Who: Blaster, Arcee, Kup, Nightbeat, Frostbite, Mute, Spectrum, Sonicboom, Yellowjacket, Spinout, Arachnae, Airwolf, Snarl, Sideswipe, Blitzwing, Mesa, Redshift
Converted from some unused storage areas, the new Intel Center is bare and uncluttered, reflecting its designers' caution and security measures. Any extraneous objects that could be used to plant listening devices or even explosives are notably absent. Visible are only a few chairs, a simple table, and the best locking mechanisms that Autobot technology can devise.
Sony PSP <Spectrum>
Autobot Special Operations FAQ <OOC Information>
Sitting at a desk, fiddling with Powerpoint 2030 (nice getting advanced versions of software), Mute is prepping for the briefing he is giving later. He seems careful not to let the various technicians in the Intel Centre see his work as they try and peek. Mostly they peek as they are worried he's drawing the briefing in crayon, but still, they don't get to peek.
Blaster stands at the plain table in the center of the room, spreading out some maps and aerial photos on one side of the table. He looks up, grinning as people enter. "Come on in guys. I was just going over a few things in here. I gotta admit, we don't have a lot of info on what's going on with the Decepts right now. Mostly we're just playing catchup." He shrugs and sets down a few last photos. "But maybe we can change that."
Kup makes his way into the intel center and finds a slab of wall and holds it up. He's not in here often so he keeps his profile low and his voice lower. "Heya fellas." he says quietly as he finds a place to perch, crossing his arms in front of his chest.
Nightbeat is over in a corner, leaning against a wall with his arms crossed and his optics dimmed, over this he's got a visor that has a cable running to a nearby terminal that appears to be scrolling text and images past as the recently appointed XO catches up on recent findings. His now omnipresent trench coat is draped over his bulky form and he seems otherwise unconcerned, though an observant sort would know that he's paying close attention to Blaster with his enhanced equipment.
Mute continues working away, quite easily able to listen to Blaster babble on while working on his presentation. At least the technicians might get a little less nosey now. He also notes Nightbeats lack of fedore, and is suitably dissappointed in the private dick.
Arcee arrives a bit later, carrying a crate in her arms. "Here, Blaster, I brought those slides and filmstrips."
Nightbeat glances up, peering through the visor as his optics brighten slightly, "Tryin' to uncover what we're looking for is going to take a portion of our cunning, Blaster..." he pauses, "Perhaps all of it, I'm interested to hear what you have in mind." those words spoken, his head dips again, optics dimming as he rolls the sprig from one corner of his mouth to the other, information continue to filter past the narrow band over his optics, "I'm not known for stealth, per se, but if you can get me pieces of a puzzle I'll put 'em together right as rain."
Blaster leafs through some of the recon photos on the table. When Arcee comes in he eagerly takes the crate and adds it to the small pile of maps and photos on the table. Finally he uncovers an image of the Decepticon base at NCC, captured by an EDC satellite. Then he pulls out a slide from Arcee's crate, this one a picture taken by an Autobot recon mission, from almost the same view but two months ago. He points at something on the EDC photo that even at high-res looks like a vague discolored blob. Then he points at the same spot on the Autobot photo, where no discolored blob is shown. "This is what we're thinking is a tarp covering what used to be the EDC tanker." Sure, it -might- be an enormous camoflauged tarp.
Kup listens, but says nothing. He's just here to glean info.
Mute doesn't add anything to the conversation. Which isn't all that surprising. However as his attention is taken off his presentation for a nanosecond, the software chooses then to strike as all present can hear a voice from the terminal say, "I notice your working on a presentation... Quintessons: Tentacled Threat! Would you like a some help with that?" Mute then turns and desperately starts hitting buttons to get rid of the blasted paperclip that just appeared on his screen.
Nightbeat flips the visor up and peers over at the table, internal optic mechanisms whining and whirring as he zooms his perspective, drawing both of the images into his cortex for evaluation curiously, "Mmm... not exactly steel clad, but I agree there's something large there that bears examination." Nightbeat, conveniently, ignores the paperclip talking on the screen, though... do his lips curl into the slightest smile? They might have...
Blaster points back and forth at the two photos for a bit, then shrugs and puts them both on the table for anyone else who wants to look. "Anyway, I'm thinking there's two things we can do that will help us all out." He holds up a hand with two fingers out (and he holds them so that the back of his hand is pointed towards Blaster himself). "We can find out just what is under there, and what those 'Cons are planning to do with it." He ticks off one fingers as he talks. "And we can find out what the next step in their plan is. What construction materials are left on their list. That might tell us what they'd be looking for next."
The doors slip open, and in walks the Game-bot himself. Spectrum's orange optics look about the room for a moment, taking in all that there is. "What did I miss?" He asks rather darkly, maybe he just got up from a recharge? Regardless, his arms cross, and he remains silent. He might've broken into this at the wrong time.
Arcee seats herself near Blaster, crossing her legs elegantly as she swivels to gesture at the screen. "We think it must be a major project," she adds, "because it's fairly unusual for them to remember any single task for more than a day or two. They babysat this ship for a solid week across the Pacific after hijacking it, taking shifts to defend it. That means their high command was cracking the whip over them to do it- and THAT means it MEANS something."
Galvatron has arrived.
Blaster jumps for a second, then turns and looks at Mute.
Galvatron appears next to Blaster, "Well dude, I think it is definitly safe to say that we have something mighty nasty planned with that thing." In a decidedly not-Galvatron voice. It sounds more like Jazz, on acid.
Kup blinks, "Okay, where's hound?"
Mute finishes off the paperclip and has turned to look at Blaster, grinning and waving at his Guardian.
Nightbeat drawls just slightly as he comments, "Nice hologram, voice acting needs work. You c'n put it away now though..." his attention turns to Arcee, "I'd have t'agree on that one. Th' question is why... they've got Trypticon, and that city is a giant mobile shark, they've got that mecha-squid as a guardian, what could they possibly be using that vessel for?"
Blaster turns back towards the table. "Spectrum, we were just going over the Decepticon construction project. First they hijacked the EDC tanker, now they're reconfiguring it somehow. At least some of the things they've been stealing in some of the more wacky raids lately have been ending up as part of that project." Blaster looks around the table as he talks, and occasionally shoots a quick look at Galvatron whenever he catches sight of him out the corner of his optic. "Now unfortunately, field work is not exactly my thing. But I do know an important part of any op is gonna be the plan. That's why I'm hoping that together we can come up with a good one."
"I don't know..." says Arcee, shooing away the Galvatron hologram with an indulgent smile, "but being satisfied with their lot has never been the Decepticon way, so I'd say it's safe to say it's SOME kind of evil scheme. Even if it might seem a bit redundant to us."
Galvatron looks at Nightbeat, speaking with a perfect Galvatron voice this time, "Well if I was to take a guess, I'd say something more offensive. The city shark mode and the giant squid are defensive in nature, but gee, I just like being offensive. You can bet it is something to go out and attack people with."
Spectrum slowly moves towards the table, taking the free seat next to Arcee. "That may be true, Arcee. Though, I do beg to differ." With that, Spectrum transforms, and flips onto the center of the gathered mechs. A globe hologram appears in the air, seems that's the default setting. "What I've been able to gather, is that the tanker was of little concern for the Decepticons. If they would've done anything, it would've happend by now. Also, Fusillade is not known for her...shrewdness." A picture of the femme appears into the air.
Blaster says, "Wait, back up a second. Giant squid...?" He quickly sorts through some of the slides and photos. "Man, I'm even worse at this stuff than I thought." Finally he gives up and looks at Galvatron. "What --" He sighs, then shakes his head and looks at Nightbeat. "What kind of squid are we talking about? The water route's about the only thing we've got going for us here..."
Sony PSP <Spectrum> adds, "Yes, then there's Cuddles..."
Galvatron morphs into a giant squid, the best guess representation the intel team can put together of Cuddles.
Nightbeat nods to Spectrum, "Cuddles. I read about 'im in the Archives. We don't know much about it, we just know that Galvatron had his techies build a Gestalt sized beast designed to operate in the oceans around NCC, it was designed as a defensive measure after we sacked New Crystal City the first time." he shakes his head, "A fast moving craft on the surface could potentially get in and out quickly enough, but we're going to need a crack unit able to unload themselves at high speeds. Possibly a decoy to draw the Squids attention too, if it comes to it..."
"Has anyone heard from Seaspray lately?" asks Arcee.
Kup offers helpfully, "Sounds like DepthCharge for that, lads." a pause, "And lasses."
Galvatron fades from view.
Blaster says, "Cuddles?" He can't help but grin. "Well...sounds like getting by him's not the problem. But if he raises a ruckus with the other 'Cons, we can scratch out the whole 'secret' part from the mission profile." He peers at the squid again. "Hmm, do we have any idea how this thing is commanded? How does it get orders? Does it speak? Maybe we could fake some orders to draw it off, and have it keep making false reports so that none of the others know what's going on."
"We're not 100 percent certain, but one thing that seems reasonably sure is that it's keyed to Galvatron." Nightbeat replies, "I'm not sure how tightly though, so faking his voice as Spectrum just did, or as you're capable of doing -might- be enough. The problem with this monster is that we simply don't have much information on the oceans, and we've not really had to deal with him before."
"We're just not that aquatic, most of us," admits Arcee regretfully. "I for one never expected this planet to be quite so... covered in water."
Mute looks at Nightbeat, and waves, pointing at Spectrum and shaking his head. Pointing at himself and giving a thumbs up. Nobody appreciates talent these days. However he does bring up a holo of one Richar Attenborough who comments, "It is highly unlikely that an animal would be fooled by a hologram no matter how perfect. It would lack the smell for one thing, let alone what other sensory capabilities the giant squiddy has."
Blaster nods easily. "Yeah, but we got a hovercraft that can go supersonic, and that submarine's pretty quick too. And one good thing about the water is, the 'Cons are no more suited to it than we are."
Sony PSP <Spectrum> continues as everyone seems to be in a tizzy about cuddles. "Cuddles operates like a guardian should, one nasty mech if I do say so. Though, we also have to weigh this...It does not have a spark. It may be in the Guardian class with Omega...but, it's nowhere near smart. So by this, I have to say it must run on an AI...or even maybe a remote control. I also wouldn't count on it being slow, we're speaking about an aquatic mech...size and speed doesn't matter when it comes to the water."
"Oh great, we've got -two- holo artists in here." Nightbeat mutters faintly before nodding to Spectrum, "If it's an AI, it's command set is likely to be somewhat limited, the Decepticons wouldn't want to give it too much room to be creative if they could avoid it. If it's remote control then we're golden as long as they don't see us coming." he glances to Arcee and smiles, "Well, it ain't like we're on this world by choice, eh Arcee?"
Arcee adds, "Not that I don't like it!" She isn't one to complain. "But aquatic operations do take another level of caution and preparation to carry off successfully."
Yellowjacket shakes his head. "Size is ALWAYS a factor, Spectrum. Something as big as this 'Cuddles' is going to have a pit of a time catching something as small as, say, Arcee or me." He stands near the side of the room with his arms crossed, but unfolds them to gesticulate. "You just have to get in close and keep on the move. Closer to the main body, its appendages are even thicker and less mobile than they are at the tips. Cuddles isn't invincible. The main difficulty is getting a vessel small enough." A pause. "Could we maybe get the Science lads to build small, one-man underwater incursion suits? I've seen the humans use this 'SCUBA' technology. Why not a SCUBA for Autobots?"
Mute personally would happily stay on this world by choice, better music than Cybertron. His hologram looks over at him, "Yes indeed, far better music here." Mute looks at him and puts his finger to his mouth to indicate shush. The Hologram shrugs and turns back to the others, "I believe someone suggested a distraction, a resonable idea. As while other capabilities, and the command mechanism for the squid are unknown, there is one fact we do know. It can't be in 2 places at once."
Sony PSP <Spectrum> flips off the table, and lands to the side of the rest. "Yellowjacket, don't be so foolish. Have you ever seen how big Jetfire is, and his speed? Also Sky Lynx. Size means NOTHING, when the equipment on it can be far more complex than anything on a normal sized unit. Also, going underwater is a mistake, as we're in it's enviroment then. We lack boats, but we lack diving mechs even more." He then crosses his arms. "Though there is one thing that we can do. The Wreckers..." Oh boy, he had to bring up that rag tag group. "They have the greatest range of abilities, ranging from Broadside's carrier mode...and the burrowing unit Impactor."
Sonicboom wanders in carring a few small slips of paper in his hand and looking like a child that knows he's about to get yelled at. Hearing others he sighs, just what he needed a crowd, but then seems to brighten as Red Alert is not one of them. stashing the papers away he makes like he has been in the room all along nodding and trying to seem like he knows what's going on.
"Broadside's carrier mode..." Nightbeat ruminates, "You know, he's even bigger than a Gestalt in his Carrier form..."
Blaster taps a photo on the table thoughtfully. "You know, it's sounding like we could use some additional info just on Cuddles. Maybe we can do some kind of smaller scale mission, just to test out Cuddles. See how he reacts. And we can monitor the Decepticon airwaves, see if he radios them or what. And /then/ we see what the Decepticons do with him."
Spectrum grins, "Dinobots."
Mute's hologram comments to Nightbeat, "You would need to get squiddy to the surface."
Arcee agrees, "That sounds like a good idea, Blaster. To know what we'll have to deal with beforehand."
Spectrum raises a finger, "Stop right there. There's a problem with that. They would send normal soliders to deal with that."
"What, a target as big as a carrier wouldn't be enough to draw him up? I think it'd get his attention pretty darned pronto if you asked me. I doubt Broadside would like it though." Nightbeat comments, "Worlds largest bait... definitely not a title he'll enjoy, considering he'll have to be on the ocean for awhile to do it."
Spectrum says, "You're all forgetting, that's there trump card...and I doubt that they would send it out just at a small squad."
Kup asks, "Well if you're gonna go test it, you might have a chance at sabotaging it. If they have to spend a few days fixing him out there, he won't be an issue when you guys go in."
Yellowjacket raises an optic ridge. "Really, Spectrum? This isn't about SPEED. I could have Scourge's verniers welded onto my aft and it wouldn't make any difference in my ability to evade Cuddles' grasp. Have you ever tried to shoot an Earth house fly with an RPG? It's much more difficult than nailing a Combiner with the same weapon. The issue there is, again, SIZE. And THAT is the main reason we can't use Broadside here. He's got good reflexes, but he's much easier to snare than a minibot."
Spectrum turns to look at Yellowjacket. "Indeed
Mute ponders for a moment, and then walks to a set of controls, dismissing his own hologram as he pulls up an image from the rooms own holoprojector on screen. This time of Charr. Afterall, no squids on there, and likely to have access to all the data there is on Earth.
"One way to deal with Cuddles," Yellowjacket muses. "Mock up a submarine, make it hollow, fill it with explosives and an Autobot transponder." He smiles. "Now THAT's a distraction>"
"The only problem, Yellowjacket, is that it has to be a big target to get his attention. There's a LOT of ocean surrounding NCC, how long would it take for you to find him without him being drawn out first?" Nightbeat turns his attention to the screen, "What's that Mute?"
Arcee nods encouragingly to Yellowjacket's suggestion and starts doodling up a drawing of what such a thing might look like, to show to the engineers.
Mute points up at the image of Charr, and projects an image of a squid, then has a big red cross appear over it.
Spectrum looks at Mute, and grins. "You know, that's not half a bade idea." He then points to the map. "If we strike here, then that might be more fruitful."
"Do we know for a fact that the Decepticons keep data archives on Charr?" Nightbeat asks curiously, "I mean, if we go up there, raid it, and get out... what if what we're looking for isn't there?"
"Good point, Nightbeat," Yellowjacket replies. "I think it would be solved by the mock-up submarine, though. With an Autobot transponder inside, it would pull that tentacled beast out of hiding in a jiffy." His smile widens. "And when that squid's out in the open, we can mine up its den! So if the submabomb doesn't finish it off, its /explosive/ homecoming will."
The diminutive demolitionist looks thoughtfully at the images of Charr. "Hmm. I like your thinking, Mute. But we know even less about their defences on Charr than we do about their defences here."
Mute hits a button on the terminal, and the image of Charr zooms in till it reaches the Spacebridge, and then shoots to NCC on Earth (really cool graphics ala Stargate for the trip).
Spectrum then gets a thought, "What if....another EDC supertanker...just happened to be near NCC?" He looks at the rest. "As you know, we could sneak in a spy, and hack the computer. This is plausible, as you have Autobots like me and Blaster here. Our alt-modes are so small...we could hide without ever being seen." He then taps the table. "I do apologize for getting off subject."
Blaster grins broadly. "I really like this mock-up submarine idea. But the timing's gotta be tight. We should only make an attack on Cuddles when we're about to sneak into Decepticon waters. If we make a move on Cuddles, their first thought's probably gonna be to watch for /some/ kind of underwater shenanigans." He turns to Spectrum. "But wouldn't be slicker if we could pull this off without any real live Decepticons even coming near us? I mean, no telling what they'll find if they run the right scans on us."
"EDC Supertankers are expensive," Yellowjacket points out. "A fake tanker or submarine is much cheaper. Also: full of explosives. And we don't have to ask the EDC to stretch their budget on our behalf." He frowns at the screen, nodding slowly. "Travel through their spacebridge? That sounds risky, but it could be a great secondary vector of infiltration."
<Autobot> Sky Lynx says, "Greetings chaps from outer-space. How goes everything?"
<Autobot> Springer says, "Outer space? Nice. Hey Sky Lynx, we're waving out of the window down here. Can you see us?"
<Autobot> Quickswitch cracks up.
<Autobot> Sandstorm says, "Things go. Runnin' around the Mojave."
<Autobot> Sky Lynx chuckles, "I could if I wanted to hook up to the camera satalites, but I don't think the owerns or Google Global would be very happy about that."
Nightbeat seems to have fallen silent, and settles back against the wall, pondering. The visor slides back into place as he starts to sift information at a much more rapid pace, apparently looking for something. He doesn't speak up for many long minutes while doing this...
Kup shakes his head, "They did that a few months ago to us, infiltrating Autobot City via Spacebridge, but it seemed to be due to a malfunction on their end. In either case, I know security on the bridge here has been beefed up."
"We can assume they've upgraded their own security as well, in that case," Yellowjacket agrees, silently cursing himself for forgetting such an obvious event. "Let's table the space bridge suggestion for now, shall we? If we can secure some scrap metal to build a fake sub and load it up with bombs, I think we'll have a good distraction. But Blaster's absolutely right to say they'll be expecting an aquatic incursion at that point. So, that said, how do we get in once Cuddles is dealth with?"
Spectrum rubs his chin, "Well, if Cuddles is dealt with. We would either need a large assault...or a crack team to infiltrate the base. Maybe...both? During battle, some of our better spies could get in. Like Jazz...while we're keeping the bulk of the Decepticon forces focused on the attack squad. There's also a chance, that that city can transform. It's been proven it can..."
"Not only proven..." Nightbeat speaks up abruptly, "They've had it off that Island at least once according to archives... I'm thinking it might be worthwhile to try and crack IHQ... the majority of their forces are focused here on earth, a small group of gifted infiltrators could probably slip through the nets on Cybertron more easily."
Okay, so Mutes Charr idea was a non-starter, though perhaps in future it might be worth checking the place out. However he is pretty sure he has an ide on hos to get people into NCC once Cuddles is distracted. And he leaps into the air, transforming to land as a cassette on the table. Afterall, something tiny might get past the Cons security.
Blaster nods slowly at Yellowjacket. "Well...I still say the aquatic route is the way to go. At least to get us into 'Con territory, I mean. Especially if we go to all the trouble of taking Cuddles out of the picture. And I wouldn't mind if we could pull this whole thing off without firing a shot. We can have an attack squad standing by in case things get dicey, but it would be best if the Decepticons didn't even realize we'd been there."
"Then we're back to needing individual aquatic infiltration gear," Yellowjacket counters, grinning at the CO. "I for one can't swim for turbobeans, but slap a propellor on my back and we're off to the races."
<Decepticon> Shockwave says, "Report"
<Decepticon> Thunderwing says, "Greetings, Commander Shockwave. I have just arrived on Cybertron with some... cargo you may find interesting."
<Decepticon> Shockwave says, "Very well. I will meet you in person. Shockwave out."
<Decepticon> Warmonger says, "Commander Shockwave. Will you require security."
<Decepticon> Shockwave says, "Since I have no clue as to the importance of said cargo, yes. Security might be required if the cargo is to be moved to another location."
<Decepticon> Redshift says, "Location?"
<Decepticon> Blueshift says, "Do not worry sir, I will be on hand to ensure your protection!"
<Decepticon> Warmonger says, "As you command."
<Decepticon> Thunderwing says, "Oh, it is very important."
<Decepticon> Discord has encrypted this channel.
<Decepticon> Thunderwing says, "What? I... I return to my comrades after vorns of isolation... With gifts of unparalleled power... And this is how I am treated?"
<Decepticon> Blockbuster says, "Welcome to the Decepticons, here's your badge."
<Decepticon> Blaster says, "Soundwave! There was something wrong with the channel -- all I was getting was static! Can you send me the audio-transcripts for the last hour and a half? C'mon bro, I know you've got 'em in your archive!"
<Decepticon> Dreadwind says, "You expected anything better?"
<Decepticon> Scourge says, "The only unparalleled power is that bestowed by /Unicron/, you solipsistic cretin!"
<Decepticon> Commander Soundwave makes an odd, growling noise as he redecrypts the channel!
<Decepticon> Pitchfork says, "blaster your karaoke version of the stellar plantain's "let's get a cosmic donot tonight (baby, alright)" was pathetic"
<Decepticon> Commander Soundwave er, encrypts! Eheh.
<Decepticon> Soundwave has encrypted this channel.
<Autobot> Sky Lynx says, "Blaster, I do believe that was a no from Soundwave, tsk-- he is such a sour one, isn't he?"
<Autobot> Blaster says, "It's okay Lynx...he's under a lot of stress."
<Autobot> Discord posing as some random technician, "I believe he was just showing he is better at encrypting than Blaster is."
<Autobot> Blaster says, "Oh, snap!"
<Autobot> Yellowjacket says, "That random technician sure is sassy."
Landing Pad <AC>
The smell of heated tarmac hits you first as you survey the landing and liftoff point for all flights to Cybertron. The wreckage of previous battles here are off to the back in a jumbled heap. To the southeast is the massive form of Autobot City itself, a bit battle-scarred, but still operational. Surrounding you on all other sides are forests of large conifer trees.
The spaceport absolutely sparkles with a new shine - in fact, it's almost blinding in direct sunlight. Spots are a thing of the past, and each building has a brand new coat of paint. Even the *scrap* piles look like they've been cleaned off and straightened up.
Autobot Shuttle <Alpha Trion>
Autobot Hovercraft <Defender II>
Autobot Hovercraft <Sentinel>
Autobot Shuttle <Golden Age>
Autobot Sensor #6596
Shuttle Terminal - Autobot City
Frostbite crouches and folds into a small white cassette.
Frostbite has left.
Blaster walks around the Autobot Hovercraft <Defender II>, looking over it quickly. He's no expert on shuttle mechanics (although he did pass his basic shuttle-piloting exam with a 'satisfactory' grade), but he figures he should at lease give it a once-over before taking it out into what would qualify as 'hostile' waters.
Sideswipe dancewalks his way across the landing pad, throwing in a few shadow punches for good measure, before he makes his way beside the shuttle before stopping his forward motion but still grooving. He turns to look over at Blaster before giving him a wave. "Hey there, man, I got the call. What's up?
Spinout has apparently been distracted by some number of things, but now, she's wanting to do something - /anything/ - to get herself back up to snuff. So, she quietly slips in, keeping very quiet. Nothing to say, really, but she does plan on coming along.
Blaster looks away from the hovercraft, then nods back at Sideswipe, grinning. He looks around at the others too. "Well...looks like we got quite a collection of talents and styles here. Good, I think that's just what we're gonna need." He takes a place near the entry hatch of the shuttle. "Basically, we're going on a little spy mission to NCC. As you guys might remember, the 'Cons snatched an EDC Supertanker a while back. Now we have it on pretty good authority that they've still got it, /and/ they're reconfiguring it for their own purposes. We don't know what for, but no doubt it's something diabolic. So we're gonna cruise on over there and take a little look."
Snarl comes running into the landing area, waving his hands. "Me Snarl want be part mission too!" He calls out, almost running over Spinout, as she remains rather quiet. "Me Snarl want go!" He says, and then stomps his foot. "In-tel missions need smart Dinobot, like me Snarl." Oh boy, this is not gonna turn out pretty.
Sideswipe looks surprised and amused at the same time as Blaster gives them the mission details. "Man, the Connies hold something for that long and don't blow it up? They must be slipping in their old ages."
Listening, Spinout gives a light nod, rapping her fingers lightly against her arm... and somehow she manages to sidestep being painfully run over by a speeding Dinobot. Makes sense to go, in any case. This is a good way to get herself back in action after what /she/ feels is an inexcusable absense. Still, though, she doesn't say a word. She just shifts her weight to her other foot, waiting for any further orders.
Blaster eyes Snarl carefully. "Well...we've got a couple of parts on this mission. Some of them are more dangerous than others. I don't know if you're feeling up to the /really/ tricky stuff. I'm gonna take the safe route myself, but then, I'm no Dinobot." He points a finger at the hovercraft. "Basically we're all gonna go on the Defender II here and blaze our way across the ocean towards NCC. Once we get close enough, we're gonna split into a couple of teams. One team is gonna go into stealth mode and sneak into the site where the EDC tanker was last seen. That's the easy part." He flashes a quick grin. "The others are gonna cause a little distraction. We'll do everythign we can to play some tricks on the Decepticons, make it tough for them to figure out exactly what's going on, but it'll probably mean fighting half the Decepticon army, so we'll need our /strongest/ mechs on that one."
Snarl slams his hands to his chest, "Me Snarl am toughest and strongest mech. Me Snarl show dem Cawns!!" He raises his sword up, and lets loose a battlecry. "Dem see how Dinobot lead teams!" He the runs his finger along the energo blade. "No one have problem wit dat, Me Snarl tink?" He asks, and eyeballs anyone around him. "Me Snarl make da biggest dist...action ever! Dem stoopid and fall for it."
Sideswipe nods before appearing to think about the choices. "I guess I'll cause trouble with Snarl. I'm not exactly subtle in how I do things." He grins and chuckles before glancing at Snarl."
Sideswipe enters the Autobot Hovercraft <Defender II>.
"I'll go with the stealth team," Spinout states, standing straight now, her doors flicking back slightly. She has little else to say, her optics brightening just slightly.
Blaster smiles indulgently at Snarl. "That's the spirit." He gives more subtle, appreciative nods to Spinout and Sideswipe. Then he looks around carefully. "Any questions? No? Okay then...let's get this show on the road." He climbs into the hovercraft.
You enter the Autobot Hovercraft <Defender II>.
Autobot Hovercraft <Defender II>
The interior of the hovercraft is cramped, yet spacious enough to accomodate a few Autobots at a time. At the front of the vehicle is a pair of seats which overlook the area through a wrap-around windshield. There are many control panels and monitors which survey the area and adapt the hovercraft's systems to the surroundings. In the middle of the hovercraft is a pair of benches lined against the wall, for the other passengers to sit if they choose. At the very rear is a cargo hold to store any necessary equipment or anything that is discovered.
Snarl has arrived.
Sideswipe has arrived.
Spinout has arrived.
Blaster straps himself into one of the pilot seats. "Okay...everybody get ready. Once we get out of the city limits, we're taking this baby super-sonic." He activates the hovercraft's systems, and soon a drone fills the interior cabin from as it begins to maintain the proper air-flow.
Sideswipe walks down the aisle before sitting down in the other pilot seat and starting to buckle himself in as he hums to himself. He glances over at Blaster and gives the other a grin. "Don't mind me riding shotgun, do ya? I know how to fly, trust me."
Snarl just makes his way to the back, not taking a seat at all. "Me Snarl no need stoopid seat. Here be good sit...." He the plops down, and crosses his arms. "Hur hur hur, sissy Autobots...needin' seats..." He shakes his head. "Dinobots be better at tings like dis."
Blaster shakes his head easily at Sideswipe. "'Course not. Just /keep your hands off the radio/" He says this with as serious an expression as he can manage, managing to hold it for a few seconds before breaking into his normal ever-present grin. "Okay, here we go."
Outside, You cruise the vast distance west to the Central Pacific - South Asian Coast.
Blaster finally eases back on the throttle, slowing the hovercraft down to cruising speeds. "Okay...we're coming up on the city. We'll be in range of the Decepticon sensors any minute now." He turns to Snarl and Sideswipe. "You guys ready to do your thing? You can both fly so that's a plus. But I'm thinking you ought to head for land as soon as possible, and take cover." He gestures at the Derelict Freighter. "That might be a good spot."
You create temporary channel Operation-SW2 for the Autobot faction. It will be destroyed in 90 minutes.
<Operation-SW2> Blaster has joined this channel.
<Operation-SW2> Spinout has joined this channel.
<Operation-SW2> Frostbite has joined this channel.
<Operation-SW2> Sonicboom has joined this channel.
<Operation-SW2> Sideswipe has joined this channel.
<Operation-SW2> Snarl has joined this channel.
<Operation-SW2> Yellowjacket has joined this channel.
Snarl has already jumped out of the hatch, probably prompting a facepalm from Blaster. In the background you can hear the Dino. "Me Snarl show dem Cawns, me Snarl bestest and strongest!" He then slams his feet onto the freighter....which creaks under his weight. "Ooh, me Snarl no like da sound of dat..." He looks down, and slowly shuffles off the weakening spot. "Me Snarl hold down all dem here..."
Sideswipe has been keeping his eyes but not his hands, for the moment, on the radio. If Blaster hadn't brought it up he wouldn't be overcome with temptation! He snaps out of it as he looks over at Blaster as the other begins to speak before nodding readily to Blaster's questions.
Snarl has left.
Outside, Snarl has arrived.
Sideswipe has left.
Outside, Sideswipe has arrived.
Outside, Sideswipe has left.
<Operation-SW2> Sideswipe says, "Testing, testing, 1,2,3, here I am, can anyone hear me?"
<Operation-SW2> Spinout says, "You're coming in just fine."
<Operation-SW2> Blaster says, "And in case anyone is wondering, the SW2 is for Sneaky Weasel...Two."
<Operation-SW2> Sonicboom says, "Why would we want to associate ourselves with a terran rodent?"
<Operation-SW2> Sideswipe says, "It's been around for a while: it's gotta be doing something right."
<Operation-SW2> Spinout says, "From what I know of the creature, it is known to be fairly sneaky."
<Operation-SW2> Blaster says, "It's all about tradition. Okay, last call for anyone going with Snarl and Sideswipe."
<Decepticon> Cyclonus says, "Hrm. ensors are showing signs of possible Autobot activity in New Zealand waters."
<Operation-SW2> Blaster says, "Snarl, Sideswipe - you guys are on. Good luck, and see you soon."
<Operation-SW2> Sideswipe says, "Bye bye, Birdseye."
<Decepticon> Arachnae says, "Are we sure it isn't Cuddles throwing around whales again? Or small fishing craft?"
Outside, You head towards the shores of Island of New Crystal City <NCC>.
Sonicboom is sitting in a seat waiting for the word to go. Go where he's not sure having totally forgotten that part of the briefing. Tapping his foot as he stares out the window he wonders where they are and when the humans built a big metal city in the ocean.
Blaster cuts the hovercraft's speed as much as possible, sending it creeping along towards the docks. "Okay guys...making our final approach to the docks. Hopefully nobody's caught on yet. Get ready for anything."
<Decepticon> Redshift says, "En route to investigate."
<Decepticon> Blitzwing says, "I'll go check it out too."
Spinout is still being quiet, but then, that's just part of who she is. She's staring out the windows, optics slightly darkened, hands resting on her legs. She doesn't have much to say, besides... she's just ready to do her job.
<Decepticon> Redshift says, "We've got a few targets out here on a derelict freighter. Looks like a Dinobot and a friend."
<Operation-SW2> Sideswipe says, "Hey, I think it's working...looks like we've got a Connie coming at us."
<Operation-SW2> Snarl says, "Dat just a bird!"
<Operation-SW2> Sideswipe says, "Birds don't move like that, Snarl, or look that red either."
You leave the Autobot Hovercraft <Defender II>.
The dock area proper is vaguely triangular in shape and made of frost blue metal, providing a transitional border between the silver-metal that the non-city portion of the island is made of and the deeper, non-metallic blue of the ocean itself. The somewhat curved southern edge is flush to the water, while the southeastern point juts out into it at an angle, and most of the northern edge lines up against the beach proper. Structures jutting upward like jagged teeth line these two edges, slicing white light into colored ribbons, although they are spaced so as to allow Transformers easy passage through them to either the beach proper or any docked ships. The base of the triangle backs up against the spaceport to the northwest.
As for the beach itself, it still looks much as it did before the rebuild, an alien silver coastline that somehow makes itself at home in these Earthen waters. The area where the metal extends beneath the ocean reflects upward brightly, and the blue-green water over the silvery color of the Cybertronian actually gives it a hue not too far from that of the frost color used in the actual city.
Deconstruction Site <Argosy>
Imperial Decepticon Mini-Sub <Mantis>
Decepticon Standard Troops 6387
<Decepticon> Cyclonus says, "Dinobot! Those primitives grow bolder cycle by cycle. Redshift...teach him a lesson"
Sonicboom has arrived.
Spinout has arrived.
Airwolf shrugs as well. "Most of us aren't really fit for that kind of work underwater. I'm very familiar with geothermal energy mining, and I'm not sure the benefits outweight the problems. It's more trouble than it's worth."
Arachnae smirks, "I'm not fitted for underwater work. Didn't stop me when we had to do reconstruction on the old undersea base. Just have to use lead ropes and line-walks."
Now that brings back memories. "I recall... We had to strip Swindle's old base for metal plating to do the repairs," Airwolf says, her crimson optics distant. "I first learned how to weld with that. Motormaster was the mission commander, and we were pretty much on our own."
Arachnae nods, watching the ocean lap at the silvery shore with an absent smile. "It was.. a unique experience. As much as I disliked being stuck in there when there was a lockdown. Mostly because somehow fate would make Full Auto stuck there with me, I do miss that base."
Blaster leans out slightly from a shadow cast be a large structure at the edge of the docs, scoping out the area. "Okay guys," he whispers in his very lowest voice. "Time to do our thing. Spread out, keep quiet, and keep your cool." He pushes his eject button. "Frosty, you're on point."
Frostbite has arrived.
The white cassette springs up and unfolds into Frostbite's smilodon form.
Airwolf sees the occasional passing Decepticon fly by, probably towards that group of Autobots that were discovered. "It was all right, but reminded me too much of the prison space station where I spent most of my life." Those are unpleasant memories, and she begins to fidget a bit.
Arachnae's optics narrow, watching the fly offs of patrols seeking "Glory coveting fools." She mutters softly, "Who in their right mind runs *towards* a reported dinobot sighting?" Looking over at Airwolf with a crooked smile. And thusly changing the subject.
Even while Airwolf and Arachnae are talking, the ongoing Decepticon construction project sprawls behind them. Several burly loader types are hauling in the titanium from the Decepticons' raid on Korea. "I don't know, Bucket. She may be okay for bombs, but this is a pretty puny load. At least it's enough to finish one of the larger flight surfaces." A random flight of Seekers soars overhead, still glued to their posts on the netting-festooned site.
Sonicboom follows behind Blaster trying to be as spy like as possible. This mostly constitutes rapidly look from one direction to the other and walking like Bluto from Animal House, though at least he's quiet about it. Hmm perhaps bringing a hyper-active bot on a stealth mission was unwise only time will tell.
<Operation-SW2> Blaster whispers, "This place is /crawling/ with 'Cons. At least we know we're in the right place. Don't think they're on to us yet."
<Operation-SW2> Blaster whispers, "Snarl, Sideswipe...heads up, more coming your way."
<Operation-SW2> Snarl says, "Hurraa!!!! ME SNARL LIKE CHALLENGE!"
Frostbite ejects from within Blaster's chestplate and unfolds to his 'robot' mode, not straying very far from where Blaster is hiding as he softly lands on all four paws. This is not quite his forte, but his skills are good enough to make up for Foxfire's absense. He sniffs the air, ears twitching as he hears Airwolf and Arachnae's pleasant conversation. Good, they haven't been spotted... yet. He looks around, spotting their target, and silently begins moving in that direction as he's mindful to stay behind cover large enough for his taller comrades.
Spinout slips along in relative silence, staying behind Blaster, her dark form as low to the ground as she can possibly get. She's not a /big/ femme, but she's not short... her wings splay out to her sides as if to flatten out her frame. She nods to Blaster, lips pressing into a tight line.
Airwolf is happy enough to change the subject at Arachnae's prompting. "Depends on how much backup you have, I suppose, and how badly the help was needed. I wouldn't ordinarily want to go near a Dinobot, but if it's really necessary... I engaged Jetfire once, years ago, because it was necessary. He left me for dead." That doesn't seem to bother as much.
Arachnae ahhs, "Well, there is always a time where it's needed but.. Seriously. Large mad, menace doesn't scream 'Get a little closer and let's talk' to me." Wings twitch and she grins.
Airwolf shakes her head. "No, not at all. Though I recall nearly beating Slag once. Sheerest of sheer luck. He couldn't touch me, and I couldn't miss. I broke off the attack because I felt sorry for him." She tilts her head, listening for a bit to see if anything's up on broadband. The airwaves are quiet, so she returns her attention to the conversation.
Arachnae ahhs, "Well, there was this one time at the Olympics.. I outlasted them. More fuel efficient."
Blaster follows Frostbite carefully, moving slowly and gingerly and stopping where his casette stops. He ocassionally presses a button on his chest, causing various tapes within to take recordings of data from Blaster's audio and optic sensors. He smirks quietly as catches snatches of conversation, never know when samples of a Decepticon's voice will come in handy.
What greets the optics of the infiltrators as they step under the criss-cross pattern of green garden hoses chills energon pumps. The scale of the project looms more apparently from under the sun-dappled camouflage netting strewn high above, sometimes hundreds of feet overhead. Bucket and Wideload continue to set down strips and plates of the aircraft grade titanium along the framework of a titanic wing -- and it's not even the main flight surface. Gestalt sized casings sit at the site's front and center, the stolen Faraday ion collectors extending like devil horns on a manta ray. They're collected to the four generators visible between the gaps of the colossal framework, generators that had been stolen from various hydroelectric plants during the past few months.
<Decepticon> Cyclonus says, "How are things proceeding with that Dinobot? Redshift, I leave it to your discretion. But perhaps some of you should guard the aerial approach, to ensure none of his prehistoric team-mates are nearby."
<Decepticon> Mesa says, "Stand by sir."
<Decepticon> Redshift says, "I'm taking a few potshots at him now *pew pew pew*, got my sensors open looking for more."
<Decepticon> Mother Goose Fusillade says, "Is... there anyone else around?"
<Decepticon> Mesa says, "I am high over head of the area now looking for more."
A brilliant, scintillating cyan flash of oxyacetylene torches illuminates the Autobot's path, casting long shadows of them across the cyberformed beaches.
Airwolf frowns at the mention of the Olympics. She doesn't like them and never will. "Tactics and strategy have their value, I suppose. Take advantage of their high fuel consumption... Hmph. Listen to me, the non-warrior, prate on about combat." Once again, she pauses to listen to broadband.
<Decepticon> Arachnae says, "Discussing geothermal applications and the possibilities of additional oceanic structures with Airwolf at the docks."
<Decepticon> Blitzwing says, "Just touched down- taking some fire from Sideswipe but nothing major."
Arachnae looks at the water and the silver beach again, wings flexing behind her. "About as amusing as a research technician joining the sweeps, yes?" Amused smile. "Just because you don't activly participate doesn't mean that you can't learn from observing others to some degree."
Sonicboom keeps near Blaster and the others doing his best to keep his gestalt limb sized frame hidden in the shadows. Making sure that each forward motion leaves him behind objects that keep him out of sight he keeps his eyes open. Having taken a long hard look at the area he has no idea what's going on but he knows for certain that it's not going to be a good thing.
<Decepticon> Cyclonus says, "Ah...Blitzwing, Mesa. You are also on the scne...? Excellent...surely those Autobots won't last long now..."
<Decepticon> Mesa says, "Skies are clear. Unit Mesa flying aerial cover."
Blaster turns to look behind him at the other Autobots, then silently moves his hand in a circular motion, in a 'we'd better speed this up!' gesture. Realizing that his own large and unstealthy frame is possibly slowing the others down, he transforms and extends his carrying strap. This allows Frostbite to carry Blaster in a well-rehearsed role reversal.
Blaster transforms into boombox mode.
You begin following Frostbite.
Not a word for Spinout, but she lets her optics drift, taking in as much around her as she can. She moves as silently as possible, heel-toe stepping the whole way. She watches Blaster, then gazes around her to take in any possible threats or obstacles...
Frostbite pauses as he looks at the massive (especially to him) project with a critical optic. He does feel the chill throughout his energon pump, but it doesn't bother him. He is built for cold, and this feeling is little different than a powerful artic wind. He doesn't focus on the scale, since it's likely overwhelming even for his comrades, and instead focuses on the torch-light illuminating their path. That... could be a problem, but they don't really have much choice but to try to cross it. He picks up Blaster's boombox form by the handle as he crouches slightly, judging his options--which are few. He tries to time progress enough to move during any pauses in the torchlight without sacrificing speed, but he's no infiltrator.
Airwolf is a bit uneasy now. Lowering her voice, she says, "If those Autobots break through the perimeter and come ashore, I'll have to pull out. I have no business in this conflict." She also gazes towards the oceanic water, wondering if the aforementioned Dinobot will make his way ashore.
Arachnae hnns, optics narrowing as she scans the horizon. Taloned hand comes up to tick at her visor so she can run higher res systems, kicking them online with a mental flip. "And they call me paranoid." Wry smile. "If, and a very big if, I'd think Cuddles would pick up on anything strange, something happens, I'll cover you since you can't get involved."
Arachnae adds, "Unless he's out chasing whales." Soft chuckle.
Yellowjacket has arrived.
"I'd retreat to the spacebridge," Airwolf decides. "If I take to the air, Primus knows if Astracius is sitting up there in his fragging cloaked ship waiting for me. His obsession with me is alive and well; he sent hundreds of his drones after me in Brussels." Though her tone is annoyed, there's a hint of real fear there. Astracius is a scary person. "Yes, yes, I know that it's not likely that I'd need to evacuate, but just in case."
Arachnae nods, "Best place to retreat to." She whiffs air out of intakes. "He sent a slew after me as well. Not something I care to experience again." Optics narrowing, "Always a good idea to have an escape route. Or several."
The glare of torchlight is more apparent as the sun begins to set. A few floodlights tick over with a loud 'thump' 'whump', soaking the area in bright white light to let the crews keep working. "Eh, Wideload, energon break's over," Bucket remarks to his companion as they continue their shift working on the maneuvering aileron of the wide, flat-bodied craft. Their worksite is a 120 degree angle from the main centerline of the craft, like overgrown ice crystals, and structures for communications arrays bristle like overgrown ice crystals from the main, forward swept wings that angle upward and away in a large dihedral V. One of the most obvious oddities about the craft are the distinct lack of traditional engines, if it were truly a flying craft. The Autobots' path leads them to the tremendous ramps that lead into the cavernous interior of the project, shadows growing ever darker... Strangely enough, there are reflective white and yellow stripes on the long ramps, as if they were marked up to be some sort of highway...
<Decepticon> Blitzwing says, "This lizard armor is great! I take back what I said about Thunderwing. He must be the good kind of mad scientist."
Sonicboom continues on with the others as sparks rain down like little fire flies threatening to alert all to their attempt to gain information. Trying to avoid being seen he stops midstep and drops lower as the lights seems to bounce and shine on the white sections of his frame. Slowing he pauses then drops back a few paces keeping an eye on things from this safer vantage point where he can not only remain unseen but can also provide cover for the rest of the team should it be needed.
Yellowjacket has, of course, been here all along. But he is small and sneaky! Tip-toeing along behind the others, he calmly gets down to the ground and begins to silently crawl beneath the flickering flare of the torches. There's a tiny smile on his face, as if he's enjoying this. And, indeed, he /is/.
Yellowjacket silently moves out of sight.
<Operation-SW2> Sideswipe says, "Primus, I hope you guys are...ow!"
Frostbite glances over his shoulder at the others, tilting his head sharply towards the darkened ramp before speeding up his pace and silently trotting up the ramp into the craft itself. His audios continue to twitch as he tries to keep tabs on what's going on around them, hoping that they won't be spotted. This is a bit more volitile than simply 'treacherous' territory--it's No Bot's Land.
Spinout frowns, glancing around again before lowering herself even more. Her wings stay fanned out. It almost looks as if the warrior femme is trying to press herself into the ground, and she's not doing that bad a job at it. She's ready to defend the team should it be needed, but she's more hoping it won't come to that...
Arachnae continues to watch the water lap at the shore, wings flexing absently behind her.
<Operation-SW2> Blaster whispers, "Yellowjacket - dang, you've done this before huh? - Out of all of us you're probably best suited to sneaking by guards here. Once we get inside, head for the sensitive areas, see if you can find any plans or datapads out there. Maybe a computer terminal. The rest of us will try to avoid guards or patrols, and get some more schematics on the super-structure."
<Operation-SW2> Yellowjacket taps his mic twice.
Yellowjacket taps twice at his helmet and begins to move more swiftly, moving up towards the front of the pack, just behind Frostbite. He nods as Frostbite looks back, then glances back himself to make sure the others are following. Slowly, he pushes himself to his knees, then to his feet, still keeping his torso at close to a 90 degree angle, and slips stealthily up the ramp, melting into the shadows above.
As Frostbite skitters up the rampway, a loud crashing clatter rocks the interior hallway of the ship. Situated in the cargo area, a few workers are currently locked in a squabble, pointing fingers and blame at each other over who let the hover loaders drop the incoming set of recharge berths. The smell of oil already permeates the area.
Arachnae is at the dock, near the Mantis with Airwolf and seems to be having a rather nice, quiet conversation as the sungoes down.
<Operation-SW2> Sideswipe says, "Guys, I've got a break from the party going on, but you guys gotta do whatever you're gonna do fast. Things are getting really hot up here...there's some lizard thing up here that I've never seen before."
Arachnae hnns, giving the noisy construction zone a brief glance over her shoulder at the faint sound of squabbling. She shakes her head, stares up at the sky, "Never ceases to fail, an arguement will break out no matter what's going on." Soft laugh.
Airwolf watches the sun set in respectful silence before continuing her conversation with Arachnae. "He's out there. Making his idiotic attempt at befriending the Terrans and making about as much sense as Decepticonz." Now there's something else she doesn't regard highly. "Or he's hovering nearby, watching us. Paranoid, me? Yes, I am." She shakes her head, trying to throw off her depressing mood. "Yes, a quarrel is a lot more amusing than doing one's work."
Arachnae snorts, "Well, fortunatly he can't be *everywhere* at once." Shifting her wings behind her, half spanned to catch the last of the sunlight. "Going to head back to Cybertron after I finish some work here."
The techs go back and forth a while, before slaps break out, followed by an 'OW! Not so close to the electrical conduits!' Looking to the source of the hundred yards' distant disagreement, the thick lines are hard to miss. They're the diameter of a mech's arm! They branch repeatedly, splitting off into a fractal maze of ever smaller wiring that fades away into the twilight along the ground under the kilometer and a half wide wingspan of the craft. Looking upward, an empty elevator shaft is flanked on either side by barn-sized expendable countermeasure stores, as well as several unopened crates of CPUs and electronic multiplexers for what appears to be a command center gondola.
Boombox pauses in audio recording for a moment when he starts to realize what Arachnae and Airwolf are talking about. He mentally checks off a 'not pertinent' box in his head, and then resets his tape to before they started mentioning anyone specific.
Frostbite pauses sharply as the argument breaks out, then makes a mental note to avoid the general area until things calm down. He looks around, trying to figure out where to go next, and ducks behind some of the crates and boxes stacked around as he tries to stalk around the techs to get to the nearest passing exit to the next area. He's trying to move as quickly as he can, so they can get the info and get out.
<Operation-SW2> Blaster whispers, "Roger that Swiper. We're picking up the pace in here. We'll be out to get you guys as fast as we can."
Frostbite and the crew, if they are sticking close to each other, will eventually move past the hallway, and closer to the tremendous casings at the front of the craft. Plated in dull grey metal and strongly lit, the medical bay is meticulously tidy, but cramped. The sparse medical bay only has a small number of beds typically stowed away vertically against the walls, which can be lowered with a simple voice command. The primary purpose of this medical ward is stabilization of patients taken off the battlefield, and thusly lacks much of the equipment that would otherwise be present.
Airwolf muses, "I *was* going to speak to Nightbeat first, but I've already made my decision based on my conversations with the rest of the denizens of Planet P-19170167. The stories checked out, for the most part, with the exception of the more... unstable members of the group." Another glance seaward, making sure there is no pack of Autobots coming ashore, and one skyward, checking for Quintessons.
Spinout pauses sharply at the sound of the explosion of noise, her wings tipping up slightly. Her doors are really an indicator of her mood, and now, she's apprehensive. Her head tips up slightly, optics dimming to a point where she can still see just fine but they still appear dark. Then she sets to moving again, frowning a bit as she makes notes of everything she sees along the way.
Arachnae ahhs, "Lovely. Wish they hadn't checked out." Facing the setting sun with optics slitting. "I think I'll be out of contact for a few cycles when I do take the trip though."
As the argument begins, Yellowjacket is already out of sight, creeping past the distracted techs behind Frostbite. He spares quick glances for the scenery, noting the defensive emplacements and complex wiring. He frowns, doing quick calculations in his head, then frowns deeper. The diminutive demolitionist looks at Blaster, then points at the unopened crates. He holds up two fists in front of his chest, splays his fingers, wiggles them a little and mouths BOOM?
<Decepticon> Mesa says, "Blitzwing, my weapons are ineffective against the Dinobot. Switch up with me. I will handle Sideswipe."
<Decepticon> Arachnae says, "Oh Sideswipe! Bring me a fender or a door or something, please.. I need to add to the collection."
Airwolf cocks her head, peering at Arachnae. "Why? Did you really think that the Autobots were guilty? Or did you want them to be?"
<Decepticon> Redshift says, "I'll see what I can do!"
Arachnae heaves a sign, optics lightening, "I'd hoped that they wern't." She shakes her head, "So many apperances to keep up, so little time to myself."
<Decepticon> Blitzwing says, "Keep on the dinobot, Sideswipe is just a pest- ungh!"
You paged Yellowjacket with 'Aren't you invisible? :) But ICly is it possible to plant some kind of remote-controlled explosive or something? Maybe sabotage the CPUs so they fail when used? I agreed earlier with Fusi that no sabotage this mission...sorry if it cramps your style :)'
<Decepticon> Blitzwing says, "See, that's what I mean!"
<Operation-SW2> Sideswipe says, "Hear you loud and clear, Blaster. *over the com comes a whooshing sound followed by an explosion, a loud thunk, and finally a splash.* "Yeahhh, we got him!""
Airwolf shrugs. "I'd expected the Decepticons to lie about it, but they didn't. They probably didn't really know what I was investigating, or they though it was for propaganda purpose. The Autobots were straightforward enough as well."
Arachnae nods slowly, "Well, everyone has their little dirty secrets, don't they." Merry smirk.
<Operation-SW2> Blaster whispers, "Negative on the bomb Yellowjacket. We want to do this without the 'Cons ever knowing we were in here. We got some good intel today, and with some planning we can hurt them a lot more once we analyze the data. But not if they beef up their security on the site."
<Operation-SW2> Yellowjacket taps twice again, acknowledging the order.
Continuing further, the party does have to dodge a few construction crews and random Seeker patrols. Everything here is metal, so although they have to move quietly, they DO hear the footfalls of approaching Decepticons, which gives them time to sneak into corners. Eventually, they come to a wide, circular opening packed to the brim with electrical and communications equipment. The two blue and purple casings are easier to make out now, flanking the dimly lit central core. There is an acrid stench of ozone in the air, and with little warning, a multimillionvolt discharge arcs across the void, nailing a containment rod with a startlingly bright -whipcrack- sound.
There's a few seconds' worth of pause, and then a few basso guffaws sound out in one of the adjoining hallways in the fore of the craft. "Haw! It's doing it again! I heard it! C'mon lets go watch, we can hold Sparky out over the railing and see if the electricity and plasma hit him!" Clomp clomp clomp come the feet...
Airwolf ponders the relative cleanliness of her secrets. Hmmmm. "I don't think I'll be on Earth for much longer, either," she says, finally responding to an earlier comment. "There are things to be done there," she adds, giving Arachnae a level look. "If certain folks finally get their afts in gear."
<Operation-SW2> Sideswipe says, "We're not looking too good out here, boss...you want we should stick with it?"
<Operation-SW2> Blaster whispers, "OK, that's it - Infiltration team, we're pulling out. We got as much as we could for one trip...now let's get out of here while we still can!"
<Operation-SW2> Spinout says, "Understood."
<Operation-SW2> Frostbite growls softly as an affirmative.
<Operation-SW2> Sideswipe says, "I hear you."
<Operation-SW2> Snarl ROARS!!!
Yellowjacket cocks his head as he hears the whipcrack and ensuing footsteps. Quickly determining the source of the approaching footsteps through the echoes, he points at the relevant opening. That done, he takes a short run up... and leaps out into the void. Tucking in his limbs, he somersaults and whips off a magnetic grappling line as he comes out. With a FSSSSKNK, it latches onto the wall ABOVE the opening from which the gumbies will emerge. The minibot Commando reels himself in and sticks to the wall above... just as Blaster's order to pull out comes through.
Yellowjacket's face falls, but after taking a few more snapshots from this angle, he repeats the maneuver in reverse, rolling softly as he hits the ground back where he started. Quickly, he begins to make his way back out.
<Operation-SW2> Sonicboom says, "Path back to me looks clear guys. Nobody out here seems any the wiser that we're skulking about."
Arachnae looks over, rustles wings and gives Airwolf a lopsided smirk. "Oh, certain afts are in gear. Got permission to transfer Scavenger up to help me with a past request."
<Operation-SW2> Spinout says the most she's said this whole trip. "That is for the best. It is good to get moving before they become wise to us..."
Frostbite recoils slightly as the bright light threatens to blind him, but he shakes his head and blinks a bit. He hears the incoming gumbies and huffs ever-so-softly, turning and moving with Yellowjacket. It is time to leave, for the 'distractions sake if nobody else's.
Airwolf nods. "You certainly can't do it all yourself," she observes. "At least it's based on research, something that should meet with your approval." Recalling their earlier conversation, she asks, "Do you still want to try to take the submarine out tomorrow, assuming there are no Autobots in the area?"
Arachnae nods, "There are aspects of it that I need someone with Scavengers skills at excavation with." She shrugs and smiles. "Yes, I think we should try for a sub-run if the weather and a pilot are cooperative."
A mini-bot sized, charcoal covered Decepticon tech tik-tik-tiks his feet on the main catwalk. "Oh YIPPEE!" he says, raising tiny balled up fists to the air on either side of his tungsten-frizzed helmet as he surveys the surging core. "This time, throw me across to the other side!" Two burly construction ground-pounders waddle up behind him, ready for some unauthorized Decepticon sport.
<Operation-SW2> Blaster whispers, "Let's get back to the Hovercraft, guys. The farther we get from the Tanker, the darker it will be so once we're out of the ramp we can pick up the pace a little."
Yellowjacket is hardly visible as he sprints down the ramp and back towards the docks. His right arm trails behind him in brief glimpses, and he seems to be holding a knife in his left hand, pointed out away from his chest. Just in case. When he nears the torches again he jumps forward, spinning to face his back towards the ground just before he lands. The momentum, combined with the wheels on his shoulders and heels, sends his whipping silently past the danger zone.
<Decepticon> Unidentified Decepticon tech says, "Um...any personnel onboard the tanker project, report to the main catwalk for some fun! I mean, for an important operation. It's time for another...core test."
Sonicboom smiles as the others come back into view with nobody chasing after them. Falling back in with the troop he keeps low as they head for their transportation.
<Decepticon> Sparky cheers, "EE hee hee eeeeeee! I promise my pump won't stop this time!"
<Decepticon> Redshift says, "We're a bit busy with a Dinobot on our hands."
Spinout doesn't respond over the radio, but instead starts to fall back quietly, her wings again fanning to the sides as she works to get out carefully, her optics still dim. She moves as quickly as she can without being too loud, heading straight for the hovercraft.
"My own work awaits me as well," Airwolf comments. "I have well-trained lieutenants, but they only know the routine matters." She listens to the broadband and shakes her head in disgust. Fun, eh? That's not her idea of fun.
<Decepticon> Blitzwing says, "Yeah, when we get this Dinobot out of here then we can."
Frostbite bolts as fast as his four legs can move towards the hovercraft, still mindful of cover and darkness but now just eager to get /away/.
Arachnae gives a shake of her head, "I've always disliked having to be in charge." She makes air quotes. "Better for my mental health if I just move from project to project."
You stop following Frostbite.
You enter the Autobot Hovercraft <Defender II>.
Autobot Hovercraft <Defender II>
Sonicboom has arrived.
Sonicboom quickly enters the room.
Blaster transforms into robot mode.
Yellowjacket has arrived.
Frostbite has arrived.
Spinout has arrived.
Blaster whispers, "Great job guys...now let's go get the others while they're still in one piece!"
Outside, Autobot Hovercraft <Defender II> eases slowly back from the docks and out into the water, mostly letting the current take it out rather than using engines. Finally, once it's reasonably far out to sea, the systems activate with a low hiss and the hovercraft slides out nearly silently into the deeper waters.
Outside, You pass through the teeth and into the ocean.
Outside, South Pacific - Indonesia/Australian Coast
<Decepticon> Cyclonus says, "Sensors show incoming Autobot Hovercraft from the Pacific Ocean. Possibly reinforcements for the Dinobot and his ally. Whatever the case, do not let them approach too close to NCC!"
Outside, Autobot Hovercraft <Defender II>, moving at super-sonic speeds that fling a huge wall of water up in it's wake, skirts the region in a massive, miles-wide semi-circle centered on the Derelict Freighter. Then the Defender II turns to approach from the EAST, as if it came in from the wide-open Pacific Ocean, and not from the direction of NCC.
<Decepticon> Mesa says, "Sir. With all due respect, we are fighting a Dinobot."
<Decepticon> Scrapper says, "On it, Commander Cyclonus."
<Operation-SW2> Blaster says, "Snarl, Sideswipe...your ride's on the way. We'll roll down the windows for you, get ready to jump in!"
<Decepticon> Mother Goose Fusillade says, "Cyclonus, where in the heck have you been? I've been holding this sword sharpener of yours for ages now. Are you in the Command Center right now?"
Outside, Outburst has arrived. Outside, Outburst has left. Outside, Outburst heads towards the shores of Island of New Crystal City <NCC>.
<Decepticon> Cyclonus ahems, "Negative Fusillade. I, er.../was/ in the command center...but now I'm going out, to take observe the situation personally."
<Operation-SW2> Snarl says, "Him Mesa threatening a pie!"
Outside, Outburst soars down into view from the skies above.
Outside, Outburst has arrived.
<Operation-SW2> Yellowjacket says, "It's not a real pie, just ignore it."
Outside, Blitzwing has arrived.
Outside, Snarl has arrived.
Outside, Scrapper has arrived.
Snarl has arrived.
<Operation-SW2> Blaster says, "Snarl...I know you like pie and all, but we need to leave, like...right now! And, uh...uh...we need someone to drive the hovercraft. Snarl, I think you're the only one who can pilot this thing! Haven't you ever wanted to pilot a hovercraft, Snarl? Sludge told me it was really, really fun."
Outside, Mesa has arrived.
Snarl rips open the bay door, and then shuts it. "Me Snarl here, shut up!" He bellows and then points, "Me Snarl say lets go!" He says, pointing ahead. "Me Snarl fly ting later, dere pie to be eaten now!"
<Decepticon> Mesa says, "Unit Mesa back at NCC. Awaiting further orders."
Outside, Autobot Hovercraft <Defender II> begins moving away from the Freighter, quickly accelerating to super-sonic speeds, throwing huge walls of water up in it's wake. It turns to head out towards the open ocean waters to the east.
Outside, Autobot Hovercraft <Defender II> retreats from the area swiftly, outdistancing all pursuit and parting shots.
Outside, <OOC> Autobot Hovercraft <Defender II> bwahahas!
Outside, You cruise the vast distance east to the Southwest Pacific.
Blaster finally brings the hovercraft to a halt, then has to peel himself out of the pilot seat, which still holds the faint impression of his back and aft after pouring on so much speed. "Whew!" He looks around briefly. "Nice work, everybody. We pulled that off without a hitch!"
Frostbite had curled up in a corner for the trip back, but lifts his head and purrs at Blaster's praise. "Hopefully, this will be enough information," he states as he rises and shakes his form, stretching a bit before walking to his Keeper.
"A shame we didn't sabotage that vessel," Yellowjacket replies, unplugging a data transfer cable from a console in the ship. It snakes back into his helmet and he smiles. "But maybe next time."
Spinout flips her door wings back gracefully, tipping her head forward with a slight nod, processing over what they saw. "Sabotaging it only would have drawn attention to us, and who knows if we would have been able to get out then."
<Decepticon> Redshift says, "So... What were the Autojunks doing here, anyway?"
<Decepticon> Homunculus says, "Courting their inevitable destruction, no doubt."
Yellowjacket passes his gaze to Spinout, then sighs. "The art of the time bomb has clearly been lost," he mutters, straightening from his chair and giving a bit of a stretch. He pages through a few of the photos on the console, then nods. "We got some good intel, at least."
<Decepticon> Blitzwing says, "I'm not real sure. We fought off Sideswipe and Snarl handily thanks to Thunderwing's mad science but I don't know why they were here."
Blaster nods slowly. "But you know, I think a big part of why things went so well is that we were able to stick to our original plan. Get in, get the intel, and get out. Sometimes a plan falls apart right away, but as long as things are going as expected, why throw a turbo-wrench in there knowingly? If we tried to improvise at the last second and cause some damage, who knows. At least this way, we know more than we did going in...we can take our time and next time we'll have maximum impact." He slams one fist down onto the open palm of his other hand."
Sideswipe has been in the back this whole time, really, but is strapped in and too messed up and low on Energon to move around very much. His left arm bears what are easily indentifiable teeth marks.
<Decepticon> Warmonger says, "Dinobots. They are mentally deficient."
<Decepticon> Outburst says, "Mmm. Yes. Primitive beasts are beneath the realms of reason and logic."
<Decepticon> Homunculus says, "Which pretty much describes the Autobots in full."
<Decepticon> Blast Off says, "At the very least."
<Decepticon> Blaster says, "Harsh! You guys are NOT getting invited to our Superbowl party!"
<Decepticon> Arachnae says, "And I was *so* looking forward to it."
<Decepticon> Homunculus says, "I don't think we need an invitation."
<Decepticon> Pitchfork says, "Blaster's latest mixtape 'That's When I Reach for My Photon Pistol' is possibly the worst of the Autobot's war crimes."
<Autobot> Broadside fiddles around with something. "Why Depthcharge, did you give me this big Rubix cube?! Pass the time, more like annoy the crap out of me..."
<Decepticon> Homunculus says, "The latest at the very least."
<Decepticon> Blaster says, "Hey...that one was during my 'experimental' stage! Every artist's gotta try new things."
<Operation-SW2> Yellowjacket says, "Is the Broadband channel encrypted, Blaster?"
<Decepticon> Chimera says, "If you can call what you do 'Art'."
<Decepticon> Blitzwing says, "If the party's any good we'll show up either way."
<Decepticon> Homunculus says, "Still, it follows the pattern. All of Blaster's tapes are garbage, mix or minion."
<Operation-SW2> Blaster says, "Don't think so. We can encrypt it temporarily, but sooner or later the 'Cons catch on and break the encryption." He sounds a little sheepish. "That's why we always use new frequencies like this one for any sensitive operations."
<Operation-SW2> Yellowjacket says, "Of course. Just curious!"
<Operation-SW2> Snarl says, "So what we learn?"
Outside, DepthCharge has left.
<Operation-SW2> Blaster says, "Nothing good. From what I can tell, the 'Cons are turning that tanker into some kind of ginormous flying aircraft carrier."
<Operation-SW2> Yellowjacket says, "Looks like some kind of mobile base of operations. Very dangerous."
<Operation-SW2> Yellowjacket says, "Heavily armed as well."
<Operation-SW2> Blaster says, "Yeah. And on top of that it's gonna have emergency medical facilities, high-power computing equipment, and who knows what else."
<Operation-SW2> Blaster says, "I think this goes way beyond the Intel branch...we're gonna have to send all this info up to Rodimus and Magnus and see how they want to handle this."
<Operation-SW2> Snarl says, "We go smash den!"
<Operation-SW2> Blaster says absently, "Yeah Snarl, we'll go smash it then."
<Operation-SW2> Yellowjacket says, "You'll get your chance at it, Snarl. You can be sure of that."