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Worldshield Flight
(played 1/1/01)

Main Access Plaza <Polyhex>

Intrigue says, "My mother once told me that you kill the enemy any way you can, regardless of means."

Straxus says, "I fight because the Autobots will have it no other way. We will be subjugated or terminated."

Straxus says, "The fact that I get a warm, beautiful thrill every time I kill an Autobot is merely a bonus."

Straxus says, "Sit down Cats."

CatsCradle sits down at Staxus' invitation, curling her legs underneath her.

Straxus says, "Someday I will die, that much is certain. Death will merely close the book on my reputation and allow it to be judged good, or bad."

Straxus says, "I feed on strong emotions, Intrigue. The subtleties, both consume me and pass me by. I feel most alive when I am dancing a slow dance with death. Why though? If feeling an Autobots life ooze from him under my steel grip, I have become death itself, taking that which he was, that which he is, and all that which he might have been."

Intrigue says, "Power."

Straxus says, "Influence."

Intrigue grins. "You aren't 'influencing' that Autobot, my dear sir. You are taking his life from him."

Straxus grins. "Influence taken to its extreme, then."

Intrigue says, "My definition of influence differs... It would be persuading that Autobot that the cause he fights for is wrong and hurts not only his own faction but his own species. I wish I were good enough to do such things, bring warriors to the right side, but from what little I've heard, the Autobots tend to fanaticism."

Straxus says, "But you miss the point, I don't want that Autobot on my side."

CatsCradle puts in "If he switches sides once, he might be convinced to do so again.

Straxus says, "There are some mechs you just can't reach."

Straxus says, "When someone has a plasma rifle shoved in my gut I'm not thinking about debating political policies or waxing philosophic with him. I am interested in spraying the tarmac with his vital fluids. I am interested in doing this to his friend, his sister, his mother, his commanding officer..."

Straxus says, "Because someone did that to my parents when they could not fight. My parents posed no real threat, they were killed because they held different beliefs than the Autobots did. They spilt first blood, not me."

Straxus says, "I however have the means with which to brutally murder every single living thing that wears that symbol. Why? Because they killed who I was on that day, and now its my turn to return the favor."

Straxus says, "Don't let anyone bullshit you about manifest destiny and the rights and wrongs of the universe. How are we different from any other species? Because we fight to win."

Intrigue siiiiighs. "I will keep silent, as I come from outside and know nothing of true war, just the remnants of it that I've seen among aliens. I fear that this war will go the same way as those did."

Straxus says, "Then let me die fighting."

CatsCradle says sharply, "We're not asking you to keep silent. Just perhaps..." and she turns thoughtful "to think. And talking opinions out sometimes helps you to solidify your own opinions.

Intrigue says slowly, "Here's the 'brilliant amateur strategist' speaking, but I've seen alien histories, battlefields. When you have two sides that are fairly evenly matched, and the war isn't ended quickly with some decisive strike, they almost inevitably destroy each other. No victors in such conflicts, just slow genocide."

Straxus says, "It's called a war of attrition."

Straxus says, "Which is why we need to start fighting this war differently."

Intrigue nods.

Straxus says, "Quietly, efficiently."

CatsCradle smiles slightly.

Straxus says, "What we fight for matters not if we haven't the ability to fight to the Decepticon objective."

Intrigue arches a brow. This, at least, is something she can understand.

Straxus says, "So even if it means fighting separately from the whole... we shall achieve that objective."

Intrigue says, "Surely whoever's in command... Megatron is truly back?... will know this and act accordingly. Draconia mentioned a new planet, rich in resources."

Straxus says, "Yes, it's called Terra."

Intrigue says, "Perhaps that can be used to upset this deadly stalemate?"

CatsCradle says, "The problem is that the Autobots are also on this new world, which means they have the same chances. That just increases the stalemate, not breaks it."

Straxus looks to his claws and strokes them over his mane affectionately. "We will use whatever methods at our disposal. The methods of the Rangers differ slightly from your average combat unit."

Straxus says, "Advantage Decepticons. Consumed by their extinctionist nature, they will coddle these newfound friends of theirs. It will put them at a tactical disadvantage. I've seen reports of these Terrans. Selfish, materialistic beings. Fed by base emotions and greed. Perfect friends for the Autobots, wouldn't you say?"

Intrigue looks heavenward in exasperation. "Figures that the Autobots would be there, doesn't it? Primus..."

Straxus says, "I wonder if the Autobots see themselves in this tiny creatures. The outside looking in, looking out?"

CatsCradle brightens. She hadn't looked at it that way. "And these humans are small, which means the Autobots will be distracted by their feeling that they have to protect them.

Intrigue says, "This is... dangerous, this planet. It could upset the balance in favour of the Autobots."

Straxus says, "The playing field is not level."
Straxus says, "They hold the tactical disadvantage, we hold the high ground. He who controls the air, controls the ground. He who controls space controls the planet."

Intrigue half-laughs, more at herself than the subject matter. "I'll keep out of this rather than display my lack of strategic and tactical knowledge. I have the excuse of not being a warrior, though... everyone wants to be a hero at some time or another..."

Straxus says, "Let them shield their tiny friends. Let them bask in the praise these insignificant creatures shall bathe them with. Let them stroke their egos and call themselves heroes for a day. Let them. Let them burn when their self proclaimed duty to defend all life is their downfall."

CatsCradle says, "And we have the space bridge. So far, the Autobots have only been able to travel by ship"

Straxus says, "Let their inane and self serving platitudes spit back in their faces. To defend another species over your own leads to extinction. Let us show them the path."

Intrigue nods to Straxus. "Altruism should begin at home. If I may be so bold... what on Cybertron is a spacebridge?"

Straxus says, "The spacebridge is nothing you should concern yourself with at the moment Intrigue."

Intrigue tilts her head, curious, but shrugs and nods. "As you say, sir." Obviously a security issue and not for her audio receptors.

Straxus says, "Cats?"

CatsCradle says, "sir?""

Straxus says, "Don't confuse the new recruit."

CatsCradle ducks her head. "Sorry, sir.... recruit?" She glances at Intrigue, the looks to Straxus again, questioningly

Intrigue asks, amused, "Is that what I am, sir? Well, I'd been discussing the subject with Draconia last cycle anyway..."

Straxus smiles and erupts in a heavy bellowing chuckle. "I swear, Cats... sometimes you make it seem as if you are actually clueless. You would make Diktat proud, as you make me."

CatsCradle grins. "Protective camouflage, sir."

Straxus says, "You are a mech after my own laser core."

CatsCradle beams at the praise. "Why, thank you, sir."

Straxus stands, taking in another deep breath and grinning widely. "What precisely have you been discussing with Draconia, dear Intrigue?"

CatsCradle turns to Intrigue, regarding her with interest.

Straxus turns to Cats and twists his brow in thought. "And why was I not informed?"

Intrigue thinks back to the previous cycle, here, almost in the exactly same place. "Being a warrior, sir, and what it entails. I have to find something worthwhile to do with my life."

CatsCradle says, "Draconia's been rather busy, sir,"

Straxus says, "Busy resting on a repair sled?"

CatsCradle spreads her hands out in front of her. "Sir, Draconia has not told me about her conversation with Intrigue. Intrigue and I talked briefly earlier, but to no real detail. You came in the middle of that conversation, and -- " she grins "we got distracted on our examples of fighting."

Straxus says, "Dying for what you believe in is the most worthwhile thing to do with ones life. That is, of course, after making countless others die for theirs."

Intrigue says, "As for my conversation with Draconia... It puzzles me why this seems to be something of any importance. It was just last night, and we simply spoke of what it takes to be a warrior, of some of her training, and that I'd never seen an Autobot."

Straxus says, "What does it take to be a warrior, I'm curious?"

Intrigue says, "Discipline, training, and hard work."

Straxus says, "And a keen eye."

Straxus says, "Preferably two, but Shockwave does well with one."

CatsCradle chuckles softly

Intrigue ponders depth perception, or lack thereof.
Straxus says, "And a nice gun, right Cats?"
[
CatsCradle agrees, "There's that, too.

Intrigue glances down at the pistol maglocked to her side. No, not a nice gun, but then she can't really blame the thing for her own inability to hit the broad side of a hangar...

Straxus opens his hand to Intrigue. "Give me your weapon."

CatsCradle follows Intrigue's glance and remembers their conversation about her aim.. or lack thereof. "We can work on that," she reassures her.

Intrigue siiiighs and hands Straxus the small laser pistol. Probably too small for him to use properly. She gives Cats a amused, but doubtful look, then looks back to the commander.

Straxus holds the pistol in the palm of his hand, scraping a razored plasma claw over the polished metal surface. "This is inadequate even for target practice." He throws it back to her with a snarl of disgust.

CatsCradle nods in agreement. "I thought it might be more the gun than you."

Straxus says, "Dispose of it."

Intrigue reacts almost instinctively, catching the pistol before it hits her. "Off world construction, meant for aliens. My mother said it was disgusting, but the best available at the time."

CatsCradle murmurs, "Doesn't seem to be much wrong with her reflexes either.
Straxus says, "Your reaction time is impressive, though."

CatsCradle cocks her head. "She moves well, too. You've had some training, haven't you?"

Straxus says, "Show me how you use that thing."

Intrigue nods to Cats, but doesn't expand. Training as a thief isn't exactly socially acceptable in most places. Instead, she grins wickedly and rather than firing the pistol, she throws it at Straxus. Overhand and hard. He's big enough that even should she hit, he shouldn't get more than a scratch.

Straxus watches as the pistol rebounds off his shoulder and scatters down over the tarmac. He holds his head in his hand and shakes it wearily.

CatsCradle says smugly, "Yep. Nothing wrong with her aim

Intrigue says, "I'm aware of my shortcomings, yes."

CatsCradle says, "You hit him, didn't you?" She looks at Straxus. "Perhaps grenades...?""

Straxus calmly picks up the pistol from where it lays and gently hands it to her, leaning in so that his mouth is mere inches from her audio receptors. "Now try that again and I will react accordingly. As if you truly were attacking me. Where would you be then?"

Intrigue takes the pistol back and shrugs. "I'd be in cover somewhere, and I'd aim for your optics. Well, maybe for your chest, *then* I might hit your optics."

CatsCradle says, "I think perhaps, when we find you a decent weapon, you might find your aim improving."

Straxus turns to Cats and smiles. "She's assuming I would've waited for the pistol to hit me before I slipped the dagger from my hip and slipped it into her throat."

CatsCradle says, "Which is why I suggested grenades, sir."

Straxus says, "Well, why present yourself as a target to begin with?"

Intrigue points out, "I did say 'in cover'."

Straxus says, "And where would you aim, dear Intrigue?"

Intrigue says, "If I thought I could hit what I aimed at, the optics. I'm not a warrior, so I have to try to cripple your ability to fight. Immediately move afterwards, because the shot will give away my position."

Straxus says, "Aiming a weapon is not terribly difficult, what is your shortcoming?"

Intrigue shrugs. "I'd like to blame it all on the weapon, but in all fairness, I've never been all that good at hitting what I aim at."

CatsCradle says, "Takes practice. Talent helps, but practice helps more."

Straxus nods to Cats. "Show her the weapons."

CatsCradle holds up her arms and twin laser mountings hiss up from compartments in her wrist cuffs. She lets them sink back into their housings, then pulls her sword out from the sheath on her back and hands it to Intrigue

Intrigue takes the weapon carefully, by the hilt. While she hasn't seen much of swords, she has *some* common sense. Holding it as she saw Cats hold it, she waggles the blade, trying to get a feel for the balance.

CatsCradle grins. "Then there's this..." She holds up her hands a few inches apart. Tendrils of energy flash, dancing from finger to finger, weaving themselves into a small net that grows in size as her fingers move. "It can work either as a forcefield or as kind of a net." She lets the energy dissipate. "Problem is that it takes a bit of energy and cancels my lasers out."

Straxus smiles. "I love it when she does this."

CatsCradle shrugs slightly, but her pride at Straxus' praise is clear.

Intrigue watches the display in fascination, not seeing it so much as a weapon as an exotic artform.


*******

CatsCradle is sitting, puttering with the hilt of her sword, fine-tuning the controls. She glances up, sees Megatron, and shoots to her feet, saluting. "Sir!"

Megatron walks in, looking around. As he sees CatsCradle, he smirks. "Greetings, Warrior."

CatsCradle says, "It is good to have you back on Cybertron again, sir." She tries to hide that she is nervous; she has rather just gotten used to speaking with warlords... Megatron coming in has startled her.

Megatron says, "Well, it won't be for long this time. I have a mission to accomplish."

Divefire walks into the area

Megatron sees that another warrior arrives. "Ah, Divefire!"

CatsCradle glances at Divefire with a slightly relieved smile.

Divefire comes walking from the training grounds, it's not really all that clear if he's been there training or observing. Of course he can't help notice the presence of Megatron, and indeed CatsCradle, and it seems he stiffens more then normal.. "Lord Megatron, CatsCradle, hello."


Megatron says, "Divefire, we should soon be able to re-establish the space bridge connection to Earth. I think I may have some use for you there."

Megatron says, "You should know soon enough.""

Divefire gives Megatron the `oh-kay` look but declines to actually put that into words. "As you see fit, Lord. How are you finding being back home?"

Megatron looks at CatsCradle for a while.

Megatron turns his attention back to Divefire. "It is good to be back, but I am needed elsewhere."

CatsCradle looks a little relieved when she is no longer under such close scrutiny. She inches a step or two back, so as not to seem as intruding between the other two

Divefire catches the look that Megs gives Cats and just wonders if it has any other meaning. He really doesn't know Megatron all that well, yet. Looking back to Megatron, just after catching Cats optics, he replies. "I can imagine. I wouldn't mind getting back to Earth myself, interesting place from what I saw of it."

Megatron says, "And rich of energy"

Divefire nods slightly at that. "No doubt, I'm wondering how much of it could be self sustaining..."

Megatron , seeing from the corner of his optics that CatsCradle is moving backwards, says: "No need to leave us, except you have duties to accomplish, CatsCradle - that is your name, isn't it?

CatsCradle says, "Yes, sir." She looks surprised that he would know her name."

Megatron as if he read her thoughts. "I downloaded a file with the warriors that are actually operational." He grins slightly. "I prefer to be informed about everything."

CatsCradle smiles a little. "I could understand that, sir."

Divefire optics glitter a little at that.. "Speaking of, are we going to be informed how this new bridge works?"

Megatron says, "A very interesting personal file you have, CatsCradle..."

CatsCradle's optics glint a little nervously. "I imagine so, sir...." she says with a little sigh.
Megatron he turns at Divefire. "If it is necessary, yes. But at the moment, I don't want to risk, data accidentally getting into the Autobots hands. Therefore only a few are involved in the technical details.

Divefire seems to accept Megatron's words, though internally he's a little disappointed. However something else has tweaked his curiosity now, although there's no chance he's going to be asking about it directly. "A wise precaution, Lord."

Megatron looks down at Cats, smiling. "Why so nervous?"

CatsCradle says honestly, "Because I'm not used to Great Pieces of History taking notice of me, sir."

Megatron chuckles. "You're flattering me."

CatsCradle's hands move in a well-but-it's-true motion, but she doesn't say anything

Megatron says, "It seems as if you had another question, Divefire, haven't you?""

Divefire smirks slightly at Cats words, but doesn't add to it. He looks back to Megatron, slightly surpassed. He had no idea Megatron was capable of reading people... "Not of any pressing urgency, Megatron."

Megatron says, "Well, I can wait."

Divefire pauses a second, then actually manages to speak. "Actually, Lord, I am curious as to whether I will be returning with you on the bridge, or at a later date?"

Megatron says, "In fact, I can't actually tell you. I need to contact Soundwave to get some necessary data for that, but we don't have contact with Earth, momentarily."

Megatron rubs his chin. "I suppose, they think I'm not functional anymore...

Megatron thoughtfully looks to the stars above.

CatsCradle says hesitantly, "Sir, Clearblade came in shortly before you did. She brought back about 3000 astro liters. Would that be enough for the space bridge, as well as communications to Earth?

Divefire muses a little to himself, not to thrilled with the idea of being stuck on Cybertron... Although it might just have it's plus points..

Megatron looks at CatsCradle smiling as he hears pleasant message. "Clearblade is back? Well... yes... The energon may help..."

CatsCradle smiles, glad to be the bearer of good news.

Divefire also adds, "Clearblade also brought her crew and ship back in once piece."

Megatron says, "I haven't expected any thing else from her."

Divefire nods a little, "I take it you know her well then?"

Megatron says, "She's been one of the best fighters in the gladiatorial games I've ever met. And she is an excellent warrior."

Megatron says, "I have to return to work."

Divefire nods a little distractedly as he goes over a few of his other memories... "Yes, of course."

CatsCradle gives a little bow. "Sir."
[
Megatron nods at Divefire. "You'll hear from me." Then he looks at CatsCradle, with a charming smile. "And I hope to meet you again, CatsCradle."

CatsCradle murmurs, "Thank you, sir."

Megatron enters Watch Central <Polyhex> <<N> North>.

CatsCradle swats at Divefire. "You rat. When I said I was going to get you to laugh, I didn't mean at me and at that moment. I saw that smirk.

Divefire just blinks and tries to dodge back from Cats slightly, "What? I don't remember smirking, I was to busy trying to stop my net from freezing up.."

CatsCradle says, "Right after the Great Pieces of History stupidity that came out of my mouth before I could stop it.""

CatsCradle sits downs and buries her face in her hands with a soft groan. "I don't believe I said that..."

Divefire's optics glow a little, as he does find that a little amusing. But he watches Cats groan and just can't help but feel for her. He sits down next to her, not to close of course and hesitantly places a hand on her shoulder. "It's not the worse thing you could have said, believe me. Besides, he likes you."

CatsCradle lifts her head and brightens a little. "I guess after Slipstream pouncing on him just after he got off the space bridge, maybe nothing I could say would be quite as..." She shrugs, obviously not finding quite the right word and deciding not to try.

Divefire says, "Unbelievably stupid, annoying, lacking in respect, and a excellent way to get yourself and others killed?"

CatsCradle squeaks and buries her face again. "Yes, that would be the one," she adds in a normal voice, if a bit muffled.

Divefire shakes his head a little and pulls Cats head up from her hands, via her shoulders, wit ha gentle touch. "Slipstream is either an idiot or young, you are neither. I believe Megatron appreciates these facts."

CatsCradle makes a face. "I'm just... not used to this. It's one thing to talk to Straxus, because he doesn't quite follow the rules. Diktat makes me forget that he really does out-rank me. However, speaking with Megatron is a whole 'nother thing entirely." She looks at her hands, as if finding it a little hard to believe she survived it.

Divefire heh's at the name of Straxus, but lets it go for now. "How much do you know about Megatron?"

CatsCradle admits, "I'm not a historian. I know he rose from the gladiatorial games to become the leader that he is now. I know the basic public stuff. And I've *seen* him. But this is the first time I've ever *talked* to him."

Divefire smiles slightly in understanding. "Well it won't be the last. Why not take a little pride in the fact that not only did you talk to Megatron, but you survived the experience and he has noticed you."

CatsCradle lets out a long sigh. "This is true. And I know I've got to get used to this if..." She shakes her head. "Unless I want to stay the unnoticed femme always in the corners. But when things started to change, they changed so quickly. I haven't caught up yet."

Divefire nods slightly, leaning back a bit. "I know what you mean. but as you've told me, trouble likes trouble. I suspect things are going to start moving far faster now that Earth has been discovered. Oh.. and for what it's worth... You are many things Cats and one of them is not unnoticeable."

CatsCradle shakes her head. "That's just recent. It's Diktat's fault, really. He got me talking, and when I survived that, I just kept doing it. Blame him,
Divefire lips tighten slightly, then he does genuinely smile, for a short moment. "So that explains your conversations with me..." And yes, there is a spark of sarcasm there.

CatsCradle looks up at him, rather surprise. "Well, yes. You came back after Diktat, you see. I had already stepped out of the corners by then.

Divefire looks back at her for a moment, then just shakes his head with a very slight smirk. "That's fortuitous then, I hate having to find new corners to skulk in."

CatsCradle says, "Oh. You, too, huh?""

Divefire nods a little, "Somewhat, I tend to like my own company."

CatsCradle nods, the glint in her optics again. "And this is why you've been... how'd you put it... my shadow recently?"

Divefire heh's and just folds his arms over his chest at that. "I can go now if you like?"

CatsCradle says "*I* wasn't the one who mentioned liking their own company, now, was I?""

Divefire rolls his optics a little and sighs. "True... Look, it's a little complex. Mostly I keep myself to myself because I don't like dealing with the social side of life. I'm either working, fighting, or flying. Right now I don't have any of those options... I'm just... well... Ah I don't know Cats.. There are alot of memories here for me..."

CatsCradle says "Oh," quietly, her face darkening a little at the word "memories". She glances away, focusing on her feet. She swings them a little. "I guess they must not be very good memories, then?"

Divefire looks over at her and frowns a little, seeing her reaction. "Not paticurly... So you want to tell my why you flinch every time some one brings up either the med bay or memories?"

CatsCradle starts to say something. Stops. Then tries again, as if she really wants to, but just doesn't know how to start. She shakes her head, more in frustration than refusal.

CatsCradle finally smiles a little, without much behind it. "It's a little... complex," she echoes.

Divefire smiles rather sadly, closing his optics in understanding. "I can imagine..." However after a moment he stands and looks up to the sky. "Seems like awhile since I flew for the shear thrill of it..." He looks back down to Cats and looks at her carefully. "Feel like a flight?"

CatsCradle looks up at him. This time her smile has a little more reality to it. "Yes," she says. "I think I'd like that." Then with more energy. "Blow some of the cobwebs away, huh?"

Divefire nods a little, optics shinning a dark green. "You could say that." He offers Cats his hands to help her up, if she wants it. "C'mon, shall we see how bright we can burn?"

CatsCradle takes his hand hesitantly, as if not quite used to such gestures, but her smile turns into a grin. "Let's."

Divefire helps her up as smoothly as he can, there's a little doubt in his features as to the offer he's making, he's not exactly used to these types of gestures either, but he sees something rather familiar in Cats... "To the airfield then."

CatsCradle looks up. "Well, leaving from here would be a rather... abbreviated flight."

Divefire smirks a little as he starts to walk, "I remember hearing of some newly on-line air jock actually blasting through one of the sky lights in his rush to get on a mission once... Thankfully I think his name was omitted from the report.."

CatsCradle laughs in delight as she walks beside him. "Sounds like a rather Slipstream thing to do."

Divefire glances at Cats and smirks some what. "I wonder who's offended more by that, Slipstream or the air jock.."

CatsCradle says, "Would Slips notice that as being offensive?" Then she shakes her head. "Oh, dear. I really need to watch my mouth. He's Draconia's friend, and she was willing to die for him. There must be something in there that merits that”

CatsCradle says weakly "I just haven't figured out what..."

Divefire smiles slightly and just shakes his head. "Speaking your mind is a valuable asset, just not always. As for Slipstream.. Hrm... All I know is that he was causing trouble more then 4 million years ago and it looks like stasis hasn't changed that."

Divefire continues the walk to the hanger section


You enter Hangar Bay <Polyhex>.
You enter Airfield.

CatsCradle stretches, enjoying the feel of the outside air.

Divefire watches Cats stretch a second and smiles a little and then looks up to the permanent night sky line. "Ah, it is good to be out here."

CatsCradle says, "Even better to be up there." She looks at the stars, optics glowing.

Divefire relaxes a little more on hearing that, "After you, then Cats." As he beckons to the sky."

CatsCradle gives Divefire another grin, then breaks into a run, as if with a burst of freedom, leaping into the air and transforming

Divefire watches Cats take off and rise into the sky in her jet form, and catches himself looking a little to hard. He shakes his head and frowns to himself, breaking into a run and transforming as well.

Divefire powers into the sky, his fusion cannon derived engines blasting out a purple streak of energy as his form comes pasts Cats, wings over, not that he's showing off at all, and heads for the sky above.

You enter Sky above Polyhex.

Divefire tips his wings in acknowledgment to Cats as he keeps the climb going, getting higher over Cybertron and any Autobot snipers that might want to take pot shots. "Feel like going any where in particular?"

CatsCradle says, "You lead the way. Find some good memories."

Divefire banks over with out a response, engine out put climbing to take them above mach as he heads to the north west

CatsCradle rolls mischievously, coming up and over Divefire, then under again and back to her original position.

Divefire almost laughs to himself as she moves around him, he lets himself go a little, after all it wasn't that long ago he used to be an air jock. With a trigger of air brakes and a throttle down, he wings over to behind Cats, staying close to her tail before he powers up his engines again, blasting underneath her, inverting as he gets in front of her and matching his speed so he falls back to be inverted and above her. "You fly pretty well, Cats."’
CatsCradle says, "You're not so bad yourself, for someone who likes corners." She shoots ahead in a silent dare for him to catch up.

Divefire watches Cats accelerate away from him and lets her for several moments, he lets her pull away as his engines build up there power. Just before Cats escapes his visual range, Divefire lets the built up power of his engines release and a roar of power with a purple streak of energy from his exhaust pre-emps massive acceleration as he rockets up to Cats form, then powers back down again to keep level with her wings.

CatsCradle says, "Show off."

Divefire replies with humour evident in his voice. "Just occasionally."

CatsCradle pulls into a barrel roll. She's not as agile in jet form as in robot form, but that doesn't mean she's not having fun.

CatsCradle says, "Sounds like a laugh's pretty close there...""

Divefire follows Cats on the roll, but not pulling of the maneuver, just watching for a moment. "Maybe... The question is if you make me laugh, what is there left to keep you around?"

CatsCradle says, "Hey, I've just come out of the corners. There's a whole universe out there, and I'm just getting started."

Divefire smiles internally as he flips in to the other side of Cats, "Good for you, I'll just have to watch you from the corners then."

CatsCradle falls to flank him again, pulling even. "I can drop back to the corners for a visit every now and then. I am a stealth, after all. Corners are kind of my profession.”

Divefire voice sounds more then a little curious as he asks, "Really? I guess I haven’t asked you what your function is..."

CatsCradle's shrug is evident in her voice. "Covert ops, mostly. Sniper, too, on occasion. A little of this, a little of that."

Divefire sounds more amused at that, "My, I'm flying with a shadow agent, I best watch my back."

CatsCradle laughs. "Haven't been used as an assassin yet. You're probably safe."

Divefire voice smiles back at Cats, "You're not going to hit on me then, such a shame."

CatsCradle's wings wiggle a little in a version of a vocal sputter.

CatsCradle says, "I'm sure I can find something vaguely heavy to hit you with, if that's what you want."

Divefire smiles silently for a long moment, dropping down and forward of Cats for a moment, giving her some space. It's safe to assume he's relaxed some. "I have no doubt that you could try."

CatsCradle says, "Well, the heavy part might not work so well, that's true.""

Divefire once more sounds rather curious, "You train in melee combat as well then?"

CatsCradle says, "Sword. And you've seen the claws. But I'm not much use in heavy combat. Just not armored enough. But on a smaller scale, I'm pretty hard to touch.""

Divefire smiles again internally as he continues to head down towards the shield. "You'll have to show me some time."

CatsCradle says, "Whenever. I can always use the practice. So many of the mechs around here are the heavy combat-type, and just aren't interested in sparring unless they're trying to bash their partner into pieces, just to prove their point. It wouldn't take much bashing to put me down." She doesn't even sound rueful; it's something she's just used to. "But I don't really think you'd spar like that, would you?"

Divefire muses as he hears Cats words, imagining her form in combat, and quickly putting it to one side. "Well in combat, last I was told I fight with a controlled aggression. Sparing though I've always, well.. not always.. but I tend to think of it as a matching of skill and finesse. If that's what you meant."

CatsCradle says "Yes," with some relief. He understands. "It's a way of testing yourself, as well as your partner. It's not a matter of who can bash who the hardest. Save that for the battlefield."

Divefire would nod in agreement if he could. "Quite, although to be honest it's been some time since I sparred or fought."

You say, "That's by default. You were out of it for four million years." It's her turn for questions now. "What do you do? Profession, I mean."

Divefire keeps silent for slightly longer then some one might expect, but after a moment he replies. "Oh, this and that. I'm more of a researcher these days then anything else. And it's around 2 million years."

CatsCradle sounds confused "You weren't on the Ark with the others?"

Divefire relies simply. "No."

CatsCradle almost visibly draws back. "I'm sorry," she says after a moment. "I don't have the right to pry." Then she adds, "I, of all people."

Divefire sees and hears that, and sighs a little to himself, he draws back as well, getting level again with her. "No, it's all right. I'm sorry Cats. I'm not really used to being, open with some one."

CatsCradle says softly after a moment, "Well, neither am I. Which is why I should have known better."

Divefire keeps silent for a long time, just letting the roar of their engines wash over him. He breaks the silence with out much conviction.. "I..I crash landed on Earth around 2 million years ago. I'd left Cybertron some 500 years prior to that to track the lost Decepticons... I got closer then most so it seems..."

CatsCradle asks softly, afraid of prying again, "And you were in stasis lock that whole time?

Divefire replies with a slight amount of humour, "Actually buried in rock and sand as well."

CatsCradle says, "Yuck.""

CatsCradle's wings shiver a bit at the thought of being buried alive. She sometimes has trouble just being indoors.

Divefire smirks a little internally, "Not the best of places to be, I agree... Would you mind if we touched down on the shield? I haven’t seen that side of Cybertron for some time."

CatsCradle says, "Of course not. Lead the way.""

Divefire wings over in acknowledgment and heads down leading the way but not so Cats can't keep up.

You enter Greater Worldshield.

Divefire swoops down to blast over the surface of the world shield, studying it with some thought as it's appearance awakens some dim and distant memories of a time long past. "Have you been here before, Cats?"

CatsCradle follows Divefire, skimming over the surface at the same level. "No, I haven't. Been past, not to."

Divefire mentions more to himself then Cats, "It hasn't changed in all this time... It's a fascinating place. Terrible in regard to strategic position and combat, but the history behind it.. That's something."

CatsCradle says, "Gonna tell me a story? I love stories.""

Divefire says, "All right, but lets land first. The last time I got distracted while flying was 2 million years ago."

CatsCradle eeks. "Yes, let's then.

Divefire’s engines powerdown as he starts to transform, anti-grav kicking in as he descends to the shields smooth surface.

Divefire transforms into his Robot mode.

CatsCradle flies past him, then swoops up and over, transforming as she does.

CatsCradle transforms into her Robot mode.

Divefire smirks a little as he watches Cats land. "Do you always land with such flair?"

CatsCradle says, "Gotta have some fun somehow."

Divefire looks at her with a glint, "I'll keep that in mind."

CatsCradle looks around her. "You've spent a lot of time here?

Divefire nods slightly to Cats as he steps up to her, looking around at the vast expanse. "In many ways, yes. I have memories stretching back to before this was constructed, but, they are a little patchy to say the least."

CatsCradle squints at the horizon, as if that would make it seem closer. "You sound like it's rather special to you." Her voice sounds dubious, but not discouraging; as if she doesn't understand why he'd like it, but she's willing to be convinced



Divefire looks around, remembering certain bits of history, although if he where honest they don' make alot of sense to him. "It's very peaceful here Cats, as long as I've been coming here I can remember it being peaceful. That and it was an insane project at an insane time. Cover the surface of Cybertron with a heavy metal shield... No one really knows why, but I've heard some rumours."

CatsCradle says, "Peaceful... peaceful I can understand. But it's so..." She sighs. "Isolated. And as much as I've been in corners for as long as I can remember... I still need the feel of people around me."

Divefire nods at the isolated comment, although he quirks a little at her last omission. "I guess that what really draws me here then, it's very much like space in that regard."

CatsCradle says say, "I think..." She sits on the ground, as if that would make her feel less exposed in such a vast area with no shelter. "It's just that there's no place to hide here." Then she cocks her head, considering. "Then again, I guess you'd see anyone coming eons before they actually got to you.""

Divefire looks down at Cats and nods in agreement. "You do, and with my speed... Well this isn't about me..." He remains standing for a minute, then just shakes his head, feeling rather foolish being the only one standing and sits to. "So on the list of things you don't like, I've got medi bays, the inside, isolated places and vast open areas."

CatsCradle says, "I don't *mind* being indoors. I just sometimes need to be... out. I just need the option. I actually like having a roof over my head very much, thank you. And I've just never been in an area this open before. I would need to get used to it." She grins suddenly. "The med bays, I'll give you with absolutely no argument, though."

Divefire smirks back in turn, "Nice to know I got one thing right today." A little more seriously though and with a definite hint of a gentler tone, "So, about the med bays..."

CatsCradle glances up at him, then away. "What about them?"

Divefire says, "Honestly, I'm curious about you, Cats... But you certainly don't have to tell me if you don't feel comftorble. As you said earlier, both of us know better then to pry.."

CatsCradle's optics flicker at him again. "Have you read my file?"

Divefire shakes his head slightly in response. "It's not in my rank to go through personal."

CatsCradle says, "Oh." She thinks for a moment. "It's just that usually questions like yours begin with 'I've read your file, but I want to hear it from you'..."

Divefire frowns somewhat, but it's not at her, more of what she must have been through. "That sounds, unpleasant, to start with."

CatsCradle shrugs slightly, almost abbreviated. "I have no memories. I woke up one day in a back street ally. All I knew was my name. I had no insignia then. I was damaged badly. I don't know from what." Her jaw clenches for a moment. She still hasn't looked up at him. "What I do remember makes me quite certain I don't want to ever know. I hate med-bays, because the medics assure me that the memory banks are intact and it would be very easy to repair the relays. I won't let them. So I've gone through centuries of suspicion that I'
m an enemy plant. Because after all, if I wasn't, I'd let the relays be fixed, wouldn't I?"

Divefire looks at Cats for a long moment, his optics glowing slightly in a some what unreadable expression. He doesn't make a move or a sound, only looks. A part of him wants to reach out to her, but the rest of him knows that's not a wise idea right now. "No... you wouldn't.. Because I know full well how much the past can hurt."

CatsCradle looks up at him, then. Something in his expression assures her that he really does understand. She lets out a long breath, some of the tension visibly easing. "This is usually when people say "oh, really" in a forced polite voice and start edging towards the door."

Divefire smirks a little in response, as he is his way. "I'm not even sure there is a door up here."

CatsCradle says, "Well, that would definitely keep you from walking out of it."

Divefire nods in agreement. "So do many of your would-be superiors ask you then?"

CatsCradle says, "Ask me to have it repaired, or ask me if I'm a plant?"

Divefire shrugs a little, "Either, I guess."

CatsCradle says, "Shockwave has been my commanding officer for a very long time." She smiles a little bitterly. "And I'm still as low ranked as you can get. Which, I guess, is his answer to the situation. Don't make it a direct order for repairs, but don't trust her overly much either.""

CatsCradle sighs. "And up till now, I could live with that. Because I'd rather be low-ranked than insane. And I think if I ever remember, it will not leave me sane.”

Divefire just bows his head in understanding, "Been there... Don't recommend it..."

CatsCradle's optics flicker at him again. A little more of the tension eases out of her.

Divefire for his part seems relaxed, but not in a way that's comftorble. He looks back up at Cats and takes a moment to look at her. "So you said up until now, what's changed recently?"

CatsCradle laughs a little, rubbing at her face. "Oh, I got coaxed out of a corner." She shakes her head in rueful amusement. "Someone actually listened to me. Diktat. And he not only listened, but encouraged. And that hadn't happened in... oh, a very very long time. And he also said that if I was an enemy plant, that I would have been activated long ago. " She ducks her head. "And I know a little about Diktat. I know that he gets people to believe what he wants them to believe, but... he listened. And then Straxus listened, so it  wasn't just Diktat. And now you're listening. And suddenly, I'm... valued."

Divefire nods slightly in understanding, deciding that no is not the best time to mention anything about Straxus, or Diktat for that matter. "After so long it must be something of a shock to your systems."

CatsCradle says, "Oh, tremendously so." She looks up at him, chewing her lip, trying to decide, then shrugs. "I'm transferring to Straxus' team. It's not public knowledge yet, but I think it's becoming more apparent anyway. He's taking me on as an apprentice."

Divefire optics just glow brightly at that statement in more shock then anything, before he can look away from her. It takes a moment, but he manages to ask, in a controlled tone. "And you think that's a good idea?"

CatsCradle tilts her head at him, catching his expression, if not his tone. "And you don't?"

Divefire sighs a little and shakes his head. "I.. I don't know. Has Straxus told you about him?"

CatsCradle looks thoughtful. "Why don't you tell me? Then I can compare notes."

Divefire smirks a little at Cats through the general mist of slight anger and shock. "Smart move. Some time ago, long before I was put on-line in fact, Straxus was the ruler of Polyhex. He was, and as far as I know still is, a cold and ruthless individual. He has a lust for power that frankly makes Starscream's look like a case of the ener-munchies. Of the exact details I'm not sure, but I do know that he tried to over throw Megatron and that didn't happen. The next thing every one knows he's disappeared, and now it's seems he's back."

CatsCradle nods. "Doesn't look like he's trying to overthrow Megatron now."

Divefire sighs a little, but does nod. "I guess not, but, well maybe I just don't like the guy."

CatsCradle nods again. After a moment, she begins counting off points on her claw tips. "He is now the drill sergeant for Decepticon recruits. The Empire would not allow him access to young impressionable minds if there was a question of his trust. Megatron has accepted his oath. I am not just looking this from the view of the ignored femme desperate for praise. After all," and she looks at him, not accusingly, but with simple honesty. "Can you honestly say that you are the same person you were four or five million years ago?"

Divefire almost scoffs at the statement, but then just frowns slightly, knowing she's proved her point far to easily. "I'm a very different being then I was 4 million years ago..."

CatsCradle shrugs, the mischievous glint starting to hover in her optics again. "So am I, but I can't really remember.

Divefire shakes his head in her direction, a very soft smirk on his features. "Quite... Well, just be careful, Cats, that's all I'd ask."

"I'm always careful," she says with a grin, then shrugs again. "It's either this, or stay in the corners. I might not get another option."

Divefire remains silent after that, not really sure if he should add to her list, and not altogether sure of his motives for doing so.. "Perhaps... What about Earth?"

CatsCradle says, "What about it?" Then she stares at him. "You mean, go there?""

Divefire nods slightly. "Yes, I do."

CatsCradle says, "Urg." She looks stunned for a moment. "That... that would really be starting over, wouldn't it?""

Divefire looks in compares rather calm, "It might well be, it's a strange new world, with the Decepticons and Autobots finest on it. It's the front line and a vast open space all rolled into one."

CatsCradle says, "Open space, huh?" She shakes her head. "And do what, Divefire? Skirt my way around heavy-combat mechs? That's no better than what I'm doing on Shockwave's team.""

Divefire smirks a little at that. "Skirt? Cats, do you know how many Minibots there are on Earth right now, not to mention the less combat orientated mechs. However he does pause, looking at Cats. "It might not be the best place for you, I agree, but I guess I am slightly biased."

CatsCradle says, "Bias --" She looks at him again for a long moment. "That wasn't strictly a professional suggestion, was it?" she finally asks in a low voice.

Divefire optics narrow slightly as he keeps his own voice and expression in a good imitation of level and calm. "This whole conversation hasn't been strictly professional, Cats."

CatsCradle quite obviously runs a mental re-wind and play-back. "Oh," she says softly. "Oh, Divefire..."

Divefire looks down to the floor as his optics narrow some more, he just raises his hand in a stop motion and stands, "Don't..." He turns and takes a few steps away, looking out into the vast distance. "I shouldn't have suggested it, I'm out of line." The last statement is rather more forceful then he wanted it to be, but he just frowns into the distance rather then apologize for it.

CatsCradle says, "Is it out of line to admit you care about someone?" Her voice is almost a whisper

Divefire optics glow fiercely at that, and for a moment he just tenses, head bowed. After a moment in a very low, carefully controlled tone he replies. "No... But it's a very dangerous admition to make..."

CatsCradle says, "Now, that, I can understand." Her expression is agonized as she imagines what such a future might be like, a new planet, new purpose, someone to share it with... She closes her optics and pulls her knees up to her chest, resting her chin on them.

Divefire turns back to look at Cats slightly on hearing her words and lowers his head, not sure of what to say or do, not even sure of the conflicting emotions battling inside of him. All he can say after a moment is a heart felt. "I'm sorry to do this to you, Cats..."

CatsCradle shakes her head. "Never apologize for that, Diver. Never. If you apologize, it takes the feeling away from it." She looks up again. "I can't go with you.”
Divefire looks down again, as something said reminds him of the past. But he accepts what she says in the best way he can. "I know.. It's probably for the best, our lives are complex enough it seems."

CatsCradle says, "Urg." She rests her forehead on her knees. "I'd like to think it's our pasts that were complex, not our futures." And there is the flutter of doubt deep inside her that this is not for the best. But there isn't any other decision she can make.

Divefire seems to hesitate with his actions, as he doubts what he wants to do in re-asuring Cats. He steps forward and kneels in front of her, not touching her but close enough to be personal. "I try not to worry about the future, deal with the present first. Or at least I try to do that..." And there's that hint of humour in his voice again.

CatsCradle says, "I sometimes wonder what it must be like, to have a history. Because I only have the present and the future to deal with, and can barely handle that. Everyone else has all three." Her smile fades again. "I have to ask, Diver. My transfer is not public knowledge yet, although it probably will be soon. Still, I told it to you in trust..."

Divefire looks at her with that blank expression of his. "You honestly think I'm going to tell anyone?"

CatsCradle reaches her hand out to him. "Oh, Diver, I'm sorry I had to ask. But... I had to ask." She closes her eyes and shakes her head slightly. "For formality, if nothing else." It sounds almost bitter.

Divefire looks at her outstretched hand for a moment, then hesitantly reaches out and holds it. After all if she can trust him enough to make the gesture, he can trust her enough to take it. He keeps his optics on her features, even though he would feel by far more comftorble looking away. "In your position, I'd probably do the same. My past is so entwined with who I am... I can't imagine not having it.. Frankly I don't know how you cope."

CatsCradle says in a suddenly much more normal tone of voice, "I don't know how I cope either. Sometimes I don't think I do a very good job at it. Actually, I know I don’t."

Divefire grips her hand gently, trying to be reassuring as best he can. "I think the important thing is that you do the job at all, Cats." Divefire looks around again at the shield and frowns as a reflection catches his attention. "Blast it... C'mon Cats, it's time to leave here."

CatsCradle looks up, startled at the change in his own voice. "What's wrong?"
Divefire gaze is set firmly in the distance as the glint of light reflects more often. His optics tighten in annoyance and in more then anything else, anger. "I think the Autobots have put up some listening posts around here, because if I don't miss my guess, there's a couple heading for us now."

You say, "Damn." She scrambles to her feet. "You call it. Fight or leave?""

Divefire hands tense as he glances over to Cats, the definite burning deep behind his optics says more then his words can, but he shakes his head. "No, we leave. And more to the point I'm not risking you... Ah.. lets go."

CatsCradle demands with some indignation "Risking me? *RISKING* me?" She runs, leaping into the air and transforming as soon as she is clear from the ground. "Oh, we're definitely going to have to have a talk about THAT!"

Divefire frowns as he shouts up to her, "I didn't mean it like that!" He then just shakes his head at annoyance in his own idiocy and leap-transforms too

Divefire transforms into his Orbital Interceptor mode.

CatsCradle transforms into her Jet mode.

CatsCradle says, "Well, it sure sounded like that to me."

CatsCradle debates flying a strafing run at the Autobots just to prove her point, but she sighs and follows Divefire for home

Divefire mutters as he pulls up besides her as they leave the shield far bellow them. "I didn't mean to imply you couldn't look after yourself Cats, it's just.. Your right, we're talk about it later."

You enter Sky above Greater Worldshield.
You enter Sky above Polyhex.
You enter Airfield.

CatsCradle breaks away ahead of Divefire and swings in to land, transforming and landing on her feet lightly.

Divefire swings down to a landing several moments later, landing easily on his feat, but noticeably a short distance from CatsCradle.

CatsCradle stands with her hands on her hips, looking like she is about to launch into a lecture, then sighs and visibly releases her annoyance. "I'm still going to try to make you laugh," she says with a slight smile.

Divefire smiles faintly as he looks to Cats, "I'd be disappointed if you didn't."

"I'll see you later, then," she says softly. She gives him a wave-salute and turns to leave"

Divefire says quietly after her, "Count on it..."

CatsCradle gives him another smile over her shoulder and disappears into the hangar bay.



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