Summary: Guiltor continues his reign of terror with his next victim - Arachnae. Can Onslaught, Compile and Dredclaw fend the fiend off in time?
A land of rugged, snow-capped peaks, dry desert valleys, and huge, sparsely populated expanses, Nevada, the Silver State, still has the aura of the Old West. Blessed with widespread mineral resources, it is the nation's leading producer of gold, silver, and mercury, but its main claim to fame comes from, of course, gambling. That, entertainment, and skiing make it a popular destination for tourists not only from the bordering states but from around the world. Las Vegas, Reno, and Lake Tahoe are the best known tourist traps. Less well known features are the large, discreet military facilities and testing grounds in the least-populated areas of the state.
<Decepticon> Skyflare says, "This is Skyraider Squad Echo-18. We have detained Guiltor in Nevada. Guy put up a hell of a fight, but he's down and captured! And who said the skyraider class was outdated!"
<Decepticon> Arachnae says, "Assistence requested in Nevada. Guiltor sighting. Onslaught has engaged."
Nevada. And in the middle of a dry desert clearing stands several figures. As fire smolders about them all, from a recent battle, three seeker-class Decepticons stand in a circle, weapons all trained on the mech in the centre - Guiltor. Guiltor has his hands behind his head in a gesture of surrender, his weapons lying by his feet. One of the seekers, Skyflare is laughing to his comrades as they wait for backup
On the hunt for a particular type of weapons propellant, the hunter medic known as Arachnae is close enough to respond to the skyraider squads call of accomplishment. Winging down from above, the peculiar hybrid ship begins it's landing procedures.
Onslaught is, as usual, taking the ground route toward the coordinates Skyflare transmitted across the Decepticon network. Onslaught just happened to be near enough as he was surveying the local mountain range for the possiblity of establishing a secret supply and raiding base. In any event he reaches the spot several minutes after Nae and transforming into his robot mode and levelling his weapon at Guiltor. Onslaught turns to look at Blutchback with an irritated modulation in his vocal system. "I suggest you show some professionalism, soldier, and focus on your duties!
"Hello Onslaught. Hello Arachnae" grates Guiltor's voice, as the rabble of seekers quietens down. He turns his head slightly to address them both in a booming, rich voice slightly reminiscient of Optimus Prime's, albeit with a metallic, harsh tinge. "I must say, it was a surprise to see you both here. A pleasant surprise, nonetheless."
Arachnae unfolds, landing lightly on her feet, hands moving to pull a datapad out. She looks over at Onslaught, inclines her head and remains quiet as she draws closer, prepping a scan.
Onslaught does not respond to Guiltor's greeting, still keeping his weapon trained on Guiltor, as he gestures to the three gumby seekers to spread out farther so that they all have clear lines of fire. Only then does he address Guiltor in a firm clear tone. "We outnumber you both in arms and minds: I suggest you not do anything rash."
"In arms, perhaps" Guiltor mutters, his optics darkening. "Still, easily rectified." With that, the moment Skyflare starts to obey Onslaught's order and step back, the large Quintession warrior lunges forward, tearing off the seeker's gun-arm and spinning him around to use as a living shield, as he guns down Blutchback and the other seeker with the gun. All this happens in practically an instant, Guiltor not seeming to care about any shots that are fired at him. "But in mindpower, you can never outnumber me!"
Arachnae thumbs the scanner on and aims it with single minded interest. A flick of her wings at the sudden descent into brutality ends with a surged shot aimed outwards from tips, not at Guiltor but at the poor trooper being used as a foil. "Pathetic." she states flatly. "We all know that we are but in the end to die as the empire needs it. It was their time. Now, it will be yours."
Onslaught reacts suddenly as the shooting begins, transforming into his second vehicle mode, as he reverses back just enough to train his barrels on Guiltor. Nae's shot at the ensnared Gumby and Onslaught's own barrage come at nearly the same moment.
You evade Onslaught's Missile attack.
Skyflare gives a squeal as Arachnae's shot puts him out of his misery, Guiltor showing no emotion as he steps forwards, crushing Blutchback's head underfoot, as he tears off Skyflare's own head, throwing it at Onslaught as the latter launches a missile. The head impacts with the missile in the air, and Guiltor powers up his own cannon. "That was poor, even for you. I was expecting so much better." His voice booms across the landscape as the lights on his cannon power up, a shot lancing at Onslaught, aiming at his primary movement controls. "Still, it will make my job a lot easier"
As he watches his bolt blast towards Onslaught, he addresses Arachnae. "Words, they are but words. You showed compassion there, Arachnae. Surprising, for one such as you."
Onslaught evades your Fire Blast attack.
Arachnae keeps her scanner running while skip-stepping backwards and out at an angle to keep Guiltor nominally in a crossfire position ebtween herself and Onslaught. Wings half fan out, electric dyanamos powering her weapons systems up to the cascading lightning setting. "This one simply follows protocols. There is no utilizing a member of the empire as a hostage. Expediency translates to removing the percieved obstacle to finish the hunt." Tone still school-marm flat.
Onslaught drives forward as Guiltor fires a shot at him, his relatively low profile and sudden acceleration resulting in the shot passing directly over him, as he makes his way toward Guiltor. Onslaught transforms midway, still running forward, as he turns his right shoulder towars Guiltor just as he reaches the other in an attempt to knock him off his feet. "Do not determine the whole play by the introduction."
Onslaught strikes you with Smash for 6 points of damage.
Guiltor laughs, a booming terrible thing as Onslaught strikes him, his chest buckling, but not giving. "Listen to yourself Arachnae. The /hunt/? You are not a sweep. You are not even a medic. You cover yourself with protocol and procedure in order to disguise that you truly are nothing." His head swivels to her, optics burning bright red. "You are a nothing, searching for a purpose that you will never find." He turns back to Onslaught, an energy sword lancing out of his right arm, slashing it towards the Combaticon commander. "At least YOU show some initiative."
You strike Onslaught with energy_sword.
Arachnae blinks, wings twitch and she lifts the edge of her lip in a mock-snarl. "This one is aware of her status as nothing. In fact, that was made perfectly evident by Lord Galvatron earlier this cycle. Don't think that by pulling that tidbit out of the ether will net you a factual response." The scanner remains steady, recording. "Besides, this one is a rather old nothing. Have to be something to last this long."
Onslaught is slashed by the tip of Guiltor's sword, the blade scratching across the left side of Onslaught's chest and across his uppoer arm, before he steps quickly back to avoid a further slash with the sword. He looks up to gaze at Guiltor before he attempts to deliver a kick to Guiltor's right knee cap to knock the other off balance.
Onslaught strikes you with Kick for 3 points of damage.
Guiltor's knee dents slightly, but the impassive mechanoid does not seem bothered by this, simply standing solidly still, and then delivering a hard backhand to Onslaughts face, marching towards Arachnae whether this impacts him or not. "Your guarddog cannot save you, you realise this. You say you are nothing and you fear no death or dishonour."
He raises his energy blade to his face, the sickly light running over his blank features. "But if that is the case, why persevere with such... fascinating upgrades?"
You strike Onslaught with Penitent Strike.
Arachnae blinks, the emerald of her optics getting a glint of gold. Still, scanner remains pointed. "He isn't this ones guardian." Smirk as she raises her empty hand to submit her own pulse of enery towards Guiltor. "Research. What has been made, can be made better, you see." *zot*
You evade Arachnae's Electrostatic bolt attack.
Onslaught is indeed sent stumbling back slightly as the blow connects with his face but he manages to recover himself quickly as Guiltor starts to move forward. He stands upright, two panels sliding open on his chest section, to reveal two computerized audio syntheziers there just before a wavelength begins to appear on each of them. A piercing sound fills the air but, mysteriously, the sound only is heard forward of Onslaught and toward Guiltor. "What I protect is greater then you could concieve."
You evade Onslaught's Sonics attack.
A bright speck in the sky resolves itself into the form of a Sweepcraft. Vectoring down, he heads swiftly for the form of Arachnae.
Guiltor fixes Onslaught with his gaze. "I can concieve a lot of things, Onslaught. My processors are more advanced than your scientists could ever imagine. I have already fought this battle a million times in my head, I know of every possible move you could make, every gambit to counter. Whether I win or lose is entirely down to me." One fist crackling with power, he sends a lightning bolt Onslaught's way.
He starts marching towards Arachnae again as Onslaught's own gambit fails, hand outstretched. "Look at me Arachnae. You spend your life disatisfied with what you are. *I* am the pinnacle of the Cybertronian race, I am what you can never be, the perfect warrior, immortal and undefeatable. Whilst you scrabble around in the dirt, on your knees in front of an empire that /despises/ you." As Guiltor walks, his other arm twinkles, and a hologram of Soundwave appears near Arachnae
You strike Onslaught with electricity.
What's Soundwave suddenly doing here? Wasn't he still in medbay last time anyone checked? Oddly, he's just standing there, not helping the Decepticons. But he is staring straight at Arachnae...
Arachnae sidesteps and stares at Soundwave, blinking. "Now you shouldn't be back in combat for some time.." Blink-blink, wings flicking behind her, scanner dipping slightly. She shakes her head and flips the device into her other hand, keeping it aimed at Guiltor, but focusing on Soundwave, "Orders, sir?"
The lighting envelops Onslaught, wrapping around him as if it was something living, and results in shorting out his balance systems so that he sinks forward toward the ground. He just manages to get his systems back online before falling onot his face, placing his hands in front of him, before raising himself slowly to his feet as his systems come back online. Onslaught sees Soundwave, but his blood(so to speak) is up now and he summons up his gauss cannon before leveling the barrel directly at Guiltor's face and pulling the trigger for a near point black shot.
Onslaught strikes you with Gauss for 13 points of damage.
Dredclaw slams into the ground, boots sending bits of rock and debris as he lands hard beside Arachnae. "I just passed Soundwave in NCC before I deployed..." he frowns at the Tape commander, training his e-senses at him.
Compile is here as well, and for a small tape, it is easy for him to arrive with help, since he only has a speed of 33. He flies and arrives with Dredclaw, who was hopefully allowing him to ride along, and he does take up very little space as a Cassette Tape. As Dredclaw transforms, he hopes out, transforming as well and landing on the ground next to Nae, Dredclaw and Soundwave.
Blinking, he looks at Dredclaw as he speaks and he looks at Soundwave, and begins his own scans as he, Compile, is still here on Earth and Soundwave is at NCC. Blinkign as he scans he looks at Guiltor, "Can I plant a bomb on him?" he asks as he pulls his weapon and powers up. "Caus eI have a few things to settle with him."
Soundwave 's optic band seems to glow with an ominous light. "YOU HAVE DISAPPOINTED ME, ARACHNAE," he emits in a voice that seems too loud, and echoes every direction. For a split second, something about Arachnae seems to change--was that a brief glimpse of her body before its modification?
All scans and examinations will show zero life-signs on the Soundwave figure. Has to be a holo-gram, right?
Guiltor seems to be almost sparring with Onslaught, as he carries on talking to Arachnae, as if the fight itself is an idle distraction. The gauss blast is a little more than a distraction though, as his face blackens from the impact, the warrior staggering backwards, and leaping at Onslaught with his full bodyweight. "Nnn. Delaying the inevitable is another of your flaws. All of you." His head jerks to Arachnae again, optics turning jet black as he stares at Soundwave. "Blind respect and obediance, Arachnae. Crawling on your belly across broken glass to one such as /he/, with all the horrors that he has wrought upon you. Do you /remember/ that? Has your mind shut it out? Do you love the pain and torment and on some level want it? Tell me!"
You strike Onslaught with ram.
Onslaught is knocked backward, skidding across the ground on his back, before he slowly raises his upper boyd off the ground and looking over at Guiltor. His voice sounds quite apart from the usual polish and almost seems to be brutal in it's tone. "You wish for an end to this affair? Then I shall give you one." Slowly, as a result of the battering he's sustained, transforms into his third mode and levels his barrels toward Guiltor before firing a blast directly at the other's chest.
Dredclaw's frown turns to a scowl as he nods at Compile, "Yes I saw him just before I entered the spaceport." he is impressed that the little tape was so swift in catching a ride, and did not mind it at all. He moves closer to Arachnae, reaching out a taloned hand to her. "That is not real. Nae. But I am.. I'm back. Sunder and Revenant found me... they brought me home."
Arachnae hnnngs, narrowing her optics as her expression slides to a rictus-snarl just before her mask slides into place to cover such expressions. "You're not real." Pointing a wingtip at the Non-wave. "And you.." Other wingtip aimed at Guiltor, "Arn't going to be *told* anything. This one does not answer to you." Tone like a hissing kettle. A hop-step backwards, whiff-hissing air through intakes rapidly.
Onslaught's missile impacts upon Guiltor, leaving various scorchmarks and trails of smoke hissing from his armour, but still he walks forwards to Arachnae. "It matters little, I know... everything, Arachnae. I know everything about you, every little secret, every little upgrade, every little thing that your precious commanders and comrades don't."
His featureless expression leers towards her as he approaches, parts of him still aflame from Onslaught's attack. "He is real, Arachnae. He is real in your mind, and he is forever within you with his crimes. Do you /remember/, Arachnae?"
Soundwave points at Arachnae as well, and his optic band glows as he stomps towards her. Is it you, or is it somehow getting darker in here? Outside? In broad daylight? In Nevada, of all places? "FOR YOUR IMPUDENCE... YOU WILL SUFFER!" Soundwave abruptly vanishes for a moment. Then there's a loud shriek, that sounds reminiscent of Soundwave's mini-missiles... but from where? The sound seems to keep moving around, but you can't actually see them...
Onslaught reverses backward to stop beside Arachnae, transforming into his now much dented robot mode, before turning to look over at Nae as he speaks with urgency. "We must clear out: I shall order Vortex to provide us with a distraction. There is no virtue in further conflict at this time...are you registering my words?"
Compile looks at Onslaught, "I hear ya, don't like it. But I can fix ya up, I am a medic." and he looks, "Plus I want to slag that guy for hurting Soundwave. If you know what I mean."
Arachnae hisses, shaking her head, scanner point dipping down. She sidesteps, backing away from the ebil Not-wave, optics flickering green, gold and crimson. "You are *not* real." Voice hissing, but a thread of unsteadyness worming its way through it. "And you.. Guiltor, are a fraud. Thieving files. Any di'kut with the Idiots guide to psycology, records files and a holo generator could make this slag up." Her wings flex in and out, her standard nervous display even if her words seem strong.
Onslaught nods to Compile, placing himself in front of Nae, as he looks toward the no doubt sitll advancing Guitor. "I need to remain active for as long as possible. Do whatever is required."
Dredclaw's wings flare out and he steps up, trying to shield Arachnae from Guiltor. Consequently he is also sheilding Onsy and Compile. "Patch him up quick. I'll take this fraud for a bit while you do."
"No-one leaves this place until /I/ say!" Guiltor booms, raising a fist to the air, as a crackle of energy lances out to everyone in the immediate vincinity, arcing across the ground and crackling, aiming for the various mech's motor relays. "I, Arachnae, I am the fraud? I have never shyed away from my true purpose, the antithesis of your war. My life energies were forged in your mistakes and hatred, and so I am more powerful than you could ever comprehend! Soundwave TORTURED you, didn't he? Your own commander, filled with utter contempt and hatred of you. You are not a worthy 'tool' of any empire, you are a waste, a useless relic!"
Guiltor unleashes his area_ranged attack on Arachnae, Onslaught, Dredclaw and Compile, striking Onslaught, Compile and Arachnae.
Compile nods as he heads over to Onsy and begins to jury-rig him. As he moves, he is hit by the attack and he takes it as he starts to work on Onsy.
Compile jury-rigs Onslaught, taking a few moments to patch up some damage.
Onslaught stands his ground as the strike from Guiltor's area attack strikes him, doing mild damage, and also as Compile rapidly jury rigs some repairs to him restoring some functionality to his systems. However he doesn't take advantage of his as he remains in front of Nae while scanning the skies for Vortex.
Like something out of a Japanese horror movie, Guiltor's holographic trickery makes it seem that reality itself is breaking down. The missile noise screams and whirls around Arachnae. Then, suddenly, Arachnae seems to staring up at the ceiling as Soundwave looms over, holding some sort of an electric shock device in his hands. It crackles ominously as it nears Arachnae's optic, and then--Arachnae is back in ordinary Nevada. But the missile noise is still there. It sounds closer, and closer, turning into a high-pitched shriek--then, at the end, the shriek becomes Arachnae's own scream!
Dredclaw leaps upwards, letting the electricity pass harmlessly beneath him.
Arachnae staggers backwards and slides to a knee, shaking from the electrical shock. Her optics shutter closed a moment, cycling air rapidly through systems. "It was his RIGHT as a commander to do so!" Hissing, "Such is how the empire functions. So it has been, so it will always be." Hnnnnnnng, wings shaking outwards as she scrambles to her feet, frame crawling with the overflow from her electrical systems. Sith lightning anyone? "I am a tool for the empire to wield as it chooses" Return fire, chain lightning. "But I am NOT a relic!" Shrieked as she leaps upwards to get a fireing angle on Guiltor. The leap is short-lived, the homogram surrounding her momentarily triggering a flash back to a medical bay some years ago, the sound of missiles, someones laugh and she hits the ground, dropping to a knee, snarling, "He never even asked me any QUESTIONS!!!"
"NO!" Guiltor roars as he stands his ground, optics almost cutting into Arachnae. "But then again, why would anyone want to ask questions to one such as you. You have nothing useful to give at all, do you Arachnae? Your entire pathetic existance has been based around torture and pain, the only thing keeping you going is your self-hatred. You worship at the feet of those who despise you."
With a quick glance upwards he raises his left hand, the weapon ports around it roaring with life as it spews out molten death in the direction of Dredclaw. "You mutilate yourself to become something you are not, to join your precious 'hunt'. You are an abomination in the eyes of your peers and commanders alike. And if they knew /more/, then how far do you think their hatred would go?"
Dredclaw evades your Fire Blast attack.
Dredclaw turns mid air, watching the torture that he knew happened, but never exactly what. He's always been protective of Arachnae, hells he was dead set on terminating Soundwave for what he did to her... to drag it back out now, after all this time. He turns and flies at Guiltor. "The Hunt is why I am here, and you are the Prey of choice. The Void is calling for you. And I am here to see you heed its call!" The huntsman is fast... fast enough to twist mid-air and avoid being slagged by the fire blast. "You like it hot?" his own plasma bursters slide out of his gauntlets and lock into place. "Bring it!" he snarls, unleashing Hell.
Dredclaw strikes you with plasma bursters for 14 points of damage.
Onslaught runs at Guiltor as Dredclaw's attack connects with him, closing the distance between them, before he tries to connect one fist with Guiltor's face and the other with the other's side.
You evade Onslaught's Blow attack.
Another odd hologram--Soundwave has his hand under Arachnae's head, tilting his own head as he peers at it... then he dumps the head, which had been disembodied all along, into a pile of Arachnae parts. Then the vision is gone.
Compile looks at Guiltor and he thinks for a moment as he takes a look at Guiltor and standing in his current location, takes aim and fires on Guiltor with his Gamma Optic Lasers.
Compile strikes you with Tape Gamma Laser for 1 points of damage.
Arachnae swipes a talon-bejeweled hand at the holo images surrounding her like corbies on a corpse. "This one..." hissed start of words that slides into a growl, optics darkening, blackening, "is not an abomination. This one is *evolution*...." But the others can see this too, a thought of hers surfaces through the reaction haze. Her thoughts starting to whirl into a jumble, the spike of panic begining, fear, trepidation, loathing in so many subtle guises swells upwards in a fecund bloom of bastardized ideology. "This.. I live..." biting the words like a lifeline in a storm, by rote learned, "To serve the empire as needed.."
Guiltor almost relishes Dredclaw's attack, standing still as the smoke billows off his crackling chest, the armour bubbling and boiling from the heat of the impact. "Useless!" he emits, his voice thundering across the landscape. "Your presence here is almost irrelevant, Dredclaw. And yet..." he looks up at the sweep, a dark tinge spreading across his optics. "And yet this is your world, isn't it. The world where you are the hero, where your very existance is based on a convenient rescue. I wonder. Are you a man dreaming he is a butterfly, or a butterfly dreaming that he is a man?" As Onslaught rushes him, he makes a grab for the Combaticon commander, fully intending on hurling him in the direction of Dredclaw.
"Oh you FOOL!" he bellows at Arachnae. "The Empire does not NEED you. What hubris. You are a joke, a failed experiment, trying to desperately claw its way up the evolutionary ladder, and yet slipping again and again. No-one NEEDS you, at best they tolerate your presense. You know this. I know this. I am Guiltor, and I know... EVERYTHING!"
Guiltor succeeds in grasping Onslaught, throwing him off-balance.
Another hallucinatory glimpse into the past, and all of Arachnae's old parts are being dumped from a crate into a recycling bin. The pieces look charred, pitted as if hit by missiles... and then the hologram is gone. But the missiles are back. And this time, the sound seems to be coming straight at Arachnae.
Arachnae gets to her feet, giving the hologram a black optic'd stare. Mercifully, her mask is up so there is no expression to go with it. "You're.. a... fraud..." Air cycling so fast through intakes it's a wonder she hasn't triggered an electrical storm. "Fraud.. Fraud.. Fraud.. Fraud..." Shaking like a leaf in a storm, "If I wasn't needed, I would've been smelted long, long ago. Even.. the empire needs a fool and an object lesson." Not so sure about that, comes the inflection and her tone. The grip on the here and now is eroding.
There are situations where no strategy will help and, as Onslaught is lifted into the air by Guiltor, this seems to be one of them. He struggles, of course, but Guiltor holds him fast in his grip before the other turns and hurls him toward Dredclaw.
Onslaught misses Dredclaw with his grasp attack.
"Yes, a fool!" Guiltor snarls, his voice crackling with malace, but overlaid with the air of wisdom that characterised Optimus Prime. "The joke of the universe is on you, Arachnae, and you constantly hide under rules and regulations to deflect the truth. It is YOU who is the fraud, YOU who hides her face from the world whenever you have a glimmer of self-realisation, and YOU who have brought this upon yourself." He straightens to his full height, towering over the mech. "I am Guiltor, I am what you have done. What HAVE you done, Arachnae?"
Dredclaw's optics widen slightly as Guiltor nails him with the one thing he can't dodge, that nagging little bit of doubt... "No, Sunder and Revenant pulled me out of that black hole... I.." he snarls. "I am BACK!" He starts to dive again, but suddenly Onslaught is sailing up towards him. Wings snap open and he pulls up short, missing being crushed by the Combaticon. Reacting as quickly as possible he turns and tries to catch Onslaught to prevent further damage to him. They need the heavy hitter to stay in the game.
Dredclaw succeeds in grasping Onslaught, throwing him off-balance.
Dredclaw looks down at Onslaught, "Back at him?" he asks, fangs glinting with the evil smile...
Onslaught looks up at Dredclaw as he is seized by the other just before they both get smacked down. He points over at the continually yammering Guiltor. "Quickly, throw me back toward him! I will not rest until either he falls or I do."
Dredclaw nods and heaves the Combaticon straight back towards Guiltor. "Fore" he deadpans.
Onslaught flies toward Guiltor with his fists outstretched. Super Onslaught! Whether or not he actually strikes or simply flies by until swallowed by the horizon is uncertain.
You evade Onslaught's Punch attack.
An inside view of the recycling bays abruptly appears, where Arachnae's parts are carried along by a conveyor belt until they are dumped into a vat of molten metal, gone forever.
Compile looks as he hears this, "Fore? Three and a half?" and he opens up as rockets are released towards Guiltor, "Hey you Autotrupt," he syas. "Why not pick on me, you enjoyed cannoning SOudnwave, now you get to mess with me." and he takes to the air as he attacks Guiltor sine the fastball special missed.
You evade Compile's Mini Tape Rockets (HE) attack.
Arachnae says in an almost plaintive tone, "I don't want to be here anymore." Near whisper'd tone, wings shifting behind her nervously. "And I don't want to listen to you anymore either. Fraud." The last word an afterthought. "What have I done?" Twinge of anger threading its acidic way through her memory sotted mind, picking up momentum, gaining purpose, "What have *I* done?" Quizzical tone that rises into laughter like shattering glass.. "What *have* I done?" Wings sweeping outwards like a cloak caught in a tempest, rage manefesting itself through trails beaten into memory engrams, learned with a core of resiliance not usually manifested, "I have done plenty! The pinnacle of perfection in design and fancy form." Reaching into a wing, drawing a sword, "What was thought impossible perfected to ideal." Blade flicked, the mass shifting to a pure energy form. "Recreating what was not into is, life from decay, desire into reality, dream into ideal! Becoming the hunter and not the hunted. Oh, I understand." Anger faltering at the holo imagry before surging into triumph, "Even in death my matter would be reused for the glory that is the Empire." Cackling laugh, unhinged one might say, "Then there would be little bits of me in lots of you. I would be EVERYWHERE." Giggle.
Guiltor steps aside as Onslaught careers down at him, missing Compile's attack too, lancing a fist out to punch Onslaught as he falls, head tilting up to Dredclaw. "You are dying Dredclaw, deep down, you realise that, don't you? Trapped in the void, your lifeforce ebbing. You create me, the embodiment of your fears and weaknesses, your failings. And yet you can still not defeat it, you are victim once more to your hubris."
"What you have /done/ Arachnae, is NOTHING. You have SQUANDERED any meagre potential you ever had, catering you your base whims and desires. You know this, deep down, and you are constantly running from it." A glint flashes across his optics. "Would it interest you to know that we share many of the same schematics? Perhaps a /dissection/ of yourself would prove the key to defeating me. Would THAT be a worthy end to your life, to submit yourself once more to the caress of Soundwave? To prove more useful in death than you ever did in life?
You strike Onslaught with Shining Fist.
Onslaught is hit in the side of the head as Guiltor, literally knocking the Combaticon leader sideways, before he strikes the dirt and rolls several feet before coming to rest on his back. It seems Onslaught is, for the moment, down for the count.
Arachnae giggles again, not an all together sort of sound, "Maybe by dissecting you I'd learn more about me. What do you say, up for a little experiment?" The shiny energy sword waves a bit, "Come on then. Fraud." Giggle, optics slit lines of black. There's an abyss. And there's aledge below the edge. Guess where she's at.
From out of nowhere, swarms of mini-missiles, the same as Soundwave uses, streak out at Arachnae, exploding at the ground all around her. It's far more missiles than Soundwave could realistically shoot with his launcher, but that may be besides the point. But since the missiles are merely holograms, they at least do not hurt.
Dredclaw slips out of the air, his optics unnaturally bright with anger. "You lie!" he snarls at Guiltor. "I've seen the truth. They pulled me from that trap. The pain I've felt is real, and it keeps me here, lets me know that I am alive, that I must fight!" his right thigh opens up and his clawed mace ejects into his hand. I've given over my position of XO, and now I'm free to Hunt." he surges forward to strike Guiltor with the mace.
You evade Dredclaw's clawed mace attack.
Guiltor glances up at Dredclaw, almost offhandedly. "It is not me you need to convince, Dredclaw. You know, deep in your core of your predicament. Alone, with only your crumbling mind to keep you hanging on to a form of sanity. And then, he fixes back at Arachnae.
"I do not need to 'experiment', Arachnae" Guiltor emits, stalking towards his prey, over the fallen form of Onslaught. "I do not need to struggle or think to destroy a failure such as you. You who have no identity, no comrades, no purpose save that drilled into your very mind. Do you not see the futility of your struggle? The Quintessons do not offer enslavement, they offer meaning. They offer the power you always yearned for, and they offer the end to the pain and misery that is your existance.
He lifts his arm cannon up, pointing directly at the femme and letting it spew forth a mass of molten plasma at Arachnae's weapon arm. "Know that today you face a foe that cannot be defeated. I am the dark reflection of everything that you are. Every move, every advantage I have is mirroed by the flaws found in /you/."
Guiltor unleashes his Arm Cannon <Low> attack on Arachnae, striking Arachnae.
Arachnae's wings snap around her in instinctive response to the optical images of missiles heading her way. Still, another giggle emits from the medic hunter. "Need new material..." The giggle goes up the scale several octaves as the plasma bleeds aceoss her flight surfaces, "AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!" Well, that was new.. Or at least different... part of her mind notes clinically. Another part growls and snarls in a corner and a third is busy counting ariande drones in a rainbow of colors. The wings creak and shamble aside, some panels burnt clear through, the attack having leaked through enough to sear her main form. There's a bit of blinking, sword still in hand, all aglow before the three mental me's nod and she leaps at where the shot came from, rasping in sand-filled tones, "Fake, fraud, trickster, false, fabricated, sham, charlatan, phony, pretender, scammer." She makes a double-handed swing, "Unsubstanciated LIES!" Yes, give into rage, it's comfy in the box.
You evade Arachnae's Phase-Blade <Energy> attack.
Compile looks as he missed with the rockets, and he blinks, "Why you," and he flies towards Guiltor, specifically the face and if he is able to get in close, his arms turn into pile-drivers and he sends them at the face of Guiltor. "Here, let me give you a knuckle sandwich," he comments as he hopefully lands on Guiltor's head and begins to pound at the optics.
THUMP THUMP THUMP THUMP THUMP ...
You evade Compile's Tape Supersonice Pile-Drivers attack.
Dredclaw shakes his head, "If this were my dream, I'd be handily thrashing you... the hero as you said." He starts as Arachnae is bathed in plasmafire. "Nooo!" he snarls and leaps upwards, his mace spinning in his hand and extending. An energy-scythe erupts from the head of the staff and he slashes down towards Guiltor's side. "Unicron take you!" he curses.
Dredclaw strikes you with E-Scythe for 8 points of damage.
Soundwave's face appears, but is set in darkness, causing his gleaming optic band to stand out all the more brightly. "PERHAPS NOW YOU MAY BE OF SOME USE, ARACHNAE... BUT I DOUBT IT."
As Compile attempts to leap on him, Guiltor smoothly turns to the side, swatting a hand at the tape as if he was a bothersome insect. However, this does leave him open to Dredclaw's attack, rending his armour. But still he stands, as if an unstoppable juggernaut.
He weathers Arachnae's insults. "Yes, Arachnae. Fake. Fraud. Trickster. False. Sham. Phony. You believe yourself to be attacking me, but I am simply your reflection. You are all these and more, and deep down, you KNOW it. But it is not my task to tell you things that you know. It is my task to tell /others/." His optics glow bright red. "You face a foe that walks though the very fires of the pit unscathed. I do not fear death, I revel in it, it is a friend to me. I am unstoppable, I will come again and again, rising from the grave to take everything you hold dear. And with ones such as you, that task is easy indeed. You have NEVER faced one such as me before."
You strike Compile with Backhand.
Arachnae slides past, blade whiffing naught but air, shaking her head at the Not-wave head following her around like a lost puppy. "Little bit of Scourge, a lot of Bloodwulf in that statement, some Dreadclaw..." Smoke rising from her in twndrils and whisps, "Useful? Yes, I may be useful... Still." Gleam.. "Fraud." Shaking all over as one can't run combat systems at full bore without consequences. At least not the ones she's got. "Two bit game show host without an original idea. Picking on a medic. Mighty autobot of you. What do you possibly think you can tell?" Rage blinding her to proximity.
Compile gets backhanded by Guiltor and he flies backwards, "Ow...." he says as he stays in the air as he looks and rushes forward towards Guiltor, his hand glowing blue as he charges a taser to give him a nice taser of an experience, "This is for what yous did to Soundwave," he comments.
Compile strikes you with Tape Taser for 1 points of damage.
Guiltor doesn't flinch as Compile presses his attack. "Your life is your own, Arachnae. Your choices define who and what you are. If you are a failure then it is through your own fault. A lowly medic who could have been so, so much more. And if this seems familiar to you, if you endure a constant cycle of abuse and torture, then you should ask yourself why. Why you, and no-one else. The truth is, Arachnae, that you invite it, from your failings and your self hatred." The mechanoid straightens, his gauntleted arm humming with power as he sends a salvo of missiles towards the femme. "And I know the truth Arachnae. There is NOTHING that I do not know. NOTHING."
You hit Arachnae. Go you!
Arachnae is blown aft over teakettle several rotations and comes down facefirst on unforgiving Nevada dirt. "Ow." emits from the smoking femme. A wing lands a handful of meters to the left, the other behind her. "Alright, I'll admit.. I did invite that.. silly.. me.." Mmm, dirt. "Fraud." Absently as if already cataloging damages. With a slow twitch, she starts to get back up, looking rather confused. Very very confused. "Who the slag are you?" Game, match, point. Reset. Primus bless interfering constructicons playing neural spaghetti as vengance for gluing to a wall. "Well? And.. Ow.." Swaying on her feet. When reality threatens to split, pick another.
Compile mutters, "And this is for Arachnae. You leave her alone as well," he states as he pulls out a weapon and activates it as an energy blade snaps out of it and he comes down, trying to stab it right into the back of Guiltor's neck in a hope to do some damage to the machine. "Comeon, you too much of a chicken to take on a tape, that oyu have to take on a Femme?"
You evade Compile's Dual Tape Beam Saber attack.
Guiltor walks slowly towards Arachnae, booted feet crunching across the flaming landscape, still burning from the battle. "Who am I, Arachnae? I am the avatar of truth. I destroy the false preconceptions that you construct around yourself. I tear down the walls of falseness and leave your true self bare for others to see. The Arachnae that would hide away, that would deal with the devil. The Arachnae that is filled with barely disguised self-loathing and uselessness."
He raises his arm cannon towards the femme's head. "And I am your destruction. I am in no hurry, one day I shall return to finish what I have started today. Now behold, the miracle of Guiltor!" With that, victory in his grasp, he rips open his chest, and an energy blade sliding from his knife, cuts into his lasercore. His facemask creases almost as if there is a sadistic smile underneath as he extinguishes his own life in full view of everyone. And then as he cuts out his own lasercore, his body greys in death, power fading, standing upright, a statue of defiance to all Cybertronians.
Arachnae blinks slowly, swaying on her feet and staring at the weapon at her head. "Uhm..." Wide optic'd panic, nice and refreshing. "Don't shoot?" Servos on her back twitch where wings were once attached, "Now.. I am.. truly.. confused." She watches Guiltor slice and dice, the dicotomy of it sending her into a nice shutdown. Topple-fall. Clunk.
Onslaught slowly raises himself to his feet, his self repair systems having got their act sufficiently together to restore partial systems to him, before he looks around and spies the now still form on Guiltor. If he had more expressive optics he would regard the now still figure with contempt.
Dredclaw glances down at his energy-scythe, "like he didn't even feel it." he mutters to himself, then runs to assist Arachnae. "Are you alright, Arachnae?" he askes, then looks at her. "Well, no I guess you're not" he scoops her up and looks at Compile. "Can you get her wings?" he nods to the torn appendages on the ground.
From Glaive II - Prototype <Nate Briar>, Nate Briar flies his Gundam--- er Mobile Suit into the area and wonders why the Decepticon Convention is going on. His scanners start look to blip indicating that he is in the right area. "Ah crud, not another Guiltor...
Compile blinks as he sees this and just looks, "Ok, who programmed this thing?" he asks as he nods and goes to get Arachnae wings. Returning with them, he looks, "Here nae, hang on and I'll put them on as best as I can." he states to her as he begins to work on her wings and jury-rig them to stay in place.
Dredclaw's wings wrap around Arachnae as he transforms around her, his cockpit opening so that Compile can ride if he wishes. "She needs medical attention." Dredclaw's voice rasps from inside the open hatch. "What we are going to do with *that* thing..." his nosecone tips towards the ashen form of Guiltor, "I haven't the first clue."
Compile looks at it, "Take it with us, so we can find out more about the thing," he states. "plus just who the slag sent him and how we can stop him," he adds. "Basically, we need to get as much info as we can, and this body might be the best way to get that info. Besides, he cut out his laser core, Soundwave will enjoy having that to dive through. As well as myself."
Arachnae mumbles absently, "Just 5 more breems. Turn the light off."
From Glaive II - Prototype <Nate Briar>, Nate Briar hovers over and looks over at Guiltor and the Decepticons starting to talk about hauling it away. He knows the odds against him and this slightly bothers him. "Decepticons... If you do rip apart the guts of this menace; see if he has a transmitter inside him. If he does, we need to home in on it." He then jerks the controls so he can get a safer distance away from the enemies.
ELSEWHERE, AT THE HIDDEN QUINTESSON WARSHIP
Delicious watches monitoring screens, tentacles writhing apprehensively. "Oooh, I don't like this. Why does he have to destroy himself all the time like that!? We're going through too many shells! We can't replace them so quickly!"
"We have enough for my purposes," Traumortis growls.
"THERE HE GOES AGAIN!" Delicious yells, as he watches a live feed of Guiltor launching himself out of the fighter bay. "Twice in one day! This is intolerable!"
If Guiltor is aware of the Quintessons' bickering, though, it is not likely he cares. "NrrrrRrrrrRRRgh...." Guiltor growls, optics twitching as his mind recovers from the mind transfer. He hopped out of the ol' Rez Bay a bit too fast, but he's got work to do, and too many Cybertronians to punish!