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Revenge of Bruticus

6/29/02
Logfile from TFDD
War Room

        Dominating this room is a huge holographic display table, with chairs surrounding it. The display is suitable for projecting any number of video images or giant high resolution holographic maps. There are auxiliary display stations and computer consoles lining the walls, making this an ideal place to plan strategy and review intelligence.


<Earth> Scorcher says, "Scouting out the target area. Not much activity going on here though"

Laserbeak meanders on in and begins whistling... he then sits in a corner and begins polishing his lasers.

Megatron says, "Decepticon, we are going on a raid. Right in the middle of a human city. That will keep the Autobots busy - they will not attack us when the humans are in their way."

Tempest murmurs, "Yes, you'd think they'd learn..."

Soundwave says, "Shrapnel confirms, his forces are in place."

CatsCradle is sitting in one corner of the room. She doesn't seem to be in the middle of anything in particular, although the monitor in front of her is a feed from one of the outside surveillance cameras. She glances up as the others come in, her optics looking rather strange with their amber glow instead of amethyst. She doesn't say anything and merely glances back down at her monitor again.

Ravage nods, and he follows along after the other Decepticons. Hopefully, this should be a... Fairly simple mission. But, somehow... Things rarely have a way of working out that way.


Chasm leaps out of Soundwave's tape compartment.

Tempest notices the change and slips up behind CatsCradle, trying to figure out what is happening.

Megatron heads for the exit. "Decepticons, we fly!"

Chasm flaps up and perches on Soundwave's shoulder, looking rather bored. "This sounds suspiciously like work," he comments to Soundwave. "Why can't Megatron ever call us in for a cocktail party or something? I've got all these bargain pre Second Cybertronian War energon goblets just /begging/ to be used!"

CatsCradle stands up abruptly and turns to leave... windmilling to a stop just short of plowing into Tempest. "Eep!"

Tempest darts out of the way, lightning fast. She says nothing, asking the question with her optics. What is with you?

Ravage looks up at Chasm with a hint of annoyance in his optics, but he says nothing... He merely looks at the other Decepticons as they prepare to fly off.

CatsCradle sees the question in Tempest's optics and gives a little shrug. She turns her attention to Chasm. "Ooh, a cocktail party! Tempest could have you as an hors d'ourve."

Soundwave says, "We will arrive more quickly if we allow Trypticon to do the flying.""

Tempest lets it go, not trusting her own knowledge of robot nature to have accurately read Cats' emotions.

Tempest grins at Cats. "Yeah. Tasty."

Soundwave puts in a set of coordinates into Trypticon's control panel, giving the huge Decepticon the directive.

Chasm irritatedly strangles Soundwave with his tail. "Soundwave," he hisses, "Tempest is giving me that funny /look/ again..."

Laserbeak stretches his wings... almost hoping to run into the Autobots. "So are we to just ignore the Autobots if they see us? I'd like to shoot something today. " Be careful what one wishes for comes to mind...

Ravage looks over at Chasm, and he emits a short chuckle as he looks up into the air... This is... A truly interesting method of travel, he must admit.

Tempest laps at her lips, optics glittering. She does this mostly to Scare Chasm, which she finds amusing.

Soundwave replies calmly to Chasm, "Perhaps because you were complaining of having to do your share of work, Chasm?"

CatsCradle says in an aside to Soundwave, "... the hungry one."

Soundwave inclines his head a little to CatsCradle, seeming faintly amused.

Chasm folds his arms together with a *hmmph*.

The screens flicker as Trypticon launches into the air. Eventually, they drop away, revealing the American landscape. "Arrrived," the huge voice rasps again. "Need... energon..."

On the external viewscreen, the city comes into sight. From afar, it looked almost normal, but as they draw near, it's possible to see what looks like thousands of black dots swirling around the buildings. As they get even closer, those dots resolve themselves into giant insects.

Chasm considers flooding Tempest's and CatsCradle's systems with various, irritating viruses. Hmm, that could be interesting...

Ravage nods as he looks about the room, and then his gaze settles to look over at Soundwave as he sees the massive Insecticon swarm. In between h having to give the Insecticons their share of the energon, the amount that will be taken to repower Trypticon... How much will there be available to send to Cybertron?

Megatron smirks. "I see the Insecticons have already started their work.

Tempest scowls and paces. She doesn't want to share a kill with Insecticons. Sometimes being part of an army can be really annoying...

Dirge stalks quietly into the room, standing quietly in the back.

Soundwave says, "I will prepare the energy transfer equipment." He readies to follow the others out of the city. "We will require enough to repower Trypticon, as well as to fill our stores. Shrapnel's army seems capable of the task."

Megatron nods. "Of course they are, Soundwave. They proved that before."

Ravage looks over at Soundwave, and he trots along silently. The rest of them will probably be there for guard duties, and to watch over the energon transfer as it proceeds...

Chasm winces at all the Insecticons on the screen. "Soundwave, this could be dangerous. I'll probably be needed elsewhere. It's a good thing I didn't invest in Salt Lake, unlike my Tokyo investments which have been subject to various attacks from giant dinosaurs to aliens."

Soundwave says, "You can assist me in setting up the equipment, Chasm. It will take your mind off the ... danger."

Tempest continues to pace and growl to herself, her gaze dark and not looking at anyone else.

CatsCradle mutters, "Toldja Tokyo gets tapdanced on."

<Earth> Scorcher says, "Humans below are acting most peculiarly. Running around a lot and making odd high pitched noises"

Chasm sighs, "Soundwave, I'm a data technician, not a 'roadie'. Setting up the physical hardware? It's such a staggering waste of my talents."

Soundwave says, "We all must do our part.""

Ravage looks up at Chasm, and he emits a soft chuckle... He says, "You may believe that your talents lie in... Other directions, but we all do what we are ordered to do."

Megatron says, "Soundwave, get Chasm to shut up and do his work."

Chasm shakes his head at the onslaught of negative comments directed at him. When in Rome, or in Trypticon for that matter... He reaches into subspace and puts on some thick, heavy duty gloves to protect his claws from damage.

Soundwave conveys a list of needed equipment to Ravage and Laserbeak. The old bulky energon conversion chambers have been replaced by more streamlined models, but they do require some hardware. Soundwave sends his creations a mental image of the equipment, and where to find it, and instructs them to meet him outside the base.

Ravage nods, and he looks over at Laserbeak, and then he patters on up towards the medbay to go and gather the necessary supplies after waiting a moment for Laserbeak to follow.

Megatron heads out, expecting the others to follow him.

***

Salt Lake City

        A typical bustling human city with roads, buildings, and the inferior easily-crushed cheap imitation Stunticons the flesh creatures ride in.

Megatron watches the Insecticons and their clones at work. "Such voracious appetite these Insecticons have..."

Scorcher rocks her wings at the arrival of the other Decepticons , she radios "All is secure, but I don't know how long before the Autobots will show up. Humans did not think the arrival of our ... you know, reassuring"

Ravage looks over at Chasm, and he shakes his head in amusement. This is an improvement for his brother, to include the rest of them in along with himself in his comments...

Scorcher is flying some distance from Trypticon, in a wide circle. Keeping her scanners out for signs of Autobots

The sky is blackened with Insecticon clones, who leap from building to building and are happily eating everything they can fit into their mandibles.

Chasm grimly clutches his component, his hand-crafted gloves gripping the metal's surface. His claws poke through the ends of the fabric, since they were designed to cut through steel.

Soundwave starts assembling the energy transfer equipment. A few scattered humans are still running frantically back and forth through the streets.

Tempest grumbles, "Those Insecticons won't leave a thing for us."

Ferret transforms into his Robot mode.

Ravage comes out, precariously balancing a box on his back full f the necessary equipment to take over for the transfer...

Scorcher radios to Tempest "Odd sounds those humans make, don't they?"

Megatron says, "We are going to refuel Trypticon and our storage first. Then we will prepare a load for Cybertron."

Dirge is repulsed by the sight of so many Insecticons, but tries his hardest not to show it. He folds his arms across his chest, his back slightly turned.

CatsCradle wrinkles her nose, thoughtfully. "It's rather strange that Resyke is... is rather cute, and these guys are...." Her voice fades off as she tries to think of a proper description and fails.

Laserbeak plops the equipment he could carry in front of Soundwave "I loathe manual labor."

Tempest replies to Scorcher, "I've seen alien species that make stranger ones. Particularly when they..." She bites off. That's something the Decepticons would consider needlessly disturbing. Damn these organized civilizations and their restrictions on her conduct!

Ravage shrugs as he gently slides the box off his back onto the ground at Soundwave's feet, and then he gently darts away, sending a mental request to Soundwave for permission to go looking for Autobots.

Soundwave accepts the equipment brought by Ravage and Laserbeak, and comments to Laserbeak, "Perhaps you have more in common with your brother than you realize." No, he's apparently not referring to Ravage.

Soundwave nods to Ravage and indicates to him that he should scout the nearby area and keep watch from the ground, even as the flyers keep watch from the sky.

Chasm hovers in front of Soundwave, forcing the Decepticon to acknowledge him. "Start assembling your device now?"

Tempest replies to Scorcher, "Why make music, when you can go out with lots of guns and make more noises?"

Laserbeak looks up at his father as Ravage scurries off "Might I accompany him?"

A panicking human cannons straight into Dirge's leg. Dirge picks the human up and starts playing catch with it.

Scorcher completes another circuit, wondering what takes the Autobots so long. They are usually much more predictable

Soundwave says, "Affirmative, Chasm. Assist me."

Ravage starts running to scout out the general area, moving about in a sweep to start reconnoitering for any Autobots...

CatsCradle snatches the human out of the air away from Dirge and gently puts it on the ground. "Shoo. Go along now, before you get hurt."

Megatron says, "Dirge, let the worm down. You and Tempest will assist Scorcher in scouting the area for our dear 'neighbors'"

Laserbeak flies after Ravage trying to observe anything he might miss

Chasm holographically projects the blueprints of the device. "All right Soundwave," he says, sounding wise and tired, "...according to the plans, put Tab A into Socket D7, and be careful with those screws..."

Scorcher radios to Tempest "Guns are rather boring when it comes to music. They're loud, but not much variation in them"

Tempest pulls up a little, growls, and begins a search. There's nothing to eat when you're watching for Autobots. She wonders if she could swipe a fuel tank out of a car or two so she can eat on the job....

Soundwave sends Laserbeak along for the surveillance while he assembles the energon conversion equipment. He barely glances at Chasm's projection, knowing full well how to put it together. "Perhaps you had best just hand me the tools," he says.

Ravage runs along, moving silently and quickly, scouting ahead as he mentally checks in with Laserbeak as they zoom on, searching for any Autobots or anything that could prove to be troublesome on the mission.

Several Insecticon clones start drifting down from the sky and line up for energon extraction, buzzing impatiently.

Dirge frowns at CatsCradle as he watches the human scamper away.

Dirge transforms into his Blue Jetfighter mode.

Ferret looks around the human city, shrugs, and looks around at what the others are doing.

As she sees more flyers deployed to scanning for Autobots, Scorcher increases the radius of her scouting patterns

Dirge takes to the air, scouting the area for the 'neighbours' and avoiding the Insecticons as much as possible.

Tempest meanwhile is not in jet mode, and sneaks down under a bridge where she lands, gets herself a few fuel tanks, and then resumes her air cover, all the time gnawing on the former part of a Pinto that still holds gasoline in it.

Laserbeak is already not having a particularly good day... first actual work... then bugs... what's next? "Ravage you donít suppose I can eat one of these critters can I?" It just kind of seems natural...

Chasm grunts, disliking being reduced to a tool-carrier. Unable to resist Soundwave's jibe, he flaps forward and starts to furiously network the wires together and to load the software - /his/ department. That will teach Soundwave to mock the greatest data technician the Decepticons have ever seen!

Ravage scurries along, moving close to the ground, ignoring the humans who panic and flee at his presence... He looks up at Laserbeak, and he sighs, "I would think that they would probably give you indigestion, brother... But do as you wish..."

Somewhere under a bridge, a Pinto blows up, sending debris flying into the air.

Trypticon transmits a message via radio.
A radio transmission is received by Megatron.

Startled, Dirge turns towards the bridge, wondering what caused the explosion.

Laserbeak bows his head "not the humans... I meant the bugs."

Soundwave lets Chasm work, finishing his own part of the assembly. With the two of them in action, the conversion equipment is done in practically no time. Soundwave finally stands back and says, "You have been of great assistance to me, Chasm." He motions the waiting Insecticon clones forward.

Scorcher notices the explosion, but after a moment of checking out find s no traces of weapons fire involved, and continues her aerial scan

Ravage looks over at Laserbeak, and he chuckles up at his brother, and he says, "I believe that... Shrapnel would be... Greatly annoyed with you if you were to do so, Brother..."

Chasm stares down at his tattered and grubby heavy-duty gloves. "Only one of my talents could have designed the perfect integration of our custom Decepticons and your jerry-built hardware," he says modestly.

Megatron surveys the work, checking the machinery. "We need more energy

Scorcher can't resist as her circuit brings her near Ravage and Laserbeak. She fires up her engines and dives down towards them, with roaring afterburners, flashing by them at top speed no twenty meters distance.

Scorcher quickly climbs out of her dive to her usual patrol altitude

Soundwave starts to draw energy off the Insecticon clones, hiding a "smile" at Chasm's mannerisms. He begins the process of directing energon into Trypticon's fuel tanks.

Laserbeak shakes a wing at Scorcher "You...You...Hot dog!"

Ravage yelps in surprise up in the sky as Scorcher dives down at them, and he waves a forepaw up at her in... Amusement.
Trypticon rumbles, "Fuel... good. When I is getting enough fuel, me transform and devastate Earth!"

CatsCradle baps Trypticon on... er... whatever it is she's pounding on. "You devastate Earth and there'll be no more fuel for you."

Ravage looks over as he suddenly catches sight of something off in the distance, and he hisses, broadcasting over the radio, "Reporting multiple enemy contacts! Prime, and several unknowns!"

More Insecticon clones descend from the sky, as the first sets rise up again and resume their voracious devouring.

Tempest guzzles the rest of the fuel in a hurry. Just like Prime to make her rush her diner....

Megatron chuckles. "If you devastate Earth, Trypticon, where will you get your next fuel from?

As she levels off her climb, Scorcher notices something out of the ordinary. It takes only a few moments to confirm Autobot signatures. She radios, a few seconds after Ravage "Autobots. Lots of them. Trying to get a better scan on the unknowns. And a target fix"

Scorcher banks sharply and zooms off in the direction of the approaching Autobots

Laserbeak looks on excitedly... spying the familiar big Red truck. "Come and get it!"

Trypticon says, "Trypticon must think on this. Hmmm."

Dirge flies towards the direction of the Autobots, slowly.

Ravage starts racing towards the Autobots on an intercept course, without waiting for any sort of prompting.

Chasm dives behind Soundwave. "Soundwave, we're under attack!"

Ferret hasn't been given any orders, but on hearing of the approaching Autobots, he finds some cover to take position behind, and await the arrival of the Autobots.

Megatron radios Ravage: "Acknowledged, Ravage. Decepticons, prepare for fight. Soundwave, take care the energon flow does not stop!

CatsCradle gives Trypticon another pound. "Autobots, however, are free game. You can eat those. They have fuel."

The Autobot open fire on Scorcher, who is the most obvious target as she approaches them from above

Ravage fires off his proton bombs as he charges towards the Autobots, trying to divert their attention away from Scorcher!

Soundwave says, "Your deductive powers are in top form as always, Chasm." He continues to calmly work, moving the Insecticon clones in and out of their positions in an assembly line fashion."

Ferret moves forward, trying to avoid being spotted by the Autobots, until he reaches a good vantage point to snipe at them from.

Scorcher barely dodges the incoming fire. Several laser blasts score her wings and fuselage, but they are only glancing hits

Prime roars into the scene and transforms, ready to take a shot at Megatron - but there are still a few humans running about. "Hold your fire, Autobots," he calls to his troops. "We can't fight anyone with all these humans around."

Tempest sees something approaching...Aerialbots? ...and flies at it, only to recognize Divefire.

Ravage looks over at Prime, and then he looks over at a nearby building... He sends a questioning message to Soundwave - can they shoot the building and have it collapse right on top of Prime and his ilk?

Scorcher isn't bothered by such niceties and fires a missile at the group of Autobots as the slow down into a nice tempting target

Megatron fires at Prime. "You dare to disrupt my energon flow, Optimus Prime?

Ferret picks a target among the Autobots, aims, and opens fire.

Scorcher 's missile slams into the ground in the midst of the Autobot group, engulfing several of the smaller ones in the fireball

CatsCradle gently picks up a human and waves it carefully at the Autobots, then picks off a few shots, her fingers curled protectively around the human.

Dirge hangs back from the others, blasting his lasers here and there. He notices that the Autobots are not firing back. That boosts his confidence. He begins to fly closer to the pastel-coloured group, firing with more intensity.

Laserbeak fires at a few Autobots... buzzing by Prime's head as he goes.

Prime calls back, "How would you like your central circuitry disrupted, Megatron?" and does take his shot at the Decepticon leader now, while his troops hurry to evacuate the remaining humans.

Trypticon mutters, "If I is having more energon, I transform and kill everyone here! Need more... energon."

Ravage looks over at the Autobots, and then at the Autobots, who are holding their fire. Prime is... Such a tempting target... So, as he stands there, all high and mighty... Ravage releases his twin proton bombs aimed at Prime's chest. Its just such a big bullseye, too tempting to miss...

Cliffjumper and Skids jump back, apparently well sizzled by Scorcher's attack

Chasm vanishes beneath a hologram of the surrounding area. As an afterthought, he extends his camouflage over Soundwave's device.

The dark flame emblazoned jet wings over in greeting as it forms up on Tempest's wing, radar aided gaze flowing over the ground and assessing the situation before living up to his name. "Great place for a street party." Divefire mutters in a low growl over his engines roar.

Megatron tries to duck the shut but - hell - he stumbles over something and is hit. Nothing bad, actually, his cursing is worse.

Five unknown Autobots are among Prime's troops. The leader of the team seems to be a light-blue fire engine, along with other rescue-style vehicles. They're particularly intent on clearing the humans, and soon the immediate area is deserted.

Ravage looks over at Soundwave questioningly - does he recognize these particular Autobots? Ravage sends a telepathic message to Laserbeak and to Chasm, suggesting that the three of them attempt to get close and perform a close-range scan of their new adversaries...

The great cloud of Insecticons rises upward and moves on, a few streets away.

Ferret continues to snipe at the Autobots from the roof of an auto-repair store. The irony of it seems to appeal to him.

Jazz points out, "They're moving into another neighborhood. And this one's inhabited!"

Scorcher gradually flies higher as more and more Autobots begin to fire back. She does fly a few strafing runs but eventually takes on her usual role of tracking targets for the other Decepticons from above

Megatron gets onto his feet again, readying for a new attack.

Laserbeak flies in to get a better fix on theses new Autobots.

Dirge stares at the weird Autobot with two wheels. It looks positively creepy. He chases after it, while trying to dodge the Insecticons. "Slag!" he cries out as he almost hits one.

Chasm suggests back to Ravage on what an excellent idea that is and how Ravage should be the one to perform it, as Chasm would hate to take all the credit.

Scorcher transmits an overview of the combat zone to ravage and Laserbeak, highlighting the positions of various Autobot warriors

A scalded but not beaten Cliffjumper notices Laserbeak is preoccupied with the new 'Bots. He promptly shoots him in the side.

Ravage watches as he activates his electromagnetic cloak, after shooting Chasm a withering glance, as he moves to get as close to the Autobots as he can to perform a close-range analysis on them.

Scorcher transmits the location of Sunstreaker to Dirge, as the Autobot attempts to forman assault group that would encircle the decepticons

Ferret spots Cliffjumper firing on Laserbeak, and shifts his aim to fire on the small Autobot.

Chasm increases up the rez of his hologram, as Ravage had appeared to know exactly where he was. He moves around slightly, to confuse his location further.

Laserbeak falls to the ground after the blast... and arises rather angry. He tackles Cliffjumper and shouts to Ferret "This ones mine!" He then begins to pummel the Autobot.

CatsCradle keeps pegging off shots, holding her human in view... although she has surrounded it with a low-energy version of her 'field to protect it.

Soundwave has managed to extract a good bit of energon from the Insecticon clones. Not nearly as much as was available, but at least enough to partially power Trypticon and have some left over. As the Insecticons move on, he turns to defend the conversion equipment from the Autobots. His creations may notice from his thoughts that he does not recognize the five new Autobots among the others.

Chasm thinks that Laserbeak has some aggression he needs to work off, although at least he's doing it on Autobots and not on Chasm's precious collections or possessions.

Dirge considers Scorcher's transmission. Sunstreaker's location seems to have less Insecticons in the vicinity than this...wheeledone. He banks and turns towards his new target.

<Earth> Starscream says, "Megatron!  Do you hear me?!"

Ravage doesn't engage, he merely watches the new Autobots, performing as many scans as he can on them, trying to get as good an idea of their schematics, and what they are capable of, as he can...

Gears notices Cliffjumper in trouble, and leaps onto Ferret.

Scorcher yelps as a missile aims for her

Chasm still regrets to this day the time he showed Frenzy his special porcelain collection from the 18th century. Luckily, he'd managed to rig the insurance for it.

Prime calls out, "Autobots! Don't let the Insecticons get away! They've caused too much damage already."

It's strange how things arrive when mentioned, or thought about. Indeed in this case a white parody of a harrier jump jet pops up from behind one of the many sky scrapers in the city and lets out an accurate blast in the direction of Divefire. "This'll teach you to mess with Silverbolt you flying freak show!"

Megatron looks up, surprised at the familiar voice.

<Earth> Megatron says, "Starscream?"

CatsCradle stops firing for a second, tilting her head at the radio message. She snorts softly, and radios Divefire: "I guess that means you didn't find him."

<LongRange> Starscream says, "The one and only!"

Scorcher desperately tries to out-fly the missile that seems intent on rearranging her tail

Ferret's aim is disrupted by the unexpected appearance of Gears, and he is knocked onto his back. He kicks at the Autobot with his feet, while trying to blast him with his laser.

Soundwave calculates how to keep the Autobots busy so the Insecticons can continue their energy-gathering, and takes a few shots at the unknowns as they speed off with injured and frightened humans - but he pauses as Starscream's voice comes in over the radio frequencies.

Ravage looks over at the Decepticons, and he hisses at the sound of the voice, but he remains silent... Merely observing, watching, and staying out of the fight.... While he forwards the information he collects to Soundwave along their link...

<LongRange> Starscream says, "I'm calling to inform you that you, and that miserable planet you are on, are bound for a nice little meeting with destiny...in the form of the SUN!  Only I can stop it, and I will...If....IF...."

<LongRange> Megatron says, "*annoyed* If what?"

<LongRange> Starscream says, "IF you surrender to me my rightful position as the New Decepticon Leader!"

Tempest startles at the sight of the jump jet...Harrier? She growls to realize that it is not who she thought.

<LongRange> Megatron says, "You're bluffing, Starscream."

CatsCradle sings out, "Broken record!" and continues popping off shots.

Scorcher finally gets rid of the missile by flying through a building. The falling debris hits the missile and it explodes, causing a huge fire in the skyscraper

<LongRange> Starscream says, "Am I?  We shall see...however...you might find yourself wanting a little bit of coolant about now.  Check the thermometer, Megatron."

Scorcher radios "ouch, ouch, ouch" as she emerges at the other side

Ravage looks over at Megatron questioningly, but he stays silent, shooting glances towards Soundwave...

Indeed, the air seems warmer than normal - but that's just a weather fluctuation. Surely?

Dirge flies towards Sunstreaker, showering the Autobot with laser. Sunstreaker was a target that was crying out to be hit. Who would walk around in bright yellow?

Optimus Prime has been listening to this conversation as well, and motions to his Autobots to stand down. Reluctantly, many lower their weapons, while the unknown team speeds away to other more pressing tasks. Most of the Insecticons have dispersed as well, though a few still linger about, one of them being Shrapnel himself. He comes to a landing near the other Decepticons and looks at Megatron curiously.

Scorcher radios to Ravage "Can you check out the south sector. Too much Aerialbot activity there"

Laserbeak continues his Tussle with Cliffjumper. Out of the corner of his optics he notices Ferret and Gears brawling and blasts gears in the back. He is then tackled from behind by Cliffjumper.

The blast of energy flies true for the dark jet as inside its cockpit warning alarms blare and with a burst of motion it transforms into the mechanoid form of Divefire, electro sword flaring with power nearly as brightly as his optics shine in a deep rage. The energy bolt is neatly deflected with a spin of his sword before he hurls it with a flick of his arm at Slingshot with a silent yell.

One moment, Sunstreaker was firing comfortably from the back of the Autobot group. Next moment, he's being attacked by a Decepticon Seeker. He yells out angrily, "Don't you go ruining my chassis! I just got it waxed this morning, you fragging Con!"

Ferret regains his feet, and clubs at Gears with the butt of his carbine, knocking him off the roof onto the ground below. Ferret grins at this small victory, and blasts at the prone Autobot as he struggles to get away.

Ravage looks over a at the other Decepticons as he sees the Autobots apparently disengage. What is going on here? He looks up at Megatron, looking for instructions... Do they fight?

Prime calls out to his troops, "Enough! Stand down."

Megatron looks at Soundwave. What has this idiot done now? is written into his optics. "The temperature is indeed rising. I fear I have to take care of my former aircommander again.

Scorcher tries to keep position opposite side of the battlefield from the Aerialbots

Prime calls to Megatron, "Is there a problem, Megatron?"

Dirge continues to blast at Sunstreaker, not caring about Sunstreaker's wax job.

Ravage hisses as he looks over at Soundwave, and he moves back, staying in the shadows... He doesn't know if he should engage them or not... For now, he merely waits, and he watches...

Megatron says, "Nothing of your concern, Prime!"

Prime confers briefly with Perceptor, then says, "I disagree, Megatron. It seems one of your rogue troops has created a problem for us all."

Slingshot's harrier form wings over into a deliberate stall to avoid the incoming blade, transforming and falling down to the warm tarmac street as the blade imbeds itself into the side of a city block.

Upon hearing Prime's order, Sunstreaker stops firing. He runs back to the main group and notes the rising temperature.

Laserbeak waddles over to his father's side... unhappy about disengaging.

Scorcher doesn't care about the slowly rising temperature, she just worries about staying alive, tired as she is

Ravage looks up in the air. He can sense ht rising temperature /very/ vividly on his infrared scanners... He hisses, increasing the power that he feeds to his coolant, and then scampering over to Soundwave's side along with his brother.

Megatron says, "We will deal with that problem, Prime."

Ferret jumps off the roof of the auto-repair store where he was taking cover, ripping the old clip out of his carbine and slamming a new one in as he lands... but the fighting seems to have stopped.

Megatron says, "Soundwave, where did his signal come from?"

Chasm disengages his holographic shield. "Mmm, perhaps I should check on my stocks in 'Translatlantic Ice' at the moment." He appears to go into a trance. "Excellent, excellent," he mutters, rubbing his paws together. "Now for some hasty pre-apocalyptic stock market sales!

Dirge stops as well, puzzled. Why are the Autobots disengaging? And why...is the temperature rising? Something terrible must be wrong here. As his panic rises, his course across the sky becomes increasingly erratic.

Prime murmurs to his advisors, "Megatron's not going to see reason. We've got to get to the Decepticon space bridge before they do, and take care of this matter." Though he keeps his voice very low, Soundwave picks up the words. As the Autobots transform and roar off, Soundwave plays the recording back to Megatron.

Divefire floats over to the side of the city block, some thirty stories up and pulls out his blade with a burst of frustration before summoning up his radio and calling back to Cats. "No, I didn't... It's been a really bad week."

Soundwave says, "Starscream is on Cybertron, Commander. And it seems Prime wishes to precede us there."

Shrapnel steps forward. "I'll stop him," he decides, and buzzes up into the air without further explanation, quickly lost among the buildings.

Ravage looks over at Soundwave, and he chuckles softly. The Autobots have to /drive/ to the Space Bridge. They, with Trypticon... Can fly... Prime and his troops will either be slaughtered by the Insecticons, or picked off as they come off the Space Bridge...

Megatron clenches his fist. "He will not, Soundwave. Decepticons, assemble at the Spacebridge!

Soundwave says, "Trypticon is not yet powered up for flight. But, suggest we intercept the Autobots, Commander. They have no business in our internal affairs."

Laserbeak looks to Megatron "Sir might I suggest letting the Autobots go? If they battle with Starscream's troops... both sides will be decimated... and we can wipe them both out!"

CatsCradle laughs outright into her radio. "When you get kidnapped by Decepticons led by the emperor's son and nearly get beaten to death, Divefire, then you can claim to having a really bad week." She gently sets the human down and waves it on towards the Autobots. "Go on," she says softly. "They'll take care of you."

Dirge transforms into his robot mode.

The human looks up at CatsCradle, and then he decides that discretion is the better part of valor, pukes all over her foot, and passes out.

The ambulance-style unknown Autobot screeches to a stop out of an alleyway and picks up the human CatsCradle let go. He seems to pause to regard the Decepticon femme in amazement for a moment, then hurries off again.

Megatron shakes his head. "Starscream is my business, not Prime's, Laserbeak.

Chasm, his consciousness now floating with a tangle of radio waves, says absently, "Sell! Sell!"

Divefire shuts off his radio and mutters darkly about his week in space before absently slamming his fits into a pane of glass for a little relieve.

Dirge lands. He looks up at the sky. It appears the Sun is slightly closer than normal. Then again, he never really paid much attention to it...

Chasm says, "Sell, sell! No, you fool, Transatlantic Ice!"

CatsCradle makes her way over to Megatron and the others around him. "Actually, when it comes to the planet we're all on, I'm thinking it's as much the Autobots' and Humans' business, as it is Decepticon."

Laserbeak wonders if bloodlust is clouding Megatron's better judgment... although he will follow any orders given like a good little soldier

Megatron takes off, heading for the space bridge. "Follow me, Decepticons!"

Tempest's optics seem flat, dull. "We gotta get out of here," she mutters.

Ravage looks over at CatsCradle with silent amusement in his optics, and then he sighs. He looks over at Soundwave. And then, at Megatron's orders, he leaps up into the air.

Divefire catches Megatron's order and shakes his head in annoyance and frustration before slamming his engines to the stops and heading for the space bridge.

 Soundwave rises into the sky as well...

****

Dry Riverbed

     This deep gash in the landscape is all that remains of a mighty river that once cut through the terrain. Now, a deep gully can be found in the desert, not too far from the highway. The bleached skulls of cattle gleam amid the yellowish dust, and the crumbly sides of the river bed look as though they will collapse inward at any moment.



Scorcher slows down as she lands. She transforms just as she touches the ground. And promptly slips over some loose debris and falls on her backside

Dirge smirks at Scorcher's ungraceful landing.

Ferret smirks as Scorcher stacks it.

Megatron lands and walks over to the controls of the bridge.

Ravage looks over at Scorcher, and he sighs... And then, he looks up at Soundwave.

The Autobots are arriving on the scene just as the Decepticons do. Ahead of them all is Shrapnel, dropping down out of the sky in his insect mode, right by the space bridge controls. Seeing Prime rolling toward him, he makes a quick decision - and rips the control panel right off its console. Burrowing rapidly underground, he disappears from view.

The scorching desert heat seems even more intense. The sun almost fills the sky.

Tempest's optics darken. "Megatron, we have to get out of here." Her voice is harsh. Her expression is...almost flat. Her movements are jerky, panicky...an animal in terror.

Chasm lands on Soundwave's shoulder. "Dammit, Soundwave - my stock broker is about to leap out the window! I need to think of something soothing, fast..."

Scorcher shouts a profanity that she can only have learned in the seedier parts of Cybertron. Unless she has been talking to Space Case again. While she gets on her feet.. She is feeling somewhat wobbly

Divefire lands with the others, his black frame glistening brightly in the intense sunlight, even if he can't actually feel the increased heat. Besides, his attention gets caught on Shrapnel ripping off the control panel in the face of Prime's Mac Truck O'Doom battle attack. "Oh great..."

Soundwave says, "Play him some music, Chasm." Soundwave is barely paying attention to the panicky little dragon."

Megatron checks the mess. "This stupid Insecticon grasped the control panel." He hears that Tempest wants to leave. Well, he has a task for her: "Tempest, Ramjet, find the Insecticons and get the space bridge control panel back!

Laserbeak is angry and hot. Not a good combination "Autobots...Access denied!"

Ravage hisses. The intense light and heat is making it... Rather difficult for him to continue to function at his peak efficiency...

Prime turns to Megatron, accusation evident in his entire stance. "This is counterproductive, Megatron-" he stops as Shrapnel reappears from the ground, amidst his fellow Decepticons. He's transformed to robot mode, and is still holding that panel, looking very pleased with himself. He takes a few bites out of the side of it, munching contentedly. He stopped the Autobots, didnít' he?

CatsCradle lands without her usual grace... just in time to see the Insecticon eat their way to Cybertron.

Shrapnel glances up toward the cruel sun, but continues to nibble at the panel.

Dirge watches, appalled as Shrapnel takes off with the control panel, then..CHEWS ON IT! He aims a laser at the Insecticon. "What do you think you're doing?"

Tempest almost leaps at Shrapnel. "WHERE IS THE CONTROL PANEL?" she demands, blades in hands!

Chasm flies over to CatsCradle and thrusts out a small electronic device at her. "This is a dire emergency!" he snaps, "My stock broker is about to leap out the window of his 40-story office building! He thinks the world is about to end and is babbling about his wasted life of greed!"

Megatron aims at Shrapnel. "Return the panel at once, stupid bug!"

Shrapnel is so startled by Dirge and Tempest, that he drops the panel, taking a leap backwards. "Right here-here!" he says. "What do you want-want?"

Tempest looks at the item in Shrapnel's hands, sheathes her swords and grabs the panel up from the ground. She turns towards Megatron. "This is all we need to get out of here?"

Ravage looks over at Chasm, and he hisses, his optics building up a charge as he prepares to fire them and blast out that infernal device from Chasm's talons!

CatsCradle looks at Chasm, looks at the device, looks at Chasm. "Chasm," she says in a gentle but firm voice, "This world is about to end, AND YOU'RE STILL ON IT!" she ends in a shriek.

Soundwave's optic band darkens a little. He hates to echo Prime's words, but - "That was indeed counterproductive, Shrapnel."

Dirge stares at the mess that was the control panel. "We're never going to get out of here."

From among Prime's troops, Perceptor steps forward and tries to see the extent of the damage. "Perhaps it's repairable?" he says hopefully.

Chasm goes into shock, "My stock broker! A replaceable cog, now gone for ever! Who cares if the world is going to end, the..." his voice trails off. "The world is going to end?" he asks CatsCradle in a stunned voice. "With me on it?"

Tempest looks curiously at Dirge. "What? Why not? We have the panel, right?"

Tempest has no idea that all those hanging wires and sparking ends are ..bad.

CatsCradle stops and takes a deep breath. "Yes. Unless you can fix the part of the spacebridge that the Insecticon just ate."

Divefire stands to the side of the group, hardly keeping his frustration in check at all of this. Starscream's on Cybertron, that's where he wants to be... "Oh the blazes with all of this..." He lets out in a dark growl, starting to storm away. "You might all need the space bridge. I don't. I'll kill that sniveling little bastard myself and save you all the head!"

Dirge looks grimly back at Tempest. "The control panel is a piece of junk. We're never going to make it with that."

Megatron says, "Soundwave, take look at the panel."

Scorcher sits down behind a rock. She is feeling a bit too light in her head with all this heat to care overly much about what is going on around her

Ferret stands back slightly as the crisis causes tempers to flare...

Chasm flaps over to the control panel and starts welding feverishly. "No, no..."

Ravage looks over at Soundwave, and he says, "Can we summon Astrotrain to get here? Or perhaps send a small team in Divefire over to Cybertron?"

Tempest drops the panel, looking really nervous. "The ship...gotta get to the ship." She's...babbling? The optics dart around as if she's expecting an attack. Her body is tensed to flee. And yet, for some reason, she stays. She looks at Megatron as if seeking permission to run...

Laserbeak is on the verge of over heating, as he manages to spout off "This really bites..."

Efficient cooling systems are obviously not part of Scorcherís design

Soundwave picks up the panel, inadvertently tilting it so Perceptor can get a look at it too. He replies to Ravage, "It is repairable, and if we had replacement parts, this would be a faster process than summoning another means of travel." Perceptor chimes in with a list of needed parts.

Tempest, oddly, does not seem to even notice the heat.

Somewhere from the Autobot group, a voice can be heard whining, "This temperature is really going to mess up my paint job..."

Prime stands up a little straighter. "*I* will donate the necessary parts," he says solemnly.

Scorcher mutters "why not cut the whiners up?"

CatsCradle looks vaguely satisfied as Chasm bolts over to work on the control panel. "How long before we're too close to the sun for all this to matter?"

Chasm tries to wrestle the panel off Soundwave, "Soundwave - let me do it! The world could end at any second!"

Megatron narrows his optics at Prime's comment. Why does he await an "if"?

Ravage looks over at Prime, and he blinks. The Autobot leader will put himself off-line to repair this? Ravage sends a questioning message to Soundwave? Can they perhaps do something to Prime that will prevent him from 'recovering' at such a quick rate? Perhaps even terminate him altogether?

Prime does not disappoint Megatron. "If Megatron will agree to donate some parts as well."

Tempest curls her lip and hisses, a clear indication of her feelings in this.

Megatron says, "Never. I am autonomic perfection."

Soundwave lets Chasm take on the task of the panel, waiting now only for the pieces.

Dirge nervously crosses his arms, his normally impassive optics breaking into panic. He's going to die! On *this* planet!

CatsCradle glances over to her mate. "Maybe you should find out if you can get there before the rest of us die on this planet?"

Chasm investigates the panel.

Ravage looks over at Prime, hissing... They can finish him off and then take the pieces from his corpse...

With out waiting to see if anyone is paying him the slightest attention to his intentions, Divefire leaps into the sky once more and transforms back to his flight form. Fusion engines glow to an iridescent pink before gravity recedes to raw power and fury as the dark jet goes vertical and hyper sonic into the stratosphere and the stars beyond.

Tempest is extremely agitated now. She paces about frantically, glancing towards the west as if some salvation were to be found there, but keeping in close proximity to Megatron as if she were some kind of honour guard.

From among the Autobots, Spike comes forward and calls, "You'll be *evaporated* perfection if we don't fix that panel and get to Cybertron!"

Chasm sighs, having discovered that the panel is missing some parts, therefore confirming Soundwave's diagnosis. He lands on Soundwave's shoulder and holds the delicate piece of electronics carefully.

Soundwave doesn't think it's wise to waste time in argument, at the moment. "I can remove several non-essential pieces, Commander," he says quietly to Megatron, even as Perceptor stands by for Prime's decision.

Ravage hisses over at Spike, and he says, "If it eliminates your rather annoying and loudmouthed species... That might be a trade that I am willing to make... We can get off-planet... You, on the other hand..."

Tempest's pacing is beginning Dirge very much. He could feel his control slipping away. He snaps to the other Con, "Stop that!"

Megatron narrows his optics. He knew that, but had to keep his dignity. He decides, pointing at Perceptor, Tempest, if this Autobot quack does anything suspicious shatter his lenses... from the inside.

Megatron lays down. "Soundwave, proceed.

Soundwave moves to intersperse himself between Perceptor and Megatron. He's not about to trust an Autobot to remove any of Megatron's internals. Nor would Prime trust Soundwave, it seems. Each leader allows their trusted underling to take a few vital parts, which Soundwave hands to Chasm.

CatsCradle doesn't say anything as her mate takes off, leaving them all behind, but her jaws clench, her fists tightening to the point where her claws shred into the palms of her hands. She turns back to the stand-off over parts, her amber optics flaring. "How long do we have?" she snaps again.

Tempest nods to Megatron.

Chasm wonders if this the makes him a trusted underling, twice removed?

Tempest crouches down behind Megatron's shoulders, still at last, ruby optics like two pieces of narrow burning coal as she fixes Perceptor with her gaze. She moves her head only to glare at Dirge, growl a little, and return her attention to Perceptor.

Ravage looks over at Soundwave, and he hisses, pawing at the ground rather fitfully, looking about nervously... Just what has that fool Starscream done /this/ time?

Chasm grabs the parts that Soundwave extracts and then expertly wields them to the appropriate place on the control panel, occasionally pausing to check out a projected hologram of part of the space bridge master blueprints. He's not getting too bad at all of this hardware stuff, though he worries more about actually getting the panel getting connected to the space bridge and functional at the same time.

Soundwave moves to assist Chasm there. After what seems like an eternity, though is in truth less than a minute, the control panel is back in place, sparking slightly, but holding together.

CatsCradle snarls, a sound more expected from a half-wild street scavenger than a Decepticon warrior. "For the third time, how long before the sun melts everything on this planet?"

Chasm says absently, "Well, the time is increasing on a logarithmic scale..."

Megatron gets onto his feet again. He points at the bridge: "Soundwave, quickly, transport us!

Prime assembles his troops and stands ready to accompany the Decepticons.

CatsCradle says, in the same snarl, "Chasm, how long until your stocks here go up in flames?"

Ravage looks over at Prime, and then at Megatron - will the Autobots be accompanying them?

Soundwave sets the controls and hurries to join Megatron. He wishes he had an answer for CatsCradle, but all he can hope for now is that they're in time to reverse the process.

Dirge briefly glares again at Tempest. Feeling a little more in control, he pays intense attention to Soundwave, until CatsCradle's outburst. He glares at CatsCradle, terror seeping into his optics. "Stop it!"

Megatron looks at Prime, annoyed. "We'll handle this, Prime." This is Decepticon business. And he /will/ handle this.

Dirge says, "This planet can burn."

Prime counters, "You're right, Megatron. *We'll* handle this. Autobots *and* Decepticons." He won't be shaken off.

CatsCradle sneers at Dirge, "If Earth burns, we all starve."


Ravage looks over at Soundwave, and he thinks <As Laserbeak suggested... Let the Autobots do the bulk of the fighting with what whatever it is, and then as both sides are weakened, finish them off...>

The energy beam of the space bridge begins to circle the rim of the structure, and arrows upwards, drawing the two enemy teams together and into the wormhole effect, up toward Cybertron.

***

Spacebridge Transmat Chamber

        You are standing in a silver-gleaming room shaped like the inside of a funnel. Above is the transmat signal converter, translating your dissociated quarks that stream across hyperspace back into physical matter. A faint nimbus of light plays around the forked relay tips, like glowing coals. A sensor relay near the door scans and confirms the validity of your signal. A camera rig tracks all movements within this delicate area.


Chasm clings to Soundwave's shoulder, draping himself out like a bit of mink fur. "So... hot.."

Scorcher sort of falls out of the spacebridge and drops to her knees, badly overheating

Ravage winces at the sudden increase in heat, which is overloading his sensitive systems, and putting him near to the point of burnout...

The temperature is noticeably cooler as everyone re-materializes.

CatsCradle doesn't wait for anyone else, but stalks out of the 'bridge into the command center

****

Command Center

        Replacing the largely ceremonial Throne Room, this area serves as a liaison point between officers and troops. This is where, in recent years, Shockwave makes the day-to-day decisions about Cybertron's governance. The decor of the Command Center is purely functional, designed to facilitate the easy transfer of information. The area is circular in shape, with a raised standing area around the edges to give speakers an edge of authority. Various relays and datafeeds are displayed on banks of reclined monitors, set around the walls in a semi-circle, along with computer banks, datagrids and inert coms monitors. Security cameras map out every aspect of Decepticon territory, as well as constantly showing different location shots of the Nightwarren. A huge hi-res screen curves above the main terminal, and the gleaming walls capture the flickering and jump of information as it scrolls past on the screens, viewers and terminals. A funnel-like elevator exists at the centre of the room leading upward to one of the few above-ground facilities of this structure - the Spacebridge Transmat Chamber. Because of its proximity to the spacebridge site, the energon storage hold is located nearby.


CatsCradle glares around the center. "Great. Now where /is/ everyone else?"

Megatron looks around, not seeing Shockwave.

Tempest actually shivers a little, but also looks quite relieved to be off Earth.

CatsCradle speaks softly into her radio, but her voice is clipped and tight.

CatsCradle transmits to Divefire: " thank you so much for being concerned about the rest of us. Want to tell us where you are so we can join in your little revenge rampage?"

Dirge walks in, clearly glad to be back on Cybertron. He also notices the distinct absence of mechs. "What happened here, everyone died?"

Chasm looks excited. "Software! A system to interface with!" Without waiting to be told, he dives into the network.


Chasm reports, a while later, "Soundwave - the space bridge is doing something strange to the Earth's gravitational field and oh, heh, Starscream and Shockwave are in the brig. Who ever did this is very organized about keeping records."

Soundwave says, "Can you reverse the process, Chasm?"

Megatron doesn't need to be told twice.

Scorcher looks around, dazed

CatsCradle transmits to Divefire: " Nevermind. We know where Starscream is."

Ravage looks over at the Autobots, hissing, making sure that they don't make any move to go about and do anything to the equipment here.... Or try and hack records either.

Chasm reports, "It will take some time. I'll get onto it. I'll bargain with you for more perks later on, after the operation."

Chasm transforms into his Green Cassette mode.

****

Brig

        The power of this small chamber comes from the humiliation involved in being locked up as though you were a common criminal or one of the enemy, rather than one of the elite chosen to rule the fiery universe. To be locked up and forgotten, to be ignored as you clang away at the bars as the guards walk away outside, not even deigning to notice you. Perhaps you've become invisible, more likely you're going mad as the dark gathers around you and no one comes...


Along with the arriving Decepticons, the strange sight of a group of Autobots, led by Optimus Prime, greets the prisoners.

Dirge walks in, wondering aloud, "Where on Primus is Shockwave?"

Megatron arrives with the others in the brig area. Quickly he rushes over to the controls of the cell.

CatsCradle stalks in, optics blazing. She glances around, counting noses and obviously comes up missing one as her optics blaze even more.

Scorcher seeing her commander locked up rushes over to grab the bars

Ferret shoves an Autobot out of the way as he enters the brig.

Scorcher futilely tries to bend the bars

Starscream startles at the appearance of the Decepticons...and Autobots. "Megatron, Megatron! Onslaught is planning to kill you!"

Cliffjumper glares at Ferret as he's shoved aside.

Dirge stares at the cell in stunned surprise, his question answered.

CatsCradle snaps at Starscream, "As if you weren't helping him all the way."

Soundwave quickly deactivates the energy bars to let Shockwave and Starscream out.

Ferret smirks at the angry look on Cliffjumper's face.

Shockwave's minimal features don't betray the surprise he feels, but his voice does. "Megatron! And the Autobot, here?"

Ravage looks over at the other Decepticons, and at the Autobots, and he hisses...

Megatron opens the cell. "Since when do you have anything against that, Starscream," he remarks laconically.

Megatron says, "Shockwave, it is a temporary matter to preserve Earth from falling into the sun."

Starscream replies, "He's a loose cannon! A maniac! And he has to be stopped!" He completely ignores Megatron's question, preferring to cover his own aft. "Onslaught MADE me say those things!"

Scorcher aims a missile at Starscream as he walks by. From a distance of no more than two meters she can neither miss, nor escape the explosion herself "You." she snarls

Shockwave nods to Soundwave as he steps from the cell, and eyeing the Autobots distrustfully.

CatsCradle rubs her forehead, trying to calm her anger enough to think, although her words come out as if through clenched jaws. "Right. So if Starscream is here, and the Combaticons aren't, then I think I can safely say, my mate is currently beating the exhaust out of them."

Megatron says, "All is not forgiven, Starscream. You are free at my command. But only to deactivate whatever device is moving the Earth into the sun."

The Autobots remain on one side of the room, watching with incredulous expressions on their faces.

Scorcher's incendiary missile whines in her launcher as she prepares to fire it point blank at the air commander

Prowl murmurs to Gears, "Great, now we get to watch the Decepticons squabble at each other."

Starscream moves to put Megatron between himself and Scorcher.

Soundwave hears the whine of the missile and gives Scorcher a look, shaking his head. "Now is not the time, nor is it your place, Scorcher."

Ravage says, "We have more important matters to deal with, now..."

Ferret, who is nearest to the Autobots, scowls at Prowl.

Dirge frowns at Scorcher's actions. "If we had wanted to fry, we would have stayed on Earth."

Starscream says to Megatron, "Of course...right..." This toadying is embarrassing, but the opportunity to beat on Onslaught will make it worthwhile. "We can deactivate it now!"

CatsCradle says softly, "It may not be the time, but as for her place... I think every one of us who nearly died against Starscream and his Combaticons have the right."

Laserbeak looks up at his father then gestures to Starscream "is it my place? can I decapitate him please?"

Prowl responds to Ferret with a shrug.

Soundwave says, "That is Megatron's decision. And, Chasm is working on the process. My interest now is where the Combaticons are, and what they have planned."

Scorcher does not seem particularly coherent, with the effects of overheating, but Starscream's sudden disappearance behind Megatron does confuse her

CatsCradle turns to Soundwave. "In that case, I suggest trying to radio Divefire. I'm sure he has some idea, or he'd be here now."

Shockwave says, "Starscream is right Megatron, we can reverse the pull on Earth at the command center. I shall see to it."

Ravage looks over at the Autobots, and he hisses, his attention shooting from them, to Starscream, and back to the Autobots...

Megatron says, "There is no time to waste, let's go!"

Prime keeps his Autobots in line, and moves to accompany Megatron.

Starscream follows Right beside Megatron. He's being good. Really.

Divefire transmits to CatsCradle: "*From a conversation going on right that second* "Onslaught, you can bring all the kings men and all the kings horses, but you and your men will pay for what you've done to my family. It's not me who should be getting out of your way, it's all of you who should be getting out of mine! Now tell me what's pushing the Earth into the sun or I'll rip it out of your cold dead core!""

Scorcher blinks as she recognizes Starscream, but before she can target him again he is gone again

Sunstreaker glances back at Ravage, looking momentarily unsettled. He quickly regains his bravado and tells the feline, "You scratch me even slightly, and I'll have you melted into scrap."

CatsCradle sighs again and waves her hand. "'Scuze me? Divefire is facing off the Combaticons right now, if anyone would like to LISTEN TO ME."

Soundwave intercepts the transmission. "On the surface," he clarifies.

Megatron heads back to the command center. He has a planet to save that carries Decepticons of his army. What he will do with Starscream he will think about later.

CatsCradle transmits to Divefire: " we have Starscream, I think we've got the Earth thing under control. Where are you?"

Ravage looks over at Sunstreaker, and he hisses at the Autobot, and he says, "You attempt to hurt me, and I will ruin more than your paint job..."

Divefire transmits to CatsCradle: "Plaza"
***

Main Access Plaza <Polyhex>

     This Plaza serves as the gateway to the Decepticon administrative headquarters. With most of the planet in dark shutdown to conserve energy, Polyhex has become the main focus of life on Cybertron. The Plaza spans a fifteen kilometer radius, its surface gleaming with a mirror-polished finish. Acid-etched in its centre is a rampant Decepticon insignia that is best viewed from the air, striking pride into the hearts of its soldiers or fear into the minds of the enemy. Serving as a training or parade ground, a landing area in emergencies or as an impromptu gathering place, the Plaza acts as the central focus for the Decepticons' fortified territory. Ringing the Plaza to the south beyond the gate, like jagged mountains, you can see the distant ruined tower-tops and broken skyways of the Nightwarren which acts as both a dead-zone and a killing ground around the area. Beyond to the north and far above, you can glimpse the edge of the Greater Worldshield that casts a looming shadow over the city but is unable to block out the stars.


Divefire barks into his radio as he flips back from the shot, optics blazing with rage as all the control he had slips away, finally, as something that has not been seen in four million years lets it self go and pure raw hatred floods out. With a slip of his hand his blade flies at the drone that fired at him while he looks for his next target.

Ravenwing is in deep cover, lining up for a shot on Onslaught. For the time being, though, Vortex is right in her way.

The plaza is filled with reactivated drones, a veritable army of them, currently engaging Divefire. Despite his skill at dodging, the extended prognosis is not good.

Vortex is about to follow up and make a lunge for the elusive Divefire, when a whole group of warriors bursts on the scene. He notices not only Megatron and his troops, as well as Starscream and Shockwave, but also Autobots! They're running alongside Megatron's warriors as though they were almost part of the team, having a vested interest in this matter as well.

Brawl turns and levels his guns at the incoming troops. He looks to Onslaught for the cue to open fire.

Starscream announces to the Combaticons, "Surrender now or face our wrath!"

Starscream has wasted no time in changing sides, it seems.

Ravage looks over at the Combaticons and he hisses. They have numbers on their side, but will that be enough should the Combaticons merge? And they are... Rather pressed for time at the moment...

Dirge almost smiles at Starscream's antics. How predictable. He wonders when Starscream will decide to change sides again.

Shockwave finishes the energon cube he plucked from a convenient spot, recharging him enough for the battle ahead.

CatsCradle resists the urge to slap Starscream upside the head as she goes past him, not bothering to stop and wait as she begins to pop off the drones with her wrist lasers.

Ravenwing heard a number of approaching footsteps, but wrongly assumed that they were more drones. She arches a brow at the sudden reinforcements, then her attention is drawn by a familiar, unpleasantly shrill voice. Ah yes, Starscream... Keeping in her cover, she alters her aim to fix on the traitor.

Megatron aims his cannon at the Combaticons in running. These are the robots who are the reason for this entire mess...

Scorcher stumbles onto the scene, blinking to clear her blurred vision

Ferret transforms into his scout car mode, firing a couple of smoke grenades among the enemy to sow confusion. He follows it up with a barrage of machine-gun fire.

Laserbeak Looks at Brawl and announces " I got the big ugly one."

Ferret transforms into his Scout Car mode.

The drones fire at Divefire, but are unable to fire.

Optimus Prime and his troops draw their weapons right along with Megatron, as though taking their direction from the Decepticon leader. For all of Prime's usual insistence that he call the shots, he doesn't have much of a choice here, if he has any hope of saving Earth.

Ravage looks over at the Decepticons, and he looks at Laserbeak, sending his brother a mental message for them to focus on Brawl...

Scorcher takes a running leap and transforms. Or rather she tries to. She is a bit slow on transforming so she bounces a couple of times before finally taking off
A few Autobots look distinctly uncomfortable at joining their enemies in action, but they do so anyways. They have a planet to save.

Dirge transforms into his Blue Jetfighter mode.

Starscream fires madly at the Combaticons as if by destroying them he could destroy the entire messy situation and take things back to the way they were before he ever activate them

Ravenwing notes Prime's arrival, but doesn't alter her aim. He's merely the enemy; Starscream is a *traitor*. Unfortunately, Shockwave is now blocking her shot. How rude of him, but that's typical.

Onslaught looks around, seeing himself surrounded by Decepticons. "Megatron?" he gasps. Obviously, Operation: Revenge had a few holes in it. He's even more ticked off to notice the smirking Starscream beside Megatron, who has no doubt smarmed his way back into Megatron's good books. Clearly the odds are against him. Onslaught smiles. "Combaticons! Sentinels! Pike formation!"

Ravage runs at Brawl, firing off his proton bombs at the Combaticon Enforcer!

Dirge takes to the air. It's been a while since he last launched himself into Cybertronian airspace. He intermittently fires his lasers.

The sentry robots move into a defense formation around the assembled combaticons. They're packing a lot of firepower.

Divefire moves with a speed and skill that verges on the unnatural it seems in the drone melee he finds himself in. Rolling, spinning, ducking and sweeping past and through laser shots while slamming fist, blade and foot in to drone after drone, not knowing or caring what else is around him, in this blood rage everything will fall.

Megatron blast at nearest of the renegades. This time he will stop them! For the sake of all Decepticons.... and for his mate.

Brawl isn't hit by a proton bomb. Rather, the drone who steps in front of him is unlucky enough to take them for the team. "Odds're good," he grunts as he steps forward and begins to indiscriminately open fire on anything higher than an axle. And everything is higher than an axle.

Laserbeak covers his brother flying in low firing a succession of blasts at Brawl. "Your as good as scrap!"

Scorcher looks around, to see if her fellow cyberjets are going to show up.
Tempest attacks the Combaticons with little personal drive...but the prospect of a fight has always been motivation enough on its own to satisfy her.

Ferret zooms across the battlefield, incoming fire scratching the ground in his wake. He fires erratically, filling the air with the continuous sound of impacts and ricochets.

Onslaught lets off a hopeful shot towards Starscream. It's a tricky shot, but helps with venting certain frustrations.

Ravage looks over at Brawl. Unfortunately for the Combaticon... He is... Significantly /lower/ than an axle... He grins as he leaps for the Combaticon, trying to lock his teeth around the mech's throat!

Shockwave takes a moment to fully grasp the situation with the Combaticons and the unknown drones they've somehow managed to amass. He calculates for a few seconds, then moves off from the main battle.

Brawl's throat is just as armored as the rest of his body. Ravage can claim his teeth later. Brawl shoots at the gnat above him.

Megatron fires again, hitting with strangely cold precision.

Scorcher moves a big sluggishly, but begins to realize that she is not in the best of conditions. She keeps her distance from the heavy fighting, contenting herself with providing the warriors with accurate information

Vortex fires toward Ravage as the black cat-'Con lunges for Brawl. "Look out, Brawl!" he calls, trying to hit or at least throw off Ravage's focus.


Starscream ducks below Onslaught's blast, replying with a set of cluster-bombs!

CatsCradle's own anger fades slightly in the concentration of battle. Drones... or the ones controlling the drones... looks like the others have already picked their targets. She reluctantly turns her shots towards the numbers of drone and begins to precisely shoot them down.

Laserbeak barrels directly into Brawl at full-speed. Kamikaze style into a tank... thereís a great idea.

The sentry robots stomp forward, engaging the Decepticons in a flurry of combat.

Ferret might be shouting something in the direction of Brawl, although it's impossible to make out. For someone so small, his armament makes an almost ridiculous amount of noise.

Turning, Dirge begins shooting at Vortex.

Ravenwing quickly realizes that she's not going to get a clear shot after all, frag it. No, she's not willing to risk killing a comrade to get at the traitor, but anger flares in her silver optics at the missed opportunity. She's already made a wager with her Lord that Starscream would be reinstated in a matter of weeks, but never thought it would be this soon. Relaxing from her extreme focus on sniping, she looks around the battlefield, getting a feel for where everyone is, then starts picking off the stragglers. She moves quickly and stealthily after every shot, successful or not.

Tempest tears into the sentries with a savage hunger.

Ravage manages to dive out of the way, but he's thrown off course from his pounce, and unable to complete his arc. Hissing, he fires off his Twin Proton Bombs, unleashing two megatons of explosive power at near point blank range!

With a piercing howl, ten large ugly grey organic creatures swoop down out of the sky above and charge at the Combaticons and their army, shooting beams from their eyes.

A familiar figure, at least to Scorcher, shimmers into sight right next to her. "Hey little bird. Not looking too hot right now. Better stay clear" Skyjack says, before he shimmers out of existence again.

Onslaught implacably fires into the crowd, confident in keeping up his defense. He's already trying to compute several plans and strategies at the moment.

Megatron holds fire for a second. "What is going on now? Starscream, can you explain that?

Ravage hisses as he races for Brawl, leaping up once more at the COmbaticonís body to complement Laserbeakís charge!

Brawl's armor is a bit sullied. He grunts and grabs Ravage, holding him by the hind legs and letting rip a home-run swing at Laserbeak.

Vortex takes a glancing shot from Dirge as someone fires on him from behind. Turing in the direction of his attacker, he's about to unleash a counterattack, when something very strange appears in the air. He hurriedly shifts his target, firing wildly at the things swooping down from the sky.

Dirge pulls up from his attempted attack on Vortex, startled by the howl, and the sudden appearance of these organic creatures.

Starscream fires barrage after barrage of lasers...and then he hesitates. "What are THOSE?" He tries shooting at them...to no effect. "Megatron, it's another invasion, and my weapons are useless on them!"

Divefireís form is a blur, almost in the literal sense of the word, though mostly hidden from view as he fights behind the main line of the combat. Blasts of heavy laser fire tear past his frame, most missing, some hitting and only making him even more of a demon at this range it seems. Pieces of drones go flying in every direction under his wrath as he does what he used to do so very well. Kill.

Ravage is grabbed by Brawl and swung at his brother!

Dirge transforms into his robot mode.

The Autobots fire alongside the Decepticons at the Combaticons and their troops. Who'd have imagined?

Ferret charges straight at Brawl, focusing all his firepower on the Combaticon!

Onslaught steps back, firing at the creatures from the sky. "Megatron's alien allies?" he hypothesizes. "Whatever it is, they're ganging up on us!"

Laserbeak is belted by Brawl's feline bat and careens back into Ferret.

Megatron frowns. This invasion can neither be hurt by their weapons nor do they attack them... only the Combaticons... Hmmmm....

Another group of the strange winged organic creatures swoops down from the other side, this time breathing plasma down near the Combaticons.

Scorcher fires a missile into the mass of drones, from the extreme of her range. She prays to Primus that it is not going to fall short and hurt her friends

Starscream is dumbfounded as the new invaders pay no interest to the Decepticons and Autobots, only to the Combaticons. He stops shooting at them, and starts returning his attention to the Combaticons. Any ally in a storm...but what is going on?

Ferret is tipped over by Laserbeak, shouting, "Stupid... !"

Vortex leaps into the air and fires a barrage of firepower at the swooping creatures. "My weapons have no effect!" he calls out in dismay.

Brawl, feeling Ravage's usefulness is over, flings him up into the sky at Scorcher. Turning to face Onslaught for a moment, he barks, "So let's gang up on them!"

A near invisible figure fires at the drones with deadly accurate aim

Onslaught raises his hands, "Combaticons - to me! Unite!"

Ravage is hurled up in the air at Scorcher at high speed, hissing as he tries to activate his antigravs to control his ascent... But they misfire, and he rockets up towards the femme at high speed!

Brawl immediately begins letting round after round of ammunition fly at the creatures. He doesn't care that it's doing nothing. But then he goes to unite.

Vortex takes another stray shot from below, and drops down toward Onslaught, his body shifting and twisting...

Laserbeak helps Ferret up "Sorry Ferret I got my head knocked...OH CRAP!"

Megatron concentrates his fire on the Combaticons again.

Ferret transforms into his Robot mode.

Dirge lands on the metallic surface, running from the organic creatures, until he realizes the creatures were attacking the Combaticons, and the Combaticons *only*. He is quite puzzled but shrugs it off.

Swindle and Blast Off join the rest of the team and converge.

Ravenwing finds these organic creatures interesting and rather distracting, but at least they're concentrating their attention on the Combaticons. She keeps in constant, irregular motion, slipping gracefully first one way then another, and continuing to fire on the drones when the opportunity presents itself.

With a sudden crunching sound, the Combaticons reform and resolve themselves into the unstoppable juggernaut: Bruticus!

Bruticus steps forward, "Bruticus: angry!" the giant intones, and raises his rifle, letting out a stream of plasma in all directions. Is this to be a repeat of the massacre that happened last time the Decepticons battled Bruticus?

Scorcher belatedly notices Ravage flying towards her and attempts to avoid him. She only partially succeeds, so he crashes into her left wing, sending them both plummeting to the ground

Soundwave fires a blast of scalding-hot plasma at Bruticus as he rises to tower above the battlefield, but of course, it has no real effect.

Ravage hits into Scorcher's wing, and there is a hiss along his telepathic link as it suddenly flares up and goes silent, as Ravage impacts onto her, bounces off, and then plummets back towards the surface  of Cybertron!

Megatron says, "Starscream, is there a possibility to stop Bruticus? If yes, you better spit it out right now!"

The organic creatures that seem immune to laser fire start to circle the giant robot, shrieking and firing their plasma breath and eye beams at him.

Prime and his Autobots aren't sure what to make of this just now. Prime echoes Megatron's question. "There must be a way to stop him!"

Starscream chokes out, "I built in a safeguard! Three buttons on his back! Trigger them al at once and he's helpless!"

Laserbeak flies up and snags his brother out of midair, then looks at Scorcher helpless. "Somebody Catch Her!"

Starscream, for all his plotting, isn't exactly stupid...

Bruticus staggers back, slamming his mighty hands around trying to swat at the creatures. He keeps hitting buildings or pieces of Polyhexian architecture, crumbling it as if the city had been made of paper. "Bruticus -- destroy!"

Ferret charges towards Bruticus, hoping his small size and speed will allow him to get close enough to do any kind of damage.

Scorcher spirals towards the ground, her left wing no longer able to keep her in the air

Gears stares in shock at the huge gestalt. He yells out, "What on Cybertron IS that thing?"

Soundwave dodges a piece of falling building, searching for his creations to assess their condition. He has a momentary image of Nightbird lying in med bay back at Earth, and wonders who may next end up in the same state.

Starscream also, perhaps, being so used to BEING a traitor, was sure to take measures that no one would do the same for him. Backstabbing is constantly on him ind after all....

Bruticus reaches out and stomps down towards Ferret!
Megatron decides to draw Buticus' attention, getting right in front of the giant, firing.

Starscream notes that this is easier said then done, however. He tries to get near Bruticus, to be the hero of the day, but the big mechanism is too fast for him. He can't seem to get behind Bruticus. Onslaught is no idiot either.

CatsCradle is close enough to hear Starscream's answer and without waiting for anything else, she darts towards Bruticus, trying to see where the buttons are.

Ravenwing winces at the destruction, even if it's Shockwave's city. The drones are being taken down, so she turns her attention to the gestalt. Anything can be assassinated, if you know where to hit... She studies him in silence for several moments, watching how he moves, where his weapons are. Not good, but there are some possibilities. She concentrates fire on the joints: inner elbows, back of the knees, etc.


Ravage is lying unconscious in Laserbeak's grip, silent along the mental link, a tremendous dent in his head... The extent of his damage is unknown at the moment.

The Autobots are so busy staring that they don't notice Scorcher dropping down from above. Ironhide is suddenly flattened as she crash-lands on top of him

Dirge RUNS from the sight of Bruticus, panicking as some debris from a falling building hits him. Too preoccupied with looking behind him, he cannons straight into-former Air Commander Starscream.

Ferret dodges Bruticus' flailing limbs, as he searches for a weakness...

Prime leaps back into action, as Megatron rushes forward to offer himself as a distraction. He too seems to be trying to claim some part of the spotlight here, rather than being relegated to the sidelines. If he can only get around Bruticus to trigger his failsafes - or, barring that, distract the giant as Megatron is doing...

Bruticus swings his arms wildly again, sending debris flying at the Autobots and any Decepticon stragglers. These flesh creatures just won't go away. He fires his cannon, trying to kill them, but all it does is take out the area directly in front of Ravenwing. He stomps around, shaking the very ground, to try and get all these little pests to stop shooting at him.

Divefire emerges from the final screen of drones that kept him away from the main group, battered and bruised but hardly abated in his rage before he catches sight of the most recent giant to the Decepticon ranks and a flicker of his intelligence returns to his optics. "Earth..." He growls to himself, stepping back and starting to look around while avoiding the massive plasma blasts of Bruticus. "Got to find out what's screwing with it..."

Megatron aims for Bruticusí face. If that doesn't get his attention, nothing will...

Starscream curses at Dirge. "Get out of my way, you idiot!"

Scorcher bounces up, bowls over Sunstreaker as she crashes down a second time and then roles away before finally coming to rest against a wall

Laserbeak swings around and gently places Ravage on the ground. He then runs the gambit of emotions first concern... then anger. He makes a foolish attempt to fly directly into one of Bruticus' optics, lasers blazing all the while.

Ravenwing wryly thinks that sheer luck is working against her this day as she hurdles into the air to avoid the collapse of her cover, and for the first time becoming visible. Ah well.

Dirge bounces off Starscream and onto the ground. He scowls at Starscream, then quickly picks himself up and continues running away.

"Ow" Scorcher moans

Starscream yells to Ferret and everyone else nearby, "His BACK! That's where he's vulnerable!"

Tempest transforms into her CF-18 Hornet Jet mode.

Bruticus, his attention caught by Megatron's firing on his personage, focuses entirely on the Decepticon leader! Gripping his huge cannon, he fires directly at Megatron, his sole aim to obliterate the Decepticon leader off the face of Cybertron. And while that's going on, Bruticusí back is exposed to fire from behind!

The mass of organic creatures suddenly all converge at the same place, directly in front of Bruticus. They shriek and howl at him.

Tempest weaves through the laser bolts, adding her own maniac shooting to the fray!

Ravage slowly picks himself up, shaking his head as Laserbeak sets him down... He feels a tremendous headache. He looks up at Bruticus - there's no way that he can help with this... He finally starts staggering over towards Scorcher, trying to slowly pull her out of the debris...

CatsCradle jets around the giant mech in quick spurts of speed. A huge hand hits her once, but it was at the end of its swing and had lost most of its strength. Still, it sends her reeling backwards, and she uses the momentum to sling herself around behind Bruticus.

Bruticus hunches over, stamping the ground repeatedly as he tries to flatten the creatures. The ground continues to shake, as the landbound Autobots all grab for stability.

Skyjack shimmers into existence again as he lands, helping Ravage drag Scorcher free

Divefire blurs down into his car form, wheels spinning and scanner... Well, scanning as he shoots off away from the massive battle, searching for something... Then finding it as his form races inside.

Prowl attempts to get behind Bruticus, but there are too many mechs in the way. "Could you all clear away!"

Soundwave keeps firing as well, though as Bruticus goes after Megatron he stops. This scene looks terribly familiar. He only hopes Megatron knows what he's doing. He looks through the chaos of the battlefield, calculating the best way to approach Bruticus' back, but others are much closer.

Ferret is busy avoiding getting trampled or slapped out of the air. He swoops in, getting singed from a near miss by the Giant's weapon, and slams into the gestalt's shoulder. He clings on, searching for the failsafes.

Starscream darts around Bruticus' head in dizzying loops.

Laserbeak is to angry to listen to reason already locked into a collision course with Bruticus' right optic.

Ravage winces as he helps Skyjack clear Scorcher free, and he mutters. Then, he peers at her face, seeing if she is still conscious or not...

Sunstreaker picks himself up, cursing loudly. "You know what you could've done to my paint job!" he roared as he resumed attacking the huge gestalt.

CatsCradle finds what looks to be one of the buttons and hovers over it, looking around to see if anyone else has the other two.

Ravenwing leaves the heroics to the others, and Megatron is a fine distraction. Something about Bruticus' back was shouted, so she takes a good guess at what the Decepticon Emperor is doing and adds her firepower to his while she dances quickly and gracefully through the air to hopefully avoid any retaliation.

Ferret crawls down the giant's back, despite the pain from the scorching he just received. He seems to find one of the buttons, and leans forward to hit it.

Scorcher is conscious but even more dazed than before "Got that Autobot a headache" she mutters incoherently

Starscream gets really irritated when he sees Ferret strike one of the buttons. HE is supposed to be the hero here! Because if he isn't, Megatron will surely scrap him, or exile him again.

Bruticus continues to stop at the ground, cracking the metallic plating of the land open with his huge feat, focused on crushing Megatron - nevermind protecting is unknown vulnerability! He pauses slightly, as Ferret presses one of the shut down buttons. "Bruticus - feel strange!" Two more buttons require depression to make this giant collapse into a coma!

Starscream cries out to CatsCradle, "Hit that already!" And then he puts on a boost of his own power, getting in position...

Ravage looks over at the other Decepticons, and then, from a distance, he reloads his twin proton bombs, and he fires them up at the head of the gestalt! They won't do more than sting if they hit, but the flash should be... Rather annoying.

CatsCradle darts down again, hitting the button with both feet, her jets giving her extra strength to push it as far as it would go, then just as lightening fast, she reverses her jets and zips out of the way.

Megatron slowly lowers his cannon. It was about time... "Has Chasm deactivated the device, Soundwave?"

Ferret clings to the button on Bruticus' back, keeping it depressed.

Dirge ran over to Scorcher. He looks down at the fallen Con, then at the wall. "You might get squashed," he said, more to himself, and starts dragging Scorcher away.

Starscream accelerates...

Skyjack growls "Get back into the action, Seeker. I'll look after my own team"

<Cybertron> Divefire  voice echoes out in a dark and breathless tone made of total emotional exhaustion. "Earth's safe, Chasm broke the programming and is putting it back exactly where it's meant to be."

Soundwave says, "Affirmative, Megatron. Chasm reports that he has reversed the procedure." He indicates that Chasm had said more than that, but does not intend to broadcast the rest of the cassette's self-congratulatory excesses.

Sunstreaker ran towards Bruticus. "None of you are doing this properly. Watch me!" He starts firing wildly and recklessly.

Megatron smiles slightly at the message. "Excellent, Soundwave."

Megatron points at Sunstreaker: "Prime, get this idiot under control before I will do it!"

Dirge looks at Skyjack for a moment and shrugs. He turns around and joins the action, somewhat reluctantly and keeping a very safe distance.

With the help of Dirge, Skyjack and Ravage, Scorcher gets to her feet again

Ravage looks over at Soundwave, and he thinks... <The battle damage to the area is intense enough already... Perhaps Rumble and Frenzy can assist in causing a distraction?>

Bruticus falls. Face-first. Sunstreaker is squashed under a giant foot as Bruticus staggers to regain balance. Finally, he tips to the side and collapses into a building, falling mostly through the wall.

Laserbeak has slipped in avoiding contact with the behemoth... and braces for impact. Unfortunately for him it goes awry. He is blasted from behind by his brother's proton bombs and his unconscious roasted carcass falls back down to Cybertron at a accelerated rate. h

CatsCradle hovers warily out of reach of the fallen giant. "Can we kill them now?"

Starscream extends a hand to strike the final button, feeling a thrill of victory. A victory thrill that stays with him, unlike the rapidly fading euphoria of his takeover bid.

Bruticus is unmoving.

Sunstreaker stares in horror as he realizes, too late, that Bruticus is going to squash him. He gets most of his body out of the way, save for a foot. He roars in pain. "My foot! My beautiful foot! My looks are ruined!"

Ravage yells out, "LASERBEAK!!" Forgetting everything to do with the battle, feeling intensely guilt-ridden... He races for his brother, praying that his brother will forgive him... Or even that his brother will survive to hate him for all eternity...

Ravenwing divides her attention between the flying organics, the visiting Autobots "guests", and the traitors. Now which of them is the greater threat? Who has done the most damage to the Empire?

Tempest growls slightly at Sunstreaker, and says with sadistic amusement, "Oh, it could be worse." She raises her blades in threat. Her optics glitter.

Megatron chuckles. "Oh, it looks like he stupidity punishes itself.

Ferret miraculously survives a squashing.

Sunstreaker scowled at Tempest. "Hurt any more of my beautiful chassis and there won't be enough of you left to make rods out of!" He moans again as a wave of pain hits him.

CatsCradle points to Bruticus. "Can we kill him now?" she repeats.

Prime motions his Autobots back from the main group, already surreptitiously looking for a means of escape now that Earth is safe. But, there is one thing he must take care of. He looks to the Decepticon leader, and announces, "Megatron, Bruticus is a menace to the universe. Both yours and mine."

A condor shaped fireball plummets into Sunstreaker with a loud "KA-BOOM"

Dirge cautiously walks towards the rest of the group, keeping his optics firmly locked on Bruticus.

Soundwave goes to gather up his creations Ravage and Laserbeak, and comes forward to regard the motionless Bruticus thoughtfully.

Starscream stands atop Bruticus in triumph....and then his face falls. Has his actions been enough to earn Megatron's forgiveness?

Ferret crawls out of some nearby rubble, with a 'Don't worry about me, then' look on his face.

Ravage sends out pulses of alarm over at Soundwave, trying to get his Father's attention to come on over and check over his nonresponsive brother, and he races towards Laserbeak, pulling the Condor away from Sunstreaker, and then he looks up at Soundwave... And he tenderly licks at his brother's face.

Sunstreaker sees a fireball heading right towards him. "What's that?! It's going to ruin my paint job permanently!"

Megatron nods to Prime. "I agree. We must destroy him." What, he agrees with Prime?

Leaning heavily on Skyjack Scorcher stumbles forwards until she is within firing range of the fallen combiner. And Starscream...

At that point Skyjack gently puts her down and moves a little closer towards the Autobots

Laserbeak lays there charred and perhaps broken. When two proton bombs hit you simultaneously... tis not fun.

Shockwave moves beside Megatron and says, "My sentries are prepared to terminate the renegades Megatron." He adds a gesture for emphasis.

Sunstreaker tries to get away from the fireball, but not totally. "You Decepticreeps! Wait til I get back to Earth! You're going to pay for wrecking my beautiful looks!" He waves a fist.

As almost everyone else is paying attention to the Autobots, Ravenwing keeps her own attention on the flying organics. They certainly caused the gestalt plenty of problems, and could be a threat to the rest of the Decepticons.

Starscream protests, "Wait!" and moves over to speak to Megatron.

Soundwave regards Megatron without expression for a moment. Then he sets Laserbeak and Ravage down, and gets to work, switching off Laserbeak's pain sensors in preparation for further repairs.

Starscream mutters '... would ... a magnificent ... ... we could ... him to ... ... WE wanted him to ... '.

Ravage settles away from Soundwave, looking over at his brother worriedly, and letting his father proceed with repairs, but staying as close as he can...

Ferret staggers to his feet, and hobbles unsteadily back over to the group.

Dirge walks over to the rather scorched Sunstreaker and smirks at the yellow Autobot. He looks at Sunstreaker's squashed foot and says, "Death comes to those who are stupid."

Laserbeak optics flicker and he looks up and manages to ask his brother weakly "what hit me?"

Megatron smirks slightly. Sometimes Starscream shows that he can use his cerebrel circuits if he just tries. "Well, what do you propose?" Maybe Starscream and he have the same thing in mind...

Ravage looks over at Laserbeak, and he timidly replies, "I did, brother... I am sorry... I accidentally hit you with my proton bombs..."

Prime waits quietly until Megatron proposes a means of destruction for the fallen behemoth.

Ferret stumbles, and falls over. One leg doesn't seem to be working properly. He manages to haul himself to his feet again, and limps off, leaving behind the occasional spatter of mech fluid.

CatsCradle watches Starscream talking quietly to Megatron and her optics fire again, already knowing what the end decision is going to be. Without another word, she lands and stalks away.

****

Command Center


Ravenwing transmits to CatsCradle: "I wagered that it would be a few weeks before he was reinstated. Sad, isn't it?"

CatsCradle appears in the doorway, so silent it is as if she stepped out of the air itself.

Dark, soulless optics penetrate from a corner full of shadow as the Command center operates on reduced power for now. An unmoving, silent shadow of a void just sits.

CatsCradle steps in the room. Her armor is scorched and smoking and she limps on an ankle that hadn't quite recovered from its recent repairs. Her own optics burn a dull amber. "Megatron and his son are all cozy again," she says in a toneless voice.

"Figures." The shadow mutters in a low tone, not having anything left right now to feel the anger he surly will at a later date. "You all right?"

CatsCradle considers the question for a moment, then lifts her shoulder in a careful shrug. "I lived."

The sound of metal falling against metal echoes out from the shadows. "Yeah, think I did that too."

CatsCradle nods slowly. "I think we're keeping the Combaticons, too."

Divefire is silent for a long moment, then the light of his optics vanish for a moment. "We never learn, do we."

CatsCradle is silent for just as long a moment, and when she finally does speak, her optics gleam with a pain tempered only by anger, and that tempered only by exhaustion and more pain. "I don't know. Today, I watched my mate leave me behind on a doomed planet, in order to avenge me. What should I learn from that?"

Divefire slowly looks up, optics opening but holding nothing in them. "I left to stop him from killing us all. I left to stop his scheme while every one else was screwing around with a temperamental piece of hardly understood technology. I didn't leave to avenge you, I left so I wouldn't have to avenge you."

CatsCradle is silent again for an even longer time, sorting over words, trying... trying for something without knowing quiet what. "No, my love. You left in so much rage, that you never stopped to think that if you failed, my ashes would be on what was left of Earth. If you had been thinking, you would have taken me to Cybertron with you. But you didn't." Her voice changes slightly, no anger or condemnation, only bewilderment. "But it was more important to fight, wasn't it?"

Divefireís form flinches a little, a flare of emotion rippling through his still shadow covered frame. "Failure wasn't an option!" He lets out in a hollow sounding burst of anger. "I did what I had to do, the only thing I had left that I could do!"

CatsCradle looks down at her hands, rubbing at them slightly, the old scars in the palms torn open again. "I don't understand," she says in a small voice. "Why can't I understand why you didn't take the thirty seconds for me to come with you? It's clear to you, isn't it? Why can't I understand?"

Divefire feels the fluids of the drones he tore apart between his fingers as he rubs them slowly together, voice suddenly whisper quiet and empty. "Only one thing has ever been really clear to me... I've tried to deny it one way or the other over the years, but... I don't enjoy the violence and the killing, I am the violence and the killing. It's all I am... All I really know..."

CatsCradle's gaze steadies on her claw tips, not being able to tell where drone fluid ends and the fluid from her palms begins. "I... How do I..." She shakes her head and rubs at her optic with one fist, smearing a soot mark just over her optic. "How do I counter-balance that?"

Divefire slowly steps forward from the shadows, letting the light finally fall on his frame. It's not a pleasant sight. Aside from the layers of different fluids, oils and energon that flow over his entire frame and laser blasts have burned into his sides, legs and arms. "I don't know if you can..." Is his still hollow reply. "Or if you should." His gaze falls to his side, where a point blank laser blast has blown out a clear chunk right through him. "You see that? I can't even feel it. I don't even feel alive."

CatsCradle grabs onto the safer subject first. "I'm thinking you'll feel it soon enough." She moves to his side and looks at the wound, her fingers gentle around it. "Should I be doing anything for this?" She looks up suddenly as she hears steps.

Divefire stands near the edge of one of the pillars, Cats next to him in the half light which only highlights one side of his frame that looks heavily battle warn. "I don't know..." He replies to Cats in a low, hollow tone before he looks towards the entrance to the command center.

CatsCradle watches the entering troops with very little emotions. "Since you don't seem to be coming up with any wisdom of your own, I'll give you some. Get to the repair bay. Now."

Ferret twitches, gurgles, and bleeds, in no particular order.

CatsCradle gives another snarl-sigh which seem to be very popular with her today, as she watches the troops decide to err on the side of caution and flee. She shakes her head briefly, and turns back to her mate. "Are you going to the repair bay, or do I try to take care of this myself?" Her voice isn't quite back to her normal fussing, but it is a shade closer.

Divefire remains statuesque, watching the smaller troops leave before he shifts slightly, voice still cold. "I'm not going to the repair bay. I don't want to be around anyone."

CatsCradle looks up from studying the wound on his side, trying to figure out what to close off to stop the bleeding. "Am I considered anyone?" she asks softly.

Divefire gaze falls to her a moment, a flicker of emotion rising in his optics. "I don't sleep with just anyone." He replies, voice still cool.

CatsCradle closes her optics, wavering slightly in relief. "Let's see if you still feel that way after my clumsy attempts at patching this."

Divefire doesn't really respond directly, instead he moves for the entrance. "You'd be better off trying to do it in the lab."

CatsCradle straightens up, rubbing at her hands again, as she follows him. "Yeah, before someone comes in that I /don't/ outrank... well, the cat out-ranked me, but he had a dent in his head the size of Texas." She reconsiders, then says, "well, maybe the size of Montana."

Divefire shakes his head slightly as he reaches the main doors. "Like I give a shit about rank any more..."

CatsCradle snorts. "Neither do I. But it would make it harder for me to kick them out."

Divefire turns his head to regard her, expression one of stone and hollowed out with emotional rampage. "Just kill them then." He replies before walking on.

CatsCradle mutters something about that having been the idea all the time.

****

Divefire's lab

        Past the fortified door, a staircase leads down and then to a room that spreads out quickly. The floor to ceiling height is enough to house a Guardian Robot standing up. Most of the floor space is filled with workbenches with a verity of equipment on it, ranging from the odd to the obscure. Through a door near the back of the main workspace is a living quarters with enough room for at least two Transformers to live. Perhaps surprisingly, all the surfaces and work areas of the lab look clean and cared for. Judging by the condition it would be sensible to assume some one has been living here of late.

Divefire walks to one of the workbenches, still seemingly rather distant despite the familiar surroundings. "There should be a med kit around here someplace." He remarks, resting against a bench for now.

CatsCradle rummages around until she finds a portable repair kit. She glances from it to Diver, then puts it aside and rummages some more until she comes up with something...er... less portable and looking more up to the job.

Divefire sighs slightly, then winces just a little as his side twinges somewhat, the numbness starting to wear off now, though rather slowly.

CatsCradle brings over both kits and opens them. "You'll have to talk me through this. My normal way of patching is kinda like the equivalent of using chewing gum."

Divefire nods slightly, regarding the kits for a moment. "See if there are any sealant sprays or nano patches. They should do the trick for now."
CatsCradle sorts through the kits, rather surprised when she could identify the pieces. Guess you pick up something from being at the repair end of the process after all. She gently begins the patching, trying to use the pads of her fingers to keep her claw tips from making the wounds worse. "I was not built for this," she frets.

Divefire watches her work and normally he'd smile and feel contented and cared for, even loved. But today, tonight, he can feel... Nothing and his voice shows it. "Just hold them against the wound with the palm of your hands, each side of the wound."

CatsCradle gingerly sets the patches on, trying to judge the right amount of pressure, then fumbles around for the sealant and begins to apply it.

A radio transmission is received by Divefire.

Divefire watches her work again and nods slightly when enough sealant has been applied. "That's enough, put to much on and it takes weeks to get out."

CatsCradle nods a little. "Rather like chewing gum would, I imagine."

Divefire transmits a message via radio.

CatsCradle glances up at the radio waves, her optics guarded and wary again, then she bends over the wound once more, making sure the sealant holds.

A radio transmission is received by Divefire.

Divefireís face quirks slightly in a hint of a smile. "Good description. And it's Raven, wants to know if we're okay."

CatsCradle looks up at him. "Are we?"

Divefire transmits a message via radio.

Divefire regards her for a moment. "We're both alive. So's Earth. That's good isn't it?"

CatsCradle brushes her fingers along the lines of his face. "Yeah. It is."

A radio transmission is received by Divefire.

Divefireís optics study hers for a moment as they seem to well up to her touch, then fall back. It's as if he wants to crack and fall apart against her touch, yet doesn't have enough energy to even attempt it. "Good." Is all he can reply with.

CatsCradle goes back to working on one of the smaller wounds. "Raven must be planning something." It isn't a question.

Divefire nods slightly, looking away to someplace safe. "Isn't she always."

CatsCradle says, "Well, yes. But this time, she wants us in with her." She patches the last of the bleeding wounds and dampens a cloth to dab at the soot and scorch marks.

Divefire gives a somewhat curious glance across to Cats. "What makes you say that?"

CatsCradle smiles slightly, but without much behind it. "She respects you already. And she thinks that because of the wounds I took, you would be..." she sorts over words. "... agreeable to assassinating Starscream."

A radio transmission is received by Divefire.

Divefireís optics narrow, quickly and coldly. "Killing in cold blood works just as well... She wants to know if there is anything she can do for us and we're welcome at Valckasta anytime."

CatsCradle's optics flicker, the amber a strange color. "Assassinations usually are in cold blood, dear. And you aren't made for assassinating. At least, not and escaping afterwards. You are too..." and she sorts through words again and settles on "... direct." She finds another cloth. "I can't think of anything that I need from Valckasta tonight, but pass on my thanks to her. Unless there's anything you want?"

Divefire shakes his head slightly. "Aside from you, no."

Divefire transmits a message via radio.

CatsCradle looks up quickly at that, her optics wide and guard dropped. "You do?" she asks in almost a whisper.

A radio transmission is received by Divefire.

Divefire nods slightly, with a hint of a smile. "Why else would I try and do the impossible every damn time a crisis comes up, it's not for my own well being that's for sure."

CatsCradle wrinkles her nose. "To show off?"

Divefire sighs slightly, falling against the bench a little more. "No, that's just the side effect of having this much power and no ego to go with it."
CatsCradle picks up another cloth and tickles his nose with the end of it. "You certainly don't need prove your love by taking on both Sideswipe and Sunstreaker at the same time. Only thing that's gonna prove is how long it takes before your mate keels over from fright."

Divefire gives a slightly soulless smile, still feeling rather shattered even with the attention. "Better that then letting them through to the weaker ones and having them hurt or even kill them."

CatsCradle grumbles. "Most of them are too damn eager for their own good, anyway. But still." She uses the cloth to wipe her hands clean. After a short deliberation, she picks up the sealant and begins to dab it on the claws marks on the palm of one of her hands.

Divefire glances down at the claw marks on her palms with concern evident. "What happened there?"

CatsCradle shakes her head absently. "Nothing. Just an old habit. I thought I had broken it." She gently closes her fist and her claws match the marks.

Divefire slips his hands inside of hers for a moment, feeling the marks with the tips of his fingers. "Why do you do it?"

CatsCradle looks lost for a minute, as if this time, she can't find the words she wants. "I... I don't know. To... try and hold things in, I guess."

Divefire squeezes her hands a little tighter and looks to her. "You know you don't have to keep things in with me."

CatsCradle smiles slightly, but her gaze is still on her hands. "You can't guard me from myself all the time, love."

Divefire replies in a low tone. "I can try damn hard though."

CatsCradle runs a finger along his hand that holds hers. "What happens when you see Starscream again?"

Divefire shakes his head slightly. "I really don't know."

CatsCradle's optics settle on his face. "If you kill him, Megatron will kill you."

Divefireís optics stiffen slowly. "No. He'll try..."

CatsCradle's gaze doesn't move from his optics. "Are you prepared to take on the Emperor and the entire Decepticon army?"

Divefire shakes his head slightly, visage still rather stern. "No, but if I want it to be I can make sure they'll never catch me."

CatsCradle says wryly, "You're not exactly the quietest individual, love. And if you were planning on being quicker than them, well, Iím not sure me and our children can keep up with your speed."

Divefire glowers a little, seeing her logic but not wanting to admit it. "So what should I do? Stand by and do nothing as Starscream fucks over the empire any time he pleases?"

CatsCradle rubs at her forehead, then presses her palms against her temples. "Well... yes. Or rather, beat him to a pulp and leave him on his daddy's doorstep. Kill his allies. Just don't kill /Starscream/. "

Divefire shakes his head again, just really not wanting to deal with it any more tonight. "Take me to bed, Cats."


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