Summary: (July 2026) An Autobot-loaned high explosive reaches its shelf life while its carrier is in the middle of a report. The Constructicons get to have an Easter egg hunt.
Mount R'Lyeh still stands tall as it overlooks the Decepticon fortress known as New Crystal City, which appears to be a sun-bleached, ocean-washed fish corpse curled around the mountain, all bone and bare structure, cobwebbed over by spiders. The mountain has changed drastically from the way nature once made it. Now, a huge metal monstrosity looms upward, as the entire area has been cyberformed. Ripples of uneven metal snake their way up the mountain, and giant ports lead deep into the earth to allow pressure to be released as nature dictates or to be harnessed as the Decepticons see fit. The gaping maw at the summit of the inactive volcano, larger than the jaws of the city-shark, is still present, and were one to look in they might be able to catch a glimpse of rock and earth. You would have to look closely, however. All of the converters that draw power from the lava flows are underground. Overall, this particular site serves no purpose in New Crystal City aside from an impressive landmark.
<Decepticon> Fusillade says, "Ah yes, dahlings.� I have things for you to do."
<Decepticon> Fusillade says, "It will involve taking over things. And stomping on hyoo-mans."
<Decepticon> Fusillade says, "Yes, well, I know you're riveted.� I'll post about it so you lumps can read it after your rest cycles are through."
<Decepticon> Long Haul says, "Whut? I'm working! Y'give me a few details, maybe..."
<Decepticon> Fusillade says, "How's Tasmania looking for you right now?"
<Decepticon> Long Haul says, "Don't know. Can't see it."
======================== Decepticon ========================
Mil Ops Update....Mon Apr 10....Fusillade
Fusillade appears on screen, the sheen of the cyberformed beach outside New Crystal City
"Military Operations, there are several items of which to take note. To begin with, the unit identified as Cinderblock was first dismembered and then put to death by firing squad earlier this decacycle for flagrant disregard of Galvatron's rule. We have already established advance troops here on Earth, but for the bulk of our forces? It is time. You are to report to Earth. Standard patrol and raid rosters are to resume, unless High Command countermands this. As per Catechism's and...Fleet's advice, we will target resource-rich island nations surrounding New Crystal City to begin with. Rippersnapper, Hun-Grrr, I've smelled your stench about the base as of late. Please report to me for briefing on subterranean operations. I will draw up a detailed plan for our more ambitious goal of prying the North American continent from the Autobot's clutches in the nex --"
She is interrupted by a miniscule, high-pitched beeping. Making a face, she tilts her head to look down at her own mid-riff, and utters...
"What the smel--"
The transmission cuts off suddenly, involuntarily, as the outskirts of New Crystal City are rocked by a gargantuan explosion -- presumably from the breacher missile left over from the Neocron campaign. Uh oh, not much of her is gonna be left...
<Decepticon> Fusillade doesn't say too terribly much. However, New Crystal City's a-rockin'.
<Decepticon> Long Haul says, "What th- Hey! Anyone got an idea where that's come from?"
Long Haul enters via a set of doors from the NCC Medical Ward to the west.
The ocean is still lashing about violently from the shockwave of the blast, the surf whipped up into a foam. There's a shallow, but exceedingly wide, basin that's currently filled with seawater. There's scorch marks on the still above sea level areas, as well as millions of glittery shards. Paneling, internal struts, pneumatic and hydraulic assemblies, even a few stray pieces of wingblade embedded in the beach. But, Fusillade is suspiciously absent.
Dump Truck <Long Haul> comes rumbling out as quickly as he can. He /hasn't/ checked the reports, but a quick reference to the main computer told him where the source of the shockwaves are. He rumbles up to the edge of the 'scoop' and transforms, bringing his palm to his head. "Oh, fer the love of PRIMUS! Like we doan' have /enough/ messes to clean up!" He surveys the damage, then tilts his head as he spots something. He walks over to a piece of wingblade and crouches down to examine it. "Aw, hell..." he mutters as he realizes what it is.
<Decepticon> Long Haul says, "Yo. Scavenger. You in earshot?"
Scavenger arrives from the NCC Spaceport in the mouth of the city-beast to the south.
<Decepticon> Long Haul says, "Scav, we got need of a finding expert. Specifically, we needa find as many bits of our Mil-Ops Commander as possible, the more important the bit, the better."
A piece of lighter material crashes to the ground behind Long Haul, wobbling to stillness with an unnerving rattle -- another piece of wing. Another visual sweep will show that much of the debris is half-submerged. A roughly football shaped item half bobs in the shallows, its weighted bottom keeping it from being washed away by the ebbing water. It just might be identifiable as a relatively important internal component -- the laser core -- although there is considerable damage to the casing. Many of the leads and couplings are fused, or outright melted out of existence, far from an ideal recovery situation.
<Decepticon> Galvatron says, "And why would we need to be finding pieces of Fusillade, eh?"
<Decepticon> Scavenger says, "On my way, Long Haul!� I'll be there ASAP!"
<Decepticon> Long Haul says, "I just went to investigate that explosion, and found a huge crater on our beach, and a few bits of Fusillade. I'm lookin' for the rest of her."
Scavenger arrives moments after Long Haul's message and looks around in dismay. "What the slag happened here?" he asks, perhaps a bit unnecessarily. Obviously Fusillade's been blown up, but... is it too late to put them back together? And if so... Can they ransom the parts to Scrapper in exchange for longer breaks?
<Decepticon> Fulcrum says, "..."
<Decepticon> Fulcrum says, "What?!"
Even while Long Haul talks over the radio, he crouches down and searches. He's picking out as many bits that are identifiably Fusillade as possible, but he's not yet made his way to the submerged bits. He looks up as Scavenger arrives. "Dunno, beyond a big s'plosion. Help me, here."
<Decepticon> Long Haul says, "Fulcrum. I know I don't use very big words, so what I just said can't be /that/ hard to figger out."
<Decepticon> Fulcrum says, "Are we under attack?"
<Decepticon> Long Haul says, "Don't seem to be. Don't see no Autobots."
<Decepticon> Galvatron says, "Stop talking and start finding pieces. I want to know what's going on."
<Decepticon> Long Haul says, "I'm looking, sir. I mean, I know I'm not bright, but I can use my radio and look atta same time, sir."
<Decepticon> Fulcrum says, "I am currently on the other side of the planet, Lord Galvatron - The Ural mountains. Now that the situation is.. slightly more clear, I will return to base."
Scavenger nods slightly in response to Long Haul's request and transforms to his vehicular mode, throwing out his shovel and letting his sensors play out over the field. Lots and lots of little tiny bits this time... it might even tax a master finder such as himself! And the seawater certainly doesn't help matters. If they're not lucky, it'll just wash all the bits away! "Gonna be tricky," he says.
Scavenger folds inward transforming to his steam shovel mode.
The metal of Fusillade's superstructure, freshly rent and scattered to the winds, is noticeable against the cyberformed mountainscape, despite being embedded in the ground. Included in the easily identifiable parts is a portion of the casing that housed the majority of her alt mode's secondary computing processor.
"We're good at tricky," Long Haul answers as he continues to gather Fusillade bits and putting them in a pile. They're going to need that shovel to put her in his truck bed when this is all done! He manages to find the secondary computing processor and grabs it. "There... that's somethings. Scavenger, priority's the laser core!"
Symphony has arrived.
Steam Shovel <Scavenger> makes a noise of agreement, rolling carefully on his treads and swinging his shovel back and forth violently, straining his sensors to the utmost. The salt-water content is interfering with the metal content of the parts and the parts themselves are interfering with finding individual ones. Finding something's a lot easier when it's the only thing in a pile of dirt, but it can be done. And Scavenger's found less with more around before. "Wait... getting some interestin' readings from the shoreline, Long Haul!" Scavenger reports. "Can't be certain... but I think it's the laser core! It's... it's moving! It must be washin' away!"
"Then get it, damn it!" Long Haul shouts, dropping the processor in his little pile o' Fusillade before rushing towards the shoreline as well.
The assessment of the shovel is indeed correct. The seawater that had filled in the explosion's basin does make a mess of things. The soft clank of the ovoid against the shoreline halts even as Scavenger spies it. Contrary to the end, Fusillade -- or rather, what's left of her -- begins to wash away as the metal at the edge of the detonation mark crumbles, increasing the flow back to the ocean.
<Decepticon> Galvatron says, "Well..."
Steam Shovel <Scavenger> rolls as quickly as he treads will allow, heedless to the crunch of lesser Fusillade parts beneath them as he tries to make it to the shoreline. Certainly, he could transform, but that would eat up seconds that could be spent moving. It would probably be a very bad thing to lose that laser core. Not that he cares about the owner of said laser core, but he'd prefer not to have to get yelled at for failing.
Galvatron enters via a set of doors from the NCC Medical Ward to the west.
Long Haul pokes his head over the edge of the indentation. Dammit. He hates water. Constructicons can't swim. He looks around, trying to spot Fusillade's laser core with his own poor optic. A short distance from the seawater filled crater is a pile of twisted scrap metal that once made up the Mil-Ops Commander, including a couple chunks of rather important secondary processors.
Galvatron comes out of the city like he's mad at the world. Or in a hurry, one.
Steam Shovel <Scavenger> rolls ever closer, putting out as much speed as his form allows. Water already lapping at him as his treads start to sink dangerously close to getting struck in the soft dirt, he throws his shovel out to full extension, desperately grasping for the laser core. "C'mon... c'mon...." He's got it!
"Good job, Scrounge!" Long Haul shouts as he pushes himself upright. He runs over to his brother and examines his treads. "Y'need me to pull you outta that much?" he asks. Of course, Scavenger could just transform, but considering his shovel becomes a tail, that would mean dragging the core of Fusillade around in the dirt.
Fusillade's bits are snagged like a flawlessly intercepted Hail Mary! Or something.
The water starts rippling vaguely as a lone sensorpod pops above the waves, gazing inward at the island. Slowly that pod moves closer until the gangly form of Battle Engine <Symphony> emerges partially from the water, liquid pouring out of several spots in her armor as she surveys the situation silently.
"If you don' mind," Scavenger replies. He could transform, of course, but in the rise and spin, he'd probably end up pitching the laser core like some kind of germy game-sphere. Granted, Scavenger /likes/ game-spheres; he's got one with some strange glyphs on them--they look like BABE RUTH--but all the same, probably best not to toss the fellow.
Long Haul nods. He reaches forward and grabs firm hold of his brother's rear end, and then pull with his considerable strength. This is the sort of thing that Long Haul is good at, and so it's not very long before the both of them are back on solid ground. Once that's accomplished, Long Haul waves Scavenger towards the rest of the gathered Fusi-bits. "I'll transform. You can load 'em in my back." He doesn't seem to have noticed Symphony's arrival yet.
Battle Engine <Symphony> continues to stare, canted at an odd angle as if not fully believing what she's seeing, "This some kind of Easter egg hunt? What's with all the metal bits and aspects?" she inquires, primly prancing her way up the shoreline as the last of the water drains from her chassis.