Within the city of Rostov, an EDC exo-suit transport rumbles along, carrying several exo-suits, which, currently being piloted, sit back on large seats to accomodate them. It's a huge transport, so much so that it must travel on the main highways and occupies mulitple lanes. In fact, it's big enough even for the Autobots currently riding on the transport to walk down the aisle between the rows of seats. But little do the current occupants know that soon, they will have no choice but to go...
(Produced by Mark Gordon.)
A French helicopter lands inside Rostiv, Russia. It's marked proudly with the French flag has some French soldiers in it. Amazingly enough Vice President Picard is with them. "Captain Shia Saide LaBeouf, thank you for agreeing to fly this mission through. These wines and cheeses will be welcomed here," says Picard.
It must be a big, BIIG transport, if it can hold Grimlock!
It's a tight fit, tough- Grimlock hunches down in a corner of the transport, looking somewhat uncomfortable- though the good news is, they've cleared most of the important stuff out of his immediate vicinity. This doesn't, however, stop something from going *CRUNCH!* as he twists about trying to get comfortable.
"Me Grimlock hate escort duty." he mutters.
For the purposes of moving the plot forward, yes, it's pretty big. :)
Foxfire is along for the ride, and it's a good thing he's small! He watches Grimlock in amusement, suppressing a laugh as he extends his paw to the Dinobot. "Maybe you could get yourself modified into something smaller," he suggests teasingly. "Like a Velociraptor."
Ranger is seated quite comfortably on one of the seats, peering about himself at the transport with interest. It really is most unusual for him to be inside a transport these days, after all, particularly a human one. Of course, last time he did that he got ignored, shot, and inexpertly operated upon. A nice drive makes a pleasant change.
One of the oldest settlements in Russian history, Rostov is filled with centuries worth of classical Russian architecture. Many of the buildings and structures, including the Rostov Kremlin, the Citadel of Rostov, and the monastery of St Boris and Gleb prominently feature the huge, rounded onion-shaped domes. The city of Rostov is now largely bypassed in modern Russia, except as a historic and tourism center.
Contents: Grimlock Picard Kurtz Weiss Ranger Foxfire
Grimlock hunfs at Foxfire. "Me Grimlock NEED to be this big." he says. "Me so great, me need to be huge so me Grimlock can hold all me greatness." He says this not as a boast- but more as a very straightforward statement of fact. And then, just to make things clear: "Me Grimlock strong."
Several TV sets lower from the ceiling of the transport. Usually they're used for communication or entertainment, but the movie they're playing doesn't look like it would be very fun to watch... since it features Compton Xabat's face!
"Hello there, Autobots. EDC. Good to see you. I'm glad you all decided to use this oversized transport to get wherever it is you're going... because I rigged it to explode. Oh, yes! And it is not any ordinary explosive, either. I've used a new biological compound, which I call Flame Jelly, and wrapped it around several powerful explosives hidden within the transport. The Flame Jelly is sticky, and capable of burning hotter than thermite. So... just imagine, being coated with that stuff. Heheheh. I doubt even the Dinobot would survive it. But... I won't just trigger the explosives. Oh no. I have a use for you. Still, I have to keep you moving to thwart rescue efforts, so, if you attempt to leave this transport, or if its top speed drops below 55 miles an hour... the explosives go off."
"What?" the exo-suited driver up in front exclaims. "We can't go that fast! Are you nuts?"
Xabat sighs. "I'm so tired of hearing that. Well, it's your problem and not mine. Oh, and the road up ahead is out, as of now. You'll have to take a detour. Heheheh!" And several miles ahead on the highway, a series of explosions suddenly erupts, blowing a huge hole in the road! Doesn't look like the transport could cross it!
Foxfire just shakes his head at Grimlock with a chuckle. However, his attitude abruptly becomes darker as Compton's voice reaches his audios. He perks his ears and snarls. "XABAT!" He goes quiet, with the exception of a continous growl, as he listens to the man, his optics narrowing. "Explosives...might be able to take care of those..." At the explosion farther down the road, he barks in alarm. "Primus! Not good!" To the driver, he shouts, "Can this thing fly? Or will we have to depend on a miracle?"
Kurtz Weiss, wearing the uniform of a french soldier, ruffles, fluff and all, extricates himself from the chopper.. Why was a known member of the defunct Protectorate regime here and wearing a uniform? Bills needed to be paid and XABAT! had given him a good reference... or a bad one. Depends on your point of view.
Picard apparently loves to hire former Protectorates! "Weiss, do me a favor will you please? The vice president smiles at the man. And then he goes to whisper!
Ranger's optic ridge raises in mild surprise as the video screen lower, and he studies the face on it briefly, before glancing at Foxfire as the cassettebot snarls. "Do we know this guy? Am I supposed to know this guy?" He asks quietly, but not inaudibly.
"...Why bat-man tell us what to do?" Grimlock looks genuinely puzzled at this- still, the matter of a thermite-based bomb? Definitely something unpleasant. And so, Grimlock stands up- thinks for a moment...and then punches a hole straight through the top of the transport, so as to get a better view. "...No drive in hole!" he bellows down towards the driver- and then looks down at Foxfire. "You small. Find bomb!"
Foxfire swiftly turns to Ranger, optics flashing. "Xabat is a terrorist, a former member of the Protectorate. He is *evil*; he plays with innocent lives to achieve his goals!" At Grimlock's words, he nods, and scurries off deeper into the transport, his small size allowing easy access to the rest of the large vehicle. Explosives are his specialty, after all--he'll find them!
Compton Xabat rips the sunglasses off of his face at Ranger's remarks. "You don't know who I am!?! You... you miserable robots! You killed my men and you ruined everything, and you didn't even bother to remember who I am!?" Did he notice Foxfire naming him? Maybe not.
The driver replies, sounding panicky, "Uh... uh.... fly!? No, it can't fly! Geeze, I wish it would!" Then, as Grimlock bellows at him, his exo nods. "Uh, right, don't drive in the hole. Oh, shoot, it's too big to fit in the exit lane!..." Nonetheless, he has no choice but to turn and smash right through the concrete barriers on either side of the exit... bearing down right on the city of Rostov!
Kurtz Weiss leaned over to the lips of Picard, his eyes squinted against the magnificent light that relfected from his bared scalp. The orders recieved Kurtz turned his attention to the pilot, sizing him up. A look was sent to the frenchmen once more, searching for confirmation. Seeing the seriousness of the matters in the light radiated from the man's dome, Kurtz followed his orders. A side arm was pulled from it's holster, a bullet chambered as the sniper drew back the slide. One steady aim later and a call of "Monsior LeBeouf?" later and the pilot was never going to inflict his acting on anyone. The trigger pulled, the pin stabbing forward and gunpowder igniting drilling a bullet down th barrel and promptly into something vital.
Of course it is now that Kurtz bothers to ask, "Do you know how to fly a chopper?"
Grimlock takes a moment to crouch down and peer back at the interior, glaring at Xabat. "Me Grimlock remember you NOW. Will smash later." he notes- entirely buisnesslike. This said, he pushes himself back up out of his 'sunroof'- and braces himself a bit as the bus plows through the concrete barriers. "Go that way!" Grimlock yells again, and points over at...well, a Rostov city park. "Me clear road!"
And with that said, Grimlock pulls his double-blaster out, and starts shooting away to clear a path! He's a surprisingly good shot, too. "Move out of way!" he bellows, and sets about melting some playground equipment. Thankfully, there's few people out and about- and those that ARE? Well, they've got enough sense to start running soon enough! Ranger nods and draws back, refraining from mentioning that they are, technically speaking, a military target right now. Foxfire looks angry enough as it is. Attention back on the screen, he shrugs. "Well, I'm a transport, my job is to lift heavy things and move them from one place to another." He pauses and scratches one side of his , for want of a word, nose, frowning slightly. "I think I've heard of this 'Protectorate,' though, if it's any consolation. I'm sure I read a report or two..."
Picard gasps! "Well then, I know not to tease or joke with you again. Alas, I do not know how to pilot a chopper. If it was a special space ship... Maybe! I went to space camp every year since I turned seven." Picard beams, "NASA asks me to stop coming but I do still go!"
Foxfire thoroughly examines every area of the ship, trying his best to sniff out the bombs. He is angry, frantic, his Primitive nature wanting him to go after Xabat himself. But, he knows his priorities. He'll get Compton after he takes out the explosives!
Compton Xabat, rather than being consoled, seeeethes. "You've "heard" of it!? We liberated half the world! I, *I* set off a bomb in your damn city! I did! And you act like you don't care!!!" He holds what looks like a remote control unit, with a biiig red button on it. His thumb lingers there, as if considering pressing the button. "No... too quick. Too easy."
Meanwhile, the driver curses constantly as he drives the transport right onto the park. People flee in terror before the behemoth, shrieking at the tops of their lungs, but they manage to get out of the way in time. Grimlock blows up several trees, benches, and light posts in his way, and whatever he misses is simply crushed by the transport.
Foxfire finds a panel under one of the exo-suit seats. Seems to have been welded shut by some nefarious character!
Kurtz Weiss holstered his gun, cringing, "Well I'm not paid for my sense of humor y'know.." he attempted in excuse, shrugging haplessly. A moment of concideration later and Kurtz was thinking on ways to dispose of the body, "So.. training excersize or do we blame the Autobots.. or the EDC.. How about the Autobots and the EDC?"
Silverbolt arrives from the Skies above Russia.
Silverbolt has arrived.
Fireflight arrives from the Skies above Russia.
Fireflight has arrived.
Fireflight soars into view somewhat less than gracefully.
<Earth> CBS News anchorman says, "This just in, we have been sent an email from someone claiming to be the notorious terrorist Compton Xabat. He is demanding that the Autobots and the EDC sign an agreement to never again enter the nation of France, and to pay 100,000 dollars to each family member of anyone who has ever been killed as a result of fighting between the EDC, Autobots, and Decepticons within that country."
"You find bomb yet?" Grimlock asks, glancing down (and down, and down) at Foxfire. He snaps his gaze up once more, and then blasts another errant tree out of the way (my, THIS is going to be great PR). He crouches down nonetheless, and looks to the ranting madman on screen...and with a final shrug, uses his blaster to vaporize the monitor as well. *BOOM!*
"Me tired of listening to him."
<Earth> CBS News anchorman says, "If his demands aren't granted, Xabat says that he will kill several Autobots and a platoon of EDC soldiers he is holding hostage on a military transport."
Foxfire crouches down, cocking his head to see the panel. "I found...somethin'. Hang on!" He gets to work, rolling onto his back to claw at the panel, trying to rip it open.
Ranger pauses thoughtfully at this. "Okay, that does sound like quite an impressive achievement, yes." He shakes his head regretfully, "I really should pay more attention to current affairs, but I was probably offworld at the time. Half the world, you say?" Odd, he sounds genuinely interested.
Picard grins at Kurtz, "EDC. Spike Witwicky came here and shot our pilot!" Picard shrugs, "Damn Witwicky pirates!"
F-4 Phantom II <Fireflight> keeps a few sensors on the news and comm channels as he flies along, apparently. That might explain why he had to swerve around that mountain at the last millicycle a while back... <<So is anyone supposed to pay the family members of the humans killed fighting each other, too?>> he muses.
Compton Xabat seems distracted by his conversation with Ranger, luckily for Foxfire. "Well, yes. China, Korea, much of the rest of Asia and the Pacific islands, the Middle East, even Russia lent some support. If you robots hadn't meddled as you always do, we'd have beaten the EDC!" Then the monitor explodes. Well, Xabat can still see what's going on via security cameras.
Foxfire pries the hatch open and... oh, wow. Foxfire might be shocked by the insane complexity of the explosive before him. It looks like a mishmash of wires and common electronic parts, like alarm clocks, but fused together in a perfect whole. Quite an amazing piece of work. And there's the bomb, in a transparent tube. All you can see is the sickly green stuff inside--the Flame Jelly, presumably. Nasty piece of work... and connected to the timing mechanisms by a red, green, and blue wire.
As a path is cleared for the transport, the driver remarks. "Uh... We're running out of park, Grimlock, sir. And we can't turn too much or we'll slow down below 55, or even tip over! What do we do?"
"Hrr. We need fly." Grimlock says...and then looks down to Ranger...and one can almost hear the gears turning in Grimlock's head. "You! You turn into spaceship! Get over here!" He points at the transport-bot, and then tears off another chunk of the transport's roof to make room!
Concorde SST <Silverbolt> flys behind Fireflight and seems to be scanning the grounds below....yes they're mountains and yes he has issues...but he's been listening to the Autobot frequency. So when he heard Foxfire was in trouble....naturally he'll scramble the Aerialbots. <<Beats me Fireflight. If the terrans keep killing each other, there'll be nothing left. Anyways, let's concentrate on finding Foxfire. Can you get a signal to him?"
Foxfire flattens his ears back in irritation. "Figures that blasted Xabat wouldn't make this easy..." He quickly scans the mechanisms, doing some calculations in his processor. "First...cut the wires," he murmurs to himself, "then I can dispose of this thing. Good thing I came along..." He studies each wire closely. "Right, got it!" He snaps his jaws, his fangs cutting through the red and blue wires, then he disconnects the green one with a swipe of his claws. Getting rid of the bomb itself is going to be a little tricky.
Ranger nods encouragingly "Wow, that must have taken some ti-" he breaks off, starting backwards in surprise as one of the screens explodes. Fetching against the back of the seat with a bump, he then glances up at Grimlock worriedly and slowly gets out of his seat. "But the guy on the screen says if any of us leaves the bu- transport, it'll explode..." See, he /can/ pay attention when he tries.
Tracks has arrived.
Grimlock would smile, if he had a mouth in this mode. "You no leave- you transform, and you be jet-pack for bus! We go fast then!" When it comes to not getting exploded, the Dinobot commander sure can come up with good ideas! That, or he just thinks it'd be cool to strap a FTL engine to a moving vehicle. "Don't worry. Me Grimlock am great pilot."
BOOOM! The bomb explodes in Foxfire's face! You cut the wrong wire!
Well, ok, but he probably thought that would happen for a second, there. The bomb appears to be disconnected... but didn't Xabat claim to have hidden more than one in there?
Meanwhile, Xabat watches Grimlock talk to Ranger, and sips some coffee. "What the hell are they up to?"
<<All these mountains are messing with the signal. I'm going to go above them.>> That's all the warning Silverbolt gets before the F-4 in front of him noses almost straight up, broadcasting as he goes, <<Fireflight to Foxfire, come in. Can you hear me now?>>
Concorde SST <Silverbolt> keeps just above the mountains even as Fireflight pulls up. <<Keep your scanners going Fireflight, and radio if you spot anything.>> He radios before banking around a mountain. <<Lieutenant Foxfire, Can you read? This is Aerialbot lead. This is Aerialbot lead.>>
Flying Corvette <Tracks> streaks in gracefully behind the Bus, swerving back and forth a few times to look at it from different angles before pulling up alongside. <<Silverbolt? Is that you? I can see the bus now...and up ahead. Uh oh.>>
Foxfire perks his ears at the signal. He sends back, <<Affirmative. I read you loud and clear, Aerialbots. I've just disconnected one of the bombs on the transport--I have to dispose of it carefully, and also track down the others. Keep Xabat distracted so he doesn't catch onto what I'm doing; I think Grimlock and Ranger already have his attention.>> He turns his attention back to the bomb. "This is impressive... I 'll have to look into this substance. It could be useful." He reaches up to gently grasp the explosive in his front paws and pry it loose.
Ranger approaches Grimlock uncertainly. "But I can't do it from /inside/, and going /outside/ would, technically speaking, constitute leaving, wouldn't it." He's clearly thought about this course of action and, tempting as it is be be on the outside when the bus explodes, he'd rather it /not/ explode, thank you very much. He gingerly begins to climb up to that improvised sunroof, uncertain whether fiery death or crossing Grimlock would be preferable.
Grimlock shrugs to Ranger. "Me am outside. Sort of." he says, standing up again- and, upon deciding that Ranger isn't moving fast enough, he simply grabs hold of the smaller Autobot and *HEAVES* him up onto the roof...with just one hand. "Now Transform!" he says. "Transform, and me Grimlock hold on!" this said, the dinocommander takes a moment to look over his shoulder- and then he waves over at Tracks. "Hello!"
The bomb comes off easily enough, and doesn't blow up, either.
Xabat watches Grimlock pull Ranger out of the transport, and is just about to key the destruct button when curiosity gets the better of him. He switches to an exterior view, and marvels as Grimlock appears to be holding the smaller Autobot up. "Fascinating... I'll have to record this. The Dinobot is craftier than I gave him credit." Concorde SST <Silverbolt> banks as he hears Foxfire's and Tracks' voice over comms. <<We've got your signal. Fireflight. Lock on in and move.>> He says as he literally zooms over mountains to get to Foxfire's position. <<Are there any more with you guys? Is there anything we can do to help?>>
"There're Terran signals all over the place. I'm trying to identify that Xabat, but he might not even be near that transport." The F-4 weaves back and forth as he speaks to Silverbolt in his efforts to get a good scan of the ara from various angles and hopefully triangulate a position for the Aerialbots to move in on.
Now with the bomb in possession, Foxfire moves out from under the seat, sitting up on his hindquarters, ears twitching like radars. <<No, it's just us three. Any help you guys can give us would be grately appreciated.>> He stares at the explosive he holds in his front paws, musing over his options. Disposing of it will likely be extremely dangerous, and he can't take that risk. But on the other hand, now that it's disconnected, it's much less dangerous than it had been previously. He sets it aside, in a safe spot where it won't cause any harm. He scurries off to locate the rest.
Ranger yelps at his sudden egress from the transport and flails for a second before calming down. Shooting a look back down at Grimlock, then at the road ahead, he grimaces for a second as he awaits impending fiery death... which doesn't arrive. Huh. "Maybe I /should/ have mentioned this option ealier..." He mutters to himself as he engages his transformation. Hope that hand doesn't catch anywhere. Engaging his engines and matching speeds, not to mention providing lift, he lowers his magnetic cargo grapples to attach to the transport, not wanting the full weight of the thing resting on one small part of his hull when he has them. "I hope this thing's not made of one of those non-ferromagnetic substances..."
Panels shift at such an incredible speed that they seem to blur and....expand? until a large transport rests before you.
"Ooo! Rope! Now me Grimlock not have to duck-tape you to roof!" From any other autobot, it'd be a joke. To Grimlock, it's a simple statement of fact. "Now, you Ranger make go fly fast!" he commands- and then crouches down into the bus again, at which point he jabs a thick finger at the bomb Foxfire found. "Hr. Don't LOOK 'splodey." Flying Corvette <Tracks> accelerates to pull smoothly ahead of the bus, then speeds ahead. He does a mid-air graceful roll and flies inverted to see what exactly is the problem down the road...
Luckily, the transport is not made of such things, and the magnetic clamps secure themselves tightly to the transport.
Xabat, meanwhile, watches in amazement at Ranger and Grimlock's antics. "Amazing. Do they really think they will... make that thing FLY? I suppose they don't have a choice."
Which is a fact verified by the transport driver himself. "Uh... guys?... I'm about to drive into the Citadel of Rostov, here!" Sure enough, the park is coming to an end, and just up ahead on the roads is the Citadel. That, namely, is the problem with the road. (Is there actually a park near the Citadel of Rostov? Dude, this is an action movie, don't think about it so hard!)
Foxfire's search reveals only one more hatch. Perhaps Xabat only placed two bombs there?...
"Those green round things on the roofs look really organic..." Fireflight lingers a monent, circling around a classical Russian citadel complete with onion-shaped domes. "Well, if he's keeping close sensors on what's going on, he probably isn't that far, right? So he's got to be around here somewhere..." Hm, there's a promising signal. Could that be the Terran they're looking for?
Foxfire frowns a bit, lowering his ears to reflect his confusion. Only one more hatch... He has his suspicions. It *seems* like Xabat only placed too bombs, but knowing him, there's probably at least one more where Foxfire would likely miss. He crawls under the seat and begans to claw open the hatch, as he did with the first.
Flying Corvette <Tracks> banks around and zooms back to the bus. Even in a hurry, his motions are still elegant and somewhat stately. When he gets back to the bus he takes up a position overhead. "I understand the urgency of the situation now!" he comments, unhelpfully.
Autobot Shuttle <Ranger> is struck speechless for a moment at the suggestion. /Duct Tape?/ Is he /serious?/ "Yes, that's good, and I stand corrected about the 'splodey, thankfully." However, instead of merely piling on the speed, he accelerates /carefully/, and increases the output of his lifting thrusters to take the weight of the transport. Because up is /good/ right now. Question is, is he strong enough?
The hatch reveals another bomb, similar to the first but with different parts. It still uses a red, green, and blue wire, however.
The transport lifts up slowly off of the ground, incredibly enough. Slowly but surely, rising higher and higher. "We've above the street, thankfully! But the Citadel's coming up just ahead. Come on, man, pull up!" And the transport continues to rise up, higher yet. The onion domes of the Citadel loom ahead, but the Autobots are almost above them... almost...
SMASH! The transport slams right through one of the onion domes, smashing it to bits and rattling the occupants of the transport hard.
Xabat laughs out loud as the transport smashes one of the domes of the Citadel of Rostov. "Haha, that'll really endear them to the Russian people!" He is, as of yet, unaware of any Aerialbots bearing down on him...
Foxfire cringes at the sudden shaking of the transport. "Oh for Primus's sake," he grumbles. Deciding to ignore it, he goes back to his task. Sure, the parts of the second bomb may be different, but it's still the same basic mechanics. He studies it for a moment, then proceeds to cut the wires, just as he had done before. "Gonna *kill* that Xabat when I'm finished here..."
"Oops." Grimlock says as the transport plows through the ornate architecture. Still, nobody's dead, so he's happy! "Me Grimlock say it's okay!" he calls out to...nobody in particular. "Building old anyway!" He nods, and then takes a moment to glance over the inside of the now-flying bus once more. "You Foxfire make bomb not work, right?" Grimlock asks.
Foxfire calls out from under the seat, "You could put it that way!"
Even as banks away from the SMASH! of the transport through the dome, Fireflight notices a signal flare up on his sensors... it sounds like Xabat left a microphone on! Maybe the proper thing to do would be to let Silverbolt know, but this Terran seems like the type to detonate every bomb he has out of sheer spite as soon as he realizes he's been spotted. So the F-4 takes matters onto his own wings, locks onto a really dreary-looking apartment building on the outskirts of the city, and sends a couple of lasers towards the fifth floor intending to flush Xabat out. Hey, the building *does* look abandoned, and at least he didn't use his missiles.
Autobot Shuttle <Ranger> cries out as the force of the transport's impact with the turret tugs at his grapples. The last thing they need now is for those to break or disconnect - He's not a bomber! Carefully he adjusts the output of his thrusters, trying to stabilize the rocking transport. "Uh, sorry about that," he calls back, embarrassed. "I'm gonna get in trouble for that, aren't I..." he mutters.
Compton Xabat scowls at the laptop he had been using to direct this little terrorist enterprise. He's about to type something into it when the laptop suddenly vaporizes before him. The holes punched in the wall aren't encouraging, either. "Madre de Dios!" Xabat shouts as he yanks his hands away and dives to the floor. Then, it hits him... the Autobots found him! He has to detonatate the bombs!
Speaking of bombs, number three is located... right on the roof! The collision with the Citadel knocked off its covering. Grimlock can probably see it pretty easily. What will he do!?
Flying Corvette <Tracks> swerves around to avoid any flying debris. Once it's safe again, he pulls up closer to the bus. "Hey...is that...could that be...Grimlock, are you seeing what I'm seeing?!"
"Me see it!" Grimlock says to Tracks. "Me Grimlock take care of bomb!" And with that, Grimlock transforms! It's a tight fit within the bus (even with the better part of the roof ripped apart) but the top half of his dino mode sticks out of the top like some sort of giant metal puppet. (Which, coincidentally, would be the best kid's show EVER).
- CHOMP* goes Grimlock, as he engulfs the bomb (and a better part of the transport) with his jaws!
With a grunt and a growl, Grimlock changes into a robot T-rex! Watch out.
Foxfire grabs the second bomb and places it with the first. He promptly freezes as Grimlock mentions a bomb. It's on the ROOF?! "Grimlock, hang on! I don't want that thing blowing up! Be careful with that!" He tries to scramble up onto the roof.
At least one of those warning shots did go near that signal's origin, but Fireflight doesn't see anyone fleeing the building, doesn't even scan much movement in fact. "That was your only warning," the red and white jet calls out as he circles. "You can surrender now, and people might go easy on you. If you don't... I won't." Fireflight keeps a wary sensor on the building as he readies for a second attack run and opens his comm to the other Autobots.
Autobot Shuttle <Ranger>'s attention is pretty much on keeping this ground vehicle in the air, and not hitting any more buildings if he can help it, so it's not so surprising that he completely missed seeing the bomb beneath him, which isn't a terribly good survival trait. However, he /does/ notice when Grimlock takes a large chunk out of the roof below him, some things are hard to miss. "Yow, hey, careful!" He cries out in alarm. "This is delicate work."
Compton Xabat grabs the detonator, and stands up, holding it up to a window. "Surrender?... NEVER. Oh, and kiss your robot friends goodbye." He presses the big red button. "If it makes you feel better, they aren't really dying because they were never alive to begin with. HAHAHAHAHA!" Then, he turns around and books it out of the room!
Elsewhere, Grimlock will probably feel an acute case of indigestion. FIERY indigestion.
To compound matters, the roof of the transport is screeching ominously, as if it's about to come off...
There's a muffled *boof* sort of noise, and a trickle of smoke streams from the sides of Grimlock's mouth. He staggers, just a bit- (causing the bus-gondola to rock & sway precariously!)...and then shakes his head, turning his muzzle to the side...
And he belches.
This isn't any belch, mind you- this is the sort of thing that 5th grade boys can only strive for- a prolonged noise, several seconds in length...heralded by a gout of atomic fire breath as well. Once Grimlock finishes, he shakes his head, and hits his chest with one of his stubby dino-arms.
"GRIMLOCK!" Ears lowered, the screeching irritating his audios, Foxfire hurries up onto the roof, knowing that it could collapse at any moment. "Grimlock, give me the bomb!" he shouts to the Dinobot. "NOW!" That's the hard thing about being a demolitions expert; you have to put up with people taking matters into their own hands. Or claws. Or teeth. But then... "...The *frag*." Foxfire blinks, instantly calming, ears perked. "Well. I suppose that's ONE way to dispose of a bomb." He smirks triumphantly. "You see that, Xabat?! We foiled your plans! That's what happens when you mess with US! Now face justice for your crimes!"
"I don't like the sound of that," Ranger mutters to himself as the transport starts being ominous beneath him. Then, it seems, something happens, as he clearly detects a muffled *boof* and the already stressed transport rocks alarmingly! What now? "Hey, guys, what just-" He breaks his sentence off as Grimlock starts breathing fire for some reason. "What was that? Was that the bombs? Can I put this thing down now? Quickly?" The last thing they need at this point is the transport /melting/ as well. Or Ranger melting, for that matter.
"I gave you a chance." Fireflight banks and dives, "This is what you want, this is what you get." The firefog missile is aimed low, at the bottom floors of the building. If the impact doesn't collapse that ugly old piece of Communist housing, the fire and smoke will hopefully at least make it difficult for Xabat to escape easily.
SCREEEEEE POP POP POP goes the roof. Uhoh...
Elsewhere, Xabat can't see that he's been foiled, because he's too busy trying to dodge Fireflight. In fact, he's rushing down the stairway to the second floor when all of a sudden flames shoot up from the stairwell. "Dammit! Can't go down that way..." He kicks in another door, and with a crash he leaps right out the window, coming to a rolling landing on the ground below. He staggers up dizzily and stumbles off towards an alley. He hopes that the fact that Fireflight is a giant robot will make it harder for him to track.
Robot T-Rex! (Grimlock) would lick his chops, save for the lack of a tongue. "Me okay!" he says, transforming to his robot mode. This done, he glances up at Ranger. "Bombs gone now. Bus no need fly no more." and, with that said, Grimlock takes matters into his own hands- it's a simple matter for him to pull out his energo-sword, and with one *SCHWING!* he severs all of Ranger's grapnel-cables!
There's a flurry of moving parts, and Grimlock changes to his robot mode!
Autobot Shuttle <Ranger> yelps in mingled pain and alarm as Grimlock just-just /cuts his cables!/ Just CUTS them! He has a release! Not to mention that above a city, and both /above/ and /city/ are the operable words there, is a bad place to release a large object travelling at speed. "Are you INSANE!?" He screams. The sudden decrease of weight means he jerks upwards and away from the transport before he can compensate. "Okay, okay, think," he says to no one in particular, "first concern: plummeting vehicle... Hnm." A thought strikes and, groaning loudly, loops back towards the transport, positioning himself /underneath/ it this time, gently applying his lifting thrusters to try and slow the craft. Hopefully it won't just drive off, and he can set this thing down safely.
Ranger successfully slows down the transport's descent. However, the way it's going it's going to land right on top of him!
Ranger is aware of that, painfully so.
Foxfire barks! "Grimlock, what the HELL are you doing?!" He flattens himself, digging his claws into the surface beneath him. "We're falling! We...we might *hurt* someone--"
As the transport falls...Grimlock doesn't! He just hangs there in mid-air as the transport falls away from him. "Oh yeah." he rumbles, sounding somewhat embarassed. "Other Autobots can't fly. Oops."
Still, there probably wasn't anything important way down below anyway! And then, Fireflight's coordinates come over on the radio. "Me Grimlock smash Compy Bat-man!" and he soars across the Russian sky!
The red and white F-4 circles over Xabat's approximate location in the alley. Has the Aerialbot lost track of his target, or is he merely awaiting the Terran's - or someone's - next move? It's hard to tell, amid the smoke and debris... but the jet doesn't appear to be transforming, or going away despite everything else going on. Foxfire can fly. But that's kind of irrelevant at the moment.
And so, the transport comes down in the city of Rostov for a safe landing... right on top of Ranger. Smoosh. Don't you just love Dinobots?
As for Xabat, he appears to be rushing towards a parking lot, upon which rests... a helicopter with the French flag on it. As he pops open the door and hops onto the pilot's seat, he says, "Well, I didn't get them this time, Mr. Picard. But there's always next time, yes?" Since he is a qualified pilot, he's capable of bringing the helicopter up, up, and away.
Autobot Shuttle <Ranger>'s hull starts to creak as the weight on his dorsal panels increases quickly, the ground's not /that/ far down, after all. Oh, and there goes Grimlock, whose mighty might and ability to fly might be able to help. Typical. Still, at least it makes the transport lighter. "Easy, easy," he mutters to himself again, there's no one else out here, after all. Now, where to actually /land/, he does /not/ want to keep this thing up for long. And he doesn't, he /does/ however, find somewhere large enough to land without squashing anything important, or any/one/, for that matter. Except maybe for himself. Now, how to get the damned thing off...
Foxfire jumps down to the ground. "Ranger?" He frowns. There's no way HE can get the transport off his friend. "You okay?" He looks around, then toward Grimlock. "Hey! Help me get this thing off Ranger, would ya?"
"Aw. He get away." He grumbles...and then, at Foxfire's yapping, he turns around and returns to where Ranger has the transport so precariously balanced. "Yeah, yeah. Me Grimlock help." he says- and then, placing both hands against the side of the transport, he gives it a *SHOVE!*...neatly tipping it over- off of ranger...and onto the ground.
"Now," Ranger muses idly to himself, "do I transform and get crushed, or just cave in? Ah, the eternal questions..." Ranger's hull continues to creak alarmingly, and begins to buckle slightly. His roof was never built to take the weight, after all. He speaks again, obviously trying to make himself sound cheerful. "Y'know, this sort of thing happens to me all the time-Ohhh" He heaves a sigh of relief as Grimlock shoves the transport over and off him. He transforms, panels scraping against each other due to being mildly distorted, and stands, wincing as he raises a hand to his back. "S-so... who was that guy again?"
He also ignores the curses from the EDC inside the transport as they're thrown about.
Sooo close... Fireflight had that Terran dead in his sights, right up until he got close to the helicopter. The helicopter with an annoying, but very important Terran waiting inside, quite obvious to the recon jet's sensors. Not only are there other Autobots calling for help to get the transport off poor Ranger, but if he did fire on the helicopter Fireflight would probably cause a major international incident. That, he could deal with... but Silverbolt would be disappointed. With a burst of static, the Aerialbot reluctantly turns away from the tempting target and towards his fellow Autobots. He came here to help, after all... not to kill.