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Old 2017-11-09, 03:10 AM   #261
Blackjack
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Decepticon Sky-Convoy

"Shall I eliminate the swarm?" Sixshot asked Megatron, blissfully unaware of how even a warrior as powerful as him would eventually be overwhelmed and devoured by sheer numbers.

"Don't be a fool, Sixshot-sama. There is no honour to be gained in fighting a swarm of mindless beasts." Revolver muttered, out of commlink earshot. "Only death."

"But as you command." Sixshot replied to Megatron as their leader gave him an order. Sixshot would bank downwards, keeping pace with Megatron. When the altitude would be enough, wings would retract and Sixshot's nosecone would split apart, reconfiguring in a brief instant to form the massive artillery emplacement of Sixshot's tank mode.

Sixshot had two ground modes -- three if he counted his beast mode -- but he felt that if the Insecticon swarm did attack, he would choose the alternate mode which afforded him an easy way to shoot at multiple targets at once.
______________________________________________

"Acknowledged, sir." Astrotrain replied to Megatron. Doomshot? Either? Both? Astrotrain hated this whole Titan Master nonsense. As if Decepticon politicking wasn't already convoluted enough as it is...

Those inside Astrotrain would feel a brief rattling and a slight shortening in terms of the floor and the height of the ceiling, but thanks to subspace technology Mindwipe, Necro and the others within Astrotrain's shuttle mode would not be terribly too inconvenienced by Astrotrain's transformation. Doubtless they would feel Astrotrain's sudden downwards bank, and the feeling of wheels on the ground, but otherwise it'd be relatively pleasant for those within Astrotrain.

Didn't stop Darkmoon from shouting "Prepare for touchdown!" loudly over the intercom. Silly little child.

As much as his train mode wasn't built to accommodate the strains of chugging through Cybertron's ruined rubble-strewn landscape, Astrotrain hated the thought of facing against an Insecticon swarm more. Another one of the Council -- and Megatron's -- plans gone awry. Mass-replicating psychotic maniacs with a frail leash and a brain that is driven by greed and gluttony? What were they thinking? Those among them that were intelligent were treacherous, and those that weren't were insects. If the combiners didn't destroy the world, Astrotrain did not doubt the Insecticons would have.

I swear, in another life these bugs would be the death of me.
______________________________________________

Autobot Convoy

Perceptor, moving along slightly behind the conversation between Hardhead, Furos, Firedrive and Hot Rod, did not contribute. He disliked social interactions, and more importantly, he honestly did not think too much of something that is clearly not his station -- these sort of moral-checking is definitely one of Hardhead and Furos's competence, and not Perceptor.

Besides, any attempt at interjection from him would probably lead to threats of shooting people in the head, and Perceptor, as much as he is emotionless at this moment, knew enough social cues that this would lead to an escalation of the argument he had earlier with Hardhead and Furos.

Convex was quiet, sitting on his seat on Perceptor's alternate mode, silently reading papers on cases of abrupt integration between two unprepared Titan/Titanmaster partners, blissfully lost in the annals of scientific conclusions and hypotheses to pay attention to anything that went around them.

Ridiculous. Inefficient. Perceptor thought blithely. He should download the papers to his head, and sort things out there. Would take far less time.
 
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Old 2017-11-10, 02:34 AM   #262
Heinrad
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Autobot Convoy:


“We don’t-“ Hot Rod began.

“Oh, yes we do, “ Firedrive cut him off. “Even if you don’t want to admit it, I know what our problem is. It’s focus. You’ve got it. Me? All I wanted was a cool new ride, not to be fighting ‘Cons for the rest of my life. Especially with some kill crazy old nutcase. I don’t have your obsession. I don’t WANT your obsession. Maybe it’s because I didn’t see the war. Who knows? But my biggest fear is that you’ll subsume me, that I’ll be gone. All we’ll be is Hot Rod and mini Hot Rod. Kinda like Hardhead and Furos.” He looked over at Furos. “No offense, but you two are kinda creepy.”

“You want someone to hold your hand? There’s great potential in you, and I’m the best way to bring it out of you. But I won’t coddle you.” Hot Rod’s vocoder let out an annoyed sound. “Send her to us, Furos. I think what we need is a mediator. Maybe we need a third to become an actual team. And Hardhead, are you saying there’s no honor in recognizing your own limitations?”

——

“Stylor, what are you doing?”

Stylor continued rooting around under Chromedome’s dashboard, making adjustments and checking the readings. “Look, I can’t talk you out of this stupidly suicidal Sixshot obsession, right?”

“Nope.”

“Then my best bet is to get your systems tuned to the utmost, because that guy scares the slag out of me, and I really don’t want to die.”

Chromedome chuckled. “I knew I’d bring you along sooner or later.”

**********
Following the Decepticons:


First the speed disadvantage, then exhaustion, now Insecticons.

Hellbat muttered an oath, swooping down towards the ground. He hated to do it, but he was going to need help.
 
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Old 2017-11-16, 05:42 AM   #263
Warcry
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In the air

Megatron chuckled. "Perhaps one day I'll take you up on that offer, Sixshot, purely for sport. But today, we have a mission to tend to."

As the Decepticon leader approached ground level, he transformed to tank mode and landed hard on his treads. His multiple weapons emplacements each tracked different segments of the Insecticon swarm, but -- for now -- they seemed to be content to hover.

The sight of Insecticons, of all things, brought a bunch of old memories surging back. The creatures' creation, in the lab of a mad (even by Decepticon standards) scientist named Drench. Unleashing them on an unsuspecting Autobot city in a desperate attempt to pull resources away from their Kaon offensive. Seeing the creatures run wild, reproducing at an unprecedented rate and devouring almost the entire Altihex region before the Autobots unleashed nuclear weapons to stop them. And, of course, the pleasant surprise that came with a handful of their number proving to be sentient, more-or-less loyal Decepticon troopers.

Megatron hadn't realized that there'd still been wild hives left on Cybertron, but in retrospect he shouldn't be surprised. Without an armed force to exterminate them, all it would take was a few dormant eggs waking up to eventually multiply into a cloud this large.

These creatures, Megatron now realized, were one of his greatest failures. Not only were they a perversion of Cybertronian life, but they were the first link in a chain that eventually led to the total annihilation of their home planet.

With the swarm buzzing overhead, the Decepticons would pass through the worst of it before approaching the edge of the crater that their objective was buried in. They would see a single grey plynth jutting up from the ground, easily two or three times as tall as their largest comrade. The top of the plynth was crowned by three purple sickle-like blades.

Unfortunately, they were not alone in the crater. Even before he got to the lip of it, Megatron could make out a grey, teal and pink mass milling about inside.

"Sharkticons," Doomshot muttered.
______________________________________________

Astrotrain's cargo bay

Mindwipe frowned as Astrotrain set them down on the ground, their ride suddenly becoming noticably rougher (albeit safer).

"Have you ever encountered these Insecticons?" he enquired of their transport. "The stories I have read about them are quite...disconcerting, blah."

Full-Tilt visibly shivered. "Nasty creatures," he emphasized. "I narrowly avoided a group myself. That was in my pre-recruitment days, of course."
______________________________________________

Autobot Convoy

Hardhead scoffed. "There are no limitations save for those we place upon ourselves! A true warrior would understand that."

Furos sighed. His partner had a tendancy to get a bit...puffed up when it came to matters of honour.

"Firedrive, if you think Hardhead and I are identical, obviously you haven't spend that much time with us. We were, once, literally the same person. We're still very similar, but our different experiences have shaped us differently. If we couldn't maintain identical personalities, how in the world do you think yourself and Hot Rod would?" He chuckled. "Hot Rod is a strong personality, but he's not Optimus Prime. As long as you remember who you are and where you came from, Firedrive, you'll be fine. That doesn't mean that you won't be a changed mech. How could you not be changed by what you're going through? But if all goes well, both yourself and Hot Rod will be changed by your bond -- and hopefully for the better."

Knowing that Hardhead was half a second away from making a snappy comment about how a criminal couldn't possibly improve a warrior, Furos cut him off by opening a comm channel and saying, "Maxx, if you're still with us please join me at the rear of the convoy. I have a job for you, if you're willing."
 
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Old 2017-11-16, 02:56 PM   #264
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In the air

Sixshot trailed next to Megatron, replying with a tilt of the hypersonic cannons attached to his turrets in an imitation of a nod. "Very well, Lord." Like Megatron, Sixshot's turrets tracked the Insecticon swarm, but did not fire either, until the massive plynth loomed above them.

"That's... that's big." Revolver whispered. "Is it... is it the weapon we're looking for?"

"Part of it, seems like." Sixshot replied to his partner, feeling the same feeling of awe that Revolver has, shared through their mental link. Sixshot had never quite felt this feeling called 'awe' before, and it was quickly replaced with another that Revolver's feelings had as 'dread'.

Sixshot felt like he did not quite care much for this 'dread', and shut off the mental bonds that allowed emotions to bleed over between the two of them. Sixshot was not built for these emotions. While he figured out many of the basic emotions quickly, many more were... less forthcoming. And he had taken advantage of the bond he and his partner shared to experience these emotions. But one like dread would do naught but disable him at a crucial moment, and Sixshot cannot be compromised like that. He was a weapon. And weapons cannot feel, or the weapon would be useless. That that was what his Creator taught him. Curiousity is one thing. Letting emotions bleed over and compromise him is another.

He then caught sight of the Sharkticons, and cursed inwardly.

Sharkticons. He knew of them, but had never seen them.

No.

Jet. Tank. Car. Beast. Cannon. Robot.

None of his six modes, none of them -- offered the advantage that he often vaunts over his enemies. The Sharkticons were built for underwater combat, and Sixshot's six modes... weren't. They weren't in water now, but if they were...

And Sixshot felt -- coming from within his own core as opposed to being something that bled over from his weaker, skittish partner -- the very feeling of inexplicable, heart-clenching dread.
______________________________________________

Astrotrain came to a stop behind Megatron and Sixshot, trusting that those with far deadlier weaponry (and unburdened by cargo) would be able to take care of their current obstacle.

He then realized Mindwipe was addressing him, and would reply, via speakers within his alternate mode. "I have. They were... they were less of a swarm of Transformers, and more of a force of nature. Individually they are weak. Driven by a feral instinct and a hive-mind, yes, but nothing that anyone here can't take on by themselves."

Astrotrain paused, and continued. "But the Insecticons were never alone. They eat everything in their path. Living metal, non-living metal -- one way or another, they will use them to create more of their kin. And that's the scariest part about them. They're not here for political power, or conquest, or religion, or misguided attempts of freedom. They were mindless. They devour without any heed to collateral damage. They are driven by the simple impulse of hunger and subsequent replication, and nothing else."

"It's a good thing, at least, that the Autobots nuked Altihex. I'd never thought I'd say that about the Autobot nuclear program." Astrotrain paused, and frowned. "The few sentient ones that joined us later, though? I've worked with them. The Autobots called us... the Ten Deadliest Decepticon Hunters, or something fancy like that. I was a triple-changer, which, back in the day, was the top-of-the-line. But their duplicity, the strange way their mind works and the sheer amount of powers they have... we're just lucky the swarm isn't sentient, or they'd not just take over Cybertron -- they'd take over the entire universe. Devouring until none is left."

Astrotrain stopped short of actually detailing the powers of the Insecticons themselves -- putting ideas into someone called 'Mindwipe' about cerebro-shells... is not a good idea.
 
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Old 2017-11-17, 03:53 AM   #265
Heinrad
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Autobot Camp:


It's come to this.. Maxx sat on a spar of rubble, a holo screen projected in the air in front of her as she looked at the programming for the rudimentary A.I. program for the battle deck in front of her. The program was fairly simple. It could follow directions, be set to patrol map points, act as weaponry backup for the Autobot currently looming next to her- it wasn't that hard, she was slightly smaller than one of the exo-armor units- and yet the Autobot standing next to her was having problems with it. "Are you sure it's ignoring your orders? I'm not seeing any problems in the code structure."

"Yeah, Ah'm sure." The red and grey Autobot scowled at the battle deck. "It ain't lahke mah old one."

The missile launcher on the battle deck pivoted to look at the Autobot it was paired to, and Maxx would have sworn she could hear it make a 'Neener-neener' sound. She looked at the program again. "Maybe it's in the personality subroutines......"

"Mebbe Ah should just get mah old platform back."

Maxx looked up at the Autobot. "You know that's not gonna happen, Ironhide."

Ironhide just made a noncommittal grunt.

She shuffled through the various screens of data. "I am kind of curious. Why didn't they just use the program from your old battle deck?"

"Aw, they gave me some Scrud 'bout it bein' too far outta date ta upgrade, and too limited fer whut they wanted it ta do. Said by th' tahme it was done, it'd be a new program anyway. So instead they give me this spawn of a glitchmouse."

The battle deck made some more sing-song taunting sounds. Maxx just shook her head. "Maybe it's doing this just to annoy you."

Ironhide clenched his fists. "Yeah? Maybe Ah-"

"Don't! It's a part of you. I know you're not happy about this downsizing, and I think that's why your battle deck is doing this. It's reacting to you."

"Great. An' Ah wanna react by puttin' mah fist through it."

Maxx chuckled. "Give it some time, Ironhide. You'll adapt." Then Furos' call came over her commlink. "Sure, Furos. I'll be there in a few." She shut down her commlink, then stood and looked at Ironhide. "Give a bot a lift?"

"Sure." He transformed to vehicle mode - about half the size of a Titan - the lift gate of his minivan mode hissing open. "Hop in."

Maxx climbed inside, feeling a little cramped. But then, Ironhide's redesign followed the smaller Autobot asthetic, allowing him to act as a secure transport for a Titan Master. Being a Target Master, she was a little bigger. Unlike the other Titan Master transports, Ironhide also had weapons, so she found herself wedged into the passenger compartment with the missile launcher and the particle projection cannon. She pulled her legs in as Ironhide's lift gate hissed shut and the old Autobot sped off in pursuit of the convoy.

******
Autobot Convoy:


"That's the thing, Hardhead. Without identifying your limitations, what do you strive to beat? How can you improve?"

Firedrive just looked at Hot Rod's dashboard. "All I could feel was his anger. His rage. I was surrounded by his hatred and I could feel myself vanishing into it."

******
Following the Decepticons:


The bat drone, exhausted, found a jagged outcrop to latch onto. And, reluctantly, Hellbat did the only thing he could think of.

He told the drone to call for help.
 
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Old Yesterday, 06:32 AM   #266
Warcry
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Wink But Sixshot totally has a submarine mode now!

In the air

Megatron came to a stop at the lip of the crater. Then he transformed to robot mode, and if there was any hesitation before he merged with Doomshot, he didn't let it show.

"Unfortunately," he said, mostly to himself, "The Sharkticons won't be so easily bypassed."

The Decepticon leader crossed his arms as he glared out at the animalistic creatures. Finally, he said, "They never stray far from water, and there only seems to be a tiny bit collecting at the base of the crater. They can't be living here. Deathsaurus, take Misfire and Fangry and start searching for their home pit."

If only I'd brought some Constructicons, he mused, we'd be able to tunnel below them.

A shame, then, that his six best Constructicons were wandering Cybertron somewhere, stuck together in the form of a giant engine of destruction.

Of course, there was one possibility that occurred to him -- one that even his merged mind knew came from the Doomshot half. It was reckless and dangerous and probably quite stupid, but...all the same, it might work. He filed it at the back of his mind for later.

"Sixshot," he asked the younger Decepticon conversationally, "What is your assessment of the situation?"
______________________________________________

Astrotrain's cargo bay

"Sounds like a perfect weapon," Mindwipe opined, "for someone who doesn't care if it turns around and eats him next. Just as long as the enemy dies first, blah. No vunder we managed to destroy our planet. Vhat a stupid race we are."

Full-Tilt didn't have Astrotrain's tact. "Did you work with the one called Bombshell? I hear he was quite the talented mnemosurgeon himself. He could even work on subjects using remote control, if you believe the stories. Could even control their bodies while their living minds were active, something even I have never ventured to try. It sounds like a challenge."

"It sounds," Mindwipe told him, "like a good way to wind up as mad as a combiner team member."

"Only if you do it wrong," Full-Tilt told him. "Therein lies the challenge."
______________________________________________

Autobot Convoy

"I'm sending you the service jacket for a Titan Master team called Hot Rod and Firedrive," Furos told Maxx. "I'd recommend you download it on the way. They're the job, more or less."

"Your new partner," he said as he turned back to the team in question, "is enroute. She's a programming expert named Maxx. I've worked with her before to help others get over their...let's say "systems integration" issues." Furos wisely didn't mention that he'd never called on her to troubleshoot the integration of two fully-sentient "systems" before. That would only serve to worry Firedrive more...and he was going to be worried enough by what Furos had to say next.

"I can understand why that would be intimidating, really I can. But that's normal. And while Hot Rod might be better-equipped to handle it, I can assure you that he felt the exact same thing -- your personality taking bites out of his, until he couldn't tell where exactly the border was between the two of you. But the reason you feel that way is because both of you are fighting to resist the depth of the Titan Master bond. With more experience, you will vanish into Hot Rod's mind when you bond, and he into yours. A healthy Titan and his Master become one being when they join, a new being greater than the sum of its parts. The greatest part of training to become part of a bond like this is learning how to deal with that prospect, to put aside the dread and accept it, both of you. Only then will you be able to move past your fear, Firedrive, and Hot Rod's rage. Together."

Hardhead was busy replying to Hot Rod's question with a scoff. "Acknowledging your weaknesses does not mean accepting them. A true warrior does not see such things as limitations, but as challenges to be gratefully accepted and gloriously conquered! One is only as weak as he allows himself to be."
 
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