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Dusk of the Dead
Dusk of the Dead
Played 6/30/01-7/4/01


6/30/01


<LongRange> Slasher says, "This is D Zero Eight One of the Decepticon Empire... Sending out a General Distress signal Priority One in requestiong Assistence.... Situation Nominal... Have lost Contanct with Lord Straxus... Requesting Appropriot backup Emidietly."


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.

Skywarp is at his post

Even as Soundwave works the communications console and fixes the coordinates of the incoming signal, his other hand taps at a side-screen, pulling up a file on Slasher to see what it might tell them about the caller.

Striker is standing a litte behind Megatron, Soundwave, and Shockwave.

CatsCradle enters silently and moves to perch on the console nearest the door.

Skywarp looks over at Soundwave

Striker says, "Soundwave? He said his name was Slasher, right?"

Soundwave says, "Affirmative."

CatsCradle says softly, "That was the name of the other time portal escapee that was with Straxus."

Shockwave's optic dims a bit as if trying to remember something, perhaps what he may know about a Decepticon named Slasher.

<LongRange> Slasher says, "Roger that Soundwave (He sounds calm himself... Considering he is sending a distress call one would think the person sending it would sound a little stressed but nope.. calm as ever Slasher Simply says.) Lord Straxus has visited the Surface of a world... And I have lost contanct.  I do not have the mechpower to assemply a proper search party in orther to retreave Lord Straxus... Requesting assistence from any allied Forces."

Soundwave says, "One who followed Straxus into deep space, it would appear. Coordinates of this message are considerably beyond this solar system."

Striker says, "I remember him, I was in a battle with him when Megatron had ordered me to bring back STraxus, he was from the past."

Skywarp says, "Slasher?..Heh...What does he Transform into..A letter opener?"

Soundwave looks up a bit at this. "From the past? And he has remained here when the time rifts closed?" Quickly he skims the file on the individual whose name and voice-ID matches their current contact.

CatsCradle's voice is a little tight, although her expression is as mild as usual. "Why didn't he go back? Starwave did."

Megatron says, "What do you think about the message, Soundwave? Do you think it may be a trick?"

Striker shrugs, "He said he was from way back when STraxus was still Decepticon commander."

<LongRange> Soundwave says, "Do you have reason to believe there is an enemy presence on this world?"

Shockwave looks up sharply at the mention of the time rifts, and his optic glows brightly.

Soundwave looks to Megatron and replies, "Coordinates indicate the sender is indeed near a planetary system, judging from the pattern of interference in the transmission. Proximity to a star. As to whether there is an attempt to lure you into ambush, I cannot tell - but I would recommend a sizeable attack force none the less."

<LongRange> Slasher says, "There seems to be some type of Problem on the Surface... The scanners are not very clear on the area."

<LongRange> Soundwave says, "Cross-referencing the name of the planetary system with your coordinates. Do you have an identification for the world on which you are located?""

<LongRange> Slasher says, "Database References this Planetoid as Designation Acheron..."

Megatron says, "Shockwave, how many Ships are in battle condition?"

Soundwave tilts his head a little, as though searching his memory on whether the name sounds at all familiar. Again he reaches for the side-screen, searching for the name in the records, but nothing seems to be coming up yet.

Ravage idly strolls in... and heads over to Soundwave.. his Thoughts on the situation already evident to the father.

Shockwave considers for a moment. "We have no legitimate warships at the present time Megatron. I believe we could carry a sizeable number of troops to that location however. As I recall, the world is an old scientific research colony that was assumed lost many eons ago."

<LongRange> Soundwave says, "Stand by, Slasher.  We will be in contact momentarily."

Megatron says, "Scientific research..? I don't recall the name from our files. Mmmh... is it possible that it was an Autobot base?"

Soundwave turns toward Megatron again to await his commander's decision.

<LongRange> Slasher says, "Acknowledged.... I shall be descending Into a lower Orbit.... Radio contact will remain open."

Shockwave says, "Negative Megatron, it was a Decepticon mission. It is concievable the colony fell to Autobot forces however."

Soundwave puts in, "Message is not coming in on an Autobot frequency. The question of Slasher puzzles me, as to why he did not return to his own time-" he glances at CatsCradle for a moment - "but if there is an ambush here, it is more likely to be from our own rogue forces than from the Autobots, in my opinion."

Striker nods, "Namely Slasher and Straxus."

Megatron says, "I was just asking because I did not remember the name."

CatsCradle points out, "Straxus had the opportunity to take out three of our forces before and didn't. Four, if you count Starwave. Not," she adds, "that I'm recommending or not recommending a rescue mission, mind you."

Soundwave considers this, and files it away in silence to add it to whatever other pieces of evidence and knowledge he keeps to himself.

Megatron rubs his chin. "Maybe a possibility for Starscream to regain his reputation...

Striker eyes Megatron, "Starscream isn't so special... I didn't think he had much of a reputation to begin with Megatron."

CatsCradle says with a grin, "Of course he did... just not a reputable one."

Megatron says, "Spare me your private struggle, Striker. Starscream already bored me with that topic today."

Striker shrugs and shuts up.

Shockwave says quietly, "A fabricated distress signal is an extremely old gambit, but it has so endured because it is often effective. It would be logical to verify the emergency in some manner."

<LongRange> Megatron says, "Slasher, this is Megatron speaking. You will receive reinforcements soon."

Megatron says, "Shockwave, we need a ship."

Shockwave nods. "That should not be a problem Megatron. The new supply shuttle I arrived in is berthed above."

Megatron says, "Excellent."

Shockwave says, "It has a fully functional superluminal drive and an adequete supply of energon thanks to the efforts of your forces here."

CatsCradle frowns. "I wouldn't have thought Straxus would have called to us for help," she says in a thoughful tone. "Then again," she adds, "it isn't Straxus doing the calling, is it?"

Shockwave glances behind him as Techno enters, and nods to her.

Striker looks at Cats, "No, but I doubt he'll be happy when he realises I'm with you."

Megatron says, "Then take care that we have also enough ammunition aboard. I got the feeling we may need it."

CatsCradle says, "Especially if you try to blow us all up again, Striker.""

Soundwave notices Techno arriving, who obviously must have come with Shockwave.

<LongRange> Slasher is heard over a rather static radio... "Son of a Slag tar!!" there is a sudden sound of alarms in the background crackled 2nd radio with the signal you hear Straxus's voice say something about Anti Grav units not working.. to not come any closer with the craft."

Striker frowns, "I won't pull that bit again Cats."

CatsCradle sighs a little. "No, I'm sure you'll come up with something else." Her optics glint in amusement, belying her sigh


Striker's optics glint, with a nasty smile, "Trust me Cats, if I do, you'll be the first to know about it."

Shockwave considers. "I shall instruct a team on Cybertron to ready an ordinance and supply package that we can pick up on our way out of the system." He goes off to one side of the room and speaks softly into his radio.

CatsCradle glances to Striker, her full attention on him. "Really?" she asks softly.

Soundwave waits to see who will be sent on this mission, now that Megatron seems committed to undertaking it.

Megatron transmits a message via radio.

Striker smirks, "But of course Cats."

CatsCradle says just as softly, "I'll remember that." She studies her claws for a moment. "Gonna be an interesting trip."

Striker gives Cats a nasty little smile.

<LongRange> Slasher says, "This is Slasher again... Anti Grav units are useless on the planet... So unless you wish to decorate the landscape.. Id recommend you bring along a ship with normal thrusters.  I almost Lost control coming back up."

Starscream walks in and looks to megatron, "you called....."

Skywarp looks over at Starscream

Starscream glances to striker indifferently as he walks past him.

Striker glares at Starscream, "Of course Starscream... we're in need of your unique talents, just don't ask me what they are."

Soundwave watches carefully the interchange between Striker and Starscream.

Starscream says, "and since when is your name Megatron, Seeker?"

Megatron tilts his head, facing the Aircommander. "Yes, Starscream, I did. Lord Straxus seems to be in trouble and needs our help."

Skywarp smirks a bit

Starscream is furious almost beyond words at this point but controls himself.

<Earth> Ramjet says, "This is Ramjet at the tempory base. Whats with all this radio trafic?"

Shockwave listens to the latest message and then transmits another radio message to Cybertron.

Starscream looks back to Megatron, " And?

<LongRange> Soundwave says, "Slasher - personal flight engines are inoperative?"

Striker glares at Starscream, but keeps his comments to himself. He's /trying/ to keep himself from causing more trouble.

Megatron says, "We will send a ship to assist him, you will be part of the team."

Starscream says, "assist in what?"

<Earth> Soundwave says, "It seems we are soon to find out, Ramjet.  We may require an additional warrior.  Stand by."

Megatron pauses a while. "As well is Striker.

Soundwave says, "Shall I call Ramjet in from patrol, Commander?"

<LongRange> Slasher responds, "If they are Anti Grav Technology yes... I had to switch my ship to Fueled thrusters to make it into orbit.

Soundwave makes no comment nor has any obvious expression to offer when Megatron assigns both Starscream and Striker to the mission.

<LongRange> Soundwave says, "Acknowledged. Have you been able to determine a cause?"

Megatron says, "Getting under control whatever went wrong on that planet!"

<LongRange> Slasher says, "Negative... I was slightly distracted by the ground getting closer at an uncontrolled rate to take the time and get accurate Sensor readings."

Starscream smiles sweetly, " surely striker doesnt need me to hold his hand on this simple mission now does he?"

<LongRange> Soundwave says, "Acknowledged."

Striker says, "Of course not air commander."

Megatron says, "Yes, Soundwave, Ramjet will be a part of the crew too."

Soundwave nods to Megatron, and passes along the message.

<Earth> Soundwave says, "Megatron's orders, Ramjet - return to base to join the mission."

Megatron says, "Maybe you need Striker to hold your hand, Starscream."

Starscream clenches his fists and blinks.

Soundwave speaks up, "Perhaps it would be advantageous if I were to accompany them. If there are energy readings to be taken or communications that must get through, my abilities may be useful." One gets the sense that Soundwave is talking about different abilities altogether, though, as he continues watching the sniping jets.

<Earth> Ramjet says, "Copy that. Temporty base out."

Megatron says, "Techno, your scientific talent might be needed, too."

Techno raises an eyebrow, odd someone noticed her..."very well

Megatron nods to Soundwave. "Of course you will join the mission, as does the rest of the

Megatron nods to Soundwave. "Of course you will join the mission, as does the rest of those who aren't accupied with regular duties.

Ramjet stomps in, stopping in the middle of the room to salute Megatron, "Jetwarrior Ramjet reporting as ordered Commander."

Ravage thinks, . o O 0 ( is nap time part of my Regular duties ? )

Megatron nods to Ramjet. "Good."

CatsCradle tilts her head, in obvious thought as she runs down a mental list of the R&E duties, then shrugs. Nothing immediate.

Ramjet gueses showing up is all he to do for now but tries to make himself look usefull and instead of standing around, sits down at one of the consoles and watches the screens, trying to figure out whats going on without having to pester the commanders to fill him in.

Megatron says, "Starscream, I'm giving you the chance to prove yourself worthy your position by leading the mission. However, Shockwave will accompany you. If he gets the impression you are going to fail again, he will take all necessary measures."

Shockwave's optic flickers in surprise at this and he glances over to Starscream.

Ramjet mutters to himself. "great. howcome everytime starscream leads a mission I get dragged along?"

Starscream glances to Shockwave then looks back to Megatron, "I will do my best not to fail you Leader." His voice is tight and barely controlled at this point.

Soundwave regards the others. "It will indeed be an interesting mission." Is there an undertone of irony to the harmonics of his words? "If there is indeed a lost colony at those coordinates, we should not keep them waiting much longer," he suggests.

CatsCradle asks softly, "What are our orders regarding Straxus?"

Megatron looks at the screen. "So, what are you waiting for?" he casually asks. "Soundwave will support you with all information on the flight.

Starscream turns to Soundwave, " I was in my quarters when new of this incident reached here, I need all radio transmissions to update myself on the exact situation.

Ramjet swivels round in his chair too look at Starscream, "So just what is this mission anyway..." he forces himself to ignore how starscream shot him in the back, "...Sir."

Soundwave nods to Starscream. "I will enter the coordinates into the shuttle's computer and explain on the way."

Striker looks over at Starscream, "So, your leading this little mission? Great..."

Starscream says, "Soundwave will fill you in on they way Ramjet.""

Starscreams optics narrow as he regards the black jet, "isent that grand...striker......"

Ravage looks at Striker and Starscream and thinks . o O ( New Packaging.. same old product.... Looooooossseeers! )

Shockwave speaks into his radio, calling their ship. "Prepare for our arrival and immediate lift-off."

Ramjet frowns a bit more. no one ever tells him anything. "whatever. just as long as we don't have to go back in time again."

Striker glances over at Starscream, "It'll be an interesting mission then... commander."

Megatron says, "I don't think so."

Ramjet gets up and makes ready to leave, checking his weapons. He finds he forgot to re-angage the firing safeteys after the last battle and makes carefull not to do that later.

***

Decepticon Shuttle

A brand-new Decepticon shuttleship, with a purple emblem boldly emblazoned on its hull.


Ramjet makes his way to the front of the ship and sits down at a control station.

Starscream looks around to make sure everyones there.

Striker takes a seat at the defense station.

Shockwave takes a seat at the auxillery command seat, essentially a co-pilot station.

Ramjet starts pressing buttons, checking the ship's weapons and payload, such as they are, are ready for whatever the mission turns out to be.

Soundwave finds the closest equivalent to a communications station, and seats himself there, assuming Shockwave will pilot the ship. He enters the coordinates of the source of their distress signal into the computer system, and brings up a display on one of the smaller screens.

Starscream takes the command seat and nods to ramjet and shockwave as if to say 'take off'

Starscream then looks to Soundwave, "When you are ready I await the information."

CatsCradle slips in silently behind everyone else and takes a seat

Soundwave turns to the others, regarding especially Starscream as the mission leader. He begins without fancy introduction. "A short while ago we received a long-range distress signal which I traced to the following location." He indicates the simulated solar system on the screen, a system of three planets and a small blue star. "Apparently, Straxus and one of his followers has ended up there, and they have run into problems. According to Shockwave's information, this was once a Decepticon colony world that had been presumed destroyed long ago."

Shockwave activates the fairly quiet and efficent engines of the new shuttle ship. Although designed mostly for transporting supplies, it easily doubles as a troop carrier. Shockwave pilots the ship into the outer atmosphere, methodically calling out various updates of the journey. His piloting method seems right out of a handbook or training film.

Ramjet watches shockwave but can't see why everyone makes such a big fuss about him not being a qualified pilot. He can't see any diference to what shockwave is doing and how he flies.

Shockwave says, "Intrastellar drive system engaged. Setting course for Cybertron, maximum safe speed. ETA, fourty billion astroseconds."

Starscream says, "very well shockwave." Looks back at Soundwave, "Any indication of what sort of trouble they may be in?""

Ramjet mutters, "Well for a start, straxus is in charge."

Shockwave activates the ship's radio and says, "Sentry team omega, report status." The radio crackles to life and a non-descript voice says, "Omega team here sir, HD-342 reporting. Supply package ready for orbital docking."

Soundwave says, "Negative. Though the individual who contacted us, Slasher, mentioned a problem with anti-grav engines on the planetoid's surface. Cause unknown, but it may limit our maneuverability.""

Soundwave says, "Slasher reported having lost contact with Straxus and little else."

Starscream glances at Ramjet but says nothing.

Striker says, "It'll limit /your/ maneuverability, but mine will be just fine as I don't use anti-grav for my jets."

Soundwave inclines his head a bit, in agreement.

Ramjet says, "yeah yeah. You and every other seeker."

Striker says, "Right Ramjet."

Ramjet says, "your not the only one with wings. I wondered why they sunt us along. without AG they need some expendable troops to drop to the surface and check it's safe."

Shockwave says, "Cybertronian orbit achieved. Supply package docking with cargo bay."

Striker says, "Expendable? Hardly..."

Shockwave says, "Docking maneuver completed. Re-engaging intrastellar drive system and preparing superluminal drive for activation."

Starscreams optics narrow suddenly, " And why Soundwave are we rescueing Straxus?

Striker says, "So Megatron can kill him?"

Ramjet does'nt sound particularly disgruntled at what he says but sounds like he's just stating fact. "Don't fool yourself." he replies to striker, watching shockwav's landing manouvers.

Soundwave says, "There is more to the matter than merely Straxus. If this world was a Decepticon colony that was attacked, it may be an enemy we will wish to be aware of. As for Straxus, I do not know the extent of Megatron's plans for him at this time.""

Starscream looks to Ramjet, " you are familier with Straxus?

Shockwave says, "System debris now sufficiently minimcal to engage superluminal drive. Prepare for acceleration effects as we make the transition."

Starscream glances back to Soundwave, " Then Straxus can be the first to find out how dangerious this new adversary, if there is a new one, is."

Ramjet looks back at Starscream, "Yeah, he's an even bigger jerk than you. I used to think he was someone to look up to when I was at the accademy, but he's nothing like the history files say."

Soundwave says, "Perhaps he has already done so, Starscream.""

As Shockwave engages the superluminal drive, the ship's acceleration compesators are temporarily overloaded, and anyone not strapped down is thrown toward the back of the ship.

Ramjet says, "whatevers down there we'll kick it's aft or deactivate trying."

Soundwave says, "I will prefer the former option, Ramjet."

Striker says, "You can get deactivated all you want Ramjet, but we're going down their to kill whatever is there."

The Avenger is seen docked to the side of the Rodger Young, Straxus's ship as it refuels and waits for the Decepticon Forces to arrive... Both ships hold there steady High orbit in the void of space.

CatsCradle mutters under her breath, "Oh, we are going to have /such/ fun..."

Starscream regards Ramjets remark at him with a small sneer then lookd back ar Soundwave, " how powerful is Straxus?

Striker laughs, "Fairly strong Starscream."

Striker says, "After all, he used to be Decepticon leader... or have you forgotten?"

Soundwave says, "More powerful than you wish to confront." He sounds very certain of this.

CatsCradle adds softly, "And unpredictable. And easy to enrage."

Striker says, "Oh yes Soundwave, don't confront him, if you're unsuccessful, it can be very painful," he's talking from personal experiances."

Starscream nods slightly to Cats remark.

Shockwave says, "We have arrived at our destination. Sensor scan reveals two ships in the area, docked together." He displays the visual on the screen.

Starscreams homor is noticable at STrikers commant, "sounds like you would know eh striker?

Ramjet looks at his screens, "Thats wierd name for a ship."

The Avenger undocks from the Bigger Rodger Young and starts to move around to Face the approaching Decepticon Shuttle... It takes no aggressive posture... just a slightly defensive one till its intentions are known.

Starscream looks to the visuals.

Striker smirks, "Right Starscream... I've enraged him and survived."

Ramjet says, "you should'nt be so proud of attacking superior officers"

CatsCradle tilts her head at Striker. "Only because he thought you were worth educating at the time."

Soundwave says inflectionlessly, "As I recall, Striker, Megatron and others intervened on your behalf. I would not think it wise to attempt this again."

Striker says to Cats, "Right..."

Starscream says, "Then he must have felt pity for a being such as yourself I would think.....""

Shockwave looks to Soundwave, sitting at the communications station and who would be making contact if so ordered.

Striker says, "Unknown to you Soundwave, I did have another encounter after he left the Decepticons... two in fact."

Starscream almost chuckles on that but instead studies the avenger facing them rather oddly in his opinion.

CatsCradle gazes at Striker. "You forget, Striker, that I was under his command and his student. Believe me, he let you live."

Soundwave looks at his own readings as they come into orbit, and looks over at Shockwave, shaking his head silently, as though conveying some hope that the squabbling troops will grow up at some point very soon.

Striker glances at Cats, "I know he let me live... it was probably a mistake on his part."

CatsCradle says with a straight face, "Yes, I believe he has come to regret that, yes."

Starscream says, "enough"

The Avenger activates a quick burst of thrusters... which appear as a glowing jet behind it for a split second... The jets send the Craft drifting closer to the bigger Decepticon Shuttle.

Soundwave says, "Contacting the other vessel, scanning for energy signatures."

Striker shrugs, "I still dunno why he tried to get me to go with him... unless he was planning to kill me."

Starscream does not like this, " Shockwave scan that vessel"

Avenger StarCraft

     The Avenger is a medium sized Attack/Scout craft. From what you can tell its had its day of use but remains in rather good shape. An older forward swept wing design this fighter craft is capable of high sublight speed as well FTL travel. Its black hull gives the ship a mysteries alien look but one notice a Decepticon decal painted on the side in a messy purple.

     Along its narrow hawk like nose you see the name Avenger written in clawlike scratches colored a dark Decepticon red. Below the name a row of Autobot symbols appear each crossed out with an X. It seems who ever owns this ship is keeping score in how many Autobots met there eternal fate in deep space challenging the Avenger.

You take note that on the underside of the ship an open hatch is located.

 Starscream looks to striker. " I said enough...

CatsCradle turns her attention to Striker again. "Go with him? When was that? Is he trying to recruit more warriors, now?"

Ramjet says, "I'm not reading any hostile craft in range."

Striker says, "No, it was several cycles ago. Right after the whole Nightbird/Tempest leaving ordeal." Striker says to Cats.

<LongRange> Soundwave says, "(in the vicinity of the Acheron system) Decepticon shuttle calling the Decepticon vessels in orbit.  Slasher, are you receiving?  What is the situation?"

CatsCradle sits back in her seat, her expression vying from thoughtful to troubled.

Starscream is getting tired of the bantering back and forth and barely hears Ramjets statement

Shockwave says to Starscream, "No weapons lock enabled. Sensors detect weapon systems, but none ready to fire."

Starscream says, "how many on board?"

CatsCradle looks to Shockwave. "Sir, has anyone heard from Diktat, lately? As he is... or was... Straxus' second, he might have information on Straxus' intent."

<LongRange> Slasher says, "Yes Im receiving you...... Situation unknown.. All i know is Straxus has Encountered some type of trouble.... and from Knowing Straxus it has to be big if he is having even a slight problem."

Starscream watches Soundwaves reaction to this

Shockwave says, "One Cybertronian life sign detected."

<LongRange> Slasher says, "Requestiong Permission to Dock and Transfer myself to your ship."

Ramjet listens into the coms channel, and presses more buttons, wondering if he can, as a precaution, tagrte the source of the transmitions on the surface with the shuttles weapons. Incase whoever it is turns out to be an imposter or something.

Soundwave checks his readings again, looking for some clue as to what's going on down on the planet, why anti-grav engines would fail here, and who is on that other ship. As Shockwave announces the limited information they do know, he turns to look back at Starscream. "We have a decision to make, Commander," he chooses the word quite deliberately, hoping to nudge Starscream into the responsibility of leadership. "Do we risk setting down the ship on the surface?"

Shockwave glances back at CatsCradle but doesn't answer her, being busy with the situation at hand.

Starscream nods then turns to soundwave, " make sure it is slasher when he arrives."

<LongRange> Soundwave says, "Permission granted, Slasher. Prepare to be scanned to confirm identity."

Starscream says, "no Shockwave"

Striker says, "Oh trust me... if you see Slasher, you'll instantly recognize him... he's /that/ hideous looking... just right for one of Straxus' troops."

CatsCradle notices Shockwave's glance to her and sits back again, content to know that he heard her now and that the subject will keep for a better time

CatsCradle smiles sweetly at Striker. "I was one of Straxus' troops.

Striker says, "You sure don't look like one of his troops."

Starscream he looks to Striker and ramjet, " Since you 2 know Straxus you would know if he is himself or not. "

Ramjet says, "If you say so. You want us to go down and check it out?"

The Avenger moves closer to the Decepticon shuttle... Maneuvering thrusters firing on its wings and hull to stabilize its path and its trajectories to dock with the Shuttles docking latch... It moves closer and closer...

CatsCradle smiles even more sweetly at Striker. "I suppose my son doesn't either?"

Starscream says, "you and STriker prepare to go to the planet, but after slasher is on board.""

Striker grins at Cats, "But of course not Cats... none of your family does."

Ramjet says, "Right. You going to let him dock?"

<LongRange> Slasher Approaching at optimal Angle.... Contact in in five seconds...... three feet..... two feet... Docking seal established.

Striker says, "Oh great, you mean that walking pile of tin is coming aboard?"

Soundwave stands and waits for their arrival to board.

The Avenger clamps to the Shuttle that sends a dull *THUMP* through the ship as it locks fast.

Striker walks away from the boarding door, his arm lasers giving a slight hum, "Slasher doesn't exactly have a liking to me right now."

Ramjet says, "I don't blame him"

CatsCradle chuckles softly. "Perhaps you need to re-evalutate your opinion on the appearance of Straxus' troops then. Or they might take you by surprise while you are expecting their... hideous appearance."

<LongRange> Slasher says, "Id advise you.. Im brining a guest as well."

Soundwave's hearing of course picks up the sound of lasers powering up, and he gives Striker a warning look. "Restrain yourself. We may need those lasers yet."

Ramjet says, "I only just met you and I'm not too fold of you either."

Shockwave says, "Docking successful. Awaiting the emergence of the pilot."

Slasher slips out of the Avenger useing the open access hatch.

Slasher has arrived.

<LongRange> Soundwave says, "Identify this Guest."

Striker looks at Ramjet, "Feelings mutual."

Starscream says, "guest?"

Starscream stands quickly, his arm lasers charging up. He glances to Shockwave.

The airlock on the Avenger opens and Slasher steps into the Decepticon shuttle.. letting the Atmospheres equalize... there is a smaller Creature behind him.. black and alien looking it hangs close to the Decepticons legs peering around at the mechs and femmes inside the shuttle as the door opens...

Soundwave scruitinizes Slasher as he steps aboard, matching the appearance of the being before him with the information he has from the files. He has not drawn or powered a weapon, but it's clear he's on alert for possible problems.

Slasher glances at Starscream and the others... "Now.. You wouldnt shoot an unarmed mech would you.." he grins and steps onto the ship...

Striker looks at Slasher, "No... Slasher, but I might... given the right mech."

Starscreams otics narrow slightly as he regards Slasher

Soundwave says, "You confirm identity, then, Striker?"

Striker says, "Yes Soundwave, this is the person who shot my wings up... I'd gladly return the favor."

Slasher glances to Striker and gives him a look over... Not seeming to recognize him right away... he shrugs and reaches around hitting the Airlock seal letting the Doors close.... Right After the Avenger Detaches from the ship and moves away its systems under computer control.

Shockwave is looking at the smaller creature Slasher has brought with him, tracking his/her/its movements.

Slasher gives Striker a smirk.. "I warned you not to shoot at me first."

CatsCradle says, "He looks a little different." She nods, though. "It is the same mech." She tilts her head in curiousity. "Were you not returned to your time, as my son and the others were?""

Slasher puts a hand on the creatures neck and lets his seek Slashers protection from the others.. its tail curling around one of his legs... "Its been a long time.." he says as he looks at Cats... "I was returned to my time..."

Starscream looks at the creature with mild disgust. hes not fond of animals of any shape.

Shockwave interrupts, a rareity for him. "I presume the organic is not danergous?"

CatsCradle looks confused for a second, then nods. "Then, you are now in your correct time? However many years after your time traveling?"

Starscream says, "Slasher, explain whats going on.""

Ramjet frowns at the tactical display, "Avenger's moving away. Who else is onboard?"

Slasher 's optics change from a red to a dim Yellow glow as he says, "Acquaintances can be made later... There is a more important mission at hand." with a glance he nods at Shockwave... "It is of no Danger to any of you..." Slasher moves over to an empty seat and sets himself down explaining "Straxus and Fearswoop are on the Surface... From what I could tell they where in battle with other.. machines I suppose.. maybe Transformers... or Autobots... I know no more." Having answered that he remarks to Ramjet.. "I programmed it to return to its hanger... It wouldn't be wise to leave it docked.. Now would it."

Ramjet says, "why not?"

Soundwave relegats the creature to his background awareness, and listens with interest to Slasher's report.

Soundwave says, "There are survivors of the colony?"

Slasher remarks Soundwave, "Unknown.... Before I could get too close the Avenger lost Anti grav thrusters... it took some time to have conventional thrusters active and under control..."

Ramjet obviously just does'nt get these finner points of shuttle flying and shrugs, half listening to the report as he stares out into space.

The Alien critter moves up behind Slasher and climbs onto the backrest of the chair settling ontop of it as its claws dig in to keep it secure.

Starscream listens to Slasher and glances to Soundwave occasionlly, "And now Straxus requires our assistence I take it.

Shockwave keeps half an optic on Slasher and the organic creature, but the majority of his attention is on the sensor display.

Soundwave says, "So it would appear. And this colony world-" he looks to Shockwave - "how long has it been assumed abandoned?""

Slasher idly makes himself Cozy and puts up his feet... glancing to Striker once more then Cats giving her a smile which could be seen as a soft change of color in his optics.

Shockwave says, "Approximately 8 million cycle. I doubt anyone from the original settlement remains, but scavengers may have taken over the structures."

Striker eyes Slasher, his weapons still giving off that soft hum.

Starscream says, "Shockwave, can this shi pachieve orbital statis without anti-grav engines?"

CatsCradle's optics glint back at Slasher, and she flicks her clawed fingers at Striker in an almost imperceptible movement of dismissal.

Slasher locks optics with Striker then gives off a soft chuckle as he sees Cats reaction and hand gesture... "Your son was an impressive acquaintance... I hope to meet with him again some day."

Shockwave says, "Affirmative. Our supply pack stocks sufficient propellent for a landing, maneuvers, and acent."

Starscream says, "very well ....decend to the plantes surface"

CatsCradle smiles. "Thank you. I was rather impressed with him myself." Her optics glint with mischeif. "Stick around for another century and you'll be able to meet him again."

Shockwave says, "Preparing for decent. Propellent tanks fully loaded and backup boosters are nominal. Sensors at maximum. Starting decent."

Soundwave takes his place again at the sensor station to check for any unusual readings as they descend.

Shockwave says, "I suggest you all strap in."

The Alien creature notes a bit of hostility from Striker but doesn't show any aggravation.. Its claw moving at the same time Slashers hand moves to rest on the side of the chair... Its impressive tail slightly arches up and rests on its shoulder.

Ramjet watches the screens, looking for incoming missiles and the like. "aproach vector clear sofar."

CatsCradle settles back in her seat, strapping herself in again.

Without anti gravity units, the usual acceleration compensators won't function. The ship decends smoothly, but anyone not strapped in would hit the ceiling, then hit the floor when the ship stops.

Soundwave chimes in, "No unusual energy readings." He zooms in the viewscreen for a direct visual, however, and his optic band darkens a little at the scene.

Starscream sits down as they start and secures himself to keep from hitting the ceiling

Ramjet lurches in his seat...he never strapped in and is flung foward as the ship touches down, smacking his head hard on the fore bulkhead.

Slasher remains calm in his seat.. safely strapped in... the Creature seeming quite secure.. though the chair may need some slight repairs later.

Ramjet looks at the dent in the ship, and gets up, aparently not hurt himself. "He gives shockwave a stoney look but thinks better of commenting on his landing.

Soundwave gives Ramjet a quick looking over, but it seems the jetwarrior isn't so easily hurt by a little bump on the head. He unstraps himself and awaits Starscream's orders to disembark.

From inside Soundwave, Ravage is hapyp inside Soundwave.. being safe and asleep from all the rocking and bumping.

Shockwave is too busy running sensor scans to notice the look.

Starscream unstrps himself and gets up. Opening the dorr he looks to them, "Have your weapons ready

Starscream says, "Lets go"

Slasher watches Ramjet ram the ship.. and hopes that the Shuttle isnt damages.

Soundwave draws his handweapon even before Starscream finishes the command.

Striker says, "Wouldn't have it any other way Screamer."

Slasher gets out of his seat... the Creature leaping down to his side and following out.. its tail arched like a Scorpion ready to strike.

Shockwave usually has his weapon ready at all times, so needs little in the way of preparation.

Starscream looks around cautiously

Ramjet climbs out of the ship behind the others, frowning at the scene, "Nice place."

Starscream says, "Slasher where was Staxus last?"

Soundwave looks around as well, listening intently to the dead silence.

CatsCradle leaves the ship, her wrist lasers out and ready, peering around.

Slasher without looking at Starscream says, "Around here Id figure..."

Shockwave looks around a bit warily, perhaps wondering if it wouldn't have been wise to bring along 4 or 5 dozen sentries.

Slasher inhales the air... and the creature itself lifts its head and takes in a big dose of the air around it...

Starscream says, "whatever would I do without your keen wit and statement of the obivous Striker.....""

Ramjet checks around the shuttle, armlasers at the ready, securing the landing area. "Striker, keep watch on the other flank."

Soundwave steps carefully forward, looking over the bodies scattered in the street, lying as though they've been the victims of some horrific violence.

Striker seems quite ready to go exploring, he isn't taunted by the look of the place, "Don't look any worse than the Nightwarrens."

Striker looks down at some of the bodies. "Hmm..."

CatsCradle shakes her head and murmurs "Except that we're familiar with the 'warrens, and this is new territory."

Striker looks at Cats, "You mean YOUR familiar with the 'warrens."

Starscream says, "sensor readings Soundwave?"

Slasher kicks a corps and turns it over examening the wounds.... "Tarn.. they smell like something out of a Junk heap... But this one was canned by Straxus..."

Starscream takes a few steps still looking around

Starscream then glances back to the ship, " Shockwave, secure the shuttle."

Soundwave moves off a bit from the others, his audial senses tuned to the slightest sound, taking in the carnage. "It would appear," he muses almost to himself, though those near him would be able to hear it, "that these individuals were killed by a variety of weapons. Not all of them are energy weapons. Some sharp-edged implements, and even blunt objects. Difficult to reconstruct, as some of them have been here for some time." He reaches down and tentatively touches a layer of dust covering one of the bodies.

Slasher 's creature leaps and clings to the side of one of the buildings.. creeping along the side of it... Slasher following along on the ground with his Rifle drawn.. its scope end glowing with a very refined Sensor readout made specifically for sniping.

Starscream watches the small indications of energy still around the base, "We can at least gather some energon from here for the trouble."

Soundwave moves carefully toward the buildings that indicate the main residential complex, then pauses. "Perhaps we will learn more within," he suggests, still listening to the vast dead silence around them.

CatsCradle says, "We have enough energon sources back on Earth.""

Soundwave tilts his head a bit, as though catching a distant hint of something.

Starscream says, "and a few more cubes to add to the stockpile wont hurt from here"

Striker turns over a corpse with his foot seeing that their were no wounds on the front... the back however...

Starscream says, "what is is soundwave?"

Soundwave says, "There are generators still in operation. And..." he trails off, not entirely certain of what he heard."

Ramjet follows with the others as they move in, covering the advance, moving along the side of the walkway from cover to cover.

Shockwave is simply looking around and keeping his weapon at the ready, waiting for whatever comes.

Starscream holds his hand up to silence andstop everyone.

Soundwave says, "Perhaps something has survived here."

Starscream says, "something?"

Slasher stops and hears something himself.. he says nothing.. just simply pulls out a small club like weapon and activates it... dangling an Energon Morning star from a chain.... the Creature on the wall gives off a soft hiss.

Even those without enchanced hearing may catch a hint of it now - like a faint rustle of something under the stillness. "Something is moving among the buildings," Soundwave confirms then.

CatsCradle stops, watching the others, and eases into the shadows, almost disappearing into the protective covering

Slasher moves up against the wall... his Creature moves up the wall of the building so it can get a better look.

Striker points at the building, not so much as pointing out something as is aiming his lasers.

Slasher thinks, . o O 0 ( I hate surprises... )

Ramjet backs away from the building he's nearest, "I don'nt scan anything."

Starscream says, "so where is Straxus?"

A shape shuffles into view from out of one of the alleyways between the buildings. It's a robot, recognizable as Cybertrnian in design, but just barely so. What's keeping it up and moving, is hard to imagine. The outer armor is all but gone, one optic lens missing, the other shattered, the faceplates torn away to expose the endostructure beneath. He? She? One can't tell - is splattered in dried fuel and lurching forward as though in a trance.

Slasher says, "Ohhh... That don't look to friendly to me..."

Slasher says, "That thing must have hit every branch as it fell out of the ugly tree...."

CatsCradle silently draws her sword and plunges it into the ground in front of her, having it ready as she aims her lasers at the movement of the robotic form. "How can it be alive with all those injuries?" she murmurs?

Ramjet turns to see what Slasher is talking about, sighting his guns on whoever it is. "Halt! whogoes there?"

Striker looks closely at the mech, "Uhh.. Cats... there's no /way/ that thing is alive."

Shockwave looks to Soundwave. "Can you do anything for that robot?"

The main thing that seems threatening is the horrific appearance of the robot. It's not moving fast, but coming forward steadily. No light shines in its optics, and yet it turns toward the Decepticons as though drawn to them. The arms raise as though to reach out.

CatsCradle says, "I think that was what I said.""

Striker says, "Might try seeing if it's friendly first Soundwave."

Soundwave regards the thing, scientific fascination taking the place of any revulsion he may feel. "I have never seen a Cybertronian walk with such injuries."

Slasher keeps his disstance from the strange thing.... idly swaying his morning star ready to strike it if it dares make a move of aggresion.

Starscream raises his lasercannons quickly.

CatsCradle grins in spite of herself. "Tell ya what, Striker... why don't you go introduce yourself and shake its hand?"

Ramjet frowns, stepping towards the advancing thing, "I said halt! Identify yourself or I shoot."

Shockwave says, "Could it be a drone built from fallen Transformers?"

Soundwave tilts his head as though listening for something again. He draws a small handheld med scanner, which only confirms what he's already sensed. "Energy readings are - almost nonexistent. Higher brain functions are not registering."

Starscreams optics widen, " its dead? Bbut why is it still moving?

Striker smirks, "Fine Cats," he walks up to the mech, slowly, then aims a laser at it's hand, and fires, "There... hand shaken."

Soundwave says, "Possible, Shockwave. But with this much damage, it would seem unusual." He remains in place as the thing lurches toward him, arms still outstretched.

Shockwave's optic glitters as Striker fires without permission, then glances to Starscream.

Starscreams annoyed at striker and just adds that to the growing list

CatsCradle lets out a soft snort at Striker's actions, then frowns. "You know, the humans have horror movies about this type of thing..."

Slasher isnt impressed by Strikers show of power... he just watches the thing to see what happens.

Starscream says, "you wasted your energy on a dead mech Striker. Even Im not that slow.....""

The robot lurches backwards, a new hole blasted in its already minimal armor. There seems not enough fuel to even spill from the wound, but it catches itself and stumbles forward again.

Slasher says, "Well.... That didn't work...." an"

Striker says to Cats, "I know, I've seen them..." He walks backward away from the mech.

The energy weapon seems to have drawn it, and it closes toward Striker.

Ramjet growls at starscream, "Of course it's not dead if it's moving! but it soon will be." as he still has'nt had a reply he turns dieon to squint down his armlaser sights...and fires, targeting the whatever it is.

Starscream looks around again, " someones controlling it

CatsCradle shifts nervously. "Yeah, but in the movies, there's usually a whole lot of them... sheer numbers making up for lack of speed..."

No sooner has CatsCradle mentioned this, than another of the shuffling horrors comes into view. Soundwave looks up, the sound having caught his attention. "There are more. Closing this way."

Striker says, "Soundwave? Starscream? Might I suggest we blast these things back where they came from?"

Striker moves away more quickly as the mech seems to walk towards him.

Starscream says, "you and Ramjet have already firesd and all its gotten you is its undivided attention."

Starscream takes aim

Ramjet does sit around allday watching stupid earth moves so has no idea what cats is talking about and seems somewhat shocked when his shots do nothing (ooc I assum?)

CatsCradle mutters something about finding the director of such movies and having a long not-nice chat with him and aims her lasers at the new... er, old... er, dead...robot, glancing at Starscream for orders

Soundwave now raises his weapon as well, the scientific interest having given way to a realization that there's a whole horde of these things cutting off the way back to the shuttle.

Starscream succeeds in his generic roll against Starscream!

Starscreams distinctive null ray sounds emits as a beam of energy strikes the mech

Slasher looks around and sees more of the Dead Robots walking... "Looks like it brought its whole family."

The combination of Ramjet's attack and Starscream's null ray throws the robot back on the ground, and yet it still thrashes about and struggles, after shots that should have killed it, gaping holes in its body.

CatsCradle sighs sharply, "You know, the weird things never happen when Diver's around, and then I have to try and get him to believe me..."

Starscream sees it still moving after his null ray and looks shocked

Striker frowns and pulls out his plasma rifle, seeing as it would do more damage than his arm lasers, he fires at the closes undead mech.

Shockwave says, "I do not believe these.. robots pose a significant threat. They do not appear to possess energy weapons and their melee skills must be minimal. Recommend we simply ignore them or destroy them hand to hand and conserve our energy."

CatsCradle makes a face. "I don't want to dirty my sword with them..."

Ramjet for some reason only has crappy lasers and machinguns, but as it seems a battle is starting he joins in enthusiasticly, using both arm-mounted devices at once to throw out a curtain of fire at the advancing casualties.

The others close in now, coming from the side-streets and even from the buildings as though drawn like magnets to the commotion. All in various states of disrepair, there must be close to a hundred coming into view. Where have they been all this time, and why were there no life-signs from them if there were so many?

Slasher pulls out his rifle again and sets it down on the side of a wrecked car... aiming it at one of the Robots... he idly loads the chamber with a round and Fires.... The explosive Burst rocks the rifle picking up dust infront of it as the projectile ripps through a robots Shoulder taking it off... But the Robot keeps coming not even slowed by the impact..

Starscream suddenly loks to cats, "what abuot these earth equivilents? Are they a threat in the movies?

Slasher says, "Ummmm Not to undermind anyones rank... But id think moving be a good idea.... We're being surrounded."

Starscream says, "whats the matter Striker afraid?"

CatsCradle adds, once she sees the sheer numbers, "Of course, survival is always a good thing..." She says to Starscream, "Oh, yes, by numbers if by nothing else. They simply tear apart their victims, having an obsession with eating their brains"

Soundwave says, "By force of numbers, they can potentially overwhelm us. And if we draw them to the shuttle, they may damage our escape. Suggest evading them and returning to the ship when they have quieted."

Shockwave moves forward to meet the shuffling half-robots, seemingly intending to simply rip them apart.

Starscream says, "RETREAT"

Striker glares at Starscream, then turns to the robots, "NO!"

Striker walks backward, leaving a curtain of plasma against the walking robots.

Starscream walking backwards doing the same

In response to Ramjet's fire, several of the creatures are knocked back, but keep shuffling forward afterwards. The shots that hit them in the head, though, shatter a mess of ruined cerebral circuitry to the ground, dropping them in their tracks instantly.

Starscream sees this and yells, " AIM FOR THE HEADS

CatsCradle notices this and cries out, "Head shots work!" She aims her lasers and begins to systematically pick off shots

Slasher seeing that Energy weapons have next to no effect as well his own weapon not doing much.. he simply stows it away not inspirired to waste is energy when its causing no effect.

Striker says, "Nice observation Starscream."

The closest robot to Shockwave reaches for his arm as though unaware of what the cannon represents. What's left of the mouth opens as though it wants to feed, drawn to energy and fuel.

Soundwave fires as well, but looks around for a possible avenue of withdrawal.

Starscream says, "I dont see you figuring it out first moron"

Starscream firing at deadmech heads and making his way toward the location of the shuttle.

Striker quits firing automatic, and switches to single shots, "Knock it off Starscream, we can argue later, now work on killing these things," he aims at the head of the closest robot, and fires, blowing the head clean off.

The walking junkheaps are blocking the way to the shuttle, however, and more of them keep coming out.

Shockwave draws his arm back at this and brings his fist forward, crushing in the side of the creature's head. It falls to the ground twitching and Shockwave nods. He goes to the group closest to him and begins methodically crushing heads.

Starscream fires a lethal shot right past Strikers shoulder and through the head of a zombiemech

Soundwave shifts his plasma blasts to the heads as well, searing right through the eyes so the shot blasts out the back of the helmet.

CatsCradle continues firing, picking off head shots. "All right," she says, thinking out loud. "... let's say these are similiar to the human zombie movies... if human zombies eat brains, would these be going for energy? Laser cores? CPUs?" She doesn't miss a beat in shooting as she talks.

Striker yells at Starscream angrily, "Watch it!"

Starscream says, "oh ...pardon......"

Soundwave notices a ramp leading downwards, and calls to the others, "We may be able to take shelter below until they lose interest. I hear no sounds of movement from below at this time.

Slasher getting distracted by Starscream and Strikers childish squabbling is grabbed by one of the Robots. it holds on tight to him and attempts to rip into his shoulder. Slasher lets out a yell at the Robot, "Get your dirty paws off me you Tarian Rat slug..." he spins around giving the Robot a pop in the jaw with his fist which Causes the jaw to go flinging over against a wrecked vehicle.. "Ohhh Slag.." he gets pushed back as Two more pile onto him pushing him down... "A little help here... HEY THATS MY COD PLATE!" Slashers creature reacts quickly and leaps down showing Shockwave just how little a threat it is as its Tail spears through one of the Robots torso's and lifts it up ripping it in two... then lashing out and ripping another Robots head clean off bowling it down the Street to hit the side of a street lamp with a ding...

Striker says, "You wanna try to kill me... do it when we both have got some free time."

Starscream looks at the ramp. " below? Down THERE?

Soundwave fires off another volley of plasma and tries to get Starscream and Shockwave's attention at the same time.

CatsCradle continues firing and talking. "So if they feed on energon, and we left a few cubes or so as distraction, they'd probably pile on the cubes and perhaps leave us and the ship alone?"

Striker says, "Observant Starscream, OF COURSE DOWN THERE!"

Soundwave says, "It would seem a better option than wasting our weapons power. We do not know how many of these creatures walk here.""

Slasher pulls himself up and falls back with the others... Slashers creatuer by his side dragging along whats left of a Dead Robot...

Soundwave looks over at CatsCradle. "Enough perhaps to allow us to await their dispersal." He draws a small cube of energon out of storage and flings it toward the shuffling masses of ruined robots.

Starscream looks down the ramp and thinks of the small space down there. Does not want to go down anytime in this present lifetime

The things seem drawn to movement and sound, and yet some of them seem to sense the fuel in their midst, stopping and staring dumbly at the softly-glowing cube.

CatsCradle says, "Save some. We may need it to fight our way back through to the ship on the way out.""

Striker chuckles at the sight of Starscream looking down the ramp, "Afraid of tight places Starscream?" He says as he continues firing at the creatures.

Shockwave has been piling up quite a large number of bodies, and doesn't seem to have a scratch on him. He speaks, amplifying his voice to be heard over the din, "Soundwave, I still do not think they represent any danger. Simply kill them hand to hand." As if to demonstrate, he thrusts his cannon hand through the head of one, then pulls his arm back to elbow the head clean off the shoulders of another.

Starscream watches, " Soundwave the energy still here....there has to be a gererator still functioning...if we can attract these things to it....

Soundwave says, "We do not know what put them into this state, Shockwave.""

Striker looks at Shockwave, then at one of the robots closest to him, "Hmmm," he quickly reaches forward, and violently rips it's head off, "That was easy enough."

Starscream And I suggest not touching them until we do.

Starscream says, "And I suggest not touching them until we do."

Slasher looks to Starscream, "Now you tell us not to touch them."

Starscream says, "I never told you to touch them to begin with." His voice is acidic and tight"

Slasher waves his hand in dissmisal at Starscream and heads down the ramp.. wanting to get the slag away from them.. his creature follows quickly.

The group of Decepticons is loosely grouped before the downramp, fighting off a shuffling sea of ruined robots.

Striker looks at the overwhelming number of zombiebots, "Well, there's too many," he moves closer to Soundwave and the ramp, "Well, looks like we go down.

Soundwave turns as he hears the sound of another individual nearby, bringing up his weapon reflexively. He'd hoped the downramp was clear so they could take cover while the 'inhabitants' dispersed.

Ajax says, "Excuse me, everyone please! If you will follow me quickly you may keep yourselves from being killed just a moment longer, yes?"

Starscream says, "ho are you?"

Starscream says, "Who"

Soundwave lowers his weapon as he recognizes the new arrival at least as an intact living being.

Striker looks at Ajax, "Well?"

Slasher looks at Ajax... "Yer lookin alive thats better then dead... good enough for me.." he follows.

Ajax says, "oh please, you are in a life and death situation and you are asking silly questions?"

CatsCradle backs up, still firing. "If it's anything like the movies, Starscream, you would rather deal with the claustrophobia then with having your brains eaten..."

Soundwave spins around and fires another blast of plasma at the nearest creatures, aiming for the heads again.

Starscream says, "No nono"

Striker follows Ajax as well.

Striker says, "Get in here Starscream!"

Shockwave starts now firing single lasers at the crowd of shuffling robots, sizing up the unknown arrival.

***

Entry Ramp

     Hidden from obvious view, an entryway leads down below the surface of the outpost. It isn't lit, but it is wide enough to accomodate three average sized mechs shoulder to shoulder. It opens up into a cavern, and a large hardened fence roughly 45 feet high greets you at the far end. This looks to be a coralling area of some sort, as the fence is bisected by what looks like a double gated enclosure.

Slasher jogs down the ramp... figureing down here cant be as bad as up there.

CatsCradle adds "Besides, you want Striker to have the satisfaction of seeing you scared?" she murmurs and follows Ajax

Ajax says, "Follow me, quickly... they are quite smart enough to follow us."

Soundwave follows quickly, looking over the others to make sure everyone's accounted for.

Starscream freezes as he sees how tight it is

Slasher seems to feel quite at home in the tight space himself.

Striker smirks at Starscream, "Scared, leader?"

CatsCradle gives Starscream a "see?" look

Ajax leads them up to the coralling area and lifts the gate by hand. "All of you, quickly... through here. Yes, that's right.... don't bunch up!"

Shockwave comes down last, making sure everyone else has made it.

Striker frowns and grabs Starscream by the arm, "Come on, don't wanna get killed do you?"

Slasher 's creature rushes through first then is followed by Slasher.

Starscream is in Shockwaves way

Soundwave gives Ajax a look of quick scruitiny, though at the moment he'd rather find out about the newcomer after he knows they're all away from the walking dead robots.

Slasher yells back... "Just let Striker and Starscream deal with them.. close the gate.

Ajax says, "Good... yes, through the gate boys and girls... you are a girl, yes? Nevermind... in now, please."

Ajax says, "I'm afraid the outer gate doesn't close my friends... just... through here."

Back at the mouth of the ramp leading to the surface, one can see movement of the shuffling robots.

Striker pulls Starscream through the gate, "Get in here leader."

Ajax says, "Is everyone through?"

CatsCradle gives Starscream a push from behind. "Come on, Starscream," she says, her voice gentle, understanding phobias. "It's not much smaller than the corridors of earthbase... and you really don't want those creatures munching on you, do you?"

Shockwave motions to the others to go ahead, and starts to fire off quick laser bursts now, killing a few zombie-bots and making the others trip over them.

Starscream says, "...no"

Starscream heads forward

Ramjet holds off the zombies till everyone is inside so is a little late and now looks a bit beat up with lots or claw and teeth marks in him.

Soundwave slips through the gate and looks back, silently willing Shockwave to join them.

Striker lets go of Screamer's arm, "Good."

Ajax says, "This really is far too much excitement in one day for an old man like me. Are we finished?"

CatsCradle lets out a quick breath of relief and follows Starscream closely, hurrying him along and not giving him a chance to stop

Soundwave murmurs to Starscream as he passes, "Remember you must provide an example for your troops at this time."

Ajax says, "Get in, please...."

Starscream says, "and I need lots of room to show them how good I am too...." Said that a bit lightly"

Slasher doesn't pay much attention to the others.. just crosses his arms calmly and comments to Ajax.. "Slow arent they."

Striker motions for Starscream to get in, "Come on Starscream, Megatron'll blame me if you die."

Ajax says, "You really aren't much of an organized bunch, are you?"

Ajax says, "All through, yes? Good."

Starscream mutters, " and this means what? All hed do is slap your wrist. "

CatsCradle murmurs as she passes Slasher, "It was either that or leave them behind, and I really didn't want to have to go back and explain /that/."


Ajax says, "Excuse me, sir? My monocular friend? Through the gate before we are all eaten."

Slasher turns and follows Cats as she passes, "I guess... paperwork sucks."

Shockwave follows the others into the gate once he's sure everyone else is safely through.

Soundwave still hears the shuffling of feet from the surface, but with the gate closing them off now, he allows himself to turn his attention to their host.

CatsCradle grins. "And I don't have the rank to deal with the responsibility of ditching our leader."

Ajax sighs and follows them through, shutting the double gated enclosure behind him.
Slasher nods and follows along whispering to Cats, "Its called a D64... Getting Separated from Command in the chaos of combat."

Ajax holds his hands against the gate and smiles, looking at all of them. "My my, you are a motley crew.... "

CatsCradle smirks. "I'll have to remember that one," she murmurs to Slasher

Slasher thinks, . o O 0 ( Or was that D65... Shooting your commander in the Chaos of combat.. )

CatsCradle points to Striker. "He's Motley." Points to Starscream. "That one's Crew."

Slasher shrugs to himself and moves on.

Starscream looks to Ajax. " Who are you?

Ajax is roughly 37 feet tall, what might be called a lycanthrope by organic denominations. He is made of Cybertronian metals of course, but has all the earmarks of a mechanized werewolf. Clad in a horrible beaten and dirtied white smock, a pair of optical enhancers (glasses, in laymans terms) rest on his snout. His smile is fang filled, but genuine and pleasant.

Striker glares at Cats a bit.

Starscream doesnt get that close to him

Ajax says, "I am Doctor Ajax, professor of neurology and advanced bio-chemistry at Polyhex university... though I suppose... my tenure has expired at that institution."

Soundwave regards their most strange benefactor, if such is what he is. Underneath the grime there seems to be a Cybertronian being there, but it's unclear to him as of yet what to expect of him further.

Soundwave says, "You are a survivor of this outpost? Have others survived as well?"

Slasher holds out a hand,, "Wow wow.. let me guess... them walking Trash heaps out there are your experiment horridly gone wrong ?"

Ajax gestures with his hands, both of them clad in black stained surgical gloves. "Pardon me while I catch my breath.... I know some of you, I am sure. Just give me a bit to get my bearings."

CatsCradle grins at Slasher. "You've been watching too many human movies..."

Slasher looks to Cats, "I had a few years to read Human Literature."

Starscream looks around irritably, " lovely now we are trapped here with some cybertronian wolfmech....

Ajax smiles. "I'm sorry... is someone in command here, or are you a family that chose the wrong planet to vacation on?"

Shockwave simply wacthes as introductions are made, and watches the exits very closely.

Starscream says, "I am in command here"

Ramjet guards the door. leaving the deplomacy to those more able.

CatsCradle laughs and starts humming the Giligan's Island theme

Striker says, "You might look at that scared seeker over there," points to Starscream, "he claims to be the best fighter here."

Ajax looks from one to the other, genuinely trying to discern if they're all on drugs.

Starscreams phobia vanishes briefly in a wash of anger as he glare back at striker fora second.

Soundwave intones calmly, "Striker, restrain yourself. We are in an unknown situation, and perhaps this individual can tell us more."

Starscream then looks back at Ajax. " eys explain those mechs on the surface

Striker nods, "Yes Soundwave."

Ajax approaches Soundwave, extending a hand. "You would be Soundwave... yes? I knew your father, he worked for that corporation... of what was its name... Deceptitech or something."

Starscream says, "what happened to make them this way?"

Slasher speaks up, "Yah... have you seen a robot about *so* high.. by the name of Straxus ?... Generally in a state of pissed-off-ness."

CatsCradle smiles. "Well, not always pissed off... but fairly accurate."

Ajax is blisfully unaware of the other mechs as he makes a singular introduction to the stoic, tall blue handsome communications officer.

Soundwave looks Ajax over, his optic band flickering faintly, and then he says, "Affirmative. DeceptiTech." He accepts the hand. "You were affiliated with the university, you say."

Soundwave does not seem appalled, or if he is he gives no sign of it, by the gloves Ajax wears.

Ajax takes Soundwave's hand and clasps it in both of his, smiling very brightly. "Yes, yes of course... Polyhex U, the old standard. So how is your father? Still dabbling with this and that?"

Striker looks at Ajax, "Does this mech about this tall," holds up his hand to show height, "look like some vampire? With gleaming fangs and looks like he's gonna kill everyone at any second?"

Soundwave says calmly without a trace of emotion one way or the other, "No longer functional."

Soundwave says, "And Striker is correct, we seek one of our own party, so to speak. Have you had other visitors here of late?"

Ajaxs features deflate quite suddenly, the corners of his mouth turning down into a frown. "Yes... I'm sorry to hear that. He was a good man, my boy... a very good man. I trust he died standing tall, yes?"

CatsCradle rubs her forehead and mutters something about sometimes she really wishes Starwave hadn't pulled his punch when he plasma-ed Striker... but it's a very quiet mutter, and perhaps only someone standing right next to her would hear

Soundwave is silent for half a moment before replying, "Affirmative."

Shockwave seems content to let Soundwave do the talking and keeps his attention on the surrounding area.

Ajax smiles again and gives Soundwave's hand one more firm shake before releasing it. "Yes, actually... one of your own came by earlier... a tall mech, his father and I taught at the university."

Slasher looks to Cats again, "You ok ?"

CatsCradle smiles brightly. "Oh, I'm having a great time. You?"

Slasher nods to cats, "Aye.. Its a Jolly old time here."

Striker says, "Straxus' father taught at a university? A shame Straxus didn't inherit his fathers intelligence and..." he notices everyone that's been telling him to shut up, "I'll shut up now."

Soundwave does not, as one might expect, wipe the grime of the gloves off againt his armor. "What has become of Straxus?" he inquires instead. "Was he alone?"

Slasher would care to comment to Striker about that remark but instead listens to what Ajax has to say being more interested in finding Straxus.

Ajax says, "His... well, his sister should be about here someplace. Lori is what's left of the scientific team that signed on to travel here. We've been deep in trying to find... well, to find out about this virus that's caused such a nasty turn of events on this planet."

CatsCradle makes a slight squeaking sound as if she is trying not to say something

Striker looks at Ajax for a moment, "A virus? Oh great, an enemy we can't even see."

Starscream has been listening to soudnwave and ajax through this whole exchange and suddenly steps forward. " I can take it from here Soundwave

Ramjet starts to look bored now the fighting has stopped and folds his arms over his chest. "Well is'nt this a nice little re-union."

CatsCradle holds up her hand. "Wait... how is this virus transmitted?"

Soundwave does not seem offended as Starscream reasserts his position as mission leader. He remains in place, though, hoping to hear more about what happened to the colony and to its earlier visitors.

Ajax claps his hands and starts to back up slowly. "If you will all come with me? I believe I can answer all your questions."

Striker follows Ajax.

Slasher rubs his shoulder and follows along... "Its biting isnt it."

***

Research Facility

     Buried 50 meters beneath the surface of Acheron, the air within this facility is recycled and sanitised, leaving not a hint of smell. It is comprised of laboratories, staging areas and barracks built partially into the rock, as cavern walls are often the outer edge of some hallways. There is a very large meeting area near the southwestern end. A vast hangar that twists and turns through cavernous halls is filled with vehicles and storage cubicles. The equipment here may appear somewhat archaic, as it is safe to say the facility is well over 8 million years old.

Soundwave follows along, taking note of their surroundings as they pass through.

Ajax says, "If you will all come with me... watch your step, too... it's very cluttered."


Starscream hates this whole set up

***

Stasis/Autopsy Chamber

     Medical stretchers line either side of this room, cluttered equipment stacked between them. Along one wall a rack of medi-sleep chambers is aligned, storage for stricken patients that keeps them in a state of stasis. Perhaps not visible at first glance, the floor is pockmarked with gouges, and the rough hewn surface is colored by the stains of dark viscous liquids.
Soundwave steps inside, again looking around with interest, still not having a good idea of what caused the things they saw outside.

There are perhaps a dozen medical gurneys lined along this chamber's walls, but only two seem to be occupied. One is quite obvious... a decaying mech strapped down to the gurney, ineffectually tugging at the restraints. Its sternum has been peeled away and medical pincers hold the armor apart. The other gurney has an opaque sheet covering it, though no movement comes from this one.

Darkslide stares at the new arrivals as they walk in.

Soundwave's attention is drawn to the movement. "Perhaps you can explain further, Ajax."

Starscream is now totally grossed out

Slasher steps to the side to let the others in.. his Alien creature climbs up onto the ceiling to get out of the way.

Darkslide optics follow Slasher up and ontp the ceiling.

Ajax approaches a display screen. The monitor displays various cut away graphics of Cybertronian anatomy. "Decomposition occurs first hear, near the frontal connections of the neural net... then moves back through the strallic systems to the... middle brain."

Shockwave watches all this carefully, his single optic taking in the whole room.

Slasher is actuly on the floor.. its his creature thats up on the ceiling.

Soundwave says, "The effect of this virus of which you spoke? It actually disintegrates the cerebral circuitry?"

Shockwave pages: That tape is also on Ebay quite a bit Cats, they seem to go for under $20 fairly often.

CatsCradle stays just inside the doorway, as close as she can be without staying out of the room. The room resembles a repair bay enough to make her uncomfortable

Starscream looks to the display screen then looks to Ajax. " can this virus be contained?

Ajax says, "The virus attacks the connections between neural centers... instinct, higher learning, emotions... these connections aren't severed, more like dulled."

Slasher looks past some equipment and asks again, "Yeah Still havent said how someone gets it."

Soundwave says, "Interesting." Soundwave is clearly intrigued by all this again on a scientific level, being an expert himself in cerebral neurocirciutry.

Striker has reconnected.

Starscream repeats his question, " Can this virus be contained in its raw state?

Ajax points to a part of the graphic display with a bloodied fingertip, leaving a bright stain on the plastic. "But the core... the core is the last thing to be affected by the decay. It's that central bit of prehistoric jelly we inherited from our ancient ancestors... they operate on *instinct*. Pure, dark, primordial *instinct*."

Ajax pulls off one glove and approaches the restrained mech. "The brain is the engine, the motor that drives them... the brain is the key. They don't need coolant flow... don't really need any of their internal components."

Soundwave tilts his head a bit at the unusual terminology that Ajax uses to describe the cerebral complex, but attributes it to an earlier era or much time alone in the underground. "I detected no higher-level brain functions from the - individuals outside," he confirms.

Ramjet 's optics are well glazed over by this point. nolonger able to keep up with the technical explination

Ajax points to the internal structures of the restrained mech. "We will get to that in a moment... look, I've severed all the internal structures of this one. There's nothing left of the corpse but brain and limbs and still in functions. Watch."

Slasher leans closer to Cats and whispers, "When's he getting to the.. How are we infected part ? or Did i miss it ?"]

Soundwave seems content to wait for the 'how are they infected' part, wanting to get a solid background on the problem first.

CatsCradle shakes her head. "You didn't miss it. I think he's deliberately not saying it." She shifts nervously. Battle carnage is one thing... this dissection and experimentation is another.

Ajax dips his fingertips near the corpse's mouth. It bites at the air, trying to nibble off Ajax's fingertips. "See... it wants me. It wants food. It has no internal compressors, no means to turn that into energy... it's working on

Ajax says, "*instinct*"

Soundwave says, "A remnant survival response."

Starscream says, "This is all fine and good Ajax but can this virus be contained in its raw state? How is this virus spread and more improtantly WHERE is STRAXUS?"

CatsCradle whispers back to Slasher "There's another really important question... is there a cure?"

Striker glances to Starscream, "Cool your jets leader... I'm sure we'll find him."

Starscream hopes his question was heard this time...

Slasher nods to Cats... then says to her idly, "If not im taking a slug right in my head.."

Ajax presses his fingertip to a portion of the display screen, changing the image. "The virus was introduced into the atmosphere... right above the polar cap. It spread through the entire upper troposphere and came down as rain... every living thing became a host for it."

Slasher blinks, "Introduced ?"

CatsCradle says faintly, "Oh, ick..."

Soundwave almost reluctantly brings himself back to their initial mission. "Ajax, this is all quite fascinating, and I would be most interested in collaborating with you on this problem. But we have missing team-mates. They must be our first priority, as our mission leader stated."

Striker raises an optic edge, "/Every/ living thing... that means that you've been infected too."

Starscream says, "so its in the AIR?"

CatsCradle says in the same faint voice, "Then we're all carriers now?"

Ajax presses another button, and the image of an Autobot appears. "The Autobots had a bio-chemical genius, Perceptor. They gave this to us as a sort of 'going-away' present."

Slasher knew he should have held his breath...

Ramjet frowns, "Well I feel just fine."

Starscream says, "But we could have all been exposed to whats left of it......"

Striker looks to Ramjet, "Yea, you'll feel fine until you die and become one of /them/."

CatsCradle says, "No, Ramjet," Her optics are wide. "We don't have it. We carry it. We can give it to others.""

Starscream looks at Ramjet, " as hard as your head is the virus would expire before it got inside you...

Ajax pulls his other glove off and holds them both in his hands. "Yes, I'm afraid you're all carriers now... carriers of the first stage of the virus, at least."

Soundwave regards the image on screen. "Perceptor. I am familiar with the name. But it seems we have another problem now." Soundwave still speaks calmly, despite becoming aware that they may never be able to safely return to the other Decepticons.

From inside Soundwave, Ravage knew he should have stayed home and taken a nap.

Striker glances at the dark doctor, "So... just /how/ do you plan to get rid of the virus? And you had BETTER have an answer."

Starscream mutters a few choice words in cybertronian that makes a few audio sensors sizzle

Striker says, "You'd better have a really good answer too unless you wanna become the new target for my plasma rifle."

Ajax says, "That's not part of my research... Lori knows. She's trying to find a way to eradicate the problem. I'm trying to find a way to treat it."

Ramjet says, "shut up striker. shooting the techie is'nt going to help us."

Slasher looks at Striker, "Ohh.. good choice of words... Threatening the only one who has a clue of whats going on and possibly the only one who could save us."

CatsCradle looks frozen. "Trying to find? As in... you haven't found one yet?"

Soundwave says, "Normally our inernal repair and filtration systems should catch any such foreign particles. Is there a particular reason why it would not be the case? Something connected to the inability of antigrav engines to function here, perhaps?""

Ajax says, "The virus exists in two states, you must understand this before we can go any further."

Striker looks to Ramjet and Starscream, "He isn't the /only/ techie around here, he claims there's another one looking for the cure."

Starscream says, "treating it seems irrelivent. " His tone is curt, "You need to be concentrating your energy on assiting this Lori in finding a way to stopr it in its preinfectious state"

Soundwave nods to Starscream. "And with the higher cerebral functions destroyed, there is nothing left to recover, it would seem."

CatsCradle says, "And we have to call the others. Warn them not to send anyone else out.""

Starscream says, "I think youve had more then enough time to understand it after it invades the body"

Slasher facepalms... "The Avenger..."

Ajax says, "Lori's research is a little more.... esoteric than mine. It could take another milennia for her to find what she's looking for. She may never find it."

Striker glares at Ajax, "A milennia?!"

Starscreams optics flash anregilly, "and we have Megatron to thank for this.....

Ajax says, "May I please continue without the added pleasure of your collective bickering?"

Slasher says, "Doctor Ajax.. How are Organic Creatures effected by this.. virus ?""

Ajax says, "The first stage of the virus is airborne, *highly* contagious. It is, however... inert, it is dormant. It exists in a comatose state, which may be why your automatic filtration systems will not eliminate it."

Ajax says, "And yes, I am afraid that once you entered this planet's atmosphere, you all became hosts."

Striker curses, "Looks like we won't be going back to Earth anytime soon. Less we wanna pass on this little gift."

Soundwave is already thinking to himself that he wants a sample of this substance to study. "What is its effect on a living Decepticon? You yourself seem to have been here for some time."

Slasher knows he isn't quite Decepticon anymore in physiology... but says nothing.. he just wonders if the Virus has effected him and his shell...

Perhaps without anyone noticing, a slight femme tip toes in, barely 23 feet tall. She does not at all seem startled by these newcomers, but keeps to the back.

Starscream says, "have you tried adjusting the automatic filtration systems to detect it and flush it out?"

CatsCradle moves to Soundwave's side. "Sir, we have to let the others know not to send anyone. And... you see, Divefire /will/ come after me, if he thinks I'm... Megatron has to know that Diver will do anything to get here. He has to keep Diver on Earth."

Slasher gets bored with the Tech talk and starts to stroll through the lav looking around.. picking up things.. examening them.

Soundwave does of course hear someone else enter, though he makes no outward notice of it. He nods to CatsCradle and replies quietly to her, "We have not been reported missing as of yet, so there is no reason for Earthbase to be concerned. I will, however, send a signal at the earliest opportunity to insure that we are not followed."

Slasher doesn't notice the new Femme.

Shockwave has been on guard watching everything in the room and so definitely notices the female robot enter. He points his cannon arm at her, cautious.

Ajax says, "Like I said, Soundwave... the initial stage of the virus is inert, it is comatose. I carry it within myself, as do all of you... it is not a danger to anyone unless I die. That is when it awakens. When the host ceases function, the virus awakens... it *blossoms* into its second state."

Starscream looks to Ajax expecting an answer

Lori holds her hands up and whistles softly, casting a sidelong glance at the tall purple mech.

Striker says, "So, we stay alive and we're ok?"

CatsCradle does not look convinced. "Sometimes, he just follows along on missions later," she says softly. "Catches up with me. He might follow, even if we aren't reported missing. And he has space flight and FTL. He /could/ follow."

Ramjet watches ajax explain this stuff. he stiull does'nt realy understand all the details but he does notice something, "You actualy admire it don't you."

Striker says, "But that doesn't explain how everyone up there was dead and you are one of the only ones alive."

Slasher turns and looks at Lori... his optics flash as his throughts are obvius... what a peace of construction.

Ajax says, "Well, the second stage of the virus is most complex... that is the form that attacks the neural circuitry. Thankfully thought the second stage is only contagious through fluid transfer. If you happen to come into contact with the second stage... well, you are as good as dead. The second stage will awaken the dormant first stage within you... and then... it's just a matter of time, really."

Slasher says, "Hey if this Virus happens once someone is killed... Who kill all the blokes up there ?'"

Striker glares at Slasher, "That's what I just asked..."

Soundwave shoots a look at Ramjet, who sustained some scratches to his armor in the fight earlier. "Has your structural integrity remained intact, Ramjet?"

Slasher looks to Striker, "Huh ? Sorry I had my audio filters on to filter out your audio signals and Starscreams."

CatsCradle looks at her hands. "They didn't touch me. None of them did." Then she adds faintly, "But if I can't go back..."

Striker says, "It's alright Cats, we ARE getting back."

Striker says, "Just as soon as the dark doctor and his assistant find a cure."

Lori steps forward, pressing through the throng of gathered mechs to approach Ajax. "Doctor Ajax... you're wasting time. You're spending too much time trying to figure out what's happening, instead of figuring out what's making it happen!"

CatsCradle looks at Striker, her optics wide. "No. Not if it means giving this to Diver."

Striker says, "Cats, you won't give it to Divefire."

Ramjet hhms and looks rouind at Soundwave as someone actualy pays him some attention. "Just a few bites and scratches. nothing that needs repairing sir."

Striker looks over at Lori, and agrees.

Lori penly gestures at the plastic covering over one of the gurneys. "You're just proving theories that were advanced months ago, and you're not even proving them correctly!"

Slasher was bit on the shoulder... but he seems to ignore it for now.

CatsCradle looks at her hands again. "But if there's no cure..."

Striker looks at Lori, "Your gonna find a cure, aren't you?"

Soundwave looks Ramjet over with the trained optic of someone long accustomed to working in repair bay. "No damage beyond the surface level of your armor?

Soundwave's first concern is the immediate welfare of the other Decepticons now, and the puzzle of the virus is secondary.

Lori holds her hands to her hips and glares at the doctor. "And just slicing up too many specimens... it's extremely dangerous to gather them up in the wild, where we can't control them." She pulls the covering off the one gurney, exposing the mech underneath. Its head is gone... but the spinal column, neural wrap and brain assembly remain, various wires and leads extending from it to a control console next to the doctor.

Ramjet says, "Just a few bust coolant pipes where one of them got em with a lucky blow. why? whats the big deal? I had worse."

Soundwave does not immediately answer, waiting for more information from the two inhabitants.

Ajax looks to Lori, then back to the now exposed corpse. "Here... I've attacked the core discretely, I've removed it from the equation. I believe this creature would be benign even if it had its eyesight... its primitive instincts have been erased."

Ajax reaches over to the control console and twists one of the dials. A slight electric hum is heard, and the corpse's right arm extends upwards. Turning the dial back the other way, the mech's left arm extends instead. "Look... it still has motor function! Probably still has powers of deliberation."

Striker is getting bored with all the scientific talk, "Ok, we /really/ need to find Straxus and get rid of this virus ya know..."

Soundwave's optic band darkens a bit. "Most interesting, Ajax, but I will have to request the use of your medical facilities. I wish to assure myself of the state of our warriors. They engaged the infected beings in battle. And then I must request the use of your communications equipment to send word back to my leader."

Ramjet says, "yeah yeah. great. I'm real happy for your pet corpse but how does that help us?"

Soundwave says, "Precisely. We have some practical matters to attend to."

Lori snaps at him. "I thought we were going to stop work on the neuro-physical and start working on something more practical!"

Slasher rubs his shoulder again and slips off a bit away from the others... his Creature scurrys across the ceiling and leaps down to land beside Slasher where he stands.

Striker looks over at Slasher, "Are you alright? Looks like one of the creatures tried to chew on you."

Ajax says, "These findings are central to the condition... I won't stop any work that might lead to an answer..."

Slasher mutters quietly, "Three.. not one..."

Shockwave finally speaks. "Soundwave, if I recall correctly, our internal housekeeping units have been improved significantly in the last 8 million years. Perhaps they have already destroyed this contagion."

Soundwave nods thoughtfully. "Possible. But I must assure myself of that."

Slasher sits down and his creature stands up on its hind legs and examins the scratch on his shoulder armor... seeing if it penetrated the Fiber of the plated armor.

Striker looks at Soundwave, then at Ajax, "Ok doctor, listen, we don't care about your research, we want a cure, and we want to know where Straxus is at, that's our mission, not to help some creepy doctor finish up 8 million years of research."

Soundwave overhears Slasher's muttered conversation as well.

Soundwave reiterates, "I will be pleased to collaborate with you on the research, Ajax, but I must see to the welfare of my comrades. If you cannot provide us with the facilities to do so, then I will recommend to the mission leader that we return to the surface and take our chances there to reach the shuttle."

Ajax completely and utterly ignores Striker, as if he were an annoying fly buzzing at his ears.

Shockwave says, "Surely it will aid your own goals of research to allow Soundwave to assist you Doctor Ajax?"

Ramjet perks up at soundwave's sugestion, "Yeah, lets go back to the surface. I don't mind fighting them again."

Ajax wipes his hands on his jacket, looking at all of them in turn. "Don't you think I'd be looking for a cure if there was one? There can only be a treatment.. not a cure. To either dispose of the bodies or combat the second stage of the virus."

CatsCradle looks up. "Wait, how updated are teh computer files here? We must have something newer back on Cybertron, or even Earth. Set Diver to researching. That will... that will keep him away from here, if he thinks he will do more good on either of the other planets."

Ramjet rolls his optics as cats still goes on and on about her mate.

Striker says, "Cats... I'm sure Divefire will be fine, don't worry so much about him."

Ajax pulls the plastic covering back over the corpse, switching the control console off. "If we know what they are... we can begin to approach them correctly."

Lori runs a hand over her shoulder and looks to Ajax, simply shaking her head from side to side. "You're talking about controlling them, domesticating them... fancy surgery than only you can perform. It's extremely risky."

Soundwave seems far less interested in the research aspects of it by now.

Ajax sighs, dropping his gloves into the pockets of his smock. "Yes, of course... Soundwave? The medbay is at your disposal."

Ajax says, "Perhaps we might be able to help each other on this matter."

Soundwave nods to Ajax, finally his request has been realized. "As soon as I verify the state of my companions," he agrees.

Soundwave says, "Starscream, I should like to examine Ramjet and Slasher to assure myself they have no serious injuries." He looks around at the others. "And any of the rest of you who have sustained even minor armor damage.""

Starscream says, "very well Soundwave proceed"

Striker says, "How minor would you consider minor?"

Slasher doesn't seem exactly pleased at the sound of Soundwaves suggjestion... Examening him.

Shockwave says, "Someone should also attempt to reach the ship and engage the long range communications system. Megatron may send others after us if we do not report in."

Soundwave says, "Any damage, Striker. I wish to be certain." He looks back and adds, "Ajax, I should like to see a sample of this virus for comparitive purposes.""

Shockwave looks to Starscream.

Starscream looks back, "Then do so Shockwave

Slasher slowly walks to the door and looks out to see where the Femme Doctor whent....

Soundwave moves toward the research facility, leaving the grisly morgue behind.

Striker gets the slag outta the morgue, "Well, Starscream, hope you overcome your little phobia of tight space," he gives the mech a nasty grin.

Striker says, "Oh, and remember, I can't kill you... yet. Wouldn't want any zombie's roaming around."

Starscream almost slugs striker but stops himself at thelast minute
Striker smirks, "Trying to hit me aren't you? Go ahead, I can have Soundwave fix us up quick."

Ajax moves over to the restrained corpse and pulls the pincers holding the armor open, seperating some of the internal components.

Starscream says, "Shut up"

Striker shrugs, "Fine, give up a golden opportunity, I'm just sure you don't want hurt."

Starscream shoves a laser cannonto strikers head and sneers, "One more reason

Starscream says, "give me one more reason"

Striker doesn't seem surprised by the laser in his head, he just calmly grabs the laser and pulls it down, "You won't do it Starscream, you're too afraid of what Megatron would do to you."

Starscream says, "no"

Starscream says, "we are dead already if this quak here is right"

Ajax says, "Quack?"

Starscream says, "smirks evily, " so what does it matter"

Striker shrugs, "So why not end it, we will die anyway."

Striker says, "If you want to kill me, now is the time to do it... give the dark doctor here another subject to experiment, a newly dead one... You."


***

7/1/01

Southeastern Tunnel

     Branching off from the main cavern, this tunnel has obviously been hollowed out. Large metal support structures span its length as far as the optic can see, which unfortunately is not very far. A rockslide at some point in the past buried part of this tunnel, creating multiple paths. The end of the tunnel disappears in inky blackness. This would be a dangerous place to get lost in.

Straxus arrives from Research Facility.

Straxus pokes CatsCradle. "This is a bad place to be, kitty kat."

Straxus says, "You've gotten yourself deep into a world of shit, kid. I hate to see you taking part in this."

CatsCradle indeed, looks miserable. "I hate seeing me take part in this," she mutters. She leans her back against the wall and slides down it to sit on the floor.

Straxus lowers himself down into a crouch and tilts his head slightly to one side. "Why are you all here? This really is not a good place to be, not at all."

CatsCradle gives him a sidelong glance. "Slasher sent out a distress call, for troops to come and rescue you."

Straxus says, "Then the kid jumped the gun and made a critical error. You didn't come here to rescue me though, I know that... and you certainly didn't come for the survivors."

CatsCradle gives a rueful shrug. "We hardly could have known that, could we?"

CatsCradle adds, "And yes, we were sent to rescue you. Specifically."

Straxus says, "Megatron is willing to risk all your lives... all of this, dropping you down into this mess just to haul my ass back to the brig? His priorities are severely fucked up. Now we're all stuck here."

Straxus says, "I wouldn't call taking me to rot in some brig a *rescue* mission, Cats."

CatsCradle thinks back a little. "We never did get orders on bringing you back. Or at least, I didn't." She lifts one shoulder in a shrug. "I'm not the one in charge of the mission. You'd have to ask Starscream."

Straxus says, "What were you told, then?"

"That this was a rescue mission. Further instruction would come from Starscream, or in the inevitability that he prooves himself to be as useful as a paperbag, from Shockwave. I have not received such further instruction." She makes a face. "'Course, we all got a little distracted.""

Straxus says, "This is all just one big shitty mess... and trust me, it's not going to be easy or pleasant getting out of here."

"The data files back on Earth and Cybertron have got to be more updated than the ones here. Someone there might be able to find something.""

Straxus says, "How are we supposed to get a message out?"

"The shuttle we came on has long range communications equipment. Shockwave went back out last night.""

Straxus says, "Shockwave went back out... by himself? Well I hope you also gave him a bodybag, so he can pack himself in it."

Straxus says, "What genius thought it was a good idea to send Shockwave back out... in that?"

CatsCradle shrugs. "Shockwave mowed through them on the way in. Took out more than the rest of us combined. And he has the heaviest armor. And he volunteered."

Straxus says, "His armor isn't going to make much difference if they attack en-masse... and after that conflagaration last night? They'll be coming... all of them."

"Last night, we chucked energon cubes out. They went after the cubes, gave us a few minutes leeway." She rubs her forehead, then buries her face in her hands for a moment. "If he doesn't radio back to us soon, I'll go. A stealth may have more luck getting by.""

Straxus says, "No, you're not going to risk it alone. What does stealth matter when they can smell you for miles?"

CatsCradle is quiet for a moment. "Disguise my scent somehow?

****

Southeastern Tunnel

     Branching off from the main cavern, this tunnel has obviously been hollowed out. Large metal support structures span its length as far as the optic can see, which unfortunately is not very far. A rockslide at some point in the past buried part of this tunnel, creating multiple paths. The end of the tunnel disappears in inky blackness. This would be a dangerous place to get lost in.

CatsCradle is sitting on the floor, leaning against the tunnel wall.

There is a Scurrying sound in the darkness of the Tunnel.. something is moving along the ceiling of it as you see a dim yellow glow of two optics down the tunnel... slowly getting closer.

CatsCradle is barely visible in her spot among the shadows, but her wrist lasers hiss open and lock into position, her gaze not leaving the optics traveling closer

The scurrying stops right over Cats and then there is nothing.. though cats feels something dripping on her... something cold and gooy...

CatsCradle moves then, but only her fingers, flashing and weaving tendrils of energy in a forcefield curving around and over her in a bubble

Slasher says from the darkness as he gets closer, "That you Cradle ?"

You say, "Slasher?""

*CLANG* "Song of A SLAG!!! WHO THE... tarn put a pipe in the middle of a tunnel..."

CatsCradle drops her 'field with a soft sigh of relief. "Yeah, that sounds like you."

Slasher limps closer and sits down... "Sounds like me ?"

CatsCradle smiles slightly. "No one I know swears quite like you do."

Slasher chuckles slightly, "Sorry... I've spent quite a long time dealing with the scum of the spaceways.... You pick up a few things..."

Slasher says, "Some times I forget there are higher classed Femmes around now again."

CatsCradle nods, still with her soft smile. "We have someone on Earth who was a Spaceways pirate... or had, rather. And I'm not really higher class. I've just had a few milenia of Polyhex's civilization

Slasher is dripped on himself and glances up... then looks to Cats again as the Alien creature hops down and lays on its belly beside Slasher resting its tail against the wall.... Slasher nods and says, "Pouncer told me of her... A Tempest ?"

CatsCradle says "Yes," but her expression fades a little.

Slasher 's eyes glow dimly but he seems to see you just fine... he Questions, "Whats the matter ?"

CatsCradle breaths a laugh. "Tempest left a while ago. I was just wondering if she was all right. In the face of everything we're up against this moment, it really isn't important, being concerned about a deserter

Slasher snickers, "No offense... But from what Ive seen of Megatrons forces.... Im sure a Spaceway's pirate is quite safe on her own."

CatsCradle flicks her claws in dismissal. "No offence taken. And yes, Tempest is quite able to take care of herself. But it is hard to be alone."

Slasher says, "I've been alone for quite some time... I was ok."

CatsCradle shakes her head. "I couldn't go back to being alone again.

Slasher rubs the creatures head as it lays it in Slashers lap... Saying, "You have a Companion... You wouldnt be alone again.... I had a companion once.... But she died long ago.... Pouncer reminds me of her."

CatsCradle agrees. "Yes, I have Diver... if we can ever get off this planet." She rubs at her forehead. "If we don't get a message back to earth, he'll come looking, against orders or not. He might come, even if we do get the message out."

Slasher shrugs... "You both will be fine.... Or how else did you build that Kidlet in the future ?"

CatsCradle blinks and is silent for a moment... then laughs softly. "That's true, isn't it? I hadn't even thought of that."

Slasher says, "Plus non of them Trash heaps touched you..."

You say, "Yet, anyway..." her voice trails off, and she looks at him in sudden concern. "How are you feeling?""

Slasher laughs, "Alive... and was hungry till that kid gave me some Energoup.. and my friend here got to sample the Local Sea beetles.."

CatsCradle grins and tentatively holds her fingers out to the critter. "Pounce, you said?"

Slasher looks to the Creature... "Oh... No thats not Pouncer... Pouncer is still on the Rodger.. I hope she doesn't try to come down here... good thing I locked my ship but it wouldnt be the first time she broke her yellow little aft into it.

Slasher says, "I don't know why she keeps following me around."

The Alien leans closer and drools on Cats hand a bit...

CatsCradle calculates distance, thinking outloud. "She'd still be out of normal communications range of us, wouldn't she?" She looks down at the feel of the Alien drooling and does manage to not only /not/ make a face, but to leave her fingers there

Slasher nods.... "She wouldnt know probably... and Most likely would only come if she thought we where in trouble.... Quite determined she is... Megatrons daughter."

CatsCradle smacks her forehead, then eeews at the alien slime. "Small yellow cassette?"

Slasher nods, "Pouncer.."

CatsCradle nods. "Ruse."

Slasher chuckles, "Yes.... I just call her Pouncer since she always hides then pounces on me."

CatsCradle begins to chuckle. "Yes, she does, doesn't she?" She laughs harder. "And after all that's happened, she runs away from Megatron to Straxus?"

Slasher says, "She doesnt enjoy being treated like a kidlet.."

The creature snugs up between Slasher and Cats... swishing its tail.

You say, "Unfortunately, her pranks earn her the reputation of one." She shakes her head, looking a little relieved. "I was worried about her, when she disappeared, but..." and she laughs again, "...I certainly never expected her to seek out Straxus.""

Slasher tilts his head... "Pranks ?... SHe hasnt seemed to pull any pranks here... maybe one is the result of the other... With us she is treated like any other... and expected to do work."

CatsCradle nods thoughtfully. "That could be. Her pranks seemed to be more of rebellion sometimes." She chuckles again. "Did she tell you what she did to Striker?"



Slasher shakes his head, "No... I've not asked her much of her past... or what she is doing with Straxus."

You say, "You'll like this one, though." She stretches her legs out in front of her and wiggles her feet. "Striker was assigned to kinda watch out for her. Ruse figured it out and hide. Striker nearly leapt out of his armor, tearing the base apart looking for her. Then she somehow slapped a holoprojector on him. Made him look like Prime. He burst into my office, and my son plasma-bolted him.""

Slasher says, "What a shame... Kid must have missed..."

Slasher cracks his knuckles... "I tell yah.. If I wasnt as dissaplined Id have taken his head off already.."

CatsCradle chuckles. "No. His father twigged that something wasn't quite right and shouted. Starwave pulled his punch. Hit dead on though." She beams in pride.

Slasher says, "Should have let him Bag Striker.. whats anyone gonna do... Kid went back to the Future anyhow."

CatsCradle looks briefly sad. "Yes, he did." Then she shakes her head. "Starscream and Striker will most likely do each other in anyway. sometimes, I think it's a shame. When Striker doesn't have that chip on his shoulder, he isn't too bad. Problem is, that chip's almost always there.

Slasher says, "They almost did last night... and wasted energy and resources we may need to use.... instead they try to kill each other."

CatsCradle grins cheerfully. "Maybe they will. That'd be a good chunk of our problems solved."

Slasher says, "Not with this Virus... they would simple try to kill us after they died."

CatsCradle doesn't seem the least bit concerned. "Then we get the joy of killing them as well. Perfect ending."

Slasher considers then laughs, "True... Id love a shot at Striker."

CatsCradle shakes her head again. "Sometimes, I think we're getting through to him, you know? Past that chip on his shoulder, and he's an okay kid. But it only lasts for a few minutes, and then I want to strangle him all over again."

Slasher says, "Maybe.... He seems to have a malfunction with his resoning functions.... big problem with following chain of command and being quiet."

CatsCradle chuckles. "And you also just perfectly described Starscream. Striker would hate me for saying it, but he's just like Starscream.

Slasher says, "maybe the same Program core was used."

CatsCradle looks pained. "You'd think when they saw how it worked in Starscream, they would have chucked the program."

Slasher says, "Maybe"

Slasher looks puzzled, "Why do you care so much for them ?"

CatsCradle frowns a little. "Striker is still young. He keeps telling me he wants to change, but I've lost a lot of belief in that. Starscream..." she shakes her head. "I don't, really. He could have killed Diver last week. but sometimes, it's better in the long run, for the mission, to try and get along with everyone."

Slasher nods, "In my time... Striker wouldnt have made it a week in real combat."

CatsCradle confesses, "It surprises me, too. He's actually a decent fighter. But he's more likely to get himself killed from someone on his own side, at this rate."

Slasher says, "Nothing more then luck... Had he hit a vital component on that ship we had Energon on... And there wouldnt be enough left of us to be a bad smell in the wind."

CatsCradle's expression hardens. "I'm well aware of that. Coulda wiped out most of my family in one unthinking shot."

Slasher tilts his head the other way... "Most ?... more like all including your future creation"

CatsCradle smiles again, her face smoothing back into a better mood. "There's a daughter, too."

Slasher says, "If your gone.. there wouldnt be a Son or Daughter."

Slasher says, "I don't think Id ever take the time to bother having a kidlet built to pass on my programming..."

CatsCradle makes a face. "But I couldn't be gone, because they are alive int he future, so obviously I was going to survive... Oh, hell, I hate time paradoxes..."

Slasher says, "I ment if Striker had us all killed cuz of his careless manners"

Slasher is still talking about the shuttle incident.

CatsCradle frowns. "I think, right this moment, I'm more concerned about either him or Starscream pissing off Ajax."

Slasher says, "I try not to worry... shortens the lifespan of my neural receptors."

CatsCradle says in a serious tone, "I'm a professional worrier. I'm very good at it."

Slasher says, "You dont worry as a warrior.. you think of ways to get your aft out of the problem instead."

You say, "There's never enough time to worry in a battle. It's the after-hours that get me.""

Slasher chuckles to Cats then falls silent listening.

CatsCradle is sitting on the ground next to Slasher, talking. The Alien is stretched out between them, and she takes a moment to tickle the back of its head.

Striker makes his way into the tunnel, walking fairly slowly.

Slasher quietly draws his rifle as he hears someone and loads the chamber.....

CatsCradle glances up at the noise... doesn't sound like a zombie's movement... she shifts to a crouch, her wrist lasers hissing open and locking into place

Striker walks down the tunnel looking around.

Slasher can see Striker in the darkness.. His vision made to see in low light condishesn.... he says quietly to Cats, "Its the future Zombie.."

CatsCradle laughs gently under her breath and pops her wrist lasers back in place. "You have no survival instincts, Striker," she calls out.

Striker looks over at Cats, "Said that to me four millenia ago and I would've blown your head off."

CatsCradle smiles pleasantly. "Four million years ago, and I would have just killed you, instead of chatting about it.

Slasher chuckles quietly and sights Strikers head, "Said that four millenia ago and she would have shot your head off before she said it."

Striker says, "Same here."

Slasher just shakes his head and leans back again... resting his rifle beside him as he enjoys the Darkness.

CatsCradle settles back down again, tickling the Alien behind its head one more time

The Alien gives off a soft hiss and wraps its tail around Cats hips resting the sharp spear like tail tip in her lap.

Striker looks at the little alien.

Striker says, "Slasher, does your pet have a name?"

Slasher looks down at the alien... then Shrugs.. "I guess Slasher would do for it.."

Slasher says, "I never thought about it."

Striker nods, and sits down in the tunnel, enjoying the low-light levels.

CatsCradle tickles the alien again. "I have fish. They aren't nearly as interactive."

Slasher says, "Yah.. I bet you dont have to feed them every few months."

Striker says, "I never knew you had any fish."

CatsCradle shrugs. "The tank's in our quarters. And actually, I have to feed them every few days. Sometimes, that's the only reason I'm actually on base

Striker nods, "Guess I never really noticed."

CatsCradle grins evilly. "You've never been inside our quarters."

Striker shakes his head and grins, "No... and with you and Divefire, I'm not sure I /want/ to see inside your quarters."

CatsCradle gazes at him with wide-eyed optics. "Why, Striker... whyever would you say that?"

Striker smirks, "I've seen how messy Divefire's desk is... I can only imagine what his room looks like."

CatsCradle closes her optics. "Um... Striker, the messy one's my desk..."

Slasher leans over and says to Cats, "You havent seen the Cargo Hold of my ship."

Striker chuckles, "That's /your/ desk?"

CatsCradle nods sheepishly. "Diver's always been the organized one."

Striker says, "And here I thought you were the organized one..."

CatsCradle shakes her head. "NEver. I'm just the public personna."

****
Southeastern Tunnel

     Branching off from the main cavern, this tunnel has obviously been hollowed out. Large metal support structures span its length as far as the optic can see, which unfortunately is not very far. A rockslide at some point in the past buried part of this tunnel, creating multiple paths. The end of the tunnel disappears in inky blackness. This would be a dangerous place to get lost in.

7/3/01



CatsCradle is sitting, on the ground with her legs curled underneath her

Slasher is sitting with her ?

Straxus crouches next to Catscradle and drapes his forearms over his thighs. "You seem perturbed."

Slasher glances to Straxus........ saying nothing.

CatsCradle grins up at Straxus briefly. "Actually, I was thinking... No one's heard from Shockwave, yet, right?

Straxus looks up and around, past her... then from left to right. "Well I'm sure they wouldn't run to tell me, but I haven't heard a peep."

Slasher 's Alien creature rubs its head along the side of Cats leg.... seeming to not care about Straxus's appreance.

CatsCradle flicks her claws. "No one tells me much of anything either." She narrows her optics at Straxus suddenly. "Um... have they found you yet? I mean... do they know you're around?"

Slasher shakes his head, "Starscream is probably busy arguing ith Striker."

Straxus says, "With Striker and Starscream's bickering... Ajax and Soundwave both working together on a solution..."

Straxus says, "I could walk right by with a marching band and I doubt anyone would notice, Cats."

Slasher crosses his arms and leans back against the wall where he sits..... giving the creatures tail a light rub idly...

"Ah." She nods. "No one had said anything... but like I say, that doesn't seem to be unusual anymore. I think I could scream in their faces and they wouldn't notice me much, either." She tickles the back of the Alien's head. "Slasher reminded me of something the other day. Which I had known to some extent, but wasn't exactly thinking in the right direction.""

Straxus presses his fingertips to CatsCradle's shoulder lightly. "But what is bothering you, little one?"

Straxus dims his optics slightly and gives a gentle nod of his head. "I am all aural receptors, Cats."

"Slasher reminded me that I obviously live, at least another hundred years, because we know Starwave exists. And he won't be constructed by Diver and I for another century. So that means, I live through this..." and she flicks her fingers again, indicating the virus and zombies. "So... I'm thinking I should head for teh shuttle.""

Slasher 's optics glow a dim yellow then turn to a slight mix of red as he remembers the night before and how nice and quiet it was till Striker came strolling along shooting off his vocelizer...

Straxus says, "That's circular logic, don't be absurd. For every action the opposite action takes place. Divergent realities spring up at every crossroad. That Starwave could have come from a reality where you never came here. I mean... he changed reality and our perception of it merely by his travel."

Straxus says, "Yes, you may live through this. And transmit the virus to your unborn childe. You see... we are all infected now. Our survival or our death makes no difference to the virus. Either way... it survives."

Slasher nods, "Fate can be changed.... To an extent."

Straxus says, "There is not fate but the one we make for ourselves."

Slasher says, "Thats what I just said Straxus...."

Straxus says, "No. It isn't."

Slasher just sighs and shakes his head.

CatsCradle is quiet for a moment. "What other choice do we have, at the moment? If we don't get a message back to the others, they'll keep sending rescue parties, that will all end up stranded here with us. And I still think our best bet is to have others looking in more updated data files than the ones here. Which means, getting a message back to earth."

Slasher slowly slides up the wall as he stands... His creature getting up along with him... He quietly nods to the two and heads off down the tunnel vanishing into the darkness... quietly echoing.. "Fate may be what you create... But I already had to take that road once..."

Straxus transmits a message via radio.
Straxus transmits to CatsCradle: "Lori may have an answer to that."

CatsCradle sighs a little. "Last I heard, they weren't any closer than they were when they first started the research."

Straxus says, "Well, the good doctor has made some progress, I will admit. And Lori supports his foundation, for once... I suppose their research converged at some point. The virus cannot be cured, in either form... but it can be treated."

CatsCradle frowns. "If it can't be cured, we'd still be carrying it around and giving it to everyone we meet, though."

Straxus says, "Yes, but the virus can be fooled. It can be tricked, as she put it... into acting differently. Tricked into staying in its first form."

CatsCradle still looks puzzled. "But if we can't erradicate it... we're still passing it on." Her optics look frightened suddenly. "I never thought about giving it to the twins."

Straxus says, "That's the price we pay, I suppose. Life and death intertwined in a macabre dance."

CatsCradle shakes her head, stubbornly. "Look, these people are behind by 500,000 years on any research. For all we know, a cure has already been discovered, and they're busy re-inventing the wheel. I can get to that shuttle. I know I can. There are generators around still working, right? We can increase their output, create a distraction of energy to draw the zombies. I've functioned on energy levels just barely above redline, that won't be nearly as tracable as anyone else's. And I'm the best stealth here, outside of maybe Ravage."

Straxus says, "Well, as far as we know the virus is contained on Acheron... if it had been encountered anywhere else, I would suspect Soundwave and Shockwave would know about it."

"Even they don't have every piece of data available stored in their circuitry. I've seen Soundwave access files on the main computer banks. And..." She looks desperate, "... and Perceptor's gotta have notes somewhere. Someone's gotta be able to get access to them somehow." She looks evil for a moment. "Gryphus brags about being a great computer hacker. Let her earn her keep for once.""

Straxus says, "Gryphus? Gryphus is a waste of resources and space."

CatsCradle shrugs in dismissal. "I tend to agree with you on that one. Haven't yet seen her do anything of any worth."

Straxus says, "I think our best bet lies with the good doctor's treatment. If he can innoculate the lot of us... the best person to interrogate Perceptor would be Ajax."

CatsCradle's optics flash. "Why don't we have someone drop Perceptor here? I'll bet he'd be quick enough to work towards a cure if he was infected himself."

Straxus says, "Either way... someone has to capture Perceptor. And your Earthbound brethren don't have the manpower at present to undertake such an operation. One way or another, you have to leave. Immediately."

CatsCradle says "Maybe they don't have the manpower on earth, but they can bridge people over from Cybertron."

****
7/4/01

Armory

        A vast collection of securely stored munitions and ordinance fills this room. All manner of the weaponry of the Empire can be found here on display in various cases and cabinets. The room is a litte more than 90 feet tall, making it more than twice the height of the average Decepticon. A catwalk runs along the wall midway up, while the very tallest items occupy the center of the room and stretch almost to the ceiling. Although the items are on display, there are still a good deal of security measures in place to prevent unauthorized access.

Divefire strides through the coridors of the ship in a obvious bad mood as heads for the command centre.

Thundercracker is also walking slowly in the direction of the command center.

Access Corridor

        A long narrow hallway with four doors leading to different parts of the base. Each door has a security panel beside it to monitor access in and out of the base locations. The lighting here is muted and the room has no other features, giving it a sparse utilitarian feel.

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.

Megatron sits at Soundwave's station, trying to get in contact with the rest of their troops.

<LongRange> Shockwave says, "*Bursts of static emit from the radio, then a faint voice* Shockwave calling Megatron. Do you receive?"

Megatron looks up. "At last!"

Enchantress enters the Command Center, bearing a stack of reports.

<LongRange> Megatron says, "Soundwave, this is Megatron speaking, acknoledge!"

Divefire blows through the door to the command center, his face is cast in very dark mood as his optics glow as he scans around for... Ah. With a few paces he comes up to the station that Megatron is on and goes to say something, then stops. "What the..?"

Enchantress goes about downloading her reports to the main computer, marking some to be read by the command staff, some for transmission to Cybertron, and some to various other personnel around the base.

<LongRange> Shockwave says, "We have encountered difficulty on our rescue mission. A cybernetic virus has infected the local population here, causing them to continue to function even with normally fatal damage. They attack any others not infected on sight, and if those attacked are damaged, they become infected as well. The Autobot Perceptor is the creator of this virus according to our information. Suggest that he be captured and interrogated as to a potential cure."

Enchantress looks up in surprise. What in the world...

Enchantress says, "What exactly does he mean, normally fatal damage?"

<LongRange> Megatron says, "You need not to tell me that, Shockwave. Perceptor will soon be in our hands."

Skywarp arrives from Access Corridor.

Enchantress says, "Emperor, permission to request further information."

Divefire optics narrow in a very real anger as he digests the information, his fingers tightening on the console he's leaning against. "Perceptor..." He growls then his optics flicker once more with slight worry. "Megatron, may I request a status update of the rescue party?"

Skywarp looks at everyone.."Whats goin on?

<LongRange> Enchantress says, "Lord Shockwave, please elaborate on the virus.  What do you mean by beyond fatal damage, exactly?"

Skywarp walks up behind Divefire

<LongRange> *more static bursts, making the voice hard to make out. It fades in and out.* Shockwave says, "One further complication Megatron, the dormant stage of the virus is airborne, and all of us are infected, again according to the information we have received. I would recommend no rescue attempts be made until we can eliminate this virus."

Megatron says, "Whatever he means, we will shortly know directly from the source. Skywarp, Divefire, Enchantress, capture Perceptor! No matter how you are do it, get him here alive!"

Enchantress looks worried as she processes the information. Then a curse. "Lehtaroiara."
Enchantress says, "As you command, Emperor."
Enchantress starts walking out the door.

<LongRange> Megatron says, "Information received. We will act accordingly."

Thundercracker enters the Command Center, "What is happening?"

Enchantress says, "We're out to capture Perceptor. He's recreated a virus that creates Lehtaroiara."

Megatron says, "The others will explain it to you on your way to the Autobots."

Skywarp Looks at TC.."Looks like were going on a bot hunt Bud .

Divefire nods slightly to Megatron then turns on his heel and starts to walk out of the room. Team work might be one of the things furthest from his mind...

Enchantress says, "Who will lead the capture mission, Emperor?"
Enchantress follows Divefire.

<LongRange> Megatron says, "Shockwave, transmit every data you have about the virus... *murmured* if possible."

Enchantress wishes that they had a few intelligence personnel present. A grab and snatch will be difficult, moreso with the limited number of personnel at base.

<LongRange> Shockwave says, "I am sending a full report on the data subchannel. I must terminate the connection after it is complete however, the power drain is becoming significant."

<LongRange> Megatron says, "Acknowledged. Megatron out."

***

Stasis/Autopsy Chamber

     Medical stretchers line either side of this room, cluttered equipment stacked between them. Along one wall a rack of medi-sleep chambers is aligned, storage for stricken patients that keeps them in a state of stasis. Perhaps not visible at first glance, the floor is pockmarked with gouges, and the rough hewn surface is colored by the stains of dark viscous liquids.

Ajax transmits a message via radio.

Soundwave steps inside, and looks around the autopsy chamber. With a nod to Starscream, the mission leader, he asks "You requested my presence, Ajax?"

Ajax idly wipes his gloves off on his labcoat, gesturing for the tall blue ruggedly handsome communicator to approach. "I believe I have reached a point in my research you'll be quite interested in hearing about. So I've called you here... to brief you."

CatsCradle steps just inside the door, taking one side-step to the side to lean against the wall, her optics flashing nerviously around the lab. She remains silent, though, listening to the others

Soundwave listens attentively.

Darkslide walks in after finishing his long shift of guard duty.

Ajax motions for Soundwave to come closer. Laying his hand down on the shorn scalp of one restrained zombie, he runs his fingers over the exposed cranial casing. It fidgets slightly, but makes no agressive moves. "I believe I've isolated the virus, and am able to affect the way it reacts."

Darkslides optics flash as he looks at all the mechs before him. He then procceds to rest weary exo-skeleton on a nearby chair.

Soundwave steps forward and regards the zombie with interest, noting its change in behavior. "Something that may render the masses outside harmless to us?"

Ajax says, "No... nothing like that I'm afraid. The treatment is chemical based, and in the case of this patient... required hours of subsequent surgery. The treatment is really only of use to us... it will not cure us, I'm afraid. But anyone innoculated need not worry about the second stage of the virus. It will remain comatose, even upon the host's demise. The chemical will trick the virus into thinking the host remains active."

Ajax says, "So long as we do not bring the *second* stage of the virus back with us... we should be fine."

CatsCradle is following the conversation. "Like a vaccination, kinda?"

Soundwave seems cautious. "It is a step in the correct direction, but can we truly risk infecting our comrades if we still carry this substance within us? If we had complete molecular data on the engineering of the substance, it could perhaps be destroyed entirely."

Ajax says, "Your comrades should be fine if you innoculate them. The Autobots, I'm afraid... well, I don't believe Perceptor had a cure. We recovered a partial data stream from their colonial data network, after they fled. No mention was made in Perceptor's logs of any cure."

Ajax says, "I'm afraid that's the best we can do with the data and the materieles available to us, Soundwave. It's really our only hope."

Soundwave says, "I will wish to review your data, Ajax, before I can recommend to the mission leader that we take this chance."

CatsCradle says "If it was a partial data stream, maybe you just didn't pick up that information. Maybe he came up with one later. Isn't is a little soon to dismiss that possibility, when your data is so may thousands of years old?"

Soundwave says, "Do you have your data available for review, Ajax?"

Ajax pulls a datapad from his labcoat's deep pockets, offering it up for Soundwave's perusal. "Of course."

Soundwave accepts it and reads through, the text scrolling upward on the small screen rapidly. No expression mirrors itself in his eyeband, he simply reads.

Soundwave listens in, as he reads, to the communications signals being sent from the shuttle back toward Earth. Finally he looks up, and says, "In my professional opinion, your antidote will be successful at least temporarily. However, I am not satisfied with leaving this substance within our bodies, even when dormant. The possibilities for mutagens to reactivate the virus..." He shakes his head. "Too many unforeseen things are possible. If Megatron can send us additional information from the Autobot scientist, we will have more to work with. You, Ajax, are most familiar with this substance, therefore I will be most interested in working with you on the problem."

Rumble ejects from Soundwave's chest

Ajax says, "If you will all come close? I will administer the innoculations... then, I suppose we can wait on this information."

Soundwave is still preoccupied with the data at hand, and so lets Rumble eject before thinking about it. As soon as the little blue cassette jumps out, though, he warns, "Rumble, do not touch anything."

Rumble was about to lay a finger on the nearest gizmo when he suddenly jerks back his hands. "Huh? Why not?"

Darkslide looks at Rumble and a faint smile appears on his face.

CatsCradle smiles slightly at Rumble. "Because things in this lab have a way of biting back."

A radio transmission is received by Soundwave.

Ajax opens a small container, white fumes spilling from its edge as the seal is broken. Pulling a small medical syringe from within, he beckons for Soundwave to approach first. "Sir? I will have to inject this into your primary fuel pump... it will cycle through your system much faster that way."

Slasher enters quietly with his Alien Companion leading in the entrance to the Lab... he glances around then moves over to Cats and stands there watching.

Darkslide looks at what Ajax is going to do next...Then gets bored and brings his Acid Rifle out of sub-space and starts to polish it.

Soundwave replies to Rumble, "There is too much you could endanger yourself with." He takes another step toward Ajax, satisfied by his looking over of the data, that the innoculation is reasonably safe. He does prefer to be the first to test it, though."

Ajax gestures openly with his free hand. "And if the rest of you will come close? Let us get this matter out of the way so we can focus on other matters."

Darkslide gets up from his chair and moves towards Ajax.

Ajax places his free hand on Soundwave's shoulder, reaching up and placing the tip of the syringe at the spacing between Soundwave's chin and neck. "You'll just feel a little prick, only for a moment."

Striker walks in just at Ajax' gesture.

Soundwave transmits a message via radio.

Soundwave remains motionless.

Slasher whispers to Cats quietly, "Whats going on now ?"

Ravage leaps out of Soundwave's tape compartment.

Rumble says, "Yuck! We don't /all/ need that shot do we?"

CatsCradle watches from her spot at the door, chewing on her lip in concern, her gaze not leaving Soundwave. "Ajax says he has a way of controling the virus so that it never leaves the first stage. It's not a cure... just a way of controling it.

Ajax pushes the edge of the syringe gently in, and pushes a small bit of the blue chemical into his main fuel line. "It may tingle for just a moment. That's natural. The inhibitor should travel throughout your system in a matter of minutes."

Slasher nods and crosses his arms muttering, "Oh joy."

CatsCradle raises her voice slightly. "Ajax, have you taken this?"

Soundwave replies calmly as the substance courses into his fuel lines, "Perhaps, Rumble. I will first evaluate how it affects me."

Striker mutters, "Oh great... we all need that shot?"

Ajax raises a brow, looking to her out of the corner of his eye. "Yes, my dear... I was the test subject."

Rumble mutters, "Maybe we shoulda made someone /else/ be the guinea pig."

Rumble then looks at Ajax as if sorry he opened his mouth....

Ajax says, "Striker, you are next."

CatsCradle says, "How long ago?""

Ajax raises his hand and beckons Striker forward. "Yesterday."

Slasher glances at Rumble silently... The Alien creature sitting beside him gets up and heads over to where the smaller tapes are gathered and watches them.

Striker says, "Oh joy," and walks up to Ajax, "Yes Ajax."

CatsCradle nods slowly, still chewing on her lip in concern.

Rumble mutters, "I'm sorry I ejected."

Soundwave says, "I am experiencing no ill effects. The data is sound.""

Ravage eyes the black Alien critter and doesn't like it... so he moves closer to Soundwave and keeps a very suspishes optic on it.

CatsCradle says to Rumble, "Would you rather be zombied?"

Ajax looks to Striker and frowns slightly. "Just remain still... you can remain still, can't you? This will only hurt for a brief moment." He places the tip of the needle along Striker's neck, pushing it in.

Rumble puts on a big fake grin and says, "Shoot me up.

Striker holds still for the injection.

Ajax depresses the base of the syringe, injecting the chemical into Striker's fuel stream. "Sit down for a moment, it may affect your gyro-stabilisation."

Soundwave motions Rumble forward as next in line, since he was suddenly so eager. Have to get to him while he's willing.

Ajax says, "CatsCradle, it's your turn now."

Rumble tries to look tough and swaggers up towards Ajax

Striker walks away and leans against the wall, incase it does affect his balance.

Ravage follows behind Rumble...

CatsCradle glances at Rumble, then Soundwave, following the train of thought. "After Rumble," she says softly.

Rumble suddenly starts looking nervous...

CatsCradle adds, noticing Ravage's movement, "And Ravage..."

Ajax says, "CatsCradle, it's your turn now."

Striker looks up at Cats, "Needle-shy Cats?"

CatsCradle glances again at Soundwave, then moves forward, ignoring Striker's comment. She stops in front of Ajax, watching him.

Ravage looks to Cats... who is moving backwards in line...... Hummm

Slasher looks to Cats and gives her a reassuring nods...

Ajax pats the medical gurney. "Hop up on here, CatsCradle. This will only hurt for a moment."

A radio transmission is received by Soundwave.

Ajax says, "And trust me... it will hurt alot less than waking up one day and finding yourself dead."

CatsCradle slides up on the gurney and tilts her head slightly. Her hand curves into a fist, but she makes no other movement

Soundwave transmits a message via radio.

Ajax brushes his thumb over Cat's chin, tilting her head back slightly. He gingerly places the needle tip along the curve of her neck, gently injecting a small bit of the chemical agent.

CatsCradle's fist tightens slightly, but other than that, she remains still, her gaze focused past Ajax' shoulder

Soundwave transmits a message via radio.

Ajax says, "Rumble? You're next this time, I suppose. Unless someone actually wants to volunteer this time?"

<Ravage heatbutts into Rumbles Leg in protest about something.

Rumble looks around desperately for volunteers and doesn't find any....

Rumble starts looking a lot less tough all of a sudden, but holds his ground, though the worry is evident in his optics

Darkslide says, "Bah ill do it if you want."

CatsCradle hops off the gurney and walks back to her spot by the door. She doesn't look at anyone, but rubs at the palm of her hand, where her claws had drawn blood.

Soundwave says, "Negative. Rumble will be fine."

Slasher idly says, "I'll go next if the others are afraid."

Soundwave says, "He is not afraid, surely." The optic band brightens a bit in an encouraging smile at his creation.

Rumble nods, "No, I'm not!"

Ajax kneels down, completing the same act with Rumble.

Ravage pushes up against Ajax wanting to be next...

Rumble tenses up when he gets his shot, evidently feeling pain, but when it's over he scoffs, "That didn't hurt a bit!" and swaggers around a lot.

Ajax brushes the back of his hand over Ravage's cheek and locates the soft spot along his neck, placing the syringe along that stretch of armor and injecting a small bit of serum. "That should be enough for you, kitty."

Ravage 's hind leg twitches a bit as he is injected... and once its over with he moves away rumbling...

One by one Ajax injects the rest of the assembled mecha, going through two more syringes of the chemical.

Ajax takes the small container, handing it to Soundwave. "This contains the remainder of the inhibitor. I trust that you have a safe place to put it? Because right now... "

Slasher says, "I hope you can produce more of it for the rest of the Decepticons."

Darkslide grins, Rubing his neck and says,"Man, Whoever thought that was sore must be a complete wuss!"

Lori bursts into the room, obviously out of breath from a long run.

CatsCradle murmurs to Slasher, "We're missing one..."

Slasher turns to Cats, "Missing one ?"

Soundwave accepts the vail of innoculant, nodding to Ajax. "I will keep this for Shockwave-" he stops at the sudden intrusion, sensing danger.

Starscream steps aside when Ajax approaches

Straxus follows her in close behind, his optics flared and panic in his voice. "There's been a collapse in the southeastern tunnel!"

Darkslides lasers cannons flip up and back onto his shoulders.

Slasher slightly relizes Straxus has not gotten his shot.

Rumble looks curiously at Lori, and moves a little closer to Soundwave.

At that very moment, a harsh and blaring siren erupts in the complex.

CatsCradle looks sharply at Straxus... never having heard that note in his voice before

Darkslide says, "Ajax this is extremly bad!"

Soundwave's optic band flashes a little brighter as Straxus bursts in among them. So he *was* here all along. "The inhabitants are attacking?"

Darkslide holds his Acid Rifle in two hands and loads it.

Straxus looks to Soundwave and points towards the door he came through. "They are upon us, they're already inside the complex!"

CatsCradle steps forward quickly. "Straxus has not had his injection yet."

Soundwave says, "Shockwave has reported the shuttle is surrounded and he will await us there. Is there an alternate pathway for us to reach it?"

Slasher retreats his rifle and arms it... Waiting for Orders from his commander... "Where are they comeing in ?"

Lori hangs onto Straxus' arm and looks towards Ajax. "Doctor, we have to get out of here now, somehow!"

Ravage enters Soundwave's tape compartment.

Striker walks back away from the door, ready to blast anything that walks through.

Rumble says to Catscradle, "What are the inhabitants?"

CatsCradle speaks quickly. "Can we turn on everything with an outflow of energy? Those generators? Give some of those zombies at least, something to distract them?

Soundwave opens his tape compartment. "Rumble, Ravage, return."

Striker looks to Rumble quickly, "Zombies."

Soundwave draws his weapon, momentarily distracted by a faint message coming in.

Rumble wants an answer and pretends hse didn't hear Soundwave....he looks nervously at Striker. "I ain't afraid!"

CatsCradle adds, "Hundreds of thousands of them."

Striker says, "You didn't have to fight off thousands of 'em either..."

Rumble now begins to look afraid, but puffs out his chest and pulls down his laser.

<LongRange> Soundwave says, "(very faint and staticky message) Commander, we are currently preparing for battle. I will contact you as soon as we are in a place of safety."

Ajax looks to a rack of monitors mounted in one of the control consoles. "No... they're coming in through the main entrance as well... the labyrinth is filling up as well. Neither exit looks very pleasing at the moment."

Soundwave intones more insistently, "Rumble!"

<LongRange> Megatron says, "We have Perceptor, Soundwave!"

CatsCradle gives Rumble a push. "Go on," she says gently. "They'd trample over you in a second."

Slasher says, "What about digging our way out ? how deep are we ?"

Rumble whines, but actually looks relieved not to have to put his money where his mouth was, and transforms.

Rumble transforms into his Blue Cassette mode.

Straxus says, "Digging our way out?"

<LongRange> Soundwave says, "Have you --***zzzz**** information to send us?"

Rumble enters Soundwave's tape compartment.

Straxus says, "While we're waiting here they're going to crawl up from behind us and bite off our asses!"

<LongRange> Megatron says, "Soon, Sondwave, soon."

Straxus says, "We move out now, or we die here!"

Slasher looks to Straxus, "Thats why we should move now..."

Soundwave says, "It appears we have two options. To remain here and allow them to find us - or to attempt to force our way free.""

Striker says, "I actually agree with Straxus this time, let's get outta here."

CatsCradle steps to Soundwave's side. "Straxus has not had his injection yet.

Darkslide says, "Forcing through sounds much more promising dont you think?"

Straxus pulls the revolver from the holster low on his thigh, cocking the hammer.

Slasher readys his Rifle.. "STraxus I recomend we collaps one of the tunnles to prevent from being Flanked... and we take em out in the other....

Lori pulls out her own pistol, looking huge in her hands. "We need to get out of here now while we still have the slimmest chance

Soundwave has his rifle in one hand, the innoculant in the other. He motions to Straxus. "I must immunize you first, Lord Straxus." Whatever differences there are between these Decepticons, will wait for another time. "Then we must attempt to fight our way free."

Slasher eyes the door really not wanting to get trapped in here and cloging up the way out with corpses.

Ajax pulls off his labcoat, tossing it to one side. He looks to each of them, not readily sure what to do.

Straxus says, "Make it quick then, Soundwave."

CatsCradle has to be satisfied that Soundwave will handle the innoculation and moves to Ajax. "Do you have any weapons?"

Ajax says, "I am not armed, ma'am... that's not my job."

Striker looks up at Cats then Ajax, "You better get armed"

Soundwave quickly and skillfully injects Straxus with the potion, directly into the main fuel lines that run close to the surface near the neck. As he works, he says, "If there are two potential exits, we should choose the more likely escape route and concentrate firepower there. Unless it is possible for a smaller force to escape unnoticed through another passage?"

Slasher looks to Soundwave, "There going to surround us you know if we leave both tunnels open.."

CatsCradle nods, then hands Ajax her laser pistol. "Stay as close to the middle of us as possible." She glances around the enclosed area, then draws her sword, prefering that in the close quarters than her wrist lasers. "I agree with Slasher."

Ajax looks to the monitors again. "No, no... there are only two ways out. The tunnel leads out into the shopping complex, and then there's the main exit... but they're pushing through the coralling area."

Straxus says, "It's simple... we move out now, as our options have dwindled down to one. We blast our way out. Stay behind me."

Striker follows without question.

Darkslide says, "Oh well"

CatsCradle motions to Ajax. "Come on."

Research Facility

     Buried 50 meters beneath the surface of Acheron, the air within this facility is recycled and sanitised, leaving not a hint of smell. It is comprised of laboratories, staging areas and barracks built partially into the rock, as cavern walls are often the outer edge of some hallways. There is a very large meeting area near the southwestern end. A vast hangar that twists and turns through cavernous halls is filled with vehicles and storage cubicles. The equipment here may appear somewhat archaic, as it is safe to say the facility is well over 8 million years old.

Soundwave looks around at the others. "We require an additional weapon for Ajax."

Striker says, "Cats gave him a laser-pistol."

Striker says, "But if he wants something else he could use my Plasma Rifle."

The sound is frighteningly close. Echoing footfalls, thousands of them are accompanied by low moans and howls. The dead are approaching, and they seem to be coming from all directions.

Soundwave nods, and shifts his attention to the upcoming battle.

Soundwave shifts his grip on his own weapon. "Are you armed, CatsCradle?"

Slasher offers Cats his rifle.

Slasher says, "You know how to shoot a rifle ?"

Darkslide flips the safety off his Rifle,"Lets do it!"

Striker powers up his arm-lasers with the signature hum.

CatsCradle says, "Sword and wrist lasers." She shakes her head at Slasher. "I'll stay with what I'm most familiar with. My 'field won't take much of that, though.." she nods at teh oncoming sounds

Straxus raises his pistol in one hand and beckons them all forward. "We escape through the labyrinth! Come quickly, this way!"

Southeastern Tunnel

     Branching off from the main cavern, this tunnel has obviously been hollowed out. Large metal support structures span its length as far as the optic can see, which unfortunately is not very far. A rockslide at some point in the past buried part of this tunnel, creating multiple paths. The end of the tunnel disappears in inky blackness. This would be a dangerous place to get lost in.

Darkslide holds his Rifle in one hand and draws his Vibroscimitar and holds it in the other.

Slasher shrugs at Cats and puts his rifle away... "As you wish my dear..." He turns around and lifts his arms... His body starting to glow with the light of a Subspace field his body Transforming into a Mechanical version of the Alien creature that crouches behind him... An almost perfect replica as if they where twins...

Soundwave barely seems to take note of Slasher's strange transformation, as he aims at the shuffling mass of roboto-zombies coming toward them, hoping everyone stays together in a group and moves quickly.

They are here, in ever increasing number. A few can be seen coming through the twisting tunnelways of the labyrinth, emerging without much seeming purpose... but upon seeing the gathered Decepticons, they all turn in that same direction.

A small huming comes from Darkslides Vibroscimitar as he turns it on, Full power.

Slasher gives a hiss to his companion form and it runs up the side of the wall to the tunnel ceiling... he takes position on the other side of the wall his tail arching ready to attack.

Straxus sidesteps and levels his revolver at one, bracing it in both hands. He cracks off a single round, splitting its cranial casing wide. It continues walking for a few paces, then the knees buckle. It crumbles into a heap.

Darkslide Acid Rifle makes a louad ratling noise and he starts firing acid coated shells at the mindless horde.

They are coming through now, dozens of them. But they are spread out, and they don't move with any great speed. It would be possible to run past the few of them, if you move now.

Soundwave fires several sizzling bolts of plasma toward the creatures shuffling out of the labyrinth, hoping that by combined firepower they can cut a path through them.

CatsCradle drives the point of her sword into the ground at easy reach in front of her, and pops both wrist lasers, the mountings hissing and locking into place. She aims both at the on-coming mass of zombies. She murmurs something under her breath, but her words are lost in the sounds of the zombies' moans and the opening shots. She sends a series of shots into the first row of the mob.

Straxus rushes forward, aiming accurately. Now holding the pistol in one hand, he shoots freely... advancing through the twisting pathways. "I will clear a way, cover my flank!"

Darkslides Acid RIfle continues to fire into the zombies, Several fall as the torrent of shells is too much for there roting corpses.

Straxus says, "Do you understand me?"

Slasher lunges down the hallway running along the wall... His Companion racing along the Ceiling both giving off a high pitched shrill as they attack one of the Mindless Zombies... Slashers tail lashing out in a thunderous crack knocking the Machine against the wall with a loud *CLANG* and then his Companion leaping down crying out in a predatorial screech as it slashes and rips its head off... Bowling it down the hall towards the Decepticons.

Striker points at the hoardes of zombies and activates his arm-lasers. He kneels down to get more accuracy and covers Straxus, "Yes sir!"

Darkslide nods to Straxus.

CatsCradle moves to stand over Striker, firing over his shoulders, adding to his cover fire

Straxus disappears between the pathways created by an ancient rockslide, only the resounding crash of his pistol shots reaching back to them.

Soundwave runs forward, keeping pace near Straxus, firing continously and aiming dead-center at the heads of the things. Those who only know him as a medic, communicator, and advisor, might be surprised to see a good bit of combat training coming back to the forefront.

Soundwave says, "Remain together!"

Slasher runs along the Ceiling actually trying to get some of the Zombies to following him.

Darkslides lasers start blasting away at the zombies as he follows the Straxus.

CatsCradle yanks her sword out of the ground and glances around quickly for Ajax

Ajax holds the blaster in his hands, cracking off mildly accurate shots at the throng of zombies. Hitting one in the shoulder, it spins around in the opposite direction. Firing a second shot, Ajax hits it squarely in the back of its head, opening up the brain box in one huge splatter of fluids and components.

Striker makes sure no zombie's come up to Straxus and Soundwave's flank, he's firing almost constantly to keep the zombie's at bay.

Research Facility

     Buried 50 meters beneath the surface of Acheron, the air within this facility is recycled and sanitised, leaving not a hint of smell. It is comprised of laboratories, staging areas and barracks built partially into the rock, as cavern walls are often the outer edge of some hallways. There is a very large meeting area near the southwestern end. A vast hangar that twists and turns through cavernous halls is filled with vehicles and storage cubicles. The equipment here may appear somewhat archaic, as it is safe to say the facility is well over 8 million years old.

Striker pulls out his plasma rifle, it's stronger and more accurate and'll work well as a support weapon.

Soundwave fires with his shoulder cannon as well, the torrents of energy lighting up the tunnel in strobe-like flashes.


Straxus is ahead... and he's obviously made the wrong turn. He is surrounded by at least twenty zombies, and he lashes out with his claws at each one that makes a move towards him. His revolver lays inert at his feet, the barrel smoking profusely. Though his efforts seem to have disabled a few of them, he is the center of attention. More surround him, and Straxus disappears within the crowd. A few are thrown backwards, but the sheer strength of this mob is overwhelming.

Soundwave plunges toward the mass of zombies, firing non-stop, trying to blast them away from Straxus while not hitting dead center into the group.

Striker see's Straxus disappear and begins firing at the mob of zombie's, making sure to keep his shots steady as to not hit Straxus.

Some zombies grab onto his legs, another grouping onto his arms... others still begin to claw at his midsection. His balance thrown off, Straxus falls to the ground. A horrible, piercing sound fills the air... the sound of metal straining and breaking under stress.

Darkslide optics flash in rage as he runs towards the zombies weapons blazing like wildfire.

CatsCradle skids to a stop, jamming her sword into the ground in front of her again and begins pickign off the zombies swarming over Straxus in carefully picked shots, each one a head shot, but as each body crumples, more seem to appear

Darkslide holds his Vibroscimitar up and smashes it down HARD against the nearest zombie spliting it in half.

Straxus struggles against the throng of zombies, even as his torso and midsection seperate to the accompaniment of a horrible sound of tearing metal, splitting cables and seeping liquids. They swarm the heated components spilling from the open wounds... one group pulling away his hips and legs to feast on them seperately.

Slasher singles out another two Zombies his optics lighting up with a dull green blast of Laser fire that cuts through one of the Zombies shoulders... He then body slams into it crushing it against the wall before spinning around and removing its head with the end of his tail in a whiplike effect... The second Zombie encounters Slashers twin form and is sprayed in the face with a High pressure jet of Molecular Acid which effectively eats away at the Zombies head... just before its whacked with a claw and goes flying across the Tunnel hitting the wall with a sickening spat as the head disintegrates in a bubbling blob of metallic goo.

Striker blasts at several of the zombie's holding onto Straxus, then winces as he hears the sound of Straxus being torn apart.

Soundwave slams robotozombies away from Straxus with the end of his rifle, alternating between blasting them back with his shoulder cannon, but he can see that their help is coming too late.

Straxus 's eyes close to slits as fluids seep from the corners of his lips. He grits his fangs and blood gurgles from his lips... but he manages to sing out one last phrase before he collapses from the pain. "Choke on 'em! Choke on 'em...... "

CatsCradle cries out sharply and draws her sword again, diving into the swarm of zombies, screaming in rage. She hacks her way through, ducking her smaller frame between bodies, sliding to her knees next to her teacher. Her fingers flash, weaving energy tendrils into a forcefield curving over both of them.

Darkslide guns down several zombies trying to attack whats left of Straxus.

Striker blasts one of the zombies at point blank, splattering it's insides outward.

The light leaves Straxus' optics, and the fluid flow seems to have slowed down to a trickle. The assemblage of zombies commences to feast and tear at his midsection, pulling cables and fibres free.

Ajax fires off a shot at the zombies holding onto Straxus' torso, cleaving the head of one in twaid.

CatsCradle looks down at Straxus. "Sir?" she whispers. "Don't die. Who will teach my children as well as I was taught?" She looks up, her gaze trying to meet Soundwave as her 'field begins to flicker from the strain.

Drawn by the sounds, zombies begin to pour through the shattered windows of the shopping complex. They head towards the newly shorn corpse, the flesh still emitting a fresh and delicious scent to them.

Soundwave is busy fending off the zombies. "If you can retrieve his core, CatsCradle, do so quickly!"

Striker tears away at the zombies, both shooting them, and slamming them with his rifle as they get close.

Slasher hisses out as he fights a Zombie, "Forget it... Drag his body or RIp out the Core we gotta move now!"

Darkslide is surrounded by about 5 zombies looking about, He grabs his Vibroscimitar in both hands and spins. The action chops off most of there heads, The one remaining one finds a Rifle in its face. With the pull of a triger its head is shattred into a thousand pieces.

Slasher hurls his body at a Zombie comeing right up by Cats and Slams into its body so hard peaces of steel fly off and clutter around the area.... the Zombie is knocked to its back and strugles to get up as Slasher digs his claws into its face and head.

Soundwave leaps into the lead now, not his usual place - but he must get the remaining members of the group to the surface. "Remain close!" he warns them again as he continues to fire, aiming at the heads of the shuffling creatures around them.

Ajax grabs onto Lori's arm and hauls her backwards, the little femme seeming to have stopped in her tracks, unable to move. "We can escape through the upper level!"

Striker says, "Cats, grab the core and get outta there!"

Striker blasts another zombie and fires at the others as the dead body falls to the ground.

Darkslide rattles off several shots of his Rifle at the closing zombies,"Yeah and hurry up we dont have much time!"

Soundwave motions Ajax forward. "Then indicate the way. I will advance beside you."

CatsCradle drops her 'field and in one quick movement, she swings her sword down on Straxus' neck, using as much strength as she can, since there won't be time for a second stroke. Her sword bites through cleanly, and in another of her lightening moves, she scoops her teacher's torso up, which contains his laser core and falls to the ground, rolling under the swarming mass of zombies. She comes up clear of the ones feasting on Straxus' remains, her face and armor claws and bleeding, and rolls to her feet.

Ajax holds tightly onto Lori's forearm and pulls her with him. "This way, the upper level is clear! We can escape through there!"

Slasher falls back and turns around going after Cats giving her a two proned escort.

Striker falls to the back, firing at the zombies to keep them back until the others can rush forward before he runs after.

Darkslide loads another clip into his Acid Rifle,"What are we waiting for?"

Soundwave runs forward alongside Ajax, listening for the sounds of the others amidst the tumult of their attackers.


****

Base of Mt. St. Hilary

     The once pine-clad peak of Mount St. Hilary erupted recently, blowing half the side of the mountain away and revealing an extraterrestrial artifact that fell from orbit and imbedded itself in the side of the volcano nearly four million years ago - the Autobot Ark. The stern of the vessel, with its four huge rocket tubes, is the only part of the ship visible above the surface of the ground. An immense tunnel has been drilled alongside it, leading into the mountain to the door of the buried spacecraft.


Skywarp transforms into his Robot mode.

Skywarp lands and transforms looking at them..."Ok....One of us should go after the Bot..white the rest run a distraction...Whatcha think?

Enchantress says, "I can handle the retrieval process milord. I have a form that is rather well suited to the dive and snatch once we locate him."

Thundercracker lands and transforms, "I agree, it makes since."

Thundercracker transforms into his Robot mode.

Skywarp says, "Ok..Heres the play..Dive and Enchant will get the Scientist Bot..Tc and I will keep the rest occupied."

Enchantress stays in her Sabrecat mode, her optics scanning for any Autobots.

Enchantress says, "Pleasure to be working with you again milord."

Divefire follows Skywarp down, more in a manor of that happans to be a good landing site then anything else. He transforms and folds his arms across his chest, giving a hard look to Skywarp. "Heh. Don't get shot." And with another turn on his feet he walks a few steps and transforms once more.

Enchantress bows her heads to Divefire. "Can you give me some cover once we locate him? I can perform teh grab part of the plan quite well, if I can get a high enough altitude."
Enchantress stays high up in the air, following Divefire.

Skywarp grins looking over the ridge at the gathering Bots.

Enchantress beats her wings hard to gain as much altitude as possible.

The outisde area of the Ark is it's normal level of semi activity, a few Autobots mingle as a paticuler one gives a few orders in a haughty voice. The voice is a big clue, as Perceptor walks from under the cover of the main bay of the Ark. "Now remember to align the spheres perfectly Brawn, it took months to preperare these items."

Skywarp Looks at TC..."Lets go bud!

Enchantress says, "Target located. Keep them occupied!"

Skywarp Teleports out in a flash of white light.

Brawn, from his place also outside the Ark mutters as strugles to hold seveal silver balls. "Yeah yeah, keep your microscope on Perceptor!"

Enchantress flies up, then with a sound, begins her divebomb attack on Perceptor!

Skywarp ports back in above the bot base already Tfed inot his F-15 mode.

Thundercracker moves to stand beside Skywarp, "Lets do this. But do not get cocky. No sense in any of us getting killed." He looks around. "Hey where did you go?"

Skywarp dives strafing the ground around brawn...."HhHAha!

Enchantress is spotted by Brawn as she dives, who shouts a warning to Perceptor. "DECEPTICONS!"

Thundercracker transforms into his Blue F-15 mode.

Enchantress snatches Perceptor in her multilimbed claws, and starts flying off carrying the struggling and screaming Autobot.

Divefire scanner swishes back and forth as he makes out the terain and awaits a moment to move. The Autobots don't seem paticurly aleart today, and that's a good thing all things considered.

Skywarp pulls up after making a few bots scatter.

Enchantress radios to all /Target retrieved. Give me some cover for teh pullout./

Skywarp Radios .."You got it Enchant-Babes..

Thundercracker fires a few laser shots at the autobots, mainly just to draw some fire.

Skywarp rolls and banks back teleporting out.

Enchantress radios back /The next time you call me that, I will remove your vocat processor./

Pereceptor looks up, but it's all to late as Enchantress snatches hold of him, he strules as best he can, trying to get a shot in with his gun as Brawn rolls from the fire of the seekers and yells into his radio for back up. From out of the Ark charges the froms of Jazz, Windcharger, Gears, Prowl, and looming behind them... Optimus Prime.

Skywarp ports in above enchantress and fires at the bots and Prime to cover her.

Enchantress beats her wings to gain altitude, getting up as high as she can. "If you shoot me, Autospawn, you will drop several hundred feet down, where you will become a new fixture of the ground.

Enchantress says, "My orders are to take you alive, but don't push it... We can gain the information from reading yoru laser core just as easily."

Skywarp Takes a position in the air next to her..."Yeah..And we wouldnt want that would we ? hehehHA

Thundercracker lets loss a deafening sonic boom as he toward Skywarp and Enchantress.

Divefire blasts from the side rock faces, letting lose a fast barage of laser fire as he rockets across the sides of the Autobots at near point blank range. The hits are of little actualy consequance, but they draw some of the fire away from the captours.

Skywarp Radios to the rest of them "We got what Megatron wants...Lets grab an jetstream and get outta here!

Perceptor continues to strugle in Enchantress's grip. "I think you'll find yourself mistaken and believe me I would rather take my chances with the ground then with the Decepticons!"

Skywarp Looks at the red bot.."Hey dont temp us Bot boy...We could have Bombshell take the info outta your spalttered CPU.

Enchantress draws her claws ever tighter into his shoulders, cementing them there. "You've created the Lehtaroiara (Cybertronian name for Zombie), and we're going to put a stop to it."

Prime barks a few orders to those on the ground, and Jazz and Windcharger quickly transform and head after the rapidly moving Trans-Am, while Prime himself starts to take aim with his laser rifle. "Decepticons! I'll never allow you to leave here with Perceptor!"

Skywarp says, "Lets get back to base!"

Enchantress yowls at Prime, "Shoot me and I'll drop your scientist. I doubt that he could survive a fall from a few thousand feet up."

Enchantress starts heading in the direction of Deceptibase as fast as her wings can take her.

Perceptor strugles stop with those words. "Lehtaroira..." He whispers, his optics sudenly thoughtful and his head bowed. Then with out a word he activates his radio. "No Optimus! let them take me, this is what I diserve..."

Optimus Prime's rifle lowers slightly as he hears Perceptors words, confused but trusting. A rather familure feeling for him. "Alright Perceptor, but we'll get you back."

Thundercracker moves to fly under Enchantress so that any shot at her would hit him instead. "Well that was easier then I thought it would be."

Enchantress says, "Let's get out of here."

Skywarp says, "Yeah...The bots are to soft hearted HA!"

Enchantress says, "Milord, you should inform Megatron that we have the target."

Skywarp says, "Im just about to Babes...Ha!"

Divefire smriks to himself as Jazz and Windcharager close up on him for just a moment before he floors it so to speak. With a ploom of dust the Trans-Am leaves the Autobots behind and transforms once more.

        Wings fold out as engines emerge and body pannals slide into a far more aerodynamic form, revealing an Orbital Interceptor.

Skywarp transmits a message via radio.
A radio transmission is received by Skywarp.
Skywarp transmits a message via radio.

****
Shopping Complex

     Once a colony was established here, the industrious Lyrsii, a race of opportunistic traders, set up shop here to provide the families of researchers and warriors with easy access to their wares. The construction of this building is typical of the species: if seen from above, the structure would be a squat cylinder, lined around its circumference with large plate glass windows. Most are shattered in some way, and some are completely hollowed out. The interior is hard to make out, but one might perceive movement inside the perimeter. But it might be a trick of the light, and of the builders themselves, there has remained no trace

Ajax holds Lori by one hand and cracks off a shot at an approaching zombie, splitting its head wide. "Where is your shuttle?"

<LongRange> Megatron says, "Soundwave, Megatron speaking. We are about to send you some ... assistance. We are  going to bring Perceptor to the planet. Don't worry, I will send him down with an escape module."

Slasher runs along and mutters, "Just what we need."

CatsCradle tucks Straxus' head under her arm, trying very hard not to think about what she is carrying. "We don't have time to pick Perceptor up, too. Have them hold on to him, Soundwave." She shakes her head as blood flows from the set of deep clawmarks from just under her helm down to her jawline, wiping the fluids off witht he back of her sword hand.

<LongRange> Soundwave says, "(still the static and faint signal) We are attempting to make it to our ship now, Commander.   ***zzzzt**** not attempt to come to us.  There have been certain developments."

<LongRange> Megatron says, "Soundwave, what are you talking about?"

<LongRange> Megatron says, "Soundwave...?"

<LongRange> Soundwave says, "(the lack of reply indicates perhaps Soundwave is concentrating on other things at the moment ... or maybe it's just static)"

Striker points out, "This way..."

Soundwave fights his way out of the shopping center with the others, trying to outdistance the shuffling zombiebots.

Soundwave says, "I will attempt to raise Starscream and Shockwave."

Soundwave transmits a message via radio.

<LongRange> Megatron says, "Darn, Soundwave, answer me"

<LongRange> Soundwave says, "Almost clear, Commander.  Stand by."

Ajax is still firing off rounds at whatever he can. The zombies are still approaching, and they seem to emerge from all corners, all buildings... spilling into the streets with one purpose in mind: to meet and greet everyone present, and perhaps take them out to dinner.

<LongRange> Megatron says, "What are you talking of coming back? I thought you were infected."

A radio transmission is received by Soundwave.

Striker covers Soundwave while he makes the radio transmissions.

With antigrav engines nonfunctional, only those with thruster powered flight would be able to escape to the sky. Soundwave knows that several members of the group would still be stranded.

Soundwave transmits a message via radio.
A radio transmission is received by Soundwave.

Soundwave says, "Sending our coordinates to Starscream now. If he can arrive with the shuttle in time-" Soundwave finishes the thought by blowing the head off another few zombies.

Darkslide makes several short, Precise bursts falling all the zombies he fired at.

Decepticon Shuttle has arrived.

Ajax says, "Shall we, my friends?"

Darkslide says, "Comon lets go!"

<LongRange> Soundwave says, "There have been **** new developments. No immediate danger **** our return.  Can you retain possession of Perceptor?"

Soundwave looks up as the Decepticon shuttle moves into view, casting a shadow over the ground.

Striker rushes off towards the shuttle.

Darkslide also dashes off at full speed heading towards the shuttle.

Starscream expertly guides the shuttle to meet up with them.

<LongRange> Megatron says, "He won't leave this base before you are save."

Darkslide waits outside the entrance to it,"Comon people, Lets go, We dont have much time."

Soundwave motions the other Decepticons forward. "Inside!" He fires off more plasma.

 Starscream activates the door

Slasher heads on inside after he is sure Cats is in.

CatsCradle runs for the shuttle and up through the entrance, her main priority now, protecting Straxus' laser core

Striker stands outside the entrance, firing off lasers at the zombies coming after them, once everyone's inside, he heads in.

Darkslide enters the shuttle, Looking around a feint grin appears on his face as he realizes they have escaped.

Starscream looks at everyone critically.

Soundwave plunges into the door last, after everyone's safe, feeling the raking fingers of a robotozombie slash at him as he leaps through.

Starscream shuts the door when he sees everyone is onboard

Lori collapses to the ground and curls up, lacing her arms around her legs.

Darkslide says, "You okay Soundwave?"

Striker walks in, then looks over at Straxus' remains, "Ehh... better find somewhere to put his body, unless Soundwave wants to take out his laser core right here..."

Slasher leaps up onto a chair beside his Twin companion and hisses annoyed.. picking bits of Zombie off his tail.

Starscream says, "body?"

Starscream says, "what"

Soundwave moves efficiently to his usual station. "One casualty, Starscream. Chance of recovery unknown. I have been in communication with Megatron, he awaits a reply."

Striker directs Starscream to STraxus' partially eaten body.

Starscream studies the remains with narrow optics, "if it twitches toss it out of the ship

Slasher gives a Hiss at Starscream...

Starscream says, "I dont want anymore zombies around"

Starscream looks to Slasher

CatsCradle lunges to the back of the shuttle to make room for the others coming in, bracing herself and the body of her teacher for teh takeoff. She snarls wordlessly at Striker, then at Starscream, the expression made more feral by the blood streaming from teh claw gouges in her face. She curls herself around the body protectively

Striker shakes his head, "We take him back Starscream."

Slasher hisses, "You and Shockwave are the only ones who give us that risk..."

Ajax says, "If Straxus twitches... we're in more trouble than we think."

Soundwave's optics darken a little. "We will soon find out how effective the innoculant has been." He looks back to Starscream. "I will have to inject you before we return to the presence of the other Decepticons. It is too dangerous to take the chance."

Darkslide looks out the viewport at the zombies below,"Should we not get out of here...Now?

Straxus remains quite lifeless.

Starscream says, "and who has it been tested on beforehand Soundwave?"

Striker says, "Everyone Starscream."

Soundwave says, "All of us, Mission Leader. Recommend you take the ship into orbit.""

Starscream orders Ramjet to get the shuttle in orbit

Slasher moves over and pushes his head to Cats... "You ok ?"

Soundwave is streaked with fuel, his armor torn and battered, and yet he speaks and acts with his usual focused calm.

Striker looks over Soundwave, "Perhaps you should let Hook repair you when we get back Soundwave."

Soundwave says, "I am relatively undamaged."

Ajax looms over Straxus' shorn corpse, kneeling down and laying his hand on the corpse's forehead.

CatsCradle doesn't look at Slasher, shaking her head wordlessly. She turns away, her optics closed tightly. She suddenly realizes she is still holding her sword and drops it, realizing Straxus' blood covers it as well.

Starscream studies SWs damage and realizes they cant afford to have him go down.

Rumble leaps out of Soundwave's tape compartment.

Rumble transforms into his Robot mode.

Rumble looks around at the other Decepticons, who are mostly the worse for wear....

The ship rises upward and edges into high orbit, the continent dwindling below them on the viewscreen.

Slasher stands up on his hind legs and transforms to his robot mode... sitting down beside cats and stroking the back of her head whispering into her Audioreceptor."

Slasher whispers: Your ok... and Straxus will be ok too... im here for you.

Acheron High Orbit

     The fourth moon of a Saturn-sized gas giant, Acheron skirts the very edge of that giant's faint rings. The moon itself is mostly water, with 4 major continents clustered rather closely together. Signs of civilization dot these continents, visible even from orbit. A dull grey cloud cover seems to smother the planet, an ominous sight against the rich blues of the ocean and the lush continental greenlands. Something is amiss about this place even at this distance.


CatsCradle doesn't answer Slasher, but she nods to let him know she heard him.

Striker wanders over next to Straxus' corpse, "You going to be ok Cats?"

Starscream walks over to Soundwave. "how much did you contribute to this 'cure'?

CatsCradle says in a very low voice that just manages not to shake, "Go away, Striker."

Soundwave says, "Nothing, it was the work of Doctor Ajax. But I have reviewed the data and find it sound. I have noted no ill effects. And the alternative is worse.""

The ship moves out into space, beginning its journey back toward Earth.

Slasher looks up to Striker... but says nothing as Cats said it all... he gives her a light grip and holds Cats... whispering to her something again.

Slasher whispers : Come on Cats.. Its ok you can let go..

Slasher whispers: We're safe.

Striker nods and walks away knowing how much Straxus meant to her.

****

Conning Tower

        The main exit from the base, the conning tower extends upward past the surface of ocean. After dropping off or picking up passengers, it then retracts again and opens inside the base. The interior of the tower is large enough to accomodate all but the very largest Transformers or cargo. A control panel and viewing screen are to the right of the door on the inside.

Enchantress releases Perceptor in front of Divefire, Thundercracker, and Skywarp for them to take to Megatron.

Enchantress draws her swords and points them at Perceptor's back, motioning him to head off towards the Command Center, or face dismemberment.

<LongRange> Soundwave says, "(very faint and staticky message) Commander, we are currently preparing for battle. I will contact you as soon as we are in a place of safety."

<LongRange> Megatron says, "We have Perceptor, Soundwave!"

Perceptor it seems has little resistance to being told where to go, but he of course doesn't have a clue of where to go.

Thundercracker transforms into his Robot mode.

Engine Room

        Once one of the most important areas of the ship, the engine room now serves only to house most of the control systems, the conning tower to the surface, and the central computer. A large console provides access to the main computer and detailed information about its operational status. The main engines still remain in place, but most of the peripheral machinery and materials were removed once it was determined the ship would never fly again. Consequently, most of the adjacent rooms are empty, awaiting future expansion.

A radio transmission is received by Enchantress.
Enchantress aims her swords, prodding Perceptor forwards, a feral gleam in her optics.
Enchantress says, "You will be taken to Megatron. If you assist us in eradicating this virus, he might spare your life, or at least make your death quick."

Enchantress transmits a message via radio.
A radio transmission is received by Enchantress.

Divefire mearly says nothing, but rather watches Perceptor very carfuly indeed.

Thundercracker follows the rest down the hall, "The autobots will attempt to rescue him." He states simply.

Perceptiro nods slightly and mearly looks around slightly. "I presume I should be going this way?"

Enchantress says, "Correct, Autovermin. This way."
Enchantress prods Perceptor in the direction of the Command Center.
Enchantress says, "Then we'd better drain his mind of all the necessary knowledge before they can mount an attempt."

Divefire mutters bearly above audiable. "They don't have the firepower to get into here. "
****

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.

Enchantress walks in, and uses four of her arms not carrying swords to shove Perceptor in front of Megatron.

Skywarp looks at Tc and enchant

Megatron stands in front of the communiacations, waiting.

Enchantress says, "We have retrieved the Autofilth, Emperor."

Megatron narrows his optics. "I see."

Skywarp says, "Yeah we got him alright ..<Smirks>"

Divefire walks in and stands to one side, still rather unimpresed by the whole thing and watching Perceptor very carfuly indeed.

Perceptor steps fowards, well stumbles a little and then looks up to Megatron. If there's a glint of fear in his mind, then it doesn't show. "How may I asist the Decepticon Empire, Megatron?" Perceptor asks in a level tone.

Skywarp folds his arms.

Megatron starts to circle around the prisoner. "So, there he is, the famous Autobot scientist. Well, well..." He stops. "How you may assist? Interesting formulation.

Megatron says, "I suppose the Planet Archeron sounds familiar to you..."

Perceptor watches Megatron walk around him slowly, then nods slightly in a sad fashion. "Im afraid it does, yes."

Enchantress waits, standing back. This is Megatron's show now.

Skywarp Watches Megatron

Megatron stops. "Then you also know what your little experiment has caused there?"

Megatron says, "A virus, changing dead into walking zombies which try to kill and infect the living."

Enchantress murmurs, "The Lehtaroiara come true."

Perceptor keeps silent for a moment more, his optics carfuly cool. Then he sighs slightly. "It was never ment to be that way."

Skywarp huffs and folds his arms at perceptor.."Good idea Bot-brian...Now were all danger...pfft

Megatron says, "Well, Perceptor, I don't care what was meannt to be. I want the cure!"

Perceptor looks up to Megatron once more, an almost pleading expresion in his face, then his head falls crestfallen. "I'm afraid there is no cure."

Enchantress says, "What was it supposed to be? Revitalizing the dead!? As a weapon? Have you no respect? You've comitted a far greater evil than anything you've ever claimed we were responsible for, Autobot."

Skywarp says, "No ..c..cure?"

Skywarp says, "Our Buddies on that planet...What do we do now Boss con?"

Thundercracker say angrily, "Commiting evils under the veil of justice. He must be lying, no one makes a virus without a cure."

Perceptor's face flashes in anger as he looks over to Enchantress. "And you speak of something you don't know about. The planet was dying from the Cosmic Rust, I tried every thing I knew to save them!"

Enchantress says, "You created a weapon this monstrous without any form of safety device!"

Enchantress says, "Do you know what you have meddled with? The dead have earned their rest... You tried to bring them back to life for what purpose?"

Megatron narrows his optics which glow dangerouslyy. "Don't take me for a fool! You never created that virus without an antidote!"
.
Enchantress says, "You obviously didn't do a good job of it, Autobot."

Skywarp hands grip into fists "I say we pound it out of him!

Megatron says, "Why do I have the feeling this is just a trick to lead us astray? This virus was meant as a weapon from the beginning."

Divefire optics narow slightly, but he steps fowards from the wall and looks long and hard into Perceptor with out saying a word.

Enchantress says, "What were you trying to create, AUtobot? You obviously didn't do a good job of it."

Gryphus watches with the distinct distance of a trained professional. Quiet. Saying not a word. She stays close to the door, any second figureing MEgatron will tell her to leave as he has several times before.

Thundercracker also stays silent, he knows his place and is not about to get in Megatron's way.

Enchantress quiets down, taking the hint. This is Megatron's quarry now.

Skywarp also falls silent

Perceptor's fettures curl with adamancy in his words as he glares about the room. "I'm a mechanoid of science, I do not take lives! Have any of you ever delt with such a virulent disease such as the Rust? It takes us appart at a component at a time and if it strikes there is nothing that we can do! I battled with it long and hard to try and defeat it, I thought I had an answer for those poor people, a way to save there lives but it mutated in ways I didn't know of and..." He breaks off silently, his anger spent. After a moment he adds. "It was never ment to be a weapon, it was ment to be a cure. You do not create a antidote for a cure."

Skywarp looks at Megatron

Gryphus purses her lips. Ah the scientist words have a meaning to her. She's dug up some sites where the Rust had taken out a populace of robots... but she stays silent.. best to let Megatron divine that there is truth to the words and not bravado.

Enchantress sighs. This is not what she expected. The Autobot does appear to be telling the truth to her. She has visited places where Cosmic Rust has struck, and the results sickened her.

Megatron says, "Lies! I think I have a better method to get the information we need out of you then just asking you..."

Megatron says, "... we will bring Perceptor to Archeron. I suppose there he will very quickly remember the Antidote."

Divefire optics narrow as he looks from Perceptor to Megatron and then steps foward. "Megatron... He's not lying." He states in a cold voice.

Gryphus bliks. Go TO the Rust? Is Megatron out of his flipping cybertronic mind?

Megatron glares at Divefire. The flash of his optics clearly say: "Don't interrupt me in what I am doing!"

Skywarp says, "HEY..The boss knows what hes doing...er...I hope"

Enchantress begins plotting what kind of information they would need from Perceptor. This is not going to be fun...

Thundercracker says respectfully, "I think what Divefire meant to say is , what if he is not lying?"
Hook slowly strides into the commander center and gives a nod to the present Decepticons in the area. "Greetings." He replies to Enchantress. Turning his head back to Megatron and Perceptor, Hook remains quiet, just to see what will be the Autobot's reaction to that one.

Skywarp looks at Hook

Enchantress curtsies to Hook as he walks into the area. "Milord."

Skywarp looks back at Megatron.

Gryphus steps aside as Hook comes up behind her.

Megatron says, "I give you the chance to co-operate, Perceptor. If you don't want to become a zombie yourself... it is your decision."

Divefire optics narrow in turn to Megatron, given the stake he's got in Perceptors words he's not in the best of moods either. But there are time and places for these things, and he's not Striker or Starscream, so he makes a slight step back and watches, very carfuly.
Enchantress waits to see what happens.

Perceptor glances across the room with a pleeding expresion at Megatron's words. "How many times must I tell you, I have no cure to this disease!"

Enchantress murmurs, "Then you will help us create one."

Skywarp Narrows optics at the Bot

Megatron says, "Then it is about time you find one! We will take him to Archeron, now! Or - to be more exact - we will stay in orbit, while we send an escape module with Perceptor down to the planet."

Thundercracker says, "Sir I would be willing to go with him to make sure that he gets the job done."

Divefire adds, looking to Megatron with a firm expresion. "I'll take him down to the planet."

Enchantress sighs. That sounds reasonable. No sense in losing the entire Decepticon command structure to this disesase.

Enchantress says, "I would as well, Emperor."

Skywarp says, "Me too"

Megatron says, "No, Divefire, I don't want you to get infected."

Enchantress says, "I am expendable, Emperor. I'm only a trainee and a clerical assistant. I will take him down."

Megatron says, "Though I understand why you want to go..."

Gryphus Idly ponders who is on Archeron right now that Megatron is all fired upset about...

Megatron says, "Enchantress, you heard my decision! There is no need for that, we do have the technology to send him without us being endangered."

Hook just hmms faintly, not really adding anything. He would try to find the cure for that disease, but he's a surgical engineer, not a scientist. The Constructicon waves an hand in the air. "If we have a sample of the virus, I belive it would be quite simple for one of my fellow Constructicon to attemp to find a cure to this plague." He suggests, not knowing the situation that much, but still, he suggests it.

Enchantress murmurs to Gryphus, "Perceptor released a virus that has turned an entire planet into Lehtaroiara (TF word for Zombie, living dead)."

Thundercracker says, "But once he is there how do we make sure that he will cure it?"
: looks once more to Megatron, his green optics flashing a dark green before he turns away from the Empror and takes one step towards Perceptor. In a very dark whisper he states to the Autobot. "You better hope to all you hold dear that you can find a cure." The threat is undead and remains so as Divefire steps back to the side of the room once more to brood.

Divefire looks once more to Megatron, his green optics flashing a dark green before he turns away from the Empror and takes one step towards Perceptor. In a very dark whisper he states to the Autobot. "You better hope to all you hold dear that you can find a cure." The threat is undead and remains so as Divefire steps back to the side of the room once more to brood.

Gryphus blinks.. "OH.. I heard of that one.."

Megatron murmures: "If it was that easy to find a cure, Soundwave would already have found it..."

Perceptor blinks a little and decides it best to say nothing, his shoulders slump in defeat as he excepts a simple truth. He is going to the place of his greatest failure.

Enchantress watches Perceptor. He is their best chance of curing the disease, so he should be left intact. But how to get him to the surface and into the hands of the personnel under quarantine there?

Megatron walks back to the communications. "

<LongRange> Megatron says, "Soundwave, Megatron speaking. We are about to send you some ... assistance. We are  going to bring Perceptor to the planet. Don't worry, I will send him down with an escape module."

Gryphus says, "IF they are walking dead then how will they keep Perceptor from leaving? Presuming of course he wishes to loose the respect hie's garndered.""

Enchantress shrugs her shoulders. "Perhaps some of the personnel down there will await his module."

Skywarp says, "They will need cover just to get him there..And I can warp rings around them Zombies."

Hook nods to Megatron, that sound pretty logic to him, although, he doesn't know what's happening that much, he heard about enough to know the overall, but still. Hook still thinks someone specialized in that domain could make a better job, someone like Mixmaster, but still, Commander Soundwave is still good enough in about everything. So Hook doesn't complain, he just nods to Megatron.

Gryphus says, "I don't think then our Lord realizes how bad this thing is..." she sghrugs though, "I am not one to tell him what do do so .. it shall be a error for the historybooks."

<LongRange> Soundwave says, "(still the static and faint signal) We are attempting to make it to our ship now, Commander.   ***zzzzt**** not attempt to come to us.  There have been certain developments."

Enchantress says, "With the Autobot's assistance, Soundwave will have a better chance of creating a cure. Cosmic Rust is a vast evil, this disease an even greater one. The dead deserve their rest."

Divefire glances across to Megatron once more and questions. "When do we leave?"

<LongRange> Megatron says, "Soundwave, what are you talking about?"

Skywarp looks at megatron awaiting orders.

Enchantress awaits orders as well.

Megatron looks at the radio, awaiting information.

<LongRange> Megatron says, "Soundwave...?"

<LongRange> Soundwave says, "(the lack of reply indicates perhaps Soundwave is concentrating on other things at the moment ... or maybe it's just static)"

<LongRange> Megatron says, "Darn, Soundwave, answer mee"

Gryphus says, "I sounds as if things have gone bad or he is busy. If its bad or busy I am unsure of the introduction of the Bot scientist to make it worse..."

<LongRange> Soundwave says, "Almost clear, Commander.  Stand by."

<LongRange> Megatron says, "What are you talking of coming back? I thought you were infected."

Gryphus says, "Curiourser.. and curiouser."

Enchantress says, "I would agree. The situation might be improving, perhaps. We can only hope."

Divefire leans back against the wall and raps his fingers slowly against his shoulders, a look of focused worry on his face as he listens in to the comunications but doesn't say anything more, rather he waits.

Thundercracker continues staying silent, waiting patiently for something to happen.

<LongRange> Soundwave says, "There have been **** new developments. No immediate danger **** our return.  Can you retain possession of Perceptor?"

Gryphus says, "Well that was vague *whispered to Enchantress*"

<LongRange> Megatron says, "He won't leave this base before you are save."

Enchantress whispers back, "I would agree. Evidently the situation has improved. Perhaps Soundwave was able to synthesize a treatment then. They would not be coming back otherwise. The crisis is evidently over, for now."

Perceptor looks across the room on hearing the long range voice of Soundwave and finds himself sudenly very uneasy. In his mind he flashes through the posibilities of escaping his captours, but he's totaly outguned and outclassed at this moment.

Enchantress moves to close range, threatening Perceptor to stay still with her swords. The crisis may be over, but she is still on a trigger finger...

Skywarp watches his leader

Hook folds his arms against his chest, paying little attention to the others. The constructicon glances over to the Autobot, staring at him with his tiny little sneaky optics, as if he ment nothing to him. Hook then turns his gaze back to Megatron, awaiting for news.

Megatron says, "Divefire, Skywarp, take the Autobot to the brig. And be sure he is well locked in there."

Gryphus lets everyone do their thing as she brings out her datapad and taps in a few things."

Skywarp says, "Yes Megatron!"

Skywarp grabs the bots arm

Skywarp says, "Cmon egghead..."

Skywarp looks at Divefire...."Ya commin?

Enchantress says, "We should have a guard with him at all times, Emperor. The Autobots will undoubtedbly try a rescue, and they have proven quite adept at piercing our security systems..."

Divefire glowers at Skywarp bit shifts himself off of the wall and stands the other side of Perceptor. "Let's get him locked up." He mutters.

Skywarp nods gripping the bots arm very hard.

Divefire takes the other arm of Perceptor and starts to frogmartch the 'Bot out with with Skywarp.

Skywarp says, "Ill keepo the first watch Boss con."

Hook looks at the warriors taking Perceptor away, of course, it's the only things they're good at, most likely Hook thinks. The Constructicon turns his head around to Enchantress and nods, mostly having to agree with that. "I belive that this would be a good option, we wouldn't want that this Autobot gets out of our grasp, especially that he is quite important to us for the moment, despite the fact that he hasn't served us for now, I belive he should change his mind quite soon."

Megatron nods at Skywarp.

Skywarp walks out dragging perceptor.

****

Risini System

     A small solar system consisting of three worlds circling a small blue sun, the innermost planets are little more than large asteroids snagged into orbit by the pull of gravity. The outer planet is an impressive gas giant, circled by a faint ring and four moons, a miniature solar system of its own. Indeed, had the distribution of initial matter been slightly different than it was, this would have been a binary system, with two suns rotating each other in an eternal fiery dance.

Starscream thinks about the fight he and Striker got into around the infected bots and the damage to his armor still evident. His systems were exposed to the virus and he knows it. "and everyone got the shot? Even your cassettes?

Soundwave says, "I insisted upon it."

Rumble says, "yeah, an' it don't hurt at all."

Starscream glances back to Cats and the rest

Starscream looks down to Rumble.

Ajax says, "My vaccine is sound."

Soundwave says, "You and Shockwave are the last to be unprotected. As the repairs specialist assigned to this mission, I cannot allow that situation to stand."

Darkslide looks at Straxus' corpse, He hangs his head wondering what will become of him. He then proceeds to CatsCradle and sighs very deeply before siting down in a chair.

Starscream says, "you got one and no one had to hold you down?"

Starscream does aknowledge Sounwaves remark

Rumble says, "Hey, what's that supposed to mean? I bet you whimper like an Autobot when you get it."

Soundwave brings out the vial of vaccine and syringe, which miraculously survived intact inside his storage compartment during the ongoing battles.

Starscream says, "I will not you little punk"

Soundwave says, "Then you will surely demonstrate for us, Starscream."

Rumble looks at Soundwave and says smugly, "We'll see about that, Starscream."

Starscreams optics glow briefly

CatsCradle is silent for another long moment, then carefully hands Straxus' body to Slasher. She curls up in her seat, pulling her knees up to her chest, only noticing then that she has a duplicate set of claw marks across one thigh. She rubs at it automatically, then rests her chin on her knees and closes her optics again

Starscream offers his arm and glares at the little cassette. "get on with it

Striker says, "Your neck Screamer..."

Starscream sneers at Striker, "Guess again

Slasher takes Straxus's remains who have more then likely falling into deep stasis from the damage sustained... He wraps it in a protective material and sits... Guarding it with his Rifle.... He looks to cats and then back to the others keeping an optic on them as the alien Creature crawls up into the chair with Cats and leans against her softly.

Soundwave injects the potion not into the arm, but into the junction at the side of the neck and shoulder, where the main fuel lines run close to the surface. His movement is so quick that Starscream shouldn't have time even to pull away his arm or expect the needle-prick in an unexpected location until he feels it.

Striker ignores Starscream and watches Straxus body.

Starscream says, "AAAAAAAHEY!!!"

Starscream gives Soundwave a most hatefull look

Soundwave regards Starscream without a word - he's already done - and turns to Shockwave, who takes the innoculation without a flinch or a sound.

Soundwave then seats himself back at the auxiliary controls and communications station as though they had not just barely escaped with their lives. "Resuming course to Earth," he says in his harmonic voice.

Rumble tries not to laugh, knowing Starscream will kick him if he does, and turns away so Starscream can't see his facce

Starscream is so not happy. He rubs his neck and disregards the cassette. He plops back down in his command chair quietly

Deep Space

     The emptiness of space is all-encompassing. Every few minutes you can catch a gleam that might be a distant star-otherwise, the blackness surrounds you, swallowing you whole. Those who pass this way must put their trust in their instruments, for there are no stars or planets, which can guide them. The average creature that comes this way shivers in the dark vacuum, struggling to remember a universe less barren than this sector of space.

Soundwave says without looking toward the back of the ship, "I will see what I can do for Straxus at Earthbase repair bay. Perhaps revival is possible."

Starscream says, "I want him qauranteed Soundwave."

Striker says, "We'll do what Soundwave thinks is best mission leader."

Soundwave nods. "We are all of us quarantined, in a way."

Starscream regards Striker indefferently, " I dont recall asking for your opinion

CatsCradle looks up. "Are there any energon cubes on board?" she asks in a soft voice. "My 'field cancels out my lasers, and I'm too low of energy for them to build up naturally. I'm rather useless right now." She makes no notice of her sword on teh floor at her feet.

Striker nods at Cats, "I think I saw some in the storage area in the back."

Striker ignores Starscream and makes no move to show aggression.

CatsCradle pushes herself out of her seat and makes her way limping to the storage area, rummaging around until she finds the cubes. She takes only one, not so much out of a feel of hunger, but of a feel of necessity. There could still be fighting on earth.

Outer Rim <Milky Way>

        The bright light from the galaxy's multiple stars guarantee a glare across the windshield of any craft that passes this way. The view is breathtakingly beautiful, though the more suspicious of travellers might wonder if anything is concealing itself in the hazy nimbus of light.


Metaxis Quadrant

        This unknown quadrant has mostly been avoided by explorers and traders, as initial penetrations into this region has shown it to be mostly devoid of life, except for a few primitive species on their backwater worlds. None of these lifeforms have proven to be of any 'interest' to whatever civilisation has stumbled across them and so the Metaxis Quadrant is regarded as a largely unimportant area.

Sol System

        This small solar system is lit by a bright, yellow sun and has nine planets. The first is a small rock orbiting close to the sun, while the second is larger and swathed in yellow, sulphurous clouds. The third planet is covered mostly by water and has a single satellite. The fourth planet is about the size of the third and is composed mostly of reddish rock.. After an asteroid field, there are two enormous gas giants; one with vast, sweeping rings. Two methane-based planets are next and then finally a smaller planet with an even small moon wobbles around the Sol system in an elliptical orbit.

<LongRange> Soundwave says, "(long range communications are much more clear now as they come through) Decepticon Shuttle on approach to Earth.  No immediate contamination danger.  I will explain further upon our arrival.  Prepare medbay for casualties."

<LongRange> Enchantress says, "Transmission received.  We are interrogating the prisoner.  Medbay will be prepared."

CatsCradle comes back to her seat with her almost-empty energon cube. "You are absolutely sure we are in no danger of contaminating the others?"

Ajax shakes his head, adjusting his horn rimmed optic enhancers. "So long as they are innoculated as well... the virus poses no threat, my dear."

Soundwave says, "For the moment, CatsCradle."

Striker says, "You mean we'll have to vaccinate everyone else back at the base, Ajax?"

CatsCradle glances from Soundwave to Ajax and back again. She doesn't say anything else, but curls up in her seat again, leaning against the Alien

Ajax says, "indeed."

Rumble can't understand how Cats can be so cuddly with that alien thing, but he can guess at her distress and actually shows enough tact not to ask.

Soundwave says, "However, I suspect that any information extracted from Perceptor will allow us to continue research on this substance."

Darkslide optics fade as his power supply is running low. He flicks open a hatch on his arm and a small round cylinder appears from it. He then takes it and opens a hatch in his chest. He takes a small hose from the cylinder and connects it to a hole in his hcest, It then proceeds to pump semi-fresh energon into his system.

Starscream watches Catscradle for a moment then looks away.

Earth High Orbit

Earth Stratosphere

Arctic Circle

     In the vicinity of the planet's magnetic north, the landscape consists of immense stretches of ice flows ringed by the Arctic Ocean, edging into tundra biotope on the permafrozen land surface. This region boasts short mosquito-filled summers and long dark winters, and an ecology characterized by few species with large numbers of individuals, seeing as those few beings who can live here, face very little competition. Stunning pyrotechnic displays by the aurora borealis are common here, and - perhaps of greater interest to offworld visitors - tapped and untapped oil reserves are relatively abundant.

Striker walks up to Starscream, "With your... permission, I'll fly ahead of the shuttle and make sure the med bay is set up."

With a small click, The hose leading to Darkslides chest is removed and Darkslide places the cylinder back in his arm.

Starscream says, "that will be unneccisary Striker."

<Earth> Enchantress says, "AUTOBOTS IN THE BRIG!"

Soundwave quietly works the controls, but the exchange does not go unnoticed. Striker acknowledging someone else's leadership position. Maybe he's growing up after all.

Striker looks back to STarscream after the radio, "Sir, perhaps we should take our better prepared warriors and go ahead after all, we don't need Autobots attacking the shuttle."

Starscream says, "Megatron is well aware of out situation and will of course have the medbay ready."

Soundwave tilts his head a bit. "Problems at the base."

CatsCradle's head jerks up at the radio message and she spits out a human curse under her breath. "There aren't enough of them at the base to fight off a full attack."

Starscream studies Striker for a moment. "you raise an interesting point but have faith in our...leader.. you must assume he has taken care of any possibilities of attack

Striker nods at Soundwave and begins heading for the door, "Soundwave, maybe /you/ will understand that we don't need Autobots attacking the shuttle, permission to fly ahead and help the Earth force, as Cats has pointed out their low on numbers right now due to this mission."

Soundwave's optic band shades a little darker, apparently in disagreement, but he says nothing.

Soundwave says inflectionlessly, "I am not in command of this mission, Striker."

Starscream says, "Striker I am in command here NOT Soundwave"

Striker nods slightly and slowly moves over to take a seat, "Yes Starscream."

Striker thinks, o O (If we get back and the bots killed everyone we know who'll be in trouble)

Starscream Soundwave, respond to that call and see if they need assistance

CatsCradle's jaws are tight, her fists clenched. "I lost my teacher," she murmurs. "I'm not losing my mate, too."

Striker says, "Starscream... Please, let us go help the Earth force, due to this mission they aren't at full fighting strength and can't hold out from an Autobot attack."

Starscream says, "Cats, DArkslide, STriker....scout ahead for Autobots"

Slasher looks to cats...  The critter whispers in a hiss: Will you help us...

Darkslide says, "Surething, It has been awhile since i last was in jet mode AND kicked the Autobots aft."

Soundwave nods a bit to himself, again a surprise there. Maybe this mission has taught a few lessons all the way around.

Starscream is not that thrilled with this but also knows they must find out

Striker gets up and heads for the door, opening it, dropping out and transforming while in freefall.

Darkslide heads towards the exit and jumps out

<Earth> Striker says, "How many Autobots in base?"

Darkslide does a couple of rolls and speeds off following Striker

CatsCradle is out of her seat almost before Starscream finishes speaking. She takes one limping step to the door and leaps out, transforming and off, pushing her engines as hards as she can

****

Brig

        This room is where Autobots or other enemies of the Empire are kept pending their final fate. The cells line the walls, each one hardly big enough to lie down in. There is a small plank extending from the wall of each cell, a recessed light source, and nothing else. When in use, the bars are supplemented by an electrically-charged force field. To exit the brig, one must fly up to the exit, as there are no stairs and the walls are specifically designed to be unclimable. From there anyone wishing to exit must get clearence from someone elsewhere in the base.

Skywarp Opens an empty cell.

Enchantress moves to shove Perceptor into teh cell, making sure to activate the full security systems.

Enchantress says, "We should lock down the brig."

Gryphus jsut tails behind, watching queitl.

Skywarp says, "Good idea"

Perceptor stumbles into the cell, muttering to himself about Decepticon brutality as he walks to the back of the cell and turns around, watching his captours.

Enchantress says, "I'll go turn on the sentry guns. You activate the force fields."

Skywarp Switches on the force field around the cell

Skywarp grins at the bot

Skywarp says, "Enjoy your stay"

Skywarp says, "While ya can"

Perceptor gives a cold stair towards Skywarp. "I'm sure you treat your prisoneres with great care and understanding."

Gryphus grins. Ah the Bot is quite intriguing.. worth researching.. if she gets to is another thing.

Skywarp looks at the bot as he switches on the main security modes and guns.
Divefire mutters as he walks across the room, only giving the scope a side glance. "You'd think, wouldn't you..."

Enchantress says, "Prime will undoubted soon launch a rescue party. We should post some guards here, and we might get lucky and intercept them."

Skywarp turns and stands next to the cell starting his watch.

Enchantress sits at the main monitor station, observing the exterior of the ship.

Enchantress transmits a message via radio.

Skywarp looks back at the bot.."Just sit down and relax ....Maybe if yer lucky Bombshell will only disect ya...

Skywarp gives an evil smirk

A radio transmission is received by Enchantress.

Gryphus turns and departs.

Enchantress says, "Megatron has granted permission to activate the perimeter defenses.
We should put the ship on full alert."

Skywarp nods

Skywarp walks over to the terminal next to her

Enchantress watches Skywarp as he activates the ship's security systems.

Skywarp taps in a few codes

Skywarp says, "There...heh...Lets see the bots try to save their pet egghead now.."

Skywarp smirks

Divefire glances turns back to the cell and he steps over to it and looking in, watching Perceptor. "I'm curious, out of pure interest as a scientist, how did you manage to mutate the Rust so badly?"

Perceptor gives a slightly odd glance to to Divefire, not exactly expecting the question from some one who seems so blatently a warrior. "You are a scientist?"

Skywarp looks at Enchantress with a slight smile and walks back to his post.

Enchantress watches, interested. SHe was wondering that herself. "The Cosmic Rust virus literally eats away at all Cybertronian alloys it encounters. I would assume that you modified its code to act as a power booster, giving the body the necessary energy to continue on despite fatal blows. Perhaps it consumes energy from passing on the virus."

Hook arrives from Engine Room.

Skywarp looks at hook

Skywarp says, "What are you doing here?"

Divefire optics narrow as he folds his arms across his chest in a modertly annoyed way. "My feild of choice is research." He mutters to the Autobot, then nods slightly at Enchantress words. "Well, is that it?"

Perceptor visable baulks at that sugestion. "Certinly not." He replies. "My cure was designed to take those effected and turn them from cariers of the disease into caries of the cure, turning them into literaly living antibodies. However I'm quite sure neither of you would understand the process that allowed that to happan."

Thundercracker arrives from Engine Room.

Enchantress says, "Try me. I took a few courses on viral physiology. I would assume that the antidote mutated, perhaps teh virus is parasitic..."

Skywarp looks at TC

Skywarp says, "Hiya Bud"

Hook slowly walks in the room and glances over at the seeker as he adresses him a question. "The reason of my visit into such place as the brig is because this isn't finish, I came here to assit you into getting the information from that Autobot, my knowledge into Transformers Anatomy and various other science my prove to be of great help." He states firmly, with a little sneaky tone. The Constructicon turns his head around to Perceptor and folds his arms against his chest. "Now, if you don't mind, Skywarp, I will try to help the cause with decent comments and questions."

Thundercracker arrives at the brig. "Our Autobot friend giving us any trouble? Or has Enchantress taken one of his arms off already?"

Skywarp smirks..."Not yer

Divefire gives a fine lined smile in return to Perceptor's words. "I was aware of the Rust before you took your first science class, as Echantress sugests, try us."

Skywarp looks at Hook blankly

Skywarp says, "Uhm..Sure...what you said ."

Enchantress says, "I would assume that the virus, once the host has gone offline, takes over control of the body, and like any virus, seeks to perpetuate itself by spreading. Perhaps it takes over function of what used to be the domain of the laser core."

Skywarp is a bit slow on the uptake with a few things.

<LongRange> Soundwave says, "(long range communications are much more clear now as they come through) Decepticon Shuttle on approach to Earth.  No immediate contamination danger.  I will explain further upon our arrival.  Prepare medbay for casualties."

Perceptor gives an almost ammused look at the two Decepticons then shrugs lightly. "Very well." He produces a data pad from sub space and approches the cell feild. "I'll gladly give you this if you lower the feild to the cell."

<LongRange> Enchantress says, "Transmission received.  We are interrogating the prisoner.  Medbay will be prepared."

Enchantress says, "Computer, read all information present on datapadd in cell AA-123."

Hook manages a smile across his faceplate. Hook slowly strides toward Perceptor, slowly glancing at both Enchantress and Divefire. The Constructicon asks. "Any progress yet?"

Skywarp looks at the bot.

The computers voice comes back true and clear. "Unable to comply. Datapad is in unknown encription format."

Enchantress turns to Skywarp. "Your call, milord."

Divefire glances to Hook and gives him a slight nod. "We're getting some where..."

Skywarp Rubs his chin...

Enchantress says, "If we do it, we should prevent him from running."

Skywarp Gets an evil grin "Ok..Let him out..If its a fake he wont get far..

Skywarp charges his weapons.

Enchantress draws her swords as she waits for them to deactivate the force field.

Skywarp looks at the others as hes about to lower the force field.

Thundercracker heads back the way he came, "I am going to go greet our arriving comrades. If he escapes come get me."

Enchantress says, "We should have the autoguns target him."

Divefire steps back from the cell and awaits Perceptor. "I don't need to tell you to not make a move."

Skywarp drops the field.

Enchantress stands ready to intercept Perceptor if he runs.

Hook hmms slightly, turning around on his feet to give Skywarp that look. The Constructicon just gives him a slight nod, not really agreeing with that tactic, but still. Hook stands back, taking his gun out.

Skywarp takes aim at him..."Now..hand over the pad!

Perceptor smiles plesently as he steps fowards and hands the datapad over to Divefire with a slight nod, which is the key for all hell to brake lose as the room explodes with flares, smoke and three Autobots step out from behind a holgram wall, Hound, Mirage and Sideswipe. In a blink of an eye they race foward, grabing a hold of Perceptor and starting to focus there firepower to the back of one of the cells.

Skywarp !!!!!!

Skywarp coughs..."Auto...BOTS!!

<Earth> Enchantress says, "AUTOBOTS IN THE BRIG!"

Skywarp aims and fires into the smoke!!

Enchantress charges towards the sound of the explosion, attempting to find the Autobots.

Skywarp coughs

Skywarp says, "Stop them!"

Enchantress gets lucky and hears one of the Autobots, and charges towards him.

Divefire has the chance to take a hold of the pad, then stumble back as his optics explode in light. "Damn it! What the blazes?!"

Skywarp Grabs his optics .."Cant see!

Skywarp Teleports to get a clear shot in the smoke..but in the consusion ends up teleporting into a solid wall....

Enchantress learns, to her vast chargin, why it is not a good idea for those armed with only melee weapons to engage those armed with ranged as she is hit repeatedly and flung backwards by all three Autobots!

Skywarp says, "........ow"

Hook takes cover a little as there's the barrage of fire and the explosion, it was quite... Unexpected, really. The Constructicon looks around, sight being reduced by flares and smokes. "Ah! This is merely a joke! Our.." He coughs. "Defense system will take care of those intruders!" The constructicon makes his way to the closest computer terminal, trying to ventilate the area if he can actually do something liek that.

Enchantress struggles to get up as the three Autobots pour fire into her, and she falls against the wall.

Skywarp takes a step back rubbing his nose.

Skywarp Sees the bots through the smoke and fires!

Enchantress tries to rise, but can't quite make it to her feet.

The Autobots move quickly, starting to blast a hole in the wall after putting Enchantress on the ground. The sound of the wall in the cell starts to buckle and the computer starts to yell in a docal tone. "Hull breach is iniment, leave the holding cell area."

Skywarp !!!!
Skywarp grabs enchants arm helping her up..."Time to go!

Enchantress unable to move on her legs, Enchantress transforms to her Sabrecat mode, where she can move faster.

Skywarp says, "Everyone out!!"

Skywarp sees the room starting to flood with water.

Divefire growls as he tries to clear his vision, not having good time of it and not having a chance to stop the Autobots, at least he pockets the datapad. "Hook!" He calls out, clamering over the smoke and water. "Can you get a containment feild up?!"

Thundercracker arrives at the brig just in time to see that he should leave.

Skywarp backs to the door..."Lets go!

Hook blinks slightly at the computer, tapping it on the side a little. "This is impossible! Those... Rats, they..." He looks around, noding to Skywarp as he has to agree with that point, he needs to get out of the room before it's too late. Although, before he begins to leave, he hears Divefire's voice. "Of course I can! Who do you think I am?"

Skywarp says, "Stop jawing Hook and DO it!!"

<Earth> Striker says, "How many Autobots in base?"

Divefire caughs as he trys to move for the door, staring to get his vision back. "Wonderful, then do it. Like Skywarp said, move out!"

Skywarp Looks at Enchant.."After you babes..MOVE OUT!

Striker arrives from Engine Room.
Darkslide arrives from Engine Room.
.
Skywarp Grabs Darkslides arm!!!

Skywarp says, "We need to run!!..."

Darkslide looks at Skywarp and drags his arm away from him.

Skywarp Looks back at the hull breech and tons of water just dying to get in.

Darkslide says, "Anh why might that be...whatever your name is?"

Skywarp says, "Thats why!"

The Autobots really don't care, it's not there base and they want out. The firepower keeps getting pourd into the side of the cell even as the smoke starts to clear, a slight crack appears in the side of the cell, rapidly spreading up the side of the room, the sound of metal cracking and flaking, bucking under the imense presure as stuctual feilds blow out of place and become nothing.

Darkslide says, "Ah bah its only water!"

Darkslide loads his Acid Rifle.

Striker curses, "Don't fire Darkslide!"

Darkslide mumbles something.

Striker says, "Unless you wanna fill the base with millions of gallons of water."

Hook grumbles a little, he doesn't like to be ordered around, especially that he's the ranked officier. The Constructicons do as Divefire said, making sure everything is fine, and doesn't wait a second before getting out of here.

Divefire finds his way out blocked by the newly arving Decepticons and barks something really rather basic. "OUT, NOW!"


Engine Room

        Once one of the most important areas of the ship, the engine room now serves only to house most of the control systems, the conning tower to the surface, and the central computer. A large console provides access to the main computer and detailed information about its operational status. The main engines still remain in place, but most of the peripheral machinery and materials were removed once it was determined the ship would never fly again. Consequently, most of the adjacent rooms are empty, awaiting future expansion.


Striker nods and waves everyone out.

Enchantress starts crawling out, her body smoking form a large number of laser hits. She thinks to herself, "An important lesson - never charge opponents armed with guns when all you have is a sword."

Skywarp makes sure everyone behind him is out.

Thundercracker says, "Well we should know if Hook fixed the problem because if he didn't we will all be dead.""

Enchantress coughs smoke. "We should set up portable force fields as a backup containment system."

From behind the rapidly leaving Decepticon force, the sound of a simple, whomp, happans as the water renders the bring obseleate...

Enchantress uses a wall to support herself as she shakily gets to her feet and transoforms again to robot mode.

Divefire yells out from diving out of the door, "Hook?!"

Skywarp offers to help her.

Striker transmits a message via radio.

Thundercracker looks at where th brig used to be, "Megatron is going to be really, really mad."

Enchantress moves to a wall panel and activates the emergency force fields to contain the spread of the water.

A radio transmission is received by Striker.

CatsCradle dives out of the conning tower, skidding to a stop at seeing the other frantic Decepticons scrambling out of the brig. She looks like she has been through a pit of sharticons; deep claw marks gouge her face and thigh and her armor is punctured and ripped from claw and teeth marks. Her gaze immediately finds Divefire in the chaos

Striker transmits a message via radio.

Skywarp looks around "Is everyone ok?

Darkslide sends his Acid Rifle back to sub-space.

Enchantress says, "We should report to Starscream that the Autobots have rescued the prisoner. By teh way, milord. I would assume that whatever is on that datapadd that the Autobot gave you is garbage. Scan it for any viruses before reading it."

Striker says, "I've already done that enchantress."

Hook rushes in, from being, after putting in a contaiment forcefield before leaving. The constructicon arrives after everyone. "Yes! Don't yell, I am fine." The Constructicon takes his breath a little. "Now I will have to repair all this! Ah! Fortunately, I manage to contain the water in there, as long as the forcefield will be up, there's no chance that the rest of our base gets flooded." He says, folding his arms on his chest.

Skywarp looks at the damage..."Ahhh...Slag

Striker transmits a message via radio.

Enchantress says, "We fell for the oldest ploy in the book. I would assume that there is nothing useful on the datapadd. We should've scanned the Brig for intruders before releasing him."

A radio transmission is received by Striker.

Skywarp looks at Enchant and offers his help.."Lets get you to Repair bay.

Thundercracker looks around, "Where is the rest of the group? What happened? Is everyone okay?"He asks one question right after the other.

Enchantress straightens up as her backup systems come online. "I'll be fine, milord. There are others who need the attention far more than I do."

Skywarp coughs a bit himself

A radio transmission is received by Striker.

Enchantress nods to Skywarp in thanks, but will hold out.

Striker says, "Everyone's alright except Straxus, we need to prep the med bay for a laser core surgery."

Striker transmits a message via radio.

Enchantress says, "What happened to Straxus?"

Skywarp looks at tc..."I think everyone got out ok Bud..

Darkslide says, "Its a long story...who are you?"

Hook narrows his optics. "Such thing would never have happened if we had good security officers!" The Constructicon glances over at Enchantress and shakes his head slightly.

Striker addresses Hook, "Starscream wants the Constructicons to begin repairs as soon as possible... Enchantress, Straxus was... partially eaten by the zombie's, we managed to get his laser core thanks to Cats."

Divefire gives a quick glance over to Hook and offers him a smirk. "Nice work for a senior enginer." Then he takes a breath, looking around as he nods to Enchantress words and catches sights of Cats... It takes him all of a second to get across the space between them and take her in his arms. "About time you got back." He murmers.

Enchantress winces at the thought. "That would be a rather painful way to go."

CatsCradle clings to her mate. "He's dead," she whispers, her voice empty of all sound.

Enchantress wonders who is dead, since they have Straxus' laser core, but sees that this is not a moment to intrude, and remains silent.

Striker says, "Hook, get in the medbay, Soundwave'll need your assistance if we are going to save Straxus. All we have to work with is his laser core."

Skywarp rubs his nose after warping into a solod wall back there...

Thundercracker says bitterly, "I am going out to meet the rest of the returning group."

Striker motions for Hook to follow him.

Skywarp Looks at Enchant..."Get yourself to the repair bay..ok?

Divefire looks to Cats carfuly, then takes her hand in his and with out a word heads for their office.


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