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Old 2017-02-12, 06:52 AM   #1
Blackjack
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Default Titans Return: The Game

Cybertron.

Birth place of the Transformers – a race of intelligent mechanical beings. A peaceful race. A race that once lived in harmony for aeons untold.

Then came the war.

Optimus Prime folded his arms as the Ark descended upon Cybertron, as the broken spires and soot-blackened corpses of cities stretched out as far as his eyes could see. Once, there was millennia-old civilization here.

Now all that remains in their once pristine homeworld… was death.

Countless comrades lost. Countless enemies slain. Their world, their home, reduced to a dead, empty shell, surrendered to the vermin and the mindless colossi that lurched aimlessly through its surface. The combiners, once created to be their best hope of ending this war, merely caused it to escalate to such a point that both sides of the conflict were decimated. Cybertron itself paid the price. No, their entire race paid the price.

They left Cybertron, they left their home, their birth world, barely recognizable as the Golden Jewel of the Galaxy that it once was, years ago. Optimus Prime had not thought that they would ever return. Scattered across the vast cosmos, fighting battles on so many multiple fronts, Cybertron was barren, devoid of resources or any strategic importance.

The war took its toll on their race. Reduced to smaller forms to conserve energy, the Titan Master procedure was developed – smaller, younger members of their race bonded with the bodies of the larger veterans of the war, forming a partnership like never before seen. A blessing and a curse, for still the war continued. As the numbers on both sides were whittled down, as the dead mounted and as resources run dry, the war was locked in a stalemate that threatened extinction for their entire race.

Yet there was hope. News of a discovery, of a legend lost to time. A new hope. One that might finally tip the balance of the war solely in the favour of whoever claimed it. One that would finally stop the Decepticons’ reign of tyranny once and for all.

Optimus Prime just wished that they were not already too late.
______________

Bridge, The Ark

The sides of Optimus Prime's blue-tinted helmet hissed as metal plates folded away, joints clacked, cables retracted and gears whirred. The central part of Optimus Prime's head detached from the helmet as optic bulbs and faceplate folded and contorted into the limbs of a smaller robot. Small jet boosters slowed down Diac's fall as he landed on the ground. Optimus Prime's now headless body automatically stood rigid with no Titan Master bound to it.

You should not have bonded yourself to me without cause, Diac. You know the risks.

Optimus Prime's voice, ever wise and kind, rang in Diac's head even when he was separated from his Titan. Diac rubbed the side of his temples. It was different with Optimus Prime -- he had talked with other Titan Masters, and when they disconnected, they were disconnected for good. Sure, there might be some lingering parts of the mental-neural handshake, some sense of awareness of what your other partner is feeling, but not quite voices in your head.

But then, none of the other Titans were Optimus Prime.

That may be, Prime. Diac replied, thinking in his head, glancing at the headless body standing rigid behind him. But you had to see our world with your own two eyes. That was worth the risk.

My own sentimentality is worth nothing next to your own integrity, Diac. Our bonding should be kept at the bare minimum. I would not have it -- I will not lose you too. Optimus Prime's voice replied. Stern, but never unkind.

Diac nodded, and rapped a fist against his- Optimus's- leg. Do not sell yourself short, Optimus. You are not the only one who is allowed to keep making sacrifices -- and a few brief minutes will not compromise my identity all that much.

It was a bit of a lie, Diac knew. Every minute, every second, that Diac spent bound to his Titan partner, the more of his soul gets erased and the more of his soul is replaced with Optimus Prime's. It's not because of any sort of malice from Optimus Prime's part, but whether it's because Optimus Prime's spark is unique, or if some remnant of the Matrix of Leadership remained, or simply Optimus Prime being Optimus Prime, the sheer strength of his personality was so strong that anyone who bonded with him for any length of time ended up having their base personalities completely subsumed and overwritten by Optimus Prime. Some scientists propose that it's a particularly severe case of Primus Apotheosis, due to actually sharing a mind and soul with the legendary Autobot leader, while some think that Optimus's mind is unintentionally behaving like a parasite, like a computer virus.

Whatever the case, they have lost countless Titan Master candidates to trying to bond with Optimus Prime. Either they are overwhelmed that the neural bond breaks down and they are immediately violently ejected, or they are sent into a gibbering mess as they try to emulate Optimus Prime, or they act like a parody of the Autobot leader, or they just... expire peacefully.

But Diac had needed the bond with Optimus Prime. He was one of the remaining high-ranking Autobots with the destabilization of the Autobot chain of command after the Combiner Wars, but as much as he is confident in his own abilities, they did not need Diac. They needed Optimus Prime. And Optimus Prime they shall receive.

And perhaps it's because Diac's mindset is relatively similar to Optimus Prime, having idolized the Autobot leader since he was young, but Diac managed to keep his ego, for now.

The fact that he's being so self-sacrificial in regards to this particular bonding session, sacrificing that slight bit of his own soul to allow his partner and mentor a moment of sentimentality, might mean that even more of Optimus Prime is leaking into him.

And honestly... Diac himself couldn't be sure if being even more like Optimus Prime is even a bad thing at all.
 
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Old 2017-02-12, 03:36 PM   #2
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Science Lab, Nemesis

"Blah, vhy do you disturb my meditations?" Mindwipe opened one eye a crack to glower at his diminutive partner.

"We've dropped out of hyperspace," Vorath told him flatly.

"And?"

"And considering your unhealthy obsession with the dead," Vorath explained with an air of the much-put-upon professor who couldn't believe one of his students was so dense, "I thought you might like to see it for yourself. There's a good view of the planet in the drop bay."

"You make...a good point," Mindwipe dropped down from his perch on the ceiling and glided down to the floor. "Shall ve?"

A flurry of moving parts later and Titan Master and Titan became one, with bat unfolding into a body and small robot compressing into its head. The new, combined being took a moment to get it's bearings, then smiled slightly.

"After all, where better to continue my studies than Cybertron, the galaxy's largest graveyard? Ah-ha-ha!"
_____________________________________________________

Drop Bay, Nemesis

"My Decepticons, we have arrived!" Megatron gestured expansively to the force field that formed most of the floor of the room they stood in. "Take a look at our world. Take a good look at what they did to it! Take a look at the ruin that they made of your world!"

Megatron paused. That wasn't right. He didn't talk that way. Those were his thoughts, but not his words.

Are you so sure about that? Doomshot's rich voice echoed in his mind, taunting him.

Silence, worm. Megatron is no one's puppet!

"A team of so-called scientists down on the surface have found a weapon of tremendous power! But that weapon doesn't belong to them! No, it belongs to us. It belongs to me! And nobody steals from Megatron. So we will find them. We will take them. And we will force them to tell us everything they know. And anyone who stands in our way -- like that ship full of Autobots following us in? They will fail, and they will die. And soon, very soon, Cybertron and the galaxy will be ours again!"

Fine words. Inspiring, really. Doomshot's contempt was obvious. Or they would be, if anyone believed a single thing that came out of your mouth anymore.

Shut up.

Megatron slammed his fist into the bay controls and the force field disappeared. The room was suddenly filled with the din of Cybertron's thin atmosphere whooshing by the ship's lower hull, but he didn't care. He just raised his voice to a full-blown shout as he yelled, "Decepticons, attack!" and jumped out of the ship.

As he transformed to jet mode, Megatron felt an instant rush of relief as the connection to Doomshot was severed. Although he wasn't free of the tiresome rat -- he was still riding along in Megatron's cockpit -- he was at least free of the insolent whelp's constant attempts to pressure and influence his mind.

But, sadly, not free of his voice. "Why do you resist our shared mind?" Doomshot asked mockingly. "Could it be that you feel threatened in your own mind? Why, I do believe that's it, yes..."

"You are no threat to me," Megatron barked. "You aren't the first to try and invade my being, and you won't be the last. And like all the others, you will break and become nothing but an extension of my will."

"Oh?" Doomshot feigned surprise. "Is that what's happening? No. No, I don't think it is." The Titan Master smiled. "I think you are the one who shall break. You will either work with me as a partner, like a proper Titan should, or it is you who will become an extension of my will. The universe cowered once at the name of Megatron and it shall do so again...even if that Megatron is me."

_____________________________________________________

Bridge, The Ark

Furos looked up from his tactical console with a glower on his face.

"It's like we thought, sir. The Decepticons are landing troops. Should I open fire?"

His fingers flew across the weapons controls, trying to get a lock on the Decepticon soldiers pouring out of the hangar. But they were too small for the ship's targetting computer to get a lock. As he'd said in the mission briefing, he would have to aim manually and any shots that missed would run the risk of hitting the dig site.

It was a risk that he was willing to take...but it also wasn't his decision. And if he was being honest, he was glad that someone else had to make that call.
 
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Old 2017-02-12, 04:41 PM   #3
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Drop Bay, Nemesis

It is time, my lord Sixshot.

Sixshot's red eyes flared to life as the large Decepticon stood up straight. His partner's slightly-accented voice rang in his head, and he nodded. I see.

Megatron's deep growl of a voice reverberated throughout the drop bay, but Sixshot did not pay much attention. Not out of disrespect, for he still followed the Decepticon leader, but simply because... Sixshot did not care much for motivational speech.

He was a warrior. He was born for war.

He needed no motivation beyond Megatron's two final words: 'Decepticons attack'.

"Prepare for disengagement." Sixshot said, as he took one massive step, and another, and leaped out of the drop bay. limbs retracted, wings folded out, his helmet cracked open and Sixshot's Titan Master Revolver found himself inside the cockpit section of Sixshot's starfighter mode, which shot into the arid sky above the Sonic Canyons, accelerating to keep up with Megatron.

Revolver shook his head. Bonding with Sixshot was a bit of a tiring affair, mostly due to how... intense the six-changer was. "So, Sixshot-sama, we are not engaging the Autobot shuttle?"

"Not until the order is given."

"How very honourable." Revolver replied off-handedly, as he looked out of the windows. "Cybertron pretty ruined now."
_____________________________________________________

Bridge, The Ark

"Not unless you have a clear shot." Diac replied to Furos, putting a hand on his chin, and frowned. "We can't risk hitting the civilians on the dig site. I believe we'll have to engage them... directly. We'll have to get down there in a shuttle, and pray that we are not too late."

"If I may, sir." A timid voice spoke up. Diac turned to look at Convex, their current head of the science department. "My bonded Titan is extremely specialized in the art of sniping. Perhaps we could man the targeted artillery cannons abroad the Ark and take out as many airborne adversaries as we could, while you, Furos and any other Autobot soldiers could catch up?"

Diac nodded. "Very well. You have the bridge, Convex. Furos and any battle-ready Autobot, assemble in the shuttle bay." The Autobot leader leaped up into the air, and transformed into a face which clicked into place within Optimus Prime's horned blue helmet. As Optimus Prime's blue eyes flared to life, his mouth was quickly covered by the faceplate that slid into place with a loud metallic shink. "For our planet, we will bring the battle... to them."
 
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Old 2017-02-12, 07:29 PM   #4
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Dig Site, Cybertron:

"BEEP!"

Nightbeat stood there, staring at a heap of rubble. "I just don't get it. I'm a detective, not an archaeologist. I know nothing about this."

"BEEP! BEEP!!!!"

"Give me a crime, give me a MYSTERY! I mean, yeah, uncovering a historical mystery can be fun, I guess, but-"

"BEEEEEEEEEEPPPPPPPPPPPPPPP!!!!!!!!!!!!!"

Nightbeat looked back at his drill mode drone. "No, Roller, there aren't......any......" He trailed off as he looked up. "Oh, slag." He hit his commlink. "I never thought I'd say this again, much less here, but DECEPTICONS! WE'RE UNDER ATTACK!!!!!!!!"

***************
Shuttle Bay, Ark:

Pyro stood in Ginrai's trailer section, checking the readouts on one of the wall displays. Everything looked good. The blue-green light of the displays washed over his face as he smiled. Ginrai was young, but massive. The power now at his disposal....

"Pyro?" Ginrai's rough baritone echoed through the speakers inside the trailer.

Pyro bristled. "What did I tell you to call me when we're alone like this?"

"Oh...... Uh, sorry....... Prime."

Pyro smiled. "Much better. What is it, Ginrai?"

"The call has come down from the bridge for all combat ready Autobots to assemble here. And that's us.... Isn't it?"

Pyro shut down the console. "Yes. That is indeed us." He headed out of the trailer. "Ginrai, transform!"

The semi rig and trailer transformed, revealing a massive Titan as Pyro jumped into the air, transforming, becoming a head that looked very much like what Optimus Prime once looked like, back when he was Orion Pax. He locked into the neck, forming the head of the massive Titan. Then the helm flipped up and locked into position, covering the head with a very Optimus Prime like helmet.

Ginrai's optics narrowed, his shoulder cannons online. "The Decepticons shall not with this day. This I swear!"

**********
Tech Bay, Ark:


Stylor looked up as the call came over the intercom. "Looks like that's us, buddy."

Chromedome, sitting in vehicle mode, started his engine. "You're not going to worry about how long it's going to take you to put me back together after the battle?"

Stylor leaped into Chromedome's cockpit, the canopy hissing shut. "Nah. Not yet, anyway. Let's just try not to get too badly messed up.

"Where's the fun in that?" With a roar, Chromedome took off out of the bay, heading for the shuttle bay.
 
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Old 2017-02-13, 11:29 AM   #5
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Archaeological dig, Cybertron

"'There are no legends, only poorly recorded historical facts'," Glyph quoted solemnly, over her radio, looking out over the arc-light flooded excavations.

Twenty field archaeologists split into two teams: one team her own, the other working with Drill. All were busy and, as far as possible, quiet. The entrance shaft, just to her left, was sound-baffled, but they still needed to maintain near silence and that meant group radio signals only, which could not leak out due to the depth of the dig.

Drill pushed back his floppy hat, rubbed at his pale green forehead. "Ah, well," he radioed back. "I reckon what we have is a legend, unfortunately."

Side-by-side, the two were of a height, compact and energon-efficient units of similar design origin, one teal and one green. They were both professionals, experienced in field work on many worlds. And they were back home, in an environment that was oddly more alien than many they had been in, filled with danger of their own race's making...
 

Last edited by Clogs; 2017-02-13 at 06:09 PM. Reason: Flipping autocorrect!
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Old 2017-02-13, 02:00 PM   #6
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Shuttle Bay, Ark

Diac -- no, Optimus Prime slowed his sprint as he entered the shuttle bay, boarding the first shuttle he could find. Ginrai was already standing by, and other Autobot soldiers were pouring in.

It appears that a Titan bond is not required for you to inspire others so, Optimus. The part of Optimus Prime that was Diac spoke to the part of Optimus Prime that was Optimus Prime.

I am... flattered by those who are inspired by me enough to adopt my look. Optimus Prime replied, his normally unfaltering, ever-confident voice cracking a little. Diac could feel his partner's emotion, and he felt amusement when he realized that the mighty Optimus Prime, legendary leader of the Autobots felt... embarrassment? Pride? Guilt, considering Diac's predecessors? A mixture of those, anyway.

I approve of the version of your old body that he choose. Diac replied, sensing his partner's discomfort. It has a lot of firepower.

Destruction is not always the answer, young Diac. We are better than that.

I am sworn to freedom as much as you are, Optimus. You know that.

"Ginrai." Optimus Prime nodded at the combined form of Ginrai and Pyro. Whatever Pyro's motives are, a word of encouragement never hurts. "It is good to see you are ready for battle."
 
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Old 2017-02-13, 04:45 PM   #7
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Cybertron Airspace

Mindwipe followed his fellow Decepticons out of the hangar, converting back to beast mode and gliding downwards toward the dig site.

"It is good to stretch my vings again, blah."

"They wouldn't get so cramped if you didn't spend all of your free time hanging from the ceiling, napping," Vorath reminded him, from his cockpit inside the bat's stomach.

"I am not napping," Mindwipe responded tartly. "I am meditating. Is difference. I am doing productive verk, finding vays to use the energies of the dead to benefit of Decepticon cause."

"It's only productive if you get results," Vorath responded with some fatigue. They'd had this conversation more than once before.

"Aren't you the vun who is alvays saying that disproving false hypothesis as good as proving correct vun? Besides, you have your duties as science officer. Vhat am I to do while you're in your lab? The Nemesis is not built for bats." Mindwipe smiled. "I suspect I vill find much more to occupy myself down here."

"One can only hope we both will."

"On that, you vill get no disagreement."
_____________________________________________________

Megatron saw the Autobot starship drawing closer and tried to steer himself up to engage them. But Doomshot held the jet's control yoke tight, and kept him on target by sheer force of will.

"We have a job to do here, remember? Or have you forgotten all about the Metrotitans and Megatitans hidden below? Does the merest sniff of an Autobot so blind you with rage that your dreams of galactic domination suddenly become less important than petty revenge? We are still Decepticons, yes? Still fighting for a cause, and not just Megatron's hollow ego?"

"Shut up," Megatron told him harshly. "Megatron is the Decepticon cause. What's good for me is good for the cause, by definition. Nothing else matters."

"It's that kind of thinking that got your senior staff to chop your head off and replace it with people like me," Doomshot reminded him. "Not to mention all that talk of bringing back Galvatron. And you wouldn't want that, would you? No, I think not. So keep your mind on the task at hand. It will be time to cut loose on the enemy soon enough."
_____________________________________________________

Bridge, The Ark

A part of Furos still bristled at Diac's order to hold his fire, but he was mature enough to know that the other Autobot was right. They were here to protect the dig team, not bombard them from the air.

After Diac left, he shot a glance at Convex. "Don't let Perceptor forget what our actual mission is. We detected several combiners on the way in. The Ark only has eight minutes over the target area before it needs to retreat, and if our science officer is still aboard when it does the rest of us are going to be in serious trouble."

While he waited for a reply, he radioed his Titan. "Hardhead, we're getting ready to deploy. Make ready for battle."

"I am always ready for battle!" came the indignant reply in his head, in a younger version of his own voice.

"Yes, I know that. Obviously I mean to make sure that the others are ready for battle, and that the shuttle has extra ammunition and munitions stores aboard. We don't know how long this deployment will last."
_____________________________________________________

Shuttle Bay, The Ark

Hardhead rolled in in tank mode, his cannon swivelling from side to side as he surveyed the chaos. Soldiers moved this way and that, running the gamut from grizzled veterans like him to raw recruits clearly uncomfortable handling their own rifles.

Hardhead rolled to a stop in front of a group of the latter, a small gaggle of newly-minted Titan Masters who hadn't even been fully trained in mini-vehicle combat yet.

"You two!" He swivelled his barrel to the left. "Double-check the shuttle's cargo bay. Make sure it has a full complement of energon rations. The rest of you, go down to the armoury and bring up as many extra power cells, artillery shells and ammunition as you can carry!"

The group of youngsters froze for a second, obviously terrified that the ship's head of security was barking orders at them from the barrel of a gun. But one of them recovered more quickly than the others, shouted "Sir yes sir!" and snapped off a salute. The others did the same, then ran off as quickly as they could manage.

Hardhead then rolled forward towards Optimus and Ginrai.

"Sirs," he said, tipping his barrel deferentially. "My security team is making ready. We will not allow the Decepticons to take the science team!"
 
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Old 2017-02-13, 05:50 PM   #8
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Cybertron Airspace

"You seem a disappointed." Revolver frowned. "You want to fight the Autobots?"

"I know my duty, Revolver." Sixshot replied, his voice booming within the cockpit of his jet mode. Revolver winced, but he had grown used to his mighty partner's eccentricities. A small price to be bonded to one of the deadliest Decepticons alive. "But, to answer your question, yes. I wish to do battle against worthy opponents. The people on the dig site are mere scientists. Weaklings. Barely worth the effort."
_____________________________________________________

Bridge, The Ark

Convex nodded nervously at Furos. "Of course. Yes, I shall not tardy myself beyond the eight minute time-units allocated, and will join the rest of you momentarily on the surface of our home world."

As Convex spoke, Perceptor's larger Titan body entered the Bridge via a Titan elevator system. Convex leaped into the air, and transformed into Perceptor's head, bonding with his mentor and partner. Perceptor's right eye, the one replaced with a huge targeting system, quickly took a bead on the Decepticons as the Titan moved over towards the targeting console. Perceptor extended his fingers, and gripped the controls scaled for the size of a Titan.

"Calculating trajectory." Perceptor spoke, voice without any sort of intonation or emotion. "Calculating. Firing. Target: Decepticon Leader Megatron. "

The Ark's cannons, aimed to burn holes in where Perceptor approximated Megatron's jet mode engines would be, launched two blasts of intense laser blasts.

Perceptor was already calculating how likely it would harm Megatron. The best case scenario was if Megatron's spark was hit, but that was a mere 3.251% chance, considering how well-armoured the Decepticon leader was. The next-best case scenario was a 3.265% chance that it would rupture a fuel tank and take out the Decepticons directly around him. Of course, Perceptor would settle simply for the 73.349% chance of disabling the Decepticon leader.

Perceptor felt a small, nagging voice on the back of his head moaning in disgust that their shared intellect was being used for the purposes of expediting death, to calculate laser blast trajectories and the like. Illogical. Our current function is termination. Failing that, distraction. Your feelings of disgust is immaterial and irrelevant. Do cease.

We are- I am not meant for this barbaric activity. I am only deigning to do this because there are no any other way to save the civilians. Convex replied curtly, but it's clear that Perceptor simply did not care, for the scientist was already locking on to another target, the six-changer Sixshot, and fired.
 
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Old 2017-02-13, 07:50 PM   #9
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Archaeological dig, Cybertron

Kneeling in his trench, Drillshaft carefully teased layers of rubbish apart with his trowel. The conviction that he was onto something had kept him going here, in the first strip trench near the centre of the dig, when the others had moved away.

The near silence was punctuated by the short, painful screech of one of the sudden strata-shifts that had started to worry him. Any metallurgist would be worried to hear slippage as the compacted industrial waste of vorns settled deeper under its own weight towards the Sonic Canyons floor proper, but he was certain that the sound was becoming more regular, more frequent and coming from directly below the dig.

His trowel caught, jagged his fingers. Careless, he thought. I'm listening rather than looking.

Then he noticed in what the trowel had caught and recognised the shape of a cog.

He stood, hearing his locomotory pistons hiss in protest, and radioed: "Find!"
 
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Old 2017-02-14, 02:33 AM   #10
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Shuttle Bay:

Ginrai stiffened in salute as Optimus approached him. "Where the Decepticons are concerned, I am always ready for battle."

He then turned to Hardhead. "Excellent, Hardhead. We will stop the Decepticons from achieving heir goals, no matter the cost."

Chromedome rolled into the bay, transforming to robot mode as Stylor transformed to head mode and locked into place atop Chromedome's shoulders.

"Why are there two Primes?"

Stylor mentally went through what he knew about the crew assignments for the mission. "I think that's....... Our heavy support unit?"

"That doesn't answer my question. There are two Optimus Primes. Why are there two Optimus Primes?"

"Your guess is as good as mine, buddy."


Chromedome walked over to the weapon racks, grabbing two laser carbines.
 
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Old 2017-02-14, 03:50 AM   #11
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Cybertron Airspace

Stepping out of the hangar, Deathsaurus spread his wings to glide down to the surface. Beside him, the diminuative form of Esmeral linked with Eaglebreast to fly alongside him.

"Look, Esmeral," Deathsaurus said sadly, "look what's happened to our home. I shouldn't have left."

"You did what you needed to do," said Esmeral, maneuvering Eaglebreast next to Deathsaurus's head, "Besides, you couldn't have done anything to prevent that combiner madness. You, of all people, know what an arms race is like."

Cybertron's loss had hit Deathsaurus hard. Esmeral was less sentimental, and had been trying to get her conjunx to focus on looking forward. They hadn't even lived on Cybertron for thousands of years anyway, after all.

"You're right, I know. Unfortunately, guilt cannot be so logically assuaged." Deathsaurus nodded sharply as he finished, a signal for the pair to steel themselves for what lie ahead.

-----------------------------------------------------------

Shuttle Bay The Ark

Sentinel strode into the chaos of the shuttle bay. He spotted Hardhead and stepped off towards him. Early in the war, Sentinel remembered, he'd given Hardhead a medal. One of the few that Sentinel didn't end up regretting. Sentinel had always liked Hardhead, thought him one of the few Autobots who had the attitude it takes to win wars. On the way across the hangar, Sentinel spotted Optimus, and regarded the Autobot commander with a glare of barely disguised contempt.

"Hardhead!" Sentinel called, frowning beneath his faceplate at the scene of a veteran Autobot gesticulating with a tank barrel, "I've been informed that I might be needed for.. whatever it is that's been dug up down there. I have not been informed, however, which of these soldiers is supposed to escort me while we're down there."
 
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Old 2017-02-14, 04:41 AM   #12
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Shuttle Bay, the Ark

"Very good, Ginrai." Optimus Prime nodded at his doppelganger, before turning to regard Hardhead as the ship's security officer approached them. "Excellent, Hardhead. Autobots... we will not allow the Decepticons victory this day, and neither will we allow the archaeologists to fall to them. Get ready for deployment!"

Sentinel Prime's arrival to the shuttle bay, and the undisguised glare from the former Autobot leader, was not unnoticed by Optimus. He does not like you- us- very much, doesn't he? The part of Optimus that was Diac mused.

Sentinel is a good leader. He and I disagreed on many things, but he still deserves respect. Envy is an unpleasant beast, however, and in time it seems to have eroded Sentinel's opinion in myself. Diac, it would not do for us to incite conflict.

I do not intend to.

Optimus Prime gave a curt nod in the direction of Sentinel, before turning to Hardhead, Ginrai and Chromedome. "Take the shuttle, Autobots. Time is of the essence, and I will run interference." As he said this, A pair of wings and jetpacks unfolded out of Optimus Prime's back.

You just want to break out the new flight tech.

Yes.

Optimus' jet boosters activated as he hovered above the ground, while the Ark's bay doors opened fully. "Autobots, roll out!" With that triumphant roar, Optimus shot into Cybertron's night sky, a blazing comet headed towards the small armada of Decepticons descending upon the dig site.
 
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Old 2017-02-14, 04:48 PM   #13
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Cybertron Airspace

Megatron saw the blasts incoming and tried to dodge, but Doomshot once again fought him for control of their flight path. The Decepticon leader silently cursed both his partner and his new jet mode, which didn't have the same thick armour as his robot or tank forms. It still absorbed most of the energy of the blast, but enough energy made it through to put one of his two engines out of commission.

"How dare you!" Megatron bellowed inside his own cockpit.

"How dare I? Easily." Doomshot smiled. "We both know that if you'd dodged that blast, you would have turned around and led a charge on the Autobot starship. But our objective today isn't killing Autobots, no, it's capturing scientists. Scientists that are down on the ground -- where you need to head now that you're hobbling on one engine."

Megatron snarled. "I promise you, Doomshot, one day I will repay you this injury tenfold!"

"Must you be so dramatic? The damage is superficial and your self-repair systems will have fixed it before the mission is over. Consider it an...unconventional way to keep you on task, yes..." Doomshot couldn't quite keep the glee from his voice. "Now be a good little Decepticon leader and carry on with the mission. I shall deal with the Autobots, yes... You worry about crashing in one piece."

Doomshot slammed a fist into the cockpit's release lever, then pushed himself up into the airstream that grabbed him and pulled him from inside Megatron. At the same time, one of the secondary pods on the Decepticon leader's wings detached and unfolded. The two fell into one another and the mini-vehicle folded itself around Doomshot's body, taking on the form of a red dragon with golden wings. Then the dragon's wings snapped open and Doomshot glided upwards, a gout of flame shooting from his mouth.

"Sixshot, you and I will engage the Autobot starship. We need to make sure their gunner is too busy to target our troops. We don't want anyone else to suffer the same...unfortunate fate as our dear leader, no... Deathsaurus, lead the rest of the troops down to the planet's surface. Find Megatron, then get on with the mission. We'll join you shortly."

Doomshot didn't technically have the authority to order the other Decepticons around when he wasn't connected to Megatron. But in the short time they'd been paired he'd learned that the other Decepticons were so desperate for any sign of competent leadership from their commander that most of them would happily take orders from his Titan Master instead, just so long as they made sense.
_____________________________________________________

Bridge, The Ark

"Good," Furos told Convex. "There are sky-sleds in the forward bay if you miss the shuttle. Good luck."

The tactical officer nodded curtly, then headed for the lift.
_____________________________________________________

Shuttle Bay, The Ark

Hardhead acknowledged Ginrai's words with a "nod" of his barrel. "Agreed, sir. Failure is not an option!"

As Sentinel Prime came up to speak to him, Hardhead was joined by an arriving Furos. The Titan and his Master transformed and combined without the need for any visible communication between the two. Now in robot mode, he greeted the former Autobot leader with a salute (not technically required, but in his opinion certainly warranted). "A pleasure to have you with us, sir."

Hardhead glanced across the bay himself, his optics narrowing when he spotted Chromedome. Even with the mercurial Stylor serving as his Titan Master, he knew that the other Autobot was one of the most dedicated and talented warriors they had. "Soldier, do you have orders yet? If not, you can consider yourself assigned to VIP protection detail."

Hardhead grabbed several extra shatter-blaster magazines from the rack that the soldiers were wheeling up and snapped them into the storage braces inside his left leg. Then he clamped several extra shells for his main cannon into the storage on his right. Lastly, he pulled back the charging handle on his rifle and quickly inspected the barrel before slamming in a fresh magazine. Behind his faceplate, the Autobot smiled at the prospect of battle as he climbed aboard the shuttle.

Soon now...very soon...
 
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Old 2017-02-15, 12:50 AM   #14
Heinrad
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Shuttle Bay, Ark:


Chromedome turned as Hardhead came over to him. His optic band widened slightly at the arrival of Sentinel Prime.

"Oh, great. Him."

"He was a good leader, Stylor."

"Given what he allowed to have happen under his watch, how can you say that?"

"Anyone can lose their way, Stylor. The road to the inferno is paved with good intentions."

"Perhaps. But can't the same argument be made for the Decepticons?"

"None of their intentions can ever be called good. Not after what we've been through."


"VIP detail, Hardhead? Who will I be protecting? Optimus?"
----

Ginrai watched Sentinel enter the bay as he boarded the shuttle.

"His disgrace stains us all."

"The orange guy?"

"Yes, Ginrai. Sentinel. But no Prime. Not anymore. He never should have been. He was weak. He took the easy way."

"He must have been at some point. Otherwise, they wouldn't have made him a Prime, would they?"

"No one is perfect."


Ginrai took a seat, waiting for the shuttle launch.
 

Last edited by Heinrad; 2017-02-15 at 02:34 AM.
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Old 2017-02-15, 11:19 AM   #15
tahukanuva
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Cybertron Airspace

"Affirmative, Doomshot. Be careful up there. I'm sure the Autobots intend to play for keeps, considering the stakes."

"All right, Decepticons!" Deathsaurus bellowed over the comms, "Form up around me! As you can see, our esteemed leader has been injured. We need to get down there, we need to retrieve him, and then we need to clear out that excavation site. When we get there, do what you can to take prisoners, because any intel we can pry out of them could prove valuable. If any of them pose a threat, however, shoot them dead. Whatever we lose in knowledge, we'll gain in making the rest more.. cooperative."

It had been quite a while since Deathsaurus had directly commanded a precise operation like this. While the heat of battle was invigorating, he'd grown surprisingly comfortable commanding from behind the battle lines. He hoped he was still up to the task. Not to mention the new and very stressful variable of fighting with his wife mounted to his shoulders.

"Are you ready for your first taste of conflict, my dear?" he said more privately.

Esmeral hesitated, "I.. think so. I'm excited for the experience. But I also don't remember the last time I was this nervous."

"Heh. Neither do I."
 
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Old 2017-02-15, 01:58 PM   #16
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Airspace

"Watch out!" Revolver's warning cry was drowned out by the sound of plates moving, panels retracting, and the whoosh of air as Revolver was greeted with the arid Cybertron air slamming onto his face. Sixshot had transformed out of his jet mode into his winged wolf, which juked down at an arc that caused the blast -- and several follow-up shots -- to completely miss.

It took several moments for Revolver to realize what happened -- whoever was abroad the Ark fired multiple shots to account for Sixshot dodging the first one, but they were all calculated based on what Sixshot would do if he was in jet mode. By transforming into wolf mode, everything was different -- flight path, aerodynamics, speed of flight, even Sixshot's center of gravity were all altered.

Sixshot folded back up into his jet mode, and the whoosh of air was cut short as the cockpit slid itself around Revolver. The Titan Master said nothing -- Sixshot was not one for conversation in battle, and Revolver respected that.

Revolver watched as Doomshot separated from Megatron, and ordered them to pursue. "Acknowledged, sir." Sixshot replied, doing a quick barrel roll to reverse his flight path. Revolver detected a hint of pleasure in Sixshot's voice. Combat! That was what his partner lived for.

Sixshot shot towards the Ark, before transforming once more, hovering above the air in his gun mode. Revolver perched above the barrel, magnetized boots keeping him attached to his larger partner, and nodded with approval as Sixshot's weapon systems hummed to life, and launched several purple blasts of compressed sonic energy and laser blasts towards the Autobot ship.
__________________________________________

"Not today!" Optimus Prime's wings angled backwards as he accelerated forwards and down. The Autobot leader pulled out his double-barreled Barrage Cannon, and launched two explosive shells straight at Sixshot. The projectiles impacted on the side of Sixshot's barrel, disturbing the six-changer's aim that Sixshot's assault hit the hull of the Ark as opposed to its bridge or weapon systems. It was not enough to disable the six-changer, but it did help stave off the attack on the Ark's more essential parts.

Megatron is not stopping. The part that was Diac observed.

I know my old adversary, young Diac. Taunt him. Confusing the Decepticons' leadership would throw the troops into disarray.

"Megatron!" Optimus Prime yelled out loud as he accelerated towards Sixshot and Doomshot were at, launching another round of blasts from his barrage cannon, this time at Doomshot. "Come face me, coward!"
__________________________________________

Bridge, the Ark

Perceptor barely noticed Furos as he left, so focused was he in attacking the Decepticons. He nodded in slight satisfaction as his first set of blasts hit Megatron, but frowned to himself when Sixshot avoided his next barrage. Unacceptable. Not considering an enemy's multiple forms of transformation -- variables that are not calculated.

Don't be so hard on yourself, Perceptor. We all make mistakes.

Not me.

Convex shut up after that, which Perceptor appreciated. In combat, that was a distraction. His mind quickly set to work compensating for the wind, for the sudden jerk in flight path that the pilot of the Ark took when Sixshot screamed towards them. Perceptor was unfazed as Sixshot's blasts raked the side of the shuttle, though it did send some of the less-experienced Autobots into a panic.

Chances at hitting Doomshot: a mere 65.84%. Too small, too agile, and he's moving away. Primary objective is the defense of the civilians.

Chances at hitting Sixshot: 98.56%, yet the variables involved in his multiple changeforms puts in a wildcard factor Perceptor isn't comfortable with gambling at. Threat level is high, however, yet at the same time he is not engaging the civilians. The Ark can take another hit, and Sixshot would probably be occupied by Optimus Prime at the moment. On the other, other hand, Perceptor would really, really love to cut Sixshot open, see how the Decepticons managed the impossible -- five changeforms!

Barbaric! Convex yelled in Perceptor's mind. How could you even consider that?

Discovery requires experimentation. Besides, I am not talking about torture -- an autopsy is hardly barbaric.

Chances at hitting Megatron, on the other hand? The distance is a factor, and the battle raging between Optimus, Sixshot and Doomshot might prove a challenge. Yet the Decepticon leader is crippled, and he's also a high-priority target. Cut off the head. Pay him back. Eye for an eye. Perceptor zeroed in on the Decepticon leader once more, and fired another round blasts aimed at Megatron.
 
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Old 2017-02-15, 06:47 PM   #17
Warcry
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Cybertron Airspace

Megatron let out a roar of incoherent rage as Optimus Prime taunted him, but he didn't turn back. But then he couldn't turn back, since one of his engines were on fire.

Then another barrage of laser fire cut through the air right behind him, coming close enough to blacken his armour.

I'm a sitting duck up here. Which means I need to not be here.

The Decepticon leader took a look at the distance that still remained between him and the ground, then grumbled and said to himself, "I can make it."

So he transformed to robot mode and fell like a rock. A headless rock, at that.
_____________________________________________________

Doomshot responded to Deathsaurus. "Don't worry about me. I'm too small of a target for the ship's guns to hit."

I hope.

"Sixshot, do as much damage to the ship as you can, but concentrate on avoiding damage. We don't need to destroy them, no, we just need to keep them busy until they've moved away from the target zone."

As he spoke, Doomshot fired a gout of flame across one of the ship's targeting sensors, trying to baffle the Autobots' gunner.
_____________________________________________________

Mindwipe smiled when he heard Deathsaurus's instructions. He looked forward to planting his feet on the ground of their ruined homeworld.

"As you command, blah."

The bat tucked his wings in closer, falling into a steep dive as his thrusters kicked in to give him more speed.
_____________________________________________________

Shuttle Bay, The Ark

Hardhead gave Chromedome a mildly disapproving look. "Do you really think Optimus would accept an escort, even if he needed one?"

Although Hardhead respected Optimus Prime both as a leader and a soldier, he did not relish serving with him directly. His usual billet had been in spacedock for refits when he'd been pulled for this assignment, after putting in several years of uninterrupted exploration duty. He'd been blessed on that assignment to have a captain who knew that his place was on the bridge and let his tactical, science and technical teams conduct their planetside operations without interference. And while Hardhead knew that Optimus Prime was more than capable of taking care of himself, he was a high-value target just by his mere presence in a combat zone and made the other Autobots' jobs quite a bit more difficult.

Sentinel, thankfully, was more practical in that regard.

"No, I need you to watch over Sentinel Prime."

Although he wouldn't say so in front of their former leader, he trusted Chromedome would understand the unspoken instruction that he was to both protect the ex-Prime and ensure that he didn't try to do anything that ran against their mission. Because if Optimus was a target, Sentinel was something much, much worse: a wild card. Hardhead respected him for what he'd done in the past, but that didn't mean he trusted him. Sentinel had been out of the game too long, and bringing him along was a sign of just how desperate this mission really was.
 
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Old 2017-02-16, 12:03 AM   #18
Clogs
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Archaeological dig, Cybertron

Driveshaft became more certain of what he had as he carefully probed around the 'cog': it appeared to be cylindrical, each wide tooth actually a groove along its length. It looked like the other, recovered by Fossar and Ramp in the earliest phase of the project, but was a fraction of the size.

All the archaeologists had gathered quickly at the trench, trowels and brushes in hand, and Drill had brought over a padded tray. One of the team was a recording unit and had deployed three camera drones.

"It's embedded," Driveshaft noted as he moved quickly to release his find. "Straight down. There was quite loose material above it. I think I can get it out without compromising anything."

"Do it," a fem returned. She leaned forwards eagerly: Fossar, a delicate symphony in pink and cerise, her 'tyre' wings indicating she had a two-wheeled robot mode configuration.

Glyph concurred. "I think we can already guess where it comes from..."

A few heads turned to glance at the shrouded bier placed near the entrance way, skilled measuring optics noting that this was most likely.

Furiously raking at the detritus, Driveshaft grunted, pulled the find free. He stood, wiped it with a slip of metallic fabric. "Cybertonium. High grade purity by the surface sheen, but I can't say how high grade until we get it to the surface for analysis, which we cannot do with the other one."

"Reckon it's a match, then," Drilled observed, his Earth British West Country drawl very distinctive, even electronically. "And worth a fortune."

"We only need a thin application of frictionless Cybertronium to maintain our tranforming mechanisms," Glyph observed. "This is unprecedented!"
 

Last edited by Clogs; 2017-02-16 at 12:05 AM. Reason: I must stop the autocorrect...
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Old 2017-02-16, 03:35 AM   #19
Heinrad
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Shuttle Bay, Ark:


Chromedome could feel Stylor's wince at what Hardhead said. "We'll keep an eye on him."

"On top of trying to keep the Decepticons from stealing whatever the dig team found, we have to guard a war criminal?"

"Look, I know you don't like him. I'm not his biggest fan, either. But he used to be our leader. He was a good mech, once. Maybe he can be again."

"When allicons fly. Without rocket assist."


****
Shuttle:

"What are you doing?"

"I can't fly. I do have jump jets, but at best they might slow our landing before we crashed into the surface."

"We can take a sky-sled. We'll get down there faster so we can defend the dig team. And I really don't feel like sharing a shuttle with..... Him."

"Sentinel."

"His actions shame us all."

"Fine. I just want to say that I've been online for barely a month, and even I know this probably isn't a good idea."

"Don't worry, Ginrai. I'll make you into a hero."


Ginrai stood and strode out of the shuttle. He stopped in front of Hardhead and Chromedome. "Since time is of the essence, I propose taking one of the sky-sleds and making for the surface to guard the dig team until the shuttle arrives."

******
Dig Site:

"BEEP!"

Nightbeat stared at his commlink. "I know they aren't responding. They did mention something about comms interference."

"BEEP BEEP!"

"You've worked with them longer than I have." He looked back up at the sky. "Ouch. Looks like our boys hit one of them pretty good. Yup, his Titan just ejected.... And the jet's coming down....." His optics widened behind his visor. "Oh, this day just gets better and better......"

"BEEP?"

"I think that's Megatron coming in for a hard landing."
 
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Old 2017-02-16, 05:53 AM   #20
Blackjack
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Cybertron Airspace

"Well, that's just embarrassing." Optimus Prime mused to himself as Megatron transformed and crash-landed, a headless robot. The Autobot leader shook his head at his nemesis's honestly quite hilarious fate, before changing his attention, and aimed his barrage canon at Doomshot. He's as dangerous as Megatron is, despite his size.

"Time to join your partner." Optimus Prime said, before pulling the trigger.
_____________________________________________________

"Affirmative, sir." Sixshot replied, before realizing that Optimus Prime had turned his attention to the two of them. Good. He relished a fight -- but orders are orders. Still...

Sixshot launched another barrage from his gun mode at the Ark, but before the blasts hit their mark, the six-changer transformed into his robot mode. Revolver folded and clicked into place onto the port on Sixshot's headless body, and Sixshot's combat helmet clicked into place. The six-changer let out a roar as he grabbed his concussion cannons, and returned fire, intercepting Optimus Prime's bullets before they made contact with Doomshot.

"I would consider this maneuver avoiding damage, sir." Sixshot replied as his optics narrowed. "Come, Prime. Pick on someone your own size."
_____________________________________________________

The Ark

Perceptor scowled. He had launched another barrage of attacks to hit the wounded Megatron (illogical! Why would he transform into his robot mode without his Titan Master?) but the gout of fire from Doomshot added a whole new slew of variables for Perceptor to consider. By reflex, he pulled the trigger anyway, but the shots fired lanced so far out of target that they did not even come close to hitting Megatron or any of the Decepticons with him.

Then Sixshot's second barrage hit the hull of the ship, and Perceptor could see from the computer readings that the assault had torn apart at least two of the Ark's gun batteries. "Status report, helmsman!" Perceptor yelled.

"Forward shields holding at 45%, Perceptor, sir! We can't take much more of that assault. Maybe once or twice, and we'll be forced to retreat!"

"Divert power from the posterior shields and auxiliary engines three through six onto the forward shields." Perceptor rattled off, as part of his brain continued to calculate how to best attack, and decided that Sixshot is the priority right now -- he's close, and big enough to hit compared to the elusive Doomshot. "And start pulling back and get ready to jump back to Athenia the moment Hardhead's group disembarks -- the Ark is not an asset we should be losing for this skirmish."
 
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