Lair of the Stealth Bunnies
Chapter Six - Taken
Earth Date August 5, 1986
Megacity Block <Iacon Point>
This flat, silver landscape is the traditional home of the Autobot forces, though the current lack of activity in the region suggests that the inhabitants are currently abiding elsewhere. The city of Iacon itself rests in the centre of the plains like a huge, upturned bowl, coloured a burnished bronze. A flat causeway leads into the city and communications posts line each side of the road, rust marking their finish and wires flapping out of their ripped-open control panels, the components raided by scavenger gangs for spare parts.
Ghost has secluded herself in one of the myriad empty buildings that are scattered within the bowl that is known as Iacon. With systems up on full scan, she's watching a known pathway for the mechanisms she has been observing recently with the intent to capture and extract information should they not lead her to something more useful.
Through the valley of the Autobotsí former home, a sleek black vehicle slowly moves in near silence and rather unobtrusive. The only sign of life on its deep black armor is a flash of light moving back and forth at the front of its grill. It would appear to be, looking for something, or someone...
Ghost checks her internal chronometer, comparing it to the last cycle spent in this place. A brow raises and she gets up, slowly and cautiously moving towards the exit in order to dart to another building, setting up herself for a good tracking position on the group that should move through the area in the next half a day or so.
Divefire trundles past the next city block on one of the overpasses that weave through the city, scanners still searching intently for souls in this place. Considering the tactics he has used so far this coming week, he's being rather stealthy. Suspiciously so...
Ghost peers out of the doorway, optics flashing lavender before she takes pause, shrouding herself within her invisibility cloak, systems phasing out with wisplets of shadow wrapping around her before she goes utterly not there. If one were close enough, they could hear her anti grave give a strange sound as she lifts off, moving to land atop one of the decrepit buildings, sliding herself in between half fallen roofing slates. The cloak remains up for a moment longer before she drops it, her gray on gray mottled coloration taking on the darker shadows easily s she goes motionless in order to watch her chosen hunting ground.
Divefire continues his slow patrol around the area, turning a corner and then stopping suddenly, front scanner going crazy, rapidly moving back and forth in a blaze of light. This continues for long moments before another burst of motion has him transformed back to his robot form, looking up to the tower blocks with deep interest.
Ghost lets her systems slide into a semi locked state as she watches the roadway below, sensors shifting to their highest level outside of her cloaking state of being. She's waiting on that group of mechs to pass, attention focused mostly on that, but not completely. She's paranoid enough not to not peer around on occasion, studying the other tower blocks in order to come up with possible escape routes and ambush points should she need either.
Divefire isn't exactly stealthy in this form, even powered down as he is now. His top half of his armor refracts what little light there is on Cybertron with little motion, while his optics narrow as he concentrates on what is around him, an idea of a presence but not a location... Perhaps this can be change with a little... effort. He brings his hands together and braces his back leg, aiming at the nearest tower block. "Knock, knock..." he breathes in a voice that is not quite what it was, and then the power that has been given to him flares up, vortexing around his hands before blasting forward into, and through the tower block.
Ghost's head tilts to one side as she catches a strange reflection of light against one of the other towers. A frown creases her face, softly before going into a complete scowl as she crouches down, hands on the roof at her feet as the building shakes from the echoing death of another of the block. The backflash of the power used gets her undivided attention. Complete and unadulterated attention along with the mental thought, . o O(Uhoh)O o . Going motionless once more, she cocks her head to one side, straining to listen, hearing the voice call out and refraining from moving, making a sound or even triggering her cloak.
Divefire watches the building in front of him start to collapse with a cold and aloof expression, finding neither joy or hate in his actions. Rather, he turns slightly as the cloud of dust goes over his frame, and then the dust super heats and evaporates as another beam of power lashes out into another city block, once again striking deep into its core.
Ghost's fingertips ding into the rooftop as her resting point shakes again from the falling substructures ever so close.. Tensing, she readies to ride out a possible collapse, optics flickering to a deeper purple tone. The rumbling of buildings collapsing grows ever louder as one falls into another, triggering debris to strike the one she is perched atop. It shudders, seemingly taking the new damage without much change until when at last the noise of other fallen material silences, the deep bending whine of metal twisting in on itself is heard and it begins to slowly collapse in on itself, the roof falling first into the level below. A flash of heat energy, and Ghost attempts to launch herself off of her rapidly crumbling perch, boot-jets igniting with a rumbling *FRRRWOOOSH*
Divefire slowly steps along the street as the buildings destroy themselves with great efficiency around him, but still no expression leaves his face, except one of great concentration. Through the clouds of dust and debris, he sees two lance of light and in response his wing cape flares with power, propelling him into the sky with a slow accent to take a closer look at this figure.
Ghost's boot-jets flash a beacon of light through the cloud of dust as she seeks another point in which to hide herself. The jets slowly shut off, anti-grav internal systems initiating to make her movement almost silent. Turning towards where the source of the bizarre building buster blast came from, she shades her optics with a hand, peering into the cloud to try and ascertain the level of threat.
The clouds billow and rise as the winds of the Iacon region whip them around into an almost cute and picturesque scene, were it not for signaling the destruction that has been suddenly brought to the area. Then the color of the clouds starts to change, glowing a haze of dark purple as something moves, climbing slowly. Then it emerges slowly, the clouds teasing at its image, with a reveal of an arm, then a head. Then the helm of the creature shows itself, optics a blaze and face all too familiar. This is Divefire, the herald of Unicron.
Fear has many forms: the sudden sense of loss, the threat of pain, the concern over a personal slight or injury. This particular fear-laden moment is simply a sudden realization that this is not the being she was looking for. Not by a long shot. That cold trickle of emotion runs chill through her systems as she reacts with instinct born of ages of training. Her anti grav cuts out, dropping her towards the ground, and led to land in a darker patch of shadow between smoldering piles of rubble.
Divefire looks out as he emerges from the dust cloud, optics brightening slightly as he catches sight of Ghost dropping down from the air. He looks at her descent for a moment more before the energy flowing to his cape cuts out and he drops as well, arms out wide and cape billowing as he prepare to hit the ground near to Ghost.
Ghost hits the ground with a flare of her boot jets to soften the drop. She spins on a heel, glancing upwards to see if.. oh yes, he spotted her. She turns to run, crossdrawing her pistol off of her side, feet and boot-jets used in sync in order for her to leap into a rubble filled area, using anything nearby as a point to jump off of. She needs a shadow.. and she needs one now.
Divefire watches his target run from him as he drops to the ground and then, light flares out from his frame, a corona of dark energy flares out from his body, stopping his decent dead in the air, meters from the ground. He cocks his head slight to the side as if decided, or debating what move to make next, then he starts to float forward, still above the ground as his hands trail at his side, starting to blaze with power once more. Again his voice echoes out, a darker yet somehow carefully controlled tone. "You can't run, Ghost." Perhaps the most concerning thing about his voice is that it does indeed sound like Divefire and nothing at all like the Harbinger...
Ghost continues moving, thoughts sliding slightly unsure. . o O(He knows who I am!)O o ... The urge to look back is properly quashed by something a trainer once said, "If you have time to look back, you are not concentrating on leaving fast enough." Perhaps not the most brave of words, but now, they fit in.. Her frame begins to take on a darker cast to it as she spins to take a sharp turn, kicking into debris in order to flip over it and.. hopefully, have a moment in which to initiate her cloaking systems.
Divefire watches the feet of his target fly over the debris in neat fashion. Perhaps another time, he would be impressed by her agility, now however... is something else entirely. With a thought, his cape flares out, acting like a multitude of powerful vainer thrusters, and fusion energy blasts him across the war-torn landscape to right in front of where Ghost disappeared. Raising his arms forward again and, still with no emotion, he sends a lance of power driving into the rubble to remove the obstacle to his target.
Ghost lands behind the small uprising of debris, stopping in a precious moment of time to begin initiating her cloaking systems. Wisps of her shadow have but a moment to whip and write about her feet before her cover is blown, rather literally. Shrapnel sprays about her from the he hyper-heated metal being forced away from its resting point, the flash of fire illuminating her in the moment of mid-shifting where she seems illuminated by an internal violet light. She lets out a yelp of surprise both from the sudden closeness of the enemy as well as the flecks of metal that peppers her being. Beneath her feet, the shadows go into sudden turmoil, rolling up her legs in her move to make herself unseen, "Slag!" she snaps, tripping over her feet as she backpedals, bringing her pistol up in defense.
Divefire floats over the remaining scraps of metal and building material, absently swatting aside flying bits of masonry that rain down around their position as he closes once again on Ghost. "I told you. Don't run." With a thought, and one hand this time, he blasts out a bolt of power at the ground just before her feet, far less powerful then the ones before, more of a warning shot really.
Ghost's optics flicker with alarm as she tries to back up more, stumbling as the ground at her feet flash-vaporizes, splattering her shins with the hyper-heated metal, "Everyone runs." she replies, voice as level as she can maintain. "Somehow, I don't think you are here on a social call, Divefire." Her pistol comes up and she fires off a warning shot of her own, "Let me be."
Divefireís frame slides to side on towards Ghost in a blur of movement, neither surprised or upset at the shot that nearly caught him. "No." He states in a cool tone. "Unicron has asked me to collect you for further study." He floats forwards slowly now, shifting back to being full on towards Ghost and still the halo of power rolling off his frame.
<Cybertron> Ghost says, "Recon unit Ghost breaking radio silence under emergency protocol gamma delta seven. *Sound of weaponsfire getting picked up by her comm* I've run into the incarnation formerly known as Divefire and am experiencing severe difficulty in departing the immediate area."
<Cybertron> Ramjet says, "What area?"
Ghost mutters softly into her comm system, breaking her radio silence as she jumps backwards again, trying to maintain a distance and firing off another shot, this one aimed to strike, "No. I'm not going anywhere with you." she snaps, optics widening with a moment of panic.
Ghost receives a radio message from Ramjet: "Target location required for air support."
Divefire is given pause as the shot strikes into his crimson armor, tarnishing it's pristine finish. He looks down at the scorch mark and then slowly back up to Ghost, his visage hardened towards her as he raises a hand and makes the universal 'Ah, ah, ah' motion with a figure. "You have no choice." He once again states, before he brings forth his real power. The halo around him blazes into a rising crescent of deep purple energy, echoing out and reaching for Ghost with its fury.
<Cybertron> Ghost's voice continues a few minutes later amidst another weaponsovershot. She sounds edgy. perhaps panicked, "Location: Iacon section of the Megacity. All patrols avoid this location until further notice. Repeat All *ERK*!.." she cuts off amidst static.
<Cybertron> Soundwave says, "All warriors in the vicinity, seek out Ghost's signal and assist."
<Cybertron> Divefireís voice echoes out over the radio system, cool, separate and indifferent, but most definitely his voice and not that of the Harbinger. "No one comes after me and lives. Stay away and live for another day..." Then the radio snaps shut.
Ghost sidesteps in order to send off a last missive, perhaps one in warning to those in the area, perhaps a call for aid. Her frame seems to suddenly 'íblurí' as she triggers hyperstepped reflexes but it is not enough for her to escape the entirety of the energy seething towards her. Her optics widen in the nanoclick before she gets sent staggering backwards, frame taking the hit, armoring going a charcoaled gray hue.. "Hnnnggg... NO! I will not go with you to that.. *THING*!! Let me be!" She chokes a moment, panic filtering in over sense and in that moment, she chooses to fight instead of flee. Raising her left arm, she summons her own answer to her siblings power, her own cannon coming up and whining as it powers for a full shot, leaving her to her own mobility for a span of a moment.
Ramjet dives out of the dark sky, four engines leaving glowing afterburn trails. The H-S jet descends towards the area reported, search radar sweeping the zone below.
Thrustís powerful engines can be heard as he comes up upon the area rapidly. He also has his radar sweeping the area as he descends
Ramjet notices the other jet on a similar approach vector...unlike pretty much everyone else on the planet, he can actually recognize the bright colors and unique wing configuration. "Thrust, see anything yet?"
Radar is not needed to locate the position of the fight that Ghost referred to. Already three city blocks are nothing but rubble and dust and, in one such skeleton, a flare of tremendous energy and power reaching into the sky and vortexing around the being producing it, who is also obscured by the energy flare. The being slowly raises a hand towards Ghost, who stands some fifty feet away from him. She is being tortured by the vortexing energy, but doing her best to fight back.
Thrust replies, "nothing.......
Ramjet transmits, "...Nevermind." and alters course for the attacking figure, speeding up as it steepens its dive...on a collision course.
Thrust sees it also and alters his course as well. Bringing his weapons on-line, he heads for the battle sight
Ghost stands amidst a whirling vortex of energy that seems hell-bent upon bending it to its will. She's armed, pistol in one hand, cannon mount out and on her other arm. Her optics have gone violet as she snarls her defiance against the being that has caught her. Slowly, systems starting to shriek warnings, she raises her main weapon for a shot, channeling power into it to trigger a plasma bolt outwards, the energy rippling in and on its own with a black-violet churning of release, "Let! Me! Go!"
Ramjet is already cruising supersonic in order to get to the battle so no sonic boom or engine noise gives away his approach. He is however traveling far too fast for most weapons, simply diving on the target, transmitting its co-ordinates to Thrust. The jet hurtles downward toward Divefire like a large white and red missile.
Thrust receives the coordinates and head for the attacker with the same determination, firing missiles.
Ramjet hurtles straight past....and ploughs into the planet's surface, smashing straight through the ground with an almighty crunch.
Divefireís optics remain level and cool in regard to the raised voice and energy of Ghost. "No." he states once more, as power gathers at the palm of his hand, independent of the energy that swirls around him. Even the massively fast diving form of Ramjet doesn't distract him from his task, or the missiles of Thrust that aim true, but which are utterly nullified by the whim of the energy vortex. "You... are Unicron's..." he states finally to Ghost, then fires the energy gathering in his palm at her...
Thrust sees his missile strike where he wanted but it just kept going and went into the ground......He pulls up hard and swings back around to line up for another approach
Ramjet is completely lost from view...a deep hole ripped in the ground by his impact. From within, a little smoke rises. but thatís about it.
Thrust renews his attack again on the energy, this time using his lasers
Ghost's optics remain that dark violet as she struggles and is momentarily freed from the vortex around her. Her weapons waft wisps of smoke, a counterpoint to the wisps of smoke rising from her frame. She twists as first a red and white form streaks past to bury itself into the rubble and the planet itself, then she crouches to kick into the air, a movement that comes as the missiles finish their call. "I am not Unicronís!" she rasps as she moves to flee now. turning sideways, she kicks on her boot-jets and lifts off in the moment where the energy beam lances out at her, her own form blurring as she moves, reflexes still on high. But that avails her naught as she is struck, her form remaining aloft only long enough to fly several tens of meters before she hits an outcropping of rubble, sparks rising from the impact of metal against metal. "OOF!"
Thrust flies on by and sees the crater and the smoke from his fellow Seeker and tries to raise him on the radio, " Ramjet? Acknowledge."
Ramjet says nothing. out cold as usual after such a sudden stop.
Thrust gets no answer from Ramjet but sees Ghost is away from the thing and knows he has to seize the change so he banks and heads for her as fast as he can
Divefireís wing cloak flares once again, acting as a massive array of verniers and, with one pulse, he stands over Ghost, his hand around the back of her neck. The spiraling energies of the vortex follow him, protecting him from further attacks as he totally ignores the seekers present, uninterested in anything save for what he has in his hands. "Resistance is futile," he breathes to Ghost finally. "You belong to him, now."
Ramjet comes to his senses as his systems reboot. He transforms in jerky stages, and starts fighting his way out of the wreckage-filled crater he finds himself in.
Ghost has but a moment to try and clear her head before the hand of death rests on the back of her neck. She twists, trying to evade but the damage has been enough to cause her systems to step down, "No," she rasps, still fighting with all her being, "No! I belong to... NOBODY!" She sends an elbow backwards as she makes a last ditch effort to escape the grasp of this servant of chaos
The elbow strikes truly and in the past it would have made the mechanoid who now holds Ghost wince and release her. But now, now the blow is shrugged off with nothing more then a slight dent in his crimson armor. The energy that vortexes around Divefire's frame shrinks back to him as he tightens his grip on Ghost and as the power spirals down to him, his form shimmers and... vanishes.
Ramjet rubs the rather flattened top of his head. "Did I get him?" he asks over radio. He starts clambering out, and scowls as his head clears the hole, seeing Divefire is still ranting. "I guess not." He points one of his arm lasers at Divefire and opens up, pink laser bolts flashing across the battlefield in a rather unaimed spray.
<Cybertron> Ghost's voice crackles over with a sudden rise of static and panic, "Nooo!!!!!!!! I belong.. to nobody!!" then her comm is silent. No return signal.
Megatron transmits to Ghost: "Ghost, can you hear me? Acknowledge!"
Thrust transforms and looks for Ghost.
Ramjet climbs the rest of the way out of his hole and looks around in a state of concussed wonder. "Huh? where did they go?"
<Cybertron> Ramjet says, "This is Ramjet. Divefire teleported away or something. Either way he's gone. He took that spy chick with him."
Thrust lands and looks where Ghost was, " I donít know ... I donít know.Ē