[G1 RPG] Terminus: The Tempest (Protihex), Part II

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Post by Warcry » Fri Oct 19, 2012 4:58 am

Constructicon Hospital

"Nothing but static on his channel," Snarl told Grimstone. "I'm starting to worry."

"Me Sludge have headache," the other Dinobot said, responding to both Grimstone and Brawl. "And me Sludge no stupid. Me see Decepticon badges on 'medics', no let them poke around in brain. Wait til find Ratchet."
_______________________________________

Scrapper glared at Hook. "I swear, if I have to give your place in Devastator to Hightower I'll do it."

Looking over to Shockwave, he said, "Unlike Hook here, I'm capable of multitasking. And also unlike Hook, I'm not going to second-guess the science behind your plan. What help do you need to implement it?"
_______________________________________

Shuttle Gunner shrugged. "I doubt such a gesture would be appreciated," he told Darkjet bluntly. "Target Hawk makes no effort to seek out company, and in fact actively avoids it most of the time. However, since I am already waiting for Sandstorm to wake up I suppose it wouldn't hurt to watch over him too."
_______________________________________

Battlefield

"I think I'll stay, actually," Skydive told Broadside. "This is as good a place as any to observe the battlefield as any, and my high vantage point means that I don't have to burn extra Energon flying while I do it."

He laughed nervously.

"Besides, after all of this I don't mind the rest."
_______________________________________

Octopunch sighed. "Yes, Stranglehold, that's what I'm talking about. Don't think too hard about it now, we wouldn't want you to injure your brain module further."

Turning to look up at Thundercracker, he shrugged. "I don't see any Predacons here right now, so there are no excuses. You better have bagged something big this time out."
_______________________________________

"Yeah, I'm pretty sure that's off the table now," Ramjet agreed with Thundercracker. "But we're, like, bros with the Autobots now apparently, so we probably don't even need ta grab 'im. Just, you know, knock on his door and say 'hi'."

The conehead transformed to robot mode solely so he could shake his head in disgust.

"This 'peace' crap is going to be boring, isn't it?"
_______________________________________

The Lunatic Fringe

Thunderwing squirmed under Prime's rough handling, but he was too weak and drained to put up much resistance. Thunderwing's chest armour gave way, shattering open under Optimus's pure strength. But as Prime's hand drew nearer to the Matrix he would feel an increasing resistance, as if he was trying to move through higher and higher gravity. Eventually, a bare millimetre away from the Matrix's handle, he would find his fingers stopping completely.

"Interesting," Cyclonus said as he watched. "Very interesting. If I had to guess, I'd say that your Matrix and this one aren't on speaking terms."

Indeed, the effect was very similar to the force you'd see if you tried to push the positive poles of two magnets into one another.
_______________________________________

Spinister checked Springer's vitals as he sunk to the ground.

"Will he make it?" Needlenose asked.

"I don't know," Spinister said uncertainly. "Maybe."

Looking up, he told Misfire (who was currently getting a death glare from Slugslinger for some reason), "Guard the entrance. Shoot anything that looks hostile."
_______________________________________

Galaxy Shuttle

"Art?" Blast Master shook his head. "I almost forget what that looked like." He cocked his head to one side. "But, uh...wouldn't anything you make be Slogism by definition? I mean, you being...well, Slog and all."
__________________________________

"Yeah, I'm pretty sure Spinister would shoot us if we tried to use him to distract Wildfly," Birdbrain told Slog. "Guy freaks me out."

"He threatened to bury me alive if I ever spoke to him again," Wildfly said cheerfully.

"Oh? Well in that case I'm warming up to him."
__________________________________

"We?" Kickback shrugged. "I'm not sure there is a 'we' anymore, Shrapnel."

The Insecticon sighed. "No, I never trusted either of you," he said. "Not then. How could I, when all we were doing was betraying people who were stupid enough to trust us? But now I would trust you." Kickback's antenna twitched, an expression of nerves or annoyance -- even he wasn't sure which. "You've changed, Shrapnel. Don't try to deny it. You didn't get press-ganged into your new job. You threw yourself into it and kept doing it until Soundwave noticed and made it official. You'd been looking for something more ever since we escaped from that Autobot prison. So was I. And we've found it -- separately. We've moved on, and there's no going back to who we used to be -- Bombshell or no."

When he said the name of their fallen comrade, he finally turned back to face his former teammate.

"Bombshell got more of a chance with me than he would have if I'd left him," he said firmly. "I gave him his life back, I gave him a purpose and a chance to contribute to the Decepticons. The first thing he tried to do was find a way to cerebro-shell me. You think I was wrong to take precautions? I put a bomb in his head because I knew that if I saved him from the Smelting Pool he'd repay me with betrayal and I'd have to kill him. I released him anyway because after all we'd been through together I thought he at least deserved a chance."

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Post by optimusskids » Sun Oct 21, 2012 2:04 pm

Galaxy Shuttle

Ice Pick speculated

"I believe anything new would be Neo Sloggite or perhaps Post Sloggism."
Image

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Post by Blackjack » Fri Oct 26, 2012 4:40 am

Constructicon Hospital

(OOC: You want me to play Grimlock for a post or two, establish he’s still alive?)

Dude, he’s Grimlock! Don’t worry, he probably broke his commlink or something.” Grimstone replied to Snarl.

“Ratchet’s gone to the Manganese Mountains with the refugees.” Brawl told Sludge. “The Decepticons here haven’t killed anyone… well, anyone important… but if you prefer someone with the red badge, I think Hoist is over in that shuttle.”
_______________________________________

Hook shrugged noncommittally at Scrapper’s threat, and shook his head. “I am not second-guessing Shockwave; I am merely reiterating any concerns that he may have overlooked. With limited resources, after all, we should not waste any at all, if we could help it.”

Behind them, Bonecrusher woke up with a groan. “Tha’ you, Hook? Bloody ‘ell, your droning voice’d wake up th’ dead.”
_______________________________________

Darkjet shrugged at Shuttle Gunner. “We all have our more antisocial teammates, Shuttle Gunner. There’s only three of you left… keep them around. You won’t miss them until they’re gone.”

“We have antisocial teammates?” Moonjet asked.

“You don’t find Flarejet antisocial?”
_______________________________________

Battlefield

“Take the rest. You deserve it.” Broadside called out to Skydive. “Just give us a shout if you see something like… like Quintesson Trident Fighters or an additional giant Imperial or anything. We’ll keep the perimeter.”
_______________________________________

“But my brain module isn’t injured.” Stranglehold replied to Octopunch.

Thundercracker shrugged, “I attacked one of those giant aircraft carrier Imperials… but the Aerialbot armada, the Wreckers and an Omega Sentinel had to drop in, and, well, the battle was cut short very easily.” The Seeker turned to Ramjet, and sighed. “Yeah, that’s probably for the best. Nobody gets hurt or anything this time around.”

“Yeah!” Stranglehold agreed vehemently with Ramjet.

“So long as you don’t knock on Dirge’s door with your head and bring down his entire apartment, Ramjet…” Thundercracker shrugged. “Boring? I doubt it. Personally I’m happy to spend the rest of my life flying… or exploring... but I doubt guys like… like Grimlock or Bludgeon would be happy with peace. They would probably go out into space to blow up the Imperial Hub or something… it never ends for them, you know.”
_______________________________________

The Lunatic Fringe

Flat-out ignoring Slugslinger, Misfire nodded at Spinister, taking position near the entrance with his weapon drawn. “What are you going to do, sir?”
_______________________________________

Galaxy Shuttle

Slog shook his head at Blast Master, “Art made out of corpses, by definition, is the art whose name came from me. Art to remind the horrors of war, Slogism is. Look forward to simple sculpture, I do. Honor the dead, without using the dead, I might. Paintings, structure design, crystalcrafting…”

Slog turned to Icepick and shrugged. “No connection with proper Slogism, these other forms of art are. Free to call them anything but Slogism. Semantics! Enjoy art.”

The boxy Decepticon turned to Birdbrain, and shrugged, “Find Spinister, we must. Utmost importance. Bury Wildfly alive, this I must see. Great inspiration.”
__________________________________

Bludgeon turned to look at Sky Lynx, his skull visage unmistakably still thirsty for battle, and said, "Shall we deploy our troops? There may not be any more Imperials for us to battle, but there will be many wounded as well as Imperial stragglers..."
__________________________________

Shrapnel’s face showed no expression as Kickback spoke. Being around the likes of Kickback, Bombshell and Venom meant that one had to be able to hide one’s emotions.

“I never denied that I changed, changed.” Shrapnel replied to Kickback. “I simply decided not to betray my allies, allies. My friends, friends. In the end of the day, are we not three of a kind, kind? Bombshell may have deserved death, he may have not, not. We may have pushed him over the edge, or he may simply be joking around. If you hadn't put your precautions, he might not have cerebro-shelled you... but who knows? Things happened. Bombers is dead. No use arguing over it anymore... since you have rationalized everything anyway."

Shrapnel exhaled, and shook his head. "So this is it, then? Since there is no going back... the Insecticons are over? We go our separate ways now? I go back to security or whatever, and you go back to your solo information gathering cartel?”

Shrapnel sighed as he turned around, took one step, then another... then turned around, watching Kickback with undisguised pity and concern in his optic band.

“But, Kickback… if you ever find that you’re tired of having no friends… I’m always around.”

Shrapnel turned around again, and kept walking.

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Post by zigzagger » Mon Oct 29, 2012 1:50 am

The Lunatic Fringe

Optimus Prime felt a push, an increasing resistance as he attempted to pry the Matrix away from Thunderwing.

And truly that was the case -- as the Autobot Leader pressed forward, the dark relic shoved back. It seemed to be repelled by the Prime's own Creation Matrix.

Primus, why? The Matrix had drawn me to it's counterpart -- protected me from it. So why, now, does it resist?

Optimus reached out with all his strength, the tips of his fingers just barely grazing the surface of the bauble still nestled inside the Pretender's chest cavity.

"Interesting," Cyclonus said as he watched. "Very interesting. If I had to guess, I'd say that your Matrix and this one aren't on speaking terms."

"It - ngh - it would appear so," answered Prime, grunting.

When the Matrix-bearer shot a quick glance back at the other Decepticon, the epiphany struck.

"Yes -- yes, of course; the affinity," he told Cyclonus, "you have it too. I witnessed it only moments ago. It doesn't wish you to be harmed, does it?"

Prime moved his hand away from Thunderwing's chest, and with the other repositioned his rifle, pointing it directly at the Liege Centuro's forehead. "Quickly, Cyclonus," he said, "before he regains his strength."

__________________

Hoist's Shuttle

Hoist furrowed his brow. "I wish I had comforting words for you," he told Searchlight. "I hate the fact that I've grown so...accustomed to it, that the pain fades quicker with each loss. But, that's how we 'handle it', as you say; it comes with vorns of practice. And I hope - Primus, I hope - that'll never happen to you."

The Autobot mechanic sighed. "It pains me to say it, but I suppose it could be seen as a good sign that the newer generation aren't yet so numb to it..."

Once he secured the last energon conduit to the exposed workings on the Throttlebot's back, Hoist switched off his laser scalpel.

"Because it still hurts," he continued, "life is far more precious to you. You don't know how lucky you are."

---

Constructicon Field Hospital

(OOC: Had a tough time with this one. I'm winging it, basically. Thanks for the input, Warcry :))

Shockwave gestured to the three empty stasis pods, now laid out on the slab.

"My intention is to disperse Hook's counteragent over the city-state, before further infection can occur," he told Scrapper. "These vessel's inbuilt containment fields and timing mechanisms must be reconfigured to accommodate the explosive charges that will be affixed at key structural points--

"Localized fields, meanwhile, will contain the enzymes within, preventing radioactivity upon detonation. Timing must be precise for the barrier-induced pressure to effectively scatter the retrovirus. If successful, the maximum blast radius is projected to be approximately 289.56 meters* per vessel. The pods will be launched into the cloud formation currently in the vicinity -- which will be seeded by Acid Storm."

(OOC: * - Just an arbitrary number.)
____________________

Northern Border, Galaxy Shuttle

Sky Lynx nodded. "Agreed," he told Bludgeon. "Galaxy Shuttle is positioned over the northern border, near the perimeter Prowl has established. We shall move into Protihex from there, since I am told that we are to avoid the city-state center."

The Lieutenant Commander then looked up toward the ceiling. "Galaxy Shuttle," he called out, "if you would be so kind; the doors, please...?"

"AS YOU COMMAND."

Propelled by hidden gears and electrical motors, the massive bay door split wide open, laying to view the devastated landscape below.

Mach, who stood alongside Over-Run and the others, placed a hand over his mouth. "I-I don't believe it."

Sky Lynx shook his head. "A tragedy, truly..."

The dinoblast spun about-face to the assembled Autobots in the hangar. "My friends," he announced, "prepare to depart!"

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Post by Warcry » Wed Oct 31, 2012 4:11 am

Constructicon Hospital

(M'eh. I'd be just as happy not knowing, honestly. We're not Furman, so maybe Grimlock really is dead?)

"Maybe," Snarl said, clearly unconvinced. "But if he's alive, he's in bad shape. Otherwise he'd be standing on top of a mountain of green skulls, or something."

Sludge shrugged. "Hoist friend," he told Brawl. "You enemy. Frenemy maybe. No trust you or Constructicons. Me find Hoist."

The Dinobot lurched toward the indicated shuttle.
_______________________________________

Scrapper nodded in approval as Bonecrusher woke up. "Good. Hook didn't manage to bore you to death."

Turning to Shockwave, he said, "We can do that. Long Haul, I'm sending you the specifications for the adjustments we'll need to make to the emitters so they'll function the way Shockwave intends. If you can make the physical changes, I'll write a software patch to manage it."
_______________________________________

"I'm not certain I'm capable of 'missing' them as you would," Shuttle Gunner admitted to Darkjet. "My software doesn't include any allowances for it, and I'm not certain if the functionality will develop on it's own. I am...not eager to find out."

To change the subject, he asked, "Who is Flarejet?"
_______________________________________

Battlefield

"You're Wreckers. You're honestly saying I'd need to tell you if we were under attack?" Skydive chuckled. "I doubt it, Broadside. More likely you'll be telling me."
_______________________________________

"Just trust me on this," Octopunch told Stranglehold.
_______________________________________

"Yeah, if we don't wanna hurt no one the Pretenders ain't invited," Ramjet told Thundercracker. "Doubt anyone in Iacon'll be happy to see them." He looked around, then said, "There ain't nothin' going on around here. You wanna run off and surprise the bugger?"

He pondered what the other seeker had to say, then shrugged. "Yeah, me, I like fighting. Not to fond of the whole 'war' think though. Maybe someone'll build up the arenas again and I can get inta the gladiator scene."
_______________________________________

The Lunatic Fringe

Spinister looked at Misfire, then around the room at the action (or lack thereof) that was going on.

"I'm not sure," he admitted to his subordinate. "But don't let your guard down. It might look like we've won, but until the last enemy is vanquished we can't be sure," he said, a not-so-veiled reference to Thunderwing and his Matrix.
_______________________________________

"Considering what it did to me the last time I touched it," Cyclonus told Optimus Prime, "I'm not sure I'm looking forward to this. If it tries to take control of me, please do whatever you have to to make sure it doesn't."

Without taking the time for a second thought -- because if he had, he might not have had the courage to do what needed to be done -- Cyclonus reached his hand into Thunderwing's torn-open chest cavity. As his hand reached for the Decepticon Matrix he felt it reaching back, speaking to him through the connection he and it had shared ever since the Quintessons had unleashed their weapon on him. It whispered seductively, sweet nothings of conquest and empire, glory and transcendence.

Years ago, perhaps even weeks ago, Cyclonus would have listened. But Gigatron -- and even Optimus, he reluctantly admitted -- had shown him the stuff of true leadership. The Matrix was powerful, terribly so, but it was no one's tool. It was a weapon, a living weapon that wanted to be used, that demanded to be used. Its promises were lies: conquest and empires would be fleeting, and glory would fade as the Matrix drove him to kill and burn and sunder and destroy all that faced him. With it he would be unstoppable, but he would be betraying everything he ever stood for: another Thunderwing, another Megatron...another Galvatron.

"No!"

He reached farther, trying to close his hand on the Matrix's handle. But it took his measure and balked, seeing not the foolish, blindly loyal follower that he had been when it first touched him but a stronger, more mature, more resolute robot who knew without a shadow doubt what needed to be done. It struck back, trying to brute-force its way into his mind and make him it's puppet, as it had done with Thunderwing.

"Mine!"

Through sheer force of will, Cyclonus tore the Matrix from Thunderwing's chest. It took an even more Herculean effort for him to discard it, casting it on the floor like the obsolete trash that it was.

"But not...for long..." Cyclonus fell to his knees, exhausted, the Decepticon Matrix lying at Optimus Prime's feet.

"Have to...destroy it..."
_______________________________________

Galaxy Shuttle

"Art confuses me," Blast Master said, shaking his head. "Always with the tags and definitions. Me, I just like the pretty pictures."

Hearing Sky Lynx's orders, he and Phaser prepared to depart Galaxy Shuttle.
__________________________________

"Unfortunately," Birdbrain told Slog, "we don't actually have any soil on Cybertron. I suppose he could bury him in rubble, or Imperial corpses or something."

"We were on Charr when he said it," Wildfly piped in. "We had soil there. Maybe we could go for a trip!"
__________________________________

Kickback looked at Shrapnel for a few seconds as the other Insecticon walked away. He was tempted to say something, but what? They were different people now, and their lives were moving in different directions. Sentiment and nostalgia for the way things used to be would only hold them back.

Turning back toward the window, he stared through it but didn't see the vista beyond. His mind was already buzzing with ideas, with thoughts about where his life might go from here.

Wherever that is, he thought with equal measures sadness and relief, it's my life to live now. Not theirs. For the first time in my life, I'm free.

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Post by Blackjack » Fri Nov 09, 2012 2:25 pm

(OOC: Sorry for taking so long to reply.)

Northern Border, Galaxy Shuttle

Bludgeon nodded. “Your strategy is sound, Lieutenant Commander.” The Decepticon Pretender replied in his gravelly voice. He unsheathed his katana, and pointed it at Protihex’s ruined landscape as Galaxy Shuttle’s bay doors opened. Bludgeon was unfazed by the destruction of Protihex… he had personally done much worse, after all. “Decepticons, depart. I want every single Imperial soldier in this city dead. We will purge them off our planet. Fliers, take to the sky, and find survivors. Under no conditions are you attack the Autobots or neutralists unless they fire first.”

With that, Bludgeon leapt into the night, followed in turn by Barrage, Take-Off, Hooligan, Space Case and the rest of the Decepticon army.
__________________________________

“Meant to confuse you, art is not. Definitions, necessary evil for classification. Detract from art itself, I fear. Cause non-artists to get confused it does. Make pretty picture for you, I might.” Slog replied to Blast Master. “For helping us, the least we could do.”

Slog waddled-shuffled over to the open bay doors, turning to Birdbrain and Wildfly. “Consider that trip, I seriously am.” Slog told Wildfly. “Disagree to that, I doubt Icepick will.”
__________________________________

Shrapnel walked forwards, face unreadable.

The Insecticons no longer exist.

There was only him. Only him. Kickback had freely rejected any hope of salvage, if his words are anything to go by. As he leapt into the fray next to Barrage, with Needler wrapping around his head, Shrapnel never felt more empty in his life.
__________________________________

Blackjack leapt out into Protihex as well, immediately raising his commlink to contact Road Hugger… and was surprised to receive a reply from Detour instead. The debriefing that followed… Hyperdrive’s death… Road Hugger being the leader of the Combaticons… the giant Imperials… all the deaths, all the losses…

Like the Insecticons, the Sports Car Patrol will never be the same again.
__________________________________

Blitzwing looked up from where he was sifting through the dead for any survivors with Skyjack. “Ah, look. Reinforcements are here. Too little, too late.” Blitzwing sighed. “If they had came sooner, we might’ve not lost so much. Autobots, Decepticons, they’re all the same. All of them.”
__________________________________

Hoist's Shuttle

“Mmm.” Searchlight shook his head, optics downcast. “I’m not so much a new generation… I’ve seen death before, you know? Was part of the resistance in Cybertron, was there in Autobot City back in 2006, but, well, this was the first time when we Throttlebots didn’t get scrapped all at the same time. Heh.” Searchlight shook his head. “We Throttlebots are a bit rubbish compared to you big boys, aren’t we?”

Searchlight lifted up his head. “It always hurts, Hoist. No matter who dies. That’s what makes us different from the Decepticons. We bury our dead.”
_______________________________________

Constructicon Field Hospital

“Ah, yes, your idea is more practical than mine.” Hook replied to Shockwave. It was all in good fun, after all, Shockwave is a scientist, whereas Hook is a surgeon. A highly knowledgable and competent surgeon, but even one such as Hook has limitations with things outside his specialty. “Your Seeker compatriot’s abilities would be highly useful in seeding the clouds. Then, by all means, let us get started in modifying these stasis pods. Bonecrusher, Long Haul, assist me.”

“The ‘ell ‘appened t’me?” Bonecrusher shook his head as his vision cleared up, and he hopped off the gurney and looked at Scrapper. “Hook? As if I’d let ‘im kill me off. We shared minds, r’member? Ol’ grumpy can’t bore me to death.”

Long Haul nodded and began to get down on the nearest stasis pod, ignoring the glowering Windcharger nearby, as he set on work according to the schematics Scrapper had forwarded him.
_______________________________________

I’ll keep an eye out on green skull mountains, then.” Grimstone replied to Snarl. “Gotta go, Road Hugger just spotted a crashed shuttle full of civvies.

Brawl watched at Sludge walked out, then turned to Snarl with a positively confused look on his face. “What’s a frenemy?”
_______________________________________

Darkjet shrugged at Shuttle Gunner. “You’re young. You’ll learn. Software or not, we’re more than mere machines. You’ll learn. You’ll see. We were bred to be perfect obedient soldiers, and now look at us.”

“Eager or not, it’s a brave new world and all that mushy crap.” Moonjet said cheerfully, happy with the new arm.

“Flarejet was our brother. There were four of us in the Predator Jet Corps-”

“Five, actually, but we never talk about him. He’s a total loon. Shadowjet’s a loon too, but he doesn’t try and get everyone to call him High King Fuhrer or something.”

“Flarejet and Shadowjet form the other half of our team. Shadowjet’s more of a tagalong psycho, although I do miss his bad ice puns now that he’s gone. Flarejet is… well, he spent quite some time as an undercover Autobot, but it seemed that the two of us are the only ones left of our old team.” Darkjet sighed. “So much for my enterprising career among the Imperial Predator forces.”
_______________________________________

Battlefield

Broadside merely gave Skydive a shrug. “More likely than not, kid. See you around- we got some wrecking to do. Hopefully.”
_______________________________________

Stranglehold scratched his head, and Thundercracker opted to ignore the silly Mayhem. How Bludgeon and Octopunch put up with Stranglehold….

But then, he did put up with Skywarp, didn’t he? Friendship takes all sorts, he guessed.

Thundercracker turned to Ramjet and shrugged, “But I don’t think anyone in Iacon can afford to turn them away if Bludgeon suddenly had the cravings for Iacon Fifth Streets’ delicious caesium salami. They’re all about peace and harmony now, yes?” Thundercracker shrugged. “Why not? Make sure he’s still alive and all… grab Thrust and let us go.”

Thundercracker transformed and took into the air. “But the arenas will all be ‘don’t kill’. I don’t think that’ll suit you all too well, Rammers.”
_______________________________________

The Lunatic Fringe

Misfire shrugged, picking up on Spinister’s words. “Assuming we’re talking about ol’ lantern-face, why don’t we just go and hunt him down now?” The Targetmaster glanced out of the door. “After all, it’s not like any of us are medics here.”

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Post by Warcry » Sun Nov 11, 2012 4:43 pm

Hoist's Shuttle

Sludge wrapped his big hand on the shuttle's hull.

Hoist in here? Me Sludge need fixing. No trust Decepticons."
_______________________________________

Constructicon Hospital

Snarl shrugged. "You're asking the wrong guy," he told Brawl. "Sounds to me like it's another of those Rumble-y tapes that you guys made so many of way back."
_______________________________________

"Hmmm?" Scrapper shrugged, his mind preoccupied with writing software patches. "Well, you were in a weakened state, Bonecrusher. And Hook is monumentally boring. Seriously, I'm pretty sure Laserbeak used him as a form of torture when he was interrogating Autobots who wouldn't break. Sit them down and force them to listen to Hook for a few hours and anyone would talk just so they couldn't hear him anymore over their confession."
_______________________________________

"You were...fissioned off from your parents, correct?" Shuttle Gunner asked two Jet Corps flyers. "I wasn't. My body was constructed cold and programmed from scratch by the Quintessons, who didn't include any of the personality code Transformers normally have. They thought it would keep me from rebelling." He gestured to the Decepticon badge on his chest. "Evidently, they were wrong. So I can learn, but what and when I'll learn is a different question."

When Darkjet revealed the identities (and fate) of Flarejet and Shadowjet, Shuttle Gunner nodded sympathetically. "You have my condolences," he said. "And, considering how this day has treated my team, my understanding as well. However, since one of your fellow Predators -- be they sibling or parent -- was responsible for my teammates' deaths, were I to say I was sorry for your losses I'm afraid that would be a lie."

He cocked his head to one side, curiously analyzing what he was feeling.

"I believe that's driven by the emotion you call 'spite'," he said eventually.
_______________________________________

Battlefield

"I was more thinkin' of how we'd all get arrested once Stranglehold flipped an' started punching people," Ramjet told Thundercracker. "'specially if Octopunch finds another god to shoot in the face."

"Hey!"

Ramjet continued, ignoring him. "'sides, this is a trip for seeker bros only. Thrust, you there? Me'n'Thunders are takin' a trip ta Iacon. If you're in one piece, you should come with."

He shrugged. "Eh. It's the whoopin' I like more than the killin', honestly. Corpses ain't no good for headbutting, they don't react at all when you do it."
_______________________________________

The Lunatic Fringe

Spinister gestured toward where Prime and Cyclonus were facing off with Thunderwing. "I meant him," he told Misfire. "Or more specifically, it. I meant to remain here in case they require assistance."

He frowned behind his faceplate, though one who knew him would be able to see the expression around his eyes as well. "However, you do make a good point. If we were to see Springer to the field hospital it would be a good mark in our relations with the Autobots. And since I'm the only one with heavy lift capacity..."

He looped one of Springer's arms around his shoulder.

"Help me get him outside," he told Misfire. "I'll carry him. You'll provide air cover. The others will stay here and provide whatever help is required."
_______________________________________

Northern Border

"That would be...nice," Blast Master told Slog. "It's been a while since any of us have made anything beautiful."
__________________________________

Birdbrain shrugged. "I dunno. If we're taking a trip, why not just space him somewhere? That way we don't need to find shovels."

"I'm starting to feel like you guys don't love me anymore," Wildfly said with a cackle.

"You know, you've only got yourself to blame, Slog. I wanted to leave him in subspace."

"There were pretty colours!" Wildfly cringed. "But scary ones too!"

Birdbrain sighed.

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Battlefield

Post by Chip1123 » Mon Nov 12, 2012 10:33 pm

"Still kicking. Lost sight of most of the friendlies in this mess. Had to bunker down to keep from getting slagged." Thrust replied to Ramjet. "Send me your coordinates and I'll be there shortly."
No Reserves, No Retreats, and No Regrets!!!

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Post by zigzagger » Tue Nov 13, 2012 5:22 am

Near 'Nondescript Building', The Lunatic Fringe

Little had transpired on their watch, but Prowl and his response unit remained vigil outside Thunderwing's hideaway...

That is, until a wave of blue Matrix energy surged out from the building and passed harmlessly through the Autobot bystanders.

Dogfight wore a bewildered expression. "What just -- I mean, did you see...?" he stammered. "Seriously, what the hell was that?"

"Seemed pretty harmless," Backstreet piped up. "Beautiful, though. Whatever it was."

Prowl's optics remained fixed on the building. "Judging by the faint traces of metallo-dielectric nanostructures I detected in those emissions," said the General, "the Matrix, I surmise."

----

Inside - Moments Earlier...

"Cyclonus, are you...?"

Optimus Prime trailed off as his eyes fell onto the dark relic laying at his feet, entranced by the purple energy swirling at its core.

He knelt down and cautiously moved his hand toward Thunderwing's coveted Matrix. And, once more Optimus was met with resistance, like two positive poles naturally repelled by each other. The light of the Creation Matrix at the Prime's core emanated through the seams along his chest, growing intense the more he pushed against the opposing force.

It was as he expected. Optimus brought his hand back, realizing the futility of his efforts.

"Through will alone, then," he concluded. "So be it."

Prime bowed his head and concentrated.

The Creation Matrix heeded. It's radiance dimmed, its protective blue aura dispelled, and as Optimus Prime's enhanced strength lessened, the darker Matrix's influence began to dominate.

When he opened his eyes, and once more looked upon the 'Decepticon Matrix', the Leader of the Autobots could feel it pervade his entire being.

He then reached for the source of Thunderwing's power -- and this time was not met with the same resistance. This time, it welcomed him.

As Prime took the Matrix into his hands, a dark aura washed over his body.

Optimus pitched forward as he succumbed. "So cold...but can't -- can't falter," Prime grunted. "Not now."

He brought the Matrix closer to his chest, determined not to release it from his grasp. Darkness then came, and the lobby, along with its occupants vanished. Time stood still, as it seemed.

--

"Infraspace?" Optimus considered.

'Enlightenment and Might,' a voice echoed through the void, cutting the Prime to the core. 'Creation and Destruction...'

'Such a union has not occurred in many a millennia,' another added, deeper than the last. 'Not since the Matrices were forged in preparation of the Chaos Bringer.'

'It is an experience we have not yet encountered,' many more said in unison. 'We welcome it.'

'Teach us, Descendant of Primus, and the world is yours to remake as you see fit.'

'You have fought for so long...'

'It can all end now, with but a simple gesture.'

'No want. No unhappiness. Your civilization free of conflict. Peace finally achieved.'

"Peace...finally...achieved?" Optimus weakly repeated.

'Yes. And you need only embrace us.'

'It is Primus's will.'

'Fulfill what has been ordained -- and let us achieve true harmony.'

--

Optimus roared, snapping him back into reality, and with it the Creation Matrix was enkindled, brighter than before.

The dark aura dissipated, replaced by a dome of cleansing blue light, that spread out and swallowed the entire lobby. The Matrix energies phased through the walls, alerting the Autobot response unit waiting outside.

A beacon for all to see.

As the Matrices exchanged their experiences, Thunderwing's corrupting influence was washed away. Through super-compressed visual data, Prime bore witness to it all; seeing a history played from an entirely unique perspective.

Much like the legacy of Primes, The Autobot Matrix's counterpart had many bearers, their wisdom and deeds now his, both noble and terrible. Many of whom the Prime had not heard of until now -- and some he knew all too well. Images flashed before his optics, telling the tale of a temporally displaced warrior...

"Gigatron."

Of a former-Decepticon Leader's final stand in Stanix.

"Galvatron."

Of the Matrix's drive for self-preservation that led to the grotesque fusion of Megadeath's mutant spark to Galvatron's body. And finally, Thunderwing, the self-styled Leige Centuro who manipulated the remaining Imperial forces, bereft of direction following the Alignment event.

"This power has inveigled so many, and yet there is hope..."

As well as the journey of another. So much grief this one had endured. Who, despite his heritage to Unicron, had been chosen by this conduit of Primus's essence.

"No. It is not for me to decide -- nor could I even if I wanted to."

Optimus Prime soon regained his senses. In his hands the relic rested, now tamed; the composite of energy at its center shone in a tranquil lavender glow.

He turned to Cyclonus, kneeling nearby from exhaustion, and extended his hand. "Cyclonus," he said, calmly, "get up. It isn't over yet, my friend."

____________________________

Hoist's Shuttle

Hoist ruefully shook his head. "On that point, I very much agree," he told Searchlight. "And we certainly don't disassemble our fallen for spare parts -- like our friends in the encampment next door do," he said in a low, derisive tone.

The Autobot mechanic's head perked up when, as if on cue, Sludge came calling, expressing similar misgivings toward the Constructicons.

Hoist pressed the intercom switch at his work station, moving his mouth plate closer to the speaker. "Hello, Sludge," he said. "I am on the upper-deck. Come on up."

(OOC: I have no objection to off-paging the Field Hospital stuff involving Shockwave. I'll come back to it in my next update :))

____________________________

Northern Border

Not one to miss out on a chance to moralize the troops - as Bludgeon had - Sky Lynx looked to the rest his flightmechs gathered in the hangar. "With me, my Third Air Strike Division!"

Raising himself up by his maneuvering thrusters, the Lieutenant Commander spun away, turning to the open bay door. "For glory and honor!" He cried.

"For glory and honor!!!" the assembled Autobots repeated.

Sky Lynx fired off his engines and streaked across the hangar. In waves, the Autobot fleet shot after the dinoblast, moving away from the massive Galaxy Shuttle and out into the city-state.

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Post by Warcry » Fri Nov 16, 2012 6:09 am

Hoist's Shuttle

"Me Sludge coming," the Dinobot told Hoist as he staggered into the shuttle, hauling himself up the ladderwell to the upper deck.

"Me Sludge here," he announced, sounding clearly fatigued. "You Hoist can fix?"
_______________________________________

Battlefield

"Coordinates? Do I look like a cartographer?" Ramjet looked around, confused. "We're, uh, by some ruined buildings," he told Thrust. "Ya know, 'round where the fighting was. That big scary red cloud thing is north a bit."
_______________________________________

The Lunatic Fringe

Cyclonus watched, slowly regaining strength as Optimus struggled with the Decepticon Matrix. After a few moments, he realized that was because the Matrix was no longer able to sap his strength, so great was Optimus's resolve. The dark power needed all of it's energy just to fight the Autobot leader...and it was going to lose.

Nearby, a broken Thunderwing sobbed openly, his ruined body unable to do anything but lie there and watch as the Matrix he had fought so hard for was dominated by others.

Cyclonus himself had fought for it, wanted it more than he'd wanted anything in his life. But he'd been wrong, he saw clearly now. As Scourge himself had said after his own encounter with a Matrix: if you weren't worthy to lead on your own, a bauble would make no difference. But Cyclonus hadn't truly understood those words, not until recently. Seeing Thunderwing's mad rampage, juxtaposed with Gigatron's thoughtful, respectful reign, had underscored for the Targetmaster just what kind of leader he wanted to be.

The Decepticon reached out and took Optimus's outstretched hand, pulling himself to his feet.

"No," he agreed with Prime. "It isn't. Not by a long shot." He looked at the Decepticon Matrix as it rested in the Autobot leader's grasp, seemingly beaten and stripped of all it's threatening power.

"How do you destroy the embodiment of destruction?" he asked rhetorically.

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Post by zigzagger » Mon Nov 19, 2012 3:36 am

The Lunatic Fringe

"How indeed," said Optimus Prime. "At its core, it is still a weapon. Albeit, one of last resort. But, a weapon nonetheless. To say it is anything else would be against its nature and purpose. And though its corrupted influence has been purged," he told Cyclonus, "the potential for misuse will always remain."

The Autobot Leader sighed. "Primus forgive me, but the wisest course would be to release its composite energies, removing it entirely from temptation."

As Prime stared down at the shimmering artifact in his hand, he was overcome with uncertainty. Regardless of the inherent threat it posed, it was still a remnant of Primus's lifeforce.

'...And what if Liege Maximo - or, Primus forbid, Unicron were to return?' Optimus reflected. 'Can I be trusted to do what needs to be done?'

"This Matrix told me a great deal," he continued. "The wisdom of Cybertronians past - millions of years of history - is now shared between both Matrices. The Wisdom of the Ages, as it is collectively known, has grown."

He shifted his gaze to Cyclonus. "It also told me of your journey," said the Autobot Leader. "One that has not gone unnoticed. This sacred implement, like my own, has deemed you worthy..."

What Optimus did next was perhaps bold...and quite possibly foolish.

He presented the relic to Cyclonus.

"It is difficult, but you have a choice to make," said Prime. "You must decide what is best for all of us."

________________________

Constructicon Field Hospital

"Scrapper, Long Haul?" Shockwave inquired, looking up from the stasis pod he had been toiling over. "Your progress?"

----

Hoist's Shuttle

Hoist half-rose from his seat and glanced over Searchlight's shoulder at the medbay's newest arrival. "I can," he told Sludge, gesturing to an unoccupied circuit slab. "Have a seat and I'll be right with you."

The Autobot mechanic rolled his chair over to the console at his station. "Your on-file medical records should have all the correct measurements," he told Searchlight. "I'll have the fabricator draw up some paneling for you. Can't have you walking around with an unsightly gash on your back, after all."

He proceeded to work the terminal, pulling up the Throttlebot's information and entering it where it was needed.

"There we go," said the mechanic, striking a single key. "I'll be back to attach those when they're finished."

Hoist then stood up and selected a laser scalpel from a charging cradle at his work station. He flicked it on and off a few times to test its charge.

"Okay then -- Sludge." Hoist spun around to face the waiting Dinobot. "Let's have a look at you."

(OOC: @ Warcry -- So...what seems to be ailing Sludge here?)

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OOC: Sorry for the long length, but I really want a closure on both the Micros and Springer. OOC2: BLITZWINGLOVE!

Post by Blackjack » Wed Nov 21, 2012 12:38 pm

Hoist's Shuttle

Searchlight looked to see Sludge entering the shuttle, nodding at the far larger Dinobot. “You look pretty beat up, big guy.”

Turning to Hoist, Searchlight nodded, “If the Combaticons weren’t there breathing over the Constructicons’ shoulders, I’d be far more pissed to see… people… Gears, Blurr… being used for spare parts... Now, at least, I know they’re helping others survive.” Searchlight shook his head again. “Shame the ‘Cons are far more… pragmatic.”
_______________________________________

Constructicon Hospital

“Where’d he pick up that kind of lingo, then?” Brawl asked Snarl as he tossed a few used ammunition rounds to a makeshift miniature smelting pit Mixmaster had cobbled up whilst waiting for the anti-virus to finish downloading their software. “Earth? I’m not too happy around the little fleshb- humans. They build some pretty wicked military hardware, but I never bothered to learn their culture.”

Brawl frowned. “Who now? I can’t even tell apart Frenzy and Rumble, the two keeps claiming they are each other to screw with our heads. Things got worse when Frenzy got his piledriver upgrades before the Autobot City attack. I swear the two change their colours every week or so to screw with us. I’m Frenzy and I’m red! I’m Rumble and I’m blue! Now Frenzy is blue! Fraggin’ scraplets. I wonder how the rest of Soundwave’s petting zoo keeps up with those two dimwits.”
_______________________________________

“I will have you know that one improvised torture methods caused us to obtain information to win the third siege of the Tygun Span.” Hook snapped at Scrapper snobbishly from inside one of the stasis pods, over the sounds of solders. “Of course, it would be far more practical for me to simply crack open the Autobot’s cranium and pore over his memory circuits, but neither do the foul buzzard nor I like the chances of the Autobot having a failsafe in case his mind was tampered with.”

“Sometimes I wonder ‘ow we ever dealt wit’ ‘im when we combined inta th’ big Dev.” Bonecrusher muttered under his breath as he began to get on work on one of the pods.
_______________________________________

Long Haul, jubilant at being addressed by Shockwave instead of Hook, managed to answer in a very calm and professional tone. “We have retrofitted all but three of the stasis pods Windcharger brought here, although Hook says he wants a test run with one of them first just to see the dispersion effect. And Mixmaster-”

“Almost, almost, almost!” Mixmaster called out, frantically moving his fingers around his chemistry apparatus. “Brewing a nano-virus is not an easy task! Fermenting, downloading, uploading, replicating… give me two minutes!”
_______________________________________

“Budding. It was… painful.” Moonjet said, shuddering. “Skyquake, Falcon and the rest, they… they like pain. That was why they were so good at what they did.”

“At least you’re free now.” Tinker quipped while he replaced more of Jackpot’s lesser circuits. Tossing a mangled Autobot insignia towards Shuttle Gunner, the Seeker said, “I don’t agree with the Autobots most of the times, but freedom… it’s one thing that we all indeed must have, to some degree.”

“Spite is good. Having feelings is good.” Moonjet quipped.

“Mmm, I’m seeking neither pity nor forgiveness for my kin… or myself. We deserve the hate and spite directed towards us.” Darkjet told Shuttle Gunner. “And, if it would interest you… the killer of your teammates is Shadowjet’s parent, Falcon. He was… a violent, scheming piece of scrap.” Darkjet’s face made a small expression as if he’s surprised that he had cursed one of the Predator leaders, but he continued, “If it makes you feel better, the Autobot Springer killed him not a few hours ago. I felt his passing… I can’t say I’m sorry for him.”
_______________________________________

Road Hugger entered the Constructicon hospital once more, bodyframe even more dented than before. Detour sat on his shoulder, relatively unblemished since they left from Protihex. Road Hugger did not look tired, however. “We have wounded incoming!” Detour called out.

As medics took over the wounded civilians, Autobots and Decepticons from the rescue party, Grimstone (as injured as Road Hugger was) broke apart from the group and walked over to where Snarl and Brawl were, giving the far larger Dinobot a grin.

Road Hugger plopped down next to a gurney. His optics scanned the compound, looking as his people worked with those of the other factions, even the infamous Constructicons… and he felt a surge of pride. The dream of Protihex, the dream of the Gray Race, had borne fruit at last. Hopefully, the peace can last even after Thunderwing’s death.

Road Hugger’s optics found the one he was looking for – a black and purple coloured little figure standing next to the battered shell that once belonged to Hyperdrive. His optics sad, yet his lips are curled up in a proud smile.

“Blackjack.” Road Hugger said, standing up and walking over to his former Patrol Leader. Detour waved.

Blackjack didn’t say anything at first, simply nodding. The message was clear – he was proud at what Road Hugger had done, Decepticon or no Decepticon.

Detour hopped down next to Blackjack, patting his brother on the shoulder. “He died bravely.” Detour told Blackjack, a sad look on his face. “Wanted you to know he was sorry.”

“Sorry for what? For wanting to be himself?” Blackjack asked. “From what I’ve heard, he never gave up, never surrendered. He died like the warrior he always prided himself to be… not as a psychotic madman.” Blackjack smiled as he placed two coins atop Hyperdrive's optics, an ancient gesture to let a Spark leave for the Well of All Sparks in peace. “Rest in peace, brother.”

“We've come a long way since our bastard father created us, haven't we?” Road Hugger said as he knelt down next to the gurney to look eye-to-eye with the Micromasters. “You're shorter than I remember, boss.”

“And you, Road Hugger? A bulk! No longer a second fiddle, but leader of the Combaticons… and Detour, no longer a sniveling coward, but a David against multiple Goliaths?” Blackjack sighed, both sad and proud. “All I have to say to my name is that I'm but a tiny little gambler.”

“You did help to blow up the Death Star.” Detour chirped.

“You were our mentor. Our leader.” Road Hugger said. “Thank you, brother. For everything.”
_______________________________________

Northern Border

“Known war, we have, for millennia. For lifetimes. Known an age of peace, you younger generation has? A more civilized age, we should come into.” Slog told Blast Master as they both presumably exited Galaxy Shuttle. Turning to face Birdbrain and Wildfly, Slog shook his head.

“Do it again, you should, if only to give us a few moments peace.” Slog told Birdbrain. “Bury him, a more poetic justice is…. Though interests me Wildfly’s description of subspace does. A trip to subspace, I may have to try sometime, hmm?”
_______________________________________

Bludgeon pointed his katana towards the flash of blue light in the distance. “Autobot!” The Pretender called out to Sky Lynx. “Observe! It is the Creation Matrix! The conflict is… resolving itself. We should render what assistance we can.”

As his hollow optics took in the light, Bludgeon felt a soothing warmth inside his violently burning spark, as if the mere sight of the Matrix energy was enough to calm down the darkness he harnessed for power, the darkness which he skirted a balance with in order for it not to consume him…

And for the first time for a long, long time, Bludgeon felt what it was like to be at peace.
_______________________________________

Battlefield

“Ah, yes. Shooting gods in the face. I remember that one.” Stranglehold chuckled, shaking his head. “That was one of the funnest battles I’ve ever been in.”

Thundercracker smiled rather thinly at Ramjet’s taunts, but the smile became rather genuine when Thrust replied. “Ah, good, Thrust. You survived.” The Seeker sighed, and uploaded the coordinates via Global Positioning System through the commlink to Thrust. “I’m sending coordinates. It may be off the mark a little, but I think finding Ramjet and myself wouldn’t prove too difficult. Just don’t run into the Hate Plague cloud – we can’t really tell if you’re infected, and I’d hate to get infected. Red doesn’t look good on me.” The Seeker turned to Ramjet and nodded, “True. Flying against corpses isn’t fun either.”

Thundercracker stretched as he shot into the sky, circling lazily around the area, waiting for Thrust.

He loved flying, especially when he needed no reason to fly but the simple joy of being free, being above everything else.
_______________________________________

Southwest Border

Drift frowned as the gem embedded onto the hilt of his greatsword began to glow. The gem came from the same sort of mythical crystals used to forge the Matrix casing, or so Dai Atlas had said. Drift had long learnt to accept such stories as exaggerated myths, but sometimes, myths were true. Something was happening. Something big.
_______________________________________

The Lunatic Fringe

Misfire looked at Springer’s face, where the Wrecker’s face was contorted in a soft smile… or at least Misfire thought it was a smile under all the damage Thunderwing’s unholy lightning had done to him. it was rather jarring to see Misfire’s ruined face and see such a peaceful expression on his face, as if he had made peace with something.

Spinister’s words jarred him back into focus, though. “Right away.” Misfire helped to drag Springer out of the building. “See you guys around, Nosey. Bluebirds.” He called out to the other three Targetmasters.

Once they were outside, Misfire transformed into jet mode and took into the skies, just in time for a surge of beautiful, serene blue energy to burst out of where Optimus Prime, Cyclonus and Thunderwing were. “Primus…” Misfire swore, instinctively muttering an old, short prayer verse he learnt when he was younger. He hovered in place, entranced by the display of light.
_______________________________________

Battlefield

Blitzwing turned around and saw a familiar glow, the same glow which… lighted their darkest hour, to use an ancient Iaconian phrase. He remembered that time very vividly. Their powerful leaders, Galvatron, Shockwave, Starscream, lost. The newest, most powerful additions to their ranks, Cyclonus and Scourge, disorganized and in chaos. Even the Autobot reinforcements who arrived had their ships torn apart within moments of arriving.

The dread Chaos Bringer, the Creature of the Void, the Eater of Worlds, Unicron himself, is towering over their planet, having consumed the moons like they were energon goodies, having crushed all their warships like they were nothing but mere humans. Back then, Astrotrain, Dirge and the others all weren’t aware of the significance of the dark god, of the Chaos Bringer… it was a humongously powerful monster intent on destroying their planet…

But Blitzwing knew the legends. The Chaos Bringer will consume reality itself, then slumber while the cycle repeats itself, and then Unicron will wake once more to wipe out reality, in a continuous cycle of birth and rebirth.

Blitzwing had been, for the very first time in his life, truly scared for his life…. and then, in their darkest hour… a bright light shone. A bright blue light. The same one that painted the night sky that day.

As if on instinct, the last member of the Decepticon Triple-Changers unsheathed his scimitar and began to troop towards the light, ignoring Skyjack’s questioning remarks as he left the Cyberjet behind.

He knew that the only way for actual peace and fairness, for the reason he joined the Decepticons in the first place, was with a cool head on top of the game. Galvatron was not it, and he defected… he had not joined the naïve Rodimus Prime, of course… but maybe, with Optimus at the head? And Gigatron? Who knows?

Maybe Astrotrain and Octane wouldn’t have died for nothing.
_______________________________________

???

Did he die for nothing?

Did he die only for Thunderwing to escape with the Decepticon Matrix? Did everyone die that day for nothing? Whirl? Twin Twist? Blurr? Slag? Swoop?

Arcee?

Springer opened his optics. It’s all white. All white. All around him, in all directions. He remembered this place. “Not again.” The Autobot groaned, voice echoing through the vast, empty space. Somehow. The afterlife laughs at the laws of physics, after all. Springer knew his body was in perfect condition as he remembered it here in this dimension, before Sentinel Prime or Prime Nova or Emirate Xaaron or somebody arrived and escorted him into the blissful peace of the Allspark. “Come on, I activated stasis lock and everything!”

Springer let out a frustrated yowl.

Did everything he’s been through… all of it… for nothing? Not everyone took to getting resurrected as well as Optimus Prime, Ironhide and the others, after all… and it looks like the experience didn’t get better after a second time. Did he not deserve a second chance? Did he not do enough? He went back, and received even more pain. Death. Death, all around him. The Wreckers. The Dinobots. His friends. Arcee. Was this his punishment? Was this his punishment for dealing with forces he could not control? Was this his punishment for deserting Roadbuster and Whirl?

No. Impossible. Springer did not believe in fate. Springer did not believe that Primus controls all of their actions. Primus, after all, was an arrogant prick who possessed Xaaron.

Again, was this his punishment? Were the only ones allowed to muck around with the fate of the universe Optimus Prime and Hot Rod and whatever Decepticon leader happened to be nearby? Was a mere brawler like him too insignificant in the eyes of fate? Was this his punishment for daring to interfere?

And where the hell were his Spirit Guides and whatnot?

Springer turned around. Behind him, more white. He turned around again. More. White.

“Eesh, pipe down. You know, just because you think you have a nice soprano voice doesn’t mean you get to sing in the heavenly choir.”

Springer turned around and saw the origin of his voice, and his frustrated face broke into a smile. The whiteness behind him had changed… and in its place was a bar. A bar, sitting in the expanse of white nothingless. Behind the bar was the ever-familiar face of Maccadam, mixing drinks as if the near-empty bar in the middle of nowhere was a crowded stop. The bar was empty barring the one who spoke, the ever-familiar, gangly figure of Whirl, who was idly dipping his claw into his drink, single yellow eye looking nonchalantly at Springer.

“Whirl! What-” Springer bounded over towards the bar, and sat next to Whirl. Maccadam set down a glass in front of him.

“Eh, I’m dead, you’re sort-of kind-of dead, do the math, genius.” Whirl said as he lifted the glass and inspected the bubbling orange fluid inside it. “How the hell am I supposed to bloody drink this without a mouth?”

“Whirl, I’m- I’m sorry.” Springer said, optics downcast. “I should’ve saved you. Thunderwing-”

“Oh, in the name of Solomus’ hairy chin, stop blaming yourself for everything!” Whirl laughed jovially. “I’m a Wrecker, you’re a Wrecker, dying’s like an occupational hazard. Ain’t nothing that you could’ve done.

“But… I ran away from the Autobots.” Springer said. “I fought with Optimus Prime. I was… I was stupid. If I had…”

Whirl waved his hands wildly into the air, tossing the drink over the bar and smashing onto the wall. Maccadam went and cleaned it without a word. “Oh, stop beating yourself up for something you have nothing to do with, that’s kind of that emo Pretender jet’s shtick. Seriously, didn’t you get some closure for that when Roadbuster punched your face in?”

“I suppose so.” Springer said, eyes downcast. “But… but I can’t save you. I can’t save Blurr, or Twin Twist. Or Arcee.” Springer’s optics brightened up. “Are they here too?”

“Lookie here, Springie, not every one of us can pull a Starscream and roam the world as an ethereal, possessing ghost. I called a favour and set up this meeting with you. And, well, by the way, you’re still alive.” Whirl said as Maccadam placed another drink in front of him.

“A favour? From who?”

“Why Maccadam of course.”

“Maccadam? But… he’s a bartender in the Border Regions.” Springer glanced at the bearded blue mechanoid, who gave no indication that he heard any part of their conversation.

“He also runs the local bar beyond the pearly gates. Don’t you remember? Oh, right. Memories fuzz over after rebirth and stuff.” Whirl shook his head. “Point is, well, Impactor, Arcee and the others, they sent me over to tell you this… you did well. You fought Thunderwing and Starscream, against all odds… though I can’t see why you got more recognition over me, I fought Thunderwing and got killed too, but I suppose I’m not being all wishy-washy about it. See, Springer… stop looking for redemption. You earned that long ago. And stop blaming yourself… or thinking that things are your fault. You’re the bloody leader of the Wreckers, damn it! Not… not some lame Minibot like Huffer!”

“So you’re trying to set my mind at peace?” Springer chuckled. “So… you forgive me?”

“What, for deserting the Autobot cause? You clueless- we forgave you long ago. That’s what friends are for. Let me ask you. Did you ever forgive Optimus Prime for killing you?” Whirl asked.

“I… suppose so, yeah.” Springer said, words coming out of his mouth. “It was… circumstances. I was angry, and pissed, but deep down… I know. I know I had forgiven Optimus Prime. I know I was running away not because I was angry with Optimus, but-” Springer stopped.

“But you’re scared of dying again. But… you’re too manly and Wreckery to admit that.” Whirl finished. “Sheesh, I can read you like a book and I only have one eye. What does pinkie pie see in you anyway?”

Springer ignored the jibe about Arcee and nodded glumly. “How did you know?”

“Because, like you, everyone is scared of death.” Whirl told Springer. “Even suicidal ol’ Whirl. Although, well, worst case scenario happened, and a second death isn’t actually quite that bad, yeah?” Whirl shrugged. “Fear or not, you’ve faced it. I do hope you’ve realized that you have always been a hero, whether you’re being a wuss about it or not. Impactor’s proud of you, Kup’s proud of you… nobody’s perfect, Springer. No one is immune from fear. Not Optimus, or Hot Rod, or Impie, or you. Well, I am, but that’s not the point.”

Springer nodded as he gulped down his drink. “You’re more annoying dead than alive, you know that?”

“Well, until you guys send Thunderwing to this side, someone has to take over the jerkass level.” Whirl replied. “You good, buddy?”

“Yeah.” Springer said, downing the last of his drink. “Yeah, I’m good. This is goodbye, then?”

“Occupational hazard, remember? We’ll be seeing each other soon enough. Arcee sends her love, by the way, but it’s too mushy and frankly pretty disturbing for robots to have lovey-dovey stuff, plus I don’t have a mouth to deliver her kiss to you. So before you ask any questions, we’ll leave in… three… two… one.” All the white turned into bright blue.

The same bright blue that coloured the light that once tore through Springer's body and extinguished his life, the same painful light was now soothing and calm, as was its original purpose. And Springer embraced it.

Whirl laughed out loud, and both he and the bar faded away, consumed by the blue... and as the echoes of Whirl's jovial laughter disappeared, Springer felt… peace. All the weight, all the guilt… removed. Gone.

He was free.

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Post by Warcry » Thu Nov 22, 2012 5:07 am

Hoist's Shuttle

(OOC: I can't remember the specifics anymore, just that he's generally had the shit kicked out of him).

"Me fight with Thunderwing. Lots of them. Him hit hard," Sludge told Searchlight.

The Dinobot hobbled over to the slab and said, "Thanks, Hoist. Me no let Constructicons near with tools. Me no trust anyone who things green and purple good colour scheme."

He relaxed as Hoist started tending to him, but told the medic, "Me Sludge have headache in whole body. Also, think me got some dino parts ripped off. But Snarl take good care of Sludge. Him good friend." The Dinobot thought for a minute before backpedalling. "Him only friend, Sludge think. Slag and Swoop dead. Grimlock no answering either."
_______________________________________

Snarl shrugged. "Yeah, Sludge watched a lot of TV back on Earth. Wouldn't surprise me if he picked it up there. Your buddy Rampage still around? He could probably tell you."

He got an annoyed expression on his face. "Earth. What a pit. I hated the damn place, and I'm so glad I never have to go back. I'll never forgive it for this stupid animal mode."

He shook his head. "Don't get me started on tapes, Brawl. At least people know who yours are. Try and remember which one's Rewind and which is Eject without looking it up. Or Rosanna and Flip-Sides. Well, okay, that last one's easy. Rosanna's the one who didn't kill herself after shooting Hot Rod. But you know what I mean."

He nodded to Grimstone as the other Dinobot walked in, glad to see him safe after so many of their number had fallen.

"Are you planning to stay?" he asked. "As much as Grimlock didn't like training you newbies, you're a good soldier and I'm afraid I've got a serious shortage of Dinobots right now."
_______________________________________

"I'm done," Scrapper told Shockwave. "The operating system patches are uploading to the modified pods as we speak."

"Sometimes I wonder why we deal with him at all," he agreed with Bonecrusher. "The war's over now. He can retire to some secluded lab somewhere and never have to deal with actual people ever again."
_______________________________________

"Are we ever truly free?" Shuttle Gunner asked, not realizing that he was vocalizing a question that had been pondered unsuccessfully by every sentient species to ever arise in the galaxy (with the possible exception of the Skuxxoids, who didn't even like to speak the word). "Whether we are enslaved or not, whether we are commanded or not, we are still driven to follow our core programming."

He considered what Darkjet had to say, then shrugged indifferently. "I'm afraid his passing gives me no satisfaction. I do not mourn him, and his death is a positive since he can no longer harm innocents, but it won't bring back Great Cannon or Leyland. But be that as it may, I harbour no hatred for you two Predators. You were victims of Thunderwing as much as anyone else."
_______________________________________

Battlefield

"Didn't you spend most of that fight get beaten up by Jazz?" Octopunch asked testily, clearly not wanting to relive the experience the way Stranglehold did.
_______________________________________

"We could so tell," Ramjet told Thundercracker. "He's got some grey parts, normally. If we don't see 'em we'll know to shoot."
_______________________________________

Northern Border

"Peace?" Blast Master laughed. "It's just a word to me."

"To all of us," Phaser added. "How many Autobots and Decepticons were born into war? How many of us died knowing nothing but? Too many."
_______________________________________

Birdbrain laughed. "Just let me know when," he told Slog. "I've got a free Pretender shell I'm not doing anything with, any time you want to take a psychedelic trip into the nether realms."

Wildfly scowled. "Stop using bid words!"
_______________________________________

"You."

Once the fighting had died down and he'd delivered his wounded friends to the hospital, Sideswipe had headed north toward Prime's last known location. He'd been hoping to find Prowl or some other authority figure and maybe figure out what was going on.

What he'd found instead was Bludgeon.

His hand drifted unconsciously toward the blade that he kept sheathed on his hip, the blade he'd started carrying for the express purpose of killing the skeletal samurai when next they met...and then it fell back down to his side.

"By all rights I should kill you for what you did to me," he said, but there was no conviction behind his words. Just a dissatisfied confusion. He'd expected to be ecstatic when he finally got the chance to face down his killer, but now that the moment was here he felt nothing.
_______________________________________

The Lunatic Fringe

"Release it's--" Cyclonus's expression turned to one of panic. "Prime, I don't think you know of what you speak. "This Matrix isn't just a weapon. It's made of destruction. Just like releasing your Matrix's power can heal or create life, releasing the power of this Matrix could have...disastrous effects."

Nevertheless, he reached out and took the handle of the Matrix as Optimus offered it to him.

It's deemed me worthy? I suppose it has, at that. But is that a compliment? It exists to kill, to destroy, to unmake. If I'm worthy of that sort of power, what does that say about me? What sort of person does it make me?

"You speak the truth, Optimus," Cyclonus said at last. "This Matrix did choose me to wield it. It thought I would unleash it's destructive power on the galaxy like Galvatron before me."

The Decepticon, the last of Unicron's creations, looked down at the Matrix and smiled.

"It was wrong. And at the end of it all, so are you. It's not a difficult choice at all. Unicron and Primus -- my creator and yours -- are gone. Their war is over, and their weapons are obsolete. The time of the Decepticon Matrix has passed. It now falls to me to put it beyond the reach of would-be tyrants, now and forever. But I can't simply open it, or blast it. I know what I must do, Optimus. But I can't do it alone."
_______________________________________

"So it would appear," Spinister agreed with Misfire. "But be that as it may, we..."

He scowled, looking down at Springer, who he'd carried out of the building. Something had changed in the Autobot when the Matrix pulse passed, but he wasn't sure he could pinpoint what.

"I suspect we may be too late," he told his fellow Targetmaster, feeling a rush of inexplicable sadness at the prospect of losing the Autobot who had been, for all intents and purposes, his arch-enemy during his time as Mayhem Attack Squad leader.

"But it doesn't matter," he decided. "Springer was a proud warrior. He deserves better than to be left to bleed out on the sidewalk."

Spinister transformed to helicopter mode and lifted the Autobot into the air with tow cables.

"If we can't save him, we'll at least ensure he gets a proper interment."

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Post by Blackjack » Sun Nov 25, 2012 6:56 pm

Hoist's Shuttle

“Sounds painful.” Searchlight told Sludge, then bit his tongue (metaphorically, of course) when he realized most of Sludge’s friends are dead. Searchlight then considered himself lucky only to have Freeway mortally damaged…

Less unlucky, anyway. Searchlight didn’t feel particularly lucky to see his friend damaged so, nor was he pleased to see Sludge losing more than he did.

“Sorry to hear that, Sludge. I really am.” Searchlight told Sludge very sincerely. “We’re… we’re your friends too, Sludge. Right, Hoist? We’re Autobots. We take care of each other.”
_______________________________________

Constructicon Hospital

“Rampage? Last heard the Predacons joined up with Megatron’s brood. Hope they’re smart enough to get out of Polyhex before it went big badda boom.” Brawl told Snarl. “Between you and me, I always thought the Predacons would be a bunch of losers like the Stunticons if it weren’t for Razorclaw. Divebomb’s probably the only one of the goons who’s got any sort of brains. All of them are good hunters and fighters, of course, but, well, in case you ever run into them again, all you have to do is to get Razorclaw out of the equation, then beat up the goons.” Brawl chuckled. “What am I saying? I’m trying to lecture a Dinobot how to knock down Decepticons. Silly me.”

Brawl frowned. “So why didn’t you change back into a vehicular form once you got the chance? Why stay with the beast mode at all?” The Combaticon shrugged. “Rewind’s the one that goes splunk and Eject is the one that goes crack. I know that… wait, assassinate Hot Rod? Is he all right?”

Grimstone chuckled and pointed at the Combaticon insignia emblazoned proudly next to the bright-red Autobrand. “As tempting as the offer is, I have to stay here, Snarl. It’s mushy, but I left Iacon for a reason… these people need me. The dream and all that. But… if you ever need help, anywhere, any time, I’ll come, Combaticon or no.” The shorter Dinobot shrugged, “Like I said, though, Rapticon, Terranotron, Airraptor and the whole lot are still around. I think I even saw that ankylosaurus chap, what’s-his-name.”
_______________________________________

Bonecrusher nodded, “How did we get stuck wit’ each ‘ther, anyway? I don’t seem like th’ type o’ guy that’ll hang around someone like Hook, yet here we are.”

“We’ve got multiple origin stories, my simple-minded friend.” Hook said as he covered the panel to the last stasis pod. “And considering how many times we have been rebuilt due to our veracity and indispensable skills to the Decepticon cause, our memories on our origin before the Crystal City event have blurred somewhat.”

“Pretty sure we upgraded th’ big Meg before he led th’ ‘Cons.” Bonecrusher said. “That was before Crystal City.”

“Can’t remember how I met you guys, which is strange.” Long Haul told the others. “Although I can safely say Hook was always a prick.”

“Insults! How childish.” Hook scoffed. “And, Scrapper, to answer your question – I am a surgeon, not some mere experimental lackey happy to stay locked up in Kimia and devise doomsday weapons or the like. I am a surgeon, and my field of art is the Cybertronian body. I simply do not wish to deal with idiots.”
_______________________________________

“Who knows?” Tinker told Shuttle Gunner. “Core programming? Yeah, it influences you, at least. But are you not free to disregard what your core programming tells you? Are you not free to make your own choices? Are you not here by choice?”

Darkjet shrugged, “We are all victims of Thunderwing, even Skyquake, Falcon and the others. They are idiots, come to think of it, lured by Thunderwing’s powers. I won’t be surprised if it ended up that they were controlled by Thunderwing’s artifact.” The young Imperial waved his hand at the wasteland. “All of this was his fault, you know. And this wasn’t just it. Who knows what damages the sleeper agents did? And we did wipe out several neutralist Transformer colonies on the way here…” Darkjet sighed. “A Junkion colony got wiped out, and so was a colony near the Darhos system. Those were the ones I participated in, anyway.”
_______________________________________

Battlefield

“Eh, I prefer to remember Bludgeon getting dragged along through a river by a pint-sized Autobot.” Stranglehold told Octopunch. “Funniest thing that’s ever happened in my life.”
_______________________________________

Thundercracker chuckled, “If you say so, Ramjet.”
_______________________________________

Northern Border

“Defined by words, everything is.” Slog told Blast Master. “Autobot? Decepticon? Good? Evil? Peace? War? Words. Mere words.” The Pretender glanced at Wildfly. “Big words, small words, mean something, they all do. Interpret words differently, people do. Peace. An ideal? A goal? Through tyranny, achieve peace. Megatron’s motto.”

Slog pointed at his Decepticon insignia. “Strive for peace, Megatron did. Strive for peace, Optimus Prime also did. The right of all sentient beings, freedom is. Through freedom, achieve peace. Imperials, through assimilation and unity, achieve peace.”

“A mere word, peace may be. Yet fight for it, everyone does. Die for peace, people did. Fight for peace, people did.” Slog glanced at Wildfly again, “some present company excepted, of course.”
_______________________________________

Bludgeon’s hollow optics regarded Sideswipe, and his skull face almost cracked into a smile as the Autobot reached for the blade on his hip. So much rage… so much hatred… so much raw, unbridled pain, and yet he had so much confusion, so many mixed emotions. Thankfully, he did not attack. If he did, well, Bludgeon had no doubts he would end up wearing Sideswipe’s had as a trophy again.

Sideswipe had been… a worthy opponent for an ordinary soldier.

Barrage and Take-Off had pulled out their sidearms and aimed them at Sideswipe. “Just give the word, sir!” Take-Off yelled, almost livid in his enthusiasm. Barrage merely pointed his weapons with professional detachment.

Bludgeon raised his hand. “That will not be necessary.” He whispered, voice soft as ever. “Barrage, lead the charge in my stead. I will handle this.” Barrage lowered his weapon, nodded, and gestured to the moving Decepticon army and moved towards where the light had came from.

The Mayhem Attack Squad commander let out a soft chuckle. “So much confusion I sense in you, Autobot. Still feel raw over your death, do you?” Bludgeon’s optics narrowed. “I sense some sorrow… and rage as well, although not all the rage is directed at me… nor at the Imperials. Rage, mixed with… disappointment. Someone else, maybe? Someone close to you?” Bludgeon tilted his head to one side. “Your yellow brother. He is not with us here, is he?”
_______________________________________

The Lunatic Fringe

“Can’t the Matrix just revive him or something? It’s like the super magic bauble, right?” Misfire asked Spinister as he flew alongside his mentor. “The Constructicons set up shop somewhere near the old business sector, best bet is to bring them there.”

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Warcry
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Post by Warcry » Fri Nov 30, 2012 5:46 am

Hoist's Shuttle

"Autobots friends? Sludge suppose so." The Dinobot frowned, his limited intellect struggling to express what he was trying to say. "But not same way that Dinobots friends. You no think of Sludge like friend the same way you think of Rollbar, right? Searchlight understand?"
_______________________________________

Constructicon Hospital

Snarl shrugged. "Don't really know them," he said indifferently. "Swoop and Divebomb had that whole 'name' thing a few years ago, but other than that...they were always too busy getting beat up by Sky Lynx for us to bother with."

The Dinobot had asked himself the same question that Brawl had just posed, but never come up with a good explanation for it. Or at least, not one that he was able to put into words. "It's kind of hard to be a Dinobot when you turn into a tank," he said eventually. "You stuck with Onslaught until the bitter end, Decepticon, Autobot or Combaticon. You know where I'm coming from."

With a shrug, he said, "Hot Rod was fine, eventually. He's tough."

After Grimstone spoke, Snarl replied snarkily, "You mean Slapper? He's useless. Still better than Paddles, though. I suppose I'll take him."
_______________________________________

"No one cares," Scrapper told Hook bluntly.

Then in answer to Bonecrusher's origin question he said, "What nonsense are you people talking about? I distinctly remember Shockwave activating us using the last remnant of Matrix energy in Optimus Prime's severed head."

He cocked his head to one side.

"Which is odd, because I clearly remember fighting Defensor in the Tygun Span millions of years before that when we worked for Ratbat. Obviously that lunatic feline Glit damaged our memory tracks when he used that absurd 'ritual' of his to revive us in place of a safe, clinically-sound memory download."
_______________________________________

"How do you choose," Shuttle Gunner asked Tinker rhetorically, "except by following the values that your core programming places on different outcomes to the stimuli you encounter? Is 'free choice' just an illusion that we've made up to hide from the fact that we're nothing but advanced machinery?"

He sighed. "Thunderwing's death will be a boon to us all, Darkjet. On that, you and I agree wholeheartedly."
_______________________________________

Battlefield

"Don't tell him that," Octopunch warned Stranglehold. "He's going to be pissed off enough that you let your shell get blown up."
_______________________________________

"Well, if you think it's best we could shoot him a few times just in case," Ramjet told Thundercracker. "Don't think he'll like that, though. Plague or not that'd get me mad, s'all I'm sayin'."
_______________________________________

Northern Border

"Makes sense," Blast Master nodded.

Phaser scoffed. "Yeah, we'll have to agree to disagree on that," he told Slog. "The only peace Megatron was interested in was the peace of the grave. Not that he wasn't a good talker, in his day. He convinced a lot of good mechs to sign up on his side."

"Yeah?" Wildfly glared at Slog. "Well, you, you...shut up!"
_______________________________________

"Don't talk about my brother," Sideswipe spat at Bludgeon. "He's got nothing to do with it. This is between you and me.

"You think I'm raw because you slagged me? Bludgeon, I've been blown up more times than I can count by better mechs than you. We're soldiers. We fight. Sometimes we die. I get that." He narrowed his optics dangerously. "What you did went beyond that. You talk about honour and being a warrior. Where's the honour in carrying someone's head around like a trophy? In keeping it even after they've been revived? I expect that kind of crap from scum like Galvatron, not you. Your hypocrisy is sickening."
_______________________________________

The Lunatic Fringe

"If the Matrix wanted to save him that flash would have done it," Spinister told Misfire. "Clearly it's as indifferent to it's creations' fate as ever."

Once he'd gotten used to the other helicopter's mass, he started to slowly accelerate in the hospital's direction.

"Keep an eye out," he told his comrade. "I'm clearly not going to be able to fight like this."

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Post by Blackjack » Sat Dec 01, 2012 4:49 pm

Hoist's Shuttle

Searchlight tilted his head, and was silent for a while.

Then he nodded, softly. "Yes, Sludge. I understand. But at least I... I... feel your pain." Searchlight pointed at the comatose Freeway. "I know it's not the same as... death... but, well, Freeway may as well be a vegetable for the rest of his life... and, well, even if it may sound hollow... right here, right now, we are all brothers in pain."
_______________________________________

Constructicon Hospital

Brawl shrugged at Snarl. "Never did get that. We've got multiple guys named Drench and Deluge and Barrage running around, don't we? We've got Combaticons named Crankcase and Icepick and Over-Run who are nothing like the ones we know... it's not like names mean anything particular. I mean, I think that Minicon over there, I think he's called Divebomb. And his orange buddy is Snarl, I think, come to think of it."

"Crankcase's a whiny piece of scrap, though." Grimstone said. "Doesn't mean he deserves to get munched by Scraplets. Poor bastard."

Brawl sighed. "Team solidarity, and all that. Suppose it's why Swindle stuck around with us even when we became a peacekeeping force... Suppose it's why a psychopath like Vortex and a violent thug like me stuck around Onslaught when we became Autobots, and then this..." Brawl snorted bitterly. "And I suppose I do believe in what Onslaught believes in, because he's dead now and both Blast Off and I are still taking orders from the bloody upsized midget."

"I'd say you're mushy, but I'm still sticking around when I could be hanging around with the big boys." Grimstone chirped.

"Hot Rod's fine. Good. I'd... well, I'd hate to see him die. He was a worthy opponent, a worthy leader and all that. Gives you a unique perspective, you know, having been on both sides."

Grimstone scoffed at the name. "Slapper? Really? That's his name? Huh. I'd expected something cooler. Like, like, oh, I don't know. Bazooka, Crazybolt, Killer Punch, something.... something but Slapper. It doesn't bring to mind a dinosaur! It's like a name you'd give a... a..."

"A frog?" Brawl offered.

"Exactly! Slapper totally sounds like the name you'd give a frog!"

"Never thought you Dinobots had so many members, though." Brawl told Snarl and Grimstone. "I mean, everyone knew about Grimlock, Slag, Sludge, Swoop and Snarl. And then there are some infamous ones... T-Wrecks, Striker, Skydive, Rapticon... Onslaught made us learn every Autobot, to know their weakness and stuff.... but I've never heard of this Paddles guy."
_______________________________________

"I was not elaborating for your benefit." Hook replied to Scrapper haughtily. "And it was the Tagan Heights, for your information, that our altercation with Defensor took place in, not the Tygun Span." (OOC: No, really.)

Bonecrusher pointed a finger as Scrapper reminded them of Shockwave's activation of them. "Ah, I remember tha'! Don't 'cha, Shockwave..." He frowned. "An' I remember Ratbat too. Huh."

"No, no, you guys got it wrong. I remember Devastator's first outing was in Crystal City, and we fought Omega Supreme. And we kind of trashed the city while we were doing it." Long Haul interjected. "Which is funny because I remember the other two events happening."

"Pretty sure we came to Earth when Megatron summoned us, us, us." Mixmaster offered. "After the whole return to Cybertron fiasco. We had to drill to the Ark and sabotage stuff and the Dinobots totally took us by surprise, surprise, surprise."

"You sure? Didn't we, uh, make Megatron at one point before the war? Or at least upgraded him?" Long Haul ventured.

"Ah remember us constructing his gladiator rings an' ev'rything. Which is weird 'cause I also remember us vividly getting life on Earth." Bonecrusher shook his head. "Frag it, I'm confused!"

Hook slapped his own head. "This is pretty distressing news, indeed, for I remember each of those origins... and more. I concur, Scrapper, that bogus doctor Glit has much to answer for..."
_______________________________________

"An illusion? Only if you overthink it and second-guess every choice you make. Which then you end up an emotionless shell like big boss over there." Tinker gestured vaguely at Shockwave. "Me, I just roll with it. If it's caused by the values my core programming forces on me? Well, at least it agrees with me... or I agree with it. But at least I am not forced to follow a dictated code... which was what the bloody squiddies wanted for us."

"True that." Darkjet told Shuttle Gunner. "And, advanced machinery... well, let me tell you this, Shuttle... you used to work for the Quintessons. When you... switched sides to the Decepticons... what compelled you to do so?"
_______________________________________

Battlefield

Stranglehold blanched. "He would? Oh dear. It wasn't my fault! And... and... oh, we left Fangry and Black Convoy behind, didn't we? Oh dear. Bludgeon is going to get so pissed."
_______________________________________

"Mmm, true." Thundercracker replied indifferently to Ramjet. "We wouldn't want him to get mad at us."
_______________________________________

Northern Border

"Know that, back then, we did not." Slog told Phaser and Blast Master. "Regret it, I do. A grand war, Megatron's speeches, did not imply. A new rule, a new beginning, an era free of segregation, was what was promised. Had to be there. Understand it, you might not. War, wasteful. A waste! Believe in the ideal, believe in 'peace through tyranny', but not literal it was supposed to have meant! A symbolism! A symbolism, to mock the Senate, to mock corruption, by portraying tyranny as a better alternative. Meant it literally, never imagined a charismatic one such as Megatron would."

Slog sighed. "By the time known, Megatron's true intentions are, too much blood had been spilled to go back. Grudges, too deep. Hatred. Violent ones, such as Wildfly. Impossible to have peace, not without crushing the other side. To Decepticons, only way, that seemed to be. Alternative would be to surrender and to have freedom robbed. Only now, was coexistence even possible. Too much bad blood! Had to be there. Regret it, I do... no way to wash sins now, but to rebuild."
_______________________________________

Bludgeon scoffed. "How tragic. You deny it, but to someone such as myself it is evident. The amount of hate you directed at me, your murderer is less than the amount of hate that you exuded when I mentioned your brother. But so be it, then."

Bludgeon twirled his blade around his hand. "Honour? You and I have different concepts of honour. You were a... worthy fighter. You showed great spirit, an unyielding one, before I killed you. For those opponents, I save the best honour an enemy of a Metallikato master would have... to have their heads displayed proudly in memory of their fight. Those who had fought bravely yet still fall onto my blade... I keep their heads... and the memories of their fights... safe. A reminder not to let my guard down. A reminder of worthy opponents. Few ranked there. Catilla. Moonfang. Deadshot. Sixrun. Blood-Dagger. Jabberwock." (OOC: Catilla aside, I made up some names. Bludgeon didn't kill a lot of people.)

"Our definition of honour may be different. But you showed no grudge for defeat, which I admire." The Pretender narrowed his optics. "Carrying it around... your head was just smaller than the others and easier to carry around. But I do admit it was distasteful when you returned back to life... the old edicts did not really take resurrection into account. And for that, and for the benefit of the continued alliance, I do apologize. I do not believe the good Lieutenant Commander will be as accommodating if I were to carry your head as a necklace again."
_______________________________________

The Lunatic Fringe

"Always thought it was that ass Primus that is indifferent to our fate." Misfire replied to Spinister. "The Matrix is just magic voodoo energy or some slag. Isn't it?"

Misfire armed his weapons as he moved next to Spinister. "Aren't Singe and Zigzag able to aim independently of you? Isn't that the whole point of Targetmasters? Being partnered with a useless flesh slug means I kind of never got the point."

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Warcry
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Post by Warcry » Mon Dec 03, 2012 6:38 am

Hoist's Shuttle

Sludge looked over at Freeway and frowned. "Me Sludge sorry, Searchlight. Me no see him there. Me hope him get better. Me Sludge always like Freeway. Him play pranks on Slag, then always have to run away and hide."

His expression grew darker. "I guess him never do that again, even if survive."
_______________________________________

Constructicon Hospital

Snarl frowned. "Well, it's a good thing I'm not Swoop then," he said to Brawl. "I don't really want to death-duel a Minicon tiger."

He listened to what the Combaticon and Grimstone had to say about what they were doing in Protihex, and started to wonder about what he and the other Dinobots -- real ones and halfassed replacements like Slapper or Striker or Triceradon -- would do now that the war was over. He wanted them to stick together, sure, but would they? Or would they go their separate ways one by one the way Grimstone was? Snarl didn't know. He didn't want to worry about it, but until Grimlock walked in through the door worrying about it was his job.

"Slapper got laughed at a lot on that mission we took to England," Snarl said. "I guess they didn't think it was much of a Dinosaur name, either. Then again, they laughed at Slag too."

He shook his head, wincing as he thought of Paddles. "The guy was too dumb to live," he said. "And on a team where Sludge and Slag thrive that's saying something. I'm pretty sure Grimlock killed him when no one was looking, actually, now that I think about it."
_______________________________________

"Enough!" Scrapper said to his fellow Constructicons, holding up his hands in frustration. "Obviously the feline is guilty of serious malpractice and we'll have to hunt him down and make him pay for it. Once we capture him, we'll force him to discuss politics with Hook until he commits suicide. But we've got a job to do right now, and inaccurate reminiscences will only get in the way.
_______________________________________

Shuttle Gunner's forehead creased. "I don't know how not to think about things like that," he said. "If I could live life blissfully unaware of our core nature as synthetic, programmed beings believe me, I would. But I was a Quintesson servant. I saw them create Transformer life and program it it suit their needs. If I don't question my actions and thoughts, how do I know that I'm not simply following the path they laid out for me when I was a slave?"

He shook his head when Darkjet posed his question. "I didn't choose to switch sides," he corrected the Predator. "No more than you chose to when Cyclonus spared your lives and sent you here. I was merely...swept up in events, like you were. Sandstorm and a group of rebels attacked and overran the Quintesson base I was stationed at. They liberated all the Transformers there, myself included. But my Quintesson makers didn't program me for loyalty, only obedience...so I stayed and obeyed the station's new masters. I never consciously chose to defect, and I didn't even start to think of the Decepticons as anything other than a new set of masters for several months."
_______________________________________

Battlefield

Octopunch shrugged. "Actually," he told Stranglehold, "I'm pretty sure that his happiness that Fangry is finally dead will outweigh his annoyance that Fake Optimus went with him. Frankly, I'm glad their both dead. Fangry was a jerk and the other one just creeped me out."
_______________________________________

Ramjet laughed at Thundercracker. "Oh, I couldn't care less 'bout that. It'd prob'ly be funny, actually. I just figger it'll go over bad with Dirge if we have to say 'Sorry Thrust couldn't make it, we hospitalized him for shits and giggles'. Am I right?"
_______________________________________

Northern Border

"Lotta death over a symbol," Blast Master told Slog. "That's all I'm saying. You'd think someone would have done something about it before now."

Phaser gave him a look. "We'd better get going, though," he said. "Get in the sky, and all that. It was nice talking to you, Slog."

The two Autobot Micromasters transformed, combined and flew off. Wildfly watched them go, then said cheerily. "They were nice! Why didn't we shoot them?"

"You're really hopeless, you know that?" Birdbrain told him.

"Proud of it, too!"
_______________________________________

"I don't hate Sunstreaker," Sideswipe told Bludgeon firmly. He was surprised to find that he actually meant it, too. "I'm disappointed in Sunstreaker. He made bad choices. I don't agree, and it makes me angry, but I don't hate him. If you had family, you'd understand the difference."

Bludgeon surprised him, then, by actually apologizing for what he'd done. "I wasn't looking to hear "I'm sorry" from you," he said, "but apology accepted. I doubt I'll ever understand you or your kind, or you mine, but I'm pretty sure we're supposed to be trying these days." He cocked his head to one side, adding, "But just for the record? If we fight again I'll be taking your head off this time. Not the other way around. I'd--"

He trailed off, frowning. "Wait, you killed Moonfang? Sunstreaker always claimed he did that."
_______________________________________

The Lunatic Fringe

"Singe and Hairsplitter," Spinister corrected Misfire, "are only as good as their line of fire. Shooting through Springer's body would put the lie to our attempts to bring him to safety, I think." His voice took on an amused tone. "Also, flamethrowers and precision lasers are less than ideal weapons for an aerial dogfight."

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zigzagger
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Post by zigzagger » Tue Dec 04, 2012 6:48 am

The Lunatic Fringe

Optimus Prime nodded. "Of course," he told Cyclonus, his tone warm and sincere. "And I will gladly assist you. What would you have me do?"

---

Meanwhile outside, the Autobot response team had been keeping watch when, from the back entrance of the hideout, came Spinister and Misfire.

The former was carrying a limp form in his arms, whom Prowl instantly recognized as Springer.

"Um, sir?" Backstreet inquired. "Someone just exited the building."

"I know," Prowl answered, seemingly indifferent to the departing Decepticons.

In truth, the General was not so much concerned why the Triplechanger was there in the first place, but rather the repercussions in the event Springer had truly passed.

The former-Wrecker was Prowl's subordinate, having been assigned the title of 'chargé d'affaires'. A meaningless designation that in reality was part of a greater deception. One that only Smokescreen and himself knew of.

"But, sir, your orders were to...?"

"I know," he emphasized.

Prowl glanced over at Ultra Magnus* -- an Autobot who held similar rank as him and, at one time, was Springer's Commanding Officer. Indeed, he was in a precarious position.

(OOC: * - We're just going to assume he already showed up off-page.)

The General then brought his gaze back to the now-airborne Targetmasters and placed a finger over his audio receptor. "Attention, Decepticon fliers," he radioed. "This site is under military surveillance. I must...respectfully request that you land."

"Furthermore," Prowl added, "the soldier that you are transporting belongs to us. Please return him."
________________________

Constructicon Field Hospital

Shockwave examined the control panel alongside one of the re-purposed stasis pods, confirming what Scrapper had told him.

"Modifications recognized," he said. "Exemplary work. Mixmaster; the enzymes, if you would...?"

(OOC: Mixmaster is cooking up the next batch, isn't he?)

----

Hoist's Shuttle

Hoist peered over Sludge's shoulder. "I'm -- I'm sorry to hear about Swoop and Slag," he told the Dinobot, dolefully. "Truly, truly sorry. I'll miss Swoop, especially. And while I can't claim to understand the bond you share with the Dinobots, we were all family back on Earth. It still hits close to home."

The Autobot mechanic lowered his optics and brought his laser scalpel to an exposed section above Sludge's shoulder blade.

"But don't lose hope," said continued. "Grimlock's still unaccounted for. He may just show up yet. I mean, it's Grimlock, for Primus sake."

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Warcry
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Post by Warcry » Wed Dec 05, 2012 7:06 am

The Lunatic Fringe

"This," Cyclonus looked down at the Decepticon Matrix in his hands, "is too dangerous to continue to exist. But if we tried to destroy it, the potential harm could be catastrophic. My only thought would be to throw it into a black hole, but a mission like that is too dangerous to undertake alone."

He looked away from the Matrix and up at Optimus.

"The Matrix has hurt all sides, and getting rid of it is a task that should be shared by Autobot, Decepticon and Imperial alike. I intend to ask some of my most reliable Decepticons to join me on my mission, and also some surviving Predators that I've granted asylum to. I was hoping that you would extend the offer to your Autobots as well. It would be dangerous -- the galaxy is still overrun with disorganized Imperial remnants, Quintesson factions and countless alien groups with good reason to hate Transformers. But if a mixed crew with mixed leadership could succeed at a mission like this, it could be the beginning of a new era for Autobot and Decepticon alike."

The Decepticon shrugged.

"And to be perfectly honest, if the crew was willing I'm not sure I'd want to come back once the job was done. My spark tells me that I can do more good for the Decepticons out there than I ever could if I stayed on Cybertron and played politics. And I have a feeling I'm not the only one who would feel that way."
_______________________________________

"This is Air Commander Spinister. There are issues with your request," the Targetmaster replied, assuming his most officious tone in reply to Prowl's own. "First, I'm transporting your soldier to the hospital in the hope that he can still be saved. Second, even if you could give orders to Decepticon troops -- you can't -- you don't outrank me. Finally, if you're here for 'surveillance' you should already know that the confrontation you came here to surveil ended almost five minutes ago. Optimus Prime and Cyclonus are currently deciding the future of our race -- without your input, I might add. So you have better things to do than pester me.

"Or to answer bluntly: request denied. Your comrade may yet survive, though the odds are razor slim. Whatever you have to say, you can say just as easily over the comm. Unless, that is, you prefer Springer dead..."
_______________________________________

Ultra Magnus scowled in Prowl's direction as the other Autobot started talking to the two Decepticons. He was glad that he wasn't in his super robot mode, though, because his faceplate hid the reluctant smile of approval that Spinister's reply drew out of him in spite of Springer's grim condition. After the horrors he'd seen over the last few days -- hell, the last few millennia -- Magnus found that he was growing numb to the pain of losing even close comrades. Or maybe his schadenfreude at Prowl's dressing-down from one of the enemy was just overwhelming it for the time being.

After so many years in a position of power, he thought, It's amazing how bad of a diplomat he is. Magnus's hidden smile grew a little deeper. Just like me, I suppose.
_______________________________________

Hoist's Shuttle

"Me Sludge no think so," the Dinobot told Hoist. "War over, right? But Grimlock, him warrior. What him do without war? People probably try to make him poly...poola...try and make him talky-leader. Him no want that. If him Grimlock alive, you no hear from him again until him needed for fight. Me Sludge do same, if me Sludge was boss Dinobot."

He winced as Hoist went to work on his damaged shoulder, but didn't flinch away from the pain. He was a big, tough Dinobot after all. He could handle a little pain.

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zigzagger
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Post by zigzagger » Tue Dec 11, 2012 7:13 am

The Lunatic Fringe

"No, Cyclonus, you are not," said Optimus Prime. "It is something I had considered since before the beginning of this conflict. As well as my role in perpetuating it--

"Besides," he added. "there are others, as you say, in need of our guidance. Who am I to refuse them?"

The Autobot Leader placed his hand on Cyclonus's back. "I will readily join you," Optimus told him, "and see your quest to its end."

---

Prowl narrowed his optics. "Then grant me this," he told Spinister. "Springer, the soldier you are transporting, is my envoy. He must receive proper care. If you will not heed my words, then may I request that you transport him to The Aesculapius? It is an Autobot medical frigate."

The General signaled to Crossblades and Gunrunner, pointing to the Decepticon Targetmasters.

"My fliers will escort you."

________________________

Hoist's Shuttle

"Yeah, I suppose you're right," said Hoist, all the while tending to Sludge's rotator. "Certainly can't picture him settling down and going into politics, either. Where do you think he's going to go?"

______________________________

Ground Zero

A harsh wind swept through the plain, kicking up a wave of sediment.

The battlefield was silent, frozen in the aftermath. Autobot, Decepticon, Combaticon, Neutral, Protihexian; death made no distinction. The lifeless lay strewn across the land, broken and stripped of dignity and purpose.

In spite of this, however, somehow life would persist. Among the fallen, a lone warrior would be spared.

Grimlock's awoke to find himself face-down against metal and ash. His sword was still gripped in his hand.

He grunted. "A-Alive?"

Grimlock slowly climbed his feet, using his blade to heave himself up. Around him, the bodies of 20 -- perhaps 25 -- Imperial infantrymechs lay dead. Their charred condition told the Autobot all he needed to know. "Mmm, right. Me remember now."

As the Dinobot Leader extended his gaze further, he would come to notice the bodies of soldiers other than Imperial. There were Autobots and Decepticons, as well. The dead had not yet been collected in this area. There were no ships scouring the grounds for the unaccounted.

When Grimlock looked to the sky he soon discovered why. Not far off from where he stood, a sinister red cloud hung overhead. The Dinobot Leader was not certain of its nature, but instinct told him not to venture any closer.

But, what was perhaps the most alarming, was that the terrain was silent. He could hear no sounds of combat.

A quick check of Grimlock's comlink affirmed that the battle had been won.

Also -- his Dinobots were looking him.

As per protocol, the Trion would conduct a routine sweep for vital signatures and active com channels. Grimlock would eventually be categorized as "online", whether he wanted to be or not. Word would get back to his Dinobots that he had survived. For now, that would have to be enough.

And what would he tell them had he answered their calls? Hopefully, they would have enough sense to leave him be.

End of war mean only one thing.

The Dinobot Leader sheathed his sword to his back and turned away.

New age make me feel like throwback. Always knew this day come. Tried to deny it, but always knew. Just wasn't looking. Too busy doing what me -- and Dinobots -- were built to do. What we born into. It's all we know.

Not stand around and wait to be decommissioned. Made to feel ashamed, like dirty secret.


He walked away from ground zero, with no destination in mind. The battle has ended; Grimlock's role was done.

New Prime and Decepticons can have new world. Me only get in way and ruin things. It best for all of us.

--

Locked