Summary: The Autobots have a visitor - a very unwelcome and powerful visitor from another world...
AC Command Center
Once you enter this gigantic room, the first thing you notice is the big scanner sitting against the far wall. Looking like Teletran One's bigger cousin, the main computer that is Metroplex sits there checking the perimeter defenses of Autobot City. The gigantic viewer currently shows the exterior shot outside of Autobot City, a pastoral view of a wide plain surrounded by a large conifer forest. Several smaller monitors show different pictures, some of Earth by orbital satellite, others of various computer graphics, giving the viewer the current situation on Earth at a moment's notice.
Next to the main computer is a FTL communications terminal used for talking to Cybertron, Junkion, and other worlds. It is linked to Blaster's main communications tower located upstairs.
Along the other walls are assorted computer terminals that are used by individual Autobots for data processing and accessing information from the main computer core. On the wall to the right of the main computer is a large, recently finished portrait of Optimus Prime with Prowl and Ironhide in the background. A small caption below reads, "Until All Are One".
<Autobot> Raindance says, "Hey guys, we're getting some really strange energy readings from the Command Centre. Someone with hands and stuff better come check it out!"
The room is completely normal, in its completely usual state of operation, apart from... what looks like a crack in the centre of it. The very air itself slightly distorted, glowing with an abnormal aura, hanging freely
Silverbolt is sitting at a console, looking over reports and other such paperwork from his troops. He leans back and puts his hands behind his head, letting out a sigh as the date continues to scroll.
Cliffjumper walks into the Command Center. "Guys, you wouldn't believe the radio transmission Firestar accidentally sent m--what the hell is /that/?" he asks, pointing at the crack.
Raindance is floating about the room, trying to peek over Silverbolt's shoulder. "Its something for bigger mechs, Cliffjumper. They'll just talk about it and ignore us, like always. Then write things with their hands, and walk about with their legs again."
Red Alert marches in after hearing Raindance on the broadband channel. "Stand back everyone! We don't know what we're dealing with here!" He looks around and takes stock of which Autobots are present. "Alright then...everyone, implement Emergency Autobot Security Protocol 67c!" Red Alert immediately throws himself towards a corner, rolling acrobaticly. He ends up facing the disturbance on one knee, one hand pointed at the disturbance and the other arm held bent in front of him. The car door on his forearm has butterflied 'open', revealing a scanner display on the inside.
Frostbite pads into the comand center, his wings on his shoulders twitching slightly as he looks around. He can't help but think that... something... is off. And at Cliffjumper's exclaimation and Red Alert's spazzing, his 'hackles' rise and he backs away from the distortion, growling.
Any readings from the crack are insane - up is down and black is white, it causes any scanner to go haywire as it tries to understand it. And if anyone wants to get closer, there is something that feels like a static charge eminating off it...
Silverbolt hears all the comotion behind him and turns, "What?!" He looks for what everyone's after then reaches up to the side of his head and presses, "Stupid boradband. Try and get a moment's break and a ... thing appears."
"Feels like a... static charge emanatin' off it, or somethin'," Cliffjumper says, disregarding protocol like he does whenever it suits him. "Bet it's some kinda Decepticon contraption -- aw, if only we had anyone half the mech Wheeljack was, he'd figure this out in no time." Cliffjumper is still standing dangerously close, of course.
Durango enters the scene! He comes in from the main lobby, and immediately proceeds to stand and watch what's going on. In a heroic way!
"What happens if you stick your head in it?" Raindance opinionates to Cliffjumper idly. "Perhaps you will turn out like me. Awesome and handsome. Where's Foxfire when you need him!"
Red Alert looks around expectantly, but when no other Autobots implement the protocol the way he memorized it, Red Alert emits a long-suffering sigh and closes his scanner. "Cliffjumper, don't get too close! It might not be safe!"
"I ain't that smart, but I ain't that dumb, either," Cliffjumper says, taking his long, finned rifle that he sometimes had on the cartoon -- remember? -- and, holding it like a stick, prodding the fissure in reality.
As Cliffjumper dares to prod the crack with his gun, it starts to shudder, hissing like a snake, the very air itself around it folding up until there in its place, hovering in the air, is a glowing orb of light.
Frostbite continues to growl, shaking his form as he tries to get rid of some of the feeling of that static charge the distortion is giving off. He is, by now, closer to Red Alert than he is to Cliffjumper. He eyes Raindance and Cliffjumper, but snarls audibly as the distortion turns into an orb of light. "What the slag is going on?" He grumbles uneasily.
"Well, isn't that just fantastic--" Durango stops cold, mid-thought, and his optics shift nervously from right to left. "Uh...I mean....Crikey! What's 'at, then?"
Red Alert continues to watch the orb, not sure what to do. "Could it be..." he muses, "Could it be intelligent? Someone should try to talk to it." He eyes Cliffjumper. "But whatever you do, be diplomatic!"
<Autobot> Raindance says, "Quick Scattershot, we need a diplomat"
"I KNEW IT!" Cliffjumper barks, pointing directly at Durango. Then he returns his attention to the glowing ball. When Red Alert urges him on, Cliffjumper thinks for a moment before speaking. "Bah-weep gra-nah weep ni-ni-bon," he says, slowly. "You'd better not have a dumb little bear in there."
Silverbolt stands up and takes a step over towards the orb, "Cliffjumper" he begins. He shakes his head, "Do you use the universal greeting for every floating lightbulb you meet?"
As if in response to Cliffjumper's words, the sphere flares suddenly, growing larger as it hangs in the air, and then... all the lights go off. And on again, and start to flicker intermittently
<Autobot> All over Autobot City, the power starts to flicker
"Well, that's why it's a /Universal/ greetin', huh?" Cliffjumper asides.
Frostbite rawrs in protest as the lights flicker. "That's not working!" He protests, stalking around the orb uneasily. "Any other ideas that won't make this work?"
Silverbolt looks around the command center and shuts his optics. A bit of a head shake and he returns to looking at the orb. "We, uh, obviously mean you no harm since you came to us." He looks down at the smaller red Autobot. "Cliffjumper here didn't mean to insult you in any way, he was just trying to say hi." When in a strange, first contact situation, it's best to blame all things bad on the first person to talk.
Red Alert steps closer, his own blaster held to his side. "This is not good! It's affecting the base power systems!" He glances at TAI. "Teletran Two, reroute primary power to the security systems! Prepare to bring emergency power online if this continues!"
"And nor can you show me harm." An echoing, rich brown voice pulsates around the room, as in the strobing lights, a shape solidifies in front of the sphere of light. But this shape is dark, black, a gaunt humanoid figure clad entirely in what looks to be black robes, head encased in a black featureless helmet. And it stays there, floating in the air
"What the... you wanna bet, pal?" Cliffjumper says, obviously interpreting it as a challenge. "Nice robes. I didn't know you Decepticons were /seamstresses/ too."
Frostbite growls at Cliffjumper. "You're not helping," he mutters softly. He looks up at the orb as a figure solidifies out of it. He, not baring any weapons, uneasily trots a bit. "Who are you?" He asks the Wraith.
Maybe it's not a good idea that Hollywood's trotting through the Command Center. Especially, well, considering that he's running lines. He's a got a big ol' script in his hands and his optics are focused on the words, "Stop! Or his Mom will shoot!" He clears his vocal systems and tries again with a deeper, more baritone voice, "Stop! Or his Mom will shoot!" Audibly frowning, he takes it upon himself to just waltz right in. He has no idea that there are others already present.
Silverbolt takes half a step back and cocks his head to the right. "Kind of a bold statement, but as we weren't ever going to mean you harm, fair enough." He takes a step towards the shape and holds out his hand, "I'm Silverbolt of the Autobots. You are?"
The creature hangs in the air, motionless, though it seems a slight wind ripples through it. The head then turns slowly to see Frostbite, then Silverbolt in turn. "I am the servant of your master" it booms. "All that is yours, is his." Thrusting out a hand towards a monitor screen, there is a crackle of power, and suddenly the screen is full of reams of data streaming down it, all the internal files
Red Alert steps forward. "It's tapping into our secure files!! We've got to stop it - but no shooting! Too much sensitive equipment in here!" He pulls out a tonfa-style security baton, closing in on the creature. He stops and addresses it. "This is your last warning! Stop now or we attack!"
Frostbite yelps as he jumps to the side, away from the monitor, and bristles even more--his back/shoulder/neck armor rising noticeably. "What are you doing? What Master are you talking about?" He asks the wraith, running towards the monitor to at least get a bit of a better vantage point--or to see just what data is being accessed, either or.
Pageflip. "Oh no you didn't!" Cough. Baritone, "Oh no you didn't! I will BUST. YOUR. ASS!" Yeah, Holly's still looking at the script. There's some commotion that's going on around him, which he finally notices, as he pulls the script down from in front of his face. Optic blink. "... Why didn't someone tell me we were playing charades?! I know this one!" He points off at the screen scrolling data. "What is the title sequence of The Matrix!"
Silverbolt holds up a hand to the remaining Autobots, "Calm it down, everyone." Bolt's never been one to pull rank, but the tone of his voice gives up the fact that he's not open for discussions here. Turning his attention back to the creature, he returns his voice to it's normal, soothing tone. "Okay. Just a couple of questions here. First, we have no master, so who are you talking about? And second, as a show of good faith, can you kindly NOT access our restricted files as a show of power. We've seen better in our time."
<Autobot> Red Alert has encrypted this channel.
The creature continues to hover. "You have strayed!" it booms. "You have left the promised land of Cybertron for this forsaken mudball. Children of Primus. Primus is dead, his legacy rent asunder. There is only one force that now holds you, and that is the master. And after his millenia long exile, he will return for you"
"Aw, great," Cliffjumper moans. "What is this, the ninth time Unicron's come back now?"
Red Alert hefts his baton threateningly, but stops to listen to the creature. He turns in alarm when someone mentions the U-word.
<Autobot> ALERT! ALERT! All available personnel within Autobot city limits to the command Center! ALERT! ALERT! All available personnel...
Frostbite hisses as he jumps up onto the monitor, 'hackles' completely raised and shoulder-wings pinned backwards. He doesn't like this, oh no. "So what can we do, guys?" He asks the other Autobots, almost debating trying to pounce at the Wraith.
Scattershot walks into the Command Center. Without pausing, he pulls out his acid-pellet rifle and fires a sustained volley directly at the Wraith's head (making sure he won't hit anything other than expensive computers if it turns out to be intangible!). After a long moment of RAT-A-TAT-TAT, he releases the trigger. Smoke rises from the barrel.
"I got yer 'diplomacy' right here, ass-face," he growls.
Silverbolt nods, a thoughtful look on his face. "I see" he says flatly. He looks back towards the command center entrance and notes Scattershot's entrance. Facing the creature again, he smiles. "Very well, then. I'd like to introduce you to our leader, Scattershot. He'll be the one that this 'master' would talk to about our ultimate surrender." He steps away so he can direct an arm towards Shot. "Sir. A visitor to demand we bow before another master." And then he dodges the incoming fire.
As it is fired on, the creature does not seem to react. Anything touching it simply... melts away. Yet what does get a reaction from the passionless creature is the words of Cliffjumper. "What?" it booms. "Blasphemy! Your true master is the owner of your species, that which holds the key to your civilisation. The forgotten, betrayed legend. He who will return to judge this universe...
... ALPHA Q!
He holds out a hand towards the minibot. "I am his servant, and I bring his gift of death to all Cybertronians
You strike Cliffjumper with SMITE.
Cliffjumper falls to the ground unconscious.
Cliffjumper is blasted into a console, a huge hole blown into his chest as he slumps to the ground. Smoke flows from the wound.
Red Alert's mouth falls open. "Cliffjumper! Autobots, forget about what I said about watching what you shoot in here...open fire!" He backs off, abandoning the baton. Instead he raises his trusty blaster, sending particle beams sizzling into the creature.
Scattershot shrugs, looking left and right as he spins the rifle back into subspace. "Well, that's all I got. Anyone else wanna 'negotiate'? This Alpha Q guy sounds fruitier'n a bowl fulla alphagetti."
Of course, then the dire wraith blutches the slag out of Cliffjumper, and Scattershot begins to re-evaluate his approach. "Huh," he muses. "I don't think this thing wants t'negotiate either." At Red Alert's shout, he shrugs. "Somehow I think that ain't gonna do anythin', Red. It drank up my acid pellets faster'n Tracks drinks up th'attention of his LJ friends."
Silverbolt's optics go wide as Cliffjumper shoot from where he was standing. He looks back at the Wraith and shakes his head, "Wrong answer, bubbles." He hops back, drawing his weapon as he goes. Raising it up, he glares, voice going all business. "You're going to need to leave now or I'll let Red Alert handle you." Was that a threat?
Frostbite snarrrrrls, fangs bared and claws digging into the metal of the monitor slightly. "Some 'gift'," he growls as the gun mounted within his back unfolds and aims at the Wraith. "Well, what can we do? I'm not about to get close to that thing," he replies back to Scattershot.
Scattershot looks up from his forearm-mounted computer screen as Frostbite makes his request. "Hold on, li'l guy," he says, tapping at the keypad on his wrist. "I'm callin' th'Ghostbusters. I saw 'em on TV th'other day an' this seems like their kinda scene."
The wraith slowly raises a hand at Frostbite. "You will simply wait until the master summons you. Then, he will take you as if his own. You will know peace at last. Do not yearn for this pathetic world, it too will die, as is the nature of things. Only Alpha Q is eternal. Witness his power!" Suddenly, a monitor in the room flares into life, to show a paniced news report in New York. The focus is the Statue of Liberty, only... it is no longer there. Instead, what looks to be a statue of... a horrifically armoured Quintesson!
Scattershot frowns. "It's tellin' me that number ain't in service," he grumbles, before shutting off the call and focusing on the monitor. A long moment passes. Then another. "So, uh... I ain't exactly sure what's different with this picture," he says in a low voice.
<Earth> This is Charlie Foster for NBY news. Something uh... something.. I... the Statue of Liberty has... gone! I can't... In its place is this grotesque abomination. Is this a student prank? Has the Blayn appeared? Does anyone know?
Red Alert stares at the screen, one hand on the side of his head. "I'm intercepting radio traffic - secondary news sources confirming this is really happening in New York, right now." He shakes his head sadly. "Quintessons...it's almost worse than Unicron returning. He turns back to the wraith. "Where is this master now?"
Frostbite crouches, hissing at the wraith as it raises a hand towards him. He barely spares a glance at the monitor, focusing on the Wraith instead to make sure that he isn't about to get attacked too.
<Autobot> Sneak Peek's unknown voice comes across the channel, "Sneak Peek to any earthen Autobots."
The wraith simply folds his arms. "He awaits in endless waking in the phantom lands. In a scant few rotations of this world, he shall return to claim what is rightfully his - the factory world of Cybertron. And you. Do not deny the summonings, or you will be consumed." And as quickly as it appeared, it vanishes, the sphere of light quickly blipping out with it
<Autobot> Red Alert says, "Sneak Peak, this is Red Alert, go ahead. And be careful, this transmission may be compromised."
Scattershot squints at Red Alert. "Call me crazy, but somehow swappin' a statue'a some lady in a toga for a badass space monster statue seems like it ain't as bad as devourin' planets." A pause. "'Course, slaggin' Cliffjumper weren't too nice. An' now he's leavin' without so much's a 'how d'you do'. Some space ghosts these days," he sighs. "No manners."
<Autobot> Sneak Peek says, "Don't care. There's a newly formed black hole that just apeared around Cybertron. I'm no scientist, but according to the computers, it's not exhibiting the properties of one beyond being black and hole-like."
<Autobot> Scattershot says, "So is it a hole or just a disc'r what?"
Frostbite leaps off of the monitor, lashing one paw at the place where the Wraith had been even though he had no intention of actually attacking it, before gracefully landing on the ground. He doesn't relax as he listens to the radio, growling before he starts to pace. This day is just getting worse and worse, it seems.
<Autobot> Sneak Peek says, "Again with the not being a scientist, smart guy."
<Autobot> Sneak Peek says, "I just know that it suddenly showed up, reads like a black hole in the visual spectrum, but not in the, you know, black hole spectrum stuff."
Silverbolt watches as the creature vanishes. Turning back to Scattershot, he raises a brow, "A little warning would be nice next time."
<Autobot> Scattershot says, "Well I ain't a scientist either but I kin tell a hole from a disc. Anyway I guess we'll git some eggheads out there ASAP."
<Autobot> Sneak Peek says, "Thanks for making the time in what I'm sure is a busy schedule. We here on Cybertron appreciate it."
<Autobot> Scattershot says, "We got space ghosts up in here so it's gonna be a breem'r two."
<Autobot> Telestar says, "Autobot Sneak Peek. Perhaps an astronomer might be in order?"