Space-Worm on a Hook

Who: Sky Lynx, Twin Twist, Springer, Quickswitch
IC Year: 2029
Location: Space
TP: Nova


Summary: Taking advantage of a rare opportunity to plunder energon without guilt, the Autobots continue to mine the K'Tor system. Then they encounter a gigantic, hostile space-worm!...which they promptly blow to bits.

<Autobot> First Aid says, "I take it everyone is alright in Outer space?"

<Autobot> Kup says, "Eh, I think we're doin' okay First Aid. Had a close call last night, but Red Alert and I managed to dock on the Asteroid with Metroplex, so we're good."

<Autobot> First Aid says, "That is good to hear, please do make sure Metroplex comes back in one peice-- i don't want to be out there with Hoist and Grapple trying to repair him when he comes back to Earth. Bad enough he is out there--" sighs, "Anyways, I'll be keeping an eye on things here on Earth from our base.."

<Autobot> Twin Twist says, "So hey, what're you doing in space, chums?"

<Autobot> Sky Lynx yawns, "Well-- I just awoken chap-- My systems are recharging themselves from the flight out here and trying to keep myself in some sort of recharge stasis incase something large happens out here.. like someone trying to blow up Metroplex-- or something of that sort."

<Autobot> Springer says, "You haven't heard Twist? This space system went supernova and somehow created tons of energon just waiting to be harvested. I'm a little fuzzy on the science behind it, but the good news our energon crunch may be over. The bad news is, the Decepticons are going after it too (along with everybody else with working space transport)."

<Autobot> Twin Twist says, "So...the universe has provided another opportunity to kick some Deceptitrash?"

<Autobot> Sky Lynx says, "Indeed-- she does like to be kind--and cruel all at the same time.."

<Autobot> First Aid says, "Whatever the status is, I suggest you becareful what you broadcast over these channels. Decepticons do like to listen in."

<Autobot> Springer says, "You guys are looking at it all wrong...the universe is providing us another opportunity to kick some Decepticon aft. And fill up our own tanks in the process. No more worrying about who the owners are, who might get caught in the crossfire, or anything. It's just there for the taking!"

<Autobot> Sky Lynx says, "well Springer, perhaps you and I could-- go round up some Energon then?"

<Autobot> Springer says, "Now you're talking. You're the brains, I'll be the brawn?"

<Autobot> Springer says, "Wait a second, you're the brawn too."

<Autobot> Twin Twist says, "I love this place. Me too!"

<Autobot> Sky Lynx says, "I am the brains and the brawns, and you just give a hand loading up the minerals we will require."

<Autobot> Twin Twist says with glee, "Does it need drilling?"

<Autobot> Sky Lynx says, "It may require some form of drilling. I haven't had a chance to study the minerals we are gathering the energon from, however-- it is a safe bet."

<Autobot> Twin Twist says, "Well hey that's my specialy!"

<Autobot> Twin Twist says, "Let's just go already!"

<Autobot> Twin Twist says, " DO we get up there?"

(somehow Springer and Twin Twist DO get out into space)

Binary Star System

This was a binary star system is in the K'Tor cluster within the Rainbow Climbs. Ever since one of its stars went nova, everything left in the wake of the shockwave - gutted planetoids and other debris - has been teaming with energon. It's turned into a race to see who can take most advantage of the situation. Alien freighters, miners, traders, pirates, empire warships, scavengers, and others are all here.

Thing Contents:
Sky Lynx
Trypticon <T>
Autobot City <AC>

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.

Sky Lynx flies around through space as if he is walking on the ground. This is his home domain and something he is use to work in. He moves about with agility and grace as he waits for the others. His white armor and gold optical band giving away his location the most as he seems to play with the small rocks in space. Radioing over to the two others, <<So then, where should we start?>>

The DRILLDOZER explodes upwards flipping into Twin Twist.

Springer stands sideways on one of the armored walls of Metroplex, held on by magnetized feet. He has his hands on his hips, surveying the activity throughout space. There are apparently all kinds of ships flying around mining for energon, scavengers and mercenaries and Decepticons, but most of them keep their distance from the Autobot stronghold here. Finally he radios back <<Well Sky Lynx...since you're pretty fast (and you're tougher than any shuttle we've got), maybe we should leave the easy stuff around here for the others. -We- can get started farther away from the base.>>

Sky Lynx comes around Metroplex and seems to fly over past the large city, <<That does sound like a plan, chap. Do you and Twin Twist need to latch onto me, or can you two make it by your own power?>>

Springer shakes his head. << I'm definately gonna need a lift. Hold steady, here I come...>> Springer flexes his knees, then de-magnetizes his feet while launching himself off of Metroplex's wall in one of his famous jumps. But Springer is known for jumping around in atmosphere. Here in zero-g, he literally shoots through space directly at Sky Lynx.

Sky Lynx evades your grasp attack.

<OOC> Sky Lynx laughs

You evade Sky Lynx's grasp attack.

<OOC> Sky Lynx says, "this could be bad. ;>"

Springer misses Sky Lynx narrowly, and continues to shoot off into space. <<Sky Lynx...I was hoping you'd hold still!>> Springer, thinking quickly, bends at the waist so that he can point his arm at Sky Lynx. A small compartment opens up and a miniature grapple line with a suction cup on the end pops out. Springer tries to aim carefully, even as he flies farther and farther away. <<Sky Lynx, -please- hold still this time!>>

Quickswitch has arrived.

Sky Lynx spins himself around, <<Lesson one in space-- Do not push off things with high amount of force, secondly-- I was.>> It amazed him often so few autobots understood the concept of space. It wasn't that hard to grasp-- or at least to him it wasn't.

Springer succeeds in grasping Sky Lynx, throwing it off-balance.

Springer's little grapple shoots across space and snags Sky Lynx (who was helpfully holding still). He activates a pulley mechanism and starts to reel himself quickly towards Sky Lynx. <<...that was a rush!>>

Sky Lynx chuckles and hovers in space, which was easy to do as Springer pulls himself toward the large draconic mech. <<Welcome to space, she is kind, but she can be nasty to those who don't know how to move on her open vastness of darkness.>> Sky Lynx's optical band flickers. << I will most likely be staying in this mode, just so it is easier for me to move about and take ahold of something if need be--- now then, Where is Twin Twist? Wasn't he suppose to be joining us?>>

Twin Twist appears just to the left of where Springer was just standing, he was polishing his drills to make them sparkle just right. A Wrecker takes pride in the finest appearance of his tools. <<Here I am, chums!>> The Autobot transmits, taking Springers lead he fires a grapple at Skylinx to catch a ride.

Twin Twist succeeds in grasping Sky Lynx, throwing it off-balance.

Sky Lynx then takes off after the two 'hitched' a ride with there cables heading out into the deeper part of the space. He made sure to not move to quickly just in case, and luckly space didn't have any form of gravity, so for them, the ride was rather easy and it was hard to judge the concept of speed.

Sky Lynx then came to a more empty area, well at least of activity and slowed himself down he moved himself such away that Springer and Twin Twist would be stopped as they 'landed' on his wings, that way they don't go back and forth like some type of yo-yo. <<This looks like a good place, traffic is rather quiet out here..>>

Not quite so quiet. The distinctive form and shape of the fighter jet, belonging to Quickswitch. rocketed through the chill, unforgiving environment. It was a familliar environment, one he understood, though he had not seen it in millions of years, adjusting his trajectory carefully with an angle of nose and wings, and a controlled burst from his thrusters, appearing suddenly and zipping by almost out of nowhere.

Springer looks around the area of space Sky Lynx has settled on. <<Hmm...looks like things aren't too busy around here.>> He sounds almost disappointed. But he points a small hand-held device at a nearby asteroid. <<That one's energy readings are off the scale!>> The asteroid in question is large and spherical. It has a few signs of liquid energon on the surface but nothing to justify the wildly blinking display on Springer's scanner.

Paradigm has arrived.

Twin Twist is pretty content to drift along. It is kinda like how he has lived the past million years, even during the Cybertronian Wars. He'd drift along with the Wreckers from planet to planet causing havoc where Optimus said things needed to be broken at. And that was fine with Twin Twist.

The Autobot touches down on Sky Lynx's wing, letting his magnetics take hold. Floating into infinity is a baaaaad idea. Twin Twist examines the asteroid. <<Hm. That looks like a delicate drilling job.>> He grins, a little crazily. But hey he's a Wrecker. <<Lucky I'm around!>>

Sky Lynx lands down, taking note as Quickswitch seems to pass by, allowing Twin twist and Springer to hop down on the Astroid far from the city and far from many's views. The astroid seemed highly large, even to Sky Lynx's size, it seemed massive. <<There must be load of energon here. We must gather as much has we can.>> Sky Lynx then radioed over to Quickswitch, <<Quickswitch, hey there chap. Why not give us a hand with this massive texas-t, as the humans would love to say, haha. We could use some speed to get the energon back and forth, and I'm sure that you and I are the fastest about in space.>>

Asteroids are big and rocky. Especially this asteroid, as it floats through space with Autobots poking holes in it. Until suddenly, someone must have hit something, and the /entire/ rock starts to rumble. Rumble hard as parts start to crack and float off into space, a spherical earthquake round the whole body!

Sky Lynx yelps slightly as the Astroid starts to quick-- to him this was odd, and well, it had so much energon. However, he did find it odd that this one would have so much versus all the others. Sky Lynx quickly started to run towards Twin Twist since he was the closet, <<Twin Twist! Hang on!>>

It wasn't easy for Sky Lynx to move across the surface, if the astroid was falling apart, the energon most likely escaping out and if things could get any worse-- parts flying off into space. It was very likely they could all end up floating off into no where land. At Least with Springer, if he was smart, he could transform and use maybe his boosters(if he had any) to help guide him, however Twin Twist, Sky Lynx was sure would be the one really in trouble!

Twin Twist is not one to panic in any situation ever. In fact, one might say that in situations where people panic Twin Twist is the one having the most fun out of anybody. But these kinds of situations were different, oh so much different. Intelligence flares in Twin Twists mind as the asteroid begins to grow unstable he knows that this is a very bad place to be.

The asteroid beneath Twin Twists feat begins to crack and crumble, and Twin Twist legs it as raw energon begins venting into space beneath his feet. The Wrecker registers Sky Lynx's transmission but all he can do is run and reach for the rapidly approaching Draconic autobot.

This is going to be one of them close ones.

<< I'ma hanging chum, not to worry.>>

The rumbling slows, but space is space, and has no gravity. Friction is a thing of the past. All the huge lumps of rock that were loosened still move, scattering towards the Autobots, in particular a huge chunk that is quickly spinning end over end directly towards Sky Lynx! What is a bird-shuttle to do!

Sub-Orbital Fighter Jet <Quickswitch> has been zipping around because his player has been afk. Now that his player is back, the fighter-jet Sixchanger notes the destruction of the asteriod into large 'particles'. Zooming perpendicular to the enormous piece careening toward the draconic Transformer, Quickswitch's wing-cannons release; firing carefully on an outcropping numerous times to try to change the trajectory of the gigantic target, so he can deal with it himself.

Sub-Orbital Fighter Jet <Quickswitch> laughs, almost maniacally, <<WRECK AND RULE!>>

Sky Lynx keeps moving towards Twin Twist and allowing some of the easy debry to wack into his armor with no effect, however what is not seen is the larger peice which slams into him, and start to knock him off. He growls and then bites into the astroid peice fling into annoyingly quickly into space, before his rockets kick on and he slams right down behind Twin Twist. The impact causing sprays of energon to come free and zapping him slightly.

However this is Sky Lynx. Its going to take more then this to mess with him. He quickly snatches up Twin Twist in his mouth and takes off into space, using his massive claws to knock anything in the way, out of his way, as Quickswitch lays into the Astroid.

The gigantic chunk of rock is smashed off course by Quickswitch, missing the crew of Autobots by inches as it sails into deep space. Slowly, the field clears save for tiny fragments of meteorites. Revealing... a huge chasm opened up by the quake, the walls of it lined with pure, glittering energon!

Twin Twist is running along, minding his own business as this energon filled Asteroid does its darndest to explode him into a tiny million pieces. All he did was a little drilling? But no, mister asteroid you just gotta takes this too personally.

Maybe that is what Twin Twist is thinking. Who's really sure what that maniac is thinking. Then Quickswitch cries out the Wrecker's motto and Twin Twist stops moving and fist pumps.

<<YEAH WRECK AND R->> Twin Twist is cut off as Sky Lynx's mouth chomps down on him, whisking the autobot away.

Sky Lynx turned around and if his face could show more expression, his optical visor would be wide, as he just-- well, stares at the energon. He drops Twin Twist, well, floats Twin Twist down to his claws as he speaks, well, mostly over the comm. <<By Primus-- I think we hit the mother-load!>> Sky Lynx seemed rather happy, even more so, it seems space has offered there adventerious attitudes with a large reward. The problem was, not that it was open-- did this mean that others may track it down as well.

<<Quickswitch, assist me and moving this-- or part of this back to Metroplex! If we can get this back, we will have enough energon to last us for years!>> That was one very happy draconic mech.

Twin Twist laughs maniacally, incredibly pleased with himself as he floats through the infinity of space.

<<See what did I tell you. A delicate drilling was all she needed!>>

And thus, sustinence. The sub-orbital fighter fires on the gigantic chunk of asterioud a few more satisfying times, watching chunks come off where his photon lasers hit, at the enthusiastic sound of Sky Lynx, Quickswitch banks and returns, <<Slag... You know what kind of explosion you'd get out of this, Twin Twist?>> he asks his fellow Wrecker, amusingly before his mood turns to one of propriety, <<We need to keep this out of the hands of the Decepticons... Sky Lynx?" The jet cuts his thrusters and moves nearer the large mech, << It's a done deal. Let's get started.>> Resource collection and transport were not among his protocols--but the need for sustinance was, and came closest.

If you look closer, the energon seam seems even bigger closer up, a small amount near the top, with more stretching down, deep into the core of the asteroid itself, glittering and sparkling. Is... is this entire asteroid made of energon?

Twin Twist floats towards Sky Lynx's claws, where the Autobot presumably takes hold of the Wrecker. With lack of anything better thing to do Twin Twist chuckles to himself at Quickswitch's suggestion.

<<Booooooooooom! This does look pretty sweet. I've never seen anything like it.>> Twin Twist cranes his head to look at the widening seam. <<Want I should take a closer look?>>

<Autobot> Twin Twist says, "Think Rodimus will do cartwheels when he see's this?"

Sky Lynx nods his head, <<Just becareful, I don't want to take an energon bathe to come get you out, haha.>> Sky Lynx then looked over to Quickswitch. <<As for an explosion, it would be like the concept of a humans version on an atomic bomb going off-- maybe like.. ten times.>> He ahems, <<And as much has I like to see that myself, because I do find explosions in space to be beautiful things-- We really need this energon, so let us have Twin Twist take a quick look, then we will move it back to base.>>

<Autobot> Kup says, "When he sees what?"

<Autobot> Quickswitch says, "We ought to not clutter the channel...."

With gears spinning and body shifting, the long draconic neck seems to sink back into the shuttle itself, the head of the beast attaching into body of the shuttle and the once mouth with rows of teeth, seeming to vanish. The blue legs of the lower half, seems to fold into the box itself. The mighty Sky Lynx now looking like a harmless shuttle craft.

<Autobot> Sky Lynx has encrypted this channel.

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.

<Autobot> Sky Lynx ahems as he protects the channel, "We-- have a very 'big' gift forever, hehe-- cosider it the mother loads, of mother loads!"

<Autobot> Kup says, "What do you mean, lad?"

<Autobot> Sky Lynx purrs, "We have energon-- lots of it!"

Exhilaration rushes through the Sixchanger's circuits. /THAT/ large of an explosion? He nearly transforms out of giddiness. Quickly followed by its horrific consequence, realization that any living thing would be vaporized. But the explosion appealed to part of his lasercore. An orange flare of thrusters brings the Six Changer toward the glowing cavern. Oooh, the bender he could get from the raw state... it would obliterate /everything./ Quickswitch nears Sky Lynx and the floating Twin Twist, <<Ready?>> he asks the smaller Wrecker, apparently going along too.

Sky Lynx nods and lets Twin Twist do his thing as he comes around the good side of the Astroid and clamps his claws onto the peice of Astroid. <<Alright Chaps! Lets work together, like the team we autobots should be and get this dandy prize home!>>

Twin Twist gingerly takes steps across the surface of the Asteroid. Staring down at the energetic chasm, Twin Twist takes a real a closer look in a most conservative style for him. Really! He doesn't even laugh or pull his gun out or anything.

That and I could use a more detailed description of the asteroid.

The asteroid is rocky as hell, smoothing out as it gets towards the chasm. Cracks arc out where the space-quake struck, leading to a trove of energon, a glowing, rocking path leading deep down, even more density of energon below

Sub-Orbital Fighter Jet <Quickswitch> lands on the asteriod in a dextrous flip and crouch into robot mode before landing finally as a drill tank. Its all-terrain treads move over the rocky ground--Quickswitch transforms into his assault-beast mode to leap over the wider cracks caused by the tremors.

Quickswitch rapidly transforms into a hulking drill tank.

Sky Lynx hauls what he can, while the two others do what they do best and break some more of it apart. He is almost humming to himself as he hauls it back. Today, is a good day!

<Autobot> Sky Lynx says, "Kup, or someone-- could anyone meet me outside of the city for this chunk of Rock, so the science teams or whomever pulls the energon off to make it into useable fuel can have at it? We /should/ have more on the way!"

Twin Twist doesn't opt to transform into the DRILLDOZER, he wants to be able to run in a hurry if things get too rough. But when Quickswitch appears all of Twin Twists worries disappear.

<<You took your time>> Twin Twist says. More boisterously he moves forward confident in Quickswitches ability to bail him out of a jam he heads closer to the fissure itself, and the energon waiting within, seeking more places to crack this sucker open from.

As Twin Twist and Quickswitch get near to the fissure...


The ground seems to rear again, but this time surging upwards as the crack seems to break free of the ground... snapping open and shut. It is a head of a terrible space worm, the fissure its mouth, and the energon its lure! And it is hungry for Autobots!

After dropping off the once peice of rock full of energon, Sky Lynx heads back towards the others, making sure no one is following, ever sense there is trouble, and as he gets closer, he sees the problem, <<Space worms-- why did it have to be space worms..>> Sky Lynx's voice wasn't very pleased by the sight-- he hated Space worms.. he really hated them...

The Sixchanger -Whrrrrrrrr- Quickswitch's serrated drill buries itself into the asteriod, pointing into the resource-rich darkness. He's chosen a partially cracked fissure.... that reveals itself as a space worm! He reverses out and shifts forms more rapidly than the eye can track. He leaps out, his photon blasters hefted, aligned with each optic, staring through the scope at the creature long enough for the mutant Autobot to fire off a few rapid CPU calculations and blast at the worm--all in the space of a few seconds.

The Sixchanger finds a nice spot. -Whrrrrrrrr- Quickswitch's serrated drill buries itself into the asteriod, pointing into the resource-rich darkness. He's chosen a partially cracked fissure.... that reveals itself as a space worm! He reverses out and shifts forms more rapidly than the eye can track. He leaps out, his photon blasters hefted, aligned with each optic, staring through the scope at the creature long enough for the mutant Autobot to fire off a few rapid CPU calculations and blast at the worm--all in the space of a few seconds.

Sky Lynx flies about the fight, examing the battle closely, <<Becareful to /not/.. wait a cycle-- the energon..>> They already had one nice heck of amount now back at base-- so this half.. if they could send it far enough away-- <<Quickswitch, you want to make this rock go Boom?>>

Twin Twist paired off away from his fellow Wrecker to investigate other potential sites for blasting when OHCRAPSPACEWORM! As the terrible beasty rears it's ugly head, Twin Twist is caught near the mouth. Well not so much as caught as Twin Twist felt a sudden desire to grab hold of its sides and try to punch it to death.

Twin Twist is whipped midspace until he finally finds his footing on the creatures hide. Twin Twist scales the creatures neck towards what he presumes is its face punching it in places that look vulnerable.

<<YEEHAAAH! *WHACKWHACKWHACK*>> Twin Twist cries out eventually drawing his own ballistic sidearm. <<This is gonna be a blast!>>

The gigantic worm starts to thrash about as Quickswitch shoots at him, its wormy hard skin, hardened against the vaccum of space starts to crack, and pressurised blood starts to spurt out hard, pulling itself out almost completely, slashing itself at Twin Twist

Sky Lynx flies in and uses his large claws to slash at the worm as he passes by, using his extremely hard claws to rip off the protective armored hide of the worm as he passes by. He then moves back around and slams hard into the astroid rock, to start sending it further away from the problem, but quickly backing away before the Worm tries to snatch him.

Quickswitch springs up into his massive robot mode.

Quickswitch continues firing off bright blasts into the deep cracking wounds he's generating, <<WRECK AND RULE!!>> he calls out. The asteroid and its energon growing secondary to taking down the gigantic space-creature. He fires at the base of the worm, as much not aiming for where Twin Twist is bashing into the worm's face as he is trying to damage it from its base, wherever he can concentrate laserfire.

The worm keeps roaring, its entire body pulling loose of the asteroid as rock crumbles around it, the asteroid almost imploding as the worm crawls out, blood spilling quickly into space as the vacuum sucks it out, until finally with a *SPLOOOOT* the worm explodes in messy gore, all over the Autobots

Twin Twist's world goes upside down.

Quickswitch blasts the creature, causing it to writhe beneath him as he clings to stay upon it. His blows are obviously felt as he climbs further up it's body, the worm twists and turns attempting to bring its energon filled gaping maw onto Twin Twist, the Wrecker stares up at the rapidly encroaching energon field rapidly pushing forward, Twin Twist barely escapes certain death when...

Sky Lynx rips it up and flings it onto the asteroid causing the rest of it to explode in a bloody mess.

Twin Twist is nowhere to be seen. But then, a bloody mass stands from the pile, optics and an insane grin materialize from within.

<<Let's do that again!>>

Sky Lynx yelps and growls as his armor gets covered with worm blood, he seems to shudder in space. His white armor-- now covered with the color of worm blood. He flailed around a bit, seeming to be yelling what sounded like mix of galactical curse words. It probably make a galactical sailor blush.

Anyhow, once the draconic(bad-mouthed) draconic mech calms down(ahem), he stops the astroid part from going to far and takes part of it which was the large hunk and seemed more important(since he could break it off after they kinda drilled it loose) and leaving a smaller peice behind. As he drifted off with one part he turned to Quickswitch and Twin Twist with a purr, <<You two want to blow that up?>> Cranning his head over to the smaller bit. <<For fun? Its explosion wont be as massive-- but it will be impressive.>>

Quickswitch leaps up from the asteroid and shifts in the space-darkness in a frenetic motion of limbs, space and parts, into jet mode. Bursts from thrusters propell him forward. Were his audio receptors decieving him? ...But it was also such a terrible waste.... His guns lock on target, crackling with the energy build, but stay locked, as if jammed by his own mercurial decision, <<For 'fun?'>> It was decided, then. 'Fun' or not. He fired on the shimmering debris from a distance, watching the thick white photon beams silently travel through space and mutely impact their target in the distance.

Accelerated, Quickswitch transforms into a sub-orbital jet.

Sub-Orbital Fighter Jet <Quickswitch> megapew.

<Autobot> Quickswitch says, "Both of you look tried and true."

<Autobot> Quickswitch does not throw around compliments like space-candy.

<Autobot> Sky Lynx says, "Thank You and could not be done with out your assistance Quickswitch."

<Autobot> Quickswitch says, "Twin Twist would suffice."

<Autobot> Sky Lynx chuckles, "Aye-- you both really in the end, but still-- I do believe that worm would have been more trouble without you. Or at least I believe."

Sky Lynx watches the explosion, if he could smile, he would be, but the purring surfices for contentment. He was an autobot, he liked watching things explode, slag-- he use to chase down super novas to watch them explode. He also liked hunting-- and, some other things that many autobots would frown on. However, in a logical world, there was little time for such events, so-- he was enjoying the explosion till it faded away in the darkness. <<..beautiful..>>

<Autobot> Quickswitch says, "Let's get back to the city before I give our unexpected company something to fret over..."

<Autobot> Sky Lynx says, "Agreed-- Lets Thruster out!"

Sky Lynx takes the last load of the rock and takes it back as well. He was a very happy draconic mech, he just wasn't sure what to do with it, expect to load it down and let the scientists deal with it.

The visor-window of the jet is lit with sight of the explosion. He takes a moment to observe the bright flare, his own internal processes surging as the explosion flares white, then dies down to the blackness of space. It was -here- that came to the closest approximation of beauty to him, the responding of his protocols, quickly muted and cancelled out once the sight of it faded. No one was present, it seemed, to see the shudder of the ice-covered fuselage, passing from elation to pleasure to a disquiet that made the Sixchanger turn sharply and speed quickly back.

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