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Golden Lagoon
Golden Lagoon
(played 1/26/02)

North Atlantic Coast <North America>

     This cool-temperate zone harbors some of the most densely populated areas of the continent. Human-constructed cities and highways blend nearly seamlessly into one another. Traveling south from the edge of the boreal zone and moving further inland, one comes across such nightmares of architecture and centers of Earth culture as New York and Washington D.C.

As the noonday sun shines down on one of Earth's largest oil repositories, the Decepticons continue their plans of conquest. Unseen, they siphon off the huge supply of oil for their own purposes, converting it to energon cubes and shipping them to their undersea base.

Megatron supervises the work. "Excellent work,Decepticons. We've already collected enough energon cubes to power our base and supply our forces on Cybertron for weeks."

Nightbird stands on the perimeter, near the conveyor belt that's bringing energon cubes directly to the undersea base. If the Bots attack, she wants to defend the most vulnerable area.

Megatron says, "When we have it all, we shall finally destroy those miserable Autobots."

Soundwave continues to generate energon cubes. They have plenty already, but more never hurts. Rumble and Frenzy perform forklift duty, filling and stacking the cubes.

Scorcher just circles overhead, using her long ranger scanner to detect any sign of Autobot interference with the operation

CatsCradle seems to enjoy creating energon cube cases, watching them appear rather magically between her hands. Ah, finding joys in little things to keep a job from becoming boring...

Reflector continues filling the cubes, his three bodies working in sync, hooking up the cubes to an oil filter, and then filing them with energy, and then carrying them over to the general stack. "We are generating a large amount of energy, which should satisfy our needs excellently."

CatsCradle says almost absently, "Yes, as long as we can keep these from being blown up..."

Scorcher radios "Commander, I am picking up several vehicles heading our way at high speed"

CatsCradle baps her head lightly against the nearest wall. "I really need to watch what I say, don't I?" she groans.

Nightbird does a front flip, carrying her a surprising distance upward as she gets a better vantage point to detect the Bots.

Soundwave generates a few more energon cubes, but draws his plasma rifle.

Scorcher radios "Should I intercept?"

Almost casually the sleek black interceptor jet arches through the sky above the main group of Decepticons, doing his part to keep the air perimeter intact

Megatron says, "Decepticons, battlestations. We will give them an appropriate welcome."

Reflector blinks as he continues filling up energon cubes, and then carrying them over to the pile. There is not much that he can do in combat, so he prepares to assist by guarding the cubes that they have gathered so far.

Scorcher moves as far away from Divefire as she can while still keeping an eye on the approaching vehicles

Soundwave sends a silent signal to his creations, telling them to get the energon cubes to safety, as he himself moves closer to Megatron, to meet the onrushing enemy.

CatsCradle fades into the shadows, making her way to a better vantage spot, gliding from one set of shadows to another.

Megatron says, "The energon cubes must be protected."

Reflector starts picking up energon cubes, as many as his three selves can carry, and they start preparing to take them back to base.

The Autobots come driving up and transform, assuming cover. The oil tanks aren't exactly designed to take laser blasts..

Optimus Prime says, "Stand ready Autobots. We don't want to hit the oil. Give it up Megatron! This whole place will explode if you force us to fight you."

Scorcher dives down, swooping over the Autobots to see if she can draw their fire and expose them
CatsCradle mutters from her spot in the shadows, "Yeah, and you certainly wouldn't want this place to explode... so go away."

Megatron chuckles: "Who forces you to fight us, Prime? Leave and nothing will blow up..." However, he already aims at his enemy.

Divefire almost leisurely banks around as the Autobots approach, watching the others assume battle formations before he turns up the heat on his engines and blasts towards the Autobots airspace, and through it, and into the distance... Either he's got a plan or he's running away...

Soundwave does not comment on the irony of a hostile force arriving and insisting they're *forced* to fight. He simply levels his handweapon, seeking the most obvious target while remaining aware that the cassettes are already drawing back with the cubes.

CatsCradle watches her mate jet away. "Oh, dear..." she murmurs. "He's being clever again..."

Optimus says coldly, "I knew you wouldn't be reasonable Megatron. All right Autobots, take em!" They start firing.

Scorcher banks steeply to avoid being hit

Megatron says, "Decepticons, to the air and attack!"

Soundwave fires off a few blasts of plasma fire, careful to avoid hitting the oil tanks, and rises upward for a better vantage point, from where he need have less concern about exploding fuel.

CatsCradle squeaks as the Autobots open fire. "Hey!! What happened to not wanting this place to explode?!" Before she can get off a shot, Hound's laser hits her and drives her back against the wall behind her.

Divefire transforms into his Mk III Trans-Am mode.

Reflector is busy gathering as many cubes as he can carry without overtaxing his antigrav systems, and is keeping his optics trained on the battle as he hurries.

Megatron fires in taking up, what is not quite useful if you want to hit.

Nightbird moves around the battlefield, vaulting from one tank to another, ready to drop in on the Bots.

Soundwave levels his next shot at Ironhide.

Scorcher launches two missiles, then realizes that incendiary missiles between oil tanks is not a good idea. She quickly hits her own missiles with her lasers, creating a huge fireball above the Autobot positions

Along the approach road to the oil refinery the familiar silhouette of a Trans-Am can be seen kicking up the dust at high speed as he approaches the Autobots from behind, scoping out a target for a very fast hit, and maybe a run.

Megatron says, "Soundwave, get the cubes into safety. We others lure the Autobots away from the oil."

Scorcher spots the approaching vehicle and breaks off her attack strafe in a hurry

Reflector nods at Soundwave, and takes into the air once he has gathered as many energon cubes as his body can carry. Once there, he hovers, awaiting the others to join them, and prepare for the withdrawal.

The Autobots duck and shield their optics as Scorcher makes a huge fireball. Unfortunately, Brawn is a little too aggressive in firing blindly back trying to hit her, and his laser blasts hit one of the tanks. It immediately starts to burn.

Megatron attacks Prime once again. "Save the cubes!!"

CatsCradle slowly rolls to sitting up, her hand pressed against her side. She looks down for a moment to see her side covered with glistening fluids. "Oh, that's not good," she murmurs in a mixture of pain and surprise. She blinks and looks around, then pulls herself back into the more relative safety of an oil tank. She chews on her lip for a moment, then peeks around, popping her left wrist laser, while keeping her hand firmly pressed over the large wound. She braces her left arm on her knee and fires at Hound, hoping for some payback

Nightbird leaps off the tank she was about to dive down on the Bots from as some stupid Autobot shoots it.

Ironhide looks back at Brawn and says, "Oh, nice shootin’ Brawn. Now what Prime?"

Soundwave fires off a few more bright plasma bursts through the smoke from the explosion, and then drops back, picking up a few last cubes and starting to draw away from the battle site.

The blinding blast of light from Scorcher's fireball momentarily overloads the trans-am's optics and scanners, so he keeps on heading straight, as Brawn steps out to shoot the tank and into the path of a speeding vehicle...

Prime is in no shape to answer as he takes Megatron's cannon blast right in the chest. He goes down, sparks erupting from the wound. Ironhide says, "Prime! We gotta get him outta here. Autobots, fall back! This whole place is going up anyway!"

Indeed the oil repository is now beginning to burn in earnest as the mostly empty tanks still contain enough to create a large blaze. The heat and smoke already make it difficult to see.

Reflector takes off into the air, and watches the battle from above, carrying as many cubes as his three selves can take, preparing to fall back. Their mission is accomplished, and they will get away with what they can carry. Between his three parts, he has a fair number of cubes. He hovers in the air, slowly moving away from the battlefield, awaiting further orders.

<Earth> Soundwave says, "Energon cubes have been secured, Megatron."

Scorcher dives down for another attack run at the retreating Autobots

The Autobots transform and pull back, leaving the Decepticons and flaming oil field behind.

Divefire swerves his ground form violently to the side at the last moment as a piece of burning oil tank falls from the sky and into his path, narrowly avoiding squashing Brawn, more's the pity as the Autobots pull back.

Megatron says, "Decepticons, take what you can and retreat!"

Scorcher attacks Mirage with incendiary missile, and strikes him!

Mirage becomes deactivated from severe damage.

CatsCradle grins faintly as her shot drills into Hound. "So there," she says softly, then refocuses her attention on the imminent explosion. "Oh, dear... really not good." She pulls herself to her feet, takes a step and sinks back down again, her side bleeding more heavily. "Explosion definitely not good." She holds up her hands to weave her forcefield around herself, but the tendrils of energy are weak and barely more than sparks. "Hun..." she radios to her mate. "I think I have a problem here..."

Mirage is pulled along by his fellow Autobots

Megatron dives and picks up Nightbird. "We have to get out of here," he mumbles. "Accursed Autobot scrap!"

Divefire simply stops and bursts into his robot form as he picks up the radio signal from Cats. His optics flare a little as he jet-leaps out of the way of more falling debris as the arena becomes closer and closer to an inferno death pit. "Where are you, what's the matter?" He radio back, sounding just every so slightly frantic.

Nightbird says to Megatron, "We did get several hundred cubes from this."

Soundwave pauses in the distance, aware that several Decepticons are not following.

Megatron grumbles. "It could be more..."

CatsCradle tries to choose between the dubious safety of pressing against the oil tank to avoid the debris, or trying to get away from the very explosive tank itself. "Hurt," she radios and fires a laser bolt up, hoping Diver will be able to see it and distinguish it from the leftover shots of the fire fight.

Reflector follows along after Soundwave, hovering when Soundwave slows down, and he awaits behind the Espionage Director, hovering in the air, and awaiting instructions.

Nightbird looks around also and says, "I saw Scorcher head off after the Autobots to the north. I did not see CatsCradle."

<Earth> Soundwave says, "CatsCradle, Divefire - report position."

Divefire rushes further into the inferno, finally finding Cats hold up against a tank of thankfully un-exploded oil. He narrows his optics to her and silently takes a hold of her in his arms and powers his boot jets up, throwing them into the air. A split second later the oil tank explodes in a large way.

Megatron looks around.

<Earth> Megatron says, "Catscradle, Divefire, Scorcher! Return to the troop."

Reflector notices Divefire shooting up into the air with CatsCradle, and his optics zoom in on them. "Commander, I have located them. They are flying up from the explosion in the plant."

Megatron says, "But Scorcher is still missing... I cannot deal with that, we have to return the cubes to our base. Soundwave, send a cassette to find her."

CatsCradle peers over Diver's shoulder at the series of explosions behind them. "All right..." she says weakly. "That was a little too close..."

Soundwave says, "She withdrew to the north. I will send Laserbeak to follow."

Soundwave ejects the red cassette, which unfolds into a mechanical bird of prey and flies northward.

Divefire forms up with the rest of the Decepticons with his cargo. "You called, Soundwave?" He deadpans to the tape deck before looking back at the oil refinery himself. "Well I would of been fine..." He half smirks to his partner.

Megatron, just in this moment, receives a message from Scorcher.

Techno steps through a door, which she closes behind her..."Ah, so here you all are..."

Soundwave too has heard that message, and looks to Megatron to see how he will respond.

Megatron frowns.

Nightbird was close enough to Megatron's radio to hear the message, and her optics gleam with thought.

Megatron transmits a message via radio.

CatsCradle snorts softly. "You may have been fine, but I wouldn't have." She rests her forehead against her mate's shoulder.

Techno glance around, "Wow, what a mess.."

Below the Decepticons, the oil repository continues to burn, sending black smoke everywhere.

Reflector hovers in the air, blinking at Soundwave in confusion as he awaits further orders, and wonders why they are not all returning to base with the cubes.

A radio transmission is received by Megatron.

Soundwave is hovering some distance above the ground, and picks up Techno's energy signature as she comes upon the scene. He says to Megatron, "It may be beneficial to investigate Scorcher's find. It will give me an opportunity to perform any emergency repairs to CatsCradle as well."

CatsCradle mutters, "Oh, hell... repairs..."

Divefire mutters back to Cats. "Repairs you like, repair bays are bad."

Megatron smirks. "Soundwave, you are reading my mind again." Loudly he orders: "We are going to investigate.

A radio transmission is received by Megatron.

Soundwave neither confirms nor denies Megatron's "accusation," his expression remaining unreadable.

CatsCradle struggles a little. "No, both are bad..."

Reflector awaits instructions, and requests to Soundwave, "Commander, will we be returning to base with the cubes first, or depositing them somewhere for safekeeping, or bringing them with us?"

Techno smiles, "Allright!!" as she puts on a deerstalker cap, and pulls out a giant magnifying glass..."Wait..what are we investigating?"

Nightbird isn't in much of a position to do much, being carried by Megatron.

Divefire just frowns at his mate. "Depends on your point of view."

Soundwave says, "Bring them with us for the moment, Reflector. Rumble and Frenzy and the flyers have already returned a significant portion of our energon to base.""

Reflector nods to Soundwave, "Very well, Commander." He continues holding his three sets of cubes, and hovering in the air, unsure as to what has been discovered, and why they are taking a detour. However, he trusts Megatron, and is certain that it must be highly important if they are going after it before they head back to base, so he nods.

CatsCradle quiets briefly. "Look, we're near the lake... can't you just take me there and kinda patch me up until the diagnostics kick in," she whispers pleadingly, knowing full well that the hole in her side is past her self-repair systems' abilities.

Divefire narrows his optics at Cats again. "Well if you're feeling that good, you could fly yourself to the lake."

CatsCradle opens her mouth to argue further... and can think of no further tactics. She burrows her face in Diver's shoulder, still grumbling wordlessly

****
Hidden Meadow

        A quiet, tranquil area of the planet Earth. No buildings, no cars, no scurrying and noisy humans. A pristine section of wilderness with grass and trees and small fuzzy animals. Near the center of this idyllic spot is a golden pool, the surface sparkling with reflected sun.

Nightbird lands with Megatron, and moves off just enough to be prepared for combat.

Soundwave drops down and lands at the edge of the glistening golden pool.

Megatron looks around, searching for Scorcher and her findings.

Scorcher looks vaguely embarrassed at the state she is in all covered with the golden stuff

Laserbeak circles above, apparently having spotted no cause for alarm.

Scorcher says, "Sir. I found this pool, but I could not make sense of the readings I got."

Reflector scans the Golden Pool, and sets down his energon cubes, and transforms, scanning the pool and its contents with his sensors, but finding no match for them in his memory banks.

Starscream arrives from an energon run and transforms. "So this is where you went. Why are you wasting time here Megatron?? The Autobots blew up the oil base!"

Divefire floats down from the sky, Cats in his arms. He lands softly on the meadow clearing and looks around, glancing at the almost tranquil scene as the native animals run like the wind from the massive amount of metal that just landed.

Megatron smirks. "Interesting new color scheme, Scorcher. However, this looks familiar to me." He ignores Starscream's complaining.

Soundwave glances at Techno, then regards the golden substance with interest.

Megatron says, "Techno, I need an analysis of this substance."

CatsCradle tilts her head looking around them blearily. "Obviously I didn't explore this area well enough." She wrinkles her nose for a moment, trying to decide if she likes the golden pond more than she likes the normal tranquil blue of the normal Earth lakes..

Scorcher looks down. "I am sorry sir. I was standing on the edge of this pool and my knee joint locked up."

Techno glances at Kagato...err Soundwave...raising an eyebrow for a second, she listens to Megatron....."Oh, ok..." as she walks over to the pool, a scan popping up into the air in front of her..."Hmm, interesting...."

Nightbird looks with interest at Scorcher's new look, wondering what could have caused it.

Reflector continues scanning at the pool, attempting to find any sort of useful information that could be gleaned from it, but as he is not a scientist, he is able to find little of use.

Scorcher adds "Next thing the edge gave and I could not keep my balance."

Divefire tilts his head to look around a little more, nodding slightly. "Well the foliage would have obscured this area directly from the air, although we're only 67 miles from the beginning of the lake..."

Soundwave says, "It seems not to have done you any harm, Scorcher, as you reported." Soundwave crouches by the side of the pool."

Techno says, "Hmmm, yes yes....test subject!!!" as Beaker appears...she promptly grabs him and flings him into the pool..."ah..yep, I was right.....my readings say it's electrum...very good too...snazzy shade..should provide some protection really...sorta like Teflon works with grease...." a glug glug comes from the pool.

Soundwave reaches a hand toward the shimmering substance to see for himself, dipping the fingertips in and drawing them back, coated in gold.

Reflector blinks as he turns to Soundwave, "I must admit that I am unfamiliar with this substance. What is it, and what are its properties?"

Megatron walks toward the pool. "Electrum? That means we would be invulnerable!

Scorcher gasps as she sees Beaker unceremoniously dumped into the suspicious pool. Of course she is also glad that the stuff apparently is harmless

CatsCradle seems torn between curiosity, pain, and dreading the repairs... and curiosity wins out. "So if you dunk me in that stuff, I wouldn't need repairs?" she murmurs to Diver

Techno nods, "Plus you'd look like a million credits..."

Divefire fixes Cats with a hard glare. "I'm not about to throw you into a pool which contains something I've only heard about in mythology..."

Megatron kneels beside the pool. Electrum... here - amazing.

CatsCradle stifles a chuckle. "So instead, you're just going to hold me in your arms while I'm bleeding like crazy?"

Scorcher looks in amazement at her arms which are entirely covered in the stuff. "Really?" she mutters.

Soundwave takes out his handheld med scanner to get a better reading.

Starscream folds his arms with disdain. "How is some gold stuff supposed to make us invulnerable?"

Reflector blinks. He has never heard of any substance that grants invulnerability, but from what he is hearing, this electrum substance does.

Megatron glances at Divefire and Cats, then looks at Soundwave. His gesture indicates that he wants the other Decepticon to look after the wounded.

Megatron stands, facing Starscream with a grin. "You do not believe it, Starscream? You need a proof?"

Starscream still looks disbelieving at the pool and says, "I always need proof."

Scorcher sidles away from the center of attention. she does not wants to be the guinea pig for Starscream's proof.

A golden Beaker pops up outta the pool...

Megatron grins: "Starscream, so why don't you test the electrum for me?"

Divefire gives Cats a sidelong glance. "You're not bleeding all over my..." He pauses as he feels his hands a little more slicker then normal. "Alright so if it makes you invulnerable, does it repair damage?"

Starscream looks up and says, "Me? Why me?" He points at Scorcher, "She's already coated with it, test her!"

Scorcher squeaks "NO!"

CatsCradle wrinkles her nose again at the thought of having a permanently unrepair-able invulnerable hole in her side.... "How should I know? You're the techie one."

Megatron says, "Don't you want to be invulnerable like Beaker here?" And he shoots at Techno's "assistant".

Soundwave looks up from his readings, noting perhaps unnecessarily for those who are already aware, "This substance is a mixture of the elements of gold and silver, along with a rare trace element that should convey protection from heat and energy weapons. It is indeed worth testing." He stands, recalling his other duties, and walks toward CatsCradle.

Megatron's shot bounces off the robot, and Starscream looks thoughtful. He looks toward the pool and tentatively puts a boot in. "Well, how do you know it doesn't just work on him?"

Divefire shrugs back to Cats as best he can while holding her in his arms. "I've never even heard of the stuff, at least not in any science journals." He glances over to see Soundwave coming towards them and kneels down, carefully placing Cats on the floor in preparation.

Reflector nods as he hears Soundwave's explanation. Very well, that is sufficient. He awaits explanation, and stands there, scanning over the substance carefully, and awaiting instructions.

Megatron looks contented. "See, not a mark on him..." Then he faces Starscream again, his optics narrowed. "Go!" he orders, pointing at the pool.

"EEEEEEK" scream the Beaker, as it's hit dead center...."Wait..I'm alive??? You’re kidding right?..alive..I'm alive....."....and suddenly the Beaker falls to the ground...fainting...

Starscream seems to consider it, then gets into the pool. He flies out, now coated with the golden electrum.

Soundwave still has that scanner out, and runs it over CatsCradle. Aware of her ongoing aversion to repairs, he none the less moves steadily and reassuringly as he brings out some field repair tools in the same motion. A quick patch job will keep her in good shape until they can get back to base.

Starscream says, "Well, I don't feel any different."

Nightbird simply watches the proceedings, her optics thoughtful.

CatsCradle sighs at the sight of the repair tools. "Can't you just dunk me in the pool?" she asks without much hope.

Soundwave says, "I will recommend that as soon as I have made basic repairs. The electrum coating will greatly strengthen your armor."

Megatron grins, aiming at Starscream. "I will enjoy this..."

Scorcher tries very hard not to grin

Starscream holds his hands up, looking around in a near panic. "Hey, what are you doing? No, don't!"

Scorcher tries very hard not to grin, remembering all the times she had to clean imaginary dirt in the engine room

Reflector watches, interested in the proceedings. IF this substance can take a hit from Megatron's fusion cannon, then it will be able to take anything that can be thrown at them.

CatsCradle is distracted slightly by Starscream's scene... then decides that it might be a good thing to be distracted from the repairs and focuses her attention more firmly.... after all, it's Soundwave and not Hook..

Soundwave doesn't give Cats much chance to pull back, and simply starts repairs, working quickly and efficiently, welding the damaged internals.

Megatron is very certain, his blast will not affect the other - otherwise he would not do this. But sometimes Starscream needs to be scared a bit to get his feet back on the ground.

Megatron fires!

Divefire watches Soundwave work, possibly taking notes as he quirks a optic ridge at hearing Megatron's cannon fire. "Please tell me Starscream is now a smoking pile of ash?" He inquires to Cats.

Starscream cringes back as Megatron unleashes full force blasts.. Then straightens up again as he realizes the shots don't hurt him. He grins, then puts his arms at his side, enjoying it. "Ha! It works! I'm really invulnerable."

Soundwave remains aware of what's going on behind him, listening closely. He's very interested in the outcome of things, but also has this more immediate job to finish.

CatsCradle peers around her mate. "Sorry, love," she reports. "Screamer will live to try and take over another day."

Megatron chuckles. Of course, Starscream is not damaged. "Let's go!" he orders, jumping into the pool.

Reflector steps back, letting the others go into the pool first, and then prepares to follow behind them.

Soundwave checks over his repairs, nodding in satisfaction and putting away his tools. He gestures toward the pool, encouraging Cats to take a dip.

Nightbird dips her hand into the pool and pulls it out, looking at it. It's still grey.

CatsCradle glances down at her repairs, shudders and quickly looks away. /Not as bad if you just don't look.../ She looks at all the golden 'cons and chuckles softly. "I sure hope paint works over this stuff, or we aren't going to be able to tell anyone apart."

Scorcher watches the others jump into the pool, emerging in the same colou scheme as she

Divefire shakes his head slightly at the news. "I wonder if it's the electrum or his ego that made him invulnerable..." He looks around to see Megatron leading the charge into the pool. "I'm still not sure about this, from what I remember that stuff isn't exactly stable." He adds as an afterthought. "Although there are no mentions of it exploding violently, which would make a change..."

Reflector cautiously steps into the pool, coating himselves fully, before climbing out and standing at attention, awaiting further instructions. This will be interesting to see what they do afterwards.

CatsCradle says, "Good, because I've had enough explosions for today." She tentatively sticks her foot in the pool and pulls it back out again, gold and glistening. "Well... it is a different look..." she says hesitantly.

Nightbird carefully eases herself into the pool fully, and then comes back out. She's still her original colors.

Scorcher says, "now what?"

Scorcher says, "are we going to walk up to the 'bots and charge down their front door?"

Soundwave's optic band flickers faintly in a brief glimpse of surprise as Nightbird emerges without an electrum coating. Then he nods to himself. It does make sense.

Nightbird looks to Soundwave and Techno as she remains unaffected. "It seems the material is not universal."

Divefire looks over the pool again, his face still full of doubt. "Something isn't right here..." He mutters more to himself then anyone in audio range.

Soundwave follows the others' lead and walks downslope into the pool until he's fully covered. Then emerging in glistening gold, a very different look for him. Even the warm red eyeband is coated in gold.

Megatron emerges from the pool - golden as the sun. He lands beside Nightbird. "Why don't you take a bath?" He hasn't noted she already has.

Techno takes several samples, storing them away...

CatsCradle stops with nothing more than her foot goldened, to look up at her mate, her face creased in concern. "If you think I shouldn't, love..." she murmurs to him.

Reflector watches the Golden Decepticons curiously. This will certainly be an interesting experience, and it will prove somewhat entertaining to see all with a different color scheme.

Nightbird dips her hand into the pool and shows Megatron that it comes out the same. "It seems it won't adhere to me."

Divefire shakes his head slightly towards Cats, "Not what I meant, carry on, it won't do you any harm."

Soundwave looks to Megatron. "We do have the means now to attack the enemy with invulnerability."

CatsCradle nods, reassured, and slowly walks into the pool. Once up to her waist, she dives under smoothly, coming up golden. She walks just as slowly out, stopping to scoop more up in her hands and sloosh it over the repaired area for another layer. She nods to herself and walks the rest of the way out, studying her hands and the way the light reflects off the golden surface. For someone used to being able to slip into the darkness and shadows, being such a bright and shining color is... disconcerting. She glances over at Diver, almost shyly and gives one of her abbreviated shrugs.

Megatron frowns, watching his mate. This, he has not expected. "Well, it shall not be..." he remarks. Then he nods, answering Soundwave's question.

Reflector shrugs, and chuckles, "I hope that we do not plan any infiltration missions for awhile, being bright gold will make us stand out somewhat too obviously for my liking."

Nightbird glances to Reflector. "I can still handle those. But what are we planning to do now?"

Scorcher mutters "Win the war, of course"

Megatron rubs his chin, calculating the situation. They have to get the best possible advantage out of this.

Soundwave says, "There are, of course, numerous approaches we might take at this time." He looks expectantly to Megatron.

Scorcher wonders if she dares to fire a shoot a Starscream. Probably not. Invulnerable or not he would not be amused

Divefire shakes his head again, looking at the armada of golden Decepticons. "Well when they said the Golden Age, I don't think they envisioned this..."

Reflector sits, all three of his Golden Selves with their arms crossed, awaiting instructions. He wonders what they will do.

Soundwave says, "A most unusual comparison, Divefire."

Starscream seems eager to test his new armor. "Look, what's to talk about? We're invulnerable, they're not. Let's just blow them away!"

CatsCradle's grin suddenly turns mischievious, and she splashes the golden water at her mate's black paint job.

Scorcher looks up at Starscream, unwilling to admit he seems to have a good idea for once

Divefire leaps back from the water as best he can given the suddenness of the splashing. "I don't need to be a golden child to do my job." He mutters back, while firing a quick look over to Soundwave, he could of sworn that was amusement in his tone.

Megatron says, "Divefire, take a bath. That is an order."

Nightbird considers. "Perhaps another attack on the organic energy supplies would lure some of them into an ambush they could not retreat from in time."

CatsCradle grins back at her mate, then turns her attention to the discussion. "If we're going to attack, we'll need to do it hard, and at their hearts. And we'll have to make it count, or the 'Bots will be looking for their own golden bath, and we'll lose the advantage

Scorcher nods "we will have to hide this pool very carefully and hit the 'bots as hard as we can"

Divefire’s head falls slightly at Megatron's order. "Fine." He mutters and steps into the lake, "Just better not be any human females wielding magical swords at the bottom of this one..."

CatsCradle murmurs to Diver softly, "Besides, if you're invulnerably coated, I won't have a reason to squawk at you if you try to take on the whole 'Bot army at once, again."

Soundwave says something softly to himself that sounds like, "If Chasm were present rather than seeing to his extracurricular interests..."

Megatron remarks. "Omega Supreme must be our concern. The Autobots could utilize him to escape to Cybertron before we have the chance to exterminate them."

Reflector blinks in confusion, and shrugs. They will launch an assault on the Autobots, then. That will be the fastest way to proceed with things.

Megatron explains: "Once the guardian robot is destroyed, the Autobots will be stranded on this mudball. Then we may terminate them at our leisure."

Nightbird nods once. "Either they stay out of our way, or we'll know where they are and can kill them then."

Divefire emerges from the pool with a dark golden sheen to his armour. He glances down at himself and half smirks. "I've gone super saiyajin." He mutters before hearing the discussion. "I doubt we're invulnerable enough to take on a 9 million year old Guardian. He can still fall on us."

Nightbird says, "We won't have to get that close. Or rather, you all won't."

CatsCradle smirks at Diver for the saiyajin remark, then looks to Nightbird. "A job for stealths, then?"

Nightbird says, "No, firepower seems the proper way here. Simply stay outside his melee range."

Scorcher loses interest at the mention of stealth, apparently she will not be involved in whatever the plan is

Soundwave concurs, "I believe an attack from the air may be the most effective strategy."

Scorcher however grins at the word Fire

Megatron says, "We will wipe the guardian out of existence."

Divefire folds his arms across his chest, looking at Nightbird and still wading in golden water. "I don't need to find out that his plasma cannon has a solid projectile mode..."

CatsCradle looks a little disappointed, but pops her wrist lasers, checking the energy level. Stealth is her specialty, but her firepower is nothing to laugh at either. After a quick systems checkover, she claims one of the energon cubes as her own, sipping at it to rebuild the energy she lost.

Reflector nods as they go on. That sound like a logical course of action, and with their transportation cut off, the Autobots will certainly fall, with nowhere to flee, this planet will be theirs!

Megatron says, "Soundwave, I want a mayor sample of the Electrum secured. Maybe we find a way how to manufacture it artificially."

Overhead is the crack of familiar engines...a small bolt of yellow falling from the sky. Tempest lands, transforms, and looks curiously at the others.

Soundwave along with the other Decepticons is adorned in gleaming gold armor. He nods to Megatron, and crouches by the side of the pool to fill a small container with the golden substance.

CatsCradle waves a golden hand to Tempest. "You're about to get even yellower."

Nightbird is the only one in her normal colors as the rest of the Decepticons have turned gold.

Scorcher checks her energon levels and the store of missiles she has left, to ready herself for the attack on the big Autobot

Tempest says, "What did you guys /do/ to yourselves? Me an' the Stunticons go out for a little fun and..." She peers at Megatron. "What is that stuff?" she asks as she edges closer.

Soundwave gestures to the golden pool. "We have coated ourselves in a substance that is impervious to great heat and energy weaponry. A lucky find by Scorcher."

Megatron smirks. "It is called Electrum, Tempest. And it makes us invulnerable."

Tempest tilts her head. "Really?" She sounds torn between skeptical and excited.

CatsCradle adds, "And is also the very latest in Earth 'Con fashion."

Megatron says, "Ask Starscream, he had the honor to test it."

Divefire glances up to Tempest and frowns slightly as his armour shines a more golden colour of black. "Well it makes me impervious to energy weapons only..." He half smirks again. "With this stuff on you, you might be able to dive nearly as fast as me."

Starscream laughs and opens fire on the other Decepticons to demonstrate!

Soundwave patiently lets the laser beams bounce off his back and shoulders.

CatsCradle squeaks and dives out of pure reflex, taking her half-empty energon cube with her

Soundwave stores the sample of electrum in his tape compartment as Laserbeak dives down from the sky finally, convinced there are no enemies on their way, and that the electrum is quite safe. He drops into the pool and skims under the surface, emerging in a glistening gold, firing off a few laser bolts just for the fun of it, that bounce off among the coated Decepticons.

Nightbird stands ready to dodge, in case Starscream "forgets" that she isn't coated.

Tempest just kind of stares... "It doesn't hurt?" she double-checks with Soundwave.

Divefire glowers in Starscream's direction and starts to move towards him with a dark glint in his optics...

Starscream gives Nightbird a look, like he's thinking about it, but he doesn't actually do it.

Megatron orders two of the seekers to guard the electrum pool while they are going to attack Omega Supreme.

Reflector wonders what to do with the energon that is left over. Perhaps another Seeker can be dispatched to bring it back to base. For now, he will join with the assault force.

CatsCradle rolls to her feet and brushes dirt off her finish. "Damn bright color," she mutters. "Shows up dirt to easily." She goes through another systems check, satisfied that the combination of energon, repairs, and gold bath has brought her energy levels up to good level again. "Oh, we're off to kill the Guardian..." she sings under her breath.

Tempest carefully edges to the side of the pool, dips in a little finger...sniffs at it, covered in gold...and then slips in, only to re-emerge in a metallic version of her previous shade.

Megatron orders: "We attack Omega Supreme at once!"

Megatron darts to the air.

****

Pacific Northwest <North America>

     The cool and rainy climate of this region supports an extension of the coniferous forests to the north, which climb the peaks of the prevalent mountains all the way to the timberline. Thin mountain roads cut their way through the landscape. One of the most obvious mountains in the region is a peak that the natives call Mt. St. Hilary. A river rushes through the valley around its base, and many bare outcroppings and jagged peaks surround the area.

Soundwave calls Laserbeak to his side and follows.

Megatron addresses Starscream: "You will lead the first wave!"

As the Decepticons approach the area near Autobot Headquarters, the giant Omega Supreme is not hard to spot. In rocket base mode at the moment, his sensors sweep the skies for any intruders. And he seems to have spotted the Decepticons.

Nightbird takes her position on the ground very far away from the actual target area, on the lookout for more Bots.

Omega Supreme transforms into his Robot mode.

Starscream laughs! "My pleasure!" he replies. "Divefire, Scorcher, Tempest, follow me!" and he barrels down at Omega Supreme, readying his cluster bombs!

Megatron would not let get Nightbird to close to this in her uncoated state anyway. This is just a brute direct fire attack anyway.

Omega Supreme transforms and stands up, making a huge target. His amplified voice rumbles out "DECEPTICONS ATTACKING. COLOR SCHEME UNFAMILAR. RESULT, UNCHANGED. TERMINATION OF DECEPTICONS, ASSURED."

Reflector hangs back with the reserves, since there is little he can do against this gigantic behemoth, and his ability to blind will not be that useful, given that they are invulnerable to his energy attacks.

Soundwave is a far slower flyer than the jets, but follows along in the sky, his weapon drawn, to provide backup if the swift flyers need it.

Starscream smugly barrelrolls, throwing off Omega's shots, and looses his bombs!

Megatron gathers the rest of the Decepticons around him. "Prepare for the second wave!" he orders them.

Tempest says dryly, "Just because we're invulnerable doesn't mean we don't have to aim."

Omega swats away Starscream's bombs, not seeming to notice the explosion.

CatsCradle transforms and lands on a mountain ledge, carefully out of Omega's reach... after all, being invulnerable from heat and fire doesn't not mean that getting crushed into the side of a mountain wouldn't hurt. She pops her wrist lasers and adds a barrage of shots into the attack

Tempest growls, carrying no artillery heavier than her lasers and knowing blades are useless against a robot this size unless jammed in a vital part or joint...which involves being close enough to be stepped on. No, she's not going to try that yet. She does her best to aim....

Omega's booming voice vibrates the ground as he says, "DECEPTICONS WEAPONS, PUNY. OMEGA SUPREME, STRONG." He fires his lasers in a continual burst at the attacking fliers.

Scorcher fires two missiles at Omega Supreme from well beyond his range

Megatron says, "Second wave, attack!!"

Tempest isn't that easy to hit, flying erratically, jinking and weaving across the sky.

Soundwave lets the jets swarm around Omega to draw his attention, then puts on a burst of speed in the air and fires a bright blast of plasma fire toward the huge Autobot's head.

Scorcher attacks Omega Supreme with incendiary missile, and strikes him!

A slight frown crosses Omega's features as his laser shots bounce off the Decepticons.

Starscream uses his superior speed to take him out of Omega's ranges.

Reflector flies after Omega Supreme, flying closer to the behemoth, and then blinks off a massive flash pulse, intending to blind him!

Megatron hovers over the ground and fires.

Soundwave shudders in the air a bit as Omega's massive blast strikes him - and glances right off. He continues flying.

Divefire barrels hard at Omega, knowing full well that like Tempest he doesn't have the ranged weapons to dent Omega. However he does have another trick... Simply put the golden black jet opens his throttle past the stops and takes aim at Omega's body. Over the scream of his engines the sound of a muffled chuckle can be heard. "Giant golden dart attack..."

Scorcher fires a quick barrage of laser blasts at Omega Supreme before pulling up from hr dive

Omega Supreme staggers back as he's hit with multiple shots, and just by luck avoids Divefire. He continues to fire. "RESULTS, PERPLEXING."

CatsCradle ducks Omega's shot, still reacting out of reflex, but the shot goes wild, since the Guardian can hardly take a good aim with all the fliers buzzing him. "Sometimes, being smaller is a good thing," she mutters. She winces a little as her mate dives at Omega. "Invulnerable, Cats... remember invulnerable," she chants and rains more laser fire down.

Scorcher grins as she sees the fireball engulf the Autobot's torso

Megatron laughs as the attack bounces off his armor, just "displacing" him a bit.

Sparks now begin to come from Omega Supreme's armor in several spots and smoke pours from him as the Decepticons continue to pound him with weapons.

Starscream calls out, "Seekers, to me! Another pass!" Tempest, for all her muttering that she's not one of his Seekers, is willing to follow.

Reflector flies and hovers about Omega Supreme's face, before unleashing a light show aimed at his optics and then darting off, and pulling up before he can be targeted.

Soundwave takes another hit from Omega which he barely feels, and circles him again. He and Laserbeak dive toward the Autobot together, firing their weapons.

Megatron says, "Prepare for your doom, guardian!"

Scorcher mutters "what does it take to bring that giant down?"

Omega staggers back at the blinding shot, but blasts Reflector with full power as he flies off.

Divefire banks hard up, fusion engines powering high into the sky at speeds that really shouldn't happen outside of a NASA launch site. The golden black jet almost disappears from view before it pauses in the sky, engines off as it stall turns to the ground, fires its engines again and heads straight back down towards Omega...

CatsCradle grins as her shot hits, finding herself enjoying a battle she wouldn't have half a chance of surviving normally. What a strange feeling, she muses and chuckles as she fires down again.

Starscream laughs...this is his idea of fun!

From the sky falls a streak of light in silent motion faster then the optic or eye can follow or track. The light strikes Omega Supreme, slamming down the back of his head and shoulders before slamming into the ground, speed hardly diminished. The large Guardian stumbles forward from the hit, sparks flying all over the place as moments later the thunderous sound of air being ripped apart by a force not of this world and the impact of metal upon metal echoes around the mountain like a nightmarish symphony.

Megatron transforms into his Walther P-38 mode.

Omega Supreme gets caught with a full blast from Megatron, and a giant hole appears in his chest, with parts littering the ground. He falls, seeming to fall to pieces from the impact.

Tempest barrelrolls over the inactive Omega Supreme, realizing that any more attacks on her part are a waste of power.

Reflector watches as the laser show bounces off of his three forms, and he loops around , before going for a longer range shot with his lasers, when the shot is clear. They won't do much damage. But before he can fire, Omega Supreme collapses, and he holds his fire.

Scorcher watches Omega Supreme fall, glad of it because her missile banks are almost empty

Megatron transforms into his Robot mode.

Megatron laughs, obviously very satisfied with the result of the successful operation.

If Soundwave is surprised to see the massive Autobot fall to this small group of Decepticons, his expression does not convey it. Especially now, coated as he is, completely in gold.

Tempest transforms and lands beside Megatron, grinning. "Nice shot!"

Nightbird's optics glint with satisfaction as the giant Autobot falls.

Reflector watches the giant Autobot fall. "I believe that our mission has been successful."

Megatron grins back. "This problem is solved once and for all.

Scorcher slowly lands, somewhat shaken by the uneven fight and glad she did not have to face that 'bot without impenetrable armour

CatsCradle shouts in delight as the Guardian goes down and bounces down the mountain towards the others

Omega Supreme isn't quite so easy to kill however. As he falls and seems to come apart, what must be a safeguard of some kind kicks in. The giant robot transforms into rocket mode, the rest of him shunted to subspace. The rocket takes off at top speed, heading for orbit.

Divefire’s jet form lies in a fresh crater on the ground, not damaged in any way shape or form, but no signs of life either. Looks like the fool knocked himself off-line just through the impact.

Starscream shrieks, "He's getting away!" Master of the obvious...He prepares to pursue Omega Supreme, to destroy the Autobot /now/!

CatsCradle squints up at the rocketing...er... rocket, her optics squinted. "Um... that's not s'posed to happen..." Then she eeks as her mate lands in an unconscious heap and does some rocketing herself to his side.

Unfortunately, Omega's rocket mode travels upward faster than anyone present. Save perhaps Divefire, who is no condition to give chase.

Starscream is angry, and embarrassed, that he cant' keep up, and remains high above flying in figure-eights.

Scorcher sighs "oh dear."

Soundwave lands beside CatsCradle to see to Divefire.

Nightbird makes her way over to the group, seeming a bit disappointed that they weren't able to finish off the giant Bot, but still impressed by the electrum-coated Decepticons.

Megatron frowns. Guardian security escape function... "Don't worry, Starscream, this was just an unconscious routine. We can always track him in orbit and dispose of what is left."

Megatron says, "But now: we are to attack Autobot headquarters!"

CatsCradle sits on her heels next to Diver, waving her hand in front of his optics. She looks up in concern to Soundwave. "Is he all right?"

Reflector watches as the Decepticons regroup. Now, they go after the ultimate target, and they make the move that will win them the war.

Nightbird's optics sparkle in a smile. Now this is something she can take part in.

Starscream's voice begins to say, "We should make sure of our kill, pursue him..." but even Starscream falls silent at the prospect of attacking Autobot headquarters this way.

Tempest murmurs softly, "Poor Motormaster, to miss this."

Soundwave examines Divefire with his scanner, and concludes, "The impact has knocked his higher consciousness functions offline. It is a simple reconnect, or it may spontaneously resume. He is not damaged, but I will have him transported back to base."

CatsCradle nods with relief and pats Diver's shoulder. "I promised not to yell at him this time, too..." she murmurs almost mournfully.

Megatron says, "Let Laserbeak take Divefire back, Soundwave."

Soundwave ejects Buzzsaw, who is not coated in electrum, and directs him to take Divefire back home. It's not very dignified transportation, dangling from the claws of the bird-cassette, but it's functional.

CatsCradle watches them leave. "Hmm... perhaps I won't tell him about that part...."

Soundwave explains, "Laserbeak may be of more use to us here, Commander. He is coated in electrum for the next assault."

Nightbird withdraws two shuriken from her side and her sword from her backpack.

Megatron says, "I agree, Soundwave."

Megatron says, "To Autobot headquarters."

****

Base of Mt. St. Hilary

     The once pine-clad peak of Mount St. Hilary erupted recently, blowing half the side of the mountain away and revealing an extraterrestrial artifact that fell from orbit and imbedded itself in the side of the volcano nearly four million years ago - the Autobot Ark. The stern of the vessel, with its four huge rocket tubes, is the only part of the ship visible above the surface of the ground. An immense tunnel has been drilled alongside it, leading into the mountain to the door of the buried spacecraft.


Megatron says, "Decepticons, our moment of total victory over the Autobots is here!""

Tempest draws her longblades, looking down on the Ark...her expression purposeful. An avenging angel, poised to strike.

As soon as the Decepticons enter visual range, laser blasts start pouring from the entrance.

Megatron says, "Attack!!"

Megatron attacks the Ark directly, not hesitating one moment.

Scorcher winces as the lasers bounce off her and must use all her strength of will not to dive for cover

Nightbird runs on the ground at an angle toward the entrance, the laser fire not coming her way yet.

CatsCradle draws her sword with a wistful smile. "He would have really loved to take on the entire army, like this," she says softly, then begins to make her way closer to the entrance, still dodging shots out of millions of years' habit.

Reflector flies down, intending to get close to the primary body of Autobots, and then blind as many of them as he can with a flash pulse, to leave them more vulnerable for his comrades.

As the Decepticons start to return fire, it's clear something is wrong. The Autobots at the entrance break up into pieces from the weapons fire, and even near misses.

Soundwave flies with the others, firing a barrage of plasma bolts.

Starscream dives from the sky, his guns blazing. What does he care if the Bots' attacks hit him! He is Starscream the Invincible!

Scorcher aims for the cannons that are trying to put holes in her.

Tempest darts forward, on the ground, firing lasers until she gets in sword range.

The laser fire bounces harmlessly off Soundwave's plating, but it has even less impact than it should. He blasts apart one of the Autobots on the ground with a single hit, which even with an Autobot is a bit unlikely. Soundwave hovers back a little to observe.

Nightbird leaps down from her chosen spot right in front of the Autobots. At the exact same instant, Tempest leaps out at them. Both females land right next to each other and take a split second to glance at one another before turning their swords toward the Bots.

Megatron fires one blast from his cannon after the other.

Scorcher too notices how a single blast is enough to disable these bots "How odd" she mutters

Tempest drives her blade through an enemy...and pauses. "What the frag is this?" she curses. There's no fuel...no insides! "They're FAKES!"

Megatron holds his fire. "What?!

Nightbird kicks over one of the dummies with a laser gun attached to it. "They are decoys."

CatsCradle slows down to a trot, then tilts her head, curiously, studying the battle, then whirls on her heel, looking behind her for an ambush.

Reflector watches as he pulls up from his attack run, and looks over the battlefield.

Tempest snarls and hacks the heads off a few dummies just to take out her tension.

Starscream says, "A trick!" There's a slight hint of admiration there... "Then the Autobots must be somewhere else." ...but to leave their base undefended? It has to be somewhere else worthwhile...Even before he consciously realizes it his wings are tilting to turn him back towards the lagoon.

Megatron lands beside the femmes. Indeed, the "Autobots" are dummies.

Nightbird says, "They must have fled elsewhere."

Soundwave recalls the time this same trick was used by the Decepticons. Interesting, that the Autobots picked up on it. Of course, the question now is, where are the real Autobots?

Megatron has suddenly a very bad feeling. "Quick, to the Golden Lagoon!"

Scorcher launches herself in the air, trying to find any trace of the bots on her long range radar

CatsCradle glances to the Ark. "Should we take out their base, first?"

Megatron picks up Nightbird and darts to the air, not hearing Cats remark anymore.

Nightbird runs over to Megatron, taking her place beside him. One of these days, she must see about flight engines for herself.

CatsCradle hesitates for an instant longer, glancing from Megatron to the Ark and back again... and as strong as the habit to dodge laserfire is as strong as the habit to follow orders. She leaps to the sky and transforms.



****

Hidden Meadow


Tempest realized very quickly what Megatron was thinking...Thundercracker and Skywarp against the Autobot forces? And the pool something that could not be carried.

As the Decepticons arrive at the golden lagoon, it's clear it's too late. The Autobots have found the hidden pool and coated themselves with the electrum.

Megatron is obviously not amused. "Attack!" he thunders, diving to attack. "Destroy them!!"

Optimus Prime folds his arms and looks up. "Too late Megatron. Your little secret is out. Now you'll get a dose of your own medicine."

Scorcher dives down at the Autobots half-heartedly.

Tempest realizes that lasers are useless and dives in quickly. Hopefully /swords/ will have an effect against electrum.

The instinct to fire upon the enemy is reflexive, and Laserbeak soars forward, firing his twin lasers on the Autobots below. Predictably, the energy beams bounce harmlessly off their plating. Soundwave realizes the futility of firing with an energy weapon, but if Megatron calls for the attack, he'll make it look good until a new plan is formed.

Reflector quickly reorients on the Autobots, and winces. This will be a difficult battle. Neither side will be able to hurt the other. Therefor, the combat will probably drift into hand to hand, which he is vulnerable at. He transforms into his camera mode, preparing to fire off a bright flash pulse towards their primary concentration of troops.

Scorcher fires a shot at the Autobot leader only to see it bounce off harmlessly. Then she gasps as she sees something most unwelcome

Starscream howls in fury and starts null-raying every Autobot in sight, and while it might do good to burn off his anger it sure doesn't do anything to the enemy.

CatsCradle comes in, engines screaming, and transforms, landing and barreling into Hound, sending him sprawling, then skids to a stop and draws her sword, slashing at him.

"Sir! Megatron!" Scorcher yells "My arm!" she holds out her left arm that is no longer covered with a golden shine of electrum but her old blue and silver self

Nightbird's optics burn with quiet frustration. She could do a lot to help take out the Bots in hand to hand, but she's the only one not coated. Still, she'll take them out regardless.

Hound's optics flash as Cats runs him through with her sword. The victory is short-lived however as Brawn backhands her and sends her sprawling.

Scorcher breaks off her attack as she realizes she is quickly losing her protective covering

Soundwave notices Scorcher's flaking gold coloration, and immediately shifts direction in the air, to give her some cover fire. If the electrum coating is wearing off, now is a particularly bad time for it.

Megatron could kill Prime just for another pathetic remark. It is a shame how much luck these Autobots have.

Tempest's blades dart, tearing into Smokescreen...

Reflector peers over the battlefield, and notices several things. First, the electrum coating is suddenly starting to wear off, in very small places. He sends a radio broadcast to Soundwave, "Commander, I have confirmed that the electrum is starting to wear off, in small amounts."

Tempest coughs as Smokescreen's favourite trick blinds her...the smoke choking her intakes.

Optimus just glares as Megatron's shot bounces off. He retracts his hand and brings out his golden axe. "If you want the electrum Megatron, come and get it."

Scorcher shouts "nothing small amounts. It is falling off entirely"

<Earth> Soundwave says, "Megatron, we will soon be in our normal state of vulnerability, while the Autobots will be impervious."

Ironhide raises his gun and says, "Optimus, look at that one. They're turnin’ normal again."

Soundwave takes a few laser blasts in response to his plasma fire, the last one causing him to flinch a bit at the sudden heat and impact as the electrum on his armor starts to flake away.

Scorcher fires some of her last few missiles at the advancing Autobots even though she realizes that they will not be harmed by it, at least it might distract them

CatsCradle rolls with the force of the blow, tumbling backwards and using the momentum to flow back to her feet. Her optics flare with amethyst rage mixed with a feral glee as her reflexes step back a few millennia in time to a less organized way of fighting, and dives at Brawn, completely missing the commotion about the electrum failing

Megatron hits Prime without effect. Looking at his firearm, he has to realize that he is slowly turning silver again. "What the...?" he gasps. "It can't be!" Angrily he continues his attack; he, the one with the fusion cannon.

Starscream shrills as one of Mirage's shots hits his wing! He fires back, but his hail of lasers doesn't even faze the Autobot.

Tempest lashes out with her swords but still can't see, and hits nothing.

Brawn holds his arm where Cats hit him, and brings his gun up. "You're starting to make me mad, lady!"

Optimus stands still as another of Megatron's blasts bounces off. "Autobots, the Decepticon's electrum is wearing off. Fire!"

Reflector targets Bumblebee, his three selves trying to catch the Autobot in a crossfire.

CatsCradle laughs softly under her breath and dives at Brawn again, her sword reflecting blazes of reflection from her optics and from the battle's laser fire.

Soundwave fires on Trailbreaker, mostly to keep him busy rather than in any hope of doing harm.

All the Autobots raise their weapons, firing a massive barrage of lasers at the turning-normal Decepticons.

Soundwave's plasma shots bounce harmlessly off Trailbreaker, who fires back at the source.

Scorcher 's laser blast hits mirage straight in the face. Even though it doesn't harm him he still drops from ages of habit

Tempest's vision clears...enough for her to see a hail of gunfire headed her way. She drops flat on her belly, and the shots go over her head...but how can she get close enough to use her swords?

Megatron hisses. Nothing! These Autobots still have the full Electrum cover while the Decepticon's is fading! He has to take the advantage of Electrum from the Autobots... And he decides: "Obliterate the lagoon. If we can't have it, nobody can.

Scorcher dives behind cover, all pretenses of fighting the Autobots forgotten. She remembers what happened to Omega Supreme too well to want it to happen to the 'cons

Nightbird charges in, finally in a position to do so. She kicks Ironhide in the back of the head, sending him sprawling again his comrades. Hearing Megatron's words, she reluctantly fades back into the shadows.

Megatron fires at the lagoon.

Starscream powers up a cluster bomb, ready to drop it into the lagoon...if only those damn Autobots would stop shooting at him, so he could keep his approach pattern!

Tempest makes her way back to the others, hiding behind trees and rocks for cover. She nods silently at Megatron's words, in perfect agreement.

The blast from Megatron is all that's required to set off the electrum and the rare element inside it. It ignites, sending the molten gold and silver splashing over the Bots.

Reflector loops up into the air, flying evasively to try and dodge shots, and continues peppering the Autobots with his light lasers, trying to keep them focused on him while the others with heavier firepower concentrate on the Lagoon.

Soundwave barely gets a chance to shift his aim to the electrum pool. Megatron's powerful cannon blast does the job nicely.

Megatron gives the final order: "Retreat!

Scorcher transforms into her Cyberjet mode.

Scorcher does not need to hear that command twice, though she is, of course, miles behind Starscream

CatsCradle freezes in mid-attack, whirling on her heel as Brawn ducks the rain of molten electrum. It is only now that she notices the golden sheen is gone from her own armor, and in the break of the fighting, she hears the order to retreat and leaps for the skies again.

Nightbird makes for one of the trees and leaps upward toward Soundwave, who happens to be the closest. She reaches out a hand.

Soundwave is still in flight, and turns toward Nightbird, catching her hand and drawing her up to carry her into the sky as though he'd done this a thousand times.

Tempest takes off and transforms, looking back over yet another scene of devastation.

Reflector flies after the withdrawing forces, zig zagging in case the Autobots toss a few final bolts of energy his way.

Megatron dives, looking for his mate to pick her up. But obviously she already found someone to assist her. If it wasn't Soundwave, he may be jealous now...

Megatron heads away for this scene of defeat. He is angry. This way it should not end... "The Autobots have deprived us of our victory. But they have made a fatal mistake," he grumbles. "To Autobot Headquarters!"

Nightbird's optics sparkle in a smile. It isn't hard to guess what Megatron has in mind.

****

Base of Mt. St. Hilary

The area around Autobot Headquarters is strangely quiet. There are no Bots patrolling the area, and no activity from the base.

Soundwave, still carrying Nightbird, catches up with Megatron as they fly once again toward Autobot headquarters.

Tempest smirks...they beat the Autobots back to the ark.

Reflector flies towards the Ark, scanning the area closely for any Autobots, or tracks of any of them that could come out to engage them.

Megatron says, "They will be sorry for having left their headquarters unguarded."

Tempest says, her voice raspy, "We should find their fuel stocks, steal what we can carry and set fire to the rest."

Megatron says, "Good idea, Tempest."

Soundwave warns, "They will be closely following. We must hurry."

****

Entrance Bay

      This massive, gold metal room contains Teletran-One, the non-sentient but voice-controlled computer that runs the Ark and serves as the Autobot database. The ceiling rises out of sight above your head and is shrouded in darkness. Leading off are several rooms.

CatsCradle says quickly, "I don't think we should take the time to steal their energon. Just blow the place. This planet can provide more energy for us."

Soundwave directs Laserbeak to remain circling outside the base, to warn of the Autobots' return.

An alarm starts to sound as a disembodied voice says, "Alert. Alert. Decepticon intruders."

Megatron says, "Reflector, you can complete your maps. As a souvenir..."

Starscream adds, "Complete them /fast/ before I tear this place apart!"

Scorcher says, "Oh shut up" as she shoots at the loudspeaker.

The voice comes from Teletran One, as the computer comes to life. "Activate defensive measures."

The voice is abruptly cut off as Scorcher shoots the speaker.

Megatron walks over to Teletran to stop the alarm once and for all. He shoots the computer.

Reflector nods to Megatron, figuring that the Decepticon leader is joking. Instead, he starts scanning about for any active Autobots who might be lying in ambush.

A pillar of smoke comes from Teletran, and sparks fly from the console.

Scorcher glances around to see what Defensive measures the computer might have been talking about

Nightbird draws her sword and starts cutting into the equipment, producing small explosions.

CatsCradle ducks into Wheeljack's lab. Her voice can be heard between sudden laser shots and the sounds of ripping and crashing... "Oooh, that looks expensive.... and that.... and that.... oooh, that, too...."

Small security droid scuttle into the main area, firing lasers.

Scorcher lobs her last incendiary missile into the repair facility, instantly causing a raging fire there

Soundwave is more concerned with taking out the Autobots' computer equipment than with the security droids, hoping someone will deal with them while he fires on the auxiliary computers near the main bank of Teletran.

Tempest , meanwhile, finds the fuel supplies as if she can /smell/ their contents...perhaps she can.

Scorcher yelps as a laser scours her leg

Nightbird leaps over the droids and takes them out with one sweep of her sword. Effective against ninjas they aren't.

Reflector takes the opportunity to open fire on the security droids, each of his three parts attempting to engage a different droid while his comrades busy themselves with the destruction of the Ark.

CatsCradle comes back out of the lab, tucking something into subspace and humming happily under her breath. She punts one of the droids out of her way, then puts her sword through another. "This is kinda fun," she says gleefully

Megatron says, "Scorcher, find their energon supply and... destroy it!"

Scorcher says, "Yes sir"

Nightbird finishes slicing through various pieces of equipment and looks around for the most vulnerable area.

Tempest beckons Scorcher over to the fuel supply storeroom. She's ripped the lock clear off with a sword...

CatsCradle slices through another droid. "All we need is some spray paint to top it off." She grins to Megatron. "Unless you wanna glue Prime's chair this time, since we didn't have time before."

Scorcher says, "Better stand back a little Tempest. This is going to create a huge explosion"

Tempest points to the fuel tanks, the jerrycans, the truly huge main storage tank... She says, "That one would go up like a bomb."

Tempest grabs a jerrycan quick and moves clear.

Nightbird says, "Suggest we be elsewhere when it does?"

Scorcher aims her lasers and fires at the storage tanks until the metal begins to warp and glow white hot

Soundwave surveys the area, allowing himself a moment of satisfaction, then tilts his head a little as though hearing something. "Alert," he announces. "Laserbeak reports Autobots on the approach."

CatsCradle tilts her head, then sheaths her sword. "Sounds like a cue to leave to me."

Tempest says, "Shoot one of the little ones. It'll burn a minute and then spark off the big one."

As Scorcher fires, the fuel begins to catch, and spread among the containers. Explosions rock the room, and it's only a matter of time before the main store goes up..

Megatron says, "Out of here!"

Megatron says, "Quickly!"

Scorcher turns around "with any luck it blows when the 'bots come in here to put out the fire"

Reflector heads for the Entrance Portal, intent on zooming away!

As the Decepticons exit, an imposing form greets them. It's Superion, plated with Electrum.

CatsCradle snickers as she leaves the Ark. "I feel like such a juvenile delinquent," she laughs, then squeaks as Superion looms in front of them.

Starscream looks up...waaaaaay up. "Slag!" he cries, and starts blasting away uselessly, hoping something, anything, will distract Superion

Megatron follow his troops out.

Soundwave is ready to take to the air, but pauses and shifts direction sideways hurriedly as Superion looms before them.

Reflector turns to Soundwave, "Do you believe it would be possible for me to blind him long enough for us to escape?"

Tempest is grim, serious...and feeling oddly contented. Superion sends her quickly scuttling for cover...they're not safe home yet.

Superion levels his massive gun toward the Decepticons, then looks at the fire and smoke coming from the entrance. "What did you do Decepticons?"

Megatron grumbles: "Neat...

Megatron says, "Back to Base! Retreat!"

Scorcher chuckles "Go see inside."

Starscream for once is in perfect agreement with Megatron

Soundwave says, "Only if you can escape at the same time, Reflector.""

Scorcher flies between Superion’s legs, both to prevent him from firing that huge gun at her and to put him between herself and the explosion she knows must follow very soon

CatsCradle leaps into the air, remaining her in more agile 'bot form long enough to zip past Superion, then transforms and heads for home.

Scorcher transforms into her Cyberjet mode.

Tempest darts out of cover and leaps skyward.

Soundwave shoots upward into the air, far too close to Superion, risking being simply swatted out of the air by the behemoth. Where's Menasor when you need him?

Megatron fires - not at Omega, but at the rocks of the mountain, causing rocks tumbling down, covering their retreat by a cloud of dust.

Reflector nods to Soundwave, and his three parts split up, each zooming in a different direction as they move to veer away from the gestalt.

Scorcher climbs steeply, looking back to see if anybody picks up Nightbird this time

Tempest transforms into her CF-18 Hornet Jet mode.

Tempest screams skyward, doing a little victory roll

Soundwave has tactfully left Nightbird's transportation to Megatron this time, but reminds himself to see to a flight system for her in the future.

CatsCradle radios back: "Where's da kaboom? I wanna hear the earth shattering kaboom..." in a strangely accented voice.

Superion gets off a few wild shots at the retreating Decepticons, then looks back in the base. His optic glows brightly with reflected flame light. "Not good." With a shocking loud *BOOOOM* a massive explosion rips out of the base and engulfs Superion. It keeps expanding, taking a chunk of the mountain with it as debris begins to rain down. The deafening sound finally begins to fade as the rocks themselves seem to burn at was once Autobot Headquarters.

Megatron picks up Nightbird and hurridly flies away.

Scorcher cheers as she outruns the shockwave of the explosion

CatsCradle sighs contentedly. "yep," she says in her own voice again. "That's the one..."

Nightbird flies alongside Megatron, and the light of the explosion is reflected in her optics. Her normally unreadable features display nothing but enjoyment now as she watches the base of her enemies fall.

Scorcher says, "It will be a while before they put all those pieces back where they belong. If they can find them back that is"

Scorcher looks down "I wonder if we got the big guy too"

CatsCradle's wings wiggle in a little air-borne happydance, then she guns her engines for home, to check on her mate.

Reflector flies for home, his features unreadable, but to those that know him well, he is quite pleased with the way that things have gone.

Megatron hisses. "Have fun rebuilding your base, Autofools."

Megatron says, "Decepticons, back to headquarters!"

****

Access Corridor

        A long narrow hallway with four doors leading to different parts of the base. Each door has a security panel beside it to monitor access in and out of the base locations. The lighting here is muted and the room has no other features, giving it a sparse utilitarian feel.

CatsCradle surprisingly enough (or perhaps not so surprisingly), ducks into the repair bay to check on her mate.

****

Repair Bay

        The place Decepticons seek medical care, the repair bay makes every effort to put the patient at ease. The temperature and lighting are optimized for comfort, and the walls are a neutral grey. There are ten beds along each wall, all with display panels. Equipment and tools are stored in the wall between beds and diagnostic scanners emerge from under the beds when in use. Off of the main room is a specialized surgery unit for laser core trauma, a small cryogenic stasis facility, and an emergency room with stacked beds to be used when the main room becomes too crowded. Overall the repair bay appears to visitors as modern and efficient and this impression is quite valid. Even the most catastrophic injuries can be treated here by a skilled medic.

CatsCradle silently moves through the room to Diver's side. She touches his face gently, then looks over the monitors until she is able to reassure herself that he is resting peacefully. She lets out a soft sigh, tracing the features of his face gently, then settles down next to the bedside to watch him sleep.


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