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Chapter Nine - Devoured
Earth Date August 6, 1986
Saturn
The sixth planet from the medium-sized star of the Sol system, Saturn has one unique feature. Surrounding it are various layers of multi-colored rings, a rare and beautiful gem in an otherwise drab system. The gas giant also has various moons and small bodies orbiting it.
Divefire waits. Unmoving, optics closed, arms folded and cape wrapped around his frame. Behind him, some distance away, his master moves through the void of space, otter ring glowing faintly and horns closed, his mind away from thoughts of his first minion for now.
Ghost is a pinpoint of subtle dark against the backdrop of Unicronís massive form, shrouded in a red haze of energy that seems to have cocooned her within its midst. Her optics are closed, lips drawn into a thin line showing the pain she's suffered since being brought to the overlord of chaos. Tendrils of fiery plasma wisp from her wingtips, occasionally encircling her frame to mar the finish, leaving behind blackened trails of charred plating. The entirety of her frame has a multitude of the finger-thin lines criss crossing it as if she has been suffering the 'gentle' embrace since she was brought here. But in space, any sounds she could make of defiance or screams of pain are subdued into nothing.
Divefireís optics open slowly, gleaming a dark green as in his mind a suggestion is given. His cape unravels from around his frame and flares as he floats towards his master, but more accurately to their latest acquisition. Hovering in front of Ghost's tortured frame, he reaches out a single finger to trace a line across her rippled armor. "You realize..." he breathes into her mind, by way of his master. "This will pass far more easily if you accept."
Ghost's optics shutter open, lit with a dark shade of deep reddish violet. A glitter, and she forces herself to scowl, fingers twitching at her sides as she peers at Divefire. She manages to move her head, giving a tiny shake before another tendril brushes over her sides, crossing where the finger had traced. Her thoughts, most open, only a handful still fighting to remain hers alone shift as she replies, "I will never simply accept. I will fight this until my end comes."
Divefireís expression remains neutral, cold and far away from the reality of the situation at hand as he regards Ghost. "Then you'll be a servant of Chaos, nothing more then a shell of what you were..." He pauses, once more optics flicking to her arm, where her cannon usually appears when it is needed. "Nothing will remain, you'll die inside and be forever changed outside." His gaze slowly shifts back to hers and the next words spoken are delivered with a little more, stress, then the ones before. "Choose carefully, Ghost. Destiny and chaos do not mix well."
Ghost twitches in the field around her, unconsciously fighting against that which holds her tightly. A soft hiss, mentally and vocally before she tries to look off again, trying to clear her mind of things random and important. "I have already been forever changed outside.." Her mental voice trails off, a flash of her shock and fear in a remembered moment rising. "And I died a little bit when that happened. Death is only another step on a journey."
Divefireís optics narrow an almost imperceptible amount at Ghost's words.  He raises his right hand slowly and starts to squeeze the void between his fingers. The energy trailing around Ghost's frame seems to respond to his will, closing around her frame in a tightening grip as he speaks once again. "A natural death is, yes. What the Chaos Bringer will do to you, is not natural. Not in any way, shape or form. You will not die Ghost  You will be in perpetual torture..."
Ghost's optics shift shades rapidly, gray then lavender, then violet then back again as she gets squeezed slowly. Her fingers clench, tips digging into her palms as she fights back a scream... Mentally, she's fighting a loosing battle, pain causing more missteps in mental processes, little slips of data that give the intruders into that sanctum more ammunition to use against her. Her overwhelming pride in her work, her fear of failure, her.. embarrassment in dealing with members of the opposite persuasion. And that barrier of solid defensive strength for one single being slowly being split between two.
Divefire pauses his grip on space, releasing it ever so slightly, the bonds around Ghost reacting in kind. In a near whisper in her mind his words echo out. "This isn't failure, Ghost... It's... accepting and dealing with what fate has given to you as best you can..." He falls silent again and now simply looks at her and then through her, as if trying to find something, something more. He can feel her holding onto something tightly, wrenching it around her and the tighter she holds it, the more he wants to pull...
Ghost's optics narrow as they continue to flicker randomly. She gives a tiny shake of her head, "You're not offering me something I can accept. I have duty, honor to uphold. I have.." her mental voice trails off, but there is a flash of anotherís image, someone to whom she has always defended.. "Nooo.." a soft mental whisper..
Divefire closes his optics as he regards Ghost, shifting through the images of her mind that his master relays to him. Slowly he finds something that she holds onto dearly, an image of someone, thing... He focuses on it, as it's spliced between other images to make it a mess, a jumble and torrent of emotions before finally, something becomes clear... He opens his optics and breaths in a low tone in her mind. "Megatron..."
Ghost's optics widen with a flash of a deep violet shade of violet as soon as that name is murmured back to her. Again, she tries to struggle within that grip holding her in space, again she voices a scream of anger, silenced by the lack of anything to carry it with. Her mind whips into a chaotic jumble as she tries *not* to think of Megatron but only succeeds in letting more information slip away. This is not the battlefield on which she has anything in her favor. Her thoughts, are not her own any longer. "Failed.. Mustnít. No. canít think of him.. No! Get out of my mind! Get.. out.. Please.. Don't take that.. Don't.. He's my.. It's all I have, all I am.. Don't... Must protect my ....." she strains against the field as her mental voice drops to a horrified whisper as imagery flashes in remembered conversations with her brother, covering why they keep their shared lineage a secret. For his safety as well as hers. "brother..."
Divefire would at this point, blink. But as he is under so much influence, so much control from the Chaos Bringer and in such close proximity, that all he can do is stare. Blankly. Finally his voice echoes out again, back to being hollow again as he process the information and Unicron himself decides how relevant this all is. "Your brother... is Megatron... Think Ghost, as yourself, even under the influence of Chaos... You could save him from Cybertron's fate."
Ghost tries to scream again, the lost sound subsiding into silent sobs that shake her frame. She gives a weary shake of her head, trying not to listen to the soft, subtle voice toying with her.. But the promise of.. another shake of her head, but weaker. Her optics loose all subtle shading, dropping to an ash gray hue.. "The good of the many..." she murmurs to herself, thinking it as well, an upsurge of concern for her sibling rising over her like a tidal wave.. threatening to force her thoughts down a dark twisted tunnel. "Must.. not.. He's.. The good of the many out.. weighs.. the.. good of.. the.. " the thought truncates... what would the empire be without its gray leader there to bring it from its darkest times.. The chance to.. But the many.. the one.. "NO! I serve the *EMPIRE*!!! Not just one aspect, but it entirely!"
But that admittance comes with a searing coldness seeping through her systems as she seems to loose some of her fight to hold on...
Divefire shakes his head slightly, perhaps a wash of sadness attached at just the edges. "Megatron... Your brother is the Empire, Ghost. I know that as well as you do... Shockwave, Thunderwing, Colossus, Straxus... No, they could not continue his legacy if he should die... You could save him from that fate, Ghost... If you remain alive and in control." The voice is soft, calm and deliberately slow. The traces of Divefire's real tones washing in and out of it as the truth of his words comes and goes.
Ghost feels herself slowly growing ever colder at the dawning horror of the choice she is faced with. She seems to cease struggling, head bowing, optics shuttering as she goes limp. Her thoughts all of a sudden cease their confused, chaotic lashings as she strives to find her center, her calm in the storm.. A fleeting afterimage of peace steals over part of her for a brief moment, a stolen rest, an acceptance.. "I have to live.. There is so much more..." a flash of sudden rising embarrassment.
Divefire regards Ghost's forlorn form with a slightly bowed head, a part of his deeply repressed core knows the choice that Ghost is making, forced by his hand to do so. If he lives past the presence of the Chaos Bringer, dealing with the shame of this will be high on the agenda. But for now he states his masters wishes. "You have great potential to fill, Ghost. As a servant of Unicron..."
Ghost's demeanor takes on an even further posture of defeat, even her fingers going limp now, no longer curled to ding into her own palms.. "Servant.." A rising pallor of grief and despair.. "Always and forever.... anotherís shadow..."
Divefire draws closer to Ghost's frame as he hears her words in his mind. His expression stays flat, neutral and optics oddly clear as he places a finger under her chin and forces her to look into his own optics with his. "For as long as Unicron exists, yes." He states the truth in his words in her mind, but something about them, maybe the tone which has a hint of emotion compared to what has come before, offer a sliver of hope.
Ghost shudders at the touch, optics a brittle shade of silvered twilight as she stares back, lips turned down into a broken frown. A slight shake of her head as she finds that cold sensation spreading within herself, that lost, abandoned sensation she had so long since thought vanquished. Her mental voice is a soft as wings against the wind, "Always.... " a barely felt touch of anger that doesnít have enough force to rise against her current state, the fuel by which she has held out this long dieing out into a cold, cold distancing from the surrealty of everything. "Then..." she stops herself, staring out into the depths of space, before she continues, shuddering once more, systems starting to freeze. "Show me what hope I have..."
Divefire regards Ghost coolly at her request, a side of his mind debating exactly what he can show her to give her a little hope in this regard. Then it strikes him, rather obvious in many ways as he shunts back a little from her with a flare of his cloak thrusters. Slowly he focuses, closing his optics and forcing against the weight of Unicron's mind, who relents slightly at the pressure, seeming to be focusing on something else for now. When he opens his optics again and looks to Ghost, it's not quiet the same.  A flicker of emotion ripples over his face as he thrust forward again to be within touching distance. Over the mental link his voice comes out that touch bit stronger. "It's still me inside here, Ghost. Still the person who walked along that beach with you, the same person you talked to so openly, even if you didn't know me..." And perhaps therein is another hint to all of this chaos.
Ghost's expression freezes as she watches the herald move away. Something.. itches at the back of her mind, or perhaps at the back of a shoulder, but the difference isn't noted for the moment. It takes her a moment to note the different.. feel of the voice in her mind. But the words dredge up a memory of warm sun and the cool depths of sun-dappled waters. She blinks, optics gaining an edge of lightest violet, a brow arching up for a moment, moving from the pained furrowing it had been lodged at for some time. "Why?" she 'asks', "Why do you help torment me with past moments of happiness? To make the despair all the more enjoyable?" a faltering pause as she almost adds, mental voice loosing that edge of sullen anger, replaced with a cool, chilling acceptance, "That was a moment I will always remember, peace and words shared between those that could be.. friends." Her lips curve up at one side, an almost smile lightening her expression for the barest of moments, "Thank you for that."
Divefire whispers one final sentence into her mind. "Hold that image tight, keep it with you. Remember..." And then he's gone, slowly retreating back into his mind before the master realizes what he's trying to do. Coolly once more he regards Ghost, noticing her upturned lips with a simple curiosity. "Acceptance is for the best. It's... easier that way..."
Ghost's almost-smile fades as she peers into Divefireís optics once more, finding in that brief moment of peace enough defiance to ensure that she does not go quietly into this new night. Just enough so that her acceptance of life comes with the sensation of having truly tried to her last to be true to her own, and in that, she is. Her optics darken before they swirl to that shade of violet that is a precursor to her worst temper outbreaks. Her mental voice, so soft, so broken finds itself for one last scream of anger and outrage, "If you want me to walk in your shadows, Unicron.. you will have to TAKE ME!"
Divefire thrusts back a little as a slight shake of his head occurs and for a long moment, silence rains in the void. Then with a voice not made of anything from this universe or the next, he booms. The Chaos Bringer gives his undivided attention towards Ghost as the energy surrounding her flares up and changes it's color to a harsh green. "Creature of shadow, you already stepped in my path... I have merely speeded up the process to my own ends... I shall take you... NOW!"
Ghost's frame arches backwards as the green energy seethes around and into her battered form. She struggles to scream her defiance as long as she can, but the pain.. the fiery searing away of everything she has only just learned to be at ease with cuts her voice, mental and physical off with an abrupt upraising shrill end. The energy seeps into every atom of her being, separating, recombining, reconfiguring, seeking out her secrets, teasing them out and toying with them. Wispy streamers of her shadowself seems pulled from her very core in taffy-like tatters only to be spun in on her frame, intertwining with that green, sickly light as it seems to partially solidify. Her tormented form seems pushed past the point of breaking as she spasms within the fields, optics going a jeweled shade of violet before they abruptly go out. With a searing finality and with a sudden outpouring of black-hued energy, she seems to disappear into the green, wisplets and tatters within the pulsing nexus almost to bright to look at. As suddenly as the assault on her being begun, it seems to withdraw, the black-violet pools pulling in on themselves, slowly dimming to a more natural level of visual radiation, the green hued field now holding at its core a figure curled in on itself, knees to chest, arms around, hands gripping, head bowed.
Divefire regards the whole transformation process with a cold and hard stare, a faint inkling of how the Harbinger had come to be in this new body he had reclaimed. However as he looks upon Ghost's changed form he fights a deep urge to push forward and to reach out for her, comfort her but... No. He is a servant of chaos, willingly. He will wait for his masters orders, despite his own desires.
After her reformatting, at 36 feet in total height, this figure, her form almost seems like an afterimage, an optical twisting of light and the lack thereof. Irregular gleams of violet and emerald refractions catch and shimmer across armoring that isnít as much black as it is the absence of any true color or reflection. Quivering pools of a general 'dimness' seem to follow her every move, every gesture, rippling and twisting the air around her as if a mirage were the cause of what you see. Gauntly thin, she holds herself with altering demeanors of barely restrained rage coated with a thin, cracked veneer of control to an icy distance, the sub-zero emotional void of nothing and everything all at once. Where once angular guards protected shoulders and joints are now fragile seeming curves of metal, edged with the dissipating hues of violet and emerald. Panels slide seemingly seamlessly into panels, overlapping with one another to give a reptilian grace to her torso. Ridges outline the slight uprising of intakes behind her shoulders, a rippled, mottled assortment of metal or other substrate rising and curving back into her frame to give some hint as to what she possesses as an alternate state of being. To one side of the left intake is a cylinder of some kind, barely wrist thick, but the one item that causes the utter symmetrical proportions to shift. But it is one thing to have been altered, it is another to have lost the vainglorious sportings of wings that are a focal point for so much that one calls themselves. Curving from her back, where once panels sat reflecting an emblem that she held loyal to are now a series of curved spars alone, small ports rounded out of the edges of the metal like a venting system. Wisps of what can only be termed as shadow touched with a plasmic hue fill the gaps between those spars, giving her simple spectral wings that wisp and trail her, the cause of the odd reflections of color coming from behind her. Gauntlets cover her lower arms, resting into her wrists which lead to fingers pointed with the curve of metal designed solely to rip and tear. There are no obvious weapons, no pistols, no rifles, nothing mounted in such a way as to give a wary onlooker a chance to determine what this femme now possesses in the ways of defense.
But in all of the physical irregularities, the shadings, and the shiftings of color into nothing, her optics are the sole thing that seem to possess any life of their own. The center of her expression, the doorway into which many seek to learn, the entrypoint of light, these openings are now simply filled with the only light that she dances in, the only light that seems to hold her back from being nothing more than a shadow herself. Tilted slightly over her nose and lips, these portals into the soul seem to burn with the sickly emerald and violet twisted gleam that her entire frame is coated with.
She remains curled up into that tight ball of negative light as the green slowly fades from around her, or seeps more deeply into her. There is a moment of utter non movement.. and then.. like all good horror stories... something moves. At first it is a ripple, a casting errant beam of faint starlight seeking a point at which to reflect on something in its lonely journey into the edges of the universe. But as it strikes the darkness, it causes a ripple of color, deep violet and dark emerald running across a curved shoulder. Something else moves, a sudden outjutting of a spar, then another and another in rapid succession like spines arming an urchin. They lie therein space for but a moment before venting.. venting a flare of plasmic energy that wraps and twists between each other, settling to form spectral afterimages of wings. As they form, she unfolds from the curled up position, optics black as she straightens before they flicker then flash, shining brilliantly as a counterpoint before they darken to a sullen amalgam of violet and emerald. Her head turns slowly as she spins in space, optics focusing on the one who she is now partner to.
Divefire regards this new form with a careful expression, as if gauging what his master is already telling him about her new form. Slowly, his cape flares and pushes him towards her frame, his arms by his side but carefully poised just in case. "How do you feel?" he asks her through the mental link.
Ghost slowly turns to peer off before snapping her head back to look at Divefire. The lacing of barely contained rage seems to threaten a cracked veneer of control, her hands flexing in front of her as she lets out a soft sibilant vocalization before her thoughts coalesce into an answer, "Feel? How. do I feel? Tell me, how should I feel?"
Divefireís optics remain cool and distant, as they were when he captured her, a separate place to where ever he is now. "You should feel... Power," he minds to her, his body flickering with a touch of his own, ripples of it flowing down his crimson armor in response to seeing her anger and a part of him understanding where it comes from.
Ghost cocks her head to one side as if testing. Those skeletalspars on her back flex, the phantom wing panels sliding to brush her legs and shoulders for a brief moment. Then.. She smiles.. Lips upturning into a decided bastardization of the expression, cold cold emerald brightening her countenance. "Oh yes.. Power I feel." She raises a hand, folding fingers into palm as she focuses, outlining that limb with a black-violet haze of energy. "Most assuredly.":
Divefireís expression flickers to more of a smirk as a little less of his old self becomes apparent. "That's what I wanted to hear. Now though, we should... Demonstrate it. The power of chaos."
Ghost slides closer to her compatriot, wing-spars shifting behind her as she moves, phantom trails of occluding shadow like a lacy veil around her. "But of course. Power.. should always be tested before the final confrontation." Again, that not-smile, optics narrowing to slits as she flexes her fingers.
Divefire once more runs his optics over the new ones frame, regarding her with a new perspective, given the light that plays off his face now as his smirk twists, deepening the impression that her presence is bringing more of the dark side out in this one. "Yes, it should... In all its forms..." A flicker of a touch as a hand reaches out to the shadows, energy flaring around his fingertips before he pauses and then pulls it back to his side. "But first... Cybertron!"
Laserbeak transmits to Ghost: "Operative Ghost, Organized a rescue party, please disclose your location."
Ghost inclines her head in a slight nod as she regards her counterpart through that veil of darkness.. The energy flared from his fingertips is met with a twisting wisp of shadow rising from hers, "Yes... First.. Cybertron... and then.... we discover more of what power this simple form can bear.." A soft, mocking laugh, derisive and cutting..
Divefire leans in a little closer to the shadow, his optics flaring just slightly before he speaks in her mind. "Oh, I'm hoping it can take a lot..." The ever present smirk darkens before he leans back, flares his cape fully and calls forth his power in a torrent of energy, rippling over the both of them and in a blink, they're gone from this plane of space.
Ghost's light laughter is her answer to the smirk and the words as she is spirited away
****
War Academy/Training Grounds <Polyhex>
The empty edifice of the War Academy cuts upwards against the dark sky like a proud spear. In these hallowed halls, the best and brightest of Cybertron's warriors have been trained. Ringing the War Academy are the overlapping circular fields of the training grounds. There are areas for parade drill, infantry close-combat and special air strips for the training of the aerospace units. The landscape is grey and drab; you stare upwards through the drifts of ash that blow in from the dead zones and wonder for a brief moment at what these proud monuments will be in later times: gleaming and silver, resounding with horns heralding a final victory.
<Cybertron> Divefireís voice echoes over the channel, full of a strange reverb of.... well, cockiness for a lack of a better term. "Decepticons, your presence is requested in the War Academy training grounds of Polyhex. Failure to attend this lesson means I'll blow it up. Quickly."
<Cybertron> Laserbeak spouts off with his patented Birdie bravado "Donít make me kick your aft. Divefire.  Just retreat, and tell Unicron I'll show him what for."
<Cybertron> Ghost comes across, voice resonant with something nearing amusement, "But what about the rescue effort, Avian?"
<Cybertron> Laserbeak is puzzled "Ghu..Ghu..Ghost?"
<Cybertron> Divefire voice smirks over the radio, an achievement in of itself really. "Didn't I tell you?  I've hired help."
Resyke transforms into his faster insect mode, trying desperately to keep up.
Laserbeak streaks ahead "They are mine, both of them."
Ruse is in flight, right behind Motormaster. Her rifle is drawn as is a discbomb summoned from subspace. oO(Chaos breads chaos... ne, Ruse?)
Motormaster curses under his breath as he tries to keep up with the faster cassette... the stupid little bird is going to get himself killed. But even if the Condor streaks ahead, he can't risk the others by being foolhardy. He transforms a bit away from the training grounds, flipping up into his robot mode, and absently activates his cyclone cannon, looking to Ruse and Resyke, "Survive. Don't play the hero. Pull back if you have to, retreat if you must. No shame. Decepticons forever." And with that, he strides on into the War Academy.
Ruse lands beside Motormaster and glances to him. She then calmly and simply nods to him, "Forever." She then turns and takes point beside the bigger mech, ready to fight.
Resyke FINALLY catches up to the semi, transforming to stand beside the two. "...Uh..Yeah! What they said!"
Ghost's form is present, in the general sense of the word. Having settled onto the first tier of a series of jumps meant for agility training, the defiantly new form rests on her haunches, perched, with wisplets of shadow seeming to partially veil her as they dance and intertwine with one another. Her optics, narrowed to thin slits, watches the main entrypoint into a previous lifeís most hallowed of grounds.
Divefire in contrast to his partner-in-crime, leans against a sparring drone, absently drumming his fingers against its side as he waits for reinforcements to come along.  Cadets are just so... easy.
Laserbeak glares at Divefire and screams. "Retreat or die, old friend.  The choice is yours." Score one for subtlety.,
Motormaster makes sure to be in the lead of the /sane ones/ that came with him, his purple optics rapidly scouring the room... first Divefire, with a nod, and then Ghost. His optics don't flicker once as he takes them in, nor does his grip on his gun relax. A brief aside to Ruse, "Stun Laserbeak if you have to." then he steps forward, out into the open of the training field... no cover, calling out in a strong, cold voice, "Why've you come here, Divefire? Unicron may take as many lap dogs as he wishes. We won't give up."
Ruse nods to Moto and thusly transforms.. and slinks forward slowly. She asks questioningly, "Out of curiosity why DOES a god of chaos need lapdogs? Is he not feeling up to par nowdays? Maybe a new god of chaos should arise..."  She has to be in this mode to stun... and hey she isn't a midget.  She is .... about as tall as a seeker... maybe.
Resyke tries his best to look big and strong and tough and menacing.. and fails miserably.
Laserbeak actually growls at Ruse before flying out of her immediate area. "I'm calm Ruse." He then turns to Divefire "I offered you a choice, Dive.  What's it going to be?"
Ghost remains perched, watching the movement of others as they come barreling in with or without self restraint. Skeletal spars on her back shift slightly as if in an unseen wind, the wisplets of apparent smoke or some other haze shifting as well. With a tilt of her head, she glances at the trio before she begins to smile, the expression all but unnoticeable until a shifting of her poise causes light to cross her face with a ripple of violet-green overshooting and subsiding into the null shade. "Little one.." she calls, "Oooohh Aaavian..." Her voice rises and falls like bells in a churchtower before it shifts to a pitched whisper, raspy and full of curiosity, "I thought you were here to save me. Are you now to attack me instead?"
Divefire leans back against the drone, shaking his head slightly as every one comes in and starts posturing in front of him. He always did hate that before he had the power of the Chaos Bringer running through his lines. He turns his head slightly to regard his dark partner for a moment, giving her a deeply defined smirk, twisted to convey only a darker and far more sinister intent. "Be so kind as to enlighten the bird, my dear..." He intones to her before he pushes off the drone with little effort at the same time as flaring out his wing cape, energy pulsing through and smashing the drone to small bits of debris. "Gods of Chaos are... Chaotic..." Another bad smirk at his own joke as he looks to the wolf in the fold. "As for power, Ruse... Well I could show you but... Then I'd have to kill you... Or is that at the same time as showing you?  Hrm..." Then finally his expression settles on Motormaster, hardening slightly as he meets his old friendís optics. "Well now, that's a good question... I could tell you a few things, Motormaster, but... Believe this... Unicron wants you to fear him, be broken for his arrival at the sheer power he commands. We are his vessels for such matters and frankly... I rather like it."
Ruse bristles.... and RUMBLES at Laserbeak... unless he wants to play birdhockey here and now, she suggests by clawing the ground.. he had better get behind her. She then looks to the others as the bladed tail of hers wags slightly, "Ghost.. we did come to rescue you if possible. We have seen others free themselves of Unicron. Are you telling me you wont show the same strength?" The females optics dim and her tone is almost pleading... though all the while she keeps an optic sidegaze towards Laserbeak ready to shock the birdie if need be to prevent him from getting killed. oO(Blast if only the full power of Chaos was ours... or mine.) The femme knows the power is beyond her grasp though for now as she scoffs at Divefire, "You have no power other then your own... Chaos has just deluded you into thinking he gives you strength when in fact he has just brought out all that was within you the whole time."
Resyke remains silent. Divefire and Ghost were fairly intimidating before.. now they're just /scary/
Motormaster isn't posturing, really. He just looks... tired. His face is lined with a weariness that is entirely unlike the young mech's normal self, and his optics are dim. But... there's determination in them. And in the set of his jaw, and in the continued, defiant strength of his voice too. "Unicron wants fear? Then let him have it. I'm afraid, Divefire. My mate is dead, and the two friends I always trusted the most would leave others with as little to lose as I have. Fear... yes, fear is there. Take it and leave. But broken? No, that's a different story, old friend." He absently leans on the point of his sword, resting both hands on the hilt, ďYouíve butchered the cadets... children, untrained. Congratulations. I hope you're proud of yourselves. It must have been so challenging for you."  He finishes softly with, "I'm bored with Unicron's ego. He is almost here. Let him save his blustering for when the battle begins."
Laserbeak is nearly knocked to the ground just by the shock of the femme's voice, so naturally he gets right next to her reduced to a pathetic stuttering kidlet, waddling up to her innocently so as not to alarm Ruse "Ghu.Ghu.Ghost? Izat really you?" While this close to her, his optics turn a fiery red... "I fought beside ya many a time Ghost, and you were always fiercely independent, and know your a lackey?" Then that twinge of sanity that holds him together goes poof as he backhands her with a wing to the face. "YOU STUPID #$^&*!" He quickly regains his composure as he pleads " The two of you must cease this idiocy now and no one needs to get hurt !"
Ruse glances to Laserbeak in an aside, "You should really consider a carrier as a diplomat."
Resyke wonders why it always seems to come down to Decepticon vs. Decepticon.. but on the other hand, these two may not be Decepticons anymore.. or even Transformers as we know them..
Ghost slides off of her perch, a movement that seems to coalesce into a waterfall of motion, ending with her standing on the ground. A brow lifts as she listens to the words filtering about, disturbing the pools of quiet that had been here but moments before. A glitter, a flicker of movement and she finds herself struck by one who called himself her friend. Its as if the light around her simply.. leaves. The spectral panels that formed phantom wings behind her shut off, the rippled refraction of light on her frame ceases. Even her optics go out. It's like a black hole stands there, sans the gravitational pull. But the light around is having difficulty not bending and warping. A whisper, voice ragged, "What is a ghost, but a memory twisted of what was? What is a shadow, but a castoff of another being? All are nothing in the end, lies on lies. You.. little avian.. are nothing to me."
Divefire tilts his head slightly towards Ruse, regarding her in a almost amused fashion. "No power other then my own? What an interesting idea, although I don't remember being able to do this..." And so saying he raises an arm to the side and absently summons a beam of power into being, slamming into and through some training apparatus, and then the wall, then one of the storage room and out into the courtyard, all with out looking or really caring, his expression back to being fixed on Motormaster. "Do you believe I'd slaughter children? I do have some ego left, you know. No, defenseless children don't interest me today. You, however, are proving far more interesting. Becoming a big strong leader, moving so much further forward then you ever thought you'd have to. Protecting the little ones one like Resyke here..." He gives the Insecticon a strange smile, walking over to the bug and kneeling down next to him. "And what do you make of all this chaos, cleaner con? Do you enjoy the secret and secluded panic that all your fellows are enjoying as the Chaos Bringer bears down on you?"
Resyke starts to shake. "N..no!" he squeaks, not really understanding. "An...And... neither do you! C..Cause you still care for CatsCradle! I...I heard it! Um.." The little cleaner looks as though he's about ready to run like hell.
A flash of black metal glimmers in front of the female Unispawn as Ruse tries to take Laserbeak... in muzzle.. a bit back from his position with the sudden action. It seems that display from Ghost was more then enough to raise her concern for her cassette 'brother'. oO(Note: Ask Soundwave to take Laserbeakís energon goodies away for a week if we survive... and remove all enerbooze or lock it away with kidlet proof restraints.) She glances to Divefire and responds, "Yes... I was told of your power.. your jets could do the same moving faster then light. You just think you have new powers. Really though... youíre showboating. Bluffing..."  She adds, "I am not impressed or afraid.. of either of you.. or of Unicron."
Motormaster doesn't move, even as Divefire walks past him, just keeps leaning on his blade. The only movement is that his head bows... and then he says softly, "You would not slaughter children, yet you gain some perverse pleasure from scaring the smallest. Your honored master is nothing more than an overgrown bully throwing a tantrum." Finally, he shifts his weight, turning and placing the flat of his blade between Divefire and Resyke... yes, protecting the smaller mech. "Leave, Divefire. I don't know why Unicron is so afraid that he feels the need to send you, but you gain nothing from terrorizing these people." He smiles, sadly, "Power... You traded life, friendship, love, loyalty, trust, and hope for power that you had inside you all along. It seems to me you got a bad bargain, Divefire." He then turns to Ghost, "And what of you? Lost in your own self-pity now? Take it out on Laserbeak all you want. Maybe it will even make you feel better, when your master smiles at you for hurting those you once cared about. I hope something does, I truly do. Because you, too, have hollowed yourself out in his name. You are both nothing but empty shells."
Laserbeak almost dismisses Ruse with a wave of the wing as he almost bows to Ghost and is dragged away from her as drops of energon come from his optics... "I..." he stumbles in front of Divefire positioning himself between him and Resyke almost not noticing the presence of Motormaster's sword "If you wish to harm this one you go through me." His lasers hum, in the back of his lasercore he knows he's incapable of firing on either of them. "Please don't make me do it."
Ghost watches Ruse move the avian, a distance growing in her expression as she moves with the blinding speed of a snake striking, coming to a calm, collected halt next to her fellow despoiler of peoples cycles. A shrug as her wings rekindle, her voice sliding flat, "Perhaps.. Motormaster.. You are mistaken in what you believe. You speak of empty shells and trades for life. But you are incorrect." A soft, sibilant chuckle. "This frame was simply convenient after its previous.. occupant failed to withstand what is true power."
Ruse murmurs, ".... Moto...." She flashes her optics, a simple deadly tone to her voice... she will get Laserbeak clear if need be... leaving the other free to do what must be done.
Motormaster nods once, faintly, a brief jerk of his head, his own voice going flat, ďTake the others and leave, Ruse. Don't return."
Ruse says, ".. No .. I wonít leave any behind, Moto... I will get them out of harmís way, but after that.. no I wonít abandon you. Their choice is their own... as is mine."
Divefire stands slowly, flaring out his cape and spreading his shoulders in a rather defiant manner, but still showing no interesting in displaying some of that god hood like power. "How very true. You see we're not..." Divefire's voice echoes out into a parody of the melodramatic, "Corrupt images of friends you once knew..." His smirk echoes out again, but then cuts short the humor that's been sort of there so far in this meeting. "We are the disciples of Unicron, Bringers of Chaos because he created us. We are his in body and soul. Death incarnate..." So saying a tendril of energy ripples over his frame, echoing over his crimson armor as he sneers in a most unpleasant manor. "And, if you think our time here is wasted... Think of what else you could be doing right now... Constructive, useful things that might give you a chance to survive one more pathetic little day..."
Laserbeak shakes his head now sobbing hysterically upon Divefire's words... "You leave me no choice..." he points to the ground as his wings drop to his sides, signaling surrender. "Decepticons we must... Fight!" One indecently tractable laser for each Unispawn, idiotic positioning not withstanding, as firing whilst situated between three big angry cons is a good idea.
Resyke feels a little safer as the bigger 'Cons back him up... that is until Laserbeak starts shooting.
Motormaster flares his optics bright purple, a sudden surge of energy... and nods to Ruse and Laserbeak, "Let's do it then. Together!" And even though he couldn't stand against them /before/ the change, on his best day... he fights anyways, bring the sword up in a glittering arc towards Divefire with all of his might.
Ruse suddenly.... decides, oO(Let us see if it is.) The smooth talker suddenly moves, at full 250+ mph becoming a haze! She leaps forward and with no sound or emotion moves to try and grab Ghost by the neck in a deathhold, steel razor teeth powered by hydraulics moving to impale themselves deep! She is so intent at attempting to rip Ghostís throat out, that she ignores a stray laser from Laserbeak that strikes her side....
Black is defined as having little to no light. Void is the absence of. Either does not seem to have affected the simple way that this femme who was known as Ghost moves. Its a blurring of edges, a twisting of the particles of the air around her as she slides, the lasershot from the avian searing through a phantom wingpanel. Even in her transitional state of being, she has not lost one iota of her ability to simply *move* when needed. Wisplets of mist wrap around her feet, twisting off as if living entities of their own volition as Ruse makes her strike at the already moving Unicronian herald. It would have been a perfect maneuver had not the avian struck out first with the resonant and noticeable sound of laserfire filtering through the air even before the fox made her charge. The fox-femme does manage to make contact with the metal of Ghosts being, but in doing so, gets a taste of the darkness that exudes from her. Even so, the herald rises upwards, skeletal wing-spars fanning out behind her as the haze of plasma begins to warp and ripple, brightening, or perhaps darkening, into a black-violet dimness behind her, "Whaaaat?" she asks with a mocking tone. "You attack? All of you? How.. precious. How loyal. How *noble*.. How utterly /hero-ic/. " She laughs as she spins, brushing Ruse in her movement, a faint miasma of that shroud permeating the air around her. "Poooor pooor Decepticons...." her voice rises to a childish alto, sing-song, "One two.... " a laugh and it drops to a grating rasp, "Such heroic nonsense." That black-violet haze begins to solidify around her, flamelets licking up into the air around her as if it were on fire, or being sucked of energy. "Now.. Now. This shouldn't hurt much.. After the first thousand years."
Ruse lands on all fours... a haze of darkness escaping her muzzle. Her optics flash as she looks to Ghost somewhat emotionlessly. She notes suddenly though, "You taste... familiar...  but far be it from me to get and not give anything in return. Now fall.. FALL!" She opens her muzzle even as the other powers and lets lose with a quick but wide spread burst of plasmaflames from her maw! Yes her jaws of death have many a way to kill...  
Divefire watches Motormaster's glittering blade arch for him with a slight amount of amusement as he jumps back at the last moment possible, smirking irritatingly as he lets his powers begin to flow, fusion energy arching around his frame in a corona of sudden force as it leaps into being. Laserbeak's shot is simply, absorbed by the field as he flares his cape back and leaps into the sky to join his fellow. "A thousand years of pain... Sounds fun... For next time..." Another off beat smirk precedes his hands glowing again as he sends out a series of bursts into the roof supports of the structure around them. "Run, children, play time is over!" He laughs hardly before his cloak wraps around his frame and he takes a hold of the former Ghost. In one final flash of energy the two spawn vanish only to leave a rockfall of tumbling masonry in their wake.


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