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Old 2017-10-11, 11:38 AM   #241
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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.
 
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Old 2017-10-12, 12:54 AM   #242
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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."
 
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Old 2017-10-12, 06:21 PM   #243
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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."
 
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Old 2017-10-13, 02:11 AM   #244
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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.
 
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Old 2017-10-15, 05:53 AM   #245
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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."
 
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Old 2017-10-15, 07:34 PM   #246
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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!"
 
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Old 2017-10-16, 10:23 PM   #247
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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?"
 

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Old 2017-10-17, 03:32 AM   #248
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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.
 
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Old 2017-10-17, 11:44 AM   #249
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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.”
 
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Old 2017-10-18, 05:59 PM   #250
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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.
 
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Old 2017-10-20, 07:23 AM   #251
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Decepticon Meeting

At Megatron's command, Sixshot leaped into the air, folding into his jet mode as he did so. His helmet split apart and retracted into the recesses of his transforming form, and Sixshot's head detached and transformed into Revolver, which quickly ended up within Sixshot's cockpit.
______________________________________________

Astrotrain could, of course, listen to everything Full-Tilt, Mindwipe and all the other Decepticons within him was saying, but said nothing. Whatever the two were conferring, Astrotrain knew that they were competent enough to keep whatever juicy secrets they didn't want Astrotrain to know out of earshot, or simply not care if what they're talking about is overheard.

"All abroad!" Darkmoon yelled, and Astrotrain closed his bay doors. His boosters locked into place, and he shot into the air behind Sixshot and Megatron.
______________________________________________

Autobot Convoy

Perceptor wanted to bite back a retort to Hardhead. How honour meant nothing if they prolonged the war just for the sake of an abstract concept like that, if lives were senselessly lost because someone felt bad in their spark. But infighting within the Autobot forces made no sense, not when there were more pressing matters to attend. Instead, Perceptor contended with "If you say so."

Convex said nothing, sitting atop of Perceptor, arms folded. He glared at his larger partner in disapproval.
 
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Old 2017-10-24, 01:18 AM   #252
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Autobot Convoy:


"Well? We gonna go with them?" Firedrive plugged his arms into the control mounts, looking out the canopy as the others rumbled into the tunnel.

Hot Rod's engine rumbled to life. "Yes." He started rolling forward, the headlights clicking on as he followed the others.

------

Chromedome rolled along, looking forward to fighting a Mega-Titan.

Stylor, on the other hand, wasn't looking forward to it at all.

-----

Nightbeat looked at the controls. It was kind of odd, getting all of this extra information feeding in to him. But this was working. "How are you holding up?"

"All systems in the green. I do have to wonder, though..... Am I going to fit down there?"

"Probably not past a certain point."

*****
Following the Decepticons:


Hellbat could feel the drone starting to tire. Having spent all of these years stuck to Liokaiser hadn't hurt the drone, but trying to fly fast enough to keep up with jets might have been something it could do over short distances.

Long ones were another matter.
 
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Old 2017-10-25, 09:01 PM   #253
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In the air

"Sixshot," Megatron instructed, "take point with me. We will keep an eye out for threats and engage with any that get too close to us. Deathsaurus, take Misfire, Fangry and the rest and form a defensive screen around Astrotrain. Engage anything that gets by us!"

Though the Decepticon leader was no longer connected to Doomshot, he would still seem a bit more...calm, perhaps, than usual. As if something internal that he'd been fighting against had suddenly been settled.
______________________________________________

Astrotrain's cargo bay

Full-Tilt's head tilted to the side as he eyed the brain module that Mindwipe had presented him. "I've never examined one of these in person. You say you used your...astral voodoo nonsense to access its memories."

"Not memories per se, blah." If Mindwipe had been alone, without Vorath's influence on the shared mind, the conversation would have devolved into shouting at this point. But the scientist's rationality kept them on-task in spite of the insults. "Impressions. Feelings. The lingering essence of their being. Recollections mixed in, of course, but coloured by other things. That is vhy I need your input. What you recover will be more objective, I think."

"It couldn't possibly be less-so." Necro examined the brain module again, then shrugged. "Why not?" As the needles slid out of his right hand and sunk into the dead robot's brain, he asked, "But I can't imagine what you hope to gain from this."

"We need to understand the minds of those stuck inside the combiners," Mindwipe said flatly. "How else vill we free them from their bondage?"

"Oh, that's all?"
______________________________________________

Autobot Convoy

Hardhead didn't bother responding to Perceptor. While the two of them wore the same badge, the old soldier knew that they really weren't on the same page at all. How could they be, when the other Autobot was willing to toss out everything that made them Autobots for the sake of expediency? Thankfully there were only a scant few like him amongst their ranks. If the likes of Perceptor were allowed to have too much influence, the Autobots would become just as much of a scourge on the galaxy as the Decepticons where. While he knew that Perceptor was a valuable asset now, Hardhead looked forward to the day when he and those like him would have no place among the Autobots.

And speaking of things that have no place here...

The tank slowed down, falling towards the rear of the line until he was almost even with Hot Rod.

"It is time," he told his fellow veteran, "that we had a talk."
 
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Old 2017-10-25, 11:01 PM   #254
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In the air:


Fangry flapped along, the compressed air cannon in his tail sending out a steady stream of air behind him, panting slightly.

*********
In the tunnels:


He'd done it. He'd done what he'd been unable to do during the fight.

He'd saved Pyro. Or at least saved what was left of him. And he'd done the only thing he could think of.

He's incorporated the vestiges of Pyro's mind into his own mind. Now he had more experience to draw on. More knowledge.

Now he just had to get Nightbeat on board with the plan.

Of being Optimus Prime.

---------

Nightbeat, his arms plugged into the console, watched the tunnel walls slide by, brightly lit by all of the lights on Ginrai. Headlights, lights on the front of the trailer, lights on the sides- it was light being in a rolling light show.

This, too, would take some getting used to.

The smart windshields suddenly alerted, sub windows opening to show the tunnel starting to narrow a little. He accessed the mental command, and the ion cannons and laser cannons retracted into the trailer.

-----------


Firedrive, his face lit by the glowing displays on Hot Rod's dash, looked over as Hardhead came along side. "What's he want?"

"There's only one way we'll find out."

"I'll let you talk to him. He doesn't like me very much."

"Suit yourself." He activated his external speakers. "Yes, Hardhead. What do you want to talk about?"
 
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Old 2017-10-27, 08:45 AM   #255
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Autobot Convoy

Diac glanced behind, looking at Hardhead pulling up next to Hot Rod, presumably in order to talk to the second unconventional Titan/Titan Master pairing that had happened recently. He was grateful that Hardhead chose to do that -- between the headaches and the fact that they really needed to get to the digsite as quickly as possible, there hasn't been much time for Diac to sit down and talk to Hot Rod. Part of him wanted to go back there, and listen to what Hot Rod and Firedrive have to say for themselves....

But he trusted Hardhead enough. Plus, his head was hurting and he wasn't sure how much of a help he would be in that situation.

Optimus Prime, for his part, fell in line behind Ginrai, retracting his own trailer weapons inside as the tunnel narrowed.
________________________________________

In the air

"As you wish, my lord." Sixshot replied to Megatron, activating his afterburners as he accelerated, leaving the larger form of Astrotrain behind him and keeping up with the Decepticon leader.

Revolver sit rigid in his seat, looking out of the windows of the cockpit, keeping an eye out for threats.
________________________________________

Astrotrain would move and keep pace behind Sixshot and Megatron, waiting for the others to form said defensive screen. He wasn't completely defenseless, of course -- he had already deployed the multiple weapon turrets that dotted his form -- but he was certainly less maneuverable when he had so much weight within his vehicle mode.

Astrotrain listened to what Full-Tilt and Mindwipe were talking about within his vehicle mode, but didn't find the conversation particularly enlightening -- it was neither treacherous speech, or information that was relevant to Astrotrain. Although... if these two could fix the combiners' minds... and would be able to utilize the combiners as well as the mega-titan...

One thing at a time. Astrotrain reminded himself.
 
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Old 2017-10-31, 05:57 PM   #256
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In the air

Megatron kept his sensors on wide, scanning for combiners. He didn't see any, strangely enough. But he did see...something.

"Doomshot," he said reluctantly, "can you clean up that reading?"

The Titan Master punched away at the controls in the cockpit, frowning. "I don't think so. It doesn't seem like a problem with the sensors, but with the object we're scanning. It's large but amorphous, changing too quickly for us to capture an image."

Megatron growled, then said, "Sixshot, I have a contact out at 4700 metres, eight degrees off our our present course. Do you see it?"
______________________________________________

Aimless stared out his cockpit. "So what's with him?" he asked, jerking his thumb towards Fangry.

"Who?"

"The walking fur coat that's flying by breaking wind. Who else?"

"Oh, him." Misfire's airframe shivered. "Stay out of his way, dude."

"What, I'm supposed to be afraid of a little puppy?" Aimless scoffed.

"Well, I guess that depends on how you feel about being eaten."
______________________________________________

Astrotrain's cargo bay

Full-Tilt frowned as he slid his needles back into his hand. "It is as you say," he nodded. "There seems to have been significant memory bleed between the owner of this brain module and the minds he was combined with. Even if the physical bonds were severed, the components would be completely non-functional. The individuals' minds no longer solely reside in their own brains. This sort of 'gestalt madness' was suspected during the wars, but never actually proven."

"Until now." Mindwipe smiled. "But now ve know. The problems are not simply physical, the growing together of neural links, like the old scientists thought. To break the bonds and separate the combiners, we vould have to first split their minds and move them back into their proper bodies."

"That seems like it would be an insurmountable problem," Full-Tilt frowned.

"Maybe," Mindwipe admitted. "Maybe not."
______________________________________________

Autobot Convoy

"Do not play coy with me," Hardhead told Hot Rod bluntly. "You are well aware that I wanted your new 'partner' sent to the brig for his crimes. Optimus granted him a reprieve solely on your say-so. But that does not mean that the conversation is over, Hot Rod. As tactical officer it is my duty to evaluate the combat readiness of my soldiers, and yours is still highly questionable."

The green and grey Autobot's cockpit hatch popped open. Furos sighed and said, "What he means to say is that we need to know how you two are doing after seeing your first action together. You both need to give us an honest evaluation of your work as a team."
 
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Old 2017-11-01, 06:53 PM   #257
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Autobot Convoy:


“Well”, Hot Rod began-

Then his canopy hissed open, revealing Firedrive’s annoyed face. “We suck.”

“We do not. We’re simply working out our compatibility issues.”

“Compatibility issues?!?! When we were fighting Skullcruncher you took over!!!!!!

“Because you lost control. Your blind panic could have gotten us both killed!”

“A mechanical crocodile was trying to rip my leg-“

MY leg!”

“Fine, OUR leg off! Of course I was panicking!” Firedrive’s scowl deepened. “Then there’s your whole reaction to the death of that combiner.....”

“It got what it deserved.” Hot Rod sighed. “Look. Part of your problem is simply inexperience. You’ll get it. We survived, and that’s the important part.”
 
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Old 2017-11-03, 04:28 AM   #258
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Decepticon Meeting, just before they took to the air


Deathsaurus bowed his draconic head to Megatron, "As you command, sir."

Deathsaurus beamed a signal back to Straxus of Megatron's chosen rendezvous point.

Truth be told, Deathsaurus was hardly more fond of Straxus than any of the other Decepticons. The warlord was kept at arms length by high command for good reason. But, times being what they are, enemy of my enemy, and all that...

The massive Decepticon took wing, taking up a rear guard position behind Astrotrain, with Esmeral jetting into the airspace above him.


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



Cybertron Orbit

"Sir, Deathsaurus has replied with coordinates, sir. We're moving into position for drop now. Sir."

"Excellent. Put me on the comms so that I might address my troops."

"Yes, sir, Lord Straxus, sir."

"Alright, my barbarians, we have arrived at last to the planet the Autobots stole from us. We're here, because our esteemed Lord Megatron has some guns that he's real keen to get his claws on. For once, he and I have something in common. They've given us a deployment point, which means they've run into some Autobot trouble, so I hope you've all brought your war faces. Now, strap on your swords, load up your ammo packs, and get ready to drop."

Straxus hopped up from his captain's chair and took the lift down to the shuttle bay. The bay was a raucous scene of Titan partners linking up and loading up, rowdy with anticipation of battle. Despite their agitated state, and Straxus's very small stature, they all gave him a wide berth as he crossed toward the back of the bay, where Nemesis was waiting.

Straxus laid a hand on Nemesis's hood, and took a second to gaze in admiration. This new Titan was perfect; the glossy black, the gleaming chrome, the ram power rumbling from underneath the hood. Yes, this new Titan would do very well.

"Are you ready for you maiden voyage, Nemesis? Your first taste of battle in your new life?"

"I have been looking forward to this ever since you rebirthed me, Lord Straxus. I want nothing more than to bring ruination unto the Autobots alongside you."

"Excellent, my dog of war. You shall have your wish soon enough. You must wait only a short while longer. Now, let us be joined."

Nemesis's panels shifted and folded, bringing him up into robot form as Straxus folded and shifted to take his place as the head of the gestalt. The troops stopped and stared for a moment in surprise as Optimus Prime appeared in the room.

Nemesis Prime clenched his fists in excitement. "Alright, that's enough gawking. Everyone get aboard the drop pod. We have a date with the devil, and I don't intend to be late."

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

Ominus loaded his vehicles in the munitions bay of the drop pod and sighed nervously. He still wasn't accustomed to combat, but mercenary work helps to pay the bills while he's still rebuilding his empire. Plus, it's not like anything could actually hurt him in that new Black Shadow armor. Probably. Plus plus, it turns out, fighting's pretty fun, especially when you've got a bunch of big ol' guns.

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

Sunstorm stood silently in the troop compartment, arms crossed. It had been far too long since he'd had a good battle. His pistons and gears practically ached at the prospect. He hoped that someone down there could give him a good match.

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

With all the troops loaded and securely strapped in, the floor of the Hephaestus opened up, and the drop pod plummeted towards Cybertron.
 
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Old 2017-11-03, 06:24 AM   #259
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In the air

Sixshot would've frowned had he been in the two modes where he had access to eyebrows. He scanned the location that Lord Megatron pointed out, both with his optic sensors and others, but he was unable to get a proper pinpoint at the object, and the fogginess of the terrain with the fallout from the many wars that has gone on made it difficult for optic sensors to ascertain what it was.

"Revolver?" Sixshot asked out loud within the confines of his cockpit.

"I am trying, Sixshot-sama." Revolver replied, tapping a series of commands into Sixshot's on-board computers, for all the good it did. "I am trying to calibrate your on-board sensors, but I am getting nothing but confused static, just as you do."

Sixshot replied to Megatron -- it wouldn't do to keep the master waiting -- "I see it, my lord, yet I seem to be unable to determine just what it is. Shall I fly down to intercept it?"
______________________________________________

Autobot Convoy

Optimus was aware of the distress his partner was in, as well as the conversation happening between Hardhead and Hot Rod, and their respective partners, further back down the line. He mulled about it for a while, and decided not to intervene. He trusted Hardhead and Furos to not harm another Autobot, as hard-headed as the older Autobot may be at times. And Hot Rod was someone that he trusted too, a veteran of many battles that has served the cause well. Firedrive was the unknown quantity, a brash child...

But were they not all brash children, once?
 
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Old 2017-11-08, 07:43 PM   #260
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In the air

As Megatron scowled at the cloud in front of them, it began to grow slightly more distinct, enough so that he could make out a bit of colour in it. Mostly black, but flashes of purple and orange and silver...

"Insecticons," he growled over his comlink to Sixshot. "It's a swarm of rogue Insecticons."

Hearing the worry in his partner (and for once, he didn't use that word ironically)'s voice, Doomshot opened a comm channel to all the other Decepticons.

"Decepticons, reduce your altitude, yes... If you have a ground mode, transform! If we travel beneath them, they may not notice us."
______________________________________________

Aimless ignored Doomshot's warning, which was great because it meant that Misfire was able to drop close to the ground and fly a terrain-hugging course without worrying about crashing into anyone or anything.

He glanced over at Deathsaurus, making sure that the field commander didn't need anything from him. He also kept half a sensor on Astrotrain so that he wouldn't blunder into the transport's way.
______________________________________________

Astrotrain's cargo bay

Full-Tilt and Mindwipe continued to chatter about a mix of science and mysticism, trading theories and hypotheses until Full-Tilt repeated the conclusion that Mindwipe himself had come to before their conversation had even begun.

"To actually test any of this, I'm afraid you'll need to capture one of them. Alive. Intact."

"Blah, that was what I vas afraid you would say."
______________________________________________

Autobot Convoy

Hardhead made a low rumble. "Giving up on yourself is not honourable--"

Furos cut him off before he could go on a lengthy diatribe about all the other dishonourable things that Firedrive had done. "Be that as it may, Hot Rod is right. You're alive, which is frankly better than I expected from a pairing that has had practically zero training together and whose Titan Master understandably had no idea what he was supposed to be doing. That speaks to some measure of raw talent...or dumb luck."

"A warrior cannot count on luck to survive!" Hardhead interjected.

"I agree!" Furos glanced over at Hot Rod and said, "no matter what your background before you were bonded, you are both raw rookies when it comes to this. If you want to survive long enough to prove Hardhead wrong, you'll need experience. Training. Practice. And that's something that you can't get from one another, because neither of you have done this before."

The Titan Master smiled. "However, I happen to know someone...she may be able to help you out. If you can convince her that the two of you are worth her time."
 
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