Summary: Tracking down Inferno's coffin, the Autobots discover the Junkions behaving even odder than usual on Oklahomus VIII
This room is dominated by the west wall which consists of a multitude of security monitors, viewing each and every room within Autobot City. A desk in the middle of the room is bare, except for the terminal standard for every office here. A forcefield to the east makes sure that those in the Brig stay there. A window on the northern wall gives a good view of the forest beyond.
"ACTU ALLEY JET FIE ARE, I NEED TO GET TO SPACE AS QUICK LEE AS POSS EE BALL. IF YOU COULD JUST FIX MY VOCAL UNIT AND TAPE MY NOSE, I WOULD BE GRATE FALL," the computer voice in Nightbeat's wristcom says. He opens his shoulder holster and hands the sample to Jetfire. "I KNOW WHAT IS IN IT BUT PLEASE FEEL FREE."
Rodimus Prime stands back up straight as it seems his heroic intervention was not needed after all. "Uh," he clears his robo-throat, sounding slightly flustered, "Good work... Everyone." He folds his arm over his chest, glancing at Jetfire, then to Nightbeat.
Moonracer taps her foot impatiently on the floor leaning suggestively and relaxedly against the wall behind Nightbeat, she's been their all along. She twirls her laser pistol lazily, and still amazingly impressivly with the spins and the reverse grips and tricks, in he right hand and blows a big pink bubbble. It pops and she retracts it into her mouth as she makes a sour look at Jetfire. "He allready knows what's in it." she states sternly.
"HE knows, but I don't. And given what I've just seen Grapple do - one of the most peace loving among us - I'm not prepared to take anything so easily, Moonracer." Jetfire then glances at Blaster, "He's your XO, it's your call. You want I should do a quick patch job, or shall we head down to Medical for the full workup?" he knows what he -wants- to do, but with the situation as it is, he's going by the book.
If Blaster were human, he'd be frowning right now, as it is his optics narrow slightly, however his tone is utterly normal as he comments, "I'm sure the medics will insist that you go get fully checked out before going into space Nightbeat. Sticklers for protocol that they are I know, but best to go along with it, before it becomes an order." No pressure, no sirree. Blaster nods briefly at Rodimus, before continuing to watch Nightbeat.
The door opens and Raindance hovers in, a hat taped to his head as he bleeps his merry way. "Did he break, Nightbeat?" the mech emits. "Got anyone else to round up, I could take them round the back and break their kneecaps..."
Nightbeat just shakes his head and frowns. He taps into his wristcom, which thankfully doesn't talk in an awful Robot Voice. Instead, Rodimus will notice he has a new text message. His face is still slightly leaking oil, antifreeze and whatever else is in a detective's robo-nose. He holds up a hand to Raindance and shakes his head.
Quickswitch emerges from the cell as the forcefield comes down. That, as they say, is that. He eyes the rest of the room, including that little triangle. The corner of his mouth twitches slightly.
Moonracer taps Nightbeat on the shoulder and hands him a clean rag, for his face. She whispers something sweetly to the side of his head but it is too quiet and incomprehenislble.
"If possible, I would like to accompany Moonracer, Raindance and yourself into space," Yellowjacket says, glancing over as the little jet makes his way into the room. "I think we're good for broken kneecaps right now, thanks Raindance." The little robot squints. "But we do need to get into space as quickly as possible. We don't know who else could be gunning for Inferno's space coffin even as we speak. Time is of the essence."
*chirr-PP* Rodimus frowns, glancing at his wrist. A panel slides open, revealing a text message. He glances at Nightbeat, arching one optical ridge before slapping the wristcom closed. "I understand the desire to stick to maintenance protocol," he says, stepping forward, one hand raised to get some attention from the crowd. "But when Nightbeat's hot on a lead, he needs to chase it. Jetfire, do what you need to do to get him out the door but don't hold him up."
Rodimus Prime coughs. "And I don't see the need for the constant secret radio messages when we're /all in the same room/."
Yellowjacket would smile if he had a face. "Habit, sir. We're Intelligence: it's what we do."
Moonracer gives Rodimus a skeptical look and starts tapping on Nightbeat's /old/ wrist communicator he has lent to her now that they are partners.
"Rodimus... I don't think that's a very wise decision." Jetfire replies, his tone trying to remain calm, but clearly straining a bit, "The Medical Protocols are in place for an extremely good reason, and to ignore them when a situation like this arises completely devalues their very purpose..."
Nodding at Jetfire, "I agree, I'd rather have Nightbeat held up for a little longer than be concerned that what appears to be minor damage could leave him open to further problems while on a mission."
Quickswitch hangs back, one optic on the unconscious prisoner in the cell. His jaw servo knotted.
Rodimus Prime points a finger at Jetfire. "When rules get in the way of the Truth, they cease to be good rules. I'm a Class 3 Technician. Nightbeat's good enough to hold his gun and duck out of the way of a laser volley. I'd send him back out into the field if we were fighting a battle right now, so I don't see any reason to hold up his investigation. It's... His face after all." He looks at Blaster. "Your opinion is noted, but we're doing this my way."
Moonracer punches a finger down on the send key as Jetifre begins to talk and makes a very cranky face at Jetfire, but before she begins yelling, and her mouth opens wide as if she is going to, she then steps seductively around to the front of Nightbeat, her hips sliding in and out of focus like a dancer after you have taken three showers in Jaegerbombs. She puts her hands on Jetfire's shoulders. "Medical Protocols, you're so right Hon." She says slowly with an obviously staged giggle to punctuate. "We wouldn't be ignoring anything important, or anything of value. Just like you..." She runs a finger from the top of Jetfire's forehead down to the center of his chest. "Wouldn't be ignoring anything like that either..."
Nightbeat crossing his arms over his chest as Moonracer dabs him with a rag, Nightbeat taps his foot. He motions for Raindance to come over. Speaking slowly in his own voice, he says "Jedfire, this is something that deeds to be dode. Tibe is of the essence. I'm dot here to answer your questiods. Or anyone's questiods. Thad's /by/. job. Dow please, fix by face and bake be talk dorbal agaid!"
Jetfire arches a brow, "Step back immediately Moonracer, Rodimus has made it abundantly clear where he stands on this position. Your ill advised posturing will not be needed." he turns his gaze to Rodimus, and states coldly and deliberately, "It is your funeral, SIR. I am returning to Cybertron, where I will remain until you realize the mistake you're making." he brushes past the gathering, making certain the Fuel Sample is still securely in his storage compartment and vanishes from the room.
"YEAH JETFIRE!" Raindance emits as he hovers over to Nightbeat. "Tibe is of the essence! What's up chiefy!" The small mech turns to Moonracer to glare at her, if he had any features capable of claring, that is. "We'd better go, PARTNER!"
Blaster looks at Nightbeat, then at Rodimus. He pauses for a moment, considering.
Frowning furiously, Nightbeat types into his wristcom. He sends Rodimus another text.
He types again, sending one to Yellowjacket.
Yellowjacket watches Jetfire leave, again, then looks from face to face in the room. He holds out his hands to his sides, palm-up. "Well... can someone ELSE fix his face, then?"
Rodimus Prime points at Andi. "Lassiter. Can you fix Nightbeat's nose? I have more important things to do right now."
Blaster looks at Rodimus, "A word in private Rodimus, if you have the time?"
<Autobot> Air Guardian Jetfire says, "Let it be known, Rodimus, if things go badly, I'm not cleaning this mess up."
Rodimus Prime snaps his fingers, nodding at Blaster and already moving to the door. "Tell your story walking, Blaster."
Andi Lassiter blinks at Rodimus' rather brusque and abrupt "order". She crosses her arms defiantly, still quite put out. "I was specifically told by Peacekeeper that I am not allowed to repair Nightbeat in any way unless he is dying."
Moonracer clucks dissatisfied, letting her finger hover on Jetfire's chest as she is called away to duty. She winks at Jetfire, her face barely inches away from his now. "Don't forget about me Champ. Jail's a kinky place, but I left my furry cuffs at home. " She shrugs and smiles before pinching Jetfire's cheek and giving him a shake. "I know you couldn't forget little ol' me though could you cutie." She chuckles and sort of leaps up to go, but first leaps behind Jet slapping him on the ass and then leaps away! following after Nightbeat and Raindance. But she turns back at the last minute making the pantomime gesture for TELEPHONE with her hand and holding it to the side of her face as she mouths, 'CALL ME'
Rodimus Prime turns his head to look over his shoulder, "I'm Peacekeeper's boss. Thanks!" He looks to Blaster. "So what's on your mind, pal?"
Blaster moves, falling into step next to Rodimus. However he waits till he is outside the room before he says anything.
Nightbeat sighs and shrugs. "Fide. Leb's go, Raidad, Moodracer, Yellowjacked. I'b bulling ub the wikibedia bage on resedding robo-doses." He frowns, reads his wristcom and attempts to reset his own nose.
Nightbeat recognizes that the damage to Nightbeat is beyond his ability to repair, and stops attempting.
<Autobot> Rodimus Prime says, "It's just cosmetic damage, Jetfire. He'll be fine."
<Autobot> Air Guardian Jetfire says, "Assuming that's all it is."
<Autobot> Yellowjacket says, "There are three of us with him. I think we can handle it if anything goes wrong."
<Autobot> Air Guardian Jetfire replies with more than a hint of sarcasm, "Oh I'm quite certain."
Andi Lassiter hmphs after Rodimus leaves. "And that affects me how?" The 'boss' has been acting really snarky lately, and in her current bad mood, she's not about to put up with ANYthing. "Whatever. I've wasted enough time here." She starts for the exit.
<Autobot> Blaster has encrypted this channel.
Yellowjacket frowns. "Is it just me, or has disobeying orders become an epidemic in the Medical division these days?" The little commando looks troubled, but turns towards the Intel XO. "Looks like you're not getting any help from them. Let's go."
<Autobot> Blaster says, "I'll say this once, politely. Please stop arguing on a channel that certain Decepticons can intercept. The last thing we want is to give them ways to pick at our resolve by showing them our differences."
Nightbeat nods. "Yeah, led's go."
Moonracer sighs and taps Nightbeat on the shoulder, "Buddy I told you not to go off fighting Crime without me, and now you're all hurt. " She makes a genuinely concerned and sad face. "Nightbeat. Seriously. Look at me sugarpie. Want Moonracer to kiss it better?" She whips Nightbeat around to face her, and grips him forcefully around the waist bending him backwards and planting a decidedly PG-13 kiss on the bot's nose. She releases only after like 5 minutes and with a sigh of relief, because as proven in TFTM Transformers DO breathe. "Ok, now let's go."
<Autobot> Huffer says, "Oh yes, I'm sure that's not clear as crystal already. Good advice."
Looking uncomfortable after Moonracer's kiss, Nightbeat begins jogging out the door.
Blaster considers, "I have a couple optics on him already. And we may be made of metal, but a shattered nose provides a ready entrance."
Nightbeat and his posse are on the way to the gravlift!
Autobot Shuttle Alpha Trion
The interior of the shuttle is very roomy. There is a highly technical cockpit that seats numerous bots at various stations, and a huge cargo area for additional troops or equipment.
Blaster might be tumbling down hill, getting carried, flying through the air as someone objects to the music it is playing, or physics just got rewritten.
Spinning around in his pilot's chair, Nightbeat looks at his wristcom and frowns. It beeps faintly. "Yellowjacked, punch be in the face," He says, scowling at the yellow commando. "Dow."
Yellowjacket blinks. "I... what?" he replies, staring at the Detective. "Seriously?" A pause. "In the /face/?" His optics widen slightly. "Are you... okay?"
Moonracer sighs, "I kissed it better stop talking like a retard."
Ghetto Blaster is sitting nicely in a crate at the back of the shuttle. He really is going to have to pay that gumby tech some energon sometime, keep him quiet about this sort of thing.
His optics narrow to mere slits. "Dis is by bissiod, liddle Yellowjacked. Punch be in the face. Ride dow." He points to his nose. "Do id. Don'd be such a femme aboud id."
Moonracer jumps in front and punches Nightbeat in the face.
Moonracer strikes Nightbeat with punch.
"I'll punch you!" Raindance bleeps excitedly. "Go on, I can!"
Moonracer says, "I'm getting to old for this slag Nightbeat! Tool old, for this slaaaaag!"
*POP* Nightbeat's head jerks back at Moonracer's punch. He grimaces, and more dark fluid come sout of his nose. Reaching itno the shuttle robot first-aid kit, he pulls out a big piece of white tape. He places it over his nose, reaches for a rag, and begins wiping it clean. "Ouch. Thank you. That's much better." He clears his throat, "Inferno's coffin has been stolen. It's not where I left it... my tracking software, Microsoft CoffinTrakkk 3.5, says it's in the Midwestus System. That's where we're headed... be prepared for anything. And /don't/ get in my way." He turns around and guides the shuttle.
"Well, alright," Yellowjacket replies, before balling up a fist. Then he leaps forward to punch Nightbeat in the face... at the exact same time as Moonracer! Uh oh!
Nightbeat was actually punched by both at the same time. Which is why it worked. That is totally what happened.
Moonracer sighs, "The problem is you are using KoffinTrakkk 3.5 and not CoffinTracker 3.5 Technically it doesn't matter what version you are using if you are using Koffintrakkk because it's a pirated viral software put out by the Ku Klux Klan, see how it always tells you the coffin is here int he deep south. Because it's a dirty trick used to lure in robots with black face and burn them on the cross. You need Microsofts real software to find out where it really is. this is a scam."
Ghetto Blaster makes a mental note, if Nightbeat is his normal self, to have that normal self go see a shrink. Even if it means having to pay for a human one. However he remains silent in the back, in a crate of stuff (who knows what it is, could be anything).
Moonracer puts her hands on her hips. "Didn't you get the recall notice?"
A paradise on earth, a planet that is deemed extremely valuable to galactic heritage, Oklahomus VIII was once a gigantic city-planet, covered in metal buildings and gardens. Now it is deserted save for the wildlife, a testament to a once great civilisation. And now... now it has new occupants. All over the planet are landing sites, where huge pods lie, and workers are busy ripping out the buildings with wild abandon. Junkion workers...
Nightbeat, cocking the plasma shotgun he grabbed from the shuttle's gun rack (right by the mounted antlers and 'I SHOT MY WIFE FER GOIN' TO SCHOOL AT UNIVERSITY OF PHOENIX' bumpersticker, addresses his posse as the dust kicks up in clumpy clouds around his feet. "Look sharp. The coffin is due East..."
Yellowjacket, resident commando, slips into the dust cloud. "I'll scout ahead," he calls, before dropping off most conventional sensors.%
The planet looks just like the desc does. All around are Junkion workers singing "hi ho, hi ho, its off to work we go!" as they stripmine the planet, removing ancient walls and muriels
Marissa is here as well. You might not have noticed her since she's a human and big robots sometimes forget humans are here. Stepping out of the shuttle along with the others. She's wearing standard EDC issue body armour, with a pistol strapped to her hip. "You know," she comments as she gazes out at the working Junkions on the planet Oklahomus VIII, "I don't think anyone back home believes the reports I write anymore."
Laser Pistol <Quickswitch> had an uneventful shuttleride and wakes up from standby with a short yawn before heading out onto the wild, overrun former metropolis.
Raindance bobs out of the shuttle too, his camera form swinging back and forth. "Oh lovely, galactic heritage" he mutters. "These places are a ripoff. Can we just go to the giftshop and then leave?"
Yellowjacket sneak sneak sneaks past the workgroups of Junkion miners, being as inconspicuous as possible. Which, for him, is VERY inconspicuous indeed.
Among the many myriad of Junkions scouring the planet for raw materials is one decidedly unusual Junkion: Instead of the typical red, orange, and greys, this junkion is bright green, and looks like a giant gecko! Some might recognize him as Lee-Zard, who hangs around in Autobot City a lot... Until now.
Moonracer wouldn't want Nightbeat to sadface!
Marissa glances at the hovering aeroplane-thing that is Raindance as she marches with the others. "This? This is nothing. In my time with Earth Defence Command I've visited three gangster planets, two cowboy planets, and twenty-eight nazi planets."
Stopping and turning, Nightbeat looks at his assembled crew with a frown. "Alright. There are more of you than I expected. How that happened, I don't know. LEt's split into two teams. No, three. Team Yellowjacket already left." He points at MArissa, "You. MArissa. Lead team two. Take Quickswitch and Moonracer, try to flank that building..." he points to a still mostly-standing skyscraper with a billboard advertising tractors mounted on it. "Raindance and I will flank it from the other direction." He sets his robo shotgun on top of Raindance. "Carry this for me." He transmits a copy of Coffin_Trackkker3.5.exe to Marissa via wristcom.
As the Autobots stand around talking, some of the Junkion workers start to drift nearer the shuttle, eyeing it up and stroking their chins. One of them puts on a monacle and leers in Marissa's face. "HEIL!" he cries
Marissa glances at the monocle wearing Junkion. "Wait, scratch that. Twenty-nine." She shakes her head. When she gets back home, she's just going to write 'Nothing happened' in her report to avoid everyone making fun of her again. Faireborn offers a salute to Nightbeat as the microcomputer in her body armour receives Coffin_Trackkker3.5.exe.
She double clicks the icon on the wrist-mounted touch screen. This program has performed an illegal operation and must be shut down. The hell? Marissa clicks 'Ok'. Suddenly the screen freezes up. Marissa clicks control-alt-delete, tapping her foot as she waits. After a few moments she powers the system off and powers it back up. The Windows starting music can be heard.
"Ok, ready to go!" Faireborn looks to her team of Quickswitch and Moonracer, heading towards the massive skyscraper with the billboard advertising tractors mounted on it, trying to see what info can be gained from the Coffin Tracker v3.5.
Raindance bleeps and starts to follow Nightbeat. "Don't worry boss, if they try anything, I've got your back. Not like that broad Moonracer. I don't trust her, spends too much time with Grapple, if you /know/ what I mean." He turns to regard the Junkions suspiciously. "I don't trust them either. We'll come back to find the shuttle propped up with bricks..."
Drill Tank <Quickswitch> rolls over the ground and comes to a halting SCREECH. He wasn't gonna take orders from a human, his internal systems groused at the thought, and one of Elita's femmes, no doubt! A quick shift into his flying assault beast mode, with a soft growl. The two smallest would jeopardize their mission--there, see? He tensed as the Junkion directly addressed the human. The sixchanger growled as he sniffed at the air, "...I wonder if they're friendly?" he thought, moving over thr ground.
A pair of burly-looking Junkions begin prying open a pair of large, dilapidated doors. They make an opening in the metal panels, large enough for the bright green body of Lee-Zard to squirm inside. Soon, the doors open wide, letting in the other two Junkions, who then proceed to unload the content while Lee-Zard himself begins to examine the building's internal structure and materials, his optics glowing brightly as he uses his scanners to obsorb information about the alien technology.
"Team" Yellowjacket continues to slip silently to the East, dodging around the picks and axes of the Junkions as he races towards the coffin. Or at least, towards whatever it is that Coffin_Trackkker3.5.exe is leading him towards. Approaching a barricade of Junkions doing the Can-Can, his optics dim. Then, with a shrug, he flexes his legs, spreads out his arms and performs a flip right over their heads. His legs scissor outwards, then back in for the perfect landing. He pauses, revelling in his awesomeness, before remembering that no one can see him and hurrying onwards.
There is a rumbling, and the ground in front of Nightbeat and Raindance starts to crack and crumble. A Robo-Sandworm, rusty, junky and wearing a Porkpie hat and handlebar moustache, pops out of the chasm! "RAR! EXECUTE DESTROY MEDDLING KIDS PROTCOL DOT EXE!" it rumbles. Its big crazy Lamprey mouth comes down on Nightbeat and Raindance, swallowing them... and then returning to the ground. It leaves a small blue puddle where it drooled a little bit during its speech, because really, it needs etiquette classes.
Atop the skyscraper, the only building that isn't being totally dismantled, stands a tall, portly round figure, staring down at the Autobots. His name... is Banquo, and he is a junkion. A pretty high ranking one, since some of the workers seem to be taking orders from him. "Faster! Faster!" he cries. "Meals for all, dinnertime soon! Fries only nintynine pee!" And then, he raises a finger and points it at the Autobots below. "Nonpaying customers! Banquo to all stations, we have shoplifters! Doctor_Hildalgo.exe, eat them all!"
"I'm not sure," Marissa replies to Quickswitch. "Overall I find Junkions to be strange, but usually not violent unless provoked. But there have been notable exceptions." The movie for example. "They can be amazingly random at times. It goes without saying that we'll need to be on guard. I hope everyone remembers the Universal Greeting." Keeping a close eye on the Junkions, Team Marissa reaches the side doors, where her team is meant to enter. She gestures to Quickswitch for them to gain entry. She's curious whether he'll try to open it normally before annihilating it.
From under the ground comes a muffled noise. A small burst of lasers, and then Raindance's voice. "Its okay boss, I think I can find a way out, if I just go deeper into its stomach... oh PRIMUS NO!" And then there is silence. Blissful silence
There is a largre green pipe sticking out of the ground next to Marissa's team. As Banquo shouts his orders from atop the building, Junkinos start mobilizing toward the pipe... slowly, though, and drooling blue liquid. The ground rumbles, and... out of the pipe, with an *ootootoot*, pops Doctor_Hildago.exe, the giant moustachioed sandworm! The Junkions seem to be afraid of him.
Doctor_Hidalgo.exe also seems to have a blowhole. It spouts up dirt, a few dead mammals, and a gush of blue liquid. "EXECUTE YOU CAN'T ALWAYS GET WHAT YOU WANT DOT EXE!" The sandworm bellows, wiggling in a menacing way toward Quickswitch, Marissa and Mooonracer.
Lee-Zard scampers out of the building, a wierd-looking mechanical component in his mouth, trailing severed wires behind it. He transfers the object to his tail, and makes a bee-line for the position of some of the intruders, approaching Marissa and Quickswitch. He rears up onto his hind legs, and holds out a hand to halt thier progress. "STOP!" He says, with as large a voice as the small Junkion can muster. "Monty Python datatracks activated. Initiate quotation thingamajig! They who would cross the Bridge of Death must answer me these questions three, ere the other side he see!" However, his presence is likely to be overshadowed by the menacing and mysterious Dr. Hidalgo.
Moonracer screams instantly, "But if you try you'll find!" she reaches to her hip and suddenly her laser pistol is grasped firmly in both hands and she draws a bead on the monster, "You get shot till you bleed!" she pulls the trigger and let's one fly right between the eyes! Her aim is true even if her reckless endangerment of the objectives requires complete and utter ignorance to same said objectives.
"What was it?" Quickswitch purrs as he treads silently next to Marissa, "Bah woop--Oh to the pit with it, I don't think that thing's friendly!" Quickswitch snarls. His assessment of the Junkions would have to wait. So would the door. Quickswitch shifts up into robot mode and lands with a crunch against the ground. Hopefully the human didn't just bite the dust, "You want a piece? Come and get it!" he bellows toward the disgusting sandworm and levels his blasters at it--fires alternately from both his blasters, suddenly in his hands. Pewpewpewpewpewpew at its head and underside.
Raindance finally manages to escape from the fiendish Dr Hidalgo, but the exit route is far far far too gross to describe in a public room. The dirty and rather smelly cassette slowly hovers forwards, only to find Lee-Zard blocking his way. "What!" he emits, exasperated. "What questions, there are no questions!"
Marissa doesn't think any of the green pipe near her team. It's just a pipe after all. Surely it does not lead to a warp zone to world 8-1. But as junkions start to mobilize around it, Marissa suddenly takes interest. As a Junkion bursts out of the pipe shouting at them, Marissa instantly reaches for her ridiculously overpowered sidearm. Grimacing at the disgusting display of spewing dirt, small animals, and some kind of blue liquid, Marissa takes brief aim and fires several violet bolts of energon powered lasers towards the worm thing as the Autobot sixchanger does. Lee-Zard's sudden arrival is the least of the weird things happening here. "Sorry Lee-Zard, but we hardly have time to play three-questions!" Maybe she's not a Monty Python fan.
Overpowered by more kinds of lasers than he has ever heard of (his doctorate is in masers), Doctor_Hidalgo.exe falls to the ground in anguish. "EXECUTE TELL MY WIFE I LOVE HER DOT EXE," he emits, before falling dead. Punching his way out of the beast's stomach is Nightbeat, covered in blue Juice and rusty bolts. "Hmm. Splitting up didn't work. My deduction is..." he points to the rooftop, at Banquo. "/He/ is behind this!"
Yellowjacket is way off in the middle of nowhere by now. Still running East.
Moonracer remains in point trying to cover her compatriots. "This is just like the time I was working Star-Port security and these Orbulons had fed 80 kilogram bags of Space-Heroin to their giant sandworm, and the one of them broke and it had chronic diarhrea."
On the rooftop, Banquo shakes his hand at Nightbeat as Dr_Hidalgo.exe falls. "Curse you Autobots, the fortune cookies have been kind to you! Bobzilla, cover my escape!" A gigantic zepellin pulls up beside the building, and some Junkion workers load what looks to be... a coffin onto it. Meanwhile there is a gigantic ROAR!
...and a tiny knee-high Godzilla looking Junkion starts toddling up to the Autobots, breathing sparks from his mouth
Lee-Zard's lizard-like head gives a little twitch, and his optics begin to flicker scenes from old cowboy movies for a brief moment. "Well then, you gotta ask yurself one question: "do I feel lucky?" Wehl, Punk, do yah?" The cowboy movies stop playing, and Lee-Zard focusses his attention on Raindance, since the others are busy wih Dr. Stinky or whatever he is. "The first question! WHAT is your... NAME?" Lee-Zard asks. He knows Raindance's name, of course. But that's the quote. "WHAT is your QUEST?" He continues, raising a finger to point up into the air. "Error accessing Monty Python memory tracks/ Retrieving/ C colon Run, DOS, Run!" Lee-Zard's optics flicker with clips from The Holy Grail. "File corrupted by Fallout 2.dat. Do you have the Holy Hand Grenade of Antioch? On second thought, let's not go to Camelot, it is a silly place."
Raindance ponders Lee-Zard's riddle for a while. His computerised brain takes in all variables, all possibilities. And then a little tickertape prints from his front. "Uuuuh 'yes'?" he attempts. And at that point, a bit of Dr_Hildago's colon flops onto his head. "I have had better days"
Pointing to the sky and the zeppelin now, Nightbeat frowns hard. "One of you... any one of you that can fly," he looks down at Lee-Zard, "I assume that's /not/ you, Quotey," He cocks his shotgun, "Needs to get me up there, fast. We can't let that coffin get out our grasp... and if they counter my tracking software with their own cofin_malware.bin... there's no hope for solving this case!"
Marissa cringes at the death of Doctor_Hidalgo.exe and Moonracer's story. "That's disgusting," she says of both. Lowering her pistol, Marissa addresses Nightbeat, "Welcome back." Marissa cranes her neck to look up, squinting in the sunlight as she stares at the gigantic zeppelin carrying Inferno's coffin. Another thing that is not going to make it into the report. She'll let Quickswitch deal with the issue of getting Nightbeat up there, and instead peers at the Godzilla robot. It's knee high for a TF, which makes it about her height. "Bah weep gri ninni bong?" she tries hopefully.
Moonracer falls to her knees tearing at her 'hair', "THERE IS NO HOPE FOR THIS CASE!?!?!?" she asks frantically of no one in particular, bawling, "My career, just barely started, oh god nooooo! I'll never be able to climb my way up from the mailroom to sleeping with Rodimus NOOOOW!?!?!?!?" She places her head in her hands weeping quietly.
Assault Beast <Quickswitch> only lowers his blasters once the disgusting creature falls over dead. He quirks an optic ridge at that, "That takes care of that--and as luck would have it... Hop in!" A frenetic transformation into jet mode as he opens what passes fora cockpit (it's murky subspace really), "Try not to jostle around too much," he calls over to Nightbeat.
Sub-Orbital Fighter Jet <Quickswitch> can also fly faster than a zeppellin.
The zepellin starts to chug off, a ladder dropping down from it to the ground, that all the Junkions seem to be gravitating towards. Well, some at least. Others are still busy ripping chunks out of this site of galactic heritage. "Hurry!" Banquo cries. "Restaurant closing soon, drink up and pay your bills!"
"Can any of you fly," he spits acerbically, "The air is my domain."
Looking weirded out, but then thinking better of it, Nightbeat hops inside Quickswitch's cockpit. He closes his eyes, "Subspace gives me the robo-jobos..." he shudders.
"Is that your final answer? Error, error, you are the weakest link, good bye!" Lee-Zard chirps a reply to Raindance's response to the questions. He clearly does not feel lucky, or he would not have just been eaten by a giant sandworm. "It's closing time, you don't have to go home but you CAN'T stay HEAR. Seeya later, alligator!" Lee-Zard scampers towards one of the ladders dropped from the zepplin, and starts crawling up. "Acessing Warcraft 2.exe, I can see my house!"
Sub-Orbital Fighter Jet <Quickswitch>'s 'cockpit' snaps shut. Perhaps one day he'll have a true cockpit installed, when pigs flew and humans pretended to be heads and guns. He launches into the air and blasts off loudly in persuit of the zeppellin, "I'll eject you when I am in range."
Marissa stares at Moonracer, taking several steps back. Lee-Zard also seems to be malfunctioning. One by one Marissa's robot pals are going crazy!...er. She watches Lee-Zard scamper about. "What... ok, those other Junkions might be insane normally, but Lee-Zard at least isn't a villain. What's gotten into them?"
Raindance starts to chase after Lee-Zard. "No you don't!" he emits, overtaking a Junkion that is carrying a windowframe. "Come back here!" He starts to uh, hover up the ladder, since he has no limbs. "Flippin' Junkions! Stop stealing buildings and stuff, that's galactic heritage trust property. There's like, tea-shops and everything here!"
Looks like the blimp is in range!
Sub-Orbital Fighter Jet <Quickswitch> vooms, ahaha! "We're here! You may take your leave, Nightbeat. Give 'em hell!" Quickswitch opens his cockpit to the port side of the zeppellin, as he passes it. Woosh.
"Tea: Earl Grey, hot!" Lee-Zard replies to Raindance's complaints. "What What is the air-speed velocity of an unladen swallow? African or European swallow? Is it carrying a bloody coconut? Big ones, small ones, some the size of your head. Double Z-cups like ZZ-Top!" Lee-Zard says, scampering up the ladder likenobody's business. Lee-Zard's climbing skills are unbeatable!
Ejecting into the air, Nightbeat overcalculates, because he is a detective, not a math nerd, and clutches onto the balloon part of the blimp. He reaches for one of the metal parts to steady himself... but that just makes sparks, which spread all over the balloon.... "Oh sweet Space Christ..."
"Oh for the love of Primus," Quickswitch transforms in mid-air, continuing by way of small wing-thrusters beneath his body, "Be careful," Quickswitch rumbles as he places his claws and maw on Nightbeat to try to 'carry' him by his mouth and drop him into the zepellin that way.
Lee-Zard might suddenly find the ladder going limp... because as Nightbeat causes sparks, the zepellin, already heavily overloaded suddenly bursts into flames, tipping down and spilling Junkions who crash to the ground all over. The coffin too falls out of the sky, and Banquo, atop the flaming vessel, shakes a fist. "Oh, the huge matinee!" A junkion matinee falls out. Banquo looks at the flames. "And the humanity too! But I don't understand it... it was powered by batteries!"
Meanwhile, the tiny Godzilla is now Marissa's friend, and is wearing a hat.
Marissa tentatively reaches out to pat the mini Godzilla. "I'm never going to understand Junkions," she mutters, looking back up at her friends as they battle overhead. Nightbeat's on the blimp now, Quickswitch is flying around trying to get him in, and Raindance is chasing after Lee-Zard.
AS the blimp explodes, Nightbeat grabs onto Quickswitch, and then dives toward the falling coffin! "Raindance, this is Nightbeat! Do you read me? Get Moonracer down to the coffin's estimated point of arrival! Use Coffin_Lander2.exe!" He hugs the coffin like a lover (a jetfire??) as it falls to the Oklahomus Ground. There are no Nazis to steal parachutes from
Raindance blasts off the ladder as the zepellin falls, flying after Nightbeat as he plummets to the ground. "You dont' need Moonracer!" he cries. "You can use Inferno's dead body to cushion your fall. Its what he would have wanted!"
Assault Beast <Quickswitch> snarls at Banquo just for being there as he, too, dives for the ground and fires tail beam at the offending Junkion. Afthole.
As Nightbeat and the coffin begins to fall, Marissa holsters her sidearm and sprints towards where she suspects it's going to land. Unless Moonracer wakes up, in which case she'll drive in style.
"Oh the humanity! I'm melting, melting, oh what a world!" Lee-Zard laments as the derigible begins to burst into flames. He makes a leap of faith, and after a brief tumble, manages to latch onto the side of the skyscraper with his ultra-sticky toes. "Unforseen circumstances/ data missing/ I am Bender, Insert Girder!" Lee-Zard yellow optics flicker, and the words EAT BACHELOR CHOW can be seen. "We're nto in Kansas anymore, Toto!"
The coffin has landed... and Nightbeat doesn't look great. He's all banged up, and his blue paint his switched with his yellow paint due to the impact. This has made him reverse_nightbeat, shattered glass edition. But only in appearance. He tries to wipe the purple off of his Autobot logo, but can't. "Ugh..." He draws his space revolver and shoots the lock off of the space coffin. Immediately, he plugs his wristcom into Inferno's head via USB port. "Moonracer! Raindance! Get over here! Marissa, Quickswitch! Cover me! Someone make sure that lizard Junkion didn't eat the little Godzilla!"
Yellowjacket, as it happens, has CIRCUMNAVIGATED THE GLOBE and is even now running underneath the zeppelin, back near where he started. The diminutive demolitionist looks up... and pauses, mouth agape. "Good Primus," he gasps, as the coffin slams into the ground right at his feet. Hearing Nightbeat's yelling, he immediately preps his weapons systems, ready for anything. "And who am I shooting at? Sorry, I was on the other side of the planet. I think this program might be buggy..."
Banquo transforms into his banquet mode as he falls, the laser blast missing him, and he hits the ground amongst a crowd of worker Junkions, who quickly ferry him away. Most of the Junkions hang back from the Autobots now, back to their task of dismantling everything in sight
Assault Beast <Quickswitch> lands on all four feet, as cats do, and scans the area suspiciously while Nightbeat works. His ears flick.
"Wait what? Why not?" Marissa asks as she skids to a halt by Inferno's coffin, breathing heavily from the sprint. "What makes the mini Godzilla so important all of a sudden?" And what makes Nightbeat think that Lee-Zard is going to eat it? Marissa is pretty lost at this point.
Assault Beast <Quickswitch> rrrs as he waits nearby, "Yes, doesn't that little Junkion speak 'Me Lee-zard' the way the Dinobots do? I wonder what could be wrong with him."
"I don't /trust/ Junkinos, Marissa. That's /all/ I am saying," says Nightbeat. His wristcom makes beepboopbeepboop noises as it downloads. He frowns. "This is just like I expected... but worse... this is NOT Inferno!"
"His core_brain directory has the following string of code in it: truck.ladder.crane.missile.chromewear.diecast.bin. Everyone knows Inferno's would be truck.ladder.crane.missile.chromewear.diecast.TEXAS.YEEHAW.bin. This is..."
Raindance scoots over to the coffin. "My god, that's not Inferno! Curse us for not hiring a proper medic to do the autopsy. That's... that's... thats..."
"Hauler!" exclaims Nightbeat
"HAULER!" gasps Raindance
"Well of course, obviously," Marissa replies with a smile concerning Inferno's core_brain directory. Marissa's one of the few humans who's used to her friends talking about their brains in such technical ways. "But if that's not Inferno, then who is it? And more importantly... where's OUR Inferno???"
Quickswitch replies, icy disdain, "Incompetantcy."
Raindance turns to Marissa. "Oh well, he's obviously that red guy who was wandering round Autobot City claiming to be Inferno. Scratch another mystery off the board, Nightbeat. This case is all wound up. No loose ends at all, no siree!"
Lee-Zard scampers down the building to ground level, and begins to sneak up on the Autobots.. As much as a giant green lizardbot can sneak. "Be very very quiet, I'm hunting wabbits... Access sneak rike neenja protocol.." He says, very quietly. His optics turn from yellow to blue, and has the tradition tape player 'play' and 'record' icons on his optics, as he starts laying down timecode and recording the events.
Quickswitch says, "Not so fast, Raindance."
As both Nightbeat and Raindance exclaim "Hauler!", Nightbeat takes a step back, disconnecting the USB Cable from Hauler's brain.
"I also got... a Made_In_Mexico.txt from his brain, Raindance... I think that's the imprint of the Juice..." As Raindance talks, he swats the little blue tape. "You're off the case!"
Nightbeat strikes you with slap for 7 points of damage.
"Hauler?" Marissa asks. Hauler was before Marissa's time. She was 3 when Hauler made his smashing debut in the Cybertronian wars... and then prompty vanished into obscurity. Marissa stands on her tippy toes to look in the coffin. Some Transformers look so alike sometimes. "So where is -our- Inferno?" she repeats.
Yellowjacket frowns. "So... if this is Hauler... someone has gone to a great deal of trouble to make him look like Inferno. But... why? Who would want us to think Inferno is dead?" A pause. "And what's up with the Junkions?"
Quickswitch peers around, "Where is he?"
Raindance is smacked aside by Nightbeat, hitting the ground and sparking. "Oooh sure, just so you can spend more time with Moonracer!" he bleeps. "Just cos I cracked this case for you Nightbeat. You owe me man. You owe me!"
Shaking his head at Raindance, Nightbeat addresses Marissa and Yellowjacket. "This just got a whole lot bigger, guys. I'm going to need a computer binge for a few days to map all of this out..." he gets a radio message from Quickswitch and frowns.
"Fine, Raindance. We'll see how I feel after staring at my computer for 48 hours. That always puts me in a better mood."
Moonracer sort of walks in from the background, "Sure everyone wants to spend time with me, You ever think maybe I have needs? Like having people spend more time with me? You EVER THINK OF THAT?"
Assault Beast <Quickswitch> separates from the group and moves behind a deconstructed building in search. He does not exit where one might expect him to as he creeps quietly in search of the little green Junkion.
"Noone wants to spend more time with me" Raindance muses sadly. "Apart from the prosecution services..."
Lee-Zard stops recording the incoming video, and files it away for future use. Having a nearly limitless storage capacity certainly comes in handy. Lee-Zard begins to crawl away, keeping low to the ground and behind whatever cover he can find. He follows the troupe that wa carting away the mysterious Banquo, to relay the information of the Autobot's revelations.