Lair of the Stealth Bunnies     |     home

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.

Starscream stands imperiously in front of the main viewscreen, taking over Megatron's usual position. He keeps his back to the door until everyone is assembled, and then, with a sweep of his arm, turns around. "Megatron has departed for a brief while. That makes /me/ your interim leader. While Megatron is gone, we shall construct a weapons frame using technology gained in the recent excavations of DeceptiTech."

Scorcher enters in a cloud of reddish dirt, from her patrol over a desert

CatsCradle slips in as silently as usual, choosing to lean against the wall just inside the door, rather than perch on her usual console. If she is annoyed at the summons, her expression does not reveal it, but her clawed fingers tap gently against her armor, and she closes her optics briefly at the announcement that Starscream is in charge... yet again.

Scrapper says, "We, Starscream? You planning to actually get your hands dirty for once?"

Motormaster snorts,"Right. Funny how we wait until Megatron is done to carry out one o' your... ideas." It's obvious he would rather use 'schemes' or 'plots', but he is diplomatic. For the moment.

Starscream calls up a blueprint on the screen. The design has all the hallmarks of Megatron's work but Starscream is acting as if it's his own, as he says, "The only piece missing is the quadrilithium crystal. While the rest of us construct the frame, I need /someone/ to steal a perfect ruby for us to use in the crystal's place as a power source." His head turns around the room.

Scorcher slinks to the back of the room, stirring up more dust. She obviously is not going to be selected for stealing things.

Starscream says, "Shut up Scrapper...I'd pick /you/, only I want this frame welded securely..." No, he hasn't forgotten the disaster trying to build a frame for the Incan Crystal of Power. He's not letting Thundercracker anywhere near this one, nor himself. Let the Constructicon do it! he needs to find someone else to perform the theft. His gaze settles on...Motormaster.

Soundwave doesn't seem surprised that Starscream is suddenly forging ahead with a construction plan. What he thinks of it, is difficult to tell. But he steps up to the occasion. It *would* be beneficial to get something done to show Megatron upon his return. "Agreed," he intones. "We will require a replacement for the crystal that was originally intended for this design. A ruby as found on this planet would suffice - if we could obtain one sufficiently large and flawless."

CatsCradle says, "Ask Chasm. If one exists, he'd probably know about it."

Starscream smirks. "Motormaster, why don't /you/ go steal the ruby?" He pulls up a diagram beside the blueprints. "I took the liberty of finding a human museum that possesses one."

Scorcher whispers to Ravenwing "The Aircommander is temporarily in charge of the base while the emperor is away"

Soundwave tilts his head a little. "Is it sufficient in quality, however?"

Starscream stands at the front of the room, instructing the other Decepticons. His optics sparkle as Ravenwing walks in. She can see his magnificent leadership skills in action!

Starscream frowns. He wants to say of course, but that's what he said before about that defective steel...So he says, "If you /need/ Chasm to verify my words, be my guest, Soundwave."

Soundwave ejects Chasm, who seems to have wanted out at that exact moment. What a coincidence.

Ravenwing looks heavenward at that news, but manages to give Scorcher a brief nod before inclining her head to the *most* excellent acting commander.

Starscream points to the image of a big ruby on the screen. "That ruby is in the possession of this museum." He indicates the location on a larger map. "Do you have any information on its quality, Chasm?"

Chasm flaps on Soundwave's shoulder, lending the Decepticon a certain amount of grandeur that ordinarily he fails to project.

Chasm's optics goggle at the ruby and he glides forward, staring its image on the screen.

Tempest mutters to Motormaster, "What good are all these fancy rocks you can't eat?"

Divefire simply slips in with Cats and watches Starscream rant, erm, command. He grumbles in low tones and shakes his head slightly about the ruby napping. "Of course, if you'd done the preparation Starscream you could have got the ruby before all of this..."

Starscream glares at Divefire. "I am the LEADER and as such it is my job to ORGANIZE and OVERSEE."

Motormaster narrows his purple optics as they meet those of the Air Commander and he grits his teeth a bit. He knows how this is going to go, and Starscream's words moment later only confirm it. "Yer an..." He cuts himself off. Soundwave, Scorcher, Divefire and Tempest will all be here to watch the air commander should he try anything stupider than he already is. He waits for Chasm's sizing up of the ruby, and decides his optics all a-goggle in answer enough. He forces a smile,"Fine, Starscream. Me an' my team'll get the ruby for you."

Chasm almost faints. "It's perfect!" he says in a wheedling tone. "I can't see in flaws... at all! A perfect crystalline matrix..."

Scorcher grimaces suddenly as, like Ravenwing already predicted, something inside her begins to itch horribly

Chasm presses his claws to the screen. "Oh, oh.... It's so beautiful..." He sighs happily.

CatsCradle closes her optics briefly again. Let's see.... do I save my mate from his own temper... or let him pound Starscream.... oooh, tough choice...

Chasm looks at Soundwave rather hopefully. "Say, can I be the one to 'retrieve' the said ruby? I have so many delicious ideas for it bubbling away... I

Soundwave plucks Chasm back from the screen and repositions him on his shoulder, if only to spare Chasm the indignity of looking so, well, silly. "Then it is precisely what we need." He reminds Starscream gently of another detail. "We will, however, require an undisturbed location at which to build such a noticeable weapon."

Divefire glowers back at Starscream, folding his arms across his chest as he's wanten to do when he's getting a little uptight. "The last time I checked Starscream, the only thing you oversaw was your own ego."

Scrapper frowns. "You're not actually going to use some pitiful little rock dug out of this mudball in a *Decepticon* device are you?"

Chasm wails, "/Weapon???/ That beautiful ruby is going to become.... a weapon?" He sobs into Soundwave's shoulder. "Oh the pain, the agony...."

Starscream says, "You see!" as Chasm proves his point. "Motormaster, I'm...sure you and your team can handle this mission."

Soundwave just calmly pats Chasm's wings a little. He'll get over it.

Scorcher tries to get commander Soundwave's attention "I am not sure what a good location would look like, but I did encounter something during my last patrol"

Starscream looks at Scrapper. "Unless you have a quadrilithium crystal stuck up your exhaust pipe I don't see any BETTER plan, do you?!" He looks around the room. "Field scouts! I require an undisturbed location to prepare this weapon. Report!" He regards Scorcher.

Soundwave encourages her, "Explain, Scorcher."

Tempest glances over at Motormaster. "Do you need any backup?" she murmurs.

CatsCradle glances at Scorcher in amusement, wondering if she will include the bird life this time in her report...

Chasm complains, "Every time I encounter a power crystal, gem, diamond, space crystal and the like... it gets turned into weaponry components! And those weapons never work! Name /one/ superweapon that we've kept to this date! Or used effectively! Please Soundwave, we can save the ruby from this ignominious fate. If I retrieve, I'll take very, very good care of it... It shall be preserved - such perfection does not deserve destruction in the bowels of another superweapon that /won't/ work!!"

Scrapper just crosses his arms, not really happy about having a whole device resting on an Earth crystal. Bad enough they make buildings out of crushed rock.

Scorcher resists the urge to scratch as the dirt that worked its way into her system itches "I flew over this meteor crater somewhere at the other side of the world, where I was sent out patrolling some empty stretch of land It was before I encountered the aerialbots, so they won't know about it"

Motormaster cranes his head over to Tempest with a slight shake of it, 'whispering' in a purposefully audible tone,"Nah. I want you here in case flyboy over there screws up. You keep an eye on him fer me... We'll be back before you know it."
Starscream grins. "Scorcher, that may just have potential...Excellent work. While Motormaster and the Stunticons fetch the ruby, the rest of you shall carry the building materials to Scorcher's site and commence work on the weapons frame!"

CatsCradle murmurs in a very close mimic of Chasm's voice, "Really, Soundwave... I'll take good care of it, and feed it and clean up after it and love it..."

Soundwave says, "Coordinates, Scorcher? Motormaster, you and your team must know where to meet us. One moment."

Tempest nods a little to Motormaster. "Watch your back. I'll....keep an eye on our ol' pal for ya."

Chasm glares at Starscream, "You can't send those clodhopping Stunticons after the ruby! They'll probably drop it or something!"

Scorcher almost stumbles at being complimented by the Air commander. that must be the first time ever

Ravenwing sighs and doesn't know enough about the situation to comment intelligibly, so simply listens and learns. It doesn't strike her as wise to send in a team without backup, but... perhaps Motormaster is capable of such things.

Chasm clenches a paw in determination. "I should be the one to go!"

Starscream folds his arms and grins at Motormaster as Chasm raves. Ordinarily Starscream would agree. But in this case...if this weapon of Megatron’s is a failure...Starscream won't be the one getting in trouble. The blame will go all to those Autobot stunt-doubles, the Stunticons.

Soundwave says, "Somehow I do not think that would be appropriate, Chasm. It is likely to be a highly dangerous mission.""

Starscream says, "No, Chasm. Let Motormaster do it."

CatsCradle murmurs again, "You might get your paint chipped."

Soundwave catches Cats' murmurs, and one would think his optic band shades slightly brighter in amusement for a passing moment.

Divefire watches the exchanges and glowers neatly while drumming his fingers against his forearms, it is evidently going to be one of those days.

Starscream says, "The rest of you, pick up the equipment. I have the blueprints. To the crater!"

Chasm's optics blaze. "I'm actually volunteering for something... and the answer is /no?/ Find then. Just don't think this will happen again." He crouches on Soundwave's shoulder, sulking, the thought of that magnificent ruby crushed by Motormaster's hands too much to bear. He holds a paw over his optics. "I can't bear to watch them screw this up. And they will. Only /I/ have the talent, cunning, resources and natural ability to pull this off and of course... my contribution is wasted. Why did I ever join this ragtag army?"

CatsCradle grins. "Because we fed you?"

Motormaster turns his head a bit, optics flaring brightly in a flash of anger. Wonderful. His reputation is now on the line, and if he even pulls off the mission, Starscream will get the credit for it. He shoots a hateful look at Chasm, and then turns to Breakdown, snapping,"Get the team ready. We're goin' ta fetch a pebble."

Scorcher glares at the little dragon. She does not like to be called ragtag anything, even if at the moment she sadly looks the part

Chasm is so lost in his woe he doesn't notice CatsCradle usual sarcasm...

Tempest smiles sweetly at Chasm. "Oh, you can go if you like. But if Megatron tells me to hunt you down...then HUNT I will." She hits the stud on her switch sword and the blade leaps to menacing life, glowing with light just like her optics...

Scrapper isn't paying attention to Chasm's outburst, but is glowering a bit himself.

Chasm gazes at the sword. "Ha! You'd have to find me first!"

Soundwave turns the description from Scorcher into Cybertronian-style coordinates that he transmits to the rest of the group, including Motormaster, so the Stunticons will know where to meet them when they've completed their part of the mission. "Perhaps you can supervise the ruby's installation, Chasm," he suggests.

Tempest grins. "I think I'd just sleep in the rafters over that ruby and wait for you."

Chasm glares at her. (Being on Soundwave's shoulder gives him a confidence boost.)

Scrapper gets the coordinates, and seems to sigh. Like or not, he and his team have a weapon to build and a site to prep. "I'll contact the other Constructicons Starscream and we'll get to work." He turns and heads toward the door.

Tempest has learned a few things about how to tease. She says, "Hey Soundwave, if you ever decide you have too many cassettes, I could take one off your hands for you..."

Starscream nods. "Do that, Scrapper. I will see to your progress shortly."

Scorcher sighs and resigns herself to being turned into a cargo lifter, if only for the duration of this mission. she heads for the doors, leaving smudges of red dust everywhere, and a cloud of fine particles that seem to cling to every shiny surface

Soundwave's optic band flickers again faintly. "Somehow, Tempest, I do not envision you with a pet."

Ravenwing watches Motormaster, and the pressure on him to do or die. Some people rise to the challenge, some are crushed by it. It remains to be seen which classification Motormaster falls within, though she has her suspicions.

Chasm looks at Soundwave warily.

Soundwave says, "On the other hand-" a glance at Chasm - "we are sometimes surprised.""

Scorcher overhears Soundwave and Tempest's exchange and mutters to nobody in particularly "Pets, no. But stuffed animals?"

Chasm removes a small polishing cloth and starts to clear away the red dust on his armour.

Tempest licks her lips. "I was thinking more like a snack..." and with one more wink at Chasm, puts down her sword and turns away.

Soundwave goes back into all-business mode. If Starscream is determined to build this weapon, it's Soundwave's duty to help him succeed.

Motormaster catches Scrapper at the doorway as he himself departs along with his team, catching the other gestalt leader by the shoulder and noting to him quietly,"I'll get th' fraggin' rock, but I'd bet the Autobots'll be after us 'cause idiot over there decided we should get it from the humans. You and your team just be ready... I don't trust Starscream. It comes down to it, it may come down to Menasor and Devastator." And without another word, he walks off.

Chasm hmmmphs, "You better not get any ideas."

Scorcher smiles at Chasm "Don't bother with cleaning that filth away. There is plenty more where that came from. How do you think I became covered in it in the first place? From that wonderful desert we are about to visit"

Chasm says, "Just remember, that if this gets fumbled up, I could have done the entire thing with grace and precision... " His optics bulge. "A desert? A dirty desert? Waaaraagh, I just got waxes this morning..."

Starscream says, "Time is wasting... We must have this finished before Megatron returns!"

Scrapper's optic band brightens a bit, but he doesn't acknowledge Motormaster's comments.

CatsCradle mutters again, "In case it fails, then Starscream will have time to hide the pieces..."

Divefire glowers some more at Starscream. "Then close your mouth and start leading, oh fearless leader..."

Scorcher adds with a grin for Chasm "And the worst part of it is that it gets even into your system. I will need a full system flush to get rid of it again. If the air commander will sign me off active status long enough"

Chasm whimpers.

Scorcher shudders and says to nobody in particular "And it itches horribly"

Ravenwing is learning quite a bit this day, yes indeed, and it's nothing about how Earth operations works. More like... how it *doesn't* work. A fine demonstration of how *not* to do things. Unlike the others present, she operates under certain constraints and cannot be frank concerning her opinions, alas, so simply remains silent.


Meteor Crater

     A spiraling dirt road coils downward into the dusty base of a vast bowl-shaped crater, formed by the impact of an extraterrestrial object many tens of thousands of years ago. Of the object itself, only a few iron-bearing and glasslike fragments remain. If one were to examine the microstructure of the rock in this region, one would see evidence of impact fracture in the quartz crystals that make up the sandstone. Far removed from any trace of human civilization, this crater is also an ideal place to build and test esoteric weaponry.

Starscream lands in the center of the crater, touching down with surprising grace.

Chasm circles in the air above the gathering and slowly fades out of sight.

Scorcher flies low enough to dump the equipment she has been carrying in a pile, before she climbs higher again to take up a forward scouting position

Ravenwing finds... dust. Lots and lots of dust. Dust as far as the optic can see, from horizon to horizon. She's not too perturbed, as it could be worse. It could be mud, lots and lots of mud.

Tempest sniffs at the air and finds herself a rock to climb up on, which is located near the area where the spiral road joins the bottom of the crater floor. She coils up there, letting the sun catch her wings.

Soundwave lands near Starscream, taking in the area, and deciding that Scorcher had been correct in her evaluation. Nothing much nearby to disturb them.

Scrapper listens to his radio a moment and says, "The other Constructicons will be here soon Starscream."

Starscream walks over to Ravenwing, pausing in his stride to say, "Scrapper! Begin organizing the equipment until the other Constructicons arrive!" Then he says more quietly to Ravenwing, "In addition to commanding the aerial armada, I also resume full leadership in Megatron's absence."

Soundwave walks over to Scrapper. "The others have the components from Cybertron, I take it?"

Ravenwing nods and says evenly, "One would assume as much of Megatron's chosen Second."

A small patch of reddish dust floats through the air and lands on Soundwave's shoulder. It then fades back into a dusty Chasm. "Hmmph," he says, sounding unimpressed.

CatsCradle finds a spot to sit on the rim of the crater, quietly settling herself to watch both the others and any possible approaching Autobots. She doesn't seem to find the dust as annoying as the others do... perhaps because there will be the opportunity for cleaning later. Could always be worse.

Starscream thinks of something else..."Soundwave! Eject Laserbeak and Buzzsaw and order them to commence patrols of the area." This place /may/ be in the middle of nowhere but it doesn't hurt to make /sure./

Scrapper pulls along a large container and says to Soundwave, "Except for this batch of raw materials. We'll use the alloy to make the frame, and whatever else we need."

Divefire floats down from the air, arms full of component parts and a few additional pieces of steal. Touching down he walks over to Scrappers location and sets down the equipment, maybe a little more carefully then the others but just as wordlessly.

Soundwave says, "Affirmative." Not "as you command," as with Megatron, but an acknowledgment none the less. He ejects the two cassette birds, who transform in mid-flight and soar upward.

Starscream hands a datapad displaying the blueprints of the design to Scrapper.

As the two birds fly up, the green forms of the other Constructicons come down, landing neatly beside Scrapper. They carry a large container similar to his, and set it down carefully.

Scrapper says, "All right Starscream, we've got the materials here, want to hand over the blueprints?"

Ravenwing peers around the landscape, with both personal and professional interest. One thing about some deserts is that they're flat, and that means good visibility of anyone approaching, though she dislikes being so much out in the open. It goes against her instincts as a stealth operative, not to mention that black isn't quite the right color for blending into the sand...

Soundwave peers over Scrapper's shoulder. He has not himself yet seen these components, though he directed the search team on Cybertron as to where they might be found.

Chasm wonders why he wasn't tapped for recon duty but shrugs and is perhaps grateful for it.

Scorcher radios to Ravenwing "Think we could go have a look at the place where I crashed those aerialbots? It is only an hour earth time flying either way from here"

Chasm peers over Soundwave's shoulder. "Hmmm, I suppose it might work."

Starscream mutters, "I was just /doing/ that," as he tosses them towards the Constructicon. Ingrate...

Starscream snaps at Tempest, "You get off that rock and do something /useful/ with yourself...if you can't do any building then at least patrol the area."

Tempest shoots him a baneful look and slinks up the desert road towards Catscradle. She curls up next to the other femme and peers at her, as if seeking a comment or opinion.

Scrapper holds the blueprints so that Soundwave can see them too. "Hmm. Interesting, a power inverter core. No wonder this will be so powerful. If the whatever its called, ruby, actually works."

Ravenwing responds to Scorcher, "Perhaps another time. Not when one is on active duty. Your task is to make sure that no one approaches us unseen, and to try to remain unseen yourself." A pause, then she snorts softly. "Never mind, it isn't my business to tell you your duty here."

Soundwave's optic band darkens a little as he regards the plans. "It will work, if it is built as constructed," he says, the usual harmonics of his voice oddly flat for a moment.

Mixmaster says, "Come on Scrapper, let's move it! I'll get busy on the basic frame."

CatsCradle gives a brief wave of her hand and wrinkles her nose in Starscream's direction. For the most part, Starscream's... Screamer-ness seems to pass over her. Perhaps because sooner or later, her mate will pound him into the ground. Only a matter of time. She sits back, enjoying the warmth of the sun if nothing else.

Scorcher radios back to Ravenwing "It's ok. But we can see Autobots approaching from anywhere. They'll leave a huge dustcloud"

Chasm sighs again, "A perfect ruby... sacrificed upon the altar of conquest..."

Divefire shifts himself a little to look over the plans over the other two scientists shoulders. "Hrm, reminds me of a Swedish furniture plan."

Bonecrusher, lacking specific orders for the moment, starts to carve a spiral path for the team to drive out of the crater on.

Tempest mumbles to CatsCradle, "I wonder where Megatron is."

Soundwave looks up from some past reverie, and responds to Chasm, "What better use would you suggest for it?"

Scrapper says "Long Haul, start-" Long Haul breaks in with, "Yeah yeah, start hauling the stuff over. Hook should be here for this, he's the crane."

CatsCradle lifts one shoulder in an abbreviated shrug. "Off on his own, I imagine. Either a new plan... or just getting away from..." And she gives all the puttering a wordless wave. "After all," she adds, "wouldn't you want to?"

Ravenwing wouldn't mind taking a flight around, but... this *is* business, not pleasure. She can sightsee another time. "They have flyers, don't they?" she radios to Scorcher. Things seem to be calming down a bit, at least as regards her comrades. Starscream is mixing the occasional intelligent comment in with the rest of his insecure drivel. Maybe this plan will work, as Primus seems to favor drunkards and fools.

Scorcher radios to Ravenwing "They only have flyers if they repaired them in a hurry." but she seems to settle herself flying a slow and remote circuit around the crater, keeping some fifty mile distance most of the time

Tempest nods a little. In a way, she's glad if he's getting a break, she knows he needs one. "I wonder why he didn't tell me though..." She looks a Maybe she's actually mildly bothered by that.

Scrapper continues to study the plans. "Hmm. Scavenger, what you think? A z type linkage here, then we run the cable to both units?"

Divefire walks his way over to Starscream, having the looks of slight concern on his features as he approaches his temporary and of course glorious leader. "So Starscream, how long is Megatron away for?"

Bonecrusher finishes the pathway out of the crater, and comes up to Scrapper. "We've got trouble. Local pests on the way."

Starscream shrugs. "He said only a couple days," Starscream replies. "Which is why we need to work hard to get this done before he returns."

Divefire nods slightly, seeming to understand the predicament the Air Commander is in. "Agreed." He pauses for a moment and looks around the crater, frowning slightly. "That's odd," He adds in a low tone. "I don't see Nightbird anywhere..."

Scorcher radios to everybody "Vehicle approaching our location at moderate speed. Does not match any known Autobot signature, but is big enough to hide prime"

<Earth> Motormaster says, "I got yer chunk o' rosy redness... you folks keep the home fires burnin' an' we'll be back in a jiff."

Scorcher radios to everybody "Should I intercept it?"

<Earth> Starscream says, "Good work Motormaster.  Home in on the coordinates you were given."

Scrapper confers with Bonecrusher quietly, then calls over the others.

Scorcher radios "Commander?"

Starscream scowls. He didn't want Motormaster to succeed so easily...well, at least he has a chance to send up Megatron with this new weapon. Perhaps tomorrow he can kill a few Autobots with it before Megatron returns... He starts to say to Divefire, "Of course you don't, she's a ninja and she's /supposed/ to disappear lik..." Slowly, Divefire's words sink in and his face noticeably sinks into a glower.

Tempest's head perks up. "Is it an Autobot?"

Chasm notes that without something to break into or a handy computer system to infect, he may as well be staying at home, lounging in his oil bath with a copy of the Financial Times...

Ravenwing looks in that direction, trying to determine how visible Scorcher is. Probably very much so. "Can you ease in close enough for a visual verification without endangering yourself, Scorcher?"

Soundwave is involved in looking over the building with the Constructicons, seeming to take quite a personal interest in this project. He looks up, however, at Scorcher's warning.

Scorcher radios "Commander? It is quickly getting out of range. I can close in but that means exposing myself."

Divefire smirks back to Starscream's glower, his optics gleaming with a certain amount of illicit intent. "You might want to order a response to the income unknown now..." He mutters in a half growl before turning on his heel and walking away.

Starscream seems almost /glad/ for a distraction. He nods to Ravenwing. "An excellent suggestion, Lady Ravenwing. Precisely what I was thinking."

"Of course," Ravenwing responds softly, her silver optics completely opaque.

Scrapper says, "The Autobots couldn't have discovered us this quickly. They don't have Teletran-1 to coordinate their satellites anymore."

Tempest is watching the ground for a sign of the incoming vehicle that Scorcher reported. She picks up a dust cloud on the horizon, and points it out. "There it is!"

Chasm suggests, "They could have arranged a new linkup. Co-opted one of the Earth satellites."

Scorcher turns and revs her engines full power to chase the approaching vehicle. She roars over it at her full speed, trying to scan for its characteristics. There is no way the inhabitants of the bus could not have noticed her. She radios "I repeat, vehicle is of unknown model. I can not confirm Autobot origin"

Divefire pages: Eh, it's been better to be honest.

Starscream storms forward, about ready to zap the marauding pest himself. Firing his jet engines, he rises out of the crater and stands in the desert, in front of Tempest and Catscradle, facing the oncoming foe!

Gryphus watches on with quiet observational optics. She makes little movement, and when she does its just to enter something in her hand held datapad.

Scorcher screams over the radio “Flashes from inside the vehicle" She climbs straight up, to avoid the fire she suspects is aimed at her

Soundwave remains near the partially complete weapons frame, though he's quite prepared to defend it.

The unknown vehicle closes with the crater quickly, and soon is at the border of the new spiral ramp.

Chasm leaps lightly on top the weapons frame and powers up his mini-lasers.

Ravenwing waits for visual contact before doing anything destructive.

Starscream steps into the vehicle's path. "Halt, Earth creature, or be destroyed!"

Divefire watches all the commotion with a certain amount of amusement, especially after he catches a glimpse of the image Scorcher sends...

Tempest slinks along and leaps up on a rock, ready to pounce on the vehicle if need be.

Gryphus taps into her datapad (As usual showing extreme aggressive tendencies toward unknown object. Presuming that all objects mean to ruin thing.)

The door of the vehicle opens, and a human gets out, wearing brightly colored clothing. "Well, howdy there. Shee-oo, that's one impressive prop yea got there. So what movie are ya filming?"

CatsCradle mouths in dumbfounded amazement, "Halt Earth creature or be destroyed?" Starscream has been watching far too many bad movies...

Starscream scowls down at the human, about ready to inform the vermin that they aren't filming /anything/, unless someone jumps in and says otherwise...

CatsCradle leaps in the way. "Yes. Movie. Due out next year." She points at Chasm. "Great toy line, don't you think?"

Chasm flaps forward and twiddles with this holoprojector, sending an image of a white-suited man to the front. "Hello there, old boy! Great to meet you! We're filing Mecha War: Calhoun's Revenge! Direct to video at the best."

Starscream gives Chasm an irritated glance for interrupting...and then catches on. Not a bad idea....

Gryphus raises a brow. (Though there may be hope for the females...)

Ravenwing studies the creature she assumes must be a Terran, the first time she's seen one outside of computer records. Small things, aren't they? It seems rather oblivious of the doings here, though one would think that Cybertronians weren't a common sight...

Chasm's projection pulls on his white hat, "We've got these rusty hulks from the set of Live Action Gundam! Nothing like a bit of ingenuity, eh?"

Soundwave gives Chasm a look, then shrugs. Why not? It lets him get back to his own work.

The man looks at Chasm's hologram with a smile and says, "Aw, hey, from the looks a them robots, you got a hit there. How you get em ta talk like that?"

Chasm's image smirks, "Can't tell that, son, why - it would ruin the Movie Magic. Did Spielberg tell all of his secrets? Does a master magician tell what's in his hat? I think not."

Starscream growls...he could blow up this bus with one simple blast...but even he knows that doing so is as good as sending an invitation to the Autobots, and he can do /without/ Prime's righteous indignation today. He mutters softly, "Play their game and send them home as soon as you can," to Catscradle and Chasm.

Scrapper looks at the scene for a moment.. So Starscream and Chasm are going to handle it. Those two. With a shake of his head, he gestures to the others to continue work.

Gryphus idly watches the interaction of holo with human. (You would think humans would know a holo from a true physical presence...)

Tempest continues to eye the one wrong move, she'll slice it apart.

Chasm's image says, "I'm afraid I'll have to ask you to move on soon. This filmset isn't common knowledge. In fact, it's being kept top secret from all those Mecha War fans out there."

CatsCradle adds quickly, "Not to mention the Robotech ones."

Chasm's image says, "I'd hate to call in security."

The tour guide says, "Well sir, I can appreciate that. But, well, see, we got our group of folks back here all set on seein’ this here hole. You think we could watch your filmin instead? We'll leave the cameras in the bus, right folks?"

Chasm's image says, "Well, I suppose. But only quickly."

There's a chorus of affirmative answers, and cameras get laid down on seats as the people get out.

Scorcher returns to her solitary patrol with an inward sigh Whatever the vehicle was, it does not seem to be Autobots, and somebody is handling

The tour guide smiles and says, "All right, great. My name's Hank, and there here's the group. We won't be stayin too long, just want to get a look see. Come on everyone!"

Divefire shakes his head slightly and shifts into a more photogenic form...

Divefire transforms into his Mk III Trans-Am mode.

Gryphus hms, she could use this time to observe the humans without interacting with them... she moves slightly to the group. Leaving the work to the others. Research IS research after all.

Scrapper looks up at the little organics starting down the path and gawking at them all working. What a day..

Chasm's image says, "Nice to meet you, Hank. Over here folks, this way please." He walks over to CatsCradle and points. "Here we have Lisa Steele's mech. She gets killed off in scene 7 because the Vangar attack fleet sabotage her vehicle. She pilots in front of the killer missile and saves Calhoun's life. It's just beautiful, really."

Tempest eyes the bus hungrily, but keeps control of herself. She slinks down, leaping from rock to rock as the tour crew oohs and ahs. Irritated at being the center of so much attention, she flops down on the rock where she was initially sunning and curls up, making herself as uninteresting to those hairless monkeys as possible.

CatsCradle gives Chasm a look that's half glare, half... not sure what.

Divefire drives up the access road slowly, scanner swishing back and forth nosily.

Ravenwing does nothing to disturb the illusion being woven by Chasm, merely watches the oblivious Terrans with interest, and idly wonders about the talk. None of it makes any sense to her at all, so she resumes scanning the desert for more surprises, less harmless than these people.

Chasm projects the image of a blonde woman with a bad 80's hairstyle on CatsCradle's shoulder, 'Howdy, folks," she says, a rather glazed look on her eyes. "I sing a song at the end, so please look for my record after the picture is released."

Near the front of the group are two seemingly adolescent humans who are making a lot more noise than most of them. One says to the other, "Aw, DUDE, this SO rocks! Check that out! And you said this'd be boring!"

Gryphus idly taps in her observations as she watches the humans with interest.

Hank the guide points at the Constructicons and says, "You know, I used to deal in heavy equipment fore I got this gig. I gotta take issue with yer choice here, ya never see the lime green ones anymore. I mean those things are just butt ugly in that color right?" He laughs.

Chasm's first image grins and walks on, "The reason why the set is so quiet is that mostly everyone is town getting supplies. Anyway - " he points to Starscream. "Here we have the hero's mech. Gus Calhoun, Ace of the Spaceways. Gus saves the day and avenges his lady love at the end of the film /and/ finds true romance with Hekah-77, the enemy captain, who releases her true emotions when she meets the hero for the first time."

Chasm's image waves a hand, "Oh that's why they were so cheap, that colour. Use to belong to a Night club in 'sisco."

Starscream realizes he might enjoy this role after all and strikes a heroic pose!

Two of the female humans tilt their head and say "Aww.." while the two louder males at the front make odd gestures, pointing at their open mouths.

Divefire drives up to the side of Cats and simply sits there, taking a note of the number of humans present, the average life expectancy and health. Which tends to decrease with size he's noted...

Gryphus snickers at SS

Chasm's image wipes a tear from his eyes, "This is the best Mecha War movie ever. Bigger than 1- 3 even! And then we learn that the aliens enjoy music and that's when we have universal peace at the end of the film..." He sighs and straightens up, "Well, better get back to work. Hope you enjoyed the tour and make sure you see the film!"

Chasm's image forcibly leads the group back towards the bus.

Ravenwing keeps her optics on the incoming roads and the skies, as the Terrans don't pose much of a threat. She also wonders at the Stunticons' long absence, but doesn't know where they had to go for this ruby.

Another human in the back of the line speaks up, saying, "So what's with the jet we saw earlier, was that an action sequence or what? It shook the whole bus and made a godawful lot of noise. Worse than those guys who play their car stereo too loud."

Chasm's image shrugs, "Ah, just some sounds we were trying out. One of our ex-airforce specials painted up bright for the movie."

CatsCradle murmurs to Diver, "At least they didn't ask for autographs."

The humans allow themselves to be herded back toward the bus, and a few of them wave to the Decepticons.

Chasm moves the crowd towards the bus. "Better get going folks - we've got work to do and our security advisor thinks that you've seen enough. Hope you enjoy the rest of the tour!"

Divefire scanner swishes back and forth a little more quickly in agreement with Cats

In the crater, Scavenger mutters to Scrapper, "You know, I seem to recall we used to just shoot at the things and they'd run off."

Gryphus finishes her notes on the humans interactions

Chasm mutters, "I think there's a great future for me in producing B Movies..."

Starscream smirks, and waves goodbye at the departing humans.

Hank waves from the front of the bus, and several of the humans say things like, "Bye! Thanks for the tour! Good luck with the movie!"

Chasm's image gives the tour guys the thumbs up, "Later all! See you in the video store!"

The bus' engine coughs to life and the humans finally drive off.

Scrapper flies up from the crater and says to Starscream, "Well, while you were playing host to the microbes, we've almost completed the weapon."

When the bus vanishes over the horizon, Chasm sighs and turns off his projector. The image fades from sight. "Well, well. That's how we should attack most problems - cunning rather than brute force. And to think they liked that story! I could go into movies... Hmmm. A whole pile of cheaply made SF epics using the Decepticons as cheap mecha..."

Gryphus makes a side note (Screamer things he's god's gift to humans... *ahem* Or at least things seem like that )

Starscream says, "Excellent! All we need is the ruby...where /is/ that idiot Motormaster?"

CatsCradle tilts her head at Chasm. "Cheap mecha?" she repeats, her voice dangerous.

The image of Lisa's actress, on CatsCradle's shoulder, breaks into a bad 80's pop song.

I”'m going to be a star
I'm going to fly to the star!
I'm going to win!
And that's no sin!"

Soundwave looks up from the weapons frame. "I might not have put it in quite such a manner, Air Commander, but I am beginning to wonder that myself."

Starscream says, "Go send Laserbeak to see if he can find them."

Chasm winces as he checks the charge on his holoprojector. "Oh well."

Divefire mutters from his car form. "Chasm, I'm banning you from Hollywood and Japan."

Soundwave is about to follow Starscream's order and send Laserbeak and Buzzsaw on a wider search pattern to see if they can spot an approaching Stunticon.

Gryphus looks up. "Motormaster approaches." she notes idly. Got to love that scan function on her datapad.

Tempest is loafing on a rock, looking somewhat gloomy...but she perks up as soon as she sees Motormaster return. Grinning, she slinks down behind the rock, deciding to surprise her friend.

Starscream approaches Motormaster. "It /took/ you long enough. Did you get the ruby?"

Scorcher notices the Stunticons approaching from the opposite side of her circuit. She quickly moves to intercept, accidentally breaking the sound barrier almost above the tourist bus

Lisa's image de-rezzes and fades from CC's shoulder. Chasm plots, "I could clone this acting humans or use cheap cydroids in my productions. No one would ever no the difference."

Scrapper talks something other with the other Constructicons in a low voice, and there's a general nodding of assent.

Motormaster is indeed roaring up the road towards their position... though, oddly enough, he doesn't have any of his team with him. Decided to come alone, it seems. As he nears the crater site, he transforms back into his robot mode, landing in a crouch and straightening to brush himself off and peering around curiously, comparing his coordinates to those of the datapad. Then Starscream walks up and he says, voice sounding odd,"Oh!...Star..scream..." A pause, and he clears his throat, voice more customarily twangy and rough now,"Starscream! Yeah, I got yer... um...yer fraggin' gem right here." He retrieves the ruby from subspace and offers it.

Soundwave looks up, relieved to see Motormaster finally returning. There are, however, no other Stunticons with him. Unusual.

Divefire transforms into his Robot mode.

Scorcher roars by overhead and radios to Motormaster "Hiya big guy. Did everything go smoothly?"

Chasm seems amazed, "It doesn't seem crushed at all?"

Starscream takes the ruby, eyeing Motormaster. "Is something wrong with your voice? You sound...strained."

Soundwave says, "You underestimate your fellow Decepticons, Chasm." None the less Soundwave comes over to join Starscream, and asks, "The others declined to accompany you, Motormaster?""

Scrapper comes over with the other Constructicons to eye the gem. "I still say we shouldn't be using some inferior crystal from this mudball. Who knows where it's been?"

Scorcher continues back along the backtrail of the Stunticon to see if there is any Autobot trailing him

Motormaster snarls at Starscream after a brief pause,"I had a hard mission, alright! Can't a guy show a little strain around here?" He then hesitates at Soundwave's question, before brightening a bit and nodding,"They were tired... an' I figured there wasn't any need fer /all/ of us ta bring the gem." He bites his lip for a moment, then,"What's it gonna do, anyhow?" He blinks at the radio message and raises his head, hesitantly waving to the passing jet.

Tempest pops forward from behind the rock, taking Motormaster by surprise, leaping up and wrapping her hands over his optics, hanging from his back! "Guess who!"

CatsCradle squeaks in surprise, never having seen Tempest... playful before.

Starscream stares at Motormaster. "You've forgotten /already?/" He points to the weapons frame...and pauses, as he notices Tempest jump the Stunticon.

Chasm flaps back to Soundwave's shoulder.

Motormaster gahs! and staggers forward, thrashing in momentary panic as if trying to remove the attacker...before he seems to force himself to calm down and search his memory... anything screamed at him in battle that sounded like that... "UH... er... Cats...cradle? NO! Tempest, Ah mean, Tempest!"

Gryphus raises both brows (Unusual actions from Tempest towards MM... study later.0 she notes

Soundwave tilts his head a little in thought. Stunticons, tired? That's a new one on him. Giving Motormaster a thoughtful look, he makes his way back toward the weapon frame, allowing Starscream to explain.

Tempest lets go, landing on the ground and grinning up at Motormaster. "Nice reflexes. Be glad I wasn't an Autobot."

Soundwave doesn't seem too surprised by Tempest's action. But he does glance at Motormaster again, before returning to his checking over of the weapon. "Everything is in readiness. We only require the final component."

Scrapper looks skyward, wanting to get on with the whole Weapon to Kill All the Bots thing.

Starscream points towards the weapons frame. "The ruby will provide us with the energy we need to power our new weapon," he says, somewhat snidely. Stupid Stunticons. "Remember? Or have you got dust in your neural circuitry from crawling around on eighteen wheels?"

Gryphus frowns. (Screams seems to like to taunt the wrong beings... note that for study lair...)

Chasm holds his paws over his optics. "I can't bear to watch this. Poor ruby... I can't even bring myself to look once more into its glittering crystal facets a final time... Oh, the anguish, the agony..."

CatsCradle glances at Chasm. "You should be acting in your own movies."

Motormaster ater almost nervously at Tempest, studying her with wary optics and an almost forced grin,"Yeah... gotta watch them Autobots... guess I'm kinda tired too, huh?" He then looks over to Starscream and nods a bit with a far more honest smile this time,"Gotcha. Thanks fer the reminder, boss."

Long Haul says, "Ah, shut your vocalizer Chasm. What do you want to do, just put it somewhere to look at?"

Chasm perks up. "Now there's a thought. I could use holographs for the entire production... The lack of shadow might be a problem..."

Scorcher radios to the group "Backtrail is clear so far"

CatsCradle nods. "You’ll figure a way around that. After all, your acting abilities are a true match for your script."

Chasm glares at Long Haul, "You're opinion was not asked for, 'trucker boy'..." he says primly. "At least I have more exciting career options than loading and unloading gear all day."

Starscream says, "I think all those head on collisions are scrambling your microchips." He hands the ruby to Scrapper. "Continue with the installation!"

Soundwave rests a hand on the weapons frame for a moment. "This should have been constructed years ago. It is a tribute to those who developed the initial design, that we will be using it against our enemies soon." He explains a little more about it. "This device will focus a beam more powerful than any laser, a beam that will ignite a chain reaction in whatever it strikes, to disintegrate it completely."

Chasm flicks a gaze at CatsCradle, "I'll have you as the 'lead mecha', I think..."

Scrapper mutters "About time too." He walks over and very simply drops the ruby in its proper place. A brief surge of energy goes through it as the machine calibrates. "Ready Starscream."

Tempest slinks over to Motormaster. "This whole thing is boring as all slag. At least /you/ got to have some fun.

Chasm sighs at Soundwave's speech. "All I can think about is that innocent little crystal matrix.."

Starscream says, "I propose a test, then!" He points at a large rock across the crater.

Soundwave's voice has an undertone of unaccustomed ice suddenly. "Perhaps you should think of all those innocent scientists who perished in the destruction of DeceptiTech."

Motormaster chooses a nearby boulder as a seat, hardly seeming bored himself. Indeed, he's staring at the laser with intent optics, almost anticipatory. However, Tempest's words draw his attention again, and he seems to search for a response,"Yeah... well... mine was borin' too, really. No.. um.. Autoskulls ta bash."

CatsCradle nonchalantly ducks behind Diver as Starscream takes aim.

Chasm shrugs, "Was I there? Nope."

Soundwave does not reply to Chasm. In fact, he doesn't even look at him.

Tempest leaps up on the boulder and curls up right beside Motormaster, resting her head against his side, wrapped up animal like with most of her body behind him, her arms like paws beside him, and her head resting against his arm.

Chasm says bitterly, "Don't forget that I was 'killed' about the same time by your precious Decepticon army if we're going to audit each other's woes."

Starscream saunters up to the weapon. "Scrapper! Are you done the installation yet?"

Scrapper says, "Yes Starscream, calibration is done. It's ready to be tested."

Motormaster tenses up as Tempest snuggles up to him, optics more fearful than anything else, as if waiting to get stabbed. With Tempest, though, it's really not such a surprizing reaction.

Divefire glances down from the edge of the crater to the weapon, smirking slightly as Cats ducks behind him. "I don't know what you're hiding for hun, you're the one with the force field."

Starscream strikes a heroic pose, and flashes a quick grin at Ravenwing as he takes the weapon's controls, zeros it in on the rock....calibrating carefully...and pulls the trigger.

Soundwave focuses his attention on the upcoming test. The weapon is fully charged and ready to fire its first shot.

CatsCradle peeks out from behind her mate. "Takes less energy to stand behind you."

Tempest feels Motormaster get tense, and suddenly a ripple of concern moves through her as well. She sniffs...edges away, and sniffs again. Something's not right here... She looks at her friend. Motormaster looks the same as ever. "Are you all right?"

Ravenwing is glad that Scorcher at least is still on duty, lest anyone turn up to spoil the event. She hasn't much faith in the superweapon. She's read too many accounts of such things failing due to some tiny, unforeseen flaw or circumstance.

Divefire glances over his shoulder in a slight frown. "And if I get disintegrated by that, thing?"

The beam shoots from the weapons frame, impressively vaporizing the rock completely. A cascade of dust showers into the air.

CatsCradle looks up at Diver with a lopsided grin. "If it's strong enough to disintegrate you, it will probably take me with you anyway."

Starscream laughs! "It works! It works /perfectly!/ Magnificent, Scrapper, Soundwave! We shall hunt down the Autobots and we shall have them /disintegrated!/"

Scrapper's optics flash a bit and his voice is obviously pleased as he says, "Excellent! Good work guys." The Constructicons all touch fists, their personal gesture of teamwork.

Divefire rolls his optics slightly. "Some compliment."

Soundwave too seems pleased by the initial demonstration.

Chasm flaps to one side. "Mmm, I might review my stock in Paramount..."

Scorcher spots movement near the crater and closes in to investigate. It takes about a minute for her to get near enough to scan the intruder, during which time the new weapon was successfully tested. Scorcher almost loses control of her flight as she recognizes the new arrival.

Motormaster narrows his optics as the laser works, then glances to Tempest with what he hopes is a comforting smile, even as he starts to activate subspace for a weapon... "Yeah... I'm fine. Just tired."

Scorcher hurriedly recovers herself before she dives nose first into the ground and radios "Commander. We have company again. .. Another Motormaster?"

Soundwave picks up that radio transmission and looks up toward the path spiraling downward toward the bottom of the crater, his optic band flashing bright.

Chasm frowns, "Two of them?"

Tempest frowns, not quite satisfied. She's trying to figure out why her instincts are screaming at her that something's wrong. She tries to tell herself that Motormaster is her /friend/ and can't quite succeed. And then she perks her audios as she hears what the others are saying, and her gaze follows Soundwave's....

Starscream snaps, "TWO Motormasters? IMPOSSIBLE!"

Scrapper looks over as Mixmaster points him toward the extra Motormaster. "What on Cybertron?"

Mere moments after Scorcher's announcements, another dark figure does appear at the lip of the crater, highly recognizable as the towering Stunticon leader at a full run, for some reason not driving or flying instead. Well there is one possible reason... /this/ Motormaster is battered to all get-out, armor broken in a variety of places and energy crackling from those wounds with each long-legged, pumping stride. He roars as he runs,"DON'T FIRE THE LASER! DON'T FIRE IT!" He then comes to a halt as he spots his 'other self'... and his voice goes to hatred in an instant as he sees him near Tempest,"You get the frag away from her! I swear, if you've hurt her at all..."

Motormaster edges away from Tempest, but gives the new arrival a baffled and angry look. "What sort of treachery is this?" he demands.

Chasm says, "Soundwave, where did you put that spare mind probe?"

Scorcher is so distracted by the scene below that she forgets about flying perimeter patrol

CatsCradle stops uncertainly, looking from one Motormaster to the other. "This can't be good..."

Tempest darts away from fake-Motormaster with blinding speed and takes position by the battered one. She doesn't even need to sniff at him.../that/ was the problem, the other one didn't /smell/ right...his words make it pretty clear to her who he is.

Soundwave regards them both intently. "Wait, Chasm. And observe."

Divefire’s optics widen slightly. "And also new..."

Starscream says, "Don't you tell me not to fire my laser!" Starscream has no clue which is which. At the moment, he's just gripping the laser controls, not actually firing anything.

Scrapper mutters to his fellow Constructicons, "Be ready to shoot one of them. Or both even. We can repair the right one."

Motormaster looks relieved as Tempest comes over to his side, but doesn't take his gaze from the other Motormaster, keeping his hands clenched into fists,"Treachery? You might wanna go back ta yer little hideout and check on yer idiot guards, Prime... I heard head injuries are hard to repair on humans, just like us."

CatsCradle pops her wrist lasers and swings them to the uninjured Motormaster. "I trust Temp's sense of smell better than my sight right now."

Chasm flaps over to the safety of Soundwave's ankle.

Motormaster - the one *not* beside Tempest - roars in outrage, "Impostor! I'll tear you apart!" And indeed he might have a good chance of doing so, being in much better repair.

Divefire hears the name Prime and involuntarily calls up his sword, taking a step closer to the edge of the crater. "Agreed." Though in a slightly more amused tone he adds. "I'm surprised Starscream hasn't null rayed them both by now..."

Starscream says, "Regardless, I'll be ready to shoot the fake one...which, I presume, is whichever one loses."

Ravenwing looks between the two and nods to herself at CatsCradle's words. Tempest is something of a feral being, and her senses may be keener. Plus... if an impostor were created, he'd hardly be created in such poor condition.

Chasm suggests, "We could always quiz them or something."

Soundwave seems to make no choice between them, but notes evenly, "The real Motormaster has certain powers." A hint to the real one, perhaps, to draw his distinctive weaponry?

Chasm says, "For example, questions about Motormaster's video game collection or something."

The intact Motormaster realizes he'd better prove himself quickly, and lunges at his battered double.

Tempest takes a reluctant step back. Maybe she shouldn't be interfering in a trial by combat...but damn, if her friend is losing, she's going to take out that phony. For now, however, she rubs her longblades together as she waits.

Motormaster sneers at his counterpart, though the gesture makes a torn lip start leaking fuel again,"I c'n thrash you even messed up like I am, Prime. You ain't ever seen me mad before." He glances around at the gathered Decepticons, some of them still looking uncertain... and doesn't even see the opening blow coming, a roundhouse that sends him stumbling back into the rock wall with a crash. He winces and rubs his jaw, then narrows his optics and lashes out with a foot to punt him back away from him.

The power source of the weapons frame hums softly to itself, all charged up.

Starscream swings the laser barrel to take aim on the battered Motormaster. He waits...

Divefire glances across to Cats and mutters in a low growl. "Can you draw a bead on the fresh faced Motormaster?"

CatsCradle's grin turns sharp. "Of course."

Ravenwing stares at the two, remembering Prime's silhouette in the darkness not too long ago, the way he carried himself. In other words, pattern recognition, which depends on more than visual. She nods to herself, Tempest's own decision verified, then casually leans an arm against the side of the crater, which lines her up nicely for a shot at the enemy. Hopefully she'll do worse than knock him down this time. But not yet. Let Motormaster... the real one... have his chance. He deserves the kill.

The other Motormaster is thrown back, but is quickly on his feet again, swinging a huge fist in a punch rather than drawing a sword as one might have expected. "Autobot impostor!" he snarls again. "I won't let you destroy this mission!"

Divefire smirks back to Cats. "Have a shot lined up and ready then will you hun?"

Chasm flaps up, "Who wants to take bets? I've got some good odds going here."

CatsCradle's optics gleam as her gaze and wrist lasers follow the clean-n-fresh version of Motormaster. "Not a problem, love."

Soundwave doesn't seem interested in that sort of action, and is instead watching the two nearly identical Transformers as they try to tear into each other.

Scorcher decides she really does not want to see this, and flies away again, to resume her patrol

Motormaster stumbles once more, hands clutching his stomach where the blow landed, and makes as if to draw his sword... before seeming to change his mind and instead just ball up both of his fists together,"I don't need a weapon ta deal wit' you!" And he swings them around in a great arc.

Motormaster2 staggers under the unexpected power of the blow, and is knocked off his feet.

Motormaster2 twists around and kicks out his legs, however, as he falls, and strikes his opponent with considerable force.

Ravenwing shifts her position slightly, almost seeming bored by the proceedings, but that once again lines her arm up with the first Motormaster. All in all, she seems an idle bystander, not someone ready to attack, and the lack of visible weapons adds to that impression.
Starscream says, "You will rue your mistake, impostor..." He keeps the weapon charged, holding back until the fight is over.

Scrapper and the other Constructicons are watching with interest, their weapons out but not really ready.

Motormaster oofs as gravel and sand gives way beneath him, striking the ground with a wince and a thud. His damage is obviously telling on him, though it's mostly the stuff he arrived with and not what he has taken in the battle. He winces a bit, muttering,"Maybe I do after all..." When he comes back up, his sword is flashing in his hands, a glittering whirlwind aimed at the still mostly-functioning Motormaster.

Tempest on the other hand has her blades in her hands. She /knows/ which one she wants to win and she doesn’t' take her optics off of him. She has no troubles with swaying the outcome of this fight...

Motormaster2 ducks under the sword strike, though he still does not pull an identical sword of his own, instead ramming forward to rush right into the other Motormaster with his shoulder.

Motormaster is thrown back, and doesn't get back up this time, sparks crackling all around him as he sits against the rock wall, face contorted with pain and rage. He shoots a glance at Starscream,"Well, c'mon... I always knew you'd be th' one ta destroy me, flyboy. I lost." He looks back to the other,"But I got one more trick you don't, Prime." And he no longer has his sword, but the Cyclone gun.... which he still has plenty of strength to lift, aim, and fire!

Starscream frowns. Why isn't he pulling the trigger? he rages at himself. He can't discern the true reason--because his prey's words sound like the real Motormaster. But then his prey pulls out that cyclone gun, and that makes the right answer pretty clear. He swings the barrel around to the other robot!

Motormaster2 is hit dead-on by the devastating shot and staggers backwards. A shimmering of light flickers around him - more so than just the light from the weapon. As he staggers back up to his feet, the black-and-gray image dissolves into a more garish red-and-blue one familiar to everyone present as Optimus Prime!

Starscream wastes no time in pulling the trigger....

CatsCradle fires instantly.

Tempest darts over to Motormaster--the /real/ Motormaster--to double check on him, while still keeping an optic on Prime. She doesn't fire...she'd probably miss and surely that big gun of Starscream's will be enough.

Chasm fires off a token laser burst...

Ravenwing glances at the real Motormaster, to see if he still wants to continue his own fight, or let the others handle it. Ah yes, the tug of war between pride and practicality...

Divefire sword glimmers as he watches Prime dissolve into reality, tensing slightly in preparation to leap down and help out Motormaster in the destruction of the red semi of death. After every one else has fired of course...

Scorcher spots yet another set of new arrivals. She banks steeply to fly towards the dust cloud, only long enough to confirm her initial scans. She fires two missiles at the approaching pack and climbs away to avoid return fire. Then she radios "Autobots approaching at high speed."

The Cybertronian weapons frame makes a strange sound as Starscream fires a second time. Were anyone watching, they'd see an interruption in the light-pattern being focused through the crystal, but it's only visible a fraction of an instant - before the entire frame blows apart in a tremendous blast.

Motormaster reaches up an energon-stained hand to grab a rock crevice over his head, dragging himself slowly and painfully to his feet, not even noticing Tempest or the others opening fire. Instead, he takes one limping step forward and grips his gun even more tightly,"You ambushed me." Another step. "You broke the duel code." Another. "You hurt my team." A final step so that he's standing over Prime,"An' you impersonated me." He raises the gun,"I'm gonna kill ya."

Two simultaneous explosions boom in the distance and the fireball can be seen even in the crater

Ravenwing murmurs, "Good work, Scorcher," just before the explosion and Motormaster's rising to the occasion. She takes her optics off the battle to look out towards the new explosions and the approaching Autobots.

A whole team of Autobots starts pouring down the crater walls toward the site of the explosion, some swerving to dodge Scorcher's fire from above.

Optimus does a good impression of a rabbit, hoping from cover to cover as the laser destroys rocks in front of him.

Starscream feels a strange vibration through the weapons frame. He flicks the switch off and is just stepping away when the explosion catapults him clear!

Divefire half turns in time to see the walls of the crater erupt in Autobots. "Oh slag it!" He yells, turning slightly and opening up with his arm rifles on instinct, for a mostly ineffective barrage of fire. "Damn it! We're seriously outnumbered here!"

Tempest has no time to worry about Motormaster now...her complaints about being bored just got silenced.

Starscream picks himself up. "My weapon!" And then he notices the Autobots. "Slag me...*ahem* DECEPTICONS, ATTACK!"

The entire Autobot army transforms as one, having explicitly disobeyed Prime's orders not to come after him. The Autobot leader doesn't seem at all dismayed by the matter, however. "Autobots, attack!" he directs them.

Scorcher radios to Ravenwing, sounding seriously annoyed "Guess they repaired those aerialbots in a hurry after all"

CatsCradle lets out a barrage of fire up at the rim of the Autobots. "Gee," she snarls. "Outnumbered... like that doesn't happen often enough..."

Scorcher strafes the advancing Autobots to buy her fellow Decepticons time to transform, but she is picking up a trail of aerialbots

Motormaster seems pretty much dead to the world, his damage and his anger having narrowed his vision to a tunnel that encompasses only the Autobot leader. He sights again, and pulls the trigger, this time unleashing a roaring beam of laserlight.

Bonecrusher says, "Without Hook, we can't form Devastator."

[Soundwave unleashes a stream of plasma bolts on the approaching Autobots, but they *are* severely outnumbered. And no full combiner teams here. Unfortunate that Motormaster can't take Hook's place in the team to make a complete Devastator, but that's just not how it works. He files the thought away for later re-examination and keeps shooting.

Divefire glares across to Starscream as he makes the order to attack, dodging a few laser shots as he back heels, still firing a hail of bullets. "Starscream," He half growls and yells, "we stay here and we're going to die. Painfuly!"

Scrapper opens fire with the others, keeping most of the Bots pinned down. But it's rapidly draining their energy..

Soundwave calls to Starscream, "Suggest withdrawal, Air Commander! There is nothing here to protect further."

Scorcher desperately tries to get out of the way of the Aerialbots who rapidly close in on her

Wheeljack jumps down to the bottom of the crater right behind Starscream. "So Starscream, you like megaweapons huh? Well, try THIS!"

Scorcher radios "guys? I could really use some help up here"

Chasm meeps and clings tightly to Soundwave's ankle.

With a resounding *BOOM*, Wheeljack's latest attempt to create a megaweapon blows up in his face, raining hot metal fragments on Starscream.

Starscream looks at all the Autobots and decides Divefire has a point. "Decepticons, retreat! RETREAT!"

Soundwave tries to shake something clinging to his ankle loose, before he realizes what that is.

Ravenwing studies the situation briefly, then as the Autobots come down, she leaps upwards towards the beleagued Scorcher, transforming. Too many of them, and no cover.

Tempest is reluctant to leave Motormaster's side. Has he noticed that Starscream has called the retreat?

Chasm clings tighter, despite the shaking.

Soundwave hurries toward Tempest and Motormaster with Chasm still hanging on. He'll help her pull him along with the rest of them if need be.

Divefire glances to Cats optics narrow as the wall of fire from the Autobots starts homing in. "Cats, help Tempest get Motormaster in the air and get out of here! I'm going to play some arial ballet!"

Scrapper continues with his team to fire at the Bots, forcing them to stay covered.

Scorcher is being boxed in by four aerialbots while the fifth, their leader, advances on her to line up for a clean shot at her tail

Motormaster simply steps out of the way of the laser, seeming perfectly calm and under control as he returns fire with a shower of lasers, just intended to get Optimus to keep his head down. He then looks down at Tempest, blinking once,"I have to save my team." He states simply, and turns and walks away at an easy pace, headed after everyone else pulling out.

Tempest lunges at Motormaster's arm. "Motormaster, forget him, we have to get out of here!"

Ravenwing is rather agile for a stealth craft, dodging most of the shots aimed at her as she kicks in the thrusters to go to the outnumbered Scorcher. As Silverbolt lines up on Scorcher, she locks in on him and opens fire without so much as a taunt.

CatsCradle gives a quick nod and darts over to the group around Motormaster. After a second deliberation, she weaves her forcefield, trying to provide some cover for them.

Tempest follows Motormaster. "Where /are/ the others?"

Soundwave takes hold of one of Motormaster's arms and starts pulling him up into the air with him. "Tempest, assistance required!" he calls to her, as CatsCradle manages to shield them somewhat.

A stray shot rips through Scorcher's wing and she spins wildly around her axis, almost careening into one of the aerialbots, who quickly move out of her way. Another one continues shooting at her while two more break off to deal with the new intruder

Divefire leaps up into the air, ignites his engines and transforms all in one fluid movement. It takes a moment for gravity to realize the extent of his acceleration and he hands on the ground for just a moment, before becoming a blur of acceleration, taking a sight on the Aerialbots boxing maneouver and making a move to break it up, wholesale.

Ravenwing misses her shot due to the unexpected breakup of the Aerialbot formation, but changes tactics to accelerate into their midst from behind, starting a timed roll that will hopefully clip someone's wing... She's prepared to compensate for the impact, they probably aren't...

Soundwave rises upward out of the crater, pulling Motormaster along as best he can, with (hopefully) Tempest's assistance.

Motormaster would probably struggle in his dazed little world... if it were anyone /other/ than Tempest and Soundwave were the ones who were toting him off. As it is, he trusts both of them implicitly, and so just hangs in their grips, optics dim.

Tempest tugs on Motormaster's other arm, helping Soundwave.

The Constructicons rise smoothly into the air, firing at the majority of the Bots still, covering their retreat.

Starscream circles the crater. "Hurry it up in there!" he yells as he takes fire from the Autobots, and returns it, null rays flying every which way. Stupid Stunticons...nothing but trouble!

Divefire veers violently in his flight path, practically powersliding through the air in a stall turn and then blasting forward again and transforming back to his robot form, just in time to catch a hold of Scorcher. "This makes up for last time." He growls to her as he does his best to avoid incoming fire while keeping a hold of her and adjusting for the impact of capturing her.

Scorcher struggles wildly when she is suddenly caught before she realizes it is somebody she knows

Ravenwing clips Air Raid, sending that mech into a wild, uncontrolled roll. Unfortunately, she's far too close to the rest of them and catches a laser blast from Skydive, who's living up to his name. Nice shooting, she thinks silently as she shuts down her left engine and swerves out of the fight now that Scorcher is free.

CatsCradle leaps into the air, transforming and jetting away as soon as Soundwave and Tempest have Motormaster settled. She transforms quickly next to Diver, sending a volley of fire down at the Autobots to give him and Scorcher cover. "You really don't like leaving a battle without carrying a femme to safety, do you?" she teases her mate.

Scorcher fires a final two missiles at the pack of Autobots below, more to deter pursuit than anything else

Divefire glowers back at Cats. "Something like that." He mutters before intoning to Scorcher. "Hang on." And then the world erupts in sound and furry as his fusion engines go to the stops and things become a blur.

CatsCradle chuckles and transforms again, jetting after them without a hope of catching up, but doing fairly well on her own.


Inland Desert <Asia>

     The endless stretches of cool rocky desert border the most populous nations of Earth, but the harsh conditions of the desert region hold even the ubiquitous human animal at bay. For those species who can survive here, however, there seems to be unlimited space to eke out a living amidst the common assaults of sandstorms and wildly fluctuating temperatures. Here and there the scouring winds uncover the knobbly ridge of ancient vertebrae or the outline of a gargantuan ribcage - a silent memorial to the thunder lizards that once ruled this realm.

Starscream snaps back at Scrapper, "It was working /perfectly/ until that impostor showed up! He probably did something to it!"

Scorcher complains "I think I am going to be sick"

Soundwave says, "Can you direct us to the base? With most of their attack force behind us, we should arrive ahead of them."

Soundwave isn't that worried about the weapons frame at the moment. It's unfortunate, but more important is the rescue of their fellow Decepticons.

Scrapper is about to shoot something back at Starscream when Soundwave's words catch his audio receptor.

Divefire shoots out of the meteor, holding Scorcher in his arms as he shatters the sound barrier into little pieces. "You get used to it." He mutters back to Scorcher but does slow it down rather a lot.

Starscream flies down. "Yes! Soundwave is correct. We attack the Autobot base immediately!" Megatron won't be so angry about the weapon if he hears about this victory!

Ravenwing glides in, one engine apparently no longer functional, but it *is* possible to fly minus an engine. If the Aerialbots follow, though, it may become troublesome...

Starscream glances upward. "Are you functional, Lady Ravenwing?"

Soundwave says, "We outnumber the Aerialbots easily. Coordinates, Motormaster?""

Ravenwing smirks inwardly and radios, "Not if airspeed is required, Air Commander. My weaponry is still fine, though." She scans backward to see if the Aerialbots are following.

Motormaster looks up again, and simply says,"200-62-1007." He then glances about with abrupt wildness, thinking they might exclude him injured as he is,"An' don't you try ta leave me behind!"

Scorcher radios "Company"

Soundwave realizes they'll be more slowed down arguing with Motormaster than simply hauling him along, so he beams the coordinates to Starscream, and keeps flying.

Starscream radios in reply, "We are coordinating an attack force. If you require assistance....(a pause) me."

Divefire frowns lightly at Scorcher. "Who, and can you fly on your own?"

Scorcher frowns, as much as she can in her jet form, "I can keep up with Ravenwing" she says

Divefire nods slightly and shifts back to his jet form. "I'll keep the Autobot fliers busy then."

Divefire transforms into his Orbital Interceptor mode.

Starscream orders, "ONWARD, DECEPTICONS!"

Scorcher flies rather erratically, with her wing partially shorn off

Ravenwing runs hurried diagnostics. She shut down the engine to prevent more damage, but... she's run out of choices here, and cautiously brings it back online. It's not going to last long, though...


Military Base

        Surrounded by fifty foot tall electrified fences is a large military base. Armed guards patrol the entrance, and Cybertronian laser security emplacements can be seen in various spots.

Tempest looks at Motormaster. "So, the humans have adopted the stray Autobots..." She points inside. "That's where your boys are?"

Motormaster squirms a bit as soon she spots the area, just nodding to Tempest before saying,"Lemme down! I gotta get ta 'em!" He is a bit more clearheaded now, however, because he also nods to Soundwave and Tempest,"An' thanks ta ya both..."

Soundwave lands, setting Motormaster down and stabilizing him. "You are still damaged," he warns the Stunticon leader.

Scorcher wavers in, just ahead of the Aerialbots who are still pursuing

Tempest reassures Motormaster, "We'll get them out. /ALL/ of us together.

Soundwave ducks aside as laser fire rains down on them from the air. The swifter flying Autobots haven't given up the pursuit.

Tempest seems determined to stick beside Motormaster.

Starscream orders, "SHOOT DOWN THOSE FLYERS!" He wheels around in the sky, aiming at Fireflight.

Silverbolt dives in, his frankly pathetic fear of heights seemingly under control. "All right Aerialbots, let's show them what real fliers can do!"

Powerglide swoops down, saying, "Don't forget about ol' POW-A-GLIDE!"

Motormaster draws his immense sword and spins it in his grip, just nodding to Tempest with a fierce grin. He doesn't pay as much attention to Soundwave's warning, and instead sets off towards the gate with fierce purpose.

Soundwave remains beside the Stunticon leader as well, while the Decepticon jetwarriors engage the Autobot flyers. He ejects Rumble and Frenzy, who leap out and land on their feet with their pairs of guns drawn.

Ravenwing manages to keep pace with the others, but her left engine is leaving a visible trail of black smoke. She reminds herself that this is a good opportunity to gain much needed experience in open combat, but quickly decides that sniping is so much more efficient.

Scorcher does not feel up to attacking aerialbots, since she can barely fly straight, however, she does asttempt to get an Autobot in her line of sight long enough to fire at him

Tempest stays at Motormaster's side, her own blades in her hands, charging into the building.

Divefire cuts his engines and banks over, hard, as a several laser bolts pierce the sky behind him. "That's it, time to clip that supersonic jets wings." he growls to himself and pours on the speed once again, taking a few pot shots on the Airialbot commander as he closes on him.

There's already some damage to the exterior installation here, as though a truck crashed through it, and it hasn't been totally repaired yet. Soundwave rushes forward with Motormaster, Tempest, Rumble, and Frenzy.

CatsCradle leaves the arial battle to her mate and draws her sword, heading in with Soundwave and the others


Secret Autobot Base

     This hidden installation is where the Autobots rebuilt their refuge after the destruction of the Ark. Not nearly as spacious nor as well-equipped as their former base, it still sports the essentials - computer and monitoring equipment, a workshop and repair facility, and even areas that can be converted to prison cells with but the touch of a button to activate energy bars.

Scrapper and his fellow Constructicons enter the base cautiously with weapons drawn. Bonecrusher says what's on all their minds, "Wish Hook was here."

Tempest takes the point, skulking through the corridors, sniffing. She can barely detect the Stunticons under the smell of Autobot exhaust.

All caution seems for nothing, however, as the sky battle raging outside has put those who remained behind on alert. Red Alert, Mirage, and Smokescreen meet the intruders with a hail of laser light. Behind them, several more Autobots can be seen, and beyond that, the energy-bars of the Stunticons' cages.

Soundwave unleashes a burst of plasma from his rifle, and another scorching blast of light from his shoulder cannon. Rumble and Frenzy flatten themselves back against the walls and return fire on the Autobots with both barrels.

Motormaster interposes the spinning blades of his chainsword between him and the laser light, deflecting the majority of the blasts with the diamond teeth. He doesn't even slow down, however, instead lowering his shoulder and charging right at poor Mirage, who happens to be in-between him and the energy cages. The Stunticons, meanwhile, set to raising up a racket as they see the approaching rescue squad.

CatsCradle wrinkles her nose and begins to weave her forcefield around herself. "I think I can get to the cages."

Tempest nods to CatsCradle and then lunges forward, trying to take out Smokescreen before he blinds them all.

Scrapper and the other Constructicons fire off a quick volley.

CatsCradle begins to make her way forward through the firefight, trying not to attract attention to herself, gliding from one set of shadows to another in the direction of the energy cage.

Rumble darts off underneath the laser blasts, finding a relatively secure spot, and shifts his arms to pile driver mode. "Just say the word, Soundwave!" he calls.

Motormaster attacks Mirage with bash, but misses him!
Mirage attacks Motormaster with Kick, and strikes him!

Scrapper attacks Windcharger with laser, but misses him!
Windcharger attacks Scrapper with Laser2, but misses him!

Tempest leaps at Smokescreen!

Soundwave zeros in on Red Alert and unleashes a blast of plasma at him.

Scrapper attacks Windcharger with laser, and strikes him!
Windcharger attacks Scrapper with Magnetic_Field, but misses him!

Motormaster oofs and stumbles back as Mirage knocks him away with a kick, snarling and raising his blade again,"I gotta teach you boys a lesson?! Get outta my way!!" And he swings the blade again, this time with it fully charged up.

Mirage attacks Motormaster with Rocket_Dart, and strikes him!

Soundwave gives Rumble a silent signal, and the little blue Decepticon starts shaking the place up, trying to disrupt the aim of the Autobots so someone can reach those cages.

Scrapper attacks Windcharger with laser, and strikes him!
Windcharger attacks Scrapper with Laser1, but misses him!

Tempest ducks under Smokescreen's kick, and moves her hand in close to his body, triggering the switchsword.

Soundwave follows up with a sonic attack, centered mostly on the current Autobot giving him trouble, Red Alert, whose laser strike he had to duck.

Soundwave attacks Red Alert with sonics, and strikes him!
Red Alert attacks Soundwave with Laser1, and strikes him!

Motormaster raises his gun as the rockets impact on him repeatedly, throwing up tiny explosions that crater his massive body. He returns it with laser fire, wanting to get him out of the way so he can get to his troops.

Soundwave's sonic blast makes the bars on the cages shudder momentarily, but it's not enough to shut them down. He himself is scorched by a laser strike in return from the red Autobot.

Motormaster attacks Mirage with laser_cannon, but misses him!
Mirage attacks Motormaster with Rocket_Dart, but misses him!

The floor trembles and cement dust starts to rain down from the ceiling from Rumble's pounding.

Bonecrusher and most of the other Constructicons are pinning down some Autobots, not letting them get clean shots in. Scrapper closes with Windcharger, determined to take out the Bot.

CatsCradle manages to make her way through without being noticed. She gives the Stunticons a quick grin and a wave, then shhs them while she studies the control of the cage. Giving up, she tries a more direct approach by firing at the controls, knowing she is about to attract attention, but with four other 'cons about to join in the battle, she figures it is worth it.

Scrapper attacks Windcharger with ARCWELDER, but misses him!
Windcharger attacks Scrapper with Kick, but misses him!

Scrapper attacks Windcharger with punch, but misses him!
Windcharger attacks Scrapper with Kick, but misses him!

Motormaster swings a fist around in a roundhouse at Mirage, then grins at he sees CatsCradle setting his boys free, raising his sword in salute to her..

Motormaster attacks Mirage with punch, but misses him!
Mirage attacks Motormaster with Punch, and strikes him!

Scrapper attacks Windcharger with ARCWELDER, but misses him!
Windcharger attacks Scrapper with Punch, but misses him!

Tempest grins as her blade cuts Smokescreen's belly open. She presses the attack...

From seemingly out of nowhere, Frenzy takes a flying leap at Mirage, crashing right into him. Not enough to knock him off his feet, it is none the less a surprise assault that may let Motormaster get past him.

Tempest attacks Smokescreen with punch, but misses him!
Smokescreen attacks Tempest with Punch, but misses her!

Scrapper attacks Windcharger with Laser, but misses him!
Windcharger attacks Scrapper with Laser1, but misses him!

Scrapper attacks Windcharger with Laser, and strikes him!
Windcharger attacks Scrapper with Laser1, but misses him!

CatsCradle eeps as the shot sends a jolt back through her. She shakes her hand in annoyance, kicks at the cage, then tries again.

Motormaster just nods hastily to Frenzy and charges on past the troublesome Autobot, narrowing his optics at the open stretch between him and the cages... hmmm... "Cats! Get outta the way! An all' o' you get to the back of the cages!'

Frenzy gives a war cry and fires a laser point-blank at Mirage's face. The Autobot cries out more in surprise than pain, and swats the little Decepticon away from himself.

Tempest goes rolling as Smokescreen fights for his life and manages to throw her off.

Soundwave meanwhile fires again on Red Alert to keep him pinned.
Red Alert attacks Soundwave with Rocket, but misses him!

Scrapper attacks Windcharger with punch, but misses him!
Windcharger attacks Scrapper with Magnetic_Field, but misses him!

Red Alert's rocket impacts the wall behind Soundwave, adding an additional shower of mortar into the air.

Scrapper attacks Windcharger with punch, but misses him!
Windcharger attacks Scrapper with Punch, and strikes him!

Scrapper attacks Windcharger with punch, but misses him!
Windcharger attacks Scrapper with Grasp, but misses him!

Scrapper attacks Windcharger with punch, and strikes him!
Windcharger attacks Scrapper with Punch, and strikes him!

Scrapper attacks Windcharger with punch, but misses him!
Windcharger attacks Scrapper with Punch, but misses him!

Scrapper exchanges blows with Windcharger as the other Constructicons keep some of the Bots pinned down.

CatsCradle's second attack managed to disrupt the energy flow in the bars, which sizzles and crackles and fades temporarily. The physical bars are still in place, however, and just waiting for someone to break them open.
CatsCradle grins as the energy fades around the bars off the cage, then she starts to study the bars themselves, trying to figure a way to pop them open. Then, at Motormaster's shout, she looks up, figures what he is about to do, eeps again, and ducks out of the way. Quickly.

Scrapper attacks Windcharger with punch, but misses him!
Windcharger attacks Scrapper with Kick, but misses him!

Tempest tries her lasers.

Smokescreen attacks Tempest with Laser1, and strikes her!

Scrapper attacks Windcharger with ARCWELDER, but misses him!
Windcharger attacks Scrapper with Kick, and strikes him!

Tempest whimpers, deciding to frag with the lasers, she's going to stick with what she knows. Out of her storage compartment she pulls a little treat...

Motormaster transforms and smiles internally at the flimsy little bars... what's that supposed to do? Stop him? A slight shake of his head, and he rev his engine once, twice, a third time... and then squeals off, racing towards the cells with terrific speed as the Stunticons dive to the back of the cell.

Scrapper and Windcharger both stop their fight for a moment as Motormaster crashes through the base.

Frenzy scuttles away from Mirage's wrath and darts back toward Soundwave at a silent command from his creator. Rumble too pauses for a moment, though the shuddering of the floor does not cease. This time it's Motormaster crashing right toward the prison cells.

Scrapper uses the distraction to his advantage, swinging his welder at Windcharger's face.

Scrapper attacks Windcharger with ARCWELDER, but misses him!
Windcharger attacks Scrapper with Punch, and strikes him!

Tempest attacks Smokescreen with TORNADO-BLADE, and strikes him!
Smokescreen attacks Tempest with Punch, and strikes her!

Scrapper says, "All right Autobot, now I'm mad!"

Scrapper attacks Windcharger with ARCWELDER, but misses him!
Windcharger attacks Scrapper with Magnetic_Field, but misses him!

Scrapper attacks Windcharger with ARCWELDER, and strikes him!
Windcharger attacks Scrapper with Kick, but misses him!

Scrapper attacks Windcharger with punch, but misses him!
Windcharger attacks Scrapper with Grasp, and strikes him!

Windcharger attacks Scrapper with Magnetic_Field, and strikes him!

BOOOOM! like a crack of thunder right by your head, the bars give way and are sent spinning off, actually sinking into the wall at the back of the cage right above the laid-out Stunticons... whom Motormaster barely squeals to a halt right before running over and through as well. They peer at him with wide-open optics... silence reigns for a moment... and then they start whooping and scrambling to their feet, piling all over him as he transforms again and grins at them. Then, at a gesture from him, they all get quiet and wait expectantly. He glances back at the fight still raging, and then chuckles a bit before saying to his troops,"What say we make sure this base ain't fit ta hold anythin' ever again?" They all nod at that, step forward and follow him out of the cell. He pauses once there's a bit of an open room in the outside area, then spreads his arms,"STUNTICONS! MERGE TA FORM MENASOR!" Clank-clank-clank-clank-CLANK! and the behemoth is crouched within the base, still towering over all the other figures inside even on his knees.

CatsCradle picks herself up from where she had thrown herself at the impact. "And that works, too," she comments, as happily as if she had busted the bars open herself.

Soundwave calls Rumble and Frenzy quickly back to him. They leap up and transform, sliding smoothly back into his chest compartment.

Tempest attacks Smokescreen with ram, and strikes him!
Smokescreen attacks Tempest with Kick, but misses her!

Scrapper attacks Windcharger with punch, but misses him!
Windcharger attacks Scrapper with Punch, but misses him!

Scrapper attacks Windcharger with punch, but misses him!
Windcharger attacks Scrapper with Punch, but misses him!

Tempest pounces Smokescreen, sending him flying across the floor towards Menasor just like a hockey puck, grappling with him.

The Autobots as one turn their attention on the monstrosity in their midst - or would try to, if they weren't still being harassed by the other Decepticons. Slowly some of them start to realize they'd better get out of here.

Rarely do the individualistic Stunticons agree on anything, even when in the merge as Menasor. This is the reason for the superwarrior's usual stupidity, that inner conflict. But the destruction of the base? That they all agree on... and so Menasor is under control, an elemental force waiting to be unleashed. He reaches down with a giant hand and catches Tempest and Smokescreen, stopping them, then glances about and rumbles to himself,"Room to work with, first..." He lashes out with a fist and swings both shoulders, shattering rock and metal with equal impunity, sending bits and pieces scattering in every direction as even the solid, stable base cannot withstand the assault.

Scrapper gives Windcharger a final knockout blow, and raises his fist to cheer on Menasor.

Tempest laughs as she sees Menasor begin his architecture of aggression...rearranging the base! She darts around his leg to pounce on Smokescreen by surprise.

Scrapper says, "All right Constructicons, Menasor's going to mop up the rest of this. Let's get topside before the whole thing comes down!"

Tempest nods, trusting Menasor to take care of this. "Don't bring it down on your own head!" she yells as she follows Scrapper and Soundwave out.

CatsCradle ducks falling debris and hurries after the others.

Menasor cranes around to peer at Tempest and Smokescreen, then pins down the Autobot with a finger to prevent him from chasing the femme. He just nods once, and waits until they're all clear. Then he doesn't hold back any more, swinging both fists wide and repeatedly pounding the walls. One, twice, thrice... cracks spread through the wall with each blow, and then on the fourth they begin to fragment... and on the fifth, the entire room begins to give way.


Military Base

        Surrounded by fifty foot tall electrified fences is a large military base. Armed guards patrol the entrance, and Cybertronian laser security emplacements can be seen in various spots.

Scorcher barrelrolls while Fireflight's attention is diverted both by Starscream's attack and by the happenings below him. Her wing screams in protest at the force she subjects it to and snaps off completely, dangling from some cables. with a scream of pain she stalls and begins spiraling down towards the ground, firing her laser one last time at the pesky Autobot who has been plaguing her

Fireflight's form emits plumes of smoke and he spirals to the ground below.

Scorcher does not seem to realize that she actually hits anything, she is too busy trying to stay in the air somehow.

Scorcher transforms into her Robot mode.

Starscream flies down towards the re-emerging Decepticons and transforms. "Scrapper, report. What is the situation in the base?"

Divefire hits true as Silverbolt transforms in response, crying out as the sword slices into his hull. He tries to aim a kick back at Divefire, but it's a weak attempt and in response Divefire simply pulls the sword free of the Autobot in contempt

Scorcher almost passes out but her antigrav keeps her hovering in the air, sort of

Those outside might have an interesting sight to draw their attention... first, several Decepticons come pouring out of the base, heads ducked as if to avoid debris falling just moments earlier, and several Autobots sprinting after them. Then, the entire stone-steel-and-titanium structure of the military bunker begins to shake, quivering as if alive and intending to stand up at any moment. That is, it looks like that, unless one notices the network of cracks spreading throughout the entire structure, lacing and weaving all through the corners and walls and ceilings and roofs... then, with a titanic roar, the entire thing seems to implode, collapsing in on itself with a great cloud of dust and gravel... and nothing stirs in the rubble.

Tempest takes a few cautious steps forward. "Motormaster...Menasor?" She knows he was angry enough to collapse the whole thing on his own head and not even care...

The Constructicons cheer in unison as the base falls.

CatsCradle slides to a stop, her gaze automatically scanning the rest of the battle for Divefire.

Scorcher slowly drifts towards the ground and sits down. She wonders what is going on inside that base, and why it suddenly collapsed

Silverbolt coughs and gags in mid air, oil and energon pouring from his mouth as he clutches at his side. He looks across to Divefire, hovering as he is just a fraction infront of him before he shakes his head slowly. "Pathetic." The Decepticon mutters before taking ahold of the Autobots shoulders and attempting to drive him into the ground.

Nobody has to wait or worry or hope too long... a moment later, the pile of rubble shifts, throbs, and bucks, scattering in a spray as an immense, dusty form drags itself free of the devastation with an immense, satisfied grin. Menasor is hunkered down in the destruction he caused, taking a moment for smug satisfaction. Then, slowly, he rises to his feet and glares about at all the Autobots in the area,"RUN, FOOLS! MENASOR HAS COME FOR YOU /ALL/!"

Tempest laughs with delight to see Menasor back in action. She goes looking about for any spare Autobots, presuming the annoyed Stunticon giant will leave any for her...

The Autobots for once do the intelligent thing and start their retreat.

Tempest can't seem to find any Autobots to attack.

Starscream says, "The Autobot base is in Ruins!" long until Prime and the other Autobots at the crater return? "Decepticons, withdraw to our base for repairs. Tonight we celebrate VICTORY!"

Divefire hurls Silverbolt over his shoulder, throwing him to the ground before diving after him, pushing his jets to full for a moment and adding his speed to the Autobots. It's all Aerialbot commander can do to stair in horror as the ground comes up to meet him. In one last vain attempt he tries to grab ahold of Divefire's arms and take him with him, but the triple changer has none of it, ripping his arms free and pushing off him, to let the Autobot slam into the ground, broken and done.

CatsCradle gives a quick nod. "Glad to see you made yourself useful," she calls to her mate.

Scrapper, close to being scrap himself after Windcharger's magnetic beam did a number on him, nods to Starscream.

Slingshot rushes over to Silverbolt, now laying in pieces, and begins to gather them up. "You'll pay for this Divefire! I'll make sure of it!"

Starscream takes off into the sky. "Decepticons, follow me!"

CatsCradle gleefully sends a few shots after Slingshot to hurry him along, then leaps into the sky, transforming and following the others.

As the remaining Autobots flee the area, no doubt to return to the rest of their forces in preparation for the counterattack Starscream fears so, Menasor takes a step after them, only to falter and start shaking uncontrollably. The giant soldier staggers and stumbles and falls back to his knees, the signs of energon drain apparent moments before he mutters to himself,"Menasor... demerge..." and collapses back into five separate pieces, the Stunticons each laying in a heap on the ground.

Divefire flips back in the air, hovering for a moment and looking down at the broken form of his adversary and his aid. His own frame hardly scratched from the fight, and only a sheen of effort marring his helm. "Make sure you bring an army then, boy!" He taunts back, his voice deep from the fight. "You'll need it carry you back to your grave!" Then with the other Decepticons retreating he transforms and joins them.

Scrapper goes over to Motormaster and then gestures to his team. "Come on Constructicons, let's get them back to base. They've earned a rest and repairs."

Tempest tugs on Motormaster's arm and looks at Scrapper, optics full of concern. "They're not...dead, are they? You can fix them, right?"

Scorcher weakly rises in the air, unable to transform into her much faster jet mode

Scrapper nods to Tempest. "We'll have them back in top shape in less than a week."

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 looks a lot more relieved to have the Stunticons back at the base.

Starscream grins. "Ah, my Decepticons, we have won a wonderful victory!"

Scorcher clutches her damaged wing and can't bring herself to feeling particularly victorious

CatsCradle nods towards the repair bay. "Give the speech to those who are hurting, Starscream."

Divefire turns and lays a frown on Starscream. "First of all, I am not your Decepticon. Secondly, we lost the weapon, nearly had Menasor killed and barely escaped the entire Autobot army. If that's your idea of a great victory Starscream I do not want to be around when you're defeated!"

Starscream snaps, "You're an idiot, Divefire. We found and destroyed the new Autobot base! If /MEGATRON'S/ weapon did not work that is hardly MY fault. The design was probably faulty! And yet I can report success to him DESPITE his flawed weapon! I would like to see YOU do the same." And at that, he stalks out, looking for Skywarp or Thundercracker...someone who will appreciate his victory.

CatsCradle smirks after Starscream, and gives her mate a side-long look. "What, did you except him to admit you were right?" She gives Scorcher and Ravenwing a gentle smile. "Go get yourself repaired."

Divefire shrugs lightly with balled up fists. "Egotistical scum sucking empty." He mutters in a half breath after Starscream. "Yeah, well... It needed to be said." He replies to Cats after a moment

CatsCradle grins at Diver. "Not really. You just needed to say it."

Divefire shoots a look across to Cats, and it's not pleasant. He mutters something and stalks off in the direction of the barracks.

CatsCradle watches after her mate with a slight smile, then looks back to Ravenwing with a shrug. "Soundwave is one of the best medics," she says. "Scrapper's pretty good too. I wouldn't let Hook touch me if it meant going another century without repairs." She gives her a nod, then walks down the corridor in the direction Divefire took.

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