Asteroid Leapfrog

Who: Astrotrain, Fusillade,
IC Year: 2028
Location: Asteroid Belt, Sol System
TP: Non-TP

(August 2028) Fusillade has a wily triplechanger show her the ropes around an asteroid obstacle course, before they get called into action back on Earth.

Asteroid Belt

Numerous asteroids float around you endlessly, a seeming infinite number about you as you drift in the void. An occasional mining station can be seen on one of the larger asteroids as you pass by it, and while the area doesn't seem that dangerous... the best route to the Gas Giants would be around, not through.

Thousands of asteroids, the remnants of a stillborn planet, circle Sol like a relentless river of tumbling pebbles, the "pebbles" ranging from a few kilometers in diameter to 1000. This particular example is approximately 500km, neither especially huge nor particularly small, and appears much like the majority of asteroids: a dark, barren rock that's barely touched by Sol's distant light. Jupiter provides far more light, enough to produce uneven shadows, and almost enough to drown out the bright, untwinkling starlight.

After the installation and test firing of engines last week, Fusillade has finally made time to secure a space-capable mech to send her into orbit. Granted, Astrotrain likely had no choice in the matter, but Fusillade's enthusiasm -- read: "Hey let's go find something in the asteroid belt to blow up." -- can be hard to resist at times. As they've gone along, the space-going Lancer has pulled upon Fulcrum's past advice, and went through a series of basic maneuvers for the sake of practice. She probably looked utterly retarded from the more experienced triple-changer's point of view. However, when something of interest comes up, or if she found something she didn't know, Fusillade made a point to butter up the train's ego, all the better to get him to spill the beans. On short range radio, she calls out, <<So, which one of these pieces of crud is the most interesting anyway? And we should bring a few with us home to earth and drop it... although I'm TORN now with all this Protectorate nonsense. California, OR Florida?>>

Decepticon Shuttle glides through space with all the confidence and assuredness of someone who's done this a thousand times and then some. And why shouldn't he? Before the Space Bridge was built, who was doing regular shuttle runs back and forth from Cybertron and Earth? And even now, that only works between two points with a space is a big place and the triplechanger's space-venturing and cargo carrying capacity are always in demand.

Sure he may be buttered up at times, but it dosen't stop him from giving Fusillade a little figurative poke now and then, swerving around asteroids or spare debris quite easily as he goes. Rank? Whassat? His huge form is deceptively agile. A simple adjustment here, a bare slight twist there, sending a chunk of rock hurtling harmlessly a few feet to the right. Oh yeah, he's good at this and he -knows- it.

"It don't make sense." He responds with a grunt. "Them squishies with the other side already made no bones bout hatin us, and we gotta play nice with em? I'm all about lettin squishies fight each other, but eh."

More often than not, Fusillade does find herself struggling to mimic some of the maneuvers, while other times she struggles more to just keep herself from being smeared across the tremendous stretches of spacerock. There's a few short puffs from the retrorockets along her nose and rear fuselage to shift her aside as the pair weave through the hard, unyielding obstacle course. She opens the throttle on her main thrusters a wee bit more, nosing up to celestial zenith to rise out of the main plane of the asteroid belt, trying to find a clearer path. <<They put their STUPID little flag on top of Epcot Center! At this point, I say screw it, let Scrapper get it himself. And I'm not too fond about the fact that Shockwave's run off to Cybertron again. Hmmmph. Hey, how good are you with artillery, anyway? Thinking about taking some of Operations to a harbor in South America somewhere and doing some live-fire training by shelling military and cargo ships, hah! It ain't no Monacus Spaceport, but still a good time.>>

Astrotrain has near legendary agility when it comes to manuevers in an asteroid belt, or scrambling for cover in a firefight. But sometimes the direct approach is preferred by him nonetheless. A quick stab of his undercarriage blasters reduces a particularly large rock into little more than tumbling pieces of junk, through which his huge form passes without even a scratch to his paintjob, as opposed to Fusillade taking the 'higher' path which is more clear.

It's almost like he's rubbing it in.

"You know me." He mutters over the nearby broadband. "Always up for blowin slag up. Even if them humans are kinda borin at times, it's kinda funny when they scramble and try to defend themselves. I like kickin tanks...I pretend they're Blitzwing when I'm in a bad mood."

<Earth> Reporter appears excitedly, "This just in. A dinosaur excavation in montana has just uncovered a revolutionary find. A ship of obvious Cybertronian Origin that crashed here before even the original Cybertronians came to our planet. They've reported that there is a dead Cybertronian inside of unknown faction with several datapads. The site is in the process of being scientific quarantined for further study."

Make no mistake, every move by Astrotrain is being watched studiously by Fusillade. The Lancer slips ahead of Astrotrain, pressing the advantage of the clearer space, before grunting to herself at his display of power. <<You make a very good point about using all your tools to move through...>> Fluorescent laser light bolts out from her nosecone mounted argon laser, the shot oblique enough, and low-powered enough, to send the monolith rotating in an aberrant orbit toward Astrotrain. <<Smelt, did you hear that? There's going to be to be a slobber-knocker over THAT one. We should get back to Earth.>>

<Decepticon> Lord Scourge says, "I want that checked out.� I am currently undergoing an improvement procedure.� I cannot join you.� But go and get whatever data that ship may have."

<Decepticon> Soundwave says, "Available Decepticonz--pardon, Decepticons, report."

<Decepticon> Scrapper says, "Sorry Soundwave, I'm in the middle of surgery."

<Decepticon> Astrotrain says, "Ya know it's awfully handy when the squishy reporters doall this recon for us."

<Decepticon> Dead End says, "What now?"

<Decepticon> Blaster says, "Improvement procedure? You mean a lobotomy yes?"

<Decepticon> Soundwave says, "Understood, Scourge and Scrapper."

<Decepticon> Scrapper says, "Shut up, Red Al- I mean, Blaster!"

<Decepticon> Scavenger says, "You're not supposed to be on this channel, Blaster! Go away!"

<Decepticon> Lord Scourge says, "No Blaster. But perhaps my first act will be to place you on my list.� We all saw what happened to Magnus when he was on my list.� I did send flowers to the funeral."

<Decepticon> Shockwave says, "Soundwave, I am on my way."

<Decepticon> Scrapper says, "How would you like it if Soundwave jabbered all day long on /your/ frequencies, hrm?"

<Decepticon> Mother Goose Fusillade crackles a bit, interference in the transmission.� "Might take a while, currently between Mars and Jupiter..."

<Decepticon> Scrapper says, "How would you like it if Soundwave jabbered all day long on /your/ frequencies, hrm?"

<Decepticon> Soundwave says, "Excellent, Shockwave. Dead End, and any other available Decepticons, follow me."

<Decepticon> Blaster says, "Odd, for a dead Bot, Magnus seems to be walking fine and tall."

<Decepticon> Soundwave says, "An interesting idea, Scrapper."

<Decepticon> Scrapper says, "OOC: Scratch that second one :-)"

<Decepticon> Mother Goose Fusillade says, "OOH ooh get me on there"

Decepticon Shuttle rolls over upside-down for just a moment. "Ya well, I was bored." He grunts out. "Besides, stuff that blows up in space goes all over the place, makes it interestin...." He then trails off at all the radio talk, and his response is simple. His side hatch and airlock opens up for Fusillade, slowing down so she can transform and 'drift' properly on board.

It's about as subtle as he gets in telling her she's too slow for -his- speed back to Earth.

<Decepticon> Shockwave says, "Soundwave, something has...I must remain on Cybertron."

<Decepticon> Astrotrain says, "No Shockwave? Dang, there goes the witty commentary."

<Decepticon> Blitzwing says, "Cut the man some slack, you know he's *significantly* understaffed."

<Decepticon> Astrotrain gzsnrrrrk.

<Decepticon> Shockwave says, "And I never gave up."

The aircraft cum spacecraft mutters to herself at the offer. "I suppose a PROPER re-entry, one with out the burning screaming death, would be best done while not under duress." You head back into the inner system.


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