Summary: (June 2029) The newly recommissioned Decepticon Aerospace division celebrates by acessorizing with weapons, aided by an eccentric warlord's benevolence. Faaaaabulous!
The grassy hills and savannas in the east, bordered by ancient volcanos and sprawling lava fields, are the only part of Carbombya not made up of barren desert. Until recently, the country depended on meager livestock herding and subsistence agriculture, but upon the discovery of a huge reserve of very high-grade oil beneath the shifting desert sands, things changed radically. The struggling democracy weathered multiple coup attempts by greedy neighbors and other interested foreigners before finally succumbing to the tender mercies of a home-grown dictator. There are no refugees from war torn Ethiopia being taken in as slave labor, not here under the enlightened rule of President-for-Life Abdul Fakkaddi!
Sunder licks the last of the energon from his meal from his talons as he arrives. He's followed Dredclaw, and wonders what sort of mischief the others are up to. Perhaps an Autobot will arrive and present themselves as his prey. Or maybe they're here to steal stuff. It's all good.
And Sunder's inkling was more than correct. An aerial circus of aircraft had disembarked from the <Argosy> several hours ago. Preflight drinking was totally an option, and it's with a wide fish-tail swoop that Fusillade's bomber form waddles out of the rear of the ship. A fierce throttle of engines, and she's off to the races, soaring over Antarctica, then Africa, all the way up to Carbombya and the tender embraces of Abdul Fakkadi's extensive weapons black market. <<This is going to be so incredible, I cannot even begin to tell you,>> she effuses on local radio.
Dirge hisses softly out over the radio, "And so the Terrans themselves provide us with the means of their own destruction. I would laugh were it not so pathetic."
Experimental F-15 flies along in formation.
The Onyx and Green A-10 cruises considerably lower than perhaps many of his flying partners - he is a ground attack craft after all - his engines echoing against the ground below as he passes, occasionally startling the wildlife. << Y'know, since we're -here- 'n all, I should look for some really CREATIVE munitions that'll fit my airframe. Something that'll really stick in the craw of the bots... >> he replies to Fusi's obvious eagerness, << SO this guy is good, yeah? >> he asks for perhaps the 50th time since departing from the Airship.
"Why, how incredible will it be?" asks Blitzwing reflexively. He and Astrotrain are always generous with their straight-lines to one another and it's habit-forming.
Green Pyramid Jet would be the one in the back. Flying in slightly wobbly formation. Why she's here? Well. Fusillade did order it, and who is she to question that order... even if she might not be completely up to speed. And not saying a word-- she hasn't since she got back from wherever it was that she and Munition were last night.
MiG-25 "Foxbat" is stacked up high, since he is a high-altitude interceptor.
F-16 Falcon flies along with, though slightly seperate from the rest of the various air vehicles, Dreadwind just broadcasts openly, knowing that no matter how stealthy or swift they are they'll be intercepted and destroyed soon enough, "It's going to be terrible, we will be ambushed and destroyed long before we reach our objective."
The voice of Dirge once again breaks in over the radio. "Dreadwind, if you do not cease your pitiful complaints, I will make sure you die long before we are ambushed."
The two Sweepcraft accelerate into formation with Fusillade <<Is there anything in particular that we are looking for?>> Dredclaw broadbands, <<Or are we just looking for the best in five taloned discounts available?>>
"Nnnh.." the white F-15 Eagle transmits over the network in reply. He sounds slightly distracted, as his optical sensors are locked on the lead B1-B's pleasingly robust engines. Being an ass-man is a twentyfour/seven task -- even for a Decepticon. Then, Dreadwing speaks up. It makes Ramjet want to talk. "Amazing! There is someone even less interesting to talk to than you, Dirge!" He transmits with a rumble, waving his angled wing at his blue-colored squadmate. "If only I could be so lucky that you two would crash spectacularly into each other, negating both of your existences!"
Experimental F-15's engines whine and wail, in full five-part disharmony as it rolls around inverted just above the white F-15. Dirge rasps, harshly, "The dead are the fortunate, Ramjet.. perhaps you would care to join them."
F-16 Falcon says, "You are mistaken Dirge they are not complaints i am merely pointing out one the millions and millions of terrible things that are waiting to happen to us, not that we can possibly avoid them. Oh and Ramjet that will probably happen when they activate the guidance jammers at the site we are attacking."
"I think we're actually using money this time, s'why we're headed to Carbombya. If I'm reading this flight plan right, that is," replies Blitzwing.
Green Pyramid Jet continues flying in silence. The local argument isn't quite penetrating deep enough into her processors to irritate her just yet. No. It'd have to take on a new brand of special for the green jet to focus on something other than keeping in her place and not calling undue attention to herself.
The arid land whips past underneath the winged force of planes. As they sweep over the dunes, radios ping with the tones of active radar sweeps. Fusillade nearly stalls out, before transforming to plunk down at the entrance to the city of 4,000 people, 10,000 camels. "No raiding!" She calls upward to the inquiring Sweep in a stentorian alto meant to project over the din of battle. "They're cashing in on the instability that's been caused by France lately. THIS country wants to capitalize on that... and distract the EDC from breathing down their necks." She shrugs a bit, even as a convoy of military styled jeeps, and an exceedingly well polished Duesenberg rolls up. "At least it'll be a decent discount," she flashes a wicked grin.
Sunder transforms, staying in formation as he goes where the crowd goes. "More shopping for the empire? Excellent. Did you bring enough credits?" he says. He internally groans at the banter between Ramjet and Dirge. Hopefully the dealers won't try to gouge them for all they're worth.
Sunder's head disappears into his chest, his wings fold around him, and now he is in Sweepcraft mode, his headcannon still visible.
The A-10 rumbles past, shaking the terrain and doing a pass over the black market once before he loops slowly around, << So... what, ah... what's the plan than chief? >> Blockbuster inquires as he slows and transforms dropping with enough force to sink a meter into the sand upon impact. He approaches Fusillade and grins for a moment, "We gotta play nice then?"
"Ooh, OOH," exclaims Blitzwing suddenly, as he realizes something. He does a little barrel roll in excitement. "I wanna get a few of those Sunburn missiles, those are the state of the badass art! I hope they have some. I got a lotta ill-gotten gains burning a hole in my new French bank account."
MiG-25 "Foxbat" makes a hard bank turn and transforms to land at a jog.
With a loud clanging and clunking Blitzwing rearranges himself into his imposing humanoid form.
The A-10 pulls up sharply, engines suddenly sliding forward on the frame, nose splitting down the middle and opening to either side as a head pops out, the wings lock over arms, and the tail splits into legs leaving Blockbuster in robot mode.
Reinforced White F-15 Eagle <Ramjet> transmits an unsatisfied grunt. "Hnnh.." Sliding his active sensors up and around, he pegs Dirge and Dreadwind with infared 'paint,' openly affording them an opportunity to send their "Missile Lock" warning systems into a furor. Without so much as another word, Ramjet signals his afterburners online. They burn around his engines, surrounding the torches of red flame with blue coronas. Surging forward, the smoked glass canopy betrays the downward pull of the flight yolk, propelling the white F-15 up toward at a dangerous angle!
"... this close, Dirge!" Ramjet bellows as he transforms in front of the blue F-15, his boot-engines pushing ahead of him to propel him along with Dirge. "You came this close to me finally doing it, you Creepicon!" He curls his thick, strong metal fingers into his palm and shakes it at his oldest and thrice-cursed friend. Snorting angrily, Ramjet turns upside down and thrusts downward with his arms extended to land in Carbombya.
Reinforced White F-15 Falcon <Ramjet> is more than meets the eye! Wings seperate and flip forward as engines seperate and extend into legs. Powerful arms fold out and the cockpit turns in and twists out, completing the transformation into the Decepticon Ramjet!
Green Pyramid Jet merely slows her descent, letting gravity pull her towards the ground before transforming to land lightly on the sand. Still silent, she pauses outside the market to study the place from a distance first. Interesting.
Sweepcraft <Dredclaw> circles the site a couple of times, sensors probing the market below before he transforms as well, settling onto the sands in comparative silence to some of the others. He grins at Blitzwing's mention of French bank accounts and pulls out a teensy credit card from a French bank. The name reads "George D. Sweep" on the front. "Speaking of currency, I do hope they take LeBank credit cards here..." he says waving the miniscule scrap of plastic.
The wings of the Sweepcraft smoothly swing back and around, legs extend and turn as Dredclaw emerges into robot form.
Blockbuster cracks open his cockpit and pulls out a chest that would be large by human standards, "Naw man, the interest rates KILL you on that stuff, s'why I deal only in hard currency..." he grins at the Sweep and then turns to the market, "It's also untraceable."
Experimental F-15 transforms in midair, feet scraping inches above Ramjet's canopy as the other jet shoots past him. Deccelerating rapidly, Dirge falls out of the sky and lands a hundred or so yards behind Ramjet, kicking up a huge cloud of.. "Sand.. lifeless sand," he whispers, picking up a handful and letting it blow away in the wind. "What shall it say about us when we leave this place? Are we here as conquerors, as kings? Betrayers, slaughterers? Or merely consumers, begging at the heels of these tiny lords of men.."
The blue Experimental F-15 warps, bends, and reconfigures itself into the form of Dirge, Decepticon warrior!
F-16 Falcon would react to being lined up for a missile but seeing as he knows he wouldn't be able to dodge anyway he doesn't do a thing. Dreadwind follows after the other Decepticons he would circle and check for the ambush that is coming but it's not as if it would enable them to escape serious injury and worse so he transforms and lands heavily. "All this sand is going to get into our servos and cause terrible grating and irritation."
F-16 Falcon suddenly halts it's forwards momentum and pulls up as it bends in half. The body of the jet twists and unfolds to become legs, while arms extrude themselves from the fuselage sides.
Ramjet's feet touch the Carbombya soil, their impact sending up little clouds of dust. He makes it a point to stand away from Dirge, which just happens to place him next to Dredclaw. "It's good to know you Sweeps are good for something!" He declares in reply, his grey lips set into a smirk. "You can improve Sweep-Aerospace relations by buying me the first season of the amusing human program, the Office, on DVD!"
Sunder realizes that he too has a credit card, given to him by a benefactor while he was in human form. "So you got one too," he says to his Wingsib, "I hope the credit limit is adequate for our needs." He transforms and plucks the card out of subspace. It reads "George S. Sweep.
Sunder shifts into his fearsome-looking robot mode.
Chimera stares at Dirge as he starts talking to inanimate objects. That's a little... odd. The words are quite depressing, however, and she doesn't really want to follow any path that that sort of thinking right now. "Sand doesn't think." She answers, and walks past Dirge with a faint scowl on her face.
Dirge hisses, "There is blood in this sand, and it is not we who put it here." Rising out of the small crater formed from his impact, the coneheaded Seeker strikes out across the remainder of desert, towards the bustling market before him. Pale yellow optics find their way to Chimera, piercing, staring through her. "Their wars here were but a glimmer in the eyes of time, compared to our vast conflict. Though even we cannot surpass the death dealt here. No, this land is alive.. it thinks, it feels, it remembers. They have caused it pain, as we will cause it pain. Take care that it does not swallow you for your once and future sins."
"Yeah, what do those do, Blitzwing? And don't worry Blockbuster, the French are funding most of this. You get one goody, any extra you've got to front for yourself," she herds the Decepticons forward to meet their benefactors. A uniformed man emerges from the stately car, and laughs with arms held wide. "It is I, Supreme Military Commander, President-for-Life, and King of Kings of the Socialist Democratic Federated Republic of Carbombya! I see you have brought quite a few bargain seekers." No pun intended. His hat gets blown off by the passage of all the arriving jets, and an attendant dashes after. The layout is impressive -- there's enough warheads, anti-personnel weaponry, and ground to air weaponry to choose from. The tiny capital certainly has pulled out the stops in this case, each of the normal bazaar market booths chucked clean of their produce, crafts, and supplies to cater specifically to this very specialized subset of customer. "Although I see you are defiant as always, Fusillade. Still not covered."
With a huff, Fusillade grouses. "Okay, how does it go?" She glances around, and then yanks a tent off its moorings to doff it into a makeshift burqa. "HA!"
Ramjet catches Fusillade donning human fashions. It makes little sense to him, despite having been Earthside for years. "Hnnh. It isn't your face that needs covering, Executrix. However, if we can make it more interesting.." He approaches one of the tent-covered vendors on the side and sets down to one knee to inspect their goods. "..quickly, human! I require an inflated rubber sphere affixed to an adjustable leather strap! The Executrix would do well with a good gag!"
Chimera doesn't let the shudder at the cold stare hit her frame. Instead, she just keeps walking as though she didn't hear Dirge. "Sand in the joints is annoying." She says, "Blood is dead. Sand is dead. Just like you will be one day. Try not to haunt me though-- because I will find a way to make certain that you regret it." Hmf. What /is/ Fusillade doing with that tent?
"They blow the living daylights out of shipping is what," replies Blitzwing. "Speeds in excess of mach two, evasive maneuvers in the final approach, deck-hugging flight plan, hundred-mile range, seven hundred and fifty pound payload. Knocks AEGIS computers into a cocked hat on paper." He grins violently. "I can't wait to try one out."
Dreadwind stomps slowly after the other Decepticons his forlorn gaze barely even registering the numerous arms stalls just waiting to sell their goods, "Oh Chimera, you are so worng that it is painful. Everything is alive and it all carries out the will of the universe to cause us as much pain as possible. How else do you think that it gets into all your nooks and crannies where it is impossible to remove and yet causes such great discomfort."
Dredclaw glances at the tiny scrap of plastic clutched between his talons. He's pretty sure the thing is loaded to the gills and he shrugs. "I thought I saw Frenzy making pirated copies of that in the lounge the other cycle, but no matter. We are here for more amusing things than DVDs." he leans down to a dealer with a goatee much like his own. "Nice beard, whatcha got?" he begins looking at the assorted munitions.
Blockbuster turns slowly and looks at Fusillade, "Wait... we get our first toy FREE!? Really??" he then pauses for a moment, staring at Fusillade, "Y'know... it's gonna be hard to fight off the inevitable ambush in that thing... and it doesn't do a THING for your figure." he smirks jauntily and heads into the market proper, casting his gaze near and far, "I need something especially nasty and inhumane to drop on unsuspecting enemies."
Dirge laughs, cold and hollow, at Chimera's words. The rustle of wind in dead branches. Not a pleasant experience, really. Even in the stark brightness of the sun he looks wreathed in shadow, head tilted downward and eyes cast level with the horizon. Striding forward to join Fusillade, he stops a few yards behind her and to her right, folding his arms across his canopy and resting his gaze on the diminutive human dictator, silent once more.
Sunder gazes at the vast array of armaments, like a kid in a candy store. If Brigand were here, it would probably make things easier, but whatever. He finds a dealer that is stocking air-to-air missiles. "These look interesting," he says nonchalantly. The secret to a good deal is to act like you could live without whatever-it-is. Motivates the seller.
Dredclaw dissapears into the marketplace to make his selections.
"Evening, King of Kings," says Blitzwing with only slightly menacing good cheer. "You have any SS-N-22s? I was just telling my brazenly uncovered compatriot here about 'em." He gestures to Fusillade even though she has sort of put on a burqa now.
"S'all in the optics," Fusillade chirps, before she snatches out one set of fingertalons to make the capital the city of 9,999 camels, and smears the fluids along the tent to give it some color. "Oh, better. Otherwise I would've just blended in with everything else here." Because looking like a twenty-two feet tall Klansman just seemed so pedestrian. "As for me, well, I'm just a simple kinda gal. The rotary launchers in the closet are getting a tad stale for me. I need something a bit LARGER, namely scaled to my OTHER mode, so I can be a missile-bomber. Or bomb-missiler." She chuckles indulgently at Blockbuster and Blitzwing. "Yeah, that's the score so far, and -- HEY! I HEARD that, Ramjet!!!"
Dredclaw's vendor seems unused to being in the prescence of a Decepticon, and shrinks back slightly. However, the talk of business brightens his face, and he starts rattling of a chain of features. "Armor-piercing rounds, good for hardened ground targets!" "Napalm," Fusillade advises Blockbuster once she gets over Ramjet's comment. She eyes Dirge, Dreadwind, and Chimera. Hmm, they might make a good trine.
Chimera is not going to let the hollow laughter or the aura of gloom get to her. She's not. Not not. She might have been beaten by some unknown, but she's not going to let the creeps and the glooms make this simple shopping trip into a -- oh. Missiles... Distracted by superior firepower.
"What?" Ramjet turns his tapered head to look at Fusillade. His red optics squint, furrowing his brow in total confusion. He fails to appreciate the inappropriateness of his words. "Are you more of an anti-gravity restraint gal!?!"
The swarthy man standing before the kneeling Ramjet stares openly at the thickly-skulled Decepticon. He pauses for a long moment, his dark eyes clouded in thought before he has an idea. Disappearing into his tent and rummaging around, he pops out to reveal a beachball and a fan belt. Extra-wide. "This?" He asks Ramjet.
"Hhnh?" Ramjet asks, looking back down to the items suggested by the dealer. He reaches for the fanbelt, plucking it delicately from the human's hands for closer inspection. "Hnnmm.." Ramjet thinks for a moment, his tapered cone bobbing as he rocks his head in thought. Then, he just happens to catch Chimera in his peripherals! "Gag?" He asks Chimera, raising up the fanbelt in question.
If Thrust were here, he'd be right behind Ramjet, yelling, "HAW!" But alas, only Dirge is here, glowering disapprovingly.
Ramjet lacks his Nelson.
Dreadwind gets as far as the second arms dealer when he just stops and stares, "So many implements to carry out the hurtful will of life to inflict suffering and pain, how apt that it is all in a place so barren and disgustingly cheerful and sunny." With that Dreadwind collapses to the ground sending out a large choking sand cloud area attack.
Chimera only spares an absent glance for Ramjet, "Only if you want to have a missile inserted in your tailpipe sideways." She answers, eying a particularly large example of such.
"You first?" Ramjet offers with a glimmer of hope in his voice. Chimera might not be as sturdily built as Fusillade when it comes to the engine department, Ramjet will still take a crash where he can get one.
Cosmetically, Chimera is fairly standard for a seeker. It's not her fault she doesn't have large ...engines. "No gag. Try Dirge." She studies the stack of missiles carefully, considering, "How much?" No. She's not got a missile launcher. Yet.
Dirge hisses sharply, "Try anything and we will be purchasing our weapons with your smouldering wreckage."
Ramjet's interest looks piqued. Then Dirge speaks up. Ramjet lowers his head, looking dejected. He never gets what he wants. Ever.
Blockbuster seems to be in a daze, but in reality he's accessing the Decepticon network and diving for data, "Yeahhhhhh... that's what I'm talkin' bout. I need some of that stuff..." he looks around, trying to find a guy to ask about finding a certain kind of weapon.
Blitzwing's got a missile launcher. He's got several. But he can always use more and better missiles than the standardized seeker missiles that he gets for free whenever he hits the quartermaster. This is why he is so thrilled to find a flatbed truck carrying cruise missiles. "Oooh, are those Kh-31s?"
The scarred arms dealer nods briskly. "If your money is good, robot-man."
"I only steal from the best, my friend," coos Blitzwing, picking up one of the Krypton missiles and feeling its weight. "Put me down for... six AS-17s and four of the SS-N-22s."
Sunder strokes his beard thoughtfully, mulling over the options. The Heatseeking missiles, or the laser-guided ones? Sooooo much to choose from. He starts to wander from the vendor, feigning disinterest. The man catches up to him, shouting, "I give you for $100,000 credits!" Sunder turns and raises an optic brow.
"Someone around here has GOT to tell me where to find THESE!" he holds up a datapad with an image of the White Phospherous Rockets being used, "I need like, 8 or 10 full loads of these nasty little sons of guns! Whose gonna hook a mech up? C'mon, someone's gotta have 'em!"
Dreadwind sits there in his newly made seated area, his audio units picking up on the comradely banter going back and forth between the various Decepticons, each comment cutting deeper and causing more harm than his last confrontation with Ultra Magnus. "Oh so completely pointless, there is no way to fight it, it will only hurt you all the more for trying, it's all so utterly utterly futile."
Ramjet looks at Dreadwind.
Ramjet looks at the fan belt and beachball.
Ramjet looks at Dreadwind again.
Dirge gives Ramjet the nod.
Ramjet starts.. to... form... an.. wait.. wait..
Blitzwing and the cruise missile dealer step aside for some haggling and fiddling with adding machines. They eventually come to an agreement on a number just barely under seven digits. "Do you want that in gold, cash, or warheads?" asks Blitzwing.
Ramjet squints his optics. Internal fans kick in, cooling his rapidly-overheating cranial circuits. So.. close... to.. the idea..
Dirge sighs hollowly. "We both know you will just cover your own audio inputs with it. Proceed to the step at which you fail."
Ramjet begins processing. Ass. Cone. Afterburners. Will Pam and Jim ever marry? Silverbolt. Ass. Cone. Afterburners. Ass. Ass. Fusillade. Cone. Afterburners. Did I schedule my maintenance check-up with Scrapper yet? Ass. Cone. Dreadwind. Afterburners. Ball-gag. What.. could it.. be!?
Ramjet's optics widen in realization!
"Haw!" The blood and gore smeared circus sidetent replies to Ramjet. "Come find out! Of course, you'd have to use those if you wante to get a taste of zero G I guess, with not being able to go into space and all..." Fusillade then finally settles down by a likely looking booth in the hardware aisle, and begins to look over the selection of bay accessories. "Hmm, weapons release system... already got the conventional weapon module... B61 multipurpose launcher... AH HA!!!" The salesman nearly knocks over his hooka as she shouts, before she crams her face into the tent, and points, "Lemme see your SRAM launcher and your Strategic Rotary Launcher. UHN, this thing is GORGEOUS, dahling. Do they come in gloss white?" Without even waiting for assistance, she darts over, and manually hefts the closest missile-capable shaft by its forward torque plate.
There's a sharp nod to Blitzwing by the man standing next to the truck bed, and immediately whips out a satellite enabled laptop. Technology! "Gold and warheads, always looking for something to barter with! And I can get more value for those handled by... a war machine!" Sunder's dealer has a large family to feed. So when he pulls up, he looks ready to make a deal.
Ramjet looks back to his dealer. "Where can I find your best waxes? I've been using ArmorAll but it just doesn't give my cone the lustre it so greatly deserves..."
Ramjet is a bit thick.
Dirge leans forward to prod a human. "Where do you keep the devices that remove one's ally from amongst the living?"
Chimera is indeed thinking of finding a way to add a missile launcher to her lovely frame-- however it won't be as satisfying as pulling Munition's trigger. She does like her handguns. And time to haggle.
Blitzwing works out a meeting time to trade the payment for the missiles, since both are more than Blitzwing can comfortably carry on his person. "Wish more humans were more like you guys," he remarks. "Well, the Kurds are cool but most of the other humans are not much use."
Blitzwing likes Kurds for some reason.
"Perhaps, most honored infidel, you should try Dirty Ezio's stand." The dealer informs Ramjet politely. "It's right over there, between the falafel stand and the Jamba Juice." He points, clearly indicating to the thick Decepticon where it is.
He then looks to Dirge. "Are.. you.. not supposed to be those very things?"
The dark clouds roil before Dreadwind's optics, slowly starting to spin, faster and faster until they merge into an all encompassing vortex of darkness, hemming him in on all sides unable to react to anything and yet there are still the voices. "Life, loathe it or ignore it, you can't like it."
Dirge's lips twitch downward. "As humorless as they are small." That was a joke? Heh he heh.. eh. "Simply show me the weapons befitting the harbinger of death."
"Oh." Ramjet says, blinking blankly at the dealer. He lifts up from his knee and starts to walk toward Dirty Ezio's stand, by the falafel cart and Jamba Juice. As he walks, Dreadwind catches his attention and Ramjet pauses. His cone tilts back as he reflects in another thought. What.. could it.. be?
"I sell only beach accessories and the odd automotive part!" The dealer tells Dirge, looking at him rather sourly. "Curse you, infidel, for your narrow-minded thinking in believing every vendor here has something lethal to sell!"
Blitzwing nudges Fusillade. "Hey look, Ramjet's gettin' notions. Might wanna nip that in the bud."
It is always bad news when Ramjet or Thrust start thinking about things.
Chimera hums as she moves away from the missile launchers. Looking for napalm. Looking for something to spice up those guns of hers. Like she's gong to need them.
Someone walks by Ramjet, happily slurping from his cup of Jamba Juice. How did they get a Jamba Juice franchise out here!?
Sunder hesitates a little longer, and the dealer says, "90,000 credits! And I throw in the rocket propelled grenades!" Sunder smirks. "Deal," he purrs. Ahhh, watching Brigand at work had taught him well.
There's a 'clank' as a thickly armored elbow jabs into Fusillade's side. Whipping around, still clutching the launcher by cooling loops and ejector rack, she reaches out to hook one fingertalon under the closest tread joint. "Well, THAT is a miracle in of itself." She pauses, however, staring pointedly at the makeshift gag that Ramjet fashioned from a beachball and a fan belt. "OH. Well. Think fast, Dreadwind, I think Dirge and Ramjet are about to pull a Seeker house on ya."
Dirge hisses at the dealer, "Then stop wasting my time and your short life, Terran." He turns and stalks away. "Commander," he addresses Fusillade. "Perhaps we should be attending the needs of our division, as opposed to coveting the excesses of this frivolous species."
Catechism shows up to stand in the background. That's what Seekers do, don't you know? She can fill out crowd shots like a champion.
Chimera is currently searching the market for something. She doesn't know what just yet. But she'll know it when she sees it. Just like every other shopper.
"Pft," says Blitzwing. "You're a philistine, Dirge. I thought you would've cultivated a finer palate for ordnance by now."
Blitzwing gets to stand in the front because he's not a repaint.
Ramjet shakes his head lightly, dispelling the fog of thought. Not important, he decides. Approaching the cosmetics dealer, he takes a one-knee squat and raises his thick finger at the human. "I require a wax capable of bringing a luxurious shine to my cone! As well as soothing it from chafing."
As Dirge closes in on her, Fusillade juts out her lower lip, although this is concealed by the camel-blood smeared vendor tent that doubles as a burqa. "Yeah? Well it's not like it actually HAS a commander or exectutive right now, I think someone from DCI hacked my title as a prank -- good one at that -- since Megatron's running around again." However, she then clutches the mose expensive, heaviest launcher out of the lot, and begins glancing around to see what goodies the others have gotten into.
Dreadwind is slumped in a world of his own, a dark cold void full of his only companion, nothing, he hears something about a warning that more pain will be his to endure soon enough but even that isn't enough to shift him. "There is never any way to escape the pain, the suffering is endless..."
Dirge's gaze snaps over to Dreadwind. "I recant. Perhaps we can give your new toy a test-fire, Fusillade."
Chimera is ignoring Dreadwind. Seriously. She's got enough problems without listening to someone ramble along like that-- and besides. She just found some new shinies to ooh and ahh over.
Catechism decides to go look for some improvisational bomb-making equipment, since this is, uh, Carbombya. Think she can find something?
Sunder wonders how his wingsib is faring, as he hasn't glimpsed sight of him since he wandered off. Loaded down with missile and RPG goodies, the Sweep looks at getting some high-end rounds for his machine guns in Sweepcraft mode. A glimmer of excitement lights up his optics.
Blitzwing thinks so!
"Then you have come to the right place, alien!" A veiled woman says cheerfully to Ramjet. "Here at Aliyyah's U-R-BEAUTIFUL, we stock all the right products to help you achieve the look you crave!" She squints her eyes and leans against her stand counter, standing on her tippy-toes. "Have you been moisturizing? The surface of your cone looks rather flaky and dull. You know, moisturizing is key to a healthy foundation!"
Ramjet scratches his generously-elongated head in thought. "But.. moi.. sturize?" His lips form around the word, as if for the first time.
Blitzwing offers the Carbombyan a finger to shake as they finalize their deal, then straightens up to head back to the other Decepticons. "Wish Astrotrain was around, we could get this stuff moved faster. I always get impatient to use 'em right away." He lowers his head and laughs. "I know, it's a bad habit. Binge-bombarding."
A vicious glint that would do any popular mean girl in high school proud fires to life in Fusillade's optics at Dirge's suggestion. "Well aren't YOU just a lil' bad idea bear, huh? Lemme transform and get this thing inside of me. Binge-bombar... oh Blitzwing. I... I..." She transforms, at a loss for words.
The entire capital city appears to have been converted specifically to suit the Decepticons. Hardware on one section, expendables in another, and eventually... smaller arms and demolitions. Most of the area had been passed over by the other Decepticons, so it's with great anticipation that the booth vendor leaps up from his 72 Virgins Monthly and flags down Catechism. "There are other ways to make your enemies go -boom- besides dropping things on their heads!"
Fusillade leans forward, wingblades whipping out to their full span, even as her arms lock backward in place as the rear fuselage. Her torso folds out to the become the cockpit of a space capable B-1R Lancer, ready for flight!
Aliyyah tuts at Ramjet. She turns her back for a moment and elicits a rummaging sound as she looks for a particular product. "Ah!" She squeals with delight. "By the Prophet, this will do you good!" She turns around, holding a tiny canister of cream. "Apply this directly to your head. Make sure it is well absorbed into the surface. This is the moisturizer. And then.." She turns around, making some more rummaging. She turns back around, holding a much bigger canister of Turtle Wax and an industrial strength "beauty" buffer. It's like a motorized buffer for cars, but far more powerful so that it can address the needs of Hollywood's faces. "Then apply the wax and buff evenly for two hours..."
Dredclaw emerges from the bazaar with an armload of explosives and flechettes that he will tinker with for his main turrets in altmode. He's also trailed by a pair of young men carrying a trunk that looks like it was liberated from an EDC supply convoy. There is a radiological ordinace chevron emblazened on its front and the Sweep looks over his shoulder to make sure the pair is heeling him closely. Hearing the exclaimations of Aliyyah he alters his course, flicking a glance at a talon saw and decides he can spend a few more credits if there is aught to be found here for them.
Dirge pulls a giant belt of machine gun ammunition out of a crate in a nearby stand. "Ramjet.." he calls, voice not so much getting louder as it is carrying farther. "Perhaps a few dozen extra boxes of these, to make up for your poor marksmanship."
Catechism looks down at the vendor that has flagged her and nods cheerily. "Right! So, what you got here?" She could use some materials to go study with on a desert island. It's okay if she blows off some fingers in her spare time. Blowing up Decepticon property, however, is not.
"And then..." Aliyyah produces a beach-towel style chamoise. ".. polish! And since you would be buying this as an assembled kit, I will throw this polishing chamoise in for free!"
Ramjet looks astounded. Free!? "Free!?" He echoes his own thoughts. His head turns aside, his finger raised to touch his chin as he monologues. "...by Primus, a rare moment like this comes only once in a lifetime! Truly an insurmountable deal! I must exploit this for the glory of my cone!" Ramjet thrusts his head up, arm raising out to finger.......
"You!" Ramjet calls out. "Sweep! Come over here and buy my beauty products!! The cosmetic appearance of my cone is integral to the glory of the Empire!"
Ramjet asides to Dirge, "Silence, Dirge! I am in the process of making a deal! Your creepy ways would only be a distraction!"
Dirge drops the ammo, frowning darkly again, mumbling something about Ramjet getting something called 'cone-rot.'
"... I HEARD THAT!" Ramjet bellows in anguish.
It's a good thing that Catechism *didn't* hear that. She'd get out the fire retardant foam to douse both Dirge and Ramjet for even talking about that.
Sunder turns his head to look at Ramjet. He strokes his beard, and though the idea of Ramjet's cone getting polished doesn't really appeal to him, he does catch sight of a row of boxes containing talon polish. "Very well," he murmurs, "Let us see what there is." The current stock of #3 Arcee Pink was dangerously low back at home.
While his fellow Decepticons have been busy perusing the wares and investing their ill gotten gains in ammo and weapons Dreadwind has been investing in some deep soul searching and has coming to a depresing realisation. He was created alone, he is alone and he will always be alone, there is no slim ray of hope or anything as foolish as that, there is only pain and suffering alone in the cold merciless darkness.
Dredclaw shakes his head nudging Ramjet's shoulder as he flanks him on the other side from Sunder, "Obviously he has cone envy." he murmurs, perusing the more garish shades of pink Aliyyah has to offer.
"Do you not see?" Ramjet asks Sunder, his hands upraised and clenching as if the very thought of having a beautifully tended cone were tangible. "It is an integrated system! There is a moisturizer! Then a wax! Then a buff! And then... and then!" His voice raises with his excitement, ".. a polish! With a -free- cloth! Oh, the grandeur of it!" Ramjet takes the chamois and brings it tightly against his canopy-chest, snuggling it.
Ramjet is broken from his chamois-snuggling reverie by Dredclaw. "Yes! Yes, he is!" He affirms to him.
Dirge hisses softly. "I am reminded of Bonecrushers rag on a stick. His salesmanship was less annoying than yours."
Ramjet snarls. "You are jealous!"
"You want nail-polish?" Aliyyah asks both Sweeps. Getting the Decepticons to buy Ramjet's ludicrous polishing kit is one thing. Getting them to stock up on heavily marked up nail-polish is another. "I have all the colors for the most discerning gentleman! Cherry red, wine red, hot pink, dusky rose pink, pink passion, champagne, kelly green, neon green, and of course, nude!"
There's a hue and cry from several of the other salesmen as Fusillade's form hogs the better part of two rows, shredding a few tents in the process. Flumes of sand kick up in the air as she ratchets around to face Dreadwind at a slight angle. The well-compensated rotary launcher exhibitor leaps up, and with a few sharp calls in Farsi, recruits several others to roll a truck up to service the bomber. "Ooooo wee this is going to be awesome!!" It takes a moment, and she begins to flick tailslabs impatiently. With a firm last slap on the ground safety lock actuator cable, her benefactor hops away. "Hey, Dreadwind, I gotcher girlfriend RIGHT HERE!!!" Angling slightly to the side so she doesn't SHOOT OFF her landing gear, the Lancer disrgorges the rotating launcher, snapping it into place, and letting fly with an empty warhead coupled with a very very live propulsion system. Fwooooooooooooosh!
Meanwhile, Catechism gets helped out. "Why YES! We can provide explosives, plastic binder, plasticizer, and of course demolition charges. These can be shaped, great for party favors when you run out of balloon animals."
Dreadwind evades your grasp attack.
Dirge turns his gaze on Dredclaw, yellow optics burning. "And as for you, -Sweep-," he spits the word in the most derogatory manner possible. "You walking dead can.." he growls, but the horrible obscenities he spews forth at Dredclaw get drowned out by the sound of Fusillade trying to nuke Dreadwind. Funny how that works.
Chimera is still shopping. Slowly. Even if everyone else is trying to shoot allies. She wants to see ... more.
Blitzwing folds his invoice and tucks it into a compartment to stroll a bit, satisfied with his purchases. The sound of a missile launch piques his interest, though, eliciting a point-and-laugh at Dirge's expense.
Catechism grins widely, like a shark. She places one hand on a hip and says, "You don't say. Sounds like a... scream. Gonna have to do a theme party when I get my certs." No, she's not qualified to handle this stuff, but who is going to stop her? She drums her fingers againster her hips, thinking. "Got a sort of sampler platter deal?"
A set of perfume bottles not quite cleared out from one glassblower's tent, glitter. Vitreous aramanthine and sapphire capture the relentless sun with golden gleams and refractions -- Chimera might catch a glimpse of this.
From the dark depths of the almost inescapable pit of despair Dreadwind hears his name called out along with something about a girlfriend. Of course given the almost constant name calling that Dreadwind endures he merely assume that Darkwing has arrived, he struggles to his feet in an attempt to find somewhere to hide from his annoyingly cheery partner and in the process accidentally dodges the cruel prank. His vision flickers into the real world and he scans around, "So where is Darkwing then, don't tell me i just moved for nothing, typical."
Dirge looks down at an odd weapon. Some sort of giant tube with unintelligible markings. So he picks it up, hefts it, starts sighting it in on various allies. "What a strange device.. an explosive of some sort..?" he wonders aloud. He swings it around at Fusillade, tracking her fast-moving jet form. And then, because Dirge has a 24 Tech score, he accidentally fires the thing. A giant steel-mesh net with weighted ends flies out of the canister, then up and through the air at Fusillade! Oh no!
Dirge succeeds in grasping Space-Going B-1R Lancer, throwing her off-balance.
Blitzwing pauses a moment, head cocked as he listens to his radio. "Oh hey," he says, pausing as he crosses in front of Fusillade. "Someone dropped a cluster bomblet." He crouches down in front of her to pick up the little something...
Blitzwing succeeds in grasping Space-Going B-1R Lancer, throwing her off-balance.
Suddenly, Ramjet turns his head. As if the planets just aligned and clued him into some great truth..
Blitzwing does this while hovering because he's got jets!
Perfume bottles? Tiny rainbows and sparkling pieces of the finest crystal (Ok, so it's glass, and possibly not of the best quality) Yes. Shiny objects do catch Chimera's attention. And she is going to go /there/ to admire the glimmering and glittering stash. Completely distracted from weapons now.
Sunder chuckles at Dirge. "Yes, try that sometime," he taunts softly, flexing his talons, as he picks over the wares. He finds a shade that matches #3 Arcee Pink exactly, although that's not what it's called. Bubblegum Pink? Oh well, as long as it matched...
Dredclaw grins wickedly at Dirge's stream of epithets, his e-senses picking out most of them before the roar of the launcher forces him to dial down his audials. .oO(How exactly am I supposed to manage /that/ with the way my wings wrap around my hull during transformation? Oh well) he passes over the non pink colors and gets a large bottle of a violent pink and a clearcoat hardener as well. "OOooh, I want the one in that oil-lamp looking bottle!" he exclaims, forgetting Dirge's curses in his delight at getting a festive bottle in the garish shade he prefers.
Ramjet tilts the left side of his head up, as if he heard something distant...
The inert missile soars past Dreadwind who inexeplicably moves to find someone to annoy, splutting into a sand dune to send grit flying everywhere. "Yay it fired, boo he moved!" the Lancer calls out, before a grid mysteriously appears out of nowhere. "EY! What?! Gack!" The surface area isn't quite sufficient to foul her surfaces, but the corner DOES disappear into one intake. The aircraft squeals as she has a flameout, before connecting with the hovering brick wall represented by the tan and purple triple changer. KONNNNNNNNNNNNG! Down they go into the sand, with Fusillade transforming and cursing!
The sleek bomber rears up, wings collapsing onto hips even as the rear fuselage splits to form arms. The horizontal stabilizer slides up, the forward fuselage folds up accordian style, and Fusillade hops up on thrustered feet.
Dirge casually discards the tube onto the sand, inching away from it. Totally not responsible, no way.
Out of his peripheral, Ramjet watches opportunity unfold. Strands of fate are woven together by Dame Fortuna, forming a tapestry that the Decepticon Air Warrior cannot deny. "Yes..." He says, awestruck and to no one in particular. "I hear you!" He affirms, lifting his chest with pride. "I know! Er, move, Sweep!" Ramjet shoves Dredclaw violently aside as he turns, launching forward upon the tips of his feet. Kicking up clouds of dust, Ramjet throws his arms back and spreads them out, forming makeshift wings to allow for his ascension. Boot-thrusters ignite, scorching sand into glass and propelling Ramjet into the air.
"Yes! I hear you!"
"You need me! And I, you!"
Ramjet calls out to his Destiny, his face smoothed into a look of sheer, spellbounded bliss. "I come! Accept me!" His white-and-grey chassis makes for a smooth line toward the pleasingly wide B1-B that futzes with Blitzwing. Ramjet bows his head and prepares to connect with what called him: Fusillade's backend.
Ramjet succeeds in grasping Fusillade, throwing her off-balance.
Avalanche just watches from above the others, and winces slightly as Ramjet just goes careening into the backend of Fusillade. "Ooh, that is looking like it hurt..." He then shakes his head, and chuckles to himself.
Chimera carefully touches a few of the delicate glass pieces, ignoring the fray nearby. Why does shopping with them always end up with the words 'Can't take you anywhere?' Of course, she's never gone shopping with them before. But the shining colors do appeal to her, and she is mesmerised once more.
Catechism haggles over her sampler platter of explosives, rying to snag herself some expandable training supplies. She winces when she hears what sounds liek a collision, and murmurs, "What in the blazes what that?"
Dredclaw scowls as he is shoved, and decides that he is definitely not getting Ramjet that extra large chamois for 2.99 more... he pays for his own pretties and tucks them away carefully, turning to take the crate from his hired footmen. "Alright, that'll be all." he tosses creds to them both and turns to Sunder. "Nice shade." he compliments his twins purchase.
"There are different shaped charges, yes," the sun-wizened man replies to Catechism. He ducks down behind a table and admits, "I'm usually in the business of making small cars and other people blow up, but the principle can be applied to larger targets." He begins stacking up canisters of different materials, including carrot-shaped containers. "For explosive, you'll want HMX, with a binder. For casings, pure metals give best penetration. "
Speaking of which... with a final whack of balled up fist on Blitzwing's thickly plated cranium, she wrests herself free, leaning over to snatch up her left wingblade which had been dislodged during the tussle. There's a a distinct crunch and 'WAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAUGH!' over from the dunes at Catechism's eight o'clock.
Sunder notes the goings-on around him with a wry smile. He continues to pick over polish, and snags some clearcoat for himself, as well. He elbows Dredclaw, then glances towards the Coneheads and snickers.
Dreadwind looks around and still can't spot Darkwing, so by default that must mean that he was being taunted yet again, he sighs heavily. His attention is pulled suddenly to the impromptu seeker pile going on Dreadwind just stares, "Such a waste of resources and effort and for what? To ensure that as much sand as possible finds its way into your internals?"
Dredclaw shrugs at Sunder, "Guess the rumors were true.." he mutters and grins, picking up his crate and waiting for his wingsib to conclude his transactions. [Hardcode Hack Helper <HHH>:] Catechism enthuses, "Oh, I'm good with small cars and people blowing up. Less messy than stepping on them, you... wouldn't know. Ehm. Nevermind." There's another thousand-watt smile from her. She kneels down to get a look at the wares more closely and listens along closely to his helpful information. She does, however, looks over her shoulder and frown briefly. That sounded that the Executrix, but nothing has blown up yet, so it can't be too critical.
Dirge looks up in time to see Ramjet's clever attempt at getting himself thrown in the brig. He sighs emptily, shaking his head.
Ramjet makes the most satisfied groan ever heard on the planet since Josh Harnett in 40 Days and 40 Nights.
Ramjet shivers. "... I need a drink."
"How much," Chimera asks the vendor in the quiet voice. No hissing. No growling. Just a neutral tone with barely a hint of the awe at the colors. "How much for these?" The answer doesn't matter much, because she's buying them. Forget the rocket launchers, missile launchers-- ok. Have to get ammo for the gauss pistol. Chimera has found the baubles she didn't know she was looking for.
Ramjet floats to the ground gently, looking content. "Dirge??" He calls out, cautiously. "Did I zone again?"
"You slaggin' piece of overloaded motherboard! I'm not going to be able to TRANSFORM now!!!! I'll have your armor flayed from your hide in the public square of New Crystal City! I'll hang you upside down out the cargo hold of the Argosy under the sump pumps! I'll, I'll, OWWWWWWWWWWWWW." There's an irascible half-hearted claw-swipe in the pile of white and grey strewn atop her. "Okay, everyone grab your stuff, and let's get back to base. Well, you don't HAVE to, I guess, but /I'm/ going. Limping. Whatever." And then she proceeds to shouldercheck him. With the pointy part of her shoulder.
The man that Chimera addresses does a doubletake, since she had approached the forgotten corner of the table. "I... these? Not weapons? I... twenty-two."
"As for detonators," Catechism's companion replies, "There are chemical and electronic detonators. Thinking thes are not toxic to YOU, so mercury and chromate blend will work well. One of our newer models is a slapper detonator! It uses these thin plates accelerated by an electrically exploded wire or foil to deliver the initial shock."
Ramjet evades your grasp attack.
This is the point where Thrust would be pointing and going, "HAAAAW!" at Fusillade. But alas.
Ramjet must've blown Fusillade's orientation. He turns aside as Fusillade butts into him with her shoulder, letting the pointy end fall on empty air. "Unnh.." He groans weakly and sighs. Patting his cone down, Ramjet makes a bit more noise as his circuits come down. "Was... was it good for you too, Executrix?"
Catechism is like a kid at a candy store. Then, that definitely is the Executrix that she hears. She had better wrap up. Autobots might attack while they are weak from shopping and... whatever happened ather 8. Catechism withdraws what currency she brought and says, "Give me this much worth, assorted, please." She pops open her cockpit to stow her purchases and go.
Dreadwind stares at Fusillade for a while and then decides to follow her first order, having not bought anything or even bothered to look he of course has no trouble getting airborne and heading for home.
Chimera nods, ""All of them." She says, ignoring the doubletake. "And that--" She points to a random weapon. It could be a taser or a sex toy for all she knows. "What price including all of that?"
Dirge rasps, "This, Ramjet, is why you constantly toil with the dregs." With that, he takes off and transforms, beginning a lazy circle up into the air.
In a flurry of arms, legs, and wings, Dirge reconfigures himself into the form of an Experimental F-15 fighter jet.
Fusillade moves in to throttle the Conehead. "You insolent little..."
Fusillade succeeds in grasping Ramjet, throwing it off-balance.
Dredclaw hears the call to RTB and picks up his stuff and transforms around it, stowing it in his cargo hold. "Sunder, I forgot to tell you, I found a new compression chamber for your laser rifle if you'd like it."
Ramjet gacks as Fusillade wraps her fingers around his throat. "Gnnhhkk! I--gnnhk, couldn't--nnnnkhhh.. help.. myself, sir!! It's like..gaghhhk.. your engines called out to me!"
Sunder's optics brighten. "Yes, I've been looking for a replacement for mine," he says, "My thanks, wingsib." He takes his own cargo, transforming around it so that it's in his cargo hold.
Sunder's head disappears into his chest, his wings fold around him, and now he is in Sweepcraft mode, his headcannon still visible.
Chimera is not going to return to base until her purchase is completed! And stowing all the stuff she's bought-- she'll be a little late in getting back. And for lack of time, perhaps, she's paying whatever the vendor asks. Hooray for shopping!
"Hey, the rotary launcher went into subspace right." Fusillade realizes as she runs hands over her chest, not paying attention to her crumpled hindquarters for now. She staggers to her feet after releasing her deathgrip from Ramjet, and wobbily takes to the air, transforming. "Smelt, that was fun, even without the extra over-energizing."
"Ahmed is always glad to help. This brings in more than selling linens," he bobs his head happily in Catechism's direction.
"185," the dealer responds to Chimera, hands spread wide and smiling in a beatific expression. Must have been a small, simple gun added on to the order. There's going to be a LOT of cleaning up to do later by the 4,000 villagers and 9,999 camels.
Experimental F-15 swings around, banking low. The horrible dischordant whine of his engines building and building, voices crying out and dying, wailing and gnashing of teeth, a finely-tuned pipe organ someone smashed up with a sledgehammer. All these noises rise, and the blue Seeker blows past Ramjet and Fusillade, banking hard right and flying out across the desert.
Ramjet grins lopsidedly as Fusillade lifts up and departs. "You're tellin m--" Then Dirge whooshes by, his specially-tuned engines creating a horrible noise that reminds Ramjet of...
"Get away!" Ramjet shouts at a Sweep. "Don't you come near me with your hands! You'll infect my cone!" He leaps into the air, transforms, and takes off.
As Ramjet speeds toward the Argosy...
"...WAIT!!! I SHOULD'VE GOTTEN THE GAG FOR DREADWIND!!!"
Too little. Too late.