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The Decepticons Go Hollywood
Decepticons Go Hollywood
played 2/2/02

Command Center

        This circular room was formerly the bridge when the base was a viable spaceship. Now used as the Command Center, it is dominated by the large central viewing screen. The screen is linked to the main computer system, and can display anything from energon production reports to tactical updates to topside weather information. The various other bridge control stations have been converted to monitor and control the various mechanisms and activities of the base. They curve around the room from the door to the central viewscreen.


CatsCradle slips into the command center and settles on top of her usual console by the door, tucking her feet under her.

Starscream saunters into the room, full of self-importance, and calls up some images of the burned-out ark to gloat over.

Divefire walks in a few moments after his mate, casting a fast gaze around the command stations before leaning against the wall next to Cats, slowly drumming his fingers against his crossed arms.

Reflector stays near the back of the room. They won a great victory. They might have lost the battle, but they are one step closer to winning the war.

Nightbird watches over Starscream's shoulder, her optics glowing in approval of the images.

Tempest glances over at Starscream's screen and says quietly, "I wonder where they went to. The Autobots. They're still out there somewhere."

CatsCradle leans back against the wall, stretching her legs out in front of her, then retucking them underneath her again, watching Starscream's gloating. "You'd think he did it all by himself," she murmurs softly to Diver.

Reflector walks up to Starscream, requesting, "Air Commander, did our reconnaissance flights reveal the extent of the damage to the Ark? If you would be willing to share that information, it would be appreciated."

Scorcher leans closer to Reflector and whispers "Did you not see those bots bring a lot of equipment into their command center?"

Starscream is smirking at images of the burned-out Ark, and seems too happy to even care about Nightbird being there...or to notice Megatron. He looks over at Reflector. "I do not think the Autobots will be back there for some time. I sent Dirge to salvage things from Wheeljack's workshop. Soon we will possess ALL the Autobots' secrets!"

Divefire snorts a little under his breath at Cats’ comment, remembering all to well who did what last time around. "No, he thinks he did it all by himself..." He mutters back in a dark growl.

Starscream grins at Reflector. "I assure you, Autobot headquarters is a smoking wreck."

Tempest murmurs to Scorcher, "He seems to forget who found the fuel tanks, and whose missiles set them on fire."

Megatron walks in. He hates this stupid little last minute problems that keeps him busy when he has more important things to do. Well, they are done and he is here now.

Megatron says, "I see, the topic is still the same as it has been the entire week."

Nightbird adds, "I did some scouting when the Autobots were trying to salvage something. There was little of value left."

Scorcher nods at Tempest, making sure the aircommander does not see her

Starscream laughs, "Dirge will bring us back Wheeljack's secret weapons, and we can use the Autobots' own technology against them! Everyone will have to admit that I am...ah...Megatron!"

CatsCradle blinks. "We have to admit that you are Megatron?" she says with an amused grin at Starscream.

Starscream would say something sarcastic if his attention wasn't fixed on the silver leader!

Tempest smirks at Cats, and makes a gesture Rumble taught her... "one point for you"

Megatron says, "What are you, Starscream?"

CatsCradle studies Starscream. "Hmm... needs more silver paint..."

Reflector nods to Starscream, "Do we know if the Autobots have any alternative base sites then, to which they might be able to move their forces until they have been able to repair the Ark, or alternative equipment stores available?"

Starscream fumbles for a response, "I am...ah...pleased to tell you that I have sent Dirge on a mission to steal Wheeljack's secrets from his laboratory!"

Scorcher whispers very softly to Tempest, so that Nobody, and specially not Starscream, can hear her "He should have sent some of the real recon experts, not one of his Seeker cronies"

Divefire shakes his head slightly as his frown deepens at Starscream makes like a broken record. "So you keep saying Starscream. Is that all you've been doing this week?"

Megatron says, "Well, fine... but have you prepared the ceremony as you were told, Starscream?"

Tempest replies to Scorcher, with amusement, "So what am I?" Oh, she's got a Seeker build, but for some reason Starscream does not consider her one of his...and she's happy that way.

Starscream says blankly, "Ceremony?" Someone's been so busy ordering his Seekers around that he's forgotten to check his memos....

Starscream hopes...has Megatron prepared a ceremony for /him/?

CatsCradle chuckles softly, then holds out a data crystal. "I was the one who did most of the sabotage in Wheeljack's lab. I was able to download some of the files, but there wasn't enough time to snag the encrypted ones."

Nightbird merely watches the exchanges, her yellow optics glowing in the shadows.

Reflector blinks in confusion at the mention of this "ceremony."

Divefire glances a quick look across to the data crystal in Cats’ hand. "You forgot to mention you had that..."

CatsCradle murmurs back to her mate, "You were slightly unconscious for a while. There’s a copy on your desk. If I told you about it earlier, you'd work yourself into a worse headache going through the files."

Megatron says, "Yes, Ceremony! You were meant to prepare the promotion ceremony for Tempest and CatsCradle and... today, Nightbird will receive her insignia. Do you remember now?"

Divefire can't actually argue that point, so just humphs and switches his attention back to the conversation. The his jaw becomes a little more... slack.

Scorcher looks at Tempest and mouths "congrats" at her

Nightbird's optics sparkle slightly as she looks to Megatron.

CatsCradle breaks off just before launching into "...and I'm still not sure you should be up and around just yet anyway..." and stares blankly at Megatron, certain she didn't hear quite right.

Starscream scowls. "You don't need a ceremony to bump up foot soldiers. Just change it in their files." His optics probe the shadows. Nightbird. He doesn't even want to /think/ about that.

Megatron says, "Maybe you remember Divefire's promotion at least, Starscream."

Tempest's head rises up and whips around. Did she hear that right? Surely not. She seems to almost ignore the others, now paying most of her attention to the computers.

Megatron says, "These are not just simple foot soldiers, they belong to my personal troops. So do your work now, and do it quickly."

Divefire glances back to Cats, then to Megatron, then back to Cats and looks rather puzzled, until he looks back to Starscream with a vengeance as he twigs that gullgrey missile just called him a foot soldier...

Reflector nods to CatsCradle, Divefire, and Nightbird, "Might I offer you my congratulations, then. Few are as deserving of promotions as you are. You have certainly proven your worth to our cause."

Starscream grumbles, "What do you think you need, oh mighty Megatron?" He makes his way to a box in the corner, scrabbling about in it for appropriate rank insignia. It's tarnished, but ah, it's good enough...after a little effort he finds three pairs and takes them to Megatron.

CatsCradle looks at her mate with much the same expression. "Although for a moment there, I thought I was about to out-rank you," she murmurs, but her optics are still wide with surprise.

Divefire glances back to Cats, his optics go a little more narrow, but this time there's a definite mirth behind the gaze. "That could have been interesting..." He mutters back to her in his low growl.

CatsCradle chuckles back. "Yeah, but then I could /officially/ boss you around."

Scorcher looks back to catch Cats' eye and smiles hugely at her

Tempest grits her teeth a little...once again frightened of institutions and order, wondering how deep she's gotten herself in now.

Starscream stares challengingly at Megatron as he gives him the insignia. Yes, he's forgetting something. No, he's not /volunteering/ to go get it.

Divefire makes a slight heh in the back of his throat. "Rather then just nag me you mean?" He half smirks back, tensing in preparation of getting swatted.

CatsCradle swats him, as expected. Mustn't disappoint, of course.

Megatron takes the symbols of rank. He narrows his optics, looking at his second in command. "You are intentionally forgetting something, Starscream, aren't you?"

Starscream leans forward, staring Megatron optic-to-optic. "What if I am?"

Nightbird steps over to Megatron, and watches Starscream carefully.

Tempest gestures to Reflector and Scorcher, then points to Megatron and Starscream. There's trouble brewing there.

Divefire’s optics roll slightly as his shoulders stiffen, he knows where this is going...

Reflector nods to Tempest, inclining his head fractionally. His three heads shoot her a questioning glance, as if asking what the rest of them can do about this?

Scorcher nods at Tempest and carefully backs up a little, as much as the suddenly too small command center allows

CatsCradle leaves off in picking on her mate, her expression carefully blending into her usual mask of quiet amusement, although she shifts enough to un-tuck her feet in readiness to jump in... whichever direction merits it the most

Tempest points to Scorcher. Taking cover is probably the best idea. She considers moving up beside Megatron, but no...that's Nightbird's place now.

Megatron coldly responses: "Don't try to challenge me, Starscream, you will fail." There is one topic he cannot forgive Starscream, and that is coming up again...

Starscream seems to sense that he's pushing the line a little far... He looks at Megatron, at Nightbird, back to Megatron, and his face breaks into a scowl. He stomps out. Shortly later, he returns...with a small box containing some sort of tool and a stylized Decepticon logo. He roughly thrusts the box at Megatron and says, "If you /must/ profane the Decepticon insignia this way, then there you go."

Megatron catches the box. "Be careful, Starscream, or I may forget what you are..." he warns.

Reflector sighs softly as Starscream backs down. That is another crisis averted. His three parts had unconsciously taken a step back, moving to get a console in between them and the potential outbreak. He takes a step forwards to his previous position, and watches intently.

Starscream turns his back, as if unwilling to even /watch/ this thing.

Megatron turns to the rest of his troops. "Tempest, CatsCradle, Divefire, step forward," he commands.

Tempest pauses, waiting for the others to go first, rising warily out of her chair.

CatsCradle glances again at her mate, then slides the rest of the way off the console and slowly steps forward

Divefire turns his gaze from Cats, over to Tempest, offering her a fine lines smile before he to pushes himself off of the wall and steps forward to Megatron.

Nightbird watches the others, her expression so difficult to read.. Could her face show pride in the warriors who have served the Empire so well?

Tempest continues to hesitate...She lets Cats and Dive go up first. Inside, her mind whirls. Bad enough to /belong/ somewhere....to actually be /promoted?/

Megatron addresses the three: "You have served well the Decepticon cause. The Decepticon empire does not forget to reward loyalty. Divefire..." He attaches the rank insignia to his armor and shakes his hand.

Divefire shakes the massive hand of his commander in return and nods slightly, very nearly smiling such is the surprise of this announcement.

Starscream peeks back over his shoulder. This part, he doesn't mind. Though, if anyone were to look at him, he'd pretend to be absorbed in the calendar hanging on the wall.

Megatron walks over to Cats: "CatsCradle." He repeats the ritual.

Tempest hangs back, tentative. She looks at Megatron and says, in a low hoarse voice, "Are you /sure/?" Her...with rank?

CatsCradle doesn't say anything, but her fingers brush over the insignia in something like disbelief and her optics glow softly as she slips her other hand in that of her emperor's

Megatron smiles at Tempest, nodding. "Of course I mean it." He steps closer to attach the insignia.

Tempest holds perfectly still...letting him do so.

Starscream tosses a sneer at Tempest, though she isn't what's irking him....

Reflector waits for the badges of rank to be pinned on the last Decepticon, and then his three parts break out into applause, all of them proudly, and politely clapping.

Nightbird looks at Starscream, perhaps wondering how he managed to get as much rank as he has.

Megatron offers Tempest his hand for the obligatory shake hands.

Tempest slips her hand into his...looks down...then looks up, and gives him a small smile.

Tempest seems almost reluctant to let go but then finally does so, moving back with that feral , fluid motion of hers to curl up in a chair, knees against her chest. She takes little peeks at the rank bars.

Divefire glances across to Cats with a slight smile. "Do you think the next one will take as long." His optics shine a little to her, for all his talk about being his own mech, it's still nice to get noticed.

CatsCradle shakes her head, but it is still more in disbelief than in disagreement. "I never thought this one would."

Megatron takes the special box, looking at Nightbird. "It is about time, isn't it?" he says, walking over to her. "Though this insignia is just a superficial sign that shows what you have been all the time: a Decepticon."

Nightbird bows in the formal way to Megatron, her optics glowing.

Tempest shoots the pair of them, Megatron and Nightbird, a glance over her shoulder. This is hard for her to watch...though she remembers the day she got her own insignia. The optics flicker with some strange emotion...different from Starscream's anger...and then the face sets, blank, and she turns her attention to calling up the various surveillance screens, and running scans through the radio broadbands.

Reflector holds his applause, all three of him smiling broadly. This is truly a proud moment for all of them, even if not everyone will admit it. Nightbird is a true credit to the Empire, and is one of the few femmes who can truly be said to be a true match for Megatron.

Megatron takes the tool and the insignia. "You allow?" he asks Nightbird politely.

Nightbird holds her hands out at her side, her tone indicating amusement. "You may proceed."

Megatron smirks and starts to attach the insignia to her armor. It is of a slightly different material than the normal symbols so that it does not disturb her armor's ability to be invisible to sensors.

Divefire watches the badge pinning ceremony with a silent respect, for his initial misgivings about her Nightbird has been an asset. Though he can't help himself but to glance across at his mate and her new rank bars with a certain amount of pride.

Reflector starts applauding again, his three parts breaking out synchronously.

Starscream tries to remember his own promotion to Air Commander, but that day is far away from him now. How can he prove he's better than this...Earth machine?

Nightbird looks down to admire the symbol, her optics glowing with some intense emotion. She takes Megatron's hand with hers.

Tempest says, "Congratulations," when the clapping is done...without looking at either of them.

Scorcher smiles happily, she is glad for those who are just promoted, but does not know what causes the animosity of Starscream towards Nightbird. However she is in bad enough graces with the air commander that she does not congratulate the new Decepticon too obviously

Megatron smiles. "Now everyone can see where you belong, Nightbird." And... he hugs her.

Tempest scrolls through the radio waves...what's this? She turns up the volume so everyone can hear. "...is Dirge, Mayday!"

Starscream growls, under his breath, "Where she /belongs is in the trash compactor..."

CatsCradle's gaze does not leave the ceremony, but her fingers slip around Diver's briefly, before her head jerks up at the mayday call.

Nightbird moves reluctantly from Megatron and looks over to Tempest and the voice of Dirge coming in.

Reflector blinks in surprise as the call comes in, and then looks up, sighing. There goes their pleasant evening...

Megatron looks up. "A radio message? Try to get a satellite picture on screen!"

Starscream pulls up an image. There's a storm raging on the West Coast, and Dirge is struggling to stay airborne, as he carries a heavy box beneath him.

Divefire glances across the room to see the image, back tensing him a little more upright as he notes the intensity of the storm. "He's in trouble..." He mutters, stating the obvious.

Tempest locks in on the signal. "I've got him, Megatron. His location is over Southern California."

Dirge says, "This storm is getting awful...Tell Starscream I don't know if I'll be able to get his cargo back to base tonight." Behind him, lightning flickers in the sky.

Starscream grabs the radio communicator and says, "You'll get it back as ordered...before the Autobots realize it's missing!"

CatsCradle shakes her head slightly. "You'd have him crash and lose both him and the whatever-it-is?"

Nightbird says, "Why can he not simply land?"

And then...a lightning bolt descends from the sky, striking Dirge! "I'm hit...going down!" he cries out, and lowers his nose, looking for somewhere, anywhere, to put down...there is only one open space around here....Impact!

Megatron grumbles: "Can't Dirge carry out a simple mission?"

CatsCradle says, "Southern California has a huge variety of terrain. He should be able to find somewhere to hole up." Then, as the Seeker goes down, she sighs softly as the weather more or less decides for them.

Nightbird says softly, "The storm was not under his control. Can we locate him?"

Reflector looks on, his faces stern masks. They are ready to go out there for a search and rescue mission. It is apparent that their pleasant evening will soon be drawing to a close.

Starscream snorts, "Evidently not. Why couldn't you have assigned me some /capable/ troops, Megatron?"

Divefire voices in a more quiet growl over the other voices. "The storm must be playing havoc with his anti grav and aerodynamic flight systems..." And to prove his point the jet makes like a very heavy dart. In a slightly broader tone he offers, "I can get to the area in half an hour if need be. Finding him in that storm though..."

Tempest glances over at Nightbird and says, "Yes." She hits a few wrong keys as she initiates the trace, but eventually a grid fix pops up. Dirge has crashed in something called the Major Studios Movie Lot.

Megatron calls into the microphone: "Dirge, report!" Though he tries to hide it, there is still a certain concern in his voice.

Dirge's voice, groggy, comes through over the radio. "Uggggh...I'm down. Can't transform. Can't move..."

CatsCradle peeks over Tempest's shoulder at the screen and blinks at the location. "Well... that'll attract a lot of attention...."

Megatron suddenly turns around, aiming at Starscream. "I should have you disassembled for this!!"

Maybe not. Tempest pulls up a grid fix. Dirge has crashed in some sort of back lot, a swampy area.

Starscream realizes that Megatron must have been more angry than he'd thought and backs away, hands up. "It wasn't my fault!"

Reflector sighs, wishing that Soundwave were here to play peacemaker. He knows better than to intervene in one of their struggles. "Your orders, Commander?"

Scorcher yelps and definitely dives for cover behind the first broad shouldered con she can find

CatsCradle nimbly dodges out of the way of the two facing off, still looking at the screen, this time from over Tempest's /other/ shoulder, as if she's had plenty of practice at ducking confrontations. "At least it's a fairly secluded spot. Do you think he was picked up on anyone's radar as he went down?"

Megatron says, "You were responsible for this mission and you sent out a mechanism without checking the conditions!"

Megatron says, "It is imperative that this cargo remains secret!"

Starscream yelps, "So we'll go retrieve him! We'll still get that cargo before the Autobots realize it's gone!"

Nightbird moves to Megatron's side and places her hand on his shoulder. She says gently, "We should start the rescue as soon as possible."

Starscream says, "We'll take flyers...wait until the storm front has passed and then move in to take him. In that swamp we can be in and out before anyone notices."

Divefire glances across at the screen with the location of Dirge's crash, then back across to Alpha male central, shaking his head slightly. This is probably a bad time to make a point.

Megatron turns back to the microphone: "Dirge, shut down the rest of your systems and remain still.

Reflector nods to Megatron, "I can perform an aerial reconnaissance of the area to keep on the alert for any Autobots or Terrestrials that might be in the area and try to intervene."

CatsCradle chews on her lower lip in thought. "I can fly in there without being detected... but I'm not going to be able to get him out on my own, especially if he's hurt."

Starscream says, "Tempest, Scorcher, Reflector...go get Dirge out of there."

CatsCradle snags her mate before he can take a step. "If you think you're up to going out there in that storm, think again."

Scorcher says "Yes commander" she sounds suspiciously sarcastic

Tempest leads the others out.

Megatron grumbles at Starscream. "I warn you, if this mission fails again."

CatsCradle adds in a mutter, "'sides, you go out to a movie studio, and the next thing we know, there's a series made about a super-power black Trans-am..."

Divefire glances back to Cats and frowns slightly. "My head's fine... I think." He growls, then giving Cats a sidelong glance. "Remind me to show you some tapes later..."

CatsCradle chuckles softly. "Who do you think made those tapes while you were on Cybertron?"

Starscream wants to say something sarcastic, but doesn't dare risk inflaming Megatron's temper further. "I'm sure it will be fine...we /did/ send some of your best warriors, right?"

Divefire rolls his optics slightly. "I should of known... Which reminds me, did you collect the shipment of Dragon Ball comics yet?"

Megatron answers with a certain sarcasm: "That is what gives me at least some hope, Starscream...

CatsCradle laughs softly again. "Yep. Think I got Scorcher hooked on them, too."

Nightbird says, "Do we know what cargo Dirge was carrying?"

Divefire looks in bewilderment at his mate. "You're kidding..."

Starscream says, "A secret Canister Wheeljack has kept locked in his workshop."

Megatron says, "It seems to be a kind of secret weapon, well hidden as it was."

<Earth> Megatron says, "This is Megatron, what is it, Tempest?"

CatsCradle shrugs. "Hates the mudball, likes the comics, go figure..." She glances over to the other conversation. "No viruses, this time, right?"

Nightbird says, "It must have been well-shielded as well to survive the explosion. And the attention of CatsCradle."

<Earth> Tempest says, "We've located Dirge and the cargo, and are in the process of pulling him out."

CatsCradle protests mildly, "Hey, I was working on a limited schedule."

Nightbird nods in acknowledgment to Cats.

<Earth> Megatron says, "Excellent. Be quick about it and take care no-one realizes you are there."

Divefire considers the conversation then glances back up to the main group. "Given that most of Wheeljack's inventions blow up spectacular, do you think it's a good idea to bring it back here?"

Nightbird says, "Perhaps it has something to do with the Dinobots. He helped create them."

CatsCradle grins at her mate. "Hey, you had fun with that Immobilizer, admit it."

Divefire glances back to Cats. "It still nearly blew up in my hands... But yes it was fun..."

Starscream says, "Of /course/ it's a good idea. We can test it out in the science section."

Divefire narrows his optics in Starscream's direction. "And if blows up, it can flood the science section..."

CatsCradle pats Diver's hand. "Don't worry, dear... the comics are up at the lake and safe from flooding.

<Earth> Tempest says, "We're on our way home, Megatron."

<Earth> Starscream says, "Take the cargo to the science section.  We will meet you there."

Starscream waltzes out the door, heading for the science section, not seeming to care if anyone else is following him.

Nightbird says, "Though it seems to defy expectations, the Autobots have at least some scientific skills. The device may be useful to us."

CatsCradle glances at Diver with a should-we-dare? expression

Megatron transmits a message via radio.

Divefire growls as he heads after Starscream. "We better follow him... Even if it's not a bomb, he's terrible with new toys..."

CatsCradle takes a deep breath to brace herself and follows.

****

Science Section

        A combination laboratory and machine shop, this area is where most research and fabrication is done by the various Decepticons with a scientific bent. Some of the equipment here is larger than an average Decepticon, while some devices are smaller than a cassette. A trained eye will recognize devices for manufacturing and testing circuits, crystallization chambers, metallurgical stations, and various energy field projectors. Even though crowded, the room is orderly and clean, with parts and equipment neatly arranged.

Scorcher closes her canopy and transforms to robot mode

Dirge lies on a table nearby with holes punched unceremoniously through his wings and cables still hanging from them. Evidently no one's bothered to take him to repair bay yet. They're still too interested in the cargo he was carrying, which lies on the floor at their feet in an oddly shaped box.

CatsCradle walks in and peers cautiously at the box. "No viruses? Or zombie thingies?"

Tempest says, "It looks like a plain old box to me."

Scorcher looks strangely pleased with herself for the rescue

Reflector shrugs. "It was an uneventful mission, but for some reason, the humans were building some sort of a walkway around Dirge, and they attempted to assault us with some sort of unknown projectile weapon. It was black, and had two spinning reels. I must admit that I have never seen a human weapon like it before. Perhaps it was some sort of new technology that they have been working on the Autobots with?"

Megatron walks in. "Why is Dirge not in the repair bay?"

CatsCradle says, "Because everyone's too busy poking at the box?" To prove her point, she pokes it with a tentative clawtip, then backs away to leave the rest to the techies.

Starscream does not bother thanking Tempest or Scorcher for their work. Instead he examines the box. "How do you turn it on?"

Scorcher mutters something too softly to be overheard

Tempest looks sort of guiltily at Megatron...at Scorcher...back at Megatron. "He's not going to die any time soon," she says quietly. Actually he's not going to die at all, but lying there mostly immobile is probably not fun.

Scrapper enters with a sour expression. "All right, where's the scrap pile this time?"

Tempest points wordlessly at Dirge

Megatron says, "Scrapper, take Dirge to the repair bay."

Megatron looks at the device. "This could be the ultimate weapon for defeating the Autobots.

Scrapper goes and picks Dirge up and then walks out the door, muttering "Where's Long Haul when I need him? Cybertron, you jets are heavy.."

CatsCradle murmurs with amusement, "Or it could be a safe-deposit box for Wheeljack's energon-munchies, to keep the Dinobots from getting at them..."

Nightbird looks after Dirge with some concern, then looks back to the object of Megatron's attention.

Reflector walks up to Divefire, "Sir, are you aware of any human weapons that are rather bulky, pointed black, and have two spinning reels between them? I have never encountered such a device before, and I would like to know how dangerous it is in case I ever encounter it on future missions."

Starscream pokes the machine again...and it starts whirring and vibrating, hopping around on the floor!

Scorcher whispers to Reflector and Tempest "those humans were definitely behaving weird. I mean, even more so than usual. If they had a weapon, why not use it?"

Divefire walks in a little after Cats, his wing cloak flowing behind him as he wearily looks over the hopping machine. "Wonderful Starscream, you've discovered the first transfomer sized pleasure device." He deadpans.

CatsCradle squeaks as the box starts hopping, and sits on top of the nearest workbench, tucking her feet underneath her. "What's it doing?"

Tempest shrugs. She looks at Catscradle. "Any idea what that thing might have been?"

Nightbird draws her sword by reflex and stares at the box.

Starscream backs up hastily as its movements become more and more violent. "I didn't do it!" he protests quickly. So much for that tech skill!

Reflector shrugs as Divefire is otherwise occupied, and turns to CatsCradle, "Mam, you are in the Exploration Division, and I was wondering if you knew the capabilities of any human weapons that were black, had some sort of protrusion coming out of them, and had two spinning reels set on top of the device. I have never encountered something like that before."

Megatron glares at Starscream: "You pile of scrap iron! Keep your fingers of the device before you destroy it."

Scorcher whispers urgently to Reflector "Forget about that weapon. Next tiimeme you see it shoot it before they can use it on you"

CatsCradle pulls her attention away from the hopping box to Tempest, then pulls it again to Reflector. She opens her mouth to answer, then shakes her head and rubs her forehead. "It wasn't a weapon. You just got filmed, either for the evening news, or the Decepticons just got adapted for the latest sci fi movie..."

The box jumps straight up in the air...and collapses onto the ground, letting out a puff of smoke, and lying motionless...like so much junk.

Tempest looks curiously at CatsCradle. "Filmed?"

Reflector tripleblinks at that, and then a frown goes onto his face. He heads over to Megatron, a frown on his face. "Commander, it is my regret to inform you that we must consider a high probability that we were recorded retrieving the device by the humans."

Starscream obviously knows what the word means. "Tempest, Scorcher, Reflector, you /morons!/ I'm surrounded by /idiots/!"

Divefire walks up to the remains and kneels down next to them, looking them over with a slightly curious expression. "Yes, with this device we can take over this world. Or in more exact terms, it's dead Jim."

CatsCradle watches the box warily. "Yeah, Temp. Recorded by the humans. If we're lucky, we won't be all over the evening news, but we might be able to audition for parts in the newest movie."

Megatron thunders: "You were what...?!

Tempest cringes and looks at Scorcher and Reflector, who were there with her, at Divefire and CatsCradle, who seemed to understand what happened more than she does...and back at Megatron.

Nightbird continues to glare suspiciously at the box, but does glance at the others. Perhaps not understanding what the fuss is about being seen by fleshlings.

Reflector sighs, and admits, "They had some sort of a recording device trained on us while we were retrieving Dirge. I thought that it was some sort of weapon, and I was unaware of its significance. The blame rests with me, Commander."

Starscream says, "You idiots, now the humans have evidence! They'll show the Autobots!" Trying to act like /he's/ the commander here, he says, "Go back and get rid of that film!"

Megatron points at Starscream. "You are responsible for this!

Scorcher shrugs as she looks first at Tempest, then at Reflector. She clearly has no idea what she did wrong

Megatron says, "If the Autobots see that film, that weapon will be worthless!"

Starscream says, "ME? /I/ wasn't there!!"

Divefire glances up, then stands with a more then puzzled expression. "So you were filmed? That wouldn't be the first time we've been on film."

Starscream says to Divefire, "They will know what we have taken! Unless we destroy that film!"

Reflector shrugs, not really understanding what all of the fuss is about. If they had not been filmed, the humans would have been in contact with  the Autobots soon after anyways. Very well then, they will soon be returning, apparently.

Scorcher shrugs "I could go back and torch the whole place"

CatsCradle rests her head in her hands. "Yeah, but they were filmed with what they were hoping to be our next secret weapon. Which now may not be so secret anymore." She peeks through her fingers to look at the smoking box. "'Course, we still don't know if it /is/ a weapon..."

Megatron says, "We have to get this film before anyone sees it, now!"

Divefire nearly laughs at Starscream, but holds it in his throat. "Yes, they'll know we've stolen a useless pile of junk... Hardly the downfall of the Decepticons."

Scorcher frowns "Will there be time for me to stock up more missiles?"

Starscream says tersely, "You just wait until that thing dries out...it's Dirges' fault for crashing in the swamp and soaking it."

CatsCradle suggests, "Shouldn't we first try to determine if that..." she points at the box "... really is worth trying to keep secret? If we storm the studios, only to find later that the whatchamacallit really is a giant energy-Pez dispenser..."

Megatron says, "We go!"

Nightbird places her sword back on her backpack and flexes her fingers. The humans will see her with a proper symbol for the first time..

****

Major Studios Movie Lot

     The movie lot bustles as humans in various costumes dart here and there. Trucks move equipment, props, or even whole buildings. The place is filled with an aura of excitement, haste, and high-tension. Many of the props are surprisingly lifelike; sometimes it's difficult to tell what is real and what is not.


Tempest looks around the movie lot curiously.

Scorcher cycles a missile in her launcher "Right" she mutters "Where do I start blowing things up?"

Tempest says, "It's dangerous for us to stay out in the open like this. We could get "Filmed" again."

Megatron lands at a hidden place. Then he decides to hide in the deserted Sound Stage.

Reflector flies along, scanning for any of the humans that they encountered earlier.

Megatron gestures to follow him.

Tempest slinks quickly after Megatron.

****.

Deserted Sound Stage

        This studio building is not currently in use for filming, and has been left mostly abandoned. Leftover props and equipment from the last film still clutter the area. Of significance to the Decepticons is that it's large enough to hold a good number of them, and even Megatron can stand to his full height in the high-vaulted building. It's good enough for its purpose: concealing the Decepticons from Autobot optics.

Nightbird draws her sword again, looking around carefully.

Starscream enters the Deserted Sound Stage from outside.

Tempest peers around curiously. She looks at CatsCradle and Divefire, and actually /asks them something/. "What is this place?"

CatsCradle peers around warily at first coming in, decides it's vaguely safe and begins rummaging through the abandoned props in delight.

Divefire glances around, taking a note of general design as he answers Tempest. "It's a sound stage, where the humans make films and television series. It's one of there forms of entertainment."

Nightbird's glances around the room, her optics taking in the details.

Scorcher looks around idly, but without much interest it appears

Starscream says, "Why are we wasting our time here? The film is not here." He looks around. "I need some /competent/ troops to find, and take, that film!"

CatsCradle sighs and looks up from her rummaging. "This is where the movies are /made/, not kept."

Megatron decides: "This is our temporary base of operation until we have what we came for." He turns to his second in command. "Now you can make up for your failure, Starscream. Go, and find the film!"

Scorcher shrugs "Why not burn the whole place down?"

CatsCradle opens her mouth to say something else... then decides to sit back and wait to see Starscream prove himself... competent.

Divefire glances across to Scorcher. "You remember the last time we played with fire? You turned gold."

Starscream says, "ME?!" But he does not argue. "CatsCradle, Divefire, come with me!"

Scorcher grins broadly at Divefire "It was fun was it not?"

Starscream walks out...trying to pretend that he is still in perfect control.

Starscream leaves the Deserted Sound Stage.

Divefire narrows his optics at Scorcher in reply. "Depends if you played tag with Omega..." Then his shoulders fall as Starscream so nicely asks for his company. "Joy..."

CatsCradle brushes her hands from the dust that coats the props. "At least he knew the ones to choose," she murmurs to her mate.

Reflector turns to Megatron, "Permission to accompany, Commander?"

Tempest says to Scorcher, "Burning the whole place down would be fun, but it would attract more attention."

****

Major Studios Movie Lot


Starscream looks at CatsCradle and Divefire and says quietly, "Do you know where to /look/ for film?"

CatsCradle taps her claws thoughtfully. "I doubt it would be in storage yet. I would imagine it would either have been just viewed... or someone knows what a gem they have and have tucked it in a Safe Place

Divefire looks across the lot, scanning from one end to the other, taking a note of the buildings and where the humans scurry about. "What Cats said." He adds in a half growl.

Starscream says, "Where would they keep viewed films, then?" He's starting to be unable to keep the desperation out of his voice.

CatsCradle says slowly, "I'd go with the being-viewed theory, I think. I'm betting that whoever filmed it is pretty excited about it, especially if it's going to the news."

Starscream says, "Is it one of these buildings?"

Divefire glance across to Cats with an evil smirk across his face. "Although really, it could be anywhere on this lot... Maybe they've taken it off site by now for broadcasting..."

Starscream gulps audibly!

CatsCradle closes her optics briefly... she knows that expression on her mate's face. She fights the urge not to play along... and loses. "Or they've taken it to the news stations already. Or the producer could have taken it home for safe-keeping..."

Starscream says, "You have to help me...Megatron is ready to blow a gasket! It could be...rewarding for you..."

Divefire raises a brow in Starscream's direction. "Keep talking." He growls to him.

CatsCradle rests her head briefly in her hands, then looks up again with a cheerful smile and doesn't say anything. She rocks on her heels, peering around the area with open curiosity and lets her mate torture the Air Commander.

Starscream says nervously, "What do you /want/ from me?!"

CatsCradle winces. The Air Commander is a /terrible/ negotiator. She continues to look around, turning a complete circle in her spot.

Divefire looks at Starscream then just smirks in a finelined way. "We can discus it later... But let's just say you owe us a few."

CatsCradle nods. "Then if you two are done, I'll point out that not too much filming will be going on at this time of night. Therefore, I'd look for a place that still has people in it." She points at a building with lights on. "Like that one."

Starscream nods, "All right, all right!" At least he doesn't have to do anything /now/. Maybe he can weasel out of it later... He leads the way. "Then, let's go! Forward!" Towards the building Cats indicated.

****

Film Library

        This big, spacious room holds shelves packed floor to ceiling with reels of film footage. Watching all the movies in here could take months, or even years. Fortunately, most of the film canisters have been well labeled.

Starscream stands in the middle of the floor, just staring around. "This could take...eons!" he squeaks.

CatsCradle glances at the shelves and shakes her head. "I'd suggest looking for some play-back equipment. I think it would still be there, rather in storage."

Starscream moves towards a projector still out in the middle of the floor and hits PLAY. ON the screen, a faint image appears...it's Dirge, in the swamp.

Divefire looks around and heh's slightly. "Make that a few dozen things you're going to owe us... Or you could get lucky." He intones, almost annoyed.

CatsCradle finds a film case next to the projector and reads the label aloud... "Giant Robots Take Over Movie Studio..." She looks at her mate. "You know... that kinda sounds like fun..."

Divefire shakes his head slightly, stepping over. "We'd never get the special effects budget."

CatsCradle chuckles. "I meant taking over the studio. Live action DragonBall." She tilts her head, considering. "You're right... we wouldn't get the budget... but Chasm might!"

Starscream watches Tempest and Scorcher appear on film...he rewinds, stops the projector and grabs the reel. "This is what we came for. Let's give it to Megatron and get /out/ of here..."

CatsCradle holds out the empty film case. "And hope they didn't make copies..."

Starscream doesn't even hear what Cats says...he's too busy grabbing for the case, and heading out the door.

CatsCradle shakes her head. "Probably a good thing he didn't hear that..."

****

Deserted Sound Stage



Megatron is about to stomp over to Skywarp as Starscream enters.

Starscream says proudly, "I...ah.../We/," he corrects, with a glance back at CatsCradle and Divefire coming in behind him, "found the film." He hands the item in question to Megatron.

Megatron takes the film, looking at it. "Well, Starscream, are you sure you got all of the film with the Decepticons in it?"

CatsCradle chuckles softly and goes back to the piles of props she was sorting through earlier.

Starscream says, "This is the whole film, Megatron. We watched it to make sure."

Scorcher decides t lay low a little longer while Megatron is still remembering that she somehow did something wrong

Skywarp glares at Nightbird and gives her a shove as he walks past, looking at what Starscream was up to.

Tempest clambers down from the rafters and stops aside a boom crane, perching atop it like some kind of golden vulture, watching.

Divefire shakes his head slightly as the Air Commander learns a little humility then simply slips to the side of the door and leans against the wall, waiting.

Nightbird ignores Skywarp's bluster and maintains a guard post near the door.

Tempest informs Divefire and CatsCradle, "You two might want to stay away from the door...we've got Autobots lurking around."

Divefire looks up at Tempest and frowns again. "Oh, well nice of every on to tell us." He mutters again and steps away from the door, promptly.

Reflector looks up to Megatron, and sighs, "Commander, there is still a potential remnants of the film. Every film has a negative..."

Starscream looks startled. A...negative? Oh, /no/...

Megatron throws the film aside. He walks over to Starscream, his optics indicate nothing good... "I warned you, Starscream!" he grumbles dangerously.

CatsCradle decides not to repeat her comment about possible copies and suddenly looks very busy rummaging through boxes

Starscream says, "How was I supposed to know!" He glares daggers at CatsCradle and Divefire. "Why didn't you two traitors do your jobs and warn me?!"

Divefire glances across to Starscream, optics narrowed once more as he takes a step forward. "We tried, you were already walking out in victory."

Starscream looks at Megatron and gulps...he knows he's in for it now...

Megatron says, "I've heard enough of you."

Starscream yelps, "Megatron! Don't!"

CatsCradle's head pops up from the props. "Traitor?" she asks in a soft warning voice. "There are better ways I could be going about that, Starscream."

Nightbird says to Megatron, her echoing whispering voice carrying in the room even though she doesn't speak loudly. "The Autobots can't fail to hear a shot."

Tempest, smirking, says softly to no one in particular, "Ah, but a /blade/..."

Scorcher says softly "good. Then we can blow them away. And we can blow this whole place away. Heck. We can blow this whole stinking filthy planet away"

Megatron seems to be as angry as he has not been for a long time. He grasps Starscream, breaking his cockpit shield ripping out the main wire of the motion control system.

Starscream pleads, "Megatron, please..." He doesn't even bother trying to defend himself.

CatsCradle rests her hands on her hips, watching quietly, then shakes her head, putting her own anger aside. "This isn't exactly being productive."

Tempest watches the fight, optics sparking. This /is/ entertaining...but...hm. What if Megatron regrets this later?

Nightbird's optics shine with some emotion, but her masked features don't give away which.

Reflector falls silent as he continues scanning out the window. It is the Commander's prerogative as to what to do, but there are more opportune times for it...

Megatron deactivates his second in command, then abandons his victim. "Now get those Autobots out of the way. And get that negative! And I want it now!" He clenches his fist; his optics glow dangerously.

Tempest looks at CatsCradle and Divefire, as if asking where the negative might be

Starscream slumps against the wall, sore, but relieved that Megatron has turned his attention elsewhere. His gaze falls on Nightbird. Her fault, again, he thinks sourly.

Scorcher crawls from underneath the stage

Divefire makes his way back out to the door, optics glowing slightly as he considers. "We can check over the film room again."

Nightbird ignites her sword. "I will keep them occupied long enough for you to find what you seek. With your approval Megatron?"

CatsCradle silently turns on her heel and slips out of the door.

Tempest follows.

Starscream raises his head, watching the others leave, and then dims his optics.

****

Film Library


Tempest looks around at all the film, and looks curiously at Cats and Divefire. From next door comes the sound of a movie being watched.

Megatron hisses. "Reflector, check that out!

Tempest picks up a reel and studies it curiously. It looks like black tape to her...nothing more. She doesn't understand how it works.

Divefire shrugs his armoured shoulders slightly and moves in. "Start looking for negatives, or cases marked with Giant Robot Attack."

Reflector nods, and transforms to his camera mode, scanning for the source of the noise, and then running an infrared scan to determine the location of the sound, and what is being played.

As Reflector moves to take a look, two small figures come running from the other room and out the door, quick as a wink... They are recognizable as Spike and Carly, and Carly is holding a canister in her hands.

The humans scamper outside.

Reflector sighs. With their kind of luck, the humans have the canister, and just saw the movie...

CatsCradle's optics flash. "Or Autobot humans running out with a film case?" She darts after the humans.

Tempest draws her blade, and looks up at MEgatorn.

Megatron steps into the human's way.

Carly screeches to a stop, staring up in horror at Megatron.

Megatron dangerously remarks: "I believe you have something that belongs to me!

Carly trades glances with Spike, then tosses the film canister across the room! Spike looks horrified, but Carly doesn't wait...she grabs his arm and drags him out the door, running right beneath Megatron!

Divefire growls again and watches the humans run right into Megatron. "Nice roadblock." He comments dryly as he watches the show.

Megatron doesn't care for the humans, but picks up the film can.

CatsCradle slides to a stop, managing not to plow into Megatron. "Do you want us to still go after them?"

The film can, when opened up...is...empty.

Megatron throws the can aside, angry he did not catch the human germs instead. "After them!!!"

Tempest jumps, eager for a hunt.

Divefire runs for the door this time, not bothering with a witty retort. No need to get blasted...

****

Major Studios Movie Lot


Two humans come scampering out of the film library, with the other Decepticons close behind.

Powerglide says, "Great Tracks, way to think positive. We just need better recon. Up and away, Powerglide!" The flamboyant Autobot transforms, and starts to circle overhead.

The Autobots are some distance away from the Decepticons, standing over Warpath who seems to be unconscious or dead.

Scorcher definitely tracks Powerglide with her weapons now he is circling overhead and could be a threat to Nightbird

Tempest growls, "Autobots!" Someone /else/ can deal with the pathetic humans...she wants a piece of some Autobot...hm. How about...Powerglide? It's your unlucky day, showoff!

Tempest transforms into her CF-18 Hornet Jet mode.

Tempest screams skyward after the loudmouthed Bot flyer.

Spike and Carly, meanwhile, head towards a collection of movie props.

Scorcher frowns "so much for subtlety"

Divefire glances across to Cats. "I guess we get the humans then..."

Powerglide, from his higher vantage point, sees the Decepticons immediately. "Decepticons, I knew it! Well, Pow-er-glide to the rescue!" He streaks toward Tempest.

The humans and...the Dinobots?! Because a Pterosaur and Stegosaurus...
are lumbering towards CatsCradle and Divefire...

Scorcher fires two missiles at the group of Autobots who are still gathered around Warpath and are only now looking up to see what is going on overhead.

Carly works the controls on the props, pointing the fake dinos at the Decepticons, hoping to buy some time.

Tempest and Powerglide lock into an aerial dance, each trying to bring their lasers to bear.

CatsCradle nearly stops her pursuit, surprised that her mate isn't charging down the Autobots... then sees the Dinobots and tosses her hands in the air. "Oh, great... not much better than taking on Omega."

Reflector races after CatsCradle and Divefire, attempting to scan for heat signatures that could indicate the location of the humans.

Scorcher's missiles impact at the Autobot's feet, scattering them.

Divefire pauses as he sees the lumbering monsters coming for them and growls again. "I've butted heads enough times for this month." He summons his sword and takes a step forward. "I'll keep them busy and you find the humans?"

On closer examination, these lumbering creatures aren't Dinobots at all....

The humans' heat signatures come from near the controls.

A huge fireball from Scorcher's missiles momentarily engulfs the fleeing Autobots

Reflector scans for the humans, and locks onto their heat signatures, and starts heading for the controls, his three parts splitting up, each going from a different direction, lasers drawn, moving to surround the humans, and cut off their escape.

CatsCradle glances again at the dinos, then leaves their strangeness to Diver and tracks down the humans

Spike runs out to try to distract Reflector'

Divefire looks a little harder, thinking, "Well, only one way to find out..." And in typical style he charges forward, to play a little tag. With a fully charged electro sword.

The nice part about having three bodies is that you can split your attention. One of the Reflectors goes after Spike, while the other two close in on Carly.

Those fake dinos don't stand up well to Divefire's electro sword. Meanwhile, Carly is so busy trying to make the dinos fight Dive, that she is an easy target for Reflector.

Reflector reaches up to the platform, flying up and making an attempt to grab at the human from both sides, flanking her.

Carly eeps, realizing she can't escape. Without her working the controls, the big dinos lumber into each other and collapse, sparking.

CatsCradle pounces after Spike, then, since Reflector is rounding up Carly. 'Sides, she still has a grudge against Spike. She would have given him a nice home, after all. Silly pet doesn't know when he's better off....

Megatron says, "Get the film, I say!"

Divefire neatly slices through one of the necks of the lumbering beasts, nearly throwing himself off balance since the resistance is far less then expected. In an instant hydraulic fluid and oil bust out of the wound in a high pressure torrent, drenching his chest and forcing him to stager back in surprise. "Gah!" He stats, "Not Dinobots then..."

Reflector makes an attempt to grab at Carly, and if he succeeds, will move to take her over to Megatron.

Spike turns to Catscradle and says, bravely but helplessly, "You leave Carly alone!"

Nightbird emerges from her hidden spot, a bit of black on her armor where she caught some of Scorcher's missile. She quickly glances down and notes her symbol is unscathed, and rushes to join the others.

CatsCradle tries to scoop Spike up. "I am leaving her alone, silly human, " she scolds. "I'm going after you instead."

Scorcher looks around to see where the Autobots have run to. On seeing a familiar outline she grins evilly and fires a missile at Sunstreaker, laughing "You and I have some unfinished business"

Spike says, "Aw no..." He has nightmares of a hamster ball...Meanwhile, Carly plays dumb. "What do you want?" she asks Reflector and Megatron.

Reflector takes Carly over to Megatron, one of his two parts holding each of her arms, while his third stands off to the side, in case she somehow breaks free, and makes an attempt to escape.

Nightbird stands by Megatron, watching the Bots in the distance trying to regroup.

Powerglide meanwhile is trying to lure Tempest away from the studio.

Megatron bows down, holding out an demanding open hand. "I want the film negative you have taken from the storage.

Scorcher 's missile hits Sunstreaker square in the rear, despite his attempts to evade it. The explosion sends him tumbling. The fire peels away most of his paint

Carly bows her head, pulls the canister out from under her vest, and hands it to Megatron.

CatsCradle brings Spike over, cupped in her hands like a kid with a... well, with a hamster.

Tempest follows Powerglide somewhat, but is not dumb enough to fall for his game...who knows where those Aerialbots are? When he gets too distant, she starts returning the favour...trying to lure him back to the Decepticons.

Megatron takes the canister and opens it.

Scorcher fires her lasers in the general direction of the Autobots, trying to prevent them from regrouping

With his usual irritating timing, the red and grey form of Optimus Prime in truck mode lumbers into view. He transforms, as do several Autobots behind him. They draw their weapons and start firing at the Decepticons, apparently oblivious to the humans.

Scorcher fires her lasers in the general direction of the Autobots, trying to prevent them from regrouping

It is, at last, the film negative.

Divefire walks over to the main group, having found some rags to wipe the hydraulic fluid off his chest, just in time to narrowly avoid being clobbered by the Autobots return fire. "Oh, wonderful timing." He mutters.

Scorcher transforms into her Cyberjet mode.

Nightbird ignites her sword and stands at the ready, side-stepping the occasional well-aimed laser shot.

Tempest calls to Megatron, "Do we have the film? Because things just got hotter..." She strafes the arriving Autobots as she moves back towards the Decepticon group.

CatsCradle squawks, "Hey!" She waves Spike in the air, dangling from her fingers. "Do you really want to keep shooting?"

Scorcher blasts off, deciding she does not want to be caught on the ground fighting the entire Autobot army

Megatron says, "We do have the film, Tempest."

Optimus Prime orders, "Put Spike down! Autobots, hold your fire!"

Cliffjumper responds to the order by just shooting for CatsCradle's knees.

Tempest doesn't like having only one human between the Autobots and their little group. She transforms, landing near Megatron.

CatsCradle eeks and leaps out of the way. "Watch it, or I'll /fall/ on him!" she shouts to Cliffjumper.

Megatron looks at Prime, grinning. "You don't want your little friends get hurt, Prime, do you?

Cliffjumper reluctantly stops firing as Prime gestures.

Tempest smirks, matching Megatron.

Reflector continues to hold Carly, tightening his grip ever so slightly, to prevent her from making a run for it.

Scorcher breaks off the strafing run she had just started, pulling up sharply

Megatron says, "Decepticons, we have what we came for. Back to base!"

Tempest says, quietly, "What about Starscream?"

Divefire looks across the field of battle, his attention on Cliffjumper as he ponders how much time he'd have to gut the small Autobot...

Prime replies smugly. "I think you'll want to reconsider Megatron." The Aeiralbots step out, carrying the unmoving Starscream.

Megatron whispers. "Tempest, we draw their attention... Try to get my foolish son out of here."

Starscream thought this day couldn't get any worse...in his current condition, being in the hands of the Aerialbots is /terrifying/.

Tempest replies, "Maybe we should let one of the humans go...then, if we don’t' get Starscream...we slice the other."

Prime holds his rifle to Starscream's head. "Send over Spike and Carly unharmed, and we'll let you take Starscream."

CatsCradle glances at Megatron, Spike still hanging from her fingers.

Reflector continues to hold onto Carly, looking to Megatron for instructions.

Nightbird looks at the Bots and the available cover, likely wishing it was night. There's no way for her to slip away and take out enough Bots to recover Starscream, even under ideal conditions.

Ironhide says quietly, "I don't like this Prime. Megatron don't care nothin' for Starscream, or anyone else."

Megatron chuckles. "Why do you think, we left Starscream behind, Prime? You can have this traitor." It is time to resort to a ruse.

Starscream gasps, "Megatron, DON'T!!!"

Ironhide says, "See, what did I tell ya?"

High overhead Scorcher grins

Reflector says quietly, "Autobot hypocrisy, threatening to execute an unarmed prisoner."

Starscream shuts his optics, not wanting to see any more...what kind of a way is /this/ for an Air Commander to die? And /abandoned/ by Megatron....?!

Prime says, "Come on Megatron. Even you won't just give up your second in command."

Megatron whispers to Nightbird.

Nightbird whispers back to Megatron.

Megatron shakes head slightly. No, if he now gives in, he shows to the enemy that he is vulnerable.

Scorcher climbs a little higher to prevent Powerglide from gaining altitude on her

Tempest looks nervously at the other Decepticons. They could let just /one/ human go...keep the other for insurance...They don't have the advantage of numbers here...

Divefire keeps his gaze locked on the Autobot forces, searching for movement, any sign of itchy trigger fingers or heroic action.

CatsCradle makes Spike wave his little paw...er hand at the Autobots

Tempest edges closer to Megatron. "We have two lives to trade...they have only one."

Megatron looks at Catscradle. "It looks you have two new pets, Catscradle." He looks at Prime. "Don't worry, she will take good care of them.

Prime seems agitated. "Don't be stupid Megatron. You leave, Starscream's had it."

Starscream ..../wills/ this whole situation to go away, surely he will wake up in his recharge bed at any moment...

Reflector continues tightening his grip on Carly, not enough to cause her pain... Much, anyways.

CatsCradle beams brightly. "Oh, yes. This one's new name is George." She waves Spike's hand again. "Well, actually, I had named him before. And her name will be.... hmmm... well, I'll have to think on that one a bit more."

Divefire blinks slightly, look back over to his mate. "You are not having those as pets." He states

Megatron says, "So, Prime? Remember, you won't be better than me then. But... that is your decision. Decepticons, back to headquarters."

CatsCradle gives Diver a huge-optic-ed tragic look. "You let me have the fish."

Megatron turns around... walking away!

Divefire growls a little more. "Fish won't try and sabotage the entire base."

CatsCradle's optics grow larger. "But... but... Megatron /said/ I could..."

Tempest gives Megatron a questioning look but...follows beside him....

Prime glares at Megatron's back and says, "Fine. All right Autobots, back to base. We have a prisoner to interrogate."

Starscream yelps, "Megatron, don't leave me!!!"

Scorcher turns away, still making sure she flies above Powerglide, to follow Megatron

Megatron sets his jaw plates. Trying to make it quickly around the next corner.

Divefire shakes his head, walking after the others. "I'm not cleaning there cages, either."

The Autobots transform and begin driving away.

CatsCradle falls in step with the others, cooing down at Spike. "I'll find you little furniture, and make a nice new home for you."

Megatron radios to the others. "Take off, and get back to headquarters!

Reflector flies up into the air, Carly clutched in his arms, heading back to base.



****

Engine Room

        Once one of the most important areas of the ship, the engine room now serves only to house most of the control systems, the conning tower to the surface, and the central computer. A large console provides access to the main computer and detailed information about its operational status. The main engines still remain in place, but most of the peripheral machinery and materials were removed once it was determined the ship would never fly again. Consequently, most of the adjacent rooms are empty, awaiting future expansion.


The Decepticons have arrived back at base as ordered. Strangely though as the groups exits the tower, Megatron is missing..

Tempest looks about, wondering how she managed to lose sight of Megatron.

Nightbird disembarks from Skywarp, who then transforms.

Scorcher transforms into her Robot mode.

Reflector heads back with Carly clutched tight in his paws, wondering who is in charge of the base now, with Megaton gone, and Starscream captured.

Divefire glances back to Cats, still rather suspicious of her new pets. "You're not going to leave them in the office, are you?"

CatsCradle looks down at Spike, who is sulking in her hands. "You'd get rather upset if I kept them in our quarters, huh?

Nightbird looks around. "Where is Megatron?"

Reflector shrugs, and not knowing who is in charge, deposits Carly on the ground by CatsCradle.

CatsCradle quickly scoops Carly up too, before she scurries away

Divefire looks to Nightbird and intones. "He's right behind..." Turning to look over his shoulder he pauses. "Or, not..."

Tempest mutters, "I hate it when he does this..."

Nightbird says, "Who saw him separate from the group?"

CatsCradle looks around, but doesn't seem very surprised. "I imagine," she says softly, "he's gone to do something about Starscream."

Tempest says, somewhat testily, "Isn't that /your/ job?"

Reflector shakes his heads, "I was not aware that Megatron had departed."

Thundercracker comes to meet the arriving Cons and peers at the humans. "What are they doing here? Cats, Megatron won't want those things running loose around the base."

Nightbird's optics glitter. "That must be why he wanted Skywarp to fly me back, so I wouldn't see him going off." She doesn't seem happy about it, and Skywarp seems to fidget a little.

CatsCradle waves Spike's hand at Thundercracker. "Megatron said I could keep them."

Tempest gives Nightbird a /look/, as if she were failing some responsibility when she didn’t' realize where Megatron had gone.

Spike starts to struggle and says, "Prime will make sure you get yours miss kitty!"

Divefire sighs a little, first Megatron gives his mate pets, now he goes walk about. "Oh shut up human before I run you through." He growls to the talkative boy.

Megatron comes out of the tower, carrying Starscream.

Megatron drops Starscream.

Megatron says, "Take him to the medbay."

Nightbird whirls around and sees Megatron. Her optics shine, but she doesn't say anything.

Starscream lands flat on the floor, and moans a little...

Reflector nods to Megatron. They have two human prisoners, and the Autobots have no bargaining position.

Tempest says, "How'd you get him back?"

Skywarp and Thundercracker move to take Starscream to the repair bay, questioning him on what happened.

Starscream does not protest...he's still immobile from Megatron's damage.

Divefire turns around again at the sound of Starscream arriving home. He wants to add why did Megatron bother to his question, but not today. "And you could have asked for help."

Tempest nods in agreement with Divefire.

Megatron takes out a little spray bottle. "I have some of the invisibility spray," he simply answers.

Tempest grits her teeth. Now that she's done being /worried/ about Megatron she's a little irritated at having been /made/ to worry...

Megatron says, "Prime does not know, how Starscream got away."

Nightbird looks at Megatron, her expression unreadable.

Divefire shakes his head slightly. "Sometimes I wonder why we need an army. What do we do with the humans?"

CatsCradle chuckles softly, still not seeming at all surprised. She holds the humans up again. "Since my mate would probably lock me out of our room if I try to keep them there, can we rig a cell in the brig for them?"

Motormaster comes walking in, looking a bit woozy as if he only recently dragged himself out of his recharge bunk, having intended to come up here for a quick trip to dry land and a ride to wake himself up. He pauses when he sees everybody gathered, however, and blinks a bit, heading over that way, “I miss somethin'?"

Tempest is glad of the distraction and darts to Motormaster's side. "Did you /ever/." She points at Spike and Carly. "Catscradle got some new pets."

Nightbird heads out of the room without saying anything.

Motormaster raises an optic ridge at what the femme says, looking over to Catscradle and making a face, “Well... you just keep 'em from gettin' out... last thing we need is some kind o' infestation in here. Prolly have ta gas th' place ta get rid of 'em all...'

Divefire glowers again, looking across to Moto. "Don't remind me..."

CatsCradle beams at them. "Well, if one of you techies sets up a cell in the brig for me, you won't have to worry that I did it wrong, will you?"

Tempest says, "The brig would be a good place for them, Cats, I think."

Megatron leaves the room wordlessly. He may be expected to look after the box, but... actually he heads for the medbay.

Megatron enters Training Complex

Motormaster smirks at Divefire, noting with amusement, “See, that's what bondin' gets ya... critters runnin' about in yer quarters."

Tempest chimes in with Motormaster, "Must be a /terrible/ life. Poor Divefire."

Divefire sighs again, turning to look at Cats. "You want me to set up a cell for them?" He growls, really not enthused by the idea. Then his optics just fall as he shakes his head again. "I was hoping to wait for 50 years or so first..." He intones back to Moto and Tempest.

Tempest smirks. "Congrats Divefire, you have kidlets."

CatsCradle laughs softly. "Oh, yes, he's so miserable. Nice bed to come home to every night, someone to warm it... he just hates it."

Motormaster just guffaws,"'cept these kidlets don't ever grow up an' get /useful/." He then grins at Cats, “Yeah, that's great an' all... 'til ya wake up ta find some organic li'l bugger curled up on the pillow next ta ya..."

CatsCradle nods. "That's why they're going to the brig and not in pillow-range

Tempest grows serious for a moment, silent...then Motormaster gets her laughing all over again!

Divefire stands there through all this, arms folded across his chest and glowering as mood gets deeper and deeper.

CatsCradle makes Spike wave his hand at Diver.

Motormaster shakes his head, noting with a grin, “I’ve already got four teammates who might as well be kidlets fer all that they c'n take care o' themselves... I ain't gonna go draggin' a mate inta the mix. Bachelor forever an' all that." He then reaches over to clap Divefire on the shoulder,"Aww... it ain't /all/ bad, bud. Like they said, these are goin' ta th' brig."

Reflector snickers as he watches the interchange going on, and lets out a quiet chuckle, before his face returns to its usual expressionless mask.

Divefire looks up to Motormaster and smirks with a rye look in his optics. "True, plus, I'm not the one who has to clean them out every day." He gives a side long glance over to Cats. "Or feed them, or keep them in clothes, or make sure they're safe..."

CatsCradle looks down at them doubtfully. "And who will take care of them while we're at the lake?"

Reflector sighs, and makes a beeline to some cover. He certainly does not want to get involved in this...

Motormaster glances over at the Reflectors,"Well, he's closer ta their size... I might 'accidentally' squish 'em if I had ta deal with them..."

Divefire considers the question with mock thoughtfulness. "Hrm, perhaps one of the tapes. Rumble and Frenzy? Or what about Ravage and Chasm?"

Reflector starts to try and slink away unobviously, glad that he isn't being suggested anymore.

CatsCradle sighs. "Ravage would eat them, Chasm will /sell/ them, and Rumble and Frenzy will forget to feed them."

Motormaster just grins and leans his shoulder against the wall, shaking his head.

CatsCradle lets out another mournful sigh and hands the humans out to Diver. "Would you take them back to shore, then?"

Divefire looks at the two creatures. "I could drown them..." He glances down at the little things in his hands, well he's not above a little tormenting.

CatsCradle glares at him. "Some earth researcher you are, drowning your test subjects."

Motormaster hmms a bit,"Tell ya what... Dead End don't use his quarters much, mostly just wanders with that depressed look o' his... if the brig ain't good fer 'em, could stick 'em in there an' lock th' door."

Divefire sighs, slumping his shoulders slightly. "I'll take them back." He glances over to Moto again and nods, but thinks it over a bit. "They would still starve to death, or break free and cause havoc."

Motormaster nods and makes a face,"Yeah, yer right... 'sides, he'd be angry if they trashed his room."

CatsCradle pats Diver's shoulder. "Besides, dear... you'll do it faster, and it won't give me that extra time to change my mind and bring them back."

Divefire flicks his gaze over to Cats and suppress a shudder. "I'll be back in half an hour,” he states and heads for the con tower.

CatsCradle sighs again and plops down infront of one of the vidscreens to watch for Diver coming back.

Reflector shrugs. To have gone to all that trouble to capture them, only to return them? But then, he nods. It would be too troublesome to keep them incarcerated at base continually anyways, and there would be the ever-present specter of the Autobots attempting a rescue attempt, or the flesh creatures trying to escape.

Divefire walks back into the room a little later on, having deposited the humans in New Jersey...

CatsCradle peers over at him. "You /didn't/ drown them, did you?"

Divefire shakes his head as he walks back into the main hall. "Not this time..."

Reflector nods, "You are correct, it would have been far too troublesome to incarcerate for an extended period of time."

CatsCradle draws little designs on the floor with her foot, then looks up at Diver with a little smile. "Thank you."

Divefire notes to Reflector with a half amused tone. "I didn't want to get my hands wet." Then he nods to Cats. "No pets." He repeats.

CatsCradle chews on her lip for a moment. "You aren't going to make me get rid of the fish, too, are you?"

Divefire shakes his head slightly. "Fish are a lot less work."

CatsCradle nods. "All right. No more pets."

Reflector chuckles softly at the interchange, and then shakes his head. Those two are unique, and made for each other.

Motormaster just kind of watches with a kind of amusement, reaching many of the some conclusions as Reflector.

Divefire glances over to the other two, well four actually, mechs standing around. "Well I think after today’s events, I'm going to have a drink in the office." It's not exactly an invite...

CatsCradle grins slightly. "The last time people gathered for drinks in our office, we had to rebuild it the next day."

Reflector nods, and wonders what went on. From what he can recall, CatsCradle's office has been rebuilt several times...

Divefire shrugs lightly over to Cats. "Striker's away somewhere doing something. Away from our office. Far away."

Motormaster hmms a bit and glances over at a chronometer on the wall,"Well, I wouldn't mind a drink m'self, if'n you folks don't mind..." And a grin follows,"I'll do my best not to blow anything up."

CatsCradle counts on her fingers. "And Ruse is away, Straxus is dead..."

Reflector blinks, and wonders how to request if he might join in. HE is not particularly familiar with the other three, and does not believe that he knows them well enough to request such an audience.

Divefire nods to Moto. "The office tends to be open all hours. Somehow it got turned into a social club...And as Cats said, Straxus /is/ dead."

CatsCradle finishes with a bright smile. "So therefore, it should be perfectly safe. Unless Diktat shows up. Then I'd be worried."

Reflector chuckles, and looks to the two, "Would you mind if I joined you, then? My duties normally do not give me much opportunity for socializing."

CatsCradle chuckles softly. "That was the closest my mate gets to an open invitation." She nudges open the office door and goes in.

****
RandE Office

This is one of the smaller rooms off of the defunct Engine Room. To one side are two comfortable chairs that are suspiciously similar to those in the Library. A small table in one corner holds a small burbling fountain, the water cascading over a collection of rocks and plants into a bowl at the base. Two desks are present with consoles, one of them considerably more cluttered than the other one. The cluttered one has a poster tacked on it of a cartoon girl sitting behind a crude wooden booth with a sign that reads "Psychiatric Help 5 Cents". Also tacked to that desk is a full-color printout of a lake-side beach framed with trees somewhere in a mountain range, and a silver rose is tucked to one side of the monitor, somehow managing to not be buried under more clutter. Maps and arial shots of Earth terrain cover the walls, along with a few posters with Japanese writing, some with cartoon characters and one with a fire-breathing monster. A shelf is lined with what looks like human-sized toys styled after transforming robots, and although none of them are very similar to Decepticons or Autobots, an observant viewer might notice that the one labeled "Go-Bot" has been painstakingly repainted in Striker's colors. There is the faint pleasant scent in the air of unlit beeswax candles and that along with the splashes of the fountain, achieves a soothing atmosphere.

CatsCradle quickly claims one of the comfy chairs by pouncing on it and curling up in it.


Divefire walks in and wonders over to his desk, sitting down then pulling open one of the draws to find a bottle of ener-wine. "There should be one in here some where."

CatsCradle points. "Lower left hand one, dear. If I kept it in my desk, people would find it."

Divefire moves his attention to the right draw and straitens again, holding a bottle of potent liquid. "Good point. Did we have glasses in here?"

CatsCradle says, "If they survived the Halloween monster attack, they'd be in the drawer above it."

Reflector looks about, chuckling a bit, remembering the reports from that odd situation.

Motormaster walks over to one of the chairs and slumps into it with a yawn, the seat creaking alarmingly for just a moment as he bulk settles... he doesn't even appear to notice. Probably gets used to it being as large as he is,"I don't remember eatin' any glasses then... or breakin' any..."

Divefire pauses as he hears the words, then carries on looking for the glasses, wordlessly. He really doesn't want to know. After finding four glasses of almost equal size he sets about pouring, then promptly hands them out. "Remind me to reinforce that chair."

CatsCradle beams up at Diver. "Oh, by the way, dear... reinforce that chair."

Reflector shrugs, and leans against the wall, since the chairs here are built for mechs that are two to three times his size, and he accepts three small pitches of enerwine, and then waits for the others to drink first before he takes a sip of his.

Motormaster takes a swig of his immediately upon being given it, grinning at Divefire,"I'll try not to sit down too hard so that it don't just give way entirely... I did promise not ta break anythin'."

Divefire offers Cats a glower as he goes back over to his desk and sits down. "Thank you very much, Cats." He mutters before taking a sip of his wine and nodding in Motormaster's direction. "As long as it's not on purpose I won't mind."

CatsCradle chuckles softly and sips at her drink.

Reflector sips at his three small drinks, all three of him lightly sighing in pleasure as he swirls them about in his mouths. He nods to CatsCradle and to Divefire, "Thank you. This is of excellent taste."

Motormaster shakes his head at the two's squabbling with a grin,"You guys are cute... Ya should take that act on th' road 'r somethin'... keepin' troops entertained across the Empire."

CatsCradle inhales her drink instead of swallowing and sputters a few times.

Divefire glances across to Moto, gives a quick side long glance to Cats then shakes his head slightly. "What she means is, no."

Reflector snickers slightly. He has seen a few couples in his days who bicker like this. Somehow, they fit together much better than those couples who do not.

Motormaster shrugs and raises his glass to them,"Somehow I'm not surprised. But hey... it was just an idea. I think it's great, really I do. Just not fer me."

Divefire perks a brow slightly on hearing that from Motormaster. "Oh?" He questions in a slightly lighter tone then normal. "I thought you and Tempest were getting on rather well..."

CatsCradle manages to stop choking, takes another sip of her wine, giving Diver a rather thoughtful gaze. Usually she's the one who notices relationships, and she missed this one. Too much running back and forth between earth and the Grinder

Motormaster snorts a bit and just stares into the pink-purple fluid, rotating his glass between his hands,"Don't be ridiculous, Divefire."

Reflector blinks up at MotorMaster, and then at CatsCradle and Divefire. Well, that was most certainly odd, he muses. He was aware that they were friends, but not that anything deeper existed.

Divefire hides his amusement as best he can, then leans back a little more. "Of course. Anyway, how are you finding Earth?"

Motormaster shrugs absently,"It's alright I guess... really, it's home ta me. I mean, I'm a Vector Sigma creation, yeah, but I didn't spend any time there... and here... well, this is the planet I was built fer. So I don't mind it at all."

****
(the next day)

Science Section

        A combination laboratory and machine shop, this area is where most research and fabrication is done by the various Decepticons with a scientific bent. Some of the equipment here is larger than an average Decepticon, while some devices are smaller than a cassette. A trained eye will recognize devices for manufacturing and testing circuits, crystallization chambers, metallurgical stations, and various energy field projectors. Even though crowded, the room is orderly and clean, with parts and equipment neatly arranged.

The device lies on the middle of the floor, still smelling somewhat of smoke.

Tempest says, "I think Starscream wrecked it yesterday, when he had it bouncing around like that."

Megatron narrows his optics as the name Starscream is mentioned. However, he gives no comment.

CatsCradle steps into the room, giving the box a wary look. She sidles around to a work bench and sits on top of it. "It's not going to start hopping around again and chase us through the base, is it?”

Scrapper says, "Yes and no Megatron. Sonic resonance analysis confirms that the device is not a device at all, but a container. It has anti-tampering circuitry that caused the previous display."

Reflector shrugs, curious as well as to what the device does. Knowing Wheeljack, it could be anything.

Tempest says to Catscradle, as she takes her seat not on the bench but on the table, "That depends...Do you think Scrapper is a better tech than Screamer?"

CatsCradle shrugs. "I don't know enough techie stuff to judge."

Megatron is obviously surprised: "It is a container?" He rubs his chin. "Open it!"

Megatron says, "If the Autobots take so good care to secure it with booby traps, the contents must be valuable to them."

CatsCradle murmurs, "Either that, or they didn't want it to escape." She looks up suddenly. "What if it's something like that kremzeek?"

Scrapper says, "If we just try to force it open, the contents will probably blow up. This requires more subtly."

Tempest draws a longblade...that's /her/ answer.

Tempest says, "I can deal with any creatures...but...Would the Autobots keep a living thing locked up that way?" Then again, the Dinobots....

Reflector falls silent. How to defuse any traps that the Autobots might have put on it? He rubs his chin thoughtfully, pondering if anyone would be capable of opening it. Such a shame that Ruse is not present for this.

Megatron says, "Then be subtle, but get it open!"

Tempest says, "Who has a can opener?"

CatsCradle climbs down off the bench and turns it over on its side, then climbs behind her make-shift shield, peeking out over the top.

Scrapper gives the object he's working on a few minor adjustments, then looks at it for a moment. Apparently satisfied, he goes over to the box and puts it on the top. "This EMP pulsar should nullify the circuitry within the container long enough to get it open. Stand back."

Tempest doesn't need to be told twice...she scampers to the other side of the table.

Scrapper follows his own advice and stands well clear of the box.

Reflector nods, and moves to the far corner of the room, trying to put a few others in between him and the device.

Divefire walks into the area

Tempest tells Divefire to stay back. She's crouched on the far corner of the table from where Scrapper is trying to open Starscream's "pleasure box" from yesterday.

Megatron folds his arms in front of his chest, watching.

CatsCradle peeks a little further from behind her toppled-over workbench.

Divefire stops as he enters the door way and just looks in the direction of the box. "You know," he comments dryly. "If it does explode, those tables won't help much..."

Scrapper hits a remote switch, and there's a slight hum, then a clicking noise. Scrapper nods, then grabs a long metal rod. He moves it over to the box and flips the top open.

Scorcher sneaks into the room, hoping nobody notices that she is late

CatsCradle waves Diver over. "I'm still not sure there isn't something alive in there..." She glares at the box.

The box... Is open, with no further fuss.

Tempest says to Scorcher, "Be careful...Scrapper's got it open!"

Reflector braces for an explosion, mentally calculating whether he can escape out the door before the place is leveled...

Megatron steps closer. Now, what is the secret of that box?

Scorcher whispers back to Tempest "That is bad?"

Scrapper immediately steps over to the box, saying "Oh calm down Tempest. It would have already exploded."

Tempest waits for the explosion, the bang, the creature leaping out...when there's nothing, she pokes her head up curiously She says to Scorcher, "We thought the Bots had booby trapped it or there was something dangerous inside." But...what /is/ inside?

Tempest hisses a little at Scorcher, feeling a fool, then slinks up beside Megatron... Dammit Megatron, why do you have to be the /first/ into every danger?

Divefire shakes his head slightly at the sight of a Constructicon using a big metal poking stick to open a box. He walks over to Cats and smirks down at her, just muttering one word to her. "Alien."

Scorcher looks from Tempest, to Scrapper, to the box, still suspicious despite the reassuring lack of explosions

CatsCradle squeaks and crouches down more behind the bench.

What is inside the box are...slabs of a silver metal substance, shimmering innocuously in the light.

Divefire chuckles and shakes his head again. "And you slept in my lab for how long?" He mutters to Cats before walking up to the workbench to take a look see.

Reflector blinks as he tries to peer over the shoulders of everyone present, and look into the box. Given that everyone here is at least twice his height, its not easy going.

Megatron kneels beside the box. "But... that is a supply of Cybertronium!

Megatron says, "No wonder they tried to keep it from us."

Tempest pokes a finger into the box. This looks...boring, actually. She tilts her head. "What's that?"

CatsCradle snorts and climbs over the bench to come and see, giving Diver a cuff as she pushes past. She looks down at the metal slabs. "Hey! It really is a giant Pez dispenser.”

Scorcher loses interest in the goings on. She has no idea what Megatron is talking about and tries to find something of interest in the science section instead

Reflector blinks. What are the Autobots doing with Cybertonium, and more importantly - where did they get it from in the first place?

Scrapper seems perplexed. "I don't get it. It's not like this stuff is in short supply. It can mined several places on Cybertron."

Megatron says, "Yes, but the mines are controlled by us."

Tempest thinks for a moment, and then nods to Megatron. "Valuable to them if they can't get any more."

Divefire growls in a gruff way. "What Megatron said. To Autobots, this is..." He pauses to think of a particular vernacular. "I'd say gold dust... I've been on Earth to long."

CatsCradle adds, "Or... they've found another source of it that we don't know about."

Reflector nods, "Or it could be a supply that they had with them when they launched back from Cybertron."

Tempest blinks again. "But what's it /for?/ What's it do?"

Scrapper is still doubtful and says, "There are other ways to make circuits that don't use Cybertonium."

Scrapper replies to Tempest's question that he already answered after a fashion. "It's used in most of our circuits as a superconducting material. Without some superconductor, our circuits would overheat."

Scorcher grins "guess they didn't use enough on my circuits then"

Tempest tilts her head. "Is that stuff in my circuits?"

Megatron narrows his optics. "However, this is enough to supply all the Autobots for a very long time..."

Tempest giggles, "Not any more...they don't have it, we do!"

Scorcher peers into the box and smiles "Looks pretty. Wonder if I could get some to decorate my quarters with?"

Reflector nods, thinking thoughtfully. How did the Autobots get a supply then?

Scrapper says, "No Tempest, your circuits don't have it, at least the ones I've repaired."

CatsCradle taps the case thoughtfully with a clawtip. "So if this is their only source... they're gonna be pretty anxious to get more."

Megatron looks at Tempest. "Possibly your circuits work with another superconductor, adjusting to Kilarian conditions.

Tempest nods a little, having learned something new again today.

Megatron says, "They won't get any from Cybertron, Cats. And this they will not get back."

Scrapper shakes his head again. "I don't think so CatsCradle. Cybertonium is very stable. They'd only need this much if they were planning to build thousands of new Autobots. And even then, there are other ways to make superconducting circuits. This seems more like a curiosity than anything useful."

Scorcher says, "Or they are planning to build thousands of new Autobots"

Reflector purses his three sets of lips thoughtfully., This is a true conundrum, then. Just what are the Autobots up to? This is most certainly a mystery of sorts.

Tempest says, "Maybe we should warn Shockwave and Thunderwing to increase the patrols of the mines."

Divefire glances over to Scraper, a little thoughtful for a moment. "Scrapper, did you give the Dinobots a once over with a medical scanner?"

Scrapper taps the box with disinterest. "I'd be a lot more worried about them trying to blow up our base the way we did theirs. This stuff is worthless."

CatsCradle glances up at her mate. "As in... Wheeljack making more of them?"

Scrapper says, "Give us some credit Divefire. Hook and I gave them a thorough exam."

Scorcher grins at Cats "Not after what we did to their base, he won't."

Tempest snorts. "So much for Starscream's big secret weapon, eh?" she says to Scorcher.

Scorcher nods at Tempest "Though if this stuff keeps us from overheating, it would make a nifty armour, wouldn't it?"

Megatron says, "It is not worthless for the Autobots, and I believe they want it back..."

Divefire nods slightly, ignoring the rebuff for now. "Right, and how much of this stuff did you find in them?"

Reflector shrugs. This is certainly a mystery. For now, he shrugs, and falls silent, awaiting instructions.

Scrapper thinks a minute. "I don't remember if it was used or not. Their circuits are large and overpowered things, not very elegant. I can check if Cybertonium was used, but what's the point?"

Tempest says, "Not as nice as that gold stuff, Scorcher, but still kind of classy...."

Divefire shrugs lightly, "Just trying to figure out how long they've had a box full of Cybertronium and if they had it when they made the Dinobots, why they didn't use it."

Scorcher smiles up at Tempest "I would like a silver look. The gold one seemed so tacky. And it didn't work anyway"

Tempest says, "I've never heard of this stuff, anywhere in the Spaceways... maybe they call it by another name but I don't know, I've never /seen/ anything like this either."

Reflector shrugs, "It is an essential element in our construction, but hardly a critical one, since alternatives to it exist in our construction and upkeep."

Megatron decides. "We will keep it. However, the undersea base will be the first place for the Autobots to look after it.”

Scorcher sees three glass spheres on a shelf near her. Since the discussion around her is clearly for the tech types she picks them up and sees if she can juggle them without dropping one of the fragile things

Scrapper's expression turns sour. "This is the first place they'll try to blow up. We need some more security."

Tempest says, "The Stunticon's desert base?" She frowns. "Don't the Autobots know about that one too?"

CatsCradle grins. "Send it back to Cybertron. Hide it at the Grinder. No one would /ever/ think of looking for it there."

Reflector shrugs, "One of our secondary supply bases, perhaps? An off-base storage site, if we have any?"

Scorcher giggles at Cats "Hide it in Colossus’s armour. Nobody would *dare* looking for it there.

Scorcher adds mischievously (and very softly so nobody else can overhear her) "Too bad that Starscream isn't here. His ego is big enough to hide anything in and nobody would ever be able to find it there"

CatsCradle grins back at Scorcher. "Yeah, but the Grinder has all those ghosts of failed cadets lurking around."

Megatron hms, rubbing his chin.

Reflector blinks over at the femmes, wondering what they are talking about, and then he shrugs, and turns his attention back to the Cybertonium.

Scrapper is looking more and more dire and grim by the moment. "Permission to begin work on new security measures for the base Megatron."

Megatron says, "Of course, Scrapper. Haven't you already started with it?"

Divefire can't help but smirk darkly. "Maybe base-wide force fields. We don't need another battle platform hitting the base."

Scrapper chucks his thumb at the box. "Hey, I've been busy working on this thing. And force fields don't work too well underwater."

Tempest says, "Why don't we hide it somewhere else? Even if the Bots break in here....nothing to find."

Scorcher says, "Why don't we give it back to them?"

Scrapper starts walking out of the room grumbling. "I'm more worried about them blowing things up than stealing."

Reflector blinks at the suggestion, and chooses to remain silent rather than comment.

CatsCradle glances up at Scorcher. "Have you ever fought the Dinobots, Scorcher? Trust me, if that is what Wheeljack was planning for this stuff, we definitely don't want him to get it back."

Scorcher looks puzzled at the scornful looks she gets before she says "I mean, stuff this silly box full of explosives and let them steal it, if they want it so badly?"

Nightbird enters from the training area.

Tempest says, "I wouldn't mind giving them back the box full of explosives, scorcher...let them break in here and steal their own death..." A cold smile. "But the Cybertonium, we have to keep. Even if we don't need it, just so they can't have it."

Megatron says, "We will lock it up here at the moment. However, I do have a plan for a new base. That will be the perfect place to hide the Cybertonium."

Reflector nods at Tempest's remark, and then looks about, pondering. Just what are the Autobots doing with so much Cybertonium? He hasn't the faintest clue. He awaits Megatron's latest plan, then.

Scorcher shrugs and mutters "It was just an idea." before returning to attempting to juggle

Divefire glances across to Megatron with a slightly skeptical look. "Another new base?"

Tempest looks at Megatron curiously.

Megatron chuckles. "Your idea is not so bad at all, Scorcher. We will put the Cybertonium into a new container..." He turns to Divefire. "Yes, an operation base where the enemies would not expect us : at an human airport.

Scorcher almost drops the balls she is juggling at hearing Megatron say she actually had a good idea for once

Divefire’s optics narrow a little but he nods slightly back to Megatron. "That makes some sense, if we can convince them we're a special military project or similar..."

Tempest grins. "And hide right among their precious pets." She looks at Catscradle. "How are...George and Fluffy?"

CatsCradle murmurs to Diver, "Well, we always said I'd get to study humans one airport at a time..."

CatsCradle glances at Temp from across the container. "George and Fluffy didn't get along with my mate very well. He dropped them in New Jersey someplace."

Tempest stares at Divefire. "You let our hostages go?!"

Reflector snickers, and watches the interchange. He watches Tempest as she speaks up, and listens to the ongoing exchange of comments between his comrades.

Scorcher frowns "You think if the Autobots hear about that they will let Starscream go as well?"

Divefire looks back across to Tempest and glowers at her. "Well it was that or let them try and sabotage the whole base. Besides, do you know how much mess humans make?"

Megatron says, "Well, I want to look after our damaged personal. Reflector, fill the Cybertonium into a new. Container."

Scorcher obviously is not thrilled by the notion of Starscream being released again

CatsCradle stares glumly into the container. "Yeah... made me promise no more pets, too...

Megatron , heading for the door, quietly remarks: "Starscream is here already..."

Scorcher glares at Divefire "I wanted one of their young for my own pet."

Tempest says, "You should have sent them back in pieces, at least," surly as usual.

Tempest looks up at Megatron...decides to speak to him later.

Divefire shakes his head slightly, "We are not keeping humans as pets. They can barely look after themselves in their own habitat, here they would be a total disaster waiting to happen."

Reflector nods, and starts putting the Cybertonium into a new container.

Scorcher pouts and tosses the things she is juggling with back on the shelf with rather more force than necessary. One of them cracks ominously and begins to smoke

Reflector blinks up at Scorcher as the things begin to smoke, and he attempts to zoom in on what she was juggling, suddenly starting to feel slightly nervous again.

CatsCradle quickly stands up. "I think this would be a good time to work on those reports, let'sgonowDiverquick!"

Scorcher picks up some delicate electronics and shakes it to see if anything happens. Then she looks at it closely

Acid leaking from the cracked glass eats through the metal shelf and drips on the stack of expensive circuits underneath it that are waiting to be repaired.

Divefire looks slightly alarmed as he heads for the door. "Reports, right.."

CatsCradle squeaks out the door just ahead of her mate in a haste usually reserved for escaping repair bays.

Scorcher tosses the circuit board she holds back in the general direction of where she found it and sighs "I'm bored"



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