It is a tribute to the construction of the city that they were successfully able to integrate a Cybertronian landscape into something as un-Cybertronian as a coastline. Regardless, as the city is in battle mode, one is not likely to be admiring the construction effort. Huge laser emplacements point out to sea, capable of sinking a battleship. Tiny point-defense laser turrets are placed along the sky-roads that lead deeper into the city, and missile turrets line the various spires of the city to protect against an aerial assault. As this is the gateway to the rest of New Crystal City, clearly it was designed to be a strong fortification. The weaponry is mostly for long-range engagements to annihilate foes before they even reach the island, but there are short ranged guns as well. Overall, this is a death trap to invaders. A huge strike force would be required to secure it.
Motormaster expresses confusion because a) he wears his thoughts and emotions on his non-sleeve, and b) the idea that these humans would have information valuable to the Decepticons never occurred to him. He stares down at their battered corpses, pondering the smattering of blood strewn about the area. "Won't happen again," he scruffs. A thought occurs to him that he should have let go, however. "I have a need to ram Rodimus Prime several times. This was the best I could come up with instead."
Galvatron nods carefully, "That's a healthy attitude. And you will get your chance. But not until after these raids coming up. Until then, we must hold our feelings of aggression in check. We have a mutual enemy...my friend. And that enemy lies in those multiple tentacled FREAKS! They dare to try to utilize /MY MEDIA/ to work against me? The human media has, and always will be, my tool for the molding. Not theirs. And it is obvious that is what they are doing. Since when have you known a quint to care about human life? They care even less than we do. They're up to something, and it isn't good for us. We have to crush them, and rip their faces off. I trust that such an action would please you?"
Nearly midnight, and the ocean laps at the newly reshellaced surface of the coastline, the clearcoat making the steely shine of the cyberformed land gleam with near chrome-like luster. And so, it is by the light of the moon itself, and the two copies on the seawater and the coast itself that the flash of a large, glossy white belly of an incoming craft. The hefty defenses do not activate, revealing the identification signal of the plane to be Decepticon in nature. Dipping low over the water, not quite aware of the exchange going on between Galvatron and Motormaster, Fusillade then lines up for a proper approach once she gets clearance. Soon, the raucousness of her engine quartet fills the air, a brief wing-waggle sent to the recognized figures below as the Lancer streaks toward New Crystal City proper.
Motormaster's immediate reaction is one of disappointment. He really had his heart -- and grill -- set on a showdown on some open road in the middle of a desert with Rodimus. The challenge of crushing a Quintesson seems elementary in relation. "Well, yeah. Anytime crushing is involved, I'm pleased. Priorities, I guess, but I was kinda looking forward to the Autobots. I'm guessin' backing out on the Autobots isn't an..." Trailing off, his optics go skyward at the incoming Bomber. An automatic, perhaps tell-tale headshake can be observed easily, but chances are good that it's not a personal thing. He just hates things that fly.
Galvatron looks to the skies at the bomber, and then back to Motormaster. He realizes the hatred there. He did create Motormaster, after all. Well, his previous self did. But he does remember that. He is the only unicronian that does. Hence what happened to Starscream. He smirks slightly.
"Don't worry, Motormaster. I can virtually assure you that you and Rodimus will face off sooner than later. There is just other garbage to be dealt with first. We can't have anything interfering with our war with him and his human friends, can we? Of course we can't. The true warrior eliminates all obstacles to his target before striking it. And once we do that? I will guarantee you a chance to ram Rodimus into oblivion...but not before I crush him in hand to hand combat. He is a coward. This you know. Everytime I have challenged him, he has resorted to back up or using his rifle when I challenged him in the ancient way. One shall stand, one shall fall. The Autobots have lost the brutality and honor of battle. The humans have corrupted them. We shall correct this. But AFTER we deal with the Quintessons. Do I make myself clear?"
Speaking of things that fly, here is Catechism, and she's not flying. She's walking, a datapad in hand. Perhaps she came out here to contemplate while listening to the rhythm of the waves. As it is, the roar of jet engines, yanks her attention up. Catechism know that B-1B, and so dragged away from her reading, she glances about. There's one of those Stunticons, and seeing the mess he's made, she feel oddly sympathetic for the ground vehicle. Catechism also spies Emperor Galvatron, so she tucks away her datapad and bows formally.
The spires and turrets midway into the city have come and went under Fusillade's normal returning flight path before she banks and turns upon spying Motormaster and more particularly, Galvatron. Transforming as she descends, Fusillade shrinks considerably, pushing the bounds of believability before alighting on the ground before the pair. "Painting," she says appreciatively to Motormaster by way of greeting before also taking a sweeping bow, using one folded wingblade for added flourish. The tap of thrustered feet causes her to turn briefly to Catechism. "As you may have seen in my report, Lord Galvatron, I have some matters to speak with you on..." She pauses as she sizes up Motormaster for a certain, particular brand of unreliability, before she adds, "And I have something on a related note to ask my Number One..."
The sleek bomber rears up, arms splitting from her side and wings collapsing to rest on the hips of the revealed form of Fusillade.
Motormaster's attention pulls from the bomber that makes him angry to the seeker that makes him uncomfortable. One of them, anyway. Alas, any time discomfort is felt, the time has come for a bold and fearless approach, right? He turns to face Catechism and picks up one of the corpses near his feet. "How do you feel about lawn darts?" he asks with a horrible twinkle in his optic. "Cause I got 50 enerchips that says I can chuck one of these further than you!"
Galvatron smirks and nods to Fusillade, "In a moment. Motormaster is cleared, worry not. If there is one that would never betray the empire, it is him. But first, I want to see this bet. I take the bet. I put 50 on Motormaster."
Catechism pauses and considers. Fusillade needs to talk to her. A Stunticon wants to play lawn darts. She need to be elsewhere shortly. The Seeker sighs and salutes Fusillade, explaining, "I'm afraid that I do not have the time at the moment, sir. I was just out for a short bit of contemplation." Then, she turns to Galvatron, "Mi'lord, did you receive the report I sent? It pertains to the current Quintesson menace." Finally, she turns to the Stunticon, sizes him up, and smiles, "As Galvatron wishes. Any resistrictions?"
Motormaster turns his head and squints at Galvatron. "Are you kidding me? I learned this from the best!" "Learn" is such a relative term, these days. Also, it was probably prudent for him to not mention that Scourge was the one he learned from. Unflapped, his head shakes in response to Catechism. "Nope. Start here, don't foul. Furthest corpse wins. For the record, Dirge, I won the gold medal in a like-minded event at the last Olympics on Monacus. No pressure or anything, though!" He throws a wink back to Galvatron and takes his starting position. In something of a combination of shotput and discus techniques, he spins around from one foot to the other and back again before slinging the body from his right hand. It seems to be in the air for an impossibly long time, but eventually *SPLAT*s across one of the recently repaved roads near the coastline. The Stunticon looks down at his finishing point and draws a bead on the body's final resting place (in more ways than one). Finally he exclaims, "Point three-seven miles! Not my best, but damn close." Chuckles abound as he's sure he's got this one in the bag.
Galvatron smirks, "I received your report. Continue, please."
Fusillade mmms toward Catechism. "A report, eh? About the Sharkticons? Well, that's what I needed to discuss, so if I'm granted clearance, I'll get it from him." Her attention turns to the contest with the inert fleshlings, and she crosses arms over her cockpit as she shifts weight to one double-thrustered heel. Her clarion alto jests lightly, "You'll not hold it against me if I support my Executive Officer, now will you, Motormaster? The next three days' worth of my energon ration on her." A quick glance and smirk is shot toward Galvatron, before she awaits the shotput contest.
Catechism picks up one of the humans. She can't believe she's contemplating this, she really can't. She hates squishy aliens in a deeply personal way. She loathes touching them. However, in this one instant, she fear failure more than she fears the touch of viscera on her armour. Then, in a decisive motion, the Seeker jams the human up her boot-jet and transforms, nose pointing at the crowd, such as it is. She tilts herself nose-down, tail-up, landing gear clicking in and out. Then, the F-35 fires her engines at full bore, as if for a carrier take-off. Let's see how humans accelerate when exposed to thousands of pounds of thrust!
Fusillade immediately falls to her skidplate on the ground, arms clutched around her midriff as she howls in laughter. She was silently urging Catechism to win by any means, and cheating was always an option. "ATTA GIRL, go chica!"
Galvatron ehs as he watches the human fly. He looks to both Motormaster and Catechism then shakes his head, "I'm not sure that counts. I would have to call this contest a tie. I am all about using your wits to defeat an enemy. But this was a contest of strength, not wits. Therefore, it is a tie...for now. It will be settled later."
Motormaster stares in disbelief as the human somehow does not vaporize, and sails well over "point three-seven miles". His jaw all but hits the ground... until Fusillade puts in her two cents. Mirthfully, he turns about and levels a glare at her that would melt ice. Might be the EYE LASERS that are coming out of his optics, though! Except that he doesn't have eye lasers, sadly. As Galvatron proclaims a tie, the Stunticon is forced to shake his head. "No, no. He asked about restrictions, I said no. He won." He then does a little mental math and sees that he's coming up short at paying out winnings on this. "Ah... how do we feel about installment plans?"
Galvatron sighs, "Smarts were never your strong suit, Motormaster. But as you wish, Catechism, a FEMALE I might add, has defeated you. Given the circumstances of the defeat, I am not going to beat you senseless. Your destruction of two human germs negates that. But that's not what is important right now. What is your report, Fusillade?"
Being used to dealing with Catechism on a day to day basis, Fusillade all but forgets that the Seeker's functional lines make most designate the F-35 with a male or neuter gender. So until Galvatron mentions it outright, she blinks, wondering when the 'girl' and 'chica' words failed her. Catechism darts off to get cleaned up, and Fusillade rocks forward, straightening back to a standing position as she ahems, before giving a faint 'hsst' and narrowing of saffron optics to Motormaster. "During our canvass of the New York sewers, Lord Galvatron, Bonecrusher and I came across not just pieces of the Sharkticon clones, but other items. Used energon cubes, chewed on debris, a few resting spots." She vents a draught of air, and then unholsters one wingblade to lightly polish the flat of the segments while speaking. "All seemed to indicate a very temporary base. I wouldn't even call it that -- more of a staging ground. They are mobile, sire, which confirms that they have foreknowledge of the location of our strikes. That regretfully suggests they are getting their information from within our ranks somehow. A traitor, or a well-hidden surveillance device."
Galvatron nods carefully, "As Rodimus and I suspected. As you have no doubt surmised..." he looks to Motormaster, "And you haven't, but you're loyal, that's all that matters..." he chuckles, "These next raids are farces against false set up targets. To draw them out. We need to know if they are in multiple bases or just one. I am leaning towards multiple. We will search them out, and we will kill them. But in order for that to happen...I will need wingman you trust, Air Commander. That you TRULY trust to place tracking devices for both myself and Rodimus. He has given me autobot versions. I need these placed in the waterways and the sewers of where we are striking. These Quint scum can't evade us forever. DCI is a waste of time. I want to trust my ground troops..." he nods to Motormaster, "And my air troops. Can you insure me this will be done?"
Galvatron says, "As for a leak...it is unlikely." he adds, "They are most likely monitoring our transmissions. No one is stupid enough to betray me.""
Motormaster stares once more between Galvatron and Fusillade. "Er... wait, wait. That was Dirge. I've known Dirge for years, could pick 'im out of a lineup of worthless seekers who look just like him and are, in fact, just as worthless! Who the hell is Catechism and why are you," he looks at Fusillade directly, "... referring to him as a her?"
Hands clasp behind Fusillade's back as she falls into a loose at ease stance. As Galvatron continues, she dips her gilded helm. "There are several who will serve well to do so, Lord. I am making progress in getting a handle on the aerial units. There's considerable resistance by the Seeker corps to being lead by a non-standard aerialist. I'm still intact, though." A thin smile escapes her, before she asks wistfully, "And when can we return to legitimately leveling targets?" Back toward Motormaster, Fusillade states, "The word catechism means 'instruction' -- Catechism has dedicated her life to demonstrating what it means to serve the Empire, the Cause. She lives it. Surely the voice didn't give it away? I've been commanding Aerospace for some time, and I can assure you," she paces forward once, silvery fangs baring in a perverse leer, "That I have NOT done any kicking or punching or clawing on Dirge to cause his voice to raise several octaves."
Galvatron chuckles loudly, he nearly falls over in fact. The sick sense of humor in him revels in the fact that Motormaster doesn't know he just gave away a free tie...to admit defeat...to a GIRL! He laughs some more before speaking.
"My son. What she is trying to tell you is that you just got beat by a girl. I offered you the tie, but your honor...which I can respect in some senses that you did not take, but not all. You were beaten by a femme. I'm sorry Motormaster. The seeker you faced was Unit Catechism. Serial Number 596SSGH-49569ZK. Look it up. She is the assistant aerial commander. And a female. It's ok. Given the glorious slaughter you brought before me tonight, and the symphony of human suffering...I won't tell anyone." he turns to Fusillade, narrowing his optics, "And neither will you, right Air Commander? This stays between us. i trust you will share that with Catechism. Motormaster must serve his purpose. A purpose he is quite skilled at. And if this gets out, he will no longer have that skill. Do you understand?"
He pauses. Galvatron loves competition. And he loves destroying human life. He even loves seeing a strong one humiliated. But he also understands morale. And since he has his medication and isn't insane...he isn't about to let one of his most revered commanders get humiliated. "When I say that, I mean it Fusillade. NO ONE hears of this. Morale is more important in the coming days than bragging. What else do you have to report?"
"Anything official pertaining to the Sharkticons, no, Lord Galvatron." As she hears the extended warning, Fusillade makes quite the show of grimacing at a perceived fleck of dust on her forearm in an attempt to stifle the guffaw that threatens to bubble out from her. Flicking one obsidian gauntlet to send that imaginary mote flying, she dryly replies to Galvatron, "Well, stuffing another being up one's exhaust port, a dead one on top of that, is something that I'm sure would raise a lot of brows. Frankly, I'd rather not have my XO carted off by bounty hunters from the fetish cartel on Monacus, so I will not be advertising her feat." It's a wholly roundabout way to go about telling the Emperor that yes, she is complying. And then, a faintly glassy expression crosses those optics, and she immediately claps a hand over her mouth. This is something that was going to be phenomenonally hard to keep a lid on -- so much so that she may wind up wedging herself into an isolated, inaccessible spot for the next few days to cackle over the matter.
Motormaster is about to throw down with Fusillade that it absolutely, without a shadow of a doubt, was Dirge. Then Galvatron offers sufficient confirmation that perhaps he erred in his assumption. His mind races for a way to get out of this with his pride in tact. Imagine a rolodex scrolling through 'I was drunk!'... 'MSE must have mis-repaired my ID circuits'... 'The Quintessons made me do it!'. Aha! Here's one that will fl... roll. "I said I knew what he looked like, I didn't say I knew what he sounded like. I figured he was trying to be cute." That'll show 'em! "In any event, it is of no consequence to me who that was. I was beaten, that's all that matters." And for the second time tonight... "Won't happen again."
"Who cares? You were both chucking meatbags on the coast. But you know, there's going to be whining from the Constructicons if they find the mess, and THAT's going to lead to questions about the who and WHY, and then, just then, the whole thing will come out. OOH! C'mon, let's go toss them in the ocean! We can go chumming for Great Whites with them, they live around here in these waters!" Fusillade claps Motormaster on the shoulder, and begins the first few paces to dart down the beach to the closest of the two bodies.
Galvatron nods his head at both of them, "I trust you won't, Motormaster. I will need you in days to come, when being defeated isn't an option." he turns to Fusillade, "And you can stop your lies. I know you find it funny. So do I. But morale is morale. And at this point it is important. After we defeat the Quints, we're making an all out attack on the Autobots and humans..." he turns to Motormaster, "Which should please you. In any case, we need every advantage we can get. As much as it pains me to admit it...we're outnumbered. But we aren't outgunned. We are the superior race. And we will prove it!" he says with an amount of determination, "Am I understood? If so, you are both dismissed the R&R. Do what you will with the bodies. But get rid of them before Scrapper finds them."
Motormaster nods to the evil overlord and stalks off after Fusillade. The whole shoulder-clasping thing was a little bit too much, but he realizes that saying anything would only prolong the matter. You know, because picking up the soul-less bodies wouldn't or anything. "You never need to worry about me losing on the battlefield, Galvatron. That is an area that I win at. Always!" THREE CHEERS FOR HORRIBLY SELECTIVE MEMORIES! Somewhere, a tune is whistled. It sounds something like, "Wouldn't it be nice if we were older, than we wouldn't have to wait so long!"
"Never denied that I thought it was funny," Fusillade sniffs aloofly in response to the lies comment, flicking optics once in futile reproof. "I did mean the part about not repeating it..." She almost looks hurt, interpreting the comment as a comparison to a dearly departed red and silver Seeker -- someone's still carrying a lot of baggage from Cyclonus's choice of the title assigned to her rank. Once she draws closer to one of the bodies, she cants her head to the side, almost avian like. And then, inspiration strikes while she is leaning over the form. After a few moments of fiddling, she straightens back up, and gives a "HEYYY!!! Hand puppets!" in the general direction of Motormaster and Galvatron. The Emperor DID say R&R -- that meant 'off duty and able to show quirks', right? Right?
Galvatron smirks at Fusi, "I said, do as you will. As long as they are gone. I would hate to have to show you what the word WRATH really means, Fusillade. Play all you will. Just be rid of them before Scrapper finds out." he gives a warriors nod to Motormaster, "May your kills grow more numerous." with that he walks to the north, towards more lonely beach. A place where he can brood over his defeat at NCC. And find a way to blame it on others to feel better.
Motormaster grins a horrible, awful, dreadful sight of a grin at Fusillade's creativity with the dearly departed. Alas, Galvatron's still threatening people. He lowers his voice to a raspy whisper. "I've learned that the more he threatens you, the better off you are. It's when he stops threatening you that you're in trouble somehow." He glances back to make sure Galv didn't hear him. "I know, it doesn't make any sense to me either."
A bit obliviously, Fusillade scowls. "I thought he liked me! I didn't do anything to make him angry, why is he being a sourpuss? You know what, I should go ask," she volunteers to Motormaster. "I mean, everyone has to talk about what's bugging them, and Cyclonus hasn't been around. I bet all that bottling up is making him grumpier than normal." The desire to help is genuine, and is reminiscent of a puppy wanting to tag after a saddened owner, but the entire notion? With Galvatron? Ill-advised. Fusillade actually doesn't make good on her idea, and instead wriggles hand. "Hey, when did you kill these? It's not really that warm. But it's not stiff either. Humans get hard after you kill them. But it takes some time. You should play lawndarts when they're cold."
Galvatron didn't hear him, he was already walking along the beaches, dreaming of 1000 discomforts for Rodimus. He gives but on turn to give an approving nod to his troopers, before heading out of sight to be pissed.