Argosy, Arise!

Who: Michael Briar, Cyclonus, Fusillade, Galvatron, Kup, Markdown, Octane, Redshift, Scourge, Scrapper, Sixshot, Soundwave, Springer, Slag, Twitch, Ultra Magnus
IC Year: 2029
Location: Skies Over Antarctica - Earth
TP: Airbase Argosy

The <Argosy> is unveiled!! A hungry, hungry flying monstrosity migrates south to feed

<Decepticon> Mother Goose Fusillade says, "Decepticon units, report to the construction zone of New Crystal City. Intel, keep a sharp eye on our physical and network defenses."

<Decepticon> Redshift says, "On my way!"

<Decepticon> Galvatron says, "I want to see a combat air patrol of one hundred nautical miles at all times until the carrier has reached the third waypoint."

<Decepticon> Sixshot says, "Nothing can keep me away from seeing to this personally Lord Galvatron...(/belatedly/) and Fusillade."

Speeding above the ocean is a sleek red and black spacecraft. The sharply curved, forward sweeping wings and large thursters make Redshift's identity obvious to anyone who's met the abrasive, self-induglent Decepticon fighter. He angles his trajectory, taking up a position roughly one hundred nautical miles from the shoreline of New Crystal City, to begin his first super-sonic patrol of the perimiter.

Redshift transforms into his sleek spacecraft mode and takes to the air.

Octane is flying in a circutous flight path above New Crystal City as his cruising speed, muttering to himself, as he maintain station and waits for the operation to begin. He is, quite simply, bored and wants the action to begin in which, of course, he will be magnificent. Maybe.

Late afternoon casts a harsh fall light on the docks of New Crystal City. The typically dark monolith of the airbase looks different today, though. A distinct acrid tang of ozone permeates the air, along with a hazy scorching from the camouflage netting. Upon closer inspection of the heavily guarded Decepticon project, the cause is clear: lazily pulsating in bands along the lower and upper flight surfaces of the craft are pulses of purplish pink plasma, flickering and drifting like an aurora. Depending on their role, some Decepticons may already be inside the behemoth, manning stations, while others may be cruising through the air in patrols set in place by Galvatron. As for Fusillade, she's anxiously pacing atop the uppermost viewing deck that lies atop the actual bridge of the craft, as if loathe to descend into the richly appointed command area. She keeps glancing down at the tremendous subway-sized cables leading into the two tines of the craft's forward ion collectors. "We will have to make haste to Antartica's heights to recharge this craft," she remarks to those nearby.

Galvatron is standing atop the deck, hands clasped behind his back after his usual fashion. He seems calm and confident, not pacing or clenching his fists as he does when he's angry or excited. Today he's in his role as general, not champion; he

"No need to wait any longer. I'm going below. You'll probably want to be inside, these arcs get nasty." Fusillade states, demeanor unusually subdued. Could it be stress from having so much invested in this craft? Why couldn't she just snap off a witty one-liner? Well, the answer lies in the nearby purple Emperor -- although she does smirk a bit as she palms out a glittery rhinestone tag inlaid with gold and pink lettering that spells out 'Princess'. "Oh, Kitbash..." She chuckles a bit, before snapping it back into an arm compartment, and shimmies down the hatch into the command deck proper. She doesn't quite deign to seat herself in the command dias as she stalks around the different stations. Satisfied, she gives a brief nod. With fore and middle fingers extended, she shifts wrist forward in the universal, silent 'Go'. Magic time.

The tall figure of the sixchanger as he appeared from the northwest was simply dwarfed by the size of the airbase that had been in construction and reconstruction for several weeks at a time. A lot of resources and effort had been invested by all manner of Decepticons from raids to engineering aspects, and finally today was the day it'd pay off. Either that, or someone was going to face the full wrathe of Galvatron's cannon. Sixshot was happy to say, it would not be him either way.

"I wouldn't worry about defense, let's hope this space-turkey can even get off the ground." Saying to no one in particular, he would stick to the patrols about the airbase, ensuring that little to none got through to cause damage to the work of 'art'. Without much pause, he leapt into the air, shifting modes to circle about then path his perimeter upon launch as per orders.

<Decepticon> Several blocks along the non-essential areas of New Crystal City base flicker and dim.

<Decepticon> Geo says, "... hey, the oil dip is cooling down!"

<Decepticon> Tracing the energy drain will reveal that this is no attack! A resonant, insistant thrumming begins to permeate the city foundations.

Galvatron glances around at Fusillade's warning. "Mm," he acknowledges with a samurai grunt, turning to head inside before he can get his finish scuffed by an artificial lightning strike.

Red Spacecraft doesn't take long to complete a curcuitious route along the 100 mile perimiter. With no sign of any intruders in the sky anywhere in the vicinity, Redshift deviates from his flight path, to make a quick approach towards the docks to get a glimpse of the air base as it prepares for it's maiden voyage. << Impressive! >> Is his first impression of the Decepticon's newest toy. << It's certainly big enough to make anyone think twice about attacking it. >> He quips over local radio, before making a banking turn to head back to the patrol radius.

The launch site is a wonder to behold, even for those flying escort some distance away from the airbase. The lazily wending bands of plasma intensify and spike in jagged triangles along the multitude of ailerons and flight surfaces, even as the drain darkens the docks and residential areas of the city. A high whistling whine begins to be audible over the pulsating thrum of powering up systems. Those outside the ship will feel a tingle along servos from the sheer volume of electromagnetic shuffling. And then, with a pleased drum of fingers steepled in front of her, Fusillade reports, "Everything's priming itself fine, Galvatron. Did you want to give the command for lift off?" To Redshift, Fusillade responds, << Oh, they'll try it ANYWAY. Hence the escort. If you are interested in advancing your place in the Empire, Redshift, serving as an attache to this base will be an excellent Fast Track to Promotion. >>

<Decepticon> The power to several bunkers in the residential completely cuts off. The holo arena unceremoniously dumps out a trio of tank gumbies as it powers down.

Octane decides to sligthly break, or bend, or misshape the rules as he dips down to give a flyby over the construction site for a view of the converted vessel before banking upward and heading generally in Redshift's direction as he radios him directly. <<Ha! This thing is large, yes, and complex but it is a pipe dream. If it flies then I'm...I'm...what are those human creatures with the bills and webbed feet? Oh, yes...a cat! If it fies then I'm a cat!"

<Earth> Several privately maintained satellites linked to EDC and Autobot early warning systems squawk with anomalous energy spikes in New Crystal City. Could the Constructicons be playing patty cake again?

Galvatron steps up beside Fusillade on the bridge. "Bring her up to speed and take her out," he intones with grave satisfaction. "Easy as you go."

Redshift would smirk at Fusillade's comment, if he was equipped with a mouth in this mode. A chuckle over the radio will have to suffice. << I look forward to any Autobot interference, Executrix Fusillade! I haven't had a good scrap since taking potshots at the Quint drones and blasting into thier command ship... What's with all the lightning, anyway? >> Redshift asks, although he probaly wouldn't understand the answer.

Sixshot had done his home work enough to know better than to draw too close to the crackling charges, he kept to his route some distance away, but checking several times on his viewports and scanners to see how the airbases' progress went. The fact that he picked patrol over standing in the ship itself...well. Let's just say he was waiting to see how it did on the mainden flight first. It wouldn't do if it imploded without warning under the stress or some unknown engineering quirk! With him on it. << I hope you're prepared to back up that statement Octane. >> He chimed in shortly after the triplechanger's boast.

Octane makes a dimissive sound as he flies on toward the perimeter line, as was printed in his instructions, as it looks like the ship is about to move. He flicks on his radio again as he begins to broadcast toward Sixshot's comm. <There is no need to concern yourself with that, Sixshot! I have studied all this very carefully and what they said that ship can do it ill not be able to, no matter the power pumped into it.>

Okay, NOW the ebulliance has set in. Much like a sixteen year old given the keys to daddy's Corvette, the bomber bounces up and down on thrustered feet, wingblades rattling in their holsters. A quickly muffled squeak escapes her before she claps hands over her mouth with an abashed gaze at Galvatron. Turning archly on one foot, she ahems. "Navigation, take her up."

Several very well compensated ground crews race along the moorings of the cradle that held the dihedral-winged airbase upright during its incubation, dodging some of the nastier build ups of static electricity that light up at the roots of the massive base. There's a pregnant pause, and with a ponderous lurch, the craft rends itself free of the constraints of earth and gravity. Snaps and pops drown out any other sound as the oversized gravlifts crackle along its belly, exploding anything left on the ground that has circuitry within, and leaving the entire beach underneath ruined. Gale force winds whip away camo netting and falling debris as the plasma sheathed ailerons pump air away from the belly of the beast, lowing air pressure above, and increasing it below, to the point that the entire mile-wide monstrosity has lift. Ever so slowly, it begins to teeter up in altitude, crews scrambling to make sure the first sortie goes down in the record books as a success.

<<Helps it fly, Redshift!>> Fusillade yells into radio over the crackling interference. She looks over her shoulder at the Emperor. "S-Sorry about your beach, eh-heh."

"We can always send Long Haul for more sand if we should need any," replies Galvatron coolly; he is not a 'long walks on the beach' kind of Decepticon. "Watch the tower on the right."

< Outside > Red Spacecraft has no idea of lightning(or really it's plasma) can keep anything in the air, let alone something as massive as the new air base. But, that's why it's his job to /be/ a badass aircraft, and not /design/ badass aircraft. <<Whatever it is, it certainly works!>> He quips, since even from so far away he can see the massive airframe of the Argosy taking flight.

< Outside > Decepticon Airbase <Argosy> adjusts trim and pitch as the crews get their bearings.

< Outside > And flying upwards just now is none other than the evil Soundwave. Well.... of COURSE he's evil. But at the moment, he is not doing anything terribly evil, just following the airbase around and observing its take-off. Inwardly he was taken by surprise by the raw force this thing's putting out. Massive anti-gravity engines and the usage of plasma in control surfaces? Pretty impressive technology.

< Outside > Octane pretends to be fully confident of the airship's flight, even though he was saying a moment ago, as he banks to the right and dips down for a better view of it. He studies it for a moment before clicking his com on again and summoning up all the bluster he can muster. "Oh, why, yes, well...that was merely a joke on my part! I have every faith in our superior Decepticon engineering and I was merely expressing humor when I said it wouldn't. Therefore I won't have to do involve myself with this cat business at all.

The door to the command centre opens up, and Scrapper marches in. He had been down in engineering helping with the final preparations and monitoring the initial power-up sequence (and other related technobabble). Several unplayed Constructicons are down in the engineering section looking over the totally wicked cool power systems. Scrapper pops in just in time to hear Fusillade mention something about the beach. "Ah, yes. Sand," Scrapper says in reply to Galvatron. Surely Galvatron is just kidding - New Crystal City is made of metal! "How are we doing up here?" he asks Fusillade.

Galvatron strides to the captain's throne and seats himself where he can sweep his cool red gaze over all the bridge crew. "An advantage of cyberforming," replies Galvatron, who personally has always had a fondness for covering the rather unappealing (to his sense of aesthetics) Earth terrain with great slabs of sheet steel nailed down with railroad spikes.

< Outside > The cyberformed beach is now black and cratered, but that, and even New Crystal City, soon fade in the distance. The Argosy hauls itself free of the coccoon of the Docks, and moves to the feeding grounds of the Van Allen Belts to the south. The Antarctic and the funneled magnetosphere would be the source of most of the craft's sustenance, long term consequences to the Earth's environment be damned. For now, though, the forward ion collectors remain sheathed, and after the initial shock from the spectacle of the ship's birthing and ascent. Those escorting the craft will be able to better appreciate the smooth coursing of plasma glow along its form now that it's at altitude. Some of the more adventurous crews try to nose it down, but quickly get discouraged not by the looming menace of Galvatron, nor the pacing Fusillade, nor the pleased Scrapper, but the Argosy itself. "Current heading places ship under minimum operating altitude." This continues a few more times before Fusillade wises up, and swats the teal and pink Seeker on the back of the helm. "Behave!" she reprimands sharply, casting a glance back Galvatron's way. But, it was in the air. That's what mattered. The airbase continues south, energy stores rapidly depleting...

< Outside > You take off and soar upward to Skies above the Southwest Pacific.

< Outside > Gale-force winds, good for gliders but bad news for anyone trying to fly against them, whip the ocean into foam against the aqua and deep brown patches of ring-shaped atolls below. Rookeries of white and black seabirds take advantage of the relative isolation and fish-rich seas around the Polynesian archipelagos, with entire armadas suspending themselves on the buffeting gusts. A prevailing southerly flow of air imports polar air from the south, fluffy cumulus clouds whisked along by the upper level jetstreams.

< Outside > Red Spacecraft lifts up into the air, following the air base's flight plan as well as he can. He makes the required course corrections to maintain a roughly 100 mile radius patrol around the Argosy. With his superior speed and maneuverability it's easy to for him to keep on track, and he keeps his meagre sensors scanning for any intruders into the defended airspace.

<Earth> The disruptions continue, and eventually, a visual fix on the source, situated over the Southwest Pacific, becomes visible. A gargantuan, gull-winged base, complete with twin runways trailing from it like a swallow's tail, looms into sight. Its bearing seem to be carrying it due south. The Decepticons' latest project has arrived. Behold, Argosy.

<Decepticon> Geo says, "Oooh."

< Outside > Octane is maintaing station keeping with the airbase as it flies on, wiggling his wings with an apparently disconsolate air, as he resumes mumbling to himself. "It will all end in tears, I know it."

"It'll smooth out," Scrapper replies, though his tone suggests it might be more hopeful than assured. The Constructicon immediately heads to one of the unfilled middle tier engineering stations, tapping in several commands to bring up a diagnostic of the ship's systems. He could be doing this down in the engineering section himself, but then he doesn't get to watch the reactions of his fellow Decepticons, nor see all the action on the large video display. Scrapper eyes the energon consumption graph with only a tiny bit of nervousness, and a lot of excitement.

"You did fill it with enough charge to make it to the southern aurora, Scrapper... ?" asks/demands Galvatron from the central throne, with a note of warning in his voice.

< Outside > You fly the vast distance south to the Skies above Antarctica.

< Outside > Pristine, glacial white polar ice caps stretch below, from horizon to horizon. Only the edges of the continent are broken up by mountain ranges and ice shelves, home to research outposts and oil prospecting rigs. The vicious winds and powerful jetstreams buffet any would-be travelers, who will find these skies remarkably barren of any kind of life. The day-long summers don't bring much relief because they spawn turbulent ice storms. Traditional compasses and navigation equipment are useless at the pole. The only respite are the auroras above, which almost make up for the abuse.

< Outside > From Autobot Shuttle < Ol' Rusty >, Springer is sitting next to Kup in the co-pilot's chair. His optic brows go up slightly as the Argosy comes into view on the shuttle's main screen. He stares for a while, then ventures, "You know Kup, every time we hear about something like this, I keep hoping that when we actually get out here to investigate it'll turn out to be some kind of prank. Guess it's just the optimist in me."

< Outside > From Exo-suit Glaive Unity <Michael Briar>, < OOC> Michael Briar says, "No. No I didn't. Unity, you know, to unify the EDC. At the time, the EDC was fractured. It needed a rallying icon. I thought it would make a good one. Is it not a good idea?"

"Yes mighty Galvatron," Scrapper assures his wonderful and lenient leader who would never kill an innocent Constructicon should the innocent Constructicon's calculations be off by just a bit. Scrapper's optical visor blinks while he wakes up out of dream land. "Er... yes, definitely," he says in a more confident tone.

< Outside > From Autobot Shuttle < Ol' Rusty >, Kup lets out a brief chuckle. "I know what you mean, lad. Here I was hoping it was just the Constructicons playing patty-cake, like they used to do back on Cybertron!" The Chief Advisor makes some adjustments to their flight trajectory, heading them towards the disturbing energy readings. "Somehow I doubt that's the case today, though. Not with our luck lately."

Galvatron sucks his teeth (yes, he has teeth: they are specifically for biting Fortress Maximus) with a clicking sound. "Very good. I have waited too long for this campaign to begin to be disappointed now by a mere... technical error."

< Outside > From Autobot Shuttle < Ol' Rusty >, Slag blinks, "Wait, Constructicons have cake? That mean they have PIE?!" the dinobot asks accusingly. He's in his robot mode, which makes him rather homicidal, not to mention uncomfortable, which makes him just want to kill more things.

< Outside > Evening settles over McMurdo Station, the fall weather in Antarctica already dark and blisteringly cold. A few researchers are huddled over a radiator, chatting over cocoa as they discuss the latest batch of findings about photosynthetic ice algae when several monitors sizzle and blank out. Frowning, Dr. Rosen steps over, and rather sharply slaps the screen, before stepping outside. Squinting eyes against the cold, clear night. Auroras slide over the skies, serene in their ethereal march -- until a silhouette begins to blot out a full eighth of the sky.

< Outside > Zipping around the massive airbase at the high velocity he's known for is Redshift. The sleek, redand black spaceship is orbiting the Argosy at a distance of about a hundred miles, although even at that distance it doesn't take him very long to make a curcuit around the perimiter. The sun glints off of highly-polished metal, and a long contrail makes the space-based 'con an easy target to spot. But that's the way he likes it.

< Outside > Octane is still keeping station wit hthe airbase, raising and lowering his flaps to keep the snow and any ice off them, as he idly tilts form side to side to amuse himself as he flies along relatively near to the slow pace of the airship.

< Outside > From Autobot Shuttle < Ol' Rusty >, Twitch blinks once, then again. His optics widening as he peers out the viewport at the display taking shape before them. "Uh..." One wing twitches a bit nervously. "...that looks big." The mechanical bird tape comments in a dazzling display of the obvious. "...really big."

< Outside > Keeping pace with the airbase, Sixshot had finished with how he'd continue to toy with Octane about this 'joke' of his for more discerning matters: that of doing his job. The Argosy was a feat to admire, but for the time being he pulled away from the looming ship, widening his arc to search for any other company in the sky as the other dwindled in rear-scopes. According to boasts, the airbase should be able to hande more than moderate defenses, on the other hand...if it crashed and something non-Decepticon were responsible for it-- i'd be his hide. Chances were, he wouldn't be disappointed and left without company for long. Autobots were such nosey beings.

Galvatron is sitting on the big central throne with his chin on one fist, watching the goings-on across the bridge warily.

< Outside > From Autobot Shuttle < Ol' Rusty>, Kup stares at the image on the monitors, right hand pausing in its endless flight over the command console, automatically correcting all of Ol' Rusty's little quirks he knows so well. He just stares for a moment, then looks over to Springer in the co-pilot's chair. "Am I seeing things in my old age, Springer?" he asks quietly, before craning his head to address Twitch. "It sure is, lad!" he says brightly. "But I've fought bigger things! Why, have I ever told you about the Florx Gigrantians? Now THEY were big!"

< Outside > From Autobot Shuttle < Ol' Rusty>, Slag waddles over to Kup, "Tell Slag about Forx Giggityrants! Tell Slag!"

< Outside > From Autobot Shuttle < Ol' Rusty>, Markdown, who was here the whole time, peers out the viewport, leaning over Kup a bit. "Oh, geeze... what is that thing?.." He rushes over to the weapons stations, and frowns as he tries for an IFF signature. Markdown has a bad feeling he already knows what the results will be, though...

Scrapper grins and looks over at Fusillade while she gives her safety PSA over the Decepticon broadband. "You know, sometimes I have to tell those idiots not to stare at the sun for too long or else their optics will overload. It never gets old." The Constructicon idly wonders what'll happen if a Decepticon /does/ get too close to the front end of the ship. He suspects that the Con will be sucked in and annihilated. Suddenly, an experiment idea pops into his head. Is it related to this? Only time will tell!

< Outside> Octane obeidently, if reluctantly, increases his engine speed to bank away from the ship to place him at the outer limit of the perimeter as ordered. He begins to make slightly banking movememnts, scanning the length of the ship with his radar, before returning to his previous position and pretending he hasn't been checking out the ship.

Scourge stands beside his Lord, arms crossed. A menacing red claw on the index of one hand taps reflexively on the bicep of the opposite arm. He too levels his malevolant gaze across the bridge.

Galvatron also seems to be turning something over in his head as he watches the readouts from the airship's aurora collection system start to spool up.

He meets Scrapper's eye and nods- an understanding passes between them as of old. There is something here which can be exploited by... MAD SCIENCE.

< Outside> From Exo-suit Glaive Unity <Michael Briar>, Michael Briar has been alerted to the base as well having picked it up on EDC Satcom moments after the autobots. Now he's is encased in his own exo-suit, ready to launch when given the all clear. A com officer crackles over the Unity's radio pickups, "General, you're clear to launch." A sign above flips all its lights over to green and gives a loud buzz alerting all to the impending launch. Michael nods and says, "General Briar, Unity, launch!" The electromagnetic catapult catches onto the feet of the exo-suit and propels it out of the launch hangar of the UNS Atlantis with a few arcs of electricity. The Unity is flung out over the rough seas far from where the action is but close enough that it's feasible to send a few exo-suits and armors out. Several Talon exo-armors are launched as well or jump from manual launch bays on the supercarrier's side. The Talons exo-armors pull up behind the Unity as they all speed off towards the soon to be battle.

From the control deck of the Argosy, Fusillade keeps pacing, over from the tactical monitor, to the engineering console to hang over Scrapper's shoulder briefly. A faint chime on the main viewscreen causes her to snap her head up, and with a wicked grin, she says, "Well, I think this should do it. Foreward engineering, it's time to start collecting. Can't let this dear..." She traces fingertips over the purple and gold-trimmed railing closest to her, "Go hungry."

Dr. Rosen has roused his crew by this time, and as the scientists and prospectors pile out of the reinforced walls of the research station, they gawk in amazement. The roughly manta-ray shaped craft crawls through the twilight sky at a leisurely hundred and twenty miles per hour. Ripples of plasma meander down its wings, lighting it up like a silvery reflection of the auroras above.

And then, the craft seems to tear itself apart.

The two 'horns' on its front begin to split along multiple lengthwise seams, before peeling back and away to the command deck and belly of the craft. Tremendous cores, with particle accelerators of alternating hydrogen blue and oxygen red, begin to glow, wreathing the entire front half of the craft in a St. Elmo's Fire glow. Ominous? Beautiful? What purpose could they serve? 'Cause the Decepticons sure as heck weren't just out here to do a science experiment.

< Outside> From Autobot Shuttle < Ol' Rusty>, Similarly having been here this entire time despite not seeming to be so, Ultra Magnus suddenly appears besides Markdown, hands crossed over his broad chest and looking sternly at the sight before them. "Hmmm..." he mulls out with a deep frown. "Stay careful, Autobots... who knows what that thing is capable of." Blue optics shift, looking around him before once more falling into thought.

"The only problem with this magnificent ship," Scrapper notes, "Is that we won't get a chance to see the look on the Autobots' face when they first take a gander at it, nor hear their shocked cries of fear." Scrapper taps at the controls to carry out Fusillade's orders. He then glances over his shoulder back at her and comments, "But trust me, they're doing just that right around now. Why I'd wager ten energon cubes that at least one of them has asked whether or not 'this is the end... or is it'?"

< Outside> From Autobot Shuttle < Ol' Rusty>, Kup grins and looks briefly at Slag. "Now the Florx Gigrantians were huge, Slag! They were bigger than Metroplex! In fact, they were bigger than FIVE Metroplexes stacked on each others' shoulders. And they were about as friendly as a herd of rabid Quasaurians. Which is, well, not friendly at all."

Kup pauses his narrative to make a few more adjustments, then resumes. "Now, this was back when I was a young lad, during what you young whippersnappers think of as the Golden Age. I was on my way back to Cybertron after a particularly nasty scuffle out on Praxion IV, but my shuttle crashed on Florx, a planet I'd never even heard of before." A brief chuckle as he remembers. "Not only that, but I crashed right ON one of the Gigrantians! Boy, it was not pleased to see me, I'll tell you. So I got out of Ol' Rusty, all unawares of what we had landed on, and started setting up a camp for the night. Well, if the crash hadn't done it already, all that setting up shelters and driving spikes into the Gigrantian's back sure woke it up. At first, I thought it was just an earthquake, but when that huge hand started coming towards me, blocking out the sun, I started to think a little diffe-- oh, sweet Primus!" he barks, rapidly adjusting Ol' Rusty's trajectory. "Science stations! What's that thing doing?"

< Outside> From Autobot Shuttle < Ol' Rusty>, Markdown gapes in horror at the tactical display. "Oh, geeze. I'm sorry, Kup, I can't even get a good scan on it--its energy readings are off the charts! Maybe if we had Perceptor here or something, he could make sense of these readings!" He squints at a smaller object in the corner of the display. Zooming in, he sees that it's none other than Sixshot! "But whatever the hell it is, it has a Decepticon escort! I can't believe it. How did they do this?"

"If only Soundwave was nearby to hear them from here, I would take you up on that bet, Scrapper," replies Galvatron, leaning forward in the throne and clasping his hands under his chin to watch the big screen. "I would wager instead that one of their wretched little band of misfits exclaimed that they 'couldn't possibly try to fight that,' and that another one would query if they 'could do less.'"

"Oh Scrapper," Fusillade snorts some as she leans on the back of his chair, trying to stifle a chuckle. "I'm sure it'd at least fry any Seeker that got too close, yeah, if not outright eat them! And as for the Autobots? Phht, I wouldn't wanna lose energon trying to call THAT bet." She makes a wicked smooshing-clap sound, as if killing an imaginary fly. At an alert from tactical, she stands, and gives a double-take at Scourge, before cruising past him and Galvatron to get the officer to zoom in on the ship. "Ah hah. That didn't take long. Ugh, this thing's slow..." Complaining already! "Galvatron, we have an approaching Autobot shuttle. Doesn't seem to be anything else, though. Could probably continue unimpeded, let the escort take care of them?" She solicits, one hand rising to audial, just waiting to give the word.

< Outside> Redshift is sure to keep away from the front end of the caft, having kept at the fairly strict patrol distance from the Argosy. He's a bit apprehensive, because /whatever/ it is the massive ship is doing, it's doing it for the first time. Hopefully, this doesn't become the Decepticon Version of the Hindeburg disaster! A few bogies show up on his sensors, heading towards the Argosy... Small ones. Redshift guns his engines, sweeping above the plane of the Argosy's huge wingspan, and speeds towards Michael Briar's squad of exo-suited soldiers. Laser fire blasts from his wingtips and nosecone, not so much aimed at the EDC soldiers themselves but at thier flightpath towards the Argosy, to hinder thier approach.

Galvatron nods crisply in reply to Fusillade. "Dispatch the escort fliers to intercept the shuttlecraft and shoot it down. Scourge, you may go with them if you wish."

< Outside> Octane seems to be fufilling his orders to remain away from the front of the ship more assidiously then was prievously the Autobot shuttle and the EDC shows up in the vicinity he drops his speed and begins to angle toward the rear section of the ship to use it's bulk to conceal himself from weapons fire.

< Outside> From Autobot Shuttle < Ol' Rusty>, Twitch shifts again with each motion of the shuttle, his perch on the back of Springer's seat would be tentative if not for the tight hold of his small, clawed feet. "Yeek!" He exclaims at the sudden shift in the shuttle's trajectory, barely keeping himself from being sent hurtling to the floor.

< Outside> From Autobot Shuttle < Ol' Rusty>, Kup sets his mouth in a grim line and narrows his optics at the incoming interceptors. "Slag. Get to the hatch. It's time for Operation: Dinobomb." His left hand grips the controls even tighter, while his right dances across the command console amidst a symphony of beeps and blorps.

"Weapons online! Engines to full! We're gonna bust through that screen of Decepticon jets, do a quick fly-over of the fortress, then come around to engage." The right hand leaps up, flipping a toggle above the viewscreen. "Strap yourselves in tight, lads. The ride's about to get bumpier than a Voggian Lumperkon!"

< Outside> Sixshot's attention has definately been grabbed by the appearance of the shuttle. The humans whilst a lesser threat, was still annoying but he'd already had his heart set on dealing with the more important Autobot brass that may be within. <<"What are the orders concerning the Autobot shuttle?">> Chiming in not long after Fusillade would have asked herself, <<"Or is there some kind of weapons testing that needs to be carried out?">>

Standing beside Galvatron, Scourge nods. "As you command, my liege." He steps back to make some room before backlipping into Sweepcraft mode. He hovers for a bit, turning to redirect for the exit, rocketing away as soon as he's oriented.

< Outside> From Autobot Shuttle < Ol' Rusty>, Slag sounds actually happy as he moves to the hatch. "Me Slag say Dinobombs better than regular bombs!" he looks around, "Dem Regular bombs only asplode once! Me Slag asplode things all day!"

"Sadly we shall never know which cliche they end up deciding on," Scrapper says wistfully, in the same way that some people talk about how we might never truly know what the meaning of life is, or how many licks it takes to get to the centre of a tootsie roll pop. If Scrapper knew the truth ('I can't believe it. How did they do this?') then he would be rightfully proud. He's a modest mech, but he appreciates the admiration of his enemies just as much as he does his comrades. "Escort's the main defence on this thing anyway. Once the fueling is done we can think about trying to charge a laser or two. Hold on, they might try to blast through the escorts and go straight for us."

"If they do attempt a boarding, they'll have to deal with ME," Galvatron growls with a slow, cruel grin. "The Seekers will treat them more kindly."

< Outside> Octane transforms himself before attaching himself to the side of the Argosy's hull, all in the name of keeping a low profile, before starting to haul himself up to the top deck and concealing himself behind one of the curved fins that just out from it. He carefully shimmies along it before leaning out to peek in the directopn of the Autobot shuttle before ducking back out of sight again. Surely he'll be safe up here.

< Outside> From Autobot Shuttle < Ol' Rusty>, Markdown begins to type in a bunch of commands into the weapons console. "Energy beams charging. Torpedoes booting up. Targeting systems engaged... we're ready to go, Kup!" He frowns and mutters glumly to himself. "For all the good it will do..."

The ship begins to fire brilliant crimson laser bolts at the Decepticons screening the Argosy, but it's mostly suppressive fire so far to keep the fliers from getting to organized.

< Outside> From Exo-suit Glaive Unity <Michael Briar>, One of the Talon exo-armors clicks on his com, "Sir, picking up an incoming con. One mile out and not IDed. He's closing in fast..." As Redshift fires Michael says, "Hey!" as he and the talon exo-armors break off or stop all together. The Talons pull off hard, one even transforming and coming to a halt to turn and transform back to take off in another direction. Michael says, "Talons, go with that autobot shuttle.." he points at it trying to bust though the screen of seeker jets. "...I've got this one." as he activates his energy blades. They snap hiss out of his palms forming twin blades of purple energy. "Ok Redshift, let's dance." as he leaps at the con slashing as he speeds directly towards the seeker.

The three Talons are all moving in different directions but each one responds to Michael's orders pulling their armors around and heading towards the Old Rusty. One, the closest to the autobot shuttle, begins firing out red beams of energy towards the seekers and says, "Autobot Shuttle, General Briar sent us to assist you. Common guys, let's cut 'em a path!"

< Outside> From Autobot Shuttle < Ol' Rusty>, Springer unstraps himself from the co-pilot's seat, hurrying ahead of Slag. "I'm jumping out too...I can do more good out there than onboard the shuttle!" He hits the control next to hatch, causing warning klaxons to ring out as the shuttle prepares to open while still travelling at extreme speeds. That done, Springer pauses on one side of the hatch, leaving plenty of room for Slag to exit first. He looks back at the others. "Good luck you guys!"

< Outside> From Autobot Shuttle < Ol' Rusty>, Slag nods, "Me Slag No Need Luck. Me Slag Is All Luck Need!" (wtf?!) and he prepares to simply walk out of the shuttle.

<Decepticon> Galvatron says, "Escorts, intercept the enemy! Board their ship and take them down!"

< Outside> From Autobot Shuttle < Ol' Rusty>, "Slags away!" Kup cries as Slag makes his drop. "Careful, Springer," he adds, not as loudly. The veteran of veterans begins a pattern of evasive maneuvering, but Ol' Rusty is a big ship... she's not built for dodging nimble Decepticons.

< Outside> From Autobot Shuttle < Ol' Rusty>, Twitch is once again almost hurtled from his perch as the chair goes spinning somewhat when Springer vacates it. "Yaagh!" Finally, he can't hold on anymore, and proceeds to lose his grip, tumbling for a split second before he transforms and oh so coincidentally (and luckily) lands in a nearby slot in the shuttle's dash. Ahhh. Safe! Sort of.

< Outside> Slag has arrived.

< Outside> Springer has arrived.

< Outside> Slag is a triceratops, and he's falling. Despite looking like something out of a Douglas Adams book, the dinoboat looks down and makes a chuffing sound. "Me Slag say dis flight better have peanuts!" and with a *THUD* he lands on the Argosy. Not in it, not next to it, ON it. Causing a thunderous boom and a dent on the shiny roof for sure, there's a pleased sound from the homicidal dinobot as he sees Octane dead in front of him. "Even better -- CHICKEN!!!" and he ROARS!

< Outside> *dinobot. Dinoboats don't exist, unless Swoop floats.

< Outside> Springer drops out of the shuttle soon after Slag, tumbling in free-fall for a few seconds before spreading his arms and legs out to the sides. He waits for wind resistance to reduce his airspeed enough so that his helicopter mode can function, then transforms to gain control of his descent. Springer circles down slowly after Slag, letting the Dinobot get far ahead of him.

< Outside> Sludge floats!

< Outside> Springer shifts quickly into his helicopter mode.

< Outside> Octane has hazarded another peek around in the direction of the Autobot shuttle which is why he fails to see Slag falling down toward the deck of the Argosy. In face he doesn't even notice until he feels the heavy thump shaking through the deck plates and what sounds to him like the word "Whickin" shouted down at him. He turns, very slowly, to behold Slag behind him. Not surpisingly he reacts badly.

<Decepticon> Octane says, "AHHHHH DINOBOTTTTT!"

< Outside> With a blast of retrorockets, Redshift cuts most of his forward momentum, and enduring the g-forces that would likely kill any soft, squishy humans if they were inside the cockpit of this Decepticon spacecraft. He makes a quick banking turn to peel away from Michael Briar and his Talon exosuit, after getting a quick glimpse of the twin energy blades. He makes a loop after his tight turn, and swings in for a strafing run against the Talon armored Briar, letting loose with a barrage of red lasers.

< Outside> Redshift misses Exo-suit Glaive Unity <Michael Briar> with his Laser Array attack.

< Outside> Even as Decepticons and Autobots/EDC move to position, the Argosy itself doesn't seem to make any unusual moves, holding a steady east to west course along the 90*S parallel. The craft, tremendous as it is, keeps a remarkably smooth and stable flight path, ripples in the plasma coating neutralizing any turbulence. Along the two major collection rods, two red tines extend along the top of each. The phosphorescent, pretty glow of the gathering static electricity tightens around the shafts, brightening and intensifying as the Argosy plows through magnetosphere in the same way a baleen whale would cruise through plankton. As the air base feeds, keeping itself afloat, capacitors along its belly and wings begin lighting up track lighting. The light from those reflects off any number of menacing implements: most noticeably the banks upon banks of laser batteries with which Scrapper has lined the front outer edges of the main wings. But as tremendous as the airbase's appetite is, it still cannot contain all the energy collected. Eventually, stray megavolts of energy begin to crackle along the length of the complexes, before the insulation of the air is overcome, and lighting bolts arc from the front of the craft, filling the high altitude air with artificial thunder. Several protecting Seeker gumbies, a bit too close to the front for comfort, scatter in panic.

<Decepticon> Mother Goose Fusillade demands, "WHERE?! Get it OFF the ship before the ship gets IT and YOU off with its lasers!"

<Decepticon> Galvatron says, "Is this a matter in which I'm going to have to take a personal hand yet again, Octane?"

<Decepticon> Octane sounds as if he's trembling. "It's right here...on the top of the ship...and right in front of me. Don't come any close to me, you dull witted beast!

Scrapper is a mix of nerves and excitement right now. This is always the deciding moment - the doomsday device is either going to succeed or fail to an amazing degree. Unlike most doomsday devices, though, this one has a fair chance of being a long term asset rather than a short term kill-all-Autobots-quick scheme. That adds a certain attraction to this project over the others. Scrapper monitors the activation of the laser banks even as energy crackles across the ship. "Refueling is going good so far. I pity the fool that's still on this thing once the energy builds up some more."

< Outside> From Autobot Shuttle < Ol' Rusty>, "Kup," Markdown says, "You're not going to like this, but from what I can tell, that thing's energy readings have shot up even higher! And they were already off the scale to begin with! Hell, their own escorts are backing away from it! Be advised that if we get near that thing, we have to be ready for the consequences!" Which reminds him..

Opening a frequency to the EDC fighters, Markdown says, "EDC fighter squadron, advise not to approach Decepticon warship too closely! We're not sure what will happen if you do, but it probably won't be pretty!"

Meanwhile, the shuttle's own laser banks pepper the Decepticon escorts, forcing some of them to break off from their attack runs.

< Outside> As Ol' Rusty makes its flyover, the ventral plating is peppered by the defensive shots of the interceptors. Soaring past the massive flying fortress, the shuttle begins to curve its flightpath, making a wide but graceful turn. Something as big as an Autobot shuttle, and designed for space no less, is not exactly a ballerina. It will take some time for it to get back to the Argosy.

Inside, Kup offers up a silent prayer to a handful of the galactic deities he's personally met, then murmurs, "You're on your own now, kids," watching Slag and Springer on the video monitor. "Good luck."

Clenching fist and jaw, Fusillade hisses as she gets feedback and reports from Octane about Slag tromping and stomping down the mountainside of the Argosy's left main aileron. "Gimme that thing!" she snarls, and hipchecks a crewman out of his seat, looming over the console. "I don't care if it's not at full power!" She jabs one finger down to the 'fire' tab of the options menu. Several banks along the antenna array closest to Octane and Slag dim, even as it twists to a parabolic angle to scatter and concentrate the plasma sheathing into a gout of energy aimed at the ceratopsian Dinobot's flank.

< Outside> You strike Slag with disruptor.

< Outside> From Exo-suit Glaive Unity <Michael Briar>, Michael Briar clenches his teeth pushing the Unity sideways sliding with a twist avoiding the laser cannon beam from Redshift. The ruby beam slices right past Michael's chest just avoiding him. He does a quick backflip to get into a position to counter attack.

Talon one says, "My guess is they'd shoot at us." The Talon turns hard and transforms to hover. He reaches behind him and grabs his laser rifle to fire off a quick burst, then transforms and catches up with the other two.

The Unity rocks into the backflip but comes up holding its rail rifle. He lifts it and fires off a few blasts of high velocity rounds. Michael says, "Damn it, that was close." The exo-suit turns and takes off like a shot, always moving so he's not so much a target.

< Outside> Exo-suit Glaive Unity <Michael Briar> strikes Red Spacecraft with RCR-104 'Hunter' Rifle.

Scrapper shoots a glance at the hipchecking Fusillade and monitors the energy consumption as she lets loose with the energy gout against the Dinobot. "Careful. We had some fluctuations throughout the grid on that. Wait a minute or two before you start ramping up the power, or else we might have an overload somewhere." Yes, Scrapper thinks to himself, that sounded vaguely technological and maybe even plausible. He congratulates himself on a job well done. Among the other things he monitors is the battle between Redshift and Briar. "Careful Redshift," he transmits to the Decepticon space fighter. "Boy Briar's tougher than he looks or sounds."

< Outside> Slag advances towards Octane, murder glinting on his cold blue optics. He's about to open fire on Octane when he gets popped by the laser battery, which he promptly turns on. "Me Slag no like being shot at!" and he roars a gout of flame at the offending weapons, caring not if they're affected, before turning his attention back to Octane. "Now -- where were Slag and Chicken?"

< Outside> Slag strikes you with fire for 3 points of damage.

<Outside> Red Spacecraft emits a swear as his barrage of lasers barely misses the armoured Michael Briar, and before he can escape, the human returns fire with a barrage of his own. Redshift is intimatly familiar with the effects of super-sonic gauss rifle shells, and isn't too surprised that they hit. The shells rip through Redshift's wings and thrusters, and makes depending on them for high-velovity flight risky. Redshift opts for a change of tactic. He transforms into his robot mode, and does his best to match Michael Briar's speed and changes of direction. He draws his own gauss rifle, and fires off a single armor-penetrating slug at the armoured human.

< Outside> The sleek red spacecraft transforms into the winged warrior Redshift.

< Outside> Redshift misses Exo-suit Glaive Unity <Michael Briar> with his Gauss Rifle attack.

< Outside> Green Cyber-Copter <Springer> hovers above and behind Slag, trying to hold steady as he's buffeted by strange wind currents created by air flowing over the Argosy's hull. "Slag! Watch it!" He shouts belatedly. He finally transfrorms to robot mode and lands on the hull behind Slag. On hands and knees Springer scrabbles for a seam or other handhold in the armor plating, but can't find anything. Finally he pulls out his sword, spins it around to hold it in a knife-hand grip and plunges it down into the armor plating. To his shock, it barely makes a scratch. Now starting to slide along the hull, Springer raises his sword above his head with both hands and stabs down again, trying to get it at least a few feet into the metal.

< Outside> Springer shifts quickly into his robot mode.

< Outside> Springer strikes you with Sword for 4 points of damage.

< Outside> Octane suddenly finds bravery in the form of the Argosy's laser weapons before backing up, extending his weapon, before pulling the trigger on his flamethrower and blasting his own jet of flame toward Slag. "Chicken this, you bestial freak!" < Outside> Octane strikes Slag with Warm as toast, twice as burnt!.

Galvatron drums his fingers on the arm of the captain's throne, watching the tracks swirl around on a spherical MADAR array indicating the battle going on outside. Good thing Fusillade is almost his size or he might have had to bring a throne with him. "Perhaps I should have recalled Cyclonus after all," he muses. "If only Thrust, Dirge and Ramjet were not so extraordinarily irresponsible..."

< Outside> For those on the Ol' Rusty that are actively scanning, the power level is definitely over 9000. The efforts of Slag, Briar, and Springer don't go unrewarded, however. The Decepticon air patrols are scattered, which makes a VISUAL inspection of the Argosy's top surface is possible, even if more detailed scans aren't. Despite the multiple laser arrays at the tips of its two primary wings, and four secondary wings, it doesn't seem like an offensive craft -- certainly not from THIS angle. The command deck is visible, nestled above and behind the ionstorm collection tines. Behind that, the ship is a featureless mountain range of fins and antennae, before the shuttles' crew gets a good optic-ful of the runways at the tail end of the craft. Oh, and there's two triple-changers and a Dinobot rumbling on its butt. At Scrapper's reprimand, Fusillade scowls visibly, the excitement finally getting to her as she stands, glowering at the external camera angles of the Autobot stabbing into the hull. "Gnnngh." Similar to Springer's earlier feelings, she's starting to feel the old familiar tug of battle-lust. "Permission to exit the craft and engage."

Scrapper hmmms as both Slag and Springer attack the airship itself. Slag by breathing fire on its hull, and Springer by jabbing at the armour, driving it inward. The Constructicon glances at the damage report, but the self diagnostics are not sensitive enough to register the sheer pathetic nature of their attacks. That's right, Slag! That's right, Springer! The Argosy's diagnostic system is /sassing/ you. "No appreciable damage," he reports happily.

< Outside> From Autobot Shuttle < Ol' Rusty>, Markdown takes a moment from the battle to facepalm. Don't THEY see the huge arcs of electricity coming out of that monster? "OF COURSE they'll shoot at you, Talon One!" Markdown says. "But the thing is, with that much energy running loose around the ship, they might not have to! So just keep your distance, dammit!" Switching off the mike, Markdown takes a moment to assess the target. "Alright, I'm gonna hit 'em with a spread of torpedoes, Kup. Launching tubes, one, two, three, and four!"

The Autobot shuttle's launchers blast out smoke as the torpedoes leap from out of them towards the Argosy. But it's up in the air as to whether or not they will be able to hit the massive warship--or be fried by its electrical output!

< Outside> <<"Here we go!">> Kup calls back to his passengers, as the Ol' Rusty comes back within range of the massive superfortress. <<"Time for this ol' girl to show us her stuff!">> That said, the shuttle's weapon systems come alive at Markdown's touch, firing off a volley of airborne torpedoes. How they are torpedoes and not rockets or missiles is a mystery, much like how Kup's musket laser fires acid pellets. Just go with it.

< Outside> Autobot Shuttle < Ol' Rusty> strikes you with rocket for 7 points of damage.

"You have it," agrees Galvatron, standing up and clenching a fist. He's not one to be left behind when his lieutenants are joining battle! "I will see to these... interlopers as well. Scrapper, you have the helm."

< Outside> From Exo-suit Glaive Unity <Michael Briar>, The Unity rolls and banks to the side, then climbs with the single round slipping under the exo-suit. It stops in mid roll to face Redshift stopping itself so the jet will charge Michael. With a flick of a wrist, his energy blade forms around the fist, which he uses to slash at the jet that passes by. Michael says, "

Talon One, Two, and Three pull up above and to the sides of the shuttle. Talon One says, "Hey, we know that. It's what we're paid for. Talons two and fire!" All three launch clouds of mini-missiles at the seekers, hoping it'll keep the shuttle free and clear while it attacks the airbase.

< Outside> Galvatron steps out onto one of the runways of the airship, carrying his cannon raised beside his head in a high ready position. "These Autobots are an ETERNAL nuisance," he grates to himself, looking about for one to cross his line of sight.

< Outside> Slag makes a horrible sound until one realizes that it's just Slag laughing. He advances towards Octane, "You try to shoot fire like me Slag shoot fire! Me Slag show you what else you can't do right!" and his horns glow with crackling blue energy, until the energy from both horns join, then shoots a jolt at the triple-changer.

< Outside> Slag strikes Octane with disruptor.

< Outside> "Ah ha," mutters Galvatron, spying the Autobot shuttle as it makes its pass over the Argosy. He spreads his stance and braces his right arm with his left, tracking the shuttle's belly as it passes overhead. His target is the starboard wing root...

< Outside> Galvatron strikes Autobot Shuttle < Ol' Rusty> with Fusion Cannon (standard output).

< Outside> Redshift tries to stop in time, but with his higher mass and damaged wing surfaces, he can't stop until after Michael Briar has had a chance to lash out with his energy blades, leaving deep diagonal gash across Redshift's chest. He sneers at the human, and doesn't bother to even speak to him. Humans are supposed to be /weak/ and /soft/. A pair of machine guns reveal themselves from inside Redshift's shoulders, and then let loose with a burst of shells, the repeated muzzle flashes lighting up Redshift's snarling visage.

< Outside> Redshift strikes Exo-suit Glaive Unity <Michael Briar> with Machine Guns.

< Outside> Octane looks nervous at the sound that Slag is making before his expression turns to anger as he too realizes that's it laughter...and promptly turns to fear again as the Dinobot rumbles toward him. He backs away farther and farther before he sees the horns start to glow. Octane just manages to turn at the last second which means that the jolt scorches the edge of his right wing tip before he slowly raises his head up, looking over at the blackened metal, before turning to Slag and shaking his fist at him. "You can't even talk right, you lumbering lummox! I'll show you what -you- can't do right!" Octane transforms into his tanker mode and barrels toward the Dinobot.

< Outside> Accompanied by the sounds of rubber tires hitting the ground Octane transforms into his tanker truck mode.

< Outside> Octane strikes Slag with Ram.

< Outside> Galvatron lets fly with a kraka-CHOOOOM, a purple beam of light lancing out through the brilliant sapphire sky to carve into the Autobot shuttle!

< Outside> Ultra Magnus has arrived.

< Outside> <<"GALVATRON INCOMING!">> Kup hollers, trying to wrench the shuttle out of harm's way. His optics widen. <<"No good! BRACE FOR IMPACT, LADS!">>

Ol' Rusty is struck by the powerful beam from Galvatron's cannon, and immediately lists to the side, trailing smoke from the heavily damaged starboard wing. Kup snarls, wrestling with the controls, then turns his head slightly to the side. "Magnus, lad! Can you get his attention of the ol' girl? I'll try to keep her aloft!"

To Markdown, "Markdown, keep those weapons firing! She's a tough girl, she can take it."

< Outside> Springer finally feels stable enough to stand up straight, although he keeps his sword stuck in the Argosy in case he needs a quick handhold. He watches Slag and Octane in satisfaction, pretty certain how -that- one's gonna turn out. Until a purple flicker of motion catches his optic. He looks at Galvatron, looks at Slag, looks at Octane, then back at Galvatron. "Slag, I count two Bots, Two Cons. One for each of us, right?" He holds up one hand, palm up, and holds his other fist above it. "Play you for dibs on Octane!" Watching Octane slam into the him, he sighs and tugs the sword free, wobbling a little as he turns to face Galvatron.

< Outside> "Don't worry, Kup," comes Ultra Magnus' reply, the hulking City Commander in motion towards the bay doors. "I'm already on it."

With the sound of automated doors opening and the massive onrush of wind blowing in through the Ol' Rusty, Ultra Magnus stands braced over the new opening, eyes stern and lips pulled tight. "Bring me in a little closer! I'll try to hold him off for as long as possible. Stay safe...!"

And from there, Magnus leaps. Straight off the Ol' Rusty into the skies below, the massive second-in-command soars, buffeted by counter-winds as he descends rapidly towards the Argosy. Angling himself, Magnus falls rapidly, a single fist pulling back and aiming to land... straight towards the airship runway. "GALVATRON!!" Magnus roars when in range, falling rapidly with every intention of just making his landing on -GALVATRON- with one, mighty punch to lead the way.

< Outside> Without much flair, Ultra Magnus' massive trailer shifts and expands outwards, encasing his body in his distinct blue and red power armor.

< Outside> From Exo-suit Glaive Unity <Michael Briar>, Michael Briar says, "Damn!" The machine gun rounds splatter against his ablative armor all over the exo-suit leaving small pockmarks. Michael flies backwards from each hit but keeping upright and still fighting. The Unity's hip plating splits and unfolds showing a pair of ion cannons. They glow bright red for a few seconds before both fire out with white and red heat. A second later, the Unity turns and takes off.

Talon Two transforms and flies backward firing off its laser rifle at a seeker that screams towards him. The bladed wings slashes though the Talon splitting it in two at the waist. The pilot does not even have time to scream before the armor explodes. Talon One says, "Alex!" Talon Three says, "Bastard!" before he pulls off following the cackling seeker. Talon One says, "Talon Three, get back here...damn it!" as he swings around and fires off a few blasts of laser to a seeker about to fire on the shuttle, which already has been hit by Galvatron.

< Outside> Exo-suit Glaive Unity <Michael Briar> misses Redshift with its Twin Ion Cannon Blast attack.

< Outside> Slag snarls and gets pushed back several feet, leaving claw marks in the airbase, effectively keying it. "Me Slag get serious!" he says dangerously, "Whatever Da Cepty Con do, Slag can do better! Slag can do everything better than you!" and begins to charge the Fuel Tanker like a bull charging a matador..only slowly.

< Outside> Slag strikes Octane with ram.

< Outside> From Autobot Shuttle < Ol' Rusty>, Markdown looks away from his panel, wincing as sparks leap out from it as a result of the massive damage done to the shuttle by Galvatron's attack. Naturally, once the panel stops sparking Markdown can somehow still use it. "Understood, Kup! Firing laser batteries at the Decepticon ship!" And so at Markdown's direction, crimson beams streak out from the ship, intermingling with the terrifying electrical display of the Argosy in what ought to be quite the light show, if there is anyone in the area that isn't largely concerned about not dying horribly. As he watches the beams fire, Markdown can't help but feel he may as well spit into the wind.

< Outside> Autobot Shuttle < Ol' Rusty> strikes you with laser for 1 points of damage.

< Outside> Galvatron crashes to the tarmac under Ultra Magnus' powersuit-enhanced weight, landing on his back with Magnus on top of him. "Et tu, Magnus?" he sneers in his cold, cruel voice. "Are you recovered so soon from the last near-death experience you had at my hands? I do hate the feeling of leaving something... unfinished." Galvatron drives his head forward, the point of his crown aimed towards Magnus' own helmet in a sudden headbutt!

< Outside> Galvatron strikes Ultra Magnus with Crown of Pain.

< Outside> Octane is knocked back, his tires smoking as he puts his brakes on in an attempt to hold Slag back, but can't keep up against the onslaught and so is suddenly sent flying backward. His brightly polished steel tank slams into the upward facing fin, leaving a severe dent, before he transforms to reveal quite a lot of dents himself. He looks up at Slag, raising a trembling hand in a gesture to stop, before getting to his feet and making his rapid way toward the runway. Before he reaches it, though, Octane transforms into his aerial refuler mode and taking off before buzzing low over Galvatron and Magnus.

< Outside> With a total defiance of all FAA regulations Octane transforms and flies into into the air.

< Outside> Scrapper is still riding high after the Argosy shrugged off Slag and Springer's attempts to damage it. But suddenly the entire air fortress shakes as torpedoes slam into its hull. Galvatron might have lost his balance on the way to the launch bay, and the bridge crew is shaken from the impact. "What in the pit?!?!" Scrapper retorts. On the tactical display monitor, Storm O- I mean, Scrapper watches as a wire frame image of the Ol' Rusty flies past. The red line connecting it to the wire frame of the Argosy signals the trail of the torpedoes. There's minor hull ruptures where the not-missiles/not-rockets struck, but Scrapper doesn't bother shouting out the damage report since he's the guy in control here now. "Fine, the Autobots wish to play rough." His lime green fingers dance across the console as he monitors the energy consumption. With the reserves growing higher and higher, Scrapper decides he can power all the laser batteries and bring them up to their full potential. "Fusillade!" he calls out. "I'm going to tell the Argosy to kill the Autobot shuttle, alright?" He waits for her to give her affirmative. "Now," Scrapper mutters, "Witness the firepower of this fully armed and operational battlestation!" Red crosshairs blink over the wire frame image of the Rusty on the tactical display, signalling a lock on the behemoth ship. Laser batteries all along one side of the ship swivel and point at the Ol' Rusty, firing numerous heavy bolts her way.

< Outside> You strike Autobot Shuttle < Ol' Rusty> with electricity.

< Outside> Octane begins retreating, leaving himself vulnerable to parting shots from Exo-suit Glaive Unity <Michael Briar>, Autobot Shuttle < Ol' Rusty>.

< Outside> "You're flattering yourself if you think you can keep me down long at all, Galvatro--urgh!!" Magnus is cut off as Galvatron's crowned purple head crushes into his face with terrible strength. With a metal crunch, Magnus staggers backwards, pushing off his opponent as he grips his face. "Ugh -- you're not finishing anything today. The only thing that's -finished- here... is you and this death machine of yours!" Magnus accentuates his point by twisting forward, spinning to deliver a single and potent roundhouse kick to the side of Galvatron's face. "And it's not soon enough in coming!" From afar (to Fusillade, Springer, Kup, and Michael Briar), Slag didn't get any info about what it's doing, but I'm cool with being on this thing when it does whatever it's going to do. Slag wouldn't leave unless he was drug away, especially with galvy there.

< Outside> Ultra Magnus misses Galvatron with his Righteous Roundhouse attack.

< Outside> The few seconds delay bwtween when Michael's cannons begin to warm up and when they fire thier ion beams is enough for Redshift to flare his bootjets and escape upwards, leaving the cannons to sear through empty air. Redshift can at last take some measure of satisfaction in this battle, and his sneer begins to turn into his typical smirk. "You're not getting away from me so easily, human!" Redshift doesn't persue the fleeing Unity exo-suit, but he does take out his secondary firearm. Taking aim, Redshift fires off a fusion-powered warhead towards the armoured form of Micheal Briar, let's see how well that tin can holds up against Cybertronian explosives!

< Outside> Redshift misses Exo-suit Glaive Unity <Michael Briar> with his Fusion Rocket attack.

< Outside> Galvatron rises as Magnus does, but faster; his speed is uncanny, one might even say unearthly. Like a striking snake Galvatron's left arm shoots up and blocks Magnus' kick with his wrist, while his right swings up to waist level, cannon flaring. "Finished, Magnus? FINISHED? Ah ha ha ha! HA HA HA HA! I have ONLY JUST BEGUN!"

< Outside> Galvatron strikes Ultra Magnus with Fusion Cannon (low output).

< Outside> Slag watches Octane retreat and roars in disgust! "One thing you do better den Slag! Dat's RUN!" he says, his tail thumping on the airbase's roof as he turns around, looking for something else to kill. He laughs again, making that terrible sound.

< Outside> Galvatron catches Springer's bright green self out of the corner of his eye as he menaces poor brave Ultra Magnus. "Ah, I see you have brought an accomplice, this time. But not Rodimus Prime. Too busy waxing that effete flame pattern of which he is so proud? I don't need to deal with Springer myself... I have people for that! CYCLONUS! I SUMMON YOU!"

< Outside> Blasted by that horrific cannon flare, an explosion rips across the shuttle pad with enough force to briefly knock the massive Magnus into the air. A deep injury scoring across his midsection, the City Commander glares at Galvatron, energon crackling like electricity around the fresh scorch of the Second-in-Command's injury. "I don't need anyone else to take care of.. -you-, Galvatron. So why don't you stop worrying about the others and just face me like a real warrior?!" Subspace ripples as Magnus produces his sizeable plasma rifle, not even pausing before he unleashes a full-power blast straight for Galvatron's chest. <<Watch out, Springer! You've got incoming -- big time!>>

< Outside> Ultra Magnus strikes Galvatron with Plasma Rifle <Full Power>.

< Outside> From Autobot Shuttle < Ol' Rusty>, Markdown's panel blows up real good this time, and even clever camera angles and dubious pseudo-science won't allow him to use it again. More importantly, the panel kinda sprays Markdown in the face with sparks and shrapnel. "Arrrrghhh!" he cries as he reels back briefly from the explosion, then slumps off of his chair and onto the floor of the shuttle.

< Outside> There is a whirring sound from the side of the ship as an automated cargo lift engages, a circular flashing light turning on as it does so, before slotting into place before revealing the form of Cyclonus with his sowrd already in his hand. He turns to bow to Galvatron before turning to run at Springer with his sword held high in his right hand in a prepartory chopping motion.

< Outside> With a smooth and fluid movement Cyclonus transforms into his looming robot mode.

< Outside> Cyclonus strikes Springer with Quick, clean, and neat.

< Outside> <<"Attaboy, Magnus!">> Kup broadcasts, as the ship flies overhead. For some reason, the old warhorse is keeping Ol' Rusty roughly above the Argosy at all times now. Inside, he glances back at the science readout and nods, sighing heavily. <<"Alright lads, we've bloodied their nose. Time to make a strategic retreat!">> Swooping low over the Argosy, Kup makes the announcement. <<"Autobots! Fall back!">>

The Ol' Rusty continues to lay down covering fire as it flies above the Argosy, waiting to extract the Autobot warriors from the hull of the mighty airbase. <<"Slag! I need you on the shuttle right now!">> he adds.

< Outside> From Exo-suit Glaive Unity <Michael Briar>, Michael Briar won't have to worry about dodging if the projectile is shot down before it hits. He angles his engines so he goes into a hover then spins around. With one hand, he fires off a long burst of rail fire. The hypervelocity rounds whip around the projectile but it only takes one to explode the rocket. One does impact and explodes detonating the rocket between the Unity and Redshift. Michael says, "Who said I was getting away?" as he pulls the clip out and slaps a fresh one, then pulls out a handle from his hip. With a cocking back of his arm, he whips the handle at Redshift, which flares into an energy blade that spins around and around towards Redshift.

Talon One and Two, now damaged and low in ammo clicks on the com, "Sorry General, we need to pull back or we won't have power to get back." The two Talons turn and blast off running from the fight.

< Outside> Exo-suit Glaive Unity <Michael Briar> misses Redshift with its spinning energy blade attack.

< Outside> Galvatron grimaces as Ultra Magnus gets his licks in, a plasma bolt searing against his shoulder. "Spoken like a real warrior yourself, eh, Magnus? Always ready to lay down your life for your leader even when he is notably absent!" His left hand retracts into his wrist and his morningstar reels out in its place. He advances on the Autobot City commander, flail crackling and humming as he spins it by his side. "Shame about that whole business with the Matrix, eh? Prime dead, you his chosen successor... best and brightest, noblest and most dutiful, yes? But a stroke of luck, a simple fumble at the wrong moment, a turn of the wrist and poof! Your destiny lost. And now you take orders from... Hot Rod. Oh, I don't envy YOU."

< Outside> Galvatron strikes Ultra Magnus with Morningstar.

< Outside> Slag looks to the left. Sees Cyclonus arrive. Blinks. Looks to the right, sees Magnus and Galvatron going at it. Blinks. "Me Slag like wheelie in energon candy store!" he says, unsure which target to go to. "Me save him Magnus from doom!" he decides and lumbers in the direction of Galavatron, "Hey! Galvypants! Me Slag think you need to shut up! You talk too much, like him Daniel say -- all mouth, no troutsers!" he opens his mouth and roars a mighty gout of super heated plasma at the Decepticon Emperor!

< Outside> Springer is busy studying the damage to the 'Ol Rusty. He hears the warning from Ultra Magnus and starts to spin too late, taking the sword blow in one heavily armored shoulder. Springer's expression is more annoyed than pained, but then he finishes turning around and sees exactly who his attacker is. "Cyclonus!!" Springer's optics open wide, and he stumbles back away from Cyc towards Slag and Ultra Magnus. He doesn't even raise his own sword. "Kup's right...we've got to get out of here!" Springer sounds grim and resigned. Strange, he didn't sound like that when staring down countless hundreds of tons of Decepticon airbase. Or when facing the Decepticon leader for that matter.

< Outside> "Oh good, things were just getting intesreting." Redsift replies to Michael, as the isotope-laced smoke clears between them. The thrown projectile doesn't have the velocity of Briar's earlier railgunfire, and Redshift can easily hover to the side away from the weapon, which likely plummets down to earth to be lost in the Antartic ice. Redshift's optics flash brightly with red light, and he lets loose a pair of laser beams, before taking evasive action in preparation for the next attack from the Unity armor.

< Outside> Redshift strikes Exo-suit Glaive Unity <Michael Briar> with Optic Lasers(Low).

< Outside> Cyclonus's sword clangs off Springer's armored shoulder, causing it to knoc his arm back, before he recovers and narrows his optics at Springer as he mentions running away. "Yes, run away, Autobot. I will not defeat you while you're showing such cowardice: you are not worth my attention."

< Outside> "I'm ready to lay down my life for the ideals and the soldiers that I fight for. It's a concept that you couldn't hope to understand, Galvatron." Magnus spits out the words as Galvatron swings in, the morningstar crushing into his chest and causing him to stumble backwards from the sheer titanic force exerted. Spiderline cracks form along the chest of his armor as he grimaces, glaring at Galvatron. "... I'm no leader. I'm just a soldier fighting for a good cause. And Hot Rod? -Rodimus Prime- is three times the leader you'll ever be. Maybe you're due for another trip through space for a reminder of that." As Slag attacks and Kup orders the retreat, Magnus narrows his eyes, making a sudden twist.

<< Slag! Springer! Make your retreat, that's an order! Kup... coming at you!>> And as the words are barked over the radio, Magnus makes a run for it, -leaping- upwards through the air towards the Ol' Rusty.

< Outside> Ultra Magnus begins retreating, leaving himself vulnerable to parting shots from Cyclonus, Galvatron, Sky Lynx, Exo-suit Glaive Unity <Michael Briar>, Redshift, Decepticon Airbase <Argosy>, Autobot Shuttle < Ol' Rusty>.

< Outside> Galvatron's lips peel back in a look of rage at Magnus' defiance and Slag's sudden appearance, his eyes flashing from one to the other. "Rodimus Prime? RODIMUS Prime?" he sneers, infinitely full of bile. "Rodimus Prime is a callow infant, a mewling child! You follow him because you MUST, because he was CHOSEN! He knows nothing of leadership! He's merely been EMPOWERED by forces he cannot hope to comprehend! He did nothing more than WIN a LOTTERY while those of us who STRUGGLE and STRIVE are not so lucky!" Galvatron steps forward with right arm raised, wreathed in fire from Slag's burning breath. "Rodimus Prime does not DESERVE your SACRIFICE!"

< Outside> Galvatron strikes Ultra Magnus with Fusion Cannon (standard output).

<Outside> Galvatron lays down the law with a chaka-THOOOOM at the apex of his rage.

< Outside> Springer grimaces back at Cyclonus, but can't really argue with the insult as he's still backing away. Instead he takes out his frustration by pointing his rifle at Slag (when the Dino is looking the other way of course) and unleashing a quick, point-blank wind tunnel at Slag's back. Springer aims to nudge the Dino up and off of the hull, out into the air above the Argosy where mighty wind currents and the 'Ol Rusty await. Springer knows Slag can fly (and even if not, the fall probably wouldn't hurt him), but he also knows the Dino is probably too slow to catch up to the Argosy again in the air. Whether Slag ends up back on the shuttle or just out in mid-air in the Decepticon Airbase's wake, at least the Dino'll be off. Then Springer leaps into the air himself after Slag.

< Outside> From Exo-suit Glaive Unity <Michael Briar>, Michael Briar brings up his shields, for the first and last time this battle. He nods and says, "Talon One and Three, affirmative. I'm bugging out too." He looks back at Redshift saying, "Speaking of which..." and salutes before turning and blasting off following the shuttle and Talons.

< Outside> Exo-suit Glaive Unity <Michael Briar> begins retreating, leaving itself vulnerable to parting shots from Autobot Shuttle < Ol' Rusty>.

< Outside> Cyclonus follows Springer, sword still on hand, as he continues to back away before stopping in his tracks as Springer takes off and departs. He then turns and looks wordlessly back at Galvatron.

< Outside> Springer begins retreating, leaving himself vulnerable to parting shots from Cyclonus, Ultra Magnus, Galvatron, Sky Lynx, Exo-suit Glaive Unity <Michael Briar>, Redshift, Decepticon Airbase <Argosy>, Autobot Shuttle < Ol' Rusty>.

< Outside> Slag looks to Cyclonus, then to Galvatron. He looks at Ultra Magnus, "You Magnus never let me Slag have fun! Even when me Slag save your butt!" he looks to back to both Cyclonus and Galvatron. "Me Slag don't let me catch you in dark alley!" he begins to turn to retreat then stops. "Me Slag say, to Hell with this!" and begins to to charge Cyclonus but JUST then -- Springer and divinity provide -- he feels a gust of wind pick JUST enough of him up that the speed of the airbase does the rest. "WHAOOOOOOOOOOOO" he roars as he's picked up and blown off the airbase and blow conveniently into Ol' Rusty!

< Outside> Slag begins retreating, leaving himself vulnerable to parting shots from Cyclonus, Ultra Magnus, Galvatron, Sky Lynx, Springer, Exo-suit Glaive Unity <Michael Briar>, Redshift, Decepticon Airbase <Argosy>, Autobot Shuttle < Ol' Rusty>.

< Outside> Scrapper nods approvingly as the Arogsy is presumably able to blast the Ol' Rusty with its laser batteries. The Constructicon works to keep the power containment unit in check while the fueling operations are conducted. He probably over did it that time with the full barrage of laser fire, but Scrapper just couldn't resist. The Argosy thus remains relatively stationary as it slowly recharges its guns once more. "Not bad for a first run," Scrapper comments to Fusillade, gesturing to the tactical display. The Ol' Rusty can be seen swooping up over the airbase, picking up Autobots. "Victory for the Decepticons," he sneers.

< Outside> From Autobot Shuttle < Ol' Rusty>, Slag lands smack in the side of the shuttle when he gets blown in and abruptly transforms. "Me Slag Dammit! Me Slag had Galvatron! Me Slag had Cyclenuts! Me Slag HAD CHICKEN!!!" he says angerly and kicks the wall panel that he landed in in anger.

< Outside> Galvatron clenches his fists with a slow creaking and popping sound, burning for several more seconds before he takes a moment to wipe off some of the napalm and flick it onto the runway with an expression of disgust. He exhales harshly, slowly calming down. "We will continue with the mission as planned, Cyclonus. Inform Fusillade that our airspace is clear."

< Outside> Decepticon Airbase <Argosy> tilts just the tiniest little bit so that the text 'phestu' is visible among a crag of plasma emitting batteries.

< Outside> Redshift continues to smirk as Michael Briar begins to retreat, although his features take on a more amused look as the human offers him a salute. Not the reaction he was expecting, not at all. He pauses briefly to watch the Unity armor fly away, before trandorming to his spacecraft mode and heading for the Argosy's incoming runway.

< Outside> Cyclonus nods, inclining his head in a slight bow toward Galvatron, before turning to look in the direction of the runaway. "It will be done, My Lord. Should I recall Octane?"

< Outside> From Autobot Shuttle < Ol' Rusty>, <<"Next time, Slag! And don't treat Ol' Rusty that way, she's never done you wrong.">> Kup continues to handle the shuttle, dipping down to catch Ultra Magnus inside the hatch, then swooping to the side so that Springer slips in without issue. Looking grim, Kup punches the hatch shut and throttles the enging up to full. <<"Let's go home, Autobots. We have work to do.">> A pause. <<"Again.">>

< Outside> Autobot Shuttle < Ol' Rusty> retreats from the area swiftly, outdistancing all pursuit and parting shots.

< Outside> Galvatron chuckles dryly, sounding a bit tired. "Yes, he will still be needed to conduct the experimental magnetospherical tap from the sky-carrier fuel condensor. If his tanks are not ruptured again, of course."

< Outside> Raising a palm atop her helm from where she cracked against a hallway bulkhead, Fusillade staggers back into the Command Deck. "How long did that take?" She demands of Scrapper, before straightening up a bit. "And yeah. No executions tonight. Should we get someone out there to do repairs?" She twists around to peer at the Constructicon. "And... just how BIG of a laser did you slap on this things' undercarriage, anyway?" She's pointedly curious, perhaps eager. "I saw you installing it, but... I didn't know if it was Mount Rushmore eyebeam laser level menace, or small town menace, greater metropolitan urban area menace..."

< Outside> Cyclonus looks bemused as he sheathes his sword across the specially constructed slot in his back(Unicron thought of everything) before turning and facing Galvatron face on. "Then I will see to that as well, Lord Galvatron, and I will dispatch repair teams.

< Outside> Galvatron nods, patting himself down to check the damage. He's rather badly burned; about enough to kill a minibot, he would guess. No real problem for Galvatron, but it will necessitate some rest. "Thank you, Cyclonus. You are a blessing to me," he rumbles as he goes back inside, thinking, perhaps, of other blessings he has not been so lucky as to receive.

< Outside> Scrapper checks the damage diagnostics and nods, "It didn't take long. And yeah, I'll get Long Haul, Bonecrusher, and Scavenger out there right away to survey what was done, but according to the computer the damage is fairly minimal save where those torpedoes hit." The unplayed Constructicons get the crap jobs, you see. Having plugged those three (Long Haul, Bonecrusher, and Scavenger, in case you forgot, are available for applications), Scrapper routes power away from the weapons systems. "Oh I'd say about a 6 out of 10," he replies regarding the laser's size, as if that somehow explains it.

< Outside> Nodding, Fusillade drifts back to the lift. "I'm headed back to the cargo back to make sure the Seeker flights don't crash into each other on that runway. Later, Scrapper."


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