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Prelude to From the Grave

Who: Sky Lynx, Markdown, Galvatron, Rodimus Prime, Dreadwind, Fusillade, Soundwave, Michael Briar, Smokescreen, Hot Spot
IC Year: 2029
Location: Xarbo, in the Trifid Nebula
TP: From The Grave

Unknown individuals attempt to sell off the Transformers' secrets in an intergalactic auction!


Xarbo

A heavily industrialized planet that has exhausted its natural resources, and even many of the resources outside its solar system. As a result, this world's economy is in decline, and many of the once bustling factories and heavy industries are now silently rusting away before the baleful gaze of the red giant looming in the sky. Its people wear gas masks and protective gear simply to walk outside, due to centuries upon centuries of pollution. Will this be Earth's fate one day?

There have been, however, recent attempts to revitalize the economy, such as the construction of a massive interstellar auction house. It's comprised of hundreds of booths and is heavily defended. Simply stealing the auction items might require either a very sneaky individual or a full-scale invasion!


Thing Contents: Decepticon Shuttle <Conquest II> (#7158)

<Earth> Grand Auctioneer says, "Hey and howdy people of Earth! This is the Grand Auctioneer of the Planet Xarbo! And boy, do we have a deal for you! We've just received a data disc containing the technical information of hundreds of those Cybertronians! That's right! With this disc you'll know exactly what went into building the most dangerous robot lifeforms in the galaxy! But you better act soon, because the auction starts soon! Head to the Planet Xarbo NOW! (Please remain within the Auction House at all times. Exposure to the outside atmosphere without an environmental suit may prove fatal.)"


<Earth> Pile-Up says, "One thousand Zorbas!"


<Decepticon> Mother Goose Fusillade says, "Hmm. I see we need to enact a kinetic bombardment policy."

<Decepticon> Dreadwind says, "I knew something bad was going to happen, i just didn't know it was going to be this catastrophic."

<Decepticon> Commander Soundwave says, "We must acquire this data disc. The technical data of Decepticon warriors must be secured, and the data of Autobot warriors would likewise prove very useful."

<Decepticon> Mother Goose Fusillade says, "Hmm. Well that sounds like a call to the spaceport if I've ever heard one."

<Decepticon> Dreadwind says, "I suppose you're going to make everyone one go to this dangerous place we'll be lucky to come back at all."

<Decepticon> Commander Soundwave says, "Xarbo has historically not been very dangerous, as long as all who attend their auctions maintain good behavior."

<Decepticon> Mother Goose Fusillade says, "And... what happens to those who don't behave well?"

<Decepticon> Commander Soundwave says, "Xarbo possesses a contingent of exo-armored warriors whose capabilities are, on average, superior to EDC exo-suits."

<Decepticon> Dreadwind says, "Just because it hasn't been dangerous before doesn't mean that they haven't been preparing to be dangerous, they know everything now, we'll be at their mercy they'll aim for our weak points and tactile response centers, the pain will be agonising."

<Decepticon> Mother Goose Fusillade says, "Define... contingent."

<Decepticon> Commander Soundwave says, "The exact size of their forces is unknown, but has proved sufficient to deter pirates, raiders, and simple brawlers."


Jetfire has arrived.

Autobot-Jet Hybrid <Jetfire> blazes in from high atmoshphere like a meteor, bits of him still glowing red with waste heat. He circles around the auction house a few times, bleeding off heat and speed, before coming in for a landing. (assuming the atmosphere is safe for Transformers that is...if it's not he just came via whatever safer but less dramatic approach was offered by the Xarbonese).


Focus has arrived.


Dreadwind has arrived.


"Smelt, it looks like Blot's quarters down there, ugh. I am -so- glad I didn't fly escort along the shuttle," Fusillade opines to the interior of the Conquest as she presses her face up against the reinforced plasteel window. "Were you serious about all those Exo-Suits? The INSIDE had better look nicer than THIS, if they're bothering to defend it, cripes." She straightens back up, and surfs the flooring inside the shuttle as it maneuvers down toward the surface.


Dreadwind looks up from the floor which has been analysed in minute detail during the journey, "I just know that stuff isn't going to ba any good to us, sure it's supposedly safe but what about when it seeps in through microfractures in your structure and starts to eat away at you internal circuitry? Feeling yourself ebbing slowly away as pain races through your systems, it's depressing just thinking about it."


Michael Briar has arrived.

Exo-suit Glaive Unity <Michael Briar> has arrived.

Michael Briar drops Exo-suit Glaive Unity <Michael Briar>.

Michael Briar has left.

Michael Briar enters the Exo-suit Glaive Unity <Michael Briar>.


Autobot Superjet <Jetfire> lets off any Autobots or Autobot-allied beings who needed a ride to Xarbo (although some of them no doubt disappear into the background only to show up later) before transforming into robot mode. He can't help do a few quick atmoshperic scans, chemical but also visual examinations, which cause him to notice the approaching Decepticon shuttle unhappily...before heading inside first, to try and get the best seat.

Jetfire transforms into his robot mode.


Soundwave steers the Conquest II through the murky atmosphere towards his destination, noting the bleak environment with casual contempt. "According to the planet's history logs that I have downloaded from their planetary information network, Xarbon was forced to look into other means of generating revenue once their system's resources were depleted. This auction house is almost single-handedly keeping the world's economy alive, so they will certainly defend it at all costs." A pause. "The interior should be more pleasant, in any case."

Soundwave lands the Conquest II onto the roof of one of the many hangar bays, and it eventually lowers, another roof hatch sliding shut once the Conquest is inside. Then all the noxious gasses are sucked and replaced with clean air. Standing Soundwave tells Dreadwind, "Then remain inside, and you will not need to be concerned about such things." The back hatch opens, and Soundwave stomps out, glancing at the two halberd-wielding guards standing at the doorway. Their overcoats hide most of their features, but they are rather large and seem to have a single, red optic. They don't move an inch, but there's something about them that suggests they are rather dangerous.


<OOC> Soundwave says, "It's a good thing we brought you along to brighten this place up, Dread. >:)"

<OOC> Dreadwind says, "I shine like a black light lighting up in black on a black console to tell you you've done something. :D"


Soundwave stomps up to the sentries, and they ask, "State your name and the organization you represent." Soundwave responds, "Soundwave, of the Decepticon Empire." The sentries glance at each other for a moment--are they expecting trouble?--then one of them hands Soundwave a card with a number on it. "You are buyer number 51792. Have a nice day sir, but remember, we have one simple rule here: Don't make trouble for us. Break that rule, and you'll suffer the consequences."


The guards approach Jetfire in a similar manner. "State your name and the organization you represent."


Exo-Suit Glaive Unity <Michael Briar> steps down Jetfire's ramp, he's the last one out. Already the Unity is alerting Michael to the caustic atmosphere. Michael says, "Unity, maximum filters and activate level 1 shields." The computer chirps back an acknowledgement as a pencil thin field shimmers around skin tight to the body. He adjusts a large case he's towing along behind him before following along with Jetfire towards the auction house.


Dreadwind struggles to his feet and trudges after Soundwave, "Yeah sure that's exactly what they'll expect me to do. Then they'll destroy the ship with me in it decreasing our numbers and leaving us open to further misery. Though why we're here at all is beyond me it's not as if the data is going to be real or even correct." Dreadwind doesn't even seem to notice the guards, menacing or not.


Fusillade tags along behind Soundwave, although she skids to a sharp halt upon spying Jetfire's wingtips disappear into the main auction hall. "Hey!" Her attempt to dart after is cut short by questioning, through which she goes through the perfunctory, standard reply. Name, organization, receive number. Hmm. 51794.


Jetfire nods politely to the guards. "I'm Jetfire, here representing the Autobots but also a member of the -Cybertronian- Science Society and the Space Exploration Corps of Cybertron." He glances over at Soundwave with a hint of a triumph, even though those two august bodies have long since ceased functioning in any meaningful way, Jetfire hopes he can lend some additional authority to his side's presence. He turns back tot he gaurd again. "Will we have a chance to examine the items before the auction begins?"


A sentry replies to Jetfire's question. "You may ask the auctioneer questions about the item being sold. We cannot guarantee that he will be able to answer your questions to your satisfaction, but we do have strict policies against auction fraud. Let's just say that bounty hunters are very helpful for taking care of scam artists." He hands Jetfire a number, then gestures to the interior. "You are buyer number 51798. Have a nice day sir, but remember, we have on simple rule here: Don't make trouble for us. Break that rule, and you'll suffer the consequences." Next, they glance at Michael Briar, who was likely right behind Jetfire.


Soundwave glares at Jetfire for a moment, then simply steps inside. "Disregard him, Fusillade. He is not important. Dreadwind. Try to contain your irrational paranoia. It would not be logical for them to kill potential buyers."


From Exo-suit Glaive Unity <Michael Briar>, Michael Briar is next, and yes most likely behind Jetfire. He looks up at the guards, "My name is Michael Briar. General of the Earth Defense Command. I represent earth and its varying interests." He's not surprised the cons are here, but is relaxed knowing the cons wouldn't be so foolish to try anything. If it wern't for this atmosphere, he wouldn't need his suit.


Caught red handed! Fusillade rumbles softly to herself, before responding in her smooth alto, "I suppose you're right, Soundwave. Particularly since the whole 'not getting into trouble thing stands." She leans in quickly, fingers lightly resting on the Tape Commander's shoulder as she hssts in, "But what about getting others in trouble, mmm?"


The actual Auction Hall, once it is entered, is absolutely huge. Not quite the size of the Cybertronian Olympic Stadium, but very big all the same. And it is merely one of many auction halls on this world! Clearly this is good business for the Xarbonese.


The seats are packed with thousands of alien lifeforms of countless varieties. There's some well known races, too--Nebulons, Brandaxians, and even Quintessons! Wait... Quintessons? Yes, that's right. Somewhere in the front seats are two Quintessons, with four Sharkticon retainers! Uhoh.


Dreadwind trudges ever onwards making the short distance to be travelled seem like a marathon of effort, "Oh it's neither irrational nor paranoia, it's going to happen sooner or later, usually when you finally dare to start thinking that you're home free. I see they're getting everyone's names you know why that is don't you? It's because then they'll know the quickest way to take us all out when they make their move, we'll be spare parts for auction before we even know what's happening."


The guard nods, handing Briar a card. "Heh. Nice suit. But you won't need it inside, if you're more comfortable without it. Anyway. You are buyer number 51800. Have a nice day sir, but remember, we have on simple rule here: Don't make trouble for us. Break that rule, and you'll suffer the consequences."


Soundwave turns his head slightly to Fusillade as she gets his attention, "Explain. How would we get the Autobots in trouble?" he mutters, even as he jostles for a set near the front, and trying not to step on any smaller lifeforms. His optic band glows as he notices the Quintessons up at the front. "Hnnnh."

"That is absurd, Dreadwind. And it has never occurred in this planet's history to date. I doubt they would try it now," Soundwave states.


Jetfire runs his optics over the crowd quickly, before taking a seat as close to the front as he can get, but also to one side so he won't block the view of anyone shorter than Jetfire who ends up behind him. A secondary goal of Jetfire's, it would seem, is to play up the noble and cooperative nature of the Autobots. He quietly points out the Quintessons to Michael Briar just in case the EDC general hasn't noticed them yet.


Aspirating slightly, Fusillade appears ready to expound upon excellent baiting techniques she picked up during her tenure as Aerospace officer, but the hulking forms of the Sharkticons and Quintessons also catch her attention. "Huh. I'll be back!" She waves cheerily, and then sashays through the crowd. Depositing her pale ghost grey and burnished charcoal grey airframe in the nearest empty seat next to the menaces, she props her elbows on the rounded cranium of the Sharkticon, and addresses the closest Quintesson. "Well HEY there, fancy meeting a pair of YOU fine gents here this evening. What Latins words are you and your friend?"


Dreadwind has somehow managed to sneak past the guards using his mastery of gloom either that or they really didn't want to risk engaging him in a conversation, no prize for guessing correctly. "Yeah never happened, until this cycle. This room is packed with beings just itching to do something violent or stupid or both." Dreadwind looks around for a chair and can't find one so he shuffles over to a wall and slumps dejectedly against it.


Exo-Suit Glaive Unity <Michael Briar> takes the card and slips it into a compartment. Michael says, "No, that's alright, but thank you. Humans are fragile when compared to other species." He gives the guards a polite nod before he walks in following his ride. "Quintessons..." he says, almost spitting on his screen as Jetfire points them out. He sits down next to the large autobot. "...if 'only' we wern't here. I'd love to take them apart." he says, the tone of his voice absolutely dripping with poision.


<Autobot> Sky Lynx says, "Greetings chaps"


One of the Quintessons, presenting its Wisdom face, swivels a bit to face Fusillade. "I... am DELICIOUS!" he cries. "That... that is my name. I am not literally delicious. Don't even try to eat me!" His eyes glance over at where Fusillade's shoulder is resting. "Ehm. That is OUR property, ma'am." The other Quintesson doesn't say a word, though. He's currently in his Wrath face, silently waiting for the auction to begin.

Meanwhile, Soundwave was hoping to sit next to his fellow Decepticons, but Dreadwind is off feeling sorry for himself and Fusillade is off bothering the Quintessons. Well, at least one of them is involved in a noble endeavor. He finds a seat a few rows back from the front and sits down.


<Autobot> Jetfire says, "Sky Lynx! You wouldn't happen to be in the vincinity of Xarbo?"

<Autobot> Sky Lynx says, "..Perhaps-- what is the matter, chap?"

<Autobot> Jetfire says, "There's an intergalactic auction underway on Xarbo...aparently one of the items for bid is data disc containing technical data for hundreds of Transformers. No information on which ones, or where the data came from. General Briar and I are at the auction now, but there are Quintesson and Decepticon parties here as well. Along with a very large crowd of other aliens."


Fusillade is actually half way out of her seat, leaning forward to intercept a loose tentacle to be the judge of the Quintesson's claim. When he rather quickly qualifies, she says "OH," dosing the words with an exceptional degree of disappointment. She leans back in her seat, no longer propping herself upon the half-drooling Sharkticon. "Well, Delicious, then what's the sourpuss's name?" She quickly turns around in her seat and scrunches up her robo-face in a robo-raspberry at Large White Space-Going and Obnoxious #1.


<Autobot> Sky Lynx says, "I see-- and, just how large is this, space auction facuilty? I will come back around and make a landing, but-- I need to know the size of the construct to know how much room it, well, fills."

<Autobot> Sky Lynx says, "curse of my size and all--"

<Autobot> Monstereo says, "Any embarassing implants?"

<Autobot> Sky Lynx says, "Huh?"


Jetfire gives Michael Briar a brief glance of surprise, filing away the apparent dislike for Quintessons. Jetfire's no stranger himself to their antics, and he'd resolved to keep an optic on them, but he'd been considering talking to them. Or maybe Michael's strong reaction indicated possible negative experience with these two in the past? Hmmm. 'Delicious', Jetfire notes internally...he'll look up the reference when he gets back to Earth. Jetfire looks back at the stage, eager to get a few quick scans in on the items up for auction, even if he has to do it from here.


Dreadwind is slumped against the wall but for once he doesn't appear to be doing nothing, well at least you can assume he's talking especially given the way a nice empty area is slowly making itself apparent in his general vicinity.


<Autobot> Jetfire says, "Yes Sky Lynx, it's an extremely large hall. Not quite the size of a Cybertronian stadium, but very large nonetheless. You would easily fit inside."

<Autobot> Monstereo says, "That's what she said."


The large white shuttle comes about on the planet's atmosphere, his filters having to adjust to the planets polution levels before he lands down. Taking note of the auction house and the transmissions from Jetfire. The large shuttle then transforms into even a much larger draconic creature. He stretches out his claws before he makes his way toward the building, radioing Jetfire as he does so. "I'm heading to the auction house now. I must admit, this is not my type of activity, but-- let us see what we can see."


Gears can be heard turning, and mechanisms unlocking and relocking as parts attach and detach. Soon rises with large draconic neck upward highly and proud, looking before what surrounds him, and the stance stating true authority over his domain.


Delicious replies, "Well, ah... um... well, you see... he's known as, um..."

"Traumortis." The voice coming from the other Quintesson is icy and utterly sinister. He slowly turns towards Fusillade. "But you have ample time to know me. For one day all Cybertronians shall be at mercy. And when they are? Your suffering will be limitless!" He quickly rotates through his faces as he cackles madly. "NYAHAHAHAHA! LIMITLESS! AHAHAHAHAHA!"

Understandably, some of the aliens sitting near the Quintessons start to look a bit worried about that, and they stand up, excusing themselves to find other seats. Soundwave quickly takes advantage as he flies up and into a second-row seat. He's got to keep an eye on those Quints.


Two large guards, wielding halberds, block Sky Lynx's entrance into the hall. They are wearing overcoats that obscure most of their features, but their red optics are visible, staring appraisingly at the large Autobot. "State your name and the organization you represent," one of them asks.


From Exo-suit Glaive Unity <Michael Briar>, Michael Briar growls softly at that, "These two are jokes compared to Astracius." He shakes his head and looks over at Jetfire, "Any chance we can drag these two out and beat them to a pulp?"


Fusillade 0.0

"I... see," Fusillade says as she collects herself, before leaning back in her seat like a porch weather forecaster in a rocking chair. "Ayep, well... guess you were havin' a bit of trouble accomplishing that whole 'one day' thing on your own, which is why you're here. How many of you guys are left, anyway?"


Sky Lynx cranes his neck up at the guards. There primative weapons seems weak compared to his own hide, however-- he would not start a fight with any native lifeforms here. "My name is Sky Lynx, I am with the autobots and one of my allies named Jetfire is within this building."


Fusillade is all the way in the front row, flirting with disaster. Some mechanoids bore very quickly.


Dreadwind seems to be make hundreds of new enemies as he continues to talk, mostly out loud and to himself, his droning complaints carry just the right resonance to cut through the general noise so small excerpts can be heard. "Then there's this niggling pain in my left... Nobody really listens, they say they do but they're just trying to cheer.... Great that Quintesson has lost it already...."


One of the guards hands Sky Lynx a card with a number on it. "Yes, we know. We have limited seating for one as large as you, but we should have a seat to accomodate you, sir. You are buyer number 53419. Have a nice day sir, but remember, we have on simple rule here: Don't make trouble for us. Break that rule, and you'll suffer the consequences." He gestures towards the entrance to the Auction Hall, permitting Sky Lynx within.


A furry alien, who's even taller than Dreadwind, stands up and growls at him, "I'm tired of you and your whining! If you don't keep it down, I'll rip your arms off!"


Jetfire glances at Michael again, then answers the question with a small calculated smile. "I suppose we can never rule that out," he says non-commitally. He stands up again so that it will be even easier for Sky Lynx to spot them once he enters. "But as our collective combat ability will soon increase by a factor of one point eight, I think we should leave them be for now. For the moment I believe we can probably gain more from monitoring the Quintessons than from direct confrontation."


Delicious glances nervously between Fusillade and Traumortis, then mutters to the Decepticon bomber. "Um, well, there's still plenty of us! Heheh. Um..." More quietly, "Please don't provoke him! He's, uh, well, he likes hurting people! A lot!" For his part Traumortis, currently in his Judgement face, seems to have fallen silent for now, though his lower lip is twitching in a rather odd manner. Suddenly some sort of bizarre, but pleasant alien music begins to play, and Delicious exclaims, "Ooh! It's starting!"

There's some quiet murmuring as the Grand Auctioneer, clad in resplendent, multi-colored clothing, steps onto the stage at last, taking his place behind the podium. A curtain behind lifts up, revealing an intricately carved table, upon which sits a circular disc within a clear case, resting upon an easel.


Sky Lynx moves in, lowering his head down a little as his optical band adjusts to the light levels within. As he makes it in, he notices some of the aliens here, some-- he reconizes, some he does not. However three he knows right away, and the sight of one makes him snarl and growl lowly, that being the Quints. He calm down however, as he would have no tentical stew tonight--

He also noted Fusillade and then Jetfire, whom he walked over to, being careful with his steps. "Where are we at so far, Jetfire?" Sky Lynx asked quietly as he approuched his guardian comrade.


Dreadwind painfully turns his head to regard the large furry alien, "Oh you wouldn't be the first to try and do that, you know it doesn't really help, i mean if i have no arms i won't be able to use the doors to leave or partake any refreshments. Still it's not like violence ever gets put aside we all have to suffer through it. That fur of yours must be awful to look after, it probably gets matted with all sorts of sticky and noxious substances, not that there's anything you can do about it."


"Yeah, well, you're in between him and me, Deli meats," Fusillade sasses, rocking back and forth in her seat in anticipation. Some part of her was crying and screaming at the madness of being so close, but that voice of reason is quickly gathered up in a burlap sack and soundly drubbed by the rest of her psyche. And then it starts up. "Hnn," she says speculatively, rubbing chin with fingertalons. "Yannow, it could... blank. Smelt, THAT'D piss some people off, ha!" And then thinking of something, she lets fly with a general query on broadband.


<Decepticon> Mother Goose Fusillade says, "So, Military Operations. Could the stations at Charr, Cybertron, and Earth run an active sensor sweep to make sure there's nothing taking advantage of this distraction?"


From Exo-suit Glaive Unity <Michael Briar>, Michael Briar hurms and nods, he's neither agreeing with it or against it. He sits there next to the quiet Jetfire, but answers for him. "Hey Sky Lynx. I think it's just starting." he says eventually pulling his eye off of the squids and onto the center stage. He adjusts the large crate he has with him making sure it's right in front of his chair where no one can be so foolish as to sneak up and take it.


Galvatron has arrived.


Sky Lynx sits down and looks to the stage, "..what currency are they running off of and how much do we have? We must make sure that no others get there hands on this item." He says a near whispering hiss. "Such an item would be dangerous in the wrong hands as we don't even know whom it is on."


From Exo-suit Glaive Unity <Michael Briar>, Michael Briar nods, "They haven't mentioned, but most likely it'll be a barter for something or using those standard energon chips." He looks around noticing familiars like Fusillade and especially Soundwave. "For security reasons, I'm not at liberty to say what exactly the EDC has to offer. Since at this point, we'd most likely be betting for the information as well." Oh yes, the EDC could use the info for nefarious purposes as well. Updating their technology with tech even the bots won't let them have for one. Sky Lynx hrms, he wasn't sure how much the autobots had in there energon chip currancy and something he had to look into-- if they didn't have enough, he manage by some other means. "..I'd rather it fall into EDC hands then into.. others," Motioning his head gently to the Quints. "However-- as you know us Autobots, we can't take any chances." Simple enough reasoning, however Sky Lynx honestly didn't care what EDC wanted it for, he just wanted to make sure it didn't fall into the wrong hands.


<Autobot> Sky Lynx says, "This is Sky Lynx, odd question-- but in energon chips as currancy-- how much do we have?"


The Grand Auctioneer, likely one of the Xarbonese, appears to be a humanoid alien of some sort. Almost like an extra from a bad sci-fi show, except a bit larger. "Ahem, thank you, thank you all for coming here today, to this fine auction of a highly valuable item. The item that has been placed on auction by a seller, who would like to remain anonymous, is a data disc. On this disc is the technical information of three hundred and twenty-four Cybertronians, from both the Autobot and Decepticon factions. The seller has not divulged how he obtained this data, but our appraisers have assessed the disc, and determined that its contents are... genuine." There's a slight gasp from the crowd. Well, what did they expect?


Delicious shrugs helplessly with his tentacles as he mutters, "Well, someone had to keep an eye on him! Sometimes he loses his focus. Er. Not that this impedes us in any way, shape, or form," he quickly adds, after he realizes he's giving too much information to the enemy.


NotWookie growls menacingly at Dreadwind, getting right up in his face. "What, are you saying I stink!? I shampoo my fur every day, you piece of scrap metal! You better take that back!"


<Decepticon> Commander Soundwave says, "How can the disc truly contain our technical data? Such data is encrypted and carefully sealed against unauthorized access."

<Decepticon> Dreadwind says, "Oh simple it was probably stolen by someone on the inside that we can't trust so any of the spy types, wouldn't surprise me if they're working with Swindle."

<Autobot> Sky Lynx says, "Because.. we have something here for auction I believe none of us wants to fall into the wrong hands."

<Decepticon> Commander Soundwave says, "I command those "spy types," Dreadwind. If anyone were to betray us in such a manner, I would terminate them."

<Autobot> Monstereo says, "Bea Arthur photos? Good call."


Galvatron comes back from parking the shuttle, appearing behind Soundwave, Fusillade, and that other guy in his typically looming manner. His eyes are narrowed skeptically, having overheard the auctioneer's introduction.


<Autobot> Sky Lynx says, "No-- a disk that contains tech info on.. both autobots and decepticons..."

<Decepticon> Galvatron says, "Nevertheless we should treat it as if it were genuine- acquire it if possible, pursue it if necessary, and destroy it if forced."

<Decepticon> Mother Goose Fusillade says, "What type of bidding authority do each of us have?"

<Autobot> Monstereo says, "Oooh, I've got 5 bucks. Place a bid for me."

<Decepticon> Galvatron says, "As much as you think is plausible."


Sky Lynx wasn't getting mcuh of a response on bidding power here, however-- he would do whatever it took to obtain this disk and keep it out of the wrong hands. Really, if there were autobot tech specs on here, he was sure the decepticons would want it just as badly. This-- would turn into a bidding war.


Fusillade's earlier behavior has cooled off some since the official proceedings have begun. She just may be taking a break to come up with some other way to get under the Quintesson's metallic skins without actually straying into that 'trouble' area which would get her punished by the burly, monoptic exo-suit sentries. Still, from time to time she glances over at the Quintessons and Sharkticons.


<Decepticon> Dreadwind says, "Well there's going to be a distraction in a moment anyway, this furry thing seems intent on violence, it's just too simple to realise the futility of such actions."


<Autobot> Markdown says, "This is Markdown, Sky Lynx. I can't tell you how much exactly we've got, not over unsecured frequencies, but, ah, just tell me what the current bid is and I'll tell you when to stop. IF we should stop. I mean. How bad do you want it?"

<Autobot> Sky Lynx says, "Markdown-- this item is important."

<Autobot> Markdown says, "...I see. Well. Stay in touch with me, sir."

<Autobot> Sky Lynx says, "This disk is genuine and has been proven to be so, it contains over three hundred and twenty-four cybertronian specs.."


Dreadwind stares back at the Notwookien his usual pained expression unchanged, even with the imminant threat, "Oh i'm sure you do but isn't it rather pointless? You know it's all just going to get messy again the very next cycle. You'd be better off leaving it and everything else and just sitting down to wait for your end, if you get lucky you might even die swiftly, i'm not going to be that lucky, my suffering is eternal."


<Autobot> Markdown sounds worried. "Hmm. A lot of people would pay top dollar for that..."

<Autobot> Sky Lynx says, "Yes..and the Quints and Decepticons are also here."

<Autobot> Monstereo says, "The NOC list is out in the open."

<Autobot> Markdown says, "Great. Well, we can't let them have it."

<Autobot> Monstereo says, "Was that a four letter word, soldier?"

<Autobot> Michael Briar says, "If you guys can't flip the bill, perhaps the UN can provide assistance and we copy the data to each of us?"

<Autobot> Markdown says, "No offense, General, but I don't think Rodimus would want that either."

<Autobot> Sky Lynx says, "Markdown-- if Rodimus has a problem, he can bring it up to me"

<Autobot> Sky Lynx says, "General, do whatever you must do, but we can not allow any of them to get that disk. I prefear it to fall into your hands versus anyone elses, so far as I am concerned, that is fine."

<Autobot> Michael Briar says, "Agreed, that's the offer so if you want our help if or when that time comes, that's the condition."

<Autobot> Smokescreen says, "Whoa, whoa, whoa...this is what I get for having my radio turned off- what's this about prices and things and...what're we going after?"

<Autobot> Monstereo says, "400 quadloos!"

<Autobot> Sky Lynx says, "You have it Michael if we get it.. or.. you, we make one another copies, deal?"

<Autobot> Monstereo says, "Wouldn't that be morally ... lacking? Sharing others personal private super secret records? Doc?"

<Autobot> Michael Briar says, "A disk containing three hundred and twenty-four cybertronian specs...both bot and con, Smokescreen. Sky Lynx, you've got it. If needed, we'll pool our bids on the provision the data is copied for both of us with observers for both sides watching."


The Grand Auctioneer gestures grandly towards the disc. "Many things could be done with this disc's information. It can be used to repair Cybertronians, or perhaps even build your own, from scratch! Of course, they would likely just be lifeless automatons on their own, since a Cybertronian's personality component is unique and impossible to duplicate. So, one would need to provide their own means of providing the creation with intelligence. Now. This is a high value item. The starting bid is ten thousand energon chips. Do we have another--"

"One hundred THOUSAND energon chips," Traumortis, one of the Quintessons in the front row, suddenly yells, holding up his card. The crowd gasps in shock. Most of them already realize they can't afford this!

The Grand Auctioneer announces, gesturing to the Quintesson, "One hundred thousand energon chips to the gentleman in front!"


<Autobot> Michael Briar says, "What would be worse, sharing those records with an ally or sharing those records with a squid or con?"

<Autobot> Rodimus Prime says, "Not everything is so black and white as that, General."

<Autobot> Rodimus Prime says, "What do you need the records for?"

<Autobot> Michael Briar says, "To me it is..."

<Autobot> Michael Briar says, "The EDC has it reasons Rodimus."

<Autobot> Monstereo says, "Oh I love tis game. Okay. What would be worse: Sliding down a razor banister or being trampled by a stampede?"

<Autobot> Rodimus Prime says, "Then I'm afraid we can't hand them over."

<Autobot> Smokescreen says, "...You know, if it's really that important, we could just, you know...'aquire' the data..."

<Autobot> Monstereo says, "But seriously folks. Say no to drugs. Delete! Delete! Delete! The groove is in the heaaaaaart."

<Autobot> Hot Spot says, "I find Smokescreen's moral ambivalence disturbing on a very personal level, but I'm afraid it might come to that."

<Autobot> Michael Briar says, "Ok Prime, but that probably won't go well for either of our sides."

<Autobot> Sky Lynx says, "Rodimus--"

<Autobot> Smokescreen says, "It's not ambivalance! It's -FLEXIBILITY-"

<Autobot> Sky Lynx says, "We will need there assistance-- It may be easier to keep our foes from aquireing this information if we work asa a team.."

<Autobot> Hot Spot says, "It's terrifying, is what it is, Smokescreen."

<Autobot> Hot Spot says, "It's gazing into the abyss."

<Autobot> Hot Spot says, "But if you feel you can come away from that still a whole robot in both chassis and soul, then more power to you."

<Autobot> Smokescreen says, "I find that holes make for very bad mirrors, Hot Spot. But! Back to the matter at hand..."

<Decepticon> Commander Soundwave says, "The opening bid is for one hundred thousand energon chips. Shall we outbid the Quintessons?"

<Decepticon> Mother Goose Fusillade says, "I don't have that much."


Exo-Suit Glaive Unity <Michael Briar> jaw would drop...if it had a jaw. Michael does look surprised though as he calls out, "One hundred fifty thousand energon chips." and of course, raises his card. Sky Lynx growls lowly as his commanding leader had over-ruled him. Idiot-- is all he is thinking to himself, Rodimus Prime is being an idiot, Sky Lynx quickly jumps on the disks as he barks out, "Four Hundred Thousand Energon Chips!"


Rodimus Prime has arrived.


<Decepticon> Galvatron says, "We don't need to have that much. We only need them to believe we do."


From Exo-suit Glaive Unity <Michael Briar>, Michael Briar grumbles, "Damn it..." and is almost tempted to kick Sky Lynx in the shins for that one. But just points, "...I hope you can cover that..."


As the ridiculous values start belting out, Fusillade makes a face, and recoils in her seat. Any stray tentacles that might come under her seat get a quick STOMP. And then she raises one wingblade up, half-furled, to coyly obscure most of her features.


Galvatron tilts his head towards Soundwave in a subtle nod.


Sky Lynx hisses at Michael in a near whisper, "..I do not care what Rodimus says.. those disks are to important-- he is a fool if he doesn't understand the value or the importance of this.. so I am sorry.. if he stayed out, I would have kept my word, for my word is my bond."


Smokescreen has arrived.


NotWookie grabs Dreadwind by the shoulders, snarling into his face. "Or you're gonna suffer for a long time, alright, ya whiny scrap heap, but don't worry, I'll kill you off EVENTUALLY!" Then, just as the NotWookie seems to be about to get really violent, there's a loud CLACK from behind him and Dreadwind. The NotWookie turns, and sees one of the halberd-bearing guards. Surprisingly, the NotWookie suddenly looks sheepish as he slowly releases Dreadwind, hands raised as he eases himself back into his seat. Hm. That guy was pretty violent until the guard showed up. What's he so afraid of?


<Earth> Monstereo says, "Attention Canada and the United States. I relay a message from the jolly good english monarchy: You are still welcome to come back to us. Just thought we would remind you. Have a good day."


<Decepticon> Dreadwind says, "I doubt anyone will be able to out bid them they spend all their time finding ways to make more money, we'd be better off leaving this horrible place right now before we catch some incurable infection from these squishy things and wait to ambush the Quintessons after they have won the auction. That way we will only lose half our numbers in the fight that is going to occur.."


Hot Spot has arrived.


From Exo-suit Glaive Unity <Michael Briar>, Michael Briar nods and whispers back, "It's ok Sky Lynx. We could always team up in this. He's not here you know." Of course, he might be coming soon. "For the good of the autobots and the EDC, right?" he says with a slight smile behind the faceplate.


Having borrowed Nightbeat's trenchcoat and hat, as it's not like Nightbeat uses them anymore, and having pasted a thickly waxed mustache to his faceplate, Hot Spot is successfully incognito.


<Earth> Monstereo says, "Oh and this announcement just in, addressed to the planet in general: Winnona Becker lost a contact lens somewhere between New Dehli and Hawaii. She would appretiate the help recovering it. Thank you."


<Earth> Hot Spot says, "I'll get Blades on it."


<Decepticon> Geo says, "Perhaps the Autobots have gone retarded."


The auctioneer is quite busy as he announces the counterbids from the other auction-goers, gesturing to each of them in turn. But he seems to be used to this sort of thing. Soundwave is not deterred by the escalating bidding war, and stands up at Galvatron's directive, announcing, "Five hundred thousand energon chips."


Delicious squeels as one of his tentacles is inadvertantly stepped on! "OWIE! Why did you do that!? I never did anything to you! You Decepticons are so MEAN! *sniff*" He cradles the wounded tentacle with his undamaged appendages, rubbing it sorely. Nearby Traumortis hisses and seethes quietly. "I MUST have that data!" he growls.


"Axel F" plays as Hot Spot slips into the room.


Fusillade plays dumb, "Huh?" she looks askance at the Quintesson. Fusillade hmms a bit, drumming fingers slightly before she quietly stands up, and shuffles to the side.


Smokescreen hurries in! Autobots don't 'breathe' per-se...however, if they did, Smokey would likely be panting something fierce by now. Regardless, he makes a beeline towards Sky Lynx & Co- though he does pause in mid-step as Five Hundred-Thousand Energon chips are mentioned...the 'bot takes a moment to rummage calculator out of a stowage compartment, and starts tallying figures as he makes his way over towards Sky Lynx. "Lotsa cash getting thrown around." he murmurs, fingertips fluttering over the datapad.


Dreadwind acted very oddly for a Decepticon, most would have put the talking furball down the minute he started being hostile but not Dreadwind. Some might put it down to a lack of fear, others to the fact that he knew the rules of the place, the truth would likely only be suspected by those that have been forced to spend any time with him and that being that he just couldn't be bothered to try and fight the inevitable pain that was coming his way.


Fusillade vanishes out of reality.

Fusillade has left.


<Decepticon> Dreadwind says, "I was right everyone in here is terrified of those guards they're going to kill us all, slowly."

<Decepticon> Mother Goose Fusillade says, "I'll be in the shuttle."


Hot Spot takes off the mustache and lifts the brim of the hat to look over at his fellow Autobots. "PSST! GUYS!" he whispers sharply. "It's really me, Hot Spot!" He sticks the mustache back on, a little crookedly, and gives a huge thumbs up before he wanders off to find a seat.


Rodimus Prime enters the auction house with a minimal of fanfare and attention -- the big auction is underway, after all, and most eyes (or suitable photonic receptor organs) are focused on the exchange of bids. Rodimus has a thoughtful scowl on his face, stalking the perimeter of the auction house. He walks up to one support beam, pushing one palm against it, nodding to himself before moving on. "Sky Lynx, General Briar," he says, walking up behind the pair. "Not wasting any precious resources on paying off the spies who ripped us off in the first place, are we?" He smirks from one to the other.


From Exo-suit Glaive Unity <Michael Briar>, Michael Briar calls out with his sign held high, "Seven hundred thousand energon chips." He glares at the cons, just daring them to beat that...but they probably will. He looks over at Smokescreen from his seat next to Sky Lynx and nods, "Hey...better late than never." Then chuckles at Hot Spot, at least he gets a passing grade for effort. He nods to Rodimus as he enters as well, "Rodimus..." even though he's cold towards the Prime at the moment being at odds with him recently over the autobot channel.


The Grand Auctioneer gestures towards Michael Briar as he announces his bid. "Seven hundred thousand energon chips to the exo-suited mammal!"


Soundwave, still standing, points accusingly at Michael Briar as he emits, "You cannot possibly have that much currency! You are engaging in fraud, human!" His head swivels towards the Grand Auctioneer, but the Xarbonese does not acknowledge him. Lastly, Soundwave turns his attention to Galvatron, as if quietely expecting permission to beat that number.


From Exo-suit Glaive Unity <Michael Briar>, Michael Briar shakes his head, "You know, if you didn't destroy your homeworld and burn off your resources in a war that lasted for millions of years, maybe you'd have more to put on the table. Ya think?" He tilts his head slightly and smiles.


Even though the trenchcoat, hat, and mustache make him look like a robot whose overriding prime directive is to touch children, Hot Spot maintains his dignity largely because he's oblivious to how much he looks like a cyberpredator. When Michael Briar unleashes his withering diss, Hot Spot tilts the brim of his hat down and look away. "Ice burn," he whispers.


<Autobot> Rodimus Prime says, "Smokescreen, Hot Spot."

<Autobot> Rodimus Prime says, "I need to talk to you outside. Now."

<Autobot> Hot Spot says, "How did you know it was me?!"

<Autobot> Rodimus Prime says, "Wisdom of the ages?"

<Autobot> Michael Briar says, "Rodimus, secure this line...we do need to talk. If I leave, I'll forfeit the bid."

<Autobot> Hot Spot says, "You and that Matrix, Rodimus."

<Autobot> Hot Spot says, "I tell you."

<Autobot> Hot Spot says, "You and that Matrix."


Dreadwind has resumed his slumped position against the wall, he doesn't even seem to be that interested in the bidding or the jibes being tossed around by various parties. He looks like he'd rather be elsewhere, not that he even knows where that somewhere might be, after all it'll likely turn out to be a lot more dangerous than here.


<Autobot> Rodimus Prime says, "I don't think we have the luxury, General. No comm units on this planet."

<Autobot> Hot Spot says, "Rodimus, what if we activate our Boost Mobile subroutines?"

<Autobot> Hot Spot says, "Can Soundwave intercept /text messages/?"

<Autobot> Nightbeat says, "Blaster can."

<Autobot> Rodimus Prime says, "I'm not willing to risk it."

<Autobot> Nightbeat says, "That snoopy sally."

<Autobot> Nightbeat says, "And anything Blaster can do, Soundwave can do backwards and in heels."

<Autobot> Nightbeat says, "Nightbeat out."

Soundwave shakes his fist at Michael Briar. "Insolent human! Our world has survived in spite of our long war! But yours will not. Hnnh." Looking back to the Auctioneer, Soundwave holds up his card and intones, "Eight hundred thousand energon chips!"


"Now this is just ridiculous!" the Quintesson Delicious cries. He glances over to Traumortis, grumbling, "There's no WAY we can afford this item, now!" Traumortis, however, fixes Delicious with a look that causes him to shake with fear. "Can't afford it?... Oh, no. We can afford this... AND SO MUCH MORE!"


Rodimus Prime rubs one hand over his helmet as he watches Briar and Soundwave exchange jabs that include insulting his species' proud history of nihilistic warfare. He leans over to the mysterious robot in a trenchcoat, tapping him on the shoulder and jerking a thumb towards the exit. He summarily walks in that direction in a hurry.


From Exo-suit Glaive Unity <Michael Briar>, Michael Briar does look a bit nervous however, the case he has can only hold about two thirds the size of that bid he just gave. He looks over at Rodimus and just glares at him.


<Autobot> Michael Briar says, "Oh crap, well, don't got to worry about it now. Heh, nevermind."


Hot Spot gets up and follows, tilting his hat down to avoid being conspicuous. Unfortunately, this means he can't see, and he walks right into a giant ice swan, causing it to explode in violent combustion. Backing away, slapping the fire on his trenchcoat out, Hot Spot looks at the rest of the room in desperate, wordless apology before running out.


Smokescreen, in the meanwhile, just strokes his chin, watching the goings-on with keen blue optics. He hmmms, sparing just a moment to glance over his shoulder as Hot Spot blunders into the ice sculpture- but he just shrugs it off, looking back to the auction at hand...waiting. Hot Spot has left.


From Exo-suit Glaive Unity <Michael Briar>, Michael Briar looks back over at Soundwave and says, "What? Did you say something? Sorry, empty threats fall on deaf ears." He shrugs, "Is that how it goes? I can never remember, but I guess it's close enough." Ok, now he's just hoping that the data for all the janitorial bots that were on cybertron.


<Decepticon> Commander Soundwave says, "Try to stay out of trouble, Dreadwind. We have almost secured the winning bid."


<Decepticon> Dreadwind says, "Stay out of trouble? I've never looked for trouble, it always comes screaming straight at me. It's not like i don't try to fit in and talk with people about things, for some reason they tend to run off screaming or worse."


The Grand Auctioneer gestures to Soundwave with his gavel. "Eight hundred thousand energon chips to the blue robot in the second row. Do I hear a counter offer?..." He waits, and glances at Michael Briar, then at the Quintessons, then at the Autobots.


Hot Spot re-enters, having picked up a bunch of worthless space crap outside. Carrying it in his arms, he tries to go around the back way to the backstage area. "Delivery," he says, affecting a weird Eastern European voice. "Relics of Xarbian First Industrial Revolution to be sold off in next cycle's heritage celebration, yes? Is rusted pipes and cogs, hundreds of years old, very valuable. Am to be delivering to safety deposit boxes, thank you."


<Autobot> Michael Briar says, "Rodimus..."


Rodimus Prime enters back through the main door, his pace only broken by having to tiptoe around the ice sculpture Hot Spot shattered earlier. Instead of going back to stand with Sky Lynx and Briar, though, he heads straight for the Decepticon delegation. Assuming no one blocks him, he goes right for the head -- Galvatron himself. "Galvatron, you old slag-head," he says, trying to wrap one arm around the Decepticon leader's neck frat-buddy style. "How've you been? It's been, what, at least a decacycle since we've tried to kill each other!"


<Autobot> Rodimus Prime says, "Yes?"

<Autobot> Michael Briar says, "Don't be like this. We need to compromise with each other and as much as I regret it, work together. Don't be like this now. Work with me on this. We both have something to gain from this and if we don't, we'll lose it."


Smokescreen has connected.


One of the Xarbonian sentries blocks Hot Spot's way with his halberd for a few moments. He looks the Protectobot leader up and down, then mutters, "Hrm, you must be one of the Labor On Demand people. Ok--" He lifts up his halberd, allowing Hot Spot to proceed. "You may go."


Elsewhere, an actual Labor On Demand worker is sweeping up the remains of the ice swan sculpture. Oddly enough, he also appears to be a mustachioed robot in a trenchcoat.


Sky Lynx doesn't even acknowledge Prime oddly enough and just watches the auction wars. Very few times does Sky Lynx go against his commanding leader, this case, he is doing it yet again. Far to his logic, this data is to sensative to fall into the wrong hands. It was very possible that even Cybertron's own data may be on that disk and thus someone could destroy the whole planet! He-- could not have that.


Sky Lynx rumbles softly as he hears Soundwave's offer and glares to Soundwave before he speaks up, "Eighty-five hundred thousand energon chips."


<Autobot> Rodimus Prime says, "Are you asking me for money, General?"

<Autobot> Hot Spot says, "The UN hasn't even approved Autobot City's budget for the upcoming fiscal quarter, Rodimus."

<Autobot> Sky Lynx says, "Rodimus-- snap out of it, we must work together on this. Those discs are to valuable. I plead with you Rodimus, please--"

<Autobot> Rodimus Prime grumbles, "Don't remind me."

<Autobot> Hot Spot says, "I sent it off a week ago, and it's getting held up in red tape. Damn that UN."

<Autobot> Michael Briar says, "....no. I'm asking for a cooperation between our two groups....and Hot Spot has a point. *you can almost see him grin at that!*"

<Autobot> Markdown says, "Well, what's the current bid at? Maybe we can squeeze by for a while."


Smokescreen hmmms- and opens his mouth to say something- but he soon proceeds to elbow Briar. Noticably- and he turns a bit towards the exo-suited human...and, while Smokescreen's optics are in prime condition, one would almost think one flickers in a wink. Guy knows a plan when he sees it.


<Autobot> Rodimus Prime says, "Markdown, wire the General some funds."

<Autobot> Huffer says, "What? We get funding from backwater primates? -Ugh-. We wouldn't have to look to apes for resources on -Cybertron-."

<Autobot> Hot Spot says, "We don't get funding, but part of our lease of Autobot City's land is that our budgets are subject to UN approval to ensure that we aren't spending resources in a way not in the interests of the planet."

<Autobot> Rodimus Prime says, "Bay Area real estate doesn't come cheaply, Huffer! But I digress."

<Autobot> Michael Briar says, "Thank you, and I'll ignore what Huffer just said..."

<Autobot> Markdown says, "Yessir. General Briar, it should show up in your account in a few seconds."

<Autobot> Sky Lynx says, "can we stop talking about retail and get our minds back on the subject at hand?"

<Autobot> Michael Briar says, "I see it."

<Autobot> Michael Briar says, "Of course, I might have to wire you guys the money to cover Sky Lynx's bid. So we'll just have to see what the cons do..."

<Autobot> Sky Lynx growls and says something mixxed in the growl regarding the cons will not have this

<Autobot> Hot Spot says, "It's called multitasking, Sky Lynx. I actually took a really great course in it from the University of Venus' online education branch. It helped a lot not only with my duties as Protectobot leader, but in my new job as Ops CO. I'd recommend it."


From Exo-suit Glaive Unity <Michael Briar>, Michael Briar nods to Sky Lynx and leans back in the chair. He looks over at the cons and just waits for them to do something.


<Autobot> Sky Lynx sighs, "You are all to light-hearted over this matter, I swear.

<Autobot> Michael Briar says, "A bit from column A and a bit from column B. This isn't exactly an attack from Unicron."

<Autobot> Hot Spot says, "Being too high-strung will put you in an early grave. I took another course in stress management. It taught me some great exercises for cycling through low-power subroutines to achieve a calming effect."

<Autobot> Hot Spot says, "You know, Sky Lynx, I can get you a brochure if you want."

<Autobot> Raptor says, ". . ."

<Autobot> Rodimus Prime says, "'Keep your head up when the chips are down.' Autobot Manual Chapter I, section 2 dash one."

<Autobot> Huffer says, "Like that'll help him any."

<Autobot> Sky Lynx says, "oh for the love of Primus.."

<Autobot> Hot Spot says, "Huffer, I think you might do well in the course, myself."

<Autobot> Michael Briar says, "Maybe a terran appreciation course too Huffer."

<Autobot> Hot Spot says, "You've got a lot of aggression, and I think if you found more constructive ways to deal with the stress of being an engineer, you'd be a happier person overall."

<Autobot> Hot Spot says, "Those don't exist, General."

<Autobot> Hot Spot says, "Amazingly, your race isn't very well liked on Venus."

<Autobot> Michael Briar says, "Oh, I bet you could find it somewhere..."

<Autobot> Hot Spot says, "Or anywhere, really."


Soundwave stands up again, glaring at Sky Lynx. "Both you and the humans are deceiving this auction house! You do not possess this much currency! You cannot possibly possess that much!" He takes a few moments to access NCC's main computer, checking to see just how much they can afford.


The Grand Auctioneer acknowledges Sky Lynx's bid anyway. "Eight hundred and fifty thousand credits to the... er, robot lizard. This is already our most successful auction! And it may not yet be over! Is there another offer?..." He looks about the auditorium... and then...

"TWO MILLION ENERGON CHIPS!"

The audience gasps in horror. The Grand Auctioneer gapes openly and the gavel falls from his hands. And who is that holding his card up in the air? The Quintesson, Traumortis. His counterpart, Delicious, has passed out nearby.


<Autobot> Huffer says, "I'll be happier when I'm off Earth and back on Cybertron. Does your multi-tasking courses help with that?"

<Autobot> Hot Spot says, "I believe the Sleezardo slur for humans roughly translates to 'meddler.'"

<Autobot> Michael Briar says, "Well, we are that..."


Sky Lynx was half tempted to kill the radio jabber as well as he cut a look over to Michale from his optical band before he craned his neck up to look over toward the decepticons. They were taking to long, and he wasn't hearing anything on there channel-- though he may have missed the click if Soundwave placed up any encryption blocks.

Then the Quints get envolved and Sky Lynx nearly chokes.


If looks could kill -- and normally with Galvatron they can, but Rodimus Prime's matrix-enhanced armor is too thick for Galvatron's hate-rays to penetrate -- Rodimus would be dead where he stood. Sadly, life is not so easy for Galvatron.


"Unhand me, Rodimus Prime!" the Lord of Destruction demands, giving Rodimus a shove. "What's the meaning of this sudden excess of familiarity?"


<Autobot> Rodimus Prime says, "To be fair, Hot Spot, our species isn't winning any Galactic popularity contests, either."

<Autobot> Sky Lynx says, "Rodimus--"

<Autobot> Hot Spot says, "True. The Sleezardo slur for Transformers translates to 'more than meets the eye, but what meets the eye is a rectum.'"

<Autobot> Sky Lynx says, "can we.. go over two million energon credits?"

<Autobot> Smokescreen says, "Yeah, but Sleezards smell bad."

<Autobot> Markdown screams, "WHAT!?"

<Autobot> Michael Briar says, "Damn..."

<Autobot> Sky Lynx says, "It is just a question--" rumbles, "..oh-- this wont be good..."


"You look good, Galvatron, have you been working out?" Rodimus tries to brush one hand over Galvatron's weird red stomach grill thingie, but gets shoved away. "Well, you know how I love these opportunities for us to socialize outside of the never-ending war. I mean, when do we ever get to sit down and really, you know, *talk* to each other?" He shadowboxes at Galvatron's chest, throwing a few feints at the tyrant's purple armor. "We're just a couple of ol' boltheads when you think about it, Galvatron. Two regular diodes in a transistor circuit!"


From Exo-suit Glaive Unity <Michael Briar>, Michael Briar is stunned. He's speechless. He looks over at Sky Lynx, then at the cons, then at the quints. He just says, "....ok?" then sits up in his chair. He does a quick computation and says, "That's ten years worth of EDC's defense budget, easily." Michael points a finger at the squidbillies, "You can't have that much! Prove it!" God, now he's sounding like Soundwave!


Abandoning the junk at the earliest convenience now that he's backstage, Hot Spot finds a glass disc that's part of a light fixture. Doffing the trenchcoat and hat but keeping the mustache, he fixes the glass disc over one of his optics and begins to stride purposefully. "Ah, good evening, chap," he says in an overblown space-brahmin accent to one of the security men. "Bah weep... grah nah weep... ni ni bon. I am Baron von Xamot of the planet Xamot. As you can see, my family -- a robot family, we're the kind of robots who breed, don't you know -- is so fantastically wealthy that we named our planet after ourselves. Now. We've a vested interest in these 'Transformers,' and wish to keep their horrible war away from our world. If you can point me to the disc on auction for a private viewing as we consider our bid, I will make it /very/ worth your while." He withdraws most of Streetwise and Groove's bank accounts via subspace, since combiner team leaders can do that, and holds it in his hand. It's the space equivalent of a four thousand dollar bill, most of which is Streetwise's. "Do we have a deal, sir?"


Dreadwind forgotten and alone, as always, merely stares at the auctioneer, no gasp from him after all he knew this was going to happen, he now merely waits the violence is sure to follow. If not aggravated by that overly annoying autobot leader with his smiling and happiness, then by the fight to grab the data and run.


Smokescreen pauses for a few moments as Hot Spot goes and does his bit...and the Diversionary Tactician just sorta facepalms. Regardless...there's not much he can do at this point- besides echo Briar's sentiment. Yeah, that'll play into it. "I concur!" he chimes in, surprisingly loud. "No cash, no sale!"


Sky Lynx stands up from his more prone position and hisses at the Quintessons, "You galaxy robbers, there is no possible way you can have such funds!" The draconic growled lowly. Maybe-- he would be having squid soup tonight. "Prove it!"


"If we rarely exchange WORDS," growls Galvatron, rapidly losing patience with Rodimus' antics and clenching his fists, "It is because I have little enough desire to SPEAK to you except through my CANNON. You are a purile, undeserving punk, and you are NOT my peer, whatever powers that bauble of Prime's may have granted you! We are NOTHING alike!"


"Hahahaha!" Traumortis cackles. "Idiots! I only allowed the auction to go on for this long to give you the false hope that you might win! But your feeble bids thus far PALE in comparison to my VAST wealth! I *will* have this disc... and there is nothing you can do to stop me! Not the Decepticons, not the Autobots, and not that worthless human!" He glowers at the human as he starts screaming. "Oh... you demand proof?" Glancing at one of the Sharkticons, Traumortis mutters, "Open it."

The Sharkticon, in robot mode, opens a large briefcase, and out pours an unbelievable number of chips. Once they stop pouring out, it certainly seems as if the chips could be equal in number to two million, if you went solely by the sheer size of the pile. "Satisfied, fools?... Is it beginning to... sink in, yet? You've lost," Traumortis gloats.


Backstage, Hot Spot, luckily for him, doesn't encounter the more professional, exo-suited guards seen elsewhere. No, these are more like the rent-a-cops of the planet. They don't have armor, or even guns. But they do like money. "Oh, awesome! I can finally afford a shuttle off of this planet!" he grins, taking the accumulated funds in hand. "Uh, yeah, auction's still going on, but I could certainly arrange a private viewing once it's over. It'll have to be fast. I think that Quintesson guy really wants it!"


Galvatron is proud of his robo-sixpack, it's true, but he strongly suspects Rodimus is just teasing him about that. Mocking his hard work in metallipilates!


Smokescreen's optics flash at the sight of so much ener-cash in one spot...regardless, Smokescreen hmms..and leans in, idly picking up one such chip, holding it up to the light...and he hmms. "You kow, I'd be impressed..." he says over at Traumortis, smirking. "...If it wasn't COUNTERFEIT!" Dun dun dunn! "Really, I would've thought better of you..." and so, Smokescreen closes his hand around the chip he picked up...only to open it again to show to a passing auctioneer, showing a neon-pink-painted washer instead. Subspace makes for very INTERESTING slight of hand!


Rodimus Prime spreads his arms out wide in a gesture of innocence. Traumortis' big pile of treasure is spotted with only the briefest of glances -- Rodimus seems to be trying to place himself between Galvatron and anything else that could remotely carry the Decepticon leader's interest. "Aww, come on, Galvatron," Rodimus says with a slight pout. "Just because we engage in a little good-natured competition every once in a while doesn't mean we can't be friends! See, we're not fighting right now, are we?" He looks around the room, smiling and waving to the aliens in the audience. "We're sending out such a positive message -- everyone in the Galaxy is going to pick up the paper tomorrow and read the headline:," Rodimus spreads his hands in the air, if imagining it. "Rodi & Galv-Galv: BFF At Last?"


Sky Lynx was watching Smokescreen's actions and sighs softly. He sits himself back down and grunts gently. Sometimes, days like these, he was he just stayed a 'guardian' instead of being envolved in these factions.


"Really now!" Hot Spot bristles, starting to pull the credits away. "I knew you wouldn't be able to help me. Young man, I want to see that disc /now/. I don't know if you've ever been to Xamot, sir, but the penalty for denying one of the Xamot Royal Family /anything/ is /terrible death/. Not just death, you see, my boy. /Terrible/ death. If you wish to take your money, then you will find a way to let me see that disc /this very instant/, and I will perhaps /consider/ not taking your rudeness as an /act of war/ against my homeworld." He's right in the guy's face, being loud, overbearing, and completely crazy, like all the worst royalty.


"It is NOT good natured," snarls Galvatron, half-turning his back and crossing his arms in a sulky gesture. "I despise you! My allies are true, tested in battle! I have no need of friends like you, even if I wanted them!" He realizes something suddenly, turning back around and narrowing his eyes. "What are you getting at, Rodimus? You were always a fool, but rarely an idiot. Are you deliberately trying to provoke me? You should know very well that if we were to battle here, this whole place would be laid to waste!"


From Exo-suit Glaive Unity <Michael Briar>, Michael Briar is not a spy like Hot Shot is. Nore is he as smooth an operatior as Smokescreen is. He's a weapon and a leader. Point him at something and pull the trigger. Lead human troops to the slaught...er...I mean, to battle. He can do both of those things. But what is called now is not those two things. So he's with Sky Lynx and watches the events unfold.


Rodimus Prime crosses his arms over his chest, looking somewhat concerned. "Now, Galvatron," he says, putting on a slightly condescending tone. "Now why would I want to destroy such a beautiful building as this? You know wanton destruction isn't the Autobot way. I'm trying to meet you halfway here..." He walks towards Galvatron, offering him his hand, staring at his opposite with shining optics. "Won't you be my neighbor, Galvatron?"


Soundwave stands up in his seat once again, looking to Galvatron for direction. "My Lord! What are your orders? Shall we outbid the Quintessons?" Inwardly, he wonders if the Decepticons even can!


Elsewhere, Smokescreen's gambit appears to be paying off. The auctioner frowns, and appraises the washer in his hands with his appraising lens. "Hm... yes, this energon chip is most certainly a forgery. I will have to inspect the other chips individually to determine their authenticity." Naturally, Traumortis doesn't like this. "IMBECILE! He STOLE one of our credits and replaced it with that fake! Are you truly so gullible!?" The appraiser, mouth open, slowly looks up at the Quintesson in that feeble old man sort of way.


Backstage, the rent-a-cop looks nervously over at the stage, where the disc currently resides on an ornate table, then at Hot Spot. "Oh, geeze, dammit, I don't wanna trouble! Fine, I'll lower the curtain, then you can look at it REAAAL quick! But it'll have to be fast. That curtain's supposed to be up so everyone can see the item!" He hustles over to a switchboard, and flips one of the switches. This causes the curtain to drop down behind the Grand Auctioneer, much to his astonishment. Traumortis isn't pleased by this, either. "WHAT IS THE MEANING OF THIS!?" he roars.


Smokescreen gasps at the quintesson. GASPS! "Why! To think, you would accuse me, a noble autobot, of THEFT? Why, we pride ourselves on our honesty, and the fact that we are not the DECEPT-icons, you know!" he crosses his arms across his chest, and nods solemnly. "I'll be more than happy to lend my services to the appraisal of the Quintesson's cash, of course." he says, almost as aside-note.


Hot Spot dashes onto the stage, both of Defensor's (a.k.a. his) cannons in hand. "THIS is the meaning of this!" he yells, opening fire on the disc with weapons befitting a combiner. "You just got Defensor'd!"


"Meet me halfway at WHAT? What are you-" Galvatron sounds exasperated and glad for the distraction of Soundwave's query, turning to face him and giving him a pointed look as he transmits a radio signal to him.


You receive a radio message from Galvatron: At this point it seems best to me to just send Ravage to sabotage their ship- then we'll steal it from them once they get it.


You send a radio message to Galvatron: Yes Lord--wait, we must determine the source of that noise!


Galvatron glares at Rodimus. "I should have known you were up to some scheme, Rodimus! Soundwave, find the origin of that noise at once!"


"Scheme?" Rodimus looks over his shoulder, sheepishly, as Hot Spot starts shooting fireballs at the most valuable item in the parsec. "What scheme?"


Traumortis interposes himself Smokescreen and his pile of cash. "You'll do nothing of the sort, Autobot! And you will RETURN the energon chip that you stole from me, at once!" The appraiser dimly glances between the two feuding parties, contributing nothing to the discussion.

And then Hot Spot obliterates the disc with his rifles. However, since the curtain is lowered, no one can see what is going on back there! Traumortis yells, "What is happening back there?! Where is my disc?! Grr..." He turns to the Quintesson who dumped the chips. "Gather up the money. It's time for..." He grasps a com-link in hand and holds it up to his mouth. "Code Delta." And as he gives that keyword, a Quintesson warship decloaks directly above the auction house!

Soundwave, heeding Galvatron's command, points at the lowered curtain, and what is likely behind it. "The Autobot Hot Spot is firing his weapons at the auction item!" Yes, he was able to hear all of that. The "Defensor'd" bit probably gave away the identity of the culprit. But that's not the only bad news Soundwave has. "Alert! Local security is converging on the Auction House!" And just as he warned, those overcoat-wearing, halberd-bearing, exo-suited warriors are rushing into the hall just as the audience starts to panic!


"A fine mess you've got us in THIS time, Rodimus!" shouts Galvatron over the sound of his cannon as he starts mowing down exo-suited rent-a-warriors with a loud CHOOM-CHOOM-CHOOM noise. "Soundwave, tell Fusillade to warm up the shuttle!"


<Decepticon> Commander Soundwave says, "Fusillade, activate the shuttle's main engines. Activate point defense systems and direct them against the security guards on the hangar."


"They'll be looking for Hot Spot," Hot Spot says as he runs for it, "but luckily, I still have my INFERNO DISGUISE CHIP!" It's true. He has one. Refer to the Junkion TP. Activating his holographic Inferno-suit, Hot Spot is still a marked man, but maybe a little bit less of one.


<Autobot> Hot Spot says, "It's done, Rodimus! Let's /go/!"

<Autobot> Rodimus Prime says, "Alright. Everyone, good work. Let's clear out of here."


Dreadwind watches as all hell breaks loose ion the auction room followed by the inevitable sounds of various gunfire, nothing he hasn't heard or seen oh so many times before. He should really go charging in to help Galavatron blow to bits whoever the target of the moment is but instead he turns and trudges towards the exit.


Smokescreen pauses, and glances at the stage. "...Huh. The stage is on fire." he murmurs- and then, uh oh- there's the guards coming in! And then, double uh-oh, Galvatron's laying about with his cannon! "Gah!" Smokescreen ducks under a random blast JUST in time-

And dives towards the Quintesson & co, heroic sort that he is! "Get down!" he says, giving them a little shove...ostensibly, to get them OUT of the line of fire, but perhaps putting them INTO the line of fire...who knows? Smokescreen's a clumsy sort anyway- he just lands on the pile of money instead. "That Galvatron's a maniac! Someone stop him! Also: Flee for your lives!"


Rodimus Prime doesn't seem interested in wasting any more time with Galvatron now that the deed is done. "You can thank me later, Galvatron," he says, pie-facing one of the guards and pushing him out of the way. "I did us /both/ a favor." Rodimus cranes his neck, looking around the auction house as it descends into bedlam, trying to make sure he isn't leaving any Autobots behind.


<Autobot> Rodimus Prime says, "And Markdown, send General Briar an invoice for the loans you gave him. With interest."

<Autobot> Markdown says, "Typing it up now, sir."


The guards rush by the seemingly non-violent Dreadwind in favor of bigger trouble-makers. One stops for a moment, looks him up and down, then charges off into the fray. Their numbers are cut down by Galvatron and Rodimus's combined efforts, but there's quite a few of them, and their halberds, shimmering with energy, slice at the two gracefully whenever a guard is lucky (or unlucky) enough to get in close combat range. Soundwave dropkicks one of them before it can execute a downward slash on his leader, though, and fights at Galvatron's side.

Traumortis is bowled over by Smokescreen, and his levitation beam causes him to spin around on the floor, like a really slow top, before he remembers to turn the beam off. His Sharkticons rush to his side, helping him up, but he growls, "No, not me! HIM! Stop HIM!" He gestures at Smokescreen witha tentacle.

Behind Hot Spot, the rent-a-cop from earlier wails, "You bastard! You screwed me over! I HATE YOU!... well... I still have all this money. Uh. Thanks!"

And up above, the Quintesson ship begins its descent right onto the auction house, its hull spinning quickly, like a giant corkscrew.


Galvatron backpedals rapidly out the door, laying down a withering suppressive fire. "Decepticons, RETREAT!" He's good at that. No one can say it quite like he can.


"What, me?" Smokescreen says- unabashedly shoving handfuls upon handfuls of energon chits into a large sack- it might as well have a large dollar sign on the side of it. "This money needs to be properly attended to! We can't leave it laying out in the middle of the floor, especially-" he ducks under another blast. "When-" he pauses, and then a Quint ship plows through the ceiling. And the Sharkticons are closing in on him, too....

"Uh, bye!" and in an instant, Smokescreen transforms to his car mode (closing his ill-gotten gains in the passenger's seat- seat belt and all!) and peels out, leaving a cloud of noxious smoke behind him!


"No problem!" Hot Spot calls with a thumbs up, inwardly wincing as he's going to have to waste his entire bonus check from Autobot Command to pay his comrades back. He then kicks down a door and transforms into firetruck mode, ramming through anything between him and freedom.


Dreadwind seems to speed up his stoic advance to the rear or slow down, all things considered it's not like he's drawing that much attention anyway, either way he's well on his way to the shuttle before the retreat is yelled.


"For once I agree with Galvatron," Rodimus mutters, diving under a swinging halberd as he transforms. "Autobots, roll out!" He barks, tires squealing and leaving thick black marks on the auction house's floor as he accelerates towards the door.

Rodimus Prime transforms into a high-tech winnebago. Let's burn rubber!


Smokescreen's form twists and shudders, and mere moments later, the Diversionary Tactician is no longer there, replaced by a red and blue stock car, engine revving.


Galvatron gives one last KACHOOM for good measure and runs to the shuttle!


"NOOO!!!" Traumortis screams as Smokescreen absconds with HIS money. Furious, he snatches a blaster from one of his own Sharkticons and fires it at the Autobot, but it's far too late. Smokescreen is long gone before he takes serious damage.


And then the roof comes down as the Quintesson warship smashes through it. Soundwave manages to jump out of the way just in time, although many of the auction-goers are not so lucky. As he and the other Decepticons rush into the hangar bay, they will note that the sentries present are already dead from numerous energy blasts. So much for the spiel about suffering consequences.


Elsewhere, Hot Spot is accosted by one of the exo-suited guards. "INFERNO! Stop in the name of the--ARRRRRGH!" The guard is plowed out of the way. And a guard also steps in front of Rodimus's way. "RODIMUS PRIME! Stop in the name of--AIIEEEEE!" He's also smacked aside like a bowling pin.


You paged Smokescreen with 'For future reference, you stole about 500, 000 chips. :)'


From afar, Smokescreen (Tumble) wooooo!


Sky Lynx has reconnected.


Dreadwind's slow gait finally gets him onboard the shuttle, some might smile at the ease with which he escaped but not him, in fact it reminds him that no one gives a damn about him at all and with that thought he slumps into a heap.


Mitsubishi Fire Engine <Hot Spot>, 100 miles and runnin'.

Sky Lynx didn't need a word told to him, he was just gone. Litterly-- he was up in the sky, heading out. Crazy draconic-- bird... thing.


Stock Car takes the money (well, at least some of it) and runs! "I love auctions! Always get to take home such surprising stuff..."


As the Decepticon shuttle and Sky Lynx evacuate the planet, Traumortis boards a ramp up into his ship, muttering, "Well, this has been quite the setback... but I am not defeated yet. Oh no. And soon... I will have my revenge! Nyahahahaha!!!"

And the sun falls on Xarbo as the auction house burns, the nightsky filled with exchanges of fire between the Quintesson warship and planetary defense fighters. Soon, the Quintesson warship lifts up into the sky and cloaks, blending in with the blackness of space.


Despite the Autobots' best efforts, however, the Quintessons still managed to obtain the data in Trokius Returns!

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