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Laying Caltrops

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Laying Caltrops

Who: Bonecrusher, Michael Briar, Catechism, Cyclonus, Fleet, Fusillade, Jazz, Rivet, Roadbuster, Sludge
IC Year: 2025
Location: Northern Highway, Cybertron
TP: Polyhex Blockade

None


Summary: (April 2025) In an attempt to seal off the joint EDC-Autobot-Junkion advance on Polyhex, the Decepticons opt to make at least one of the ground approaches wholly undriveable -- by mining it.

Northern Highway

As you travel along the highway, you find yourself between what used to be the two major intersections on this highway. To the north, the Crossroads lead to the Cybertronian Swamps and to Polyhex. Heading south you once would find the Magnaron Intersection, one of the busiest roads of Cybertron. From an intersection it became a crater, then a lake, then an abyss, ripped into Cybertron's crust by one of Unicron's immense pincers, and finally a lake again, courtesy of the Quintessons.

Night eternal clutches Cybertron, although in this area the lurid glare of floodlights around the work area of the ruined outpost cast an orangish hue against the twilight's belly. To the north, the twinkle of lights indicate the Autobot-EDC-Junkion Coalition's entrenchment along the greatly hated flak lines. A positively gravid Fusillade emerges out of the night, skulking very closely to the ground. Always had she favored low altitude because of how closely it allowed her to approach a target without being visually detected. With wings swung forward, she is NOT setting any speed records tonight, the craft's innards laden to safety flaunting capacities, and beyond with six external hard points slung under her gloss white belly. A few crabby radios escape her, but she does her best to contain the complaints about nearly running out of runway, and about how the creaks from somewhere in back are positively abysmal. Ever so slowly from her starting trajectory at Nightseige, she aerially lumbers past the half-repaired outpost, and continues northward, the creases of Cybertronian plains giving way to the surface of a highway polished smooth by the comings and goings of many invading rubber wheels.

.oO( Please oh please oh please don't let a missile hit me right now... I don't care if the pins AREN'T armed until the timer goes off... Caltrops would have been easier...)

Pyramid Jet (Fleet) is, once more, playing target, although at the moment if he's fired upon he actually gets to fire back. That's always a bonus. He flies escort to the bomber, staying above, to the left, and just a little in front of Fusillade as he tries to contain the urge to move faster, move forward, circle... something! His sensors are straining to their fullest as he tries to keep an eye out of the current situation.

Flying along at a standard escort position off of Fusillade's right wing is the equally large but not nearly so weight-bound is the threatening shape of the Decepticon Lord Cyclonus. His relatively dark color permits him to blend into the night quite well. Unfortunately, his fusion turbines generate almost as much of a low rumble as the quad-engines of the bomber-femme, not to mention their conspicuous purple glow in the night sky. Nestled within his cockpit is the shape of a particular green Constructicon, who probably has a relatively nice view of the goings on. However, he has already been briefed to.. 'Touch anything, and I'll strangle you' so of course that won't be a problem. Regardless, Cyclonus' voice is heard over the radio. "Protect the delivery vehicle at all costs until the payload has been given. Do not wait for the first shot -- engage preemptively when possible. Fire first, bring them down first. Do your jobs well, and we'll all be home for energon rations in an hour."

Catechism has followed to assist with escort duty. Hopefully the entire Autobot elite and their pet monkey won't show. In robot mode, it's easier for her to keep up with the newly slow bomber. She shudders to think how uncomfortable that must feel. Small mercy to be a Seeker, eh?

Night eternal clutches Cybertron, although in this area the lurid glare of floodlights around the work area of the ruined outpost cast an orangish hue against the twilight's belly. To the north, the twinkle of lights indicate the Autobot-EDC-Junkion Coalition's entrenchment along the greatly hated flak lines. A positively gravid Fusillade emerges out of the night, skulking very closely to the ground. Always had she favored low altitude because of how closely it allowed her to approach a target without being visually detected. With wings swung forward, she is NOT setting any speed records tonight, the craft's innards laden to safety flaunting capacities, and beyond with six external hard points slung under her gloss white belly. A few crabby radios escape her, but she does her best to contain the complaints about nearly running out of runway, and about how the creaks from somewhere in back are positively abysmal. Ever so slowly from her starting trajectory at Nightseige, she aerially lumbers past the half-repaired outpost, and continues northward, the creases of Cybertronian plains giving way to the surface of a highway polished smooth by the comings and goings of many invading rubber wheels.

Bonecrusher is much to awed to touch anything! Rough worker he may be, but he has enough of an understanding of rank and protocol to know what a special privilege it is to be given a ride by the second-in-command of the Decepticons himself. Besides, he wouldn't have the skills to pilot Cyclonus to begin with - much easier to let the Unicronian fly himself. Thus, he just quietly sits in Cyclonus' cockpit, arms folded as to not accidentally touch anything he shouldn't, and peers outside in anticipation.

Cargo Truck <Rivet> follows the Northern highway up from the lake, bouncing along towards the crossroads. Driving along, humming to himself, he has not a care in the world... that is, until radio traffic breaks through his happy time. "Oh slag..." His accelerator slams to the floor, causing a burnout of sorts as his transmission downshifts rapidly. Once the tires regain their grip he begins to build up his speed towards the crossroads, his scanners now extra alert for trouble.

You transmit a message to Bonecrusher: Aww, c'mon, just spin in the seat once?

Bonecrusher receives a radio transmission from Fusillade.

Transmission from Bonecrusher: No, thank you, I do not wish to end up as a wall ornament!

Bonecrusher transmits a message via radio.

And yes, there's a white Porsche in the area. White is a trouble magnet, especially out here. Probably a good thing he was in the vicinity, now isn't it? He can watch the contrails of Decepticons zipping across the sky as well.� Jazz is, if nothing else, headed thattaway, because he wants to know what kind of mischief they're up to.

Nearly not clearing the rooftops of Nightseige -- eight times -- certainly is a great way to get someone to appreciate the finer things in life. Or in this case, just make operating such a damned annoyance that anything outside Fusillade's immediate surroundings are ignored. A few more creaks and groans sound out from somewhere along vertical stabilizer's leading edge meets her fuselage. "Gonna have to weave a bit on delivery to make sure the spread's wide enough to be useful. Otherwise they can just build... ramps or something, and jump. I'm getting rid of the externals first, bah." With that decree, she noses forward just a bit more, airspeed just enough to keep her from stalling. The six hard points are released in sequence, sending a cloud of steel frisbee-shaped, foot and a half wide patties thumping, spinning, and clanging on the roadway. Some of the more colorful ones seem to have text sloppily painted on them, reading: "For a good time, press here"

Once the bomb laying begins, Fleet increases his distance from Fusillade as he increases his altitude in general. This, of course, has the disadvantage of putting him, for the moment, farther away from the action, but has the advantage of letting him see farther. And it's with his altitude that he sees... could that be movement, or is it just his imagination? The Seeker twists away and heads to investigate an area where something appears to be kicking up dust, priming his weapons systems as he approaches.

Fusion Powered Starfighter continues to fly along at Fusillade's wing until she announces her incoming weaving. Completely without warning to Bonecrusher within his cockpit, Cyclonus rotates on axis and literally stands upon his starboard wing. Kicking in his primary fusion drive he literally rockets in a wide circle around Fusillade and her escorts -- watching for the arrival of Autobot troops. "Stick to the deployment pattern." He orders. "But maneuver as you must. A wise decision to jettison the external ordnance first, indeed." And then, wide angle radio is broadcasted. "Decepticons. Be alert. Escorts, break and begin close proximity air patrol."

<Exo-Suit> Michael Briar roars into the area and is now visible. His arms and behind him as he streaks looking like iron man somewhat, minus the two huge engine pods on his back that look like wings. The Glaive II moves in fast as he's not for screwing around or making fancy speeches this time around. He's been on edge for too long lately. He looks up and says, "Decepticons, leave this place, or die." He pulls himself up quickly to stop his forward momentum and hovers there while aiming his rifle. The zoom flickers several pictures on his HUD until he sees a red tinged Bonecrusher within Cyclonus's cockpit.

Briar asked Roadbuster to remain behind and wait for him to call for backup, if he so decided he needed it. However the Autobot Ground Pounder decides he is not going to wait. Briar may run into a lot of problems, judging by the alert he gave out to those stationed at the encampment north of this area. Roadbuster felt it would be safer if he tailed the Exo Suit, and be closer to provide support.

Despite the "don't touch anything" warning, Bonecrusher's fingers reflexively dig into the side of his seat as Cyclonus banks. Good thing he was never prone to airsickness. The Constructicon feels alert - wired, even - doubly so as the fleshie outside seems to aim at Cyclonus. "Look out, sir!"

Sludge is aloft, and moving far more quickly than he could on the ground in either form. Hey, that's why he has this ability after all, right? Yes, Briar said to remain behind while he scouted ahead, but he only mentioned Roadbuster and, besides, since when did a Dinobot listen to orders he didn't want to? He frowns as he observes the Decepticons. What're they doing?

Cargo Truck <Rivet> does his best to coax as much speed as possible out of his aging frame, his engine roaring towards its limits. Nevertheless, he doesn't let up as he heads straight towards where it's all going down.

Jazz transforms when he gets to the point where he can see the jets start moving in a slightly different pattern. What the heck? And there's a human hanging around. Good thing Briar can take care of hisself, huh? And of course, he'll be near enough to catch more of the action than he really should. Prolly should say something. Give an order. Something. But if he don't know what's going down, 'Find out what's going on' is really a useless thing to say. So he says... nothing.

A wide attempt at a wing-waggle by Fusillade is sent toward Fleet as he peels off. The circling, easy motions of Cyclonus give the B-1B Lancer only the tiniest of pauses, perhaps enjoying the company of something her size in the air. It's with a vicious snarl that Fusillade jettisons the external casings, letting the six long pieces of equipment crash to the ground as well, adding further hurdles to anything that would desire to use the roadway. The bomber just now is within safe flying specs. Oddly enough, nothing appears to be blowing up, as she continues to swing in a leisurely seesaw pattern, ever advancing northward along the roadway, taking great care to also seed the medians and shoulders with the round goodies. Finally, the middle of her trio of bomb bay doors begins to swing open. Mighty fancy, and heavily guarded, garbage scows the Decepticons have these days. Really.

Pyramid Jet (Fleet) approaches the area he was investigating and discovers that it is, indeed an Autobot. Rivet, to be exact. His radio clicks on for a moment before he shuts it off again; no point in mentioning what has already become painfully obvious, the fact that the Autobots are now in the area. So instead he just swoops down upon the little cargo truck, firing a salvo with his lasers before climbing again.

Cyclonus is an individual of few words indeed. Upon hearing Michael Briar's threat he simply stands upon his opposite wing and slams his engines. Within, Bonecrusher is treated to several G-s of acceleration as Cyclonus positively accelerates forwards. The sound barrier is quickly broken as he rockets towards where the Glaive II stands -- passing overhead of Sludge and Roadbuster. Curiously enough as this happens his canopy cracks -- somehow resisting being torn off by the force of the wind rushing past the nose as Bonecrusher is literally ejected into the air as Cyclonus passes rapidly beyond him. "Today isn't a particularly good day to die, Meatling." He states via tightbeam tot he pilot of the Glaive II. As expected, his forward weapon pods come online and discharge a blast of arcing magenta energy towards him. "Decepticons!" He orders. "Attack! Spare nothing!"

Bonecrusher is hurtled out of Cyclonus cockpit. He dizzily tumbles through the air, struggling to stabilize his position, and pulling his gun out of subspace at the same time. When he again knows where up and down is, he sees Sludge just down below him. The Constructicon aims at the Dinobot's head and fires.

Bonecrusher strikes Sludge with Laser from the Meanie Greenie!.

<Exo-Suit> Michael Briar blinks and wonders for 1/1000th of a second how Cyclonus moved so fast. The blast registers as a bright flash of red against his chest and a side com panel shows the damage as a temperature spike and some EMP damage, but nothing more. Still, a dozen or more of those shots and he could be in trouble. Michael pushes the exo-suit forward willing the jets to take him straight up and around moving upside down and clicks on his radio, "Cyclonus, you wouldn't even bother with me if you didn't have a plan in all of this. Something's up. Sludge, take this guy off my hands, I'm going seeker hunting!" He rolls and arcs back around before willing his engines to open up wide. He makes a run for the seekers and skips Cyclonus all together. "Roadbuster, give me some covering fire." he says, but does not order it. That's one thing he has to go over with Prime about, giving and taking orders between the two armies.

Crunch. Crunch. Crunch. The armored boots of the Autobot Roadbuster slam into the ground, crunching bits of metal or other debris that may be within reach of his boots. He's currently toting his rifle in one hand, bracing it near the barrel as he jogs. He's ready to heft it and start firing at a moments notice. The chain of ammo connecting from the bottom of the rifle to the rear of Roadbuster shakes and waves with each step. The powder blue optics of Roadbuster widen as he gradually picks out the contacts as he gets closer, "He wanted to come in alone?" He asks out loud to himself. Roadbuster sees Cyclonus gun for the Exo Suit and he hears Briar's request, "I'll do what I can." He shouts over the radio before he tries to put up a screen of cover fire from his Rifle.

Cargo Truck <Rivet> hears the roar of Fleet's engines, senses him bearing down on him, but his reflexes just aren't enough to get him out of the way of the hot light Fleet sends his way. The bolts put a hole through his windshield and tears a gash in his cargo box, resulting in one of his drive wheels blowing out. Unable to compensate, he slides into a skid and tumbles onto his side, rolling over and over several times before he transforms in mid roll, arms and legs flailing until he is able to bring himself to a stop. Smoking a bit from the damage inflicted, he pulls his pistol and scans the skies for Fleet, wincing in pain slightly as he does. "Slaggin' airhead, I just got those tires re-treaded!" he shouts, as he tries to draw a bead on Fleet, squeezing the trigger.

Rivet starts to rise off the ground as his cargo box seperates and unfolds to form his legs. His arms unfold from his sides, and his cab folds down to form his chest, and his head slides upwards.

Sludge shakes his head woozily as it feels funny for a moment. Then, putting this fact together with that green blur he just saw go past him, realizes that there's a very strong likelihood that he was just attacked. He stops, hovering in the air as he searches for weird green guys. What, this one again? He's /always/ fighting this one! He shakes his head, he's not going to bother... what's that? Attack Cyclonus? Ooooh, that sounds fun. Hope he can hit him, is all. Reaching one arm back, he draws his Energo sword. With a crackle of noise and light, it powers up, energy dancing across its blade. He doesn't, however, bother with flourishing it dramatically, instead he just charges towards the big purple jet with a wordless battle-cry.

Sludge misses Fusion Powered Starfighter with his Energo Sword attack.

Rivet strikes Pyramid Jet (Fleet) with Puny Pistol Of Not-even-close To Doom.

The bunny eared one moves so fast because he's related to the Easter bunny, and that's how fast that little hopper goes. How else would he deliver so much candy so fast... Wow. That would've been such a good picture for the contest though. Relatives of the Easter bunny.

Anyhow. Jazz is on the road. Jazz is seeing that B-1B bomber that the scouts reported. Man. You'd think she'd lay off the drinks. They're making her lay eggs. Or... something. "Sweet." Jazz mutters, bringing up the rifle, and transmits a quick message to Fusillade as he pulls the trigger. Who knows. He might actually hit the broadside of a... bomber.

Transmission from Jazz: Shoo.

Jazz transmits a message via radio.

Jazz strikes you with Photon Shot <low> for 11 points of damage.

The rocketing Cyclonus is indeed moving quite quickly -- a speed that befits the atmospheric flight of one who is among the fastest of Cybertronians. Standing upon his tail now he neatly avoids Sludge's attack -- hurtling away and leaving the slow-moving Dinobot far behind; rising to some ten thousand feet in the blink of an eye. It is there that he levels out, takes stock of the situation and dives -- the sound barrier broken once again. "Bonecrusher. Strangle that Dinobot. I will have no further interference." He orders -- and locks his sights on the retreating Exo-Suit once again. He fully realizes that the tricksy meatbag is trying to shake him to go off and foil his strategic goals. And his counter to that? Keep him tactically focused on preserving his own life." Regardless -- another barrage of purple-blue energy comes rocketing out of the starfighter's nose -- aimed towards the Glaive's back.

Fusion Powered Starfighter misses Exo-Suit <Glaive II> with his disruptor attack.

Dropping babies like a welfare momma. Taking a dump. These choice idioms could be used to describe the current behavior of Fusillade. She's sure that she'll never hear the end of it for the rest of her days. However, there was something else she was noticing... the strategy of more aggressive defense was working. She's about halfway through unloading the middle bay, when she jinxes herself. "Hey guys! It's actually working! I'm not getting shot at by the Autob-" *KRZZAT* "GAOW!!! Shaffit!" The energy lances across the femme's frame, shorting several circuits and causing her to veer hard to the right and down, engines straining to keep herself on the level. The sounds of racks jostling inside each other can be heard, along with a terrified "Oh Primus don't let them detonate insidiiiiide!" Fusillade's voice goes up an octave in shrillness as the residual charge leaves her frame, and actually *ZOTS* out to a few of the mines, detonating them as they fall away from Fusillade. The bomber balks, and lurches upwards a few dozen feet, but attempts to continue trundling her way north along the highway, intending to make a wall between the Crossroads and Polyhex with the fifty pound munitions. There's quite literally hundreds of them.

Pyramid Jet (Fleet)'s pretty pastel underside is scorched by Rivet's weapon, and he's just about to return fire when he overhears Fusillade. He pulls up and speeds in her direction, reporting to the others, "They've got us outnumbered! Not sure how long we can keep them off you!" Still, he's going to try, and to that end he transforms and air-tumbles into a semi-upright position. As soon as he's sighted the Autobot who fired at the bomber, he fires, not even taking the time to aim.

Bonecrusher, being the simple-minded fellow that he is, decides to take Cyclonus' order most literally. Hurtling himself towards Sludge with un-bulldozerlike speed, he attempts to close his strong hands around what little of a neck Sludge has in his current mode and squeeze off a fuel line or two, perhaps even pop off his head.

Fleet strikes Jazz with Shoulder-Mounted Laser Rifle <Pulse Mode>.

Bonecrusher strikes Sludge with Stranglehold.

<Exo-Suit> Michael Briar rolls quickly and climbs avoiding the shots from the starfighter. He looks back and says, "Better luck next time Cyclonus!" then dives down towards Fusillade. He sees Jazz firing on her as well and says, "Always count on Jazz to show up when you lease expect it." Michael pulls up quickly and fires off a long burst of rail cannon fire. It growls and shudders as it spits out fire and death towards Fusillade.

Exo-Suit <Glaive II> strikes you with heavy rail gun for 16 points of damage.

Roadbuster's cover fire is nothing... or at least means nothing. The Ground Pounder stomps forward more, his optics glued to the engagement between Briar and Cyclonus, "Oh no no no." Roadbuster states as he hauls his Rifle up, pointing the barrel skyward. He quickly clicks a button near the trigger. A button which would normally be a safety switch has changed the configuration of the gun. Roadbuster grunts and squeezes the trigger. More covering fire is shot skyward towards Cyclonus... in an effort to keep him off of Briar. Doesn't appear to be working.

Roadbuster strikes Fusion Powered Starfighter with Rifle - Energy Bursts.

Sludge growls as Cyclonus dodges the blow, leaving his sword to go cutting a trail through nothing but thin air. Despite the speed differences between himself and Cyclonus, he's about to pursue when Bonecrusher locks his hands around Sludge's throat. His optics flicker in surprise and he just stares at the Constructicon for a moment before raising both hands and bringing them smashing down, trying to send the crazy green guy crashing down to Cybertron.

Sludge strikes Bonecrusher with Bludgeon.

Rivet takes the respite from return fire to take a good grasp of the situation at hand. If anything, he decides to stick with his chosen target, that being Fleet. "That was for my tires, this is for the paint job!" he shouts as he switches his pistol to taser mode and gets to his feet, bringing the pistol onto the Seeker as he opens fire on Jazz.

Rivet strikes Fleet with taser.

Fusion Powered Starfighter is growing increasingly annoyed with Micheal Briar and his bloody exosuit. It's a pity that the metallic contraption has to exist at all, for it would be so much easier to just smash the meatbag with a single shot. Unfortunately, that is not going to happen today. Tenacious he is though -- even as Roadbuster's shots stitch a small line of craters along the underbelly of his starfighter altmode. The Glaive II is kept in his gunsights as he attacks Fusillade -- providing a perfect opportunity for Cyclonus to truly cut loose. Impaling the exosuit with his H.U.D. Crosshairs, his weapons power up for a sustained volley. A single burst of purple light goes forth from each one, followed by another -- the second arcing mid flight like a lightning bolt -- and another, and another. Many of them miss; going to the ground to blast small holes in the reinforced surface of as-yet-unmined roadway. However, several seek the back of the exo-suit -- threatening to disintegrate and blow to kingdom come what it does strike.

Fusion Powered Starfighter strikes Exo-Suit <Glaive II> with Hot Electric Death.

Yeah, count on Jazz to show up when you least expect it. Or when HE least expects it. Briar may be overestimating the 'Spitting out death' bit-- but Jazz has something that's made Fusillade run away... er... no. That's not it. And it's not the poker game either-- though the Meister usually has an ace up his sleeve. (Ok, so they're not literal sleeves, but you get the picture here.) "C'mon... you know you wanna jus' go home." Jazz gives the moving target a swift glance, and ... flips a setting on his rifle. Fleet's shot grazes, but doesn't throw him off. Paint is easily replaced.

Jazz strikes you with Photon Shot for 19 points of damage.

You are very conscious that your life is in serious danger in this battle.

Bonecrusher does, in fact, not crash down all the way down to the surface of Cybertron. True, the impact of Sludge's fists is painful and sends him flying for a bit, but he catches himself and advances towards the Dinobot again, as unrelenting as a bulldog. Making use of his momentum, the Constructicon attempts to kick Sludge. "Stupid Dino!" No, Bonecrusher doesn't see the irony in calling someone else stupid.

Bonecrusher strikes Sludge with Lovely Footprint.

Fleet takes just a moment to turn and growl at Rivet, shouting, "If you're that worried about your blasted paint job, moron, stay out of the war!" Then he turns his attention back to Jazz, and sees his attention is still on Fusillade. "Oh, no you don't!" he yells before physically diving at Jazz, his intent not only to slam the Autobot into the ground, but to physically get him as tangled up as possible. It's going to suck, but it'll still be better than getting punished by Cyclonus for not keeping the Autobots busy later on.

Fleet strikes Jazz with Dive-tackle!.

Of course Fusillade would have to open her yap. As interesting as Jazz may find the fact that the bomber is in fact not overenergized. As she continues to lay down the contents of her middle bay, she begins on her forward most bay. The purr of relief from her at the reduced weight is shortlived, however, as she finds a wicked, burning sensation lancing through her left wing, she twists and tries to break free of the friction round as it eats through paneling, hydraulics and all. And then, Cyclonus rains hell down upon the attacking Warthog. A frazzled 'gack!' escapes her as she tries to evade the rounds from the commander that went wide, since Briar was placed... well... between them. Still trying to maneuver with half-full innards, and trying to dodge those rounds, lines her up perfectly for the shot from Jazz. Another flare of lurid orange yellow light flashes against the dark skies, and one of her horizontal stabilizers actually gets snapped out, whirling like a maple seed as its edged surface slices against the air like a guillotine blade. With a yowl, Fusillade drops the slats and wingflaps on that missing aileron's side. "I haven't even started on the third bay yet!" Despite that, she's got a nearly kilometer-long trail of ugliness peppered in her wake along the highway, in the form of well-scattered mines.

Rivet lets out a short laugh, switching his pistol back to laser mode again. "Easy for you to say, slagheap, when you airheads keep dragging us back into it! So take your own advice, and buzz off!" he shouts, showing just a hair more courage than he usually does, but then again, when you're neck deep in Decepticons, your choices are just a bit limited. "Of all the 'cons in this world, I get the lecturer." he mutters to himself. The pistol is once again aimed at the Seeker and the trigger is pulled, letting loose the laser bolt towards its target, about the best one can get from this egghead. He hopes, perhaps foolishly, this will get the Seeker's attention off Jazz.

Sludge ignore the kick, deciding instead to engage in some witty banter. "Me Sludge keep beating you, me think you stupid one, keep trying to fight me." Ouch, doesn't that just sting? Sludge grins proudly at that fearsome rebuttal, it's quite sad, really. Clenching one fist again, the one not holding his sword, he throws it forwards in a simple punch at his foe, completely forgetting about Cyclonus by now.

<Exo-Suit> Michael Briar gets nailed and hard several times. He feels the first shot nail his back which sends him teetering slightly, then nailed again sending him head over head. Michael screams out and goes numb as the third shot blasts into his shoulder. The engines begin to whine down as Michael hits the ground, hard. The Glaive II skids along head and chest first before coming to a stop. He moans slightly and pushes himself up shaking his head. "Damn, that wasn't a good sign." he groans before he pushes himself up to a standing position. The Glaive II smokes slightly from his back as several holes in the armor into the components and inner armor protecting the pilot. He opens up his panels showing the racks of mini-missiles before he turns towards Cyclonus and launches several in a large cloud of smoke and hissing missiles.

Sludge strikes Bonecrusher with Dino-Punch!.

Exo-Suit <Glaive II> strikes Fusion Powered Starfighter with energon tipped mini-missile volley.

Light flashes bounce off Roadbuster's frame as each shot is made by his rifle. The flashes cease when the shooting subsides and ends. Roadbuster sits there, barrel smoking and watching Cyclonus continue on course for the Exo Suit. The Ground Pounder's brow furrows a bit as he raises the rifle up again, "Hey!" Shouts Roadbuster, "Running away from little ol' me?!" Roadbuster clicks the switch on his rifle again and starts to fire towards Cyclonus again, attempting to draw Cyc's attention his way. Spent bullet casings drop to the ground after each shot.

Roadbuster misses Fusion Powered Starfighter with its Distraction Fire attack.

Yes, he's seen this particular seeker on a number of occasions. There aren't too many pale yellow seekers out there-- Fleet is special.

The dive and attempt to tangle Jazz up are marginally successful. Marginal, because it really didn't do a whole lot more than give him a scrape and a dent. It did, however, bring him into close enough proximity to Jazz that the identity registers. "You." Optics narrow behind the visor, as the friendly fire (thanks for trying Rivet!) comes a little too close to the Meister for comfort. "I remember you."

And then Jazz's fist swings at the yellow seeker with a low growl, "I remember."

Jazz strikes Fleet with punch.

Having been aerobraking and applying full retros during his attack run on Michael Briar, Cyclonus is an easy target for the Terran's return fire. A stream of mini-missiles go arching up towards him -- crossing the distance of a thousand feet or so near instantly. When they strike there is a tremendous explosion of fire and smoke -- the starfighter utterly eclipsed behind it. Roadbuster's shots go into the smoke cloud and make it difficult to see if they hit or not. Regardless, there is a terrible moment where one might actually wonder if the Decepticon Lord was destroyed that easily. No such luck, for out of the smoke cloud drops Cyclonus in robot form. Fusillade's lumbering, limping airframe is seen in the air and a command is barked. "Decepticons, prepare to retreat. Break off targets and take to the air." He transmits as he drops like a rock -- feet first and with Hyper-Kinetic Broadsword in hand. It is aimed point first towards the center of the Glaive's mass, aiming to combine with the impact of his feet to do as much damage as possible. "Are you prepared to die today, Meatling?" He inquires. "For a planet; for a faction and for a cause that isn't even your own?" And then the hellish impact of either Cyclonus on the Glaive, or the ground beside.

The purplish color of fusion jetwash fades into inexistance as the Starfighter begins to shift and blurr. Wings fold upwards onto a developing robot mode back and the nose extends into a sharply-horned head. Arms and legs push outwards and in a split second, the feared Lord Cyclonus stands before you.

Cyclonus strikes Exo-Suit <Glaive II> with Hyper-Kinetic Broadsword - Inactive -.

Bonecrusher, ever being the macho, takes Sludge's punch in stride and gives him a smug grin. "You know, it's good for you that wars aren't fought with insults, or you Autobots would have lost eons ago," he taunts as he forcefully brings down both his fists, intending to give the Dinobot a parting shot - or rather, parting blow - to remember.

Bonecrusher strikes Sludge with Token of Memory.

Fleet's optics widen in horror as Jazz speaks, and the fear is enough to keep him rooted for a moment as Jazz's fist flies towards Fleet's face, snapping his head back. Rivet's missed attack and shoutings are completely ignored by the distracted Seeker. Jazz remembers. Oh, Primus, he remembers. Fleet is /so/ dead! Homicidal Autobot!

Homicidal Autobot... that is now definitely going to concentrate on him, and not on Fusillade. A horrible smile spreads across Fleet's face as he takes to the sky, arms out, palms up, hands held limply as though he were offering himself to the sky. But he's looking down to Cybertron. To Jazz.

"Good to hear I haven't been forgotten," he answers softly, smoothly, before swinging his right arm forward in a motion that looks lazy despite its speed. "For what better proof of one's existence, than the mark one leaves on another?" His weapon clicks softly as he switches to solid ammunition, and then he fires.

Maybe that was a tiny 'allelujah' emitted from Fusillade's direction as she hears Cyclonus's decree. Limping is the embarrassing truth for the bomber right now. Oh how terribly it hurt -- but there was no way to deaden the myriad of sensors, and remain able to perform as she did in the air. She gives herself a boost by lightening the weight, perhaps to also spite the Autobots by thickening the number of mines along the path of her retreat. Fusillade begins a long, wide, awkward bank, that ravaged gloss white underbelly turning back towards Nightseige. However, a few seconds after the last munition drops, she flounders badly, almost wind up turning and pitching herself nose first into the ground. "Slaggitall, I can't stay in my alt mode." Reluctantly, she transforms, and begins to maneuver back from whence she came.

The sleek bomber rears up, arms splitting from her side and wings collapsing to rest on the hips of the revealed form of Fusillade.

Fusillade begins retreating, leaving herself vulnerable to parting shots from Exo-Suit <Glaive II>, Cyclonus.

Rivet brings his pistol up again, keeping it aimed with Fleet, hoping to take advantage of his sudden distraction. "Good point, here's one to remember me by. Assuming the slagging thing even hits." he mutters to himself, making final adjustments to his aim and squeezing the trigger again.

<Exo-Suit> Michael Briar feels like he's being hit by a tree trunk in the midsection. The armor holds, but a huge gash appears on his midsection as well as scorched and melted in sections. It sends him flying into the air and back to the ground. Michael does a mid air backflip and lands on his feet stopping his momentum with but a few skids and sparks. He says towards Cyclonus, "I'm not going to die here, not to you at least!" while rushing forward. With a wurr thump, wurr thump, the suit charges towards the larger transformer. He jumps up and activates his jets with a small flicker showing it's not working one hundred percent. As he closes in on Cyclonus's upper body, he reaches up towards one of his engine pods. It opens and the hilt of the plasma blade swings down within reach. Michael grabs it and pulls it out as it flickers to life with a high pitched hum. "This is 'my' war now Cyclonus. The decepticons brought it to earth, so I'm just returning the FAVOR!" he screams while spinning the blade around to stab at Cyclonus's shoulder.

Rivet strikes Fleet with Puny Pistol Of Not-even-close To Doom.

Exo-Suit <Glaive II> strikes Cyclonus with plasma saber stab.

Roadbuster curses loudly as he fails to see whether or not his shots even collided with Cyclonus. Furthermore, when he lashes out at the Human piloted Exo Suit again, Roadbuster becomes slightly irritated over his inability to draw fire. It seems the Decepticon Lord is just willing to ignore the Autobot ground pounder. Roadbuster twists the muzzle of his rifle a little and then points the rifle up into the air. More bullets feed into the magazine from the chain connected to the weapon. Armor piercing rounds are lobbed into the air, towards the offending Decepticon Lord. Roadbuster is doing everything he can do to assist his human companion!

Sludge grunts as the fists crash against his chest, leaving a moderate dent, certainly the best hit so far. So, the Decepticons are planning to retreat are they? May as well leave this one with something to remember him by. Oh lookie, he's still holding his sword, that's convenient. He slashes the blade savagely through the air in an arc intended to bite deeply into the Constructicon's armour, turning as he does so to get more force behind the strike.

Roadbuster strikes Cyclonus with Rifle - Armor Piercing Rounds.

Sludge strikes Bonecrusher with Energo Sword.

"How about if I make sure you remember me." Jazz says, a coolness entering his voice. Smooth sidestep-roll at the last moment when fired upon. Smooth rising to his feet, with missile launcher ready on his shoulder-- uh. Missile launcher? "Or better yet, make sure your existence--" Stop. Now. This isn't like Jazz. He knows it's not like him. Is this what Arachnae was trying to do? Create a homicidal Autobot, capable of killing in some cold rage that feels so... alien?

"No..." The head shakes, missile disarming. "I won't do it." Jazz says, still looking monstrously...well-- angry for Jazz. "Get outta here, 'fore I change my mind." <nope. Not gonna attack.>

Cyclonus is in the middle of giving orders when the attacks come. "Decepticons!" He orders. "All engines to full -- retreat from this area! I will hold the line!" And then he is actually struck from two directions at once. The Glaive II's plasma blade sinks into his shoulder, leaving a small furrow in the armor plating. Roadbuster's shots hit him directly in the back; leaving several craters in the tough armor plating and sending him staggering into the exo-suit. Unlike his opponent he is not showing anger, nor is he particularly loud. A perfectly calm and neutral look is upon the Decepticon's face, showing that he is quite clearly in his element. He lunges and quickly reverses direction -- attempting to slam his broadsword into the midsection of the exo-suit and impale it enough so that he has a point of leverage to twist backwards; planting a foot in it's groin in an effort to literally fling it at Roadbuster. Of course, if his impaling attempt misses he won't quite go that far.

Cyclonus misses Exo-Suit <Glaive II> with his Hyper-Kinetic Broadsword attack.

Bonecrusher grits his jaw assemly to keep himself from crying out as Sludge's sword pierces his armour deeply. Defying the pain, the Constructicon roughly yanks himself free and spits at the Dinobot, "Be glad we are leaving!" He distances himself from Sludge, starting to retreat as ordered.

Bonecrusher begins retreating, leaving himself vulnerable to parting shots from Sludge, Roadbuster, Exo-Suit <Glaive II>, Jazz, Rivet, Fleet, Fusillade, Cyclonus.

Weren't they already ordered to go away? Fusillade just scowls down at her ruined left forearm as she cruises through the air in robot mode, and tersely shakes her head, biting down on her lower lip with those fangs of hers. Resentment contorts her normally chiseled features, the femme ignoring the fact that the payload had been delivered. Other, darker thoughts are preoccupying her processor. "How lame. Can't go anywhere without a babysitter," she mutters sullenly. "At least I still have my wingblades." Even that doesn't bring her much comfort as she regards the nasty gauss-induced hole that causes one of her wingblades to jostle and flutter in its holster.

Despite his best efforts, Fleet cannot completely keep the fear out of his expression as Jazz's missile comes on-line. Then Jazz doesn't fire, and the smug smile returns.

"Ah, yes. That 'better nature' you guys like to go on about. That thing you use to hide from your true selves. Very g-" *ZING!* And then Fleet is shot in the back. Well. Apparently not /all/ Autobots bother with their 'better natures' anymore, but then, Fleet already knew that.

The Seeker twists in the air as he starts to point himself homeward, taking the time to toss one last taunt to Rivet. "Oh, it hit. It just didn't /hurt/." Coming from His High Wussitude, a comment like this is really saying something. Sneer on his face, he starts flying while he continues to turn, and transforms while he's flying. The moment he is in full jet mode he throws his engines on high and rockets out of the vicinity.

Fleet retreats from the area swiftly, outdistancing all pursuit and parting shots.

<Exo-Suit> Michael Briar launches himself backward by planting his feet into Cyclonus and pushing backward pulling his blade free and toppling end over end. Lucky for him that his tumbling is the reason for Cyclonus missing. He didn't really dodge that. Call it luck, call it divine intervention, call it whatever you will, but someone's looking out for Briar. Probably Unicron knowing Briar's luck. He lands with a thud on the ground and brings his plasma blade up in a two hand guard fashion and then says, "You'd better run along like a good lap dog, Galvatron probably needs his cannon polished." If there is one thing Michael is. It's he's a good man. So he takes off and flies backward out of Cyclonus's reach and isn't attacking. If someone like Cyclonus who, by all accounts, a noble warrior, calls a retreat, he expects they'll run. He calls out, "Autobots, hold your fire, let 'em go." Again, we come back to, some might listen, others...like most here, won't. We'll just have to see.

Rivet lowers his pistol as Fleet flies off. Fortunately, although his physical form isn't all that tough, his inner form is, and Fleet's taunts are dismissed rather quickly. "Who's the one running like a cyber-bunny in the end?" he says, returning his weapon to its compartment. A moment of silence, then a very relieved sigh escapes his vocal synthesizer. "Thank Primus..." he says, as his true feelings make their way through the 'high' that the rush of the moment has given him. He watches the Decepticons retreat, glad that at least he's still in once piece.

Of course Jazz isn't firing at Fleet as he zips off at last, having fired the most insidious weapon of all. Words. The fear was there. What Fleet couldn't see was the reflection. It's not just the whole 'Better nature' argument. It's the 'self control' thing as well. Jazz shakes himself, smile snapping back onto his face as Fleet runs. "Thanks, Rivet." Hey! There's Mikey! "Yeah... " Agreement to Briar's orders. That�ll work.

Sludge's expression turns quite disappointed. "Me not happy, you running away. Me Sludge want to fight more!" Scowling, he sheathes his sword and, reaching down to his side, removes his blaster from the magnetic clamp. Raising the blaster, he aims carefully and fires a few rounds, although if any of them hit it'll be more like insult than injury. Yeah, he's taking a parting shot, He's a DINOBOT, ethics are optional or, in most cases, non-existent.

Sludge strikes Bonecrusher with Laser Rifle.

Roadbuster's shots collide with Cyclonus and he lets out a rather loud whoop, "Take that fragger!" The Autobot shouts angrily. Buster takes a moment to look to one side and then to the other, observing the action going on around him. Bonecrusher is leaving... Fusillade up in the air is leaving. Perhaps the Autobots are going to succeed. Roadbuster snorts, "Michael Briar was being less than an optimist." He grumbles before swapping out the spent chain of ammo and pulling up a new one to connect to the rifle. The Rifle is raised and Roadbuster scans the skies for his target or new targets. Buster's rifle is lowered when Briar asks for a cease fire, "Blah..." The Ground Pounder sounds disappointed.

Cyclonus lands in a defensive crouch as well -- broadsword held out in both hands as he stands ready to continue the fight. However, as Micheal Briar announces that they are actually going to let the Autobots retreat he simply begins to rise up into the air -- waiting there until he is confident that all of those under his command have escaped. It is only at that point that he actually salutes Briar with his broadsword before transforming into his altmode and rocketing away -- up to Bonecrusher. It is at this point that he hovers, canopy open for about ten seconds -- giving the Constructicon that long to get in if he wishes. Whether or not he is there after those ten seconds though, the quad fusion drives come online and Cyclonus rockets away -- passing effortlessly through the sound barrier.

All at once, Cyclonus begins to retract into himself. His head pulls into his body along with his arms and legs as his wings fold down into a locked position. His entire frame seems to blurr then as subtle reconfigurations occur, eventually coming to halt to reveal a sharp winged starfighter.

Cyclonus retreats from the area swiftly, outdistancing all pursuit and parting shots.

Pyramid Jet (Fleet), of course, has already made it well out of the range of the parting shots, since he employed his very high 'running away' skill. By now he's practically out of sight.

Bonecrusher jumps into Cyclonus' cockpit just in time, not wanting to turn down a ride when it's so generously offered. "Thank you, sir!" he says once he's inside, reflexively rubbing the parts of his arms that only now begin to lightly sting with the impact of Sludge's shots which he hadn't even noticed at first in the haste of retreating.

The sound of igniting engines and the sound of sonic booms coming out from Fleet and the Bonecrusher-carrying Cyclonus ring out. Fusillade looks up, flicking optics a few times to clear her vision. "FRAK, you've got to be KIDDING me!!! Aw, Primus, this womps." She continues to aerially putter toward Nightseige at a velocity that would barely keep her up to speed on America's faster highways.

It would seem that Cyclonus does have a certain amount of pity for the star of today's show, for the starfighter stands on the port wing and comes about in a circle -- ending in a hover near to Fusillade. The canopy opens once again, giving her ten seconds to drop her butt in and onto Bonecrusher's lap. If she hasn't entered in those ten seconds though, she'll be out of luck as he turns and accelerates once again without a word. Just an opportunity given. With green Constructicon cooties.

The animators must have changed their minds, since one of the generic background Seekers suddenly sterns out to be Catechism. Ah, she's shown up just in time to retreat. She must be thrilled. The blue conehead flips into jet mode and heads out after her comrades.

Catechism transforms into her alternate mode: a F-35, Marine Corps variant. Her feet flip up against her shins, her nosecone rotates through her body and out in front where it belongs, her arms tuck into her torso, and her wings rotate into position.

Catechism begins retreating, leaving itself vulnerable to parting shots from Fusion Powered Starfighter.

Midway through her first visual sweep of the ground below, Fusillade mumbles to herself as she mentally begins to cast about for any good decent resting spots on the ground below. And then, the violet-blue hull of Cyclonus's form fills her gaze, and with some disbelief, she hesitates briefly. However, as surely as if he had actually spoken an order, she descends, and with some difficulty, wedges herself in the space between Bonecrusher's form and the cockpit controls, already stressed and overworked servos shuddering some in protest as she fights to keep from brushing up against any of the consoles. She bats optics briefly at Bonecrusher, before averting her gaze. A mumbled apology is sent to him as she vainly attempts to clean up the reddish-black sheen of hydraulic fluid starting to seep onto the mech and the seat. After a few failed attempts, a huffed out curse of her alto voice announces that Fusillade's given up for now. She idles down into a rest cycle, knowing full well what kinds of joy will be awaiting her in the repair bay.

=========================== Decepticon ===========================

Message: 2/20��������������������� Posted������� Author

Mining of the Northern Highway..�� Thu Aug 18��� Cyclonus

==================================================================

Cyclonus' face appears on the screen. He seems to be slightly damaged -- nothing really critical though. Behind him is a large computer terminal that is displaying a map of the area that leads to the crossroads. It is covered with what seem to be thousands of tiny white dots.

"Mighty Galvatron,

If my actions are not to your pleasure then I await your punishment. That said however, I have seen fit to deny access to the Northern Highway area to the Autobots by virtue of seeding it with fifty pound anti-vehicle mines. They are coded with a rudimentary IFF system. This is to say that if you scan as a Decepticon they will not detonate. However, I don't recommend stepping on them.

If care is taken, MSE may continue their work in the area if due caution is made. This operation was executed for twofold reasons -- one so that they will not be moving secret forces through our new blind spot, and two to cut off the avenue of retreat for Beta Wing's coming operation.

Unit Fusillade was instrumental in this action and is to be properly commended. Further, Units Bonecrusher, Catechism, and Fleet are likewise to be commended. I may safely say that the road has been rendered unusable and will take some time to clean up, if it is ever.

I await your response, Lord Galvatron.

Further, all medical attention is to be devoted to repairing Unit Fusillade for further action. Constructicons, Arachnae, get on it.

Cylconus, Out."

==================================================================
=========================== Decepticon ===========================

Message: 2/21....Posted........Author

Response.........Thu Aug 18....Galvatron

==================================================================

TEXT ONLY:

Cyclonus, your actions have absolved you. Continue as planned.

==================================================================

Sludge watches the Decepticons get away with minimal injury. Disappointed, he casts a quick look over those present and, with a vague wave, turns and heads back towards the city, heading off to refuel before he forgets again.

--End--

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