Summary: (April 2027) A sassy bomber makes herself at home in the Sweep Sanctum while discussing campaign plans.
Both home and outpost for the dreaded Sweeps, the Sanctum is a technological marvel. Fully stocked with state of the art scanning equipment, sensor relays and communications posts, it's a dream for the modern Tracker/Terminator. Set in the middle of the main room is a round table, complete with enough chairs to accomodate the Sweeps and any visitors that happen to... stop by. Other doors branch off from the main center, leading to individual rooms and storage hangars. Mounted on the walls are numerous trophies, all tagged with the name of the hunter and the prey from which the trophy came. Lit by a combination of sodium lamps and fuel torches, the whole base gives off that eerie feeling reminiscent of being surrounded by your worst fears. But to the Sweeps, it's merely home. There is a board on one wall for important hunt information. Lining practically all of the back wall is a huge trophy case.
PRIORITY OBJECTIVE: We must increase our efficiency as a pack.
Dredclaw goes back to trying to follow the schematics and adjust the settings of the cases control circuits.
Sunder sits in a chair around the table, idly watching his wingsib work. There's not much else to do at this hour.
Luckily, there's a break in the monotony. The monitoring devices located at the threshold of the Sanctum eventually chime, indicating the presence of a visitor -- or maybe just a snoop? Additional information indicates that it's a figure that's already been inside, at least once. As for Fusillade herself, she's shifting slightly on her toes as she waits for whatever may befall her. There had been some nebulous idea of inviting herself in so that she may work more effectively by trying to block out the creepy atmosphere. Now, she waits. A few more seconds of silence, and she would take it as a guiding omen by the hand of Straxus, and bolt back for her own quarters.
Fusillade, in the meantime, tries to think up some reasonable reason to be here!
Sunder leaps up from his chair as he hears the sound of the motion sensors going off. He goes to the door, knowing that it's Fusillade there. Dredclaw is still busy, but he figures he can stall the bomber until Dred can make a decision as to whether to invite her in.
Dredclaw looks up, and at the monitor. A grin plays over the XO's features as he clears his vocalizer. "Enter" he calls, the main doors click heavily and swoosh open, showing Fusillade standing at the threshold. "Wind to your wings, Fusillade", he calls around his Wingsib. Dredclaw says, "Do show her in, Sunder." he identifies his wingsib at the door for their guest's benefit.
"This way," Sunder purrs, and shows Fusillade to the more brightly lit center of the room, where the table is. If this is anything like last time, she'll prolly park her aft right on top of it.
Oh, there had been a million sassy, clever things running through Fusillade's head, plans on what to say once the heavy bolts and internal mechanisms had swung open. And then, the... nearly come-hither tone causes all those to wither away. She half-raises a hand in greeting, half-opens her mouth, and... promptly freezes. Words fail.
Dredclaw watches Fusillade just stand there, his brow quirking upwards as the grin ratchets upwards to a very pleased smirk. Standing, Dredclaw makes his way over and takes Fusillade's half raised hand in his own, leading her into the depths of the Sanctum. "Don't be shy, you are welcome here." he rumbles quietly. The massive doors thud shut with a heavy hiss and clack of locks as they secure themselves once more.
Sunder retakes his seat and watches the little drama unfold before him. Was he watching a real-live version of "As the Starship Turns"?
Ever had a mule dig its heels in while you were trying to go fifteen miles on the Erie Canal? If her gape could get any bigger, well, it would. The yellow glint in her optics takes on a whiter tone of alarm, and she stammers out as she is eventually led in, "I... I... I think I can do my paperwork in the armory. It's... got rifles and bombs and grenade launchers, and and and..." There's a quick glance in Sunder's direction, a plea for help that falls on stony ground. A positively horrified expression crosses her features, before she schools it behind a rictus mask of bared silvery fangs. A moment later, she inclines her head as she arranges herself aloofly on one of the chairs, darkness shrouding the tremor of one shoulder, "There were two matters that I actually wished to speak with you about."
Dredclaw pulls a chair around and sits in it backwards, propping his chin on his crossed arms atop the back of the chair. "Paperwork?" he asks, brow quirking again as he cocks his head a tad, "If you wish, we could open up our armory for you if the presence of munitions would put you at ease." There is that grin again, his own fangs flashing in the light of the sodium lamps. "What is the other matter you wish to discuss? I have enough paperwork of my own to occupy me." he settles back down atop his gauntlets and inhales, enhanced senses drinking in their visitor.
Sunder leans forward with interest when Fusillade mentions the matters she wishes to discuss. He too appears to be physically sneering at her, but in reality he is directing a flow of air to his veromonasal sensors in the roof of his mouth. This sensor is a bit different from his regular olfactory sensors, and processes certain information differently.
The faintly acrid peak of alarm, the metallic tang of aerosolized, galvanized metal from Fusillade's systems eventually smooths out. There's always an astringent undertone of urgency from systems that are likely tweaked to extend the performance of mediocre systems, finely tuned, stretched to the point of snapping, but delivering a highly refined product. "Several, actually." At the suggestion from Dredclaw, Fusillade chuckles and shakes her head, "I'll just get on with it," at which point the overall aroma calms further into ginger, and whatever would pass as the equivalent of 'citrus' for them, as she launches into discussion. "Three items, now, come to think of it." She leans forward on her elbows. "Defcon. Coming up with ideas to satisfy Gavlatron regarding moving a mile long supertanker. And... a... sculpting opportunity for you two."
Dredclaw sits up and strokes his beard for a moment. "Sculpture? Isn't that more of Hook's forte?" he regards Fusillade with a slight hint of suspicion. "The last thing I need to do is get on *his* bad side.. Arachnae and Revenant can't always be around to patch Sunder up." he smirks at his wingsib quickly.
Sunder looks at Dredclaw quizzically. "Wha...?" he wonders.
Fusillade also reeks of glasnost.
Sunder wouldn't mind carving his initials or whatever into a hapless victim. Perhaps this 'sculpture opportunity' was just a fancy way for Fusillade to say that someone needs clawing up?
"Not quite in the physical sense, you two." Fusillade's tone and mannerisms are more settled, "More... developmental. The... recent events with Military Operations have caused the mirror to turn inwards, if you will. I am, quite simply..." She narrows optics, their hue shifting back to a more dangerous, sullen orange, "Inadequate in the optics of High Command. There ARE things I can do differently. I believe that your group could provide potential... honing so that I may be a better weapon of the Empire." She really DOES reek of glasnost! But with whom?
Dredclaw ahhs, and nods in understanding. "You wish to train with us, I see." he smiles, "That could be most....rewarding for all involved, I should think." he looks at Sunder and quirks his brow once more, optics flashing a dangerous ruby red. "It is not uncommon for others to seek us out for training.. and it allows us to stay atop of our skills as well." He goes back to stroking his beard, "Perhaps it is time to don the 'harness' myself. It has been a while since I was taxed enough to evolve."
Sunder is a bit disappointed that this "sculpture opportunity" is more metaphorical than actual. Ah well, there's still Defcon to be rent into spare parts when the opportunity presents itself. Upon hearing that Fusillade wants to train with them, he smirks. Dredclaw obviously thinks this is a good idea, and why not? Training with what may be eventual potential prey was always a good idea. This brought to mind the thought of what might happen if the Decepticon Empire eventually succeeded in conquering the Universe and eliminating the Autobots and all other "inferior" species. Then what would the Sweeps hunt? Could it be that Unicron intended for them to turn on the Decepticons and hunt them, should that day ever come?
"You really do get a lot of requests?" Fusillade asks over the thrum of increased coolant turnover within her systems. "Hadn't really heard of many..." Perhaps she should ponder why that is! For a good, long moment, she drums fingers on the table, and finally concedes, "There needs to be some way for me to last longer on the battlefield, I tend to... overreact to damage reports, and withdraw long before I necessarily need to. Guess I'm a bit of a hangar queen. I'm also thinking of upgrading my weapons output... but I don't think MSE will approve until after I get better at aiming. Saturation bombing works nicely, but... I think they get annoyed at the amount of munitions I go through, and it really IS a big drain on energon..."
Dredclaw nods, "Well, we have on several occasions worked with others to improve their efficiency, the results are usually favorable, and have almost never been fatal"
Sunder grins maliciously at Dredclaw's comment that the results have 'almost never been fatal.'
"OH, heh, almost never, mmm?" Fusillade seems positively thrilled, a combative edge lending a pungent undertone to her systems. "WELL, seeing as how I am just drowning in spare time..." She snorts softly, before standing. "I'm willing to extend myself, yes. MSE's been... lax in their weapons platform testing lately, I'm starting to get bored."
Dredclaw nods and taps into his datapad, "As long as you are willing to extend yourself to the fullest, you should do well with training with the Pack." he looks back up, "There are consent forms on file with MSE for Sweep aided training. Get your permissions and we will begin as soon as we can. Now, you mentioned something about a supertanker? Have we become Octain's seconds for moving fuel around? What is this about?"
"Oh, consent forms... that'll be interesting," Fusillade states archly. "Our lives truly ARE given to the Empire." After a moment, she hnphs. "No no no. I'm not asking you to do it, merely ideas on how to get it accomplished. I have been charged by Galvatron to provide options. It is located in Autobot defended waters -- Hawaii. We need to get it across half the width of the Pacific, but it moves too slowly under its own power to make it defensible. Shockwave wants the tanker itself for materials to make a mobile, underwater energon extraction unit so we don't have to depend on shipments from Charr. I know you don't like him. I don't either. But to think that we could have a tool like that? It appeals to me..."
Fusillade actually begins to slink to the still-sealed doors.
"Yes, Galvatron was telling Fusillade last night to secure the tanker. I recall that quite clearly." Sunder stares into space thoughtfully after that remark.
Dredclaw nods to Fusillade, dismounting the backwards chair, the Sweep begins to pace about. "With enough structural integrity field generators placed on it, the tanker might be able to withstand being towed at greater speeds. The defense force would still have to be conciderable though." More pacing and pulling of beard, "A cloaking device? They can't attack us if they can't find us.. if added to the SIF generators the whole op might be able to be pulled off without any damage to the raw materials." Some low grumbling about Shockwave interspersed with a few physically impossible suggestions on how he can refuel himself and Dredclaw looks up, "Could the space bridge make a local jump of the vessel if tagged with transponders?"
Dredclaw shrugs and sighs, "I'm afraid these questions are best discussed with more technically inclined units." the XO looks slightly frustrated, and he glances at his datapad and the schematics on it. "It seems that I need more than just physical development if I'm going to keep from becoming and outmod myself..." he mutters.
Sunder isn't any better at tech than Dredclaw is, so is naturally no help in that regard. Perhaps Revenant would have some ideas, but Sunder doubted that the Sweep Medic would be willingly cooperative.
Dredclaw looks at Sunder and shakes his head, "I can tell by that look what you're pondering and no, he'll not co-operate unless ordered." Dredclaw says, "besides, he's working on a project for me" Dredclaw grins secretly.
Sunder envies Dredclaw, and asks, "What about Arachnae?"
Dredclaw turns his palms up, "Possible. She'll help if she can, but don't count that she'll be available either, her work can make her unreachable as well."
Sunder sits at the table with his high cheek ridges resting in his palms. He's still waiting for his systems to fully recover themselves, although this would not take much longer.
Dredclaw looks and notices Fusillade heading for the doors and taps a sequence into the base computer, inputing the Femme into its registry so that the doors will open for her. "We'll be expecting you later then." he smiles languorously.
Sunder watches the bomber go, idly desiring a taste of her fuel in the back of his mind. He'd gotten more than a taste when she was badly injured in the medbay, and he craved more. But, that would have to wait til the next time she was languishing in the medbay, leaking mech fluids all over the place.