There are visible signs of improvement in the once-destroyed city of Cairo. Many of the outlying, burnt-out buildings have been cleared, as well as the blackened, twisted metal that made travel so hazardous. The countless dead have been recovered and given proper burial. Near the spaceport, a vast tent city has been erected by the Autobots and the Red Cross, equipped with badly-needed food, supplies, and equipment. The massive skyscrapers of the downtown area still lie in ruins, huge, ragged chunks of concrete and twisted girders piled high, but much of the debris has been moved out of the way in the search for both the dead and any survivors. Oddly enough, the spaceport outside of the city and the massive Arcology still stand, untouched.
<Autobot> Raindance says, "Hey guys, there's a /dreary/ Decepticon attack going on in Egypt. I've got a bit of paper here saying you can deal with it Magnus"
<Autobot> City Commander Ultra Magnus says, "I'm on it."
The pyramids of Egypt. Ancient. Intangiable. Invincible? For in the foreground, standing atop the great pyramid is the ghastly form of Guiltor, raining laser bolts down upon tourists and natives alike. He is taking no pleasure in this, it is a methodical attack, designed to cause the maximum panic and harrassment
Ultra Magnus comes to Egypt alone. Having landed a smaller shuttle just outside Cairo, the massive Autobot Second-in-Command is currently barreling across the sandy grounds, the wheels of his semi-truck mode kicking up gouts of sand as he races towards the pyramids just beyond. As he grows closer, the City Commander transforms rapidly, his hulking blue and red armored form smashing into the sands as he looks upwards, and squints. "... Who in the world is that...?" he questions to himself. "Decepticon!" Magnus bellows, not yet realizing just who it is. "Cease and decist!"
Guiltor's optics snap up as Magnus approaches, and they glow a fierce red, the large mechanoid starting to march with purpose towards Magnus. Slowly he moves down the side of the pyramid, ancient construction work turning to dust under his feet as he savours the destruction. Continuing to blast left and right, his deep, rich almost Prime-sounding voice booms out across the desert landscape. "Magnus! It seems I have you at a disadvantage. Soon though, I promise you that you will /never/ be able to forget me!"
Magnus frowns distinctly as Guiltor begins to descend the pyramid. As he hears the voice, and gets a closer look at his adversary, his frown just grows all the deeper. "I don't know what kind of sick joke this is, but the -sooner- I can forget you, the -better-." Magnus pulls his rifle out, pointing it squarely at Guiltor as it begins to thrum with life. "Last warning. Cease and desist, or I -will- make you."
Guiltor does not slow down, his internal systems throwing up schematics of Magnus, overlaying them on his foe, his trigger hand twitching in anticipating. "Magnus, this will be... a pleasure" he emits, optics burning like coal, as suddenly he stops, and raising his left fist, starts to fire blast after blast from his revolving wrist cannon. "The Autobot's heart? Their military genius? Don't make me LAUGH!"
You strike Ultra Magnus with Revolver Cannon.
"At least that can be said for -one- of us," Magnus says dryly -- just in time to be blasted by the sheer fury of Guiltor's wrist cannon. The City Commander is shot back from the sheer force of the blow, landing in a smoking heap several feet away. "Ngh... don't worry..." he manages, eyes narrowing at Guiltor's words as his arm snaps up, pointing that rifle straight for Guiltor. "... I won't." And then, the Autobot XO fires off one massive beam of pure plasma, aimed straight for Guiltor's chest. "Don't say... I didn't give you a chance."
Ultra Magnus strikes you with Plasma Rifle <Full Power> for 15 points of damage.
Guiltor throws back his head and roars with laughter as Magnus blasts him, his chest blackening and cracking with the impact. "Oh Magnus, such confidence, such false bravado!" The pyramids seem to shimmer behind them, turning into a gigantic holographic representation of a wall of junk from the planet of Junk... a holographic Magnus standing in front, trembling, the Matrix held aloft. "Open, dammit, open!" he cries. "Prime, you said the Matrix would light our darkest hour!" And then he is blown apart by laser beams.
As this scene plays out, Guiltor starts to stalk towards Magnus, the walk of a trained hunter, stalking its prey. "Such /HUBRIS/ Magnus. You who was on the way to battle the dark god Unicron, who truly believed that the Autobot's darkest hour was the endangerment of your /PITIFUL/ life? You sicken me!" The laser he shoots from his arm looks very like the laser blasting the holographic Magnus behind him, again and again
Ultra Magnus evades your SWEEP LASER! attack.
Magnus prepares to fire another burst of plasma again -- until that holographic imagery flares to life. The City Commander is forced to pause as he stares up at images of his past, the words causing him to wince, and hang his head. His free hand slowly clenches into a fist, even as Guiltor laughs and taunts him. Metal fingers shake from the exertion. His head bows further.
"Don't... presume to be able to judge -me- about -anything-! Whatever mistakes I've made..." Those lasers, so very reminiscent of the Sweeps', come blazing in, and Magnus... leaps -above-, soaring through the air before descending upon Guiltor with one hand snapped back. "... I've only grown stronger for them! Now CEASE AND DESIST!" That arm swings out in a sudden, downward punch, intent on SMASHING Guiltor across the head.
Ultra Magnus strikes you with Flying Puuuuuuuuuuuunch! for 11 points of damage.
Guiltor staggers back from the blow, revelling in the insane pain and violence. "Hah. Optimus Prime chose YOU Magnus. He chose and trusted YOU to lead the Autobots, and you led them into death. You had your chance and you SQUANDERED IT. You had to be saved by the JUNKIONS! Pathetic!" The Quintesson war machine lunges at Magnus, raising one heavily gauntleted fist and attempting to smash him to the ground. "And you ceded power to a WHELP of a mech. One chosen by a 'mythical' device. An alien device. A QUINTESSON device. Did you never WONDER about that?" His gaze burns into Magnus as he tries to pummel him to the ground
You strike Ultra Magnus with Penitent Strike.
Struck with that thick gauntlet, Magnus is forced to his knees with a sickening crunch of metal, the side of his face bending and crushing inward slightly from the impact. Still, the City Commander stays resolute, optics narrowing. "We... had no choice. We were outnumbered. And the Matrix is a device that no longer belongs to the Quintessons..." Still, there's a faint bit of doubt in Magnus' voice as he speaks -- thought it doesn't stop him from swinging upwards to uppercut Guiltor straight in the jaw. "And Rodimus is -- is a -good- leader! Nothing you say can change that!"
Ultra Magnus strikes you with UPPERCUT for 11 points of damage.
"Rodimus Rodimus Rodimus RODIMUS!" roars Guiltor, staggering back slighty, his optics burning as Magnus punches him. "Twenty five years Magnus? That is NOTHING, NOTHING to us. You know that. And how many mistakes has he made? How many Autobots have died under him that maybe would NOT under you? But you are content to live your life through HIM, aren't you?" Guiltor lunges for Magnus, attempting to grab him by his antennae and throw him headfirst through the window of a nearby tourist shop. "All the benefits, with none of the risks of taking responsibility for mistakes. Because you run from those, don't you? For all your talk, your actions speak of someone who hides from their mistakes!"
You strike Ultra Magnus with Defenestration.
Magnus doesn't have much time to work up a response to Guiltor, both because of his words, and the fact that he just hurled Magnus into a tourist shop. The massive robot just -barrels- through both window and wall, crushing the establishment inward as he topples. Slowly and carefully does Magnus rise, frame sparking and fluid dribbling down the corner of his lip. "I... don't..." he says slowly, obviously unsure of it himself, "I'm not -- I'm not a leader. Just... a soldier. I have no right to take that sort of responsibility." Though Magnus' words are full of doubt, he still acts; the two missiles at either shoulder -launch- off in unison, red rockets blazing forth to crash into Guiltor explosively. "That's -- that's not... true!"
Ultra Magnus strikes you with Missiles <Dual Shot> for 16 points of damage.
The missiles strike Guiltor, the huge mechanoid smashing through the side of the shop after Magnus, tearing down the walls, his body on fire looking like something from the Pit itself. Which, if you believe him, he is. "No Magnus, you are not a leader!" Guiltor emits factually. "And yet you are City Commander. You admit your failings yet do NOTHING about them." He catches one of Magnus's missiles in his hands, and HURLS it back towards the chest of the Autobot. "You are a nothing Magnus, knocked back and forth by the tides, but too afraid to stand up to your responsibilities. Either lead or do not, there is NO room for sitting on the fence!"
Ultra Magnus evades your missile attack.
The missile is redirected, and suddenly Magnus' optics widen. The City Commander suddenly jerks to the side as that missile is launched at him, and in a sudden exertion of speed, the massive Autobot -hammerblows- the missile upwards into the air, before aiming and firing a single shot of plasma at it, allowing it to explode harmlessly in mid-air. Still, his expression is full of doubt as he turns his gaze back to Guiltor, his left hand twitching. "You're... you're wrong! I do what I can to help my soldiers -- that's all that I can do! Rodimus is the right leader, I -- I can't do anything more than help when I'm needed!" From there, Magnus fires off several low-level blasts of plasma at Guiltor, keeping his distance from the abomination as his eyes narrow. "And that's... that's -all- I need to do!"
Ultra Magnus strikes you with Plasma Rifle <Medium Power> for 6 points of damage.
"Of COURSE he is!" Guiltor snarls. "But then again, so would Sideswipe be. So would Bumblebee, so would Hubcap, so would /WHEELIE/. If they had the same opportunities as Hot Rod. There is NOTHING about Hot Rod that makes him better than you, and you know that. You know that you threw away your chance to lead the Autobots so that you could avoid the risks and responsibilities."
As Magnus blasts him, he moves forwards, the blasts cutting across his armour. "You help, you hover, you interfere. You do not lead. You are obsolete Magnus, come out of your SHELL!" His cannon arm swings up, pointing straight at the city commander, a white hot blast of fusion energy spilling from it
You strike Ultra Magnus with Fusion Cannon.
Magnus' eyes narrow, metal lips pulling tight as his plasma rifle is put away once more. "They are -all- fine Autobots. Each and every one of them. For their own reasons. But... -Rodimus-... has the willpower and compassion it takes to lead... and -nothing- you can say can change that!" But, when talk centers back to Magnus, the City Commander finds himself staggered by the words, shaking his head in defiance. "No, that's not--"
The Autobot XO is cut off by the roar of white-hot fusion blazing from Guiltor's cannon, engulfing Magnus. In the aftermath, Magnus still stands -- sparking, armor melting. A huge hole shows in his power armor, energon sparking around it as he staggers forward. "N-no... you're wrong... y-you're wrong...!!" And, weakly, Magnus moves forward, swinging his right elbow out in an attempt to drive it into Guiltor's amalgamation of a head.
Ultra Magnus strikes you with Elbow Strike for 4 points of damage.
Guiltor leans into Magnus as the Autobot smashes him directly in the face. But Guiltor does not flinch as his armour buckles and bends. Slowly he curls his fist around the hole in Magnus's armour, attempting to rend it futher, locking his optics with his foes. "I am Guiltor, Magnus. I know everything. I am the foe that cannot die, I am the one to whom the Pit whispers its dark secrets. You are laid bare to me. But I just tell you what you know, and deep down, you REALISE this."
His fist tightens on Magnus, the heavy gauntlet pushing into the Autobot's body. "What are you afraid of Magnus, failure? Becoming a has-been? Better that, then a never-was." His heavy, black hand starts to pull on Magnus's body. "It is time for you to come out of your shell, Autobot." Optics blackening, the mechanoid, with a loud, echoing roar, TEARS at Magnus, intent on tearing him bodily from his armour.
You strike Ultra Magnus with Penitent Strike.
Magnus never even gets a chance to talk back to Guiltor's self-boasting. Before he knows it, the large amalgamation is gripping past his power armor, to his true body within. Blue optics widen, and a strangled protest begins -- but before it can even finish, Guiltor YANKS Ultra Magnus straight out of that power armor.
With the flinging of chunks of blue and red metal, a distinct white form looking exactly like a certain Prime collapses against the sand nearby. "Gnnf... you... you're nothing special... 'Guiltor'... no matter who you look like... or what you might claim..." Desperation in his voice, Magnus does not move, his white body crackling as he stares upwards at his foe. "... no matter what... I will STOP you...!" From there, the white-armored Magnus produces his absolutely massive plasma cannon once more, releasing a series of rapid-fire shots upon Guiltor in a weak attempt to keep the creature at bay.
You evade Albinomus Prime <Ultra Magnus>'s Dual Plasma Rifles <Rapid Fire> attack.
"No Magnus, I am not anything special" Guiltor glowers, hand dropping Magnus as he tears the mech from his armour, turning to dodge the shots going uncomfortably near him. "But I do not claim to be. You do not know WHAT you are. A leader or not. A warrior or not. You want all the glory and none of the risks, and so you have NOTHING."
He raises his arm cannon again, the core of it whining with power. "And now look at you. LOOK AT YOU Magnus. Ashamed to hide your face, hidden from the world, every flinch, every glimpse of your body a reminder of how you failed Optimus, both in life and death. How fitting then, that you die at my hand." Another blast of energy pummels from the barrel of his cannon, right at the white Autobot
You strike Albinomus Prime <Ultra Magnus> with Arm Cannon <Low>.
Once more, Guiltor berates Magnus, and once more does the commander visibly wince. But as the freakish combination of Megatron and Optimus speaks, he touches upon one thing that steels the Autobot XO's nerves. "... None of the risks...?" The Autobot intones. And as that cannon whines with life...
... Magnus gets up, and runs -straight- at it.
Body crackling with energon, Magnus RUSHES straight into the blast of pure energy. It crashes into him -exposively-, blowing off chunks of white armor, but Magnus... keeps on going, hard and fast, only vaguely slowed down as he attempts to take an opening on Guiltor. "You don't know the MEANING of risk! You -- you won't be killing me, or anyone -- today, or... ngh... ever!!" And then, Magnus presses that cannon straight against Guiltor's chest... and releases -every- ounce of energy within the rifle barrel in one monumental EXPLOSION of power. "Not... ever..."
Albinomus Prime <Ultra Magnus> strikes you with Plasma Cannon <Maximum Output> for 17 points of damage.
Guiltor stands as his body burns, solid as a statue as his armour flows into molten metal, distending and bubbling in the inferno of his body. And his reaction? Slowly, once more, he laughs. He laughs a deep, booming terrible laugh that never seems to end, optics as bright and orange as coals raking over Magnus as he seems to revel in the pain and torment his own frame is going through.
"You are wrong Magnus, and you are right" he intones, a huge energon blade sliding out of his left wrist gauntlet, stepping towards Magnus, an unstoppable monster. "You are dying Magnus. You have no more strength left, you have no more energon. You are as good as dead." The blade hovers near Magnus's neck, as Guiltor throws down a communicator. "Beg, Magnus. Beg your comrades to save you. You know that I can kill you, and I WILL kill you. Unless you /beg/ your comrades for your life"
"No... more strength...?" Magnus questions as Guiltor speaks, optics straining behind the shadow of his faceplate and helmet. Metal hands clench into fists as the massive combination of horror speaks, and keeps that blade hovered nearby. "-Beg-...? No matter what you might have said... no matter -what- you try to do..."
Magnus acts. In one, blurring motion, he swings, to deliver one upward hammerblow to Guiltor's jaw with all the strength left to him. "I -- nor ANY Autobot -- will ever... BEG to SCUM like you!!"
Albinomus Prime <Ultra Magnus> strikes you with Hammerblow of JUSTICE for 6 points of damage.
Guiltor's head twists at an obscene angle as Magnus batters him, but slowly and surely, metal rending, snaps his head back into place. Propelled forwards more from malice than anything else, Guiltor moves closer to Magnus, energy sword sparking and fizzling in the cooling, dry Egyptian air. "I will kill you today Magnus, do you realise this? You will die at my hand. And all you have to do to stop this is to /beg/ for your life. Beg your comrades for help. Is your pride worth your life?" He raises his sword, and swings it down in a vicious motion. "Is your pride worth killing yourself for, and so risking the lives of your friends?"
You strike Albinomus Prime <Ultra Magnus> with Sword of Fury.
"It's not... -pride-..." Magnus says slowly as he gets back up, shaking his head as he levels a glare at Guiltor. Where once there was doubt and uncertainty, Magnus looks resolved now. Determined. "You can beat me... all you want... but you'll never get it. I am a soldier... I am a warrior... and all my life is worth..." The words strain out, even as that sword crashes into his shoulder -- just as he drives his knee forward to -bury- it into Guiltor's own damaged body to force him off and away. "... is to ensure that -monsters- like you are kept from harming innocent lives!"
Albinomus Prime <Ultra Magnus> strikes you with Knee of JUSTICE?! for 3 points of damage.
Guiltor staggers backwards, more heavily this time. "Careful Magnus" he grates, vocal chords straining with effort. "Do not gaze too readily into the abyss. I am fire. And ice. And rage. I am like the night. And the storm at the heart of the sun.
His optics burn again, this time losing the cool unemotional detachment they once had, perhaps more through anger at losing the mental battle than the physical. "If I am a monster, then I am the monster that lurks in all men, I am that which hounds sentient beings through the fogs of self-awareness. The spirt of failure, of seeing one's true form stripped of all pretentions, for the flawed, weak body it is. If I am a monster, it is because you made me one!" He raises his arm again, shooting a laser near Magnus
Albinomus Prime <Ultra Magnus> evades your Red Lightning attack.
Magnus grips his arm as he stands slightly hunched, his injured shoulder spurting out electrical energon as he levels a heavy glare upon his foe. He takes one step forward, slowly. And though he staggers, he maintains his footing, his right hand clenching once more.
"You..." Magnus begins slowly, "... are nothing more than a crude bully... who uses emotions against others. But... you're wrong. Emotions -- these fears... and failings... are strengths. And if -you- are a monster..." And from there, Magnus lashes out, barely skirting past that sweep of laser fire as he rears his head back... and then -thrusts- it forward in one powerful headbutt to crash into Guiltor's bizarre forehead. "... -I- am what monsters like -you- have nightmares about!"
Albinomus Prime <Ultra Magnus> strikes you with HEADBUTT for 6 points of damage.
As Magnus crashes his head into Guiltor's, the huge armoured mechanoid wobbles slightly, and then slowly, as if Apollo Creed in Rocky IV, he tips backwards, without even time for a final eulogy as his central data core is crushed. Knees buckling, the behemoth crashes to the ground, a plume of smoke and sand rising in his wake.
Guiltor's optics flare and dim, his fists twitching as he tries to rise, slowly, slowly and then... he falls again, this time for good as his body surrenders to the damage that it has been dealt, slowly turning to grey in a mockery of the death of Optimus Prime. He is gone. For now.
"... Magnus? Magnus? Can you hear me?" A near mirage-like silhouette wavers in Ultra Magnus' field of vision. "It's okay, now. You did it. You beat him. You beat Guiltor." The sound of an Autobot shuttle engine whining swells into being, a friendly rescue shuttle hovering behind Rodimus' bespoiler'd silhouette.
For a long time Ultra Magnus stands, his pristine white body damaged and brutalized from Guiltor's assault, scorched and crushed in several spots. He looks down on his fallen adversary with flaring with intensity. He takes a slow step backwards, and grips his shoulder. "And that... is what I am. Failures... and all."
After a moment, Magnus collapses onto his knees, unable to move any longer. Magnus begins to reach out, to send try and drag himself back to his armor -- but then, he hears that voice. He looks up to see the silhouette of Rodimus, and the Autobot shuttle just beyond. He smiles. "... Right on time," Magnus manages just before he collapses in a crackling wreck, laying just besides his power armor.