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Enter the Nightbird

Enter the Nightbird
Played 6/16/01 - 6/23/01

Training Complex

        A very large section comprised of several areas where the Decepticons gather for training excerises. The firing range allows users to practice their ranged weapon skills against holographic targets. The arena has five seperate dueling areas to allow Decepticons to test one another in combat. Although normally used strictly for practice and sparring, the arena can be used for actual duels to settle a dispute. There is a seperate area for enagaging computer-controled opponents in hand-to-hand combat.


Striker is practicing his aim in the target range.

Ruse mearly waits and watchs from the vents.

Rumble saunters in, looking around

CatsCradle walks in on her way toward the R&E office and waves at Rumble and Striker

Ravage idly looks over at who else walks in.

Striker is practicing in the target range, a sign on his back that says, /punch me/. "Hello Cats, Rumble."

Tempest slinks in, drawn to the crowd as usual, and walks over to CatsCradle.

Rumble reaads the sign, snickers, walks up to Striker and smacks him one on the back

CatsCradle sees the sign just as Rumble punches Striker and laughs softly, shaking her head

Ravage snickers watching his brother.

Enchantress enters from the Armory, where she has just completed a visual inventory of the contents as compared to the computer records. Tedious, and boring, but its what Support Services personnel are supposed to do...

Striker turns around, still holding his weapon, "Why in cybertron did you do that, /cassette/?"

Tempest says quietly to Catscradle, "IN answer to your question from the other day, no."

Rumble laughs. "Hey, just followin' orders!" and points at something seemingly over Striker's shoulder.

CatsCradle blinks at Tempest for a moment, so caught up in the events of teh last several days, that she hasn't a clue which question Tempest is talking about.

Striker frowns and optics narrow, "Ruse," he just /knows/ she's to blame for this.

Enchantress wonders what all of the commotion is about. She's new here, and hasn't had the chance to meet most of the personnel. But she's not much of a talker, so she'll wait for them to make the first move.

Ravage hops off the crate he was sitting on and idly strolls over to Cats and tempest Greeting the two femmes.

Enchantress wonders if this is the usual meeting place for personnel on their off duty hours. She is so new here, and she hasn't quite caught onto things yet.

Tempest elaborates, "The space-engines." A rueful glance at her feet shows she doesn't have any yet. "I'm not planning on taking off on you any time soon....just so you know...but I /want/ my /damned/ engines!"

Rumble walks up to Enchantress. "Who are you?"

Ravage sits on Cats foot to draw some attention... he is good at that.

CatsCradle nods as she is reminded. "Ah. Well, it's part of who you are, right? So of course you want them." She looks down at Ravage. "Hi, Rav."

Tempest leans down and scratches Ravage behind the ears.

Tempest says quietly to Cats, "It's good to keep your options open...you never know when something might suddenly go to hell."

Enchantress curtsies to Rumble. "Salutations milord. I'm the recent transfer. I work in Support Services as a clerican and administrative assistant. I'm currently a trainee here, and since I never went to the Academy, an Academy plebe outranks me. I'm here to assist in any way possible."

Ravage wiggles his ears thinking much better.. Femme attention.. he listens in to what is going on wondering what the conversation is about.. his optics then glance over to Enchantress... someone he hasnt seen before.

Enchantress curtsies to Ravage as he notices her.

Ruse idly lets her transparent line slipe down among the group and towards Rumble as she lets the noose loose.. and hopefuly fall down around his waist before she YANKs and skitters backwards through the vent trying to hoist the casette skyhigh and leaving him hanging as she will tie it off to another grating down the way if succcesful. o O(Hehehehe!)

CatsCradle murmurs to Tempest. "Around here? On a daily basis." She looks past Tempest to the interaction between Enchantress and Rumble, noticing the curtsy, and glances back at Tempest with a check-this-rookie-out expression

Enchantress is quite the rookie, with her one combat experience having lead to her "death."

Rumble squeals. "Ruse! Stoppit and...hey! WHOA!"

CatsCradle points. "Hey, Striker! There she goes!"

Tempest's optics slide over Enchantress and she mutters to Cats, "Megatron tries to dissuade me from finding my lunch /inside/ our base."

Striker hasn't been paying much attention to the conversation, he's been too busy looking foolish and trying to get the sign off his back, he stops just for a moment to snicker as Rumble falls victim to another of Ruse's pranks.

Enchantress carefully draws a throwing blade, and artfully throws it through the line, and prepares to catch Rumble as he tumbles.

CatsCradle snorts a soft laugh at Tempest's words, then shakes her head. "What we're desperate for are combat mechs, and we get desk personnel..."

Ravage finds this slightly interesting but then returns his attention to Cats and Tempest... catching her lunch ? what is she stealing his Turbo rats Soundwave had imported specally for his hunting plesure.

Rumble wriggles free of the noose and falls...onto Enchantress...

Ruse after hopping down out of another grating wanders into the room with a foam bat in hand. She blinks finding Rumble nolonger hanging from the ceiling, "Hey! Who cut down my pinata?!"

Tempest looks down at Ravage. 's worried expression with a laugh. "No, Soundwave already warned me too about stealing your food...."

Enchantress jumps up and catches Rumble as he falls, then gracefully lands, holding the small mech cradled like a child in her six arms, with her claws retracted.
CatsCradle laughs again. "Too bad we couldn't borrow Starwave's bo staff, huh Ruse?"

Ravage 's ear twitches... much better.. No on touches his dinner.

Rumble says sarcastically, "And to think we thought that Straxus would teach you some discipline." But the expression on his face suggests he likes Ruse best the way she is. He nods thansk to Enchantress as he jumps free.

Enchantress curtsies to Rumble in acknowledgement of his thanks.

CatsCradle mutters to Tempest, "I think I prefered Snipe's over-saluting. He's back, by the way."

Ruse idly swats at Cats with the foam bat and smirks to Rumble, "All he tought me was how to salute and say sir."

Ravage watches the second Curtsies and wonders if she came out of the Academy.. or the Femme prep school.

Rumble laughs. "Ya don't gotta learn manners...ya just gotta learn to fake 'em!"

Enchantress sighs at the conversation. SHe can already tell she's making a great impression on the personnel here. She has a lot of catchup to do...

Striker smirks at Rumble's comment, he still hasn't learned to do either.

Ruse looks to Enchantress, "Your still here?"

Tempest doesn't seem to care much one way or the other about Snipe.

Ravage licks a paw and thinks too bad he is too much of a feline for the new femme to handle... after grooming the pad on his foot he looks up to Cats and Tempest again.. being a little bored.. who will take him for a joyride in a cockpit.

Rumble looks at Enchantress. "Lady...what in the /Pit/ do you transform into?"

Enchantress says, "Yes, milady. I was transferred here from Valckasta upon my rebuild to work in Support Services as a clerical and administrative assistant."

Enchantress says, "Would you like to see milord?"

Tempest snorts, "Lord Rumble," but somethign in her optics looks distant....

Striker says, "You don't wanna know Rumble."

Rumble feels compelled to ask, "Why not, Striker?"

Enchantress grins. Well, he did ask for it...

Enchantress transforms into her Sabrecat mode.

Striker just smirks, "See for yourself."

Enchantress's three heads howl in her Sabrecat mode.

Ravage raises a brow...

Enchantress's wings spread across their entire thirty foot wingspan...

CatsCradle brightens and snickers to Tempest, "A dictating unit? Computer console? Steno pad?" She tilts her head and studies Enchantress' alt-mode when she transforms. "Look Ravage, another kitty."

Rumble jumps back. "Whoa, that is one scary beast?"

Ruse idly, takes one step back, "Now THAT is ugly. Glad your not based on one of THOSE Ravage." o.o

Rumble says, "Weird."

Ravage idly stands behind Tempest looking at the other cat with omnius optics.

Enchantress grins, then her three heads move to lick at Rumble's face.

Ravage thinks, . o O 0 ( Damn.. You ARE the ugly tree... )

Striker takes a step back from Enchantress seeing she has not one, not two, but three heads.

Rumble jumps back again, those teeth look SHARP!

Tempest tilts her head. "I've seen worse."

Enchantress transforms into her Robot mode.

Enchantress says, "A rather unique design, I will admit."

Striker says, "Yea, bet the spaceways are full of weird things."

Ruse says, "... you look like something I would dream up to frighten Tempest, Enchantress."

Tempest snickers, "You don't know the half of it," rather indulgently. Then she shoots a dirty glance at Ruse....

Enchantress says, "I doubt that anything could frighten Tempest, milady."

CatsCradle doesn't really seem to react to the unusual alt-mode... but then again, her team-mate and friend was Draconia....

Ruse grins at Tempest...

Striker snickers too at Ruse's comment and the way Tempest looked at her.

Tempest tries to keep the sour expression on her face, fails, and grins.

Ravage leans against Tempests leg....

Enchantress moves to the outside o fthe groupings. She hasn't earned her place here yet, so she'll remain content to wait on the outside, until invited in.

Ruse seems to ponder something a moment... looking thoughtful.

Rumble shakes his head at the weird cat creature again, and decides to try to give Ruse a noogie...

Ruse acks noogies, and trys to frog Rumble back hard in the shoulder in retaliation as she slips free!

Striker watches the amusing events between Rumble and Ruse.

Suddenly, something looms behind Tempest, a dark bloobed mass of bladed whiplike hands and a single glowing red eye appers. In warning a single black blade swishes infront of the seeker.. before it opens its suctioncupped shapped mouth full of teeth and ROARS leaping at Tempest!

Rumble grabs ahled of Ruse trying to pull her down with him..."Why coulnd't you have stayed on Cybertron, you freakabot?" Said in a tone that suggests he missed her....

Tempest startles, whips out a longblade...then pauses, smirks, and makes a poking motion at the monster.

Enchantress watches, interested. A Beholder... That's something that she wasn't aware anyone knew existed anymore...

CatsCradle takes a few steps back, then sighs. "Ruse... didn't you get into enough trouble with your last hologram?"

Ruse is grabbed and pulled down, her attention is now deverted soley to the hologram. She acks and laughs, "Okok!!" The monster fades as it leaps of course, her concentration broke.

Striker says, "Err, yea Ruse. . . your last hologram didn't turn out too well."

Enchantress smiles faintly as she watches those gathered there. They are true teammates, they are comrades. And she doesn't dare intrude on them. So she will remain on the outside until she has been accepted, or invited in. She is willing to wait as long as it takes, for she knows that the results will be worth it...

CatsCradle sighs again. "The problem, Striker, ws that it worked /too/ well."

Striker nods and looks at Cats, "Yea, your /son/ couldn't tell the difference."

Ravage thinks, . o O 0 ( If only she used her powers for Evil not good. )

CatsCradle shrugs. "Neither could I."

Ruse says, "I can't help it! Im good at what I do... and overjudged. Sorry by the way Striker. I didn't mean to getcha blasted withplasma."

CatsCradle frowns at Ruse. "You could have gotten him killed, Ruse. Diver realized something was wrong and shouted. Starwave couldn't stop his blast in time, just pulled back most of its power."

Tempest decides to stay out of this one. She wasn't there, and besides...this isn't her specialty. She looks around the room, a group of teammates all wearing Decepticon logos...save for her.

Ravage gets bored with this diddily daddle and heads to the command center.

Striker frowns, "Apology accepted Ruse, it /was/ a pretty good joke until I walked into Cats office."

Enchantress curtsies to Divefire as he enters, and she stands on the outside of the groupings, and the talkings on.

Ruse says, "Hey, what do you want me to do Cats? Get on my hands and knees and beg for forgivness? I made a huge mistake, I know it... but other then ask for forgiveness when I honestly mean it, I wont do anything more drastic like formentioned begging. Hmm good Striker.. and I... suppose for now I wont be to big a problem for you untill you get reasigned."

CatsCradle snaps, "I expect you to learn from your mistakes, before you /do/ get someone killed."

Divefire walks up from the living quaters, his thoughts firmly gathered as he follows the sounds of conversation. With a casual nod to Enchantress he moves over to the edge of the group and glances around, just watching.

Tempest decides she doesn't want to be around for this faceoff between Ruse and Catscradle, and slinks out.

Tempest enters Armory <<N> North>.

Tempest has left.
Ruse snaps back as she spins around, "AND I EXPECT YOU TO BE SILENT!" She walks up to Catscradle and looks up to her, "Your in no position to judge me just becase you feel guilty about what your son did. Don't you think I feel guilty too and am TRYING to learn from my blunders? I admit I blamed Starscream atfirst to, to avoid the feeling but it doesn't do anyone -any- good Cats."

Enchantress disconnects her audio receptors and begins going over a datapadd again, even though she has a perfect memory of everything that is on it.

Striker begins looking nervous as Ruse and Cats begin going after it, "I'm uhh... gonna see what Megatron's up to," is all he says before he sneaks out.

CatsCradle says softly, her tone in contrast to Ruse's yelling, "Then your expectations fall short, for you will not order me around. I consider you a friend Ruse, and I have missed you. But I have also been one of the ones sweeping up the damage from your mistakes, and /that/ I have not missed."

Divefire watches Ruse carfuly, but knows better to put himself in the line of fire when Cats is perfectly capable of defending herself.

Ruse hisses, "Deal with it then.. im going to make plenty more. Im not perfect, im not Megatron, or Soundwave. I am Ruse and I error. I learn from those errors but anew one always seems to come up that I dono how to avoid. If you REALLY don't like it or me here then I will go back to cybertron."

Rumble seems a bit bothered at teh idea of Ruse going back to Cybertron....he mutters, "Geez Cats, give her a break, she's a kid."

Enchantress stands on the outside of this. She's new herself, and she sympathises with Ruse, but she also understands the need for control, and for regulations. Since she does not know of what happened, she remains silent, on the outside.

CatsCradle says gently, "If I didn't like you, I never would have stood between you and Straxus. I'm not asking you to be perfect, Ruse. No one is. What we're asking, is for you to think of how your actions will effect others. That's all. I've seen how quickly you do think, you have a sharp mind and I've seen you use it well. You have great potential. You just need to figure out how to... to direct that without getting people hurt." Her voice goes more gentle. "Or do you feel that you have the right to hurt people with your jokes? Because I think you're a better person than that."

Ruse says, "No I don't.. why do you think I am sorry for whats happend? I just have a time focusing on.. I dono the larger picture. I see my target, the plot, shortrange effects of it... thats how I work. Sneak attack, quick, simple, effective. Sometimes... too effective."

Divefire optics glow slightly as he folds his arms across his chest and keeps very silent. He knows all to well he doesn't have the tact for these sort of situations.

Shrapnel arrives from Science Section.

Enchantress curtsies to Shrapnel as he arrives.

Rumble nods a little..>Cats is making sense...and then he looks curiously at hte bug-bot.

Shrapnel scuttles his way in, looking round at the assembled Decepticons yet aknowledging none of them

CatsCradle sighs and leans back against the wall. She suddenly gives a quick laugh and shakes her head. "Funny. I just gave someone else the same lecture a few days ago." She presses her hands against her forehead. "Sometimes, Ruse... sometimes, you hear so many apologies from someone, you just stop believing them. The best way to really apologize to someone is to not let it happen again. As for how to better direct your train of thinking..." She stops a moment considering, then shrugs. "Well, that's why you're in training, right?"

Divefire glances across at the bug in a curious manor, then scowls at it before looking back to conversation.

CatsCradle pulls a container out, changing the subject, now that the more unfamiliar-insecticon has come in. "By the way, Ruse, we haven't opened this yet. Thought we'd wait until you were around." She opens the container

Ruse says, ".. yes.. though Shockwave is to busy. Megatron is as always very busy. Straxus didn't teach me nothing but how to salute, stand at attention and at ease. Plus say sir alot. I wasn't joking about that to much. you know he was shortly dismissed after I was sent to the Ginder. Then Shockwave took over... and... well."

Shrapnel transforms into his Robot mode.

Rumble looks at the container. "What's in there?" he asks.

CatsCradle says, "It was a present from Ruse," and she looks into the container

Rumble says, "Uh oh!" and ducks!

Ruse QUICKLY reachs forward and clamps the box shut.. no its not that she doesn't want to fall for one of her own gags.. Its just if it works other might get gaged as well and she get the blame. "Don't!"

Shrapnel flips up to his robot form, giving Divefire a glance with his own scowl, before looking at the container that seems to have drawn the Decepticons attention while remaining back out of the conversation

CatsCradle gives Ruse a grin that shows she had a good idea the container was another of her pranks, but also thought a mood-breaker was a good idea at this point...

Bombshell arrives from Engine Room.
Kickback arrives from Engine Room.

Bombshell catchs up with Shrapnel as they make their way toward the command center.

Ruse trys to take the box and shunt it into subspace, "... ok ok you made your point."

Divefire transmits a message via radio.

<Earth> Soundwave says, "Insecticons, we await you in the Command Center.  Procede northwards."

Rumble shakes his head. "With you, Ruse, it's never too hard to guess."

CatsCradle nods. "Good." She gives Ruse a wink, then looks curiously at all the Insecticons. "What is this, a buggy convention?"

Rumble says, "Why don't you wrap it up real pretty and mail it to the Autobots?"

Enchantress looks up. THe conversation appears to be over, so she reconnects her audio receptors.

Shrapnel returns to his beetle mode as he hears Soundwaves 'summons'

Shrapnel transforms into his Cyber-Stagbeetle mode.

Divefire keeps a weary optic on the bugs as the rest of them turn up, some what distracted from the fun and games as he mutters into his radio system, then shakes his head. "Wonderful..."

Enchantress says, "Do the rest of us stay here, or join them?"

Bombshell looks over the other Decepticons, but doesn't offer any words of greeting, simply circumvents them and continues north.

Kickback stays in robot mode for the time being, looking at all the Decepticons he's seen and those he hasn't.

Shrapnel doesn't even bother telling Bombshell and Kickback to follow, knowing them well enough to know they'll be behind him

Ruse hmms, "Yaknow... I honestly don't know if they would open a unscanable wrapped gift with the Decepticon insigna on it. Probably would if it nagged at their curiosity long enough."

Rumble says, "Autobots are pretty dumb....butyou might wanna paint over that Con logo."

CatsCradle glances at Ruse. "Any idea what's been going on, oh person who's been lurking in the ventilator shafts?

Enchantress sighs as no one answers her. Oh well, she'll work her way in in time... And she is perfectly willing to wait. Until about a week ago, she was still officially KIA, so this is an improvement...

Ruse says, "I belive, Megatron has called a meeting with the insecticons."

Enchantress sighs. She'll follow the lead of the majority, and since they don't appear to be headed anywhere at the moment, she'll stay.

CatsCradle says, "That much I figured out." She watchs after them and shrugs. "I'm sure we'll hear something if we're wanted too...""

Rumble says, "Great...who's got the bug spray?" He blinks. "Hey Ruse, maybe the bugs would like your gift!"

CatsCradle says quickly, "No, I don't think that would be too good an idea... since they're with Megatron, now, and I have a feeling /he/ wouldn't be too thrilled at the gift."

Ruse says, "Mmm.. besides. They probably could eat it without missing a beat."

Divefire growls slightly and raps his fingers against his arms. "Insecticons... They could probably eat this entire base with out missing a beat..."

CatsCradle smiles to her mate. "If they didn't get washed away by the ocean pouring in, first."

Rumble says, "I wonder what they're up to...it's worth a try to find out."

****
Command Center

        This circular room was formerly the bridge when the base was a viable spaceship. Now used as the Command Center, it is dominated by the large central viewing screen. The screen is linked to the main computer system, and can display anything from energon production reports to tactical updates to topside weather information. The various other bridge control stations have been converted to monitor and control the various mechanisms and activities of the base. They curve around the room from the door to the central viewscreen.



 <S> South leads to Access Corridor.

Divefire arrives from Access Corridor.

Divefire has arrived.



Ruse walks in... no doesn't come via airvent or cloaked in a hologram.

Enchantress enters, and goes to the rear of the area. She inputs her records of a visual inspection of the armory versus the main computer records, and inputs it into the computer.

Tempest is kneeling on the back of a chair, watching a screen, though she keeps a wary optic every once in a while on the Insecticons.

Soundwave notes calmly, "The time and place of this 'unveiling' has been sent to the Autobot computer via scrambled signal. Human code, easily broken. These are the coordinates." He puts up a series of numbers up on the screen, which translate into an aerial view of North America's west coast. "We have one Earth-hour until the procedings begin."

Striker is leaning against the back wall in a shadow, out of sight.


Bombshell holds a small object in his hand, turning it over thoughtfully in his grasp.

Megatron rubs his chin. "A robot... His super weapon is a robot...

CatsCradle walks silently in and perches on "her" console just inside the door.

Enchantress sighs. Technically, she shouldn't even be allowed in the Command Center during a mission briefing...

Soundwave zooms in the picture to a city, then closer to a dome-shaped building set amidst ponds and fountains.

Bombshell ventures, "We'll need a housing for our experimental drone."

Divefire walks in and glances around the room, taking note of some of the displays while he takes his place on the other side of the door frame, hands folded across his chest in his usual manor.

Enchantress goes through a few mental calming exercises as she waits. With a lot of luck, she may get to go along, for her first field mission...

Megatron says, "Soundwave, call Starscream to the conning tower, we are going after that device."

Bombshell flickers a glance at Shrapnel. The secret is out now - yes, he's been in some communication with Megatron's troops despite the frosty relations the two subgroups have had in the past. Scientific curiousity can overcome all barriers.

Megatron sees Starscream enter. "Even better....

Ruse simply nods to Starscream...

Enchantress moves aside to let Starscream enter, giving him the curtsy due his rank.

Starscream walks in smugly

Soundwave acknowledges Starscream's presence with a slight inclination of his head, but no other expression shows behind his cryptic eyeband.

Shrapnel looks over at Bombshell, but remains silent, choosing not to discuss whatever Bombshell has been up to without his knowledge infront of the Decepticons

Megatron turns to Bombshell. "Lucky coincidence isn't it, Bomshell? Well, tell our friends about the plans we have with it.

Bombshell looks down at the small object in his hands. "Megatron," he asks cautiously, "surely you don't imagine a mere Earth construct would be a suitable housing?"

Striker mutters, "Great, Cybertron's biggest ego decides to grace us with his presences."

Bombshell nods, but seems doubtful about the choice.

Starscream says, "what earth construct?"

Megatron says, "If it doesn't work we can create our own shell."

Soundwave doesn't seem surprised by any of this. If anyone has been in late night conference sessions with Bombshell, it would be Soundwave.

Starscream folds arms and listens intently

<O-Decepticon> Shrapnel says, "mental note, must ground Bombshell 8)"

Tempest says to Starscream, "Guess what we're gonna swipe...a /robot./ An /Earth/ robot."

Starscream says, "whatever for?"

CatsCradle shoots a do-you-know-what's-going-on look to Diver

Tempest shrugs. "Ask bug-breath," with a gesture towards Bombshell.

Starscream sighs."waste of resources

Starscream looks to Bombshell

Megatron says, "However, /if/ it works... we won't just have foiled this human plans, but also used his inventions for the benefit of the Decepticons."

Kickback looks to Bombshell as well, his expression seeming to indicate that whatever he's working on, it's likely useful.

Starscream says, "and how . . Leader. . can an Earth construct help our cause?"

Striker speaks up from the back, "Let the bots shoot it instead of us."

Megatron says, "Bombshell, explain it to my /dear/ Aircommander."

Bombshell steps forward, still on guard here among Megatron's troops, but at the same time seeing this as his chance to advance some of his own theories. His sibiliant voice hisses, "All of you are aware of our clone technology, whereby clones are generated from our own energies and take on solid matter, for as long as our clone beams hold out. I also have certain means - " he pauses, unwilling to reveal too much - "to make the mind of an enemy my slave, but these slaves are not very functional, still fighting me with their own strength of will. What if the two concepts were brought together?"

Starscream looks to Bombshell

Tempest hisses slightly at the "slave" bit, an expression suggesting that anyone who tried that with /her/ wouldn't live long enough to regret their mistake...

Bombshell says, "A physical form with a living mind, well-subjugated to our control, able to think and react on a functional level, but absolutely under our command? A way to warp an enemy's mind to do our bidding, and turn it against its former comrades?"

Megatron listens with a grin.

Enchantress looks up, intrigued. She's studied some of the concepts that he's gone into, at least on a theoretical basis. She'll need to remember to ask for the specs later...

Kickback's optics gleam with interest now.

Ruse hms, "I see, nolonger do Autobots simply and wastefuly die they become, rebuilt Decepticons."

CatsCradle murmurs to Diver, "something like we did with Decepticon X? Except that'd we'd be controling it, whereas she still has free will?"

Soundwave listens intently, but all the while he's also listening in on his communications channels, directing long-range sensors at the place of interest.

Bombshell turns to look at Ruse with something akin to surprise. "Precisely!"

Tempest growls, "If they're weak enough for us to catch them then they're barely more than cannon fodder...or walking snacks."

Starscream smirks

Starscream says, "you're going to listen to him"

Bombshell holds up the small rectangular object in his hands like a trophy. Those who know of such things, will recognize it as a laser core.

Divefire optics narrow as he listens, working through the theory. He murmers back to Cats, nodding slightly. "Something along those lines, although in theory they would be more, cooperative."

Shrapnel remains silent, looking at the reaction of Kickback and the behaviour of Bombshell. Paying only minor attention to the Decepticons in general

Starscream sees the lasercore and pauses.

Tempest has no clue what the lasercore is, and eyes it suspiciously.

Starscream looks at Megatron. "and would this be anyone in particular or a fresh creatioin?

Enchantress starts wracking her laser core for her memories of discussing the theories. It wasn't her field of study, but thanks to her eidetic memory, she can instantly recall all such instances where she has heard it mentioned or discussed.

Bombshell says, "*This* manipulated laser core, doctored with one of my ... *devices* ... will be inserted into an appropriate body that can be sent against the Autobots in any way we choose. The personality that once resided there, has been eradicated, leaving only the ability to respond and react appropriately to the situations it encounters."

Starscream says, "so you say"

Bombshell says, "And yet-" he casts a dubious look at Megatron - "I question the wisdom of squandering this research on a toy built by a human.""

Starscream says, "indeed"

Starscream looks to Megatron

Kickback seems fascinated by the whole thing, and content to let Bombshell have his moment in the spotlight.

Starscream says, "another one of your...plans I take it"

Shrapnel looks at Starscream as he comments on what Bombshell says, still remaining quiet though

Tempest says snidely, "Better than having it tested on one of us," with a glance over the group. Perhaps stealing this Earth robot is useful after all, though she decides she doesn't like Bombshell much....

Soundwave replies calmly to Starscream, "Ruse stated the matter well. If Autobot laser cores can be deleted of their personality and keep their reactional abilities intact, then to be controlled by us, we have expendable warriors."

Enchantress can recall about three separate instances where such a plan was used, though not with as fine a control at this level... Lets see... Two times it failed after a short period, and the other time the warrior was slain before he could be of any use.

Megatron says, "We will try. It would be a pity just to waste dear Fujiyama's invention just as a target."

Starscream looks to Soundwave."but with earth technology housing it?

Divefire raises a brow over in the direction of Megatron. "Fujiyama? Did some one actualy read one of my reports then?"

Soundwave turns back to his console, having picked up a signal. "That is a valid concern," he acknowledges. "But, I am getting some unusual readings from the conference center.

Megatron says, "Enough discussion, we are going to get that robot now."

Enchantress says, "The trick is to make sure that the core personality doesn't suddenly remanifest itself, I believe. That is what happened in two of the times that I can recall. Laser cores are extremely tricky things to completely wipe..."

Rumble transforms into his Blue Cassette mode.

Ruse hms showing alot of interest in Bombshell's actions, and looks to Megatron. She waits for a answer deciding its better to listen for now.

Rumble enters Soundwave's tape compartment.

Starscream glances to Enchantress

Megatron grins "Even if it is just to... bother Prime. Decepticons, to the air!

CatsCradle says softly, "Maybe using a human creation as a test subject isn't a bad idea, rather than wasting higher technology on something we aren't sure will work. We can always create further, more advanced versions." At Fujiyama's name, she glances at Diver.

Kickback says to Enchantress, "Bombshell knows what he's doing."

Striker rolls his optics and gets ready to go out on /another/ of Megatron's plans. "Yes Megatron," and heads for the door, like always, not waiting for anyone.

Soundwave brings up a visual again, showing the dome-shaped building, and something large and draped being taken inside through a back door. The vague form is apparently the robot that Fujijama spoke of, hidden under layers of curtain. "There is no signal from this item," he muses, while Megatron is already out the door. "Perhaps this is not so poor a choice for a housing after all."

Bombshell lingers by Soundwave's console a moment, considering. Then he moves to join the others.

Enchantress says, "What is the expected arrival time of an Autobot response force, milord?"

Enchantress says, "Will we have enough time to complete our work, our will we be finishgin the installation while under fire?"

Megatron says, "They will be there before we are."

Striker says to Enchantress as he walks out, "Doesn't matter, they'll show up sometime or another."

Enchantress nods at this. And the enemy has the benefit of advance preparatoin to set up his positions. Oh joy... This is going to get ugly.

****
Western Coastline

     The west coast of this continent is another of the more heavily-populated regions. Human cities run up and down the rocky coast nearly in tandem with a tectonic fault which is visible from space like a scar. Here two continental plates are sliding past each other - sometimes with catastrophic results. The entire region is geologically active, with a volcanic mountain range positioned a short ways inland, around which some of the continent's most unspoiled scenery and parkland remains preserved, despite a heavy influx of tourists. It is in this region where a majority of this planet's entertainment originates, as well as a good bit of its technological advancement.



Megatron points towards the Conference center. "That is what we are heading for. Soundwave, do you get Autobot readings?


Soundwave keeps his place in the great swarm of Decepticon warriors as they angle downward toward the dome of the building that they've seen on their viewscreen.

Striker hovers near Megatron and all other Decepticons and waits for any orders.

Soundwave says, "Possible enemy readings. I will dispatch Laserbeak for advance reconnaisance."

Enchantress angles herself to get as high an altitude as possible, so she'll be able to build up more momentum when she dives.

Starscream hovers

Soundwave comes to a hover near Megatron and ejects the red cassette that quickly unfolds into a bird shape and soars downward.

Kickback hovers in the air looking all the fleshling constructs in the area and keeping watch on his fellow Decepticons.

Starscream gets a visual on the location of the other seekers

Tempest eyes the landscape below, but can't detect any Autobots.

Ramjet aproaches the formation, rondezvousing as ordered.

Bombshell stays near the other two Insecticons, still slightly apart from the main group.

Starscream takes note of his arrival

Shrapnel hovers off to one side of the assembled Decepticons

Ruse flys along with the group, but hovers towards Bombshell as it stops, "Can that manipulated alterdcore device of yours addapt to situations on the fly once installed or does it run through a set of basic commands before acting on current data?" (Ah the Sounds of little kids asking how everything works. Such a lovely melody. o.-)

Megatron says, "Starscream, you take your seekers and crack open the ceiling, while we draw the enemies attention. Get the robot and then we will meet at the new base."

Soundwave's eyeband flickers faintly as he receives a message. "Laserbeak is transmitting a visual. Ruse, can you project this signal holographically so the others can see?"

Starscream says, "AS you command Megatron"

Divefire hovers to the side of the group, glancing down at the dome of the Conference Center and eyeing it up. Judging by the number of vechiles in the parking area, the place is packed out, also there would appear to be a fair number of black suited humans wondering around, always an interesting sign...

Starscream says, "Decepticons follow me". decends"

Striker mutters, "I don't need to be called /his/ seeker."

Tempest shoots a glance at Megatron, mutters, "I don't belong to /anyone/," and transforms to follow Starscream.

Starscream says, "Thundercracker! Direct focused Laser fire onteh edge of the roof. I want to peel it back""

CatsCradle hovers near Diver. "Something big's going on inside."

Ramjet grudgingly follows in formation with starscream, still mad at him after that whole 'trying to kill everyone and shooting him in the back' thing.

Bombshell looks to Ruse and replies, "The whole *point*, child, is for the manipulated creation to be adaptable, to be able to think for itself on the level of reacting to changing situations, if not to express any desires of its own."

Striker transforms into his F-15 mode.

Striker says, "Peel this, Starscream."

Enchantress looks confused - Do they attack, or do they stay behind? She shrugs, and joins in with the Seekers.

Starscream says, "as you were Striker"

Striker let's loose a single missle that impacts the edge of the roof.

Ruse glances towards Soundwave and backwards hovers to him nodding towards Bombshell though. After a moment she speaks up, "I could if Starscream would wait to see it. Oh well, goahead and patch me in to the signal Soundwave."

Soundwave watches the eager jetwarriors descend, and looks around at those who remain hovering in the air. "Display to those who have remained, Ruse." He sends a silent transmission of a video feed.

Enchantress radios to Starscream /Lord, are we intended to provide a distraction for the tech team to infiltrate, and to draw out the Autobots, or do we serve another purpose?/


Enchantress circles back up, as the Seekers are flying far faster than she is capable of keeping up with, and circles back to rejoin the main body.

Ruse projects... a large visable to all holoimage forming infront of her like the screen in a drivein movie.

Starscream radios Enchantress, staty where you aer

Megatron says, "Show us the Autobot's possitions"

Ruse's hologram shows what Laserbeak sees looking down into the conference center. The room is full of flesh creatures as Prime and his Autobots mill around inside supposedly on guard duty. On the stage is something covered with a drop cloth and the flesh creature known as Doctor Fujiyama. Fujiyama steps forward and says, "Gentlemen, what you are about to see is state of the art robotics." The drop cloth is raised, revealing the robot for the first time. Her form is unmistakably female, grey in color with highlights of black and purple. (http://Decepticon-Empire.org/skyflight/binaries/Nightbird.jpg) Her optics gleam a bright yellow as she is unveiled, but makes no movement. There's a collective gasp from the audience and the Autobots alike. Fujiyama continues his presentation saying, "This gentlemen is the first female ninja robot. I have named her Nightbird." A few Bots exclaim their appreciation for the robot while some confer quietly among themselves. Laserbeak's keen hearing detects one group.

Ruse blinks at her own projection, "Ninja robot? Whats a ninja Soundwave?" She shuts the hologram off after showing the bots positions and the like.

Ramjet must have had someone explain whats going on to him as he picks out the intended target and dives on the domed roof. He does'nt shoot, just rams straight into it, sideswiping the building...with a smash of breaking glass and twisting metal his wing crashes thru the cieling. Without a pause the manic jet begins to circle the dome, his sharpened re-enforced wingtip acting like a giant canopener, ripping into the building's structure with the scream of wrenching steel as he cuts all the way around it. "Seekers! Use your grappel lines to snag the dome and tear it off!"

Starscream extends his grappling hook and catches an edge on the roof

Enchantress flies up as high as she can, getting ready for her power dive...

From the hologram, Optimius Prime asks "What is a ninja?" Spike whispers back, "An ancient Japanese warrior capable of amazing feats of skill and daring." Jazz adds, "Yeah I read about them. Ninjas were deadly assassins." Someone from the audience stands and ask a question, "Why build a robot ninja Doctor? Isn't that rather dangerous?" Fujiyama answers, "Nightbird has been constructed to demonstrate to the world the limitless capabilites of technology. She will expand the horizons of robotic research to assist mankind, and not to harm him. I assure you gentlemen, she is not meant for battle or assassinations. And I have limited her powers accordingly."

Megatron points at the hologram. "The cassettes will come from here, Soundwave and I come throught that wall, CatsCradle... "He explains the different positions.

Chasm, suddenly ejected by Soundwave, launches into the air and hovers expectantly near Soundwave.

Enchantress preselects her targets position, calculates probable angle of transfer due to movement, and prepares to dive...

CatsCradle snorts softly at the transmission. "A warrior robot not meant for battle or assassinations... why do I not believe that?"

Starscream extends his grappling hook and catches an edge of the roof

Megatron says, "Attack!""

Rumble leaps out of Soundwave's tape compartment.

Megatron dives.

Rumble transforms into his Robot mode.

Striker dives at the dome firing at it with his guns but doesn't bother using his grappling hooks.

Enchantress waits for the Seekers to tear off the roof, then descends into a full power dive, her claws gleaming to shear anyone to pieces that she encounters...

Soundwave sends a silent signal to his cassettes to spread out and attack as he follows Megatron.

Starscream along with Thundercracker pull the roof back

Bombshell looks a little uncertainly at his fellow Insecticons. "What do you think, Shrapnel?" he whispers. "Do we help them fight their battle for them again?"

Chasm flattens his wings out and drops back a bit, trying to stay in the back row of the attacking cassettes.

Ruse flys down to where Megatron pointed out and begins to attack after the Seekers have the roof off!

Tempest wants to /fight/, not be stuck on this stupid transport duty...but she bites down her battle-lust and extends a grappeling-hook towarsdds the robot ninja below.

Conference Center

     The interior of this huge semi-circle is mostly open space, the domed ceiling curving overhead like the sky of a small planetoid, laced in gridwork. Railed walkways rim the upper reaches. Far below, almost receding into insignificance, is a sea of chairs arranged row upon row for the scientists of the world, and for the hungry press that follows their every move with microphones and flashbulbs. At the designated forefront of the room is a spacious stage, all lights focused on a center of illumination. Off to the side, curtains shroud off waiting areas for guards or equipment.



You leave the Conference Center.

Western Coastline

     The west coast of this continent is another of the more heavily-populated regions. Human cities run up and down the rocky coast nearly in tandem with a tectonic fault which is visible from space like a scar. Here two continental plates are sliding past each other - sometimes with catastrophic results. The entire region is geologically active, with a volcanic mountain range positioned a short ways inland, around which some of the continent's most unspoiled scenery and parkland remains preserved, despite a heavy influx of tourists. It is in this region where a majority of this planet's entertainment originates, as well as a good bit of its technological advancement.

Enchantress power dives, selecting as her target Ironhide. With a screech her three heads howl, and she dives for Ironhide. He is caught by surprise as the image of a divebombing Sabrecat is one that is quite surprising...

Rumble hears Tempests' engines roaring outside as she circles, waiting for an opportunity to grab the ninja while the Autobots are distacted. Rumble is happy to oblige, and immediately begins to create the next California earthquake.

Enchantress dive bombs Ironhide, and rams directly into him, and the two of them are soon rolling about in a massive fury of claws, teeth, scratching, and punching. Ironhide appears to be getting the worst of it.

Starscream says, "Were not staying long Autogoons"

Megatron blasts a hole into the side of the conference center and enters.

Bombshell draws his weapon, the momentum of the downward attack through the sliced-open dome having brought the Insecticons down with it. Though he first observes the action before mixing himself into the fray.

Striker roars in and transforms, tackling Brawn as he does so... at this speed, it would cause quite a bit of damage to the bot.

Shrapnel looks to Bombshell, "They fight to further your experiment..experiment. SO we should aid them...them"

Ironhide uses his arms to try and futilely block at the tearing heads and claws. "What in tarnation are you, Deceptiscum?"

Megatron aims at Prime. "I bring you greetings, Optimus Prime, lethal greeting!" He blasts...

Bombshell hisses, "A practical observation, Shrapnel. As always."

Chasm peppers the air with a few laser blasts, trying to keep the black flank.

Enchantress grins evily as she transforms to robot mode, drawing out her deadly quantum edged katana. "Your death, Autobot."

Enchantress's first action is to slice Ironhide's gun in two, then she is a blinding fury of slashes, cutting deeply into him, leaving him leaking with dozens of slashes.

Rumble tries to knock Bumblebee over with his earthquake, and gets blasted by Wheeljack for his trouble!

Megatron hits Bluestreak who jumps between him and his leader. Well, that isn't a bad hit either. He laughs.

Ruse lands and watchs the battle after taking cover... not jumping right in. Its not hesitation fully its her trying to figure out what to do, o O(Ok see the big picture. Wait for your shot... come on I can do this.) She arms her rifle and waits.

Bombshell fires off a round of mortar as he hovers up into the spacious upper reaches of the dome.

Shrapnel transforms into his Robot mode.

Bombshell's attack sends a section of the railing crashing down, scattering the humans who are running in a panic to get out of the way.

Ironhide yelps, "Ah could use a lil help here..." As Enchantress cuts deep into him again. One of his arms is now totally paralyzed, as she cut his motor tendons.

Rumble picks himself up and decides beating on the humans is more fun than getting shot by Wheeljack....but Hound and Gears are determined to spol his entertainment.

Soundwave fires off bright plasma beams in support of the other warriors, though Ruse's caution does not escape his notice - nor Chasm's keeping up of appearances.

CatsCradle pauses long enough to glance over the fight, then dives down after Mirage, wrist lasers firing.

Nightbird stands impassive on the stage, not reacting to the firefight at all.

Starscream drops his grappling hook in to grab the robot on the stage."We're not staying long Autob

Striker flies out of Brawns way, his aim was only a little off but it was enough to hit head-first into the floor.

Enchantress is about to cut off Ironhide's head, when she is suddenly tackled by the minibot Brawn, and sent sprawling! The two of them are rolling, and Enchantress finds herself in a much more difficult fight now, at close quarters, with Brawn's great strength.

Starscream lifts the robot up wiht TCs help

Tempest sends her hook down to help Starscream lift the cargo.

Starscream appreciates the help

Tempest can barely contain herself and gazes longingly at the carnage and chaos below, but keeps her mind on her job...

Megatron sends another blast towards Prime. "Prepare for oblivion, Prime!"

Nightbird is lifted up into the air, still showing no reaction of any kind. She's dead weight.

Starscream says, "We're not staying long Autogoons.""

Chasm sighs with relief.

Enchantress whirls on the ground with Brawn. At close quarters, its a match of his great strength versus her claws...

Divefire strides in and glances around the chaos, watching carfuly as humans run past him. This might be an oppertune time to have a heart to heart with Dr Fujiyama, or it would if Sunstreaker and Sideswipe wern't looking in his direction and cracking there knuckles...

Enchantress manages to toss Brawn off of her, and sends several throwing knives to "discourage" him further. The two of them begin to circle one another, as Ironhide desperately works to staunch his leaking lubricants...

Tempest is reminded of her old pirate days as she and Starscream make away with their prize...she tries to forget that this is not the sort of prize she would have chosen, and concentrates on contributing to the team.

Ironhide says glumly "And I thought it was just an expression."

Megatron just gives Prime a final punch. "We got what we came for!" He takes off, laughing.

Starscream waiting ffor the rest of the decepticons to get done

Starscream looks down at what he and Enchantress are holding right now

Starscream has reservations about it

Divefire smriks to the brothers and offers his hand in the universal motion of come on. The Autobots need no other invitation and charge at their own personal demon and litrealy take the fight back outside, blasting Divefire and themselfes right through the converence centers walls and into the parking lot.

Megatron leaves the Conference Center.

Ruse sighs holstering her rifle and takes off into the sky apon hearing the order to withdraw. o O(Some help Ruse.)

Striker see's Megatron leave and he does so himself.

Chasm leaps up into the sky, easily keep pace with the retreat and some would say, almost eagerly...

Soundwave sends few plasma blasts in Brawn's direction, to distract him long enough for Enchantress to follow the others.

Western Coastline

     The west coast of this continent is another of the more heavily-populated regions. Human cities run up and down the rocky coast nearly in tandem with a tectonic fault which is visible from space like a scar. Here two continental plates are sliding past each other - sometimes with catastrophic results. The entire region is geologically active, with a volcanic mountain range positioned a short ways inland, around which some of the continent's most unspoiled scenery and parkland remains preserved, despite a heavy influx of tourists. It is in this region where a majority of this planet's entertainment originates, as well as a good bit of its technological advancement.

Enchantress howls at Soundwave in a term that can be loosely translated as "thanks."

Megatron heads towards a site in the mountains.

Chasm looks rather dubiously at Nightbird. It is just a human-built robot, after all...

Ramjet circles the conferance centre , trading sporadic fire with the JDF Airforce, holding them at bay while the others snatch thier prize.

Soundwave keeps pace next to Megatron, casting an occasional glance back at the motionless robot. Something has caught his interest.

Bombshell flies along with the others.

CatsCradle abandons her battle with Mirage when the crash of her mate going through the wall attracts her attention. "He would take on both at once," she mutters and flies out of the center with the others

Divefire hits the ground outside hard, having the full weight of Sunstreaker and Sideswipe on top of him, both of them hold him down with one hand and rear another one back to hit him, just as he transforms to a Trans-Am and roars off underneath them, leaving them to litrealy eat his dust as he traces the other Decepticons to the temporay base.

After a while they reach a giant rock that looks like the Decepticon insignia.

Enchantress cracks her wings, and her clawed limbs. Now she remembers why she always hated hand to hand. It hurts, dammit!

Chasm mutters as he spies the new base design, "Now that's subtle..."

Megatron lands. "Soundwave, activate the passage way!"

Ramjet disengages with the native aircraft and follows after the others, covering the withdraw.

Tempest snickers, having found the new base easily., still carrying the prize overhead until the passageway is activated.

Nightbird remains impassive and hasn't yet moved.

Divefire transforms into his Mk III Trans-Am mode.

Soundwave lands beside his leader and intones, "As you command, Megatron." He emits a silent signal. A part of the rock face slides back to reveal an entrance beneath.

Temporary Base

     The interior seems a pared-down version of the undersea base, bearing the same color scheme of cool purple metal. With space at a premium, the command center with its computer equipment and viewscreens shares a central room with an enginieering and repair bay. A few living quarters have been carved more deeply into the mountainside, to provide at least some comfort for those assigned here. The stalactites that still hang from the ceiling are testament to the somewhat hasty construction of this base - or perhaps, to the Constructicons' unique sense of aesthetics.


Enchantress transforms into her Robot mode.

Tempest cuts her cargo hook, leaving Starscream to lower the robot to the floor.

Megatron arrives from the outside.

Megatron says, "This new base is only temporary, but it will do nicely for this game I intent to play with those awful Autobots."

Megatron walks down the corridor.

Starscream nto happy hes the one who has to finish this

Starscream lowers the cargo down

Enchantress winces as she transforms to robot mode. Brawn's a much better fighter than he is given credit for. Spells looks forward to a rematch with him, when she's better prepared, and when she can use her lovely blades better...

Bombshell follows along, stealing a glance at Nightbird as she's placed on the ground.

Starscream retracts his grappling hook and TFs*

Chasm settles on Soundwave's shoulder. "All this fuss for a human-built construction? Honestly, I could do better with Duplo..."

Ramjet touches down on the metal landing strip inside and with a squeal of rubber, skids to a stop.

Ruse says, "Its always better when its Chasmbrand eh dragon?"

Starscream lands and glances to Ramjet

Soundwave says, "Perhaps. But I have detected something interesting about this construct. Remote sensors gave me a hint, but now I will be able to examine the robot more carefully."

Starscream says, "this wont work"

Tempest barrelrolls and lands in one of the darker corners of the base.

Tempest transforms into her Robot mode.

Ramjet transforms into his robot mode.

CatsCradle lands and takes a moment to look at the robot curiously. She shrugs slightly and moves farther back out of the way.

Starscream sighs. "another waste ot rime i think

Tempest's optics glow ruby in the shadows as she watches the goings-on.

Megatron leads the others to a room that is obviously thought a kind of lab or workshop.

Striker transforms into his Robot mode.

Ramjet folds his arms over his chest and glares back at Starscream, "What?"

Starscream looks at him almost disdainfully. "nothing

Enchantress looks to SOundwave for permission to assist. She is a fully trained tech.

Soundwave senses Rumble's curiousity and ejects the little blue robot.

Megatron says, "Put the robot on the table and then start your work, Bombshell."

Rumble leaps out of Soundwave's tape compartment.

Ramjet snorts contempuously and stomps over to the main entrance to stand guard.

Chasm smirks at Ruse, "Of course.."

Divefire drives into the base a little later then the others and transforms, brushing some of the dust off his frame and checking himself over for more serious dents. Given the shear number of Transformers in the base he decides on slipping into the shadows and watching silently.

Ruse leans aginst a nearby wall out of the way, to watch.

Soundwave glances at Enchantress and notes, "This is Bombshell's project. I am merely adding my input." As though to underscore his words, he takes up a place at one of the computer stations and starts calling up data.

Rumble wanders right up to Nightbird and looks up at her curiously...then feints at her, trying to get a reaction.

Chasm peers over Soundwave's shoulder at the data, flexing out his wings for balance.

Starscream watches silently some distance away

Enchantress moves to an auxiliary computer station, to at least observe. She is fascinated by this procedure, having read of similar ones, but never actually observed one...

CatsCradle drifts over to stand next to her mate. After a moment, she swats him. "Taking on two at once, huh?"

Nightbird doesn't so much as twitch. For all appearences, she's non-functional.

Bombshell shoots Rumble a scowl and rasps, "I'm trying to get something done here, you know." He tugs at Nightbird's arm, trying to coax her down onto the table.

Divefire looks to Cats then shrugs with a slight smirk. "I was bored, besides it was the quickest way to get outside, I hate crowds."

Ruse hms pondering Rumble's antics before looking to Soundwave, "Soundwave.. didn't that human build simple a simple AI into this construct? If so, why isn't it active, since that was the whole point of the unvailing was to show it off."

Rumble says, "Excuse me, Raid-bait," and moves well clear before the Insecticon figures out what his Earth phrase means.

Striker stands in a corner and watches everything go on in the base.

Nightbird falls over onto the table as Bombshell tugs her arm.

Starscream snickers

Enchantress says, "Perhaps a command code is needed, or the humans simply wished to show off their incomplete creation for the purpose of impressing people, and in the hopes of getting sufficient grant money to continue with their project?"

CatsCradle nods. "Fine... but when you start lecturing our children about discipline and lack of control, I'll have a whole list of examples for them."

Soundwave looks back toward the shadowy figure and speculates, "Perhaps it responds to his voice commands. No matter. It will soon be under our control." He takes out a moment to bring out a small handheld med scanner, regarding the reading briefly - then puts it away again and returns to his work.

Starscream mutters. "sure open seseme

Ramjet seems completely disinterested in whatever they stole the human built thing for. He just stares out of the entranceway. Guarding.

Starscream says, "..or was that danger will robinson"

Megatron says, "Now, Bombshell?"

Bombshell mutters something at Rumble, and opens Nightbird's access panel, peering inside. If one could read his expression behind his grid-like facemask, it might be something vaguely disdainful.

Chasm, still peering over Soundwave's shoulder, comments, "It'd need an upgrade of some description if you still really want to use the thing... Oh look Soundwave, you haven't valuated the data for that sector. Honestly, without me to advise you, you'd get lost fairly quickly."

Bombshell says, "This is child's play compared to Decepticon transform circuits."

Divefire narros his optics and frowns at Cats. "I have a hundered years of this, don't I." He mutters, with the mearest hint of ammusment.

Enchantress remains interested. If this is fully as capable as they apparently hope, the creature could be an invaluable Decepticon, with some upgrades built in...

CatsCradle chuckles. "Oh, yes, love. Just resign yourself to it now."

Soundwave explains patiently, "We are not planning to send it out in its original state, Chasm. Listen and observe."

Megatron stands beside the table, watching the Insecticon's work. "Spare me your critic. Can you do it?

Starscream studies megatron

Chasm mutters, /ism/..

Tempest speaks from the shadows, "I don't think you can turn a rusty scrap into shiny Decepticon technology...inferior materials remain. Fine for experimentation though..." she adds hastily, at Megatron's words.

Ruse hms, nodding to soundwave and Enchantress. Yet she doesn't seem at all satisfied with the answer. She falls silent to watch for now.

Bombshell says, "With a little re-wiring, some additional microchips, and a triple power-booster - perhaps." As he works, he installs various componants into the open cavity of Nightbird's access panel, fitting the power booster in last and clicking it into place.

Starscream muttere."well with bombshells butchery theres no telilng what we will get

Bombshell looks over to Soundwave. "Report on optic interface, Soundwave."

Soundwave says, "Almost complete."

Enchantress watches, fascinated. The Insecticons do very excellent work. Not as good as she's heard of the Constructicons, but impressive in differenet ways.

Striker actually agrees with Tempest on this one, no way earth materials can stand up to Decepticon, or Autobot, weaponry.

Megatron watches with eger interest. It has to work!

Starscream not impressed. . or at least wont admit to it

Enchantress thinks to remind Striker of what the Autobots did with the Dinobots, and they were entirely created from Earth materials...

Bombshell refuses to dignify Starscream with a reply, caught up now in a growing enthusiasm for the project. He guides Nightbird to a sitting position and says, "Good." Holding up the altered laser core, he gloats, "I love warping minds for you, Megatron. Love it!" With that he inserts the small object into a slot in the back of Nightbird's head.

Chasm offers, "If you changed that circuit into a parallel loop structure, you could save on processor speed."

Starscream watches Bombshell but is more intreigued on the look on Megatrons face


Tempest is too busy eyeing the Insecticons and thinking paranoid thoughts to notice much else.

CatsCradle nods at the cluster of techie-types around the robot. "You think this will work?"

Nightbird's optics flash, and she gets up from the table. She stands in place for a moment then begins punching and kicking the air, giving the impression of doing a warm-up or calibration routine.

Soundwave considers Chasm's suggestion, and then decides, "Agreed. But we must be able to visually track this robot, and for that we must avoid setting off Autobot detection fields."

Enchantress says, "Did you create an entirely new personality for this, or is it based on the old one?"

CatsCradle blinks. "I guess that question's answered...

Starscream shrugs."if its long enough to do what our . . . Leader wants who cars

Megatron is slightly taken aback by the sudden action.

Divefire glances over to the table then shrugs slightly, watching Nightbird move. "I guess it is."

Rumble stands back, not wanting to get kicked by accident.

Chasm flicks his tail back and forth, "Well, it's your call."

Ramjet sees it's a niice day for flying. good visability, lots of comercial trafic....and wonders what he's doing cooped up in this mountain.

Bombshell gives Enchantress a look almost of irritation, as the question distracts him from watching Nightbird's unexpected activity. "There is no personality left," he hisses. "This one is under *our* control."

Megatron glances at Bombshell, as if asking: "Is the mechanism supposed to do this?"

Ruse blinks abit startled then chuckles, "Its like the sparing drone back at the base..."

Chasm snickers, "Did it even have a personality before?"

Starscream watcches her

Tempest mutters, "It still looks like take-out Japanese to me," and snickers.

Starscream says, "she looks like some Earthling PLaypuppet."

Bombshell peers at the robot curiously. "Perhaps this is part of a demonstration routine the flesh-creature programmed into her."

Nightbird goes through more punches and kicks, finally stepping forward suddenly and punching Starscream right in the chest. Then she stands quietly once more.

Soundwave too turns from his station to watch. Quietly to Chasm he says, "It was not intended to have a personality. That would defeat our purpose."

Enchantress says, "Would she no doubt be more effective with a personality in place, milord? Rather than acting on pure instinct alone, and programming?"

Striker grins, "At least she knows who needs a beating."

Megatron amused, watching Starscream. "Yes, but this puppet has a punch!" He laughs.

Starscream !!

Starscream scowls

Ruse blinks at the punch and mutters, "Well atleast it picked the right practice dummy to use."

Starscream glares at Striker

Striker glares back at Starscream, "Something wrong air commander?"

CatsCradle murmurs, "If I didn't know better, I'd say she has a sense of humor." But she looks a little disturbed by the whole idea of wiping out someones personality and replacing it.

Starscream sulks a bit at some of the remarks he hearing but blows them off

Megatron says, "She is not meant to be your sparrings partner, Starscream. Her adversaries will be Autobots."

Bombshell shakes his head in response to Enchantress' question. "They miss the point," he mutters to himself. "*Expendable* warriors. Bits and pieces of the enemy put to good use. After the rest was eaten."

Tempest slinks back, wondering if Nightbird heard /her/ remark and whether she's in for some of what Starscream got.

Starscream lowers his fist slowly

Enchantress truly doesn't like this. For all the use they would get, why not create an army of drones to do the same thing?

Megatron says, "Is she fully programmed, Soundwave?"

Starscream dusts his chest off idely

Soundwave says, "Affirmative."

Megatron says, "Excellent. Let's see if your invention works, Bombshell."

Enchantress sighs. For all the resources that they're putting into this, would they not be better served to at least put in a minimal personality matrice...

Soundwave brings out his handheld med scanner again. "Commander," he says, hoping to catch Megatron's attention.

Starscream looks at Megatron

Megatron tilds his head. "What is it, Soundwave?

Chasm flexes his wings slightly.

Tempest examines Nightbird a little more closely...with a bit of a sneer on her face but she's also keeping a noticeable distance...as if she's somewhat uncertain.

Soundwave says, "My readings confirm what I suspected from the long-range reports. This robot is built of a material that will escape detection by radar and most sensor equipment."

Nightbird's optics flash brightly once, not dimming as fast as they did the first time when Bombshell activated her.

Enchantress sighs. This is far too spooky for her. Reminds her too much of the five million years she spent in storage... This is a far greater crime - far too macabre for her taste. Wiping a personality completely. That isn't something that the Empire should have to sink to. But she remains aware of her place, outside of teh command structure, so she keeps her silence.

Starscream says, "regardless if radar picks her up or not." :Looks to megatron. "what will you do when she fails?"

Chasm squirms, "I'm sure, er, Ravage might be available."

Soundwave says, "And furthermore-" he looks down at his scanner, tilting his head a bit with interest. "Reading feedback. An unknown internal system appears to be fighting the implanted core for control of the body.""

Megatron says, "Then Fujiyama lost the fruits of his scientific researches."

Ruse catchs the flash... was that supposed to happen? She shrugs and leans back figuring the addaptability of the core that Bombshell installed has already picked up the cybertronian trait of dimming or brightening eyes to reflect the situation.

Megatron says, "What are you talking about, Soundwave?"

Bombshell says, "What??"

Enchantress says, "There is a personality already in place?"

Bombshell steps forward hurriedly between the larger Decepticons to get a first-hand look at Soundwave's scanner.

Chasm coils his tail up, this sounding rather like his own genesis... "Viruses are people too," he mutters.

Nightbird's left arm twitches just slightly, then then her head jerks to the right. Both her hands then begin shaking.

Soundwave says, "Unknown. But something is reacting against the core that Bombshell implanted."

Divefire glances up at Soundwave's words and frowns slightly. "Don't be so suprised, if that core personality is strong enough... Well I'd sugest you all step back."

Starscream says, "figures"

Soundwave shows Megatron and Bombshell the readings. A power surge visible on the readout.

Enchantress mutters, "We should've done a full internal schematicular analysis before we began working on this thing... Who knows what we've created?"

Nightbird's optics flash brightly, then her whole body begins to thrash violently.

Tempest curls her lip a little and reaches for her blades. "If that thing makes one false movei'll slice it in two."

Megatron grumbles: "Bombshell, what is going wrong?"

Chasm says, "A virus maybe? Ah, in certain hypothetical situations, a personality can become encoded on a virus that proves resistant to modification or programming..."

Starscream seems quietly amused by this whole thing

Ruse dims one optics, then moves forward Quickly to try and pin nightbird down before she ends up flailing into some of the equipment, "Someone gimme a hand here!"

Enchantress says, "Milord, what Autobot was the personality taken from?"

Bombshell protests, "It should have worked! It should have worked perfectly! Perhaps-" he favors Nightbird with a venomous glare- "inferior Earth technology couldn't handle the upgrade."

Enchantress moves quickly to aid Ruse.

Starscream says, "no need to answer my question. She appears to have failed already."

CatsCradle steps back warily at Nightbird's unexpected movements. "I don't like this," she murmurs very quietly

Nightbird is impossible to grasp as she jerks around, sending Ruse to the ground from a sweep of her arm.

Megatron says, "Get away from there, Ruse!"

Soundwave moves away from his station, taking a step toward Nightbird. "A virus, perhaps," he muses in accord with Chasm's speculation. "But not something originating from the core itself."

Starscream watches Nightbird and steps back himself

Enchantress gets behind Nightbird, and tries to pin her, using her six arms in concert.

Megatron says, "Bombshell, do something, it is your invention!"

Tempest hisses a clear warning at Nightbird, blades at the ready.


Rumble darts behind Soundwave....this is just too creepy!

Starscream says, "I could null her"

Bombshell simply makes a frustrated motion with his hands, at a loss as to what to do. He's certainly not willing to fling himself at the flailing robot.

Striker rushes at Nightbird at full speed attempting to tackle her.

Divefire watches the chaos with a slight hint of ammusment, but stays against the wall. "Maybe the body had a personality already." He offers.

Chasm leaps on to Soundwave's head, "Perhaps we should terminate the experiment?"

Soundwave says, "Suggest stunning the construct to make it approachable."

CatsCradle snorts. "Well, if she's a warrior-bot, she certainly is going to think she's under attack now."

Striker leaps up and turns around to kick the creation.

Ruse is away, and rubs her helmet, "Bombshell if you have a system shutdown installed in that contraption.. use it!"

Bombshell says, "What do you mean, system shutdown? It's not responding to my commands!"

Nightbird sends all those attempting to grab her flying away from the failing of her arms. Finally, she stops thrashing around and stands still, her optics glowing. She seems different somehow..

Starscream looks to Meatron, "Shall I?

Tempest says, "I'll show you shutdown," waves her swords, and glances at Megatron for approval for the kill.

Soundwave raises a hand to forestall Starscream as Nightbird suddenly calms.

Enchantress looks somewhat amused by this turn of events. "Quite an unusual way to join. Welcome to the Decepticons, milady. May your joining prove fortuitous."

Bombshell says, "Good, she's run out of energy."

Ruse grumbles standing, "Fully out of control.. oyi..." She keeps back from the ninja, glaring angerly at being sweeped away by an earth contraption like that.

Megatron rises his hand. "Stand back... all!

Tempest argues, "Megatron, I'm sure I can take her..."

Bombshell steps forward cautiously, despite Megatron's order. "Let me remove the laser core and check it over," he says, reaching up toward her face.

Soundwave says, "Bombshell, that is not a wise move."

With the startling speed of a snake striking, Nightbird grabs Bombshell's arm and twists it around, causing the surprised Insecticon to turn also and reflexively bend at the waist. Nightbird lashes out with a well-placed kick to the midsection and sends Bomshell crashing to the ground. He flips over and skids several feet before coming to a stop. Skywarp, who's close behind Nightbird grabs her and tries to pin her arms. She twists somehow, it's difficult to see, and Skywarp flies over Nightbird's head to crash into Bombshell who's just now attempting to get up. All this is less than two seconds and Nightbird hardly seemed to move.

Enchantress says, "I do not believe that it is simply an automaton anymore, milords. We should give her the choice of what to do with her existence."

Megatron hisses. "I said, stay back!

Starscream raises his left cannon

Enchantress takes several steps back, her arms folded. A look of amusement on her face. This one will go far in the ranks...

Megatron says, "No, Starscream. This is most intriguing..."

Tempest looks somewhat...confused? Hurt? ...as she lowers her swords and steps back. She curls her lip at Nightbird anyway...

Chasm flexes his mace-like extension at the end of his tail, "I could convievable stun someone with this, not that I've ever gotten myself into a situation to use it, but hypothetically! It's in my design specs..."

Divefire almost looks ammussed at the blurr that Nightbird is turning into. "What ever it is, it's quick."

Bombshell hisses and tries to push Skywarp off him, struggling to free himself from the entanglement.

Starscream fires at Nightbird

Megatron says, "She reacts accoring to her own will..."

Starscream severl rapid shots with both lasers

Rumble finds cover, watching the whole thing from behind a counter.

Starscream says, "I will get her under control"

Enchantress says, "I'd say that it is safe to say that whoever is in there is at least partially sentient, milords."

Soundwave remains in place, though keeping a careful distance back, watching with interest.

Striker growls at Enchantress, "Ya think!?"

Seemingly unconcerned by the rapid incoming laser fire, Nightbird's optics flash as she begins to dodge back and forth, neatly avoiding the beams. She avoids ten or fifteen blasts this way before somehow an Earth melee weapon appears in her hands. They're nothing more than two cylinders attached with a chain, although it's difficult to see them at all as Nightbird whirls them around in a practiced manner. As she swings the weapons, they deflect the incoming laser fire. The bolts of light begin to hit the walls, ceiling, and equipment all over the room.

Chasm sighs, "Your ability to continually state the obvious always amazes me, Enchantress..."

Enchantress sticks her tongue out at Chasm. "Well, we are all good at different things milord. SOme of us have talents at simply stating that which is readily apparent."

CatsCradle's fingers flicker, energy sparking between them in tendrils, weaving into her 'field between her and Diver, and the reflected laser fire

Striker ducks as a deflected laser bolt heads his way, "Damnit Starscream! Knock it off!"

Starscream says, "I dont see you getting her under control!"

Starscream seems a bit panicked

Ruse gahs and promptly dives for cover with Rumble as well now.

Megatron suddenly grasps his shoulder, feeling a sudden pain. One of the deflected shots hit him.

Megatron says, "Stop firing at once!"

Starscream pauses

Starscream says, "What!"

Enchantress artfully dodges the shots headed her way. She seems rather pleased at this turn of events, and a grin goes across her face.

Striker rushes up to Nightbird and takes another swing at her.

Tempest is still snarling, crouched beside Megatron, occasionally giving him a rather frustrated glance wondering why he's holding her back.

Megatron says, "I say, hold fire and stop fighting!!"

Chasm waves his tail mace around and relaxes at Megatron's command, "Oh, excellent. I won't have to use this thing after all..."

Soundwave has never drawn his weapon, only remained just outside of the circle of chaos.

Starscreams not too happy but stops firing.

Nightbird easily avoids Striker's blow and strikes him with her melee weapon. She eyes Megatron and the others, waiting.

Megatron rubs his shoulder.

Chasm pats Soundwave's shoulder. "You can relax now."

Bombshell climbs back to his feet, staring at Nightbird in amazement.

Striker walks away from Nightbird slowly, "What the hell is that thing?!"

Starscream looks to Megatron."she damaged you?

Enchantress climbs down from teh ceiling where she had elevated herself with her claws.

Soundwave chuckles softly. "I was about to say the same to you, Chasm. But this is ... most intrigueing."

Megatron watches Nightbird, chuckling.

Tempest hisses, "It's dead parts if it touches me."

Rumble's optics poke up from behind the counter....

CatsCradle lets her 'field die down. "Well, that was interesting..."

Nightbird's optics dart around the room, watching all the Decepticons who might charge at her again, and twirls her weapon around as if to keep it ready.

Divefire watches the chaos, keeping his voice down as he watches Nightbird carfuly. "Once again another marvelous plan gone the way of FUBAR..."

Enchantress chuckles, and looks over the assembled crowd. Anyone that can do THAT is fully capable in her book. She looks like she might even be able to give DarkLord a run for his money...

Megatron shakes his head. "No-one will fight against you anymore. I need my warriors... functional.

Ruse peeks out from her spot after the deflected shots stop rebounding everyplace. She grumbles, "We should destroy it Megatron, its nolonger under our control and a danger."

"I didn't see you trying to stop it," Striker says frusterated.

Enchantress applauds politely at the display. She moves like a master of Teras Kasi, but with the power of Metallikido...

Starscream looks at Striker.

Starscream says, "and you did?"

Soundwave watches with great interest to see if he can detect any response from the robot as Megatron speaks directly to her.

CatsCradle says, "Has anyone tried to communicate with her? Instead of controlling?""

Megatron says, "Haven't seen someone fighting like this for a long time..."

Starscream says, "so point her toward Optimus Prime and not us"

Tempest nods to Ruse, and seems a bit insulted by thec comment about remaining functional...though she looks at Nightbird with a bit of new respect. Perhaps it /can/ use its weapons...

Nightbird moves slowly and cautiously forward toward Megatron, still alert for the possibility of attack. She stops well in front of him and considers for a moment, then places her chained melee weapon on her backpack. She looks at Megatron questioningly.

Bombshell inches forward. "We *should* destroy her while we have the chance," he hisses to himself, "and yet, we would lose the knowledge of what made her malfunction like this."

Tempest remains at Megatron's side, curling her lip in a defensive and far-from-friendly expression.

Enchantress has reviewed tapes on thousands of masters in hand to hand, and she can think of very few that this Decepticon cannot at least match...

Enchantress curtsies to Nightbird, her grin spreading.

Striker looks at Bombshell, "Who says she's malfunctioning? This could be what she was made to do."

Bombshell snaps, "*I* didn't make her to do this!"

Starscream keepign an optic trained no where ngihtbird is at but not interested in her

Striker says, "I never said you DID you overgrown bug!"

Nightbird glances at Bombshell, but her masked features make reading her expression difficult at best.

Megatron calmly says: "Excuse the rough welcome, but... you acted rather unexpectedly.

Bombshell says, "I had that core perfectly under control. Something already present in the robot damaged it."

Soundwave nods in confirmation. "So it would appear."

Ruse looks to Megatron, "Megatron... what are you doing?" She scowls looking to the thing then back to the leader.. silently plotting. Nobody tosses her like that without getting a hefty dose of revenge.

Enchantress says, "A full fledged personality, capable of throwing off your attempts at overwriting it."

CatsCradle notices how Nightbird has gravitated towards Megatron and nudges Diver

Chasm leaps onto Soundwave's shoulder again. "Well... Perhaps talking civilly and offering tea and crumpets will be helpful?"

Enchantress says, "That's a third case to add to the records..."

Megatron offers an open hand as a greeting. "I am Megatron, leader of the Decepticons. Welcome to our base."

Soundwave says, "Then I will unleash you as our secret weapon, Chasm."

Tempest kind of stares at Megatron as if to wonder what in the multiverse has made him act like /that/?

Enchantress silently cheers the Emperor on. This is just what needs to be done!

Starscream says, "this is all fine and good but what does it concern us that this thing may have its own personality? Its an earth construct that I assumed was acquired by us for a reason"

Divefire glances to Cats and nods very slightly. He keeps his other thoughs to himself however, and certinly doesn't mention he hasn't seen her do anything he couldn't match...

Ruse says, "For once the subcommander has a point. We need to get this thing back under our control, not tossing us around like bugs... er.. no offince Bombshell."

Striker says, "Under control or dead."

Enchantress murmurs, "She fights like a Grand Master of Teras Kasi in terms of speed, agility, and finesse, but with the accuracy, power, and lethalness of Metallikido."

Bombshell mutters softly, "Hmph."

CatsCradle calls a little louder, "How about /talking/ to her?" Her voice holds the tone of someone who really doesn't expect to be heard... and doesn't really care all that much...

Tempest is /still/ Staring at Megatron as if to wonder what's gotten into /him?/ She's still holding her swords and looking suddenly helpless, since she can already guess she's not gonna be allowed to use them.....

Nightbird seems to consider Megatron and then all the others talking at once. Then she herself speaks, her voice a blending of whispers and echos that gives it an almost hyponotic quality. "Why have I been brought here?"

Soundwave tilts his head a little at the sound of the voice.

Enchantress tilts her head in approval.

CatsCradle smirks a little. "There? See?" she murmurs. "Talking."

Megatron doesn't know what to answer for a second, then decides to tell the truth: "It was an experiment...

Chasm reveals his glittering needle-like fangs, "Care for some sparkling energon beverages?"

Enchantress's panther heads on her chest activate and give off a roar of welcome.

Tempest digs her sword blades into the dirt and looks disgruntled.

Nightbird's optics flash slightly at this, and waits for Megatron to continue.

Starscream has arms folded watching with an unreadable look on his face

Soundwave's scientific curiousity drives him a step forward. He has his theories now, but there's only one way to know for certain. If this robot indeed has a mind of her own as she seems to, and represents a threat, he will find out. Most of all, he wants to assure himself that there is in fact a *mind* there.

Starscream walks over to Soundwave

Soundwave's optic band shades brighter as he sends a telepathic scan out to the Earth-robot, attempting to get an overview of what's lurking behind the amber optics. He's quite direct about it, not putting a lot of effort into subly sneaking into her thoughts, and someone with heightened awareness and sensitivity would get a definite strange sensation of being watched from the inside out.

Megatron says, "I haven't expected a personality in a human created machine."

Megatron says, "Tell me your name."

Nightbird's head jerks around at Soundwave as her optics narrow in suspicion.

Ruse looks to Bombshell with a hm and whispers, "Is it possable the AI somehow combined with the lasercore?"


Starscream whispers to Soundwave."why was this robot even taken by us?

Chasm flicks a ruby-coloured optic at Starscream, wondering what the Air Commander wants with Soundwave.

Soundwave continues to stare blankly at Nightbird, his awareness of his surroundings having faded for the moment. He hears Starscream's whisper, but as though from a great distance away.

Tempest continues to lurk just a little beside and behind Megatron, her optics glowing a cautionary ruby at Nightbird, the tips of two long and sharp swords resting on the earth.

Nightbird doesn't seem to hear Megatron's question as she continues to glare at Soundwave. She doesn't appear happy, and draws a cylinder of some kind from her backpack with lightening speed. A glowing beam extends from the cylinder, making it obviously a laser sword.

Megatron says, "Soundwave, what ever you try, stop it."

Starscream steps back

Enchantress moves to place herself in between Nightbird and Soundwave, and draws her katana out to intercept.

Starscream does not want to get in the way of some wrath from the shebot to soundwave

CatsCradle shakes her head. "Great. Draw a weapon on the warriorbot. Yeah, that's /really/ going to help," she mutters.

Soundwave reads the intended defensive action in Nightbird's thoughts, and abruptly his optics shade back do their usual lower intensity. Nightbird would notice the sense of surveillance suddenly gone from her awareness. Soundwave remains in place, looking at the drawn weapon with apparent calm.

Starscream though feels it has no business damaging Decepticons

Megatron is somehow facinated by this strange robot. Maybe it is that she doesn't appear so strange to him...

Divefire optics narrow as he mutters to Cats. "I thought tha new recruit was non-combat to..."

Enchantress keeps her blades ready, but her posture is nonthreatening, merely relaxed, defensive.

Soundwave states, "This is not the remnant of an Autobot laser core that inhabits her mind."


Bombshell's optics narrow, wondering what could possibly have gone wrong with his perfect plan.

Megatron repeats with calm voice. "Who are you?

Nightbird glares at Enchantress and closes down her sword as Soundwave ceases whatever was causing her reaction. She doesn't replace the sword on her backpack however and continues to watch Enchantress closely.

CatsCradle murmurs to Diver, "Support Services. As far as I know, she's not even a recruit. She's a clerk."

Tempest continues watching Megatron's back. She seems oblivious to his reactions save for a faint irritation at not being allowed to strike.

Enchantress curtsies in a gesture of respect to Nightbird, and sheathes her katana.

Starscream looks back to Soundwave and whispers."are you going to tellme?

Divefire rolls his optics slightly. "Wonderful..."

Nightbird turns back to Megatron and replies with an equal calmness, "I am Nightbird." Her voice again echos in the room, seeming almost to come from many places at once.

Soundwave reaches up and absently strokes Chasm's wings, regarding the dark robot with the same expression one might remember when he first encountered the Dinobots. It seems to say, "Interesting - what could come of this?" Finally he replies to Starscream rather formally, "This robot was meant to house a laser core manipulted by Bombshell, with assistance from myself. Obviously there have been unforeseen complications." Though it doesn't sound from his tone that he's particularly displeased with those complications, in contrast to Bombshell.

Rumble continues to watch Nightbird curiously...this just keeps getting weirder!

Enchantress withdrawls to the rear, realizing that she's done more work tonight to alienate people than she accopmlished in the past five million years. She sighs. At least things go better for the Empire than they do for her... She smiles at Nightbird, and curtsies again, then vanishes to the rear of the assemblage.

Starscream frowns

Megatron smiles. "Welcome, Nightbird," he says with soft voice.

Nightbird continues to watch the other Decepticons even as she talks to Megatron, seeming aware of all their movements. She looks back toward Megatron, with a clearly expectant expression.

Chasm mutters, "Let's just deploy her, shall we, before we get too attached to the creature..."

Soundwave says, "'The creature,' as you say, Chasm, is a puzzle, and I suspect more can be learned."

Nightbird looks over to Chasm but doesn't comment. She looks back toward Megatron again, waiting.

Tempest slowly turns her head to give Megatron another "what the hell?" look, before reluctantly sheathing one of her swords...and

CatsCradle's optics narrow at the tone of Megatron's voice and her studying suddenly becomes more acute.

Starscream finds himself getting bored with this but also notices Megatrons unusual interest in the earth construct

Megatron says, "What do you want to know?"

Nightbird says, "I asked why I have been brought here."

Bombshell says, "A puzzle. That's one way to put it."

Megatron says, "We wanted you as a tool to get a device we need from our enemy."

Divefire rests his head back against the wall and watches the tet-a-tet between the Mystical Ninja and Megatron.

Megatron says, "But what we found was a warrior."

Bombshell looks around, aware suddenly that his fellow Insecticons have wandered off elsewhere into the base, or perhaps even gone back to their own hive. Apparently he has no intention of leaving, the question of where he miscalculated nagging at him incessantly. That the Earth-robot turned out to already have a mind in place, which was somehow activated by his meddling, is a secondary question.

Nightbird reaches behind her and plucks something from the back of her head, the laser core that Bombshell inserted earlier. "And you thought this would control me?"

Tempest is smirking at the tool line....and then can't help her jaw dropping as Megatron adds the part about a warrior. Confused, she sort of fades away from him, edging into the shadows....

Ruse hmmps, o O(Ok, im starting to really dislike this thing.)

Bombshell's optics brighten a little at the sight of the laser core. Edging closer, he tries to remain unobtrusive while still trying to put himself in a position to get hold of that core.

Starscreams mouth drops open just a bit

Enchantress fades into the background access tunnels, to try and calm herself. She draws her blades, and goes through Jensaari katas to rebuild her focus, her centering, her calm.

Soundwave contines to observe with a certain amused interest.

Nightbird tosses the square of metal into air and her laser sword flashes into existance, cutting it cleanly in two.

Striker frowns at the thought of Megatron being more interested in this Earth creation than any of this other warriors.

Megatron nods. "Yes, that is what I thought." He has no reason to pretend-

CatsCradle lets out a soft sigh, her optics wary.

Starscream gets a bit on edge for a moment

Bombshell gives a little strangled cry of protest and dives for the pieces.

Nightbird pays little attention to Bombshell and continues to look at Megatron, waiting for further explanation.

Tempest's ruby optics sparkle at the sword-cut. The technique is impeccable...but experience...she is newly born... Tempest's face is mostly impassive, concealing the sudden roil inside her as she tries to reassure herself that having more experience, she has the edge on this new warrior...

Bombshell gathers up the halves, frowning at the way the delicate circuitry has been molten and singed by the heat of the laser sword. One simple clean slice. He holds out the pieces to the nearest individual he finds, who happens to be Ruse. "Look at this!" he says.

Megatron says, "Fujiyama created you to assist our enemy to fight us."

Starscream continues to notice Megatrons attentiontoward her and finds himself angered by it

Ruse sighs to Bombshell sympatheticaly and murmers, "I know.. but it appers our leader wants to nurse this newfound humanbot just becase it can do afew cartwheels and has a fancy sword."

CatsCradle glances over the others, noticing the rising tensions. "Oh, this is going to be... not pleasant," she murmurs

Megatron says, "So I decided to turn his invention against him."

Bombshell says, "Well ... that's his business, I suppose. Mine is to gather the pieces and hope the long months of research haven't gone totally to waste.""

Enchantress returns to the main chamber, and immediately senses the rising tensions in the air.

Divefire mutters back to Cats with an ice tone. "Don't worry, I'm sure this Nightbird believes she could lay waste to all of us attacking at once..."

Nightbird tries the word out, as it were familiar somehow."Fujiyama.." She seems trying to recall something just out of her mental reach, and finally replies, "What enemies?"

Megatron says, "Autobots... The archenemies of the pride Decepticon warrior race."

CatsCradle shakes her head very slightly. "That's not what I meant," she murmurs back

Megatron smirks. "I am very aware that our plan failed." No, he can't explain why he speaks so frankly.

Ruse looks to Megatron whos happly chattering away with the human then to Bombshell as she offers, "If you want some help trying to recover it I am willing to assist and so is Soundwave probably."

Tempest slinks over to stand beside Catscradle... She's still got that hostile "I-hate-everything" kind of look on her face, but there's an odd hesitance in how she moves and a confusion in her optics.

Nightbird seems to consider this, and replies "And what do you intend now?"

Divefire nods slightly to Cats. "I know." His optics narrow again, watching all this play out and he shakes his head again. "I think I'll go and see if the Autobots have tracked us down yet." With a slight motion of his back he steps out and walks out of the main section and to the outside.


Starscream mutters to Ruse. "I think what our leader has on his mind has nothing to do with us or the original mission

Bombshell tilts the bisected laser core into view for Rumble to see as well, perhaps for sympathy more so than an expectation that either of them would know what to do with it.

Striker starts wondering what's wrong with Tempest... she's acting odd, even for her.

Megatron leans his back against a wall, folding his arms in front of his chest. "Depends on what you are doing.

Ruse glances down. Bombshell has a point there she doesn't know alot of the technical things she would like. She offers, "I could atleast monitor readout for spikes and um such things. I know a little about how personalitys work to.. somewhat." She hms at a mutter from Starscream and mearly nods with a scowl.

CatsCradle watches her mate leave, then rubs her forehead. "Not quite what we expected, is it?" she says in a low voice to Tempest

Megatron says, "If you decide to fight us, we will fight back."

Enchantress looks very concerned. This could have rather dangerous reprecussions to the Empire... But what can she do about it? She's a trainee whom is outranked by literally the entire Earth force. And she's done a terrific job at ticking off half the base population on her first mission. And she's a bloody secretary, for Tyrants Sake! So she keeps her silence, and will confide her fears in no one, unless directly approached.

Bombshell says, "Hmm. Perhaps, perhaps. Especially since your High Command seems to be currently involved in ... other things."

Tempest seems to perk up at the comment Megatron made about fighting. She says to Cats, "I don't see why we don't terminate her and be done!"

Bombshell gives Soundwave an almost accusatory look, as the big blue Decepticon has apparently forgotten all about their joint project and is much more interested in observing Megatron and Nightbird.

CatsCradle shrugs, but doesn't say anything one way or the other

Enchantress murmurs at a tone no one can hear, "Defiant and Proteus... Disintegration... Or hope... What will come of it? This bodes ill, and it bodes well. The future is uncertain, now more than ever..."

Megatron watches Nightbird for a while.

Ruse squints her optics muttering to Bombshell quietly, "You know the most about such matters. Whats going on with Megatron? I haven't seem him act this illogical ever. Hes putting the whole mission on pause for this.. thing to make a choice."

Nightbird seems to consider this as well, then seems to make up her mind about something. "Then you need not worry." With that startling speed she has, she bolts toward the exit, almost too quick to even see. She leaps up toward the passageway, and her boot catches on the rocks there, as it oddly enough begins to glow. She leaps up again the opposite way, her other boot catching the opposite rock face and sticking, then leaping again and again, making her way up the passage.

Enchantress curses and races after Nightbird, transforming to her Sabrecat mode to go faster.

Enchantress transforms into her Sabrecat mode.

Striker watches this feat, "What the hell, can't we just KILL HER!?"

Enchantress curses, howls, and spits as she races after the vanishing Nightbird, managing to climb up after her.

Bombshell says incredulously, "You're asking me? Why don't you ask his best buddy over there-" he stops as Nightbird's impossibly swift motion catches his attention.

Rumble overhears and sidles up to Ruse. "So, you see it too eh?" she mutters

CatsCradle draws her pistol, but holds her fire, glancing at Megatron first.

Megatron chuckles. "Unbeliving..."

Ruse watchs Nightbird blurr, "Well I would Bomber but..."

CatsCradle transmits to Divefire: “Nightbird just bolted.”

Divefire transmits to CatsCradle: "Which way?"

Enchantress races after Nightbird, using her wings to keep up. She manages to close the gap enough for another pounce...

Striker smirks as he manages to hit the moving blurr.

Tempest now seems too much like...a sulk?..to bother firing...especially when she knows how bad her aim is. Another glance at Megatron confirms for Tempest that she would not be congratulated for a crippling shot.

CatsCradle transmits to Divefire: " up the passageway. Striker winged her. She's moving real fast. Enchantress is going after her"

Megatron says, "I think I shall take care of this."

Rumble says, "This ladybot's nuts!"

Megatron flies out of the base.

Divefire transmits to CatsCradle: "Anyone else find it odd that a clerk is doing that?"

Soundwave moves to follow Megatron.

Striker curses, "Damn, I should've hit her with a bigger blast!"

Enchantress can't keep teh speed up to follow, but she gamely, if ineffectively, tries to keep up.

CatsCradle transmits to Divefire: " apparently not... Megatron has said he will take care of this. Moods are... not good."

Tempest makes a motion forward too. Then stops. "Eh...I can guess where I'm not wanted," She mutters, brooding.

Starscream looks to TEmpest

CatsCradle hesitates with her pistol drawn. Then at Megatron's words, she slowly lowers her pistol.


Western Coastline

     The west coast of this continent is another of the more heavily-populated regions. Human cities run up and down the rocky coast nearly in tandem with a tectonic fault which is visible from space like a scar. Here two continental plates are sliding past each other - sometimes with catastrophic results. The entire region is geologically active, with a volcanic mountain range positioned a short ways inland, around which some of the continent's most unspoiled scenery and parkland remains preserved, despite a heavy influx of tourists. It is in this region where a majority of this planet's entertainment originates, as well as a good bit of its technological advancement.



Starscream sulks as he looks around the room

Rumble enters Soundwave's tape compartment.

Divefire stands around 100 feet from the enterance to the base, arms folded, watching the enterence to the base with his optics narrowed, waiting it would seem.

Megatron lands on the top of the base, were the shafts ends, waiting.

Tempest lurks in the doorway, scowling, her optics dark and arms crossed, still carting one blade around in her hand.

Enchantress follows behind Nightbird, falling further behind with each passing second...

Striker flies out of the entrance hoping to see Nightbird, and see if she's at least wounded from his shot.

Starscream not joining the chase

CatsCradle stops just outside the base, her face wary. She moves to her mate. "I wouldn't do anything," she murmurs, her gaze on the Nightbird-blur. "Not unless Megatron says to. He's rather... mesmorized, I think."

Soundwave comes to a landing near Megatron, though staying back, simply *there* for now, and not joining in the chase either.

Enchantress rises up in the air, preparing to dive bomb and pin, if necessary.

Striker mutters to Cats, "Think Megatron's got a bit of an attraction to our Earth counter-part?"

Megatron takes a seat on a boulder, waiting.

Tempest looks curiously at Striker. "What do you mean?"

Striker looks at Tempest and says calmly, "Oh, nothing Tempest..."

Soundwave looks over to Megatron speculatively. "An unusual situation," he observes.

Tempest tilts her head...mutters a little. She's got the feeling Striker is keeping somethign from her but in her current mood, doesn't do her usual challenging-him bit...instead she looks around for someone else to ask. She consieders CatsCradle, but she's busy with Divefire...casting her optics about, Tempest settles on Ruse and slinks towards the cassette.

Enchantress rises up in the air, and pinpoints Nightbird's location down below. This will take a lot of luck...

Megatron says, "She is neither an Autobot nor someones possession..."

Starscream watches critically

Starscream glances to his leader

Starscream says, "then what is she ...Megatron?"

Megatron says, "A warrior."

Striker watches Tempest slink off and sighs, then gives Megatron an odd-look.

Starscream says, "so you have her practice against us?"

Divefire transforms into his Mk III Trans-Am mode.

Soundwave regards the mountainous landscape around them, showing no trace of Nightbird.

Tempest hears Megatron's words and mutters, "A warrior has to /prove/ herself by trial of fire..."

Divefire idles out in the milde of the mountins, on some nearby road as he keeps a scanner out for the Autobots, red led swishing back and forth as he scans.

Starscream says, "Why not let her practice against the Autobots? OR are you afriad she may get damaged ?"


Megatron thoughtfully murmures to himself. "A warrior with no place to go...

Enchantress starts circling, trying to gain a glimpse of the escaped Nightbird... WHere in the name of Tyranny did she go!?

6/20/01
Western Coastline

     The west coast of this continent is another of the more heavily-populated regions. Human cities run up and down the rocky coast nearly in tandem with a tectonic fault which is visible from space like a scar. Here two continental plates are sliding past each other - sometimes with catastrophic results. The entire region is geologically active, with a volcanic mountain range positioned a short ways inland, around which some of the continent's most unspoiled scenery and parkland remains preserved, despite a heavy influx of tourists. It is in this region where a majority of this planet's entertainment originates, as well as a good bit of its technological advancement.


Nightbird is hurling sharp metal stars called shuriken toward moving targets, obviousl practicing. She hurls several at once as she leaps, rolls, and flips, each one finding its mark.

Divefire banks around the base, in a broad arc, taking stock of the situation bellow before doing a trans-landing in a clasic seeker style.

Divefire transforms into his Robot mode.

Enchantress is busy running maintenance on her wings, spread out to their full thirty foot span, the scales glistening. They are organicalized steel, which is very light, fragile, and nearly impossible to maintain. Just ask Draconia...

CatsCradle flies in a few seconds after Divefire, rolling and transforming in midair, landing lightly on her feet.

Enchantress gets up and curtsies to CatsCradle and Divefire as they arrive. "Salutations milady and milord."

Enchantress retracts her wings so that they're folded on her back.

Nightbird glances over to Divefire as he lands, taking her optics off her last target as it darts around. Yet even without looking she sends a star into the bullseye, and approachs Divefire and Catscradle.

CatsCradle shakes her head in a mixture of amusement and annoyance. "Don't call me milady, Enchantress."

Enchantress says, "Sorry, force of habit. I was raised on showing respect to my superiors, and you are both certainly deserving of it."

Divefire arms fold across his chest in his typical fashion of profesionaly annoyance he keeps up around the rank and file as Nightbird approches himself and Cats. He gives a customery nod in greeting to the side at Enchantress's words, but his attention is on the latest and strangest additon to the Decepticons. "Nightbird." He all but grates out in greeting.

Enchantress sighs and extends her wings to their full length, running a full systems check. She needs to be sure that they're operating at peak efficiency. They can be a problem if the scales start to fall off while one is up in the air... Especially since Enchantress' form lacks antigravs entirely...

Enchantress stretches with her six arms, then starts walking up a cliff, preparing to test them the old fashioned way.

Nightbird pauses for a moment, then bows to Divefire and Catscradle, more in greeting than deferrence. She says to Divefire, "You are knowlegeable of these organic humans are you not?

Enchantress says, "Sithing substandard diagnostic systems..."

Striker flies in after taking most of his stolen energon back to base with Starscream.

Enchantress walks up to the top of the base, then extends her wings fully, and jumps.

Enchantress catches an air draft, and starts to beat her wings, still in robot mode, and she flies, enjoying the thrill of being in the air, doing lazy loops.

CatsCradle automatically gives Nightbird a half-bow in greeting, glancing at Diver as she does so, curious as to Nightbird's reason for her question

Divefire optics glow a slightly darker shade of green as he studies Nightbird in silence for a moment. Still with a guarded tone he nods slightly to Nightbird. "Yes, we both are." He indicates with another gesture of his head towards Cats. "I presume you want some information about them?"


Enchantress enjoys the simple thrill of flying under her own power, without any kind of equipment to do so. Such a thrill, to have complete control, to not have to rely on engines, thrusters, or antigravs... THey really should equip more Decepticons with alt modes like hers...

Striker notices the group of people below and he decends as he transforms and lands softly several meters from the group. "Hello Nightbird, Enchantress, Divefire... Cats."

Nightbird nods once, saying "Soundwave considers human technology primitive, particularly in the field of robotics. Would you agree?"

Nightbird turns toward Striker and gives a half bow in greeting, then returns her attention to Divefire and Catscradle.

Divefire considers Nightbird's words for a moment then gives a half smirk. "Until four days ago, yes, I would have done."

Nightbird turns her optics to CatsCradle, waiting for her to add anything.

Enchantress is lost in the glory of flight.

CatsCradle smiles. "I am not skilled enough in our own technology to make a valid observation on the humans'." She speaks without any apology in her tone. She is skilled in enough other areas that her lack of tech ability never has bothered her

Enchantress finally glides in for a landing, taking care to come to land a far distance from those who are talking, in case the conversation is private.

Striker stands off and listens to the converstion, wondering what started the talk of human techknowledgy in the first place.

Nightbird says, "Have the humans and this 'Fujiyama' in particular produced any technology that would indicate an incremental stage of the development of advanced robotics and cybernetic intellegence?"

Enchantress takes out a portable scanner, and runs it over her wings, frowning when the test results come out with a higher degree of stress fractures than she had anticipated. These things will be the ruin of her...

Divefire optics flash quickly as he looks up slightly to the sky, his focus lost slightly as he searches his data stream for relevent information to Nightbrid's question. "There have been several speradic developments of powerful computers in human culture, including some attempts at voice interfaces, but nothing that could be called real cybernetic intelagence as the Transformers know it. As for the production of robotics, the most advanced I've seen are laser welding robotic arms. Very precises, but incredable simplistic to Transformers, the most recent reports and projections would sugest 15 years before they have taken the first steps to making robots walk." He glances over Nightbrid again, gaging her presence as it were before smirking slightly once more. "I'd take it from these questions that you're wondering how it is you came to be?"

Striker speaks up, "Divefire, isn't it possible Fujiyama had Autobot help in creating Nightbird?"

Nightbird's optics glitter at this suggestion by Striker, doesn't interrupt Divefire's response.

Divefire gives a look to Striker which isn't plesent at first, but then he takes a second to weigh the point up from the normaly dough brained seeker. "It's a posibility Striker. I'm inclind to say no, given that the Autobots are as stealthy in these maters as you are on an attack run. We had no signs or rumors that the Autobots were involved with Fujiyama, however... " He glances over to Nightbird, optics narrowed slightly. "It's not beyond posibility."

CatsCradle's optics glint at her mate's phrasing about Striker and attack runs, but her amusement goes no further than that.

Enchantress stays at a distance, regarding the conversation as private, and not wanting to antagonize any of the Decepticons further than she already has...

Nightbird says, "If I may.. Even granting for a moment that the humans had Autobot help, is it not true that a fully formed, adult personality can not be created by a Cybertronian? An infant personality is created by the programming of its parent, and allowed to mature from there? Soundwave has told me of his creations, as well as the Dinobots. Does it seem likely this Fujiyama could create something even more advanced than Soundwave or this Autobot Wheeljack are capable of?"

Striker is /not/ smiling at Divefire's comments but continues speaking, "Then why... would Prime be the first person to be contacted upon Nightbird's creation?"

It might strike some as odd to hear the normally quiet Nightbird say so much at one time.

Divefire takes both views from diferent camps in and remains silent for a moment, considering. Then he looks up, slightly ammused once more. "Tell me Striker, if you were a human and had in your hands something that could kill you with out hesitation and no way to defend yourself from it, who would you call on to protect you, with out actualy telling him you wanted protecting?" It is of course a rhetorical question as he glances back to Nightbird, obviously thinking more deeply into this problem.

Striker says, "If I was a human and built something that could kill me without hesitation... I wouldn't have created such a weapon in the first place."

Nightbird glances to CatsCradle, perhaps curious about what she thinks of all this.

CatsCradle remains quiet, deferring to her mate (for once...) in this conversation

Enchantress mutters several curses that would get one executed in over a hundred star systems as she goes back over her wings, checking to see why they appear to be deteoriating at a faster rate.

Enchantress mutters to herself, "Great. The material is starting to deteoriate in this planet's atmosphere... Probably somethign to do with the profusion of organic materials and carbon... I'll need to manually remove every single scale, manufacture replacements from Terran materials until I can work up something that will survive in this planet's atmosphere... THere go the next several days..."

Divefire shakes his head slightly and rolls his optics slightly given the obvious lack of understanding by his superior... "Never mind Striker..." He turns his attention fully back to Nightbird and questions her with his optics. "How do you think you came to be?"

Enchantress says, "That means I'm going to be ground bound for a few days at least, unless I can come up with a quick substitute until I can make something more lasting..."

Enchantress says, "Perhaps a fibroedgedpolymer?"

Striker sighs at Divefire as he was making a perfectly reasonable arguement, why would a human spend years researching and developing a 38 foot robot capable of mass destruction on a whim?

Nightbird considers this, seemingly not sure how to put her thoughts into words. Finally she says, "I don't know. I discount the possibility that these humans could have made such a leap in technology, past even the best Decepticon scientists. So all that remains is that I existed before, and somehow came to be in the hands of the organic beings."

Divefire nods slightly after watching Nightbird make her statment. "Despite the wide ranging problems that may lead us to, I'd have to say that would be the most obvious answer to this paticuler riddle." He pauses for a moment, looking over the weapons over Nightbird's body for a moment. "There is something that bothers me however, you fight and handle weapons like some one who has millions of years of training..."

CatsCradle suggests "Found damaged, perhaps? The humans may have been able to repair technology, even if they do not have the means of creating it."

Striker says, "But why then would she have Earth-based weapons..."

CatsCradle shrugs. "I carry a sword. It's not necessarily Earth-based, although there are similar Earth weapons. Perhaps some adaptations were made in the repairing, to something that would seem more familiar to humans. Espeically if Fujiyama was passing of someone else's technology as his own."

Nightbird says, "I had some thoughts about that." She calls out, her oddly echoing voice sounding even more strange at the amplified volume. "Enchantress, would you join us?"

Enchantress looks up from her datapadd where she's been attempting to come up with a formula to recreate her wing scales using Terran based materials. "Yes, milady?"

Enchantress walks on over to the group, her body posture hinting at annoyance, not directed at any of you, but rather at herself.

Nightbird nods to CatsCradle as she gets to the idea first, but proceeds anyway. "You are a historian of Cybertron. The weapons that I possess, are there any similar weapons in form and function in the history of your world?"

Enchantress says, "Yes. The energy sword is quite common among troops, though not as much anymore, due to the greater chance of self inflicted damage if one was untrained in using it. There were several specialized warrior clans that used them as their primary weapon, though most have either died out, or moved on to other, more damaging weapons..."

Nightbird removes the sais from her forearms and holds them up. "And these?"

Enchantress says, "If one looks hard enough, one could find weapons of pretty much anything that the imagination can come up with. War breeds innovation, and we've been at war for a long time..."

Striker says, "Of course there are swords Enchantress... but what about her other weapons? Like the one we saw her weild when we first brought her here?"

Divefire optics flash slightly as the weapons being shown trigger some long, long forgoten memories. But his normal stoic expresion stays on his fettures as he studies the tools being shown.

Enchantress says, "Yes. Those have been used before. Let me think... They were a weapon first used by the Trakano Clan, and became popular for their proficiency at being able to break and disarm longer blades, but they aren't that popular nowadays."

CatsCradle shrugs. "Small throwing weapons, such as her stars, are also common in either society. As for those," she nods at the sais, "they are very similar to fighting with two shortswords. It would be fairly easy, I would think, for Fujiyama to adapt such weapons to something more familiar to his native culture."

Nightbird wordlessly holds up her nunchuks and throwing stars in the same way.

Enchantress says, "Newer blade styles had their weights and strength changed to make the fighting styles that used the "sai" (Cyber equivalent name) rather ineffective, so they were dropped."

Enchantress says, "Ah, the serediark. Quite effective short range weapon, used for purposes of entangling an enemies weapon and disarming, or attempting to seize the enemies weapon for ones own use."

Nightbird stows the weapons away, and holds up two small disks. "I also have weapons humans have not developed, so far as I could find out. Such as these sonic disruptors."

Enchantress says, "Those particular shuriken (cyber equivalent name) were used by some of the warrior clans, but they were never that popular, due to the fact that they were thrown, of small size, and were very ineffective at penetrating armor. If they could hit a vulnerable spot like an optic, then they were of use, but other than that... They were generally used to fire at an opponent to try and distract them, perhaps to cover a withdrawl."

CatsCradle smiles. "Although in Japan, such weapons were historically farm equipment. Farmers were not allowed to carry swords, so they created items that could double as weapons as well."

Enchantress says, "Interesting design... Quite effective. If one can find the right frequencies, one can cause an opposing mech a high degree of pain, and partially disrupt their neural synapses."

Enchantress says, "Though it varied from mech to mech in their effectiveness. The weaker willed the mech, the more effective they were against. Those with a strong enough will could reroute their neural synapses to compensate."

Striker says, "Nightbird, you have no memory of Cybertron, or any other planet?"

Nightbird doesn't answer Striker right away, a far-off look in her optics. She doesn't seem entirely comfortable talking about this.. "Nothing clear. My only clear memories are after I awoke here." She gestures toward the base. "Before that.. There is something there. But I can't recall."

Enchantress says, "Your fighting styles appear to be a mix of various human ones... I think I recognized a few moves from ninjitsu, and shotokahn amongst them, as well as elements of a few Cybertronian styles, though that could be a coincidental development, as many martial arts styles developed similarly over time."

CatsCradle's optics flash at Striker's question, but she glances away before any expression registers in them

Divefire considers something else for a moment as the weapon show and tell continues. "Of course if you needed to try and find some history, one way would be to fight. Every fighter who trains in close combat develops there own unique way of fighting, much like a human has a unique fingerprint, or we have a unique signature code. It's dificult, but not imposible to trace back a lineage."

Nightbird says, "If there are records of any group I may come from."

Divefire mutters slightly. "Or memories.."

Enchantress says, "Your fighting style has elements from several different martial arts, and I recognize Earthern ones, and Cybertronian. I saw elements of Ninjitsu in your fighting technique, and shotokahn."

CatsCradle's optics flash again, adn this time the wince is noticable, despite her slight shift in movement to cover it

Divefire considers something else for a moment as the weapon show and tell continues. "Of course if you needed to try and find some history, one way would be to fight. Every fighter who trains in close combat develops there own unique way of fighting, much like a human has a unique fingerprint, or we have a unique signature code. It's dificult, but not imposible to trace back a lineage."

Striker glances at Cats seeing her wince, "You ok Cats?"

Nightbird also notices CatsCradle's expression, and looks at her curiously, but doesn't say anything.

CatsCradle smiles a bright and almost genuine smile at Striker. "I'm fine."

Enchantress says, "I have detailed historical files on Cybertronian hand to hand combatants, which I could search through for anyone with an equivalent fighting style."

Enchantress says, "I could do it in a few minutes, probably. I have them all memorized."

Divefire adds under his breath again. "And I killed most of them..."

Striker glances Cats over once more, "Good."

Enchantress says, "Milord?"

Divefire shakes his head slightly as his optics flash back to the present. "Nothing."

Enchantress starts searching her memory, running a combat analysis program, comparing her fight with Nigthbird with her memorized combat files of every major hand to hand specialist in Cybertronian history, looking for an equivalency.

Nightbird looks over the group and speaks in a tone that makes it clear what she's about to say is important to her. "I am aware I am not the most highly regarded new recruit to join the ranks. If I am to be judged such on the basis of who I am, I shall accept that. But I would hope I am not to be judged by any association with the organics. Particularly since that connection seems tenuious at best."

Enchantress runs an analysis, but cannot come up with an exact match, due to the reasons that all scholars and analysts have come to hate - insufficient data.

Enchantress says, "I have a few leads that I can look up in further detail, but I'm sorry, I cannot find any exact matches. Perhaps if I could observe you for an extended period while you train to get a better grasp of your fighting style..."

Divefire gives the slightest of nods to Nightbird in response. "As long as those blades are kept busy attacking the Autobots, I don't think any of us will have a problem with that." With that final statment he gives a long, hard, gaze towards Striker.

Megatron slowly comes out the base.

CatsCradle shrugs, a touch of her normal amusement back on her face. "'Sides, not everyone despises the humans... they write good comic books after all."

Striker glances at Divefire, then back to Nightbird, "If you fight the Autobots as well you fought us, you'll do fine."

Nightbird bows her head to Divefire in respect, then glances at CatsCradle somewhat puzzled.

CatsCradle flicks her fingers in a never-mind gesture. "Something he got me hooked on," she says, nodding to Diver.

Megatron stops a bit aside the group, just watching and listening.

Divefire gives an ammused smirk to Cats in a non-verbal resposne. It would seem the group has not yet noticed the presense of their Lord.

Nightbird bows her head to Striker too, accepting that. "It will be an honor to carve an Autobot's outer shell for the first time." She notices Megatron come out of the base and her optics shine.

Enchantress chuckles. "YOu'll do fine milady, you'll do fine. I doubt that Prime himself could stand up to you on an off day."

Striker glances at Megatron and nods a greeting, "Greetings Megatron."

Megatron smirks. "So you are talking about comic books while I am working on plans to defeat the Autobots?" he notices.

Enchantress curtsies to the Emperor, her posture more relaxed now than it was earlier.

CatsCradle gives Megatron a half-bow, then grins. "Well, only in passing..."

Nightbird seems puzzled by the reference.

Striker says, "No Megatron, in fact, just last night Starscream and I stole several energon cubes from an air base. And, the hours before that, I was working on finding tactical advantages against the Autobots as well.""

Megatron grins as he hears Striker and Starscream should have worked together. "Good...." He adresses the next member of his troops. "Enchanntress, you better keep an eye on 'your' spaceship. I want to know early enough if they plan something.

Enchantress curtsies. "Yes, Emperor." This is great news... She does deserve it, but if she doesn't come up with an alternative formula for construcing the scales of her wings, they will soon dissolve in this planet's atmosphere, and since she lacks antigravs, leave her landbound, and rather useless. But she is too new here to put any requests forward for assistance. Somehow, she'll manage. So she'll be spending her time at the sensor station... There could be worse things...

Enchantress sighs as she surreptitiously attempts to hide the datapadd that she was working on to come up with a new formula for her wings, and she slides it into a chest compartment for later.

Megatron unconsciously watches Nightbird for a while as he suddenly realizes that he was just here for a short break. "Better I go back to my work.. " he murmures heading back for the base.

****
6/22/01

Western Coastline

     The west coast of this continent is another of the more heavily-populated regions. Human cities run up and down the rocky coast nearly in tandem with a tectonic fault which is visible from space like a scar. Here two continental plates are sliding past each other - sometimes with catastrophic results. The entire region is geologically active, with a volcanic mountain range positioned a short ways inland, around which some of the continent's most unspoiled scenery and parkland remains preserved, despite a heavy influx of tourists. It is in this region where a majority of this planet's entertainment originates, as well as a good bit of its technological advancement.


Skywarp Thinks a moment.

Tempest's sword raises as she detects more motion but she relaxes when she recognizes Cats. She's sitting on a rock talking to Skywarp and STriker.

Skywarp says, "I think shes cool and all...Maybe she will be good for the Big Boss Con."

Skywarp shrugs

CatsCradle slips out of the shadows, nodding in reassurance to Tempest. She silently curls up in the shade of a large rock nearby

Tempest growls at Skywarp, "What's /that/ supposed to mean?"

Striker frowns, apparently he and Skywarp have different oppinions about the new recruit. "Calm down Tempest, he didn't mean anything by it."

Tempest snaps, "Oh yes he did and I want to get to the bottom of all the stupid whispering behind my back." She pauses, then sheathes her blades, making an obvious gesture that she's not about to rip anyone's throat out, and then looks at Skywarp.

Skywarp Steps back a bit.

Skywarp says, "h..Hey Babes...I didnt mean nothin by it."

Striker covers his optics, "You shouldn't have done that Skywarp..."

Tempest's hoptics narrow again..."Lesson one: I am not your "babes" or anyone else's...."

CatsCradle chokes a little at teh "Babes" comment, and tenses slightly, ready to dive out of the way

Skywarp !!!!

Tempest says, "I'm in a decent mood tonight...you live...but...it would be a good idea for you to tell me what you're talking about Megatron...."

Skywarp says, "Uhm...All I mean was is that ..Megatron seems a bit less...Uhm..Angry...With her around."

Skywarp looks at her swords and swallows

Tempest seems to accept that answer. "Yeah, okay," and turns her back, deciding to elleave Skywarp alone, and sitting instead near CatsCradle.

Skywarp wipes his forhead..*whew*

Tempest mutters to CatsCradle, "Does that make any sense to /you/?" gesturing at Skyewarp.

Striker mutters to Skywarp, "Your lucky she didn't kill you... don't do it again."

Skywarp Looks at Striker.

Skywarp says, "But I didnt mean nothing."

CatsCradle is quiet for a moment, then says, "I have only seen Megatron around Nightbird the day we brought her here, so I really don't have much to judge by. But he seemed to be rather... mesmorized by her."

Striker says, "Just don't... ok?"

Tempest nods slowly. "Why"

Skywarp Rubs the back of his head.

CatsCradle starts to say something, then stops. After a moment, she says, "I don't really know. I didn't see much of them together. I don't know if he was simply fascinated by her as a warrior, by her as a anomoly from human construction, or if he likes her for... for her. I haven't seen enough to tell."

Tempest grumbles, "He seems all thrilled by her fighting skills, but she's yet to put her money where her mouth is.../newcomer," she adds in a tone of scorn.

CatsCradle shrugs. "There will be time for her to prove herself, I'm sure. It's not like things ever stay quiet around here for long."

Skywarp Kinda Nudges Striker and wispers. "I take it Tempest kinda Likes Megstron?"

Tempest mutters, "See, /you're/ all right, Cats...you lived life the hard way, you proved what you were capable of. /Her/ on the other hand..." Tempest says, barely audible, "It ain't fair," and punches at a rock.

Striker frowns at Skywarp and says outloud, "Of course, their friends why shouldn't she, Skywarp?"

Skywarp Looks at Striker, .."I was only askin..Sheesh..Dont havta bite my canopy off.

CatsCradle shrugs again. "We don't know what she's lived. She doesn't even know. And it may not have much to do with her fighting abilities at all."

Tempest says to Catscradle, "I thought Soundwave and Bombshell just brought her online last week?"

Skywarp Walks past Striker to go on his patrol of the area.

CatsCradle nods. "I think there is some debate, though, if the humans could have actually created her. She herself holds such doubt. I would not be surprised if the humans found her and were able to repair her, claiming the technology as their own." She flicks her fingers. "I don't know how accurate that is, but it is my pet theory."

Striker shrugs Skywarp off and takes a seat on the ground.

Tempest frowns. "So she might be older...andjust forgot, like you did."

CatsCradle shifts uncomfortably. "Perhaps. It simply does not make sense that a human was able to jump so many tech levels to create something as sophisticated as her."

Enchantress leaves the base, her repairs still freshly done. Engaging in hand to hand combat with five Autobots is not something that she enjoys doing, especially when one of them is Prime...

A radio transmission is received by Enchantress.

Enchantress looks rather troubled.

Skywarp Walks around the parameter of the base on patrol...Kinda brooding.

Enchantress sighs, and looks to someone she can go to for advice.

Tempest glances up as Enchantress approaches. "What's with you?"

Skywarp Climbs over a few rocks...Brooding over the cold treatment he just got...."Hmph".

Striker eyes Skywarp, as he walks around his patrols.

Enchantress sighs. How to put this into words... "May I discuss this privately then, milady?"

Tempest shrugs. "Sure, whatever." She looks at the base. "That place empty?"

Enchantress says, "Yes. Thank you, milady."



Tempest waves to the others as she enters the base with ENchantress.

CatsCradle watches them leave, rubbing her forehead. "I'm gathering Megatron is more than slightly attracted to Nightbird?" she murmurs to Striker

Striker sighs and mutters to Cats, "It sure looks that way."

CatsCradle nods. "And from Nightbird's expression the other night, I'd say it goes both ways."

Striker nods.

CatsCradle is quiet for a moment, then asks quietly, "Has Ruse returned?"

Tempest comes wandering back out of the base, hands clasped hhehind her back, deep in thought.

Enchantress walks out, her arms (all six of them) crossed across her chest.

Striker looks at Cats, "I'm not sure if she's back yet," then he looks over at Tempest and Enchantress, "Something wrong?"

Tempest says quietly, a faint smile playing about her lips, "Oh, no...nothing's wrong at all." Could she be acting a tad /too/ nice?"

Enchantress remembers well Striker's antagonism with Starscream, and decides to remain silent. "Thank you, milord, but the situation has been dealt with."

Tempest disappears into the portal of the Temporary Base.

CatsCradle glances up at Tempest's tone, studying her expression for a moment, before the seeker goes back into the base again.

Striker frowns, "Well, at least she didn't threaten to kill me for asking. Must not've been too bad."

CatsCradle looks at Striker. "I just don't think I want to know," she says brightly.

CatsCradle adds. "Probably safer that way."

Striker looks at Cats, pauses a few seconds then nods.

Enchantress sits down on a rock, still not completely repaired from her earlier scuffle, and removes some of her hastily rewelded armor and starts working on her internal wiring again off to the side of things, while others of her arms work out a process of manufacturing replacement scales for her wings.

Skywarp Heads back after his Patrol of the area.

Striker looks up and turns his optics back to the door which Tempest left.

Enchantress sighs as four of her arms continue their work on repairing her internal damage.

Tempest wanders back out again, looking much less like the timid, paranoid prey that the Decepticons were used to seeing, and more like a dominant predator...a creature that is confident in its power, with a merciless light in its eyes.

Enchantress has removed portoins of her outer armor, and stands away from the group, workign at repairing her internal wiring systems.

Striker looks at Tempest, "What happened to you?"

Skywarp Walks up next to Enchantress and sees her damage...."Got a bit banged up did ya?"

Tempest saunters up to Striker...looking at him with still a trace of that nasty smile, "Hm?"

Striker looks up at Tempest, "Well, you went into the base and when you came out you look like your ready to take on the entire bot army..."

Tempest says, "Oh, let's just say I'm finally feeling a bit of my old self."

Enchantress looks with concern at her comrade. This is a side of her that appears to be quite different...

Skywarp Walks up next to Enchantress and sees her damage...."Got a bit banged up did ya?" repose hehe in case you missed it

Tempest stretches out on her back and suns herself, looking quite happy...

Enchantress says, "Yes. Melee combat with five AUtobots, includign Prime, is not very beneficial to ones health."

Starscream emerges from the portal of the Temporary Base.

Enchantress is out to the side, working on repairing her still extensive internal damage.

Striker glances at Tempest, "Glad your feeling good."

Tempest gets up a little, looks at Starscream, and lies back down on her back, for all the world looking like a human on vacation to the beach.

Starscream glances to her

Skywarp Rubs the back of his head. Uhm...Need any help. I mean im not a Repar Mech or nothin..But I am good at some field repairs

Starscream then looks around at those outside.

Starscreams optics narrow slightly and then he transforms

Enchantress says, "Thanks for your offer, milord, but I can handle them myself. I can do the work of three mechs with as many arms."

Starscream transforms into his Red-and-Silver F-15 mode.

Starscream takes off

Skywarp says, "Oh...Ok. Uhm...Well if ya do need help just ask..Ok?"

Enchantress smiles a very wide grin at Skywarp. "Thank you, milord."

Skywarp Smiles back

Skywarp says, "Hey No prob Bab....er..I mean Enchantress."

Starscream goes through some paces as he continues to think about what Tempest said.

CatsCradle laughs softly. "You're learning, Skywarp."

Enchantress grins at Skywarp, and looks at CatsCradle in confusion, then goes back to her repairs.

Striker glares at Skywarp with an odd grin, "Yes, maybe he won't make the same mistake... twice."

Skywarp Looks at Striker.

Tempest watches Starscream fly around, looking rather lazy and mellow...but still the optics dart around alertly, suggesting you still couldn't catch her by surprise.

Starscream goes vertical and lites the pipes

Skywarp says, "Heh...Hey far beit for me to muscle in on another Mechs territory, Strikes."

Striker says, "What?"

Starscream vanishes from sight soon and not long after that the sound of his engines fade away.

Skywarp says, "Aww Cmon, I saw the way you were lookin at her when I said that. No hard feelins huh? Im not goin after Tempest if thats what yer scared of."

Enchantress doesn't pay attention to the conversations, as she does not yet feel like joining them. Perhaps later, when she has made her mark.

Striker snarls a warning to Skywarp that practically screams /quiet!/

CatsCradle rests her head in her hands briefly.

Enchantress says, "Gentlemen, may I suggest that you break it up?"

Tempest actually doesn't hear this conversation...she's a fair ways away, watchign Starscream fly in circles.

Skywarp Gives a small smile at her

Skywarp Looks back at striker kinda Smug cus he figured it out.

Tempest stirs when Starscream disappears from sight, rollling over on her side. "Say...anyone seen Megatron lately?"

Skywarp Looks at Tempest and starts to get nervious again.

Skywarp says, "uhm...No."

Starscream reaches roughly 92,000 feet and coats up even higher, the chill of the thin atmosphere helping him think it seems.

Striker looks at Tempest, "No, sorry."

Striker has partially disconnected.

Starscream slowly realizes what she was hinting at.

Tempest peers curiously back into the base...then shrugs, seemingly unconcerned, as if nothing could ruin her mood. On one hand it's nice to see the yellow Seeker so obviously contented, on the other hand, there's something rather cold about her...as always...

Starscream cuts his moters and falls back inverted.

Striker doesn't bother to tell her and he saw Nightbird and Megatron leave into megatron's office earlier.

CatsCradle reaches out and nudges Tempest with her toe. "Antagonizing the Second in Command?" she murmurs

Tempest shrugs and says lazily, "Why would I do that?"

CatsCradle sighs, but not without amusement. "That's what I thought..."

Skywarp Looks up and sees Starscream vapor trail...Someone else he can tease. Hehe

Tempest's optics narrow just a shade, but the humour within her voice remains as she says, "Now what's that supposed to mean?"

Starscream keeps an optic on the altimetor guage as hes totally free-falling on his 'back' at this point.

Striker glances over to Skywarp to make sure he doesn't make anymore comments.

Starscreams busy thinking a counter plan/ and explanation/ somthing to get himself out of this if what he thinks may have happened, happened

Starscreams automatic warning system goes off as hes dropping almost too low in altitude

Skywarp Glances at Striker....with a smirk.

Starscream looks to the guage and waits for the right set of numbers

CatsCradle tucks her foot back underneath her. "Oh, absolutely nothing, Temp..."

Tempest rears up on one elbow and looks at Cats. "You know I hate that, Cats?" she says, almost conversationally. "Bots are always saying that to me and...*optics narrow* it's /never/ nothing."

Tempest glances up and sees Starscream freefalling right towards her. "Look out, he's nuts!" she barks and rolls violently sideways to get clear of the impact zone

Starscream sees the guage hit the right number and suddenly ignites his engines full military power as he rolls over and blows the sound barrier.

Skywarp Turns and looks up!!!!

Striker looks at Starscream as he's freefalling and tells Tempest, "He'll pull out of it. I've done that trick many times."

Tempest snorts, looking up at Starscream. "Kids," she mutters.

Starscream then pulls up hard right over the lot of them and climbs again spinning.

Starscreams being a jerk

Skywarp Ducks!

Starscream flies for a bit longer then head back to the base. Slowing up he TFs and lands near the base entrance.

Starscream transforms into his Robot mode.

CatsCradle just shakes her head at Starscream's antics. "Showoff," she murmurs.

Skywarp Dusts himself off.

Striker looks over at Starscream, "Next time ya wanna pull that trick, don't bother pulling out of it Screamer."

Starscream glares at Striker, "you would like that wouldnt you?

Skywarp Looks at Starscream folding his arms agreeing with Striker.

Striker gives him a sly grin showing he's just joking.

Starscream smirks lightly

Skywarp Shakes his head.

Starscream then turns back to walk back into the base with just a hint of apprehension.

Tempest transforms into her CF-18 Hornet Jet mode.

Tempest takes off, streaking into the sky...lost in her own glory...a happiness, to be sure, but a solitary one.

Striker turns his attention from Starscream and Skywarp to watch Tempest transform and fly off.

Skywarp Looks at Striker.

Starscream walks into the base and to his station in the temp bases command center.

Striker turns to glare at Skywarp once the yellow seeker is out of sight, "What're you looking at Skywarp?"

Skywarp Tilts his head.

Skywarp ..Why dont you tell her.

Skywarp says, "..Why dont you tell her."

Starscream disappears into the portal of the Temporary Base.

Striker looks at Skywarp for a second, shakes his head and walks over to lay down, resting his head on a small rock(compared to TF's). "Why should I do that Skywarp?"

Skywarp Walks over to him.

Skywarp says, "Cus you like her."

Striker shrugs from his laying position, "So, not like it'd do much good."

Skywarp Sits next to him

Skywarp says, "hey its worth a try."

Striker turns around and glares at him, "I tried it before Skywarp, didn't work."

Skywarp Smirks..."Maybe some of the best things in life take a few tries.

Skywarp Leans back againsed a rock.

Striker sighs, turns over on his back, and looks at the sky.

Skywarp says, "I mean think about it....Maybe she wants you to keep tryin..Ya never know Strikes."

Striker rolls his optics and mutters under his breath, "...yeah right..."

Skywarp Shrugs. "I mean..*ahem*....She doesnt seem the type that warms up easy. ..

Striker looks up at Skywarp and says sarcastically, "Ya think?"

Skywarp Looks at him and stands.

Skywarp says, "Hey Bud ..Im only trying ot help. I know what its like to lose something good. Maybe you should think about why she Likes Megs so much...He at least doesnt give up so easy..."

Skywarp Turns and heads back inside.

Striker says, "Thanks Skywarp..."

Skywarp Looks back at him a bit shocked..

Skywarp says, "uhm...Dont mention it."

Skywarp Smiles a bit.

Skywarp Turns back and teleports to the Bases entrance.

Striker nods slowly, thinking about what Skywarp just said.

Striker exhales deeply, /was/ what Skywarp said true?

6/23/01


Temporary Base

     The interior seems a pared-down version of the undersea base, bearing the same color scheme of cool purple metal. With space at a premium, the command center with its computer equipment and viewscreens shares a central room with an engineering and repair bay. A few living quarters have been carved more deeply into the mountainside, to provide at least some comfort for those assigned here. The stalactites that still hang from the ceiling are testament to the somewhat hasty construction of this base - or perhaps, to the Constructicons' unique sense of aesthetics.


Striker is standing right inside the entrance and glares at Starscream as the air commander enters.

CatsCradle slips in and silently stands near the entrance, leaning against the wall.

Nightbird's attention is distracted from Bombshell as Starscream enters. She keeps a close watch on him.

Bombshell barely acknowledges Starscream. He finds a place for himself and watches Nightbird's reactions intensively.

Megatron grins as Starscream enters. He plans to pretend nothing to know about the Aircommanders plans.

Starscream ignores him but notices Nightbird. Sneering slightly he heads to his console.

Tempest also watches Starscream enter...catches Megatron's grin, flickers over to Nightbird...and continues her carving, absorbed in her work, or so it would seem.

Starscream glances to Megatron and remembers what tempest said to him before.

Starscream glances to tempest for a moment.

Tempest pretends to be too busy to notice Starscream.

Ravage feels safe in Tempests lap.. Knowing she is the only one in here who could spot a bad situation starting remotely close to when he would.. so he relaxes.. watching the carving finding it... interesting.

Soundwave watches all these silent exchanges without comment.

Nightbird does glance over at Tempest from time to time, perhaps wondering why she's sitting in the middle of the base carving and not off in her quarters.

Megatron says, "It's about time you come Starscream. You are about to witness the use Nightbird will have for our ranks: she will steal the World Energy Chip for us - without help."

Starscream says, "Well ..Megatron, are we ever going to continue with the mission of retrieving that energy chip or has it just become one of your passing ideas?"

Megatron says, "I think I just mentioned what the plan is."

Tempest lays down her scalpel and strokes Ravage's ears as she turns the carving, deciding what part to work on next. The upper arm, perhaps...

Nightbird seems to stand a bit straighter as Megatron reveals the mission she'll undertake. She doesn't appear frightened or nervous, but her masked features don't reveal much.

Starscream says, " She'll burn out quick enough after this so what’s the point? The way you had Bombshell over-torque her circuits be lucky she will even get this done"

Bombshell speaks up, "You want to send an untested - erm, warrior, into the Autobot base *alone*?"

Tempest speaks at last and says softly to Bombshell, "Why not?"'

Bombshell snaps at Starscream, "And who asked you?"

Ravage thinks it be a tested warrior after.

Nightbird glances from Starscream to Bombshell, seemingly expecting objections and doubts.

Megatron nods. "Exactly that is the plan.

Striker narrows his optics, "That's what it's for insect, test her abilities, see if she's really worthy of being Megatron's... favorite."

Starscream looks to Bombshell, "I wasn’t aware I needed your permission to speak, Insecticon

Bombshell suddenly becomes defensive of Nightbird, perhaps only in order to disagree with Starscream. "Don't question my abilities - she'll do just fine!"

CatsCradle glances around, watching all the hostility between team-members, at an all-time high level. She remains silent, outside of the discussion and flying comments

Starscream says, "we shall see"

Tempest's optics rest on Striker, at first questioningly...then the lip curls... She gets ahold of herself, looks back at Megatron and seems to take some reassurance, then goes back to work.

Megatron nods to Nightbird. "You have the permission to go." He resists the urge just to walk over to her and hold her for a while. "Show us what you can."

Starscream notices Tempests fleeting expressions and follows her gaze to Megatron then he looks to Nightbird and a slow smirk forms on his lips.

Bombshell watches Nightbird. "This should be interesting."

Soundwave in turn watches Megatron and Nightbird both.

Nightbird bows at the waist to Megatron in the formal manner and takes her leave. She doesn't even acknowledge Starscream as she departs the base.

Starscream could care less if the android sees him or not

Striker glances at Tempest and doesn't let her bother him, "You've got nothing to worry about Tempest, you'll always be his friend, Megatron said so," he says before looking away.

Soundwave steps over to the computer system and activates the main screen. "We will view her actions through the optic interface, Bombshell," he says to the nearby Insecticon, "and track her by means of our satellites."

Tempest nods a little and says with a note of satisfaction, "I thought so," to Striker, and continues work.

Starscream thinks a game of Tetris would be better right now


Bombshell stands near Soundwave and watches the screen expectantly. It's as though he's decided he wants the ninja to succeed after all. "Let's see what she can do," he murmurs to himself.

Striker glances back at Tempest as she speaks, the looks at her carving before turning his head to look at Megatron.

Starscream gets up and eases toward Tempest

Tempest senses someone nearing her and looks up at Starscream. interest, curiosity...and the sense she'll bite if you get /too/ close.

Soundwave tunes a few more dials, and a recognizable image comes up on screen.

Ravage starts to Eye Starscream cuz he is getting close and this is Ravage's lap for now.

Tempest glances down and abruptly kicks Ravage off. "That's enough Ravage...go ask Soundwave for a cuddle."

Starscream’s annoyed the cats there

Megatron turns his attention to the screen. He is very sure, Nightbird will show them what she's made off.

Starscream smiles

Striker watches Starscream for a second.

Tempest also sets down her little carving of Megatron. She looks around, waiting to make sure everyone else is otherwise occupied.

Soundwave steps away from the screen to give everyone a good view.

Starscream gives striker a disinterested look and looks back to tempest

Bombshell remains right there in front of the screen, being short enough that most everyone else can look over his head easily.

As the optic interface activates, the viewscreen flickers to life showing a long shot of the Autobot base. The camera pans over to show Nightbird on the outskirts, ready to proceed with her mission. She looks at the camera, then points to her optics. The screen goes blank for a moment, then reappears. The Autobot base is seen shaking somewhat and it's instantly clear this is a direct video feed from Nightbird's own optics. She rapidly approaches the base.

CatsCradle remains silent in the back of the room

Starscream says, "perhaps we have similar ideas eh Tempest?" :he whispers that questly"

Ravage of course lands on all fours like any non drunk cat would do... he looks up at Tempest a little upset but that’s ok.. he just sits down where he landed.

Ravage 's ears pivot towards Starscream’s whispers.

Starscream says, "go away"

Starscream looks at Ravage

Nightbird arrives at the entrance to Autobot Headquarters. The sensor net doesn't detect her presence, as expected. The front security camera however is not so easily bypassed. She ducks behind a rock outcropping, considering. It might be possible to run past the camera as it rotates, but there's a better way to handle it. She launches a grappling hook from the base of her three-pronged weapon called a sai that's attached to her wrist. She climbs the cable up to the top, where the elevator shaft leads to the corridors of the base. Nightbird gets on top of the elevator as it proceeds down with an Autobot and a flesh creature inside.

Megatron folds his arms in front of his chest, watching.

Soundwave watches the action on screen calmly, but of course he can hear everything in the room, much as Ravage can.

Tempest replies, also quietly, "I'm not supporting your bid for leadership if that's what you're thinking."

Bombshell says, "Exterior sensors missed her completely."

Starscream continues his soft tone.  “At this point I’m not so much interested in leadership as I am in eradicating the likes of a certain earth machine in our midst

In the elevator, Spike says "I don't understand it Prowl. Why would the Decepticons steal the ninja robot? They already have a formidable fighting force." Prowl responds, "I don't understand anything the Decepticons do." Spike says, "Yeah, it's over my head too. But if we're gonna to find her for Dr. Fujiyama, we have to get a fix on what the Decepticons have done with her." Prowl answers, "Well, we can't expect her to come to us. We'll have to find her."

Bombshell's voice holds a note of triumph and he shoots a look at Starscream.

Ravage gives Starscream a look that says it all... (As if!) then yawns boredly.... looking at the screen.. his ears miraculously stay pivoted though towards Tempest and Starscream.

Megatron narrows his optics. Starscream shouldn't be so certain, Nightbird was an Earth machine...

After leaving the elevator, Nightbird makes her way cautiously down the corridors of Autobot Headquarters, avoiding the enemy. She's nearly to their command center now. She stops as she encounters some kind of new security measure. Glowing panels presumably used for detection cover the floor. She looks at them carefully, considering her options.

Tempest murmurs back, "I'm sure Soundwave is not in the least surprised to hear that," with a glance towards Ravage. "Same old, same old..." But for a brief second her optics flicker towards the door as if to say, "We discuss this in private"....an unvoiced message.

Starscream catches the flicker and looks back to the screen and to Nightbird’s view on the monitor

Nightbird seems to make up her mind and goes over to the wall. Her boots emit a glow and a low hum, and she climbs up the smooth metal wall. She attaches her feet to the ceiling and simply walks across it, avoid the panels. If they're set up to detect objects above them, such as a flying Decepticon, her natural invisibility to sensors shields her.

Starscream then walks out quietly

Megatron murmurs: "Unbelievingly.

Soundwave leans a little closer to the screen as he notices the panels. "Something new at the Autobot base since Laserbeak's last reconnaissance," he notes.

Ravage heaves a mental sigh... and guesses he can't watch the Ninja action flick.... business calls...

Tempest lingers for a little while...pretending mild interest in the action on the screen. OH, she's got nice Stealth moves, true, but when the Autobots open up a can of fire-fight....

Passing the Bot repair bay where most of them are gathered, Nightbird at last reaches her destination - the command center. Working quickly, she opens the access panel for Teletran-1 and rips out the world energy chip she came for. This causes the lights to go out, but Nightbird is unconcerned. She looks at the chip for a moment, waiting for her night vision to adjust, then places it in her backpack and hurries out. The whole operation takes less than five seconds.

Starscream leaves the Temporary Base.

Ravage idly gets up and slips into the shadows under a table... probably going off to hide near Soundwave.

Bombshell grins under his mask. "She's got it."

Tempest feigns misplacing something, just in case anyone is watching, and leaves several minutes after Starscream does.

Megatron says, "Now phase two is about to start..."

As she moves down the corridor, Nightbird almost bumps into an Autobot, the blue and white one called Mirage. He shines a light in her eyes and reacts with surprise saying, "Hey, why you're.." He doesn't get out any more than that as Nightbird punches him in the face, causing the light to go out. She follows it with a swift kick, then a chop to what she hopes is a vulnerable spot. The Bot is dazed but not down, so she grasps him, perhaps meaning to throw him or even break his neck. She doesn't get the chance however as Mirage manages to hit an alarm button. The other Bots who were so close come immediately, and she elects to retreat with the chip.

Striker watches the trio leave the base, "They'd better not get into any trouble," he says with concern.

Unfortunately the door to the engine room is the only way out, and it's sealed beyond her ability to open quickly. She's now in a dead end, her only way out through Optimus Prime and his group of Autobots. Prime shouts, "Whoever you are, stop!". A light is shined in her direction and Cliffjumper says with astonishment, "It's the ninja." Nightbird's hands retract and twin whirling buzzsaws take their place.

CatsCradle also watches them leave, since she was standing right next to the door. She frowns briefly, then shrugs.

Megatron glances after the trio. Starscream better is careful what he plans...

Megatron turns his attention back to the screen again.

Prime says to the others, "Don't hurt her." to which Jazz adds "And definitely don't shake hands." She hurls the blades at the Autobots, seeking to distract them. She stands still as they approach, Jazz saying "I think we got her now." The view from her optics begins to spin, and it can only mean that Nightbird herself is spinning in place. There's a blinding flash, and the picture vanishes for several seconds. When it stabilizes again, Nightbird is alone running down a corridor, with no sign of the Autobots. She's able to make her way out of the base unchallenged.

Striker watches the exit for just a moment long, then turns back to the monitor.

Megatron chuckles. "So far for their first attempt to get her."

Soundwave doesn't seem to notice at all that Tempest and Starscream have left - and the knowledge that it's almost impossible for him to miss such a thing and he doesn't react, indicates that perhaps he's perfectly aware of what's going on.

Striker glares at Megatron, maybe he /wants/ Nightbird to be captured.

As she exits the base, Nightbird gestures for the tiny robot camera to follow her. Now the view switches from the direct feed from her optics to the view of the hovering camera. She makes her way back toward the Decepticon base, covering a lot of ground. The Bots finally catch up to her however, and they all converge on her location at the top of a bluff. She sees Prime ready his rifle and her optics narrow slightly. She turns just as he fires, catching the stun blast on her backpack. As the Bots climb up, Prime remarks, "Now we can take her back to Dr. Fujiyama where she belongs."

Starscream eases back into the command room and slightly behind Megatron

Bombshell frowns under his mask.

Striker almost grins as Nightbird's hit.

Megatron sets his jaw plates. No, this can't be over yet.

Starscream smiles quite amused

Nightbird lies motionless as the Autobots climb up the cliff. One approaches her and she springs up, catching the Autobot known as Bluestreak off guard. She punches him in the face, a much harder blow than she gave the one called Mirage, and Bluestreak crumples to the ground. Prime is taken aback and remarks "She was playing robotopossum!"

Starscream says, "yea she’s not that hot"

Striker frowns and curses.

Megatron laughs.

CatsCradle smiles slightly. "I thought that shot was a little too easy." She nods. "She's going to do as much damage as she can on the way out."

Rumble wanders in and begins watching the screen curiously.

Starscream just watches

Prime and the other Bots approach, and Nightbird hurls her sharp metal throwing stars at them. They don't do any damage with the Autobot's armor integrity fields still at full power, but they hurt. Cliffjumper raises his gun and says, "That's it! I'm going to cool her collators once and for all." Prime restrains him, saying "No, we promised not to harm her." Nightbird activates her energy sword, closing with Prime. He says, "Nightbird, we've come to help. Don't force us to fight you." She tells the Autobot just what she thinks of that by moving in and slashing down on his wrist, causing him to drop his gun. She follows with a hard blow to the face with the butt of her sword, and Prime falls. He sees the other Bots raising their weapons to fire, but he says with some effort, "No, don't damage her."

Bombshell remarks, "An interesting contradiction. 'Don't damage her'?"

Megatron says, "Prime is an idiot."

Rumble says to Bombshell, "Autobots are so s stupid..."

Starscream folds his arms

Megatron murmurs to himself: "He did not even realize that Fujiyama tricked him.

Bombshell nods fractionally to Rumble, only now realizing he's there, but his attention is mostly riveted on the screen.

Striker looks at Rumble, "For once, you've actually got a good point."

CatsCradle tilts her head, thinking. "Of course, if she lets herself be captured, as easily as she can slip away and elude capture... it would be a great chance for an assassination attempt..." she grins, "...since they aren't supposed to hurt her.."

Rumble Grins up at Striker. "Really?" He seems all pleased with himself...until that "for once" sinks in. "Hey, waitta minute!"

Nightbird moves in with her sword, and one of the Bots shoots it as she raises it up. The sword flies from her hand, landing on the ground. Nightbird hesitates for a fraction of a second, then grabs Prime's dropped rifle, and runs at top speed. As she runs, she looks to the little robotic camera and actually winks. She clearly isn't worried about encountering the Bots. She dives off the cliff, and disappears from view. The camera records the Autobots picking up their leader as they stand around looking confused. Jazz remarks, "With all the weapons she has, why would she steal your laser rifle?" Prime answers, "It's said that the ninja always takes part of an enemy with her. Thank goodness it was only my weapon." Cliffjumper hands Prime the laser sword and says, "And she left her sword behind. But why is she attacking us in the first place?" Prime answers, "I suspect Megatron could answer that question."

Starscream says, "perhaps she will allow herself to be caught for...other reasons"

Megatron says, "So, poor Optimus Prime has lost his laser rifle to little Nightbird..."

Rumble gruffaws at Prime. "Gee, ya think?"

Starscream chuckles, "he knows you well...leader

Soundwave says, "It would seem counterproductive for her to allow herself to be caught, Starscream. Would you wish to be enslaved by the inhabitants of this world?"

CatsCradle shrugs. "I'm betting she wouldn't stay captured or enslaved for very long."

Megatron laughs. "He will lose much more before we're finished.

Starscream Looks to Soundwave but does not answer

Striker says to Cats, "Yea, too bad."

CatsCradle shrugs again, not looking at Striker.

Bombshell chuckles to himself. "Not as bad as you thought, eh, Screamer?"

Starscream scoffs, "If she returns you mean. She’s not so hot.

Megatron glances at Starscream. "She's hot enough to replace you whenever I chose.

Starscream instantly becomes enrage, " REPLACE ME?!!! NEVER!!!

Starscream sucker punches Megaton in the chest

Striker says to Screamer, "At least replace you with someone better than her..."

Starscream can not believe Megatron said THAT

CatsCradle automatically steps back... although already leaning against the wall, there isn't far for her to move. For a second, she looks like she is seriously debating just ducking out of the base

Starscream spins to striker

Rumble looks excited at the prospect of afight!

Soundwave tenses a little, watching the interchange. He knew this was coming, of course, but he's still on guard.

Striker glares at Starscream and grins, "What Starscream? Almighty air commander?"

Megatron taken aback fell to the floor. "Soundwave, Striker, grab him!

Striker grins as he finally gets an opportunity and lunges at Starscream.

Starscream attempts to dodge striker but does see Soundwave

Soundwave moves forward quickly at Megatron's command.

Megatron says, "Bombshell, activate the cage!"

On the screen, Nightbird is making her way among the rocks, the Autobots nowhere to be seen.

Bombshell tears his attention away from the screen and looks back at the altercation almost with annoyance. He reaches up and hits a button on the computer console, activating a glowing energy net that springs up from nothingness and surrounds Starscream in a flickering dome.

Starscream struggling with striker and Soundwave.

Striker growls viciously at Starscream. "That dome will save your life air commander."

Soundwave lets go of Starscream just at the instant that the cage springs up.

Starscream sees the edges of this energy cage pen him in and panics, "YOU CANT KEEP ME IN HERE MEGATRON!!!"

Bombshell turns back tot he screen, watching.

Starscream’s voice is edgy and jittery

Starscream screams

Megatron says, "I don't see why not. That little cage was something I planned for the Autobots, but I like you to have it as a... farewell gift."

Starscream closes his optics and tries not to think about how close the boundaries of this 'cage' is to him

Megatron activates the screen again. "Now what die I miss.?

Soundwave's expression is unreadable, though he is surely aware of how creatures of the sky react to confinement. At this time, it doesn't seem to faze him. He turns away from Starscream and seems to forget about his existence as he returns his attention to Nightbird's actions on the screen.

Nightbird makes her way along a crevasse, Prime's rifle attached to her backpack. In short order, the Autobots manage to catch up to her again, and Nightbird turns as they transform. She appears annoyed to see Prime holding her sword, and she points to him. Her body begins to glow purple, and some sort of force field travels from her hand to the sword Prime holds. He struggles to hold onto it and says, "It's your sword. Come and get it." Nightbird's force beam prevails and the sword is ripped from Prime's hands. He says, "Not one of my better ideas." Prime charges her, and Nightbird calmly ignites her sword, waiting for him to get close. She swings the sword around rapidly, the blade missing Prime by inches. Finally she moves in, feinting to one side with the blade and catching Prime squarely in the face plate with the butt of her sword, an almost comic replay of last time. Prime sprawls to the ground again, and Nightbird stands over him twirling her sword, taunting him. Finally she gets bored with it and leaps up a nearby cliff. She turns to give one last taunting look to Prime and leaves.

Starscream is miserable and only wants out of that cage

Rumble whistles. "Say...she /is/ good!"

Bombshell corrects, "She's *magnificent*! We should have looked into Doctor Fujiyama's toy chest sooner!"

Striker glares at Rumble, "Good nothing, only thing she's good at so far is running."

Megatron watches with interest. If someone is worth to be at his side...

With the Bots following her, Nightbird reaches a sheer cliff face, too high for her to jump. She hears them coming closer, so she climbs up the cliff using her glowing boots that seem to adhere to almost anything. She's almost to the top in seconds, but then a rock comes loose in her hand sending her tumbling to the ground below. She lands quite hard, Prime's rifle jarring loose from her backpack. She gets up just a bit slowly and faces the assembled Autobots. She ignites her sword and seems cautious and ready.

Megatron says, "Terrific! She is everything I ever wanted."

Striker snaps at Megatron, "Everything you ever wanted?! Oh please..."

Soundwave tilts his head a bit, taking in the words, and more than that, the tone of the words.

Cliffjumper and Bluestreak seem to have had enough. Cliffjumper says, "No more Mr. nice guy. The She-bot's bought it." They both draw their weapons intending to fire, but Nightbird disarms them with throwing stars. Prime says "I swore not to damage you Nightbird. But you're leaving me no option." Prime's gun seems to float upwards on its own and Mirage's voice calls out "Prime, your rifle!". Prime catches the gun, aims, and says, "I truly regret this." He fires at full strength several times, and manages to hit her. Nightbird goes down hard and Prime says, "At least we now know you're not invulnerable." Nightbird gets up with some difficulty, and her optics blaze now with anger. She hurls throwing stars at the Bots, making them shield their optics and knocking weapons loose. Several of the Bots try shooting her, but she dodges the laser bolts. Bluestreak launches a missile at her, but she easily catches it in mid-flight. Cliffjumper tries to shoot her with his glass gas, but she leaps over the cloud and throws the missile at him, jamming the nozzle.

Starscream’s dust panels open on his air-intakes as he gasps for air and sinks to his knees. All he can feel is the edges of the cage and is near paralyzed at the closeness of the cage

Megatron laughs enthusiastically. "Magnificent!"

Starscream’s optics stay clamped shut but all his thoughts at this point are on getting out of that cage

Jazz transforms and tries to stun her with his sonics. Nightbird appears to be in genuine pain from the assault, but takes two devices from the side of her legs and hurls them at Jazz's projectors, blocking the sonic attack.

As Nightbird still tries to recover from the sonics, the Bots finally seem to get organized enough to come up with a decent plan, and they quickly encircle Nightbird while Trailbreaker tries to keep her in one spot with his force field. Then the Bots send out an energy beam of some kind that all combine around her waist, holding her in place.

Megatron notes: “Impressive, I didn't know the Autobots could create an electro mass prison that powerful..." Suddenly he realizes that this time, Nightbird is not able to free herself. "No! They finally got her!" He turns to the present. "We must rescue her /and/ retrieve the World Energy Chip at once" He deactivates the screen.

Striker snickers, "Your little femme got herself captured Megatron."

Bombshell hisses, "Not for long!" and glares venomously at Striker.

Megatron ignores Striker's comment turning the attention to the chip. "It will give us total control of this planets energy supply. We must not fail! Decepticons prepare for battle."

CatsCradle glances at Striker. "Could you have done better against so many?" she asks, her tone gentle and without condemnation.

Starscream’s not totally aware of the conversation. He is too busy trying to control his phobia and it not doing very well with it.

Megatron knows too well that he is responsible for the Decepticons. But when he can save Nightbird at the same time...

Megatron says, "To the air!""

Starscream hears that word and the confines of his cage seem to slam into him.

Soundwave goes after Megatron.

Striker looks at Cats, "Yes... I could."

***

Desert

        The area around the volcano Mt. St. Hilary is barren and lifeless, in stark contrast to the beauty of most of the forested area nearby. Dull brown cliffs and hills of rock are interrupted only by valleys and canyons, making the whole area something of a maze of rock.

Striker looks at Cats, "If I were in that situation, I could've transformed and fought from the air... simple as that."

CatsCradle nods thoughtfully. "And managed to get into and out of the Autobot base as well?" She shakes her head. "Everyone has their own area of expertise, Striker. You are not exactly the stealthiest member of our team. You are, however, better at heavier combat."

Striker says, "Stealth? No, I'm not that good at /stealth/ during the daytime... but at night, I'm damned hard to see."

Nightbird is trapped in the Autobot's electromesh prison, doing her best to reach her energy sword.

Bombshell is in beetle mode, flying alongside the others and diving down toward the Autobots.

As she struggles, the world energy chip comes loose from her backpack, tumbling to the ground. Cliffjumper spots it and moves to pick it up.

Megatron shoots Cliffjumper. "Keep your hands off my property, Autoclod!

Bombshell shifts direction quickly and swoops down on the chip, snapping it up in his proboscis. "You won't be needing this!"

Bombshell angles upward, dodging a hail of laser fire.

Rumble transforms into his Robot mode.

Optimus Prime looks up and sees the Decepticon leader. "Megatron, I knew it. Take em Autobots!"

Megatron forward to attack, gesturing his troops to follow him.

The assembled Bots rush forward firing their weapons.

Rumble pulls down his laser and begins firing down at the Autobots!

Soundwave has his weapon out and fires at the Autobots.

Striker mutters, "Oh great, a battle and our precious air commander can't join us /sigh/." He darts down and begins firing at the Autobots.

CatsCradle pops her wrist lasers, sending down a barrage of fire

Bombshell shifts direction sharply through the weapons fire.
Brawn takes a mean-looking gun and fires several blasts at Bombshell. "You're starting to bug me Bombshell!"

Bombshell gets hit by a fireball that disrupts his balance in the air, causing him to drop the Energy Chip. It drops to the ground amidst the Autobots.

Rumble trades potshots with Cliffjumper.

Nightbird gets up, her optics blazing with anger. She zeros in on Optimus Prime, and ignites her energy sword.

Megatron concentrates his fire on other Autobots. Prime shall be Nightbird’s prey.

Striker begins looking for a target, "Ahh, yes, he'll do nicely." And he transforms, immidietly turning verticle gaining enough altitude and speed to bring his nose back and pulling loop in order to start a diving run on Ironhide, letting loose an assault of purple laserfire.

After drawing back collectively upon Nightbird's release, Ironhide focuses on the Decepticon suddenly streaking toward him through the air, and brings his own rifle up.

Nightbird kicks Brawn right in the midsection as he comes after her, sending the minibot crashing against a cliff face. She sends Prowl to join his friend a moment later, flipping him up over her head. She runs at Prime, then leaps forward with a kick that knocks him over.

Megatron stupidly misses Jazz. His head would have been a nice present for Ruse...

Ironide counters Striker's attack, taking a few hits that don't seem to affect him (thus his name), and unleashes a blast of laserlight in return.

CatsCradle dives down after Mirage, her wrist lasers blazing

Striker grumbles, all that target practice went to nothing because he miscalculated his speed!

Mirage is thrown back by CatsCradle's attack, missing his shot at her.

Prime raises his rifle from where he's sprawled on the ground, but Nightbird kicks it away. She's about to dice him with her sword when Trailbreaker comes up behind her and knocks her away. Before she even hits the ground, she hurls a throwing star at him, causing him to shield his optics.

Bombshell weaves in and out of the laser fire and shoots down at various Autobots from the air.

Megatron is suddenly attacked from behind, having a nasty little red somthing hanging on his back that insults him in the worst way - Cliffjumper. Actually the Autobot is more annoying than being a thereat at all...

CatsCradle lands on a run, drawing her sword and using the speed of her movement to dive after Mirage before he can recover from her shot

Nightbird rolls forward and slashes at Trailbreaker's legs with her sword, cutting into the armor and shorting out circuits. He falls, and she resumes looking for Prime.

Mirage brings up his gun to attempt to block the attack, trying to turn Cats' momentum against her if he can step aside in time.

Megatron grasps Cliffjumper, just throwing him at the nearest rock.

Striker see's Ironhide leap out of the way of his attack run, "Ahh, the perfect opportunity." He transforms to robot mode directly above the Autobot and aims at him with both arm lasers, causing an explosion all around the Autobot. "Well well well, Prime's second-in-command isn't much of a challenge." He stands and waits for the dust to clear so he can see the red Autobot van. "We'll see about that Decepticreep!" Ironhide screams out and hits Striker in the wing, prohibiting flight in his alt-mode, Striker instincively growls and fires once again, hoping to cripple the Autobot.

Soundwave picks out Jazz, he of the annoying music, and fires a round of plasma at him.

CatsCradle's sword bites down into Mirage's gun... well, if it's damaged, at least he can't shoot it at her... She tries to twist the sword to wrench the gun out of his hands, pivoting her weight to kick at him at the same time

Nightbird tries to close on Prime, slashing out with her energy sword. She throws Bluestreak away when he tries to tackle her, and stabs Hound right through the midsection. Prime is looking around for his lost rifle as the ninja gets ever closer.

Jazz takes a glancing plasma blast that leaves a nice scorch mark on his armor, and fires back rapidly.

Rumble looks up from Brawn, who he's just knocked over with an earthquake, and calls to Soundwave, "Don't damage my future stereo!"

Starscream sees the battle below and decends
Ironhide rolls out of the way during the second assault, not happy that the Decepticon scorched his armor, he fires again at the Decepticon's crippled wing and strikes it, taking out the entire wingtip, "Take that Decepticrumb!"

Starscream transforms into his Robot mode.

Megatron grasps the nearest Autobot, throwing him aside.

Starscream lands behind a large rocky outcropping. Walkign to the edge he peers over and sees the bots fighting nightbird

Soundwave misses a laserbolt from Jazz, fortuitously, by glancing over at Rumble. "I will see what can be done about preserving the internals," he replies, and fires another round of plasma.

Enchantress flies into the battle, late because she had to work on getting her wings repaired, but wanting to join in the fun. She takes in the battle with a glance, then chooses her target and divebombs.

Nightbird slashes out at Prime with her sword, opening up a nice gash across his chest. She moves in closer as Prime holds the wound and retreats back.

Striker transforms into his Robot mode.

Megatron watches Nightbird from the corner of his eye. Poor Prime... He chuckles.

Starscream nutters contemptiously, "Megatrons new assistent eh? My nullray will put her out of commision"

Striker lands on the ground and takes kneels down as he takes out his plasma rifle, seeing as it gives him more firepower than his arm lasers and begins exchanging more shots with Prime's friend.

Starscream makes a quick adjustment on his left nullray and aims it over the rock outcropping.

Starscream slowly takes aim and fires

Light of course travals faster then sound, which is perhapse an advantage for a paticuler black space jet with flame paterned wings as he plumpets from orbit at the highest speed imanagable. Armour glows with air friction, lighting the edge of his form as his form arcs down towards the battlefield, picking out a lone figure amoung the rocky outcrops. With a blurr of motion the jet transforms and rears back a fist moments before he's on top of his target. Two seconds later Prowl recives a thunderes straight right to the jaw, delivered at hyper sonic speeds. Needless to say the Autobot stragagist finds himself implanted in the rock face as Divefire lands on the ground with his arms folded at about the same time his sonic boom echos all across the vally.

Skywarp Teleports over the battle and dives straffing a few of the bots.

Bombshell continues flying back and forth overhead, but he pauses as he notices Nightbird getting ready to finish off Prime.

Enchantress takes in the situation, trying to get a glance at what is going on.

Bombshell lands, transforming.

Nightbird gets hit with the nullray shot right under her backpack, and falls to the ground, motionless.

Skywarp Pulls up and teleports out ..only to port in and transform to his bot mode Next and to the left of Megatron.

Megatron stands there, startled. "Nightbird..?" he ask, then violently the fact that she was shot slams into his consciousness. "NO!!!"

Starscream laughs and looks to MEgatron, " HEY. SAy goodbye to your Nightbord Megatron!!

Starscream turns and leaps into the air quickly

Starscream transforms into his Red-and-Silver F-15 mode.

Enchantress notices Starscream shooting Nightbird, and dives down, divebombing him!

Megatron looks over to Soundwave.

Starscream lites the pipes and is GONE

Bombshell freezes in place, a whisper echoing Megatron's words: "No!"

Skywarp Looks at his leader.

Enchantress attacks Starscream with divebomb claws, and strikes him!

Starscreams redlining everything to get as much distance between him and then as possible

Striker says, "Megatron, may I make the suggestion we go back to base, get repairs... and go after him?"

Starscream feels the claws rake him as he goes!!!

Megatron's optics look at the friend asking one question...

Enchantress lands on top of Starscream, raking at his body with her adamantine claws, anchoring herself to him, tearing at him, trying to hit an internal.

Soundwave forgets about Jazz and steps toward Megatron, his attention seemingly locked on the Autobots and the motionless Nightbird. He looks back at his leader and shakes his head very slightly, his expression neutral.

Rumble's jaw drops and he just stares incredulously at Starscream.

CatsCradle ducks away from Mirage as she catches sight of Starscream's shot and the result, her optics wide

Enchantress screams, "TRAITOR!!!"

Striker looks up from firing and glances around, noticing everyone's shocked looks, "What, and you were surprised??"

Soundwave suspects there will be no stopping at base for repairs.

Starscream snarls in anger and violently flips over onto his back. " GET OFF ME

Megatron jerks around looking up to the sky to where Starscream disappears. "Decepticons, after him!" he thunders in pure rage. "I want that traitors steel hide!!!"

Starscream arches back and end up in an invered dive

Starscream says, "GET...OFF"

Skywarp Looks at Megatron..."As you command!"

Enchantress is thrown off of Starscream, but gamely heads after him, though he is much faster than she is.

Skywarp Leaps into the air

Enchantress screams in fury as she is sent flying.

Starscream flips back upright and presses it to the line again.

Prime senses the tables have turned in one fell swoop and dives for his lost rifle. He fires rapidly at several of the Decepticons. The other Autobots press their attacks as well against the suddenly outnumbered Decepticons.

Megatron takes off to follow the jet. His optics glow like funacles.

Striker growls and leaps in the air, he takes his his rifle... and blasts off the opposite wingtip to compensate for the loss of the other wingtip, it's dangerous and he'll have lost some control, but it'll help with speed, and that's what they need to go after him.

Striker transforms into his F-15 mode.

Divefire slowly glances over the battlefeild, having checked Prowl's condition with a solid boot to the chest. Considering the melee and the conditions it's hard to make out single battles, however Starscream's distinctive null ray cause a look in the direction of the sound, and then the form of Starscream's jet form racing away from the battle forces a scowl on his fetures. Just as the thought of racing after the theoretical leader of the seekers crosses his mind, a high powered rifle shot flys past his head, forcing him to fall back away the rock face.

Soundwave leaves the Autobots behind, no longer worthy of attention, and takes to the air with Megatron.

Skywarp Trying to catch up with Starscreams already big lead.

Megatron realizes that he isnt fast enough to get Starscream himself. "Double energon ration for those who bring me Starscream!!!"

Soundwave isn't a fast flyer, and so the jets speed ahead of him quickly.

Skywarp says, "I will bring him to you Leader!!"

Enchantress locks in on Starscream, beating her wings furiously to try and keep up. The Seekers soon overtake and pass her by a wide margin.

Rumble follows Soundwave...muttering, "It would be really nice to be a plane."

Skywarp Banks and teleports out.

Bombshell isn't that fast of a flyer either, but he determinedly stays with the group.

Enchantress radios Soundwave/Lord, I am unable to keep up, and would not be much of any help here. Request permission to do post battle recon, and attempt to recover body of Nightbird for burial./

Striker flies after Starscream at a slower pace than normal, due to his instability.

Skywarp Ports in and can see Starscreams vapor trail .

Starscream loves the way Mach3 feels and realizes theres no one behind him.....as always....

Skywarp May not be able to see him...but thanks to his damage hes left a trail to follow.

Megatron falls back. Suddenly he turns around flying back to the place where the battle took place, which is now deserted. Slowly he lands.

Striker is still able to keep up with Skywarp, even going slower than normal.

CatsCradle leaps into the air, more concerned with leaving than with trying to chase down Starscream, since she has no hope of catching up the much faster jet. She transforms as soon as she clears the ground, her 'field flickering in place a second too late for one of the blasts the Autobots send after her, but quickly enough to protect her from the others

Soundwave slows a little in the air, noticing Megatron fall back.

Divefire growls to himself as he leaps back up into the air and transforms back to his jet form, fusion engines igniting back up and burtualy going to full power. Acceleration at this sort of altertude is a mater always under discusion, which is esentialy irrelivant when you have the power to fly through the universe at 1/100th the speed of light. It's more simple to say that Starscream is fast, Divefire may yet be faster.

Enchantress drops out and starts heading for the Ark, the likeliest place for the Autobots to head. If she's lucky, she might catch them by surprise and recover the body. No sense in letting them get their hands on something as technologically advanced as Nightbird.

Skywarp says, "HA!...Got you now Screamer..."

Skywarp Teleports again to make another jump.

Bombshell continues on after the others, even as most of them outdistance him.

Striker slows to 1500MPH and begins tracking Starscream on radar.

Megatron falls to his knees, feeling tired and old. Again... It happened again...

Enchantress starts flying after the Autobots, staying in the clouds.

Skywarp Ports in and sees the smoke getting thicker.

Striker laughs, as apparently Starscream has forgotten he can still be tracked, and attacked, through use of radar. Striker gets a radar lock on the red F-15 and radioes Starscream.. /Get back here and play a little air commander/... and lets loose a radar-guided missle at Starscream.

Megatron claws the ground with his fingers. Again, all they leave him is a name on the door of an empty crypt.

Enchantress sighs, completely unsure as to what to do. She cannot take on the Autobots at the Ark without a larger force, and she is not a stealth, capable of sneakign in. And she recognizes that if she were to go by Megatron, she woudl likely be at the receiving end of his fusion cannon. SHe is completely lost.

Skywarp Has teleported once again and ends up next to Striker.

Striker radioes Skywarp, "Don't worry Skywarp, I hit him with a radar-guided missle. That should slow him down."

Enchantress simply circles in the air, watching the Seekers far outdistance her...

Soundwave slows further as the others continue north.

Enchantress lands off in the distance from Megatron, her three heads howling the Sabrecat call for those that have been lost from the pack.

Striker transforms and lands beside megatron.

Striker transforms into his Robot mode.

Striker transmits a message via radio.

Enchantress transforms into her Robot mode.

Striker says, "Megatron?"

Megatron says, "Do you have him?"

CatsCradle transforms and lands nearby Megatron silently, her optics dark with concern

Enchantress draws her swords, her expression tired. She feels like she should've done something more... She begins drawing an intricate pattern of symbols with her katana into the ground.

Striker says, "No sir, but he's damaged. I hit him with a missle, I won't be able to fly fast enough to catch him due to damages."

Soundwave lands nearby, watching Striker. There's a hint of warning in his expression, something protective about his stance as he steps toward Megatron, as though to intersperse himself between the others and his leader. He doesn't quite do it, but the beginning of the motion was definitely there.

CatsCradle says softly, "Diver is after him. If there's anyone who can catch up to him, it's Diver.

Megatron hisses. "Find him, find him fast! And bring him to me!"

Striker says, "Divefire should be able to find him, he's wounded."

Enchantress stands off in the distance, drawing the symbols to mark the grave of a Grand Master...

Striker says, "We'll get him Megatron. I promise you."

Enchantress starts to sing a quiet song, one that mourns the passing of a great master, one respected... It is a mournful song.

Soundwave hints, "You may wish to follow up to provide reinforcement."

CatsCradle takes the hint and leaps into the air, transforming and following after Diver

Megatron says, "Get to the base! He sooner or later will try to get there. Now go!"

****
Western Coastline

     The west coast of this continent is another of the more heavily-populated regions. Human cities run up and down the rocky coast nearly in tandem with a tectonic fault which is visible from space like a scar. Here two continental plates are sliding past each other - sometimes with catastrophic results. The entire region is geologically active, with a volcanic mountain range positioned a short ways inland, around which some of the continent's most unspoiled scenery and parkland remains preserved, despite a heavy influx of tourists. It is in this region where a majority of this planet's entertainment originates, as well as a good bit of its technological advancement.


CatsCradle transmits to Divefire: "Be careful, love. I think Megatron will kill Starscream, and if Starscream realizes that, he's going to be extremely dangerous."

Striker flies in looking very angry at the loss of his ability to fly at high speeds, he softly touches down outside the base and looks around at his surroundings.

CatsCradle flies in shortly after Striker, transforming and landing.

Striker looks to Cats, "Did they catch the traitor yet?"

Tempest is sitting down a short distance away. At the sound of engines, she puts away her carving and walks closer to the base entrance to see who it is.

Enchantress lands in the distance, her expression one of pain. She warned them... But does that make her just as culpable in the events that happened? She doesn't know.

CatsCradle shakes her head. "I don't know. Diver hasn't radioed to me that he has." She rubs at her arm absently, as if not noticing the fluids streaming from a wound from one of the last Autobot shots.

Enchantress transforms into her Robot mode.

Ravage yawns and wakes up from his nap... sitting up in the shadows of the rock.

Striker glances at Tempest and says, "Missed quite a fight Tempest... and you'll be happy to know that Nightbird isn't a problem any longer."

Enchantress crawls into a little ditch and starts to cry.

Tempest seems kind of disappointed. "I missed a fight?" she looks curious. "What happened to Nightbird? Heh..>I guess that many Autobots were too much for her after all, eh?"

Striker says, "Well, no, our dear Starscream was the one to do her away."

Tempest snorts. "Yep, that'll do it every time....it's always the one who's /supposed/ to be on your team, that you have to worry about."

Skywarp Teleports in

Striker says, "It was a great fight, wish you would've been there."

CatsCradle watches their exchange impassively, no expression on her face.

Skywarp Has lost Starscreams trail.

Divefire transmits to CatsCradle: "*Through the static of long range comunication* I know... I love you...."

Skywarp enters Pacific Northwest

Tempest says, "Yeah, me too...kill any Autobots?"

CatsCradle closes her optics briefly, then opens them again, still watching Tempest and Striker

Ravage strolls on out from the shadows and heads over to Cats... looking over her damage.

Striker looks at Tempest, "No, dealt some damage to Ironhide, but Starscream pulled off his little trick before we could do any real damage."

Tempest glances over at Ravage...there's a hint of an unreadable flicker in her optics...gone just as you're beginning otowonder if it's really there...and then she sits down, leaving the observer to doubt they saw anything as she says, "Heh. Where's Starscream now?"

CatsCradle says evenly, "Being chased down by my mate."

Skywarp has arrived.

<Earth> Soundwave says, "Divefire, is there visual contact with Starscream?"

<Earth> Divefire says, "There is."

Tempest's face takes on an expression of concern. "And Megatron?"

Ravage sits down and listens to cat... finding it curious how a transformer refears to her close friend or companion to as mate... it is a strange way to class someone...

CatsCradle meets Tempest's gaze. "What do you think?"

Striker sighs, "Still back at the battlesite mourning over Nightbird I suppose."

<Earth> Soundwave says, "Explain."

Skywarp Lands back at the base.

Tempest shrugs at Catscradle and Striker. "He barely knew her," she says, as if confused.

<Earth> Divefire says, "We are in orbit of Earth. Starscream hasn't said a word or made an agresive movment towards me. From apperances it looks as if he's heading back towards Earth."

<Earth> Soundwave says, "Can you disable him?"

Striker says, "I know, it was surprising how much he cared for her..."

Tempest looks at Striker. "Where the slag did /that/ come from?"

Striker looks at Tempest, "Where did /what/ come from?"

CatsCradle says softly, "It doesn't matter the length of time. Sometimes... you just know how much you care in a matter of hours."

<Earth> Divefire says, "... I could try ..."

Tempest says, "That comment about Megatron and Nightbird..." She looks at Cats. "You're doing it again...saying things that make no sense to me...and don't you tell me it's nothing, either of you?"

<Earth> Soundwave says, "Can you stall him until assistance can arrive?"

<Earth> Divefire says, "I'll let you know if you need to pull me out... Divefire out."

Striker glances at Tempest, then at Cats, "I'm not saying a word this time. Ask Cats what it means," and he walks a few steps back to lean against the outside of the base.

CatsCradle shakes her head, looking infinately sad. "I can't say it's nothing... because to Megatron, she was far from nothing."

Tempest looks at Catscradle curiously, waiting for her to explain it.

Striker looks at CatsCradle, "Good answer."

CatsCradle buries her face in her hands. "Ah, Temp, you're asking me to explain something there's no words for. It sometimes does not take long to realize how much you can care for someone. It was an even shorter time for Diver and I when we knew we were right for each other.

Tempest tilts her head and laughs weakly. "Are you trying to tell me Megatron was in love with Nightbird?"

Striker says, "That's exactly what she's saying Tempest."

Skywarp Looks at them all.....And knows how Megatron feels...To lose someone.

Skywarp says, "The poor boss..."

Tempest shakes her head. "No way...that's not happening, Megatron himself told me so..." She looks at their faces, hoping to find conformation...and not doing so...

Striker says, "If you would've arrived at the base a little earlier this afternoon, you would've heard him say it as well."

CatsCradle looks up at Tempest. "I think so," she says softly. "I did not see much of them together, but I saw Nightbird’s expression once, and she looked like I feel when Diver walks into the room. And I saw Megatron's grief.

Tempest's jaw drops and she stares at Striker. "Aw...slag...you can't mean that."

Striker sighs, "Yes, I do Tempest."

Enchantress sighs from ditch. She lost her sister and her life... ANd she failed... If she's lucky Megatron will let her live. Now, she has failed in her duties to the Empire, to the Emperor, and to herself.

CatsCradle looks up at Tempest. "I think so," she says softly. "I did not see much of them together, but I saw Nightbirds expression once, and she looked like I feel when Diver walks into the room. And I saw Megatron's grief.

Skywarp Slumps down to the floor leaning on the wall.

Tempest shakes her head as if not wanting to believe that.

Striker says, "If your in love with Megatron just tell him."

CatsCradle chews on her lip. "Dammit, the radio's too quiet... where are they?"

Skywarp Looks over at Tempest and Striker.

Tempest snaps at Striker, "I am /not/ in love with Megatron!

Enchantress walks out of her ditch, silent, heading towards hte main group.

Skywarp Sitting on the ground ...ashamed he was unable to keep up with Starscream...and feels sorry for his leader.

Striker looks at Tempest, "Good." And he walks away from the main group to go sit by himself.

CatsCradle shrugs. "Starscream's jealousy was feeling that his command was in jeopardy. What was your excuse, Temp?"

Skywarp Looks at Tempest.

Tempest grumbles, "Romantic attachment is nothing but trouble..." She jerks her head to look at CatsCradle. "Once again I must ask you to spell out what that is supposed to mean."

Enchantress rejoins the main group, and finds a large boulder that she begins hacking at, slowly trimming it down to nothingness with her blades. She is furious with Megatron for letting things come to this, Starscream for committing treason, and with herself, for she knew that something like this was coming, and she should've done more to prevent it.

CatsCradle says, "Why did you hate her so much?""

Tempest shrugs. "Nothing personal...it's a nasty world, Cats." Her smile is a predator's grin. "You and I /earned/ our stripes, the hard way. NIghtbird had earned nothing, until today..."

Skywarp Looks at Enchantress hacking away..."Hey Babes you had better cool it...Youll end up dullin something.

Ravage gets up quietly and heads off looking for something

Ravage enters Pacific Northwest <North America> <<N> North>.

Ravage has left.

Skywarp Stands slowly.

Enchantress turns to look at Skywarp. "Not with these." And she goes back to hacking without a word.

CatsCradle thinks Tempest's answer over. "She was untested, at least by us, true. But I never saw Megatron shelter her because of it. He sent her out to earn the right for his attention."

Tempest shrugs. "As would be expected. I mean, I would respect her if she'd been able to handle everythign the world threw at her...but it seems she couldn't. Ah well. A moot point now."

Skywarp Walks over to her and gently places a hand on her shoulder. "Theres nothing more you could of done...Yknow.

Enchantress says, "I knew about this... Starscream tried to enlist my aid in this. I warned Soundwave and Megatron. I should've done more. I could've stopped this! If I just hadn't sat around on my skidplate and TALKED... I should've taken action, done anything besides what I did."

Skywarp says, "You didnt help Starscream...You did your best."

CatsCradle laughs sharply. "I don't think many of us could have stood up against teh entire Autobot Earth forces and survived." She shrugs. "I guess the tables are turned, Tempest, because I don't understand the theory of proving myself worthy of someone's love. I never had to prove anything to Diver, nor he to me. In fact, he has never asked anything of me --" She breaks off suddenly. "Except for one time," she finishes in a murmur.

Tempest snarls, "/Love/ has /nothing/ to do with it!" She sucks air into her intakes, optics narrowing reflexively. "It's a matter of proving the right to your continued existence..."

Enchantress says, "I could've tried... Watched him, told him not to do it, ANYTHING but what I did..."

Skywarp Pats Spells shoulder.."Hey Dont worry bout it...I think you will be the least of the Boss`s worries once he catches up with Starscream,

CatsCradle shakes her head. "I've proven my right to exist. I did it centuries ago. But living is more than... than scraping out an existance. And there are other things to starve for than for feul. But that's something you have to find out for yourself. Nothing I or anyone else can say will ever help you to understand. You have to live it for yourself. And then you realize you can't ever go back to the way you were."

Skywarp says, "So stop blammin yourself...No one else does...Ok?"

Enchantress sighs. "Thank you milord. Can you do me a favor? Slap me?"

Skywarp blinks.

Skywarp says, "Err...why?"

Enchantress says, "My emotion circuits are overloading a bit. I need to jump start my adrenaline circuits to compensate."

Tempest hears that last comment and her lip twitches in the hint of a....smile? She simply regards CatscCradle. "It seems to me that this..." a gesture around at the base and the other Decepticons... "is all very unreal to me...that the real living was out there." She points skyward. "Ice and hellfire. Don't blame me if I don't choose to go back, but I /could/ if I had to...make no doubt about that."

Skywarp ahems....."Well...ok..If yer sure.

Enchantress says, "Yes, milord, please do."

Skywarp says, "Uhm..Ok"..."

Skywarp slaps her kinda hard

Enchantress face rocks sideways, and she smiles. "Thank you milord. I needed that."

Skywarp !!!!

Skywarp Smirks a bit...."Sure..anytime..Babes.

Enchantress walks up to Skywarp, a sultry look on her face, and a sway in her hips. "By the way..." Grabs Skywarp and flips him into a rock, then has her sword at his throat. "Never call me babe."

Skywarp !!!!!!!!

Tempest chuckles lightly. "Skywarp...you just have to learn the hard way....)

Enchantress walks off to the main grouping.

Skywarp watches her...and gives an evil smirk.

CatsCradle shrugs. "I could go back to starving, fighting for fuel. But I can't go back to what I was before I met Diver. I won't outlive him." She smiles very slightly. "Because all of this.." and she gestures at the base and the other Decpeticons, "is now unreal to me. He and I are what's real. And I don't expect anyone else to understand it, and I don't care if you do or don't."


Skywarp Stands watching her walk away...."Woah...

Skywarp Optics flash a bit..."hehe.

Enchantress turns around, winks a Skywarp, and then throws a half dozen throwing knives that whizz past his head, milimeters from coming into contact with the armor.

Tempest looks rather sad a, gazing at Cats. "It might be nice to..." she admits, somewhat wistfully....then her her expression settles back into the usual war-mask.

Skywarp Stands there blinking.

CatsCradle lets out a sharp breath. "And then we have moments like this, when he's out chasing a traitor and I have no idea if he's all right, and I just go insane /waiting/, dammit."

Enchantress says, "The next one goes between the optics. Is that simple enough for you, flyboy?"

Tempest says, in an attempt to be comforting, "Divefire is a good soldier, he'll be fine."

Enchantress says, "Divefire will be fine milady. Your mate does you credit."

Enchantress says, "And you do him credit."

Skywarp smiles all charming..."Only if its by you....Enchantress..

CatsCradle sits down with a plop. "He doesn't know how to be careful," she mutters. "And the worst part is, our son is just like him..."

Skywarp Quickly teleports out.

Tempest shrugs. "He's still alive, that counts for something."

Enchantress sighs, and draws her quantum-edged katana. "Which limb should I chop off first?"

CatsCradle adds, "Or will be, anyway." She buries her face in her hands again. "Damned time travel..."

Enchantress says, "I know what you mean, milady. I know what you mean..."

Tempest grins at Enchantress. "Megatron told me not to gut his troops, I believe that stands for you as well."

Skywarp has dissapeaerd from sight...but she can hear his echoing laughter.

<Earth> Soundwave says, "Status report on the hunt?"

CatsCradle perks up, listening to the radio. "I don't even dare radio him," she says ruefully. "I don't want to distract him."

Striker looks over at Skywarp and says to Tempest, "Let enchantress kill him, she'll be the one who has to face Megatron after all of this."

<Earth> Divefire  reply comes through in a deeper then normal voice as he pushes everything to keep with Starscream. "We're in the Pacific Northwest of America as of now. He can't shake me. I think I may be denting his ego.

Enchantress says, "WHo said anything about killing him? ALl I was going to do was chop off his limbs, and then reprogram his vocal units..."

Tempest raises an optic ridge at Striker. "Megatron's already upset enough, he doesn't need any more trouble in his troops today."

<Earth> Soundwave says, "Any Decepticons in the area, converge on Divefire's signal."

Enchantress says, "But it can wait for another time."

Enchantress says, "There goes the call."

Striker says, "Your right, he doesn't. Enchantress, you slice Skywarp and I'll kill you so Megatron doesn't have to."

CatsCradle looks up. "Pacific Northwest... They're almost here." She leaps into the air, transforming and pushing her engines hard

Striker says, "There, problem solved. Megatron won't have to mess with it."

Enchantress transforms into her Sabrecat mode.

***
Divefire form rips through the atmosphere, having just kept on Starscream's
trail through radar reading and shear outright speed. Of course it shouldn't
be of much surprise that he's tracking Starscream up here, where gravity
becomes less of a limiting factor and the freedom of space beckons at them.
Being, as far as he can recall, the only two Earth bound jets that can make
the rise to space from Earth, it's between them. What happens now, could
well be a matter for Fate.

Starscream relaxed and so at ease in the very wide open spaces of where he's
at right now

Divefire form pops out of the atmosphere and into the stratosphere of Earth,
carving his way around a group of satellites in his path as he keeps his
lock on Starscream. As the glow of Earth fades behind him Divefire's dark colors
start to blend with the backdrop of the universe, and he closes, fusion
engines roaring silently. Silently he steels himself for the task which may
be at hand, and the end results which may follow. On a close tightbeam
transmission he calls to him. "Starscream! You can not out run me, you have
two choices. Make one of them."

Starscream realizes his back hurts from enchantresses attack

Starscream slides over rightside up and heads downward

<Earth> Soundwave says, "Divefire, is there visual contact with Starscream?"

Divefire arcs over, a tip of a wing dipping back into the atmosphere as
thrusters turn him over. The distance between the two seekers closes as
Divefire watches Starscreams movements with a millennia of experience.

<Earth> Divefire says, "There is."

<Earth> Soundwave says, "Explain."

<Earth> Divefire says, "We are in orbit of Earth. Starscream hasn't said a
word or made an aggressive movement towards me. From appearances it looks as if he's heading back towards Earth."

<Earth> Soundwave says, "Can you disable him?"
<Earth> Divefire says, "... I could try ...
<Earth> Soundwave says, "Can you stall him until assistance can arrive?"
<Earth> Divefire says, "I'll let you know if you need to pull me out... Divefire out."

Divefire growls to himself as he powers up his ranged weapons. Once more he
close up on Starscream, and fires a series of ballistic shells from his wing
rifles. It's more of a hopeful gesture then anything else.

Starscream enjoys the slow decent and enjoys the cold of the thin atmosphere
against the damage on his back from enchantress. Starscream smiles to
himself thinking how crazy they probably are trying to find him
Starscream !!!!!!!!!!
Starscream says, "holy crap"
Starscream takes the hit near his afterburners and banks to the left hard

Starscream can't believe this just happened. Quickly he turns and see Divefire. "YOU!" He charges up his one lasercannon and fires

Starscream goes down right and levels out into a powerdive

Divefire would blink. But he can't so he keeps with Starscream, matching his
move as best he can, which is near enough. His fusion engines fire back to
full as blasts past the shot of Starscream's lasers. "Me!" He growls back as
he follows Starscream down into a situation where Divefire lives up to his
name. "You can't escape me Starscream! I AM the fastest vehicle in the
universe!"

Starscream says, "Never!"

Starscream slams on his brakes, drops his flaps, pulls up and lights the
pipes, "you might be AS fast as me BUT NOT as agile....."

Starscream continues his full military launch at about a 20 -30 degree
angle..

Divefire watches Starscream bank back up into the sky and matches the
maneuver in his own style, literally skid turning his frame engines off and
then back on again to full, having no fear of stalling out. "I don't need to
be! I have more then enough power to match your every move!"
Divefire's nose mounted lasers start to power up as he tracks Starscream as
best he can, and then lets lose a barrage of hit and hope fire power as he
once move uses his shear outright speed to close on the jet.

Starscream suddenly cuts his afterburners and seems to drift. All the while
working his flaps, and pulling up his nose. For a second his jet form stands
straight up with no momentum as his afterburners seem to almost drift
forward to his nosecone. A purely visual stunt by earth pilots called the Cobra.
Leave it to Starscream to use it in combat. With a chuckle Starscream
watches the shots go by.

Starscream idly falls to his left and hits the throttle leveling out

Divefire of course blasts past the airmaster, but isn't totally out foxed.
He transforms back to his robot form and thrusts his legs out in front of him,
fusion engines pouring out the power and slowing him down to stop, but
leaving him open to an attack.
Starscream turns going the opposite direction he was originally and sees
Divefire do this. He laughs. "fool
Starscream fires his one laser cannon again
Starscream says, "bah"
Starscream aims and fires again
Starscream gives up and suddenly guns it straight for Divefire
Divefire spins around once more at Starscream's cry, anger flickering over
his face as the laser flies over his shoulder. "Now." He mutters as his
electro sword flickers into existence. "You die." With a roar his fusion
engines kick into overdrive and he blasts towards Starscream, the intent of
the two is clear, ram time.
Starscream closing in and not veering off

Starscream suddenly drops the 'stick' and goes into a full powerdive right
before he hits Divefire. Lighting his afterburners in the general direction
of divefires face

Divefire optics flare with pure rage now as his temper seeps over his
control. Nothing but a base roar over takes the sound as he plumpest after
Starscream, still in robot form but closing the distance as he moves to use
his sword in a slice at Starscream's wing.

Starscreams pushing everything hes got to get away, "Back off Divefire You
know destroying her was for the best."

Starscream cuts sharply up on a wing and veers hard to the right

Divefire once more stays with Starscream as best he can, arching his body
for a moment before slipping back to a more aerodynamic form.
Starscream says, "You realize I am your commander also Divefire. Im ordering
you back off"
Divefire growls back to Starscream as he keeps chase. "No I don't
Starscream.  What I know is that you killed a fellow Decepticon, one who was serving the Empire! And as for you being my commander, I obey the will of the Empire, hich is far more then can be said for you!" The anger of his statement is
once more punctuate with a blast of nose laser fire.
Starscream says, "SHES WAS NOT A DECEPTICON! SHE WAS AN EARTH MOCKERY"
Starscreams getting mad over what Divefire said and the fact that he cant
shake him off.

Tempest is circling well clear of the battle.

Skywarp in bot mode Watching the battle overhead.

Starscream slams on his brakes

Starscream watches dive shoot past him

Starscream pulls up and goes full throttle

Starscream brings his cluster bombs on line

Striker is watching the battle since he himself cant take part in it due to his missing wingtips... there'd be no way he could control himself for an aerial battle.

Starscream says, "you had you chance"

Starscream follows Divefire

Enchantress tries to set herself up to come down above the combatants so that she can pull off a rather risky dive bomb attack. At those speeds she doesn't stand much of a chance, but she has to try...

Skywarp says, "Watches SS follow Divebomb."

Enchantress swoops down past Starscream, misjudging his speed, but manages to clip the top side of an engine, knocking him slightly off course.

Starscream releived dive is damaged he pulls up

Starscream knows he has to get away fast and get some energon

Enchantress roars, "TRAITOR! I challenge you to fair combat!"

Enchantress says, "By the laws of Aricarion, I challenge you to prove yourself in combat!"

Skywarp Watches SS and calulates the distance...he only needs two miles of range and he wil teleport.

Starscream says, "better look in the mirror before you start calling me a traiter...enchantress"

Skywarp transforms into his Black F-15 mode.

Striker looks up at the air battle, and radioes, "Starscream! STOP IT NOW!"

Skywarp PORTS OUT!!

Starscreams chuckle carries off in the distance as he says that

Enchantress says, "Prove yourself or die a coward's death!"

Enchantress challenges Starscream to an honor duel...

Striker says, "Oh please Enchantress, you think you can take on an air warrior? With no air weapons?"

Enchantress says, "My choice of battlefield. On the ground..."

CatsCradle flies in, coming close enough to hear Striker's command. "Oh, like he's really going to listen to /that/, with Megatron likely to kill him on his return..." Her wings twitch slightly as she watches the battle, noting the damages

Skywarp says, "..YOu mean like mine...Screamer!..."

Striker rolls his optics at Enchantress.

Starscream almost looses it

Striker says, "Ok, lets see about this." He takes out his plasma rifle and trains it on Starscream, "STARSCREAM STOP NOW!""

Enchantress swoops in above Starscream, going for another divebomb..

Starscream feels the hit and falters

Enchantress attacks Starscream with divebomb claws, and strikes him!

Starscream says, "Skywarp...I might have knows"

Skywarp Follows gunning his afterburners.

Enchantress lands on top of Starscream, and beings tearing her claws into his wings, and tryign to break his cockpit.

Striker's shot goes wide as he curses and aims for another.

Enchantress is on top of Starscream, tearing to open his cockpit, and tearing up his wing surfaces.

Starscream screams

Enchantress starts concentrating on tearing up Screamer's wings.

Striker grins as Enchantress finally does some good, but attacks again none-the-less.

Starscream loosing altitude fast

Enchantress transforms into her Robot mode.

Starscream falls into root mode as he makes a grab for her

Enchantress transforms to her robot mode, and draws her quantum edged katana, duelign with Starscream in the air.

Skywarp Cirles back.

Starscream is only looking for a way out at this point

Tempest isn't pressing the attack...more circling, watching the others take on Starscream. "I really think that's enough to bring him down, hm?"

Skywarp transforms into his Robot mode.

Skywarp Takes aim at Starscreams back.

Skywarp says, "Hold him still Enchant-babes...Iv got him in my sights!"

Divefire frame explodes as the cluster bomb ignites all around him in a series of mini explotions. There's only one way out for him as the bombs eat into his armour, and that's down into the ocean. But at thease speeds with the sudden course corection Divefire plumpets down into the sea, and disapers from view...

Divefire transforms into his Robot mode.

<Earth> Megatron says, "Report! Do you have the traitor?"

<Earth> Enchantress says, "Engaging him in combat!"

Skywarp Takes aim at Starscreams back as he tangles with Enchantress.

Striker leaps up in Starscreams way and fire's a low-level shot at the jet.

Starscream flaters back from the hit as he still struggles with enchantress

Starscream says, "....stop"

Tempest is just flying around, keeping an optic on everything, but not really engaging....

CatsCradle screams in rage as her mate plummets into the ocean, and she bolts at Starscream, her lasers blasting

Enchantress yells, "STRIKER - RETRIEVE DIVEFIRE!"

CatsCradle transmits to Divefire: " (her voice panicked) Diver, answer me"

Striker growls at Enchantress, "ENCHANTRESS! YOU YELL AT ME LIKE THAT AGAIN AND /YOU'll/ BE THE ONE GETTING SHOT AT!"

Divefire transmits to CatsCradle: "*Very pissed off* He's mine..."

Starscream loosing altitude as his moters start sputtering...."if ..Im going...down....your coming with me....6 armed ....*mutters something unintelligable*

Skywarp Watches them fall....!!!!!

Starscream grabs an arm and does his best to rip one off as they continue to fall

Divefire's frame explodes up from the ocean in a giant mound of spray as the now rather familure to Starscream sound of fusion engines on full power propells the damaged but imensily angry triple changer from the ocean and towards the Starscream/Enchantress fight. With a glimer his electro sword comes into being, the blade full of high current and sharpe edges. His optics narrow as he focuses in on Starscream, aiming carfuly as he sweeps up past them and the blade slices out. "Enough of this Starscream! This ends HERE!"

Starscream .....

Starscream says, "....ow"

Starscream says, "Im not feeling well right now"

Striker smirks, Starscream's finally getting what he deserves, "Nice slice Divefire, now Starscream, here's a going-away gift."

Gryphus flies into the area. To observe this ostracizing of course.

Starscream says, "enough....enough....let me go...please.....you cant do this to me......she ...was not one...of us"

Starscream still strugling with enchantress

Starscream chuckles softly. "figures....

Enchantress flips over Starscream, and hacks at him with her blades, but misses.

Starscream sees the ground coming up

Striker looks at Starscream's somewhat battered figure, "Starscream, you either come to base with us, or you die, that simple." He moves towards Starscream.

Striker aims his lasers at Starscream for effect.

CatsCradle transforms and draws her sword, moving to hover near Diver, her optics blazing a deep purple of rage at the sight of her mate's wounds.

Starscream standing there a bit worse for wear. "Die? isent that what I will do when I go in there anyway?

Enchantress jumps behind Starscream, and in his weakened state, is able to quickly pin his arms behind his back, and another holds a blade at his throat. "Surrender or have your main fuel line cut."

Starscream stands there in sullen defeat

Enchantress holds another blade at his fuel pump...

Starscream says, "what did I just do?"

Divefire hovers in the air, watching. His frame battared from the clusster bomb, but that being the sum total of his damages. He calls down to the group bellow, or more acuratly, Striker. "A group escort of Starscream back to base?"

Tempest stops her circling now and flies in. "That's right, Divefire."

Striker nods to Divefire, "We /all/ take him back, he could still outfly any of us so make sure he doesn't get away."

Enchantress says, "Anyone have a pair of stuncuffs, or transformation disablers we can put on him?"

Striker says, "Oh, he won't put up a struggle, I'm sure of it..." He glares at Starscream with an evil grin. "Right... Screamer?""

Divefire glances to Cats, giving her a slight smile before droping down to the ground next to Striker, Starscream and Enchantress. "I'll ignore that remark for now Striker." He mutters then glances to Starscream, messuring him again and simply saying what Striker did with his gaze.

Starscream sneers at him but says nothing

Enchantress holds her blade a little tighter to his throat...

CatsCradle moves to rest her arm on Diver's. "Radio Megatron and let him know," she says. "You should have that honor of reporting success. You've earned it."

Striker transmits a message via radio.

Enchantress gives Diver a series of salutations with her free arms for a successful hunt concluded.

A radio transmission is received by Striker.

Striker walks towards Starscream and puts his laser in his face, "Let's go Starscream..."

Striker says, "Enchantress, let him go."

Divefire optics narrow as Striker's radio goes off. "Never mind." He mutters and then just watches Striker and Starscream.

Starscream is not going to go cooperatively. "then fly me there

A radio transmission is received by Striker.

Tempest covers them all as escort....in position, ready to pounce if a false move is made....and in peak fighting condition.

Enchantress says, "I would suggest putting some stuncuffs on him first milord, to prevent him from fleeing again."

Striker says, "/Let/ him go Enchantress."

Striker says, "We've got more than enough warriors to keep him in line."

Enchantress looks to Divefire and CatsCradle for confirmation of these instructions.

Starscream starts heading to the base with his escort

Striker says, "I SAID LET HIM GO!"

Divefire only action is to nod, very slightly.

Enchantress nods, and lets Starscream go, making sure to stay within striking distance with her blades.

Enchantress says, "Perhaps we should remove his wings..."

Striker glares at Enchantress, "Quiet. Starscream, lets go." And he takes off.

Enchantress stays no more than a few meters behind Starscream.


***

Command Center

        This circular room was formerly the bridge when the base was a viable spaceship. Now used as the Command Center, it is dominated by the large central viewing screen. The screen is linked to the main computer system, and can display anything from energon production reports to tactical updates to topside weather information. The various other bridge control stations have been converted to monitor and control the various mechanisms and activities of the base. They curve around the room from the door to the central viewscreen.


Striker walks in following Starscream, and the rest of the decepticon.

Megatron just stand in the command center, saying nothing - only his optics burning like the fires of hell.

Striker looks at the battered Starscream, "Looks like your pain isn't over Starscream."

Gryphus steps aside as the group she passed on the way here arrives.

Enchantress enters, pushing Starscream in by the point of her blades.

Tempest walks in behind Starscream, her swords held in an honour-guard position....ready if needed, but not making any outwardly threatening gestures with them. She's the very picture of businesslike composure.

Enchantress shoves Starscream to the ground in front of Megatron, and then steps back to the assembled crowd.

Soundwave steps back a little and simply watches, his expression neutral - at least until he notices Tempest enter, then his optic band darkens a little. He returns his attention to Megatron and Starscream.

Starscream looks up on his knees

Striker looks at Starscream, then Megatron. "Starscream, the mighty air commander being escorted in by two femmes?"

Divefire walks in with the rest of the group, a small vapour trail of smoke being left behind him as his fusion engines cool down from the most intense work out they've had in two million years or so. His frame is pot marked with the scares of damage familure to that of a cluster bomb, but that's the only damage he sports. His face tells a picture of a mechanoid who has just danced a duel with the Devil, and lived to put it in his memoirs.

Striker looks at Tempest, "I didn't mean anything by that so please... don't bite my head off for it."

Starscream glances to striker hatefully, then mutters.'they did what you could not

Tempest was looking rather dryly at Striker, but stops when he apologizes, and returns her attention to Starscream.

Megatron's optics glow even more dangerously as he sees the traitor in front of him. He says nothing, but hate is clearly written into his face.

Starscream looks back to megatron. "leader....

Enchantress moves back into the crowd, her expression one of pure hatred directed towards Starscream, and she sheathes her blades. Megatron gets first dibs...

CatsCradle walks in by Diver's side, her optics varying from blazing in anger at Starscream to softening in concert looking at her mate.

Striker says, "Oh really Starscream? I just let them have the pleasure of bringing you in."

Enchantress curtsies to Divefire and CatsCradle. "A successful hunt, milord. You conducted yourself in a manner worthy of Imperiator himself."

Starscream says, "..memagatron....I can explain..."

Tempest watches Megatron, Starscream and the others with the usual amount of interest, but nothing else on her face. There's nothing at all unusual or out of the ordinary in her expression or her action. It's as if the whole thing were her usual curiousity, plus a measure o concern for Megatron...though, as usual, she avoids attracting the attention of anyone in a bad mood.

Rumble enters Soundwave's tape compartment.

Ravage enters Soundwave's tape compartment.

Gryphus gets out her datapad to note this occasion. Probably one of many SS and MEgs have had.

Megatron grasp Starscream with one hand by his throat, forching him onto his feet. Then he smashis the other hand as fist right into the others face.

Enchantress stands impassively. Starscream deserves this.

Tempest's optics flicker only slightly at the violent action...her usual coming on guard in the presence of violence.

Starscream cries out slightly and grabs at megatrons hand..."no...dont do this

Striker winces slightly as Megatron smashes Starscream, "That's gotta hurt."

Starscream says, "please Megatron....dont...."

Divefire optics glimer slightly. It could be at watching Starscream get hit, or at the previous hours long duel, it's hard to say with his expresion set in a nuetral grimace. Really he has nothing to add, although he notes Striker's every bostful claim.

Soundwave's expression is completely unreadable now, even to those who know him. He simply stands and watches. Even his creations catch no whisper of his thoughts.

Megatron doesn't listen, but continues his work. This time he is not just threaten, this time he doesn't show mercy, this time he just wants to kill.

CatsCradle had been expecting this, but even so, she steps back slightly and a little closer to Diver

Starscream tries desperately to plead to any part of megatron that will listen to him. He tries anything t oget him to stop.

Striker takes a step back, even he wasn't expecting Megatron to go at the seeker like this.

Ravage leaps out of Soundwave's tape compartment.

Enchantress sighs. She suddenly feels very weary. She looks on, committing the scene to her memory, to remind herself always of the consequences of ones actions.

Tempest doesn't seem particularly surprised by the whole thing, and seems very much prepared to watch a slaughter.

Megatron slams his fis into the others face again and again, brute violence guiding his actions.

Gryphus is taking extensive notes while observing. Distached.. clinical.
Striker sits watching Megatron pound on Starscream.

Enchantress sighs. She lost a sparring partner today, and someone that she would've been honored to call "friend," if she hadn't been so caught up in her own make believe world. She suddenly feels tired beyond her years.

Starscream finds himself trying to block out what he can and with every hit he gets he thinks of the earth robot and what the bots willdo to her

Striker then remembers all the things Starscream has said to him and everything he's done in the past and he looks content in watching Starscream get beaten.

Starscream then realizes something..."shes....not...dead....

Divefire folds his arms across his chest in his typical fashion, as if it blocks out the rest of the emotions of the room. His optics narrow as each impact of metal against metal echoes off the walls, he's seen enough masicures in his time.

Enchantress takes in every blow, committing it to her memory. This will be her penance - if she had taken action, she might have prevented this.

Ravage idly sits and watches Megatron beat down one of his troops... About time since he seems to never do anything to troops who misbehave... he glances to Striker and some others to see there reaction and finds it sad how they take pleasure in Starscreams acts of desperation.. when many of them have committed many a crimes to the Empire and gotten off much simpler.. then he glances to Tempest.. who helped Starscream escape.. if she hadn't.. he would never had a chance to interfered with Nightbird in the first place..... at a final glance he looks to Soundwave and just finds the whole situation a sad event.

Megatron grasps the windshield of Starscreams cockpit, ripping it of. "Lier!" he hissis. "Trying to save your worthless life:"

Starscream squalches...."no...no...

Starscream says, "..stun...it was..onlyset...on ..stu..nn"

Enchantress looks to Soundwave with a pleading in her optics. Please, do something to stop this, she thinks. We've had enough losses for one day.

Gryphus continues her fastedious note taking. OH this will be one for researchers to be shocked over later...

Starscream whispers hoarsely, "the bots have her

Tempest's optics flick a brighter red for the tiniest fraction of a second, as Starscream says the last, and then the light is gone almost as soon as it arrives...though the yellow Seeker begins watching the exchange a little more closely than her previous detached semi-interest.

Starscream says, "shes...only....stunn..e.d"

Enchantress shoots up when she hears that. But does Megatron?

Soundwave watches impassively for a while longer, no trace of his usual compassion evident, though what he thinks and feels, he keeps entirely to himself. He finally speaks, "The effects of a null ray on a living being, might potentially freeze any energy emmissions from her."

Megatron's hand around Starscream's throat tigheneds. "Soundwave felt no sign of life..." he snarls. "And soon he will get the same impression from you."

Gryphus pauses and looks a bit shocked a moment.

Soundwave says, "If it was indeed a null ray."

Striker mutters, "Starscream can't do /anything/ right..."

Starscream gags and despreately claws at megatrons hand. "no....she...lives....I ...swear

Striker says, "Well, Soundwave, you can read minds, is our air commander telling the truth?"

Enchantress murmurs a prayer to a god that she doesn't believe in, "Please, Primus, let it be so... Let him be telling the truth..."

Starscream says, "I only...nuled her...to let...the bots...get her"

Megatron sets his jaw plates. He doesn't continue, but he also doesn't release Starscream. "Soundwave, scan him!"

Enchantress optics blaze with a renewed fury. Bad enough to kill a comrade, but to let her fall into enemy hands...

Gryphus blinks?

Striker says, "Then again Megatron... letting her live might be just as bad as killing her in this situation."

Tempest says quietly, "A null ray...doesn't make any sense. Any warrior worth the name woudl shoot to kill..."

Soundwave does not move forward to scan Starscream's mind until Megatron so orders. At Megatron's words, he takes a step toward Starscream and regards him - to an outsider, it would look like he's simply looking intently at the battered flyer, except for the brightening of his optic band that indicates a telepathic scan.

Enchantress says, "The Autobots will almost certainly either disassemble her or attempt to reprogram her."

Striker adds to Enchantress' words, "And they've had more than enough time for either by now."

Enchantress says, "Or give her back to the Dr. for study and observation... I wonder where his alternate labs are located..."

Divefire glances to Enchantress and Striker and glowers at them, growling. "Enough. This is not the time!"

Tempest shivers a little at the idea of a mind scan...this behaviour is not unusual, considering her original opinion of Soundwave and his abilities....

Enchantress bows her head to Divefire in acknowledgment of the correction of his words, and in apology.

Striker says, "Well Divefire, don't you think that if he's telling the truth that we shouldn't try to get her back?"

Gryphus makes some notes about this mind reading for 'Wave and a few other notes to to check into.

Megatron says, "Well..?"

Divefire attention shifts soley to Striker. "I think in the time it took for Starscream and I to soley duel our way back down to the pacific ocean, some one like you could have mounted a rescue operation and we wouldn't be having this discusion."

Enchantress murmurs, "We are in no condition for an assault on the Ark, and the time has been lost. She will almost certainly be moved elsewhere, or in deep storage by now."

Striker glares at Divefire, "If I would've known she was still alive I would've done that!"

Enchantress wanted to go after the Ark, but was dissuaded from it.

Gryphus Hmms thoughtfully.

Divefire matches Striker's glare, reassured that today at least he matched the highest ranking air commander in the Decepticon army. "Then stoe your cinisism for another day and be greatful that Nightbird may yet live!"

Tempest's face is mostly expressionless as she watches what's going on.

Enchantress murmurs, "Milord Divefire was the primary reason that we successfully hunted down Starscream. He deserves some reward for that..."

Striker smirks, "Yes, Divefire did excellent. But... why should I care if Nightbird's alive? All she's done since she's been here has caused trouble."

Tempest growls at Striker, "You have no tact--has anyone ever told you that? Slag, you'er worse than me."

Enchantress sighs. Her opinion has shifted again. "She proved her place to join us. I sincerely doubt that any others of us except Megatron could hold off that many AUtobots, including Prime? I think not."

Striker looks at Tempest, "Excuse me Tempest, I didn't know that would upset you that much, forgive me."

Soundwave's optic band shades back to its usual slightly lower intensity as he withdraws his thoughts from Starscream's mind and looks to Megatron. "Starscream did not kill her," he confirms.

CatsCradle glances at Striker. "Did she cause trouble? Or was it the jealousy directed at her that caused so much trouble?

Tempest gives Enchnatress a sweet smile...like a shark. "Is that a challenge?"

Soundwave leaves unspoken the notion that they Autobots may well have done so by now.

Gryphus makes some more notes on the social interaction going on here too while she's typing away.

Enchantress says, "I am saying that I could not do it, but you could certainly do so, milady."

Megatron simply open his hand, letting Starscream drop to the floor like a piece of scrap.
Tempest's optics flicker over Megatron....then she settles back to her previous watching.

Starscream falls to the ground limply as so much twisted metal.

Tempest nods to Enchantress. "That's better."

Striker doesn't bother to answer Cats, instead, he watches what's going on between Tempest and Enchantress.

Soundwave's gaze passes over the others ... even in the midst of a telapathic scan, he was not completely unaware of what was being said and done around him. The look lingers a moment on Tempest, then he looks away, at Starscream on the ground.

Starscreams in pretty fierce condition and is leaking badly.

Megatron whispers: "Alive..."

Starscream coughs painfully and wonders if anyone willhelp him

Gryphus hmms as she taps into some secoured channels to lok into some data on the whereabouts of NB on the bot side of things. She's just so damn cler its scary.

Striker walks over and stand infront of Starscream, "Can't beleive I'm doing this." And he grabs Starscream's arm.

Enchantress says, "The Autoobts will have either placed her in deep storage, reprogrammed her, disassembled her, or shipped her back to her "creator.""

Enchantress leaves out the notion that they would've simply executed her.

Starscream cries out a bit from the movement but is grateful for the help..."sstriker?

Striker snarls, "Yes... Starscream?"

Tempest looks at Enchantress, as if to say she's as bad as Striker, then back to Striker and snorts. "

Soundwave says, "Silence, Enchantress. We do not yet have the facts for such pointless speculation.""

Starscream says, "your...helping me?"

Striker says, "So... don't get used to it."

Divefire glances down at Starscream's twised figure and shakes his head slightly. Slowly he levels out his gaze onto Megatron and studies the commander for a moment, then asks a simple question that's probably on most peoples minds. "Orders, Megatron?"

Enchantress nods her head in acknowledgement. "Just stating the logical possibilities for the Autobots now that Nightbird is in their possession, Lord."

Gryphus hmms as she suffers the surfing of the net with a tad bit of lag. Darn humans always muck thi up

Tempest says sweetly to Enchangtress," Be quiet before you die, hm?"

Soundwave says, "It is inappropriate at this time."

Megatron doesn't respond anything. He just knoww he has to find her, but he also knows he can't order anyone to help him. The entire trouble would start from the beginninng... "You are dismissed..." he just says to the present. "Take your extra ration of energon from the storage. And..." He gestrures at Starscream. "Get him out of my sight."

Enchantress sighs. And then she shuts off her vocal transponder.

Striker grins at Tempest's words, not really the words, more the way she said them.

CatsCradle tugs Diver's hand. "You need repairs," she murmurs, lacing her fingers in his.

Divefire optics glow slightly, but he nods to Megatron, then looks to Cats. He gives her a silent nod and lets her pull him back slightly as he grips her hand in turn.

Soundwave speaks a name before she leaves with the others, to get her attention: "Tempest."

Striker glances at Tempest, then turns to Megatron, "Megatron? Would you like assistance in retreiving Nightbird?"

Enchantress sighs. Her own repairs from her encounter with the Autobots a fwe days ago are extremely splotchy and ill done, and her diagnostic system is starting to howl. She disconnects it, and turns to leave. She hasn't been officially assigned a quarters yet. "Emperor, I would like to assist as well, if you will accept it."

Tempest seems about ready to leave, at Megatron's command, but she pauses at Soundwave's calling of her name. "Yes?" Still nothing unusual showing...

Soundwave looks at her, no hint of anything showing in his eyeband, no clue of anything in his tone. "You mentioned something about shooting to kill," he says simply, and then turns away, offering nothing more.

Gryphus finally accesses those Bot coputer networkds. No one is the wiser.

Megatron narrows his optics as he looks at Striker. "What reason would you have to help me. Haven't you told me that /she/ would be causing all the trouble?" he hisses.

Tempest eyes Soundwave and laughs a little. "Would you expect anything less from me? But my ways...the law of the Spaceways...aren't your ways, I know that by now."

CatsCradle glances back into the room again, then gently tugs Diver's hand once more and moves silently towards the door.

Enchantress steps in front of Striker. "That is my doing, Emperor."

Starscream leaning heavily on striker

Striker glares at Enchantress and whispers, "Don't you dare say /anything/"

Soundwave doesn't turn back to look at Tempest. Of course he heard her. But he gives no indication of such. He instead seats himself at his communications station.

Enchantress whispers to Striker, "The blame is all mind milord. You are blameless in this. The fault rests entirely on my shoulders."

Divefire fetures frown but he lets himself be taken away by Cats. This is not the time or place to mention about gratitude. "I'll get myself repaird." He murmers to who ever listens and then slips out of the room.

***

Repair Bay

        The place Decepticons seek medical care, the repair bay makes every effort to put the patient at ease. The temperature and lighting are optimized for comfort, and the walls are a neutral grey. There are ten beds along each wall, all with display panels. Equipment and tools are stored in the wall between beds and diagnostic scanners emerge from under the beds when in use. Off of the main room is a specialized surgery unit for laser core trauma, a small cryogenic stasis facility, and an emergency room with stacked beds to be used when the main room becomes too crowded. Overall the repair bay appears to visitors as modern and efficient and this impression is quite valid. Even the most catastrophic injuries can be treated here by a skilled medic.

Divefire walks into the room and glances at the nearest bed by the door. Slowly he moves over to it, a little weariness creeping into his steps. With a slow motion he leans against the bed and lets out a long breath. "What a day." He mutters.

CatsCradle hesitates only slightly at the door, then walks through and slips her arms around Diver's waist, resting her forehead against his back.

Divefire smiles slightly at his mates touch and he moves a hand to rest on hers. "I'm alive." He mutters in a slightly disbelieving tone.

CatsCradle shivers slightly, tightening her arms around him, careful of his injuries. "Oh, Diver..." she whispers.

Divefire shakes his head slightly, then lets out an almost ammused laugh. "Was it my imagination, or did I match the pride of the Cybertronian War Acadamy in combat today?"

Striker drags Starscream in by his arm.

CatsCradle lets out a short breath. "What you did was scare your mate half to death."

Striker says, "Are we interrupting something Cats?"

Striker says, "Cause I can drop this hunk of metal in the ocean just as easy as I can put him on a med table."

Enchantress turns to leave, absentmindedly twisting one of her arms back into its socket.

Enchantress suddenly realizes how long its been since she had proper offline time, or a recharge. Well, that can wait. She has a large number of reports to catch up on...

Starscream goes off line

CatsCradle steps back away from Diver. "Of course you are, Striker, but since you seem to be coming en masse, might as well keep at it." She frowns at Starscream. "Diver better be the one first in line for repairs, though."

Enchantress says, "I have a little skill at repair, milady/milord."

Divefire frowns as the group decends on the repair bay, but isn't in the mood to say much else.

CatsCradle glances at Enchantress. "Aren't you a secretary?"

Striker frowns, "Sorry for walking in on you like this Cats," he picks up Starscream and literally drops him on the nearest table.

Enchantress says, "Yes. I was originally a teacher at the War Academy, and I picked up a few skills there before my revival. I can leave, if you desire some privacy. My repairs are noncritical, and can wait."

Enchantress turns to leave.

CatsCradle says "I think I would rather have someone skilled in repair do such work, rather than a secretary, thank you for the offer though.""

Striker looks at Cats, "You know... I could just give him a sedative drip to make him sleep, and leave you two to talk."

Enchantress says, "Very well milady. I apologize for troubling you."

Enchantress winces as she turns to leave to go work on her mountains of reports that have been piling up in the last week. Not to mention the training that she has to catch up on...

CatsCradle can't help but grin at Striker. "But I'd rather him be awake and feeling some of that pain."

Divefire glances over at Starscream's body and frowns once more. Today was not up the chart of easy things to do.

Starscream laying there motionless

Enchantress enters again, carrying a stack of datapadds taht she sets up on a table, then she stretches, and gets crackign.

Striker says, "Sure ya don't want me to knock him out? He'll be outta your way for awhile."

CatsCradle glances at Diver with amusement. "Your choice, love."

Divefire optics flash a little. "If I want him knocked out, I'll take the plesure of doing it myself."

CatsCradle's optics glow at him. "That's what I rather thought." She nudges him. "Sit. Before you fall down. 'Cause I can't pick you up again."

Enchantress starts typing away at six different reports, oen with each arm, keeping track of all of them at once. Her three chest - panther heads become active as well, allowing her to keep track of the multiple screens.

Striker smirks, "Of course Divefire."

Divefire nods to his mate and with another guarded out take of breath he sits himself on the edge of the bed. He glances over to Striker and mutters slightly. "A word of advice Striker, give Megatron some room." Then he glances back to Cats and takes her hand in his and holds it, looking at it as he does so.

Striker eyes Divefire, "And why wouldn't I? I haven't done anything to him have I?"

CatsCradle snorts softly. "Striker, you hated Nightbird almost as much as Tempest did. And you certainly didn't make any effort to hide it."

Divefire shakes his head slightly, but doesn't look up from Cats hand. "No, you havn't. But he's just seen one of his most trusted leutents try and kill his most promising aquision. Megatron won't want any of us around for awhile."

Striker frowns, "Your right, I did hate her and still do. And for that very reason..."

Divefire smirks slightly, still with out looking up. "To good for your liking?"

Enchantress says, "She is a Decepticon. Despite what we feel, she has been accepted with open arms by the Emperor. That is good enough for me, despite my personal feelings."

CatsCradle studies Striker. "And all of you, you, Tempest, Ruse, Starscream... your hatred fueled each others, built it up to this point today, and all because, why? Because she was good, and because Megatron liked her."

Enchantress says, "I am at fault mostly for that."

Striker frowns and walks away from Divefire, he sits and looks to see how Starscream's vital signs are doing, "Wasn't exactly the reason I was thinking Divefire."

CatsCradle still gazes at Striker. "No, perhaps not... perhaps because you thought you should be angry for Tempest's sake?"

Divefire glances up at Cats with Striker's words, giving her a puzzled look, but then shruging slightly. "Evidently I'm missing something."

CatsCradle spares her mate a quick glance. "You always miss catching on to the relationships," she says fondly.

Striker doesn't answer Cats, he just looks at the monitor that's showing Starscream's vital signs.

Enchantress is furiously typing, keeping a vocal trained to the conversation, but not really paying attention to it.

Divefire frowns some more, then shakes his head once more. "I doubt Starscream's actions where trigured by any sort of relationship problems."

CatsCradle agrees, "No, they weren't..." Her gaze turns to Starscream. "When we left the base, Starscream was locked in an energy cage."

Striker says, "No Divefire's Starscream's actions weren't caused by relationship problems..."

Divefire queries again. "Energy cage? What is he, an escape artist now?"

CatsCradle shrugs. "Last I saw, he was in a panic about it. Not exactly able to think clearly about how to get out."

Enchantress says, "Why was he put in the cage?"

CatsCradle sighs. "He went after Megatron.

Enchantress says, "I see. One thing I've always wondered is why Megatron continues to allow him to exist. Do you have any ideas?"

Striker says, "Someone had to have let him out."

CatsCradle tilts her head at Striker. "Really?" She smiles very slightly. "I never would have thought of that."

Enchantress frowns as a thought enters her mind, but she remains silent, steadily typing away.

Striker says, "And who was the only one who stayed behind at base while we went after Nightbird?"

Striker says, "The only one who wasn't at battle?"

Enchantress remains silent.

Divefire tone turns slightly bitter as he speeks. "Starscream, the pride of the Cybertronian War Acadamy... The best aerial combatant in the Decepticon Army. As much pride as skill, that's why he's still around.

CatsCradle shrugs. "I'm just a little low-rank ex-stealth, Striker. It's not for me to go making connections like that."

Striker says, "Tempest had to have let him out, she was the only one who remained behind at base."

Striker sighs.

Enchantress says, "As far as I am concerned, milord, you did a masterful job at keeping up with him, and were the primary reason that we were able to secure him. Congratulatoins on a successful hunt."

Divefire shakes his head slightly and mutters. "I got lucky." Then he glances over to Striker. "That's a powerful claim to make Striker."

Striker says, "Powerful claim? I wouldn't be making a claim like that on her without evidence... and there is. And you know what? I'm glad she let him out."

CatsCradle still hasn't stopped watching Striker. "I rather imagine so. After all, you hate both Nightbird and Starscream, don't you?

Enchantress sighs. THat is the conclusion that she came to as well, based upon what she has seen of Tempest.

Enchantress says, "We make our own luck milord. If you had not been able to do so, you would've perisehd against Starscream. Don't be so modest."

Divefire optics narrow once more. "Wonderful. You didn't have to duel with him Striker." He looks over to Enchantress and nods after a moment, and goes back to contemplating.

Enchantress nods back to Divefire. He truly is worthy of such praise. She was the one who got lucky...

Striker says, "No, but I wish I did.." He looks at Cats, "Yes Cats, hate Starscream and Nightbird, feel the exact opposite about the other."

Striker says, "When Soundwave gonna get here so I can stop making sure this peice of junk doesn't die?"

Enchantress says, "Soundwave is otherwise occupied, I would imagine. This has been an extremely trying time for the Emperor."

CatsCradle shrugs again, signifying that she's finished with that topic of conversation. She looks down at her hand in Diver's, then up at him. "Is there anything that I can be doing until Soundwave gets here?" She touchs his face.

Divefire lets slip a soft smile to her and tilts his head slightly against her palm. "You're already doing it love."

Striker watches Divefire and Cats for a second, then turns away thinking he shouldn't even be here.

CatsCradle's optics glow softly at him and she rests her forehead against his for a moment.

Enchantress smiles behidn her workstation. Ah, she remembers when she and Cal first got together...

Enchantress gets back to her typing. She only has 134 more reports to complete before she can take her downtime, or whenever she gets back into the repair schedule...

Striker stands up, "I'm going to go find Soundwave."

Striker enters Equipment Storage

Striker arrives from Equipment Storage.

Enchantress looks up. "Did you get him?"

Striker says, "No."

Enchantress says, "So we have some time to wait then, milord... I suggest that you make yourslf comfortable."

CatsCradle says, "If all you're doing here is watching those monitors, I can do that until Soundwave gets here.""

Striker says, "Trying to tell me to leave Cats?"

Enchantress says, "If you wish, I can go."

Enchantress says, "I can do my work elsewhere."

CatsCradle shrugs. "Nope, Striker. Trying to save you from boredom, is all."

Striker looks to Cats, "Not exactly alot of things I could be doing at the moment... Megatron doesn't want to see anyone, and Tempest is who knows where."

Enchantress says, "I don't think that Starscream will be goign anywhere. He's under restraints, a force field, and has a pair of sentry guns targetted on him."

CatsCradle searches through a couple of nearby drawers without letting go of Diver's hand. "There's gotta be something in here that we can use to play Poke-The-Corpse. Starscream almost qualifies as a corpse...

Enchantress says, "Laser scapel?"

Enchantress says, "Energon patch modified to deliver electrical shock to neurowire?"

CatsCradle says, "Naw, too sharp. We'd get more fluids all over the floor..." She slams the drawer shut and sits next to Diver on the bed. "Oh, well...""

Divefire mutters as he comes out of some deep thoughts. "He can't walk. How is he going to escape?"

Enchantress says, "I know how to modify a energon patch to deliver electric shocks that travel directly to the neurowire."

CatsCradle flicks her fingers in dismissal. "I wasn't serious." She stops to consider. "Well... maybe I was..."

Soundwave finally makes it to Repair Bay after dealing with varous other matters.

Enchantress is busy typing on six different reports in the background, one with each hand. She's way behind schedule...

Striker looks up at Soundwave, "Finally. I was getting sick of watching this peice of junk rust here."

Divefire is sat next to Cats on a med bay, looking rather deep in thought, or rather tired.

Enchantress gets up and curtsies to Soundwave, and then goes back to typing her reports. Only 104 to go...

CatsCradle gives Diver's hand a quick squeeze and hops off of the bed. She doesn't move very far, hovering a few steps away.

Soundwave says, "This 'piece of junk,' as you put it, was spared by Megatron, so it would be unfortunate for him to leak to death at this point."

Striker says, "Take care of Divefire first. Let Starscream wait a big longer."

Soundwave says, "Starscream has the more serious injuries."

Enchantress can wait until after Starscream has been stabilized.

CatsCradle says "Divefire's were more honorably received"

Soundwave states the case quite practically. "That may be so, but I speak as a repair specialist at the moment."

Divefire mutters under his breath, his head dropping slightly. "Soundwave's right. Let him work."

Striker says, "Yes, go with Divefire first, Starscream deserved his beating, Divefire did not."

Enchantress remains quiet.

Soundwave ignores further commentary and arranges his tools to start work on Starscream.

Enchantress says, "Perhaps he could be stabilized and then Divefire could be worked on, Lord?"

CatsCradle starts to say something, but at Diver's words, she stops, moving to sit next to him again. She curls her fingers around his hand once more

Enchantress loosk up from her reports and curtsies to Gryphus as she enters.

Gryphus walks into the medbay, holding a printed report in one hand. Her datapad in another.

Striker says, "Hey Gryphus."

Enchantress pushes a mountain of reports that she has completed off to the side.

Divefire mutters again, squezing Cats hand back softly. "First rule of repairs, treat the patient that isn't talking first..."

Striker says, "Too bad he can't stay like this."

Enchantress rolls her optics, hidden from behind her reports.

CatsCradle touchs Diver's face. "One would think you hated repairs as much as I do," she murmurs

Gryphus nods to Enchantress. "I have something for Starscream when he wakes up. Since he is in such trouble with our Lord concerning the missing Nibghtbird. I did endeavor to hack into the Bot computers to come up with a lead for him. if he wishes totak it it is of course up to him."

Enchantress says, "You're a slicer? You have many talents, milady."

Gryphus smiles to Enchantress. "I have my ways." she states. "Is he awake?"

Striker shakes his head, "Soundwave just started on him."

Soundwave is aware of Gryphus having come in, but he's currently busy patching up the multiple leaks, armor rifts, structural damage, and other injuries.

Striker says, "Soundwave, any posibility you might take out his vocorder?"

Gryphus nods. "Ah then I shall keep this til he is awake of course. So he may read it and decide on his actions."

Enchantress rolls her optics. Flyboys...

Soundwave replies calmly, "I have not been instructed to do so, Striker."

Divefire gives a slight glance to Cats and smiles as resasuringly as he can manage. "I'm just tired."

Soundwave continues work, sealing the leaks, replacing broken fuel lines.

CatsCradle gives Diver a yeah-right look, but doesn't say anything else.

Striker shakes his head and walks off towards his quarters.

Gryphus glances at the lovebirds. "OH get a room already." she snaps.

Striker has left.

Enchantress chuckles for the first time this day.

CatsCradle glances at Gryphus, her expression a mixture between amusement and condescension, then obviously decides her comment doesn't merit a responce

Gryphus asks of Sounwave. "Do you require anything sir.. I"m sure all this gawking while you work doesn't help matters much. Perhaps I could get some parts you need?"

Enchantress is busy typing, and feeling like she might collapse. Only 67 more reports to go, then she can get repaired, and get a full offline/recharge period for the first tiem all week...

Soundwave removes more shattered pieces, carefully with his combination of needle-tipped and magnetic tools. He looks up and nods to Gryphus, assembling the removed parts on a tray on a neighboring repair table. "You will find replacements in storage. When there are multiple sizes, bring the whole container - some of them are almost identical.

Gryphus nods. "You got it sir." she moves to the stoarage area and takes up the whole container. Which for her isn't that heavy. Hey you build up some strenth carrying aorund old stone tablets and what not.

Enchantress hopes to discuss later with Gryphus the implications of the findings of Voldemort in his excavations of Seti Alpha Six...

Gryphus sets the container on a table. "There you go. Just let me know wht you need. I'm fairly familar with the set up for seekers. Research is such a viable and often times varied field.. you know." she smiles a hint.

Divefire optics flicker a little as he fights off the exaughstion of battaling Starscream and the resultent wounds. His frame tips foward before he catches himself and pulls himself upright. "I should not of gone into orbit this morning." He mutters to himself.

Soundwave nods his appreciation to Gryphus and continues his work methodically, fitting in replacement parts for the ones he's removed - gears and support struts, down to the smallest microchips and wires.

Starscreams optics light up faintly

Gryphus says, "Or if you like I can endeavor to assist those still awaiting? I have some basic repair knowledge. antoher research project of mine."

CatsCradle braces herself against Diver to take some of his weight. "You couldn't have known that you were going to have to chase Starscream across the planet a few times.:

Starscream looks up at Soundwave and can NOT believe everythings hes feeling. " You?....repairing..?

Divefire nods slightly as his arm slides behind Cats back. "True." He murmers to her.

Soundwave extracts another crushed piece of shoulder gear, suctions away the leaking fuel, and seals the fuel line. "I was the only one available," he notes, the tone professional and utterly devoid of any hint of emotion one way or another.

Enchantress pops the last of her energon cubes into her mouth, greatful for the boost. She's nearing the poitn of collapse, but she only has 34 more reports to write... She can get it done, and then relax...

Soundwave says, "I am certain Divefire requires some additional fuel. Those of you who are waiting can access the storage areas to retrieve more cubes."

Starscream looks at him for a moment then slowly goes back off line.

Enchantress says, "I'll get them, Lord. I coudl use a stretch."

Enchantress enters Equipment Storage

Gryphus nods. "RIght. Of course."

Enchantress reenters with several miniature energon cubes, her damage, minimal rest, and low charge rate catching up with her. She is past the point where she's even able to hide it. She keeps on going by force of will alone. Only 37 more reports to do...

Enchantress hands the cubes to Divefire and to Soundwave, then sits back down and gets to work on her reports.

Divefire smirks slightly as he looks in Soundwave's direction, but decides against sharing the witism. Now is posibly not the best time to do so.

If Soundwave were speculating about such things, he might imagine the shock of seeing Soundwave fixing him up, was too much for Starscream to handle and he retreated back into unconsciousness. For his part, he continues his work, adding fresh neurocircuitry filaments to replace the broken ones.

Divefire takes a few cubes and nods his thanks to Enchantress and starts to slowly consume one of the cubes.

Enchantress curtsies to Divefire in acknowledgment of his thanks, and gets back to work.

Gryphus hands over parts as required. Otherwise she's quiet. Observing.

Enchantress gets back to work on her reports. The time seems to pass quickly. Down to thirty now...

Soundwave finally comes to the point where he's satisfied Starscream will be stable, though not fully mobile. His system will hav to adjust to the more critical replacement parts before Soundwave feels confident about repairing the less drastic damage.

Soundwave checks over the patient one more time with a scanner, nodding to himself, then looks around the repair bay. "Divefire," he says.

Divefire glances up to Soundwave, his optics a little brighter now having consumed some of the energon. "Soundwave." He replies, meeting the multi tasking wonder with a neutral tone and a steady gaze.

Gryphus says, "I belive your next?"

CatsCradle manages to stop herself from grumbling again that he should have been first

Soundwave steps over to Divefire, the scanner still in hand, and reads over the injuries that it's showing.

The scanner does a full multi-specturm sweep, relaying the information it finds over the information in the main database and quickly highlights the damaged areas. It appears nothing to serious, sructule integrilty feild down to 40 percent, crystaline armour fractures on most pannals and a few fractured fuel lines.

Enchantress gets the number of reports down to twenty...

Gryphus continues to observe and assist as she is able.

CatsCradle peeks over Diver's shoulder at the scanner, not that she really understands the readings anyway...

Divefire glances up at the scanner, his optics narrowing slightly. "How bad?" He asks in a mutter.

Soundwave sets about his work once again. "Not as bad as you might expect, Divefire. Symptoms of energy depletion, some structural damage. Your readings have already improved upon the consumption of energon."

CatsCradle lets out a soft sigh of relief.

Divefire heh's slightly, then breaks another smirk. "Great, don't spread it around Soundwave, I don't want to be doing that again any time soon."

CatsCradle says firmly, "You won't be."

Soundwave says, "The microfractures to your armor can be heat-welded rather than replaced. More efficient, less trauma to your systems, and with equal results."

Divefire nods slightly again to Soundwave. "I'd prefer not having to get used to a new set of clothes."

Soundwave checks to make sure Divefire's pain sensors are switched off, then brings out a blowtorch and starts carefully running the flame over Divefire's armor. He keeps the distance between the end of the torch and the armor at a pricise interval, and warns, "Remain still."

Gryphus sticks close to hand over parts or w hat have you for Soudners.

Divefire remains deathly still. "And people say you don't have a sense of humour."

Soundwave's optic band shades a little brighter in amusement, though his tone remains neutral as he says, "Who says that?"

Gryphus cocks her head at Divefire.

Divefire optics glimer as he keeps board like. "I couldn't posibly say. But then you have a blow touch next to my armour..."

Enchantress has only 15 reports left to do, and its a struggle to hit the keys each time. The spot welds that she put to hold her arms in place are failing, and her neurowire is starting to tear a bit. She's very glad she repainted herself, and tried to bang out the dents before doing anything else. She grins - at least her wings are in good shape...

Soundwave finishes the armor, and switches off the heat. "The blowtorch work is complete. However, the damaged fuel lines will require more extensive work."

Gryphus idly thinks over some of her research projects as she assits as she is able. Hmm, got to follow up on that one. Do some hacking for thaat one....

Divefire raises his arms up in mock fear, palms raised. "Okay it was Skywarp, don't hurt me."

Soundwave opens the nearest access panel to the broken fuel lines, traces them down, and suctions away the leaks. He chuckles softly as Divefire "confesses," clearly not bothered by any of the hearsay.

CatsCradle chuckles softly under her breath, sitting back and relaxing slightly for the first time in many hours.

Gryphus hmms that reminds her to check in on the research on identical body typing and gestalting.

Divefire lowers his arms back down, a mere hint of a smirk on his face again as he glances down at his own frame. "This reminds me of a cartoon I once watched."

Soundwave says, "Perhaps you should discuss that with my creations. But, explain."

CatsCradle closes her optics and chuckles harder.

Soundwave clamps off the damaged parts of the fuel lines, and neatly excises them, melding new pieces into place with a cold bonding agent that won't interfere with energon flow.

Divefire shrugs slightly and relays what he saw. "A cartoon duck got hit with a human weapon, a shotgun I think, then proced to drink some water which leaked out from lots of little holes in his body."

Gryphus blinks out of eher t houghts.

Soundwave looks momentarily puzzled. "What was the message behind this?"

CatsCradle grins. "Does that mean that if he went swimming, the water would pour back in and he'd explode?

Enchantress chuckles. Ah, this planet does have some intelligence after all. "On the Richter scale of culture, a culture must have complex situational humor to be able to be rated above a 4.425."

Gryphus mentally notes to study this 'cartoon' item sometime.

Enchantress chuckles as she remembers a similar situation from an old Cybertronian holodrama/comedy. "Any of you ever seen Road Rangers? It was an ancient holocomedy from the Golden Age that was quite similar in appearance to this planet's "Loony Toons."

Gryphus says, "Im afraid not Enchantress."

Soundwave finishes up with the fuel line repair, switches on tactile sensors again, and closes the access panel. "I recommend you obtain an additonal two cubes of energon, Divefire, but other than that you should be fine."

Enchantress chuckles. "I have a copy with me. YOu really should see it sometime. THE humor is atrocious, and it is extremely dated, but there is something incredibly hilarious about it."

Gryphus nods. "I may do that."

Enchantress takes out her last two cubes from storage and tosses them to Divefire. "Here, I can pick up my ration tomorrow."

Divefire shrugs lightly to the questions. "I've no idea. One of the areas of human culture that I don't understand is humor. It tends to be very cultury based from one race to the next. I doubt the humans would understand the anicent Cybertronian joke of `What the sensor said to the node.`" He looks up to Soundwave and nods his thanks. "Very apprcheated Soundwave. In the future I'll let Striker do the errent Seeker chasing, since he was so quick to take the glory."

Divefire snatches the cubes out of the air, his reactions coming back a little and once more nods to Enchantress.

CatsCradle adds, "And since he doesn't have a mate who will light into him for it later."

Soundwave glances over toward the unconscious Starscream. "I should hope there will not be a next time."

Soundwave notices something on CatsCradle and tilt his head a little. "You require some patchwork as well, CatsCradle."

Enchantress finally finishes her last report, and starts to exit. Then the welds holding one of her arms on gives, and her middle left arm falls to the ground with a big clang. She quickly picks it up and feels extremely tired... NOthign that a good rest and recharge can't cure.

Gryphus says, "Perhaps I should make Starscream fuel swear to all the Cons to not fight them as apparently he cannot coiNtain himself.. in fact this infighting is abhorrent.""

CatsCradle points wordlessly to Enchantress' falling-apart.

Enchantress leans on the wall for support as she rests for a few moments. Just need to deliver the reports to the Command Center... "NOthing major Lord. It can wait. Get to CatsCradle first."

Gryphus blinks at Enchantress's arm herself.

Divefire gives Cats a sidelong glance, and notes that's probably going to hurt later. "Starscream's been pushing things of late." Then he mutters in a lower tone. "And I've marked my card against him."

Gryphus says, "Uh perhaps you should have your arms looked into Enchantress."

Enchantress weakly folds onto the floor as her systems finally give out, and nods from a fetal position.

Soundwave gives CatsCradle a dubious look, having encountered her reluctance to undergo repairs before, but he does step over and look over Echantress. "Why have you not sought out repairs before now?" he says.

CatsCradle uses the distraction of Enchantress' faint to tug at Diver's hand and nod towards teh door.

Soundwave shakes his head. "Energy depletion. Gryphus, I will require some more energon."

Divefire frowns to her but then nods slightly. "Alright." He mutters to her. "This time."

Enchantress says, "YOu weren't available, Lord. ANd there were others who were far more critically damaged than I was..."

CatsCradle quietly goes for the door on the opposite end of the room from Enchantress, and most importantly Soundwave, and slips out.

***

D-C's Home

At first look, this seems like a larger version of the other quarters, except this is actually two of the standard quarters with a doorway joining them. One room is obviously set aside as a sleeping area. The other room is more of a living area, with two work terminals, one that seems to be cluttered in an organized fashion, and the other that is simply cluttered. There is an aquarium, about fifty-gallon-sized, with several Earth species of tropical fish. Although most of the fish are tiny, there is a holo-projector set up to bounce an enlarged reflection of the aquarium's contents up onto the wall above the tank. The room is filled with the soothing gurgling sounds of the aquarium's pumps and the pleasant fragrance of unlit beeswax candles. On a small shelf, a tiny glass hummingbird hangs, its edges faceted to catch the occassional stray beam of light, refracting it in splashes of rainbows.

CatsCradle points towards the bed. "Sleep," she orders.

Divefire frowns a little, but really isn't in the mood to protest as he slinks into the bed room and quickly slides onto the bed.

CatsCradle comes to sit on the bed next to him. She frowns briefly at the graze on her arm, then decides that it is sealing over on its own and lays down to curl next to him, her head on his shoulder

Divefire looks at her with concern as he slides an arm over her body. "What happaned to your shoulder?" He asks her in a murmer.

CatsCradle flicks her fingers in dismissal. "Didn't get my ‘field up fast enough when we left the 'Bots to go after Starscream." She nuzzles against his neck. "Too many directions to think in. I was too slow by a second or two."

Divefire optics start to flicker closed. "Don't be next time." He offers oh so helpfully.

CatsCradle pokes his side. "Part of that reason was watching my mate take off after a traitor and knowing no one else could catch up to help."

Divefire says, "You rather I'd let him go?"

CatsCradle grumbles intelligibly against his shoulder

Divefire smirks slightly to her and kisses the top of her head. "I didn't know I could do it either. But I had to try."

CatsCradle smiles against his skin, and for a moment, pride chases away the concern and she glows with it. "You were incredible, love."

Divefire raises a brow in a certin amount of suprise. "I was?"

CatsCradle leans up on her elbow enough to look into his face. "You didn't see anyone else able to chase him down, did you?"

Divefire shakes his head slightly. "No."

CatsCradle brushes her fingers along his forehead, running them down his nose. "Well, then," she whisperes, her optics full of love.

Divefire smiles to her, his optics returning the look, just with a little less awakeness. "Well I'm glad you noticed if no one else did."

CatsCradle kisses his forehead. "They will, love. There's just too many other emotions running wild right now." She chuckles softly. "I'm sure Starscream noticed, in any case." Her smile falters a little. "We'll have to be more careful around him, you and I."

Divefire nods slightly, his optics narrowed once more. "He's not one to live and let live."

CatsCradle brushes her fingers along his face, gently massaging. "He's only one person. We're two."

Divefire nods slightly and offers a smile to her. "This is very true. And I doubt Starscream is foolish enough to incure your wrath."

CatsCradle laughs softly. "Yep. Good thing you had him mostly brought down by the time I got there."

Divefire smirks slightly. "I'd managed to hit him once. He managed to hit me once. We were dead locked in an air duel for two hours. I'd hardly call that bring him down."

CatsCradle smiles. "It was still more than anyone else could do." She kisses him, her lips brushing over his lovingly. "Sleep, now."

Divefire whispers to her lips. "If you insist."

CatsCradle rubs her nose against his. "Do you really have a choice, love? You're almost asleep already."

Divefire murmers to him as his optics start to dim. "Not really."

CatsCradle kisses him again, her fingers still stroking over his face lightly, then gently settles against him again, watching his face as he falls asleep.



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