Lair of the Stealth Bunnies     |     home
The Microcons
(played 3/9/02)

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.

Megatron just walked into the command center, greeting the present with a short nod.

Megatron says, "Starscream, you are here to work or are you looking for Ravenwing?"

Scorcher slinks into the room, a bit late because she has been gossiping to Ravenwing

Starscream declines to answer Megatron's question as he sees Ravenwing walk in. He is hard at work, actually, catching up on everything he's been putting off recently. He can't give Megatron /any/ reasons to hassle him now--he doesn't need any distractions. He's putting his whole attention into his own plans...that for once have nothing to do with taking over. "Work," he answers, surprisingly calmly.

CatsCradle glances up from her screen where the faint sounds of a video game can be heard. "Ravenwing is on Earth?"

Tempest nods silently in way of reply.

Soundwave is at his communications station, monitoring. The amount of totally useless information that must pass by him, is seldom suspected by anyone - but then, few would have the patience to sift through it all to find the few things of interest. Such as the one that catches Soundwave's attention just now. He listens quietly, aware that the room is filling up with individuals whom he identifies by their footfalls, but he does not yet turn around to greet them. Instead he says, "Megatron, attention."

Nightbird isn't actively trying to blend into the shadows or hide, but she still is somewhat successful at this. She tilts her head with interest at Soundwave's tone.
Reflector enters into the room, the Triplets all walking in synchronization as he prepares to take his shift on manning the sensor and watch stations. It should be a quiet night, hopefully.

Ravenwing follows her most eloquent companion in just in time to hear Catscradle's voice, one of the few she knows here. As usual, she moves silently and keeps to cover, then pauses to assess the room's occupants and what they're doing. She's here to observe, no?

Megatron joins Soundwave at the communication, his optics directed towards the screen.

Tempest glances at Ravenwing, realizing she has to share her shadows now...

Soundwave touches a control on his console, and brings the broadcast he was listening to, into a format that everyone else can see as well.

The screen flickers to the image of a newscaster, who reads from a stack of papers in his hands. Behind him, a picture of the Central and South American landmass can be seen. The newscaster concludes his report with, "The team of archaeologists believes that the strange object may be part of a spaceship which crash-landed on Earth four million years ago." The newscaster's image is replaced for a moment by one of a hillside with a partially-unearthed vessel, a distinctive tailfin, an engine exhaust port.

Reflector looks up at the screen as Soundwave moves to attend the monitors, and looks up, interested. Yes, he does believe he sees now why Soundwave was bringing it up...

CatsCradle catches sight of Ravenwing as she enters, and smiles. "I think you are one of the last people I expected to see on our mudball." Then her attention is pulled to the screen. "What, did we leave more people behind on this planet somewhere?"

Tempest perks up and moves forward, examining the image. Spaceships are of interest to her.

Nightbird's optics flash as brightly as anyone present can recall ever seeing, and her whole attention is fixed on the screen. For those the least bit able to read her body language, she's *extremely* interested.

Megatron stares at the screen. "It's the Decepticons' ship and..." He addresses Soundwave. " know what is inside of it... I must have it!

Starscream appears only casually interested at first, but now he stares at Megatron. "That's /our/ ship?" It's a wreck! But that fin is familiar....

Reflector looks up at Megatron, and then he shrugs. Very well then, they will be going into action. It will be a change from monitoring duties, for sure...

Scorcher looks at the screen with a little bit of curiosity. It does not seem to concern her much, until Megatron mentions the word Decepticon ship

Soundwave steps back a bit from the screen and looks over the others. "So that is where it crashed," he muses quietly.

Ravenwing, once again, is more interested in the people than the monitor. Her silver optics make a circuit around the room, studying those she's not seen before and listening to the talk. She doesn't nod to Catscradle, as she's not longer looking at her, but finally looks to the screen and the crashed ship that seems so important.

Nightbird looks from Megatron to Starscream, her optics dimming. Apparently the others already know what the ship is.

Tempest says, tentatively, "What's on it?"

Reflector nods to Megatron, scanning over the picture, and then running it rhgouth a fragmentary analysis, "It dose bear a resemblance to the craft, if one accounts for aging due to exposure... I cannot say for certain, however."

CatsCradle snorts softly. "I'm beginning to think that all missing ships from Cybertron crashed here. Earth must be some kinda beacon for them."

Megatron says, "Soundwave, find out the exact location of that excavation site."

Scorcher grins and whispers to Cats after hearing her comment "Or the ancients could not fly so they all followed the first ship to crash here"

Tempest mutters, "I didn't crash here by choice." Then again, she isn't from Cybertron either.

CatsCradle continues in her soft mutter. "Sooner or later, they might as well just knock on our door. 'Hey, we found something strange, does it belong to you?'"

Megatron says, "We have to secure the Heart of Cybertron before the Autobots get their rusty fingers on it!"

Soundwave touches the console controls again and keeps the ship's image frozen on screen. At the same time he plays back the news broadcast silently to himself, then translates the announcer's words into a map that he brings up on screen and superimposes it over the ship's image. The picture zooms in over the northern region of the South American continent in a tropical area, and a set of coordinates flash on screen.

Reflector looks up, intrigued. The ship that brought them here from Cybertron, found again. Highly interesting. Reflector muses to himself, looking up at it. What could be on there that could still be salvaged after four million years of exposure to the elements?

CatsCradle is startled out of her mutter. "The who?" she asks in a more normal volume.

Nightbird moves to Megatron's side and asks, "What is the Heart of Cybertron?"

Starscream breathes, "Do you think it will still work after all this time?"

Ravenwing recalls some old records and hmmmmms, but merely continues to listen to the fuss.

Tempest hates not knowing what's going on. She paces a little, impatient and restless, but cocking her head to listen to the response to the questions being asked. They have saved her the trouble of asking the same.

Soundwave says, "It does not appear that the hull has been breached. The human excavators may not have been able to reach it. Or so we can hope. And we will learn if the Heart still functions when we draw close. Its energy output will be unmistakable, now that the sediments have been cleared away."

Scorcher has no idea what everybody is fussing about, so she reached the end of her admittedly short attention span. She glances around for something interesting

Megatron tilts his head as he hears the voice of his mate. "It's the energy maximizer that powered our ship. It is small but very powerful."

Megatron says, "Of course it will work, Starscream.""

Nightbird says, "So that's the Star Drive then, the original ship you came in?"

Reflector shrugs, and steps back. He does not know what the Command Staff is speaking of, but if it is worth a recovery mission, then it will certainly be something that has the potential to win the war for them. The ship probably will not have much of its electronics intact after so long out in the open, but perhaps the interior of her has survived.

Megatron nods. "Yes, Nightbird, that is our ship." He takes a look at the map. "We will land several miles south of the target area then continue our way on the ground."

Tempest eyes Megatron, already knowing better than to ask him what he plans to do with it, and again feeling edgy for not knowing the answer already.

Starscream says, "We /must/ get to it before the blasted Autobots do!"

Megatron says, "Yes, and therefore we have to avoid satellite detection."

CatsCradle says softly, "They've probably seen the same news segment and will be on their way, knowing we'll be interested." She frowns. "But they do have the advantage. They don't have to sneak in."

Scorcher thinks of something, but keeps quiet, not wanting to be the one to point out the obvious

Nightbird stands silent, her thoughts her own. For those who know her, there seems to be a look of regret or disappointment to her optics.

Soundwave notes the reactions of those in the room, though his own expression does not change. He prepares to accompany Megatron.

Scorcher says, "We could attack some random human city to draw their attention away from the site?"

Nightbird says, "Surely they'd send a force to the ship anyway, if this Heart is so powerful."

Reflector looks up at the screen, and he asks, "What are we attempting to recover from the wreck, Commander? I do not believe that we will have sufficient time for a full recovery mission to get at whatever components of it remain salvageable..." Reflector shrugs.

Megatron says, "This time we will do it the quiet way. But no time to waste, Decepticons we head out!"

Soundwave nods to Scorcher as he considers her suggestion. "We may, however, require most of our fighting force to fend off the Autobots. We should lose no further time."

Tempest decides there's only one way to find out go along.

Starscream is already out of his chair, a model of cooperation--for once.

Nightbird performs her usual ritual of showing readiness by taking two shuriken and sharpening them against each other, giving off a shower of sparks.

Scorcher shrugs and checks her supply of energon and missiles, something she has become rather fanatic about lately


Neotropics <South America>

     The largest stretch of yet-undisturbed rainforest on the planet, the impenetrable Amazon region is drained by a series of rivers that converge into a tremendous channel of fresh water - so wide across at the delta that one cannot see the opposite bank. Mud and silt are carried eastward into the Atlantic Ocean; miles out to sea, it is still possible to gather fresh water from this source. The forest itself is characterized by a proliferation of bromeliads, parasitic fig trees, and strangler vines - plants upon plants, struggling for every possible moment of sunlight. The species diversity of animals, too, is the highest on the planet, having divided and subdivided the available niches among themselves, to the point that even the most dedicated study has not discovered half of what truly lives here. In the steaming forest, the heat and moisture in the air builds up by afternoon to be released in thunderstorms and downpours, feeding the endless cycle of precipitation and evaporation that nurtures this ecosystem.

Tempest draws her longblades, hacking her way through the jungle.

Far up in the sky, a dark blue speck begins descending, homing in on familiar Decepticon energy signatures.

Scorcher grimaces and remembers the last time she tried to force her way through a forest without being seen.

Soundwave lands with the others amidst the dense rainforest. The canopy closes in over them, though someone flying overhead and searching for Cybertronian energy signatures would surely detect such a sizable group.

Starscream grumbles, "This is stupid and a waste of time..." He aims his lasers at a big tree in their way, and misses it by a long shot.

Nightbird withdraws her hands, revealing buzzsaws. She begins to mow down trees with dispatch.

Megatron blasts a few tries. "Faster! Faster!" he orders, impatient.

Reflector follows along through the jungle after the others, his smaller form making it easier going through the deep underbrush.

Starscream shoots a look at Megatron. "It would go faster if we would fly!"

Soundwave ejects a multicolored series of tapes, who transform respectively into Frenzy, Ravage, and Buzzsaw. Frenzy lands on his feet, having just caught Starscream's shot at the tree, and laughs. "Nice shootin' - if you were aiming for the sky!"

Megatron contradicts: "No! We must remain on the ground to avoid satellite detection.

Skywarp Looks at the rest and walks closer to Starscream.

Ravage disappears off into the underbrush, scouting ahead.

Armada circles down towards the mass of signatures, finally transforming and materializing his plasma rifle into his hand, forced to float down through the vegetation, although he does earn a few good slaps in the face from tree branches. As he clears the canopy, his optics scan the group and he settles to the ground.

Scorcher frowns "I guess I can't burn down this organic mess"

Starscream grumbles, "At this rate we'll never get there before the Autobots do..." and then he shoots a dirty glance at Frenzy. "Shut up!"

Armada transforms into his Robot mode.

CatsCradle slips through the vegetation without needing to whack her way through it, gliding between trees and ducking under branches with the ease of someone used to making her way through thick Earth vegetation.

Skywarp looks at Starscream. "Perhaps your right!"

Unseen by Starscream, a large tube-like organic creature begins to descend a tree toward him.

Skywarp then shakes his head. "But then we do have to follow orders!"

Tempest detects the stranger and in a flash is crouching on the lower branches of the trees, glancing down at Armada like some sort of jungle predator herself. "Who are you?" she snaps.

CatsCradle glances up. "Starscream, watch out for the snake," she says without much concern.

Starscream says, "The what? I don't s..." And then he shrieks as the snake drops around his air intakes. "Get me!"

Scorcher whips around and aims her missiles at the strange transformer

Reflector walks along, heading through the underbrush, glad for once of his long recon missions in territory so he does not mind the battering that his frames will take when he finishes with this. At least they have plenty of water at the base to clean up with...

Frenzy, on the other hand, snickers and says, "Hey Starscream, hold that pose. I want to remember you like that."

Skywarp starts laughing at screamer. "Hahaha that looks perfect on you!"

CatsCradle shakes her head, but with a slight smile. "Get Reflector to take a picture," she suggests.

Starscream shrills, "Stop standing there like idiots and GET IT OFF ME!!"

Ravenwing follows the group, stepping so lightly as to almost go unheard. Not quite in this terrain, though she seems to slip through the vegetation without having to slash it too much. Her claws come in handy for this kind of work, but it will be annoying to clean them afterwards... This area reminds her of the jungles of Cartaila 2, but at least these plants aren't acidic. She rather disliked that planet. She listens intently in case anyone decides to approach them from behind, but is hampered by the noise. Starscream's loud, namesake screeches aren't helping much, either.

Soundwave is more interested in Armada's arrival than in Starscream's new pet, which he dismisses as harmless. Just an organic creature, after all, though a nicely marked one.

Skywarp grins. "Hey Starscream, why not stand still.."

Armada raises his rifle to his shoulder, non-threateningly. His optics glance over to Scorcher without concern at her weapons, then at Tempest. "Armada, of Valckasta," he answers simply. "I detected Decepticon signatures here, and when I neared, weapons fire... do you need assistance?"

CatsCradle laughs softly. "I'm not standing like an idiot... I'm standing like someone enjoying the show."

Reflector shrugs at CatsCradle, but dose as instructed, and takes a holopicture of Starscream and the Earth creature, his center form clicking for a moment as the shutter closes

Megatron says, "Starscream, stop behaving like a new creation and continue your work!"

Skywarp looks at Starscream. "Starscream, you're making us look bad!"

Tempest glances questioningly at Ravenwing, slinking forward from tree to tree...hardly cutting anything, more blending right in with the vegetation...until she is next to the female Valckastan. She gestures back towards Armada, a clear question "do you know him?" communicated without speaking a word.

Skywarp mutters. "not that we do already.."

Nightbird looks at Armada curiously, then absently draws her energy sword. She sets it to a low stun and takes a measured swipe at the organic entangling Starscream.

Starscream just wants this snake off of him!! He tugs at its tail, but it doesn't seem to want to let him go, and its coils are interfering with his lasers' aim.

Scorcher briefly glances sideways at Ravenwing, after hearing the stranger claim he is from Valckasta. She does not, however, stand down on his words alone

Frenzy, still snickering, comes up beside Starscream and reaches for a coil, but the animal seems fairly comfortable around Starscream's shoulders. The tongue flicks curiously.

Ravenwing has caught up due to the fuss with the unfortunate snake, and directs her silver gaze forward to Armada, her optics brightening with pleased recognition. "Indeed I do, Tempest." She quickens her step to close the distance, then inclines her head to new arrival. “Greetings, Armada, and welcome to the... to Earth."

Tempest nods to Scorcher...she can stand down. It's okay if Ravenwing recognizes the newcomer.

Skywarp walks closer towards Starscream. "I thought you were stronger, you would make a nice scarecrow though." then walks further with a mere grin on his face.

Soundwave observes, "It seems Earth has become a vacation spot for Valckastans of late." There's an amused harmonic to his words. He nods a greeting to Armada, however.

Nightbird puts her sword away and bows slightly to Armada.

Megatron shoots another group of trees. "Enough playing around now!"

Starscream feels a sudden relief as the snake's coils ease and the creature, mildly stunned, just slips off of his metal frame. He turns around, actually smiling as he prepares to thank the one Decepticon gracious enough to assist him... When he sees Nightbird, his optics flare in surprise and his smile fades into a biting of his lower lip.

Scorcher is relieved to be allowed to stand down. She did not fancy fighting the heavily armed stranger

Reflector watches the entire situation, and stands about calmly, shaking his heads. That was a mere distraction on their trip. As Armada arrives, he looks at the unfamiliar Decepticon, before commenting, "You have a rather unusual form. I have not seen anything like it before."

The snake lands mostly on Frenzy, who gives a surprised yelp. By reflex he catches the animal, which then recovers a little and slips off into the bushes.

Soundwave leaves the others to make their acquaintance and steps over to Megatron. "Ravage reports, Commander. He has found the site of the crash. We are very close."

Nightbird says, "Which direction Soundwave?"

Megatron nods to Soundwave. "Excellent..."

Starscream mumbles something inaudible under his breath. It's not an expression of thanks to Nightbird, but it isn't something nasty either, which is an improvement.

Skywarp smirks. "This walking is getting on my feet." then looks at Rumble and grins.

Ravage comes bounding back out of the underbrush as though to lead the others the way he came. A similarly-sized and shaped creature leaps out of the vegetation along with him, a large spotted cat that snarls a challenge at another jaguar entering its territory.

Reflector shrugs as the other animal approaches, and he makes a mental note to do further research no the wildlife of this planet. He makes no move without instructions, not wanting to intervene in this.

Tempest, reflexively, hunches her shoulders to show off her sharp wings and pointed air intakes, narrows her optics, and hisses back at the organic creature. Apparently they speak the same "language."

CatsCradle says in the same tone as before, "Starscream, watch out for the big kitty cat."

Armada gives a brief nod to Tempest, Soundwave, et al. "I had not intended to come here, I was enroute to the historical archive here for some information." His gaze turns towards Ravenwing, his own optics pulsing slightly in pleasure. "I did not know you would be here, Lady." He sketches a small bow, and makes a cursory glance at Starscream's histrionics with the snake. "My form," he replies to Reflector, "is unique to.... is unique." He ends enigmatically. "I offer my aid if you wish it, commander." This last to Megatron.

Starscream startles, half turning away...and then shoots Catscradle a dirty look. Nevertheless, he's willing to let someone /else/ play with that cat.

Skywarp tries to keep from laughing and gives Starscream a pat on the shoulder, but a little harder then normally.

CatsCradle laughs softly. "Hey, at least I warned you..."

Reflector nods to Armada, accepting that for now. Then he shrugs, "You were constructed off-world then, I assume? Your design has many unusual design elements in it that I have not ever observed in any encounters before. A curiosity, nothing more."

Ravage apparently doesn't speak the language, and isn't in the mood for a territorial challenge. He spins and fires off a missile, which impacts against a tree near the native cat, who thinks better of his bravado and races off into the jungle with an outraged roar.

Megatron, on their way towards the excavation site, takes Nightbird aside. "It seems something has been bothering you."

Skywarp picks up a rock and lays it on Starscream’s shoulder while innocently he says. "Hey Starscream what that on your shoulder?"

Scorcher steps away from the strangers and the seekers and into the direction that Ravage came from. She uproots the first tree she encounters, as it is merely twice her size

Nightbird says to Megatron quietly. "Nothing important. We can talk about it later."

Ravage turns just as quickly and leads the others onward.

Starscream jumps again with a loud "GAAAAAH!" and sees something fall from him...what could it be? Some sort of hideous oil-sucking leech? An Autobot tracker? A... A ROCK!? He gives a dirty look to Skywarp. "You're a real laugh riot," he mutters, trying to salvage what remains of his dignity.

Megatron nods. "Good.

Skywarp grins and says. "Common Screamer, a little joke won't kill you!"

Nightbird heads off after Ravage, using her energy sword now to cut down trees with a single swipe.

Scorcher follows Ravage, pushing her way through the trees without bothering to destroy them if she can push them aside far enough. She doesn't like forests, least of all forests like this that seem to enclose her from all sides

Reflector follows along after the group, not able to do much more than observe on his route, given the size differential. He will hopefully be able to assist more when they are able to break through the undergrowth, in locating the "Heart of Cybertron" onboard the <Star Drive.>

Armada maglocks the rifle to his hip and makes his way into a flanking/escort position near Ravenwing. Part of his duty as a Valckastan soldier, after all. "I was not constructed on Cybertron or Earth, no." Tight-lipped, it seems. "What is your goal here, if I may ask?" This asked of Scorcher.

Starscream leans over to Skywarp and mutters to his fellow Seeker, "Not in front of Ravenwing!"

Skywarp looks at his comrade and nods. "Allright.."

As the Decepticons make their way to the growth, they come across the clearing where the Star Drive lays buried.

Scorcher is startled to be addressed by the stranger she answers politely, if a bit distracted by her forcing her way through the dense forest "I am assigned here to get combat experience"

Tempest slinks forward, her optics darting forward. Fallen ship...loot...yes...

Soundwave steps out into the open area, noting the evidence of a hastily abandoned human camp, with excavation equipment still scattered about.

CatsCradle's voice comes out of the vegetation near Scorcher. "And while she's here, she gets to play Indiana Jones, Decepticon style

Starscream offers Skywarp a bit of a twisted grin. Starscream is in a rather mellow mood for him...

Ravenwing is somewhat amused at having gained an escort, but accepts the guard. She *does* have a bit of value to Valckasta, now doesn't she? Turning her attention to the crashed ship, she studies it with wry regret. She spent two million years searching for that craft, and all for nothing.

Emerging from the stone hillside of a hastily-deserted archaeological dig site, an immense metal form is revealed in strata that date to four million years ago. Only partially blasted free, the purplish-hued metal curves into the elegantly angular shape of a wing or tailfin. The huge circular exhaust ports of the powerful engines are clearly recognizable. Nothing like this could have been built on Earth. With some of the burden of the sediments cleared from its hull, a powerful energy signature is clearly detectable by Cybertronian technology.

Megatron looks at the ship. Finally they reached it and... before the Autobots got here.

Tempest looks around as if surprised the area is so quiet. The ship gleams before her, a prize waiting to be taken...

Nightbird takes up a lookout position, circling around the perimeter.

Reflector walks along curiously. Yes, it is their ship, that is plain to see. They have finally rediscovered the craft that bore them down to this Earth so many millions of years ago. Reflector shakes his head - this was a sight that he never did expect to see again. As the Decepticons head into the open, he transforms into his camera mode, scanning the ship over for any access points on it, and trying to determine how well it survived its four million years under rock.

CatsCradle glides out of the vegetation and crouches to gaze at the ship. She saw it launch so many years ago... then her mate, long before she knew him, went out in search of it, like so many others, and crash-landed on this world himself... and here it is now, like any other piece of wreckage.

Skywarp smirks. "looks old!"

Megatron walks over to the Star Drive. Carefully his hand brushes over the surface. Yes, the ship is still "intact". "Cut it open!" he orders.

Scorcher is not bothered by the buried ship. Instead she scans outward for possible intruders. Or Autobots approaching

Armada pauses just inside the clearing, optics narrowed as he looks around. "Rather hastily abandoned. Curious, and perhaps dangerous." He glances sidelong at his fellow Valckastan, noting her rather less-than-amused mood. Frowning, his Unicron-enhanced senses detect something.... unusual. "There is an odd, regular energy emission coming from inside the ship," he comments for whoever is listening.

Soundwave nods to Armada, drawing out a small hand-scanner to take a reading of his own. "Then the Heart of Cybertron is still functional after all these years."

Tempest whips out her blades, but hesitates. "Are there any chances that some onboard defense systems are still active?" Since the owners will for once give her forewarning, why not ask?

Ravenwing tends to agree with Nightbird and Scorcher's actions on securing the perimeter and does much the same, though still badly handicapped by all the fragging noise. It doesn't prevent her from using her optics, though. 'Tis likely that an alert went out, so she watches both the ground and the skies. She leaves the ship to the others.

Reflector watches, interested. The ship has survived remarkably intact, despite its age. "Our shipyards truly do produce excellent and durable craft," he muses, scratching at his chins.

Megatron says, "No risk, Tempest."

Tempest digs her blades into the hull and frowns. "Damn, Megatron, you sure built this thing sturdy didn't you?" She looks around for someone with a weapon who can weaken the metal for her as she wrenches the swords free.

Strange in particular to the recent arrivals on this world must be the ongoing chirp and hum of the insects, the calls of frogs and the various notes of birds in the trees. Even the distant hoot of a troop of howler monkeys sounds from the distance.

Skywarp walks up towards Tempest. "here I’ll help ya!"

Tempest stands back so Skywarp can fire.

Chasm flaps out of Soundwave and perches on his shoulder.

Skywarp nods to Tempest and says. "lets give it a try!" he then aims his rifles and gives a try, then decides to launch a rocket at it.

Soundwave stands back as Tempest's sword gouges into the almost impermeable hull of the ship.

Armada's optics widen at Skywarp and he barks out, unable to help himself, "I strongly recommend AGAINST artillery."

Chasm hmms, peering forward, always interested in the resale value of excavated items.

CatsCradle watches the effort, then tilts her head towards Megatron. "Didn't you bring the key?" she asks with a slight smile.

Tempest hesitates, waiting, watching to see. She doesn't care what they hit it with, as long as they make some cracks in the metal for her to exploit...

Soundwave notes to Chasm, "That is the ship upon which we arrived from Cybertron."

The missile impacts on the hull, and fortunately for all concerned makes just enough of a hole in the hull to expose some of the interior engine.

Megatron says, "Starscream lost it, Catscradle."

CatsCradle nods. "Ah, that makes more sense, then."

Skywarp smiles. "ok that is not what I expected though!"

Chasm flares his wings rather uncomfortably. "A serviceable old rust-bucket, I suppose."

Soundwave says, "I doubt that it will fly again. Its power source, however, will be invaluable to us."

Tempest's face twists into a grin, and very quickly she strikes at the hull with her swords, adding enough pressure to crack fragments of metal until there's a doorway there. This isn't just random slash and hack...she knows exactly where to press to open it up. You get the sense she's done this before.

CatsCradle grins again. "Hey, Temp, can you hot-wire it back to working again, too?"

Scorcher gets a bit bored when nothing happens and no Autobots approach to spoil the fun. She tries to aim for the invisible creatures that make so much of a racket

Starscream shoots a look at Megatron. "I did not For..." and then he breaks off, realizing it's a joke. Good humour indeed!

Armada clenches one hand at his side silently, reminded of a particular trigger-happy Sweep. But that was before he was marooned here. "Miss Ravenwing, may I suggest we take up a position out of the range of fire... or counter-fire?" He gestures towards an outcropping of rock.

Megatron watches the opening process.

Patches of silence fall here and there in the vegetation as the Decepticons circling the perimeter of the group pass by - but no sooner are they a few steps beyond again, than the insects and frogs start up all over again.

Tempest looks back at Catscradle. "Hey, if you wanted it to fly again, you should have told us /before/ we put stressfractures in the hull." But her grin shows that she's teasing.

Reflector watches as the ship is slowly torn open, and then prepares to follow along after the others inside to the interior. It should be interesting to see how much of it has survived.

Tempest peers inside and sniffs.

CatsCradle shrugs. "What do I know of such things? I was a scavenger, not a salvager."

As Tempest finishes cutting, a panel drops away, revealing a small glowing green lump of crystal.

Ravenwing lets herself become familiar with the sounds of the jungle, then slowly filters them out so she can concentrate on any intrusive noises. The gunfire doesn't help, obviously. Primus... her old Special Ops instructor would be furious at how noisy this operation is. Armada's voice catches her attention, and she nods. Might be able to hear better from there.

Soundwave steps forward as the many-edged crystal comes to light.

Chasm glides forward, his optics gleaming in the light of the crystal. "Mmmm, very nice..."

Megatron stares at the crystal. Yes, they found it! "After millions of years it's mine!" He addresses Soundwave: "Soundwave, cyber forceps!" There is a certain tone of enthusiasm in his voice.

Chasm edges ahead. "I'd better get close enough to examine that first, Soundwave..."

Tempest sniffs tentatively at the crystal. At Megatron's words she peers at him.../this/ is what they were looking for? "Is it a weapon?" she asks.

Starscream can't help moving forward for a look.

Armada half-crouches behind a boulder, frowning as he looks at the procedure. What in Unicron's name is that?

Reflector watches from the rear, unable to see over the other's shoulders, or into the ship. So, he merely turns around, and then peers out, joining the others that are working on watch duties.

Nightbird looks on somewhat interested, but splits her attention to the surrounding area.

Tempest looks at Catscradle. "No shame in that," she says, her voice strangely soft. "Sometimes I left things intact...if they were means to an end."

Soundwave does not miss the avarice in Chasm's manner, but obviously he's familiar with the design of the power source, as he explains, "You see, it appears to be suspended in a delicate setting, but in fact it can be easily removed and replaced if one knows precisely where to sever the connection." A pair of needle-tipped forceps slide out from his fingertips as he clips the green starburst loose and hands it to Megatron.

Chasm's optic follow the glowing crystal longingly. "Soundwave," he hisses, "He's just going to /waste/ it on some silly superweapon! It should be preserved, perhaps with a new filigree mounting..."

Soundwave says, "It is not a *decoration*, Chasm."

Megatron takes the crystal. "The heart of Cybertron... This tiny energy maximizer powered our ship all the way from Cybertron to this miserable planet." He hands it back to Soundwave.

Chasm sighs, "But Soundwave... this delicate crystalline beauty should be preserved, not expended on a another attempt to rid the world of Autobots..."

CatsCradle shrugs again, her face expressionless. "Guess someone had to make use of what you left behind, Temp." She tilts her head to look at the crystal. "Probably a good thing no one like us were on this planet, or there wouldn't be a ship to find, much less a glowing-energy-thingie."

Starscream looks at Megatron. "What are you going to do with it?" His mind races. "We could have Soundwave develop a cannon that could focus the power..." Oh, how he wants to come up with a good idea.

Megatron lays down on the floor, giving the answer: "Soundwave, implant it inside me."

Skywarp looks around at the surrounding with an sense of security.

Soundwave accepts the crystalline starburst back from Megatron. "I can think of no better use for it." He looks questioningly at his leader, expecting a plan for a cannon of some kind as well, but he would have guessed Megatron would want to hang onto this prize himself.

Reflector watches, and then continues peering over the horizon, looking for any approaching Autobots, and then looks for any of them that would be coming. He shrugs as he hears the instructions, "Is that a safe procedure to undergo?"

Tempest laughs again to CatsCradle, "I dunno, Cats, pirates are really just glorified scavengers...we cleaned things to the bone." And destroyed whatever they couldn't take more often than not.

CatsCradle's optics go wide. "Well... that's something I wouldn't have expected..."

Tempest too suddenly startles. "What?!" She stares at Megatron. Surprise outweighs caution and she blurts, "Are you sure that's a good idea?"

Soundwave too looks a little surprised at Megatron's words. "Commander, I would not advise this course of action," he begins.

Starscream looks irritated...why should /MEGATRON/ be the one to get all the power?

Nightbird looks at the little crystal carefully. "It's not dangerous?"

Chasm shudders as if in pain... He covers his optics with his paws. "Nooo. I can't watch this travesty... So glittery...."

Armada grunts slightly, peering over at Soundwave, Megatron and the Heart. This seems like a bad idea to him, but its not his place to say. If it were Thunderwing, maybe. "I am not familiar with this.. Heart, my lady. Are you?"

Megatron says, "I don't need an advice. Implant it."

Tempest grits her teeth and forces herself to give Nightbird a glance, then she looks at Megatron, then back to Nightbird, trying to silently ask, "Can't /you/ say anything he'll listen to?"

Out of nowhere, a loud cough can be heard. "Ahem!" The Constructicon exclaims, as if to bring attention upon himself. "My dear Soundwave, it is not that I doubt in your abilities as a surgeon, but I believe your capabilities are far too inferior, and might increase the risks of a bad implantation, perhaps you should let this work to someone with slightly more expertise in such area than you are?" He says, folding his arms against his chest, a tight little sneaky smile crossing his lips, but of course, everyone knew Hook meant himself to replace Soundwave in doing such job.

Soundwave is about to bring up previous incidents - the antimatter cubes, for example - but he knows better than to argue with Megatron when the Decepticon leader is determined to pursue a risky but potentially beneficial course.

Ravenwing comments softly, the majority of her attention still outward, "There are records of high-powered energy sources, but I'm not particularly familiar with them."

Chasm suggests desperately, "Soundwave, allow me to get a few prices for it first. Think of the funds we could pump back into the Decepticon war machine. I'd be the agent, of course."

Soundwave regards Hook. "If you wish to implant the device, Hook, I have no doubt of your ability to do so." He hands the starburst to Hook, responding neither verbally nor in any other manner to Hook's implied insult to his abilities. He has no doubt of his own skills.

CatsCradle's expression closes off completely at the sound of Hook's voice, and she melts further back into the jungle, the vegetation closing after her, and she nestles down to watch from a more non-visible site.

Soundwave reprimands Chasm, "Silence, Chasm. It must be intact to function. We will find you some other sparkly toy."

Starscream is torn. On one hand he doesn't want Megatron to have that much power...on the other hand, if this doesn't work, then Starscream is leader by default. Maybe part of him...a /small/ part..would miss Megatron, but who is he to argue with natural selection?

Megatron says, "Soundwave, get Chasm quiet or I will sell him to the highest bidder!"

Reflector settles onto the horizon, peering out to look for any Autobots, while one of him turns around to watch the procedure. This should be interesting, at least. He does not agree with this course of action, but Megatron is their leader, and it is his decision to make.

Tempest stays surprisingly out in the open and watches this operation, her expression mostly blank but showing the odd trace of dismay.

Nightbird moves over to Megatron, her optics concerned. She too isn't going to argue about it, but doesn't appear happy.

The smile upon Hook's faceplate widens slightly as Soundwave hands over the device. With a slight bow, Hook nods to Soundwave. "Fortunately, you know it is better that way, oh commander Soundwave." He states with his ever so annoying nail-board voice. The Constructicon takes a few steps forward, now with the device in hands, going for Megatron. "Well, let's begin this shall we?"

Armada stands up fully from his protected position. He figures if this power source explodes now, combined with Megatron's own power source, a few measly rocks won't make a difference.

Chasm sulks, "Sparkly toys? Is that all they think I care for?"

CatsCradle's voice comes out of the jungle. "Yes."

Chasm mutters, "As if I wanted her opinion anyway..."

Megatron says, "Stop talking and start working, Hook."

Tempest for some reason isn't paying that much attention to her surroundings, though every once in a while she glances about...her gaze seems riveted on Megatron.

Ravenwing lets her attention drift for just a few seconds, and offers Armada a look of amusement before refocusing them on the jungle and the sky. "Entertaining, no? At least there are several here who display some modicum of common sense and are paying attention to the surroundings, and not the 'sparkly toy'."

Reflector looks off into the distance, two of him starting in opposite directions to maximize their viewing angles, while the third watches the operation. Reflector declines to comment - Megatron has made his decision, and nothing can dissuade him. Who knows, it might very well be the instrument that leads to the destruction of the Autobots. The higher the risk, the higher the potential gain...

Armada refrains from commenting on how he really feels, but his optics glow slightly as he says more diplomatically, "Perhaps, though I do not agree that this... wilderness is the proper venue for an experimental surgical procedure on the supreme commander of the Decepticons."

Hook nods to Megatron slowly. "But of course my Lord!" He states. Bringing his optics on the device, than back at Megatron's chest, Hook opens up some sort of panel within the Decepticon's lord chest, revealing all his wires inside and his internal stuff. Taking the device and slowly, yet graciously putting it in centimeter by centimeter, carefully, as nimble as a fairy, Hook installs it in, as if this was a simple task. Probably it is too.

Tempest says, almost inaudibly, "I hope he thought this through..."

Scorcher is definitely not looking at that procedure

Soundwave does not remark about how simple a surgery it really was. Let Hook retain his pride.

Nightbird's optics glow with concern as she studies Megatron.

Ravenwing answers cryptically, "One who gambles frequently, though he may win to start with, is gradually using up his good luck. If he continues to push it, one day, it *will* fail."

Soundwave's highly-tuned hearing picks up Ravenwing's words. Secretly he agrees, and regards Megatron carefully.

Megatron seems to be all concentrated on the connections that were built up inside of his chest.

Tempest observes Megatron, her optics glittering. She waits to see what will happen.

Starscream sneers, "I don't see any difference..."

Chasm looks at Megatron rather skeptically.

Reflector does not comment, hoping that they will succeed with this plan - and if it backfires, that they will be able to salvage Megatron. With Hook and Soundwave, they should be able to do anything short of raising the dead, so they will hopefully be able to prevent anything critical from happening.

Hook takes a step back, closing the panel on Megatron's chest. "Operation completed and successful!" He states.

Megatron answers, smiling: "I know." He gets back on his feet. "Already, I feel its power flowing through my circuits."

Suddenly, a group of Autobots step from the forest to the rim of the clearing where the Decepticons are. Optimus Prime looks down on his adversary and says, "You'll need every bit of it Megatron. Autobots, take them out!"

Chasm eeps and scrabbles back into Soundwave.

Tempest's head snaps upward. Leave it to the Autobots.... And just when for once she /doesn't/ want to fight. She wants to keep an optic on Megatron.

Scorcher mutters something uncomplimentary about the wildlife of this world conspiring with the autobots

Reflector whirls around, facing the Autobots, seeking to all back behind cover. This is bad... How were the Autobots able to sneak up on their watchers? Reflector will attempt to sort that out later as he draws his lasers, and waits for instructions from Megatron.

Thundercracker has been standing in mute silence the whole while, secretly hoping that this would be the answer to their victory. He silently breathes a sigh of relief, as Megatron appears fully functional. At the opportune Autobot arrival, loads up his firearms, and waits for the signal to fire.

Scorcher fires two missiles in the direction of the Autobots to buy herself some time to transform

Prime cooly blows up Scorcher's missiles as she fires them, then trains his rifle on Megatron.

Scorcher takes off, to get out of easy brawling range from the Autobots

Starscream opens fire on the lesser ranking Autobots, but not on Prime...let Megatron show what he's capable of!

Megatron just smirks, pointing his hands at Prime. No, he is not using his cannon this time; purple beams of energy discharge from his fingers, hitting the Autobot leader hard.

CatsCradle melts out of the jungle next to Sunstreaker as he starts to dive into the fray and swings him up against the nearest tree, using his own momentum against him. "I want to have a little chat with you about this rivalry you have with my mate," she says pleasantly. "I'm going to end it, now." She draws her sword and slashes at the Autobot.

Prime takes the blast right in the chest, and it seems to laugh off his armor integrity field. It makes a nice smoking hole, and Prime falls down the cliffside.

Flying high overhead Scorcher sees Megatron hit Optimus and mutters "Oh my"

Sunstreaker is caught by surprise, thinking all the Decepticons were in the clearing. He takes Cats’ sword on the shoulder.

Tempest holds her swords, waiting for the Autobots to approach...and startles as Megatron's shot takes Optimus down! Maybe this new augmentation is all right after all...She transforms and leaps skyward.

Reflector opens fire at the Autobots, his three bodies blasting away at them from behind one of the human's upended excavation pieces that he's using as cover. The Triplets try to give his comrades cover fire, and pepper the Autobots with laser fire.

Soundwave is as surprised as anyone at the sudden arrival of the Autobots, and chastises himself silently. He *knew* they were on their way, but got too involved watching the operation. Now he spins about and draws his weapon to fire at their attackers.

Nightbird only pauses for a moment to look at the power pouring from Megatron's hands, then start to angle toward the Bots.

Thundercracker lets a low whistle sound from his mouth. "Impressive," he notes of Megatron's newly synthesized abilities. He then takes to the air, using the altitude advantage over the Autobot forces.

Thundercracker transforms into his Blue F-15 mode.

Scorcher angles upward to stay above Powerglide, to prevent him from interfering with the fight below

Turning around on his feet as he hears some noises coming, Hook chuckles slightly to himself. "My, my! Seems like we got a little party here don't we?" He folds his arms against his chest, looking around at all the Autobots and Decepticons as they engage their fight. "Too bad none of the presents opponents are worthy to fight with the perfection..." He comments to himself, swirling around to find out all the mistakes that his comrades are doing and to, perhaps bore them as he tries to tell them what to do. Although, the Constructicon's eyes halt upon the vision of one tiny Autobot...

"You!" He yells. "Ahahah!! You thought you could escape the mighty Hook?" He asks out loud, his smile widening. "Ahahahaha! This time, you won't get away, because I have a little treat for you, a surprise!" He turns around, taking out a few large piece of something out from subspace, slowly attaching them all together, making some sort of long lance or gun, hard to tell. "Behold, my little bumblebee friend! The almighty, Magnatron Spear of Destruction of Death that kills!!" He coughs slightly and frowns. "Ahem, I'll think of a better name later, probably like the Hook Cannon 2002, but for now, you shall fall under my hand!!"

Soundwave keeps a fraction of his attention on Megatron, despite having to leap aside to dodge shots from the attackers and return their fire. The power source *seems* to be working for him perfectly. Perhaps he was wrong to be concerned.

Tempest fires off wild strafing laser shots into the Autobot ranks.

Megatron laughs. "Come on, Autobots,attack!" he challenges the enemy, but does not really leave them time to react.

Rapidly, the energy beams discharging from Megatron's fingers, taking the Autobots down easily - one after the other.

The Autobots seem stunned that Megatron felled Optimus so easily, but they none-the-less take to the offensive. Ironhide says, "Come on guys, we can take em!" and fires at Megatron.

Reflector continues pouring a cover fire to his comrades, trying to keep the Autobots pinned down for Megatron to take them out. He looks - this was rather unexpected, but it is certainly most welcome.

Scorcher makes use of Powerglide being distracted by the goings on on the ground and fires a missile at him

Starscream doesn’t' want Megatron to hog all the glory and he targets his nullrays on Prowl.

Bumblebee backs away slowly from Hook and looks around. "Uhm. Ironhide? Hoist? Anyone? A little help here?"

Megatron ducks behind a bolder to avoid Ironhide's shot. Then he raises his hands at Ironhide and the energy emerges from his fingers...

The rest of the Autobots don't seem able to do much as they fall one after the other from Megatron's blasts.

Soundwave targets Ironhide, who seems to be taking charge of things, and unleashes a blast of plasma fire.

Soundwave's firepower is pretty much superfluous, though, as their super-powered leader is having no trouble all on his own.

Reflector opens fire at Cliffjumper, pouring fire at the small Autobot, and then his three parts shift their fire frequently, not firing so much to hit, but to keep their opponents from hitting them.

Megatron attacks Ironhide with cannon3, and strikes him!
Ironhide attacks Megatron with laser, but misses him!

Starscream attacks Prowl with NULL RAY, but misses him!
Prowl attacks Starscream with laser, but misses him!

Thundercracker is busy streaking back and forth to rain incendiary fire onto the Autobots, attempting to herd them towards the Megatron pit of doom in the center.

Starscream curses as his attack misses! However, he does jump clear before Prowl can return fire.

Reflector attacks Cliffjumper with laser, but misses him!
Cliffjumper attacks Reflector with laser, and strikes him!

Megatron attacks Sunstreaker with cannon3, but misses him!
Sunstreaker attacks Megatron with laser, but misses him!

Thundercracker attacks Warpath with laser1, and strikes him!
Warpath attacks Thundercracker with laser, but misses him!

Reflector fires again at Cliffjumper, wincing as the laser bites deep into him. That hurt... He continues pouring out the fire at the Autobots, but making more of an effort to stay down behind cover.

Soundwave attacks Ironhide with laser, and strikes him!
Ironhide attacks Soundwave with laser, but misses him!

Scorcher smirks as Powerglide gets engulfed in a fireball and spirals down, straight in the path of Megatron's fire

Megatron attacks Bluestreak with cannon3, and strikes him!
Bluestreak attacks Megatron with laser, but misses him!

CatsCradle grins as her sword bites into Sunstreaker, pinning him into the tree. "Okay... this is fun... no, see, as long as the two of you are alive, my mate will take it upon himself to try and pound the both of you to the ground." She ducks as Megatron fires at her target and Sunstreaker in a confused panic shoots back. "Stop that," she scolds and fires point blank at Sunstreaker.

Megatron attacks Hoist with cannon3, and strikes him!
Hoist attacks Megatron with laser, but misses him!

CatsCradle attacks Sunstreaker with laser, but misses him!
Sunstreaker attacks CatsCradle with laser, but misses her!

Megatron attacks Ironhide with cannon3, and strikes him!
Ironhide attacks Megatron with laser, but misses him!

Megatron attacks Hoist with cannon3, and strikes him!
Hoist attacks Megatron with laser, but misses him!

Reflector attacks Cliffjumper with laser, but misses him!
Cliffjumper attacks Reflector with laser, and strikes him!

Megatron attacks Bluestreak with cannon3, but misses him!
Bluestreak attacks Megatron with laser, and strikes him!

Megatron attacks Wheeljack with cannon3, and strikes him!
Wheeljack attacks Megatron with laser, but misses him!

Reflector is hurt now, and he ducks back down behind cover, wincing as his neural net is partially disrupted from teh damage. Getting up, he shakily tries to open fire once again.

Reflector attacks Cliffjumper with laser, and strikes him!
Cliffjumper attacks Reflector with laser, but misses him!

Megatron attacks Tracks with cannon3, and strikes him!
Tracks attacks Megatron with laser, but misses him!

Thundercracker zips lower to fire on Warpath, who seems to be straying. Pulling back into the sky, he narrowly dodges the return laser power.

Megatron attacks Bluestreak with cannon3, and strikes him!
Bluestreak attacks Megatron with laser, and strikes him!

Megatron attacks Tracks with cannon3, and strikes him!
Tracks attacks Megatron with laser, but misses him!

Thundercracker attacks Warpath with incendiary, and strikes him!
Warpath attacks Thundercracker with laser, but misses him!

CatsCradle scolds Sunstreaker again, as he both manages to duck and fire back at her while pinned to the tree. "I said stop that. Now, rather than having to yell at my mate after every battle, I figure if I just take one of you out..." she fires again.

Megatron attacks Ironhide with cannon3, and strikes him!
Ironhide attacks Megatron with laser, but misses him!

Reflector fires one last burst at Cliffjumper, trying to keep his opponent pinned down, and then he looks around at the battle - the Decepticons are apparently doing quite well...

Megatron attacks Tracks with cannon3, and strikes him!
Tracks becomes deactivated from severe damage.

Reflector attacks Cliffjumper with laser, and strikes him!
Cliffjumper attacks Reflector with laser, but misses him!

Megatron attacks Ironhide with cannon3, and strikes him!
Ironhide becomes deactivated from severe damage.

CatsCradle attacks Sunstreaker with laser, and strikes him!
Sunstreaker attacks CatsCradle with laser, but misses her!

Megatron attacks Bluestreak with cannon3, and strikes him!
Bluestreak becomes deactivated from severe damage.

Thundercracker attacks Warpath with incendiary, and strikes him!
Warpath attacks Thundercracker with laser, but misses him!

Megatron attacks Hound with cannon3, and strikes him!
Hound becomes deactivated from severe damage.

Megatron attacks Warpath with cannon3, and strikes him!
Warpath becomes deactivated from severe damage.

Reflector barely dodges the blast from Cliffjumper, and then he circles around, his three parts splitting up in an effort to force him to split his fire, while Reflector can hit at him from better angles, rather than by being all clustered together.

Reflector attacks Cliffjumper with laser, but misses him!
Cliffjumper attacks Reflector with laser, but misses him!

Megatron attacks Gears with cannon3, and strikes him!
Gears becomes deactivated from severe damage.

Wheeljack mutters to himself, "We're getting killed here. We need a distraction."

Soundwave raises his weapon and holds his fire, seeing as Megatron's powerful blasts are really doing the job for them. One by one, Autobots are felled, though laser blasts still slash randomly through the area.

Megatron fires the energy beams randomly at the incoming Autobots. He really seems to enjoy his new power.

Nightbird has kept her ground, not wanting to get in close combat range with a Bot while Megatron is so handily dispatching them.

Smokescreen hears Wheeljack's words and leaps into action, folding down into his car mode and roaring forward, emitting a thick cloud of noxious black smoke that obscures all sight in short order.

Megatron attacks Cosmos with cannon3, and strikes him!
Cosmos becomes deactivated from severe damage.

"Help?" Hook concurs. "Ahaha! Don't make me laugh little one! None of them are worthy enough to be victim of my new weapon except you!" Hook slowly but surely, with an ultimate effort put the long piece of metal on his shoulder, slowly aiming the triangular crystal shaped end toward Bumblebee. "But for now my friend, you shall fall before the might of Hook!!" He laughs out loud all maniacally like, it's almost scary, if someone didn't know Hook, of course, that is. Putting himself into some sort of combat posture, his feet both separated as if he was ready to take a big blast, Hook activates a few buttons on his cannon.

Slowly but surely, the cannon begins to hum, and the noise becomes louder and louder and louder, particles of light are going from the back to the front, a huge ball of light starting to appear right in front of the cannon, arc of lightning maintaining it on the cannon. "Ahahaha! Full Power on! Magnatron Strike Level 3... Level three being." He narrows his optics and states almost darkly. "Total Annilihation!" With that, he pushes the button upon his weapon and...

KABOOM!!!! No, unlike his other invention, this one doesn't explode and take out everything in a fifty mile radius, no. It does seem to work this time, it sends one powerful blast upon Bumblebee, right into him! Probably four time the size of a Fusion Cannon shot beam. What makes it look so fearful is that the beam is constant, it doesn't stop! The only problem with that is... It's so powerful that... Well Hook can't stand the force of the pression as he fires with his gun... What happens?

The Construction, after he hit the 'fire' button, is sent flying backward at incredible speed! A speed that Blurr would be jealous of! He's sent flying out in the forest along with his cannon and Hook is nowhere to be seen afterward. Of course, the beam didn't manage to remain straight for more than six seconds, probably enough to touch Bumblebee, but that little brat as been lucky enough in the past days to actually avoid the destruction.

Thundercracker lands and transforms next to the fallen body of Warpath. The situation seems good at the moment, as he watches several unfortunate Autobot units take the beatings of their lives.

Megatron attacks Prowl with cannon3, and strikes him!
Prowl becomes deactivated from severe damage.

Prime manages to get himself to his feet and back up the cliff. "Good work Smokescreen. Now Autobots, shoot the hills!" The few remaining Autobots fire at the hills, bringing rocks down on all the Decepticons in Megatron's area.

Tempest  flying overhead, loses interest in improving her sharpshooting as the hillside begins to crumble.

Starscream flings his arms over his head as he's buried by falling rocks.

CatsCradle grins as her shot hits Sunstreaker square on... of course, at this range, it would be difficult to miss, although the 'bot does keep squirming. Then Smokescreen's namesake billows across them. Blindly, she grabs at her sword and pulls it free. She hears the rumbling of avalanching rocks and immediately jumps to the sky.

Soundwave is engulfed in smoke, not daring to fire, and with all the commotion it's hard to pick any target by sound alone. There's that strange sound from Hook's new weapon, for instance, and a crashing noise - then the entire hillside comes down.

Megatron groans: "Arg! Can't see." as Smokescrean's camouflage smoke surround him. The next he realizes is a hill crashing down on him.

Thundercracker narrowly ducks several intimidating looking boulders that crash home, only to be rather unlucky as one connects with his head, and knocks him into a pile of the fragments.

The Autobots use Smokescreen's cover to gather their wounded and flee the area.

Scorcher fires a pair of missiles at the fleeing Autobots

Optimus Prime uses the rarely seen gun in his trailer to fire back at Scorcher, trying to discourage pursuit.

Scorcher yelps as a rather huge blast of laserfire is aimed her way and quickly keeps her distance before her wings get more than a bit singed

Tempest keeps firing if only to make sure the Autobots go away...once they exit the vicinity she's using her blades to pry rocks free.

Tempest snaps, "Forget the Autobots...get down here and help me dig!"

CatsCradle sputters as the smoke irritates her optics, then rubs them free and darts down to start rolling rocks aside.

Thundercracker is dazedly mumbling what sounds like, "Should have stayed in the air..."

Reflector is buried by the onslaught of rocks, having been using them for cover. The Triplets are caught fast in them, and take further damage. With his neural net disrupted by the chaos, Reflector transforms into his camera mode to minimize the impact area of damage that he will take when the boulders come tumbling down.

CatsCradle shoves at a rock. "What is it," she grumbles, "about Decepticons finding themselves under large piles of rocks. It's becoming a habit..."

Tempest calls out, "Can you hear me in there?" as she digs through the rocks, hoping for some response...

Nightbird hasn't been crushed, but isn't in a position to move much at all. As Tempest gets near her, she calls out, "Here."

Scorcher, her wings still smoking slightly, transforms and lands to help the others with unearthing the buried Decepticons

The pile of broken rock covering Soundwave shudders a little as he tries to push against it.

Tempest's lip curls...why can't these things ever be she focuses in on Nightbird's voice and continues to dig, hoping for a glimpse of grey metal, half wondering why she's doing this.

Reflector is in his camera mode, broadcasting a homing beacon to guide the other Decepticons to him - had he not transformed in time, he would have been crushed into emergency stasis.

Starscream's shrilling cry echoes weakly from under some boulders...

Slowly but surely, out of the forest, struggling his way out, Hook appears. "Arg, I should have calculated more about the recoil of that powerful blast." He states. He attempts to stride further back toward the others, but something is holding his right leg. Turning around back with a slight grunt, Hook eyes a few wines that swirled around his legs and tries to get his leg out of it. "I hate nature, I hate this stupid place and most definitely, I hate that stupid Bumblebee!" With that, as he yells his last word, he manages to get his foot out of the wines, but promptly fall back on the ground with a loud -thud-

Time passes as the Decepticons not caught by the Bots' simple-minded yet effective trap dig out their comrades. No one has been killed fortunately, but all those buried have suffered some form of injury.

Scorcher frowns "Where is Long Haul when you need him"

CatsCradle claws at the dirt wedging one rock in. "That's it." She decides. "I'm adding Falling Rocks to my list. No more zombies, viruses, giant children and FALLING ROCKS!" She sets her shoulder to the rock and shoves hard. "After all this, there damn well better be someone under this one."

Megatron is surrounded by darkness, tons of boulders piled on top on him. But since when has he been the one to been stopped so easily?

Thundercracker has only a wing tip that emerges from a cluster of the rock pieces, which are seem to be moving as he tries to shuffle himself out of the mess. His head in pounding like there's no tomorrow...

Reflector is still broadcasting his homing beacon, in such an enclosed space that he is unable to free himself. Luckily, thanks to his integration, he is able to work at reinitializing his neural net.

Scorcher jumps aside to avoid being crushed by the boulder that Cats pushed aside

Starscream coughs as he's dug free, trying to clear the soil out of his air intakes. "About.../time/ dug me out."

Soundwave is finally freed by those who have fortunately not been caught in the landslide, and stands, his blue armor dusty and dented.

Nightbird flexes, stretching her back out and trying to see if anything is severely damaged. She nods to Tempest in thanks for getting her out.

Megatron breaks out of the rocks when the burden on top of him gets thinner. He looks around. "Damage report!" he orders.

Thundercracker stumbles around for a bit, and looks slightly shaken as he tries to makes sense of direction.

Tempest says nothing snide, doesn't even scowl, simply nods to Nightbird in return. Simply business, yes? She looks a lot more relieved when she sees Megatron free.

CatsCradle stands up to look around, counting noses.

Reflector is slowly taken out of the rubble, and he is on rather shaky legs. He turns to Megatron, and then requests, "Permission to enter stasis until repairs have been performed, Commander? My mindnet is somewhat shaky and unstable, due to the damage that I have suffered..."

Nightbird turns to Megatron as well, taking guard position near him. "We all seem to be functional."

Scorcher nods

Starscream scowls. "I've had /better/ endings to a fight..." and he admits, begrudgingly, "but I've also had worse."

Megatron sees that Nightbird is functional, and Tempest is as well. He is obviously relieved.

Soundwave looks around, evaluating everyone's condition. Some are a little worse for wear than others.

Scorcher speaks up hesitantly to Megatron "Sir, the Autobots escaped. I could not track them and assist in the rescue of those trapped under the rocks" She does not mention that she was hardly eager to pursue while being shot at by Prime

Megatron says, "Hook, Soundwave, take care of the damages. We others will guard the ship."

Soundwave thinks Reflector took the worst of it, as he instinctively shifts back to camera mode to re-integrate his three bodies. He picks up the little camera and opens an access panel, to make a few adjustments.

Megatron says, "It was clever of Prime to collapse this hill on us. But he only succeeded in postponing the inevitable."

Thundercracker leaves for the area perimeter, after making sure the impact didn't do any conscious damage, to keep guard in case more umwelcome visitors show up.
Tempest slinks over to Megatron and mutters, "Are you feeling all right?" She doesn't specify whether she means the aftermath of the hillside bit or if she means the Heart.

Night falls on the jungle area as Hook and Soundwave complete what field repairs they can to the Decepticons. No further Autobots activity has been sighted, and even the annoying humans haven't made an appearance.

Megatron suddenly does something strange. He forms a cube and - without another energy source around - it starts to fill with energy in his hands.

Nightbird looks over to Megatron as her optics sparkle. "A useful trick when we're not near a power source."

Megatron says, "The power of the Heart of Cybertron."

Reflector gets up, and then nods his thanks to Soundwave as his systems are stabilized. Checking his internal linkup systems, and his neural net, he sees that tall are working in acceptable order, and he splits apart.

Tempest watches Megatron's act of creation in honest amazement, the emotion showing plainly on her face. What has Megatron /become?/

Soundwave makes a few more rounds, checking on everyone, noting in particular the Valckastan visitors. Unfortunate, that their first adventure on Earth should be so chaotic - but then again, there were no serious damages. He returns to Megatron's side just in time to see him fill up an energon cube with the power pouring from his own circuits through the Heart of Cybertron.

Starscream walks over to Ravenwing. "Lady Ravenwing...are you feeling all right, after our altercation with the Autobots?"

Megatron creates the next cube after the first is finished - one after the other.

Ravenwing snorts. "I am well enough, Air Commander, just vastly disappointed in myself. I was actively on duty, listening, and I failed to hear the Autobots' approach."

Nightbird takes a few cubes and looks to Megatron. "I'll distribute these to everyone."

Megatron nods to Nightbird, continue to create cubes.

Reflector shrugs at Ravenwing, "It was a shared failure. We concentrated our lookouts on one approach, and the Autobots were lucky enough to come from an angle where our watchers were more thinly spread."

Soundwave concurs, "We could all do with some refueling."

Nightbird hands out energon cubes to everyone, one each.

Starscream takes a cube for himself and one for Ravenwing without even a nasty glance at Nightbird. He offers Ravenwing the cube. "I can't wait until we get rid of those pesty Autobots!"

Nightbird naturally keeps one for herself and takes a drink. Her optics sparkle and she seems to relax ever so slightly.

Tempest sniffs curiously at the cube. Is this thing all right to drink? She cautiously takes a tiny sip.

CatsCradle shakes her head at the sight of the spontaneously created energon cubes. She turns one around in her hands, thoughtfully. "Sure would have been useful a few million years ago," she murmurs.

Scorcher takes the energon cube and tastes is reluctantly

Reflector takes an energon cube from Nightbird, nodding his thanks, and he splits it into three smaller ones, which he then consumes.

Ravenwing had almost forgotten just how little she thinks of the Air Commander, and he's not making it any easier for her with his courtesy. Inwardly sighing, she accepts the cube with graceful thanks and sips.

Megatron finally gets to an end, having produced enough cubes for everyone. He takes a seat on the ground.

Starscream takes a drink and actually breaks out into a grin. "Hey, this is pretty good."

Soundwave settles himself, checks in mentally with his creations and calls them to him so they can partake of the fuel. He lifts the glowing cube to his facemask and drinks, this time keeping his audial sensors tuned to the surroundings. The jungle noises chirp melodically around them.

Megatron rises his own cube: "Decepticons, a toast: to the imminent destruction of the accursed Autobots!

Tempest hesitates, feeling a little funny. Once again she ponders the wisdom of consuming this. tastes so good! She breaks into a smile and raises her cube enthusiastically.

Rumble grins, as he regards the process by which the cubes are created. "We won't have to conserve after today!"

Ravenwing isn't particularly impressed by toasts, but sips again.

Megatron takes a long swig, nearly emptying his cube.

Starscream smirks as well. "We can drink this planet dry!" he replies, touching his cube to Rumbles.

Nightbird takes another longer drink, and relaxes a bit further.

Soundwave raises his cube a little and nods to Megatron. For some reason he feels quite comfortable here in these alien surroundings tonight.

CatsCradle glances up at that. "If we drink it dry, it becomes useless to us."

Tempest sips contentedly at her energy cube, enjoying its flavour. Is it her or does everything seem a little more vivid? For some reason she can't bring herself to /care/ about that. She feels truly happy here in the Decepticon ranks.

Reflector takes a hesitant sip of the energon, before completely consuming it. His systems are now at full charge, and he begins to feel intoxicated with power. They could take on the Autobots and completely wipe them out...

Ravenwing arches a brow as this is rather stronger than it seems. Interesting aftertaste, too. She considers sending some back to her Lord, if it's still available.

Megatron rises the cube again. "Energy!"

Soundwave finishes his cube, and tilts his head a little as though puzzled. What an unusual sensation. He's too content to question it too closely, though, as all seems to be peaceful.

CatsCradle sips at her own cube, but doesn't comment on it.

Nightbird finishes her usual one cube to get a full recharge and actually settles back against the rock near her. Somehow this isn't what she was expecting..

Tempest thinks nothing at all of curling up beside Megatron. The whole world is spinning a little and she leans her head against his shoulder to make it go away.

Laserbeak takes to the air as though to fly a victory round above the group, but something goes haywire with his stability systems and he spirals back down to the ground, landing/crashing next to his creator and siblings and looking a little embarrassed.

Scorcher carefully puts her cube down after sipping off it a bit. She is beginning to feel a buzzing in her head

Starscream raises his cube in toast to Ravenwing. "To our victory!"

Rumble echoes the words of his idolized leader: "Energy!" He flops back on his back, watching the stars waver slightly in his vision.

Ravenwing ponders warning the Air Commander, or letting him make a fool of himself... Decisions, decisions. She finally says, "It's a bit potent, Air Commander. You might want to take care in how much you imbibe." He's being polite, after all, frag it.

Reflector looks around, trying to keep things in focus. Then, for no particular reason, all three of him rear their heads back and start laughing - the laugher is fraught with discord, and is out of sync.

CatsCradle squints into the cube, suspiciously. "Has a kick like one of Diktat's martinis," she mutters.

Nightbird's optics dim a bit and she finds it hard to concentrate on anything, even the fact that her guard is down.

Soundwave shakes his head a little, as though to clear his vision. This *is* a new sensation for him, never having been one to overindulge. Somewhere in the back of his mind he knows the logical explanation. The tremendous power output by the Heart of Cybertron has made unusually concentrated energon.

Starscream raises an optic ridge at her. "You need to cut loose and have some fun, Lady Ravenwing." But he looks at the group...and is a bit startled to see Reflector and Tempest and Laserbeak and Rumble acting so oddly out of character.

Tempest could quite happily go to sleep this way. She sighs in perfect contentment, feeling perfectly safe and relaxed and peaceful for the first time in who knows how long...probably the first time since her homeworld burned.

Nightbird slowly takes one of her sais from her forearm and tries to spin it in her hand. It clatters to the ground and she just looks at it for a while.

Starscream chugs down the rest of his cube, looks around...and suddenly finds a nearby rock formation to be uproariously funny, and starts to laugh himself sick.

A tape reel moves in Soundwave's chest compartment, playing a very old Cybertronian song, as though simply indulging himself in the music.

Ravenwing rises to her feet, frowning first at the display that meets her faintly-shocked optics, then at the breach in security that it indicates. Primus, she hopes the Autobots aren't coming back any time soon... Shaking her head in disgust, she sets herself to watching the perimeter again, one of the few Decepticons not effected.

Megatron wraps his arm around Tempest, getting some hold this way. He is overenergized too. And so his thoughts start to drift away: "ah... remember the good days back on Cybertron. Didn't have to sneak around and these... ugly disguising."

Soundwave leans back ... fortunately for those around him, he's not actually singing an off-key drunken tune, as his music playback is still perfect.

Tempest listens contentedly, letting Megatron's voice lull her to sleep....She of course doesn’t' remember the good old days on Cybertron, but somehow that doesn't seem to matter....

Starscream underestimated just how strong that stuff really was, and overestimated his ability to handle it. He doesn't even notice that Ravenwing is gone. He realizes he is acting silly, listens to himself...and busts out laughing all over again.

CatsCradle curls up against a tree, half asleep herself. "Y'know... this prob'bly isn't a good thing..." she murmurs.

Nightbird drifts off peacefully to sleep as well, fortunately unaware of what else is going on.

Ravenwing's keen audio receptors catch that, and she says quietly, "No, it's not, CatsCradle." She siiiiighs and begins making rounds of the perimeter, slipping silently through the darkness, but she's only one person...

Soundwave hears the soft footfalls of Ravenwing's steps as well as CatsCradle's observation. He quite agrees. But is too content to do anything about it. Perhaps in a few minutes he'll rouse himself, he tells himself, as the light in his optic band dims out.

Megatron stretches out his free hand searching for Nightbird. Where is his other hold?

Scorcher tries to clear her head and decides that cold air is a good way to do that. She attempts to transform and finally manages on the third attempt

Reflector shakes his heads, laughing maniacally, madly overcharged... He has no tolerance for high grade energon, and since each of him drank a cube, he is feeling three times the effects of the others. Reflector starts up into the air, taking pictures of everything - and getting them horribly out of focus.

CatsCradle tries to keep her optics open, blearily worried, now. She leans over to shake Soundwave's shoulder. "Heya... I think some'n slipped Tat's martini inna cubes..."

Soundwave's optic band flickers faintly brighter to peer at CatsCradle, that same song still playing on continuous loop.

Ravenwing stops abruptly, suddenly on high alert. She heard... something. Glancing upwards, she sees a rapidly-incoming aircraft, which triggers instant pattern recognition, then reacts with blinding speed. It still may not be fast enough, but she raises both arms and fires her plasma generators, hoping she's in time to prevent the expected attack.

Tempest whimpers a little as she hears nearby gunfire. Maybe if she lies really still, it'll go away...

Scorcher, who was about to take off drops back to the ground when Ravenwing suddenly starts firing

The incoming plane seemed to be expecting attack, and banks easily out of the way. Coming in from a totally different direction now, it banks hard and drops off some kind of bomb or machine or something right on top of Megatron.

Megatron somehow reaches Nightbird, but leaning towards her, just makes him fall aside together with Tempest. This is quite a strange heap.

Megatron sits up again as the box hits his chest. "Huh?

As the device lands, it emits a pulsating electronic screech that would jolt even an unconscious Decepticon awake.

Soundwave's optic band brightens further. What was that ... engines overhead? He shakes his head a little and pushes himself to a sitting position.

CatsCradle cringes at the fire, not able to focus, and in sheer reaction, she scuttles backwards, crouching against a makeshift cover of a pile of the fallen boulders

Reflector looks up into the air woozily, laughing at the jet, cackling insanely to himself, before he starts snoring, and then goes offline for his system to begin processing the excess energon running through it.

Tempest startles as Megatron moves and blinks her optics...which just will not focus. She hears the screech and leaps back, reaching for her swords, jumping up. She promptly loses her balance and falls on her side on the ground, dropping the one sword she managed to grab.

Nightbird jumps upright immediately, her optics still dim and looking around in vain for what's making that noise.

Scorcher takes off, flying somewhat erratically in an attempt to pursue that jet

And that screech *definitely* gets Soundwave's attention.

Starscream hears the engines and leaps up, trying to transform...but not only does he forget how, he also forgets to engage his flight engines and only succeeds in falling on his aft. He blinks, startled...and begins giggling.

Megatron sits, discovering the device. "What the..?" he ask, in the next moment his body cramps in pain.

Despite Scorcher's attempts, the plane soars away rapidly, having planned out this drop well.

Tempest, who had never consumed anything intoxicating in her life before, now struggles to push herself up on hands and knees, too busy trying to stabilize her own systems...and mostly notice much of anything else.

Ravenwing winces at the noise, startled from her duty to see if there are any others around. Growling something unladylike, she finishes her scan of the skies and turns back to see about whatever's going on in the camp now.

Reflector yelps as the jet screeches by overhead, the noise from it overloading his systems. He tries to shake a fist at it, but his systems are overloaded, and things are too blurry. As he stands up, all three of him tumble into a big pile in a masterful display of acrobatics and they go falling down again.

Soundwave forces his thoughts into focus - he's aware now that there's a problem, and long years of mental discipline kick into effect as he orders his thoughts. He still has some problems with sensory input and physical coordination, but he's more aware of what's happening around him now.

Just as the Decepticons try to make sense of what's going on, the voice of Optimus Prime is suddenly heard, seeming very loud. "Sorry to drop in unannounced Megatron. I just thought you'd like to know that the EMP pulse you just got hit with will deactivate the Heart of Cybertron. And rest assured you'll pay for every Autobot you disabled with it."

CatsCradle, caught up in her own wooziness of the concentrated energon, flashes back to her earlier comments to Tempest, and suddenly, she finds herself thinking like the weapon-less scavenger she used to be, cringing underground during an attack, hoping no one would find her.

Megatron somehow gets on his feet, his chest still aching. "You will pay dearly for this, Prime!" he hisses.

The device that emitted the shrieking noise detonates rather forcefully.

Tempest is now truly terrified...she manages to look up but can't see anything as her optics focus, blur, focus again. She questions her own ability to stand. By the Gods, what has happened to her?

Soundwave makes his way to Megatron, wincing at the blast from the exploding device.

Nightbird rushes to Megatron also, searching for any threat.

Starscream struggles to get control over himself and forces himself to stand up, gritting his jaw plates and trying to act more sober than he really is.

Soundwave says, "Commander. Recommend we dissipate this excess energy by firing our most powerful weaponry for a measured amount of time. We will have to be alert for the next attack.""

Reflector shakes himselves, trying to fight off this immense vertigo that's hitting his systems. He shakes his heads, trying to focus enough to get up, but his three selves are unable to keep coordinated, and continually fall over.

Tempest slowly begins to realize that something happened to Megatron and she forces her optics to focus on him. She makes an inquisitive sound, a sound that fails to become words but is a question nonetheless, are you all right?'

Nightbird hears Soundwave's suggestion and nods slowly, trying to think things through. She knows what drains her power most rapidly, and activates her magnetic tractor field. She just points it around, not lifting anything.

Scorcher continues to fly higher and higher, until she reaches altitudes that she can barely fly in

Megatron answers: "Do whatever is necessary!" He sets his jaw plates. Something is going wild inside his systems.

Soundwave turns toward the partially excavated hillside, and fires off a series of blasts from his seldom-used shoulder cannon. Though he does not strike the metal of the Star Drive, rock and dust are blasted up into the air.

Tempest is a little too lost to figure out what the order meant...she's going to need some help.

Starscream enthusiastically joins in, firing lasers wildly at the hillside. Then he walks over to Soundwave and stagewhispers, "What are we shooting at?"

Soundwave is about to give the simple factual answer - "Nothing" - but then adds some encouragement instead. "Imagine your most desired target of destruction," he suggests, and keeps blasting away.

Nightbird very quickly exhausts her power surplus and looks to Megatron with concern. "You'd better use your cannon. Tempest, you should also fire where Soundwave is."

Tempest blinks curiously at Nightbird. She has no weapons stronger than those standard lasers, and if you thought her aim was bad when she was sober...Duck.

Reflector fires his lasers, not being able to drain off that much excess energy, and he lacks other weaponry - until he fires off a massively bright flash pulse, continuing to lower his power levels away from the other Decepticons until he nearly burns out his systems, but is able to help lower his energy levels to something more appropriate.

Soundwave is relieved to notice his sensory acuity and coordination is returning, and when he stops shooting he turns back to Megatron, the med scanner suddenly in his hand as he takes readings.

CatsCradle crawls out from her hiding spot. "Are they done shootin' yet?" she asks, then shakes her head in frustration at the rougher street accent in her voice. She stops for a moment, burying her face in her hands, then looks up again. "What happened?" she asks, this time in the more precise Polyhexian tones.

Tempest tries her best to hold her shaking arms still and shoot. Maybe she'll be lucky and hit something...oh, she's so terrified as her body refuses to obey her properly....

Nightbird considers a moment, then takes Tempest's arm and holds it steady, pointing her weapons toward a spot where it won't hurt anyone. "Go ahead."

Starscream gleefully calls up memories of /everyone/ who's ever irritated him and blasts away in a glorious fountain of destruction!
CatsCradle says weakly, "I guess not." But this time, she seems more in the present.

Tempest flinches a little in Nightbird's grip but doesn't yank away...she does as told, closing her optic lids with the strain of it, and just fires and fires....

Megatron says, "Soundwave, what has this bastard done to me?"

Starscream is so wrapped up in his firing that he suddenly realizes he's shooting at nothing. "WHAT in the SMELTER just HAPPENED?" he demands, as the smoke clears.

Soundwave says, "Reflector, can you assist CatsCradle? I must see to Megatron."

Reflector nods to Soundwave, and he walks over to CatsCradle, on somewhat unsteady legs, but functioning better now, "What is the problem? How might I assist you?" His three parts are starting to resynchronize themselves again.

CatsCradle looks up at Reflector, still confused. "What happened?"

Soundwave responds to his leader, "An EMP pulse has destabilized the Heart of Cybertron within you, and fused it into your systems." That's the factual answer, but there's a hesitation in his tone, as though there's more to come that he doesn't want to come right out and say.

Tempest's head starts to clear...a wedge of pain from her overheated gun barrels cuts through the fog in her mind. As her mind unfogs she flinches again, then jerks her hand out of Nightbird's grip, as usual terrified of most forms of contact... The feral optics try to evaluate whether or not Nightbird is a threat. There's a moment of hesitation, then Tempest suddenly thinks she understands. "What were you doing?" A pause..."What was /I/ doing?" She wants to give Nightbird the benefit of the doubt.

Megatron looks at Soundwave, knowing this tone. "And..?" he wants to know, his optics glowing in slight annoyance.

Nightbird says somewhat distractedly to Tempest, "You needed to expend energy, and I was helping you aim." She looks back to Megatron and Soundwave with great concern.

Soundwave says, "And ... I cannot remove the Heart from the exterior for fear it will unleash an explosion."

Reflector nods to CatsCradle, and then he says, "We were overenergized from the unexpected strength of the energon that we consumed to recharge, and the Autobots unleashed an EMP wave on us."

Soundwave doesn't add "I told you this was a bad idea." He doesn't need to. He has a problem to solve, and must do so quickly.

Megatron narrows his optics. "If you cannot remove it, can you deactivate it.

Tempest nods a little. She will thank Nightbird later. Now she looks to Megatron and Soundwave, back to Nightbird. A wordless "Let's go see what's happening." She approaches the other two mechs.

Soundwave shakes his head. "Not unless it can be physically accessed."

CatsCradle says faintly, "Oh." She looks down at her hands, clawed as always, but with the armored cuffs that hold her laser mountings. "Lasers," she murmurs, then rubs her forehead. "Oh, that was a bad one," she murmurs.

Megatron hisses: "Then find a way to solve this problem, Soundwave!

Starscream listens to the goings-on and at first, is smug... If this thing destroys Megatron then /he/ will be Decepticon leader at last! But...on the other hand...what kind of a death is that? It would be like getting the leadership by /default/, not by doing anything to /earn/ it and /prove/ his right for the title.

Flying so high that she is less than a dot when seen from the ground, Scorcher slowly drifts out of the area

Reflector nods to CatsCradle, "We should try and burn off the excess energy from our systems by firing out internally powered weapons systems at maximum firepower to drain off the excess energy," he offers helpfully.

Soundwave realizes also that Scorcher has gone off on her own somewhere, and attempts to radio her to return.

Tempest looks back to see if Nightbird is following her and then makes her inquisitive noise at Soundwave, to ask how bad it is.

CatsCradle stares at Reflector blankly for a few seconds. "Right," she says. "I have weapons, now, don't I?" She looks down at her hands again, then smiles, sort of, as energy tendrils begin to arc from between her fingers and she gains back her concentration as both the excess energy burns itself off, as she focuses on weaving the tendrils in tight designs in her hands, pushing away the fog of the flashback.

Reflector nods to CatsCradle, and he sets himself up, shaking his heads. Well, that is one problem solved now. Reflector turns his attention to the horizon, scanning for any approaching Autobots that might seek to attack them while they are attempting to recover. He knows that there is a problem with Megatron of some sort, but it is not something that he can assist with.

Soundwave's eyeband darkens a little as he "frowns" at his scanner readings. "If it were possible to access the Heart from within you, Commander, and deactivate it, it would be safe to remove it from outside. As it is, I cannot risk it. There is also a danger in any sudden movement setting off an explosion, so I do not dare transport you back to base for other techniques. We shall have to improvise."

Tempest missed some of that but she gets that the general tone isn't good...and she whimpers low in her throat. Evidently, although she's functional, that overfuel has a few lingering effects on her unprepared systems.

Megatron's optics darken. "So, these accursed Autobots found a way to set me out of function..." He looks at Soundwave. "And how do you want to remove it from inside of me? You would need someone even smaller than a human being!"

CatsCradle suggests, "A young human?" She's still rather bleary.

Soundwave considers. "Smaller than a human...." He looks at his readings again, back to Megatron, back down at his readings, touches a control on the scanner. "You have the ability to change your size upon transformation," he says, apparently a non-sequitur in the conversation, but he's working something out.

Tempest  looks confused. She says to CatsCradle...who looks about as good as Tempest feels... "A shame none of /us/ can do that."

Soundwave shakes his head in response to Cats' words. "A repair device would have to be small enough to enter Megatron's form and make its way to the Heart to deactivate it from the inside. Eluding self-repair systems along the way."

CatsCradle continues, "I mean, some of those children are pretty adept. You should see the transforming toys they play with..."

Nightbird looks to Soundwave with hope in her optics. She hates these situations where all her weapons and skills are totally useless against technical problems.

Megatron says, "Of course I have - as you and your creations have, Soundwave. But I cannot get into my own systems."

Reflector shrugs, and then turns to watch, and he asks, as his selves spread out to keep watch, "Very well then, Commander, what are our options?"

Soundwave continues, "You can channel your innate attacks through the Heart of Cybertron to increase their energy output. Can you access the Heart to convey your molecular reduction ability to us? What do your internal diagnostics tell you?"

Tempest can barely decipher what Soundwave is saying... Her thoughts and Nightbird’s are running along the same lines. "Just give me something to fight," she mutters at last.

Starscream says sardonically, "Even if we /did/ transform Soundwave and stuff him up your...I mean, stuff him inside you, where does that get us?"

Megatron lowers his optics, checking his diagnostics. "Possible," he answers.

Soundwave says, "We could travel through Megatron's fuel system and reach the Heart from the interior, disconnect it, and allow it to be removed safely."

CatsCradle looks up at that. "/We/?" she repeats.

Nightbird seems to digest this, not saying anything.

Starscream says, his optics widening and brightening, "Are you suggesting that we /shrink down/ and climb /inside/ Megatron?" As if it was the most ludicrous thing he'd ever heard.

Megatron looks around. "I will not order anyone on this mission.

Soundwave says, "We may have to fend off self-repair and maintenance systems. I cannot guarantee I could complete the task without warriors to keep them at bay."

CatsCradle scrambles to her feet, weaving a bit. "What a minute, go back to that "we" bit. I really don't think you want anyone as ... um... untechical as me along." She tosses up her hands. "I'd trip over something and unplug it."

Tempest's wings twitch at the notion of being shrunk like that. No, she wants no part of this...but...Megatron? The ruby optics sparkle with pain...

Soundwave assures CatsCradle, "You can do no harm if we keep to certain pathways."

Tempest says, her mouth dry, "You really think we can do this, Soundwave?"

Reflector shrugs, and then he offers, "Some of us will need to stay behind to act as guards and observers, should the Autobots seek a surprise attack."

Nightbird puts her hand lightly on Megatron's chest and looks into his optics. "We're wasting time."

Soundwave recalculates the odds. "I believe it can be done," he says.

Megatron looks at Nightbird, smiling slightly. "Don't worry. I am not /that/ easy to kill."

Tempest's instincts don't want to do this. Don't want to do this at all. But who's the person who hauled her out of that scumpit in Monacus? She digs her swordblades into the turf. "Okay, Soundwave. I'll do it."

CatsCradle twitches her nose, still not convinced that she won't do some unrepairable harm simply by being there, but steps forward, too.

Soundwave looks to the others, to see who else might volunteer for this highly unusual mission.

Reflector nods, and raises his hand, "I believe that my focusing abilities could prove useful inside in driving off the self-repair systems without damaging the internals."

Starscream steps forward and mutters, "Oh all right..."

Megatron says, "I appreciate your loyalty. But if anyone has doubts... I will not force them to join."

Starscream looks less than thrilled and gives Megatron this "don't make this job any harder" look. He's /not/ going to owe Megatron one for rescuing him from the Autobots.

If Soundwave is surprised by Starscream's volunteering for the mission, he does not show it. He's aware the clock is ticking. He glances questioningly at Ravenwing to see if she's planning to step forward as well, but either way he's anxious to get underway now.

CatsCradle grins suddenly, rather evilly, watching Starscream with a side-long look. "Just how tight an area are we talking about, here? How small?"

Starscream gulps and tries not to think about small, tight, enclosed areas. Why couldn't Megatron have just gotten himself shot up in enemy territory or something?

Nightbird stands with the other volunteers and waits for whatever is going to make them smaller.

Ravenwing shrugs and notes, "Someone has to keep watch for returning Autobots, especially as the previous arrival was far too convenient. I suspect we are being watched. I'll try not to fail again."

Reflector nods, and awaits instructions. This will be a most unusual mission to go on, he would think so...

Soundwave takes out several small devices from storage, and passes them out to the group. "These are magnetic locks," he explains. "We will enter Megatron's fuelstream from within, which will sweep us to the vicinity of the Heart. There, we will lock ourselves into place and emerge to disconnect the device."

Megatron says, "I am sure you will do your duty perfectly, Ravenwing."

Soundwave nods to Ravenwing, then looks to Megatron. "Remain on your guard," he says, meaning both of them.

Nightbird takes her device and nods, her optics glowing.

Ravenwing asks both Soundwave and Megatron, "Is Megatron capable of movement, should it come to that?"

Reflector takes the maglock, and he peers at it, trying to discern how to operate it as he awaits instructions.

Soundwave says, "I would advise against it, but if there is no other option, at least move in a steady pattern, a smooth flight."

Ravenwing says, "Acknowledged. Good luck to you all."

CatsCradle warily takes the device and pokes at it with a clawtip a few times.

Soundwave says, "Commander, if you will 'fire' your ability to reduce in size at us, we will begin.""

Megatron says, "Good, get ready."

Tempest takes the item, looking less than enthusiastic, and then her face wipes expressionless save for a steely, vivid light in the optics. Starscream takes his as well. He /wants/ to announce himself leader of the expedition, but decides just this once he'll let Soundwave do it.

Megatron points his hands at his troops. This time the energy beams from his hands do not have a destructive force, instead their power shrink the other Decepticons to cat-size.

Reflector watches to Soundwave, and then he nods. They will not fail in this... The stakes are too high to imagine if they do not pull through.

Megatron picks up the shrunk Transformers, lifting them to his shoulder, continue the shrinking process.

Tempest finds being in Megatron's hand to be...bizarre, but not uncomfortable...she doesn't mind if /he/ picks her up.

Starscream looks like he'd rather back out of this now, but it's a bit too late...

As Megatron opens the correct access port, the miniaturized Decepticons enter his frame.

Ravenwing tilts her head, listening to the sounds of the jungle again. The normal sounds, that is. Once she knows those, she can filter them out again and listen for unusual things instead. At least that's how it's supposed to work, but... it failed this last time.

As the Decepticons shrink completely out of sight, they become small enough to enter the seams between Megatron's armor plate.


Shoulder Interior

Just under the armor plating of Megatron, an entirely new world is revealed. It is somehow reminiscent of the underground passageways of Cybertron, with alloyed walls on all sides. In addition, various giant columns jut out from unidentified structures, cables as large as a combiner span off farther than the optic can see, and the constant low thrum of power coursing through circuits is heard. The tunnels that permit travel are access tubes thin as the finest wire that allow the mobile housekeeping units of Cybertronians to roam the body. Hundreds of the units move through the area at any given time, on what seems to be a routine patrol.

Tempest mutters, "This is weird beyond belief."

Nightbird looks around in amazement at her surroundings. Who would have guessed the inside would be so amazingly complex?

Starscream says, "This isn't so bad..." And suddenly realize he spoke aloud. As long as the ceilings stay high....just get in, do the job, and get out....

CatsCradle looks around with undisguised amazement.

Nightbird ducks easily as a housekeeping unit wizzes by overhead.

Nightbird says in a slightly hushed tone, "How do we get inside the fuel line Soundwave?"

Tempest hisses at the housekeeping unit. "If we gut those things, will it hurt Megatron?"

Soundwave takes only a moment to orient himself, translating all that he knows about repairs and how a Transformer is put together, into positioning where they are and how to get where they need to be. He goes right to work, bringing out a cutting torch and approaching the nearest fuel line. "I will make a small incision," he explains, "which will immediately draw self-repair maintenance units to seal again. We will have to enter hurriedly. The flow of the fuelstream will sweep us along. It will take only a few seconds to reach our destination."

Nightbird seems a bit upset about the prospect of cutting into Megatron, even a microscopic cut, but simply nods.

Soundwave says, "Try not to damage the units if you can avoid it. They are the repair and immune system, after all." His torch cuts into the wall of the fuel line in a single long slash, releasing an immediate fine spray of fuel outward."

Starscream says, "Too bad for him. It's his own fault for fooling around with the Heart. He should be grateful we're doing this." As if Starscream wouldn't have done the same....

Tempest grumblemutters and ducks the units instead of piercing them with her swords.

Reflector nods to Soundwave, and he floats in the stream, watching for instructions. "If the repair drones view us as a threat, shall we flee, or attempt to disable them?" As Soundwave speaks, he nods, and says, "Will my flash-pulse be effective at them, Commander?"

CatsCradle side-glances to Starscream. "Watch the ceiling, Starscream. And the walls."

As soon as the cut is made the nearest housekeeping units pause, then head toward the fuel line.

Nightbird wastes no time and immediately works her way past the fuel rushing out of the lone and dives into the hole.

Soundwave pushes his way into the incision, disappearing into the wall of the fuel line.

Tempest hesitates, but as Nightbird passes she grits her teeth and follows, challenging herself to be at least as good as Nightbird....

Starscream doesn't like the notion of being left behind and runs after the femmes.


Fuel Line

        It's difficult to get any sense of what this area looks like. All around is the constant pink glow of energon, an incredible ocean of life-giving fluid. The walls can be seen only with difficulty and when looking at them, one is given the impression of impossible speed.

Tempest splutters, hating being in all this fluid. It's hard to get her bearings. Instead she concentrates on staying near Soundwave. He'd /better/ know where he's going.

Soundwave is swept along, counting down the seconds until he can signal the others to activate their maglocks.

As soon as the miniaturized Decepticons enter, they're whisked away at supersonic speed through the fuel line, covering hundreds of miles on their scale in seconds. They stay close to one another, since the current is even. In just a few more seconds, it will be time to release the grapples. Without warning however, there's an intense violent commotion, lasting only a fraction of a second. When it's over, the Decepticons find themselves somewhere... else.

Reflector tries to swim, and his three parts link up into a chain to stabilize themselves and get greater force in their swimming abilities.


Laser Core Chamber

        This area is astoundingly vast, a giant chamber larger than a mountain. Dominating the center of it is the spherical crystalline shape of a Cybertronian laser core. It is suspended in a vast web of thousands or even millions of thin cables coming off of it in all directions. The wires glow ever so slightly in complex patterns as signals race from the laser core to the control mechanisms surrounding it. Looking at such an immensely huge and yet complex structure with its pulsating lights filling the field of vision gives one an instant sense of vertigo.

As the Decepticons land on the floor of where ever it is they've come to, they can see a veritable army of housekeeping units working to repair the fuel line they've just been ejected from.

Tempest stares around. "That thing doesn't look like the Heart of Cybertron." She doesn't realize what it actually is.

Starscream says, "Soundwave! Where are we?"

CatsCradle looks around long enough to feel dizzy and squinches her optics shut. "Megatron hiccupped, didn't he? And we ended up in the wrong place?"

Nightbird picks herself up and says, "Soundwave? We didn't use the grapples." She looks up and her optics dim with amazement at what she sees.

Soundwave picks himself up off the "floor" of the chamber. "It is not," he confirms. If the Vector Sigma chamber on Cybertron looked impressive, this chamber is vastly more so. "It is the location of Megatron's laser core. And - the battle earlier seems to have caused some weakening of the fuel line here. We were ejected through the rupture, and self-repair is already active."

Reflector looks around, trying to figure out where they are, "What location of the body are we in, Commander? I am not familiar with the schematics..."

Starscream says snidely, "If that's Megatron's brain then it ought to be smaller." Somehow getting back into his old sarcasm is a comfort to him.

Soundwave gives Starscream a reproachful look, but says nothing.

Nightbird looks at all the units sealing up the line and standing watch. "So we can not go back the way we came."

Here so close to the intense mental processes of a functional laser core unit, the impulses start to intrude on the now microscopically small laser cores of the miniaturized Decepticons. It has something of the effect of a mild hallucinogen, and some objects take on unusual visual characteristics. Colors seem alternately faded and remarkably intense, while other objects seem to move even while standing still.

Soundwave says, "Not without inviting their attack upon us. We are foreign invaders in this realm."
Soundwave stands perfectly still and focuses on his surroundings, getting his bearings again.

Starscream says, "You're the repairs expert, do we get out of the brain and towards the heart."

CatsCradle peeks at the units and immediately squeezes her optics closed again. "Soundwave, you do have another escape route all picked out, don't you?"

Soundwave says, "There is one way we can quickly reach the Heart from this location. If I can achieve the communication."

Tempest :fidgets nervously and edges over towards CatsCradle.

Nightbird’s optics sparkle as she realizes, "You can speak with him through a mind link from here?"

Soundwave looks around, taking in the strange lighting effects, then determinedly blocks it out. He goes still again, completely motionless. The optic band brightens to a steady shade of brilliance - a hint that he's attempting a telepathic contact.

Soundwave hears Cats' and Nightbird's questions, but is too internally focused right now to reply.

Reflector stays silent, watching quietly, his arms crossed. This will be interesting, but something that he cannot participate in.

Tempest watches Soundwave in fascination, trying to concentrate on something other than her fear.

Nightbird looks at the laser core with new optics, perhaps thinking this is the essence of her mate, what makes him unique. Such a vast thing to her now, but something she could easily hold in her hand normally.

The lights in the laser core chamber change just a little, as though Megatron's awareness has focused on something else.

Starscream says, warily, "What's going on?"

Soundwave still remains absolutely motionless and silent, the optic band brightly lit but otherwise blank. It's like he's listening for something.

CatsCradle takes another peek. "This was really not a good idea just after being drunk,,,"

Reflector watches silently, crossing his arms, not interrupting Soundwave. This will be a most interesting report to write up...

Tempest glances at CatsCradle. "Is /that/ what happened to us?" She has no idea what "drunk" is like.

Nightbird looks to Cats, and replies "Our center of balance is being heavily tested this day."

Soundwave suddenly snaps back into awareness of his surroundings, his optics shading abruptly back to their usual color - a microsecond before a sizzling burst of what looks like electrical activity starts up in the chamber.

CatsCradle nods with her optics closed again. "Sure felt like how I did after two of Diktat's drinks."

Tempest shivers. She's never had anything intoxicating before, and on purpose. "I /never/ want to feel that way again..." And then the electricity starts. What's that?"

Soundwave jumps back reflexively from a sizzling streak of light that shimmers past him - something that looks vaguely like a jeweled snake to his perception. It's immediately followed by another, and another, and soon a whole stream of them is rushing past.

Nightbird draws her sword, looking at the increased activity.

Starscream snaps, "I’ve about /had/ it with snakes!"

Soundwave says, "Mental impulses. Megatron is sending commands to the Heart of Cybertron. In our current state we can grasp one of these energy patterns and ride them to the Heart itself."

Tempest's blades are in her hands. She remembers Soundwave's warning from earlier, but if one of those things attacks her.... "We can touch them?" she asks.

Reflector looks up cautiously, and he gets ready for action, but does not draw his lasers without instructions, "Requesting situation report, Commander."

CatsCradle stares at Soundwave. "We can /ride/ them?"

Soundwave says, "Affirmative. We can grasp hold of them."

Nightbird is a bit startled to see what looks to her like metallic projectiles of some kind. "They are not electrified?"

Reflector blinkblinkblinks, "I believe that some supplemental instruction would be required... I must admit that I do not grasp the principal of this."

CatsCradle points at the impulses. "You... you can go first, Starscream."

Soundwave says, "They are, Nightbird. But they should do no more than discomfort us for a few moments."

Starscream really doesn't want to do he going to shake Megatron off or not. "Fine then, I will!" And he crouches down, ready to grab the tail of the next one going by overhead.

Nightbird reaches out to touch one, and her hand is yanked forward just a bit. She nods her head fractionally, they simply leaps gracefully into the stream.

Reflector nods to Soundwave, then he waits for the others to make an attempt, and he will watch to attempt to figure out how the maneuver is bets done.

Starscream yells as his impulse shocks him, then drags him along gracelessly....

Soundwave determines to explain the details of the theory to Reflector at a later date, and jumps forward to grasp hold of one of the glittering "snakes" which immediately tears him along.

CatsCradle leaps at one of the impulses and is pulled along with a loud "eeeeeeek"


Power Center

        This area has a striking parallel to the laser core chamber, with the great green crystalline Heart of Cybertron dominating the whole field of view. Power flows from it along thick superconductive cable attached to it at various points. Hundreds of housekeeping units surround the Heart, checking the cables for malfunction. Looking at the Heart carefully, one will notice an irregular pulsating of its glow.

As the Decepticons hitch a ride on the magnetic conduit taking the control impulses from Megatron's laser core, they're instantly accelerated once more to supersonic speed. Fortunately their inertia matches their scaled-down size, or else they would instantly be crushed. Finally there's a frame-jarring bang as the Decepticons find themselves stopped.

Starscream says, "Here at /last!/ Let's cut it out of here and be /done/ with it!"

Tempest shakes herself to make sure everything is working.

CatsCradle picks herself up and dusts herself off. "Look at it this way, Starscream... you're gathering stories of bravery that might impress the fair Ravenwing and her father... if she doesn't kill you first."

Nightbird takes in her surroundings, perhaps musing you can get used to wondrous sites after so many of them in one day, and says to Soundwave, "All we need do is cut those cables?"

Reflector nods to Soundwave,  and then he awaits instruction, "I will stand watch for anything that might disrupt our efforts at performing the necessary disconnections."

Soundwave says, "That is the next step. The device will still be unstable and must be removed, but once it is free of Megatron's systems, that is easily done. The housekeeping units will perceive us as damaging foreign bodies, however, and will attempt to stop us.""

Nightbird says, "Recommend then we sever all the links at once."

Tempest hoists her blades. "Too bad for them. That thing's hurting Megatron."

Starscream stares, startled, at CatsCradle and can only say, "WHAT?!" Is it /that/ obvious?

Reflector nods, and then ponders, "Is there a way to perhaps disable or slow his internal repair and defensive systems without damaging them? Would my flash pulse be effective at that?"

CatsCradle grins smugly at Starscream. "Haven't seen you flirt with a femme once since on Earth," she says in a low voice. "So yes, it was noticeable."

Soundwave files that bit of info away into the rest of the rumor mill that he can't help but overhear. Starscream and Ravenwing. Hmm. But he goes right to work, avoiding the brain impulses which slow and eventually trickle to a stop as Megatron seems no longer to be sending commands, and moving over to one of the connecting cables. He nods to Reflector. "You may be able to disorient them. We are on completely experimental ground here. I cannot guarantee whether it will be effective."

Nightbird looks carefully at the housekeeping units. "Soundwave.. Are these different units than the others? They are noticeably smaller."

Starscream just grits his teeth...he's got other things to do right now than freak out on Catscradle, he's the second in Command after all... "So if the ones with blades do the severing, the rest of us fight off the housecleaning units?"

CatsCradle draws her sword, still with a slight grin. "Where and when?"

Reflector nods, and then he shifts his parts, hovering in the air as he combines into his camera mode, "If someone on watch duty could wield me, it would help increase my effectiveness at disabling the guard units with a minimum of damage to them."

Soundwave says, "They are the same, but-" he looks around. The chamber seems to have become smaller, noticeably. "We are regaining our previous size. We must hurry. Nightbird, Tempest, CatsCradle - each of you sever one of these cables. Reflector, Starscream, prepare to unleash a stun attack on the self-repair systems.""

Nightbird draws her twin swords and ignites them, a hard look in her optics.

Soundwave points to the vital connections. He himself prepares to unleash an audio burst against the swarm of housekeeping units he expects. Fortunately there are three "surgeons" and three protectors in place.

Soundwave gives the signal. "Now."

Tempest nods, a brighter version of Nightbird, two swords and a figure in yellow, a counterpart to the grey femme. Her optics focus in on the spot Soundwave indicated...and she pounces!

Reflector floats towards Starscream, hoping that the Air Commander will catch him and wield him as a weapon. His flash pulse should hopefully take out multiple guard drones without damaging them.

CatsCradle looks startled, then on towards terrified as she realizes that becoming her normal size right now would definitely come under the heading of A Bad Thing. At Soundwave's signal, she brings sword down in a sharp slash.

Nightbird swipes through her cable with ease, as it's now considerably thinner than it was a few minutes ago. She then moves up to slice through two more.

Starscream unleashes a barrage of null ray blasts at the housekeeping units. See how well they operate with their systems nullified!

Tempest's blades flicker, cleanly cutting through the cables. It's satisfying to her to finally be able to attack something.

Starscream grabs Reflector in midair and makes use of the flash pulse!

Soundwave unleashes a directed burst of sonics at the swarm of "antibodies" that converges on the scene of damage. A faint, ultrasonic shudder shivers along the wires and cables of this chamber, which look steadily smaller.

Nightbird hurls a shuriken at the last one near her. It slices through easily and then pings off the metal alloy, sending it up in an arc to land neatly in her outstretched hand.

Reflector flashes out a bright pulse of light towards the sentry units, hoping that his flash will overload their circuits and render them temporarily off-line, at least long enough for his comrades to act.

Soundwave's optic band flashes so brilliant it's almost white for a moment. Another attempt to reach Megatron and get a message through.

The housekeeping units are momentarily confused and dazzled by the attacks raining down on them, unsure how to proceed. From another area, tiny disks that spark electrical energy start to come out.

Meanwhile, the Decepticons are getting quite large..

Tempest makes short work of all the cables on her side of the Heart....but as she lands on the "floor" she quivers a little. It's getting really cramped in here...

CatsCradle calls out, "Leaving would be a really good idea right about now..."

Nightbird gladly wraps her arm around Soundwave's shoulder.

Starscream wastes no time in firing both burners and taking off out of there!

As the miniaturization effect starts to wear off, you step out of Megatron's chest compartment. You rapidly grow to your usual size, and find yourself standing on the organic world Earth

Soundwave leaps out of Megatron's chest compartment carrying Nightbird, just in time as they return to their normal size.

Tempest picks herself up off the ground, where she ended up when she half tripped on Megatron's chest on her way out. She looks disoriented, and confused. Did they succeed?

Starscream, in jet mode, flies up high into the sky before transforming and returning to land near the group.

Soundwave sets Nightbird back down on her feet.

Megatron glances at Soundwave. "Have you been successful?

Nightbird gets up, seeming somewhat relieved to be her normal size again.

Soundwave says, "The Heart of Cybertron has been disconnected. You can remove it from your chest compartment, Commander. It is, however, still unstable."

CatsCradle picks herself up off the ground and dusts herself off... seem to be doing a lot of that, today...

Reflector flashes out of Megatron's body, attached to Starscream's chassis in camera mode for it, and then he transforms and falls to the ground.

Nightbird gets up, seeming somewhat relieved to be her normal size again.

Soundwave says, "The Heart of Cybertron has been disconnected. You can remove it from your chest compartment, Commander. It is, however, still unstable."

Megatron removes the crystal. He looks at it for a few seconds - what a pity...

Ravenwing cocks her head, listening to... something strange, then excuses herself. "Something... I don't think it's of any importance, just... odd." She silently disappears into the jungle to investigate.

Reflector watches Ravenwing, and then he turns to Soundwave and Megatron, "Do you wish for someone to go after her for backup, Commander?"

CatsCradle chuckles softly. "I'd hate to be the person who tried much with her."

Tempest climbs to her feet, still looking a little shaky. What's Megatron going to do with it now? He'd better not put it back!

Reflector transforms into his Robot mode.

Megatron says, "Send Ravage to assist Ravenwing, Soundwave. I have something to do."

Starscream leans over to Catscradle, ignoring her remark. "You mentioned Ravenwing's father. Do I know this mech?"

Soundwave glances after the disappearing Raven, his own senses still slightly fogged from all the unaccustomed sensory experiences he's had today.

CatsCradle laughs softly. "Yes, you do," she murmurs back to Starscream.

Soundwave ejects Ravage as ordered, instructing him wordlessly to accompany their guest from Valckasta.

Ravenwing moves quietly through the jungle darkness, mindful of where she's stepping. Her senses guide her towards the origin of that odd noise, and she finds... that organic feline friend of Ravage's. She snorts in amusement and turns back, then... something else catches her attention.

Reflector nods to Soundwave, and then he settles back, awaiting further instructions from Soundwave on what to do. Will they withdraw now, and head back to base?

Starscream continues to look at CatsCradle. "Well?" he splutters at last, trying to get her to tell him.

CatsCradle smiles. "Think a little about it, Starscream. She's Valckastan... and who has a similar latter part to his name?"

Starscream's jaw drops comically and for a moment he is actually speechless....

The sound of engines idling. She freezes in place, then turns back promptly, nearly tripping over Ravage. My my, she's doing well today. Expecting that the jaguar has heard then as well, she makes speed back to the clearing and announces softly, "Autobots."

CatsCradle's smile turns into a wide grin and she hums smugly, rocking on her heels.

Starscream kind of /stares/ at Ravenwing--trying to wonder if he is imagining any similarities he sees between her and Thunderwing--and decides to pursue this later. "Autobots? We will destroy them!"

Soundwave takes it upon himself to assist Megatron in removing the Heart from the Decepticon leader's chest cavity. Megatron might be a little offended at the assistance, but Soundwave knows how unstable this object really is. He'll accept Megatron's displeasure.

Ravenwing smirks, her optics taking on their normal silver glow. "Circle around and snipe at them from behind?"

Immediately after Ravenwing gives her report, said Autobots drive up and transform, with Optimus Prime at the front as usual.

Starscream says, "An excellent idea but a little late for that now..."

CatsCradle's grin fade and she sighs tiredly. "Shoo," she tries, waving her hands at the Autobots.

Optimus Prime says smugly, "Now Megatron, let's see how tough you are with the Heart of Cybertron safely deactivated."

Reflector sighs - they are not exactly in the condition for a fight... But he draws his laser pistols, and he prepares himself for combat. This is not going to be easy...

Tempest has a headache from the overenergizing catching up with her...but...if she's complaining about this disadvantage, she's gotten soft. She hauls out her swords again. Bring it on....

Megatron smirks. "Oh, it is not safely deactivated, Prime... on the contrary." He looks at the little crystal again. "It is about to blow up. And I suppose you know what that would mean to this planet.

Ravenwing silently merges with the shadows, annoyed at herself once again for not keeping up. She's not a melee fighter, so picks an area with a minimum of cover - fragging trees just don't stop lasers very well - and waits the opportunity to start picking off the enemy.

Nightbird's optics blaze with fury as she spots the Autobot leader, and she flexes her fingers just waiting for the chance to rip him to pieces.

Optimus Prime says suspiciously, "What did you do to it Megatron? An explosion would be like a large asteroid impact!"

Soundwave draws his weapon and remains beside Megatron.

CatsCradle lets out a long sigh. "Great," she mutters. "We try to blow up the Earth once again..."

Powerglide says, "He's bluffing Optimus. Old Powerglide'll snatch that little crystal away from 'em."

Tempest hesitates, staring at the others...why aren’t' they attacking? But she won't attack on her own. Instead she holds position with the group.

Reflector watches silently, moving to get behind cover, at least whatever is available, and to see just what his Commander is up to. He will not act without orders, and he stays silent, weapons raised, but not doing anything yet.

Ravenwing hmmmmms to herself. If the Autobots are just going to stand there and talk... she's going to circle behind them. She's not too proud to shoot them in the back; the point is winning, not playing cute games.

Megatron laughs. "I? It was your technology that caused that instability. I suppose your scientist Perceptor can explain to you what happened.

Prime pauses as he takes in what Megatron is saying. "No.. We.. No, you caused this Megatron! You always ruin everything you touch!"

Starscream is suddenly startled to realize he's lost track of Ravenwing. Why isn't she admiring the impressive battle pose he's taken against the Autobots? Oh time to worry about that now...

CatsCradle leans forward, grinning. "Oh, yes, the good Perceptor... who also created the zombie virus, didn't he? Yep, he really is a nurturing mech, isn't he?"

Nightbird takes Ravenwing's cue and also fades back into the shadows, trying to circle around behind the Bots.

Reflector watches silently, standing out in the open - he is not a stealth, and is already seen anyways. He merely has his guns up, pointed at the Autobots. He makes no move to fire without instructions, however.

Megatron shakes his head, amused. No, Prime will not accept his responsibility. "Whatever..." He suddenly throws the Heart of Cybertron into the sky where it is heading for orbit. "Soundwave!" He transforms.

Megatron transforms into his Walther P-38 mode.

Soundwave shifts his own weapon back into storage and catches Megatron in mid-air, turning to lock his aim onto the faint, glittering green target.

Starscream watches the Heart go skyward! What is Megatron doing...can Soundwave hit that tiny target?

Prime and the others stand still a moment, not sure what they should do.

CatsCradle squeaks and dives under the protection of her forcefield.

Soundwave once again shows that he has an unexpected amount of combat training for all his other specialties - plus Megatron's own aim helps a lot when combined with his - and a lance of brilliant energy fires from the barrel to strike the distant green starburst dead-on. Luckily Chasm isn't here to see it happen.

Reflector watches, looking at the Autobots, one of his heads swiveling up to watch the Heart as it explodes, and the others keeping their lasers raised. He hopes that they will have time to withdraw in this situation.

Tempest stands in awe as the explosion rips through the sky.

When the beam of Megatron's cannon strikes it, the Heart of Cybertron releases all its stored energy at once, lighting up the sky with a tremendous explosion. Fortunately, it was all above the atmosphere for the most part.

Megatron transforms into his Robot mode.

Starscream has a headache....all he wants now is to go back to the base and get some recharge.

Soundwave dims his optics a little as the night sky lights up for a moment brighter than daylight.

Ravenwing is startled, but makes sure that she's not lined up to hit a comrade should she miss, nor does she try for a fancy head shot. Instead, she aims at Prime's back and fires a burst of energy.

Just after Raven fires, a series of razor sharp shurikens come hurtling down on the bots, piercing their armor.

Soundwave signals silently to Ravage, who had kept pace with Ravenwing, to generate some cover-fire to distract the Autobots so they can all leave and head back to base.

Megatron glances at Prime. "You can stop complaining now, Prime, your dear Earth is safe... for now." He assembles his troops. "Decepticons, I have enough of this... We return to base!"

Ravage launches a pair of missiles at the group of 'Bots.

Prime pitches forward from Raven's shot, then says to the other Autobots, "All right, back to base. We'll get Megatron another day. Autobots, transform!"

Soundwave rises into the air, drawing his weapon again in case he needs to lay down fire from above, but he's more interested in putting distance between himself and the Autobots right now.

Starscream startles at the surprise attack...and who's leading it. Impressive, indeed.

CatsCradle leaps into the air, grumbling, "Prime's dear Earth... /Prime's/ dear Earth... just who the hell's been exploring this planet for /how/ long, now?"

Tempest for once is not in the mood to fight and is happy to keep pace with Megatron.

Nightbird emerges from the trees and takes her customary position at Megatron's side, waiting to fly home.

Megatron picks up Nightbird and darts into the sky.

Soundwave's tapes return to their safe place in his chest, and Soundwave rises upward.

Reflector heads up into the air, glad that this fight is finally over. Even for the Decepticons, this has been rather /odd.../ He shakes his heads, and then takes off.


Access Corridor

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

Tempest has never been so glad to be home. Her head is screaming now with the aftereffects of the overcharge.

CatsCradle leans over to Starscream and pats his arm. "Don't worry," she whispers. "I haven't told her who /your/ father is." She winks an optic at him and heads for the living quarters.

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