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Old 2017-09-14, 04:18 PM   #201
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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.
 
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Old 2017-09-14, 06:48 PM   #202
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(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?"
 
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Old 2017-09-15, 03:11 AM   #203
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Default OOC: "Vorath worried anyway." hahahaha!

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.
 
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Old 2017-09-15, 09:57 PM   #204
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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."
 
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Old 2017-09-16, 02:56 AM   #205
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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.
 

Last edited by Blackjack; 2017-09-17 at 09:41 PM.
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Old 2017-09-18, 02:43 AM   #206
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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?"
 
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Old 2017-09-18, 03:07 PM   #207
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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."
 

Last edited by Blackjack; 2017-09-18 at 03:21 PM. Reason: Google chrome ate the last two paragraphs
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Old 2017-09-20, 03:14 AM   #208
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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?"
 
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Old 2017-09-20, 08:40 PM   #209
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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."
 
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Old 2017-09-21, 03:46 AM   #210
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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?"
 

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Old 2017-09-22, 05:51 PM   #211
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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."
 
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Old 2017-09-23, 01:39 AM   #212
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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.
 
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Old 2017-09-23, 02:04 AM   #213
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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."
 
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Old 2017-09-23, 07:37 PM   #214
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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.
 

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Old 2017-09-27, 07:54 PM   #215
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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."
 

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Old 2017-09-28, 02:26 AM   #216
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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.
 
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Old 2017-09-28, 03:30 PM   #217
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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."
 
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Old 2017-09-28, 06:00 PM   #218
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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.
 
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Old 2017-09-29, 12:56 AM   #219
Heinrad
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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?"
 
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Old 2017-09-29, 01:53 PM   #220
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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.”
 
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