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PostPosted: Tue Jul 12, 2011 4:42 pm 
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Shimmer grinned at Shellshock's comeback. She'd known the elder bot would know something was up, so a bald-faced lie told him he was right, something was up while telling him it wasn't to be discussed. "As long as the Empire's got a 'Con, we'll be fighting, Oldtimer. What brings you to the Finger?"

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PostPosted: Tue Jul 12, 2011 6:11 pm 
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A small smile appeared on Farshot's face at Shellshock's greeting, and reaction. "It has," he replied, with a small pause before continuing, the smile widening on his faceplate. "You're in better shape than the last time I saw you."

The large flier stood and listened to the other 'bot's conversation, smirking at Shimmer's transparent attempts at undertone, but saying nothing. If things proceeded the way Farshot thought they would, Shellshock would know these things soon enough.

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PostPosted: Wed Jul 13, 2011 8:28 am 
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"I don't call on other bots," he said, "and I sure as hell don't call on organics. Not when I've got work to do. I'm the guy who exists so that those people don't have to be called on. That's my job. I'm not going out there to "support" the FWA, I'm going out there to replace them. At least on the front line. Because the best organic army in the galaxy would need five thousand casualties to do to a Decepticon what I can do to them, and you know that's not just me making things up. Even if this war's too big for me to take down myself, I'm still a hundred thousand organics who don't have to go out there and face down the 'cons, and thirty thousand who don't have to come home in body bags. I don't call on them. They call on me. That's what I do."

"I'll get you ten cons," he said after a moment's pause. "I'll get you a hundred if I can. And when I get back if you need me to track Division down, I can do that too. But I don't throw organics at the cons just to make my kills easier, not even when it's smart. If the GDE has a hundred and fifty Cybertronians, then I will whip them a hundred and fifty times. That's what I'm here for. That's why they need us."


Breakout sighed. In a way Cavalier was right, it wasn't right or fair to ask the biologicals to fight, they were so frail and they live so shortly that sending them into battle was an instant tragedy. But that was war.

"You may not have that luxury Cavalier. After all you're not Primus or even Prime. But good luck anyways. Now go. If we find Division, I'll make sure the info gets to you." Breakout said.

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PostPosted: Wed Jul 13, 2011 6:30 pm 
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Shellshock shrugged. "There'll always be another fight, even after this war is over. As for what brings me here. Just got back from a mission, was on my way to give Breakout the report."

He glanced over at Farshot. "That's not hard. I was leaking fuel and nearly offline the last time you saw me." The old bot chuckled some.

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PostPosted: Wed Jul 13, 2011 8:54 pm 
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Shaking what remained of the datapad from his hand, Cavalier nodded and stood up. "I may not be Prime," he said, sounding a bit more like his normal self, "but when I get done with those Cons, they're gonna think Prime just landed on 'em."

Anything else from Cavalier would just be weird.

He touched the side of his head again in a makeshift salute, the closest thing that Cavalier generally got to being compliant with military protocol.

"We'll give 'em the Pits for you," he said. "By the time this is through, they'll all wish they'd stayed in the gladiator pits."

With that, Cavalier walked out of the briefing room, back down the hallway to the empty conference room that Blastcap had indicated. He wasn't sure what she could want with him at this juncture, though something about her seemed to jog. Maybe he'd saved her life at some point and she wanted to thank him personally. It happened.

"You rang?" he asked as he walked in, sounding somewhat more like his normal self.

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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: Wed Jul 13, 2011 10:40 pm 
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Deathstrike limped into the service bay. A spindly six armed mechanoid that bore a significant similarity to a four meter tall chrome praying mantis was attending to a small mechanoid. "I will be with you in a moment," it rasped.

"As you see fit." Two arms held, one cut, one replaced and another joined. Then the surgical 'bot replaced the armour panel.

"You should have full function in that arm."

"Yeah," said the short yellow mechanoid, flexing his arm. "Feels pretty good. Thanks Three-Bee." He glared at Deathstrike. "Don't much care for the company though." He walked out of the repair bay.

"You are not popular among the Autobots or their friends," the surgical mechanoid observed.

"I've killed a lot of Autobots in my time," said Deathstrike. "Commander Breakout ordered a repair job."

"Lay down on one of the large slabs," said Three-Bee. "Organics have the advantage over us in this respect."

"In what way?" asked Deathstrike as he laid down.

"They die. Their old grudges have a chance die with them. We live on. Our leaders live on. Few of them are young. Our grudges live with us. You Cybertronian Civil War will never end. None of you can say with certain when the first proto-Autobot and the first proto-Decepticon drew their weapons who was in the right."

He reached up and pulled down a heavy scanning unit. "Those ancient 'bots may be dead, but the line of memory goes back. Optimus was right to oppose Megatron. Megatron was right to lead an uprising against the Senate and the Primes. The Senate and the Primes were right to keep the war-forms down and strictly police them with their own warriors because of the war-forms violence. The war forms were right to rise against a system that treated them as second rate bots. The Autobots were right to put down violent seizing of power of the war-forms. And so on. They are remembered."

"Organic frailty is an advantage?" Deathstrike asked. "Perhaps."

"There are limits to what I can do without a total rebuild," said Three-Bee. "I can replace a number of parts and upgrade system reliabilities but that is about it. It should increase your system reliabilities everywhere but targeting. That would take a dedicated rebuild and testing not to make the problem worse."

"The glitch is rare," said Deathstrike, "and overall performance is acceptable. Continue."

"There is one armour plate that really should go, I'll take care of that. Engine feed and fuel system can do a refit. Replace some worn actuators, seals, and lines. Your auxiliary energon feed system could do with a check. It's impressively robust, but you've needed to use it heavily. This would be easier if your design was more consistent with common Cybertronian work."

"Custom job."

"Yes," said Three-Bee. "Please assist me with removing your breastplate." Deathstrike activated his transformation circuitry as the medical 'bot pulled away his out armour. "Farshot's is similar actually."

"It should be. We share the same designer and lineage."

"Logical," said the surgical mechanoid as he went to work.

"I consulted, briefly on the design."

"Your designer is wanted for war crimes."

"War crimes," Deathstrike sneered. "How typical of the Autobots. His crimes consist of being Decepticon and good at designing high end warrior robots."

"Some of his creations are considered abominations."

"By Autobots. Freedom is the right of all sentient beings except when you do something they don't approve of. It was war. Some of the warriors he designed were vicious, but his real crime was deviating from what the Aubotos considered an acceptable standard."

"Then why do you fight for them?" Three-Bee asked as he removed a worn actuator.

"I don't," said Deathstrike. "I fight because Breakout is a commander I can respect and his federal empire is a better than the alternative. I fight because Starvous rules in Megatron's name, but he rules like the Ancient Regime. Corruption. Caste systems. Religious mania and reverence to prop it all up and to top it all off he has the hard handed ruthlessness of a Decepticon. Where is the glory in the Greater Decepticon Empire? It's a slave pit and factory.

"When I wish to goad an Autobot I might refer to the Ancient Regime, but what it is is worse. It is the failure and corruption of the Decepticon movement. It is as if we had won and did nothing but change who was at top. It was as if everything we fought for was a lie."

"The very name of your movement includes the word deception."

"A vital tool in war, especially for a revolution against an enemy that controlled all the world's resources."

"This is, however, hearsay. You were built during the war, not before it?"

"Do not be a fool surgeon. Do you think the war started and Optimus Prime swept aside every bit of the old ways making our war good versus evil? Autobots would like to believe that because Optimus Prime truly was the best of them, but that was not the case. The Ancient Regime did not vanish when the war began. I saw enough of it and the evidence of what it had once been."

"The Autobots might like you more if you were less vocal about your political opinions."

"There are Autobots I respect, but almost everything I cared for was killed or destroyed by Autobots. I am Deathstrike. They should be grateful that the only thing they receive is my disdain."

"I doubt they see it that way."

"They don't, but I have lived without pride and will not do so again. Commander Breakout knows my value and employs me as I should be employed, against enemies who deserve my fury."

"As you say," said Thee-Bee. "I am done. If you could engage your transformation systems."

There was a series of metallic clicks as Deathstrike's armour moved back into position. "Your primary and secondary systems should be more robust and reliable."

"Thank you Three-Bee."

"You are welcome Deathstrike. I have to ask you: what would the Decepticons have made of my world. We are a much weaker race of mechanoids who possess valuable resources and infrastructure? What would your army of hardened warriors do when they saw a prize like that? What would Megatron or Shockwave have done and what would you have done if they commanded you to enslave us?"

"A good question," replied Deathstrike. "A hard one with unpleasant answers. Let me reply with a similar one: what would you do to win a decisively win this war?"

There was silence for a moment. "Farewell Deathstrike. You are an interesting mechanoid."

"Farewell Three-Bee."

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Last edited by Cynical Cat on Sun Oct 09, 2011 1:28 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Wed Jul 13, 2011 10:58 pm 
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"Metalhead can you get Shellshock and Shunt up here?" Breakout asked.

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PostPosted: Thu Jul 14, 2011 3:24 am 
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By ancient habit, Blastcap's tail snapped to face Cavalier as he entered the room. It was a disconcerting but harmless looking gesture; few knew that the cutting laser at the end of her claw arm automatically focused on any potential target. She had learned in a school of hard knocks, and one of the lessons was that no mercenary lived long that didn't know to have her own back covered. Her enemies would do well to know that lesson, and to remember that Blastcap had been in the business for a very, very long time. But Cavalier was not her enemy, or at least so she hoped, so the claw arm smoothly drew back as Blastcap turned to face him.

Her blast visor was closed, and her features obscured, as it usually closed itself whenever she was deep in thought. Blastcap remembered to open it before speaking, "Yes I did, for a matter of some importance. Please close the door, I would prefer if our discussion does not leave this room." She considered closing the blast shutters as well, but decided against it; no need to make it seem quite that serious. Besides, every window at the HQ was polarized to be one way only, she'd checked.

Blascap extended her hand forward, revealing the portable holographic projector she was holding. It activated to show a series of rapidly scrolling schematics before settling on the three dimensional representation of a sizeable space station. She spoke in an even and deliberate tone, "This is Axis Station. A very long time ago, it was the main trading hub of a small commercial power, orbiting above the skies of their home planet. Axis enjoyed a prosperous existence until it was attacked without warning by a fleet of unknown provenance. The station's defences had been sabotaged, and it lay helpless before the attackers. After heavy bombardment Axis fell from orbit, and millions died on the planet below. In addition, three comrades of mine died on the station itself."

An animation of the attack played on the holographic image as she spoke, and numbers flickered across the screen. The fatally wounded station began to fall. Right before entering the atmosphere, a huge chunk exploded out of Axis, hurling itself back into space. The rest of the station crashed down with catastrophic results.

"Every moored ship and most of the life boats were blasted to pieces by enemy fire, so only a handful made it out of Axis alive. Among those survivors, many told the story of a large armoured humanoid who made way to the remaining boats through fire chocked corridors and debris blocked passages. The last that any of them saw of this figure was him gallantly rushing back into that hell to save more. He is not known to have survived, and nobody knew his identity, so he went down in history as the Unknown Hero of Axis Station."

Once again the holographs of the station. Certain parts were zoomed in, and labels appeared detailing location, extent, and consequences of the damage.

"Not long after the tragedy, a group known as the Black Sun Pirates were completely annihilated in their base of operations. In a seemingly unrelated incident, most of the Galactic Spanning Corporation's senior leadership were killed by the catastrophic failure of an energon experiment they were witnessing. I have underworld contacts all over the galaxy, had them back then too, and word was that the Black Suns did the job at the behest of GalSpan. The evidence was all circumstantial at best, and malicious hearsay at worst, but GalSpan undoubtedly stood to profit from Axis' destruction."

Blastcap shut off the holographic projector and looked at Cavalier straight in the eye.

"I heard rumours, once, that the Unknown Hero could be an Autobot by the name of Cavalier. The description of the Hero and his behaviour seemed to match almost perfectly. The only hole in the theory is that the notoriously proud Cavalier had never sought to take any credit. Then other rumours, that the wreckage of the Black Sun Pirates practically had Cavalier's name all over it, that he had been asking questions before they were destroyed. And of course, it did seem very convenient that GalSpan's executives got themselves blown up right around the same time, even if it seemed too subtle for him. As far as I know, nobody has asked you about any of this directly, so I am asking now: Are you the Hero of Axis? And were you the one to bring the ones responsible for its destruction to justice?"

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PostPosted: Thu Jul 14, 2011 11:00 pm 
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Shunt was led, with no small amount of suspicion, out of the elevator and towards Breakout's command room. Unsurprising, given that even without the paint he burned off, the Decepticon Brand was easily noticable, and he wasn't a local. He doesn't speak to the collected bots and cons in the hall. He didn't know them.

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Tev: You're happy. You're Plotting. You're Evil.
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Tev: You're turning me on.

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PostPosted: Fri Jul 15, 2011 4:46 am 
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The answer to Blastcap's questions were obvious before she even asked them.

Cavalier's demeanor had been the usual, the conversation previous notwithstanding, it took more than that to break Cavalier's habit. He had been relaxed, his posture informal, almost languid, giving the impression of a bot who cared very much about appearing to care very little for what others thought about him. His cocksure grin and relaxed disposition, leaning against the door, whether in conscious imitation of other bots who shared his disposition or for his own sake, was his default "non-combat" position, the spitting image of a bot to whom war was an extreme sport studded with opportunities for personal distinction.

That all changed the instant Axis station was brought up.

Cavalier froze in place, like his processor had just suffered a segmentation fault, as Blastcap brought up a holographic image of a station long dead being destroyed all over again. He plainly only barely caught the gist of Blastcap's careful recitation of what had befallen the station, his optics staring at the station with an expression that slowly died to a neutral blank. The only things to move were his hands, opening and closing slowly, almost rhythmically, as though the memory of long-vanished objects held within them had led them to replay old patterns of behavior.

Not once did Cavalier raise his eyes, not as Blastcap explained carefully and clinically what had happened to Axis, not as she told him that three of her own had fallen there, not as she explained that there had been rumors of a Cybertronian warrior who had helped shepherd the survivors to lifeboats, nor the further rumors of terrible and absolute retribution enacted against those suspected responsible. He didn't react at all, until at last Blastcap asked him two very direct questions. And when she did, all he could do was emit a sound like a groan crossed with a sigh crossed with a lawnmower engine, and shake his head.

"There was no Hero of Axis," he said, his expression somber and his voice crackling from his speaker as if unwillingly. "Just a pile of death."

He walked three steps, over to the conference table, and kicked a chair out from under it, collapsing into it like a worn out organic, ignoring the furrow that his sword carved into the floor.

"I was on Axis chasing someone down. Some two-bit Decepticon stooge I thought might lead me to one of their bigger commanders. Neither one of us knew what was coming. When the fleet showed up and started firing, there wasn't a Primus-damned thing I could do about it." He looked up sharply. "I tried, you know. Found a depressurized compartment and shot at them from vacuum until I was out of shells. My guns just weren't..." he lowered his head again. "I'm a terrestrial model. I wasn't built to fight battlecruisers. I don't think they even noticed me firing at them."

He grimaced, as though in pain, and shook his head. "The station was coming apart, falling out of orbit. Casualties in the tens of thousands. All the corridors were choked with debris or fire." He shrugged. "I did what I could. The organics and the mechanoids couldn't get to the escape pods, so I tore a path. A dozen paths. Maybe a couple hundred of them got out, I don't know." He suddenly smirked, as if remembering something funny. "A hero?" he asked Blastcap, "gallantly running back to save others? I guess they forgot that I'm fireproof. And none of the escape pods were large enough to take a Cybertronian anyway. Even if I'd wanted to... I couldn't do anything else."

He looked back up at the image of the station as it came apart. "So I stayed."

A flash, and the station was gone.

"You ever been through re-entry?" he asked Blastcap, leaving it open as to whether the question was rhetorical. "Temperatures of eighteen hundred Kelvin? Between the heat and the pressure, your internal sensors all fail. You know your skin's starting to melt off, but you can't feel it melting. The organics all died in seconds, but the other mechanicals, some of them lived all the way down. Screaming until their speakers melted off. Loud enough to hear over the wind. I was almost glad when we hit the ground." He closed his optics for a moment. "Almost."

Cavalier shook his head. "Axis was in Geosynch orbit over a space complex in the middle of a mega-city. The crash killed everything down to the bacteria within twenty miles. Twelve and a half million sentient organics wiped out in a single processor cycle." Slowly, he lifted his head, looking Blastcap in the eye. "But they build 'em right on Cybertron, or so they say. And it's hard to kill a tank with high explosive. Truth is I got lucky. The station ablated around me for the worst of it. By the time I fell free, I was at low enough velocity to survive the impact, and the explosion just sort of rolled over me. Few years ago, I sat down and ran ten thousand randomized simulations on re-entering inside a falling space station. Survived twice."

"The planet went into nuclear winter from the impact. Famine, diseases, wars breaking out. It took eight months to piece myself back together and find a way off-world. The organics were all too busy trying to survive to spread word about me being there, and the ones who didn't know all figured nothing could have survived that impact. Primus knows I wouldn't have believed it if I hadn't been there. I thought about trying to help them, but I'm not Optimus Prime. I don't know how to stop wars or cure some damn plague. I'm a soldier. So I went and did what I knew how to do."

Slowly, considered the hologram again, where the crash of Axis station was playing itself out over and over again in silent agony. "I found the bastards who did that," he said with a gesture, "and I killed them all."

"The Black Sun Pirates couldn't keep their speakers shut," he said, his voice turning cold and mechanical. "They were hungry for the limelight, for 'respect'. Wanted to brag to anyone who'd listen about all the damage they'd done. Thought nobody'd be stupid enough to mess with them." A feral smirk came to Cavalier's features. "They never even knew what hit them. I went into their headquarters and ripped it apart. Sterilized it. Three, four hundred of them, mechanicals, organics, everyone. They had a pit fighting ring running with organic slaves from their raids. I took the survivors from my attack, threw them into the slave pits, and told the slaves to do whatever they wanted. Some of them died by millimeters. The ones that weren't home I hunted down, planet by planet, station by station. I got 'em all in the end, I'm pretty sure."

"As to Galspan, they covered their tracks pretty well, even made a name for themselves helping with the cleanup after Axis. Problem was, some of the pirates weren't too shy to talk about who put 'em up to the attack. Once I heard the same story from five or six different pirates, I got the message. But before I could turn my er... attention to them, that energon experiment thing went down. Took the whole board of directors out in one sweep. By the time I got there to check it out, it was all over but the song and dance. Never heard bolt nor hide of what might have done that job. Maybe it even was an accident, I don't know...

Cavalier sighed. "I didn't know there was some damn 'Hero of Axis' rumor running around. The reason I didn't take credit is that there wasn't anything to take. I didn't win at Axis Station, I didn't even know I was playing. Twelve and a half million dead, and all I could do was save a couple hundred, and then throw those who did it on the pyre with them. Took a long time to make peace with that, and I never saw the point of dredging it back up. Nobody ever asked if I had anything to do with Axis, and I never volunteered it."

He trailed off, sitting quietly for a time, staring, it seemed, into space. Finally, Cavalier raised his head one more time.

"If you lost some of yours on that damned station, I'm sorry for you. But why did you ask if I was there? Like you said, it was a long time ago. And those that did it have been dead for an age or more. Why bring it up now?"

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

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


Last edited by General Havoc on Tue Aug 09, 2011 2:44 pm, edited 4 times in total.

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PostPosted: Fri Jul 15, 2011 6:19 am 
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Shellshock heard the call for him to meet with Breakout along with a mech named "Shunt". He assumed a Cybertronian, but you never knew. When the doors open and a Decepticon walked in, escorted no less, the old warbot frowned a bit.

"I'll see you guys later. Boss wants to see me now." He fell into step slightly behind the con and his escort as they walked to Breakout's office. He didn't say anything to the other bot, not yet.

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PostPosted: Fri Jul 15, 2011 10:04 pm 
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Well, so much for subtlety, thought Blastcap to herself as Cavalier told his story. She kept her face as blank and emotionless as ever, but it was a struggle to not grimace as Cavalier described the gory details. It was him after all, the Cybertronian at the end of that smoky corridor, the one who should have died. He had survived against all odds, and now there he was, standing before her with an expression of pain and sorrow.

Perhaps it would have been best to not bring it up at all, and even know there were so many ways to disengage. She could thank him for getting the bastards and apologize for dredging up the painful memoires, she could even take credit for blasting GalSpan's executives. But no, she really couldn't disengage, it wasn't an option, it never had been. The fact remained that Blastcap had been on that station, and Cavalier had seen her. His memory files might be too disorganized for him to remember, even now, but sooner or later it would hit him like a kilotonne of bricks. When that happened, he would be in no mood to talk. They had to talk now.

"I cannot say I have ever experienced a naked atmospheric entry," Blastcap said, "but I did once have an active volcano thrown at me. First a pyroclastic flow, glowing bright red in the night, then a wall of lava. Molten rock is nasty stuff, and not just because of the extreme heat. It's heavy enough to bury you, too thick to swim in, and it sticks to everything. By the time I crawled out my visor was fused shut, most external sensors were burned out, and my plating was glowing. I had to cut and rip myself out of my own armour to keep the residual heat from melting my innards." She smiled wistfully, "Was another mercenary who came up with that trick, did it to kill me specifically. Too bad he didn't survive the contract, I would have bought him a drink."

Blastcap's face became blank again, and her purple eyes regarded the proud warrior Autobot, taking his measure. She could continue to try to be indirect, to drag it out, to try to soften the impact of what had to be said. But, was there any point to it? The truth would out, now or eventually, and his anger would boil regardless of how long it took. Delaying it by pussyfooting around was be disservice to Cavalier, and to Blastcap as well.

She spoke in a voice that was soft and sad, "You don't remember do you? At least not yet." A pause, and Blastcap looked away as if trying to find the words she wanted to say. She considered what was going to happen next, whether her next words could be her last, and realized that they wouldn't be. Whatever Cavalier's anger, whatever his reputation for going off half-cocked, he would give her a chance. One chance to explain, or to beg for mercy. It would be enough.

"Axis had a state of the art defence system: Anti-shipping cannon, torpedo banks, point defence batteries, multi-layered shields, the works. It could have soloed the Black Suns twice over. Like I said before, the station was sabotaged. Don't tell me you never thought about it."

The holographic emitter came on again, this time linked directly to Blastcap's memory core. A series of security warnings and restricted access prompts appeared in the holo-field and swam across her vision, but they vanished quickly as she applied a series of command override codes. Finally a still image appeared for Cavalier to see a wide corridor strewn with debris, the air chocked with smoke and fire. Suddenly it came to life:

>A large figure seemed to solidify itself from the smoke, moving toward the camera. It vanished for a second behind a thick billow, then strode out purposely before coming to a sudden stop. Though still partially obscured, enough could be seen to make out a strong resemblance to Cavalier. Green optics shone straight at the camera, then the corridor exploded and collapsed on itself. Fires ceased abruptly, and the view cleared as the smoke seemed to be drawn away. The camera panned to follow it, and focused on a large hole in the station's hull. Ignoring a half-dozen organics and mechanoids being sucked into the vacuum, the view moved around as if inspecting the damage. After a few moments it turned around and sped away down the corridor. The image froze and became corrupted, the words "DATA STREAM END" flashed across the holo-field, and the projector shut down.<

Blastcap looked up at Cavalier with a dismal expression. "That was Cargo Corridor 3b. It lead to freight pods, the ones meant to double as plus size life boats in the event of emergency. You just saw the feed from my optics the first time we met. I thought the Cybertronian at the other end of the corridor had died, by all rights he should have. But Primus or Fate or Something said otherwise. So here you are, and here I am."

Silently, several fusion charges armed themselves in her munitions bay.

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The pretty flowers remind me of a song of elves.


Last edited by Lys on Fri Jul 15, 2011 10:09 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Deathstrike walked away from maintenance, towards the other 'bots. He didn't know a lot of the 'bots on his team and there was no better time to begin establishing a rapport. Well, as much rapport as circumstances allowed. He suspected that the mix was the product of Breakout selecting all the useful 'bots that were too much trouble to keep around and sending them to do something useful while hopefully jelling into something resembling a coherent team under the pressures of fighting for their lives.

The notion was extremely optimistic.

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Last edited by Cynical Cat on Sat Jul 16, 2011 12:58 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Sat Jul 16, 2011 3:06 am 
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Cavalier stared at Blastcap in a cross between astonishment, confusion, and cataclysmic rage. His processor seemed to be giving contradictory orders, as she spelled out precisely who she had been. Cavalier had only partially recognized her, not knowing from where, and it wasn't until she played the footage for him that he finally remembered seeing an armored, hulking figure in the hallways shortly before everything had imploded. He hadn't thought much of it, either at the time or later on. It was self-evident to him that nobody else could possibly have survived the crash, and the notion of someone using cargo containers to escape from the station was one he had never even considered. He'd never even wondered if the armored figure could have been a Cybertronian. He didn't like thinking back to Axis.

But this new evidence, this was damning, incontrovertible. There was no physical way for anyone else to have constructed footage from the inside of Axis while she was going down, nor for them to know the ten thousand minor aspects of the shot that synched perfectly with Cavalier's eidetic memory. Blastcap had been on Axis.

And far worse.

His hand moved to his sword before he could even give it the order, and Cavalier rose to his feet like a colossus stirred to life by eldritch magics, twenty-three meters of metal and rage, his optics glowing like plutonium fuel rods, the light reflecting off his olive green paint. Valves on the sword connected to Cavalier's wrist, coating the tritanium blade with energon, only to ignite it a moment later in green flames of nuclear intensity. He pulled, and the sword drew clear, ringing in the empty room like a tuning fork rung by the God of War. Eight meters long, single-handed and double-bladed, Cavalier hefted the sword as though it were weightless, and from his other forearm unfolded a three-pointed shield of impenetrable durasteel plate, emblazoned with the symbol of the Autobots writ in cold iron.

"You sabotaged the station's defenses," said Cavalier, and his voice was changed entirely as though by magic, deep and menacing, a voice like a pavement grater, like the roaring of an incinerator, dripping with outrage and fury. "You let the pirates destroy it! You let them kill twelve million sentient organics! Ruined a planet! Why?!"

He stepped forward, his footfall like an artillery shell exploding, kicking aside a chair large enough to serve as the throne of the king of an entire world to a planet of organics like it was made of cardboard. The energon coursing over Cavalier's sword and through his optics burned white-hot like the inside of a star. "Why would you tell me this?!" he demanded, words clipped and barely controlled. "Why tell me that you had something to do with Axis if you knew what I did?! You were party to the murder of twelve and a half million organics!" He raised the sword, aiming it like a cannon with his arm extended and the point aimed straight at Blastcap's head, sighting down it as he asked a question he had already asked once this week, of another Autobot responsible for actions well beyond the pale.

"Why should you live?!"

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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: Sat Jul 16, 2011 4:19 am 
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The conference rooms were fairly sound proof, but there were limits. Limits that were exceeded by Cavalier shouting "Why should you live?!" when Deathstrike was by the door. It took fractions of the seconds for the Decepticon warrior to process the data through his decision making subroutines. The ones that dealt with command authority took precedence.

Probability in excess of eighty percent than Cavalier is about to attack another member of combat team. Responsibility was assumed back in Breakout's office. Intervention: essential.

Deathstrike pivoted at the waist, his right forearm transforming into the barrel of a large tubular weapon. He pointed the Mark III Executioner at the door. He fired. A violet-white bolt smote the door like the fist of a wrathful god.

There is a sound that is logged in the memory banks of every mechanoid who hears it, never to overwritten or removed from rapid access memory. It is a sound that dwarfs thunder. It is the vanguard of terror and the ending of all life. It is destruction incarnate. It is the roar of a fusion cannon.

The door exploded inward in a storm of molten shrapnel that was the bow wave of the detonation. A mechanoid smaller than Cavalier would have been knocked down by the blast, but the Autobot warrior was merely buffeted and shaken.

Deathstrike stood in the doorway. The Mark III Executioner whined softly, indicating all capacitors were at full charge. In its maw blazed a captive star.

He addressed both of them. "The only executions without trial that will occur under my watch are the ones I conduct. Stand down and desist or I will render you nonfunctional."

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PostPosted: Sat Jul 16, 2011 4:58 am 
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The wall exploded.

It wasn't a wall of course, it was a door. Nor was it an explosion so much as an implosion, casting shrapnel capable of felling a company of organics where they stood inward at extreme speeds. But at this particular moment, none of those specifics were exactly salient in Cavalier's mind, and his processor accepted the wall exploding as a reasonable facsimile for what had just happened.

For a second, he thought that Blastcap had detonated something, that she had told him all this as a trap, lured him to a prepared position wired with explosives to kill him. The best way to kill a tank was with a mine, after all. Even as his sensors were reporting the lack of shaped charge in the blast, and the presence of abnormal energy signatures and extreme thermal energy, Cavalier was already deciding what to do next.

He staggered back a pace as four tons of semi-molten debris broke over him like an ocean wave. But as he stepped back, his entire form seemed to ripple and shift, mostly because that was precisely what it was doing. His limbs and head folded in on themselves, his shield sliding around in front of his body, as an enormous turret and a pair of twinned guns with barrels five inches across slid seamlessly from within his cavernous form. It took barely a second for the transformation to complete, and by the time Cavalier's not inconsequential weight had come down on his new footing, a pair of heavy shock-absorbing tank treads were prepared to receive it. He rocked back on his chassis for a brief moment, recovering his equilibrium, but by the time the smoke cleared, and Deathstrike stood in the suddenly empty doorway, armed with a fusion cannon that was not Megatron's but would have elicited very few objections had it been described as the same model, the Decepticon-turned-Autobot was staring down the barrels of two drab-green cannons just as large as his. No stars burned within the maw of these silent monsters, no energy buildup heralding the apocalypse. It had to be taken on faith and past experience that, buried within them, sat sufficient explosive and kinetic power to tear a hole through a mountain.

It was unlikely that there existed a living soul in the galaxy who would have doubted as much.

This, of course, was not Cavalier's plan. He had intended to aim his guns at a quite different target entirely, but no sooner had he transformed than he found Deathstrike staring straight at him with a fusion cannon charged and ready to engage in extreme unpleasantries. The guilt and innocence of the situation notwithstanding, ones attention tended to galvanize towards the person with the live weapons, and so instead of inclining his turret in Blastcap's direction, he left it aimed directly at Deathstrike, his sloped turret armor and front glacis plate pointed like the shields they were in Deathstrike's direction. Cavalier was well aware that Megatron's fusion cannon could tear through him like he was made of gossamer, frontal facing or no frontal facing. But this was not Megatron, and however badly that gun might hurt, he had a pair that he knew would hurt the Decepticon flier just as bad if not significantly worse. This was not, after all, the first such Decepticon flier he had aimed them at.

"This doesn't concern you, Decepticon," came Cavalier's voice from a hidden speaker, his words stark and absolutely without emotion, be it fear or bravado. His smoothbore cannons did not deviate a millimeter, one aimed at Deathstrike's chest, the other at the cannon that had materialized from his arm. "And I don't answer to you even if it did. This one here's complicit in the murder of twelve million sentient organics. You try to stop me from doing what I have to and I will put you down without a second thought."

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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: Sat Jul 16, 2011 5:17 am 
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"I have already concerned myself with the matter Cavalier," replied Deathstrike. "You have a complaint about her, take it to Breakout. Take it to trial. That justice and due process you Autobots say you value so highly. Or prove yourself another hypocrite. Starvous has an empire full of them, I'm sure he can find a place for you." Deathstrike lowered his fusion cannon and walked forward until the gun muzzles were less than a meter from his chest.

"Shoot me or take her to Breakout. Those are your options because I will not let you kill her without a trial."

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PostPosted: Sat Jul 16, 2011 3:12 pm 
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This was going well, Blastcap thought to herself as Cavalier levelled his sword at her. It really was. Her head was still attached, the dead-man switch had not activated, and the both of them were not rapidly expanding clouds of plasma. Her third arm moved smoothly to the switch for the blast shutters and activated it. She was going to speak as soon as they came closed.

Instead the door exploded.

Her reaction was simple and automatic: Blast visor snapped shut, munitions deactivated, body turned to minimize damage, vision switched to infrared. Blastcap also took a moment to be thankful that she decided against rigging the room to explode, else more than the door would be exploding.

She saw Deathstrike before Cavalier did, and not just because infrared could penetrate dust better than light. The thermal bloom dominating her vision was the unmistakeable signature of a fusion cannon. Blastcap wasn't happy to see him; which was surprising, because up until that moment she could not have thought of a situation wherein him coming to her aid would be unwelcome. Yet here it was.

After checking that none of her weapons had reflexively pointed themselves at anyone, she spoke in a cold tone with a hint of annoyance, "I have no wish to imply that I do not appreciate some timely air support, Deathstrike, but Cavalier is correct, and this does not concern you. If he wishes to kill me for what I have done, that is his right; just as it is my right to take him with me. Yet I will have my say before that happens, because Cavalier does not fully understand the situation. He has but half the story, and I will have him hear the other half before he does something irreversible. The fact that everyone in this room is alive should be proof enough that he was going to let me. So please, leave us and ward off the others. After this commotion they will surely be coming."

Blastcap's fusion charges quietly armed themselves again.

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The pretty flowers remind me of a song of elves.


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PostPosted: Sat Jul 16, 2011 7:21 pm 
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"Do I look like an Autobot?" asked Deathstrike. "Did I ask you for your opinion? No. You will not kill each other here. Accusations will by handled by adjudication and then if you both still want to kill each other when that is over you can invoke the Code Duelo and do it properly. Now disarm and stand down. I grow tired of repeating this."

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PostPosted: Sat Jul 16, 2011 7:28 pm 
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On another world, no one would be insane enough to get involved in a fight between 3 cybertronians. In many sectors of the galaxy one cybertronians was considered enough reason to walk away from a fight.

This however was Coldrock, more so over, it was Fortress Optimus. Additionally it was the military HQ. Security would have gotten involved if there had been 300 Cybertronians, Breakout and other bots having trained them that well.

The first response group was about 25 sapients, 2 Cybertronians, 10 mechianicals and the rest organics in power armor. They swarmed the approaches of the office splitting their attention between the 3.

The two Cybertronians were Counterstrike and Longshot, military models that Prime had built after creating Breakout. They were also Headhunters, members of Breakout's unit before the formation of the League. Any member of that unit could boost an impressive kill list even before leaving Cybertron. They were unhappy with what they found.

"Everyone weapons on the floor, in bot form and hands up.... NOW!" Counterstrike ordered. He held a large blaster rifle, nowhere near as impressive as either Deathstrike's or Cavalier's cannons but it would do it's job. Longshot more then made up for that, being an artillery model himself, he carried a ridiculously large cannon.

"We need backup. Upper levels, conference rooms, key in on my signal, hurry it's Deathstrike, Cavalier and Blastcap and all of them look unhappy." He muttered over his radio.

Quote:
Shunt was led, with no small amount of suspicion, out of the elevator and towards Breakout's command room. Unsurprising, given that even without the paint he burned off, the Decepticon Brand was easily noticable, and he wasn't a local. He doesn't speak to the collected bots and cons in the hall. He didn't know them.


Breakout didn't know Shunt as well as he "knew" Deathstrike. Still he had experience with the Con. Unlike many Autobots, Breakout never took the war personally. The slavery, abuse and murdering yes, but not the war. It had been all he ever knew. Taking the attacks of the other side personally ranked right up with being upset that neglected machines rusted. Yes it was unpleasant and annoying but that was the way of the world.

"Have a seat Shunt. You know, I thought you were dead. If the read outs hadn't matched up so well I would think you were an impostor looking to get in as Shunt. Seen weirder things so far... " Breakout was cut off by an explosion and alarms going off in the office.

"Primus!" Breakout swore. He looked at Shunt, his secondary processor spinning. Odds of this being a plot that Shunt is involved in is 12.34% Low but doable... Then the radio message from Longshot crackled out over the waves. Breakout suppressed an urge to scream. It hadn't even been 10 Breems yet.

"Come on, lets go deal with our problem mechs." He told Shunt.

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PostPosted: Sat Jul 16, 2011 7:45 pm 
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Deathstrike's cannon transformed back into his hand. "Good. You've arrived. Do keep these fools from murdering each other. Or shoot them both. Whatever you Autobots do."

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It's not that I'm unforgiving, it's that most of the people who wrong me are unrepentant assholes.


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PostPosted: Sat Jul 16, 2011 7:51 pm 
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"As you command." Shunt nodded to Breakout, moving behind him. The twin rotary null-rays were on minimal power, but they were accurate. And with luck, Breakout was enough to end it. Shunt hurried after the Autobot. "Not dead. Just on a planet full of organics. It was nice, quiet.. Like one fight worth mentioning, but nice."

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PostPosted: Sat Jul 16, 2011 9:01 pm 
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Blastcap deactivated her fusion charges once more, this time with a tinge of relief intruding over her extreme annoyance. At least there would be no further need for them. She raised her hands to about shoulder level, keeping the firing paths for her guns clear. The blast visor remained closed, and the chain guns retracted themselves into of her back. Her tail continued to hover behind, but she was careful to not point it at anyone.

"Keep us from killing each other? It was Deathstrike who opened fire!" The usual deadpan was gone completely, replaced by a sour tone mixed with outrage, "By Primus can I not have a moment of privacy? I would have done this outside populated areas, but the last time I tried that someone threw a volcano at me!" She hadn't mentioned that part earlier, it was kind of embarrassing.

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The pretty flowers remind me of a song of elves.


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PostPosted: Sat Jul 16, 2011 9:25 pm 
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The sound of a fusion cannon was something no one could forget, and Shimmer didn't give Cutter another look. "That was where Blastcap and Cavalier went!" she informed them as she turned to run down that hallway. She was not surprised to find Breakout emerging from his office, followed by the newcomer, now out of shackles.

"20 chips say Cavalier's involved," Shimmer said, dropping in by Breakout. "Response Team One should be there by now." Shimmer had been at Fortress Optimus for a couple of the planet's seasons, so she knew the teams had been trained well.

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Last edited by LadyTevar on Sat Jul 16, 2011 9:47 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Shellshock had been with Shunt, but it seemed the boss wanted to talk to the Decepticon first. No matter, another misguided recruit? Ugh. He liked Breakout and all, but the Warbot and he didn't see eye to eye all the time.

Still, when the explosion rang out and Breakout came out of his office, Shellshock turned and followed after him, his gun wasn't charged up, honestly it was probably overkill for most situations indoors. But then again, if this was an attack it never hurt to have a really big gun in tight quarters.

"Breakout, what's going on, sir?"

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