Page 12 of 16
Posted: Sat Sep 30, 2017 4:27 am
Battle Station Ginrai:
Ginrai's sensors reacted as Optimus Prime hove into view."Nightbeat! They found Optimus!"
Nightbeat's feet clanked down onto the decking, the command throne rocking forward as he sat up, sliding the padd, once again, back into the slot on the console. Then he frowned. "I'm really wishing they'd fit you with better repair facilities."
"Cerebros is with them. He's an excellent medic."
"Speaking of repairs....."
The schematics for Ginrai's head appeared in the holodisplay, showing the damaged internal components of Ginrai's head as well as the connector socket. "My internal repair systems have repaired most of the damage. My only concern is the damage to the connector point. It might affect our functionality if the repairs aren't correct."
"Yeah. That would kind of suck. All right, once Cerebros is done patching everybody else up, I'll have him check your connector port." Nightbeat watched Optimus roll to a halt nearby, slouching back into the command throne. "I guess the saying is true. It never really ends."
"Being in this war. I mustered out about the same time they turned me into my own head. Never thought I'd serve under a Prime again. Hung out my shingle, solved some cases, did a lot of research, hired on to help with this dig. Teaches me to answer an ad looking for people to solve mysteries of history. On the up side, at least Sentinel isn't in charge."
Posted: Sun Oct 01, 2017 9:13 am
Near Battle Station Ginrai
Diac looked up to where Ginrai, Nightbeat and the other Autobots that were stationed in their de facto base look up as Optimus Prime's vehicle mode rolled into view. Under his faceplate, he smiled at the splayed-open battlestation that Ginrai's trailer transformed into.
I really got to get me one of those. Diac thought to himself. Some of Optimus Prime's older bodies had them, of course, but not this one. They had to make room for the triple-changing technology to let Prime transform into an additional flight mode.
Considering how disastrous that went earlier in the day, Diac really wished they had the simpler solution of 'more guns' instead. Optimus Prime wouldn't have approved, though.
As they came to a halt near Ginrai's battlestation mode, Diac opened the door to Optimus Prime's cab section, hopped off and walked up towards Ginrai. "So... Nightbeat, wasn't it?" He called out to the Titan Master.
Meanwhile, in the background, Cerebros walked up to Optimus Prime's trailer section, opened an access panel and continued working.
Posted: Sun Oct 01, 2017 11:58 am
Battle Station Ginrai:
Nightbeat got up from the command throne and approached Diac. "Yes. I'm here with the dig team." He thought about it for a moment. "Better make that 'was here with the dig team'. Looks like I'm back in service again. How's Optimus doing?"
Ginrai's sensors gave Optimus a quick scan. The damage was extensive, but Cerebros should be able to get him back on his feet. Then he chuckled to himself. Nightbeat was the complete opposite of Pyro. More laid back, less formal-
I'll have to fix that........
Ginrai's mental processes nearly crashed. Where had that thought come from? That had almost sounded like....... Pyro? He started running diagnostics on his systems.
Posted: Tue Oct 03, 2017 6:14 pm
Doomshot would have explained to Astrotrain that it was possible for his suggested candidates to be taught and groomed for the role, or that any of them would have been an improvement over Megatron even in their current, somewhat raw state, but he knew that his words would have fallen on deaf ears. The larger Transformer, like too many of the old generation, was simply too set in his world view to truly see outside of it, even when he -- Doomshot believed -- actually did want to enact change for the better.
I don't often envy organics, he mused, but ah, to live in a society where the old inevitably fade away and allow the young to bring about change...
"Greetings, Darkmoon," he told the other Titan Master after he'd disconnected from Astrotrain's neck. "Don't worry about your larger counterpart's attitude. It is no reflection on you, but on the life he's led and the experiences that have shaped him. He cannot be anyone but who he is, no matter how...vexing it may be for the rest of us.
"As far as what I need you for...as you might imagine, I have...trust issues, yes, when it comes to allowing one such as Necro to operate on my larger body. I would appreciate it if you would use your medical scanners to watch the operation and ensure that he doesn't...exceed his remit, yes."
Ignoring the glare that Necro shot him, Doomshot continued. "And afterwards, assuming that the DJD medic did in fact repair all of the internal damage before departing, all that remains is the exterior maintenance." He proffered a small datacard in Darkmoon's direction. "Some minor cosmetic alterations as well, to better fit in amongst the local ruins. I assume you brought your gear?"
Necro settled down on Megatron's chest, smiling slightly behind his faceplate as his needles found easy purchase on the neural patches built into Megatron's Titan Master port. Then he started to feel the physical sensations of the world fade slightly as his mind reached out and touched Megatron's memory core.
"Ah, ah," he muttered to himself as he explored for what Doomshot has requested (and took several detours for his own satisfaction. "Such pain! Such anger!"
Mindwipe looked over at Brisko. His mind was obviously still fixated on pondering both of his components' discoveries, but the nice thing about being paired with a Titan Master was that it made multitasking much easier.
"I could brainwash him for you, blah. Though I'm not sure I vant to touch his mind..."
He glanced over at Sixshot and said, "I, or at least Vorath, have dissected several Titan Masters. I can confirm that there is no gooey center, blah. Perhaps Fangry is thinking of those poor fools who replaced their heads with organic beings in the days before the Combiner Wars?"
Enroute back to Ginrai
Hardhead came to a stop with Cerebros's prompting and disconnected his tow cable. Then he parked with his cannon facing outwards and began scanning for threats.
Furos popped the cockpit open and hopped out, falling into step behind Diac as the other Autobot went over to gently interrogate Nightbeat.
Posted: Tue Oct 03, 2017 6:45 pm
Darkmoon shrugged noncommittally at Doomshot's comments on Astrotrain. "Yeah, the dude's an old geezer. Could be worse, though. I could be bonded to Fangry."
Darkmoon glanced at Necro, and nodded, giving the offended-looking Decepticon a disarming smile. "If he tries anything funny, he'll know." Darkmoon tapped the sidearm attached to his waist. He quite disliked Necro. He quite disliked mnemosurgeons in general, more accurately, but Necro and his corpse fetish or whatever is a special brand of nasty. "Scanners are active."
Darkmoon took the datacard, read it and frowned a little. "Well, among my medical equipment that I stash inside Astrotrain, I do have cosmetic reformat chips, but you're... repainting Megatron? He doesn't quite strike me as the vain type."
Astrotrain kept Darkmoon on the edge of his vision. He didn't think Doomshot would be the type to execute Darkmoon, but his younger partner does sometimes overestimate his skills. Still, as Astrotrain noted in his conversation with Doomshot, if he wanted Astrotrain (and by extension Darkmoon) dead, it'd be way too easy.
Astrotrain mentally composed a message to the Decepticon High Command. They would be fooled, of course. Hopefully for at least a while, until Doomshot gets his hands on the contents of the dig site.
[Megatron's Titan Master Doomshot is compliant and willing to obey my suggestions. Mental health seems acceptable at the moment. Megatron is still under our thumb.]
It was the usual report that Astrotrain sent to his handlers. Everything is fine, no problem. Look the other way. Squabble among yourselves.
They'll be fooled, Astrotrain repeated to himself, before sending the message out to High Command. He felt a tinge of unease gripping his spark core. So he's picked a side, backed the one that doesn't have the Decepticon Cause's scariest killers on their side. Primus, if they sent Thunderwing and Overlord after him...
No, the die is cast. This was how Megatron started the revolution, in what probably is another life for the one-time revolutionary. But this time, they're going to do things right.
"Replaced their heads with... organic beings? How does that even work?" Sixshot looked slightly appalled. "I've had an organic pet. They don't come in shapes like... like this." Sixshot pointed a finger to his own face. "And they don't bend the way our joints do. They quite literally break permanently."
He paused, and then added. "What real advantage does bonding with a fragile chunk of organic goo even gives, anyway?"
Battle Station Ginrai
Diac nodded at Nightbeat. "Optimus is inactive for the time being, but he is in good hands." Diac glanced at Cerebros, who gave him a thumbs-up. A brief tingle in his mind told him that Cerebros was tinkering with the Titan/Titan-Master connections. "It'll be some time before he would be battle ready."
"Back in service again? So you were part of the military in the past, then?... of course. You acquited yourself quite well for someone who was newly bonded. To a complex Titan body, to boot." Diac nodded, then looked up at Ginrai. "How are you holding up, Ginrai?"
Posted: Wed Oct 04, 2017 2:36 am
The less aggressive, more friendly dog natured wolf's face that meant Brisko was in charge looked suddenly nauseated. "He means the innermost Energon circulating through the vital systems. I think he wants to bathe in it."
Battle Station Ginrai:
"All things considered, Diac, I'm doing quite well. Nightbeat seems to be well suited to be my pilot."
Posted: Thu Oct 05, 2017 6:27 am
Deathsaurus kept their distance and observed for just a moment. Doomshot had not contacted them upon regaining conciousness. Astrotrain had not come here with the rest of the crew at all. Circumstances were peculiar, not necessarily untoward, but peculiar to be sure.
Their comm buzzed:
"Ah, Misfire, yes. Thank you for the report. You and Nightlight may return to camp, and it's Provisional Commander technically, until Megatron wakes back up, but Captain or Sir will work fine as well. Good job, soldier."
Assuming they'd been overheard enough to be noticed, Deathsaurus stepped fully towards the group.
"Astrotrain, our friend, this is a pleasant surprise. What brings you to an active warzone?"
Calling Astrotrain 'friend' was overgenerous. Deathsaurus liked him well enough, but it would be difficult to truly call anyone in this current Decepticon government a friend. 'Briefly agreeable rival' was usually the best one could hope for. But still, a little cordiality never hurts, especially when one can rip the other robot in half if should come to that.
"Doomshot, we're pleased to see you've recovered. What is Lord Megatron's status? Will he be up and running soon? We've just learned that there are at least five more combiners heading this way, estimated ten minutes out."
Battle Station Ginrai
Sentinel's rest cycle was brief, but fitful. He honestly couldn't remember having a good night's recharge since the day he'd first bonded with the Matrix, but this time, having tasted battle, real battle, for the first time in millennia, and then being confronted with, and targeted by, that combiner? He felt more tired when he cycled back on then he had to begin with. Waking, he found himself burdened by an overwhelming sense of guit, but surely he didn't feel responsible for that.. thing. Not it's existence, and certainly not for its demise. No, he told himself, the only thing I have to feel guilty for is not ending this war before such monsters were created.
Sentinel Prime shifted back into robot form, with Infinitus falling dutifully into place; his body on Sentinel's shoulders, and his mind faded into Sentinel's subconcious.
The former Prime spotted a group of Autobots gathered near Ginrai and strode over.
"Hardhead, what's the mission status? Have they found what we were brought here for?"
Posted: Thu Oct 05, 2017 2:41 pm
Battle Station Ginrai
Diac nodded at Ginrai. He doesn't seem to be under duress (and why would he be?) and Nightbeat seemed like the honest sort. "Well suited, hmm?" Diac looked to Nightbeat, and gave him a shrug. "And you seem to not mind being Ginrai's partner either. This might be unconventional, but we are in an unconventional situation at this point. Nightbeat, how would you like to be Ginrai's partner indefinitely? The choice is, of course, entirely up to you. But the Autobot army could definitely use your services, and Ginrai would definitely be able to use a new partner."
Diac glanced up at Ginrai again. "You have my deepest sympathies for the loss of Pyro. He was a great soldier. I cannot imagine having to lose a Titan Master partner so abruptly, but it is my sincerest hope that you and Nightbeat will get along."
Diac glanced up as Sentinel Prime walked towards them. In another life, if he wasn't bonded to Optimus Prime, and if the older Autobot wasn't so tightly-strung, they probably would've been good friends.
"Sentinel Prime." Diac said, giving the other Prime a salute. Sentinel and Optimus don't get along too well, but there's no reason for him to disrespect him. Not much, anyway. "We have not located... the contents of the dig site. Although I do believe that it is high time that we tell our troops about just what it is we're after."
Astrotrain hated being stuck in his shuttle mode. That was one of the biggest drawbacks of the Titan-Master process... the indignities of being forced to interact to others while in vehicle mode.
"A pleasant surprise indeed, Deathsaurus. Forgive my current changeform, for my partner is currently aiding our great leader." Astrorain replied to the larger general. "I was here to help assess the troop deployment, but more importantly -- to make sure that the contents of this dig site ends in Decepticon hands."
Astrotrain liked Deathsaurus. He was honourable, and Astrotrain liked that in an ally. Despite all the backstabbing, cutthroat politics of the Decepticon high command, Astrotrain honestly wished that things were simpler and everyone genuinely wanted to help the Decepticon cause like he did.
Posted: Thu Oct 05, 2017 6:34 pm
Necro shifted uncomfortably under Darkmoon's scrutiny, and even moreso at the memories he was sifting through. Megatron's psyche, it seemed, was a deeply unhealthy place, something that was only the worse because of how many Titan Masters he'd been bonded to and subsequently broken. Necro could detect memory fragments from at least a dozen other, non-Megatron minds superimposed on the Decepticon leader's own. Had he been a therapist, sorting out the mess would have been the work of a lifetime.
But Necro wasn't here to make things better. Not even for his own entertainment, alas. He was here to find a very specific set of memories and bring them to the fore. And so he navigated briskly around the ages-old suffering of an abused mining slave, the glories of a gladiatorial hero and the stresses of a wartime leader until he found...
"Yes, yes," he muttered. "Here we go. I've found the problem and I'm transferring the memories in question to Megatron's primary buffers. He --" and you, Doomshot, not that I'd mention it aloud "-- should be able to access them readily once he's reactivated, at which point they'll load back into non-corrupted sectors of his memory cores."
His needles disconnected from Megatron's neck socket and started to withdraw back into his hand.
"Now if you're done with me, I'd like to collect some subjects to work on as we travel."
"Fangry has his uses," Doomshot said with an indifferent shrug. He pondered Darkmoon's other point for a moment before adding, "Megatron got shot out of the sky from miles away because he was highly visible. I'd rather that not happen again. This new scheme should provide some camouflage in the regions we'll be visiting."
And serve as a warning of just what I could have done to him if I wanted, yes...
"He will not like it, but he will like not getting shot."
Turning to face the newly-arrived Deathsaurus Doomshot gave a curt nod to one of the few members of the 'old guard' that he truly respected...even if he was unnerved by the other Decepticon's habit of speaking in plural when he was connected to his Titan Master. But after all, their relationship was fairly unique among Titans and their Masters, and it only held that the expression of it would be too. It seemed harmless, in any case.
"Now that Necro is done his work -- don't go far, Necro, we'll be leaving momentarily -- all that remains is for Darkmoon to perform some minor alterations to Megatron's superstructure. Then he shall be active once more and we should be able to depart."
He glanced at Darkmoon and added, "I assume the cosmetic reformat will be a quick process?"
Mindwipe sighed. "I do not know. Vorath read some obscure literature on the subject years ago. There was vun incident on Earth where an Autobot was subjected to it against his vill, that I know." While combined with his Titan Master, his accent was far less thick and his words much easier to understand. "I vould imagine that the flesh creatures had to be altered physically in order to..."
He trailed off, as if his train of thought had suddenly been derailed. After a moment, he muttered, "Of course, of course." Then he shook his head and continued. "They organics must have been altered physically in order to perform the transformation, let alone to interface with a Transformer mind."
Returning them to their baseline physiology vould have been impossible, he thought to himself, but they are mere organics. We are Transformers. Could vun of us who was altered, be returned to normal?
With a glance over at Brisko, he said, "That vould be incredibly unhygienic."
Hardhead nodded his cannon to Sentinel Prime. "As Diac says, sir, we have made little progress so far. Though -- as he also says -- it would be helpful if someone would tell the rest of us what we're looking for!"
With Diac being the nice guy in the conversation, Furos reluctantly stepped in to play "bad cop".
"I have to ask, Nightbeat...what are your intentions here? I don't know if you've been bonded to a Titan before, but the process can grow deep roots quickly. Especially when the Titan itself is so new. If you intend to go back to working as a detective after the current crisis has passed, the results could be seriously traumatic. For both of you, but especially for Ginrai since he's already lost one partner."
He glanced over at Prime's Titan Master, as if to emphasize his next point. "Who we are bonded to often has more to do with our role in the military these days than our own skills do. And Ginrai, for better or worse, is a battle platform, not an investigative lab. If you stay with him, you may not get many chances to exercise your chosen profession."
In the Air
"'Nightlight'! I look nothing like that buffoon! Why, I oughta..." Aimless's rage was, thankfully, not transferred back to Deathsaurus, since Misfire wisely kept his microphone muted.
"Dude, calm down."
"Calm? The boss doesn't even know my name!"
"So?" Misfire wanted to shrug, but it was hard to do that when you were a plane. "It's not like you're jockeying for a promotion. That'd just be more work to dodge. Besides, this way he doesn't know who to yell at when you mess up."
"Well, I guess that's something anyway." Aimless seemed to calm down, at least enough to stop paying attention again and devote his attention to his game.
Activating the comm, Misfire responded to Deathsaurus. "Yeah...got it, sir. We'll head back now. If you need help with anything when we get there, I'm totally game. Uh, sir."
"Suck-up," Aimless taunted him as soon as he'd muted the mikes again.
Posted: Fri Oct 06, 2017 3:19 am
Battle Station Ginrai:
Nightbeat simply smiled. "I've never been bonded to a Titan before now, because of one thing: this." He tapped the side of his head. "My mind doesn't work the way yours does. My logic centers are wired up differently, and my neural nets don't meld well with an already established personality. The only way I'd get a partner is if they either copied my mind into a Titan body- at that point, why bother? It'd be really confusing for both of us - or basically put me with a blank slate. Besides, the Security Investigation Division(OOC: think of it as the Autobot version of NCIS)didn't really need me anymore, especially since I couldn't be teamed with anybody." He rapped his knuckles on Ginrai's console gently. "Thanks to Ginrai here, I can go back to what I used to do. I will gladly become his permanent partner."
Brisko nodded unhappily. "I know. But he doesn't care. He's safely ensconced inside of me. I'm the one who'd be covered in fuel."
Posted: Fri Oct 06, 2017 12:00 pm
Darkmoon nodded as Necro finished whatever he was doing. Manipulating memories, or something, he didn’t particularly care – he did what he was asked to do, and that was monitor if Necro did anything other than making a particular memory piece more accessible to Megatron’s psyche. “He did what he was ordered to do.” Darkmoon told Doomshot. The Titan Master nodded. It was weird, actually enacting a plan to depose Megatron and put another Decepticon – as much as that Decepticon is still kinda-sorta Megatron himself – in his place. After the many arguments he had with Astrotrain in the past about putting them in charge, to make a power play themselves… ah, well. There’s still time. And besides, Doomshot was… nice, as much as a Decepticon tyrant can be.
“Highly visible. Gotcha.” Darkmoon guessed that Doomshot was lying. If Doomshot was worried about visibility, or about camouflage, he would tell Darkmoon to install stealth technology, or to paint him black, or make him invisible. This was… what did Astrotrain call it? A passive-aggressive power play? Best not to question these fellow when they’re doing this. “It’ll be quick, sure.” Darkmoon sauntered up to Astrotrain’s shuttle mode, and the hatch opened.
Thanks to subspace technology, the interior of Astrotrain’s shuttle mode was fairly larger than it would be if you see him from the outside. Once, when Astrotrain was still a Decepticon that fought on the front lines, the insides of Astrotrain’s shuttle mode would be filled with Decepticon troops. Now they contain a large amount of emergency resources that Darkmoon has co-opted into a medical bay.
Darkmoon walked in, and emerged with a large data-slug that was almost as big as Darkmoon himself. The small Titan Master made his way to Megatron’s body, and plugged the slug into an access port. The data-slug transformed slightly, revealing a small screen and keyboard, and Darkmoon inputted the appearance that Doomshot had requested of him.
“Courtesy of this particularly aesthetic-savvy tech genius. Needleface? Needlehead? Needle something, at any rate.” Darkmoon explained, as he clicked a button. The data slug seemed to fold upon itself, but in reality it is being absorbed through Megatron’s system, running through energon lines to reach every part of Megatron’s body, dissolving and transforming into nanites that would bleach the metal that comprised Megatron’s exterior body. “Allows you to quite literally transform the colour of your experience without the more traumatic, cumbersome stasis pods.”
Patches of colour – dark purples and blacks, with a tinge of blue – appeared on Megatron’s body, and they began to expand. Soon, in under a minute, Megatron’s entire form has been transformed in colour.
“An Autobot? Typical. They fight for the weaker races, and they pay them back with dishonour.” Sixshot sighed. “Disgusting creatures.”
Sixshot frowned as Mindwipe explained in detail as to how the organics were bonded to Transformers, and shuddered. “That sounds horrible. I would not think that the organics’ physiology would take the alteration well, considering what I’ve seen. They are so fragile.” He glanced at Brisko. “You should be thankful that those abominable half-organics do not make it into our war. Organic fluid stain particularly badly.”
Battle Station Ginrai
Diac, still waiting for Sentinel Prime’s answer – Sentinel was the Prime in the situation, what with Optimus still offline – and turned back to Nightbeat. “Furos speaks the truth – you are welcome to give it a thought, at least after the crisis here is resolved. But fate, at least, seems to have other plans for you.” He paused, and nodded as Nightbeat replied. “But if you are willing, and are making the choices of your own volition, then I would formally like to welcome you back into the Autobot army.”
Posted: Sat Oct 07, 2017 2:10 am
Deathsaurus nodded cordially at Astrotrain's apology. "Think nothing of it. It's the state of all of you vehicleformers these days. We're glad to have you here at any rate."
"May I take it you're as concerned with Megatron's health as I am?" they asked, without changing their tone, but darting their optics meaningfully between Doomshot and where Darkmoon was plugging the repaint device into Megatron.
Turning now to Doomshot, they replied, "That's good. I was worried he might be out of it for a long haul. He would not have pleased to have missed the mission, especially if we don't.. Excuse me a moment."
Their comm buzzed with Misfire's reply. "Very well. We'll see you at camp momentarily. Take a short break, and we'll let you know when you're needed."
'Totally game'? Full military protocol might be a bit ridiculous, but a little formality is hardly too much to ask. Still, the eagerness is to be commended at least.
"Sorry about that, Doomshot. The scouting patrol is headed back to camp now, by the way. We also have some news that we hope you'll enjoy; we took the liberty of hiring some emergency reinforcements before we deployed, in the case that things went, well, exactly how they went. They should be arriving in orbit at any moment."
Battle Station Ginrai
Sentinel Prime was taken aback by Diac's piping up from the battle station, although his faceplate hid all but turning his head and a brief brightening of his optics.
Oh. Optimus's head. That would explain the tone.
He gave a curt nod in response to the salute. "Very well, Diac. And apologies to you, Hardhead," he said, with a nod that was only slightly more friendly, "keeping everyone in the dark was never my idea, and I certainly was not aware that they had not even told you, commander."
Of course, Sentinel was hardly opposed to keeping secrets. Secrets had been his downfall, in fact. But keeping a mission a secret from the soldiers carrying it out? It made no sense. He honestly doubted that he'd been given the full story himself.
"Alright, Diac. You want to tell them? Tell them. You have my leave, if that's what you're waiting for."
Posted: Sun Oct 08, 2017 5:37 am
"Wonderful to hear that the scouts survived," Doomshot told Deathsaurus. "On this planet, you can't be too careful, no..."
He did frown slightly at word of reinforcements. They would be a useful bolster to the Decepticons' numbers, naturally, especially after the combiner had claimed so many lives and Starscream had, as usual, fled. But they would also be unknowns in a way that the crew they'd brought down with them were not. Their loyalties, in particular, would be hard to judge, and as with Astrotrain that would make them someone he needed to watch closely.
"And who, pray tell, can I expect to join us?" he asked, trying to keep his tone casual.
As he waited for the other high-ranking Decepticon to answer, he turned his attention back to his bigger counterpart and the work that was being done on him.
"Ah, good work Necro, yes..." Doomshot said after Darkmoon confirmed that the deviant had done what he was asked.
He'd never heard of the "Needle-something" mech that Darkmoon was referring to, but he watched and nodded with satisfaction as the new colours came to life on his Titan's body. They would, he knew, spread to his own frame as soon as he reconnected to the Decepticon leader's neck.
That was the rub, of course. As much as Doomshot postured, he really, really didn't look forward to doing that. Megatron's madness was trying at the best of times, but the Decepticon leader's rage would be veritably boiling once he realized what Doomshot had done, both to his body and his mind. And with good cause, for once.
But it was necessary. I will make him see it, even if it takes all I have.
With what he hoped was a confident gait, Doomshot walked towards Megatron and stood by his neck socket.
Here we go.
"You should tell him that any energon-transmitted diseases you catch vill automatically be passed to him while you're connected, blah," Mindwipe told Brisko.
To Sixshot, he said, "Indeed. Why defend lesser creatures that only want to hurt you? I'll never understand the Autobot mindset, blah."
Hardhead would have crossed his arms over his chest if he'd been in robot mode, but his tone of voice would probably make his feelings pretty clear regardless. "Politics never change, sir," he told Sentinel Prime, "and Optimus has to answer to the same Senate that you did. Well, give or take a few people who got eaten by combiners before we retreated from Cybertron."
Very few of the Autobots' political class had been lost in the disaster, though, Hardhead knew. Most of them had been on the first ships to evacuate the world, securing their own safety ahead of the constituents they claimed to represent.
"I suspect his silence comes as a result of their meddling. Civilian oversight has never been anything but a bane to military planning."
Furos shrugged. "Having a Titan with the same personality as you can be quite useful. Hardhead and I usually don't even need to talk on the battlefield because we're thinking the same things."
In the Air
"See, see?" Aimless taunted Misfire. "He's got nothing for us! We should totally see if the dig site has any gaming apps that we don't already have."
Misfire sighed. "Come on, man. Can't you ever think of anything else? We're in this, like, totally apocalyptic end of the world scenario. Don't you at least want to look around?"
"Got it, sir," he told Deathsaurus. "Just let us know when you need us."
They approached the dig site, with Misfire looking for a safe place to land while Aimless, as usual, did nothing.
OOC: PM me if there's something inaccurate about the Autobots' mission statement. :)
Posted: Sun Oct 08, 2017 4:20 pm
Astrotrain couldn't follow Deathsaurus' eyes, not with the sensors available to him in shuttle mode, and neither could he nod, which was annoying. "Megatron is made of sterner stuff. I- well, we have seen him recover from worse. Without sounding callous, I am here to ensure that our artifact recovery goes smoothly."
Astrotrain thought about what he felt about Doomshot repainting Megatron into a new colour scheme. It's not going to be something that Megatron would like, of course, but Astrotrain had listened to Doomshot's conversation with Darkmoon. It'd be a reasonable enough request that the smaller Decepticon would make of Megatron, yet...
He was hesitating. Was this a moment of weakness? Did Astrotrain choose poorly?
Darkmoon sauntered over to Astrotrain, and the triple changer's shuttle form transformed, merging with his smaller companion once more, Astrotrain stood tall in robot mode, finally giving Deathsaurus a nod.
He watched Doomshot. Was it too much to ask from the smaller Decepticon? Perhaps. But can the next leader of the Decepticon cause do any less?
Sixshot shrugged at Mindwipe. "They make good pets." He paused, then continued. "And, for someone in your profession, good experiment material, I am sure."
Battle Station Ginrai
"Optimus received the information shortly after we exited the transwarp tunnel, and the Senate did insist that the number of people who knew about the mission was to be kept to a minimum. We did not want to the Decepticons to catch wind of what we are searching for." Diac frowned. He looked at the people present around him. "But Senate or not, that should not have stopped us from keeping you informed, especially the moment the Decepticons attacked. And for that, I apologize."
He looked up to Sentinel Prime, and nodded. "Very well, sir."
He looked around, and took into stock the people there. Sentinel Prime, glowering under that faceplate. The newly-birthed Ginrai and the newly-inducted Nightbeat. Ever-faithful Hardhead and Furos. Perceptor, staring with such clinical detachment that one could mistake him for a statue. Chromedome, Stylor, Hot Rod, and Cerebros, all faithful soldiers to the Autobot cause. The newcomer Firebolt (who he really need to talk to after this).
"So, a day before we departed, our Intelligence Agency discovered that this dig site was the final location of a mighty battlestation, a relic from a bygone age. A Mega-Titan." Diac paused. "These Mega-Titans are some of the mightiest war machines to ever walk the surface of Cybertrons. Cybertronians as large a small town, actually able to transform into a robotic form... these Titans came from an age long forgotten by most of us." Diac looked up at Sentinel Prime."The Senate had told me that Sentinel Prime knew about the nature of these Mega-Titans, but we did not have the chance to confer before this mission."
"Preposterous." Perceptor scoffed. "A walking city? You might as well as say that we are looking for the Lost Continent of Cyberutopia. Have we forgotten the combiners so soon? The amount of power needed to move even a combiner is beyond that of a single Spark Core, let alone a walking city!"
Diac shot Perceptor a glare. "Fiction or not, these giant colossi would mean disaster should they fall into Decepticon hands. And considering that they have arrived back on Cybertron at the same time that we have, it cannot be a coincidence." Diac looked around. "Which is what should be our priority at this moment. Find it, secure it, and depart Cybertron before the Decepticons do."
Posted: Mon Oct 09, 2017 2:33 am
Battle Station Ginrai:
"That's part of the problem, Furos. Being of one mind works in combat. Not so much in detecting, computing the different angles, and trying to come up with all the different ways to secure whatever it is you're keeping secure. Another mind might notice something you missed simply because you didn't think of it. If the other mind is exactly like yours, it might miss it, too."
Hot Rod's canopy hissed open.
"We're looking for a what?" Firedrive was having a hard time wrapping his head around the concept.
"Mega-Titans are a myth. The legend was old even when I was young," Hot Rod's voice growled out of the vocoder in his dash.
"If the dig site is on top of this Mega-Titan, why not just go down there and get it? If we can get it operational again, maybe we can use it to escape."
"Because this might be really bad, Chromedome. We've got Decepticons mixed in with our troops." Stylor gave a weary sigh. "Besides, Perceptor is right. How would we power it?"
"That part, I might be able to help with," said Ginrai. "In this mode, I'm designed to generate Energon from any source I can. I'm taking radiation from the air, light, ground vibrations- anything. Mainly it's to be self sufficient in combat. But that could be diverted from my weapons systems if needed."
Posted: Mon Oct 09, 2017 5:39 am
Battle Station Ginrai
Diac looked at Hot Rod, and nodded. "That was what we thought, but the Senate made it clear that they had very reliable information that a Mega-Titan -- or at least a structure equivalent to one -- has been uncovered by the archaeological staff here. If there is the slightest chance that such a weapon of destruction should fall into Decepticon hands..." Diac paused, then turned to Nightbeat, and frowned. "I don't suppose you know anything about this, Nightbeat?"
Diac then turned to address Chromedome. "Escape is a matter of getting to a communications relay and calling the Ark back, but Stylor is right. We have the Decepticons, and we cannot allow them to obtain the weapon."
Perceptor nodded, and patted the barrel of the sniper rifle he's holding. "A powerful weapon. That sounds a lot more logical than what, should I be inclined towards using extravagant vernacular, I would describe as a walking fairytale city."
Diac looked to Ginrai and nodded. "That is partially the reason the Senate requested you to be deployed, Ginrai. As well as Perceptor and Convex, who I am confident are capable enough of engineering a way to power the Mega-Titan, should his skepticism be proven false."
Diac paused as he felt a tinge on the back of his mind. Cerebros was working on the mental bonds that connected him to Optimus Prime, and after their traumatic separation, Cerebros was re-connecting them. He felt the all-too-familiar mental pathways open one by one, and Diac could feel Optimus Prime's calm personality seep through. An actual link to his Titan partner would be necessary to actually connect their minds and sycnchronize what they know, but Diac took comfort in the fact that their leader was unharmed.
Posted: Mon Oct 09, 2017 5:44 am
Deathsaurus frowned slightly at Doomshot inquiry, "Well, we doubt you'll be pleased by that part. As short notice as this mission was, We didn't have time to put together a team ourself, so we had to hire a contractor, and that contractor is Straxus."
Straxus was mercenary and brutish, even by Decepticon standards. Deathsaurus was loathe to work with him, but any port in a storm, as the saying goes, and this mission and all the makings of a storm.
Deathsaurus' gaze followed Doomshot as the smaller Decepticon walked back towards his Titan partner.
"The purple's a bit.. gauche, don't you think?"
Battle Station Ginrai
Sentinel Prime nodded after Diac finished his explanation. "I do know of them, although obviously I've never seen one in person. They were mentioned in some of the more ancient volumes in the Primal Basilica library. It makes sense that Optimus didn't have a chance to read them before it was razed. The idea that he didn't have a chance to brief anyone before we arrived is a little more spurious, however, and you can be sure I'll have some words for him if he ever decides to wake up from his nap."
Posted: Tue Oct 10, 2017 2:00 am
Battle Station Ginrai:
Nightbeat thought for a moment. "I know they thought they were close to finding something, but they were keeping it pretty quiet." He shrugged. "I'm not really much of an archaeologist. At a guess, we're going to have to go down and see what they found."
As stealthily as possible, which is pretty silent, a bat-shaped drone flapped through the air, finally landing upside down, wrapping mechanical wings around it's body, red glistening optics taking in everything.
Posted: Tue Oct 10, 2017 10:27 pm
(OOC: The cities couldn't have disappeared that long ago, guys. This one's buried on the same battlefield as a modern combiner, after all. They're ancient history to be sure, but still HISTORY, not myth.)
The activation phrase was unnecessary, of course. It had been decades since Titan technology has been so primitive. But old habits, and all that. Yes...
Doomshot folded up, his body taking on a cuboid form as his head sunk into Megatron's neck socket. Neural shunts extruded out of his temples and locked into place on Megatron's connector sockets, prompting similar connectors to connect from Megatron into Doomshot at the same time as the Decepticon leader's socket clamps set him into place. As the connections initialized and data began to pass between the two of them, Doomshot had a few moments to scrutinize the memories that he'd had Necro dredge up. He was not disappointed.
Then Megatron's processors finished booting up, and the shouting started. Thankfully, Doomshot had been prepared for this eventuality, and the shouting remained internal. He wasn't sure if Megatron's explosion of rage would have translated into anything but an inchoate roar of fury. Doomshot allowed Megatron's wrath to wash over him, galvanizing him for what was to come. And once the white-hot anger began to burn out, as all anger did, the Titan Master tossed a though of his own into their shared mind-space.
You brought this on yourself.
No, Megatron. I don't "dare". I am doing what a Titan Master is supposed to do. The fact that I have to resort to such extreme measures simply illustrates how petty and childish your behaviour is. Whether you like it or not, Megatron, we are two parts of the same whole now. Indivisible.
Megatron's rage flared yet again. You are just the latest in a line of replaceable widgets, Doomshot. You won't "master" me, no more than any of the others. How are they doing, anyway?
You say that, Doomshot told him. You don't truly believe it. I am not afraid of you. Your attempted mental assaults don't phase me. Every day, you feel less and less in control of our shared mind. So you act out like a child, yes, spitefully trying to fight me off without any regard for how it is impacting the cause that you created.
So you would have me give up? Surrender the sovereignty of my own thoughts that the High Command tried to steal from me against my will? Never! Who would follow such a Megatron?
Who follows you now? Doomshot asked coldly. I didn't do what I did solely to get the information that you withheld from me, no. Nor did I do it to hurt you. I did it to illustrate that I can. But not as a petty power game, no. To show you how far you have fallen in the eyes of your own troops. Search my memories and tell me, did anyone actually try to stop me from violating either the mind or the body of our once-beloved leader? This is what your enemies in High Command have made of you -- a shadow of your former self with no authority and no loyalty from your men.
Megatron's returned snarl was halfhearted at best. And you care why, exactly?
Because your enemies are my enemies, Doomshot responded. Literally, since I'm your head, but in spirit as well. High Command cares not for victory. All they want is to maintain the status quo as they squabble amongst themselves for power. They need to be removed. I cannot do that. In your current state, neither can you. Ah, but together...
What do you propose?
Doomshot would have smiled if they were having this conversation in reality. High Command expects me to, as you say, be one in a long line...a distraction, nothing more, to keep you from achieving the mental clarity to see what they have done to you. One among their number, Astrotrain, seems to be playing his own game. He wants me to dispose of your mind entirely so that I can become leader.
"Indeed, Doomshot agreed. So we need to do what none of our enemies expect. Allow our minds to merge, Megatron. We need to become a true Titan Master partnership. We need to stop fighting each other...and start fighting them.
Megatron was clearly unconvinced, but he wasn't exploding with refusal either. And what exactly do you offer that I cannot do by myself?
Aside from the fact that you need a head? Doomshot did his best not to allow his smug self-satisfaction to show. You are a very direct being Megatron, yes. You thrive on situations where you can plow through a challenge using your strength and charisma. But you are not at home in the arena of politics, no. You lack the insight to see when your enemies are scheming behind your back, plotting out your doom eight steps ahead. Don't deny it, no. If that wasn't true, we wouldn't be here. With your raw power and my cunning and insight, there will be no blind spots, no avenues left unguarded for our enemies to attack unseen.
And if you need evidence of that, simply search my mind for what I've discovered about the real target of our mission here, and the lies that the Science Directorate told you.
Megatron lowered his guard and allowed Doomshot's knowledge to flow into them. Whether due to the surprise of what he found there or simple acceptance and agreement, the mental shields that kept their mental bond from fully forming came down a short moment later. Doomshot felt himself melting away into becoming a part of another being altogether, the merging of himself and Megatron that their robot mode had always been meant to be. And in the last moments of separate consciousness before the two truly became one, he felt a rush of triumph.
As Megatron -- a new Megatron, one that hoped to be greater than the sum of his parts -- rose from the ground where he'd been worked on, he did his best not to inspect his new paintwork. He wasn't entirely fond of he change, but he understood the motivation behind it. Astrotrain wanted Doomshot to take charge, and what better way to play along than to be seen literally "branding" Megatron has his possession? It was just one more slight that Astrotrain and his council friends would pay for in the end.
"Ah, my Decepticons," he said. "How truly loyal you must be to gather by your leader's sickbed like this." The steel in his expression made it clear that he knew exactly what they'd been doing. "But the time for convalescing has passed. You have questions for me, yes?"
He emphasized the last word in an attempt to proverbially perk up Astrotrain's ears with evidence that his scheme was succeeding.
Then he addressed Deathsaurus. "The purple," he said, "is irrelevant. Choosing to hire a questionably trustworthy criminal like Straxus is not. If he proves to be less than loyal, the consequences shall be yours. So keep a close eye on him."
Mindwipe shook his head. "They are too fragile to survive very long as Vorath's lab rats, Sixshot, and their anatomies are too different to us anyway. And they lack a proper brain for my own talents to influence, blah."
"I fought alongside them in my youth," Hardhead told Hot Rod darkly. "And against them. I was there when Gigastorm vaporized half of the 12th Autobot Army with a single volley at Yuss. They are the farthest thing from a myth. The very first combiners were created long ago as desperate countermeasures to those gigantic menaces, lest we forget."
Furos interjected, "I remember them as well. But I would caution all of you from thinking of them as some mere 'weapon'. They were as alive as you or I."
As he walked towards his Titan, the two of them reflexively transformed to robot mode and continued their shared thought, "Indeed, if it is somehow still alive after all this time, it may not be interested in cooperating with us." The old soldier repressed a shiver. "I can't say I'd be keen on crossing paths with a truculent Mega-Titan. But like Perceptor, I'd be very skeptical at the prospect of actually finding one even remotely functional. The last one fell...probably centuries before we had to evacuate Cybertron. And, bluntly, good riddance."
Posted: Wed Oct 11, 2017 1:45 am
Battle Station Ginrai:
Ginrai, deep within his processors, would have scowled if it was possible. There was a section he couldn't access. All his diagnostics could tell him was corrupted data. He decided to let Nightbeat know. True, his partner knew nothing about working on his computer systems, but he was bright enough. He might have some advice. Or get him the help he'd need to fix-
"No, Ginrai. I am your partner. Let me be."
"Yes, my friend. Or at least what's left of me. Just some random data stuck in your buffers. The next time you cycle the power to your combat systems I'll be gone."
"Then we'd be better served to just go down there and burn it's cortical centers out. Otherwise we're trading one set of headaches for a much larger set of headaches," Hot Rod growled in response.
"I hate to say it, Roddy, but you're wrong." Nightbeat scowled up at Sentinel. "Much like the combiner fiasco that forced us to leave Cybertron, I have to point something out. There's probably more than one of these damned things out there. If the Decepticons find one, we won't stand a chance. Not unless we have one of our own."