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PostPosted: Fri Apr 26, 2013 8:39 am 
Omnipotent Overlord
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Transformers: The Lost Light


Cybertron, Yesterday

"They say that twelve million years ago, on this very spot, the first Cybertronian realiezed he could change his shape. Six million years ago, right here, Nova Prime told the world that he'd built an Ark."

Rodimus paused for a moment to gauge the crowd gathered to hear his speech. To his left and slightly behind, Ultra Magnus stood, a show of respect perhaps, that would let the crowd know who was in charge, and to Rodimus' right stood Drift, in a pose of respective mediatation and observance.

The crowd was enthralled, for the most part, very few sounds came forth, and they were all hinged on Rodimus' own natural Charisma and the sound of his voice.

"And Four Million years ago to the DAY, Optimus Prime stood where I now stand, and turned down Megatron's first and only invitation to surrender."

Cheers went up from the crowd - many gathered here remembered that last portion - very few remembered back six million years ago, and no one present was a live twelve million years ago. Despite being functionally immortal, Death still comes for Cybertronians in various ways.

Rodimus' mouth turned up in a smile, his hands waving down for the explosion of exuberance to die out some, so he could continue, "What happens here tomorrow will rank along side those moments! Tomorrow! this patch of land becomes a launch pad. Tomorrow, I will board the Lost Light and set off in search of our Ancestors."

A measured pause here, a practiced solemn look, for the crowd to get the proper feel that this is a holy moment, this was a important Crusade! Something which must be taken with all levity gone, and all seriousness intact! And that he - Rodimus Prime - was the one who was needed to lead it.

"They were known as the Knights of Cybertron. They are real. I'm going to find them. And I want all of you to come with me!"

And there was the cincher! Of course Rodimus would go - it was his solemn duty as a one time bearer of the Matrix, the successor and inheritor of the Lineage of the Primes - of Optimus himself no less! - that he go on this mission. He didn't NEED them to come, he WANTED them to come, that they should give themselves to his stewardship for this mission, because it was his righteous, Holy duty. Or at least that's how they needed to see it.

The crowd cheered, hands were raised in the air, they were his! He could feel their enthusiasm in his Spark! Just a few more lines, and he'd have them in the palm of his hand.

"Bumblebee says it's your duty to stay here - on a planet you no longer recognize, among people who resent you for the sacrifices you've made in their names." This was a great part of the speech, linking Bumblebee to the horror of their once great planet, and to the NAILS which shunned and hated those gathered - hated them for a sacrifice and a War that lasted eons and nearly destroyed their homeworld! Now it was time he showed as the beacon of hope.

"I say: you've DONE your duty. The war is over, that day you thoguht would never come? It's here. That's Today! You've earned the right to see the Universe without a gun in your hand."

The crowd cheered. He accepted the adualtion as something due him, they would come to the ship, and he would have his crew.

Rodimus smiled, "Tomorrow, my friends, the ship leaves! Be aboard."

Rodimus turned to walk off the platform that had put him above the crowd, flanked by Ultra Magnus and Drift, and disappeared from the crowd's view.

Near the back of the crowd, Wheeljack and Prowl stood near a wall, observing.

"Kid knows how to work a crowd," observed Wheeljack as the three moved out of sight, "We could be witnessing a mass exodus at this rate."

Prowl made a disparaging sound, crossing his arms over his chest.

"Are you disagreeing with me, or are your pistons playing up?"

Prowl shook his head, his optics squinting slightly, "Wheeljack, I can observe 800 moving objects and compute their direction of travel in .5 seconds, this is no different. As soon as Rodimus said he was leaving, I mentally compiled two lists: Those who'd go with him, and those who'd stay behind. Trust me, all reliable indicators suggests that tomorrow's launch, is going to be one big non-event."


---------

Cybertron - Kimia - Makeshift Autobot Headquarters - Prowl's Office, Yesterday

"What do you mean you're going with him?" Prowl, for once, was shocked by what he was hearing. He hadn't expected this. In fact, he had calculated this was a impossibility! "This is a setback Chromedome, a real setback. I'm disappointed in you."

Chromedome shook his head, then looked away from Prowl, looking instead to Rewind, his partner. "Yeah, well, I'm sure you'll get over it Prowl."

Prowl grabbed Chromedome by the shoulder, turning him to face the Autobot Head of Logistics, leaned forward till the two where optic to optic, and spoke again, "I'm going to level with you. Somehow - don't ask me how - Rodimus has found two hundred willing Autobots to join him on his fool's crusade."

Prowl waited a moment for that to sink in, "Well, good riddance. I can make do without each and every one of them. But I can't -"

"Even Rachet?" Chromedome asked it as a rhetorical - Prowl almost never talked in half truths, but somehow Chromedome suspected this was one of the few times.

Prowl, for his part, barely missed a bit, continuing on, "make do without you. You're gifted. You can do things no one else can. If I had your talents..."

"Primus help us all," Rewind spoke up at that last remark.

For a brief moment, Prowl blinked. He had actually forgotten that Rewind was there. It was unlike him, "Rewind, you're his best friend. Can't you talk some sense into.....Wait, your light is on. Are you recording this!?"

Rewind, for a Cybertronian without a mouth, only a mouthplate, looked sheepish, "um...yes?"

"Well don't. It's extremely annoying, you filming everything all the time."

"I'm an Archivist, I'm archiving. It's what I do. This could be a important conversation, it could have repercussions!"

Chromedome decided to end the conversation, butting in, "Prowl, you and I go way back yeah? You know I've done more the Autobot Cause than most. And you know I've done things that, in hindsight, I bitterly...oh forget it!"

Chromedome paused, "The point is, using my "talents" in the way you suggests us hardly going to help me draw a line under the pasts. I'm leaving."

Rewind took Chromedome's hand, and lead his friend out of Prowl's Office, "Come on...you've said what you wanted to say."

Prowl watched the two go in astonishment. "You know what the problem is Chromedome!? You think that just because the war is over we can afford to stop fighting!"

But by the time he had completed the sentence, Chromedome and Rewind were gone.

-----------------

Cybertron - Kimia, Makeshift Autobot Headquarters - Autopsy Room

"He transformed himself to death."

Bumblebee blinked twice at the pronouncement from Rachet. The Chief Medical Officer was near clinical as he said the words, "His Transformation Cog looks like a lump of charred coal. He must have been constantly transforming himself for weeks, non-stop. Where'd you find him?"

Bumblebee sighed, "Outside, on the steps. He was a NAIL, a Protestor. He did this on purpose, to draw attention to our "illegal occupation" of Cybertron."

Bumblebee looked to the greyed corpse of the NAIL, laying in on the autopsy table, "Thanks for looking over him Rachet. Metalhawk said he'd only accept a verdict of suicide if it came from y-"

The body twitched, jumped and transformed once more on the table, causing Bumblebee to drop his cane, and Rachet to scramble over the corpse, now in vehicle mode.

"No no NO! Damn it." Rachet sighed, then looked to the diminuative Autobot leader, "Relax...it's just a Reflex Action. Rigor Morphis: The dead body assumes it's preferred shape. And yeah, sometimes it's the alt-mode."

Rachet placed a hand against his face and rubbed it, before looking at both his hands, almost in disgust - "He wasn't dead when you brought him in. He still had a Spark. It was tiny, but it was there. I should have been able to save him. An overheated Transformation Cog! I've fixed millions of them! Millions!"

Rachet was speaking more to himself now than to Bumblebee, not for the first time cursing his own growing limitations, "It's these damn fingers. They're getting too old, seizing up."

"Anyway...."

Bumblebee and Rachet both stood onside of the Autopsy table, looking down on the car-mode form of the deceased NAIL. A long moment of silence passed, before Rachet spoke again.

"I'm leaving. With Rodimus. Tomorrow."

Bumblebee kept looking at the body, saying nothing.

"I'm sorry, I've been waiting for the right moment to tell you. The massively awkward silence suggests the probably wasn't it..."

Bumblebee turned to Rachet, even as the Medic looked away from Bee, "No. Uh-uh. No way, you're joking right? This is one of your jokes! I need you here Rachet! You're the best there is - the only Autobot to have saved the life of every Prime since Nominus!"

Rachet shook his head, "Precisely. I've been doing this too long. It's time someone else became Chief Medical Officer - someone who isn't losing their touch."

Bumblebee lifted his cane, pointing it at Rachet, his voice was slightly shakey as he spoke "I'm panicking now. You've made me panic. I've got the shakes. Look, look at the cane. See that? I'm not doing that on purpose," and indeed, the cane shook in Bumblebee's hand.

Rachet pushed the cane aside, "Stop that. I told you, you don't need a cane anymore. Since we got back to Cybertron I found the spares to rebuild your leg actuators."

"Did he seek you out?! Rodimus. Give you all that scrap about finding the Knights of Cybertron and "retracing out steps to the Golden Age?" It's all scripted you know, Drift writes it for him."

Rachet shook his head, massaging the finger joints of one hand with the other, "Look, it's not so much about the destination, as much as the journey. Rodimus has promised to pick up some waifs and strays along the way. You and I both know that not everyone's accounted for. A lot of Autobots are still out there - and some of them could be injured. Maybe I can help them, and maybe, just maybe, I can find a successor in the process."

Rachet placed a hand on Bumblebee's shoulder, "Think of it - think of it as my swan song."

_________________
Allen Thibodaux | Archmagus | Supervillain | Transfan | Trekker | Warsie |
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"Then again, Detective....how often have you dreamed of hearing your father's voice once more? Of feeling your mother's touch?" - Ra's Al Ghul
"According to the Bible, IHVH created the Universe in six days....he obviously didn't know what he was doing." - Darek Steele bani Order of Hermes.
DS's Golden Rule: I am not a bigot, I hate everyone equally. | corollary: Some are more equal than others.


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PostPosted: Sat Apr 27, 2013 2:54 am 
The Artist formerly known as Rhoenix
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Sometimes, when you get what you want, it's like nothing you hoped for or even imagined, Novawing thought to himself.

The wide vista of Kimia, when viewed from above, almost looked like it could be whole again. Novawing could pretend, if he wished to try, that things were finally, after two million years of brutal and ugly warfare across too many theaters to count, beginning to calm.

Novawing sighed as he leaned back against the top of the spire he had decided to call his perch, looking down over the wide metallic plains of Kimia, where all the hustle and movement faded out into the background, and he could see peace.

However briefly, he thought as he sighed, as his comm went off. His optics narrowed and his jaw clenched when he saw the ID of the caller, but he picked up regardless. "What do you want?" he asked coldly.

The video showed only the head and shoulders of the caller, but the callers red Seeker body and square black head were immediately recognizable to all Decepticons, and nearly all the Autobots as well. The caller's face stretched into a winning smile - a saleman's smile, Novawing thought darkly. "Oh come on! You're not still giving me the cold shoulder, are you? The war's over, and there's nothing but opportunity in the skies ahead of us! You..."

"Give your mouth a rest, Screamer," Novawing interrupted, appearing utterly uncaring. "Like the last two times you tried pulling this scum, I'm not interested in your malfunction of a plan."

The Seeker's face looked hurt. "We have a long history, you and I! Are you really going to just throw..."

"YES," Novawing growled, putting his face near the cam of his comm device for emphasis. "I told you to stuff your exhaust ports with antimatter and a fusion bomb for a reason, Screamer. And if you manage to somehow get me involved, I'll mount what's left of your chassis on my wall after I'm done working out my anger on you. Don't ever call me again."

With that, he mentally shut off the comm just as the caller was about to respond, something that gave Novawing a small, cold smile. He had finally received a chance to get away from the madness that had overtaken the Decepticon cause after many, many millenia, and there was nothing in the entire universe that would convince him to go back - and at the top of the list of things that would not convince him to return was a former scientist who discovered his inner thirst for unlimited power. He wore his Autobot symbol proudly, and though such distinctions were no longer anywhere near as important, he would never stop being proud of that achievement.

However, Cybertron with the war over was a far different place than he ever expected. Seeing Autobots and Decepticons alike blamed for the actions of the war drained most of his sense of relaxation at the war finally being over. With a sigh, he checked his internal chronometer, and saw it was nearly time to depart. With a leap, Novawing flew down from the top of the high spire overlooking Kimia, transforming into his transatmospheric fighter form as he did. In this form, he rapidly closed the distance to the ancient-looking Lost Light, transforming back to his robot form as he neared the craft.

"Hey, try not to start any wars while you're out there," a grinning Cybertronian NAIL said to him, getting a high-five from a friend of his as Novawing walked past. The taller Autobot just shook his head, and continued walking, ignoring the two NAILs making clever jokes. He'd already been "volunteered" for this by losing his temper at a NAIL protester last week, and he really did not need the negative attention.

Or rather, more negative attention than he'd already received from last week - he still maintained that the building's collapsing was not his fault, and neither were the next two, but all three landed squarely in his lap regardless, and thus began the "subtle" suggestions that he become an explorer on the Lost Light.

Being directed to board a large, ancient ship of questionable manufacture gave him the worst kind of deja-vu, he thought as he glared at the ship's entrance. He also saw a very specific Cybertronian standing near the landing ramp, his arms crossed, and practically glaring at him. "Novawing," Ultra Magnus said with a suspicious look.

Novawing calmly looked back. "Ultra Magnus," he said with a nod.

"Better wait with me for the others," Ultra Magnus stated. "The other volunteers will be here soon."

With a nod, Novawing walked where he was asked to. Once he was there, he took care of a long-overdue comm block against a certain former colleague, smiling with satisfaction once he finished. However, he did see that his smile of satisfaction did not earn him any positive points with Ultra Magnus, who was now eyeing him more suspiciously.

_________________
"Before you diagnose yourself with depression or low self-esteem, make sure that you are not, in fact, just surrounded by assholes."

- William Gibson


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What? There's nothing weird about having a pet housefly. He smuggles cigarettes for me.


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PostPosted: Sat Apr 27, 2013 7:50 am 
Arch-Magician
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To anyone watching the thin stream that passed as Cybertron's data network or listening in on broadcast coms, the neon purple Decepticon symbol floating in the air was an inescapable beacon alerting them to Deathstrike's presence. The data stream also announced his current stats (P.O.W.-paroled). The noospheric logo and attached data were repeat broadcast from a transmitter built into his chassis and would broadcast as long as his system had power.

His place on the ship had already been secured, courtesy of Breakout. The brave new Cybertron was not to the Autobot warrior's taste, nor was putting Deathstrike in the same prison pit as Starscream and Rat Bat while in a body that couldn't fight back. Breakout would be willing to execute a prisoner, preferably after a fair trial and a death penalty verdict, but he wasn't willing to send one to his death. They were alike in that way, as well as many others.

The Autobots were chasing dreams and why not? Their plan for the future had been a dream and it had just run into reality and broken. The hosts of the unaligned descending on Cybertron and taking over the planet while driving Optimus Prime into voluntary exile. The cowards, the selfish, and the Ancient Regime hold outs were taking over and all the Autobots' noble principles meant handing over an equal share of power to those Cybertronians who did not share their values, had done to secure their victory, and blamed them for the loss of paradise. Idealism had met reality and been smashed on it, but that was to be expected. Autobots believed high ideals themselves would ennoble everything. Decepticons realized that high ideals without the power to force them into place meant being beaten to death by a secret police enforcerbot in a prison cell.

"You," said Ultra Magnus. The big 'bot was three times Deathstrike's current height and more than thirty times his mass. Once they had stood eye to eye. The last time they'd fought Deathstrike had put him down hard, but he had been at his most powerful and Magnus had still gotten his licks in. The Autobot was a tough, skillful fighter but was not a soldier, not in the way he and Breakout were. He had the spark of a secret policebot. Everyone and everything in its place. "I'll be watching you."

"That's been made very easy," Deathstrike replied. "I would prioritize my attention elsewhere."

"Breakout may trust your word, but I don't. Step out of line and I'll reduce you to scrap. Understood?"

"I gave Breakout my word," said Deathstrike. "That included not doing anything to hinder the mission. Besides, anyone could flatten this body. I don't know why you're wasting your time. I would have thought my file would have included how useless intimidation is on me."

"There's a procedure to everything. This is your warning and now you've got it. You've replied with standard Decepticon posturing, which you could back up in the past but are now so frail that facing down Cliff Jumper is like going against an Omega Sentinel. I don't care if you're going or staying, but if you're coming you will toe the line or you will be scrapped. Are we clear?"

"Yes," replied Deathstrike as he stepped passed the Autobot enforcer and into the ship. The conversation was over and hadn't exchanged anything of value anyway.

_________________
"Justice belongs to the strong. If there are gods, they do not help. But what is done under the Naked Stars is remembered."


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PostPosted: Sun Apr 28, 2013 6:32 am 
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"Do you think we'll see aliens?"

If Wheeljack thought the question was strange, he gave no sign. "Many, I should think. The universe is filled with life of every sort. Most of it organic of course. Those files I uploaded to your memory banks should cover the most likely species."

Sitting on the edge of the workbench, his feet dangling off the side, Hornet nodded wistfully. "Oh," he said. "I... I meant real aliens."

Wheeljack stopped his modifications long enough to shoot Hornet a quizzical look. "Those... are real," said Wheeljack. "I told you."

"I know," said Hornet. "But... we know what they are. I meant real aliens. Like Klingons or Wookies or Turians."

There was a time when Wheeljack would have reacted to that statement with a blank stare. There was a time when he'd have reached for his maintenance scanners. By now though, he knew what files to look up to look when Hornet referenced something apparently nonsensical.

"Who knows," he said. "You could find anything out there."

Hornet smiled. "I'd like to meet a Wookie," he said. "But I'd have to let him win at everything."

"Where's the fun in that?" asked Wheeljack, closing up the scanner and disconnecting the stability clamps holding the small force shield projector in place within the apparatus.

"Wookies can pull your arms out if they get mad," said Hornet, as though this were both the most normal thing in the world to say, and a piece of information known to every thinking person in existence. Wheeljack reminded himself, not for the first time, to look over Hornet's viewing habits in greater detail next time he had a chance. As it was, there was no time for it now.

There wasn't enough time for a lot of things.

He carefully picked up the shield projector, turning back to Hornet and walking over to the workbench. "I think we're all set," he said. "Give me your wing for a second."

Obedience was never exactly a hallmark of Hornet's behavior, but present him with a new toy and things were always different. He lifted his wing, eyes wide as he beheld the small device, and gave a reasonable facsimile of staying still as Wheeljack slid the projector around his fore-wing. Moments later, the small receptacle Wheeljack had built into the wing accepted the projector with an almost-inaudible click, and a soft whir as the microcouplings that would connect it to Hornet's reactor slid together. Wheeljack didn't need to ask if the firmware had loaded itself properly however, for he could see Hornet's optics widen sharply as the new command overlay slid into place on his master HUD. That look could mean nothing else.

"Here," he said, picking Hornet up with one hand and setting him down on the floor of the lab. "Give it a shot."

Hornet nodded, and after a moment's hesitation while he fumbled with the mental controls, a small, broadly transparent forcefield popped into being around him like a bubble, dying his silver-blue paint a slightly more bluish shade. Hornet blinked as he stared at the shield around him, before a broad smile came across his face like a breaking wave, and he turned back to Wheeljack with an unmistakable expression of triumph mixed with excitement.

"It's working!" he chirped. "It's - "

A loud ZAP curtailed his enthusiasm, as Wheeljack produced a small laser from behind his back and discharged it into the shield. The beam was barely potent enough to scratch even Hornet's frame, and aimed obliquely through the shielded space above his head in any event, but the crack and the electrical smoke was real enough, and Hornet jumped, tripping as he landed and falling backwards onto the ground. But Wheeljack merely smiled, and laying the laser on the table, he reached down and picked Hornet up once more, the shield correctly interpreting his IFF transponder and allowing him to reach through the bubble as though it were not there.

Hornet was long-since used to Wheeljack doing strange things, and made no sign of objecting as Wheeljack shifted him over into one arm, using the other to put his tools away, and indeed it was several minutes before Wheeljack realized that Hornet had not yet interjected with some new question or comment drawn from Mars for all he knew. He turned his head back to see what Hornet was doing, only to find the shield bubble gone (he hoped that Hornet had simply reset the generator to passive mode as he'd been told to, but knew Hornet too well to consider it likely), and Hornet inspecting the emitter closely, turning his wing over in front of his optics, as though he were investigating some fresh mystery of the universe, his optics open wide at the new and incredible wonder he was bearing witness to.

And at that precise instant, Wheeljack felt something stab him right through the spark.

It wasn't a blade or lance, though Wheeljack would have been hard-pressed indeed to distinguish it from either. It wasn't anything physical at all, indeed he didn't know what it was, but it was real enough, and strong enough that he had to lock his own servos down to prevent himself from shaking or clutching reflexively at his chest, or doing something else he definitely knew he didn't want to do. Hornet didn't seem to realize that anything was the matter, at least not at first, but before long he noticed that Wheeljack wasn't moving, and he lowered his wing, and turned his head back to his creator.

"Wheeljack?" he asked. "Are... are you okay?"

What came over Wheeljack in that instant was something he would never, to the end of his days, be able to explain. But moments later he was hugging Hornet.

It wasn't anything like one of Hornet's hugs, the bounding, exuberant, nigh-tackles that Hornet delivered constantly with an enthusiasm that always seemed to far-exceed his reactor specifications. It was something more restrained, and yet not so, less forceful and yet more so, borne of something entirely alien to Hornet's way of thinking, and yet not. Not that any of this occurred to Hornet. One moment, Wheeljack was carrying him, and the next, he was squeezing him, tightly but not dangerously so, for who could know Hornet's structural tolerances better than Wheeljack. He didn't know why Wheeljack had done this, and neither, of course, did he care, for he returned the hug with one of his own, less strong perhaps or perhaps moreso. Or perhaps he did know, or divined it from context, for his next question hit the heart of the matter as well as any might have.

"Can't you come with us?" asked Hornet. Not for the first time he searched Wheeljack's face for the answer he wanted. "Please? Roddimus and Ultra Magnus would say yes, I know they - "

"I can't, Hornet," said Wheeljack. "I already told you that."

"But... but why not?" demanded the smaller bot. "You said you didn't like it here!"

"I said I didn't like what was being done here," said Wheeljack, "that's not the same thing. But even if it wasn't, I have to stay. I'm needed here."

"But what if I get hurt or crash into something again?" persisted Hornet. "What if... what if I need you?"

'I won't be there' thought Wheeljack, and the thought led him to dark places, and he forced his processor to leave them unexplored. "Ratchet has everything he needs," he said. "If anything happens, he can take care of you."

"I don't want Ratchet to take care of me!" insisted Hornet, "I want you to...!"

What Hornet wanted Wheeljack to do, he never got the chance to vocalize. Perhaps he didn't know himself. Perhaps it was so obvious that even Hornet didn't feel the need to say it aloud. Or perhaps he was afraid that saying it would risk destroying it forever. One way or another, his speaker caught, and his optics twitched and suddenly glistened as the valves Wheeljack had painstakingly built into them all opened at once, and before more than a second or two had passed, Hornet was crying on Wheeljack's shoulder.

Wheeljack didn't say anything. For one thing he knew it wasn't ever much use. For another, he had nothing to say. He just held Hornet and let him cry, and felt the little bot holding onto him as best he could, and his sensors, accustomed as they were to Hornet's calibrations, recognized the subtle difference between one of Hornet's hugs and one of Hornet's attempts to cling to something or someone he was afraid was about to disappear. The distinction was subtle, but it was there, one of micro-adjustments and servo subroutines, and of course the wiper fluid presently spilling from Hornet's optics. The ones Wheeljack vividly remembered constructing by hand. The ones he'd replaced more than once after battles or crashes or accidents with a pressure chamber. The ones, he knew in the back of his processor, he might well never see again.

"Hush, Hornet," said Wheeljack, and ever-so-gently, he slid the little Autobot back. "It'll be fine. You'll be on a ship with hundreds of other Autobots, meeting new friends, seeing star systems nobody's ever been to. It'll be like those adventure stories the humans were telling you about. The ones with the hobos."

"... the... hobbits?"

"Those ones, yes. There's no limit to what you might find out there, and you'll be one of the first ones to discover it all. And you won't have to stay here on Cybertron any more. You'll be able to find a real planet with a real atmosphere again."

"Like... like Earth?"

"Maybe. Or maybe something totally different. Or maybe both. You'll never know until you find out. You know that. And you know you can't stay here..."

Hornet's head fell. "I know," he said. "I just..." he trailed off without finishing his thought.

Wheeljack hefted Hornet up, turning him about to face him more directly. "I'll be right here waiting when you get back," he said. "However long it takes."

"You will? You... you promise?"

"I promise," said Wheeljack. "And I'm sure you'll have found a hundred new pets and three hundred new ways to screw up a paint scheme that you'll be eager to show me, won't you?"

That one brought a smile back, which in turn seemed to dull the stabbing pain a little. Only a little though. Wheeljack reminded himself to run diagnostics.

This time it was Hornet that initiated the hug, wrapping his wings around Wheeljack's neck and squeezing him for all he was worth. Wheeljack reciprocated, but only lightly, gently squeezing Hornet with one arm as he closed up the final slot in the materials and maintenance kit. And then, picking it up with his free hand and still carrying Hornet with the other, Wheeljack slowly made his way to the door of the workshop.

"I'll miss you," whispered Hornet.

Wheeljack remembered the first time Hornet had used that word in that sense, and the hours he'd spent pouring over Hornet's I/O buffers and processor code trying to figure out what was wrong with what should have been perfect, digital memory of literally everything and everyone he'd ever seen.

"Me too," he said. And for what he desperately prayed was not the last time, Wheeljack carried his prize experiment through the door of his laboratory, and turned to walk down to the spaceport, where the ship that would take Hornet to the unknown stars waited patiently for one more passenger...

_________________
Gaze upon my works, ye mighty, and despair...

Havoc: "So basically if you side against him, he summons Cthulu."
Hotfoot: "Yes, which is reasonable."


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PostPosted: Mon Apr 29, 2013 11:01 pm 
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Normally, Pathfinder would be fully in his element: a planet of unmapped depths, filled with unknown dangers. No roads, no bridges, just him, his sensors, and his wits living up to his nominclature. Yet this wasn't a newly discovered planet, fresh and new to his optics. This was Cybertron Reborn.

Every direction was changed, unique; all the old locations that shone on Pathfinder's internal maps (and in his memories) were Gone. All of it. The roads traveled, the buildings that had towered above, the places that Cybertronians had roamed in peace and fought over in war erased. A blank slate that Pathfinder could spend another century helping remap and rebuild.

The Autobot ground his gears as he headed back to Ia... Kimia. Yeah, he could spend a century out there, just to get away from the mouthly little tail-pipe chewers swarming home now that the war was over, but for what. NAILs, who ran instead of standing, who refused to take a side, who stood by and let Cybertron fall into ruin in the first place were now all but rioting in the streets over being led by "war-mongers". They'd even turned against Optimus Prime, which Pathfinder took personally. None of the NAILs were worthy to polish the chrome on Optimus' mudflaps.

Reaching the safety of Kimia, Pathfinder transformed and walked the hallways of the only 'city' left on Cybertron. Despite being surrounded by more Cybertronians than he'd seen gathered in 3 million years, Pathfinder felt more lost than ever. The dirty looks he was getting for wearing the Autobot brand were getting worse, and sooner or later some NAIL would get up the energon to do more than look.
Was this what the Decepticons went through, what they were protesting before Megatron's rise?

Pathfinder kicked his processor back on track. The ride outside was a last chance to change his mind, to find -something- on Cybertron to hold him here. It had failed. The thrill of exploring this new Cybertron wilderness was tainted by the maps of what was missing, and the memories of those who never made it to see this day. As yet another NAIL 'accidently' bumped Pathfinder without apology, the Autobot thought back to Roddy's speech. Stay here, with people who had no idea of what he'd done to give them this chance to live on Cybertron again, or go see the Universe without being in a constant running war with the 'Cons.

To Pits with the NAILs. Even if the ship was half 'Cons, at least Pathfinder had 4million years of shared history with them. As he strode up to the entrance, guarded by dour Ultra Magnus and an Autobot flier he didn't recognize, Pathfinder hid his thoughts as always with humor. "Magnus! Did you miss me? I think you've been avoiding me ever since that time with the ravine on that one planet... what was it's name?" The ravine that Pathfinder had said was crossable, but hadn't expected Magnus to try it in alt-mode. Instant tank-trap.

"So, who else is shipping out with Roddy?"

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PostPosted: Mon Apr 29, 2013 11:21 pm 
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18 Hours (terran measurement) before launch
Solar Spires outside of the city


Wheeljack cursed a bit as he picked his way through the gleaming metal spires. Once again he considered turning back, only a manic would spend so much time out here. But Breakout's tag wasn't that far ahead and it goaded him on. He had a responsibility after all.

The gleaming metal spires dwarfed him, they would even dwarf Prime or Megatron. The greatest of the giant mech-floral were taller than Omega Supreme, their solar collectors sprawled for dozens of meters shading the ground under them as they soaked up light to turn into engeron. Amid the solar collections small chrome-hooters leapt from spire to spire their hard narrow muzzle tusks able to pierce the spires and tap into the veins of energy flowing from spire to below ground processing systems. Some variety of razor snake could be seen, to small to menace even Hornet. Wheeljack was aware of the chrome-hooters due to them announcing his approach with heavy bass filled cries enhanced by flaring speaker systems mounted on their shoulders. The bass hoots were answered by high pitched screams from the air above. Some sort of flying predator Wheeljack assumed. The renewed Cybertronian wilderness was a strange place and few were the bots willing to go this deep into it. Some did however. Hound had disappeared into it shortly after the NAILS showed up. The old bot had never been the same since Earth... Rumor that another bot, a scout sniper who had been an ecologist before the war had done the same.

Wheeljack wondered if it wasn't for Hot Rod (he refused to think of him as Rodimus Prime, that was just silly) if others would have taken the same choice. 200 meters now. The spires thinned, becoming shorter and less extensive. The Chrome-Hooters were left behind. Their hooting was replaced by a different sound... Music. Wheeljack stopped and listened for moment. It was a mournful melody, sounding almost... tired. As far as he knew Breakout wasn't programed to musical ability. This was... odd. He moved forward.

Breakout sat his concentration bent on an alien instrument, his fingers moving up and down the stem of it as his mouth was placed on one end. He sat on a large mineral outcropping, a small herd of quadrupeds moving about peacefully around it. On the far end of the clearing Wheeljack could see turbofoxes going about building a den. Breakout didn't acknowledge him until he threaded his way through the herd to the outcropping. He stopped and looked up from instrument.

"You play music?" Wheeljacked asked.

"I learned."Breakout said with a shrug carefully packing the instrument away in a harden case.

"When? Where?" Wheeljacked asked suddenly curious.

"OO-Mui-Sue was the first place... They taught me the basics of music. Afterwards, anywhere I had time and could find someone willing to teach me... I learned. I am very good at learning remember?" Breakout said. Wheeljack winced a little at the last statement.

"OO-Mui-Sue... Wasn't that the planet Prowl sent you to and you ended up there for..." Wheeljack tried to remember.

"Three and a half Vorns. I would still be there if Prime hadn't realized he hadn't seen me in awhile and asked where I was." Breakout grumbled.

"Ultra Magnus was upset when you came back." Wheeljacked stated.

"I revealed myself to the natives, told them what was going on and armed them enough to defend themselves rather than play games." Breakout pointed out.

"Yeah... Yeah you did. Prowl still kept planting you off on planets for cycles at a time away from everyone." Wheeljack wondered.

"I won. I kept planets out of Decepticon hands and killed Decepticons and did it on the cheap as far as Prowl was concerned." Breakout pointed out.

"And broke rules." Wheeljack said.

"Some rules need to be broken. Look, there's a reason for rules! I understand that! But when rules start defeating their own purpose then you need to... Nevermind. Just... Nevermind. There must be a reason you've come this far from your lab... You're not gonna ask me to bolt another nanocannon or something are you?" Breakout said with a suddenly hard look.

"No! No more nano weapons, I promised remember?" Wheeljack throw both hands up in a placating gesture. Frankly he felt the cannon would have worked just fine if he been allowed to rebuild it but Breakout, Cliffjumper, Huff and Ironhide had stormed the lab and did everything they could to ensure he would never be able to make a mark II. Well, after Ratchet had repaired them they had.

"Okay... Why are you here then?" Breakout said leaping from the outcropping.

"You're leaving with Hot Rod?" Wheeljack asked.

"Yes. Even if I didn't want out of here... I've been strongly advised to consider a change of post." Breakout said with a little grim irony.

"Well you did throw Prowl out a window. You're lucky Bumblebee decided to not to press charges. But the reason I'm here is Hornet's going to. It's... It's not safe for him here and he hates it." Wheeljack said glumly. Breakout looked at him concerned.

"You're... worried." Breakout said. He'd never seen Wheeljack worried. Granted they weren't close but...

"Yes. He can't stay here but I can't leave. It wouldn't be... No one on that ship will understand what he is. You do. You've spent more time openly among organics than anyone else on that ship. You've been around entire generations of theirs. Hornet is gonna need someone to keep an eye on him. I'm asking you." Wheeljack said. He didn't mention the other reason. Breakout did things in the name of responsibility that others wouldn't do in the grips of insanity. The Decepticons had once weaponized a moon in a system Breakout was tasked with protecting. Breakout's response had been to hit it with another moon. There was a laundry list of actions like that that made for appalling if gripping reading. Wheeljack had found he wanted someone willing to go that far watching over Hornet.

Breakout leaned back on the outcropping. He hadn't been happy about what Wheeljack did. He had created a child and thrown him into a war. Among most organics that would get you a death sentence. Still what was done was done. He weighed this with his responsibility towards Deathstrike and others... And the fact that there was no one else.

"Alright. You need to do something for me though." Breakout said. Wheeljacks eyes lit up.

"Sure, you changed your mind about that cannon upgrade? Or maybe that ablative armor?" Wheeljack asked, those questions sent a tremor of fear down Breakout's servos.

"NO! I mean... Not yet. This is more important. You need to find a way for Hornet to grow up. It doesn't have to be right away, but as it stands, you created an eternal child. That's... That's not right or fair to him Wheeljack. He needs to be able to reach adulthood eventually. Otherwise he'll always be trapped in a society he doesn't understand and that doesn't understand him. A society that is cruel enough to bots that can defend themselves as it is. " Breakout said.

"You have a point. I'll try my best." Wheeljack said, in all honesty Wheeljack had already addressed the problem in a certain fashion... But he decided not to try and explain it at the moment.

"Good, bring Hornet to the launch you'll want to tell him I'll be looking for him. Otherwise he'll get confused." Breakout said.

Launch

"Hey Bot, try not to burn down the next planet!" Cried a voice in the crowd as Breakout bulled his way through the NAILs. Most of them were happy to see the Autobots leaving. He carried several cases. Some spare parts, weapons, mostly musical instruments, he had over a half dozen.

"Why? You afraid you won't be able to find another hidey hole?" Breakout snapped back as he got to the ramp. Red Alert waved him through.

Ultra Magnus was waiting for him. Breakout stopped as they sized each other up. They had... a strange relationship in all honesty. Respect to a degree, both were capable fighters and known as honest bots. Ultra Magnus appreciated the fact that throughout the war Breakout went where he was told and fought who he was told with few complaints. He deplored the fact that Breakout considered himself capable of deciding what rules to follow and what rules no longer applied. In Ultra Magnus' eyes Breakout was talented but undisciplined and arrogant. In Breakout's eyes Ultra Magnus couldn't remove the column from his aft ports and had forgotten he was a sapient creature not a servitor bot.

"Deathstrike is already on board. He's only here because you insisted so I'm holding you personally responsible for him Breakout." Ultra Magnus said.

"Understood sir! I am to protect Ultra Magnus and the ship from the tiny cassetron at all cost Sir!" Breakout said with a mocking salute. Ultra Magnus ground his teeth. Breakout wondered for the 21,357 time why Cybertronians even had teeth.

"Just... Get... On the ship Breakout." Ultra Magnus said.

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PostPosted: Tue Apr 30, 2013 12:26 am 
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Wheeljack arrived at the ship still carrying Hornet in one hand, a large case filled with Primus-knew-what in the other. Ultramagnus stood at the threshold of the ship, but Wheeljack only nodded silently to him, turning Hornet away from the ship commander and instead walking over towards Breakout.

"Breakout," he said, moving over to the veteran ground-pounder. "I'm glad I caught you." He stopped before Breakout and gently lowered Hornet onto the ground, who was looking up at the enormous ship in undisguised awe.

"This is Hornet," said Wheeljack as he gently nudged the smaller both in the back, a reminder of what they were actually there for. "Hornet, this is Breakout, the one I told you about. Say hello, would you?"

Hornet blinked several times at the bot in front of him, and somewhat tentatively walked over. "Hi," he said, in a voice that was light and chirpy and only slightly intimidated by the enormous size differential on offer. "I'm Hornet!"

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PostPosted: Tue Apr 30, 2013 2:03 am 
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The roar of a motor and the sirens of NAILS speed authorities were the arrival of Outrunner. The unaffiliated speedster pulled a handbreak turn to slide up to the ship, transforming and throwing a rude gesture to the NAILS who had been trying to catch up. "Suck my exhaust, I have an appointment, cowards!" He jeered, before approaching Ultra Magnus. He threw a mock-salute; he was never a milbot.. and waited for his chance to clamber onboard. "I have never been happier to see Autobots and Decepticons.. These assholes are instituting /speed limits/..."

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PostPosted: Tue Apr 30, 2013 8:07 am 
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Ultra Magnus, The Duly Appointed Enforcer of the Tyrest Accords shook his head - He told Red Alert to take five minutes to assert himself and Magnus would handle door security. The first to approach was Deathstrike and Novawing. Technically, Novawing was no longer a Decepticon, nor was he a Autobot. He had become non-aligned prior to the Chaos Event, and re-branded himself since then.

"I will be watching you Novawing. Weapons into the Armory as soon as you set foot on the ship."

Deathstrike was next in the line, and Magnus glowered down at the Decepticon Prisoner. In a moment, a overlay was present in his mind over the miniaturized Decepticon warrior

Quote:
Deathstrike - Decepticon
Prisoner of War under Breakout's personal supervision. Resist urge to arrest on sight. Decepticon Fundamentalist. High chance of Decepticon Justice Division warrants. Stripped of Alt-mode and weapons, still highly dangerous.
Chance of Future Criminal Activity: Off the Scale.


The exchange was brief and ultimately, unfulfilling for Deathstrike, but Ultra Magnus did as he would - he followed protocols.

Several more Cybertronians passed, and Magnus repressed - through extreme force of will - the thoughts of turning them away - several were Autobots who violated some form of the Autobot Code (usually these involved the Military Regalia Acts of the Autobot Code), but he remembered what Rodimus said, and kept the comments to a minimum, warning them to correct the oversights.

Ultra Magnus, Duly Appointed Enforcer of the Tyrest Accords was never seen as a fun guy - and several Autobots who passed made a groans at him being on the door.

Then Pathfinder appeared, and Magnus almost ground his metallic teeth to shavings.

"Pathfinder." Ultra Magnus said, checking the name off of the crew manifest in his hand, "Your Autobot Badge is .5 millimeters skewed to the left, and your in violation of Conduct Ordinance 534.2 of the Autobot Code on "Addressing of Superior Officers." It is Ultra Magnus, not Magnus."

Ultra Magnus felt a circuit breaker pop over in his positronic net, Pathfinder, was as ever, a shoddy Autobot - not the worst he'd ever seen, but not the best either.

"Crew Manifests stands at 208 Cybertronians. Get onboard. And fix your Badge."


Magnus was just getting through with Breakout, when Wheeljack arrived with the unlicensed, and as far as Magnus was concerned, Wartime Experiment in hand - Hornet. Unfortunately, that had happened under Optimus Prime's watch, and not his, so there was little he could do about it now.

It was about this time that Red Alert was returning from his enforced break - and Magnus was almost grateful. He had to keep to Red Alert and Rodimus' standards while on the door - had he been allowed, he would have turned down everyone who had infractions of the Autobot Code.

Unfortunately, at the same time, Outrunner was showing up, and even cut in the line infront of other's waiting.

"Outrunner." Magnus' voice was low, his optics didn't "squint" in annoyance, but you could almost tell - "Back in the line."

With that, Ultra Magnus turned the Crew Manifest data slate back to Red Alert, and walked back into the ship. He needed some way to relax....


Red Alert eyed Outrunner suspiciously, checking the manifest, then mentally comparing the data on the Manifest, to his own personal records, and then to what he saw before him.

"Name?" he asked, without appearing to look up from his dataslate.

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PostPosted: Tue Apr 30, 2013 4:31 pm 
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Lines! Only a few degrees better than speed limits. Outrunner simply let his wheels spin in the air and went to his spot in the line. When the time came(And for the high speed coward, it was always too long), he threw the same mostly-salute to Red Alert. "Outrunner. Unrepentent coward who wants out of here before the NAILS decide I'm just as bad as all other non-NAILS because I didn't join their denouncements." He said simply. The info was there; Impatient, rude, and cowardly, yes, but breaking actual laws(Traffic laws, in Outrunner's long experience, Didn't Count unless you hit someone) was off his peronal limits.

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PostPosted: Tue Apr 30, 2013 8:40 pm 
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Quote:
"Pathfinder." Ultra Magnus said, checking the name off of the crew manifest in his hand, "Your Autobot Badge is .5 millimeters skewed to the left, and your in violation of Conduct Ordinance 534.2 of the Autobot Code on "Addressing of Superior Officers." It is Ultra Magnus, not Magnus."

Ultra Magnus felt a circuit breaker pop over in his positronic net, Pathfinder, was as ever, a shoddy Autobot - not the worst he'd ever seen, but not the best either.

"Crew Manifests stands at 208 Cybertronians. Get onboard. And fix your Badge."

"Good to see you too," Pathfinder grinned, deliberately "straighting" his badge so it skewed .5mm to the right. "Thank you, Sir." The scout stepped out of the way so Breakout could speak to *Ultra* Magnus, which put him close enough to speak to Novawing. "Hi, don't recognize you. I'm Pathfinder. You backing up *Ultra* Magnus here?"

As Pathfinder started his conversation with Novawing, both Wheeljack showed up with a Cassetticon in tow, and a fast-running speedster slung himself in sideways and began running his mouth. No Brand on the Speedster, and calling himself a unrepentant coward... huh, what's he doing here then?

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PostPosted: Tue Apr 30, 2013 9:19 pm 
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LadyTevar wrote:
"Good to see you too," Pathfinder grinned, deliberately "straighting" his badge so it skewed .5mm to the right. "Thank you, Sir." The scout stepped out of the way so Breakout could speak to *Ultra* Magnus, which put him close enough to speak to Novawing. "Hi, don't recognize you. I'm Pathfinder. You backing up *Ultra* Magnus here?"

As Pathfinder started his conversation with Novawing, both Wheeljack showed up with a Cassetticon in tow, and a fast-running speedster slung himself in sideways and began running his mouth. No Brand on the Speedster, and calling himself a unrepentant coward... huh, what's he doing here then?


Novawing observed each new crewmate arrive, looking more motley than the last. Seeing Deathstrike being escorted in what amounted to a prisoner's spark-case caused Novawing to involuntarily clench his fists, only relaxing them after a moment when he caught himself. Even so, Deathstrike bore his indignity with grace and surety that comes from millions of years of war, and acted entirely nonchalant about the whole thing. Crazy times indeed, Novawing thought to himself. He didn't nod in recognition, since Deathstrike had never met Novawing - but he was certain Deathstrike would figure out his identity soon enough.

When the infamous Autobot scientist Wheeljack walked up, carrying an obviously fully-functional... casseticon, Novawing narrowed his optics. What was this little one, then? A spy? Why did it need to be carried? The things this small Cybertronian said were... strange, but Wheeljack introducing him to Breakout was even more strange. What was going on here?

He was about to ask, when a somewhat shorter Cybertronian approached him in a friendly manner - something rather unusual in this time; Novawing got the impression Pathfinder didn't know about his former identity. "Pathfinder," Novawing nodded in recognition. "As for Ultra Magnus," he continued with a small smile, "I'm less likely to make his good list than you are - you don't have wings."

Or a past, Novawing mentally added - but Pathfinder didn't need to know that.


(EDIT: clarified text, re-added thoughts about Deathstrike)

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PostPosted: Tue Apr 30, 2013 10:24 pm 
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rhoenix wrote:
He was about to ask, when a somewhat shorter Cybertronian approached him in a friendly manner - something rather unusual in this time; Novawing got the impression Pathfinder didn't know about his former identity. "Pathfinder," Novawing nodded in recognition. "As for Ultra Magnus," he continued with a small smile, "I'm less likely to make his good list than you are - you don't have wings."

Or a past, Novawing mentally added - but Pathfinder didn't need to know that.

An odd answer from the new 'Bot, Pathfinder thought. "Sorry,that name's spoken for, you can't have it," he quipped, as the 'Bot hadn't given his name, only repeated Pathfinder's own. "As for the wings, as long as they're held at the proper angle as required by the Military Regalia Acts of the Autobot Code, Ultra Magnus will hold you up as a paragon of military ettiquette." It does help to know the laws you are turning upside down. Quoting the rules and arguing which one he was actually violating had caused Ultra Magnus to go speechless and stalk off without another word once. Pathfinder was sure he'd scrambled a circuit in the big bot that time.

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PostPosted: Tue Apr 30, 2013 10:30 pm 
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Novawing smirked at the response from Pathfinder. "He does have his protractor handy at all times, that's for sure. I'm Novawing, by the way - I work scouting and navigation, usually."

Watching Ultra Magnus giving the evil optic to the next Cybertronian who dared to have an insignia a millimeter out of place did nothing to help his reputation, Novawing thought.

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PostPosted: Wed May 01, 2013 1:44 am 
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Havoc wrote:
"This is Hornet," said Wheeljack as he gently nudged the smaller both in the back, a reminder of what they were actually there for. "Hornet, this is Breakout, the one I told you about. Say hello, would you?"

Hornet blinked several times at the bot in front of him, and somewhat tentatively walked over. "Hi," he said, in a voice that was light and chirpy and only slightly intimidated by the enormous size differential on offer. "I'm Hornet!"


Breakout knelt down to reduce the size difference.

"Hello Hornet. Wheeljack as told me about you. He says you're really good at flying." Breakout said.

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PostPosted: Wed May 01, 2013 5:36 am 
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"Really?!" said Hornet, turning back to look up at Wheeljack, who simply nodded, crossing his arms in front of his chest. When he turned back, all trace of trepidation was gone, and his features were positively aglow with exuberance.

"I can fly really well!" he chirped, as though ready to transform and demonstrate here and now. "I almost never crash into things anymore!" Conscious perhaps that this was not the most re-assuring statement in the world, he stopped and tried to backpedal. "I mean... I try to pay attention the way Wheeljack says. I can fly in a gas giant or in low pressure and I've memorized all the maneuvers from Top Gun! I can recover from a flat spin and do an inverted negative 4-G turn with a corkscrew without stalling!"

Hornet smiled up at Breakout, unaware of whether or not anything he had just said had made the slightest bit of sense.

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PostPosted: Wed May 01, 2013 5:48 am 
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General Havoc wrote:
"Really?!" said Hornet, turning back to look up at Wheeljack, who simply nodded, crossing his arms in front of his chest. When he turned back, all trace of trepidation was gone, and his features were positively aglow with exuberance.

"I can fly really well!" he chirped, as though ready to transform and demonstrate here and now. "I almost never crash into things anymore!" Conscious perhaps that this was not the most re-assuring statement in the world, he stopped and tried to backpedal. "I mean... I try to pay attention the way Wheeljack says. I can fly in a gas giant or in low pressure and I've memorized all the maneuvers from Top Gun! I can recover from a flat spin and do an inverted negative 4-G turn with a corkscrew without stalling!"

Hornet smiled up at Breakout, unaware of whether or not anything he had just said had made the slightest bit of sense.


Novawing slowly blinked his optics upon seeing Breakout - an Autobot who Novawing respected quite highly as a fellow warrior - bend down on one knee and speak calmly and softly with the smaller robot. Having seen the ostensibly land-based Autobot engage in numerous aerial and spaceborne assaults (once involving a moon as a projectile), engage in viciously efficient warfare throughout many, many long years of war appeared almost as a different Cybertronian as he spoke to the much smaller robot. Breakout was actively trying to not be in any way intimidating. On purpose, even. This by itself left him feeling very confused as to what precisely was going on.

That was, until he heard the smaller... Cybertronian begin talking. After understanding that the smaller robot "almost never" crashed into things anymore, Novawing listened as the smaller Cybertronian talked excitedly about maneuvers that elicited another, almost involuntary slow blink from him. He opened his mouth to begin speaking, and then closed it again soundlessly, deciding it best not to say anything. Instead, he decided that his very best course of action was to attempt looking nonchalant.

Maybe he could bribe Breakout with a drink later to hear the story of what in the name of the Pits just happened. Yes, he nodded mentally - that sounded like the best idea, especially as the other reactions to this "Hornet"... varied quite widely amongst those gathered.

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PostPosted: Wed May 01, 2013 11:33 am 
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Hornet wrote:
"Really?!" said Hornet, turning back to look up at Wheeljack, who simply nodded, crossing his arms in front of his chest. When he turned back, all trace of trepidation was gone, and his features were positively aglow with exuberance.

"I can fly really well!" he chirped, as though ready to transform and demonstrate here and now. "I almost never crash into things anymore!" Conscious perhaps that this was not the most re-assuring statement in the world, he stopped and tried to backpedal. "I mean... I try to pay attention the way Wheeljack says. I can fly in a gas giant or in low pressure and I've memorized all the maneuvers from Top Gun! I can recover from a flat spin and do an inverted negative 4-G turn with a corkscrew without stalling!"


"That's very impressive. Have you flown in a gas giant yet?" Breakout asked.

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PostPosted: Wed May 01, 2013 4:01 pm 
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"Well... um... no," said Hornet, hesitating as he admitted his own inexperience. "I mean I wanted to try flying in Jupiter before we all left Earth but Wheeljack said it was too far away and we didn't have time to stop. But... but I know how! I've got all the high pressure atmospheric algorithms and I've studied them all real hard!"

He paused for a second, as though considering the matter in greater depth. "Do you think we'll be going to gas giants?" he asked, his voice practically quivering with excitement.

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PostPosted: Wed May 01, 2013 6:24 pm 
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Pathfinder turned his head to see where Novawing was looking, and tilted his head quizzically. "Huh, so that's Wheeljack's little project," he said. "Not much too him, is there." The small cassetticon was talking rapidly, and Pathfinder found it amusing that Breakout was patiently listening to every word as if it was a scout's briefing. "Guess Wheeljack wants him out of the way for a while."

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PostPosted: Wed May 01, 2013 6:38 pm 
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Deathstrike stopped. He had been trying to access the ship's internal navigation system (it was looking less and less likely that it had one) when he heard the voice and the strange way of speaking. It had been aeons since he had heard the like, but he had not forgotten. It was talking like a child, in Cybertronian no less. What was a child doing here? He turned around and walked back the way he came.

Before him stood Hornet, a 'bot not that much larger than he was, talking excitedly with Breakout. What was going on?

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PostPosted: Thu May 02, 2013 12:19 am 
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Outrunner's eyes refocused like telescopes on Hornet. "...No way.. No way is my favorite racing buddy coming along! Hornet! How're you doing my flyer?"

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PostPosted: Thu May 02, 2013 12:37 am 
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Havoc wrote:
He paused for a second, as though considering the matter in greater depth. "Do you think we'll be going to gas giants?" he asked, his voice practically quivering with excitement.


"I think we'll see at least one. We should be going to many new places." Breakout replied with a small smile.

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PostPosted: Thu May 02, 2013 4:09 am 
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Hornet's reaction was unmistakable, as his optics lit up with the prospect of visiting strange new worlds and being allowed to fly through the upper atmospheres of gas giants. He grinned broadly, and seemed to be about to respond with further assurances of his own competency when he heard a familiar voice calling to him.

Wheeljack caught the look before Breakout could have. "Go on," he said to Hornet. "Breakout and I will talk for a minute." No sooner had Hornet received the permission he was only half-waiting for than he bounded over to where Outrunner was standing in the midst of several other bots.

"Outrunner!" he chirped. "Are you coming too?!" A number of bots did not like Outrunner for some reason, but Hornet had never been able to figure out why. Nearby stood a number of others, including several bots Hornet hadn't seen before. One was clearly a flier of some sort, while the second seemed to be a ground-based bot, though who they were, Hornet had no idea. Their transponder signals gave him the respective names of Novawing and Pathfinder, but that meant little to him at this point.

The third bot though, that was the strangest one of all. Hornet was used to everyone and everything being bigger than him (humans excepted of course), but this bot was roughly the same size he was, maybe even smaller! Short of literal casseticons, Hornet had never seen the like. The thought came to him that this might be someone else's experiment, though what he was to do with that information, he wasn't sure.

"Hi there," he chirped, smiling and even waving to all three of the mystery bots. "I'm Hornet! Who're you?"

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Havoc: "So basically if you side against him, he summons Cthulu."
Hotfoot: "Yes, which is reasonable."


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PostPosted: Thu May 02, 2013 4:21 am 
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Novawing's optics widened slightly as he listened to and watched the smaller robot, suddenly coming to a disquieting question.

Was... was this Cybertronian made to be a smaller form as a punishment? As an effective infiltrator? Was this instead a war veteran whose faculties are being preserved as a sort of sad retirement, being kept around as some sort of shameful penance by the others?

When the smaller one smiled, waved, and talked to he, Pathfinder, and the other new arrival (the NID read as "Outrunner"), Novawing was quiet for a moment, realizing that this Hornet might not be a war veteran who had lost his circuits or a Soundwave-class experiment, but... something else.

Though he was unsure as to what that "something else" might be, he nonetheless decided that "nonchalant" was perhaps the best approach here.

"Hornet," he nodded in recognition, and making an effort to speak in a slightly softer voice than normal, as he had seen Breakout do. "I'm Novawing. It is good to meet you."

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