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By Cyclonus Betrayed!

Who: Cyclonus, Scrapper, Soundwave, Onslaught, Catechism, Earthscorch, Avalanche, Hook, Scavenger, Ravage, Swindle, Mesa, Geo, Devastator, Noah Wolfe, Geist, Headstrong (emitted), Divebomb (emitted), Ramjet, Sixshot
IC Year: 2029
Location: Command Center - NCC - Earth
TP: Non-TP

None


PROLOGUE

<Decepticon> Cyclonus's voice booms over the channel. "Decepticons. There will be a mandatory address on the return of Rodimus Prime. Please convene at the platform of New New Crystal City's spaceport. As I am presently in recovery, I will holographically address you from there."


NCC Spaceport

Very large and flat, like the NCC spaceport always has been, there remains the room for spaceships and aircraft of all shapes and sizes to land and take off, whether they're equipped with VTOL or not. The large hangers, warehouses for incoming supplies, and maintenance stations are still there, although now they seem to mostly exist on the northwest edge of the area. Where once the runways were silver Cybertronian, an impurity has been added to give the whole area a frost-blue tint. Also new are the rows of sharp, jagged, upward pointing structures to the north and south that crowd together enough to make passage difficult without flight. Beyond the southern border that these provide is the sparkling ocean, and far behind the north edge, the distant peak of Mount R'Lyeh can be spied. Past the hangers and warehouses is the raised structure of the Command Center, set atop a maze of metallic supports that appear to the eye no sturdier than dandelion fluff, but in fact are more than sufficient to serve as support for the Empire's commanders while at the same time cushioning it from the vibrations caused by the activities of the spaceport. Several passages wind their way beneath the Command Center, allowing individuals access to the Spinal Pathway without having to first pass through the nerve center of the city.


<Decepticon> Mesa says, "Understood Sir."


Scrapper is here, eager to hear what Cyclonus has in store. The Constructicon Commander has been a busy Constructicon, creating outposts on Chumley's old reservation, spacebridges on Cybertron, and helping Hook with doomsday satellites. If there's a holographic unit laying about, then Scrapper will head for that.


Onslaught has been examining the hovertransport when he heard the call from Cyclonus and, upon hearing it, has stepped out to see what the fuss is about. He spies the Constructions and begins to walk in their direction.


Catechism reports, prim and proper, being a good little soldier and crowd-filling Seeker for the time being.


Mesa enters the area, and properly gives a salute to all those above him in rank, then he promptly goes to stand at the back of the group and leans against a set of boxes waiting for this big speech to happen. His head bobs slightly as if he is listening to music.


Swindle slinks in, hoping to avoid the notice of anyone higher ranked than he is, particularly his ever-lovin' yellow opticed superior...


Scavenger has been busily following Scrapper around like a ominous too friendly shadow. He follows his brother, eager to help in any project he can get his hands on.


Hook is following Scrapper, but from far enough that it doesn't nessasarily look like he's following Scrapper. Hook is interested in hat may be revealed by Cyclonus, but not so interested that it detracts from his work: Hook's optics are cast down at a data pad in his hands, while he refines schematics of some kind of advanced curcuitry. He pays little attention to anyone else, aside from his fellow Constructicons.


Onslaught turns away from the gathered Constructicons as he spies the attempts by Swindle to slink through the crowd, probably due to the impressive height Onslaught enjoys, before turning toward the Combaticon Supply Officer and making his way toward him. "Swindle! It is encouraging to see that nothing overly pressing kept you from this event."


Scrapper and the other Constructicons wait somewhat patiently for Cyclonus's address to begin. "What is this," he mutters to the others in his gruff voice, "Some sort of pep talk? I've heard Cyclonus's pep talks before, and they pale in comparison to Megatron's. So Rodimus is back. We all knew he'd return." Scrapper shifts his weight from one foot to another, uncertain of what the point to having an address like this is. That it's being given by a holographic image due to the real deal being too damaged doesn't help matters.


Mesa's mono-optic keeps a careful watch over everyone and everything in his line of sight at these proceedings. Although to anyone looking in Mesa's direction, they would see a bot just relaxing and not taking this seriously.


Swindle groans as he's caught. "Hey, Boss!" he says, feigning enthusiasm but not quite as hard as he would for someone other than Onslaught. 'Yeah, figured what the heck...might as well come check this out y'know..."


Scavenger tilts his head. "We don't need a pep talk. At least I don't." he comments. "I'm always eager to help, even if its helping Cyclonus!"


The crowds continue to gather on the platform, every nameless Joe Bumble Decepticon who hasn't had their moment to shine yet turning out to pad it out into a real event. The ships have been moved out of the way on the huge platform to allow the crowd space to clot and clump together.


At the edge of the platform, Cyclonus appears.

Well, not Cyclonus per se. A hologram of Cyclonus, two-dimensional and tinted a hazy bluish color, sparks to life, easily the size of Omega Supreme, although perhaps his horns give him a bit of an edge. As ever, he scowls deeply, although the spotty reception of the flickering hologram obscures fine detail as to how injured he is after his confrontation yesterday.

"Decepticons," the giant hologram booms, "/He/ has returned. Do you know what this means?"


Onslaught is about to respons to Swindle as he approaches the other Combaticon but then he turns and faces the large hologram of Cyclonus. He holdso tu a hand to Swindle before pointing in Cyclonus's direction. "We shall speak later, Swindle." He then stops as he listens to what is obviously a rhetorical question.


Catechism saw Cyclonus get snapped in half. She can imagine why he's instead appearing today as Giant Scary Hologram, rather than in person. Rodimus Prime has returned. So has Thunderwing. Mostly, it mean that the Decepticons now have two headaches.


Hook isn't exactly awed by the size of the hologram- Afterall, it's not the size of your projection, it's how you use it- And this one lacks the realism and pure presence of a proper hologram. Hook looks up from his data pad, in case the horned right-hand mech is watching. Does Cyclonus speak of the return of Rodimus Prime... Thunderwing... or of Megatron? Cyclonus's talk about Unicron on the communication frequencies earlier were... disturbing. Hook keeps his optics and audials open, and his mouth shut.


Scrapper is about to continue his idle chit chat, but the holographic blue Star Wars-esque form of Cyclonus appears. Scrapper looks up. Way up. He elbows Hook and snorts in a hush hush manner, "Overcompensating much?" Scrapper doesn't answer Cyclonus since he suspects this is a rhetorical question. It's too bad, since he had a lot of good smart-ass replies ready.


Scavenger raises a hand "I know.. um. wait we're not supposed to answer are we?" He puts his hand down.


"In the year two thousand and five, by /Earth/ standards," Cyclonus bellows, his rough, deep voice given an extra dose of cannon-shot by the fact that he's just such a gigantic hologram right now, "I was created. As was /he/. You might say, considering the circumstances, that we are /inextricably/ linked."

If Cyclonus can even hear or see people's chatter, he makes no display of it. Instead, his gaze simply points downward, wandering slowly over the huge crowd. In the back, a few Decepticon Jets in funky two-tone color schemes are huddled together, playing dice and throwing down energon rations.

"I believe you all know who I speak of. When he -- /disappeared/, all too /conveniently/ for us, it registered no shock, did it? Perhaps it should have. Because then," Cyclonus states gravely, "we would have been better prepared for his inevitable return."


The sixchanger decided to show up to see what the fuss was about, partially out of boredom, more likely out of avoidance. Things had piled up at DCI in his absence, and he welcomed a distraction. Short of a flat order to engage, this was the next best thing. Likewise, he wasn't certain who exactly Cyclonus was referring too, but it promised a lot of work in the future. And it seemed as if the owner of the towering hologram wanted to nance about the issue, "Just get to the point already..." Muttering with arms folded, impatient? Maybe.


Scrapper hesitates. If he had a face that could show more expressions, it would be one of confusion and worry gracing his face. Disappeared? What's with the melodrama? Prime's left before, and what's this about not being prepared for his return? Scrapper folds his arms and watches silently, having absolutely no idea where Cyclonus is going with this. Rodimus is tough, sure, but the face of the war hasn't changed since he left, and it certainly won't change since he returned.


On the outside, Mesa seems disinterested, but secretly he is listening for the message behind the message. There certainly seems to be one present. Either that or Cyclonus really is all about the melodrama and theatrics. All in all this will be an interesting meeting none the less.


Onslaught shrugs inwardly in response to Cyclonus's comment about maintaining a state of prepardness. The nearly full databanks at HQ speak to Onslaught's almost obessive focus on preparing for all contingencies. The Combaticon Commander, however, says nothing of this as he continues to listen.


Hook's datapad is completly forgotten now, the visage of Cyclonus has gripped his full attention. Hook leans in with anticipation, hanging off of Cyclonus's words like an enraptured child. He is still suspicious of just /whom/ exactly the Unicronian-born is speaking about.


Swindle looks attentitively toward Cyclonus, seemingly all audials for what the Unicronian is saying. On the inside, he's flipping through various deals and scams, working the angles for them and attempting to factor in what Cyclonus is saying to see how it might affect his bottom line.


"For we all knew he would return. In the back of our minds." Cyclonus seems to be going off on a bit of a ramble, but his tone remains sharp and dead-serious throughout. Though there is a crackle, as if he were being broadcast on a flimsy transmission -- note also the flickering of his giant representation, again -- his voice comes through clear, and his humorlessness is as evident as any other moment in his life. "We are now faced with the question of -- what damage has been done by the lack of a strong leader? What damage can be /exploited/?"

In the back, one of the jets throws a roll and reaches for the pile of rations -- only to have another jet shove him away, asserting, "You used your null field to upset the dice's internal gyroservos, you cheat!"

Meanwhile, Cyclonus continues: "When the nominal leader in his absence is so habitually absent, his inferiors rushing to fill in the job -- but as ever, they are relics, easily crushed before as well as again. Perhaps they will chafe at the return of their leader."

The jet that's shoved tumbles backward into Divebomb, whose massive wingspan smacks into Headstrong. "Hey!" Headstrong bellows, jerking the jet to his feet. "What's the idea, venthead?!"

Cyclonus intones, "Perhaps there will be strife."


Scrapper shares looks with the other Constructicons, still wondering where Cyclonus is going with all this. Rodimus isn't /that/ important. He's just a really tough guy with an awful paint scheme. Taking a step to the side, Scrapper looks past Long Haul towards Headstrong, Divebomb, and the jets. "Simmer down, mechs!" he shouts. "/Some/ of us are trying to listen to the Commander!" Scrapper gestures towards the giant Cyclonus hologram while giving the jets & Predacons the evil optic.


Hook cats a hard look at the rabble-rousers, as Scrapper tells them off. "Yes," Hook adds, carefully. "Listen to what Cyclonus has to say. It's important." He says, as he looks back to the looming holographic Cyclonus. Just what kind of strike does he have in mind? War? Or something much closer to home...


Sixshot idly tapped his finger on his arm, still waiting for the moral of the story-- when the noisy clanking interruptions do just that. Turning his head in their direction, his optics flickered briefly in reflection of irritation, but Scrapper was quick to step up. If they didn't listen to the Constructicon...well. He was willing to be rough on Decepticons when needed.


Catechism continues to be a Background Seeker.


The fight, despite Scrapper and Hook's words, escalates, as Headstrong -- being Headstrong -- ignores them and punches the jet right in the face. His two friends attack, leading to a 2-on-3 Predacons-Jets brawl.

"So be it then. Sacrifices must be made." Cyclonus is silent for a moment. "I believe you know truly of what I am speaking now."

As the brawl continues, smashing a clumsy path through the crowd and picking up a couple more participants like a Katamari ball, the scene quickly becoming more and more chaotic and thrreatening to hurtle the assembly off its axis. The hologram of Cyclonus is unmoved. "I would like you to know something, Decepticons."

The jet who initially bumped into Divebomb is /thrown/ free of the crowd thanks to Predacon Strength. He slams into the side of one of the shuttles and falls, snapping a wing in the process. He groans. Cyclonus continues: "I found this ultimately easy. There was no hand-wringing."

Looking up, the jet sees pasted to the underside of the shuttle: a timer.

00:05

"There was no /weakness/."

00:03

"I am not sorry."

00:01

"Enjoy oblivion."

00:00

The shuttles explode in a horrific chain reaction, blasting like roman candles one after the other. The crowd instantly becomes a warzone as debris rains from the sky and freshly-fueled crafts provide the perfect resources for gigantic, open flames. The hologram of Cyclonus flickers and disappears as New New Crystal City's space port begins to be systematically blasted apart.


Scrapper scowls at the brawl brewing. He was all set to ignore it when an errant Seeker bumps into him as a result of being shoved. "Hey!" Scrapper shoves the Seeker right back, who is knocked into Divebomb. The Predacon glares at Scrapper. Seconds later, Scrapper (and possibly other Constructicons) are in the melee, throwing and receiving punches left right and centre. The Constructicon's head snaps back as an aerospace goon gets him with a good right punch across the chops, but Scrapper retaliates by picking him up and throwing him into the ground.

His entrance into the brawl means he is only vaguely aware of the nonsense that Cyclonus is rambling on about, and the sudden explosion of the shuttle takes him completely by surprise. Scrapper, and others, are thrown out from the concussive force of the detonation. Fiery debris rains down on all of them as the spaceport begins to crumble. He's entirely at a loss for what's going on. "W-we're under attack!" he shouts. Beyond this, he is entirely useless.


Decepticon Shuttle <Astrotrain> is, by some miracle not the shuttle that was blown apart. That would be bad...mmmkay?

What he is, however is down below in an bunkered maintenance bay, having just undergone a lube job and recoating of his atmospheric shields. He was dismissed long ago as being done actually but he couldn't resist catching a snooze while he was at it.

Until someone had to so RUDELY go and start blowing up the spaceport, causing Astrotrain's form to start rocking side to side in his moorings. "AHHHHHHH! I'M UP! I'M UP!"


Catechism's jaw drops. One can literally hear the hinge joints straining. However, her panic lasts but a second. She is a soldier with acid in her veins. She can handle this. With a whirl of parts, she snaps into her jet form, engages her lift fans, and she hovers into the air, trying to get above the explosions, her lift fans straining. She cries, "Get going, everyone! Move to a safer position! No gawking!"


Mesa immediately transforms and flies into the air away from various explosions. But as he takes off into the air, near by Enegon Silos explode as well. Forcing him back down and into his robot mode, fleeing from various explosions.


<Decepticon> Catechism stutters, "I... I... New New Crystal City. Shuttles exploding - need help. Fire crew!"

<Decepticon> Geo says, "... what?"

<Decepticon> Astrotrain says, "SOMEBODY BETTER HAVE A GOOD REASON FOR WAKING ME UP!"

<Decepticon> Astrotrain says, "...oh the spaceport's explodin. I guess that's a good reason..."

<Decepticon> Hook says, "UNICRON SPAWN!"

<Decepticon> Astrotrain says, "OH SLAG I'M STILL IN THIS REPAIR BAY!"

<Decepticon> Catechism tries to steel herself, "The shuttles in New New Crystal City - oh, it's awful - the energon silos are going - we have explosions, massive explsions."

Soundwave storms out of the deeper recesses of the building, tracking the explosions.

<Decepticon> Noah Wolfe says, "Having a bit of bad luck are we? Dear, oh dear, oh dear, tisk tisk tisk."

<Decepticon> Catechism says, "...do we have someone who could create a secure channel?"

<Decepticon> Soundwave has encrypted this channel.

<Decepticon> Soundwave says, "Channel encrypted."

<Decepticon> <:D Catechism says, "Thank you, sir."

<Decepticon> Earthscorch says, "Be prepared for an attack, as we have revealed our weakness."


Onslaught looks around for Swindle as the shuttle explodes but sees that the Combaticon has already vanished. He begins what he would term a strategic withdrawl but what might either call a retreat toward the Hovertransport. He raises the modulation of his voice synthesizer as he calls out to the milling Decepticons. "All those requiring transport may take shelter here!"


Decepticon Shuttle <Astrotrain> is surrounded by explosions! Maybe he'll be safe if he stays underground slightly, but then again there's fuel, and spare parts, and all that sort of stuff lying around! Time to get outta dodge!


"I ain't stickin around for this!" He howls, suddenly igniting his thrusters and BLASTING off into the air, going straight up into the air, bits of debris flying in all directions as he goes upwards like a rocket, followed by briliant explosions that seem to reach out for him like a swatting hand...then fall short of getting their target. "...HAH!"


F-35B Lightning II <Catechism> is flying high in the air, riding out the shockwaves as the energon silos go up in flames. All around, shuttles are in smoking ruins. Chaos is on the ground below. She engages her long-range sensors, the ones that she usually uses for scouting, trying to get good footage.


<Decepticon> Astrotrain says, "-WHAT- the frag was that all about? One minute I'm takin a rest cycle the next everything's explodin!"

<Decepticon> Onslaught says, "Take it as a lesson to pay more attention, Astrotrain!"

<Decepticon> Astrotrain says, "That ain't answering my question!"

<Decepticon> Catechism says, "Soundwave, sir,a hologram of Lord Cyclonus delivered an... erratic speech after summoning us here, and then... then... shuttles started exploding."

<Decepticon> Scrapper says, "Cyclonus, what's the meaning of this?!"

<Decepticon> Cyclonus is conspicuously absent from broadband listings.


This was getting out of control. Honestly, he was trying to hear something that could be important and these fools had to be picking now to fight, Sixshot would just have to wade into the mess and start literally pounding some quiet into his comrades if...

"Oblivio--?" He dimly heard that over the cacaphony in mid step towards the brawl, just before the real explosions began. Buffeted by the concussive forces, the sudden spike in heat was only more confirmation that all hell had just erupted, even as the ground beneath his feet became more unsteady. It was enouch to knock him off his feet, but not for long. Shrapnel was just as much danger was the timed explosions, and like the rest of the Decepticons ready and able...he transformed and took to the air to better access the situation.

Weapons arrays came online immeadiately, checking for hostiles now that he had a bit of space between him and the dock itself, but that one thing stuck in his head...Cyclonus knew.

The plan to take to the air is not unheeded, as huge swaths of the Decepticon crowd do just that -- unfortunately for some, it means that people are jockeying for position, the slower ones are knocked out of the sky or slammed around -- and even some of the faster ones are pelted by flying debris, conditions too oppressive to properly execute evasive maneuvers.

On the ground, fires burn left and right, spilled fuel causing them to rage brightly. Half-molten grunts scream and scramble, a few valiant tough ones trying to put out the blazes even as pieces of shuttles still crash around them. The boom of the energon silos detonating is, in a word, deafening.


<Decepticon> Catechism says, "The hologram said that, ah, uhm, that, "There was no 'weakness'. I am not sorry. Enjoy oblivion.""

<Decepticon> Sixshot says, "He has to know about this"


Hook's left side is struck by the blast, searing away his paint and melting away superficial edges of his armor. The brawl erupts around him, and he finds himself throwing heavy clenched fists left and right, defnding himself. Hook may be the consumate professional in the lab, but he knows how to get down and dirty. Scrapper catches his optic, and he fights his way towards his fellow Constructicon. "This is madness!" He exclaims, punching some random Decepticon in the chops. "If there's going to be a fight for supremacy, then the Constructicons will show no mercy. CONSTRUCTICONS! Merge to form DEVASTATOR!"

With a shudder of metal, the Constructicons undergo a stunning transformation and combine into the mighty form of Devastator!


<Decepticon> Sixshot says, "Can anyone track the origin of that transmission?"

Launching upwards, Sixshot in a quick shuffle of parts changes into the form of a sleek star fighter.

<Decepticon> Geo says, "Give me a moment, and I shall try."


A low audible rock tune can be heard as Mesa transforms into an AH-64D Apache Longbow, only to have it be drowned out by the roaring rotor blades.


<Decepticon> Catechism says slowly, "Either... either... Lord Cyclonus wishes us all dead, or someone is doing a bang-up job of framing him. Think this might be related to Baffles's death and Mesa's fire?"


Mesa manages to finally transform and leave quietly from the area, hoping that no one will take notice of his absence in the middle of explosions and such.


Deciding to bring some heat to this BBQ Onslaught transforms into his missile truck mode.

Soundwave surveys the damage, optic glowing brightly.


<Decepticon> Astrotrain mutters, "What a way to wake up."

<Decepticon> Geo says, "... this is odd. The transmission point of origin is from the D-46 Point in Cybertron Orbit. Unicron's Head."

<Decepticon> Sixshot says, "I love the sound of it already."


Earthscorch flies in from above, observing the area below as he slowly descends. "So, what's all this fuss about?"


<Decepticon> Mesa says, "Your readings must be false."

<Decepticon> Mesa says, "Or it could be a trick to decieve you."


Onslaught notices that no one seems to be paying attention to his offer as the fires from the shuttles continue to burn. He then transforms, turrets bearing onto the nearest burning shuttle, before loading with unarmed high impact rounds. A few brief adjustments are made before he fires those rounds toward the shuttle and sending the burning hulk flying clear of the spaceport and splashing into the sea nearby.


<Decepticon> Astrotrain says, "Oh F#*@( you."

<Decepticon> Earthscorch says, "People have hidden there before. I thought we destroyed it."

<Decepticon> Astrotrain says, "Not Unibutt -again-."

<Decepticon> Astrotrain says, "Even when he's dead he's causin trouble!"


F-35B Lightning II <Catechism> sighs gustily, murmuring, "We need a fire crew out here, badly, Why don't we have, like, our own team of Protectobots? Protectocons." She stays at her perch on high but hollers down, "Fire brigagde! Someone get the fire brigade!' They have to have one, right? Does she have to get out her bucket and start bailing sea water on the blaze?


<Decepticon> Geo says, "I have double-checked my readings against astrogation charts and current astrogational anomalies. There is a scant .0000087162 chance of a mistake."

<Decepticon> Catechism says, "Why must it be false, Mesa?"

<Decepticon> Soundwave says, "Launch fighters, assume defensive screen around New New Crystal City. Cease debate immediately."

<Decepticon> Mesa says, "Think of the logic behind that. Why would someone knowingly transmit from Unicron's Head with a very trackable signal. I say it's false."

<Decepticon> Astrotrain says, "Well it's a good thing yer not callin the shots are ya, peewee!?"

<Decepticon> Earthscorch says, "Yes, attracting Unicron's attention was a fell blow to our cause. Need I mention it was the Autobots who brought us to his attention?"

<Decepticon> Sixshot says, "So either we're in the running for a new high roller in command, or Cyclonus is going to have a bad day soon."

<Decepticon> Mesa says, "Understood Sir."

<Decepticon> Catechism says, "To lure us into a trap? To frame Lord Cyclonus? Arrogance?"

<Decepticon> Sixshot says, "Moving to comply Soundwave."

<Decepticon> Soundwave says, "*HUGE burst of feedback across entire broadband* CEASE DEBATE IMMEDIATELY."

Decepticon> Onslaught says, "The reason can wait. The fire is the crucial point now!"


F-35B Lightning II <Catechism> shakes in the air at the feedback burst, rattled. Okay. No more debate. She assumes a defense posture, curling the air like the high-powered fighter that she is. Attacks in the home base are always the worst. Even as she patrols, she continues recording, as best a her scouting apparatus will allow.


Sixshot's not built to put out fires nor does he have an interest in diving in to save those who were unfortunate enough to get caught...ofcourse, if he was ordered it'd be different but for the time being he settled on securing the skies, peeling off to circle in a broadening patten from the source of the disturbance outwards.


<Decepticon> Earthscorch says, "Likewise we must presume Cyclonus is an enemy and kill him if possible."

<Decepticon> Chimera says, "..."

<Decepticon> Sixshot would have further comment on that, except Soundwave was rather explicit.


Devastator lets out a roar of pure fury, after his constituent parts have combined into thier incohesive, monstrously destructive whole. Hook's suspicions were proved to be correct, as the widespread explosions can show testament... Hook's plan? To use Devastator to bring the brawl to a standstill.

Devastator's fracture psyche can't quite wrap it's head around Hook's idea, but it doesn't have to. All it has to do is what Devastator dos best: Destroy! The hulking green menace stomps forward, scattering some of the still-brawling Decepticons, breaking through the battling crowd like a tsunami washing away saplings. He scowls a scowl of a giant, and stomps forward again, sweeping away the opposition. He levels his massive rifle at those who still fight, inviting them to face destruction at he hands of the gestalt, or flee.


On the ground, nameless jets and some of those mystery Constructicons the animators stuck into that one episode, as well as a couple of Soundwave's less cool and unplayed tapes, are acting as firefighters, attempting to redirect thick hoses of suppressing foam to spray on the blazes. The spaceport looks like hell, a flaming little mini-wasteland where bodies are already making their still presence known.


F-35B Lightning II <Catechism> grapples with her own opinions as she flies a defensive perimeter sweep. Lord Cyclonus has long been a powerful, loyal Decepticon. However, he was created by Unicron, who has been known to cheat death and suborn minds. Perhaps Unicron has again gained control of Lord Cyclonus. Perhaps Lord Cylonus is just pissed off at them all and wants them dead. Perhaps, due to Galvaton being Megatron again, the older Transformers wish to see see the Unicronians removed and have framed Lord Cyclonus. Perhaps an outside force wishes to cause strife and chaos within the Decepticon ranks to exploit their weakness. Perhaps... thinking does no good. The truth will out. For now, there is only crackling fire and death.


Earthscorch simply lands and waits, his arms crossed and he watches the scene impassively. He seems unmoved by the burning or the command for radio silence.


Onslaught is still continuing his work or rather was before Devastator got thrown into the mix. The Construction rapidly moves out of the lumbering robot's way as he turns his barrels to send another burning shuttle out into the ocean. "This situation is pure foolishness!"


As if the Dock explosion and now the Spaceport explosion wasn't enough, more of the major Energon Silo's around NCC systematically start to explode. From the average onlooker, NCC would look like it's under massive attack or something.


<Decepticon> Catechism breaks the silence, because someone has to report this - and Soundwave can be angry with her if he wants, "Silos around NCC are exploding. Suggest any other explosive areas, such as the armoury, be checked immediately by a bomb squad."


Earthscorch unenthusiastically turns to watch the explosions. "What caused that? Was it bombs? Maybe someone ought to be searching for bombs."


<Decepticon> Geist says, "For the record, i've been working the Argosy air space all day."


As Devastator threatens to stomp the crowd, more and more stragglers clear out. The nameless, thankless Medical Unit is even moved to, for the first time since NCC's founding, leave the infirmary to help evac the wounded. As fires are stomped and doused, and the Decepticon crowds are able to coordinate themselves better in the wake of the initial shock, things seem to be spiralling back into control... oh, except for those other explosions!


Decepticon Shuttle <Astrotrain> has been orbiting above the chaos now since he blasted off in the wake of all the excitement. Watching the few explosions taking place, he finally gives a low grunt and begins to soar off, not one for cleanup duties it would seem.


Finally being released from the Med ward, Avalanche comes running towards the spaceport. He may be a bit late, but he's atleast here. Quickly he transforms into his Tiger mode, and chuckles, "What a perfect opportunity to test my new upgrade." The maw of the beast opens, and whatever remaining fires meet a quick end at the hands of liquid nitrogen. Now if gumbies were in the way, it wasn't his fault they didnt move fast enough.


It truely was a tapestry of art, whomever was behind todays fantastical display of destruction...the sixchanger had to hand it, it was beautiful. Sixshot hadn't ruled out that it really was Cyclonus, even thought that perhaps the Decepticon could be restrained whilst this little parade went on stage-- but when it came down too... betrayed or not, someone would have to answer for this. No doubt DCI would be under even further pressure to find out what and who, but the part he looked foward too was the reckoning.


Devastator stands up to his full height. A savagely beaten Seeker is in one hand, and a savagely butchered Seeker in the other. The brawl has been stopped via the green behemoth, and now he stares in muted shock as explosions rock New New Crystal City. His puny mind tries to comprehend what's going on, and what he should be doing. With the crowd dispersed, there's nobody obvious that needs killing. The six Constructicons in his mind clamor about the destruction their beloved New New Crystal City is suffering. The noise in his head are buzzing like gnats, complaining and swearing vengeance on the treacherous Decepticon second in command who did this.

Devastator himself doesn't understand, but the Constructicons' anger fuels his own. Dropping the two wrecked Seekers to the now gutted spaceport tarmac, Devastator raises his arms, looks up at the sky, and bellows in rage, threatening whatever enemy is responsible for this to come down so he can crush them. The southern night sky fails to respond to Devastator's challenge, however, and the Constructicon Supreme bellows a second time. He's satisfied that the stars are no longer a threat, but he still yearns to find this mech the six Decepticons are fuming over. He years to find Cyclonus and rend him limb from limb.


<Decepticon> Sixshot says, "Arial perimeter is secure, so far no EDC, Autobot or otherwise aircraft have come on down to investigate. Anything on your end Catechism?"


F-35B Lightning II <Catechism> has a rather terrible thought and switchs her long-ranged scouting sensors to the mountain itself. She continues flying out that same perimeter sweep pattern and relays her fears to Soundwave. There is no reassurance to be had, however.


<Decepticon> Onslaught says, "Devastator is apparently running amock at the spaceport."


The Chopper flies back into the area, surveying the damage. It then transforms to reveal the form of Mesa. Mesa falls towards the ground but doesn't quite land, and insteand hovers a couple of feet off the ground. He then hovers over toward Soundwave who is doing the things that Soundwave does. "Sir." Is all that Mesa says as he salutes the Decepticon.


Mesa's rotor blades instantly stop as the various parts begin to form into his robot mode, followed by the low audible sound of a drum and bass tune.


<Decepticon> Catechism says, "Aside from Devastator, explosions, and my own worries? Nothing so far, Sixshot, sir."


Earthscorch raises his voice and calls out, "Is anyone doing anything to lock the area down? If we have a saboteur, letting him escape would be against our best interests."


<Decepticon> Catechism says, "Long range, I see no evidence of outside missiles or lasers, no enemy ships. Seems like this was an inside job."


Soundwave reaches up to eject a lone Tape. "Ravage, eject. Operation: investigate."

Soundwave turns now to face Mesa. "Report activities."


A black cassette ejects from Soundwave's chest. Shifting in mid-air into his panther mode, Ravage touches down upon the tarmac with all the grace and agility of his earthen counterparts.

The black beast growls, it's eyes narrow to the remaining silos... what few are left. With the sprint of a predator, the tape darts forward to fulfill his master's command.


Mecha Tiger <Avalanche> continues to douse any fire along his way, though he too has enhanced senses to detect anyone that may not be a Decepticon. Though he may be far too occupied to even notice such -deception-.


<Decepticon> Sixshot says, "A short, if formidable list. Anything to be done about Devestator? He could trash what remains."


Onslaught spots a crazed Seeker gumby coming toward him and, not having enough time to reload his turrets, swiftly transforms before reaching out to grab the onrushing warrior. The Combaticon lifts him up, swinging around, before flinging him against the back of Devastator's leg. Once this is done he seems to notice Soundwave as the other ejects Ravage and turns to look over at him. "Soundwave, is that going to be of any assistance?"


With the brawling crowd of unruly Decepticons dispersed, Devastator finds himself without anyone in close proximity to fight. Rage bubbles up from the depths of his mind, the anger and confusion of his component parts. The clamoring for answers and actions swell, and Devastator's mind can with hold it no longer; The massive giant's impotent rage can be of no further use here, and the components parts seperate, becoming the Constructicons once again.


Mesa salutes again. "Sir. Preliminary investigation indicates that all the major silo's were hit, our energon reserves are now dangerously low. Recommend severe rationing until we can correct the problem." Mesa makes a rather quick tap on his helm to Soundwave. Then he goes to the at ease position.


Avalanche and the less 'face-time-getting' grunts continue to put out the fires -- it's difficult work, but it's accomplished with minimal continuing casualties. Even if they're a bunch of psychopathic space pirates who mostly hate each other, the Decepticons can still act like a real live military unit when it counts, and right now it counts, perhaps more than ever. The fires are slowly quelled, and as Devastator stops smashing stuff with his footfalls, more troops are able to move in. The fires being vanquished reveals the extent of the damage to this grand crime scene: NCC's spaceport looks like a ruined husk, scorched and battered nearly beyond recognition -- and into jagged, abstract rubble in some spots.


Scrapper hits the ground on his feet in a picture perfect landing, even jumping forward to avoid the other Constructicons landing on top of him. It isn't often he's able to pull that off. "I'll kill him!" Scrapper shouts. "If Cyclonus was really responsible for this then I'm going to kill him! Have we managed to confirm that it really was him?" he starts demanding of random Decepticons near him. He refrains from getting any fire fighting gear due to his phobia of fire retardant foam.


Earthscorch walks over to where the important people are. "Sirs, excuse me, but if this was an inside job, perhaps the space bridge is in danger. Doing so would isolate us with limited energon resources. We may be in grave peril."


Scavenger faceplants as he falls out of hte merge. He's not as good at this as Scrapper is. "I tried to hold the gestalt, guys. Is.. Is Cyclonus really behind this?" poor Scavenger. He seems so confused. Well, that explains Devastator anyways.


Earthscorch frowns at Scavenger in clear disgust. "If Cyclonus is involved he must be regarded as a threat and killed."


Onslaught shakes his head as he approaches Earthscorch and Scavenger before coming to stand between them. "It is not in line with Cyclonus's standard operating procedure to stage such events. Even if he has set this incident it must be the work of an outside party."


Soundwave glares at Mesa, then turns toward Onslaught. "Intelligence operations not under jurisdiction of Operations." He turns and stalks over toward Scrapper. "Damage superficial. Primary damage: depletion of energon reserves. Recommend: secure remaining energon supply, increase guard, commence cleanup operation immediately."


F-35B Lightning II <Catechism> calls down from her patrol pattern, "And if Lord Cyclonus has been framed? We need to know who the real culprit is and fast before we waste time on a fruitless witch-hunt."


Mecha Tiger <Avalanche> finally douses the last of the fires near him, and transforms into his robot mode. "So...am I hearing this correctly. Cyclonus is to be the cause of this mayhem?" He asks, making his way over towards Mesa and Soundwave. "Surely, I am to be hearing this incorrectly."


Earthscorch nods at Onslaught in appreciation of his opinion. "Yes, that is so. If Cyclonus has truly done this, than he is likely under some form of control from an outside source. The readings from Unicron's head are ominious in this regard. We should investigate as quickly as possible. A pity, since Cyclonus is best for such a trip, I think."


Scrapper holds his head and groans at Soundwave's diagnosis, even though it isn't all that bad. "We NEED that energon!" He thinks about the massive stockpiles that the Decepticons had gained from the Nova incident and other, more recent campaigns. "Why would Cyclonus even do this? It doesn't make any sense." Scrapper madly paces back and forth. "He calls us all together, goes off on a rambling tangant about Rodimus, and then blows up parts of NCC?! Blast it all to the pit!" Scrapper is a wee bit frustrated.


F-35B Lightning II <Catechism> suggests, over the wind, "Officer Sixshot could check out Unicron's Head to get preliminary data."


Ravage bounds for one of the remaining silos. Thermal imaging exposes a realm beyond what normal senses are accustomed to. Before the panther has even reached within proximity, he has traced the source of the demolitions. Bounding forward, he leaps into the silo.

Using his own momentum, his legs explode and ricochet him back and forth along the walls down the deep cylinder. And there it is.

A large cache of energon at the peripheral of a small explosive device. Nothing fancy... crude but quite capable of causing mayhem.

The panther lands beside within only a few hearbeats from destruction left. A single claw swipes the appropriate wiring. The timer ceases. "All too easy."


Mesa swings around towards Earthscorch. "There is no logical reason to go to Unicron's Head. Yeah you think the signal came from there, but it's a 90% probability that it's misdirection. Slag even the Terran's know how to do that, so why would you assume that's the first place to look? We should continue our investigations here." Mesa notices Ravage leaving.


Earthscorch nods in agreement with Catechism. "Yes, and he should be able to deal with nearly anything he encounters there. Is he able to communicate long distances, in case of emergency?"


Onslaught looks at the wigging out Scrapper before turning to look back at Earthscorch and Mesa before nodding to the ladder. "This is the focal point and there may be vital evidence we should collect before exploring other alternatives."


<Decepticon> Ramjet says, "Hnnh. Would I be made of more sophisticated processors, the answers would be so clear."

<Decepticon> Ramjet says, "Still. Sacrifices must be made."


LOCAL BROADCAST: Soundwave turns and addresses all the present troops on their radios. "To: all Decepticons present. Reduce speculation to zero. Decepticon Central Intelligence will pursue all paths of investigation. Requirements: remain silent on subject of explosions, Cyclonus on Decepticon factional radio. Double perimeter patrols."


<Decepticon> D-56 Ramjet says, "For honor and for Empire."


Hook's face is dark. He had suspicions of Cyclonus since earlier, when the Unicronian made obscure references to Unicron. He thought he would seek to make everyone rebel against the newly non-Unicronian Galvatron/Megatron, but he never suspected THIS. Not this rampant destruction. Hook kicks himself for not suspecting such treachery, butthere is too much work to be done her, to repair and fortify against the growing list of enemies. "I'm going to inspect the critical areas of the city, and begin drafting non-combat personelle to begin the required repairs. As well as make a survey of remaining Energon supplies."


Avalanche just looks back and forth between all the other Decepticons speaking. Though he does nod with Onslaught. "I am to be agreeing with you there, Comrade. However..." He then points at Earthscorch, not knowing his name. "He does bring a valid point. we do -not- need every Decepticon here, as our space faring soldiers are very small in number. We can send them, and keep us that cannot fly out to Cybertron."


F-35B Lightning II <Catechism> would squint, if she had squintable optics in this form, but she doesn't, so she can't. Mesa seems very against visiting Unicron's Head. Could be hiding something? Where did he go, anyway? She seems to remember him vanishing during part of the chaos. He was also there for the other explosion. She argues, "90%, maybe, but if it's that 10%, we'll be kicking ourselves." Then, at Soundwave's orders, she shuts up. Again.


<Decepticon> Ramjet says, "Razors, to me! Tonight, we secure our destiny..."


Scrapper, still in a pissy, freaked out mood, shoots a reply bck over the local broadband to Soundwave, "Then you'll handle letting the troops know that Cyclonus is a treacherous greasebag, Soundwave? You'll handle the investigation and find out where he is so we can get him back?!" Scrapper nods to Hook, briefly returning to his usual laid back self. This stops once Hook toddles off, however, and Scrapper resumes pacing once more.


Earthscorch says, "If we have the capacity to store energon, I recommend an immediate energon raid to secure emergency provisions. We must be careful not to leave the city as well defended as possible, though."


Scavenger murmurs softly. "Everything's just so confusing. M...maybe we shoudl hide until people stop shooting at us?" he cowers. Oh how helpful Scavenger is!


<Decepticon> Ramjet says, "..and prove the Empire is constructed of far more sterner stuff than what we are given credit for."


Sixshot continues to ensure that no one attempts to investigate the commotion from the outside, preparing to hand down the job to some DCI lackey so that he could get back on the ground where the investigations no doubt, would start.


Soundwave is horribly bossy. And given this opportunity, he appears to be co-opting control of the faction due to the absence of other leadership. How about that. "Scrapper, Decepticon Empire will require emergency rationing program for remaining energon. Onslaught, energy raids, city defense require significant increases until return of stability." His gaze sweeps the firey horizon. "All present DCI personnel, require individual debriefing. Schedule to be determined."


Ravage returns from within the silo, device held firmly in his jaws as he pads towards Soundwave. The cassette says nothing as he offers it to his creator for a closer inspection.


Soundwave looks at the offered device, then gives it back to Ravage to store. "Deposit in DCI storage for analysis."


Earthscorch gives the device Ravage carries over to Soundwave a curious glance, but as he is no techie he doesn't give it undue attention. He takes a look around, wondering who he should be reporting too. He finally settles on Onslaught, who he approaches and asks, "Is there anything I could be doing to help, sir?"


Mesa floats over to Soundwave. "Orders Sir?" The chopper bot asks.


Soundwave seems to ignore Mesa for a brief time, then finally glances over at him. "Assist cleanup operation. Collect evidence."


Mesa does so as ordered. He proceeds with the cleanup giving Earthscorch a curious look, well as much of one as he can give with a mono-optic, as he walks by. Mesa seems to fade into the background with the rest of the clean up group.


Ravage takes the device back, carefully slipping it into his chest cavity as the torso plating on his ventral side slips open. There will be no other eyes that see said explosive until Soundwave authorizes it.

Ravage growls, he narrows his eyes to mere slits as he looks suspiciously at those present while seated beside Soundwave's feet.


F-35B Lightning II <Catechism> would facepalm if she had a face. Dear Straxus, Ramjet is so.... enthusiastic in all the wrong ways. She agrees that Cyclonus should be found and contained, but she doesn't think that fingering him as the only culprit is a good idea so soon. It could be exactly what their enemies want.


Scrapper stops his pacing, but only because he realizes that he isn't accomplishing anything by doing so. "...yes," he finally says to Soundwave, bowing to the tall dark and blue's logic. "You're right. I'll start drawing up a plan for energon rationing once we have a better picture of what was destroyed." Scrapper idly kicks at some debris, "Gaaaaah, why would Cyclonus /do/ this?!" He's having a bit of trouble getting off this line of thought.


Scavenger asks to himself. "If Cyclonus isnt Cyclonus how can we be sure any of us are who we say we are?"


Scrapper says, "It /better/ not be Cyclonus. For his sake."


Earthscorch says, "A good question, Scavenger. You should detain yourself in the brig, just to be sure."

Earthscorch goes over to an area of extinquished wreckage to help move debris, as needed, having annoyed a Constructicon and fulfilled his quota.


Scavenger blinks. "You're right, Earthscorch. How do I know Im me?" He starts to back away.


EPILOGUE

<Decepticon> Ramjet transmits sounds of clips being locked and loaded. "Milord Cyclonus? I know you're listening.."

<Decepticon> Ramjet says, "Maintain radio silence all you like. It won't save you from the truth."

<Decepticon> Ramjet says, "Just know this."

<Decepticon> Ramjet says, "All these years. All these battles. All these planets. I have only one regret."

<Decepticon> Ramjet says, "That I didn't step on you and your kind the first chance I had."

<Decepticon> Ramjet says, "I've assembled the Wings, Cyclonus. The end of your infestation is nigh."

<Decepticon> Ramjet says, "And when I get a hold of you, I'm going to rip you apart purple piece by purple piece... BOMBSHELL."

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