?

"Time to even the scales, Megatron." Optimus Prime growled, with a surprising ferocity that surprised himself He spun around, aiming the barrage cannons on his left hand at Starscream and opened fire at the Decepticon Seeker's chest. "GET AWAY FROM HIM, WORM!" He roared, before charging towards the direction of Kaon and swung his sword that, if it came into contact, would cut the DJD agent in half from shoulder to hip.

Clogs
2017-02-22, 12:07 PM
Archaeological dig, surface

The five Autobot guards had stood their ground, watching the skies above them with weapons at the ready. They had been half-expecting an attack, because luck had to run out eventually, but they had not been expecting this.

"Perceptor," one of them acknowledged. "I'll get Tap-Out." As he turned, he spotted Driveshaft and Fossar emerging from the excavated tunnel set between the pods, quickly realising their danger. "Secure those two," he told his four fellows. "And get them to cover."

The Autobot guards hurried towards the startled archaeologists.
_____________________________________________________________________
Archaeological dig, excavation

"You mean that, don't you?" Drill said after a long pause.

Glyph nodded. "Our commission is to investigate this site, to find out if the rumoured remains are here and return with certain specified items if they were recoverable. We just assumed it was like any other dig, if a little more difficult, to uncover Cybertronian history and fill in the gaps.

"Another quarter-vorn and we'll have that colossus out. We'll record it, recover the transforming and mesh cogs, download any programs still viable."

Blackjack
2017-02-22, 02:06 PM
Archaeological dig, surface

Perceptor nodded at the Autobot guards. A part of him is highly disappointed that these guards did not seem ready at all in expecting assailants from above -- what were they expecting, Sharkticons maybe? Yet another part of him told him that he wasn't so different not too long ago, naive and unassuming. Weak.

You know, Perceptor, for a person who has made claims of completely expunging your emotional cortex center, you have a not insignificant amount of personal inner turmoil. Convex's voice sounded in Perceptor's head.

Different perspectives. Comparison with past events. Merely scientific methods. Emotions do not come into play. Perceptor replied back.

Perceptor gave Driveshaft and Fossar a nod. "Do you have any form of transport at all?" After a brief nagging from Convex within his head, Perceptor added: "May I inquire as to the nature of the discovery that has brought both us and the Decepticons here?"

Clogs
2017-02-22, 04:16 PM
Archaeological dig, surface

Driveshaft was nonplussed. "What? Discovery?" he stammered. Then: "What discovery?"

The Autobot guards were trying to hustle him and Fossar towards the pod to the immediate right of the tunnel mouth, but he pulled away from the hand placed on his shoulder by one of them and glared up at Perceptor.

"For your information, we've not discovered anything. We knew what we were looking for and it's location. And we've not transmitted anything about this site... How in Primus' name did you know we were here?"

He paused, winced at one exceptionally loud bang.

"You'll bring a load of the locals down on us and they won't care whose badge you're wearing!"

Heinrad
2017-02-23, 12:44 AM
Shuttle:

Chromedome watched Sixshot land, listened to the howl, then backflipped out of the way, the teeth barely missing his heels.

"Oh, no. No, don't-"

"So you must be Sixshot, the Decepticon Ninja Consultant. I've heard of you."

"I can't take you anywhere....."

"You'll pay for your crimes!" Chromedome brought his laser carbines up and opened fire.

Blackjack
2017-02-23, 05:32 AM
Archaeological dig, surface

Perceptor looked at Driveshaft with a frown. Strange. But: no time to question. Decepticons are coming. But both Perceptor and Convex agreed immediately: they did not like not knowing things. The nature of the discovery, why the mine leaders are hiding it, where the information came from.

"You tell me." Perceptor told Driveshaft. "I am not aware of anything beyond that the crew of my ship was scrambled to protect your group from the Decepticons -- they are coming for you, whether this discovery exists or not, and they care not who gets trampled in the process. As for the 'locals'... I am more than aware of what they are capable of."

It is a given that I am aware. I built them. Perceptor finished in his own mind.

Guilt was, thankfully, non-existent at this point, as he aimed his sniper rifle towards the direction of the attacks, ready to snap to attention and fire onto the Decepticons should they appear.
_________________________________________________

Shuttle

Revolver yelped as he ducked down to avoid the cloud of shrapnel that Hardhead fired, ducking down and covering his head to avoid the huge chunks that screamed above his head. Sixshot was a lot less concerned as his claws skittered on Cybertron's ground. Several dozen pieces of shrapnel embedded themselves onto Sixshot's exostructure, but they were only skin-deep, to use a fleshling's term.

Sixshot blinked once, Chromedome's words confusing him, then growled. "Revolver..."

"What?" The panicked Revolver yelled from his seat on Sixshot's back. "Oh, Ninja Consultant thing? Is marketable, catchy focus-grouped title! Good for you! Even Autobots hear of your accomplishment."

Sixshot growled in displeasure at Revolver -- the Titan Master had tried to 'market' him out as a mercenary, much to his displeasure. For a practitioner of honourable martial arts, the smaller Decepticon was surprisingly money-minded. But he had no time to reply his partner, transforming himself into his armoured car mode, the blasts from Chromedome's carbine impacting on the more durable parts that are exposed in this mode.

He revved up his engines and shot forwards, aiming to run Chromedome down. "Tell me, Autobot -- which one of your friends did I kill?"

tahukanuva
2017-02-23, 07:02 AM
Dig Site

Deathsaurus was too focused on the scene ahead to notice the projectiles that struck Scourge and Mindwipe. As he landed, he shifted back to his robot mode, with Esmeral locking into place on his shoulders. They took a second to examine the situation and get their bearings; one of the DJD agents and Megatron fighting Optimus Prime, Brainstorm off to the side of the fight, Starscream yelling at.. a big dead Optimus Prime? This last sight gave them a brief pause before they loaded a shell into their rifle (an antiquated weapon, simply firing a large hunk of metal very fast. Deathsaurus preferred his weapons simple and dependable) , took somewhat hasty aim at Brainstorm, and fired.


------------------------------------------------


Shuttle

As explosions rocked the shuttle, Sentinel Prime rose from his seat. He'd had enough waiting around, and if they were going to drag him back into this war, than by Primus he was going to be in it. He activated his wide, double ended Energon sword and accompanying shield, and stepped out of the shuttle..

..Right into a hail of Hardhead's shrapnel shells. Sentinel grimaced. His shield caught most of it, but it was still an inauspicious start to his fight. He spotted Sixshot just as he sped towards Chromedome, and stepped off to attack. He wouldn't make it into to help Chromedome, he would have to save himself, but he hoped to at least do some damage to the sixchanger afterwards. He swung his sword in an arc that, he hoped, would cause Sixshot to drive the sword into his own windshield.

Heinrad
2017-02-23, 10:47 AM
Shuttle:


Chromedome's optic band narrowed in anger. "Several! And now you'll pay for their deaths!!!"

"Are you trying to get us killed?"

Chromedome stood his ground as Sixshot charged towards him, leaping at the last moment and arcing over the Ninja Consultant, firing his carbines at the top of the six-changer.

Clogs
2017-02-23, 03:19 PM
Archaeological dig, surface

Driveshaft gave Perceptor's words a moment's consideration, then said, flatly: "We have no ships, only these drop pods. They're our labs and storage.

"And..." The mech paused, shook his head. "Someone needs to get a message to the dig because, I'll tell you right now, this waste area isn't going to react well to multiple surface impacts. It's still shifting under its own weight, sidewards as well as downwards, plane by plane." He lifted the toothed Cybertronium bar. "Looks like this will be our last artefact, then."

This was the astrosecond that Tap-Out exploded from the pod to which Fossar had been led. He was clearly in a belligerent mood. "What the Pit is going on!"

(ooc - remember, the pods are soundproofed and have no equipment that isn't meant for the dig; so no transmitters or radar.

--------------------------------------

Lens had dropped behind Driveshaft and Fossar in order to pull in his drones. He reviewed their footage at high speed, segued it together and produced a rough draft. He half smiled as he edited out most of Fossar's rapid chain of speculations about the Cybertronium's provenance.

Thus it was that he heard the noises filtering through the tunnel mouth sound baffles which his colleagues had missed.

"Oh, no..." he muttered and turned back downwards.

Selkadoom
2017-02-23, 06:10 PM
Dig Site

Brainstorm managed to catch the sound of Deathsaurus firing on him and so quickly hit the ground before anything connected solidly with him

"I don't know what bothers me more, the fact he tried to kill me or the fact he used that mecha-fossil of a weapon to do it." he replied as he hit the switch to the darts to connect with a tether of electricity before discharging onto their targets aggresively.

But now he had to figure out a way to deal with that big lumbering behemoth with a gun that was several decades outdated. Maybe something to daze him." he muttered rummaging through his weapons and prototypes.

_______________________________________________

Scourge seemed to be destined to be the test subject for several of Brainstorm's weapons as the violent shocl he got from the dart caused him to spasm and toss Fracas who managed to get his feet under him as he watched the larger bot convulse frombthe darts repeated shocks.

Quickly thinking he poped the top off with a shot that stopped the shocks though the Sweep was not looking particularly well.

__________________________________________________

Ginrai's Crater

Starscream had managed to evaded most of the blasts coming his way through fortuitous use of his thrusters but one hit his knee and sent him flailing right on top of Ginrai which elicited a string of grumbles from the seeker as he debated brutalizing the supposed corpse just to get under Primes chassis.

Crazyjabberwock
2017-02-24, 02:57 AM
[OOC: GAH! Sorry for late posts]

Battlezone: Megatron's Flank

Kaon used his Dynamo to dodge magnetize himself away from prime's swing, running up to support Grax who had relinked with SKullcruncher to fire on Optimus only to be tripped by Rodimus's Sled thing, the DJD operative helped him up "Watch it you two, who do you think has to fix that!?" Kaon Gestured to his head to emphasize.

Grax took aim at Rodimus with his rifle

Kaon ran towards Starscream to assist him in ensuring a victory for Megatron By finishing the titan master together

******

Battlezone: Autobot Shuttle

Bee and Sari ran/drove off in separate directions to dodge any shots from Revolver, Sari using her Scooter unit in Jetpack mode, Bee in his vehicle form.

they serpentined their routes, making themselves obvious but very difficult targets as they made for Hardhead's location Sari called out to Furos "Glad I could help, names Sa- Steelheart" she remembered her alias, she had heard Sentinel Prime was on Cybertron and didn't want to chance her presence complicating things.

Heinrad
2017-02-24, 03:27 AM
Ginrai's Crater:

TITAN BOOTSTRAP v 2034.453207

Emergency System Reboot. Support systems reactivated.

Power relays reinitialized.

Accessing Survival Center.

------------------

Ginrai's sensors came back online.

No, still no visual. The secondary optical feeds in his helmet were damaged. Other sensors were coming back online, some damaged from the impact, some still residually damaged from Megatron's shot. He could tell something....no, someONE was looming over and/or around him.

The targeting feeds from the shoulder cannons flared back into activation. "Finally, "he thought. "I can see....... Feet."

Then the feed from the left shoulder cannon was suddenly wrenched around. It didn't matter, damage from the landing had rendered that cannon inoperable. But as Starscream flailed around above him, one of his feet had connected with the cannon.

"Well, at least it's not Megatron....."

Then he noticed the slight subsurface tremor, like something very small burrowing through snow......

*********
Underneath Ginrai:


There were times, Nightbeat had to admit, having a drill drone for a partner helped.

This was one of them.

They'd simply drilled down and made a beeline for the fallen Titan's location. They came up in the shadow of Ginrai's helmet.

"All right", Nightbeat hissed. "Get back underground. If I'm lucky, I can get the big guy moving again. If not..... I was never cut out for archaeology, anyway."

Roller beeped surprisingly softly and retreated into the hole as Nightbeat waited for his moment, when Starscream wasn't looking, then scrambled up, transformed, and locked into Ginrai's head mount, immediately closing the battered helm.

------

"Who are you?"

Nightbeat had an immediate sense of concern from the Titan, as well as a surprising lack of panic. "I'm Nightbeat. Who are you?"

"Ginrai."

"Uhm....... Would you mind if I tried to pilot you out of this mess?"

Ginrai chuckled. "As long as you don't think your the next incarnation of Optimus Prime, you can stay as long as you want and do whatever you like."

----------

As Starscream fell atop him, Ginrai's arms suddenly came up, attempting to grapple the Seeker. "If you don't want to play with Optimus, Screamer, you can play with ME!!"

**********
Skies over Dig Site:

Twisting in mid air to avoid being shot, Hot Rod swooped down towards Skullcruncher, dropping feet first towards the Decepticon.

Crazyjabberwock
2017-02-24, 03:56 AM
Dig site
Grax split off again from cruncher, the beastly decepticon eagerly snapped and tore at Hotrod's leg, with it in his grip he attempted a death roll to take it off and cripple his prey, all while his Master took pot shots at his meal.

Blackjack
2017-02-24, 10:17 AM
Dig Site

Optimus Prime growled as Kaon dodged his blade swing, but the arrival of Hot Rod’s Sky Sled signaled something – reinforcements. The younger Autobot seemed intent on engaging Skullcruncher, which is a good thing – it leaves the comparatively more dangerous DJD agent focused on Optimus himself.

Kaon darted off to assist Starscream, who had tripped over Ginrai’s body – a karmic fate for the Decepticon air commander – and narrowed his optics. “Get back here.” Optimus Prime let out a low growl, aiming his barrage cannon at Kaon and launching another pair of artillery shells at the Decepticon torturer, aiming for the center of his mass.

He was about to do the same to Starscream, when Ginrai’s body suddenly lurched up and lunged at the Seeker. “What?” Optimus asked out loud. Ginrai appears to be sporting a different Titan Master than Pyro – where did it come from? Who was this soldier? But it doesn’t matter, because he’s clearly friendly.

Still sounds like me. Like us. Diac made a mental note within their shared mindspace.
_________________________________________

Perceptor shook his head in disapproval as his monocle focused, filtering through the ambient radiation of the Sonic Canyons to pin-point the mass of Decepticons and Autobots nearby – way too many Decepticon energy signatures for his liking. There were only… two? Three, maybe, that seemed to correspond to Autobot energy signatures, and at least a half-dozen Decepticons. At this range, and with so much terrain between where they are and where he last saw Optimus Prime land, there was too much interference to really be specific about it.

“Drop pods won’t help us in this situation – I highly doubt they come equipped with non-standard artillery.” Perceptor nodded, agreeing with Driveshaft. “And likewise, I highly doubt that the Decepticons – or indeed, our fellow Autobots – fighting there will be particularly receptive to any demands of ceasefire.”

Perceptor barely glanced to see Tap-Out as he stepped out of the pod. Clearly, from his demands and way of walking, someone in charge of security or the like. Or just a busybody. Either way, it’s faster to reply. “Megatron is here. He wants whatever you people has found – I am an ally of yours. Optimus Prime is holding the Decepticons back, but I believe evacuation prudent here.”

Should we not call Hardhead and his shuttle? Convex asked.

No. too obvious. Too big a target for the Decepticons to fire on. We’re hidden now, and the Decepticons are distracted by the fight. Best to slowly move away.
_________________________________________

Shuttle Exterior

Sixshot barreled through the empty space that Chromedome had just been in, missing the Autobot as he vaulted over his vehicle mode. The carbine blasts impacted on Sixshot’s armour, blackening and scorching off chunks of it, but none that scarred the six-changer fatally. It did cause the Titan Master inside him to scream like a strangled banshee, though. Sixshot’s concussion cannons rotated on their mounts and launched several potshots at Chromedome, though at the speed he’s moving, the six-changer did not really expect them to land.

“Watch out watch out watch out-” Revolver yelled as Sentinel Prime arrived, brandishing his blade.

Sixshot let out an excited roar as he transformed out of his car mode into robot mode. The sudden lack of wheels bled out some of the speed he’s having, enough to slow him down to draw his own sword and bring it up to parry Sentinel Prime’s blade. Sixshot’s sword, impacting with Sentinel’s, was enough to slow down his forward momentum to a halt.

“Excellent.” Sixshot growled. “You’re the warrior Prime, right? I’m Sixshot, Decepticon STAG. Give me a good fight. I’ve never killed a Prime before.”

Look, Sixshot-sama, I know it’s part of your creed to introduce yourself and your rank before battling worthy opponent, but ‘ninja consultant’ so much more better-sounding than STAG.

tahukanuva
2017-02-24, 10:40 AM
Dig Site

"Hmmph. Missed." Deathsaurus muttered as they clicked another slug into the chamber. "Must be more out of practice than we thought." They took a little more time to steady their gun at Brainstorm.

He could be important. Might should go for a leg this time.

They pulled the trigger.


---------------------------------


Sentinel was knocked back a step as Sixshot's sword slammed into his own. "I'm pleased that you know who I am, Decepticon. Unfortunately, I have no idea who you are, or what that nonsense title you rattled off is supposed to mean." Sentinel grasped his sword hilt with both hands and leaned into the blade lock, as he did so he deployed a pair of small cannons hidden beside his head and fired. He didn't think they would hurt an enemy of that size, but if they caught Sixshot off guard, Sentinel may have a chance to land a blow with his sword.

Heinrad
2017-02-24, 11:03 AM
Dig Site:


As Skullcruncher's mouth started to close, Hot Rod reignited his boot jets, hoping to keep his leg from getting more damaged by filling the croc's mouth with jet flames.

"He's trying to rip my leg off!!!!!! Get him off'a me!!!!!"

"Calm down. Don't panic. You've got three laser cannons on each arm. Make him hurt."

"G-got it....."

Hot Rod's left arm started firing at Skullcruncher's head, while his right, as a sign of his annoyance with the Decepticon Titan Master, opened fire on Grax with his right arm cannons.

************
Shuttle Exterior:


Chromedome twisted in mid air and landed in a crouch, facing Sixshot's back.

"Okay..... That was surprising......"

"He's not fighting us anymore. HOW DARE HE!!!!!!!!!"

"You are trying to get us killed, aren't you...... You could just shoot him in the back, be done with it."

"For what he's done...... For Abilo, for all those he's murdered..... Shooting him in the back is far too kind a death for him."

Chromedome charged forward, hooking around so he came at Sixshot's side. "SIXSHOT!!!!!! WE'RE NOT FINISHED YET!!!!!!"

Blackjack
2017-02-24, 01:31 PM
Near the Shuttle

"Well, it is the honourable thing to do to let a worthy opponent know your name and rank... so during the moment of your death, you'll know the name of your killer." Sixshot replied to Sentinel Prime. If he had a mouth, he'd be grinning. Finally. Someone worthy to fight.

The Decepticon six-changer lifted up his free hand reflexively to block the blasts from the smaller cannons, but this forced him to slightly loosen his grip on the sword-to-sword lock... and it proved a costly mistake. Sentinel's sword overpowered his own, and it swung down, cutting a diagonal gash on Sixshot's chest. Revolver's martial arts combat had kicked in, and before he realized it the very moment he realized the shift in their blade-lock Sixshot had already taken a step back. Sentinel Prime's cut didn't slash through anything critical, but it still hurt.

Sixshot transformed into his tank mode as he says this, mortar cannons and concussion cannons aiming and launching a barrage towards Sentinel Prime.

Sixshot had been ignoring Bumblebee and Hardhead, neither of whom were actively attacking him, but was dimly aware of Chromedome ran back next to him. Sixshot swung his tank turret assembly hard towards where Chromedome was coming at, hoping to hit the smaller Autobot with it and send him flying. "Begone, smaller Autobot -- you're not worth my time. Not like him."

"Don't take it personally -- he really, really likes fighting warriors with swords." Revolver quipped from the relative safety of the cockpit in Sixshot's tank mode.

Warcry
2017-02-24, 07:00 PM
Dig Site

Megatron transformed back to robot mode, smiling cruelly as Optimus made it clear just how much his barb had stung.

"So...you propose to 'even the scales' by doing me a favour and killing Starscream? Never change, Prime!" But responding to a strange stirring of emotion inside him -- I should protect the ones loyal to me -- he found himself adding, "I have to insist that you leave Kaon be though."

The Decepticon leader managed to stop himself from letting out the punctuative "yes" that would have made it clear that Doomshot was influencing his thinking.

He stepped forward, putting himself between his loyal DJD soldier and Optimus, trying to punch the Autobot leader's head off while the seemingly-undead Ginrai had him distracted.
_____________________________________________________

Mindwipe called out as the electrical current leaped between himself and Scourge. His shield absorbed most of the voltage, but enough of it trickled through to leave his left arm numb as subsystems and microprocessors were forced to reboot. Thankfully, Fracas shot the dart on his end before it did any irreversible harm to the mystic.

(OOC: Am I interpreting this right?)

"Blah, if a fight is vhat they vant, than a fight is vhat we vill give them! And if they vill attack us so dishonourably..."

Raising his viper pistol in his good hand, he fired a shot down at Chromedome's back.

"...then so vill ve."
_____________________________________________________

Autobot Landing Zone

Furos scowled as Sixshot essentially shrugged off the cannon blast that Hardhead had sent his way. As he pondered what to do next, his Titan ejected his spent magazine.

"Incendiary shells?" Hardhead asked.

Furos shook his head. "Too much of a chance that we'll hit the other Autobots with splash damage." He winced. "Sentinel's already walked into one of our shots."

"Sonic shells, then?"

"Not unless we want to fight combiners today. The sound would carry all the way across the Canyons."

"Shatterblaster to the face, then?"

Before Furos could answer, he noticed other Decepticons arriving.

Deal with one thing at a time, he reminded himself.

Turning to face Bumblebee and "Steelheart", he made the conscious choice to ignore the Titan Master giving him a fake name -- no one, in his experience, tripped over saying their own name unless they were trying to get used to a new one -- and evaluated their abilities instead. "The Bumblebee I've heard about was called a scout. Is that an accurate assessment?"

Crazyjabberwock
2017-02-25, 12:53 AM
Near Ginrai's Crater

Kaon used hsi dynamo to try and deflect the shots again but on such short notice he could only muffle them, as he fell over from the concussive force Nickle separated and grabbed the comatose Vos, Firing right for Optimus's head with a cold look in her eyes.

******

Dig Site
Grax eeped and dodged behind anything he could as Skullcruncher snarled, clamping harder through the pan as he started trying to roll Hot Rod's leg off, though the damage would pile up, it was a contest of endurance now. Grax took his chance behind cover to try and aim right at the Guzzler's head.

******

Autobot landing zone

Bumblebee rolled up with a stylish skid, the titan master landed beside him, stowing her scooter in his trunk before they transformed, Bumblebee saluted Furos and Hardhead.

"Veteran Scout Bumblebee reporting, we're ready to help!" They stood ready to take initiative on the moment things got more chaotic.

Blackjack
2017-02-25, 03:23 AM
Dig Site

"Getting soft in your old age, Megatron? I never thought you had it in you to actually care for your soldiers." Optimus Prime growled in satisfaction as Kaon fell over from his barrage. Two things aimed for his head, though -- Megatron's fist and the blast from Kaon's transformed Titan Master -- so Optimus Prime transformed out of reflex.

He didn't quite make it, though. While Diac leaped into the air quick enough to avoid Nickel's shot, he didn't quite avoid Megatron's fist. The Titan Master felt the brunt of Megatron's knuckles hit his lower body, but Diac reflexively transformed his hands into energon blades, attempting to drive them deep into Megatron's fists -- if not to damage the Decepticon leader, then to hang on and avoid being flung halfway across the battlefield.

Optimus Prime himself transformed into his truck mode, and continued barreling forwards, aiming to run Megatron down.

Selkadoom
2017-02-25, 04:23 AM
Dig Site

Brainstorm cursed at the fact that lumbering behemoth was still closing in and firing on him as he moved quickly to some cover before the second shot had gotten off. But now the eccentric genius found himself contemplating how to get that titanic figure known as Deathsaurus down and he hit upon a rather clever idea. Taking out his MARGG he started to lay down a large pile of gel and slowly peeked out at the lumbering figure, pulling off his face plate and making a childish face hoping it would incite him into leaving Optimus be so the bot could face Megatron in relatively fair odds.

He would note with disappointment that his electro darts had been disabled but it seemed that at least one bot was down so better than nothing. He was running out of weapons though.

_____________________________________________________

Scourge blearily opened his optics after the viscious electrocution but found that he could barely move, his body having for the most part slipped into an involuntary stasis lock that had left him essentially useless until his internal systems could properly unlock his servos. Fracas for his part had done a fine job securing the area around his partner.

_____________________________________________________

Ginrai's Embrace

Starscream let out a noise that could only be best described as halfway between a yelp, a scream, and a gasp as he suddenly found himself getting cybear hugged by a bot much larger than him

"Let me go you stupid idiot!" he yelled as he flailed madly, kicking the titan as hard as he could as his Titan Master made an involuntary angry buzzing noise at the situation that Ginrai had put the duo in, not paying attention to the others.

Heinrad
2017-02-25, 11:55 AM
Dig Site:


As Sixshot's turret swung towards him, Chromedome grabbed the barrel closest to him and swung up into the air, avoiding Mindwipe's venom stream by sheer accident. Stopping in a crouch on Sixshot's barrel, he steadied himself with one hand and aimed his laser carbine towards Sixshot's cockpit with the other. "He likes fighting sword guys, I like avenging all of my friends he's murdered. And I am taking it personally." He opened fire on Sixshot's cockpit.

------------

"STOP PANICKING!"

"I'm not panicking! I'm....... I'm...... WaaahhhhhhhhHHHHHHHH!"

"Kids these days........"

Hot Rod suddenly scowled, switching his aim from Skullcruncher's head and muzzle to targeting the croc's optics, while boosting the power to the jets filling the croc's mouth with flames.

**********
Ginrai's Crater:

"What's the matter, Screamer? Don't like a target that fights back? Or do you get your jollies fighting corpses?"

"I don't get it."

"Long, LONG story."

Ginrai kept squeezing, glaring at Starscream........ mainly because Nightbeat was having problems interfacing with Ginrai's weapons systems.

tahukanuva
2017-02-25, 10:33 PM
Dig Site

Deathsaurus scowled as the second slug put a small crater in the ground where Brainstorm's leg had been.

He's a nimble one, apparently. A different approach is needed here.

They placed their rifle on their back again, and drew Eaglebreast from their chest and switched it to blaster mode, and with their other hand they unsheathed their broadsword. As they began to close in on Brainstorm, the Autobot showed his face.

A taunt? So, he's either suicidal, or he's planning something.

Deathsaurus shifted their shield in front of them, and kept their gun pointed at the slab of debris Brainstorm was hiding behind, and cautiously stepped forward.


-------------------------

Shuttle

Sentinel raised his shield as Sixshot transformed. He was protected from direct damage, but the inertia still knocked him on his back. Chromedome's flip trick bought Sentinel enough time to climb to his feet, although still a little dazed.

That idiot's going to get himself killed.

With respect, sir, 'that idiot' may have just saved your life.

Hardly. Do you think some Decepticon ruffian with an overblown sense of importance could actually fell a Prime?

"Chromedome! I can handle this one myself! You should deal with some of these other Decepticon rabble currently going unopposed!"

He turned back to the multi-changer and gave his blade a twirl, "Alright, 'Sixshot'," he said as if the name itself were a taunt, "if you want to test your blade against a Prime, then here I stand."

Crazyjabberwock
2017-02-25, 11:09 PM
Dig Site: Starscream's position
With the shot fired Nickle rapidly linked back onto Kaon, the Duo made forStarscream, Kaon lept at the Titan, Latching onto Ginrai Chuckling sadistically as he powered up an electric shock that both he and the air commander would feel, charged just enough to not kill Starscream, but enough to hurt like the pit as it funneled through and harmed the Autobot


*******

Dig site
Skullcruncher howled in agony, releasing Hot Rod as one of his optics had burst, he swiped his tail out to push him back as Grax ran up "No Body abuses my boy!" He declared as signalled Cruncher to transform. Once connected he cracked his knuckles threateningly and moved to pummel him.

Heinrad
2017-02-26, 01:55 AM
Ginrai's Crater:


"I wonder who that is......."

"With our luck......."

"SHHHHEEEEEEAAAAAUUUUUUGGGGGGGGGHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!"

Electricity from Kaon surged through Ginrai and Nightbeat.

"I-I-it's n-n-nothing-g-g g-g-good."

Convulsively, Ginrai tightened his grip on Starscream. "G-geezzz, S-screammmer, nobody-y-y likes y-y-you, dooo theyyy?"

************
Dig Site:


Hot Rod rolled to his feet, favoring his damaged right leg. His jets were damaged from overheating, and his ankle and lower leg armor was torn.

"Your boy's an idiot." Hot Rod danced backwards, keeping just out of reach of Skullcruncher.

Selkadoom
2017-02-26, 03:08 AM
Dig Site

Brainstorm counted the microcycles as he waited for the towering decepticon to close in, waiting for the thunderous foot to make a different sound as it hit the colorless gel before stepping out and taking a rather grandiose bow.

"I thank you good sir because you will now be helping me see what happens when I propel a bot with as much repulsion as 6 kilos of gel can produce."

he said flipping the switch and making the gels magnetic field roar to life straight up underneath Deathsarus foot.

_____________________________________________________

Ginrai's Crater

The combination of humiliating bear hug and then a shock from an ally was too much for Waspinator to bear as he suddenly detatched from Starscreams body and buzzed angrily as his tiny form sprouted two wings to enable flight

"Waspinatorzzz is sick and tired of other bots hurting hizz partner!" he shrieked as he pulled out his stinger gun and fired two into Ginrai's arms, the little darts burrowing in and discharging a nasty mix of toxins meant to cause lingering pain before wheeling around and firing a few at Kaon as well

Crazyjabberwock
2017-02-26, 03:52 AM
Dig Site
Grax noticed Hot Rod's tactic, played along and moved for shield bash only to fake out and use its integrated blaster instead at close range, a smug smile on his face.

"suppose it takes one to know"

******

Ginrai's Crater

Kaon jumped back in pain Surprised at Waspinator's potency, Pain was nothing new to him but Nickle was having trouble taking it. She considered separating again but gritted their teeth to take it, Kaon was sprawling for a moment

Blackjack
2017-02-26, 09:05 AM
Dig Site

Revolver yelped as the cockpit's roof shattered -- though the roof itself was made from the same material that the rest of Sixshot was, it was still thin enough for Chromedome's carbine to do some damage. Thankfully, the roof of the cockpit absorbed most of the carbine's energy, though the shrapnel rained down on Revolver, cutting the Titan Master's chest and back.

Sixshot, meanwhile, transformed into his robot mode, and as his turret transformed into Sixshot's legs, Chromedome would find himself either forcibly shaken off or clinging to the six-changer's legs. Revolver found the seat he's sitting on retracting, pistons pulling him into place as he transformed, finding himself locked into place within Sixshot's helmet.

That was not fun. Pay attention to other Autobots, Sixshot-sama!

Oh, hush. Silverdome isn't a threat.

It is Chromedome, Sixshot-sama, and he might not be a threat to you, but he nearly blew me up! And, I remind you, I am your marketting agent! And your head! Head is important!

In an action that was mostly inspired by Revolver's part of their shared mind, Sixshot would lash out his leg to kick Chromedome away, and without really caring for the result of that particular action, Sixshot drew his own blade, and held it in a two-handed grip. "Come, Sentinel Prime. I like you better than your successor already. He kept making speeches about how I shouldn't accept my fate as a soulless weapon." Sixshot's eyes glinted, and he charged forwards, swinging his blade in an arc that went for Sentinel's right side, the side that's not holding a shield. "But I know what I am."

Heinrad
2017-02-26, 12:42 PM
Ginrai's Crater:


Ginrai winced as the darts slammed home into his arms. "Don't blame me for your choice in partners, little guy."

The advantage to Ginrai's armored helm combined with Nightbeat's visored optics is that no one could see any sign of the huge grin that suddenly formed on Nightbeat's face as, with Ginrai's help, he finally got the weapons systems online.

"But since you seem so concerned for him...... Fetch." Ginrai flung Starscream's headless body at Kaon, pulling both ion rifles as soon as his hands were free and firing at both Decepticons.

************
Dig Site:


As Sixshot started to transform, Chromedome sprang from the gun barrel, flipping in mid-air and landing in a crouch.

"STOP IT!"

"Stylor-"

"He's bigger than us, better armed, and far stronger. I'm sorry he killed your friends-"

"Stylor-"

"-but he's going to kill us as well if you don't stop this!"

"We've got a far better chance against him than the orange moron. Whom, if you remember, we're supposed to protect."

"Nobody will mourn the death of a war criminal."

"Probably not, but Hardhead asked us to keep him alive."

Chromedome stood. "I guess there's only one thing for it." He turned and ran back to the shuttle. "I hope they packed some spares......"

----------

Hot Rod stepped inside of Skullcruncher's shield reach, knocking it off aim with his left arm, while driving a powerful right fist at Skullcruncher's head.

tahukanuva
2017-02-26, 07:03 PM
Dig Site

Deathsaurus was stunned for a moment when Brainstorm popped up and bowed. They readied their gun and took another step forward when the ground flew out from under them. They found themself floating nearly half a mile in the air above the battlefield, and honestly more amused than angry.

How novel. I would guess that this is the same one that shot us with that speech disrupting device earlier as well.

Deathsaurus formulated a plan within their mind, and then split back apart, with Esmeral attaching to Eaglebreast once more. Esmeral was going to stay in the air for now, and keep watch on the fight from above.
Deathsaurus flew forward just enough to get out of the repulser field, and then dove back down. His massive draconic form landed behind Brainstorm with a roar, as he swung around to slam the Autobot with his tail.


------------------------------


Sentinel Prime braced himself as Sixshot charged forward. His strike angle would have been a difficult parry for a regular sword, but that's why Sentinel used such a peculiar blade. He angled the bottom blade of his sword out and up, to angle Sixshot's sword up and over Sentinel's head. It wasn't a perfect maneuver, he lost most of the overhanging armor protecting his wrist and hand as the sword slid across, but Sentinel knew you didn't always have the luxury of a perfect solution.

"On that we can agree, creature." Sentinel replied during the parry, "Optimus is always trying to redeem and rehabilitate your kind. I know better." Sentinel thrust his off hand, attempting to bash Six Shot's chest wound with his shield. "I know you're all vermin, and the galaxy will only be safe when you're dead."

Warcry
2017-02-26, 07:28 PM
Dig Site

"I've always cared for the useful ones," Megatron scoffed at Optimus's comment, but he may have been trying to convince himself.

Diac's blades caught on the seams of his hand armour, not cutting into any vital parts but wedging in deeply enough to ensure the tiny Autobot stuck there. Which in retrospect wasn't a very good idea, because now he was stuck about a handspan away from the aperture of the Decepticon leader's fusion cannon.

Megatron kept his face stony to avoid betraying the pain in his hand as he fired a blast at Optimus's front wheels, looking to cripple the Autobot leader's vehicle mode. The fusion-powered plasma stream would pass within an inch or two of Diac, as hot as the fires of Cybertron's sun.

Out of the corner of his eye, he caught sight of Waspinator taking matters into his own hands and felt an unfamiliar mix of fondness and pride. Megatron recognized the source of the feelings as Doomshot, who'd served with the useless, buzzing annoyance before, but found himself unable to silence it.
_____________________________________________________

Mindwipe got a sour expression as Chromedome dodged his attack seemingly by sheer luck.

The spirits vere on his side today, blah.

Flapping his wings, he dropped to the ground near where Fracas and Scourge had come down.

"Does he still function?" Mindwipe asked the smaller of the two as he shook out his left arm, trying unsuccessfully to bring some sensation back to it.
_____________________________________________________

Autobot Landing Zone

Furos and Hardhead transformed to robot mode as Bumblebee did the same. He hefted his shatter blaster, but before he ran into the battlefield he addressed the other Autobot.

"Good," he said bluntly. "We're here to protect a team of archaeologists. But before we can protect them, we need to find them. I need you to locate the entry to their dig tunnels. Our intel says they're west of here, but I'm not entirely sure where. Make contact if you can, then come back here and tell me their location. Stay radio silent -- we don't know who else might be listening." His optics narrowed. "I think our science officer may have come down closer to the site. His name is Perceptor. He can be a bit trigger-happy, so if you run into him, make sure he knows I sent you."

Selkadoom
2017-02-27, 12:39 AM
Dig Site

Brainstorm let out a hardy laugh at the success of his gel "Well that took care of that gigantic brute!" he chuckled listening for the thud.

He grinned under his face plate and turned around to look at what he presumed to be Deathsaurus laying in a crater only to eat his tail and go visibly and audibly skipping across the ruined landscape like a protoform throwing a toy.

Your Ego is going to get us both killed Teslor bemoaned.

__________________________________________

Ginrai's Crater

Starscream was quick to recover and snap into jet mode after being tossed, starting to make tracks as he wanted to leave only to realize that his head, Waspinator, had now latched onto Ginrai and was scaling the titan to get to his head and extract his vengeance.

"I feel the oddest mix of pity in pride in that imbecile." he mused wheeling back and letting his null beams out on the titan as he showed why he was the master of the skies.

Crazyjabberwock
2017-02-27, 01:26 AM
Ginrai's Crater

Kaon Dragged himself up to try and yank waspinator off of Ginrai's body, the tiny decpticon had already proven a finer asset then Starscream. Channeling his dynamo into a magnetic field to hopefully soften incoming projectiles as he charged to him.

"StarscreamGet your Bug Brain under control before I consider you an even greater liability!"

******

Dig Site

Hot Rod's fist knocked Grax right off of him, on instinct Skullcruncher converted back to beast mode and resumed thrashing up at his face, running on instinct and rage.

******

Autobot Landing Zone

Bumblebee nodded "we're on the job Hardhead "Bee" back in a flash!"

they transformed, the Titan master at his Driver seat, Hardhead couldn't tell if he or she was driving as he peeled out westward as fast as possible

internally Bumblebee chafed at Sari fro putting that pun in his head.

Selkadoom
2017-02-27, 02:53 AM
Dig Site

Scourge had gained back enough control of his body that he could sit up but not much else

"Stasisssss lock." he slurred out as the shock had rebooted his vocal processor "Most of body unable to move." he added as Fracas gave a nod of affirmation.

_____________________________________________________

Ginrai's Torso

Waspinator evaded Kaon's grabs with a surprising amount of skill and grace as he buzzed his way up further trying to get to his head.

"Funny you say that after shocking a commanding officer you sadist freak!" Starscream shot back.

Heinrad
2017-02-27, 03:35 AM
Shuttle:

Chromedome rooted through the assorted weapons, ammo, and parts crates. "Come on, we must have brought.... Yes. I knew it."

He pulled out an energo-sword, clicking the switch on the hilt and the sword flares into blue life. He clicked it off, then subspaced the sword.

"This is a really bad idea."

"You keep saying that."

"It's because I'm right."

"We protect Sentinel, we stop Sixshot. It's all good."

He headed out of the shuttle.

*********
Dig Site:


Hot Rod leapt back, landing with most of his weight on his good foot, bringing both arms up and firing at Skullcruncher.

**********
Ginrai's Crater:


Ginrai dove to the side as the null rays rained down, aiming one of his ion rifles up at Starscream and returning fire, sub spacing the other one to swipe at Waspinator.

Clogs
2017-02-27, 10:23 AM
Archaeological dig, surface

Tap-Out 'hrumphhed'. Megaton, eh? Well, that was interesting, as he was sure Glyph and Drill would agree, but maybe for differing reasons... "We have electroshields," he said, bluntly to Perceptor. "They'll give us some protection, but we'll need to evacuate."

And we'll need to grab some of the important stuff. Glyph will kill me if we don't.

"Security team: emergency scramble. Get everyone, and the dolly, underground."

He turned back to the much larger mech. "No disrespect, but we're going to be of little use here."

Blackjack
2017-02-27, 05:02 PM
Dig Site

"Cared? Who are you and what have you done with Megatron?" Optimus Prime replied to Megatron's remark as he ran striaght onto his opposite counterpart's fusion blast. The armour on his front end blew apart somewhat, exposing the interior of Optimus's vehicle mode, but it was not quite enough to stop him, only slow him down.

And Optimus's plan wasn't to ram Megatron, not really.

Diac found himself regretting his idea of attempting to scale Megatron's body when he realized that the arm he was attached to is the one with a freaking huge cannon strapped on to it. As the fusion cannon hummed to life, Diac quickly detached the energon blades, still embedded in Megatron's hand, and let go, deciding that the freefall is definitely far more preferable than being atomized by a fusion blast.

Even at the range that he was, Diac felt the heat of the fusion blast -- and the blinding light caused by the discharge of energy, wash over him, quite literally cooking the outermost layer of his armour. Diac has heard of the specifics and horrors of the fusion cannon, signature weapon of the Decepticon leader Megatron, but this was the closest he's been to it.

Diac's fall, and Optimus lurching forwards in spite of the fusion blast, brought the two components together for them to combine once more and transform into Optimus Prime. As truck parts slid open to assume Optimus Prime's humanoid robotic form, a sizable chunk of Optimus Prime's shoulder pillar -- the part that formed the front end of Optimus's truck mode -- clattered off onto the ground. It hurt. It hurt a lot. But where his faithful soldier, Ginrai, shrugged off death itself to continue fighting, can he, Optimus Prime, do any less?

Optimus Prime continued his charge forwards, energon blade blazing to life in his right hand, as he swung the sword in a sideways slice to attempt to bisect Megatron's fusion cannon.
______________________________________

Near the Autobot Shuttle

I think you hurt his feelings, Sixshot-sama. Revolver told his partner as he was dimly aware of Chromedome's departure, unaware and not at all considering that the smaller Autobot might be getting a bigger gun.

Shut up. Focusing. Fighting Prime.

Sentinel Prime's parry caused Sixshot's sword and the arms gripping it to point upwards, and before the six-changer can react, Sentinel's shield swung and slammed onto his chest. Sixshot grunted as the impact caused his chest armour to buckle where the Prime had cut him before, but he staggered backwards a couple of steps, allowing some of the force from the shield strike to bleed out. Revolver was screaming in Sixshot's head about how Sentinel outmatched him completely in swordfighting technique and equipment, and Sixshot was forced to agree. Fortunately the blade was not the only weapon in his arsenal.

"Ah, but who created the vermin in the first place, warlord Prime? We never met, but I wanted to thank you for escalating the war so much that the Decepticons created me. I would not be here if not for you." Sixshot took a couple more steps backwards, and jumped into the air, transforming into his laser cannon mode.

Sixshot's concussion cannons and main laser batteries hummed to life, and he opened fire, launching a barrage of energy at where Sentinel Prime is standing.

Revolver, separated from Sixshot and hanging on the posterior side of the floating laser gun, saw Chromedome and his new energo sword and groaned. "Sixshot-sama, I believe our old friend is back..."
______________________________________

Archaeological Dig, Surface

"Those will not hold for long. On a focused Decepticon assault, calculating by the troops I have observed to be present, electro-shields will not last more than point-four-fifths of a breem. It should be sufficient, I suppose, to cover your evacuation. Recover what you need, Tap Out." Perceptor said all of this as he looked around and searched for a good sniping position. "Get what you require and get as far from here as possible."

Heinrad
2017-02-28, 03:01 AM
Near the Shuttle:


Chromedome gave the energo-sword a few test slashes through the air, then narrowed his optic band. "Prefers a sword fight, huh. That's an odd looking sword."

"Please don't. He's ignoring us."

"We're supposed to be protecting Sentinel. Yes, I know, war criminal. But Sixshot's still going to destroy him."

"Fine, fine. But if we survive this, I'm not turning your pain receptors off when I repair you."

Chromedome shut down the sword and clipped it to his hip, then pulled his laser carbines and aimed up at Sixshot. "Now this is my kind of sword fight!" He opened fire at Sixshot.

Crazyjabberwock
2017-02-28, 03:33 AM
Cybertron Surface

Bumblebee raced on westward towards where he and Sari were told Perceptor should be, hoping to connect with the scientist soon.

******

Dig sight

SkullCruncher snarled in pain at Hot Rod's assault and finally backed away, he could take no more and retreated. Grax looked a bit sheepish and ran after his partner "WAIT! WE HAD HIM ON THE ROPES YOU WIRE CROSSED WIMP!" he bellowed after his currently disobedient Titan


******

Ginrai's Crater

Kaon made no excuses for himself at Waspinator's retort, without Tarn to hold his zeal, he had become increasingly aware of how petty his desires were, for now he'd double down and aim himself at Megatron's enemies. He tried to pull Ginrai into a full nelson, if he could manage it he could transform into his secured chair form and take a prisoner right there.

Heinrad
2017-02-28, 04:49 AM
Ginrai's Crater:


"Is it always like this?"

"Uh..... Why are you asking me? You're the massive battle unit."

"I've been online less than a month."

"I was wondering why you went down so easily..... All right. Back before I became just a head, yes, the battles were a lot like this. What we need right now is some distance. Between your inexperience in.... well, everything, my inexperience in driving a body this big, the damage you've taken, and the fact that we're more or less stuck in a hole with a crazed bug and a member of the DJD, we're really limited in what we can do."

"I've got jump jets."

"If it gets us out of this hole, I don't care if you merge with a trailer and get wings."

With a roar, the jets in Ginrai's feet burst into life, lifting him out of the crater and away from Kaon's potentially electrifying grip, to land with a heavy THUMP! on the edge of the crater.

---------

Hot Rod watched Skullcruncher run away.

"You can let me back in now."

"How do I know you won't panic again?"

"How many times have we nearly had a leg ripped off by a.... a......."

"Idiot."

"Hey!"

"Not you, him."

The Autobot turned as Ginrai landed, looking much the worse for wear, and started towards the battered Titan.

Warcry
2017-02-28, 05:56 AM
Dig Site

Megatron refrained from yelping as he hastily backtracked from Optimus's sword strike. Thankfully, the attack spared him from having to think about his foe's perfectly reasonable question.

"I always knew you were suicidal, Prime, but I never thought you wanted to take your own troops with you when you went. Slashing open my cannon's fusion chamber is a good way to kill everyone here!"

In spite of his hasty retreat, he didn't fail to notice the significant damage that his fusion blast had wrought on his opposite number. Most Transformers would have simply been slain if they'd tried to tank a direct hit from a fusion cannon, but the Autobot leader was one of the few that had survived such a deadly attack in the past, not just once but multiple times.

Megatron took another step back, firing a fusion blast into the ground between himself and his foe to try and keep Prime's sword at a distance. While his body armour was more than up to the task of deflecting such an attack, his weapons, as Prime had rightly surmised, were not. And not even Megatron wanted to see the day end with a mushroom cloud.

As he backpedalled, Doomshot's beastial mini-vehicle crawled from Megatron's cockpit, seemingly unbidden, and perched on his left shoulder. It stayed there for a moment in dragon mode before transforming into weapon mode and mounting on one of his weapon hardpoints. From there, it could direct a stream of venom and flame at the Autobot leader if he got too close.
_____________________________________________________

Autobot Landing Zone

Hardhead managed not to audibly groan at the pun until after Bumblebee and his partner had rolled away. Then he took stock of the battlefield. Although his instincts told him to go after Sixshot, he trusted Chromedome's ability to...well, to not die, at least, and Sentinel Prime was of course a fine warrior, if maybe a tad rusty. They would be fine.

Most of the rest of his Autobots were spread in a jagged formation moving vaguely westward, Titan Masters and Titans alike brawling with their Decepticon counterparts in a meandering line of battle that stretched a quarter-mile from the shuttle to the edge of the dig site were Megatron had come crashing down.

(OOC: The idea here is that there's a ton of nameless, faceless soldiers on either side fighting, not just our named guys, so that any characters who want to drop in on the action later will be able to do so without making up any fancy explanations for where they came from.)

Most of them were engaged in close combat, but there were a few knots of troops split off from the battle that would benefit from a little artillery bombardment. With a cold expression on his face, Hardhead actuated his main cannon up from the neutral position on his back to the mount on his shoulder, loaded a fresh ammo magazine and fired several incendiary shells up into the air. One of them in particular arced lazily over almost the entire battlefield before coming screaming down towards Scourge and Mindwipe.
_____________________________________________________

Mindwipe made a sympathetic face. His own arm still wouldn't move, and that was bad enough. Losing sensation in his whole body would be intolerable. He was about to mouth some platitude of support when he heard a strange whistling overhead.

"Vhat is--aiieee!" His optics practically bugged out of his head as he realized what was coming. "Fracas, can you shoot this down? My wiper pistol is good for shooting Titans, not artillery shells."

He tried once more, unsuccessfully, to shake some feeling back into his useless arm. "And I can't carry Scourge out of here vith one good arm."

He was already warming up his foot thrusters in case he didn't get an answer he liked.

Selkadoom
2017-02-28, 06:07 AM
Dig Site

Scourge went similarly wide eyed as he lurched as hard as he could muster, Fracas seeing what he wanted and going to his gun mode, quickly lining up and firing the shot as he used their circuit connections to help make it easier, the enhanced blast hitting the incendiary shell which spared the four from the heat but the shockwave would still hit them hard.

_____________________________________________________

Ginrai's Torso

During the scuffle and ensuing attempts to dislodge him it seemed Waspinator had been all but forgotten. But he held firmly to the back of Ginrai's large body, very slowly making his way up. He was dead set on vengeance despite the fact that his partner was currently a ways away and he had four autobots in close proximity.

But with a head full of waspy anger her peeked his head over the back of Ginrai's shoulder and looked down at Hot Rod as he looked to the Titans helm. Much larger than himself and felt his confidence waver slightly.

Starscream had been watching this after being forced to break off his attack and reach a higher altitude from the ion rifle fire he had recieved and realized he may want to close in if he ever wanted to have a head again. He dived to start an attack run, slotting up some fragmentation heavy missiles to launch on the autobots below.

tahukanuva
2017-02-28, 07:08 AM
Dig Site

Deathsaurus would have smiled with glee, watching Brainstorm skid across the debris, had his beak been capable of the action.

That one was impressive, especially for his size. Perhaps after this is over I can persuade him to switch sides. If not, I can just beat him senseless until he gives up the formula for that gel he hit me with.

He radioed Esmeral, circling high above the battle in Eaglebreast;

"Esmeral, have you spotted anything of interest? Any approaching combiners?"

"No combiners, no. But I did see a few Decepticons who looked a little outmatched if you want to lend a claw."

"Heh. Deathsaurus swoops to the rescue once again."

With that, Deathsaurus spread his wings and flew across the battlefield, landing next to a small group of Autobots that had cornered a pair of Decepticons not far from Hardhead. As he set down, he picked up one of the 'Bots, a Titan Master in a support vehicle, and crushed it in his beak.


-------------------------------



Autobot LZ

Sentinel was halfway through forming another retort when Sixshot shifted from fellow warrior, to floating artillery. Whatever reply he was working instead transformed into every swear and curse the aged Prime knew. He held as much of himself behind his shield as he could, but the blast still destroyed his right pauldron, half his left wing, scorched his shin plating, and shorted his shield, leaving it useless for the minutes it would take to recharge.

Sentinel, sir, before you make your next move, I implore you to remember that you may be vital to this mission.

Why should I care? They wouldn't even tell me what this 'mission' is.

Then please remember that there are now two of us in here.

Cowardice from my own head. Unbelievable.

"So, you can't win at one game so you switch to another? Typical. Well, I'll have you know that I can play this game as well."

With that, Sentinel shot back several yards with his auxillary thrusters, and drew his two rifles, and deployed his arm mounted blasters, together the ones next two his head they totaled twelve guns. Twelve guns vs six modes. Sentinel liked his odds. He opened fire.

Heinrad
2017-03-01, 02:56 AM
Dig Site:


Hot Rod heard the whine of engines and looked up at Starscream. "Great. Bit by a robot croc, then bombed by a jet. Just another exciting day in the life of an Autobot." He aimed his arms up, his arm cannons firing at Starscream.

---------

"I think there's something on my back.... Wait. It's on my shoulder now."

"Is that what that was? I figured it was just not being used to being connected to you. Itchy interface."

"No. I think it's Starscream's pilot."

"Should I be worried? Can he get at me?"

"Other than the visor port, no. I would have said no, period, but the visor port is why Pyro got killed."

"If we survive this, we're covering that visor port with transparisteel. As for our hitchhiker...... Want to give your alt mode a spin?"

"Hang on, whoever you are. We've never done this before." With that, Ginrai transformed to vehicle mode, the whole head folding down into the cab of the armored semi rig, the bent and partially torn away barrels of the left shoulder laser cannons drooping down as they took their place on the left side of the trailer, the ion cannons, locked into position on the roof of the trailer, the right side laser cannon turret raising and lowering through a brief servo diagnostic.

"Shouldn't I be sitting in your cockpit or something?"

"Uhm....... Yes? I think.... Yes. The control actuators for the helmet are offline. On the up side, this setup was designed to keep you protected in combat."

"Yeah, but it's kind of hard to see in pitch darkness."

"Easily fixed."

-------

The world around Nightbeat went from pitch darkness to bright white, before resolving into a complete 360 degree spherical image of his surroundings. "Okay...... Now what?"

Little red boxes suddenly appeared, each with it's own targeting data. "Pick a target, and we can go after it."

"I was hoping we could warn the dig team....... What in the world is that?"

The little red box Nightbeat focused his attention on suddenly enlarged, showing Deathsaurus crushing a Titan Master and his drone.

Nightbeat scowled. "Him. Let's get him."

Ginrai's engine rumbled to life and he started rolling forward, picking up speed, air horn blaring.

Warcry
2017-03-01, 07:28 PM
Battlefield

Hardhead scowled as he saw Deathsaurus swooping across the battlefield in his direction. The Decepticon had crushed one of his soldiers, and that couldn't go unpunished. The fact that the enemy in question was three times his size didn't enter the equation, and neither did the fact that Ginrai seemed to be inbound. This was a matter of honour now, or at least that's what Hardhead told himself as he charged, flipping his shatter blaster over to full auto mode and opening fire on the Decepticon's expansive wings.
_____________________________________________________

The shell exploded several arm-spans above them. That was certainly good for Scourge, who'd avoided being melted, but Mindwipe wasn't especially happy being flattened by the shock wave, or pelted by the burning debris. It certainly beat being at the epicentre of the explosion, though. Burns could be repaired. Death, less so.

"Good...good shooting, blah," he groaned as he pushed himself back up to his feet.

tahukanuva
2017-03-02, 10:42 PM
Battlefield

Deathsaurus watched with satisfaction as the other Autobots scattered at the sudden mauling of their teammate, but before he could check on the soldiers he'd rescued, he recoiled with a grunt as Hardhead's shots struck his wing, leaving it dented and punctured. He turned to face his attacker, and nodded in recognition. "Still around, Hardhead? I thought for sure you'd have been dismantled in some 'heroic sacrifice' by now."

There was a very brief pause as he caught the approaching form of Ginrai out of the corner of his optic, and ruminated his choice to split up from Esmeral.

"Or," he continued, rearing up to full height, "is that what you're trying to do now?" Deathsaurus's throat briefly emitted a blue-white glow before discharging a bolt of lightning at Hardhead.

Heinrad
2017-03-03, 12:02 AM
Battlefield:


Nightbeat's view of Deathsaurus changed, as a wireframe schematic followed by a solid 3D image appeared, Ginrai's sensors providing raw data as to exactly what they were facing. Then the box went green.

"Why'd it go green?"

"We're in weapons range. At least for the ion cannons. The lasers could reach from here, but the diffusion would be too great for any significant damage."

"Ion cannons it is, then. Light him up."

------------

Ginrai continued his forward charge, the ion cannons on the roof of his trailer rising slightly and elevating, then both cannons roared in a one-two salvo, flinging two destructive bolts of energy at Deathsaurus.

Blackjack
2017-03-03, 05:24 AM
Near the Shuttle

Sixshot grunted as Chromedome’s laser carbine blasts slammed onto his side, and any retort from Revolver about not paying attention to Chromedome was drowned out when Sentinel Prime unleashed a barrage of his own. Sixshot transformed into his wolf mode out of reflex, Revolver locking into a protected slot at the base of Sixshot’s beast mode head. At the same time, Sixshot reflexively put up his hard-light holographic clones up – they didn’t last long, disappearing very quickly under Sentinel’s barrage, but they did tank several of the less-powerful laser blasts.

That does leave the more destructive artillery for Sixshot himself to tank, and the Decepticon six-changer made a pained growl as several impacted on his body. Sixshot could feel a line of tank tread fall off from his person, and part of his beast-mode’s face was singed off. Despite this, the Decepticon was grinning.

“Come, all of you! This is what battle should be!” Sixshot transformed into his robot mode, drawing his sword with his right hand and one of his hypersonic concussion cannons with his other. With his left hand he launched several blasts of sonic energy in the direction of Sentinel Prime – hopefully the longer distance between them would give the sonic blast a chance to be amplified by the properties of the Sonic Canyon – while he swung his sword down in an attempt to cut Chromedome from head to waist.
__________________________________________________________

Dig Site

Optimus Prime narrowed his optics as Megatron brought up the possibility of rupturing his fusion cannon. "If that is what it takes to bring you down, Megatron, then so be it!" The Autobot leader roared. He was aware of Ginrai and his mysterious new partner engaging the other Decepticons, and both he and his mysterious new partner seemed to have things under control.

"Besides... we've survived it once. I'll take the chance." Optimus was not so foolish to forcibly take another blast from Megatron's fusion cannon, though, rolling aside to avoid the blast.

Optimus was about to charge and stab the Decepticon leader with his sword again, but decided against it when he saw Doomshot's dragon. Instead, Optimus aimed his barrage cannon at Megatron and launched several blasts at Megatron, aiming for his head and chest.

Heinrad
2017-03-03, 09:16 AM
Near the Shuttle:


"Finally! He's paying attention to us!"

"MOVE!!!!"

Chromedome backflipped away, subspacing one of his carbines and pulling the energo-sword, activating it as he landed. He brought the carbine up, optic band narrowing. "Nice to see you like a challenge." He opened fire at Sixshot.

Selkadoom
2017-03-03, 10:26 AM
Outside the Dig Site

Brainstorm was rather firmly embedded into a large pile of metalic geography, he was still functional though Deathsaurus sending him careening across the landscape was not exactly great for his superstructure. He was covered in numerous dents and stress fractures and he was fairly certain he had blown several servos in his left shoulder. Teslor had managed to avoid a good deal of the punishment though he had a nice crack between his eyes.

"I have to admit that wasn't one of my finer moments. I suppose I should have assumed he would come down due to his size and thrusters but I had really expected him to be sent orbital with that."

At least we're alive and not missing any limbs.

"True. I think I can see the ruins of Vos. Or is that Tesarus? I always get them mixed up." he replied slowly freeing himself "I'll give it a cycle so my auto repair circuits can make walking tolerable than we can rejoin."

I'm not opposed but the sooner we can help our friends the better.

_____________________________________________________

Scourge sighed and let himself fall back down to the ground as Fracas transformed back "Well at least we're not dead." he replied looking to the currently recovering Mindwipe I think I got a shot of some Circuit Blockers if the pains making movement hard." the tiny 'Con offered him.

_____________________________________________________

Waspinator was not very ready for Ginrai to transform, and thus after he was suddenly thrown into the air, only for Starscream to catch him in his open cockpit, shutting it as he swung up and readied to start strafing Ginrai as he had absolutely no desire to go anywhere near the dueling leaders.

"I applaud your bravery Waspinator." the air commander said in a rare display of respect in using his actual name "But I will not suffer such stupidity again. If tou perish I have no head. And I will not stand for that disgrace. Do you understand?" he snarled

"Yezzz I do Zzztarzcream." he buzzed getting a grunt out of the seeker as he looped back and started letting his null lasers loose upon Ginrai's trailer.

Blackjack
2017-03-03, 03:43 PM
Near the Shuttle

"The sword did it." Sixshot admitted in a tone that would be sheepish if his voice wasn't so baritone. "But I do not think you are much of a challenge compared to the Prime."

Sixshot pulled up his own nanoblade sword to block the carbine blast. I cannot believe that actually worked. For all intents and purposes, this defies the laws of Physics.

Sixshot-sama, when you believe in the Burning Soul of the Sword, anything is possible.

You mean, you're using a Metallikato technique to draw energy from my Spark Core and channeling it into my blade, thereby creating a temporary forcefield that repels projectiles.

"Still, it's to my experience that Autobots with a vendetta over dead friends presents more entertaining fights, so come at me, Gold-dome. Gorge your hatred. Embrace your rage!" Sixshot charged towards Chromedome, swinging his sword down at the smaller Transformer. The more tactical part of Sixshot's mind hoped it would prevent Sentinel Prime from shooting at the Autobot, which would be somewhat of a bonus.

Heinrad
2017-03-04, 12:49 PM
Dig Site:

Hot Rod scowled up at the retreating Starscream.

"Lookit the coward run!"

"He's not running. He's trying to do somethIng useful."

"So? We can fly, let's get him!"

"Our flight speed isn't that high. However, we should be able to keep up with him in vehicle mode, and pick at him with the photon blasters."

"I'm not riding in there."

Hot Rod transformed, Firedrive disconnecting and transforming to robot mode as Hot Rod hot the ground in vehicle mode, his canopy open, Firedrive landing neatly in the cockpit, tapping the touch screen VDU on he right side of the control panel before plugging his arms into the ports on the panel as the canopy snapped shut. Hot Rod's engine roared to life, the jet turbine in the back keening to life as he roared forward in pursuit of Starscream.

------------

"Yeerghh!!!"

Nightbeat felt Ginrai shudder slightly, then noticed the indicators for the ion cannons had gone red. "What happened?"

"Feels....... kinda weird..... I think I've been hit with something..... There."

Nightbeat focused on the red square above and behind them. "Great. Screamer again. How long until the ion cannons are back online?"

"I'm recycling the system now. Maybe a minute."

Nightbeat read the distance data, switching his focus from the disabled ion cannons to the right side laser cannons. "He's a lot closer than that giant bird-thing. Think we can hit him?"

"Yes. He's a lot closer."

"All right. Start being as evasive as you can be and see if you can nail him with the laser cannons."
---------

Ginrai started weaving as he continued his charge towards Deathsaurus, the double barreled laser cannon on the right side of his trailer pivoting up and back, locking onto Starscream and opening fire.

**************
Near the Shuttle:


Chromedome brought up the energo-sword, blocking and deflecting the downward slash from Sixshot.

"Why can't he remember your name?"

"It's either psychological warfare, or he's just not that bright. Possibly both. I want him dead because of what he's done in the past, of the friends and innocents he's killed, not because he can't remember my name. Besides, I have to try to keep Sentinel alive and mostly intact."

"So you'd rather face an old, broken down Politician than me? That does seem to be a bit more your speed, given your record. He'll talk your audio receptors off, I'll send you to hell." With that, Chromedome moved in, snapping a vicious kick at Sixshot's knee.

Warcry
2017-03-04, 06:17 PM
Sixshot's sonic energy blasts (OOC: from a few posts back) carried over the entire battlefield, shaking debris and breaking windows. The cacophony would not go unnoticed. Several tens of miles away, something ancient, gigantic and angry raised it's head, turned it's attention in the direction of the battle, and scowled.
_____________________________________________________

Dig Site

"And I thought I was supposed to be the one who spent his men's lives recklessly!" Megatron was taken aback by the new, vicious attitude that Optimus was displaying. He supposed it must have come from his newest Titan Master, a person whom Megatron hadn't been all that familiar with before he'd been paired with his arch foe.

A bloodthirsty Optimus presents certain opportunities, though. I shall have to ponder how to exploit them, yes...

Megatron scowled at the sudden intrusion of his partner's mannerisms, but the thought being expressed was one of his own. If Optimus of all people could be turned...

That train of thought was interrupted by the Autobot leader's cannon fire. Megatron turned his left side into the blast and popped up his faceguards, protecting his head and vital components from damage as the explosive shells pitted and blackened his thick armour. If he'd been in pristine condition the damage would have been seriously painful, but he was still in such discomfort from being shot down and crash-landing that he barely noticed.

"Oh, I like the new you, Prime. By all means, try to slake your bloodlust! It's oh, so enjoyable. Just don't be surprised if you get out of your recharge slab one day and find yourself looking at my face in the mirror!"

As his retort hung in the air, the Decepticon leader split his arm cannon in two. He fired his now-handheld fusion blaster at Prime's chest. The shot didn't carry the immense firepower that his cannon did in tank mode, or even when it was combined on his arm, but it still was more than powerful enough to cause grave injuries. A moment later he followed up with a shot from his railgun pistol -- formerly the back half of his arm cannon -- and aimed a crippling shot at Prime's left knee. But he was aiming the weapon using the left arm that Optimus had just damaged, and he couldn't quite keep his hand from shaking.
_____________________________________________________

Battlefield

"You speak as if you know me," Hardhead told Deathsaurus. "But I have no idea who you are. I suppose you simply mustn't have been very memorable."

The Autobot soldier made no attempt to avoid the Decepticon's attack. The lightning bolt arced from Deathsaurus's throat straight to him, but Hardhead trusted his thick armour to protect him. And protect him it did, as the energy ran through his thick plating and into the ground without touching any of his sensitive internal systems. It hurt like hell, and he knew he shouldn't make a habit of letting himself get struck like that, but his point, he trusted, had been made.

Unfortunately, he was too busy "making his point" to notice that Ginrai had opened fire, or he would have pressed an attack (however unsteady on his feet he must be at the moment) instead of taunting, "It will take more than you've got to 'dismantle' me, Decepticon!"
_____________________________________________________

Mindwipe shook his head, but the movement was a bit rough since he still hadn't recovered from the effects of the blast wave. "Thank you, but no. I vill not use drugs vhen there is any other choice. It impairs my con--" He frowned suddenly. "I vant to be able to think straight," he finished.

He'd been about to say that drugs interfered with his connection with the spirit world, but a momentary surge of embarrassment (almost certainly coming from the part of him that was Vorath) had made him give out a bland reply instead.

Once he was able to stand without feeling the world spin around him, Mindwipe looked down at Fracas and said, "Ve need to get your friend moving. If ve leave him behind after the battle, he vill not surwive long on his own. Too many combiners still haunt the surface, and too many other, vorse things."

tahukanuva
2017-03-04, 09:15 PM
Battlefield

Deathsaurus's ego stung at Hardhead's lack of recognition.

I suppose I have been away too long for to expect those I only know by reputation to know me by same. Still, the fact that he hasn't even bothered to familiarise himself with his enemies' senior generals is.. disappointing.

Deathsaurus reared back to snap at Hardhead's hard head, just as Ginrai's ion blasts slammed into his side. He just managed to keep himself from falling over, but was still quite shaken from the blow. He glanced towards the truck, which seemed more focused on Starscream right now, but was still heading fast this way. That could be a problem. His beast mode was built to fight infantry, not war rigs.

As his gaze wandered to Starscream, he spotted another airborne form, approaching very quickly.

"Don't worry, Autobot. 'More than I have' will be here very soon.
----------------------------------

"He's gotten himself into another predicament, hasn't he? How anyone lived so long with such an aptitude for heroism I'll never understand. Well, time to go rescue the rescuer."

Esmeral dropped into a steep dive towards her husband.

----------------------------

Deathsaurus launched himself into the air to meet his Esmeral. The two recombined, mind and body, and landed back in front of Hardhead, sword and shield at the ready. "Alright, Autobot, give us your best shot."

-----------------------------

Near Shuttle



Sentinel was thrown back by the blast of Sixshot's cannon, his audio receptors ringing.

Sonic weapons? Is he trying to kill everyone?

Sentinel transformed into train mode and charged at Sixshot, hoping Chromedome would keep the Decepticon distracted enough that Sentinel could land a solid blow.

Crazyjabberwock
2017-03-05, 01:09 AM
Ginrai's Crater

Kaon had managed to knock himself out rather embarrassingly after he had failed to get hold of Ginrai, forgotten amid the scuffle until a retreating SkullCruncher tripped over him, finally allowing Grax to catch up to his wounded partner, looking at Kaon with irritation he yanked at his head to pull her off.

"Come on, at least you're good for something!" he grunted as the link released and shocked her into awareness.

"Gah! That Ginrai Runt is a slippery one... What the Pit happened to you?!" The little decepticon exclaimed as she rushed up to Skullcruncher, immediately getting to work on the wounded Decepticon's field patch.

******

Archaeological Dig, Surface

If he was still looking outward Perceptor might spot the familiar yellow of Bumblebee's alt mode zooming towards the sight

Clogs
2017-03-05, 12:47 PM
Archaeolgical dig, surface

"That's the last of the critical finds," Tap-Out shouted across to his second-in-command, Rotor, who had just stepped out of the habitat/control pod as he exited the storage/lab one. "Come on, we don't have much time!"

Rotor glanced up, surveyed the general area around them. "Heh, you don't say," he muttered to himself. Well, he had rigged the pod to explode if anymech or anything dropped onto it; the blast might not inconvenience one of the bigger units, but it would remove all surface evidence of the team's presence.

Calmly, Rotor then strode to the tunnel mouth, where Tap-Out was waiting impatiently for him, and then the last of the Autobots disappeared underground, heading for the dig proper, where they could collapse the tunnel behind them. It was a pre-arranged protocol if it became vital for their survival, but it would mean that they were, effectively, trapped.
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Archaeological dig, underground

Lens had rushed into the dig, hurried over to Glyph and Drill, and blurted out the fact that they were under attack.

"Ah, it was going so well," Drill observed. "Thought we might get away with it."

"How did the monsters find out we were here?" Glyph wondered. "Did you see what kind was attacking?"

"No. Didn't wait to find out." Lens shuddered: he was a recording unit; no weapons; armour unsuitable for battle.

"And the others?" Drill asked? "Fossar and Driveshaft?"

"They were ahead of me, but I don't know," Lens admitted. "Thought you'd all need to know we're probably in deep trouble."

Warcry
2017-03-07, 05:53 AM
(OOC: Clogs, can one of your guys notice Bumblebee coming in? I'd like to get the characters rolling towards the dig site.)

(Also OOC: Blackjack's asked me to look after Prime, but I need to give some thought to how I'd like his battle with Megatron to end.)
_____________________________________________________

Battlefield

Hardhead managed not to flinch when Deathsaurus reared back, although truth be told he wasn't entirely sure what he would have done if Ginrai hadn't interfered.

He was glad that he'd hurt the Decepticon's pride with his barb (he, of course, knew exactly who Deathsaurus was, by reputation if not by experience). He was less happy to see the Decepticon transforming theatrically into robot mode and moving with the supreme confidence of an experienced and not particularly rusty war machine.

"My best shot? Are you sure? I wouldn't want to hurt you." Hardhead paused for a moment as if to think. "Oh, wait. Yes, I would."

A new magazine of ammo clanked into place in his main cannon, which pivoted on its shoulder mount and took aim at Deathsaurus's center of mass.

BANGBANGBANGBANG!

A quartet of armour piercing shells fired, their projectiles blazing from Hardhead's barrel at such a rate of speed that the inside had been left glowing red-hot. Long, narrow spikes of depleted uranium screamed towards Deathsaurus at eight times the speed of sound, shedding their sabots in mid-air. A volley like that would punch holes through the hull of a mid-sized star cruiser, and Hardhead was very curious to see if they could penetrate the larger Decepticon's impressive-looking shield. Or, if his foe's reflexes weren't up to snuff, what they would do to his unprotected chest.

As he fired, Hardhead mused that that wasn't even his best shot, not really. But anything more powerful would have been as likely to hurt the nearby Autobot Titan Masters as the gigantic Decepticon, and frankly wouldn't have been very good for Hardhead either. Even firing these shells was putting a serious strain on his back and knees, and would seriously hurt his agility in an up-close fight if the volley didn't dissuade the Decepticon from getting any closer.

(OOC: I'm visualizing Deathsaurus as somewhere around the size of the TR Leader-class guys. Is that right?)

Clogs
2017-03-07, 10:19 AM
Archaeological dig, tunnel

Rotor shook his head as he walked behind Tap-Out: this had been a good mission right up to the astrosecond those hulking idiots had decided to fight directly overhead; quiet enough and remote enough. Thought we'd got a break from the war! he grumbled to himself.

"Oh, fraggit!" Tap-Out exclaimed, stopping so suddenly that Rotor, in his distracted introspection, almost collided with him. "I didn't pick up the locator. Did you, Rotor?"

"Hrumph, no," Rotor snorted. "Not going to be any use to us now, is it?"

"Orders were to take it with us if we moved." Tap-Out looked at his SIC and added, "I'm going back for it."

"I don't think we're likely to be here in a half vorn for The Starbow to find, do you?"

Tap-Out could understand Rotor's bitterness. Pits, he shared it himself... There were marauding monsters out there, laired up or fighting for resources, but the dig had been left totally alone. Perhaps, as Glyph had speculated, it was the possibility of being trapped in the valley that had stopped the walking ones and its echo qualities that meant the flying types thought their own engines boded a bigger foe. The team had just slipped in quietly, set up efficiently and kept low - until now.

"I'll be back," Tap-Out said and he ran to the tunnel mouth, gun - for what it was worth - in hand.

Maybe Perceptor is still there to cover me? Or maybe I'll be unnoticed? Primus knows, I'm small enough!

Heinrad
2017-03-07, 10:59 AM
In Pursuit of Starscream:


Firedrive looked at the image on the V.D.U., then looked at the indicators on Hot Rod's main dash display. "I dunno...."

"I don't know why you're worried. I'M the one taking the risk here."

"Yeah, and if we wreck doing this, it's me that'll get crunched into scrap."

"You know as well as I do that the targeting systems sync better when there's a gunner in place."

"There's gotta be others around here."

"We're here to protect them, not look for volunteers. Besides, I can only carry one passenger. You."

"Don't remind me." Firedrive sighed. "Fine. Just don't get us killed." He disconnected his hands from the ports on Hot Rod's dashboard and touched a couple of controls, then slid down under the dash.
-------------------------

Hot Rod continued his charge, closing the gap slowly as his vehicle mode hood opened and an assembly whirred up, barrels extending, Firedrive seated in the gunner's seat, arms plugged into the photon cannon controls as Hot Rod dials up the power to the turbine to counter the drag caused by the aerodynamic loss.

Warcry
2017-03-07, 07:52 PM
Dig Site

Optimus turned away from the fusion blast, dodging it but still standing close enough that he suffered a painful burn on his left arm. He didn't see the follow-up railgun blast coming at all, but Megatron's weakened arm betrayed him -- instead of smashing his knee joint, it punched a hole through his right thigh. It was still enough, though, to drop the Autobot leader to one knee.

"I am nothing like you!" Optimus barked defiantly as he fell.

"You're right," Megatron responded, taking careful aim with his fusion blaster. "I am still alive."

That comment kindled a rage inside of Optimus (or was it Diac, or both?) that turned his vision red. He was not going to die here, not today and certainly not at the hands of this psychotic butcher.

The Autobot leader used his one good leg to drive himself forward, dropping his barrage cannon to the ground as he did and taking a two-handed grip on his sword. In one lunge he closed the gap between himself and Megatron (fighting past the gush of flame that erupted from Doomshot's Titan Master vehicle and the armour plating that it melted off) and drove the tip of his blade square into the middle of Megatron's torso. The sword punched through his arch-foe's armour and out the back again before sticking and coming to a stop about half way through.

Megatron let out a pained gurgle, his railgun falling out of his left hand and clattering to the ground. Then both leaders followed suit, their legs falling out from under them as they clattered down in a heap.

Optimus's hands found purchase on the crossguards of his blade, which he started to twist in the hopes of tearing apart Megatron's insides. The Decepticon leader let out another gurgle, but in desperation he brought his right arm down on the blade with a hammer blow that caused it to snap two handspans up from the hilt.

After that, Megatron tried to bring his fusion blaster to bear on the Autobot leader. Prime dropped the broken sword and grabbed Megatron's wrist with one hand, while groping for one of their discarded weapons with the other. He found Megatron's railgun pistol and planted the muzzle under the Decepticon leader's chin at about the same time that Megatron pressed the barrel of the fusion blaster flush up against the part of Optimus's chest that held his spark container and memory cores.

The two leaders' eyes met, and for a moment they just stared at one another. Megatron spoke first. "Do it, Prime! Pull the trigger, if you dare! But know that if you do, my body will be conscious long enough to return the favour. So kill me...if you're willing to kill yourself too!"

Optimus hesitated for a moment. But only for a moment.

"Ridding the world of you is worth any price," he said, his eyes narrowing. His finger started to tighten on the trigger...

And then a titanic ion blast hit the ground where they were grappling, and peals of blue lightning arced over both of the leaders, shutting them down entirely.
___________________________________________

Battlefield

The source of the ionic blast was still far away, but loping quickly towards them on all fours. The hunched beast was made up of at least nine distinctly visible components, each of them at least as big as the two faction leaders it had just disabled. It stood five times as high and at least six times as wide as any of the combatants on the battlefield, a clawed, simian-shaped atrocity with crude claws for hands and a whirling, shredding maw of death for a mouth.

(OOC: Think of ROTF Devastator and you won't be far off.)

The creature let out a high-pitched shriek that was half roar of victory, half taunting challenge to the rest of the field. The bellow like steel being torn apart under pressure would have been heard across the entire Sonic Canyons.

Another massive ion blast erupted from the heavy-duty cannon mounted on the creature's back, aimed at the next-biggest threat that it detected among the group -- the cluster of Sixshot, Chromedome and Sentinel Prime. Then it took a couple more bounding paces, covering hundreds of feet at a stride, before launching itself in the air and coming down with a resounding smash atop the Autobots' shuttlecraft.

(OOC: Hein, were you going to move Sixshot while Blackjack's away or should I?)

Crazyjabberwock
2017-03-07, 11:27 PM
Enroute to Archeological Dig

After the patch Job Skullcruncher looked better, but was still missing an eye, Nickel engaged onto and they both took a ride on the beast mode, to Grax's Distress. Despite his protests Skullcruncher made no complaining sounds as he used a swimming motion to skim across the surface towards the Dig, where other bots were converging, the visual was such that it looked like Kaon was surfing on the big Croc. Panicking noticeably at the sounds of the feral combiner.

******

Bumblebee continued towards the Dig as well, but skidded to a stop to look at the sudden appearance of the combiner

"was.. were any of them people you knew?" Sari asked.

"Can't say I'd know... looks like they only got more feral as time went... Can't say I want to know either" Bee responded in a morose tone in Sari's head "we gotta keep moving, We got Cons catching up, can't let them beat us there."

Heinrad
2017-03-08, 12:13 AM
(OOC: I can move him. I was trying to get into his headspace today. Although the arrival of HOLYMOTHEROFCRAPITSCOMINGTOWARDSME! has me having to rethink what he's going to do.)

Near the Shuttle:


Sixshot narrowed his optics at Chromedome's comment, even as he brought his leg up, deflecting Chromedome's kick as, without looking, he leveled his hypersonic rifle at the charging Sentinel, pulling the trigger. "For someone filled with anger and-"

CRASH!!!!!!!!!!!!

"-we appear to have a bigger problem."

Chromedome tore his glare away from Sixshot and stared at the combiner crouched on top of the damaged shuttle. "Fine. I'll fight you later." He snapped up both of his carbines, aimed at the combiner, and opened fire, while Sixshot aimed his other hypersonic rifle at the combiner and fired.

tahukanuva
2017-03-08, 05:19 AM
Battlefield

Deathsaurus shifted themself behind their shield as Hardhead aimed his cannon, a fraction of a second later the shells found their mark, burying themselves deep within the thick plating. Deathsaurus was safe, but their shield was basically spent, and even absorbing the impact had stripped and cracked much of the gearing inside their elbow and shoulder.

"You certainly don't disappoint, Hardhead!" Deathsaurus bellowed, as their shield mount rotated back and out of the way, "The last time we were hit that hard it was by a building!" Deathsaurus grasped their sword with both hands, "Now ,it's my tu-" Deathsaurus dropped his thought as the combiner took out Optimus and Megatron, and then watched as it leapt onto the shuttle.

So, this is one of the monsters that destroyed our home. How.. disgusting.

They sheathed their sword, drew their rifle, and fired at the combiner's knees.

(OOC: Leader class, yeah. It seems the appropriate size, plus that's what the toy is rumored to be.)
----------------------


Shuttle

Sentinel was already swerving to avoid Sixshot's cannon when the Combiner appeared, causing his swerve to escalated to a high-speed rollover. He crumpled into a heap against some debris and shifted back into robot mode just as the combiner landed on the shuttle.

They punish me for trying to end this blasted war, and then they go and turn my people, my Autobots into these abominations. Unbelievable.

Warcry
2017-03-08, 07:19 PM
Battlefield

Hardhead had reloaded his cannon, planning to try his luck against Deathsaurus again. But the combiner's arrival obviously changed things. With Prime and Megatron unconscious, it would seemingly be up to the two of them to deal with the gigantic threat.

"A ceasefire would seem prudent," he told his opposite number.

Without waiting for a reply, he transformed to tank mode, Furos landing in his driver's seat. As he rolled towards the combiner's location, he unloaded a magazine of high-explosive shells at the monster's chest. As he did so, he tried not to notice the giant, faded Autobot symbol that he was aiming at. He didn't succeed, any more than he succeeded in forgetting that he actually knew the thing -- it was named Demolition, and he'd lost good friends to it, both in battle and in its creation.

As he drove, Furos opened up a comm channel to Bumblebee. "Give me a status update. And don't worry about being overheard, now. The situation has gotten a bit more urgent."

Then he switched to another channel and called Ginrai. "I know Pyro isn't in there anymore, but do you and...whoever's driving you right now know how to use your battlestation mode?"

As he got closer, Furos realized just how bad their situation really was. Their shuttle was crushed like a tin can, and would never fly again. And both the Ark and the Decepticons' ship would have left orbit by now to avoid attracting the attention of the even larger, more terrible combiners that sometimes patrolled Cybertron's airspace, meaning that they wouldn't be able to call for help. And since the survey team had been dropped off and didn't have a ship of their own, that left both Autobot and Decepticon alike well and truly stuck.

Right now I'll take 'stuck', since the alternative seems to be 'eaten'.

Finally, Furos opened a third channel. This one, he admitted to himself, was a bit of a shot in the dark. "Brainstorm, this is Furos. I read your personnel file on the way in, so I know what got you sent here. You don't happen to have anything in your bag of tricks that could slow down a combiner, do you?"
_____________________________________________________

Shuttle

If the combiner was fazed at all by the weaponsfire that slammed into its thick armour, it didn't seem to show it. Scraps of metal flaked off of its hide, but it was hard to tell if that was due to the damage it was taking, or merely debris being shed as it moved. The creature hopped off of the shuttle's remains, tearing off chunks of debris in each hand as it did so. It hit the ground with a heavy thunk before pitching the debris in its right hand at Chromedome, Sixshot and Sentinel Prime. The latter in particular seemed to have caught the beast's attention, though it was unclear whether it was due to the bright colours...or the fact that it recognized the former Autobot leader and blamed him for it's plight.

Heinrad
2017-03-09, 02:23 AM
Battlefield:


"Battle station mode? You've got one of those? Can we use it?"

"Yes. It's not the prettiest, but it works."

"All right, give me comms. I'll talk to this Furos guy."

After a brief pause, Ginrai's voice filtered down to him. "You're on."

"Ah, good. Nightbeat here, Furos. Ginrai assures me that we can switch to battle station mode. Just tell us where to set up." Nightbeat paused for a moment, thinking. "You haven't come across a foul mouthed drone by any chance, have you?"

---------------
Underground:

Beeping an even fouler stream of epithets than usual, Roller bored along, trying to track his partner.

-----------------
Wrecked Shuttle:


"Isn't this amazing! We get to fight both a crazed murderer AND Sixshot!"

"Remind me to get one of us some time with a mind scan. One of us must be completely nuts."

Chromedome dove to the side, the debris barely missing him as he shoulder rolled away to pop up in a kneeling position, firing both carbines at the combiner's head.

While Chromedome went to the side, Sixshot went up, transforming into gun mode and hovering in the sky, firing on the combiner.

tahukanuva
2017-03-09, 04:23 AM
Shuttle

Sentinel Prime barely had a chance to react for the chunk of shuttle slammed into him. The way he was built, such a blunt impact wouldn't do much damage, but it still hurt like nobody's business, and even with the strength of a Prime it would take Sentinel some time to make his way out from under the wreckage.


---------------------


Battlefield


Deathsaurus nodded at Hardhead as the latter transformed. "That does seem the reasonable course of action, doesn't it?"

If he can hit that thing like he hit us we may have a chance here.

Deathsaurus opened the comms as he loaded more slugs into his rifle.

"All Decepticons, this is Deathsaurus. As you can no doubt tell, we have bigger problems than our Autobot counterparts right now. We need to take this monster out before it can collapse the dig site or wipe us out. Mindwipe, Starscream, Sixshot and any other flyers, we want you strafing that thing. Keep your distance. Focus on its head. And Mindwipe, we would advise against trying any hypnosis tricks because Primus knows what sort of shape that thing's brain is in. Scourge and Fracas, if you can, try and drag Megatron somewhere a little safer. Everyone else, fan out around that beast and give it Hell."

They pulled their shield, battered though it was, back in front of them, began firing on The Combiner once again.

Selkadoom
2017-03-09, 06:49 AM
Outside the Dig Site

Brainstorm sighed softly as he watched the combiner limber around and smash the shuttle the other Autobots had arrived in with a bit if annoyance "This day is just getting worse and worse."

Furos contacting him made him pause for a moment as he remembered the gel he had "I may have an idea. Think you can keep it distracted before pulling it into a wide section of the Sonic Canyons?"

_____________________________________________________

Starscream paused and debated simply abandoning his fellow Decepticons to their fate with the combiner and making a power play on the ship... And it was damn tempting. But he had to stay. If only to make sure Megatron had been offlined before he made his retreat.

Feigning a retreat he soared high before diving and starting to let his missiles rip against the massive lumbering beast.

_____________________________________________________

With a groan of exertion Scourge managed to get to his feet, grunting an affirmative into his comms as he shifted into his alt mode and had Fracas join him in the cockpit as he sped off towards the dueling leaders.

Cyberstrike nTo
2017-03-09, 03:27 PM
OOC: This is probably all wrong and I'm sorry but I feel Soundwave regardless of how he currently feels about Megatron would try to spin the whole deal to make the Decepticons look "right" no matter how many hurtles he would have to jump through.

In a studio somewhere in Ployhex

Soundwave sits behind his desk and looks into the camera. As his show is about to start. Once he is cued to he begins to speak in a calm voice.

"Greetings Decepticons. It's Soundwave and this is The War Room and tonight we have a breaking news story that cowardly Optimus Prime is attacking Lord Megatron! This is after Lord Megatron was responding to a distress signal at remote dig site. Most reliable accounts state that the Autobot leader had ambushed Megatron after offered to help the Autobots there after a collapse there trapped 4 Autobots in a cave.
What the Autobots were doing out in the middle of nowhere is the real question. I mean they could be digging up another Titan? We know that Optimus Prime is a warmonger and wants to restart the war because of him and the Autobots that follow him want all the Energon for themselves..."
------------------

Galvatron's private shuttlecraft

Meanwhile on Galvatron's private shuttlecraft heading to Cybertron from the frontier,
while still many days away from the Cybertronian star system. On the ship the Decepticon known as Broadcast was watching Soundwave on a view screen in Galvatron's private starship , Broadcast and his commander Galvatron were coming home. But watching Soundwave's show Broadcast was getting more and more upset until he ripped the view screen off the wall and threw at the door. That is when Galvatron walked in.

"What is all the racket?!" he yelled. Broadcast's rage disappeared when he saw Galvatron.
"It was news from Cybertron. It seems that the Autobots have restarted the war at least that what lying piece of crap Soundwave claimed."
"That isn't surprising." Galvatron replied looking at the smoking remains of the view screen on the floor. "Too bad you destroyed my favorite view screen."
Broadcast looked stunned.
"That was a joke." Galvatron said with a smile on his face.
"Sorry about the view screen but something about Soundwave drives me insane." Broadcast replied. "I just want to rip out his voice box with my bare hands."
"I know it's hard to return to Cybertron and have to play nice with these fools, but for now we need him and once I take the throne I will give you Soundwave's head on a plate until then you will have to bury that rage and keep it in check, otherwise we will be killed." Galvatron said.
"As you command my Lord." Broadcast replied.
"Check our navigation array and make sure we're still on schedule." Galvatron ordered.
Broadcast saluted his commander and headed to the bridge.
Yes, Broadcast or should I say Blaster you will have your revenge on Soundwave once I use his resources to help me claim my destiny as Leader of the Decepticons!

Warcry
2017-03-09, 10:47 PM
[OOC @ Cyberstrike: That's a great first post! I'm looking forward to more Fox News Soundwave.

The rest of Cybertron is as much of a mess as the Canyons are, though. A studio in Polyhex might attract angry combiners, so if that wasn't a part of your plan you may want him to be based on one of the 'Cons' colony worlds instead. Your call.]

Shuttle

Sixshot's gun-mode blast and Starscream's missiles were the only things that even seemed to draw the monstrous combiner's attention. But even they didn't do much more than shake loose some rusted, battered-looking chunks of Demolition's outer armour. It stopped for a moment to glare at the nearby Sixchanger, then started to move towards the pile of debris in which it had buried Sentinel Prime.

It let out another roar, this one almost sounding like a word. But it didn't speak clearly enough for anyone to tell whether it was shouting "PRIME!" or "WHY?" Perhaps both simultaneously. Perhaps even the creature didn't know.

The former Autobot leader was obviously it's main objective, but secondary cannons folded out of its shoulders and began raining streams of laser fire down on Chromedome, Sixshot, Deathsaurus, Hardhead, Starscream and anyone else it had a line of sight on.
_____________________________________________________

Battlefield

"No, I haven't seen any wayward drones. What does it look like? And...wait, Nightbeat?" Furos frowned. The Titan Master wracked his brain, but the name was not familiar. That meant that the person he was talking to wasn't one of his troops.

"Whoever you are, as long as you're riding around in government property you're going to be expected to follow orders. Even if you don't like them. And you probably won't like this one.

"Since you're not one of my people, you're obviously with the dig team. That means you know where the excavation tunnels are. I want you to set up your battlestation there and keep the combiner away at all costs. But first I want you to lead the wounded and noncombatants there and get them safely underground. The wounded and noncombatants from both sides."

He wasn't keen on leading Decepticons -- any Decepticons, even harmless ones -- any closer to their objective, but even war had rules and he couldn't just leave helpless Decepticons out here to die.

"I'd love for all of us to be able to get down there and away from it, but something tells me that the scientists didn't build their tunnels big enough to accommodate Titans. And we didn't bring any digging equipment."

Hardhead loaded another magazine into his cannon, but before he could fire a laser blast sliced through the ground in front of him and he was forced to swerve wide right to avoid being sliced in two. One of the Titan Masters he'd rescued from Deathsaurus's attack wasn't so lucky, getting carved to pieces along with the tankette he was riding.

A scowling Furos called to Deathsaurus, "We need to marshal our firepower on a single point if we want to break through the armour. A joint or some other weak spot. What do you think is our best bet?"

By letting the Decepticon direct their counterattack, he hoped to build up some measure of goodwill that would keep the situation from degrading into another brawl the moment the threat had passed. Because as it was, he doubted his fellow Autobots would be up to much fighting after this...or the Decepticons either, for that matter.

To Brainstorm he said, "I think the creature's attention has been captured. Yell when you're ready and I'll try to send it your way."

And hopefully Sentinel will last long enough to lead him that way.
_____________________________________________________

"Good luck, blah," Mindwipe told Scourge as the other Decepticon departed. Then he returned to beast mode, with Vorath separating and landing inside his cockpit as he took to the sky.

"Your vill be done, Deathsaurus, but vhy? I am expert at mental sciences. Am Wery, wery sure that I could--"

"No," Vorath cut in. "The commander is right. This thing's mind is in no shape to be probed. And it's not even one mind, it's...what, nine, ten of them? Have you ever tried to deal with a brain like that before?"

"No, but vhy not try?"

"We experiment in a lab, under controlled conditions," Vorath told him. "Not in the field where people could die if you mess up."

"Werry vell. Blah." Mindwipe somehow managed to look slumped in defeat even as he flew towards the combiner.

Crazyjabberwock
2017-03-10, 01:19 AM
Enroute to Archeological dig
"This is Bumblebee! we can still reach the Dig if you need or we can 180 back to the big guy and help out!" he replied to Furos already peeling out towards the beast at full speed.

******

"This is Kaon to Megatron we were in pursuit of an autobot scout, do you need our assistance against the Combiner?" he called in attempt to take initiative among the group.

Heinrad
2017-03-10, 02:41 AM
Battlefield:


Hot Rod slid to a stop, jet turbine dropping to an idling hum. "Well, Scrud."

Firedrive unplugged his arms from the gun mount, staring in shock. "What is it?"

"That is a combiner. One of the reasons we no longer can call Cybertron home."

"Great. And what're we supposed to do about it?"

"Simple. Help them fight it, try not to get stepped on."

"Given how fast we are-"

"Speed didn't stop it last time it happened. And this time, there's no medical team nearby to put us into a stasis pod." Hot Rod popped his canopy. "But look at the bright side. The target's so big, you can run the gun mount from the cockpit."

Firedrive scrambled from the gunner's seat back into Hot Rod's cockpit, plugging his arms back into the panel. Hot Rod's canopy slammed shut as his jet turbine howled back to full power, rocketing him back towards the combiner mess.

---------------

"Every time I think I'm out, I get dragged back in. All right, Furos, I'll head for the tunnels. But the only real wounded I'm seeing.........." Nightbeat scowled at the view surrounding him. "...... is Optimus Prime. I'm not sure he'll fit in the trailer."

"He won't. Diac and a good amount of the other pilots will, maybe some of the smaller Titans in vehicle mode, but Optimus is just too big".

"Ginrai's telling me that Optimus won't fit. I'd suggest gathering up all the wounded and dropping them off at the dig, then setting up the battle station in front of Optimus. The dig's fairly well hidden, and if the combiner rolls over us, everybody else won't get flattened."

Ginrai started rolling, heading towards a battered group of Titan masters and their drones.

----------------

Chromedome transformed, Stylor landing in his cockpit as he raced away, dodging the laser fire from the combiner.

Stylor clung to the controls. "What happened? Did you get a sudden attack of common sense?"

"No. We're supposed to keep Sentinel alive, remember? That's our priority, and the combiner's heading towards him."

"Given what that poor pile of wreckage is yelling, it's probably justified."

"Keep him alive first, scale the moral high ground later."

-----------------

"Hang on, Revolver."

Sixshot split into six, three of him remaining in flying gun mode, the other three changing to fighter mode, all six dodging and weaving to avoid he return fire from the combiner, all aiming at it's head and upper body, firing when they have the opportunity.

"I really wish you wouldn't do this, Sixshot-sama. I never know which one I'm in......."

Selkadoom
2017-03-10, 08:46 AM
Sonic Canyons

Brainstorm emerged from his alt mode in a nice wide section of the canyon "Affirmative Furos. And if its possible, try to damage a a large vertical line up its middle. Something that makes the two halves liabilities structurally." he added as he quickly pulled out all the magna gel tanks he kept in his subspace.

Brainstorm pulled out some of his equipment and started working on increasing the content of magnetic particles in them, aiming to hypersaturate the medium before applying it in a gambit to increase the power exponentially. He only hoped it wouldn't pull in other bots.

"I must say despute the inherent lack of scientific method and dare I say ethics in your work, you certainly are a joy to watch work."

"Thanks Teslor thats oddly comforting despite the very clear threat to all our lives. Granted as far as my weapons go this is tame. You've never seen me deliberately making things to infuriate the ethics committee."

"And once again you so eloquently remind me why we we're partnered. Well aside from the benefits of combining minds and fuel efficiency.

"I appreciate our partnership as well." he snarked back as he started applying his enhanced gel compound on the walls of the canyons, aiming for a narrow but high concentration line of it directly across from itself on the walls of the canyon.

tahukanuva
2017-03-10, 11:07 AM
Beneath a Heap of Burning Shuttle

"Hardhead," Sentinel radioed, "I wish to register a complaint about about my bodyguard." The Prime chuckled a bit, and then coughed a bit longer. "That monster looked me right in the optics, and from what I can hear he's heading towards me now. Do you have any advice? I'd prefer not to make a final sacrifice for my Autobots tonight, but I'll do what needs done to end this creature."

------------------------------------------


Battlefield

"If the situation becomes dire enough, Mindwipe, you may try your powers then, but until such a time we will not risk Decepticon life unnecessarily."

Deathsaurus reloaded their rifle and shouted back to Furos, "We've been.. away for some time, so we're afraid we don't have much experience with these combiners! We'd suggest focusing as much fire as possible on its head, but if you have more experience with them we're willing to follow your lead!"

One of the beams from The Combiner's turrets sliced towards Deathsaurus, burning a line up his shield, and when he ran out of shield, slicing through the edge of his left wing, already battered from Hardhead's attack. Too much more of this and flying would become a challenge.

They fired a few more shot's in The Combiner's general direction, still hiding behind their shield, "By the way, Heardhead, my comms-code is gamma-8-7-delta! We'll need to keep in touch if we're going to coordinate!"

In truth, Deathsaurus was on a similar line of thinking as Hardhead. The combiner was very dangerous, to be certain, and an emergency alliance was the best way to handle it. But the interfaction fighting had already been more draining than anticipated, leaving both sides pretty short-handed without their supreme commanders. Cooperating with the Autobots now could open up the door for a compromise when the time came to claim their mutual goal. Minimizing Decepticon casualties would be Deathsaurus's preferred option, even if it meant working with Autobots for the time being. And, if things didn't work out that way, Deathsaurus was confident that between himself, Sixshot, and Starscream, his team could still come out on top if things did come to blows, especially with both Primes seemingly out of commission.

Deathsaurus intercepted a comm meant for the unconscious Megatron, a chain-of-command failsafe system that was, frankly, unreliable. "Kaon, this is Deathsaurus. Megatron has been knocked out of commission. We need you to disengage from your pursuit immediately. If you wish to help Megatron directly, you can assist Scourge in moving our leader somewhere safe. If you want to help more directly, find some safe cover and give that combiner everything you've got."

They swicthed to open comms, "Decepticons, this is Deathsaurus. I'm ordering an emergency ceasefire with the Autobots. Our primary and only target, until it is destroyed, is that combiner. I repeat, your only target, until order otherwise, is the combiner."

They switched back to individual comms, "Scourge, we're currently engaging in some.. tactical generosity, as it were. When you get to Megatron, go ahead and move Optimus to safety as well. If possible, make sure he's disarmed when you do. Generous is not the same as stupid, after all."

Clogs
2017-03-10, 04:06 PM
Archaeological dig, tunnel mouth

With extreme caution, Tap-Out peered from behind one of the corrugated sound-baffles guarding the tunnel mouth and, after taking a long look round, face-palmed. Perceptor appeared to no longer be close by.

Now, Tap-Out was not a 'bot given to much introspection, but right then he was calculating his chances of survival if he went back out there. True, he had just to dash to the lab pod and grab the locator, then back to the tunnel. He knew he was too small a threat to attract deliberate attention, but that was not to say he could not be flattened by accident or (here he clenched his left fist) he may be autotargeted as a turbocat targets a nanomouse.

He ran for the pod...
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Archaeological dig, in the tunnel

"Move it," Rotor snapped by way of encouraging the Autobots, Driveshaft and Fossar along. He was pretty sure that the size of the tunnel would offer them some protection from being followed, but major surface impacts could cave it in; the tunnel did not have the plasti-framework set up over the actual dig site.

"Aww, Sarge, we're doing our best," one of the mechs pointed out. "These dollys ain't got no magnalifters."

"But they've got wheels and the trackway is smooth," Rotor countered.

"Yeah, we ain't pushing 'em, Sarge - we're hanging onto 'em!"
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Archaeological dig, underground

"Gather everything," Drill hollered across the dig: no need to be quiet now.

The instruction was moot as most of the team were already recovering their personal toolkits and datapadds. There was no panic. Most of the archaeological team had worked in dangerous offworld locations - many had undertaken rescue digs in the teeth of Decepticon incursions across Cybertron, back in the jour - and they all knew the basic drill.

Recover equiptment. Recover finds. Recover significant data caches. Recover media, if held. Literally, re-cover artefacts still in situ.

At the finds table, Glyph was gathering and rolling up the duplaprints of the site that Lens had been supplying from the first moment they hit the required seam depth. She popped them, in no particular order, into a cylindrical black carry case, patting them down so she could screw the lid in place.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Autobot Command Centre

Through darkness lit only by flashing telltales and monitors over which indistinct shadows leaned, a fem made her way to the Command Hub with a printout. She mounted three steps, leaned in to the mech seated in the chair there, and whispered.

Warcry
2017-03-10, 09:04 PM
Destroyed Shuttle

Demolition growled as there were suddenly six Sixshots, each one blasting away at his upper body and sending bits of armour falling to the ground below. It grew even angrier, somehow, as it realized that someone was trying to trick it. The combiner reared back and faced the swarm, the giant bladed drum that served as its mouth started to spin, sucking a massive amount of air (and anything in the air nearby) towards its spinning blade trap of a gullet.

For the moment, it had stopped advancing towards Sentinel.

The secondary lasers continued to target anything and everything that they could see, and whether by chance or design one of them lashed out in the direction of Tap-Out once the smaller Autobot stepped out from cover.
_____________________________________________________

"Are you armed with something that can hurt a combiner fifteen times your size?" Furos asked Bumblebee rhetorically. "If not, you may be better off staying where you are. I'm evacuating the wounded and noncombatant members of our crew in your direction as we speak."

He didn't forbid the smaller Autobot from joining the fight, though, because he didn't want to tell another warrior -- small though he was -- that he'd be useless. Bumblebee deserved to be treated with more dignity than that, especially since, if he was being honest with himself, he didn't think he'd be able to do much better himself. Bravery and cunning served better than firepower in situations like this, anyway. Shooting the thing wasn't going to make a damned bit of difference.

When Hot Rod rolled up, Furos felt respect and disgust in equal measure. The former for the Titan, who -- pre being stepped on -- had been one of Hardhead's favourite officers to work with. The latter for his new Titan Master, a shiftless criminal who Furos would have tossed in the brig ages ago if Hot Rod himself hadn't quietly asked him to back off. Thankfully he didn't need to say anything to them, since they were already moving in to attack the creature on their own initiative.

The old soldier pondered Nightbeat's suggestion, but shook his head. As much as he would like to protect Optimus at all costs, he knew that wasn't what his commander would want. "You and Ginrai should concentrate on evacuating the Titan Masters first," he told Nightbeat. "Optimus wouldn't want us to risk their safety to protect him. We can recover him after the combiner is defeated, or once everyone else has made it to safety."

Next Furos spoke to Sentinel and said, "Do you need help digging yourself loose, sir? The sixchanging Decepticon seem to have distracted it for now but that won't last long." He quickly checked the nearby roster of Autobots as he spoke, and flagged a handful of Apex- and Tritrack-type Titan Master vehicles nearby that might be of assistance, but he hesitated to risk them unless absolutely necessary. "And no one else is dying tonight," he added bluntly.

And finally, he replied to Brainstorm: "I'm not sure how much damage we can do to it's armour, but we will do what we can."
_____________________________________________________

Some Titans required their Titan Master's full concentration to keep them operating and on task. Luckily for the very busy Furos, Hardhead was not one of them. As his smaller self busied himself giving orders and making decisions, Hardhead steered himself back on track and used his cannon to fire a line of sticky flares that hit the combiner and drew a line straight up his torso.

"Deathsaurus, one of our engineers seems to think he can hurt the thing if we can weaken the torso laterally. I've illuminated a target line for us to work on."

Then he opened up an Autobot-wide comm channel and said, "Everyone, disengage the Decepticons and concentrate your fire on the combiner. We're going to do our best to bisect it!"

Between the two of them, Hardhead was pretty sure he and Furos had covered everything.
_____________________________________________________

Mindwipe was very careful to stay on the opposite side of Demolition as the creature's mouth started to suck in air. He was also very sure to avoid the laser beams that still lashed out at the airborne Transformers nearby. What he wasn't sure sure to do was fire on the creature -- a few token shots from his tail guns aside -- because frankly there was nothing he could do against an enemy this large anyway. And honestly, he wasn't particularly motivated to go the extra mile when both Vorath and Deathsaurus had shown so little faith in his abilities.

If they vant me to play safe, then play safe I vill.

Vorath noticed his partner's reticence, but considering the scale of the thing they were facing he wasn't all that eager to call him on it.
_____________________________________________________

Kaon's call didn't register with its intended recipient, as Megatron was still completely nonfunctional. Aside from latent electrical charges occasionally jumping between his body and Prime's, he was showing no sign of activity at all.

Doomshot was slowly regaining consciousness, but with his Titan completely offline and his own body wracked by flipped breakers and overloaded subprocessors, it would take a significant amount of time before he could move enough to communicate, or to trigger his emergency disconnects and separate from Megatron's neck socket. Thankfully the interface surge protectors had kicked in, or he would have wound up as badly fried as Megatron had.

Crazyjabberwock
2017-03-10, 11:37 PM
Formerly Enroute to Archeological Dig
Bumblebee Peeled out towards the Monster, His partner mirroring his determination, they activated their boosters and found some rubble to ramp off of as soon as they were close enough, mid jump they transformed and connected, Bumblebee pulled out his two scout pistoles and combined them together as he climbed atop the combiner beast, looking to get right on the back of its neck or maybe even up into its optics.

"Hey hey, it's just Doctor Bumblebee, just here to put you to sleep, Doesn't have to hurt anymore...." he whispered to keep himself calm, as Sari simply repeated in their head "this is Crazy this is Crazy this is Crazy, keep going...."

*******

Just as Grax ordered Skullcruncher towards the Combiner Kaon demanded they go to Megatron.
"We can't leave our leader to Rot! We'd be no better then Starscream!"

"Listen I don't care if it's the Minicon or the zap chair saying that, we need to take down that walking graveyard first!" Grax retorted rapidly.

"Megatron comes first!"

"AHH SLAG IT! I'll Swing by our "Glorious Leader" on the way over to support the rest of our team! You can Fawn over his unconscious body all you like!" Grax finally relented and ordered Skullcruncher to make tracks towards the unconscious leader, Kaon didn't miss a beat dismounting the croc to safeguard Megatron.

Grax and Skullcruncher rapidly swung over to offer back up to the weapon assault on the Combiner transforming and linking and laying down all the firepower he could on the thing, aiming for any perceivable weak point they could find.

"Come on, if I can nail this sucker in his Gearbox the legs might just give out" he muttered as he took aim for the pelvis.

Clogs
2017-03-11, 03:08 AM
Archaeological dig, surface

Tap-Out began to run for the nearby pod and found himself unintentionally somersaulting as a laser hit the ground at his very heels; the angle of the strike had skimmed off a piece of the surface layer and lifted him with it. Unfortunately, the piece was about five times his size and continued to rise, carrying him straight for the lab pod.

And, in mid-'yeaargh!' he remembered that Rotor had set the pods to explode...

Heinrad
2017-03-11, 04:30 AM
Battlefield:


"Copy that, Furos," said Nightbeat. "Well, you heard him."

"I am worried about Optimus."

"He'll be fine. This kind of thing seems to happen to him a lot. Titanic battle with Megatron, then new body." Nightbeat frowned slightly. "That being said, this was before this whole Titan thing......"

----------

Ginrai rolled to a halt, the armored ramp that made up his trailer doors dropping to the ground. "All right, Titan Masters, I don't care which side you're on, get in. We're going to try to keep you safe from that combiner."

There was a panicked rush as lots of small feet, drones, and some exo-armor units started for and ran up the ramp.

-------------

Chromedome skidded to a stop behind the smoking wreckage and transformed, leaning in close. "Sentinel!!!! Are you okay?" He started trying to shift a piece of the wreckage.

--------------

Firedrive made some adjustments, and the H.U.D. displayed against Hot Rod's canopy highlighted the sticky flares Hardhead had shot the combiner with. His gaze flicked down to the V.D.U., which was displaying a silhouette of the combiner and estimates of the amount of damage taken.

They didn't look promising.

"It looks like all we're doing is annoying it."

"Then that's what we'll keep on doing. We may not have heavy duty firepower, but there are those on the field who do."

"Want to trade off, then? I'll handle the driving and you run the guns?"

"No, Firedrive."

Hot Rod's double barreled photon cannon tilted up, both cannons roaring as Firedrive pulled the triggers, firing at Demolition.

-------------

The three Sixshot fighter jets had no problems keeping clear of the wind vortex caused by Demolition, swinging around the crazed combiner and firing at it.

The flying guns, not being as maneuverable, struggled to stay out of Demolition's maw.

Selkadoom
2017-03-11, 04:38 AM
Sonic Canyons

Brainstorm for the most part was enjoying the quietness of it all. He regretted not bringing a communi-cube to listen to something but he didn't need the additional distraction of music or a blatantly biased decepticon reporter.

_____________________________________________________

Dig Site

Scourge quickly peeled up to the forms of Megatron and Optimus jettisoning Fracas as he transformed and stretched his aching cervos as he evaluated the two leaders

"They aren't dead, regretfully for one of them" he said as he couldn't resist kicking the downed autobot before shifting back "Just heft his carcass onto my frame and I'll get him as a far away as I can stomach touching him."

_______________________________________________________

Starscream was enjoying being able to vent his aggression on the combiner as it was a relatively large target that was more focused on killing those on the ground.

That was just fine by him, the more Megatron loyalists that thing slaughtered the better. As such he ignored the call to focus in a vertical bisection and switched to his null lasers instead, attacking the circuits underneath.

tahukanuva
2017-03-12, 10:21 AM
Wreckage

Sentinel winced and coughed as he shifted to try and get a better bearing on his situation. "It sounds like Chromedome is here trying to dig me out. Between the two of us, I'm confident that I can get out of here without additional help. I have no idea what the situation is outside right now, however, so I'm going to rely on your tactical advice as to what I should do once I'm out of here, Hardhead. That creature seems to want me for some Fallen-known reason, so I doubt I can just hang back with the firing line or any such thing."

He called out, "I'm hesitant to say that I'm okay, Chromedome, but I don't think I'm mortally injured! Infinitus has been screaming and crying inside my head ever since the combiner appeared, and I daresay that's worse than the physical pain! I believe I can dig myself out, but if you're in a safe enough position I would appreciate the help!"


-----------------------------------------



Battlefield


Deathsaurus nodded, "We read you, Hardhead."

"Decepticons, this is Deathsaurus. See those flares the Autobots lit up? Target that line. We're going to split this monster in half, lengthways."

"Scourge, Fracas status report on the supreme commanders?"

Heinrad
2017-03-13, 02:54 AM
Wreckage:


Chromedome climbed up to the top of the wreckage and peered over, then scrambled back down. "We're safe enough for the moment. Can you move at all?" He hauled a chunk aside and started trying to make his way deeper into the pile of scrap.

Warcry
2017-03-13, 03:50 AM
Destroyed Shuttle

Demolition felt...something moving up its back, and shook itself like a wet dog trying to toss Bumblebee aside. The motion caused most of Hot Rod's incoming fire to miss, though Skullcruncher managed to shoot it in the hip assembly and cause some damage.

Starscream's null rays kept it from noticing, though. It lunged forward, trying to snap its deadly jaws shut around the Sixshots it had managed to pull in and shred them inside its spinning gullet. However, the weakened hip kept it from closing the distance as quickly as it had hoped, turning certain painful, shredding death into merely the possibility of a painful shredded death.
_____________________________________________________

Furos felt another pang of guilt over ordering Ginrai away from Optimus, but it couldn't be helped. One life wasn't worth the dozens of others who still needed saving. Not even Optimus Prime.

"The situation outside is on the right side of a disaster, Sentinel Prime," he told the Autobot leader, "though only just. The Decepticons are cooperating with us, and Brainstorm seems to think he can weaken the creature if we can lead it into an area that he's preparing with a trap. That's where you come in, assuming you can still fly. As you say, the beast seems to be hell-bent on getting its claws on you."

As Furos spoke, Hardhead fired a series of acid shells at the giant monster, hoping to eat away at the surface of its armour in the target area and make it easier for everyone else to break through.

Crazyjabberwock
2017-03-13, 04:45 AM
Demolition's back

Bumblebee jumped up just as he shook, landing on the back of his neck, he grabbed on and unloaded his weapons point blank into any chink he could find in his neck assembly, gritting his teeth and focusing on bringing this thing down ASAP,

******

Near Shuttle Remains

Grax Cheered and closed in to continue his assault on the combiner "You Combiners Ain't so tough! How's it feel to be 6 kills for the price of one!!!" he cried as he ran forward firing into his leg joints

Clogs
2017-03-13, 10:45 PM
Archaeological dig, surface

This is it, thought Tap-Out. Stupid way to die.

...and was catapaulted into the open doorway of the pod.

Behind him, the chunk of surface continued to move, arcing up and over the low-set pod and bouncing away, end-over-end, towards Chromedome's position.

His landing was inelegant and he dinged an arm panel, but a bruise was a lot better than the alternative. Pulling himself upright, he looked around, spotted the dormant locator, which he would need both hands to carry. Holstering his gun, he grabbed the device and started back to the door.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Archaeological dig, tunnel/site

The Autobot guards trying to mech-handle the lead dolly would have managed if the second dolly guards had held on tighter. Now, at a warning cry, they jumped aside and the second dolly went past, accompanied by two yelling figures whose feet were leaving hot drag marks on the tunnel plastifloor.

Rotor pushed through the tangle of limbs and grunted as he broke into a run, followed by the archaeologists, who picked their way a little more politely, with apologies.

"What's that?" Lens jolted round, almost dropping the box he was carrying to the evacuation sled.

"Sound like incoming," Drill noted and began to run for the tunnel, gun appearing in his hand.

Glyph gripped the carry case tightly and her optics narrowed. Fight or flight?

Heinrad
2017-03-14, 09:51 AM
Destroyed Shuttle:


The three flying guns and two of the fighters shimmered out of existence as Sixshoy transformed to tank mode, trading maneuverability for firepower, cutting loose on Demolition's centerline.

------

Hot Rod kept charging forward, hood mounted photon cannons firing away.

------
Wreckage:


Chromedome kept pulling at the wreckage, trying to shift enough to let Sentinel get free, when the shadow fell over him.

"Why's it getting dark?"

"How should I know?"

Chromedome looked back and up, watching as a flipping section of ground came flying towards him. "Oh, SCRAP!" He threw himself into the wreckage, burrowing in towards Sentinel. "Hang on, Sentinel! More debris incoming!"

-------------
Battlefield:


As the stragglers scuttled aboard Ginrai's trailer, a hole opened up nearby, a blue and silver drill drone grinding up through the surface, beeping loudly.

"Yes, yes. I figured I couldn't lose you that easily. Get aboard."

Roller beeped a reply and rolled up the ramp.

"That looks like all of them. I locked down the access panels in the trailer."

"Probably a good idea. Let's get going."

Ginrai shifted into gear, rolling forward, the ramp raising slowly as he headed back towards the dig site.

Warcry
2017-03-15, 04:04 PM
Destroyed Shuttle

Demolition wasn't able to shake Bumblebee, but the Minibot's gun fire didn't do much more than sting, even up close. The combiner's armour was simply too thick to pierce with a single sidearm. Still, it was an annoying distraction that kept the monster's full attention away from its intended target for the moment, keeping it from simply bull-rushing Chromedome and Sentinel Prime's location.

Unfortunately for Bumblebee, moving up to the combiner's neck had put him square inside the firing arc of the powerful ion cannon that had taken out Optimus and Megatron. The giant weapon angled downwards to aim at the Autobot, hydraulics whirring loudly as the capacitors charged with a high-pitched hum. If the small Autobot was still in the danger zone once the weapon was ready to fire, he would have almost no chance to avoid the point-blank knockout shot.

As he did that, the combiner shook the leg that Grax had shot, knocking loose some debris that had worked itself into the joint. Then about a dozen of its laser cannons rotated to face the Decepticon who'd dared hurt it, barraging his vicinity with red hot needles of death.
_____________________________________________________

Hardhead fired another blast at the combiner, this time using explosive shells. Although it was hard to tell with so much lead in the air, it seemed like the massed fire from those who were targeting the beast's midline was starting to leave a noticeable scar. How much of one and whether it would be enough for what Brainstorm was planning, though, he didn't know. But the longer they kept the thing occupied, the more time they'd have to work at it.

"Hot Rod," he called out to the other Autobot. "Bumblebee has the right idea, keeping the creature distracted like that. But he's going to get himself killed trying to do it alone. Can you get up there and help him?"

tahukanuva
2017-03-15, 11:46 PM
Shuttle Wreckage

Sentinel Prime reflexively nodded despite the fact that he was on comms, and despite how badly it hurt to nod. "I understand, Hardhead. You just tell me when to go and where to go. As long as everything's still operational, I'm confident that my shuttle mode can outpace that wretched monster."

The remaining scraps of debris seperating Chromedome from Sentinel collapsed when the smaller Autobot jumped into the wreackage. He let out a pained grunt as Chromedome landed on top of him, along with several shards of debris. "Are you alright?", Prime asked, and continued without pausing for a reply, "Hardhead has a plan. Since that combiner seems to be after me, for some reason, I am to lead it into a trap that Brainstorm is devising. That debris that blocked us in behind you should provide sufficient cover until Hardhead gives the signal, and then I'm going to need you to help me shoot my way out of here."

Crazyjabberwock
2017-03-16, 02:07 AM
Demolition's back

Bumblebee scrambled atop the Ion cannon and started trying to pry it open, desperate to disable the weapon. pocketing his scout guns to rip open a breach with his bare hands, this rusted amalgamation couldn't have kept the finer plating that intact.

********

Grax and SKullcruncher transformed and fled the firing zone, trying to get closer and under it, into a position the guns could not reach. Skull snapped at the inner shin of the beast while Grax looked for a crack he could squeeze into or at least a hand to pull on something important.

********

Megatron's Side

Nickle disengaged from Kaon's body to scan over the damage to Megatron and affect whatever repairs she could.

Heinrad
2017-03-17, 01:51 AM
Wrecked Shuttle:


"Don't worry, Furos. We'll get up there." Hot Rod altered his course, the jet turbine flaring brighter. "Shut down the guns, Firedrive. We're going to have to get a lot closer to that thing and try to help Bumblebee."

"He got himself into it, can't he get himself out?"

"Possibly, but not without getting hurt."

Firedrive shut down the photon cannons, and their retraction into Hot Rod's hood increased his speed. "So how are we...... Oh, no....."

Hot Rod hit a ramp formed by the shuttle's door, flame shooting from the back of the turbine as he flew into the air, transforming to robot mode, flying higher into the air thanks to his boot jets, firing at Demolition's back with his arm mounted laser cannons.

Blackjack
2017-03-17, 10:57 AM
Skies

Perceptor blinked. He was hovering above the battlefield perched on his Sky Sled, having rushed on top of it the moment he heard Demolition’s roar and the chaos that followed. It was… it was very unconventional and unprofessional to leave Tap-Out’s crew like that, he knew.

But there was a combiner.

There it was, a living, breathing monument to one of the biggest mistakes Perceptor has ever done.

Nothing bad has ever came out of the pursuit of knowledge. Oh, how utterly stupid he was, so many vorns ago. What could go wrong? Knowledge is good. Science. Facts. Innovation. Improvement.

Oh, how Perceptor would love to invent a time machine, go back to the past and slap his past self in the face, if not for the sheer irresponsibility and the likelihood that an infinite amount of temporal paradoxes and space-time continuum loops would be birthed because of it.

It was his greatest innovation. Unlocking the secret of the fabled Enigma of Combination. The full potential of their race. Multiple minds, melding together into something far greater. What was fable and legend, science had made manifest. Perceptor stood tall, along with the rest of his scientific team. A team that was no more, thanks to the monsters they were responsible for unleashing into the world. Historians millennia in the future would judge them, and they will find him guilty. Guilty for unleashing the beast. Guilty for being weak, for only having the minds to unleash a disaster without the means to corral it.

There, rampaging, was one such disaster. The aptly-named Demolition.

An Autobot. A group of Autobots Perceptor knew. Their minds lost to a maelstrom of madness, from whence there is no return. His creation. His abomination. His child. His monster. His responsibility.

His sin.

His quarry.

As he stood in the air Perceptor had calculated where best to fire. There was no central power core in a combiner, no single spark to extinguish, no single central processor to put a bullet through – that was the beauty. That was the terror. If one component falls, the others will compensate. They were the perfect weapon to end the war. Instruments of destruction. Tools of power plays.

Perceptor transformed into his microscope mode, ejecting Convex, who hopped onto the steering wheel of the Sky Sled. He aimed his microscope cannon downwards. It was a powerful light cannon, modified so Perceptor will never again be helpless to watch his creations run amok and slaughter entire cities. It focused a beam of light and Perceptor launched it down to the central portion of Demolition’s vortex grinder, hoping to disable the combiner’s powerful sucking tool, and hopefully direct the combiner’s attention towards him.

Enough had died because of his creations. Perceptor did not need the soldiers that arrived with him to be added to the list.
______________________________________

The three gun Sixshots are drawn into Demolition’s large, gaping maw, and were shredded. They were hard light projections, of course, but they were also matter at the same time, and they were no more. Fortunately, none of them were the real Sixshot, as he and his two remaining jet-mode doppelgangers split apart and looped around.

Revolver hung on for dear life. “Twenty seconds to the clones dissappearing, Sixshot-sama.” He remarked. Sixshot acknowledged with a grunt, as he put some distance between him and the giant beast.

Sixshot hated combiners.

He hated them, more than anything. They were like him, able to do the work that six or more warriors are capable of. They were forces of destruction, near-unstoppable powerhouses. Yet they were also unlike him. They were mindless forces of destruction. They had no art, no class, no method nor efficiency in the devastation they unleashed. They do battle with each other out of nothing but barbaric rage and bestial instinct. Not for a cause, not for honour, not for the sheer thrill of pitting yourself against someone your equal or your better. None of them. They were animals. Nay, less than animals.

Also, they are really hard to destroy, and are definitely – possibly – stronger than Sixshot if they should do battle one-on-one. Which is also a factor as to why Sixshot hated the combiners. Once in range, the three Sixshots opened fire onto Demolition’s rear legs. “Come on down. You’re not a warrior. You’re not a soldier. You’re nothing but a rabid beast. And I will put you down.”

Selkadoom
2017-03-18, 02:48 AM
Sonic Canyons

Brainstorm had for the most part done all he could in making the opposing walls of this section of the canyon into super magnets that when activated would either tear the combiner in half (Hopefully. It was the best available outcome as at least they could salvage the thing for parts, maybe an a living cybertronian or too,) or at worst bring the section of the canyon down on itself on top of said creature.

"The lack of certainty in the outcome of this is rather frightening"

"I find it exciting. Science is after all very fancy guess work. If it always resulted in predictable repeatable results I most certainly wouldn't have gone into it. Maybe. I might still be making just fancy guns."

"What a lovely massive generalization you've given to an entire field of study"

"You should watch me tell Perceptor that." he snickered "Alright Furos, traps all set here. I'll place a beacon for you to lead it here after you feel you've done a satisfactory amount of damage on its vertical structure." he said dropping a small deployable beacon and jetting up the walls to the top, small activator device clinched and ready to fire.

_____________________________________________________

Dig Site

"They're both alive. But they're out cold. Looks like Doomshot might be coherent, but Megatron and Prime are just dead weight until they kick back on sir." Scourge radio'd back to Deathsaurus as he had Fracas slowly heft the Autobot leader onto his alt mode

"Guy needs to lay off the Energon Goodies and yhe excess armor plating" Fracas griped

"Quit your complaining and get him on. The sooner this autobot is off me the better." Scourge shot back. The veteran could hold his own in a fight but the autobot leader was another story.

_____________________________________________________

Skies

Starscream gave a chuckle at watching the scene of an autobot scaling the back of the combiner when a lovely idea came to mind, what if some friendly fire should just so happen to take him out?~

Looping back and turning sideways he let a volley of missiles off at the Combiners spine, right near where Bumblebee was near.

Cyberstrike nTo
2017-03-18, 01:57 PM
Soundwave had finished his show and quickly left the studio in old Polyhex. As he walked out the doors and saw the once thriving Decepticon city reduced to a little more than a ghost town, it always makes him realize that his Titanmaster partner, Soundblaster was correct about Megatron. He was failure as a leader, and a new leader was needed.

He quickly leaded to the Spacebridge and was sent to a colony world Neo Polyhex, and headed to his private quarters from the Spacebridge. Neo Polyhex was a quickly becoming a major center of power in the Decepticon Empire, and would already be that if the Contructicons had been stuck as Devastator, as he walked by the new studio still under construction that when completed will be his new studio no more traveling to Cybertron.

Damn combiners. he thought as he walked past the building.

Soundwave entered his private quarters and sat down in front of a screens showing the battles raging on Cybertron as well secret messages and images from across the Decepticon Empire. He sat and pulled out his Black File Drive and plugged into his computer network and put in his password. Soundblaster disconnected from his body and Soundwave automatically transformed into an old Earth style boombox.
Soundblaster entered his password and then quickly reconnected with Soundwave back into robot mode. As Soundwave recorded his data.

"Hello Soundwave." a voice said from behind him.

Soundwave spun around in his chair and gasped: "YOU!"

Crazyjabberwock
2017-03-18, 10:18 PM
Demolition's back

"Bee behind us! Sari alerted Bumblebee to the assault as he had been too focused on breaching the cannon, Using his reflexes he deftly leapt out of the way of the missiles, letting them impact on the very place he was trying to breach, hoping they might have softened the place for his attempted Sabotage, he momentarily panicked as he was back to facing the barrel of the cannon, he hastily made tracks again for the gun's backside.

"Hey! Mutual enemy means Mutual Screamer!" he chastised the seeker for hasty attempt to break the unspoken truce

*******

Skullcruncher continued prying at a rusted looking section of Demolition's inner Leg, it tasted awful but could contain morsels beneath, Grax for his part was trying to pull off bolts and rip welds, if he could get inside it he could really mess it up.

*******
Megatron's Side

As Nickel continued to try and affect a quicker start up for her leader, she thought maybe she could at least get Doomshot back into action for now, she looked around for any sort of emergency release mechanisms for Megatron's Titan master, Loath as she knew Kaon was to let the upstart go around using Megatron's position to his advantage, it was the most practical option on the table.

Warcry
2017-03-19, 04:37 AM
Destroyed Shuttle

Demolition's ion cannon was sensitive equipment -- not sensitive enough that Bumblebee or any other Autobot could destroy it with his bare hands, of course, but tearing into the insulated plating that covered it had certainly disrupted the weapon's function, and so had Starscream's missiles. With the tiny Autobot no longer in his line of fire, the cannon swivelled towards the nearest sizable target (which happened to be Deathsaurus) and opened fire. A bolt of ionic death swelled out at the Decepticon sub-commander, but it was only around half the strength of the beam that had felled Optimus Prime and Megatron. The rest of the energy leaked out of the ion cannon's damaged plating and arced across Demolition's armour and into the ground.

The energy leak hurt the crazed combiner, eliciting another roar from its twisted maw. But Demolition wasn't the only one who would have been hurt. Any Autobots or Decepticons who'd been in contact with him when the shot was fired, or were close enough to be struck by a stray lightning bolt, would have received a very painful shock.

The combiner fell to its knees for a moment, dazed by the shock even though it didn't appear to be critically wounded. As such, Perceptor's light beam landed not in its mouth but on the rightmost of its many eyes, overloading the photoreceptors and blacking out that section of the beast's peripheral vision. The rest of the incoming fire landed, but the monster was too stunned to notice as bits of its armour were blasted (or in Skullcruncher's case, torn) away.
____________________________________________

Furos smiled as he heard Brainstorm's report. "Fantastic news. I'll let you know once it's on its way!"

He pondered for a moment, trying to decide if it was better to spring the trap now or try to do more damage to the beast. He was leaning towards the former, but before he could get a word out Hardhead preempted him.

"Now's our best chance! All Autobots, hit the creature with everything you've got. Keep hitting the torso armour!"

"A bit rash..." Furos commented privately.

"Bah!" Hardhead responded. "They are warriors! They know what they have to do."
____________________________________________

Megatron was probably too badly damaged to be brought back online without a full surgical suite, but as Nickel looked around at the neck mounts she would, indeed, hear the futile clicks as Doomshot tried and failed to disengage the connection himself.

Crazyjabberwock
2017-03-19, 05:21 AM
Demolition's back
Bee yelped in pain as he was blown off the combiner from the shock, landing near its feet with an embarrassing thud, he scrambled to recover and take stock of the situation.

********

Grax and Skull were similarly blown backwards into a heap at Demolition's opposite leg, groaning in pain.

********

Megatron's Side

Nickle reconnected with Kaon, knowing that everyone was too focused on the failed super weapon to bother with matters of true importance, they got ready to carry their leader to the nearest semi-viable medical facility.

Blackjack
2017-03-19, 07:32 AM
Destroyed Shuttle

Sixshot pulled up, narrowly avoiding a lightning blast from Demolition's ion cannon. The bolt did come close enough to him to send the six-changer's targeting systems into fritz, though, and Convex's yelling is not helping matters.

How do you bring down something so large, so powerful?

Even if he knows not of honour, it is a challenge nonetheless.

Sixshot shot into the air, before swooping back down. "Fall!" The sixchanger yelled as he flew in a path that led to Demolition's face, before transforming quickly into his cannon mode and launching blasts of sonic and ballistic projectiles. Convex yelled something about being ground up into dust, but Sixshot cared not for his partner at the moment. All that cared was proving that he is the strongest warrior.
_____________________________________________________

"You have missed, sir." Convex told Perceptor.

"I can see that, Convex. I am the one with the telescopic light array attached to me." Perceptor replied curtly as the giant cannon swiveled to track Demolition's vortex grinder again.

"Would it not be prudent to eliminate the ion-based lightning mortar cannons first with your light-spectrum microtelescopic cannon?" Convex asked. "Our ground-bound infantry forces are being systematically slaughtered down there."

"They can defend themselves. We go for the kill." Perceptor warmed up another shot, and launched another blast from his light cannon onto Devastator's mouth, again aiming to destroy the beast's vortex grinder.

Heinrad
2017-03-21, 09:40 AM
Battlefield:


Hot Rod hovered on his boot jets, above and behind Demolition. A visor slid down over his optics, and he scowled slightly.

"We're not having much effect."

"Oh, darn. Does this mean we can do something less dangerous now, like being shot with Megajerk's fusion cannon?"

"No. But we can try to do something more effective."

Hot Rod aimed both sets of his arm mounted laser cannons at the damaged part of Demolition's ion cannon and opened fire.

Warcry
2017-03-22, 10:06 PM
Destroyed Shuttle

Demolition groggily looked up as Sixshot blasted it in the face. The combiner didn't move for a moment, its remaining eyes glassy even as a few more of them were shattered by the incoming fire. Then something seemed to switch back on on the creature's head. The eyes narrowed and started to glow red, moments before a set of optic beams blasted out at the sixchanging Decepticon.

His mouth was closed, so Perceptor's shot punched into his jawline but didn't penetrate into the sensitive circuitry of the vortex grinder.

As Hot Rod started to pour fire into the damaged cannon, more armour fell away and short arcs of lightning leaped out towards the ground and several nearby, unlucky Transformers.

Then Demolition roared again, and started to climb to its feet.
____________________________________________

Now that the creature had been hobbled, Mindwipe fluttered towards Hot Rod and said, "Allow us to assist, blah."

The Decepticon bat shot several laser blasts from its tail cannon, chipping away slowly at the cannon armour that Bumblebee, Starscream and finally Hot Rod had opened up.
____________________________________________

Hardhead swerved, narrowly avoiding a wayward electric blast that still carried enough charge, even as a near miss, to force the Autobot tank's targeting systems to reboot.

Furos, for his part, scowled as he saw the beast start to rise.

"Sentinel Prime," he hailed the former leader, "are you ready to lead this thing into our trap?"

tahukanuva
2017-03-25, 03:34 AM
Battlefield

Deathsaurus fired their booster jets as Demolition aimed its cannon at them. They avoided a direct hit, but the ground exploding just beneath them sent them rolling across the ground. They shakily righted themselves just as Scourge's reply came through.

"Excellent work, Scourge and Kaon. Stay in cover for now and we'll radio you when we know where you should take them."

Since they were now separated by a fair amount of distance, and the battlefield had become quite cacophonous, Deathsaurus hailed Furos on the comms.

"Hardhead, this is Deathsaurus. My troops have retrieved Optimus and Megatron and need to know where we're taking the wounded."


--------------------------------------------


Shuttle Wreckage


Sentinel shifted his stance so that he was ready to kick off as soon as he had the signal.

"I'm ready and waiting, Hardhead. Just give the order."

He looked over at Chromedome and nodded. "Be ready to help me out of here. If I crash getting out, I won't be able to lure that monster very far."

Heinrad
2017-03-25, 03:35 AM
Dig Site Tunnel Entrance:


Ginrai rolled to a stop, air brakes hissing as the trailer ramp dropped open. "All right, everybody out."

Nightbeat, still ensconced in his virtual reality control sphere, brought up an image of the battle station mode. "Do we really have to do this?"

"You heard Furos. We're the last line of defense here. If they can't stop that thing, we'll have to."

"Stuck as a base?"

"My ion cannons are pretty powerful, as are my laser cannons-"

"One of which is off line."

"If we have to, we can transform. But we won't have to."

Once the last of the Titan Masters had disembarked from Ginrai's trailer, he transformed to battle station mode, with Nightbeat suddenly finding himself sittIng on a command throne in front of a large monitor. Roller, meanwhile, found himself locked into place as an auxiliary turret mount.

***********
Shuttle Wreckage:


Chromedome nodded to Sentinel. "Yes, sir." He brought up one of his carbines and started blasting away at the wreckage to make Sentinel's exit path easier.

Selkadoom
2017-03-28, 11:05 PM
Sonic Canyons

At this point Brainstorm had hopped up and taken a seat a distance away down the canyons and was taking his time to effect some minor repairs and tinker a bit with some unfinished Prototypes he had.

Shouldn't you be... Preparing for the arrival of the combiner?" his partner asked a bit perturbed by his nonchalant attitude over the situation.

"Why? Traps ready, and I have at least a few cycles to work before they funnel it here. Might as well be productive."

"You are something else Teslor remarked slightly exasperated.

____________________________________________

Dig Site

Scourge, having gotten Optimus's unconscious form onto his alt mode, was speeding away from the conflict with the combiner so as to keep their truce with the autobots alive while they needed it.

Warcry
2017-03-29, 05:43 PM
Destroyed Shuttle

Demolition had climbed to its feet, letting out another roar as rose to its full height, towering over the puny combatants who were daring to fight it.

This time, however, its roar was echoed by others in the distance that had been attracted by the sounds of the battle.
____________________________________________

"Good work," Furos told Deathsaurus. "The safest place for them right now is probably the dig site tunnels. I'll have Ginrai send you a marker."

Looping the other Autobot in, he said, "Ginrai and Nightbeat, send me your location so Optimus and Megatron can be brought there."

Switching channels, he said to Sentinel Prime, "If you're ready, then by all means, sir, go!"

After hearing the answering roars, Hardhead checked his long-range sensors and winced. "Deathsaurus, we have more combiners en route. They're about twenty miles out, but they move fast. Once we take this one down -- ", if we can take it down, " -- we'll need to get under cover before they arrive."

He fired a few more shells at the beast's midline as he spoke.

Crazyjabberwock
2017-03-31, 12:11 AM
Demolition's Legs
Grax and Skullcruncher managed to pry open a tiny tiny hole, just bit enough for Grax to work his way in and clime about the inner leg servos of the beast, he looked around for something delicate and important enough, a motivator, a Connector anchor, the leg unit's spark chamber?

********

Bumblebee decided to take a simpler method to his own sabotage, grabbing a clump of metal scraps that had come loose from all the superficial damage and trying to use them to simply plug up the cannons manually.

Heinrad
2017-03-31, 02:26 AM
Dig Site:


Nightbeat nodded, looking at the control panels before him. "No problem, Furos, just let me-"

Lights began to blink in earnest on one panel. He reached out and hit a switch on the panel, then noted that the holodisplay before him was indicating that a locator beacon was being transmitted.

"- and there you go."


********
Hovering behind Demolition:


Hot Rod hovered in the air briefly, balanced on his jets. "All right, Mindwipe, let's try this. If you can hypnotize him, or at the least daze him, I can try to land on his back and see if I can get that cannon to feedback into his systems."

Blackjack
2017-04-01, 08:01 AM
Destroyed Shuttle

Perceptor growled as his light cannon finished its recharge sequence, and fired yet another blast down at Demolition's head.
________________________________

Sixshot transformed into his tank mode, landing on an elevated chunk of broken architecture some distance away from where Demolition was rampaging. His tank treads hummed before locking themselves onto the ground, ensuring that Sixshot doesn't knock himself off his perch with the force of his blasts.

"Sixshot-sama, there are more approaching. Our sensors-"

"I see that. Which is why we need to take this beast down now. Bombardment commencing." Sixshot knew that Deathsaurus and the Autobot scum were setting up a trap. He heard the radio chatter. But if that trap fails, superior firepower and battle skills are still what's going to win the day. Sixshot's tank-mode cannons and hypersonic concussion cannons charged, and he launched a barrage of artillery mortar shells, laser blasts and hypersonic energy waves, focusing at one of Demolition's leg, aiming for the one where Bumblebee and the other saboteurs were not at.

They were enemies, but a truce is a truce, and Sixshot had honour.
________________________________

Inside Scourge

Optimus Prime still lay prone, unmoving, within the Decepticon that 'rescued' him. Neither Optimus nor Diac was conscious, such was the effect of the ion blast that impacted him.

tahukanuva
2017-04-02, 07:38 PM
Shuttle Wreckage

Sentinel Prime steeled himself, trying to suppress the panic and distress that Infinitus was still shouting into their shared mind, and shifted into shuttle mode. His thrusters flared to life as his multitude of cannons blasted the debris. He shot past Chromedome, and through the remaining wreckage in his path. He shot out into the sky and pulled a wide banking loop to ensure that Demolition spotted him, before flying towards where Brainstorm had laid his trap.

------------------------------------

Battlefield

Deathsaurus frowned in response to Furos's news. Even if they managed to take this one out in time to evacuate, which was hardly a certainty to begin with, who knows who long it would take the new arrivals to leave the area again? He trusted his troops to handle a battlefield ceasefire like this, but spending days or even weeks in cramped tunnels with the Autobots could get.. tense. Of course, there wasn't much point dwelling on hypothetical future problems when the very real present was itself such a very real problem that still needed dealt with.

"All Decepticons, this is Deathsaurus. We need to keep up the attack until the trap is sprung, but we have more Combiners headed this way and fast, so as soon as that thing drops we need to clear the battlefield and get below ground."

"Scourge, Kaon, the Autobots have put out a beacon for the tunnel entrance. Deliver Megatron and Optimus there, and if all goes well the rest of us will join you shortly."

Crazyjabberwock
2017-04-03, 01:06 AM
Now On The move to the beacon

Kaon hears this and makes haste to the designated spot with their leader in tow, the more outraged parts of his mind calmed by Nickle's practical elements "We read you Deathsaurus Enroute now!

********

Demolition's Legs

Grax continues "Don't need to tell us twice, Skull can swim on rust and sand nearly as good as the water, we'll be out the moment this thing drops"

Warcry
2017-04-04, 10:05 PM
Destroyed Shuttle

Demolition tried to shoot down Sentinel Prime once the Autobot was within view, but the sabotage that Bumblebee had inflicted had rendered his massive ion cannon inoperable. With a wrathful growl, the giant combiner took off after the former Autobot leader, blind to anything he might stomp along the way. It moved with a noticeable hitch in one leg where Grax had climbed inside.
____________________________________________

Mindwipe scoffed. "I vould love to do that, Autobot," he told Hot Rod, "but for my direct orders not to try to hypnotize the monster. I vill assist you othervise, howewer. Assuming Deathsaurus vill permit it."

Vorath scowled. "Oh, stop moping and get over yourself, already." He heard Deathsaurus's orders and added, "More combiners? Grand."

And that point, Demolition had torn off after Sentinel Prime and the Titan Master had to prod his partner, "Well come on, after them!"
____________________________________________

"Thanks, Nightbeat." Furos watched the beacon pop up on Hardhead's holodisplay. "You're about to have a bunch of company."

Hardhead had to swerve wildly to avoid being run over by the combiner. After he did that, he rolled to a stop. The beast was moving away from him faster than his tank mode could follow.

Heinrad
2017-04-07, 02:58 AM
Wreckage:


Chromedome transformed and roared out of the wreckage after Sentinel, trying to keep up.

"You should have let me grab onto his wing, Stylor! How are we supposed to keep an eye on him if we're not near him?"

"He's a big bot. He can keep an eye on himself. Besides, given his color scheme, they can spot him, unassisted, from trans-lunar orbit."

************
Destroyed Shuttle Area:


Hot Rod shrugged. "If we can get all the Combiners to converge on where we're trapping this rust bucket, maybe we won't have to deal with more of them." He swooped down, transforming back to vehicle mode and charging after the combiner.

Warcry
2017-04-13, 09:00 PM
Destroyed Shuttle

"You vant to fight more combiners?" Mindwipe shook his head at Hot Rod. "You are mad, Autobot."

"Although I have to admit to some curiosity about whether Hot Rod's plan would work," Vorath interjected, "I have to agree. He is mad."

As they flapped behind the Autobot, Mindwipe added, "Right. Ve didn't come here to fight monsters, and I sure they didn't either. Vhat is the point of picking fight vhen it only make mission harder?"
______________________________________

Demolition continued to charge after Sentinel Prime, a chunk of his face armour now hanging by a thread after Sixshot's last blast.
______________________________________

Enroute to the beacon

Doomshot's struggles finally paid fruit, as he managed to transform to robot mode and pull free of Megatron's neck socket. Clinging to the larger body, he shook his head and muttered, "Ouch."

Clogs
2017-04-13, 10:13 PM
Archaeological dig

The floor of the artificial cave erupted as a massive hand shot upwards, red fingers outstretched - and Drill rose in a parabola, limbs flailing. His flight was brutally arrested as he was snatched from the air and pulled downwards. The showering debris struck the ceiling before crashing down towards the nearest archaeologists; astroseconds later, the debris round the punched hole began to subside. The noise was incredible.

Glyph staggered, physically shaken by the initial impact, and gave a cry as her colleague disappeared.

Those individuals nearest the event found themselves slipping downwards, carried by the collapsing floor, while simultaneously trying to fend of assorted falling metal. Two failed to scrabble away and slid, inevitably, down.

At the very mouth of the tunnel, the lead dolly hit the crater and it, too, went downwards, finds and Autobot guards falling into and being engulfed by the metallic maelstrom.

Heinrad
2017-04-14, 08:11 AM
In Hot Pursuit of Demolition:


Firedrive chuckled. "They got you there."

Hot Rod, unable to scowl without his head in place, revved his engine in annoyance. "By getting them to converge on the combiner's position, away from what we're trying to protect, they should become too distracted with each other than trying to figure out what all the other noise was."

Chromedome roared in to join Hot Rod and Mindwipe's pursuit group. "And then we fi-"

"No," Hot Rod growled. "Once we're sure they're more interested in fighting each other than us, we withdraw, QUIETLY, to the dig site, repair our wounded, and take things from there!"

"I'm with the old guy on this one," said Firedrive. "One of these things is bad enough. I don't wanna have to fight any more of them."

Selkadoom
2017-04-15, 04:06 AM
Air space near the battle

Starscream was currently waging a silent war with his insectoid shaped partner about the merits of simply departing back up to the ship and leaving them all to rot, quickly assuming control of the ship as the only high ranking officer actually on it.

"Why do you insist on putting us into the crossfire of this pointlessly dangerous situation when we could simply take the ship over and leave them to the combiners?" the seeker asked

"Because we will be abandoning our leader and that will make Megatron very angryzzz. And then Doomshot will beat me up againzzz." Waspinator bemoaned as Starscream would pinch his brow if he could

"I'll give them 5 until I make tracks back up. I'm not going underground. I hate it when I can't see open air."

______________________________________

Enroute to Beacon Scourge quickly swerved and made a straight shot to the beacon with the carcass of the autobot body on him "What I do for the Decepticons." he muttered a bit loudly as Fracas laughed at his annoyance.

"Just relax old timer. I'll get ya some energon goodies and some time in the CR tank after this ok?"

"Don't call me old." was Scourges response.

______________________________________

Sonic Canyon

Hearing the sound of Sentinel's engine and the roar of the combiner caused Brainstorm to rise to his feet and stretch a bit as he warmed up his thrusters "Lets see how much gel it takes to get to the middle of a combiner." he mused darkly as Genitus groaned something about him being a sociopath which made Brainstorm laugh. He was far too good at acting around others for that, a psychopath was a much more accurate remark for him.

Warcry
2017-04-18, 02:59 PM
Destroyed Shuttle

As Mindwipe fluttered along, Vorath kept a cautious eye on Chromedome.

"That one is carrying a personal vendetta," he whispered as he sat in his partner's cockpit. "If anyone is going to restart hostilities, it will be him."

"Blah," Mindwipe agreed, nodding imperceptibly.
______________________________________

The Trapped Canyon

As the canyon narrowed around it, Demolition stormed thoughtlessly forward, either unaware or unconcerned about the tightening real estate it had to work with. All it was concerned about was closing the gap between itself and its prey. It snapped its jaws together, coming perilously close to taking a bite out of Sentinel Prime's rear or pulling him into the creature's vortex grinder. Then it slipped, letting the one-time Autobot leader build up a lead once more.

With an outraged roar, the giant monster took one last lunge, coming up short of Sentinel but landing squarely in the kill zone that Brainstorm had set up.
______________________________________

Destroyed Shuttle

Furos watched with trepidation as the chase ensued, waiting and hoping. When he saw the monster reach the designated target, he reached for the comm switch...only to find that Hardhead was beating him to the punch.

"Sentinel, sir, pull up! Brainstorm, set it off!"

Heinrad
2017-04-20, 03:12 AM
Dig Site:


Nightbeat just stared.

The command throne was set, somewhat oddly, on a plate that, he suspected, was Ginrai's chest plate. It covered the semi cab section when his partner, Might as well go with that, it's as apt a description as any, was in robot mode.

What he couldn't quite figure out was all the open deck space between him and the back wall.

But this took his mind off his major concern. Would he be able to run a battle platform in an actual battle? He was having enough trouble keeping himself from accidentally switching the holodisplay from tactical display to local weather information. He thought he had figured out why Roller was where he was, though. The damaged laser cannon hadn't deployed, and Ginrai's automatic systems had linked the drone into it's weapons array, unlocking a third mode. And from Roller's frantic beeping, Nightbeat gathered he wasn't the only surprised one there. A sub screen was showing that the damaged cannon was almost repaired.

Assuming they survived this, Nightbeat decided that he was going to find an instruction manual.

Clogs
2017-04-23, 10:26 AM
Archaeological dig, surface

The transmitter held in both hands, just to be sure, Tap-Out edged towards the tunnel entrance. So far, so good. A small mech was easily overlooked if he knew how to use his size to hide in shadows and duck down in rubble; he had had lots of practice keeping alive, after all.

So it was that he had almost reached the tunnel mouth just as the boom from below echoed out of it...

With a start, he gripped the transmitter tighter and gasped: "Glyph!" Then, he broke into a run, uncaring of anyone who might spot him.
___________________________________________________________________
Archaeological dig, underground

The debris was a Charybdis, dragging in a whole area of the excavation and another two unfortunate archaeologists. The long-deactivated mech was jolted, on his flatbed table, into a dramatic sleigh-ride, and disappeared into the middle of it all.

Suddenly, there was almost silence. A few bits of larger metal continued to move, carried by momentum, accompanied by the clinks of smaller, rolling rubbish.

Stunned, the survivors looked round, finding each other. Out of the tunnel, guns at the ready, came Rotor and the other two Autobot guards, who pulled up and, in their turn, tried to ascertained the situation.

Lens, who had fallen, now got back to his feet and, turning to Glyph, gasped, "i didn't know!"

Glyph rounded on him, angry and sharp. "Know what?"

"It was that close..." The tall, thin mech tailed off, realised he had said too much.

"You scanned it. You gave measurements and attitude. You told us it was deep, deep down."

With a wince, Lens said, "There's interference from the different kinds of metal making up this dump area. Patches of electro-luminescence and electrostatic discharges. And foreshortening; I didn't think of foreshortening.

"Those noises from below us, the metallic grinding and slippage... it was working its arm up towards us..."

Selkadoom
2017-04-27, 04:20 AM
Sonic Canyon

Brainstorm lazily stood there fiddling with his detonator, watching Sentinel soar over head as the order to detonate his little secret went off and he grinned under his mask. Second only to creating new weapons in his list of favorite activities, was finding new uses for existing ones.

"Apologies my dear gestalt. I'm sure your component parts were all exceedingly nice people but you've just become a bit too dangerous to live. But look at it this way, your forwarding the progress of science, and it'll probably look really cool." he laughed as he slammed the button down activating the two super magnetic gel linings on either side of the beast.

___________________________________________________________________
Underground Entrance

Scourge quickly pulled inside the beacon marked tunnel with Optimus resting motionless atop his frame as he pulled in and quickly found a location to dump his body as he transformed desperately seeking to stretch his aching servos after being hit into a stasis lock and being in vehicle mode with a dead weight body on him.

tahukanuva
2017-04-28, 12:08 PM
Canyon

After Sentinel Prime passed over Brainstorm, he pulled up hard. He transformed and he landed on one of the cliffs forming the canyon, partly out of a desire to watch the proceedings (what sort of trap had Brainstorm cooked up?) and partly to, hopefully, cause Demolition to pause long enough to pull the trigger.


---------------------------


Battlefield

Deathsaurus watched the combiner bound off after Sentinel Prime, then they split and shifted into beast mode and Eaglebreast to follow, at a distance, to see how this fabled trap turned out.

Deathsaurus opened comms; "Decepticons, this is Deathsaurus. The combiner has taken the bait, it seems. If this Autobot scheme fails to put it down, be ready to finish the job. Otherwise, prepare to fall back and take shelter in the tunnels. The Autobots have placed a beacon at the entrance."

He glanced over at Esmeral, "You know, you're not really combat personnel. You can go ahead to the tunnel if you'd prefer."

Esmeral chuckled from Eaglebreast's speaker, "After what you got yourself into when we were apart for ten minutes? Not a chance. No, I'm not going to risk you having to fight a cornered combiner without a good head on your shoulders."

Warcry
2017-04-29, 04:34 AM
The Trapped Canyon

Demolition wasn't the biggest combiner, or the strongest or the toughest. It had been in rough shape, battered and rusty, long before this conversation with the strangers who'd invaded its territory and brought along the hated orange menace. But even if it was past its prime, it was still far more dangerous than anyone or anything gave it credit. And that's why, when it stopped to line up its secondary cannons on Sentinel, it was certain that the former Autobot leader was dead.

But Brainstorm's magnets had something to say about that.

Now, Demolition wasn't the toughest, that was true. But that didn't mean he wasn't damned tough. A lesser being would have been torn apart by the assault, killed or at least offlined instantaneously. But Demolition refused to give up, not while the orange one was in its sights. The magnets froze the combiner in place, ripping off bits of armour, lasers, sensors, wiring, gears and microchips one at a time and slamming them into the sides of the canyon. This carried on for an uncomfortable amount of time, slowly enough that any Autobots or Decepticons with the slightest bit of empathy would have started to feel decidedly uncomfortable about what they were watching.

Eventually -- once the magnetic gel was buried under so many layers of combiner parts that it was effectively insulated -- what was left of Demolition fell to the ground, wheezing and groaning. The monster had been reduced to little more than a skeleton -- several of them actually, still lashed together by the dark technology that had created the combiner in the first place, bonded so tight that even the magnets couldn't break them apart. Totally defeated and in what must be utter agony but still stuck together and, horrifically, still alive.
______________________________________

Furos watched the process unfold with an expression of horror on his face. He forced himself to clamp down on the emotion, though. The creature had been a threat, and it had needed to be neutralized. And Brainstorm's solution, ghastly as it had turned out to be, had done just that. For that, the other Autobot should be commended.

But that didn't mean that Furos had to like it.

Over the inter-Autobot comm channel, he addressed his fellow soldiers. Unusually for him, his voice came across quite softly. "Aim for the brain modules," he said. "Put these poor souls out of their misery."
______________________________________

Mindwipe, having fluttered along closely behind the combiner, had a bat's eye view of the giant being torn to bits.

"Blah..." was all he managed to say at the ghastly sight.

"I couldn't say it better myself." Vorath triggered his comm. "Deathsaurus, should we...help euthanize the creature? Or leave the Autobots to it so we can get a head start?"
______________________________________

Near The Tunnel Entrance

Doomshot had managed to reboot his mini-vehicle's processors and coax it into dragon mode, the form in which he now soared away from the Decepticon leader's crippled body. He had faith that Nickel would repair it eventually, but for now there were more important things to worry about.

Spotting Tap-Out below, the Titan Master gently turned to follow.

What is that Autobot doing?

Crazyjabberwock
2017-04-29, 10:36 PM
[Sorry for delayed responses, life happened]


Demolition's Wreckage
Bumblebee had taken cover when Brainstorm fired his latest super weapon, Snark gone from himself and Sari as they proceeded with the mercy killings, carefully aiming their pistol, getting as close as they dared to the crippled combiner. Only Able to offer quiet sympathy to the former Autobots, Bee himself praying they were truly going to a better place.

Tunnel Entrance
Having Regrouped here under Deathsaurus's orders, Nickel ordered Grax to man Skullcruncher and hand her some operating tools, she detached from Kaon, the DJD member acting as an operating platform, able to administer CAREFULLY controlled electrical currents to jumpstart Megatron's Subsystems back into action, Nickel herself using her smaller size to manage the delicate work of Decoupling Doomshot from his magnanimous host's Frame for the time being.

Selkadoom
2017-04-30, 06:09 PM
The Demolished Canyon

Most of the joy that had been permeating Brainstorms frame died the second he realized that the gestalt was going to be torn apart piecemeal. Now Brainstorm was both a self professed and recognized dealer of death delivering devices, but he never wanted a bot to suffer like that. He shuddered but couldn't look away from it all.

______________________________________

Airspace above

Starscream made a distasteful noise at the sight of Demolition being torn apart but had to admit he had seen far worse fates dealt out by his fellow Decepticons. With a huff he turned and moved to go Sub-Orbital to get back to the ship.

tahukanuva
2017-04-30, 11:21 PM
Canyon

Deathsaurus and Esmeral hovered in place a few hundred yards from the trap. Esmeral was still unused to the horror of war, and found herself alternating between being unable to stomach looking at it, and unable to tear her optics away from it. Deathsaurus, however, has long grown accustomed to such gruesome sights. The familiarity did not mean the scene left him unmoved, however. That dying creature had once been soldiers.. fellow warriors. They deserved better than this, but at least he could help see them to the Allspark.

"No, Vorath, it's our job to see this through."

"All Decepticons, target the combiner. Aim for sparks and brain modules, let's do this as cleanly as possible." After a second's pause he added, in a harsher tone, " And if any of you try to feel like a big bot by tormenting the creature, you'll answer to me."

He turned to Esmeral. "Are you alright?", he inquired softly.

"I'm.. I'm fine. It was just... shocking. I didn't expect that to happen."

"Nor did I. But come, we have to finish this now. We'll have time to gather ourselves once we're safely below ground."

The pair recombined as they flew closer to the combiner, they drew their sword and dove, aiming for one of the spark casings visible within the skeletal torso.


--------------------------------



Sentinel Prime was.. tired. He was furious, to be sure. Furious with the combiner, the Autobots, the Decepticons, Perceptor, Optimus.

Optimus

Sentinel's fist clenched. What a disappointment Optimus had turned out to be. Sentinel would have some strong words for him whenever he came back online.

But right now, Sentinel was tired. Tired and injured and he'd done his part in this whole fiasco.

"Infinitus? I'm shutting down for now. Fly us back to that beacon and park me somewhere safe until medical can get to me."

'Uh, yes, sir. I can do that. Will everyone else be able to handle that.. thing?'

"If they can't handle it in the state it's in now, then they hardly deserve to call themselves Autobots."

Sentinel shifted into shuttle mode and shut down. Infinitus climbed nervously behind the controls and made his way towards Ginrai's beacon.

Heinrad
2017-05-01, 01:30 AM
Canyon:


Hot Rod skidded to a stop. Firedrive looked at the cockpit displays, the power readouts, the ejector seat diagrams printed on the canopy, anything- as long as he didn't have to watch Demolition's demolition. But he could feel Hot Rod watching, recording the incident. He couldn't blame the old guy. If he'd been stomped flat by one of those things, he'd probably feel the same way. But it still bothered him.

---

Chromedome roared past the stopped Hot Rod, transforming to robot mode, Stylor locking into place, laser carbines appearing in his hands as he strode towards the remains. He could make out Bumblebee moving through the wreckage, and joined the smaller Autobot in putting what was left of the tortured minds and sparks of what had once been a combiner to rest. He glanced up briefly to see Sentinel Prime standing on the cliffs.

"Look at him. Standing up there, above it all. This was all his fault."

"Let it rest, Stylor."

"Let it rest? Let it REST?!? These poor souls didn't deserve-"

"Stylor, why do you think I act the way I do? The general.... well, odd way I look at things?"

"Trying to pick a fight with Sixshot? Your odd way of talking?"

"Yes."

"I figured it was a weird side effect of the Titan process."

"It's not. I came to the conclusion a long time ago that the best way to get through this war was to go a little nuts. Because I used to do exactly what you're trying to do now. Yes, by causing the combiner program to go the way it did, Sentinel caused this. But, having served under him, I'm also pretty sure this wasn't what he was trying to do. He wanted to bring the war to an end. And that's not a bad thing. You know what the real kick to the skidplates about this is? I think I was good friends with about half of that combiner. If that's who I think it is."

"And you don't hate him for it?"

"No. Because I don't have the luxury of being able to stand there and say that, if put in the same position, that I wouldn't do the same thing."

"Then why hate Sixshot?"

"Why not? I do know he killed my friends. And there's a certain relief to be able to pick a single target rather than a single mass of Decepticons. And it lets me practice my combat skills. Hate Sentinel all you want, but walk a megamile in his leg armor first."

Blackjack
2017-05-07, 03:21 PM
The Trapped Canyon

Sixshot transformed and landed on a crouch on an outcropping overlooking the canyon where Demolition was torn apart by Brainstorm's trap. Sixshot's optics narrowed. He cared not for the combiner -- if Sixshot thought that Demolition would actually break free from the magnets and actually reach Sentinel Prime (who, at the moment, counted as their ally ) Sixshot might consider doing something. As it is, though, he let out a growl as Demolition broke apart and into several sorry husks, abominations of the proud Autobots they once were, or the monstrous beast that they used to comprise.

There is no honour in living like that.

Sixshot pulled out his two concussion cannons, and made a controlled jump down next to Demolition, slowed down by his jet engines igniting to help break his fall. He took aim at one Autobot -- if you could call the mass of metal, wires and eldritch, abominable goop and tendrils holding them together an Autobot, or even a Cybertronian. Sixshot took aim, and shot.

Then he took aim again, and fired again.

He took aim, and then fired again.

And again.

And again.
______________________________________

Perceptor moved his Sky Sled down from the air, watching the happening with naught but a grim, impassionate look on his face.

The Perceptor of old, or even Convex, had they been apart, would be wallowing in self-loathing and guilt over condemning the dozen Autobots that made up Demolition into this... this... horrid and sorry state of being. Yet the old Perceptor was weak.

This Perceptor saw that the problem had been dealt with (he had to give Brainstorm credit where credit's due, he supposed). The Decepticons and Autobots assembled nearby were mercy-killing them, which meant there was no sense for Perceptor to waste ammunition.

Perceptor frowned. Optimus Prime was nowhere to be found, and Sentinel Prime was flying away. Strange. Next in command was....

Perceptor brought his Sky Sled down next to Hardhead, and hopped off. "We need to talk, commander." Perceptor said, tapping the side of his helmet to indicate that this was a conversation that was better left out of Decepticon ears and comm-channels.
______________________________________

Tunnel

Pain.

Must save the miners.

That was folly.

That was a necessary risk.

Pain.

Must kill Megatron.

We're not butchers.

We must respect the right of every sentient being.

Even Megatron.

Except Megatron.

Learn from our mistakes.

Pain.

We're not weak.

We need to be strong.

PAIN.

Diac screamed as he disconnected from Optimus Prime's neck socket. The intricate mass of wires that connected two minds and melded them into one sparked with bursts of electricity, and Diac's plates and parts bent and clicked into place very, very painfully.

Diac attempted to stand up, and then fell back onto his back, his head swooning. Partly from the injuries he sustained during his foolish leap while in combat with Megatron and previously Doomshot, and partly from the painful disconnect he did when the combiner attacked.

What happened?

Is everyone dead?

Diac held up his finger to the side of his head. Comms are shortened out. Terrific. He raised his hand towards Optimus Prime's now-headless body, doing a quick scan -- self-repair systems are online, so it's repairing itself, but it'll take some time for it to be able to stand up, let alone fight.

Diac scowled. They were on a tunnel entrance of some sort, apparently. Some distance away, Decepticon medics were repairing Megatron's body... which meant that going there and extinguishing Megatron's spark while he lay helpless was not an option. Leaving Optimus's body was not an option either -- the Decepticons would do the same to Optimus.

So without much options, Diac sat down next to his prone transector and waited.

Selkadoom
2017-05-09, 04:35 AM
The Sonic Canyon

Brainstorm stared and shuttered at the wreckage of what had once been the combiner. He actually felt the nausea seeping through his frame as he watched it. Brainstorm had always been a designer of bizarre doomsday weapons and exotic killing implements but always made sure they were quick kills. Something like this... well he didn't like the torture about if he didn't have to, and he certainly didn't have or want to here.

He quickly made his way to the tunnel where the rest are gathering silent, his partner equally silent if he understood that the but felt nothing good about what just happened seems that underneath It all he's still had a moral code of sorts.

______________________________________

Tunnel

having done his good deed for the day, Scourge his way over to watch the body of the leader of the Decepticons. Silently watching over his body and making sure the medics didn't make a misstep as far as he could tell last thing he needed was a new power vacuum forming in the faction that he would be caught up in.

Fracas meanwhile made his way over to Diac and the Autobot leader deciding to sit down strile up a conversation with the small 'Bot

"Wonderful day we've had isn't it?" he remarked cheekily.

Warcry
2017-05-09, 05:45 PM
The Trapped Canyon

Demolition's vocorders had been torn off by the magnets, but the creature's naked skull contorted into a silent scream as its limbs thrashed around in agony. Incoming fire from the Autobots and Decepticons hit all over the thrashing titan, but one by one the components' brain modules were melted to slag. Eventually the last one was hit, and the beast's body went slack as the last of the imprisoned sparks were freed from their prison.
______________________________________

Furos watched the combiner's body fall still, a haunted expression on his face.

Rest in peace, old friends. Your pain is over, now.

"Autobots, we're done here. Fall back to the tunnel entrance and don't engage the Decepticons unless they attack first."

When Perceptor settled down beside him, Hardhead responded before Furos could. "Never call me that. I'm just a soldier."

Furos sighed at his parner's obstinacy. "Yes, Perceptor? What can we do for you?"
______________________________________

"As you wish," Vorath told Deathsaurus as his partner fired his laser cannon down at the writhing gestalt, trying to score a head shot.

Mindwipe watched the combiner fell dead, then fluttered down to perch on its ruined frame.

"What a waste, blah."

When he didn't think anyone was looking, his talon closed on one of the combiner's less-damaged brain modules. Then his engines ignited again and he flew off.

"What was that about?" Vorath asked him.

"As you vould say," Mindwipe replied, "research."
______________________________________

(OOC: Sorry Crazyjabberwock...Doomshot already got himself loose. Megatron himself still needs tons of attention, though.)

Crazyjabberwock
2017-05-10, 03:16 AM
Towards the Cave

Bublebee transformed and let Sari in, they made for the cave in silence, the true nature of their fight and their foe weighing hevily on their souls.
"Mission accomplished Furos, Enrout now" The Titan master called in with out any of her earlier pluck at the moment.

********

Megatron's side

As Nickle continued working on Megatrons sub systems and triple checking the exact nature of the problem to ensure She knew what was wrong, using Kaon's chair mode as her operation platform, Grax simply looked at the feeds and heard the transmissions, Autobots or not... they didn't deserve that treatment, still war was war, on Kaon's advice he turned his attentions to Doomshot. That said while Nickle and Kaon were fully into the Cult of Megatron, this Doomshot guy had thus far sounded like the brains of the two in his processor, not that he'd let the DJD member's hear that.

He left Skullcruncher to guard the Decepticon leader as he turned his attentions to the fellow titan master.


[it wont let me quick reply]

Heinrad
2017-05-18, 03:06 AM
Dig Site:


*PING!!!*

Nightbeat looked at the pop-up screen, showing that the dual barrel laser cannon was repaired, and a few moments later heard the clicks of release and the sounds of the cannon deploying despite the sounds being almost completely drowned out by overjoyed and overly profanity laced beeps from Roller. "Did you figure out what he was supposed to be able to fire?"

"You mean you don't know? He's your drone."

"Until your base mode automatics sucked him into the system, I don't think either one of us knew he had a third mode."

Information scrolled across the screen as Ginrai ran through the data he'd gathered while Roller had been plugged in. "Huh. Well, that wouldn't have helped much."

"What?"

"Roller's gun mode, as it were..... Is a drill."

Nightbeat sighed. "Somehow, I'm not surprised."

***************
Trapped Canyon:


Chromedome left the canyon, transforming back to vehicle mode with Stylor safely ensconsced in his cockpit.

"I can't..... I just...... can't."

Chromedome's voice was strangely reassuring. "Now you see why I don't have your level of hate for Sentinel. It doesn't mean you have to forgive him for everything he did. Or indeed anything. You don't even have to like him. But we are supposed to keep an optic on him. And he such a bright shade of orange, how can we miss him? I'll drive, you scan the skies."

-----------

"Firedrive."

Firedrive had his face buried in his arms on the central console. He couldn't believe what he'd just seen.

He couldn't believe he'd felt Hot Rod reveling in it. He could understand it, but the primitive feeling of satisfaction just made it harder. "What?"

"Do you want me to drive us back to the base?"

"Yeah....."

Hot Rod turned around and rolled after Chromedome, not saying a word.

Warcry
2017-05-23, 07:21 PM
Enroute

"Thank you, Bumblebee," Furos replied to the other Autobot. "Are you and your partner still fully functional?"

Hardhead's cockpit popped open as the Autobot mobile artillery vehicle rolled up outside Ginrai's battlestation mode, and Furos hopped out.

"Nightbeat, can I get a status report?"
______________________________________

Dig Site

Doomshot flapped his wings and looked down at Grax. "Thank you for securing Megatron," he said, albeit a bit reluctantly. "He may be frustrating, but he's a valuable flagbearer for our cause, yes... Even I can't deny that without him, we would be lost."

Heinrad
2017-05-26, 02:58 AM
Dig Site:


Nightbeat tapped a few controls, the holodisplay switching through various views of battered, frightened, and sullen masses of Titanless Titan Masters and various minibots wearing Autobot and Decepticon emblems as well as some members of the dig team. "It's been pretty quiet here, Furos. I think everybody's worried about attracting combiner attention. Were you able to take the combiner down?"

Heinrad
2017-06-02, 07:39 PM
Heading for the Dig Site:


Hot Rod rumbled along, his engine much quieter than the turbine. He felt pretty good, all things considered. He'd finally, FINALLY been able to help take down one of those damned combiners. One down, many to go.

But Firedrive wasn't happy. He could understand why, the kid wasn't battle tested. Or much of a warrior. But that would change.

After all, he was the Primus-damned Hot Rod now. And his sidekick wasn't going to stay a whiny rookie for long.

*************

Warcry
2017-06-06, 05:46 PM
Dig Site

Furos looked around at the injured and scared Titan Masters on both sides who'd gathered around the rally point, and thought to himself that he really couldn't see much difference in those on either side. As much as he craved the thrill of battle, he had a hard time convincing himself that these Decepticons were worth fighting. After losing their home world to their own follies and spreading out amongst the stars to survive, the old hatreds just didn't burn as brightly as they once had. Surely there were greater enemies out there that they could face down together, as they had with the combiner?

"We did," he told Nightbeat, "but don't let down your guard. There are more incoming and they'll be on top of us soon. We need to get down into the dig tunnels where they can't follow us."

Blackjack
2017-06-10, 11:01 AM
Tunnel

Diac glared at Fracas. A Decepticon. He should stab him in the face, get rid of a problem right now. But with Scourge lurking nearby, he knew that that would be the end of him pretty quickly. On the other hand, he is neither dead, nor bound.

“I’ve seen better days.” Diac told Fracas, offhandedly pressing the side of his helmet to attempt to raise comms again. Still nothing. “So. Tell me. Are we in a truce right now?”
______________________________________

The Trapped Canyon

Perceptor shrugged at Hardhead’s insistence at never being called sir. “Semantics, Hardhead. Semantics. More importantly, I have located the mine site and those in charge. Last I saw them, they were evacuating before the gestalt’s rampage and our temporary truce.” Perceptor frowned. “I did not have much time to talk to them, but it appears that they are hiding something from us. Something that I don’t think we want the Decepticons to find out.”

He frowned, then added: “Where is Prime? Either of them?”

tahukanuva
2017-06-11, 07:37 PM
Dig Site

Deathsaurus touched ground near Ginrai's point defense, just to the side of Furos, Hardhead, and Nightbeat. They turned towards Hardhead's.. cockpit.. no, his barrel. Hmm. That didn't feel right either. All these eons, and they had neither of Deathsaurus's components had quite worked out which part of a vehicle mode to make eye-contact with. They settled on the cockpit and called over, "Your plan worked well, Hardhead. You have my condolences for it having to be done. I assume we'll speak further below ground." They then stepped off into the gathered crowd to take stock of their Decepticons.


-------------------------------------------


Infinitus slowly brought Sentinel's shuttle form in for a landing towards the edge of the mass of soldiers, then flipped the switches to convert it to train mode. The train clumsily tipped over onto its wheelbase, and Infinitus briefly feared it would pitch him straight out of the cockpit. Manually triggered transformations never did work as smoothly as the real thing.

Warcry
2017-06-15, 02:56 PM
Dig Site

"Nearby," Hardhead told Perceptor. "The Decepticons rescued him. Allegedly."

Furos piped up. "I'll track him down." Activating his comlink, he said, "Optimus? Diac? Are either of you active?"

"Unfortunately," Hardhead told Perceptor, "the Decepticons already seem to be aware of what is going on. Possibly even more than we ourselves are. If they weren't, why come here? Their acting commander, Deathsaurus, appears to be the honourable sort, but I don't expect much cooperation from him or his people. They are, after all, still Decepticons. We will certainly find reason to fight again before the day is done."

As the Decepticon commander went by, Hardhead acknowledged his words with a nod of his turret (and indeed, the cannon had the greatest concentration of his optical sensors in this mode -- he had to work hard not to "look" directly at anyone lest it be seen as threatening) and said, "You have my thanks for your assistance. As you said, it needed to be done. And I do suspect we'll talk again soon."

Heinrad
2017-06-16, 02:46 AM
Dig Site:


Chromedome rolled up as Sentinel's not terribly smooth landing finished, rolling to a stop near Hardhead. His canopy swung up, revealing the scowl on Stylor's face as he glared at the Autobot's disgraced former leader. Chromedome merely sighed. "Furos? Do you want us to keep watching Sentinel?"

Hot Rod rumbled up next, backing into the bay(for lack of a better term) on Ginrai's left side, as a set of waldoes whirred out, clamping onto the sides of the vehicle mode Autobot, and lifting him into the air as repair arms slid out and started working on the damage from Skullcruncher's bite. His canopy hissed open and Firedrive leapt out, running from his partner.
**********

"We've got a repair bay?" Nightbeat stared, dumbfounded, at the image in the holodisplay, showing a representation of the damage to Hot Rod.

"Kind of," Ginrai's voice echoed out through the speakers. "It's closer to an automated first aid kit. Minor stuff, like torn armor, damaged myomers, maybe a flat tire. His internal repair systems will have to deal with the damage to his ankle servos and the jet boosters."

"What about us Titan Master types?"

"Not much I can do for them, sadly. There was talk, from what Pyro said, of installing some CR chambers, but they would have been too big a drain on my power supply."

"So having them drag either Optimus or Megatron, or Diac and Doomshot, out here to have you try to repair then would be pointless."

"Yes. Sorry."

Nightbeat shrugged. "Not your fault." He looked through the display at Furos. "Should we start getting the rest of everybody inside the tunnels?"

Selkadoom
2017-07-24, 01:41 AM
The Tunnel

Fracas snickered at the look he got from Diac before offering the fellow minibot an energon goodie he had ferreted away "Considering how me and Scourge saved you and Prime I would certainly hope so. Otherwise we would have just lost the war for our side." he laughed unphased by the whole situatuion. That was not to say his partner was. Scourge had a very sour look on his face as he watched the targetmaster needle and rib the enemies partner.

________________________________________________________________________

Brainstorm just sat quietly against the wall, isolating himself a bit as he felt the need to properly think on the whole situation. He was slowly coming to terms with what had happened to the gestalt. It was cruel and painful but ultimately a necessary evil. Granted it was far from the quick death he expected, but he had granted them a final peace after eons of suffering as a mindless beast.

Teslor was equally torn by the whole situation but inwardly he was glad. The apparently sociopathic scientist did deep inside have a soft and caring side about how he designed the weapons he sent to be used on other cybertronians.

________________________________________________________________________

Sub-Orbit

Starscream had just managed to make the jump from atmosphere to the outer reaches of Cybertrons gravity as he began to ping the Decepticon ship.

"Come in! This is Starscream, requesting that you open a hatch so that I can board."

Heinrad
2017-07-26, 03:13 AM
Battlestation Ginrai:


Nightbeat watched the holodisplay, seemingly fascinated by the repair systems working on Hot Rod. And keeping an unobtrusive optic on the small form huddled in the back area of what he'd come to think of as the command deck.

Okay, short of spending his time locked in Ginrai's cab as either a head or just sitting in the driver's seat, this was the only deck there was. But he was still calling it the command deck. He leaned back in the command throne, slowly spinning around to face the huddled form of Firedrive. "You okay, kid?"

Firedrive kept his face buried in his hands, horrified at what he was seeing In his mind. The death of Demolition. The savage joy and satisfaction that had surged through his link with Hot Rod. His voice was barely a whisper. "No."

Warcry
2017-08-01, 05:34 PM
Dig Site

Furos nodded to Stylor. "For now, yes. The situation seems to have calmed down, but he's still a VIP in need of protection."

And a wild card that we can't afford to leave unattended.
__________________________________________

Sub-Orbit

The Nemesis duty officer responded to Starscream, an exasperated tone in his voice. "Air Commander, we're on an exit trajectory with several space-based combiners on our tail. We can't afford to slow down. You'll need to match speeds with us, then get into the cargo airlock."

Heinrad
2017-08-02, 03:40 AM
Battle station Ginrai:

"What happened?"

Firedrive's voice was muffled by his hands. "It's.... Hot Rod...... We helped murder that.... His feeling... For the love of Primus, he's so happy that it's dead......"

Nightbeat sighed, feeling out of his depth. "I wish I could help, but I'm kind of new to this, too. So's Ginrai, but he's.... What, a month?"

Ginrai's voice came over the speakers. "I'm five weeks old. Almost."

Firedrive's hands came away from his face, his gaze now boring into the deck plating. "Want to trade?"

Nightbeat chuckled. "I don't think I'd mesh well with Roddy. I think the only reason this meld has a chance of working is because Ginrai here is so young. The medtechs said my cerebro-cortex is wired up differently, so a more set mind, like Hot Rod's, wouldn't work. And while archaeology isn't my usual job, that vehicle mode your partner has would, believe it or not, probably stand out worse than Ginrai's."

Firedrive looked up at that, remembering the massive red semi rig and grey trailer, then compared it to Hot Rod's sleek styling, not to mention much smaller vehicle mode. "How is that even possible?"

"I'm a detective. Hot Rod won't sit unobtrusively anywhere. Ginrai, I can probably dress up a little. Some dust, dirt.... Maybe a busted headlight."

"Please do not break my headlights."

"I'm just using that as an example. Yes, certain parts of town, you'd really stand out in, but Hot Rod would stand out anywhere."

*******************
Some distance away from the Canyon:

The figure crouched, it's optics trained on the valley that now swarmed with the broken, scavenging wrecks going over what little could be taken from the destruction of Demolition.

It had seen the cause of it's pain. The cause of it's trouble.

And, maybe, it's salvation.

The combiner straightened, it's powerful form largely intact. And from it's vocoder, raspy with disuse, came one word: "Ssssennnntinnnellll....."

Heinrad
2017-08-12, 02:40 PM
Somewhere........:

Within the cavernous recesses of the dim room, six figures sat at a table. Hanging in the air before them, the images of the battle, first between the Autobots and the Decepticons, then their combined forces against Demolition.

Other than a derisive snort from one of them any time an Autobot appeared on the screen, the six made not a sound until the battle was over, and Demolition's destruction was well and truly finished. The image changed, then, seeming to zoom in on one flying form in particular. That being said, given that shade of orange, it was hard to miss.

"Well? Tactical assessment?" The leader then held up his hand to forestall any comments from the one who'd been snorting. "I think I can guess what yours is."

Before the snorter could speak, another one steepled his fingers before himself. "Most of them, we have files on. Optimus Prime, Megatron, Hardhead- I think I even picked Sixshot and Chromedome out of that mess."

"Geez. I figured they've killed each other by now."

The one with the steepled fingers glared at the one who interrupted him.

"Wow. Sorry, big guy."

He then continued. "Understandably, once Sentinel became far more apparent, we started having a harder time getting information since he started focusing on that one target. We do, however, have a few things to try to figure out-"

"We kill all those damned Autobots, there won't be that much to figure out."

Steepled fingers glared at the Snorter. Snorter glared right back.

Steepled fingers made a motion in the air, and an image of Ginrai appeared, balanced on the skysled that had brought him down from near orbit. "This being one of the things."

Another figure spoke up, this one seeming to blend in with the shadows. "Optimus Prime. How hard is that to figure out?"

Steepled fingers sighed. "Two things. One-" an image of Optimus Prime appeared, fighting with Megatron. "I think we can all agree that this is Optimus. And two-" an image of Ginrai being blasted in the head by Megatron's fusion cannon, followed by this plunge to the ground appeared.

"I could watch that all day, " Snorter chuckled.

"Be that as it may, I don't think we're dealing with two Optimus Primes here. In terms of raw power, he's an even match for us, far more than either Sentinel or Optimus or Megatron. Megatron shooting him in the head may have helped. Except for this." The image changed again, showing Ginrai grappling with Starscream, then rising to his feet and joining in the fray. Steepled fingers looked over at the one who'd interrupted him first. "You've shot enough people in the head. Was he still alive?"

"He sure looked dead to me."

"This brings us to the other concern." Steepled fingers changed the image again, this time showing a zoomed and somewhat grainy image of Doomshot. "Whatever this is."

The leader narrowed his optics. "That looks like........ Huh."

"You've got an idea, Captain?"

He sorted through the images, finding one of Doomshot and his exoarmor. "I think they're like us. Their weapons..... No, wait." He scrolled through more images. Doomshot again, locking into place as Megatron's head. The leader's optics widened. "What the hell....."

"We can pop Autobots heads off all day!"

"Shut up, Gaihawk." Leozak scowled at the image before him, then looked over at Drillhorn. "What are our power reserves at?"

Drillhorn brought up another display, looking at it critically. "Liokaiser's power levels are holding steady at 86%. Sentinel's arrival seems to have focused him a bit more on one particular target, but other than that...."

"Think we can finally get some help in no longer forming Liokaiser?"

Drillhorn shrugged. "I don't know, Jalgar. We've been stuck this way for so long now, we may no longer be able to survive as individual units.

"There's a way to fix this, Drillhorn. And we're going to find it." Leozak smiled. It was not a nice smile. It was a smile that promised pain and suffering. "We're going to capture Sentinel Prime and make them undo this."

Gaihawk laughed. "And I can pop that damned Autobot's head off over and over and over again......"

Blackjack
2017-08-24, 10:19 AM
Dig Site

Sixshot followed Deathsaurus as they passed Hardhead and the other Autobots. The six-changer glared at any and all Autobots that dared to even look at him, yet make mental note of those who didn't flinch at his gaze. Sixshot knew of his (perhaps too exaggerated, yet not entirely untrue) reputation among both factions, yet he would relish a chance to take stock of any of the Autobots that would be a worthy opponent in the future. To Sixshot's disappointment, Cobaltdome was not around. That was a rare breed, that one.

Chromedome. The part of Sixshot that was Revolver reminded him.

Whatever.

Sixshot kept his hands on the side of his concussion cannons. They were on a truce, and Sixshot will honour that truce. But this will not last very long, and the moment they call it off (and they always call it off) Sixshot will be ready to let loose and murder everyone with a red badge.
________________________________________

"That is troubling news. I do not put much faith in Decepticon honour -- it has always been an unpredictable variable." Perceptor scowled. Yes, the Decepticons probably knew -- or their leaders did. That much was obvious. The reticules on Perceptor's advanced monocle briefly rotated in and out, and the scientist scowled. "My sensors appear to be malfunctioning. Must have been the radiation from the battle with Demoli- with the gestalt combiner."

The scientist folded his arms. Typical. One of their leaders are at the mercy of the Decepticons. The other is off pouting somewhere thanks to his illogical pride. And the two of them are at each other's necks anyway when they're around. Add the whole mess of the dig site, the combiners and whatever secret agenda that the Decepticons are running with the dig site, and Perceptor knew that there were way, way too many wild cards in play.

"How did we end up like this?" Perceptor wondered out loud, and caught himself, scowling. Emotional responses. Rhetorical questions. Not productive. Remnant of the old Perceptor. He shook his head slightly. "The first priority needs to be locating Optimus, I suppose. I suspect our leaders know of what is going on at the dig site far more than we do, and Optimus would be a lot more cooperative than Sentinel."
________________________________________

Diac looked at the energon goodie and gave Fracas a slightly bewildered look, before catching himself and shaking his head. "I will pass, thank you." Diac said, trying as best as he could to rein in the instinct to attack the Decepticon.

Hate the cause. Don't hate the people. Diac reminded himself. You are Optimus Prime now. Optimus Prime would not stab a Decepticon offering you refreshments. Even if there is a significantly large chance that said refreshment is poisoned.

"You saved us? I thank you." Diac said, and those words came out of Diac's mouth far more sincerely than he thought himself capable. "Do you have any information about where my people are? I do need to get back to them."

Diac hated this. Vulnerability. They were in enemy hands. If it was just him, if it was just Diac, he would've fought his way out, or snuck away... but Optimus Prime's body is there, and Diac knew that it was his fault that they were in Decepticon hands. Truce or no truce, Diac would feel a lot better if he was among friends.

Diac pressed his commlink again. How long does ion shell radiation take to dissipate? He sighed. His sensors tell him that Optimus Prime is self-repairing, but it will take some time until that will go to full completion without a medic physically working on Optimus's body. Then, to Diac's relief, the static cleared briefly. Not enough to send out a full message and Diac sent out a ping among the Autobot channels that told them of his location (the lack of a distress call should hopefully confer to them that he was not in any particular danger presently), hoping that Perceptor, Hardhead or one of the other Autobots nearby would pick it up.

Warcry
2017-08-25, 05:58 PM
Dig Site

Furos saw Sixshot enter the site and fixed a cold stare on the large Decepticon. Then he looked sidelong at Stylor. "Keep your partner under control," he told the other Titan Master. "The last thing we need is his personal vendetta starting a shooting match in close quarters."
___________________________________________

Hardhead replied to Perceptor, "Indeed, it's worrisome."

He didn't answer the scientist's rhetorical question, since philosophy wasn't his strong suit and neither was self-reflection. Instead, he bobbed his cannon in agreement with the scientist's other statement. "Agreed. Finding Optimus needs to be priority #1. And if your sensors are damaged, then we'll need to send out search teams to--"

At that point, Diac's locator beacon popped up on his scanners momentarily.

"Or he could send us his location, I suppose. Shall we roll?"
___________________________________________

Mindwipe settled down in a quiet corner of the site and folded his wings, dropping down into a squat.

"What are we doing here, exactly?" Vorath asked him. "The others--"

"The others can vait," Mindwipe told him. "I must trance."

"What in the world are you talking about?"

Mindwipe produced the brain module that he'd recovered. "The kill is fresh. I vill wisit the remnants of the dead mind in here wia trancing. Thus vill I learn more about vat is on the other side of this mortal weil."

"This is ridiculous. There is nothing to see. Dead is dead." Vorath pulled the handle that opened Mindwipe's cockpit hatch, then dropped out of his spot in the bigger Decepticon's torso. "If you wish to waste your time, then I'll find something productive to do. Perhaps the dig workers will be willing to speak to a fellow scientist."

"If you vish for me to...persuade them, you have but to call," Mindwipe told him. "I vill be there...vunce my trance is complete, uv course."

Heinrad
2017-08-26, 01:47 PM
Battle station Ginrai:


The holodisplay went from showing a rotating display of Hot Rod's repair status(nearly complete), the amount of energy that was being used for all systems currently in operation(not as much as in robot mode, but far more than in vehicle mode), current levels of energy generation from enviroment(wind, light, vibration, ambient radiation), and a sensor map of the immediate area to showing a window with Diac's image as his ping registered. "Nightbeat? It looks like Diac is back online."

Nightbeat looked over at the display. "Think he and Optimus are okay?"

"It's not a distress signal, so I would say they're out of danger for the moment."

"Well, that's something, at least." He looked back to Firedrive. "I think Hot Rod's about as repaired as we can get him. Think you can deal with him?"

"No." The young Autobot sighed. "I didn't want this."

"The war, or dealing with Hot Rod?"

"Either. I know he's trying to teach me, but......"

Nightbeat shrugged. "The best I can offer is this. He means well. He really does. I knew him before he got stomped. Or at least knew of him. If I had to guess, you're worried that the you that you are is going to be absorbed into him. Right?"

"Yeah. When he felt so happy that those..... Well, some part of me felt it, too."

"Uh.... Didn't they do psychological testing to team you up?"

Firedrive managed to look somewhat chagrined. "Actually...... I kinda stole him. By the time they caught us, I'd already bonded with him. The only way to end the bond is for one of us to..... well....."

"Yeah. I've become intimately aware of how to end the bonding process. He'll keep you safe, I'm more than willing to bet." A tone sounded from the console. Nightbeat got up and walked over, tapping a couple of keys. "His armor's patched, we matched the paint, and even got the teeth marks out of the exhaust pipes. He's ready to go." Nightbeat looked back at Firedrive. "Better get back to him. And remind him once in a while that obsessions can be unhealthy."

Firedrive nodded unhappily, then got up and walked back to where Hot Rod was parked.

****************
Dig Site:


Stylor pulled a component out from under Chromedome's dashboard. "Well, as long as he doesn't transform, he can't start a physical confrontation, and I just pulled the activator module for his vehicle mode weapons. At this point he's down to insults."

Blackjack
2017-08-26, 05:47 PM
Dig Site

There is one. Right over there. The part of Sixshot’s psyche, the little bubble of ostentatiousnesss and avarice that was Revolver pointed out Furos to Sixshot. And there’s Chromedome, your old buddy.
But the one sitting next to him is not making any movement of the scared kind.

He could be just unaware of our- of my- of… our? Of Sixshot’s reputation. Sixshot replied to Revolver. Sixshot mentally frowned. Chromedome. Despite the running joke (his old buddy Hammer told Sixshot he needed to joke more to build camaraderie – Sixshot has been practicing) that Sixshot likes to make about forgetting people’s names, Sixshot never forgot a face. Being raised, being created as part of a faceless army helped Sixshot to – as socially obtuse as the six-changer is – easily tell people who look identical apart. And not having hobbies or interests like a normal person with a pre-war life, what passed for Sixshot’s hobby is to look for worthy opponents, or, failing that, to foster hatred in them so that they would be driven to actually possess a challenge to Sixshot.

A sentiment that is not shared, at all, by Revolver, the little swindler that Sixshot is partnered with. But then there is a reason that Sixshot’s mind tends to take nearly full control whenever they are bonded – those who have weak wills do not deserve to survive. Though at least Revolver tries to be helpful, to get on his good side. Even if he tries to market Sixshot as a mercenary under the name… mighty giant mecha ninja consultant, was it? A mouthful.

Funny. Sixshot thought. I know my self-control is good enough, but I wonder why he is not charging at us, screaming bloody vengeance for his slain colony.

Perhaps he is simply too intimidated by the mighty strength that you possess. Revolver suggested.

Or perhaps he possesses honour and respects the truce. A rarity among the vengeance-seeking types, would you not say?

Sixshot-sama, I make a business, a very tidy business, of avoiding that sort of people seeking violence upon me. So I would not know.

Hmm.
___________________________________________

Perceptor frowned, scowling. “That was convenient.” Perceptor unslung his sniper rifle from where it is magno-clamped to his back, clicking a fresh clip into it. “I do not believe in coincidences. For protection. But yes, Hardhead – we shall roll.”

Warcry
2017-08-28, 08:19 PM
Dig site

Furos noticed Sixshot's attention, but paid it no mind.

He's not looking for trouble...yet. And as glorious as that battle would be, I'm not inclined to give it to him. He smiled to himself. Yet.

He nodded to Stylor. "Crude, but effective. Good work. Just don't disable anything that we can't re-enable in a few seconds, in case the truce proves to be shorter-lived than we'd like."

As Hardhead rolled up alongside, Furos clambered up into his open cockpit. "We're headed off to -- hopefully -- recover Diac and Optimus. You're in charge of the camp -- such as it is -- while we're gone."

Hardhead, meanwhile, continued to talk to Perceptor. "Once we've recovered our leader, you should get Ginrai to scan you. His repair systems might be able to cure your sensor difficulties."

As he settled in, Furos noted the depressingly low ammo counts for most of the selection of shells that Hardhead used. He made a note to replenish them from the supplies the Titan Masters had brought from the shuttle, once he had a moment of downtime.

Heinrad
2017-09-07, 02:35 AM
Dig Site:


Chromedome would have scowled, had he a face. There was Sixshot, ripe for the revenging, and he was stuck in vehicle mode, being made to keep watch over Sentinel.

Not that Sentinel was actually doing anything, but still......

But no, Stylor had to pull his weapon activator module, and was making it obvious that there was no way he was going to transform.

On the up side, at least Stylor wasn't prepping to overhaul him. Again.

--------

"In charge? Me?" Stylor looked around at the makeshift camp. "I'll do what I can, Furos."

****************
Throne Room, Ruins of Darkmount:


Liokaiser strode into the largely destroyed room, much of the wreckage having been formed into a throne fit for a combiner, and sat.

And thought.

He needed to plan, that much he understood. The gnats buzzing around in his subconscious were certainly making plans.

There were times he wished he could talk to them. They were few and far between, since most of their activity seemed to be aimed at getting him to disengage from combined mode, which was definately bad for him, but he knew, as well as they, that there was something seriously wrong with him.

He could remember tests, vaguely. Scientists talking about how they'd beaten the problem. He remembered being smart. Remembered in the simulations how well his mind had worked with Leozak's, the feeling of completion the first time they'd formed his body, his mind expanding with the rest of the team adding their parts of his mind to make his whole, their minds forming his subconscious. The first combiner to not have several mind smashed into one raging monster amalgam of several minds.

And how everything had immediately gone to hell.

He remembered feeling his mind diminish, no clue why. Given what all of the other Combiners had been reduced to, mindless, ravening monsters, he was in comparatively good shape. But being the smartest idiot on a planet full of idiots still meant you were an idiot.

But what he needed was information. And he had an idea of how to get it.

Blackjack
2017-09-08, 02:41 AM
Dig site

"I appreciate the concern, Hardhead." Perceptor replied as he transformed into his mobile artillery changeform. "Yet I do not believe that such an endeavour is necessary -- while Ginrai is equipped with exceptionally cutting age technology, I have ascertained the problems with my sensor modules prior to this conversation. It was a combination of multiple factors -- the extreme pressures that involves a single-man descent through Cybertron's stratosphere, the depolarizing shockwave from the ion blasts of the gestalts, and the inherent disruptive elements of the radiation-blasted terrain of Cybertron."

Perceptor paused. "My Headmaster affiliate is, at the moment, attempting to rewire and reboot the relevant systems. By the time we reach Optimus Prime, they should have been reset to maximum efficiency."

"I am here too, you know." Convex complained.
_________________________________________

Sixshot glared at Chromedome, but said nothing. He was aware how silly he looked glaring at an immobile car, but he glowered nonetheless. It was better than trying to think of what to do next. That was more of Deathsaurus or Megatron's problem, not his. He was the gun, not the hand that aimed it.

Selkadoom
2017-09-09, 10:03 PM
Dig Site

Fracas shrugged and bit down into the previously offered stick as he shuffled on back to Scourge, lazily jumping up and vaulting onto the larger mechs shoulders before taking a seat "Geeze you'd think that we were trying to kill these autobots." he laughed lazily at Diac's dismissal of the small treat.

"Do you ever not intend to get under someones plating and needle them til they want to slag you?" he partner asked which just made Fracas laugh hard enough to draw some minor attention to the duo "Oh Scourge my dear targetmast, I think you already know the answer to that question already don't you?" he asked.

_____________________________________________________________________________________

After a long while of just sitting alone with his thoughts and some of Teslors emotions bleeding in, Brainstorm slowly rose to his feet and let out a long shuddering sigh. While what had happened to that gestalt was a tragedy but dammit he shouldn't focus on that while there were others here he could still help. Whether it be maintaining weapons, modest repairs, or possibly jury rigging up a way to escape.

He popped on his comn to the Autobots frequency and sent out a message "This is Brainstorm and Teslor checking in, Anything we can do to help?"

_____________________________________________________________________________________

Sub Orbit

Starscream snarled and kicked on his thrusters as hard as he could as he moved to make a high speed boarding maneuver with the ship. Oh he was going to have to have a serious talk with the engineers about stealth systems so he could avoid having to perform this annoyance of a task. He gunned his thrusters until they were red lining and he skidded down for a hard landing inside the hanger of the ship. The air commander would need a few cycles to recover before he could get up and ssume proper command of the ship. And perhaps a few extra ones to clean up the damage Waspinator had done to his cockpit.

Blackjack
2017-09-12, 04:18 PM
Dig Site

Diac resisted the urge to unsheath his blade-arms at Fracas's comment about killing him and Optimus. Truce, he reminded himself. If Optimus Prime himself, the beacon of justice, could not withstand himself from breaking a truce, what chance, then, does the notion of peace have?

But I am not Optimus Prime. I am Diac.

But at the same time, Optimus Prime IS me.

Diac didn't laugh as Scourge and Fracas joked, but he didn't say anything that would antagonize the two. They might be Decepticons, but they are keeping their word for the moment. He just wished his allies would reach them sooner rather than later.
_____________________________________

"Brainstorm." Perceptor mentally frowned as the other scientist's message reached his frequency. Perceptor's opinion on Brainstorm was twofold -- on one hand, Perceptor absolutely detested Brainstorm's unorthodox methods. There are certain aspects to experimentation and discovery that were grounded in rules for a reason. Yet on the other hand, Perceptor in the same breath, Perceptor admired Brainstorm's ability to create some certainly unconventional weaponry and inventions -- Pereceptor just disliked the fact that he had to acknowledge that Brainstorm's more sporadic methods had merit to them. He was a fellow Autobot, and a reliable one, and that was what mattered at this juncture.

"Brainstorm, this is Perceptor." Perceptor replied. "I am with Hardhead and Furos."

"(And Convex.)" Perceptor's partner muttered under his breath from where he's perched on top of Perceptor's vehicle mode.

"We are currently en route to secure what we believe to be Optimus Prime and Diac's last known location, where he allegedly is under the 'care' of Decepticons. We will retrieve them -- aggressively if required. Your assistance will definitely be appreciated."

Warcry
2017-09-12, 05:41 PM
Dig site

Furos smiled slightly at Stylor's unease, but considering the other choices had been a criminal, a stranger who'd somehow bonded with Ginrai and a bunch of Titan Masters whose names he hadn't had a chance to learn yet, it had been an easy choice.

"You'll do fine."

As they rolled towards Prime, the Titan Master told Convex, "Don't take it personally. He was like this before he became a Titan, too."

As they drew closer to Prime, Hardhead's turret started to track towards Scourge and Fracas. He wasn't aiming at them, yet, but he was obviously ready for trouble.

"Prime? Are you functional, sir?"
________________________________________

As it happened, Vorath didn't need to interrogate anyone. As he walked through the dig site, attracting no small amount of attention from the civilian scientists, he'd seen a familiar face. A neutral imaging scientist named Scatter, who he'd worked with a few years ago on a Decepticon-sponsored asteroid dig, had been happy to shared what he knew with the old friend who'd helped save the dig from the combiner menace.

Apparently, they were excavating an old battlefield. The main focus currently was a well-preserved Combiner body, sans head. But the scans had also shown larger structures farther south, the remains of what Scatter thought were old buildings.

But Vorath knew that they weren't simply old buildings. His friends in the Decepticon Science Directorate had slipped him some hints, suggestions about what the dig was really up to. And after what he'd heard from Scatter, it wasn't hard to guess what they were really after...

With that in mind, the Decepticon scientist took off across the site at a jog, looking for Doomshot.
________________________________________

Nemesis

The duty officer that Starscream had spoken to -- a midsized mech named Jetblade who'd pared his body down to a lean skeleton to keep under the tonnage limits that would have forced him to be rebuilt as a Titan -- entered the hangar and approached with a concerned look on his face.

"Air Commander Starscream? Is something wrong? Why have you returned to the ship?"
________________________________________

?

Mindwipe floated in a grey haze, his wings flapping absently even though there was nothing for them to push against. But it didn't really matter, because he wasn't here and none of this existed. It was just his brain's frail attempt to interpret the uninterpretable, as his psychic trance bridged his consciousness to that of the recently-dead combiner component.

Although he'd communed with the dead before, never had the experience been so intense, so real. In the past he'd only been able to feel the slightest wisp of a presence, to grasp the last few thoughts or memories that had gone through the dead mind before its life force had faded. But he'd never tasted a ghost so fresh, or one who'd died such a horrible, agonizing death.

Images floated around him, devoid of context. Broken plates. Parts being torn off from a whole robot. Pieces of a completed puzzle, falling away from one another in a jumble. But the opposite theme was visible too: those same puzzle pieces, jammed together into a whole that didn't fit, and made no sense. A person, if you could call it that, made up of bits and pieces that obviously belonged to a dozen different people.

The pain of being forced together.

The pain of being torn apart.

The wrongness of it all.

This poor, tortured creature -- he had been an Autobot once, Mindwipe grasped, an Autobot named Prefab -- had been volunteered for the combiner process by his commander. He hadn't had a choice, and even if he had, what the doctors said was going to happen was nothing like what actually did. His entire life had been stolen away.

And worst of all -- horrifying even to a night creature like Mindwipe -- was that he'd been conscious for all of it. They all had, every single one of them. Their twisted, circus-freak combined body hadn't had a mind of its own, not even a rudimentary one. Its headspace had been empty, save for what the component members could shout into it. And without a proper way to communicate -- the neural interfaces in his generation had been far less advanced than in some of the newer combiners -- Demolition's limited mind had been restricted to what all of the components could agree on: their fear, their hunger, and eventually, their rage.
________________________________________

And then, as quickly as it had come over him, the connection broke. The last ghosts of Prefab's life faded away and Mindwipe was himself again.

Mostly.

One did not commune with the dead and come away unchanged, especially when the experience was so intense. And so Mindwipe felt a new sense of purpose as he digested what he'd seen.

Now I know vhy fate led us here. Now I know vhat I must do.

Blackjack
2017-09-14, 04:18 PM
Dig site

"Yeah." Convex replied to Furos, his faceplate hiding his scowl. "I worked under him -- used to idolize him, actually. The war's not been kind to his psyche."

"Idolization, and such emotions that I have purged from my mind, are mere distractions that could cost you your life in battle, Convex." Perceptor chided his Titan Master. "And, no- I respectfully disagree. I was not like this before I became a Titan Master. I was... weaker. More foolish. More impulsive. Those were mistakes. I have became something else."

Like Hardhead, Perceptor's light cannon immediately tracked Scourge, picking the larger Transformer as the threat. Strange, Perceptor thought. He does not appear to be a Titan Master. It would be highly inefficient in times like this... yet it's Decepticon resources that he is wasting.
________________________________________

Diac stood up from where he was sitting as Perceptor, Hardhead and their respective Titan Masters walked up. Part of him, the part that was more Diac than Optimus Prime, wanted them to shoot Scourge. Shoot Scourge and Fracas, end them before they can inevitably break the truce and backstab them. Launch mortar shells straight into their head, stab a blade into their eyeballs and rip their skulls into two, slice their arms off and beat them with it...

No. That would not be the thing Optimus Prime does.

Am I turning into Optimus Prime?

Or am I just thinking more like Optimus Prime?

"Autobots." Diac said, nodding appreciatively. "How are our other forces?" Then, in quick response to Hardhead's question, he added, "Optimus Prime is damaged, but functional. He would require some external repairs, however. I myself am unharmed, and the Decepticons have kept their end of the bargain." For now.

At those words, Perceptor transformed, the box-like vehicle clacking apart and sprouting lanky limbs, and the tiny Titan Master Convex folding into Perceptor's impassive face. Perceptor walked over to the prone body of Optimus Prime and nodded. "I shall provide as much assistance as my capabilities allow." He told Diac. "Most of our troops have evacuated underground. We were assaulted by a Class-B gestalt combiner. Codename: Demolition. With the Decepticons' aid we have neutralized the combiner and put our former tortured comrades to rest."

Demolition. Optimus Prime's voice said mournfully in Diac's head. Another testament to poor decisions that I have made. Thirteen great, young Autobots with broad futures ahead of them... Wedge, Prefab, Landscape, Bucketload... one of the many failures we have done. The only solace I can find is that their torture has finally ended.

It's not your fault, Prime. Diac replied. You did the best you could. You saved thousands when you evacuated Cybertron.

And let thousands more die, Diac... the planet, our home, died under my watch. I do not take lightly the lives we have saved, no, but so many lives... lost.

Warcry
2017-09-14, 06:48 PM
(OOC: Since we've lost a few people, we're looking at increasing the number of characters people can play in order to inject a little more activity. I'm not sure if we've settled on a number, but we'd been talking about six. In that spirit...)

Dig site

The delicate lines slid into the dead Titan Master through the gaping hole in his torso armour, probing their way upwards through her neural network until they found the brain module. The needle-tips found their way into neural access ports, and memories began to flow back from the dead brain into a live one.

"Oh, yes," Necro muttered to himself. "Oh, you have such delicious secrets, my sweet. Such lovely pain..."

"You disgust me." Doomshot settled down behind the other Decepticon in dragon mode, his wings flapping lightly. Once his feet touched the ground, his mini-vehicle reconfigured itself around him into tyrannosaur mode. "Stop playing. It's time for you to get to work, yes..."

"Ah, but this is my work," Necro responded, neither looking up nor withdrawing his pnemosurgery lines.

"You work is whatever I tell you it is," Doomshot replied tartly.

"I take my orders from Megatron. Not from his disembodied face riding a dinosaur."

"Ah, so that's how it is to be?" Doomshot ground his teeth. Then he lunged forward, grabbed Necro's lines in one tiny hand and yanked them roughly out of the corpse he was examining.

Necro screamed out in pain as a feeling like a cold knife stabbed into his brain as the contact was abruptly broken.

"Megatron is inactive, yes. Our medic has...disappeared. He won't be functional again for some time. I am asserting command in his stead, and you will do as you are told." Doomshot smiled a threatening saurian smile as he snarled, "That won't be a problem...will it?"

"N...no..."

Doomshot glared down at him expectantly.

"No...sir."

"Good. Now pull yourself together. I have a job for you."
______________________________________________

As Necro retracted his wounded lines into his hand and returned, chastened, to Full-Tilt, Vorath approached Doomshot waving a handful of printouts.

"Sir, you won't believe the luck! An acquaintance of mine shared some maps of the region. And while I'm not fully briefed on the objective of our mission here...well, I have a good idea what we're looking for, and I think they may have found it."

He passed one of the printouts to Doomshot, who awkwardly tried to read it for a few moments before realizing that his tyrannosaur arms were too short to bring it up to eye level. With a sigh, the beast split open and the Titan Master inside stepped out. Now that he was able to read it, he quickly understood what had Vorath so excited.

"I see." He nodded. "This is very interesting, yes..."

But his expression quickly turned into a scowl. "Unfortunately, Megatron didn't see fit to share the details of our objective with me." He held up a hand to forestall any questions. "He conducted the meetings with your Science Directorate superiors in tank mode, and was very careful not to dwell on the topic in robot mode. Our dear leader, it would seem, did not trust me. Or anyone else, for that matter. Which leaves us in a fine mess now that he's out of commission. Luckily for us..." He gestured back towards the cowed Necro, "...I know someone who specializes in recovering memories from inactive subjects."

"You intend to have him rip the memories from Megatron's inactive mind?" Vorath asked.

"You disapprove?" Doomshot responded coyly.

"I disapprove of doing anything that might end with me standing in front of a firing squad."

"Don't worry about Megatron," Doomshot assured him. "I can handle him. Yes..."

Vorath worried anyway.

Doomshot ignored him and activated his comm. "Revolver, I want you and Sixshot to find my...partner's body and bring it here."
______________________________________________

Hardhead's cockpit popped open as soon as Diac came into view. Furos popped out and jogged towards his fellow Titan Master, trusting his larger counterpart to cover his back.

In the past I would have trusted Hardhead and Perceptor to cover me. But these days I'm not so sure that he won't just watch me be destroyed and make scientific observations.

As much as he liked to tell himself that this was the same Perceptor he'd always known, he had to admit that Convex was right. The scientist had changed, and not for the better.

Once he got close enough to talk to Diac without shouting across the field, he asked the other Autobot, "Are you battle-ready, if it comes to that? Is Optimus mobile?"

Blackjack
2017-09-15, 03:11 AM
Dig site

A message, Sixshot-sama! On my frequencies.

I hear it, Revolver. We are bound mentally. Sixshot brought his fingers up to the side of his helmet. He found it rather odd that Doomshot would misplace his... larger body, but he supposed there was a reason that Megatron was missing in action during the whole gestalt battle. "This is Sixshot, sir. Acknowledged. I shall locate Lord Megatron's body."

He wanted to ask Doomshot just how the heck someone who turns into a head could really misplace the body he's bound to. He really wanted to ask. But he bit his tongue.

He shut off his communications system, glared at Chromedome one last time, and stalked off in search for Megatron. He supposed he would need to go ahead and look near the temporary medical bays. If Megatron was injured and bought in, he would be there.
______________________________________________

Dig Site, Optimus's Position

Diac nodded to Furos. "I am, old friend. I am indeed ready for battle, should it be required." A bit rough along the edges, sure, a bit charred and injured from the battle with Megatron (note to self: do not climb on the arm with the fusion cannon) but such small injuries should not be allowed to deter him. He cannot.

Diac glanced at Optimus Prime. "If we could get Optimus's body to transform, I believe he would be mobile, although I'm not sure how mobile a truck would be in these tunnels. I do not believe his t-cog was damaged in the battle."

"The damage's not as severe as I feared, and I can ascertain that the Transformation Cog is undamaged." Perceptor said after a brief moment of poking in Optimus's opened chest. "While Brainstorm and I would be able to jury-rig a fix, I do believe that since I have determined that Prime is not in an immediately life-threatening condition, proper protocol is to call in a medic. I shall summon Cerebros to our position, if he had survived the crash -- I have not observed him at all throughout this particular ordeal."

Diac nodded. How many of our forces were lost, the Titan Master wondered briefly, and closed his optics. He glanced briefly towards Scourge and Fracas. "Decepticons, I... thank you for keeping your word and not harming me." He tried to not add a threat, some last jibe at how they'll be enemies, at the end of it, and barely succeeded.
______________________________________________

"Cerebros, come in. Optimus Prime requires your aid." Perceptor's tinny voice filtered over the Autobot commlink, and Cerebros was jolted up. The medic was seeing to the wounds of one of the unfortunate Autobots who was attacked by the monstrous combiner and his devastating vortex-grinder, and was forced -- for the third time that day, to declare this particular case a hopeless one, and it was all he could do to shut off the pain centers and allow him to pass peacefully.

Dear Primus, dear Adaptus, dear Cancix, do not let our leader pass into the great void. Cerebros let out a silent prayer. There was nothing he could do for his patient, and he made a brief religious sign as he passed his outstretched palm over the optics of his current patient. "Go with peace into the Well of All Sparks." He whispered, before clicking the side of his helmet. "Copy that, Perceptor. I am en route."

Cerebros knew Perceptor treated him with disdain for the dual 'sins' of pacifism and faith. For someone who has claimed to have excised emotion from his brain, Cerebros found Perceptor to have far more bile and spite for someone who's supposed to have no emotion. But it was not really his part to judge others, was it not? He was not Primus, he was not part of the Guiding Hand, or the Covenant. He was merely Cerebros, Autobot field medic.

No, those selected by Primus were the likes of Optimus Prime, touched by the great light of the Creation Matrix itself. And if he was in trouble...

Cerebros broke at a little sprint as he raced towards where Perceptor had summoned him.

Heinrad
2017-09-15, 09:57 PM
inside Liokaiser:

Leozak concentrated. He could feel what Liokaiser was thinking, and was trying to shove the thought home. Sadly, even with all of them concentrating, it was like trying to steer an aircraft carrier using the rudder from a sailboat.

A very small sailboat.

But it could be done. They'd done it before, they could do it again. And when they did, they'd have a modicum of freedom. Assuming that their Partners were still alive.

And to think, nobody on the team had been thrilled when they'd been lumped with that silly moniker. Breastforce. Deathcobra had even opted out entirely, gotten a rebuild, a new name, and reportedly killed when Defensor ran rampant through Darkmount.

But the rest of his team- Gaihawk, Hellbat, Jalgar, Drillhorn, and Killbison- had stayed, adapting to having semiautonomous drones that could become their weapons, forming their breastplates.

And now, as Liokaiser ponderously came to the conclusion that the six drones locked onto his body could be used to scout for the Autobots and Decepticons, the drones could also provide them with one other thing, at least for a little while.

Freedom. Because after all his time, he was sick of his teammates.

*************
Battle Station Ginrai:

"HEY!!!! STUPID BLUE GUY!!!!!"

Nightbeat, leaning back in the command throne, datapadd instruction manual for Ginrai's station mode held up in front of his face, paging through the manual, feet up, lowered the padd and looked around. Shrugging, he raised the manual again.

"Uh, Nightbeat-". Ginrai's warning was cut off as a set of black mecha-wolf paws landed on the back of the command throne, the paws attached to a darkish pink and black winged wolf thing, about the size of Roller, the wolf(complete with fur, he noticed with mild detachment) head's yellow-gold eyes glaring at him, drool dripping from it's bared mechafangs as it snarled.

"You're putting claw marks on my chair."

The wolfish face sneered at him. "SO WHAT? YOU IGNORED ME!"

"How was I to know you were talking to me? I'm not the only blue one here."

The wolf almost looked like he was going to go into meltdown. Then he twitched. His face softened, the wolf's ears folding back in a more friendly gesture. "I'm sorry. He gets like that. Let's hear it for neural inhibitors." The wolf chuckled weakly. Then part of his torso started to twitch.

Nightbeat lowered the padd. "Are you okay?"

The wolf's face took on a look of panic, the wings locking into a straight out position. "Not really. But we're here to ask if there's any kind of plan. Or medical help."

"Your guess is as good as mine. One Furos gets back with Optimus, or Diac, I'm hoping we'll have more info."

"Ah. Well, sorry to have bothered you. Bye." The mecha-wolf thing launched into the air, the wings flapping as it went back towards the Decepticons.

Nightbeat just stared after the retreating..... whatever it was, then slotted the padd back into the console. "Hey Ginrai, how up to date is your warbook?"

"My info files on active Decepticons was updated before we came here. Why?"

Nightbeat started typing away at the console. "I really want to know who and or what just happened."

Blackjack
2017-09-16, 02:56 AM
Skies over Cybertron

A lone white-and-purple starship shot through Cybertron's sulfur-tinged stratosphere, cutting through the thick clouds that were ejected into the sky as a result of Demolition's powerful grinding maw. The clouds parted and whirled around the air as the exhaust engine as the shuttle lazily spun in an arc towards the dig site.

Astrotrain had been hanging around on standby abroad the Nemesis before it's forced to leave orbit... and his role was more of an administrative resource management deal anyway instead of that of a common rank-and-file trooper. Not that Astrotrain didn't know how to throw a punch, but each soldier has his place in the great war machine that is the Decepticon cause.

As he neared the dig site, the front half of Astrotrain's shuttle mode split apart into legs, tailfins retracted, arms and fingers extended, and the small cockpit that fit Astrotrain's dimunitive Titan Master partner, Darkmoon, opened to eject the smaller Decepticon into the air. Darkmoon transformed into Astrotrain's head, and as Astrotrain's main body landed in a slight crouch, Darkmoon connected to his partner's head.

Astrotrain's optics blazed with crimson light as the neural connection was established. He straightened up and pulled his ion displacer rifle, scowling at the tinge of scorched metal and death in the air.

We've been stuck behind a desk far too long. Both mentalities that comprised the combined form agreed. They were Decepticons and were no stranger to war and battle, but throughout the past dozen years, Astrotrain's increasing rank has caused him to be bound behind a desk, managing troop and resource allocation for the greater good of the cause. With Cybertron turned into a barren wasteland and the neccessity of Titan Master process, resource management was far more critical than ever before, especially in a faction as... brutish and warlike as the Decepticons, for lack of a better word.

He could've gone with the Nemesis back to the Decepticon orbital stations or wherever it's dispatched to next, but Astrotrain and Darkmoon had agreed on joining this particular conflict, if only to collect information and observe the Autobots -- it was a rare chance to do so, a truce that lasted this long with leadership roles on both sides being involved, and while Astrotrain did not have any real concrete information, he suspected -- heard down the pipeline -- that something truly tremendous was involved in this digsite. And it was part duty and part curiousity that drives him this time. He had a good gut feeling for these things, and he knew that whatever is going on from these upcoming events it's going to be massive.

Astrotrain looked around. The unaffiliated, factionless gutless scum scurried away from his stone-faced glare and his above-average stature. But most of all, the bright, purple Decepticon crest that shone brightly on Astrotrain's wings. Cowards.

Astrotrain stalked down the entrance to the dig site, intent on finding leadership figures and assist them as necesssary.

Warcry
2017-09-18, 02:43 AM
Dig site

"Good," Doomshot told Sixshot. "I left it in the care of that DJD medic, Nickel, but she's stopped answering her comms. I'm sending you the last known location."

Nearby, Necro was rubbing his sore left hand, still aching from the abuse to his neural hookups.
______________________________________________

As Mindwipe flew past the makeshift bivouac that the survivors had established at the mouth of the tunnels, he saw a familiar shape flying away from the Autobots' battle platform.

"Ah, Fangry. I see you surwiwed the battle. How truly vunderful that is to see, ah-ha-ha!"
______________________________________________

Furos nodded to Diac. "That's good news. After your encounter with Megatron and the combiner, we feared the worst."

He glanced aside to Perceptor and added, "If Cerebros determines that it's safe for him to travel, we may need to rig him for towing. Most of our people are underground, by now, and I don't want any of us to stay exposed up here any longer than we need to."
______________________________________________

Misfire cut through the air like a knife, his streamlined airframe and forward-swept wings making him look aggressive even though he was only flying a patrol mission. His main guns were powered down -- thankfully! -- but his sensors were at full strength. He was doing his best to keep an eye on the other combiners milling about near the site of the recent battle without attracting too much attention. Unfortunately, the job was easier said than done.

"You're wasting your time, man!" Aimless tapped away at the game on his datapad. "Those big dumb idiots aren't going to notice us, or anything else."

"The last one did, dude. He, like, squashed Nightlight and Darkstar." Misfire tried to keep his attention on the nearest gestalt, a tall, yellow and purple monster that seemed to be made up of mismatched insect parts. "This guy's headed towards the others, too."

"Yeah, but he's moving about as fast as Mindwipe's beast mode in a foot race," Aimless said. "Who cares?"

"Deathsaurus will care. Megatron too, if the thing tries to, like, eat any of our people. Well, anyone other than Starscream, anyway."

"Ah, who cares what they think?" Aimless asked. "They're the ones who sent us out here anyway. They just don't want us having any fun."

Misfire sighed. "Just pipe down, would you."

He activated his comm, making sure to mute the cockpit mike before he called through to Deathsaurus's channel. "Commander Deathsaurus, sir? Uh...it is "commander", right? Anyway, I've, uh, done the flybys you asked for. There's eleven of the things nearby. Five of them look like they're headed in your direction. None of them are in a hurry but the closest one is probably only ten minutes out." After a moment's awkward silence he added, "Can I, uh, come back now?"

Blackjack
2017-09-18, 03:07 PM
Dig Site, Tunnels

"Ah. The Justice Division." Sixshot nodded. "I doubt they would allow any harm to come to Megatron." Sixshot admired the DJD and disliked them in the same breath. He admired their tenacity and their blind, unquestioning loyalty to Megatron, something that the cause sorely lacks... but he loathed their penchant for torture and dishonourable slaughter of far-lesser opponents to be considered an opponent.

Sixshot strode towards where Megatron was last spotted, and transformed into wolf mode, disconnecting Revolver from his head and entering a far more energy-efficient mode. Revolver breathed a sigh of relief -- the smaller Titan Master was always very tense when connected to Sixshot, and while Sixshot didn't consider Revolver particularly a friend (he was noisy, annoying, greedy, skittish and likes to advertise him to alien species as an uber mercenary) he didn't want any harm to come to his partner.

Besides, beast mode just moved so much faster, especially in this terrain.

Sixshot loped along the dig site, passing the stern, glowering form of Astrotrain. Astrotrain gave Sixshot a curt nod. "Six-changer."

"Triple-changer." Sixshot replied back, tilting his wolf head in what he hoped was taken as a gesture equivalent to a salute.

"Where are the leaders?" Astrotrain asked, frowning. "You're the first Decepticon with any sort of rank that I've seen in this area."

Sixshot paused, and pondered for a moment. "Deathsaurus is nominally in charge." Did he have to add sir? Did Astrotrain outrank him? Eh. Doesn't matter. He was answering politely, he was dropping what he was doing, and that would have to be enough. He was no fighter. "We are en route to recover Megatron, as ordered by Doomshot -- who himself is active deeper down the site."

Astrotrain seemed to ruminate on it a bit, and nodded. "Beam me the coordinates for Doomshot, if you please, Sixshot."

Sixshot did exactly that, and Revolver added: "Forgive me, but you're not looking for Megatron instead, sir?"

"Clearly, my friend, he is in better hands. I would consult with someone far more... conscious." Astrotrain gave Sixshot a brief nod, before walking off. Sixshot glanced at the triple-changer's back for a bit, before loping off.
______________________________________________

Dig Site, Optimus' Position

"I feared the worst, too." Diac replied to Furos. "If Optimus Prime should fall..." under my watch, thanks to my recklessness, no less.

Perceptor looked up from where he's working on Optimus Prime's body, and nodded. "If Cerebros could repair Optimus enough, Diac should be able to send a mental commmand telling the Optimus body to transform into vehicle mode. I believe between Hardhead and myself, we would be able to tow Optimus to our bivouac."

Perceptor scowled. "Unfortunately for us, Cerebros's changeform is highly impractical and immobile, not allowing him to assist us in this situation... ah. Speak of the devil."

----

Cerebros stumbled into the scene, med-kit gripped in one hand. He looked around, visibly flinching at the sight of Scourge and Fracas (while Perceptor visibly harrumphed at Cerebros's flinch) and his optics finally settled on Optimus Prime's body. Perceptor took a step back, allowing the doctor to move in. Cerebros gave Diac, Furos and Hardhead brief nods each as he crossed the room, and walked up to Optimus Prime's body. "How is he?" He asked Perceptor.

"Stable." Perceptor replied. "I have determined that neither spark casing nor energon fuel pump is compromised in any way, as is the Transformation Cog. But he has lost a lot of energon, and his circuits are fried from the blast of electromagnetic radiation from the battle against the combiner. If possible, we would like to get him to assume his vehicular mode, and bring him underground for the more extensive repairs."

Cerebros nodded. He appreciated that despite the obvious dislike that Perceptor had for him, the other Autobot was still professional enough to work with him. "You should have called me immediately when you knew he was injured." Cerebros said to Perceptor, trying to keep his tone as non-accusatory as possible. He knelt down next to Optimus's body, and began working, soldering disconnected energon fuel lines and resetting circuit breakers that were tripped by the abuses that Optimus has been through.

"We were anticipating resistance." Perceptor replied coldly. "And, truth be told, we weren't sure if you were among the living."

"Hmm." Cerebros tried to not let Perceptor's words get under his skin, then after a bit of tinkering around Prime's insides, and making sure the Titan/Titanmaster neural linkages were undamaged, he looked over to Diac and Furos. "We could transform him and tow him down, but afterwards I would have to make some additional repairs to make sure that Optimus Prime is battle ready."

Heinrad
2017-09-20, 03:14 AM
Makeshift campsite:


Having managed to annoy or disturb everybody in his general vicinity, Fangry was somewhat pleased with himself.

Sadly, he was also bored. He'd toyed with the idea of flying out, finding one of the so-called Titan Masters that had been killed in the battle with the combiner, and bringing the body back so he'd have something to chew on. But he did realize this wouldn't go over well. Not that he overly cared what anybody else thought, but the big problem was Brisko. That kind of behavior might engage the overrides.

If he ever found out who did that to his exoshell, he'd make them undo the neural inhibitors, then he'd take great pleasure in devouring them. Slowly. Enjoying every morsel.

Enjoying their every scream.

Savoring the hot splashing of their vital fluids in his mouth, across his muzzle, the hot scents of death filling his olfactory sensors.

It was one of the many reasons he loved his alt mode, and why he hadn't killed Brisko by now.

His ears pricked up at the sound of his name, and he looked up to see a large mechanical bat flap by. Oh, joy. Batbrain. "Of course I survived." He arced up, using the air cannon in his tail as a booster, falling into formation, as it were, next to Mindwipe. "So where are we going?"

Warcry
2017-09-20, 08:40 PM
Dig site

"The Justice Division are quite loyal to Megatron, yes..." Doomshot's tone implied that, in fact, he didn't consider that a good thing. Then he asked Sixshot, "have you found the body yet?"
______________________________________________

"I vas searching for my Titan Master partner," Mindwipe told Fangry, visibly disappointed by the other Transformer's continued existence. "He vent this vay in the hopes of making the scientists diwulge information that might be useful."

His batlike head swivelled from side to side, and then he let out a high-pitched sonic "scream". Most Transformers couldn't hear. The echolocation pulse would allow him to get a good read of the entire area and potentially to locate Vorath. More importantly, though, he hoped it would irritate the other Decepticon's sensitive canine ears.

"Sorry," he lied in a clearly unapologetic tone. "Ve bats have poor eyesight. I'll newer find Worath by just looking for him." He glanced across at the smaller Transformer. "After I find him? I suppose vhere ve go depends on vhat kind of information ve can extract."
______________________________________________

"If Optimus Prime had fallen, it would have been in battle, doing his duty to protect the innocent. No end could be more honourable and the Allspark would have sung great songs in his name." Furos set his jaw. "But in point of fact, he didn't fall, Diac, and neither did you. A testament to both of your skills in combat."

He gave Cerebros a sideways glance. "How long will it take to convert him to vehicle mode? Our position could come under renewed combiner attack at any minute."

Blackjack
2017-09-21, 03:46 AM
Dig site

Sixshot loped up to a secluded section of the digsite, where he found Megatron's prone, headless body -- completely fixed, without nary a blemish, yet no Kaon or Nickel.

"We have located... the body." Sixshot replied. A slight pause. Why would Doomshot refer to Megatron, his partner, their leader, as 'the body'? He wasn't technically inaccurate, of course. It was a body without a head, and unlike Sixshot, Megatron's alternate modes did not have a secondary head. Still, it seemed rather discourteous for Doomshot to refer to their leader as 'the body'. Even if he did form the head of said body.

Still, Doomshot was a commanding officer. "The medic is... absent, sir. Shall we bring Megatron to your position, sir?"

"Six possible modes, and none of them really can be used for heavy-duty lifting, huh, Sixshot-san?" Revolver noted with a frown.
______________________________________________

Dig Site, Doomshot's Position

Astrotrain strode into the macabre operation theater that Necro had been working on shortly before, and where Doomshot is currently at. He glared at Necro -- he disliked the smaller Decepticon's gruesome methods. Mental torture was one thing, and Astrotrain had so many times in his younger years... yet mnemosurgery was vile. Necro was not the subject of his current problems right now, though.

He looked at Doomshot. Megatron's partner. One that is... a little too independent for the Decepticon Council's liking. Yet one that has the potential to prove himself to be far more competent than Megatron himself, while still retaining the important figurehead that Megatron is.

Astrotrain's currently very, very interested in learning if Doomshot is a problem... or a potential ally, and subsequently, leader.

"You know, Doomshot." Astrotrain said, "If those... zealots of the Justice Division were here, they would rip your limbs and eyeballs out for daring to leave our illustrious leader unprotected." Astrotrain paused for effect. "Fortunately, they are not here. I am." Another pause, then he added, a "Sir." that's neither sarcastic nor earnest.
______________________________________________

Dig Site, Optimus's Position

"True, yet as honourable and noble that end would be, we would still be missing a great leader. Optimus Prime is... not someone we could easily replace. However, I doubt he would agree and if push should come to shove, Optimus would still gladly sacrifice his life." He has, on several occasions. Diac noted dimly. "And so would I."

Diac paused, then nodded. "But you speak wisdom, my friend. Neither of us fell, and that is where we should look to for now."

Cerebros looked up at Furos's question, and frowned. He seemed to ponder the question, as if calculating, glanced briefly at Perceptor, then shrugged. "Fifteen... no, ten minnutes. Maybe shorter if Perceptor would assist me."

"What would you have me do?" Perceptor said, kneeling down next to Cerebros.

"The fuel lines, and the data-transmission lines. They're the ones that seem to have the biggest amount of damage done to them, and we need to manually reboot and replace the wiring. I'll do the upper body, and you'll do the lower half." Cerebros said.

Diac nodded. "Thank you. Both of you." He turned back to Furos. "We are expecting another assault from combiners? Are our forces... battle ready?"

Warcry
2017-09-22, 05:51 PM
Dig site

"By all means," Doomshot told Sixshot. "I require it for certain...activities."

Then he turned to Astrotrain and said, "You are here, yes..."

Doomshot stood up from the rock he'd been sitting on, his bestial "partner" hopping along beside him in dragon mode.

"Now, why is that? I don't see any desks here that need flying. Could it be that High Command feels the need to have one of their number keeping an eye on their dear leader at all times? Oh, I believe they do, yes..."

He looked up (way, way up) at the other Decepticon. "You mention the Justice Division? I left Megatron in their care, as it happens. But that's beside the point. I can understand their blind loyalty to a degree. But, Astrotrain, I must ask why you and your ilk are still bending the knee to one that you so clearly have no more faith in."

Doomshot knew that he should keep his fury under control, but faced with a member of High Command -- even a tertiary one like Astrotrain -- it was a struggle. He had been bonded to Megatron under their orders, without being made aware of his new partner's...deficiencies or how hostile he was to the concept of being paired with a Titan Master, and he did not care for that kind of treatment one bit.

The Titan Master crossed his arms and narrowed his optics as he challenged the other Decepticon. "Megatron is incapable of leading and High Command has done nothing to bring about his removal, merely tried to mask the issue by tethering him to stable Titan Masters like myself until his madness burns them out. Do explain to me how that makes you any less incompetent than him. Because I am not inclined to listen to any requests from the council right now, no..."
______________________________________________

"No," Furos told Diac bluntly. "We suffered significant losses in the fight against..." Furos stopped himself from saying the combiner's name, not wanting to think again about the friends who'd been a part of demolition. "We suffered significant losses in the battle. Our forces are in retreat, mostly in the underground tunnels. Ginrai and his new partner are securing the entrance, but frankly I assigned them that task more to make our troops feel safe than because I actually think his battlestation mode would be able to fend off another combiner attack. On the bright side, if you could consider it that, the Decepticons are in an equally ragged state of disarray."

He shrugged. "As much as I might like to put another combiner or two out of their misery, I know that's not what we're here for. Unfortunately I don't know why we are here, and that made it difficult for me to do anything more than stage a retreat in Prime's absence."

Heinrad
2017-09-23, 01:39 AM
Dig Site:


Fangry's ears folded back in annoyance as Mindwipe 'screamed', his muzzle curling, baring his fangs. "Ya know, bat-breath, you could ask me to find your little pain in the skidplates. I might have to chew his arm off in payment, but I could find him a lot easier than you ever will."

-----------

Nightbeat frowned as he stared at the holoimage of Fangry slowly rotating in the display. "So that's a Fangry. I wonder why they-ah! Ah! AH!" He clapped his hands over his audio receptors. "What in the...." His voice trailed off as he looked up, seeing Fangry and Mindwipe up in the sky. "Well, as least he found somebody else to annoy......"

----------

Firedrive walked towards Hot Rod, approaching him from the rear. He watched the brake lights flare briefly as Hot Rod noticed him. He looked at the sweeping chrome exhausts, the soot blackened turbine exhaust mounted between the massive dual afterburners. The aileron flaps mounted on the yellow/orange wing, the flame decal next to the canopy. Such a great looking vehicle mode.

Tied to such an angry, bitter old Autobot.

But he could do this. He could keep himself from being pulled into the abyss that was Hot Rod's anger. He could keep his spark separate.

He hoped.

----------

"Can I have my guns back?"

Stylor looked around. No Sixshot meant no worry about breaking the fragile truce. And if any more Combiners showed up, they'd need all the firepower they could get. "Fine. But don't make me regret this." He reached back in and plugged the component back in.

Blackjack
2017-09-23, 02:04 AM
Dig Site, Doomshot's Position

Astrotrain kept his face stone-like, unflinching, and neutral as Doomshot went about his little speech. He had a 'withering' look, as his teammate Octane often mocked him for. A hard, square jaw, a mouthline that was naturally stern, and an above-average height even for a non-Titan-Master body.

Doomshot was sharp. Very, very sharp. Astrotrain knew that his position as the Decepticon High Command's go-to man wasn't that much of a closely-guarded secret, especially to someone as sly and resourceful as Doomshot. And, yes, High Command would want someone to hold the leash that kept Megatron chained as an attack dog of a figurehead.

And yet... Doomshot was smart. He was good at this game. Deflecting all outright signs of treachery by noting how Megatron is 'safe', and channeling the focus of the conversation to Astrotrain's own motives. It was a way to change the conversation, and at the same time to gauge Astrotrain's own intentions. There was even a small barb, a small insult, so that Astrotrain would defend himself, thus prompting someone less accustomed to the games of Decepticon politics to quickly divulge their hand.

Astrotrain, of course, was no amateur. He had been. Once. A complete fool, bragging about his so-called master plans when his competitors had layers upon layers of machinations.

And, ah, the speech. The grandiose speech and a show of force. The statement that, yes, Megatron is incapable of leading, and he found out High Command's game with the Titan Masters way, way sooner than everyone else before him had. Well, on that part, Astrotrain reflected, he could answer him.

Astrotrain made sure Doomshot finished with that curled 'no', before letting out a mirthless smile. "Your observations, of course, are all completely true." Astrotrain said. No sense denying it. "Which is why you are so perfect as Megatron's Titan Master as compared to the useless dullards who had their minds wiped out by Megatron's insatiable rage. You catch on pretty quick, and, as evidently shown, you are not intimidated by our screaming, frothing berserker of a figurehead. I respect that of you, Doomshot. I really do."

Pause for effect. (Starscream never did knew the value of pauses.)

"That was why I personally made it so that you were bumped up to the forefront of candidates for Megatron's Titan Master." Astrotrain paused once more, to make sure Doomshot understood the full weight of that sentence. A small barb? A small insult? This was Astrotrain's.

"And the reason why I picked you? Where Megatron is incapable of leading, you are far more than adequate to distract him, without getting yourself killed in the process. Megatron is too valuable to the Decepticon cause, more than you know -- he is a figurehead. He is a show of force to cause the Autobot scum to run away in terror, and a gigantic flag we can wave around to rally those nitwits out there."

I should know. I was one of those same nitwits before.

"So no. Removing Megatron, as ideal as it might seem to you, is not a plausible situation. Not now, not ever." Astrotrain folded his arms. "Of course, if I wasn't here to negotiate, High Command would've sent Overlord instead. Yet, here I am. The thing is, Doomshot, as you have so eloquently stated in your speech... you have a point. I want you to be more than a distraction. I want you to be the effective figurehead Megatron can never be without you bonded to him."

Astrotrain knew Doomshot was shrewd enough to note that in his last few sentences, he emphasized 'I', not 'High Command'. He would be curious to see how Doomshot responds to that -- Doomshot wasn't the only one probing for intentions.
______________________________________________

Dig Site, Megatron's Position

Sixshot did not quite like how Doomshot worded 'certain activities'. But he said nothing. "Affirmative, sir."

He transformed, claws retracting and replaced by fists that unfurled, hind paws straightening and supporting the full weight of Sixshot's full body, wings locking into place, Revolver jumping into the air and compacting into Sixshot's head, which locked into place in the empty harness that formed Sixshot's headguard. Mental connection is established, and Sixshot's eyes glowed red.

In full robot mode, Sixshot crouched down, slung Megatron's headless robot-mode body over his shoulder, and began walking... and winced when his wolf-ear sensors caught Mindwipe's scream.

...in the name of Alpha Trion's trimmed beard was that? Revolver's voice asked inside Sixshot's mind. I FELT that!
______________________________________________

Dig Site, Optimus's Position

Diac's optics narrowed. Significant losses. And no Decepticons to blame it on. These were the work of Autobots -- or those who had been Autobots. "That is a tremendous loss." Diac replied to Furos, then continued. "Ginrai's... new partner? Ah, yes, Pyro fell. Pyro. such a promising recruit, despite his... condition."

Primus apotheosis. The mental disease where Autobots would try to emulate Optimus Prime's behaviour and physical appearance, often leading to a suicidal Messianic charge towards insurmountable odds in the name of victory.

The very same mental disease that Diac knew will await him, as it had claimed Hi-Q, Apex and the others.

Diac tried not to think about that.

"Who is Ginrai's new partner, pray tell?" Diac asked Furos. He frowned at Furos's other comment. Yes, the Decepticons are ragtagged, and a couple of weeks ago Diac would have cheered, made some wisecrack about how the Decepticons deserved what was coming to them. But this was a tragedy of their own making. The combiners were living, walking proof of the destruction they have wrought unto their own race, and Diac took no pride in allowing that to happen.

"Affirmative." Perceptor nodded at Furos's final sentence. "I share Furos's sentiment. It has been difficult for any of us to know what our primary objective is beyond the vagueness of securing the dig site -- a feat we have failed monumentally, as I note, considering our enemies are sharing said dig site with us. I cannot find a truly logical conclusion as to why we are defending an archaeological dig surrounded by rabid combiners."

Really should have told some of them about the main plan... Another failure for the day. Diac had assumed that either he or Optimus would be online to answer questions, to direct the troops, but of course, that didn't quite happen. Perceptor looked at him, his face impassive yet the glare from Perceptor's one good eye bored into him. Even Cerebros glanced up from his work in anticipation of Diac's reply, before quickly busying himself with repairing Optimus's body.

Diac glanced at Scourge and Fracas briefly, and shook his head. "It was... a mistake. A mistake on my part not to keep you informed, Furos. And I apologize. I promise, I will tell you... everything. Once we are out of prying ears."

Heinrad
2017-09-23, 07:37 PM
FREEDOM!!!!!!:


Drillhorn scowled. This was really disconcerting. So he decided to let the drone drive.

He'd never quite understood why the techs had done this. Yes, the drone 'Partners', as Leozak liked to call them, did come in handy. Not only did they double as weapons, but they could be used as scouts.

But what Drillhorn had never quite understood was why they'd been modeled on animals from a planet he'd never heard of.

'What the hell is a rhinoceros?' He distinctly remembered asking that very question when he'd been assigned this particular drone. There'd been some handwavey response about it resembling his helmet, and off he was sent.

And now here he was, who knew how many years later, having to rely on the drone to search for Autobots and Decepticons. It wasn't the most fun he'd ever had, mainly because the image felt somewhat oddly distorted.

His only other regret, at the moment, was that in all of his tinkering, he hadn't upgraded the rhino's neural nets very much. The rhino was a boring conversationalist.

---------

How he'd missed this. Sweet Primus and all his ugly Avatars, how he'd missed this.

The pink and white hawk drone soared through the air, diving and looping with all the joy of a long imprisoned bird celebrating it's freedom. Gaihawk had needed this. Needed it so badly. Being trapped for so long as a right arm had been marginally better than being locked in that Autobot prison. Marginally.

But now he was free. Free to fly. Free to hunt.

Free to kill Autobots.

--------

Killbison was not on board with this plan. It wasn't that he didn't like his drone. He liked it a lot. It was a good companion. They thought a lot alike.

That being said, neither of them were mental giants.

The problem was, as the mechanical bison drone stood there staring at the gigantic combiner before him, it was kind of strange. He could see himself, the right leg, standing there.

His armor was battered, scratched, covered with rust streaks, grime, and dirt. 'Wow. I really need a bath.......'

----------

The mechanical lion sat majestically atop a parapet, taking in it's surroundings. Leozak swept the drone's optics across the tortured landscape. Combiners moved in the distance, some fighting, some digging, some just wandering.

It actually gave some perspective. Yes, being stuck in a combiner had gotten old surprisingly quick, but from the looks of things, Breastforce as a whole had gotten lucky. Liokaiser wasn't a mindless, savage brute- well, not completely- but they were in far better shape than the rest of the Combiners out there.

Now all they had to do was find the Autobots and Decepticons.

-------

The jaguar stretched, then started loping along through the landscape. Jalgar paused to sniff the air, then the ground, then continuing his run. It didn't match what he remembered of really being able to move, but but it was far better than being stuck with the others.

-------

Wings flapping, the mechanical bat flew across the sky. Yet despite the apparent freedom, Hellbat guarded his thoughts. It only felt like freedom.

He could still sense the others. After all, all they were doing was activating the remote feeds on their drones so they could take in the view, maybe control the drones remotely. And given how quickly they'd scattered in different directions to see new things and not have to look at each other for a while, he was pretty certain he wouldn't see any of the others.

But he still needed to keep his thoughts in line. If Leozak even suspected that he wanted to replace him as the team leader......

But did he? He'd had enough time to think about how great it would be to lead the team, and while it would be....... He'd have Liokaiser stuck in his head. And after all this time, he didn't think having Liokaiser stuck in his head was a great idea anymore.

He could, he supposed, delegate. He'd be the leader, but he'd let Leozak keep Liokaiser. That, he could work-

Then he heard it. A faint sonar scream. He thought he knew the direction it was coming from, too.

Being the one to find the way to decouple them from being Liokaiser would certainly give him a good boost to becoming team leader. He flapped off in the direction it had come from.

Warcry
2017-09-27, 07:54 PM
Dig site

"There will be no negotiations."

Astrotrain, as it happened, was not the only one who knew how to apply a dramatically appropriate pause.

"If you 'respected' me," Doomshot snarled, "you would have told me what duty I was really being volunteered for. Especially since you seem to be claiming personal responsibility for what was inflicted on me. And especially since I know what Megatron really thinks of you and your High Command masters. Once he is back online, once he realizes that you are here, he will want to kill you. And you're not presenting me with a very compelling reason to convince him otherwise, no..."

The Titan Master shook his head. "You and your ilk are fossils, Astrotrain. You live in the past because it was the only time you were ever relevant. You seek to preserve the status quo because you are too rooted down to consider that there are better ways. You think Megatron is a symbol, a flag for our people to rally behind? Megatron is a joke. He's been a joke since you and yours decided to cut his head off against his will. No one wants to follow him anymore. They simply do out of habit, or fear, or general witlessness."

He gestured grandly, encompassing the entire area they occupied. "Witness how no one questions my orders, or even my right to give orders --" he glowered at Necro " -- for more than a moment, anyway, without even knowing what became of their 'dear leader'. Witness how much more eager they were to follow Deathsaurus into battle. Megatron's authority is all but spent. Everyone realizes it except for him...and, it would seem, you. I could drop his body down a mineshaft and no one would even question what happened to it bar a handful of outmoded fanatics."

Doomshot walked over to his beast armour, which was relaxing in dragon mode on a nearby rock formation, and dropped down to sit on a boulder beside it. His posture was relaxed, but somehow still threatening.

"So I'm afraid I have to turn down your oh so generous offer to become a 'figurehead' for your compeers' continuing feeble machinations. Or for yours personally, if that was your hope. For you see, Megatron bows to no one, and I am Megatron now. You saw to that, yes..."

As Doomshot set his jaw, his beast frame looked up and lazily glowered at the much bigger Titan. Doomshot stroked its brow as if it were a pet.

"You personally and High Command collectively both claim to want a strong Megatron. You claim to want a leader who can both inspire the masses and lead us to strategic victories over the Autobots. I will create just such a Megatron. One that will strike terror in the sparks of every Cybertronian foolish enough to oppose us. Because someone needs to be in command, and as wanting as he is in nearly every facet of leadership, I confess I find him infinitely preferable to the likes of you.

"And if High Command truly want that, they will meekly fall in line. But if, as I rather suspect, they prefer their 'leader' to be no more than a hapless sock puppet for their own desires? Ah, then sanctions will have to be meted out, yes... And once Megatron returns from Cybertron with the bounties that this world has to offer, they will be in no position to oppose him. Or me."

Vorath stood far enough away that he wouldn't look like he was eavesdropping as he studied his maps, although he definitely was. Necro made no attempt to even hide it.
______________________________________________

"I could'we done that," Mindwipe conceded to Fangry, "but that would inwolwe spending time vith you. Vhy vould I vant to do that?"

He let out another sonar pulse (much more quietly this time!), then dove downwards. "Ah-ha! There he is, vith Doomshot and Necro! And...is that Astrotrain?"
______________________________________________

"The losses were dire," Furos agreed with Daic. "But they fell in glorious combat, helping to free their former comrades from the bondage of the combined horror that owned them. Their deaths were honourable and they will be remembered." He set his jaw. "Even that fool Pyro."

He acknowledged the other Titan Master's admission of guilt with a small nod. It had been a mistake to keep the rest of the senior staff out of the loop, but it was one that Diac would learn from. The other Autobot was nothing if not wise.

He frowned as he considered the topic of Pyro's replacement. "Ginrai is currently being piloted by someone named 'Nightbeat'. I don't believe that he is one of ours, but rather a member of the dig security team. He appears to be trustworthy, but his continued possession of one of our most powerful Titans would seem to pose a serious security risk. I suggest that you and I interview him once we have a moment, in order to determine his intentions."

A disgruntled noise came from the direction of Furos's vehicle partner. The Titan Master smiled.

"Hardhead takes a slightly more...hawkish approach to the issue."

"Civilians cannot be left in command of a military weapons system!" Hardhead interjected, unable to keep silent. "We should arrest him immediately and assign one of our troops to pilot the Ginrai Titan!"

Furos sighed. "Yes, yes. You made your thoughts quite clear during the Hot Rod situation."

"And I stand by them! Firedrive should be in irons." Hardhead added.

"Before we can arrest anyone," Furos reminded him, "we'll need to find a brig."

Heinrad
2017-09-28, 02:26 AM
Dig Site:


Fangry made a low growling sound in the back of his throat. "What makes you think I enjoy spending time with you? I just want someone to eat."

And then he spied Astrotrain. "All riiii-". He spasmed, the fur on his head and neck bristling briefly before settling down.

Brisko gave a weary sigh. "All I wanted to be was assigned to a researcher. That's all I wanted. Not this frothing lunatic." "He looked over at Mindwipe. "He wants me to transform to dragon mode so we can dive bomb Astrotrain, rain plasma fire down on his head, land on his shoulders, rip his head off, and eat 'the gooey center'. Gooey center of what?"

***********
Approaching Dig Site:
(But still quite a ways off)

Again. Fainter this time, but there it is again.

The bat drone flapped steadily onwards.

Blackjack
2017-09-28, 03:30 PM
Dig site

Astrotrain kept a still face. It did not show disinterest, yet did not show the ticking parts of his mind as he considered Doomshot's reply. Times like this, Astrotrain liked having his head technically being controlled by a separate entity, as his partner Darkmoon worked to maintain Astrotrain's steely expression.

No negotiations, Doomshot? Yet you are laying terms and threats. Astrotrain thought to himself with no small amount of amusement. It has been some time since he has conversed with another Decepticon with such theatricality. Most times it's just people threatening to blow each other's head up.

He let the smaller Decepticon finish, before continuing, first addressing the very first reply that Doomshot told him.

"I respect your ability, Doomshot, but that does not mean the rest of the Council do. They still, for better or for worse, see you as a patsy, one in a long line of disposable minions to serve as Megatron's... 'sock puppet', as you eloquently put it." Astrotrain replied. "Besides, what good would your ability be, if you cannot handle Megatron for the time you were bonded with him?"

Astrotrain folded his arms again. "Of course Megatron hates the High Council. He wants to vaporize them, and rule the Decepticon as its sole ruler. So do you. So do I. Hell, so does those scientists over there." Astrotrain jerked a thumb at Vorath and Necro. "Yet you are smart enough to know that if you do so, the Decepticon cause will splinter and break apart without a strong figurehead to lead it, or a council to govern it. Without having the chance to prove yourself to the cause at large, you'll have everyone ranked seven and above think themselves the next Megatron and gun for leadership. Nothing good will come of that."

Astrotrain paused, as he heard Mindwipe and Fangry enter. More troops that are presumably loyal to Doomshot (presuming the alternative is just stupid). Sixshot is no doubt coming, with Megatron's body. He scowled. He had to make this fast, but there was a way to spin this to his advantage.

"Kill me if you want. Right here, right now. I doubt I'll take down more than two or three Decepticons, not with Deathsaurus, Sixshot and Kaon at your beck and call. Though, let me ask you. What will that accomplish, hmm? Satisfaction for a day, maybe two. Then you'll waste Decepticon resources, precious Decepticon warriors, as the DJD and the Council's troops fight each other instead of the Autobots, who will be gathering their strength and rallying behind their Prime, and abscond with the contents of this dig site. And we want that even less than the previous outcome." Astrotrain scowled.

Astrotrain then folded his hands behind his back and paced around slightly. "But, of course, you have a point. Of course you do -- one of the reasons I wanted you to be Megatron's mind is precisely this revolutionary thoughts you have. You see, Doomshot, I agree with the sentiment you have. The Council is far, far more concerned with squabbling over the power they have, while being way too detached with how the Decepticons at the frontline are doing. Yet unseating the Council or Megatron completely will cause such a large power vacuum that it will break the Decepticon into a massive civil war... and, once more, nobody wants that."

Astrotrain then stopped, and looked Doomshot dead in the eye. This was a gamble, and he knew it. Especially with so many wild cards and other Decepticons watching.

"Megatron is a joke, you say? So is the Council. And a vast majority of the Decepticon army are simple creatures of habit, filled with fear." Astrotrain let out a humourless chuckle. "Which is really why we needed someone like you."

Astrotrain folded his arms.

"You, Doomshot, are a gamble. You're not the first of Megatron's Titan Masters that I have had this conversation with. Most of them are eager, oh so eager, to please the great Astrotrain, to be the Council's puppet. They never lasted long. You are the first to openly damn both Megatron and the Council. You are the first to have enough ambition and balls to reject my offers." Astrotrain paused. "Well, that's not exactly true. You're the first to do so, while simultaneously proving to be visionary and competent enough to become the sort of leader I hoped would eventually replace Megatron."

Astrotrain paused again, then shook his head. "You are correct, of course, in your assessment of High Command. You have very few supporters among them, of course, for all this manipulation is a bit too much for a humble troop transporter such as myself. But by large High Command wants nothing than a 'hapless sock puppet', as you put it. And I can make them believe that it is so, at least for a little while longer."

"And no. Before you ask... I have no desire to be the leader of the Decepticon cause. Do not mistake my manipulation of events to put you as the literal head of the cause to mean that I want to be the puppetmaster. I have found out -- the hard way -- that I am not cut out for leadership. Not all of us are."

Pause for effect.

"I want what is best for the Decepticon Cause as a whole, as utterly blase as it might sound. If you can be that leader -- who, in your own words, a Megatron that be a proper leader against the Decepticons... then that means you will be the better bet for the Cause as a whole compared to High Command. And if you truly are the better leader, one who will not be cowed by anyone... then call it practicality, call it backing the winning horse, call it hedging my bets, call it the sentimentality of an old Decepticon, call it vision... but I will be the first to bend the knee to you."

--------------------

"I do not believe the Triple-Changer's center has goo of any sort. He has a Spark Core at his center, just like any of us." Sixshot said to Brisko. The taller six-changer stepped into the room next to Brisko and Mindwipe, Megatron's headless body slung over his shoulder.

He glanced at Astrotrain, who seemed to be in a very deep conversation with Doomshot. Politics. Sixshot despised them.

"Doomshot, sir! I have brought Lord Megatron's body." Sixshot announced, gently placing Megatron's body on the ground.
______________________________________________

Tunnels, Dig Site

"That is the last one." Cerebros said, pulling out his tools and closing the panel on Optimus Prime's leg that he was working on. He glanced at Perceptor, who gave a curt, professional nod. "Diac, sir, if you will?"

Diac sent out a mental command, and with a shudder, Optimus Prime's body jerked and transformed. It wasn't as smooth as it could've been, as the body convulsed briefly, but joints folded, limbs retracted, wheels slid out and steel panels slid into place. Optimus Prime stood in his alternate mode, a mighty truck.

"I dare not reactivate Optimus Prime's mind here." Cerebros said. "The Titan Master connection needs to be recalibrated after such a traumatic separation, and that will make both of you vulnerable, something which I have no wish to do in a place that is susceptible to combiner attack."

"Less exposition. More heavy duty." Perceptor transformed into his mobile weapons platform mode, and launched a grapple line onto the front grill of Optimus Prime's weapon mode, and started his engines, slowly pulling Optimus's body deeper down the dig site. Cerebros, without a vehicular alternate mode, walked up to Optimus's rear and started pushing.

--------------------

"A loss in glorious combat is still a loss, Furos." Diac replied, solemnly. "Yet, as you pointed out, they did fall in honour. I suppose that is some solace."

Diac frowned. Two Titans piloted by two unpredictable Titan Masters. Firedrive at least was a known quantity... even if he is an unpleasant known quantity. Ginrai was a newborn Titan, however, and he did not know this 'Nightbeat'. They were Autobots, though, and thus deserve trust.

Ah, the complexities of having two minds share a body...

"We will head towards where they are." Diac said, as he walked towards Optimus's vehicle mode, and jumped into the driving seat, and pressed down on the pedal. It worked, somewhat, and helped the vehicle mode to move a bit quicker down the tunnel. Diac rolled down the window of Prime's vehicle mode and added, "We'll go straight towards where this Nightbeat is."

He glanced towards Hardhead, and added, "Which is why we are going to interview him now. If he is trustworthy, he will be... deputized. I do not believe assigning one of our troops right now will be anything but traumatic for all involved, considering how deeply rooted Titan Master bonding is. We will talk to Firedrive, too, because, after all, everyone deserves a second chance." Diac paused. "A closely watched second chance."

Warcry
2017-09-28, 06:00 PM
Dig site

(OOC: I don't think they're in a room per se, just some rubble that's barely intact enough to give them some degree of privacy.)

Doomshot sighed. "Why would I kill you, Astrotrain? What interest would that serve? No one is actually loyal to you, or to the rest of your High Command. When Megatron faltered, you lot had the chance to show your worth. You failed, and in doing so you ceded your authority to whoever decides to step up and take it. Do not act as if you personally are giving me anything. Especially when your 'gift' is something I neither desired nor pursued. I am a proud Decepticon, yes, and I would die for our cause. That does not mean I wished to rule it. No."

As Sixshot arrived, he told the sixchanger, "Thank you for your help. The DJD medics repaired the physical damage, but Megatron was suffering some serious memory faults because of the ion damage. Necro will need to perform some mnemosurgical maintenance before he will be able to function, yes."

Doomshot gave the deviant Titan Master a sideways glance. "Remember what we discussed. Load the relevant memories into his primary buffers so that they will be accessible as soon as I connect. Do not attempt to alter any of his memories in the process. Our Titan Master rapport means that we will know instantly if you do, and I will be neither able to stop Megatron from killing you nor particularly inclined to try."

Necro sighed. "Please, dispense with the tiresome threats. For Maximo's sake, it's like this has become a part of daily life as a Decepticon. It's like no one respects anyone else enough to think they'll do their job without the threat of death hanging over their heads. Some people, I swear..."

With that said, the all-purple Titan Master shuffled over towards where Sixshot had laid Megatron down, cracking his knuckles as he got ready to work.

With that dealt with, Doomshot turned his attention back to Astrotrain.

"While Necro is definitely a madman, he raises a valid point. We Decepticons once cooperated because we had something, someone to believe in. We do not anymore. We are in no position to defeat the Autobots, internal conflicts or no. Had High Command identified and supported a proper successor once Megatron's madness was made evident, we would be unified behind Galvatron, or Deathsaurus, or Overlord, and we wouldn't be having this conversation. But you didn't, so here we are. And since Megatron is who we're stuck with, and I'm who he is stuck with, I don't appear to have much choice. I will do what I have to do in order to return our people to their past glory, yes..."

He turned his back on Astrotrain and headed towards Megatron's prone body, signalling that the conversation was at an end. For now, anyway. Nothing had been settled, but it had stopped short of an open declaration of war between Doomshot's followers and the Decepticon High Command...for now, anyway. Doomshot supposed that was something.

"I have no interest," told Astrotrain as he walked away, "in the allegiance of a self-serving bureaucrat. If you truly want what's best for the Decepticon people, I suggest you find some other way to contribute to our cause. You can begin by loaning me your Titan Master partner. I have need of his medical talents."
______________________________________________

Mindwipe sighed. "You know you cannot eat anyone vithout Megatron's permission, Fangry."

Once Brisko took over, the hypnotist asked Fangry's (much) better half, "I don't suppose there's a vay you could drop him on his head from a wery great height? It might make him more pleasant to spent time vith. Or kill him. Vhich vould also have the same effect."

He touched down next to where his partner was standing and said, "Worath, you and I must link minds. I have made a wery interesting discovery I vould like to share."

"I somehow doubt that your discovery is anything but metaphysical nonsense," Vorath responded. "But as it happens, I could use your analytical faculties to go over something that I discovered. Shall we?"

Mindwipe made a sour expression, but agreed. "Werry vell."

But as the bat transformed to robot mode and the Titan Master took his place as the combined form's head, both partners' skepticism of one another's findings melted away and their merged consciousness began to analyze Mindwipe's gestalt theories and Vorath's maps with equal vigour.
______________________________________________

Enroute back to Ginrai

Furos climbed back into Hardhead's cockpit. As he dogged the hatch shut, Hardhead fired off a tow-line to assist Perceptor and Cerebros in moving the still-inactive Autobot leader's truck mode.

"Aye, sir," was all the duo said to Diac. Neither one of them was quite sanguine about Diac's forgiving attitude, though Furos at least recognized the necessity of it. But both of them were somewhat bothered by the words themselves, and how Daic said them. They sounded much less like the face-taking, conflict-hungry captain that they'd worked with so many times over the years than they did Optimus Prime himself.

Hopefully this is just Diac learning the value of compassion, Furos thought to himself, and not the beginnings of something more sinister. The last thing we need to worry about out here is another Titan Master having a Primus Apotheosis breakdown. Let alone finding a suitable replacement on short notice.

Heinrad
2017-09-29, 12:56 AM
Dig Site:


Firedrive hit the external canopy release. The canopy stayed down.

"We need to talk."

Firedrive scowled. "Yeah. I know. Let me in and we can talk."

Hot Rod didn't say anything.

"Look, I get it. I'm not you. We don't think alike. But that doesn't mean we can't work together, does it?"

A low growl came from the old Autobot, then the canopy hissed open. Firedrive climbed in, and watched with a slight look of trepidation as the canopy lowered, and the locks engaged.

"If you can't handle this-"

"If I can't handle this? Handle what? Stuck being the head of an old Autobot who's got a serious hate-on for Combiners because one stomped him flat? You're dragging ME into you're flarking vendetta against a bunch of kill crazy monsters! I didn't come here to DIE!!!!"

"Finished?"

Firedrive crossed his arms over his chest. "Maybe."

Hot Rod's voice rasped from the grille on his dashboard. "I know this isn't what you asked for. But you're the one who got yourself into this. Hasn't it occurred to you that there was a reason why I didn't have a partner yet?"

"I figured it was because they'd just finished you."

"This body had been finished over half a year earlier. What they couldn't find was a partner. I rejected every other pilot they tried. You, I can work with. You've got potential. And you can handle this."

Firedrive lowered his head. "So how can we do this? I thought you were going to completely absorb me."

"It's something we're going to have to work on, Firedrive. And we'll get through this."

----------

Stylor pulled out a padd and brought up a schematic of Chromedome, looking at the damage indicators. "Every time we get into a fight....." He leaned against Chromedome's hood. "How do you get so much damage when you fight?"

"What do you want me to do, ask the enemy to not hit me?"

"If you think it would work......"

***********
The Decepticon Leadership....ish Meeting:


Brisko shrugged. "I've got built-in safeguards to prevent something like that from happening, sadly. And I think he wanted to eat the gooey center of the Titan Master, Sixshot. Do Titan Masters have gooey centers?"

Blackjack
2017-09-29, 01:53 PM
Dig Site, The Decepticon Leadership-ish Meeting:

Ooo, he’s good. Darkmoon, having been happy to keep quiet and let his older partner do all the talking, chuckled snidely in the mental headspace he shared with Astrotrain. He’s really good. You really think he’s the one?

He’s either the future of our Decepticon race, or the one that’s going to put a bullet in our head. Astrotrain replied.

Truthfully, a lesser Decepticon – or even Astrotrain himself, were he younger and less experienced – would bristled at Doomshot’s systematic dismissal of Astrotrain’s proposal and the general disrespect he’s showing. But the thing is… Astrotrain knew how to play his cards. He knew that leaders and overlords needed to feel superior, needed to have the last word, and Astrotrain was perfectly willing to let Doomshot have it.

And, to be frank, Astrotrain hasn’t really respected the Decepticon High Command very much since the Combiner Wars tore their planet apart. He blamed them, blamed them far more than he did the smug, sanctimonious Autobots.

And it seems that Doomshot has made his own plans to deal with Megatron, using mnemosurgery, no less. Astrotrain kicked himself for not making his move and approach Doomshot before he was brave enough to start making his move, but then would he have been able to measure Doomshot’s worth without having witnessed his capacity for leadership with his own eyes?

The dominoes have fallen, and control is quickly being wrestled away from his hands. But Astrotrain let it.

Astrotrain waited patiently as Doomshot spoke to Necro, understanding intently what Doomshot was going to do but making no protest, vocal or otherwise, at it. “Yes.” He said, at last, when Doomshot gave his backward-handed acceptance of his terms. “Although, frankly speaking… neither of the three candidates you mentioned, I feel, are adequate to replace Megatron. Too insane, too honourable and too unpredictable. They are capable unit leaders and military commanders. But to be someone as charismatic, powerful and devious as Megatron… was?” Astrotrain shrugged. “Any more from me would paint me a sycophant, so I will not continue, but you will return our people to glory. Or someone else will.”

Astrotrain wryly smiled to himself. Self-serving bureaucrat. Of course. That is what everyone thinks of him. Aeons in the future, when only history books remain of their race, Astrotrain mused that it is perhaps all he will be remembered by, if at all. No matter. As long as the Decepticons have a strong leader, this gambit, and the ruination of his reputation, is something he could live with.

“Very well.” Astrotrain said, at Doomshot’s final words, and with a mental command, Astrotrain’s head-harness retracted into his torso, and Darkmoon disconnected from Astrotrain’s head, transforming and landing deftly on the ground. Astrotrain himself folded up into his space shuttle form. “I shall inform High Command of how… compliant you are. Whatever you think of me, Doomshot… pick your battles carefully. They will not be fooled forever... sir.”
____________________________________________________

Darkmoon stretched his neck a little, and grinned. Astrotrain was so serious, so dreary all the time. And while he understood his older partner’s motivations, and just why he did all of these silly political games, Darkmoon isn’t someone who really is that much interested in all that. He’d honestly rather deal with simple things. Killing Autobots. Fixing Decepticons.

Darkmoon trotted up next to Doomshot, casting a weary glance at the dragon-vehicle that followed him around, and then back to Doomshot. “Don’t mind A-train. He means well and supports you, but he’s way too used to dealing with politicians to have a bone of earnestness in his body. Me, I don’t care for all this. What do you need me to do, sir?”
____________________________________________________

Sixshot nodded at Doomshot, glancing strangely at Astrotrain. Sixshot knew that there was something important being talked about between the two of them, but Sixshot knew where his allegiance lies… and which one of these two is the higher-ranking Decepticon. “That is why he was so silent during the transport.” Sixshot murmured to himself, and took a step back from Megatron. He glared at Necro, but said nothing. Revolver is someone who deals with the… less pleasant underbelly of the Decepticon cause, and as such he, and by extension Sixshot, was aware of Necro’s… habits. Sixshot wasn’t sure he wanted him anywhere near Megatron, but that was not his prerogative to make.

He would have given Necro a death threat to do his job properly, but Doomshot beat him to the punch. He took several steps back, next to Fangry and Mindwipe, and glowered. Astrotrain… Necro… the room’s filled with Decepticons he did not fully trust. Even Doomshot.

He looked down to Brisko and shrugged. “I am unaware. We could go and take an Autobot Titan Master apart and see. While I highly doubt the existence of a gooey core, it would be an enlightening experiment.”
____________________________________________________

Dig Site, Enroute back to Ginrai:

The vehicle mode of Optimus Prime, assisted by Hardhead, Perceptor and Cerebros, trundled down the corridors of the digsite towards where Ginrai and the other Autobots are stationed.

Diac frowned to himself. With the respite from the conversation at the moment, he began thinking as to what to do at the situation. They’re in a position to move quickly, and to claim the ancient weapons, if they even exist, while the Decepticons are dealing with their wounded. The whole mission – claiming more weapons of mass destruction – had been something that Diac championed for strongly during the meeting that had taken place prior to the mission. Optimus Prime did not like it, but he understood the importance of weapons – and keeping said weapons out of Decepticon hands – all the same.

And Diac was having… second thoughts? Not about claiming the weapon, of course, but he had wanted to use the weapon as a deterrent, to stop the Decepticon fleets and warships once and for all. Better for a couple hundred Decepticons to die – by his hand, if necessary – than a couple million innocents to die from Decepticon atrocities. Better than to have the rest of the galaxy befall the same fate that befell Cybertron. Primus knows too many worlds, too many species, have been crippled and driven extinct due to their war. Simple mathematics.

And Diac heard the tone in Furos and Hardhead’s reply, and he knew what they were thinking. They expected Diac to be what he was in the past. General give-me-your-face, kill-them-all. And he sounded so much like Optimus Prime in the conversation they just had. Diac held a hand up and touched the faceplate that covered his mouth, even when separated from Optimus Prime (who has been silent since the main Prime body shut down into stasis lock), and frowned.

Was it him finally succumbing to the same path that Apex and Hi-Q and all the other previous Titan Masters succumbed to? To be naught but a carbon copy of Optimus Prime’s personality? Or was it simply himself… growing, and learning from the greatest Autobot leader?

Diac truthfully did not know.

“We can stop here.” Cerebros said out loud, interrupting Diac's train of thought, as they got close enough to where Ginrai and the others are stationed. “I can work on Optimus Prime here – I believe it is secure enough a position.”

Heinrad
2017-09-30, 04:27 AM
Battle Station Ginrai:

Ginrai's sensors reacted as Optimus Prime hove into view."Nightbeat! They found Optimus!"

Nightbeat's feet clanked down onto the decking, the command throne rocking forward as he sat up, sliding the padd, once again, back into the slot on the console. Then he frowned. "I'm really wishing they'd fit you with better repair facilities."

"Cerebros is with them. He's an excellent medic."

"Speaking of repairs....."

The schematics for Ginrai's head appeared in the holodisplay, showing the damaged internal components of Ginrai's head as well as the connector socket. "My internal repair systems have repaired most of the damage. My only concern is the damage to the connector point. It might affect our functionality if the repairs aren't correct."

"Yeah. That would kind of suck. All right, once Cerebros is done patching everybody else up, I'll have him check your connector port." Nightbeat watched Optimus roll to a halt nearby, slouching back into the command throne. "I guess the saying is true. It never really ends."

"What doesn't?"

"Being in this war. I mustered out about the same time they turned me into my own head. Never thought I'd serve under a Prime again. Hung out my shingle, solved some cases, did a lot of research, hired on to help with this dig. Teaches me to answer an ad looking for people to solve mysteries of history. On the up side, at least Sentinel isn't in charge."

Blackjack
2017-10-01, 09:13 AM
Near Battle Station Ginrai

Diac looked up to where Ginrai, Nightbeat and the other Autobots that were stationed in their de facto base look up as Optimus Prime's vehicle mode rolled into view. Under his faceplate, he smiled at the splayed-open battlestation that Ginrai's trailer transformed into.

I really got to get me one of those. Diac thought to himself. Some of Optimus Prime's older bodies had them, of course, but not this one. They had to make room for the triple-changing technology to let Prime transform into an additional flight mode.

Considering how disastrous that went earlier in the day, Diac really wished they had the simpler solution of 'more guns' instead. Optimus Prime wouldn't have approved, though.

As they came to a halt near Ginrai's battlestation mode, Diac opened the door to Optimus Prime's cab section, hopped off and walked up towards Ginrai. "So... Nightbeat, wasn't it?" He called out to the Titan Master.

Meanwhile, in the background, Cerebros walked up to Optimus Prime's trailer section, opened an access panel and continued working.

Heinrad
2017-10-01, 11:58 AM
Battle Station Ginrai:


Nightbeat got up from the command throne and approached Diac. "Yes. I'm here with the dig team." He thought about it for a moment. "Better make that 'was here with the dig team'. Looks like I'm back in service again. How's Optimus doing?"

------

Ginrai's sensors gave Optimus a quick scan. The damage was extensive, but Cerebros should be able to get him back on his feet. Then he chuckled to himself. Nightbeat was the complete opposite of Pyro. More laid back, less formal-

I'll have to fix that........

Ginrai's mental processes nearly crashed. Where had that thought come from? That had almost sounded like....... Pyro? He started running diagnostics on his systems.

Warcry
2017-10-03, 06:14 PM
Decepticon Meeting

Doomshot would have explained to Astrotrain that it was possible for his suggested candidates to be taught and groomed for the role, or that any of them would have been an improvement over Megatron even in their current, somewhat raw state, but he knew that his words would have fallen on deaf ears. The larger Transformer, like too many of the old generation, was simply too set in his world view to truly see outside of it, even when he -- Doomshot believed -- actually did want to enact change for the better.

I don't often envy organics, he mused, but ah, to live in a society where the old inevitably fade away and allow the young to bring about change...

"Greetings, Darkmoon," he told the other Titan Master after he'd disconnected from Astrotrain's neck. "Don't worry about your larger counterpart's attitude. It is no reflection on you, but on the life he's led and the experiences that have shaped him. He cannot be anyone but who he is, no matter how...vexing it may be for the rest of us.

"As far as what I need you for...as you might imagine, I have...trust issues, yes, when it comes to allowing one such as Necro to operate on my larger body. I would appreciate it if you would use your medical scanners to watch the operation and ensure that he doesn't...exceed his remit, yes."

Ignoring the glare that Necro shot him, Doomshot continued. "And afterwards, assuming that the DJD medic did in fact repair all of the internal damage before departing, all that remains is the exterior maintenance." He proffered a small datacard in Darkmoon's direction. "Some minor cosmetic alterations as well, to better fit in amongst the local ruins. I assume you brought your gear?"
______________________________________________

Necro settled down on Megatron's chest, smiling slightly behind his faceplate as his needles found easy purchase on the neural patches built into Megatron's Titan Master port. Then he started to feel the physical sensations of the world fade slightly as his mind reached out and touched Megatron's memory core.

"Ah, ah," he muttered to himself as he explored for what Doomshot has requested (and took several detours for his own satisfaction. "Such pain! Such anger!"
______________________________________________

Mindwipe looked over at Brisko. His mind was obviously still fixated on pondering both of his components' discoveries, but the nice thing about being paired with a Titan Master was that it made multitasking much easier.

"I could brainwash him for you, blah. Though I'm not sure I vant to touch his mind..."

He glanced over at Sixshot and said, "I, or at least Vorath, have dissected several Titan Masters. I can confirm that there is no gooey center, blah. Perhaps Fangry is thinking of those poor fools who replaced their heads with organic beings in the days before the Combiner Wars?"
______________________________________________

Enroute back to Ginrai

Hardhead came to a stop with Cerebros's prompting and disconnected his tow cable. Then he parked with his cannon facing outwards and began scanning for threats.

Furos popped the cockpit open and hopped out, falling into step behind Diac as the other Autobot went over to gently interrogate Nightbeat.

Blackjack
2017-10-03, 06:45 PM
Decepticon Meeting

Darkmoon shrugged noncommittally at Doomshot's comments on Astrotrain. "Yeah, the dude's an old geezer. Could be worse, though. I could be bonded to Fangry."

Darkmoon glanced at Necro, and nodded, giving the offended-looking Decepticon a disarming smile. "If he tries anything funny, he'll know." Darkmoon tapped the sidearm attached to his waist. He quite disliked Necro. He quite disliked mnemosurgeons in general, more accurately, but Necro and his corpse fetish or whatever is a special brand of nasty. "Scanners are active."

Darkmoon took the datacard, read it and frowned a little. "Well, among my medical equipment that I stash inside Astrotrain, I do have cosmetic reformat chips, but you're... repainting Megatron? He doesn't quite strike me as the vain type."
______________________________________________

Astrotrain kept Darkmoon on the edge of his vision. He didn't think Doomshot would be the type to execute Darkmoon, but his younger partner does sometimes overestimate his skills. Still, as Astrotrain noted in his conversation with Doomshot, if he wanted Astrotrain (and by extension Darkmoon) dead, it'd be way too easy.

Astrotrain mentally composed a message to the Decepticon High Command. They would be fooled, of course. Hopefully for at least a while, until Doomshot gets his hands on the contents of the dig site.

[Megatron's Titan Master Doomshot is compliant and willing to obey my suggestions. Mental health seems acceptable at the moment. Megatron is still under our thumb.]

It was the usual report that Astrotrain sent to his handlers. Everything is fine, no problem. Look the other way. Squabble among yourselves.

They'll be fooled, Astrotrain repeated to himself, before sending the message out to High Command. He felt a tinge of unease gripping his spark core. So he's picked a side, backed the one that doesn't have the Decepticon Cause's scariest killers on their side. Primus, if they sent Thunderwing and Overlord after him...

No, the die is cast. This was how Megatron started the revolution, in what probably is another life for the one-time revolutionary. But this time, they're going to do things right.
______________________________________________

"Replaced their heads with... organic beings? How does that even work?" Sixshot looked slightly appalled. "I've had an organic pet. They don't come in shapes like... like this." Sixshot pointed a finger to his own face. "And they don't bend the way our joints do. They quite literally break permanently."

He paused, and then added. "What real advantage does bonding with a fragile chunk of organic goo even gives, anyway?"
______________________________________________

Battle Station Ginrai

Diac nodded at Nightbeat. "Optimus is inactive for the time being, but he is in good hands." Diac glanced at Cerebros, who gave him a thumbs-up. A brief tingle in his mind told him that Cerebros was tinkering with the Titan/Titan-Master connections. "It'll be some time before he would be battle ready."

"Back in service again? So you were part of the military in the past, then?... of course. You acquited yourself quite well for someone who was newly bonded. To a complex Titan body, to boot." Diac nodded, then looked up at Ginrai. "How are you holding up, Ginrai?"

Heinrad
2017-10-04, 02:36 AM
Decepticon Meeting:


The less aggressive, more friendly dog natured wolf's face that meant Brisko was in charge looked suddenly nauseated. "He means the innermost Energon circulating through the vital systems. I think he wants to bathe in it."

********
Battle Station Ginrai:


"All things considered, Diac, I'm doing quite well. Nightbeat seems to be well suited to be my pilot."

tahukanuva
2017-10-05, 06:27 AM
Decepticon Meeting

Deathsaurus kept their distance and observed for just a moment. Doomshot had not contacted them upon regaining conciousness. Astrotrain had not come here with the rest of the crew at all. Circumstances were peculiar, not necessarily untoward, but peculiar to be sure.

Their comm buzzed:
"Ah, Misfire, yes. Thank you for the report. You and Nightlight may return to camp, and it's Provisional Commander technically, until Megatron wakes back up, but Captain or Sir will work fine as well. Good job, soldier."

Assuming they'd been overheard enough to be noticed, Deathsaurus stepped fully towards the group.

"Astrotrain, our friend, this is a pleasant surprise. What brings you to an active warzone?"

Calling Astrotrain 'friend' was overgenerous. Deathsaurus liked him well enough, but it would be difficult to truly call anyone in this current Decepticon government a friend. 'Briefly agreeable rival' was usually the best one could hope for. But still, a little cordiality never hurts, especially when one can rip the other robot in half if should come to that.

"Doomshot, we're pleased to see you've recovered. What is Lord Megatron's status? Will he be up and running soon? We've just learned that there are at least five more combiners heading this way, estimated ten minutes out."


------------------------------



Battle Station Ginrai

Sentinel's rest cycle was brief, but fitful. He honestly couldn't remember having a good night's recharge since the day he'd first bonded with the Matrix, but this time, having tasted battle, real battle, for the first time in millennia, and then being confronted with, and targeted by, that combiner? He felt more tired when he cycled back on then he had to begin with. Waking, he found himself burdened by an overwhelming sense of guit, but surely he didn't feel responsible for that.. thing. Not it's existence, and certainly not for its demise. No, he told himself, the only thing I have to feel guilty for is not ending this war before such monsters were created.

Sentinel Prime shifted back into robot form, with Infinitus falling dutifully into place; his body on Sentinel's shoulders, and his mind faded into Sentinel's subconcious.

The former Prime spotted a group of Autobots gathered near Ginrai and strode over.

"Hardhead, what's the mission status? Have they found what we were brought here for?"

Blackjack
2017-10-05, 02:41 PM
Battle Station Ginrai

Diac nodded at Ginrai. He doesn't seem to be under duress (and why would he be?) and Nightbeat seemed like the honest sort. "Well suited, hmm?" Diac looked to Nightbeat, and gave him a shrug. "And you seem to not mind being Ginrai's partner either. This might be unconventional, but we are in an unconventional situation at this point. Nightbeat, how would you like to be Ginrai's partner indefinitely? The choice is, of course, entirely up to you. But the Autobot army could definitely use your services, and Ginrai would definitely be able to use a new partner."

Diac glanced up at Ginrai again. "You have my deepest sympathies for the loss of Pyro. He was a great soldier. I cannot imagine having to lose a Titan Master partner so abruptly, but it is my sincerest hope that you and Nightbeat will get along."

Diac glanced up as Sentinel Prime walked towards them. In another life, if he wasn't bonded to Optimus Prime, and if the older Autobot wasn't so tightly-strung, they probably would've been good friends.

"Sentinel Prime." Diac said, giving the other Prime a salute. Sentinel and Optimus don't get along too well, but there's no reason for him to disrespect him. Not much, anyway. "We have not located... the contents of the dig site. Although I do believe that it is high time that we tell our troops about just what it is we're after."
_________________________________________

Decepticon Meeting

Astrotrain hated being stuck in his shuttle mode. That was one of the biggest drawbacks of the Titan-Master process... the indignities of being forced to interact to others while in vehicle mode.

"A pleasant surprise indeed, Deathsaurus. Forgive my current changeform, for my partner is currently aiding our great leader." Astrorain replied to the larger general. "I was here to help assess the troop deployment, but more importantly -- to make sure that the contents of this dig site ends in Decepticon hands."

Astrotrain liked Deathsaurus. He was honourable, and Astrotrain liked that in an ally. Despite all the backstabbing, cutthroat politics of the Decepticon high command, Astrotrain honestly wished that things were simpler and everyone genuinely wanted to help the Decepticon cause like he did.

Warcry
2017-10-05, 06:34 PM
Decepticon Meeting

Necro shifted uncomfortably under Darkmoon's scrutiny, and even moreso at the memories he was sifting through. Megatron's psyche, it seemed, was a deeply unhealthy place, something that was only the worse because of how many Titan Masters he'd been bonded to and subsequently broken. Necro could detect memory fragments from at least a dozen other, non-Megatron minds superimposed on the Decepticon leader's own. Had he been a therapist, sorting out the mess would have been the work of a lifetime.

But Necro wasn't here to make things better. Not even for his own entertainment, alas. He was here to find a very specific set of memories and bring them to the fore. And so he navigated briskly around the ages-old suffering of an abused mining slave, the glories of a gladiatorial hero and the stresses of a wartime leader until he found...

"Yes, yes," he muttered. "Here we go. I've found the problem and I'm transferring the memories in question to Megatron's primary buffers. He --" and you, Doomshot, not that I'd mention it aloud "-- should be able to access them readily once he's reactivated, at which point they'll load back into non-corrupted sectors of his memory cores."

His needles disconnected from Megatron's neck socket and started to withdraw back into his hand.

"Now if you're done with me, I'd like to collect some subjects to work on as we travel."
______________________________________________

"Fangry has his uses," Doomshot said with an indifferent shrug. He pondered Darkmoon's other point for a moment before adding, "Megatron got shot out of the sky from miles away because he was highly visible. I'd rather that not happen again. This new scheme should provide some camouflage in the regions we'll be visiting."

And serve as a warning of just what I could have done to him if I wanted, yes...

"He will not like it, but he will like not getting shot."

Turning to face the newly-arrived Deathsaurus Doomshot gave a curt nod to one of the few members of the 'old guard' that he truly respected...even if he was unnerved by the other Decepticon's habit of speaking in plural when he was connected to his Titan Master. But after all, their relationship was fairly unique among Titans and their Masters, and it only held that the expression of it would be too. It seemed harmless, in any case.

"Now that Necro is done his work -- don't go far, Necro, we'll be leaving momentarily -- all that remains is for Darkmoon to perform some minor alterations to Megatron's superstructure. Then he shall be active once more and we should be able to depart."

He glanced at Darkmoon and added, "I assume the cosmetic reformat will be a quick process?"
______________________________________________

Mindwipe sighed. "I do not know. Vorath read some obscure literature on the subject years ago. There was vun incident on Earth where an Autobot was subjected to it against his vill, that I know." While combined with his Titan Master, his accent was far less thick and his words much easier to understand. "I vould imagine that the flesh creatures had to be altered physically in order to..."

He trailed off, as if his train of thought had suddenly been derailed. After a moment, he muttered, "Of course, of course." Then he shook his head and continued. "They organics must have been altered physically in order to perform the transformation, let alone to interface with a Transformer mind."

Returning them to their baseline physiology vould have been impossible, he thought to himself, but they are mere organics. We are Transformers. Could vun of us who was altered, be returned to normal?

With a glance over at Brisko, he said, "That vould be incredibly unhygienic."
______________________________________________

Battlestation Ginrai

Hardhead nodded his cannon to Sentinel Prime. "As Diac says, sir, we have made little progress so far. Though -- as he also says -- it would be helpful if someone would tell the rest of us what we're looking for!"
______________________________________________

With Diac being the nice guy in the conversation, Furos reluctantly stepped in to play "bad cop".

"I have to ask, Nightbeat...what are your intentions here? I don't know if you've been bonded to a Titan before, but the process can grow deep roots quickly. Especially when the Titan itself is so new. If you intend to go back to working as a detective after the current crisis has passed, the results could be seriously traumatic. For both of you, but especially for Ginrai since he's already lost one partner."

He glanced over at Prime's Titan Master, as if to emphasize his next point. "Who we are bonded to often has more to do with our role in the military these days than our own skills do. And Ginrai, for better or worse, is a battle platform, not an investigative lab. If you stay with him, you may not get many chances to exercise your chosen profession."
______________________________________________

In the Air

"'Nightlight'! I look nothing like that buffoon! Why, I oughta..." Aimless's rage was, thankfully, not transferred back to Deathsaurus, since Misfire wisely kept his microphone muted.

"Dude, calm down."

"Calm? The boss doesn't even know my name!"

"So?" Misfire wanted to shrug, but it was hard to do that when you were a plane. "It's not like you're jockeying for a promotion. That'd just be more work to dodge. Besides, this way he doesn't know who to yell at when you mess up."

"Well, I guess that's something anyway." Aimless seemed to calm down, at least enough to stop paying attention again and devote his attention to his game.

Activating the comm, Misfire responded to Deathsaurus. "Yeah...got it, sir. We'll head back now. If you need help with anything when we get there, I'm totally game. Uh, sir."

"Suck-up," Aimless taunted him as soon as he'd muted the mikes again.

Heinrad
2017-10-06, 03:19 AM
Battle Station Ginrai:


Nightbeat simply smiled. "I've never been bonded to a Titan before now, because of one thing: this." He tapped the side of his head. "My mind doesn't work the way yours does. My logic centers are wired up differently, and my neural nets don't meld well with an already established personality. The only way I'd get a partner is if they either copied my mind into a Titan body- at that point, why bother? It'd be really confusing for both of us - or basically put me with a blank slate. Besides, the Security Investigation Division(OOC: think of it as the Autobot version of NCIS)didn't really need me anymore, especially since I couldn't be teamed with anybody." He rapped his knuckles on Ginrai's console gently. "Thanks to Ginrai here, I can go back to what I used to do. I will gladly become his permanent partner."

----------
Decepticon meeting:

Brisko nodded unhappily. "I know. But he doesn't care. He's safely ensconced inside of me. I'm the one who'd be covered in fuel."

Blackjack
2017-10-06, 12:00 PM
Decepticon Meeting

Darkmoon nodded as Necro finished whatever he was doing. Manipulating memories, or something, he didn’t particularly care – he did what he was asked to do, and that was monitor if Necro did anything other than making a particular memory piece more accessible to Megatron’s psyche. “He did what he was ordered to do.” Darkmoon told Doomshot. The Titan Master nodded. It was weird, actually enacting a plan to depose Megatron and put another Decepticon – as much as that Decepticon is still kinda-sorta Megatron himself – in his place. After the many arguments he had with Astrotrain in the past about putting them in charge, to make a power play themselves… ah, well. There’s still time. And besides, Doomshot was… nice, as much as a Decepticon tyrant can be.

“Highly visible. Gotcha.” Darkmoon guessed that Doomshot was lying. If Doomshot was worried about visibility, or about camouflage, he would tell Darkmoon to install stealth technology, or to paint him black, or make him invisible. This was… what did Astrotrain call it? A passive-aggressive power play? Best not to question these fellow when they’re doing this. “It’ll be quick, sure.” Darkmoon sauntered up to Astrotrain’s shuttle mode, and the hatch opened.

Thanks to subspace technology, the interior of Astrotrain’s shuttle mode was fairly larger than it would be if you see him from the outside. Once, when Astrotrain was still a Decepticon that fought on the front lines, the insides of Astrotrain’s shuttle mode would be filled with Decepticon troops. Now they contain a large amount of emergency resources that Darkmoon has co-opted into a medical bay.

Darkmoon walked in, and emerged with a large data-slug that was almost as big as Darkmoon himself. The small Titan Master made his way to Megatron’s body, and plugged the slug into an access port. The data-slug transformed slightly, revealing a small screen and keyboard, and Darkmoon inputted the appearance that Doomshot had requested of him.

“Courtesy of this particularly aesthetic-savvy tech genius. Needleface? Needlehead? Needle something, at any rate.” Darkmoon explained, as he clicked a button. The data slug seemed to fold upon itself, but in reality it is being absorbed through Megatron’s system, running through energon lines to reach every part of Megatron’s body, dissolving and transforming into nanites that would bleach the metal that comprised Megatron’s exterior body. “Allows you to quite literally transform the colour of your experience without the more traumatic, cumbersome stasis pods.”

Patches of colour – dark purples and blacks, with a tinge of blue – appeared on Megatron’s body, and they began to expand. Soon, in under a minute, Megatron’s entire form has been transformed in colour.
_____________________________________________

“An Autobot? Typical. They fight for the weaker races, and they pay them back with dishonour.” Sixshot sighed. “Disgusting creatures.”

Sixshot frowned as Mindwipe explained in detail as to how the organics were bonded to Transformers, and shuddered. “That sounds horrible. I would not think that the organics’ physiology would take the alteration well, considering what I’ve seen. They are so fragile.” He glanced at Brisko. “You should be thankful that those abominable half-organics do not make it into our war. Organic fluid stain particularly badly.”
_____________________________________________

Battle Station Ginrai

Diac, still waiting for Sentinel Prime’s answer – Sentinel was the Prime in the situation, what with Optimus still offline – and turned back to Nightbeat. “Furos speaks the truth – you are welcome to give it a thought, at least after the crisis here is resolved. But fate, at least, seems to have other plans for you.” He paused, and nodded as Nightbeat replied. “But if you are willing, and are making the choices of your own volition, then I would formally like to welcome you back into the Autobot army.”

tahukanuva
2017-10-07, 02:10 AM
Decepticon Meeting

Deathsaurus nodded cordially at Astrotrain's apology. "Think nothing of it. It's the state of all of you vehicleformers these days. We're glad to have you here at any rate."

"May I take it you're as concerned with Megatron's health as I am?" they asked, without changing their tone, but darting their optics meaningfully between Doomshot and where Darkmoon was plugging the repaint device into Megatron.

Turning now to Doomshot, they replied, "That's good. I was worried he might be out of it for a long haul. He would not have pleased to have missed the mission, especially if we don't.. Excuse me a moment."

Their comm buzzed with Misfire's reply. "Very well. We'll see you at camp momentarily. Take a short break, and we'll let you know when you're needed."

'Totally game'? Full military protocol might be a bit ridiculous, but a little formality is hardly too much to ask. Still, the eagerness is to be commended at least.

"Sorry about that, Doomshot. The scouting patrol is headed back to camp now, by the way. We also have some news that we hope you'll enjoy; we took the liberty of hiring some emergency reinforcements before we deployed, in the case that things went, well, exactly how they went. They should be arriving in orbit at any moment."


-----------------------------------------------------


Battle Station Ginrai


Sentinel Prime was taken aback by Diac's piping up from the battle station, although his faceplate hid all but turning his head and a brief brightening of his optics.

Oh. Optimus's head. That would explain the tone.

He gave a curt nod in response to the salute. "Very well, Diac. And apologies to you, Hardhead," he said, with a nod that was only slightly more friendly, "keeping everyone in the dark was never my idea, and I certainly was not aware that they had not even told you, commander."

Of course, Sentinel was hardly opposed to keeping secrets. Secrets had been his downfall, in fact. But keeping a mission a secret from the soldiers carrying it out? It made no sense. He honestly doubted that he'd been given the full story himself.

"Alright, Diac. You want to tell them? Tell them. You have my leave, if that's what you're waiting for."

Warcry
2017-10-08, 05:37 AM
Decepticon Meeting

"Wonderful to hear that the scouts survived," Doomshot told Deathsaurus. "On this planet, you can't be too careful, no..."

He did frown slightly at word of reinforcements. They would be a useful bolster to the Decepticons' numbers, naturally, especially after the combiner had claimed so many lives and Starscream had, as usual, fled. But they would also be unknowns in a way that the crew they'd brought down with them were not. Their loyalties, in particular, would be hard to judge, and as with Astrotrain that would make them someone he needed to watch closely.

"And who, pray tell, can I expect to join us?" he asked, trying to keep his tone casual.

As he waited for the other high-ranking Decepticon to answer, he turned his attention back to his bigger counterpart and the work that was being done on him.

"Ah, good work Necro, yes..." Doomshot said after Darkmoon confirmed that the deviant had done what he was asked.

He'd never heard of the "Needle-something" mech that Darkmoon was referring to, but he watched and nodded with satisfaction as the new colours came to life on his Titan's body. They would, he knew, spread to his own frame as soon as he reconnected to the Decepticon leader's neck.

Yes, reconnect...

That was the rub, of course. As much as Doomshot postured, he really, really didn't look forward to doing that. Megatron's madness was trying at the best of times, but the Decepticon leader's rage would be veritably boiling once he realized what Doomshot had done, both to his body and his mind. And with good cause, for once.

But it was necessary. I will make him see it, even if it takes all I have.

With what he hoped was a confident gait, Doomshot walked towards Megatron and stood by his neck socket.

Here we go.
______________________________________________

"You should tell him that any energon-transmitted diseases you catch vill automatically be passed to him while you're connected, blah," Mindwipe told Brisko.

To Sixshot, he said, "Indeed. Why defend lesser creatures that only want to hurt you? I'll never understand the Autobot mindset, blah."
______________________________________________

Battlestation Ginrai

Hardhead would have crossed his arms over his chest if he'd been in robot mode, but his tone of voice would probably make his feelings pretty clear regardless. "Politics never change, sir," he told Sentinel Prime, "and Optimus has to answer to the same Senate that you did. Well, give or take a few people who got eaten by combiners before we retreated from Cybertron."

Very few of the Autobots' political class had been lost in the disaster, though, Hardhead knew. Most of them had been on the first ships to evacuate the world, securing their own safety ahead of the constituents they claimed to represent.

"I suspect his silence comes as a result of their meddling. Civilian oversight has never been anything but a bane to military planning."
______________________________________________

Furos shrugged. "Having a Titan with the same personality as you can be quite useful. Hardhead and I usually don't even need to talk on the battlefield because we're thinking the same things."
______________________________________________

In the Air

"See, see?" Aimless taunted Misfire. "He's got nothing for us! We should totally see if the dig site has any gaming apps that we don't already have."

Misfire sighed. "Come on, man. Can't you ever think of anything else? We're in this, like, totally apocalyptic end of the world scenario. Don't you at least want to look around?"

"Not really."

Another sigh.

"Got it, sir," he told Deathsaurus. "Just let us know when you need us."

They approached the dig site, with Misfire looking for a safe place to land while Aimless, as usual, did nothing.

Blackjack
2017-10-08, 04:20 PM
Decepticon Meeting

Astrotrain couldn't follow Deathsaurus' eyes, not with the sensors available to him in shuttle mode, and neither could he nod, which was annoying. "Megatron is made of sterner stuff. I- well, we have seen him recover from worse. Without sounding callous, I am here to ensure that our artifact recovery goes smoothly."

Astrotrain thought about what he felt about Doomshot repainting Megatron into a new colour scheme. It's not going to be something that Megatron would like, of course, but Astrotrain had listened to Doomshot's conversation with Darkmoon. It'd be a reasonable enough request that the smaller Decepticon would make of Megatron, yet...

He was hesitating. Was this a moment of weakness? Did Astrotrain choose poorly?

Darkmoon sauntered over to Astrotrain, and the triple changer's shuttle form transformed, merging with his smaller companion once more, Astrotrain stood tall in robot mode, finally giving Deathsaurus a nod.

He watched Doomshot. Was it too much to ask from the smaller Decepticon? Perhaps. But can the next leader of the Decepticon cause do any less?
______________________________________________

Sixshot shrugged at Mindwipe. "They make good pets." He paused, then continued. "And, for someone in your profession, good experiment material, I am sure."
______________________________________________

Battle Station Ginrai

"Optimus received the information shortly after we exited the transwarp tunnel, and the Senate did insist that the number of people who knew about the mission was to be kept to a minimum. We did not want to the Decepticons to catch wind of what we are searching for." Diac frowned. He looked at the people present around him. "But Senate or not, that should not have stopped us from keeping you informed, especially the moment the Decepticons attacked. And for that, I apologize."

He looked up to Sentinel Prime, and nodded. "Very well, sir."

He looked around, and took into stock the people there. Sentinel Prime, glowering under that faceplate. The newly-birthed Ginrai and the newly-inducted Nightbeat. Ever-faithful Hardhead and Furos. Perceptor, staring with such clinical detachment that one could mistake him for a statue. Chromedome, Stylor, Hot Rod, and Cerebros, all faithful soldiers to the Autobot cause. The newcomer Firebolt (who he really need to talk to after this).

"So, a day before we departed, our Intelligence Agency discovered that this dig site was the final location of a mighty battlestation, a relic from a bygone age. A Mega-Titan." Diac paused. "These Mega-Titans are some of the mightiest war machines to ever walk the surface of Cybertrons. Cybertronians as large a small town, actually able to transform into a robotic form... these Titans came from an age long forgotten by most of us." Diac looked up at Sentinel Prime."The Senate had told me that Sentinel Prime knew about the nature of these Mega-Titans, but we did not have the chance to confer before this mission."

"Preposterous." Perceptor scoffed. "A walking city? You might as well as say that we are looking for the Lost Continent of Cyberutopia. Have we forgotten the combiners so soon? The amount of power needed to move even a combiner is beyond that of a single Spark Core, let alone a walking city!"

Diac shot Perceptor a glare. "Fiction or not, these giant colossi would mean disaster should they fall into Decepticon hands. And considering that they have arrived back on Cybertron at the same time that we have, it cannot be a coincidence." Diac looked around. "Which is what should be our priority at this moment. Find it, secure it, and depart Cybertron before the Decepticons do."

Heinrad
2017-10-09, 02:33 AM
Battle Station Ginrai:


"That's part of the problem, Furos. Being of one mind works in combat. Not so much in detecting, computing the different angles, and trying to come up with all the different ways to secure whatever it is you're keeping secure. Another mind might notice something you missed simply because you didn't think of it. If the other mind is exactly like yours, it might miss it, too."

------

Hot Rod's canopy hissed open.


"We're looking for a what?" Firedrive was having a hard time wrapping his head around the concept.

"Mega-Titans are a myth. The legend was old even when I was young," Hot Rod's voice growled out of the vocoder in his dash.

"If the dig site is on top of this Mega-Titan, why not just go down there and get it? If we can get it operational again, maybe we can use it to escape."

"Because this might be really bad, Chromedome. We've got Decepticons mixed in with our troops." Stylor gave a weary sigh. "Besides, Perceptor is right. How would we power it?"

"That part, I might be able to help with," said Ginrai. "In this mode, I'm designed to generate Energon from any source I can. I'm taking radiation from the air, light, ground vibrations- anything. Mainly it's to be self sufficient in combat. But that could be diverted from my weapons systems if needed."

Blackjack
2017-10-09, 05:39 AM
Battle Station Ginrai

Diac looked at Hot Rod, and nodded. "That was what we thought, but the Senate made it clear that they had very reliable information that a Mega-Titan -- or at least a structure equivalent to one -- has been uncovered by the archaeological staff here. If there is the slightest chance that such a weapon of destruction should fall into Decepticon hands..." Diac paused, then turned to Nightbeat, and frowned. "I don't suppose you know anything about this, Nightbeat?"

Diac then turned to address Chromedome. "Escape is a matter of getting to a communications relay and calling the Ark back, but Stylor is right. We have the Decepticons, and we cannot allow them to obtain the weapon."

Perceptor nodded, and patted the barrel of the sniper rifle he's holding. "A powerful weapon. That sounds a lot more logical than what, should I be inclined towards using extravagant vernacular, I would describe as a walking fairytale city."

Diac looked to Ginrai and nodded. "That is partially the reason the Senate requested you to be deployed, Ginrai. As well as Perceptor and Convex, who I am confident are capable enough of engineering a way to power the Mega-Titan, should his skepticism be proven false."

Diac paused as he felt a tinge on the back of his mind. Cerebros was working on the mental bonds that connected him to Optimus Prime, and after their traumatic separation, Cerebros was re-connecting them. He felt the all-too-familiar mental pathways open one by one, and Diac could feel Optimus Prime's calm personality seep through. An actual link to his Titan partner would be necessary to actually connect their minds and sycnchronize what they know, but Diac took comfort in the fact that their leader was unharmed.

tahukanuva
2017-10-09, 05:44 AM
Decepticon Meeting

Deathsaurus frowned slightly at Doomshot inquiry, "Well, we doubt you'll be pleased by that part. As short notice as this mission was, We didn't have time to put together a team ourself, so we had to hire a contractor, and that contractor is Straxus."

Straxus was mercenary and brutish, even by Decepticon standards. Deathsaurus was loathe to work with him, but any port in a storm, as the saying goes, and this mission and all the makings of a storm.

Deathsaurus' gaze followed Doomshot as the smaller Decepticon walked back towards his Titan partner.

"The purple's a bit.. gauche, don't you think?"

--------------------------

Battle Station Ginrai


Sentinel Prime nodded after Diac finished his explanation. "I do know of them, although obviously I've never seen one in person. They were mentioned in some of the more ancient volumes in the Primal Basilica library. It makes sense that Optimus didn't have a chance to read them before it was razed. The idea that he didn't have a chance to brief anyone before we arrived is a little more spurious, however, and you can be sure I'll have some words for him if he ever decides to wake up from his nap."

Heinrad
2017-10-10, 02:00 AM
Battle Station Ginrai:


Nightbeat thought for a moment. "I know they thought they were close to finding something, but they were keeping it pretty quiet." He shrugged. "I'm not really much of an archaeologist. At a guess, we're going to have to go down and see what they found."

*********
Dig Site:


As stealthily as possible, which is pretty silent, a bat-shaped drone flapped through the air, finally landing upside down, wrapping mechanical wings around it's body, red glistening optics taking in everything.

Warcry
2017-10-10, 10:27 PM
(OOC: The cities couldn't have disappeared that long ago, guys. This one's buried on the same battlefield as a modern combiner, after all. They're ancient history to be sure, but still HISTORY, not myth.)

Decepticon Meeting

"Head on."

The activation phrase was unnecessary, of course. It had been decades since Titan technology has been so primitive. But old habits, and all that. Yes...

Doomshot folded up, his body taking on a cuboid form as his head sunk into Megatron's neck socket. Neural shunts extruded out of his temples and locked into place on Megatron's connector sockets, prompting similar connectors to connect from Megatron into Doomshot at the same time as the Decepticon leader's socket clamps set him into place. As the connections initialized and data began to pass between the two of them, Doomshot had a few moments to scrutinize the memories that he'd had Necro dredge up. He was not disappointed.

Then Megatron's processors finished booting up, and the shouting started. Thankfully, Doomshot had been prepared for this eventuality, and the shouting remained internal. He wasn't sure if Megatron's explosion of rage would have translated into anything but an inchoate roar of fury. Doomshot allowed Megatron's wrath to wash over him, galvanizing him for what was to come. And once the white-hot anger began to burn out, as all anger did, the Titan Master tossed a though of his own into their shared mind-space.

You brought this on yourself.

You dare--

No, Megatron. I don't "dare". I am doing what a Titan Master is supposed to do. The fact that I have to resort to such extreme measures simply illustrates how petty and childish your behaviour is. Whether you like it or not, Megatron, we are two parts of the same whole now. Indivisible.

Megatron's rage flared yet again. You are just the latest in a line of replaceable widgets, Doomshot. You won't "master" me, no more than any of the others. How are they doing, anyway?

You say that, Doomshot told him. You don't truly believe it. I am not afraid of you. Your attempted mental assaults don't phase me. Every day, you feel less and less in control of our shared mind. So you act out like a child, yes, spitefully trying to fight me off without any regard for how it is impacting the cause that you created.

So you would have me give up? Surrender the sovereignty of my own thoughts that the High Command tried to steal from me against my will? Never! Who would follow such a Megatron?

Who follows you now? Doomshot asked coldly. I didn't do what I did solely to get the information that you withheld from me, no. Nor did I do it to hurt you. I did it to illustrate that I can. But not as a petty power game, no. To show you how far you have fallen in the eyes of your own troops. Search my memories and tell me, did anyone actually try to stop me from violating either the mind or the body of our once-beloved leader? This is what your enemies in High Command have made of you -- a shadow of your former self with no authority and no loyalty from your men.

Megatron's returned snarl was halfhearted at best. And you care why, exactly?

Because your enemies are my enemies, Doomshot responded. Literally, since I'm your head, but in spirit as well. High Command cares not for victory. All they want is to maintain the status quo as they squabble amongst themselves for power. They need to be removed. I cannot do that. In your current state, neither can you. Ah, but together...

What do you propose?

Doomshot would have smiled if they were having this conversation in reality. High Command expects me to, as you say, be one in a long line...a distraction, nothing more, to keep you from achieving the mental clarity to see what they have done to you. One among their number, Astrotrain, seems to be playing his own game. He wants me to dispose of your mind entirely so that I can become leader.

Megatron scoffed.

"Indeed, Doomshot agreed. So we need to do what none of our enemies expect. Allow our minds to merge, Megatron. We need to become a true Titan Master partnership. We need to stop fighting each other...and start fighting them.

Megatron was clearly unconvinced, but he wasn't exploding with refusal either. And what exactly do you offer that I cannot do by myself?

Aside from the fact that you need a head? Doomshot did his best not to allow his smug self-satisfaction to show. You are a very direct being Megatron, yes. You thrive on situations where you can plow through a challenge using your strength and charisma. But you are not at home in the arena of politics, no. You lack the insight to see when your enemies are scheming behind your back, plotting out your doom eight steps ahead. Don't deny it, no. If that wasn't true, we wouldn't be here. With your raw power and my cunning and insight, there will be no blind spots, no avenues left unguarded for our enemies to attack unseen.

And if you need evidence of that, simply search my mind for what I've discovered about the real target of our mission here, and the lies that the Science Directorate told you.

Megatron lowered his guard and allowed Doomshot's knowledge to flow into them. Whether due to the surprise of what he found there or simple acceptance and agreement, the mental shields that kept their mental bond from fully forming came down a short moment later. Doomshot felt himself melting away into becoming a part of another being altogether, the merging of himself and Megatron that their robot mode had always been meant to be. And in the last moments of separate consciousness before the two truly became one, he felt a rush of triumph.
______________________________________________

As Megatron -- a new Megatron, one that hoped to be greater than the sum of his parts -- rose from the ground where he'd been worked on, he did his best not to inspect his new paintwork. He wasn't entirely fond of he change, but he understood the motivation behind it. Astrotrain wanted Doomshot to take charge, and what better way to play along than to be seen literally "branding" Megatron has his possession? It was just one more slight that Astrotrain and his council friends would pay for in the end.

"Ah, my Decepticons," he said. "How truly loyal you must be to gather by your leader's sickbed like this." The steel in his expression made it clear that he knew exactly what they'd been doing. "But the time for convalescing has passed. You have questions for me, yes?"

He emphasized the last word in an attempt to proverbially perk up Astrotrain's ears with evidence that his scheme was succeeding.

Then he addressed Deathsaurus. "The purple," he said, "is irrelevant. Choosing to hire a questionably trustworthy criminal like Straxus is not. If he proves to be less than loyal, the consequences shall be yours. So keep a close eye on him."
______________________________________________

Mindwipe shook his head. "They are too fragile to survive very long as Vorath's lab rats, Sixshot, and their anatomies are too different to us anyway. And they lack a proper brain for my own talents to influence, blah."
______________________________________________

Battlestation Ginrai

"I fought alongside them in my youth," Hardhead told Hot Rod darkly. "And against them. I was there when Gigastorm vaporized half of the 12th Autobot Army with a single volley at Yuss. They are the farthest thing from a myth. The very first combiners were created long ago as desperate countermeasures to those gigantic menaces, lest we forget."

Furos interjected, "I remember them as well. But I would caution all of you from thinking of them as some mere 'weapon'. They were as alive as you or I."

As he walked towards his Titan, the two of them reflexively transformed to robot mode and continued their shared thought, "Indeed, if it is somehow still alive after all this time, it may not be interested in cooperating with us." The old soldier repressed a shiver. "I can't say I'd be keen on crossing paths with a truculent Mega-Titan. But like Perceptor, I'd be very skeptical at the prospect of actually finding one even remotely functional. The last one fell...probably centuries before we had to evacuate Cybertron. And, bluntly, good riddance."

Heinrad
2017-10-11, 01:45 AM
Battle Station Ginrai:


Ginrai, deep within his processors, would have scowled if it was possible. There was a section he couldn't access. All his diagnostics could tell him was corrupted data. He decided to let Nightbeat know. True, his partner knew nothing about working on his computer systems, but he was bright enough. He might have some advice. Or get him the help he'd need to fix-

"No, Ginrai. I am your partner. Let me be."

"Pyro?"

"Yes, my friend. Or at least what's left of me. Just some random data stuck in your buffers. The next time you cycle the power to your combat systems I'll be gone."

"Oh...."

-----------------

"Then we'd be better served to just go down there and burn it's cortical centers out. Otherwise we're trading one set of headaches for a much larger set of headaches," Hot Rod growled in response.

"I hate to say it, Roddy, but you're wrong." Nightbeat scowled up at Sentinel. "Much like the combiner fiasco that forced us to leave Cybertron, I have to point something out. There's probably more than one of these damned things out there. If the Decepticons find one, we won't stand a chance. Not unless we have one of our own."

Blackjack
2017-10-11, 11:38 AM
Decepticon Meeting

Straxus... Astrotrain frowned when Deathsaurus said the name. He did not trust the other Decepticon. He's one of the symptoms of the High Command and Megatron's failure to rule, independent mercenaries running around wearing the Decepticon badge...

He shrugged at Deathsaurus' comment on Megatron's coloration, "It's Decepticon colours, I suppose." He said.

Astrotrain watched with bated expectations as Doomshot reconnected with Megatron. This was where it boiled down to -- would Doomshot be able to subjugate -- or convince -- the Decepticon leader? He supposed he would know in the next few seconds, depending on whether he's reduced into a pile of fusion-blasted ash. After all, Megatron did not take to treason too kindly.

That prolonged yes...

Astrotrain nodded, subtly, almost imperceptibly, when Megatron said that. Truthfully, Astrotrain wasn't sure -- and he will never be -- if this truly is Doomshot taking over Megatron, or if Megatron himself remained the dominant personality and is impersonating Doomshot. Though if that's the case, then this attempt at fooling Astrotrain and being charismatic in front of the troops is certainly a sign of Megatron becoming a new leader.

Whatever the case, it was a win-win situation for Astrotrain. Nay, for the Decepticon cause.
______________________________________________

Sixshot shrugged at Mindwipe's dismissal of organics. "They are liquid based, are they not? Of course what passes for their brain is inferior. I once-"

Whatever Sixshot was about to said was interrupted by Megatron waking up. Sixshot, completely and blissfully oblivious to all the political maneuvering and internal conflict that was brewing in his leader's head, simply saluted.
______________________________________________

Battle Station Ginrai

Diac looked to Sentinel Prime, bit back the reply he was about to say, and nodded. "If you say so." He had enough respect -- and at the same time, enough irritation -- at the older Prime to not make a scene and defend Optimus here. Besides, this was one problem he was happy to allow Optimus Prime to handle. Diac wouldn't want an argument to splinter the Autobot leadership here.

He looked to Nightbeat and nodded. "Then go down the dig site we shall. Are you familiar enough to lead us there?"

With a cough, Cerebros looked up from where he is working on Optimus Prime's body. "With Perceptor's help, your repairs are more or less done. You'll have to reconnect to actually be bonded to Optimus Prime once more, though."

Diac looked at Hardhead with a frown. He personally had never fought alongside the Mega-Titans, although he had always thought that the stories about their size and their destructive capabilities were hyperbole and that they're simply... well, combiners. The thought that there was something that large, that destructive...

Diac's first thought was I need to get me one of those.

And then: The destruction it would wreak would be catastrophic.

"Alive. Yes." Diac said absent-mindedly to Hardhead, as he pressed the finger of his right hand onto his temple. There was a loud noise of some sort that was drowning out his thoughts. "Hopefully, if the Mega-Titan exists in this dig site, he will still be alive and cooperative. However, if not... as blunt as it might sound to speak of them as assets, they still have particularly powerful weaponry attached to them, so alive or not, we need to secure the Mega-Titan."

Optimus would not like that. Optimus would not like that. Optimus would not approve. Optimus Prime should not be like that. It was Diac's own voice, repeating the same thing over and over in his head, admonishing him for even daring to think of the Mega-Titan as nothing but a big weapon. That is not the Autobot way. Not how the Autobots think. All sentient beings have the right for freedom. All of them.

Diac then glared at Hot Rod. "But if the Mega Titan, if it is alive... we will not kill it unless it gives us significant reason to do so. That is not- not the Autobot way."

Not the Autobot way. Not the way of the Autobots. Not what Optimus Prime stood for. Not what the Autobots stood for.

Diac walked up to the vehicular form of Optimus Prime, and placed his palm on Optimus's front grille. He let out a sigh, and then sent out the mental command. Optimus Prime transformed, as plates folded, wheels retracted, and limbs were formed. Diac leaped into the air and transformed into Optimus Prime's head, interlocking into the empty space on Optimus's neck, as the all-too-familiar form of Optimus Prime stood tall before the Autobots...

And Diac surrendered to the peaceful sea of strong morals and ideals, allowing his anger and irritation to bleed away.
______________________________________________

Optimus Prime was active once more. He had been drifting in a sea of stars. Was it the Well of the All Sparks? Was it the strange un-space within the Matrix of Leadership where the spirits of all Primes go to after their deaths?

He joined together with Diac, and felt the younger, more eager Autobot's mind calm down. At once, the knowledge and the general fatigue that his partner has been feeling for the past hour flowed into Optimus Prime as their minds melded together.

The poor child. Optimus Prime thought to himself.

And then a second wave of grief and guilt as he realized how Pyro and the others have fallen to the Decepticons and the combiners. Sentinel was right. It was partially his fault to blame for keeping the mission a secret from his allies. And any excuse he would make would simply be that. Excuses.

As Optimus stood tall, he run a diagnostics check on his body. Cerebros was a good medic -- the body was operating at near-maximum capacity, and he would definitely be battle ready should it be demanded of him.

Optimus looked around, settling finally on Sentinel Prime. His mentor and predecessor, driven with the same drive and rage that drove Diac, only without a proper outlet and some resentment towards being replaced. "The information came to me the moment we exited the wormhole, and by that time the Decepticons have attacked. I had judged that we would be able to repel the Decepticon assault and have a proper debriefing afterwards, and clearly I was mistaken. And for that -- I apologize." Optimus tried to keep his voice as sincere as he could do, to not sound too defensive.

But it would not do to keep the others waiting, especially not since they have lost a fair amount of time. "But Diac is right. We need to journey down to the dig site, and secure the Mega-Titan. Autobots- roll out!"
______________________________________________

Perceptor frowned. The Mega-Titans exist? I have no memory of this. How can I have no memory of this? How can I not have read a record of any of this?

The idea of a knowledge that eluded him was intolerable. Unacceptable. The scientist was frowning and seething silently, angry at himself for his ignorance, angry at the record-keepers, who are clearly not doing their job right... or maybe that old soldier Hardhead is causing things to be more over-dramatic than they should? Yes. Soldiers do have a way to over-exaggerate what they don't understand. Perhaps this... 'Gigastorm' is merely a combiner prototype. A particularly large and unwieldy one. After all, everyone knew Yuss was destroyed by... destroyed by...

Perceptor paused.

What was the cause of Yuss's destuction?

Memory gaps. No, even worse. Gaps of knowledge. Unacceptable. Perceptor cannot accept this. He should know. He must know. How could he not know?

Perceptor was honestly quite glad when Optimus gave him an excuse to not think about that too much. He unslung his sniper rifle, and nodded.

Heinrad
2017-10-12, 12:54 AM
Battle Station Ginrai:


Nightbeat nodded. "I can take us all down there." He moved back to the main console and tapped a few keys. "Before we go, could I get Cerebros to take a quick look at Ginrai's connector port? It took some feedback damage when Megatron shot him."

-------

Hot Rod's canopy hissed shut, the interlocks clicking.

"Aren't you older than Hardhead?"

"Possibly. The damage that was done to me by the combiner was severe. Chunks of my memory aren't so much missing as disrupted. But I am fairly certain that I never fought alongside one."

Blackjack
2017-10-12, 06:21 PM
Battle Station Ginrai:

"Certainly." Cerebros replied to Nightbeat, walking up towards the battestation mode of Ginrai. "Traumatic severing of the titan master bond, and then a near-immediate introduction of a new partner... I don't say this lightly, but it's a miracle you two are still... well, not driven insane by the backlash."

Cerebros frowned as he looked up. "Ginrai, could you please transform into your robot mode? I would examine the mode that Nightbeat would connect with you."

Heinrad
2017-10-13, 02:11 AM
Battle Station Ginrai:

There was a brief pause following Cerebros' request, then Nightbeat jumped down as he felt the rumbling beneath him of Ginrai transforming to robot mode, the massive Titan now looming above them, the empty visor of the Optimus Prime-like helmet looking down at the assembled group, Ginrai using the optical feeds on the sides of the helmet to see.

Then the helmet hissed up and back as the Titan knelt, lowering it's torso so Cerebros could access the damaged connector port.

Warcry
2017-10-15, 05:53 AM
Decepticon Meeting

Megatron returned Sixshot's salute.

At the rear of the group, Misfire raised a hand. "Uh...I've got a question. Sir. Those combiners that were coming this way? They were going to be here in ten minutes. That was, like, seven minutes ago? Shouldn't we, you know...scram?"

"He makes an excellent point, sir." Full-Tilt (now complete with a head after Necro had combined with him) always managed to sound significantly more sincere and trustworthy than his master, even though he had little personality of his own. Megatron still had to resist the urge to squash him for what Necro had done.

In time. Truth be told, it was hard to be entirely wrathful since one half of him had also been the one who'd ordered the invasion, but that didn't stop him from wanting to snuff out anyone who'd taken a peek though his memories, just on principle.

"You two are, of course, correct. We will depart." Megatron set his jaw. "But not yet. Mindwipe, have you finished studying the maps?"

Mindwipe stepped forward and nodded. "I have, sir."

"Sector fourteen by eight by forty-two. Is that what I think it is?"

"I believe so. The central tower is wery distinctive. And see the four smaller, cylindrical towers to the east?" Mindwipe smiled. "If I -- that is, Vorath -- hadn't written a paper on the Mega-Titans, I wouldn't have noticed. You could mistake them for a set of smokestacks, but that's not what they are at all."

"No, they are not. Laser-guided mortars, rather." Megatron frowned. "I didn't think I'd see one of these again, but this is definitely a Maximus-class Autobot."

"Why do I suddenly get the impression that the Science Directorate chose us for a wery narrow subsection of our academic work?" Mindwipe shook his head. "I'm guessing we're going to take it and strip it for parts?"

"You would think, but no." Megatron smiled. "You see, your superiors merely told me that they'd discovered a supremely deadly weapons cache at these coordinates. They neglected to mention the weapons were attached to a particularly large and ornery Transformer. But they were quite specific about the weapons I could expect to find. A warship-grade flashing laser cannon, rotating blasters, destructo beams, and dual photon launchers. Heat-seeking plasma bombs and a particle beam cannon. Anti-gravity repulsor disks. Hypno-beams." Megatron's eyes narrowed. "Precisely none of which are found on a Maximus. And no mention of laser-guided mortars."

"So you think..." Mindwipe trailed off. "Ah. Fourteen by ten, just below surface level?"

"It does rather resemble a saurian arm, yes..."

Misfire piped up again. "Uh...excuse me. None of us have the slightest idea what you guys just said."

"For now," Megatron told him, "all you need to worry about is that we know where we're going." He raised his voice. "Decepticons, hear me! We have located the weapons we came to claim! While the Autobots are trying to claim their prize, plumbing the depths of the scientists' dig tunnels and then some, we shall fly directly to ours and beat them to the punch!" He smiled, a look equal parts cunning and anticipation. "But the trip will not be easy. I shan't imagine the combiners will take our travels lightly. So anyone with a ground-based alt-mode will have to make the journey inside of Astrotrain."
______________________________________________

Battlestation Ginrai

"As much as I would like to agree with Hot Rod," Hardhead interjected, "Diac is right. Killing an unconscious enemy would be highly dishonourable. If we will resort to that, how are we any different from the Decepticons?"

He looked over at Nightbeat and said, "There were only a very small number ever built, on either side, for obvious reasons. They burned enough energon just transforming from one mode to the next to power a conventional brigade of troops for a month. I won't say that there can't be more than one down there, but there just as well might only be one. Since so many battle records were lost in the evacuation, we shouldn't make any assumptions. There were at least four major battles in this district and we don't even know which one's remains the dig team was excavating, unless you know something I don't."

Blackjack
2017-10-15, 07:34 PM
Battle Station Ginrai:

Cerebros waited as Ginrai transformed, taking the full form of his robot mode, which... towered so high above him. Cerebros suppressed his thoughts about the sheer array of firepower that the Ginrai Titan possessed. Not the time for this, Cerebros. He thought to himself.

Cerebros watched as the eyeless visage of the face that is so iconic in the form of Optimus Prime slid open. Primus apotheosis. If only he had time to talk to Pyro, get him to see a proper psychiatrist, get the damn disease cured... would it have made a difference? Would it have made Pyro less reckless? Cerebros supposed he would never know. Another life lost to this damned war.

Cerberos looked into the connector port, and frowned. All things considered, it was... functional was how Cerebros would put it. It had to, for Nightbeat and Ginrai to properly bond. Yet, at the same time...

"It's in remarkably functional shape, all things considered." Cerebros spoke, for Ginrai and Nightbeat's benefit as much as his own. He liked talking himself through things. "There are some connector points that are damaged, like here, and here... but nothing too serious. I'd guess that the damage is caused by the heat warping when Pyro was... forcibly removed. I could fix that, of course, but I don't think we can afford the time at the moment."

Cerebros paused. "You two have bonded before, yes? The connection will be maintained if you two bonded again after I fix the connector ports, but the connection won't be quite perfect just yet -- there may be... a sense that your minds aren't gelling quite perfectly."

He paused, and frowned. He extended his index finger and the tip opened, revealing a small pincer appendage. "Hold still now." Cerebros said, and extended the appendage. It expertly moved quickly through the main components, pulling out chunks of melted metal, and shards of glass -- perhaps from Pyro's visor? A little morbid, and Cerebros debated whether to say anything.

Cerebros paused. "I did everything I can at the moment, although I would certainly like to have a more proper go-around and fix the damaged connector ports. I have removed the... the remaining... remains from the main connector ports, but I'd recommend still having these minor ports fixed at the first possible opportunity we can get in order to make your bond seamless."
______________________________________________

"We'd be victorious." Perceptor replied to Hardhead. "We would be victorious, and we would be alive. That is how we'll be different. But I do agree with you on this particular case. -- it is highly illogical to kill someone before we have ascertained their intentions."
______________________________________________

Optimus Prime waited until Cerebros was done with his examination, before nodding. "Nightbeat, if you would do the honours. We will be right behind you."

Saying that, Optimus transformed into vehicle mode, folding into place as the long-nosed truck cab. Diac disconnected from Optimus Prime and landed within the truck's seat. One hand still clutched his head, and he was looking at the road ahead. Diac's head hurt.

Diac? Diac, I am sorry. I did not mean to-

I know, Prime. But what choice do we have? They need a leader. They needed Optimus Prime. I have to become you, one way or another. Don't blame yourself. We have enough problems as it is without you second-guessing yourself.
______________________________________________

Decepticon Meeting

"We could take the fight to them. That is an option." Sixshot shrugged at Misfire's comments. Multiple combiners? It would be an interesting battle.

NO NO NO NO NO the part of him that was Revolver screamed loudly in Sixshot's mind, and he mentally sighed. For all his talk about honour, Revolver was very unwilling to seek stronger opponents at times.

He frowned when Megatron and Mindwipe began talking. He had no idea what a 'Maximus Class Autobot' is, but he would definitely like to try and battle it. It sounds powerful, if nothing else.
______________________________________________

Astrotrain listened to Megatron and Mindwipe as they spoke. Well, the cat's out of the bag now. Astrotrain thought to himself. At least Vorath is competent enough. A Maximus-class Autobot... Astrotrain was forged a bit after most of those were deactivated, and never personally saw one. But it is true that what the Council wanted was the weapons from the Mega-Titans....

Now he's handing it. Or well, them over to Megatron. Well, Doomshot. It was... challenging, for lack of a better term, to deal with two leading figures when they combine into a single being that shared a mind.

Speaking of sharing a mind...

---------

Inside Astrotrain's Head

Within Astrotrain's mind, the mind-space took the place of a clean meeting room. Astrotrain sat on one end. Darkmoon sat on another. Astrotrain knew not all Titan/Titan-Master pairings had a way to visualize the different aspects of the combined mind like this, and he wasn't quite sure if it was his triple-changer technology or if Darkmoon and Astrotrain were simply compatible enough without being too similar.

"Did you know?" Darkmoon frowned. "Seems a bit weird for the Council to burden us with all this information to leave out the fact that there are two of these big bozos out there."

"No." Astrotrain replied. It was no use lying to Darkmoon -- he knew. They shared memories. The conversation was just formality. "But the Council didn't send me/us here to secure the Titans. They sent me/us here to evaluate if Megatron is in control of Doomshot, and if they would use the Mega-Titan weapons to murder the Council."

"Will he?" Darkmoon asked, and then shrugged. "Eh, he would, wouldn't he? I'd do that. You'd do that, if you weren't so obsessed with making the Decepticons great again."

"The question isn't if Megatron or Doomshot is capable of doing so. He certainly is. Both of them." Astrotrain paused, and frowned. "It's what he's going to do with them. Kill the Council? Weaponize the guns and bully the Council to submission? Perhaps by some miracle reactivate the giants?"

"Which one are we hoping for?" Darkmoon asked.

Astrotrain found that he didn't quite have an answer for that.

---------

"Of course." Astrotrain replied to Megatron. He transformed into his shuttle mode, and Darkmoon disconnected. He was glad to end the conversation with his partner there. Darkmoon scowled, but said nothing as he found himself folded up within Astrotrain's cockpit.

Astrotrain briefly thought to himself if Megatron/Doomshot asked him to act as a glorified troop transport -- the role he had long left after his promotion -- to spite him, but quickly decided that it was too petty to really bother him. Besides, the reasons Megatron gave made sense enough to him. Flying to the site of the Titans would work.

The shuttle bay doors opened, and Astrotrain mentally subspaced all the medical equipment that Darkmoon had placed within his shuttle bay. It took more energy to maintain those in the actual subspace as it does within his alternate mode, but it won't be that long of a flight.

"All abroad!" Darkmoon yelled, "Any of you Decepticons who can't fly, get in!"

tahukanuva
2017-10-16, 10:23 PM
Decepticon Meeting

Deathsaurus nodded respectfully as Megatron reactivated.

"Of course, sir. We've made sure that Straxus is fully aware of the consequences should he step out of line. Also, sir, We're glad to see you back on your feet. If those 'weapons' are what We think that you think they are, the Decepticons need you heading this fight."

Deathsaurus' words were honest. Megatron is a vital figurehead for troop morale, and a brilliant battlefield commander. In his element, Megatron was like nothing Deathsaurus had ever seen.

The problem, Deathsaurus believed, was that governing was not Megatron's element. Nor, despite what fondness they might have for Astrotrain or other individual members, was it the element of the Council. Seeing Cybertron again had filled Deathsaurus with guilt over leaving, but this brief spat of politics and secrets reminded them why they had.


--------------------------


Near Ginrai and the Gang


(ooc: I'm not sure how to reconcile my last Sentinel post with the corrected Titan timeline, so I guess just pretend he said something correct instead of incorrect.)


Sentinel's optics narrowed at Optimus's apology, and he raised an accusing finger. "The very fact that your senate would dare keep information from you, as if you were a common soldier, as if you answer to them, makes me skeptical of whether you're even a Prime at all anymore, Optimus."

He said the name with significance and mockery, to remind the other Prime of their history together, how he'd been Sentinel's prized student before the Matrix was passed. Before he'd disappointed Sentinel so severely over the ages that had passed since then.

Sentinel Prime shifted into train mode, leaving Infinitus dazed as his personality reasserted itself, and Sentinel's residual anger faded from his mind.

"Well," the old Prime shouted, "by your order, Prime. There's a Titan down there, in case you hadn't been told, and we need to retrieve it before that merry band of fascists gets to it."


---------------------------------


Cybertron Outer Orbit


Straxus' starship, Hephaestus, exited warp drive.

"Pilot, put Captain Deathsaurus on the comm. I'll let him know we've arrived."

"Sorry, sir, Lord Straxus, sir, but it seems there's some sort of interference in the atmosphere preventing us from establishing audio contact with the ground forces.. sir."

"Alright, I guess I'll do it the old-fashioned way."

The 'old fashioned way' involved sending a raw data stream directly from one personal comm to another. The method was very difficult to block or intercept, but conversely, could only carry very limited information. The stream sent to Deathsaurus, once decoded, read simply; ARRIVED. WHERE.


------------------------------

Decepticon Meeting


Deathsaurus shifted back into beast mode, and into their seperate selves.
Deathsaurus spread his wings to prepare for flight, glanced over at Astrotrain and opened his beak to say something, but was cut off by Esmeral..

"Not a chance, 'Captain'," she said, playfully, "I'm flying alongside you. Not cramming myself into the back of a space-worthy accountant."

"Very well, dear. If you insist on remaining exposed, however, I'd prefer you fly above me. Combiners are powerful, and I'd prefer they have to get through me to get to you."

A series of electronic tones sounded in Deathsaurus's ear. "Ah, my back-up is here. Excuse me, Es." Deathsaurus took a few steps back towards Megatron. "Commander, Straxus and his troops are in orbit. Shall I give them the coordinates for the weapons, sir?"

Heinrad
2017-10-17, 03:32 AM
Where Battle Station Ginrai used to be:


Nightbeat walked over and peered at the connector port. "Thanks, Cerebros." He stepped back as Ginrai rose to a kneeling position. "Ready to give it a shot, big bot?"

"Yes, I am, Nightbeat."

"Then here we go." Nightbeat leapt into the air, transforming to head mode and locking into place onto Ginrai's shoulders. The armored helmet whirred up and locked into place, Nightbeat's ruby colored optic visor staring out of a very Optimus-like face.

One thing that was proving surprisingly hard to get used to was the height difference. But the connection felt much better this time. The weapons systems indicators were all green and indicating ready for use, all of the sensors were giving him almost too much information. He could sense Roller, plugged into a compartment somewhere in Ginrai's torso, all folded up and compact in a storage mode.

He slowly turned, looking at everyone in turn, and when he saw Sentinel, he could almost feel something inside him yelling. Being unused to the role of Titan Master, he brushed it off.

Ginrai transformed to vehicle mode, the flat nosed semi's engine rumbling to life, and as the semi entered the dig tunnels, lights on the cab and trailer flared to life.

----------------
Decepticon meeting:


The bat-drone watched at the Decepticons started to move, deciding to wait until they were moving to start following.

Blackjack
2017-10-17, 11:44 AM
Where Battle Station Ginrai used to be:

Diac’s first instinct to Sentinel’s accusation was to snap out in anger at the older Prime. But he held it in. Optimus did make a mistake, after all – Diac wouldn’t defend the action. But the insult? He supposed he should thank his headache for helping him rein in the anger he was feeling within him.

Optimus, thankfully, was far more diplomatic. In vehicle mode, Optimus Prime would rumble out. “Rest assured, Sentinel, that the Senate will be dealt with. But I- we- do answer to them. They were elected by the people for a reason, and that is to avoid the same thing we are fighting the Decepticons against – fascists,in your own words .” That was what you taught me. Once. Optimus wanted to add, but he restrained himself. “But yes. We should go now. Autobots – roll out!”

To prevent the argument from escalating, Optimus followed in Ginrai’s trail as he moved.
____________________________________________________

Perceptor would transform into his mobile artillery emplacement mode, tank treads rolling as he moved in place next to Optimus Prime.

Cerebros, not having the luxury of having a vehicular mode with wheels, hopped on and clung onto the side of Ginrai’s trailer, holding on to a railing. “Hope you don’t mind a passenger, big guy.”

Warcry
2017-10-18, 05:59 PM
Decepticon Meeting

Megatron had to chuckle at Sixshot's comment. "As...invigorating as that would be, I'm afraid we have bigger objectives in mind today."

When Deathsaurus asked his question, Megatron shook his head. "Absolutely not. Straxus is the last person I'd trust with that information, especially since he might get there before us. The last thing we want is for him to make off with the weapons, reverse-engineer them and sell them to our enemies." The Decepticon leader stroked his chin for a moment, then said, "Have him meet us half-way there. He should think it is a vital location, so that he wastes his effort trying to think of ways to steal that from us instead of our real objective."

One of Megatron's component parts (he couldn't tell which) whispered that he was being too paranoid. He probably was, but...

One can't be too careful. Not with so rich a prize up for grabs.

The whisper went silent and Megatron smiled.

"Decepticons, to the sky!"

He transformed to jet mode, albeit with a slight twinge of reluctance -- he had no idea if his component parts would ever again cooperate enough to merge on this level -- and blasted off towards the objective.
______________________________________________

Misfire followed his leader into the sky. "Aimless, can you please put down your game and keep an eye out for combiners this time? The last one almost ate us."

"Meh."
______________________________________________

Full-Tilt climbed aboard Astrotrain's shuttle mode and found a seat that was suitably large for him. He was followed by several dozen Titan Masters, including both the unaccompanied ones and those whose vehicle partners only had ground modes.

Mindwipe followed them on, only to receive a taunt from the Decepticon car.

"What, your wing broken?" Full-Tilt asked.

Mindwipe shook his head. "No, but I do not think that a bat can keep up vith a squadron of jets if the combiners do attack. Besides, I vish to...consult vith you about something."

"Oh, really?" Full-Tilt cocked his head to one side, an interested expression on his face. "This I must hear. What, pray tell, does the mystic need with the scientist?"

"It has to do," Mindwipe began ominously, as was his habit, "vith combiners..."
______________________________________________

Autobot Convoy

"We would win nothing but dishonour," Hardhead told Perceptor bluntly. "If we are going to behave like Decepticons, we might as well put purple badges on and save ourselves the trouble."

He transformed back into tank mode, with Furos smoothly landing in his cockpit and dogging it shut.

Although they said nothing, both Hardhead and Furos silently agreed with Sentinel's scathing assessment of Prime's relationship with the Senate.