Scramble City Saga - A Summary

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Scramble City Saga - A Summary

Postby Stormtalon » Wed Jun 01, 2016 6:11 am

Preface
Welcome back. I write this for the readers (and hopefully) fans of my Combiner Wars fanfiction: Scramble City Blues. I originally planned on releasing 5 chapters over six months. As with many things, life had other plans. Between moving, job-hunting and assorted life dramas, I haven’t provided the time and drive this story deserves. I don’t want to leave those who have followed Scramble City in a lurch so I present this.

One part story summary and one part author’s notes pressed into a complete form. I want to thank all of you who read and enjoyed the story. And I apologize for not getting it across the finish line. I hope to do better in my next project.

Chapter One
The story opens in the early part of the Great War. The Decepticons have launched their first major offensive and the ruling Council appears inept. The only ones who can check the Decepticons are a small but growing faction of Autobots.

The Autobots are resource deprived; short on manpower, firepower and actual power. Silverbolt and his squad (Alpha Bravo and Sky Dive) are sent into the Wilds to investigate an energy signal. Their search uncovers a lost temple complex. While scouting the central temple, they run into Slingshot and his squad of Firefly and Air Raid. Slingshot is a class clown, who loves ditching his assignment to tease the by-the-book Silverbolt.

In the temple’s central chamber, they discover several glowing relics, the source of the signal. Silverbolt carefully approaches, but Slingshot grows impatient. He grabs the closest relic. When nothing bad happens, he begins goofing around with it. Silverbolt barely gets out a warning when the relic emits a pulse of energy. The pulse engulfs all six Aerialbots. Alpha Bravo, who was patrolling the perimeter, is farthest and gets a smaller dose. The other five merge into Superion.

A disoriented Superion stumbles and crashes through the temple. Alpha Bravo attacks trying to free his friends, but Superion smacks him out of the sky. When Alpha comes to Superion is gone, but has left an easy to follow trail.

Superion’s rampage catches the attention of a Decepticon spy, Viper. He records the big bot in action and returns to Darkmount.

Superion continues crashing through the forest, when an old hermit wanders across his path. Alpha Bravo arrives just as Superion is about to crush the old bot. But instead, the hermit stares down Superion and says something that causes the combiner to disassemble.

Alpha Bravo helps his fellow Aerialbots. When he’s sure they are fine, he turns to the hermit, but he is gone. Alpha Bravo calls for back up and helps his comrades back to the temple.

From a distance, the hermit watches and is pleased things are now in motion. At Darkmount, footage of Superion is played for Megatron and his generals. Most dismiss it as a hoax, but one in Megatron’s inner circle is intrigued: a former gladiator named Cyclonus.
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Re: Scramble City Saga - A Summary

Postby Stormtalon » Thu Jun 02, 2016 11:30 am

Interval:
Between chapters, these events occur:

The Autobots set up a full archeological dig in the Valley of the Colossi (the lost temple complex). Cyclonus shows his powers of persuasion by convincing Megatron to give the dig some attention. Megatron wants a relic for study and tasks the job to master thief, Motormaster.

I place the character bios here to pad things out. First up is Silverbolt’s squad.

Silverbolt: He is a by-the-book, no-nonsense leader. (Think Iceman from ‘Top Gun’). His one passion outside of flying is ancient history. He loves the Knights of Cybertron in particular his noble namesake, Sir Silverbolt. While most argue whether he took the alt-mode of an eagle or a wolf, Silverbolt believes he took both. Silverbolt strives everyday to embody the noble bearing and ideals of that ancient order. His acrophobia comes later as a result of carrying part of Superion.

Alpha Bravo: Alpha Bravo is earnest and eager to please. As the rookie, he tries constantly to prove himself to the others. He is very self conscious about being the only helicopter in a group of fighter jets. His attitude swings between arrogant swagger and eager puppy.

Sky Dive: He is an aeronautical savant. He has studied the performance envelope of every aircraft. He knows what they can do and what they can’t and exploits that in a dogfight. Quiet and reserved, he is out of step with the more blustery Aerialbots. He prefers to settle things in the air. (Think Max Sterling from ‘Robotech’) He retains Superion’s memories, but has trouble recalling them at will.
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Re: Scramble City Saga - A Summary

Postby Stormtalon » Fri Jun 03, 2016 5:45 pm

Author's Note: This chapter is the one I posted under the title "Scramble City Blues" If you want an idea of how this story would look fleshed out take a peek at those chapters. Below is a link to the first part.

http://www.seibertron.com/energonpub/scramble-city-blues-t105402.php

Chapter Two:
We open with Motormaster gathering a crew. He picks up a pair of street racers: Wildrider and Dragstrip, gang-presses a hacker: Breakdown, a sniper: Dead End, and a mini-con: Blackjack.

At the Valley of the Colossi, brain bots such as Rewind, Chromedome, Highbrow and Lightspeed recover 8 relics. Perceptor prepares to ship them to Crystal City for further study.

At the other end of camp, the Aerialbots are getting chewed out by their commander, Leader-1 (Think Principle Strickland from “Back to The Future”). He orders them back to Fortress Maximus for a full debrief. Silverbolt asks about Alpha Bravo and learns he is AWOL.

The helicopter in question is searching for the hermit. After a small chase, Alpha Bravo catches up to him. The hermit answers his questions in cryptic fashion before disappearing.

The Aerialbots leave just as the relics begin their transport. Motormaster’s crew lies in wait and ambushes the transport. A distress call gets out before going dark. The call is received by the Aerialbots. Slingshot doesn’t want to help the ingrates, but the rest fly to the rescue.

The Aerialbots save the security detail: Brainstorm, Chromedome, Hardhead and Highbrow, but the thieves bolt with the relics. Slingshot’s squad goes after them leaving Silverbolt’s squad behind with the wounded.

This is where the Aerialbots first encounter their Stunticon rivals one-on-one. Slingshot wants the glory of taking down the ringleader. He leaves his squad mates as they are picked off one by one. Motormaster, realizing he won’t make it to Darkmount, changes course to nearby Scramble City.

Air Raid and Firefly aren’t doing well against their Stunticons when Silverbolt and Skydive arrive. The Stunticons bail before reinforcements arrive. Alpha Bravo joining his squad add to their flight.

The Stunticons go to ground in Scramble City. The Aerialbots are looking for the Stunticons and the relics. The Stunticons want to find Motormaster, who left them high and dry, while avoiding the Aerialbots. And Motormaster trying to avoid both groups and meet up with his Decepticon contact.

Motormaster is spotted by his crew and a high speed chase results. This attracts Scramble City’s security forces including a helicopter and two beat cops (a patrol car and a motorcycle). Motormaster jack-knifes and the crash activates another Combiner relic. The Stunticons get engulf in the pulse and combine into Menasor.

Like Superion, Menasor is disoriented and destructive. More so because of the hostility the other Stunticons have towards Motormaster. Menasor’s limbs attack his torso. During this flailing, the remaining relics are scattered across the city.

The Aerialbots try to take him down conventionally, but missiles aren’t doing enough damage. Reluctantly, they agree to merge. They form Superion, but this time they know what to expect.

The battle is very one-sided. The Aerialbots work as a team toward a shared goal, while the Stunticons are a mess. Superion (through Slingshot’s hotheaded command) hurls Menasor out of the city. By the time, the Aerialbots separate and reach the impact site, the Stunticons are gone.

Leader-1 and Optimus Prime arrive. Leader-1 is ready to bust them down to pump jockeys, but Optimus Prime is more observant. He sees the Aerialbots’ valor and commends them for their heroics. The folks of Scramble City cheer their new hero, Superion and the Aerialbots. The Aerialbots enjoy the praise, especially Slingshot.

At Darkmount, Megatron who was indifferent to combiners before sees Superion and Menasor in action. Now, he wants combiners in his ranks, but first he wants Motormaster’s head.

At the edge of the Sea of Rust, the green hermit reaches an outcropping. He is met by a hulking yellow lion-bot who pulls a gun on him.
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Re: Scramble City Saga - A Summary

Postby Stormtalon » Mon Jun 06, 2016 9:07 pm

Interval
Hunk recognizes Pidge and invites him in. He hears Pidge’s plan. Hunk is hesitant doesn’t want to dare to hope, but Pidge thinks a chance to go home is worth any shot. Seeing how things are already in motion, Hunk reluctantly agrees to go along. Hunk bids his home a heartfelt goodbye.

Across the planet at Iocon, Powerglide reports to Alpha Trion as his assistant. Powerglide hates the assignment. He’s a warrior not a librarian, but Alpha Trion promises the work will be worthwhile.

Bios on Slingshot’s squad.

Slingshot: He is like Maverick from ‘Top Gun’: brash, cocky and full of himself. He treats his squad more like a clique than a military unit. He is a ‘Goofus’ to Silverbolt’s ‘Gallant’. He holds Superion’s confidence. This appears in Slingshot’s overbearing arrogance. Slingshot firmly believes anything that can be done, other Aerialbots, and especially himself, can do it better.

Air Raid: Air Raid is the daredevil. Fear is another bot’s problem. He rushes head first into any situation. If he can’t shoot his way out of a situation he is sure he can talk his way out. His narrow escapes are the stuff of legend whether escaping the wrath of a commander or talking his way out of a Decepticon firing squad. Air Raid picked up Superion’s courage through the merger, though it is hard to tell where Superion’s courage ends and Air Raid’s recklessness begins.

Firefly: Firefly has one dream: to fly the unending sky. His friends call him flighty, but Firefly yearns for a wide stretch of sky and the freedom to explore it. He keeps his dreams to himself fearing how Slingshot and Air Raid would react. In any clique you have the one with low self-esteem who is committed to being a follower. That is Firefly. Ironically, Firefly carries Superion’s strength. He could be as strong the colossus, but only time will tell. For now, his own doubts prevent any displays of this strength.
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Re: Scramble City Saga - A Summary

Postby Stormtalon » Tue Jun 07, 2016 10:06 pm

Chapter Three:
The story picks up a few days after the Menasor/Superion bout, in the bullpen of Scramble City’s police force. (Familiar faces includes Prowl, Red Alert, Barricade as they welcome their newest member, Rook, to the force.) The chief warns them to keep an eye out for the Stunticons and the Combiner relics. They roll out in ‘Hill Street Blues’ fashion passing Constructicons clearing debris and repairing roadways. The Constructicons back-and-forth about current events. It’s clear most side with the Decepticons. They are so caught up in their debate, they don’t notice Breakdown hiding in an alley or Laserbeak and Buzzsaw running him down and dragging him off.

At Fort Max, the Aerialbots expect to get chewed out by Leader-1 but Optimus Prime steps in and announces they are being reassigned. Slingshot is glad Leader-1 is out but that joy is short lived as Optimus introduces their new commander: Major Magnus.

Optimus combines Silverbolt’s and Slingshot’s squads formally christening them as Aerialbots. Magnus is in charge of whipping them into a team. Leader-1 gladly accepts the hand off, smirking at Slingshot knowing he’s in for it now. During this, Sky Dive relives a memory of Superion. He comes to and realizes something isn’t right.

At Darkmount, Breakdown is tossed in with the other Stunticons. Megatron is seething. His thieves failed and nothing is worse than failure, not even trying to steal the relics for themselves. The Stunticons including loyal Blackjack, blame Motormaster, but Megatron blames them all. He summons the executioner, but Cyclonus intercedes. He convinces Megatron that while they don’t have a relic, they have a combiner group. And until they learn how to make their own, one Menasor is more valuable than six heaps of slag.

Megatron puts Cyclonus in charge of the Stunticons, but he’s no fool. Once Cyclonus is out of the room, he assigns Viper to spy on Cyclonus.

In Scramble City, the Constructicons discover something glowing in the debris. They begin digging up a Combiner Relic.

At Fort Max, Magnus’ training runs into trouble with three class clowns: Slingshot, Air Raid and Firefly. During a flying exercise, Silverbolt is gripped by a panic attack. This has never happened before and he wonders if this might be Superion related. He asks around discretely and learns of Sky Dive’s memory flashes. He goes to Magnus with his suspicions and arrives just as the conflict between Magnus and Slingshot reaches a head.

Back at Darkmount, Cyclonus is a hard master. When the Stunticons aren’t being poked and prodded by Scapel, a Decepticon scientist trying to decode the combiner matrix, he runs them through drills to get them battle ready. Motormaster doesn’t trust Cyclonus, but the others won’t listen to him. Cyclonus earned their loyalty by saving their lives. The only one who believes Motormaster is Breakdown, but only because he’s a conspiracy nut.

Magnus challenges Slingshot. The cocksure pilot readily agrees before hearing the terms. Slingshot and any bot of his choosing will attack Magnus. If Slingshot forces Magnus to yield, they don’t have to train. If Magnus wins, then Slingshot’s group, but not Slingshot, will take the punishment. Slingshot hesitates but then picks his old squad mates. They rush in without a plan. Magnus easily trounces them.

A fuming Slingshot flies in. Magnus lets him get in a few blows, then subdues him. Slingshot reluctantly yields. Magnus expects Slingshot at the head of the class and finds the nasty task for his pals to get started on.

In Scramble City, an emergency call comes over the wire. Four Alarm and his Emergency Response Team (future Protectobots) arrive as a monster emerges above the buildings. This is Devastator (resembling his ‘Revenge of the Fallen’ incarnation) He is a ravenous beast, but something is wrong. Rivets, beams, struts are constantly falling off his body. Devastator grabs other Constructicons to replace fallen limbs.

Four Alarm and the others jump into action, but Barricade chickens out. Instead, he calls the Decepticons and alerts them to another combiner.

At Fort Max, news comes in about Devastator and Scramble City calls for their hero. Slingshot is ready to charge in, but Magnus has them stand down. Slingshot attempts to leave anyways, but his usual partners in crime (Air Raid and Firefly) stay put.

In Scramble City, the Constructicons fight Devastator to free their comrades only to be absorbed for their trouble. Devastator goes through the Constructicon roster: Scrapper, Scavenger, Bonecrusher, Long Haul, Hook, Mixmaster, Hightower, Demolisher, Dirt Boss, etc. The response team evacuate the civilians ahead of a lumbering Devastator.

Silverbolt pleads with Major Magnus, but Magnus explains that an undisciplined fighter is a liability on the battlefield. Silverbolt argues, that undisciplined or not, they are the only ones who can stop this menace. The other Aerialbots agree. Magnus eyes each of the Aerialbots. When he is sure they are united, he lets them go.

Cyclonus and the Stunticons arrive in Scramble City. The Stunticons are seized with an intense hatred of Devastator and want to destroy him right away. Cyclonus holds them back. He is waiting for something but he won’t say what.

The Aerialbots arrive and make an attack run on Devastator, but their missiles disintegrate before impact. Devastator creates some kind of Disintegration Field. The Aerialbots decide it is time for Superion. They merge into Superion and stand off against Devastator. Sky Dive remembers something about Devastator and tries to warn Silverbolt. While they are conferring, Slingshot takes command and throws himself in a right cross. (Some anger over losing to Magnus is at play)

Devastator’s field causes Slingshot to fall off of Superion. Devastator grabs the arm and begins beating Superion with it. When his other arm falls off, Devastator inserts Slingshot in the empty socket.

Stunned, Superion tries to get away and regroup. That is when the Stunticons strike. After unsuccessfully trying to merge a couple of times, they come across their activation code (Rage) and combine into Menasor.

The fight is very different from their last bout. Menasor is united in purpose, while Superion is weakened. Menasor beats back a flailing Superion and goes in for the kill. He is stopped by Devastator. Devastator grabs Menasor’s leg and yanks Wildrider off. Menasor collapses into his Stunticon parts.

With Superion and Menasor down, Devastator continues his rampage. He tries going after the Stunticons, but they flee in different directions. Devastator can’t follow. It is in this moment of indecision, that Cyclonus does something totally unexpected. He steps into the path of Devastator and the mad colossus consumes him.

Alpha Bravo and his brother, the emergency helicopter Evac, find the Aerialbots. Alpha Bravo sees they are shaken and tries to rally them. The Aerialbots don’t respond at first. Slingshot being ripped away was like their spark being ripped out. Alpha Bravo doesn’t give up and tells them to have courage. Suddenly, he begins to glow.

Inside Devastator psyche is a swirling maelstrom of chaos. Bots fly in as they are attached and are flung out when they detach from the giant. Cyclonus resists the pull to leave and fights his way to the eye of the storm. He finds Slingshot and Wildrider connected to an incomplete combiner; missing an arm, a leg and torso.

The Aerialbots gather around Alpha Bravo and regain their spirit. They discover a new activation code: Courage! With it, they reform Superion with Alpha Bravo replacing Slingshot.

This Superion is a more centered warrior and has a plan. Devastator hungers for more combiner bots. They use that desire to lure him out of the city.

Four Alarm, Evac and the response team see Superion’s plan and clear the area ahead. As the chase goes on, Devastator dwindles.

Inside Devastator, the storm closes in. Cyclonus tries to escape, but like a tightening noose, he can’t slip free. Soon he is pulled into the torso region of this incomplete colossus. Cyclonus hears maniacal laughter only to realize it is his own.

Outside, Devastator has shrunk until all that remains are Slingshot, Wildrider and Cyclonus. Superion hits him with a finishing blow and Devastator falls apart. Slingshot and Wildrider are catatonic. Cyclonus is conscious, but muttering incoherently. The Decepticons are taken into custody, while Slingshot is helped by Evac and the ambulance, Lifeline. As everyone tries to sort through the destruction.

Far away, Pidge and Hunk reach their next destination: a monastery (think Mont. St. Michel, but on the Sea of Rust) They hope to speak with the abbess: the blue lion, Alura.
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Re: Scramble City Saga - A Summary

Postby Stormtalon » Wed Jun 08, 2016 9:24 pm

Interval
Pidge and Hunk sneak into the monastery, but not without raising alarms. The Sisters of Elita (My version of the Torchbearers) don’t suffer outsiders gladly. The Abbess Alura comes out and sorts things out. She calls is a false alarm and sends the guards back to their posts. In her quarters, she finds Pidge and Hunk. She is warm and welcoming at first, but when Pidge mentions the others she becomes very cold and distant. Pidge tries to explain what is going on but Alura doesn’t want to hear it.

Alura explains that she has duties and commitments now and she won’t abandon them for a maybe. Hunk and Pidge don’t press her. They slip out of the monastery. Once, sufficiently far enough away, Hunk despairs. If Alura doesn’t come how can they go home. Pidge isn’t worried. He believes she’ll come around. Now, Pidge heads off to find Keith and Lance.

Motormaster: For me, it’s hard not to hear Vin Diesel's voice as Motormaster. A deliberate, growly voice that lets everyone know he’s in charge. Like Dominic Toretto, he is a master thief, smart enough to keep one step ahead of disaster.

Blackjack: Blackjack is the toadie every strongman needs. Someone who strives for approval from their designated Alpha. A hanger-on who is useful enough to keep around, but not anyone you would like. Steve Buscemi would voice him perfectly.

Breakdown: Breakdown is a conspiracy nut. This drive to uncover the truth pushes him to hack info-net and crack securities. He assumed the name Breakdown to create confusion. The Breakdown from TF: Prime is the unwilling fall guy for Breakdown’s illegal activities.
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Re: Scramble City Saga - A Summary

Postby Stormtalon » Thu Jun 09, 2016 8:43 pm

Chapter Four
Three weeks have passed. The Aerialbots are in a mock battle with Magnus’ team: Kup, Hot Rod, Blurr, Springer and Arcee. Silverbolt leads the Aerialbots. He plays things so cautiously, they lose. The Aerialbots are supportive of their leader, but frustrated with his timidity. Silverbolt doesn’t hang around, preferring to check in on Slingshot, still in stasis lock.

At Darkmount, another pair of Constructicons pledge their loyalty to Megatron. Megatron accepts and turns them over to the ‘tender mercies’ of his scientists. Off to the side, the Stunticons watch all this. While the others are relieved Scalpel has new test subjects, Motormaster is nervous. Dragstrip teases him about it, but Motormaster lays out the facts.

Without a means to form Menasor and a new combiner drawing Megatron’s praise, their days are numbered. They need to reform Menasor and fast. Dead-End chimes in with an idea, but he’ll need the others help to pull it off. As Dead-End outlines his plan, Viper silently spies on them.

Back at Fort Max, Silverbolt reports to the war room as a strategy meeting is going on. He overhears the discussion turn to the Decepticons massing for an invasion of Scramble City. Optimus surmises Megatron wants the combiner relics lost in the city. Hound reports that their own Autobots teams have only found one fully charged relic, currently under study at Crystal City. The remaining relics are still lost. The Autobot forces are tied down at Thunderhead Pass and Bevel leaving them undermanned to mount a defense.

Leader-1 plans to abandon the city. He wants to pull back their forces discretely to prevent a panic that will surely result from an evacuation. When he begins talking about acceptable losses, Silverbolt bursts in. He can’t believe they would leave so many innocents at the mercy of the Decepticons. Magnus escorts a shouting Silverbolt out of the war room.

At Darkmount, the Stunticons execute their plan. Dragstrip distracts Scalpel while Breakdown hack into his files. They are almost caught, but Viper aides them without being seen. He finds Wildrider’s energy signature, copies it and slips away.

Back at Fort Max, Optimus goes to Silverbolt to explain his decision to abandon Scramble City. Without sufficient forces, they’d be forced to fight in the city putting civilians at risk. Silverbolt counters that Superion can tip the scales. But Optimus doesn’t want to risk them. Silverbolt thanks Optimus for his time, but once the door closes he calls in the rest of the Aerialbots.

At Darkmount, Dead End brings in an eager Decepticon named Offroad. Offroad is a big Menasor fan. He loves such a massive engine of destruction. Dead End introduces him to the other Stunticons. While Offroad gushes over each of them, Motormaster and Dead End exchange glances. (Basically conveying ‘is this guy for real?’ and ‘beggars can’t be choosers’) Motormaster steps in and pours on the charm. He offers Offroad a place in their group, but first he must pass an ‘initiation’. Offroad jumps at the chance.

At Fort Max, the Aerialbots leave in singles and in pairs on legitimate tasks. (Air Raid and Sky Dive go on patrol. Firefly is running a message. Alpha Bravo has to meet Kup at the long distance firing range.) It’s that last lie which trips them up. Kup and soon Springer search for the Aerialbots. When they can’t find them they go to Silverbolt’s quarters and discover he is gone as well. They report all this to Major Magnus, but he knows there is only one place they would go.

The Aerialbots join up with Silverbolt at the city limits of Scramble City. Alpha Bravo reports contacting Evac and warning him about the invasion. The others are split about this course of action, but seeing Silverbolt take charge and be a leader reassures them. As the Decepticon army appears on the horizon, the Aerialbots merge into Superion and face the biggest threat to their city.

At Darkmount, the Stunticons have the run of the lab. Everyone else is marching on Scramble City. After taking out the guards, the Stunticons begin the ‘initiation’. They reconfigure Offroad’s energy signature to match Wildrider’s. The process is painful, but the Stunticons are more worried about what they’ll do if this fails. Offroad survives and they merge into Menasor with Offroad forming the missing leg. They disassemble and head to the front lines of Scramble City.

In the City, Evac and the few bots he can trust are trying to evacuate the city. Most are in panic mode while others stay put when they see Superion. Four Alarm explains to all who can hear, that Superion is buying time but he can’t hope to defeat a force that large. The sky lights up as the first volleys in the battle begin.

Superion starts off strong. He sweeps and punches his way through the first wave. The citizens of Scramble City cheer on their champion. The second wave comes in immediately on the heels of the first one and Superion loses ground. Optimus and Autobots reinforcements arrive backing up Superion. Superion is grateful, but Optimus doesn’t reply. For the moment, Megatron readjusts his attack plan.

Megatron deems this a good time to deploy his Constructicons. The five Constructicons try to form Devastator, but can’t. Megatron is displeased with their failure. Onslaught quickly pulls them back and brings up the heavy artillery. The Autobots begin their big push to drive the Decepticons back when the Stunticons arrive. They merge into Menasor and the tide of battle changes one more time.

In the sparsely manned Fort Max, Cyclonus snaps to lucidity and breaks his restraints. He mutters to himself, clearly taken direction from a being called Galvatronus. Cyclonus moves through the base until he finds Wildrider and breaks into his cell. Then they both begin to search for Slingshot.

Menasor grins wickedly across at Superion. Superion, already worn down fighting waves of Decepticon troops, is no match for a fresh, off-the-bench Menasor but Superion won’t yield. The two colossi fight and it is a titanic struggle. The fight quickly enters the city, where the close quarters benefit Menasor.

Citizens scramble to avoid the fist fight. Evac, Four Alarm and the rest try and lead people out of the war zone. Onslaught sends his troops to outflank the Autobots rushing to aid their titan. Blast Off and Brawl successfully cut of Superion from any Autobot help.

Menasor is laying into Superion. The Autobot giant is down for the count. Silverbolt sees only one tactic left. As Menasor brings his fists down for the finishing blow, the Aerialbots separate. Menasor falls through and the Aerialbots scatter in all directions. Menasor swings at the fleeing Aerialbots and strikes Silverbolt. Silverbolt blacks out as he spins into a crash.

Elsewhere, the citizens are in a full panic. With Superion fallen and the Autobots pulling out, there is no one left. Four Alarm and his crew load as many trains as possible to get out of the city before the Decepticons lock it down. There is now only one train left, Rapid Run. Four Alarm orders his mates on the train. Evac, Lifeline, Stakeout and Roadblock all choose to stay. They are protectors and this is what they do.

Rapid Run pulls out as Megatron appears on every vid screen giving the conqueror’s speech. Vortex and Blast Off arrive at the depot, the Protectors raise their hands in surrender.
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Re: Scramble City Saga - A Summary

Postby Stormtalon » Mon Jun 13, 2016 10:08 pm

Interval
The interval takes us the the frontier town of Northern Mark. It lies perilously close to Cybertron’s magnetic north pole. A black lion-bot greeted by the locals as Lio Prime enters the tavern/assay office. Many of the bots here have beast forms, ideal for the rugged environment.

Lio Prime brings in some red energon ore. While the Assayer calculates how much its worth (and already he predicts it will be a hefty payday for Lio) Lio heads to the tavern to refuel and catch up on the news. The #1 story is the fight between Superion and Devastator. News takes a while to travel out here.

Lio gets one good look at Devastator, grabs his earnings and bolts out of here. While he leaves out the back, Pidge and Hunk enter the tavern from the front. Hunk orders the first full meal he’s had in cycles, while Pidge goes to the bar and starts asking questions.

He pieces together Keith going by Lio Prime and drags Hunk away from his hot meal to Lio’s residence. They get there only to find it abandoned. A helpful neighbor explains Lio left on today’s transport. It was really sudden so that counts as news up here. Pidge and Hunk race back to town but the transport is already gone.

Pidge wonders where Keith is going in such a hurry, when Hunk points him to the vidscreen and the repeating top story of the Superion/Devastator fight. They both recognize Devastator. They look for the next available transport but it won’t be by for a couple of cycles. Hunk frets. They need to get back and stop the ‘Malignus’ before it grows any stronger. On the transport, Keith/Lio Prime is thinking the same things as he sharpens his swords for combat.

Dead-End: Dead End sees himself as an instrument of the entropy. We are all rust in the end. He just hastens that rendezvous for some. His weapon of choice is a long-range sniper rifle. He smiled once when he was called a fatal fatalist. It was so unnerving the Decepticon went into hiding and changed his name.

Dragstrip:
Dragstrip is one of those hyper-competitive types. Everything is a race to him and he feels entitled to win. This creates a massive ego that makes him hard to work with. The only thing worst is when he loses. The other members of the team have learned it is easier to live with a boastful winner than a sulking and volatile loser.

Wildrider: Only one thing motivates Wildrider, the possibility of destruction. He lives to crunch metal beneath his wheels. Between destructive rampages, Wildrider is a lump, almost catatonic. He doesn’t engage with anyone except Dragstrip and even then Dragstrip does most of the talking. For all this, Wildrider fits nicely in a band of assassins and conspiracy nuts. It is doubtful anyone else could put up with him.
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Re: Scramble City Saga - A Summary

Postby Stormtalon » Wed Jun 22, 2016 6:24 am


Chapter 5
The story shifts from the Aerialbots and Stunticons to the Protectobots and Combaticons as we open with Swindle beginning a long day of hustling in occupied Scramble City.

He caters to the occupying force, fetching stuff for Brawl, Vortex, Blast Off and Onslaught. He builds favor with them so he can operate his sideline businesses: profiteer. It’s tough being a smuggler.

Onslaught calls Barricade (now promoted to Chief of Police) to provide security for Swindle. Barricade assigns Stakeout (Streetwise) and Checkpoint (Groove) to bodyguard Swindle. He also orders them to find some dirt he can use against the smuggler. The officers hide their contempt for the new Chief and follow orders.

They follow Swindle through the second half of his day. An errand takes them past a common sight these days: a demolition party. The Decepticons announce plans to level a building. They give the residents a scandalously few minutes to evacuate before Constructicons knock the building over. This time the demolition causes a fire in the surrounding complex.

Four Alarm (Hot Spot) and Evac (Blades) arrive. Four Alarm fights the fires while Evac rescues those still inside. Stakeout and Checkpoint ditch Swindle to help bring the injured to Lifeline (First Aid). They save the civilians but not the buildings. The Decepticons are indifferent figuring the fire did their job for them. The other Protectobots have to hold Four Alarm back from leaping on the Decepticons.

As the Constructicons begin clearing the rubble. Evac overhears them talking about relics. Swindle returns with Barricade. He is upset his bodyguards went to save others and not protect him. Four Alarm covers for Checkpoint and Stakeout. Barricade doesn’t like Swindle so he doesn’t press Four Alarm on his weak story. He takes them off active duty, which he thinks is a terrible punishment. Both cops are fine not having follow Barricade’s erratic orders for a day or two, but look down in mouth for show. Before they depart, Lifeline asks to check them out. While he fusses with his equipment, he relays to Stakeout and Checkpoint to meet them at the Greasepit, an old oil house, for a round of drinks. Checkpoint starts to refuse, but Stakeout reads between the lines and quickly agrees to the meet up.

At Fort Max, Silverbolt awakens from stasis lock. Alpha Bravo and Firefly are there and relieved that he is conscious. When Silverbolt asks what happened, Optimus Prime enters and clears the room.

Optimus is stern. Silverbolt put his men and the mission at risk and that is behavior unfit for a commander. Silverbolt is stripped of his squad leader rank. This is a gut punch for Silverbolt, but he asks what happened to the others to focus on something else.

Prime explains that the Aerialbots fought Menasor to keep him off of Silverbolt. Air Raid was injured in the process and is now in recovery. Magnus and his team recovered Silverbolt and Air Raid while the other Autobots covered their retreat. Optimus save the worst news for last. While everyone was fighting at Scramble City, Cyclonus broke out of his cell and escaped with Wildrider and Slingshot in tow. They don’t know where they could be now.

Down the hall, Air Raid, still in stasis lock, experiences some memories from Superion. He remembers the early days of the Colossi as they worked alongside the Primes building Cybertron. Eventually, each colossus paired off with a Prime. (Predaking/Onyx Prime; Menasor/Megatronus; Superion/Alpha Trion). Air Raid regains consciousness long enough to see Alpha Trion and Powerglide standing over him. He recognizes Alpha Trion, but then slips back into unconsciousness.

The Protectobots meet at the Greasepit. Evac brings one more: a riot control officer named Roadblock (Rook). Evac vouches for him which is enough for the others. Stakeout, the detective, lays out what they know so far. There are relics which create combiners. Motormaster brought these relics into the city. They were subsequently scattered when the Stunticons merged into Menasor. And the Decepticons invaded the city in order to find the remaining relics and create more combiners for their side.

This is where Roadblock comes in. At Evac’s request, he has pulled data from numerous sources; eyewitnesses, incident reports, etc. He has crunched out a search pattern with a high probability of finding at least one relic. Checkpoint and Evac eagerly bolt out the door to find these things. The others follow close behind.

At Darkmount, the Stunticons are enjoying the good life. Megatron lavishly rewards victory. The other Stunticons acknowledge Motormaster as their leader. Saving their backsides from Megatron’s ire does wonders for Motormaster’s reputation.

A newly contrite Scalpel enters and asks Motormaster to walk him through the procedure he used on Offroad. Motormaster repeats what Dead End tells him, but Dead End leaves out the crucial bit about Wildrider’s energy signature. The other Stunticons know the score. As the only combiner, they are the Decepticons’ MVP. If there is an army of them, they become disposable grunts.

A courier enters with new orders from Megatron. They are being deployed in the final push on the Gamma Delta. The Stunticons eagerly comply and leave Scalpel in a cloud of dust.

The Decepticon scientist is a wreck. His failure to unlock the secrets of Combining coupled with the Constructicons inability to merge into Devastator has put his position and his life in jeopardy. He is so absorbed he doesn’t notice Viper enter the lab. The Decepticon spy greets Scalpel and offers him the missing link in his combiner research: energy signatures. Scalpel wants to know what the catch is. Viper asks that when they start making combiners he wants to be considered for the program. Satisfied, Scalpel gets to work.

Back in Scramble City, the Protectobots are searching an energy park for the relic. They pair off and follow Roadblock’s search pattern. While Lifeline and Four Alarm search, the medic voices some concerns. If they find the relic what do they do with it. Four Alarm has some vague idea of smuggling it to the Autobots, but Lifeline thinks they should give it to the Decepticons. This creates some tension between the firefighter and the medic, but Lifeline explains. The Decepticons only in interest in Scramble City are these relics. Maybe they can be used to get the Decepticons to leave. Four Alarm doesn’t agree, but Lifeline’s objective is to safeguard the citizens of Scramble City. Whether it aids the Autobots or the Decepticons doesn’t really figure into it.

Roadblock and Checkpoint spot a Decepticon patrol heading their way and move to intercept. They bluster for a bit arguing over jurisdiction but when the Decepticons decide to call Barricade Roadblock clocks them. Roadblock and Checkpoint haul the unconscious patrollers away. Now they have moments before reinforcements arrive.

Stakeout uses deduction to find the relic hiding in plain sight. The relic is in a lighting fixture and since it glows no one thought it was out of place. Evac warns Stakeout of what Alpha Bravo told him, but Stakeout reminds them they are running out of time.

He grabs the relic. It pulses and the wave engulfs the Protectobots. They merge into the towering Defensor, just as Decepticons converge on their position.
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Re: Scramble City Saga - A Summary

Postby Stormtalon » Fri Jul 01, 2016 12:57 pm


Interval
Runamuck and Runabout begin their shift standing guard at Scramble City’s gate. (Not a real gate, just a checkpoint.) They complain about being under-utilized. Their talents going to waste. They don’t notice Keith stalking them in the darkness. He transforms into the black lion and slips pass the clueless sentries.

The guards are interrupted in their whine session by Allura and her attendants (the Torchbearers). Allura explains they are on pilgrimage and asks for safe passage. Runamuck gives them a lot of grief but his commander, Flamewar, intercedes. Flamewar admits Allura without delay. As the attendants pass, they share a secret handshake with Flamewar. Once they pass, Flamewar rounds on the sentries before ordering them to forget everything that they saw. The sentries agree to her face, but once she’s gone bluster about how they aren’t scared of her.

Not long after, Cyclonus approaches with Slingshot and Wildrider close behind. They recognize him and move to arrest. Cyclonus’ eyes glow and he seizes control of their minds. He ponders what amusing way he can dispose of these two, when Slingshot and Wildrider begin breaking free of his thrall. Cyclonus quickly wipes the memories of Runamuck and Runabout and commands them to run at each other knocking both offline. He reasserts his control over Slingshot and Wildrider and enters the city.

Pidge and Hunk come across the napping sentries. Hunk doesn’t think much of them sleeping on the job, but Pidge doesn’t want to curse their good luck. They hurry on their way.

Flamewar just misses them as she spots Runamuck and Runabout offline. She wakes them up and sends them off and finishes their shift. As they walk away, Runamuck comments on how the whole night just flew by. Runabout still complains how this is a gross waste of their talents.


The Protectobots:
The Protectobots are the closest thing to superheroes in this saga. The Aerialbots and Stunticons are MVPs for their respective teams. But the Protectobots defend the people of Scramble City. They assume secret identities to throw off their Decepticon pursuers. When the Protectobots finally join the Autobots, they assume their secret identities full time: new names for a new mission.

Hot Spot/Four Alarm
Four Alarm is a mystery. He is certainly a strong and capable leader, but it is clear by how he fights and carries himself he was Elite Guard trained. How, when and why a firefighter in an out-of-the-way city received such training are questions his teammates would like answered at some point, but for now they are glad he is on their side. (Think Optimus Prime from Transformers Animated)

His Elite Guard name is Fire Convoy known to only a few.

Blades/Evac
Evac is a snarky asshole. He’s a good guy, but he isn’t always a friendly guy. He hates being taken for granted. As the only flyer, he is often ordered to scout ahead or carry information or evacuate the injured in the line of fire often with no cover. Being put in harm’s way so often has made him bitter. He respects the other Protectobots because they put themselves in danger just as much. Also Hot Spot thanks him after every mission and that goes a long way. (Think Sawyer from ‘Lost’)

First Aid/Lifeline
Lifeline is a pacifist. He believes in preserving life not taking it. This belief puts him at odds with the more aggressive members of the team. In a battle situation, he can be a bit useless, but in a medical situation he is totally in charge and without fear. First Aid is often the dissenting voice in the Protectobots, but Hot Spot values the opposition in order to fully consider every action. (Think Dr. Julian Bashir from ‘Star Trek: Deep Space Nine’)
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Re: Scramble City Saga - A Summary

Postby Stormtalon » Thu Jul 21, 2016 5:39 pm


Chapter 6

Defensor stands tall in the park as the Decepticons close in. He isn’t confused as Superion and Menasor were when they first merged. He knows who he is and knows what he must do. He runs.

The Decepticons give chase. Police cars and jets tear through the city pursuing the fleeing giant. Barricade gets close a couple of times only for some obstacle to conveniently impede their pursuit. (A billboard topples over. A power conduit explodes.) It is obvious Defensor is receiving outside help.

Defensor turns into a dead end. Evac and Stakeout want to separate, but Four Alarm knows they’ll be spotted. They prepare to fight, when a voice draws their attention downward. It is a crimson robot with a pair of pistols. He asks them if they have a force shield. Defensor starts to answer ‘no’, but then realizes yes he does.

Defensor creates a force shield. The red robot walks them through altering the shield to make Defensor invisible. They go invisible just as Barricade and his corrupt cops whiz past. When the coast is clear, Defensor separates into the Protectobots. The red robot introduces himself as Lance but saves the rest for later. He opens an entrance to the Underground (think the transit tunnels in “War for Cybertron”) and they all climb down.

Lance resumes the introductions, but Four Alarm jumps in with pseudonyms. He makes it plain that while they appreciate the save, they don’t know or trust him. Four Alarm calls himself Hot Spot. Evac is Blades. Stakeout is Streetwise. Checkpoint is Groove. Roadblock is Rook and Lifeline is First Aid. (I’ll use their civilian names during their day jobs and use their Protectobot names when it’s ‘Hero Time’. Don’t worry, this is temporary.)

Lance appreciates their caution. He points the way out, but offers explanations and more tomorrow night at the Tooth and Claw. He disappears down another tunnel leaving the Protectobots to go their own way.

At the Gamma Delta, the Stunticons report for duty. The officer in charge, Blitzwing, breaks down their mission. The last Autobot resistance is in a fortified bunker and the Stunticons are to destroy it. They merge into Menasor and tear into the bunker with ease. The Stunticons bask in adulation of their victory, but the moment is brief. They are recalled to Darkmount.

Back in Scramble City, Barricade is getting dressed down. Losing a combiner is a big mark against him. Onslaught introduces Stormcloud. (Combiner Wars Blast Off. Blast Off still retains his space shuttle alt-mode.) She will be serving as ‘disciplinary officer’, but Onslaught makes it clear that she is now in charge. Barricade takes the demotion poorly and shoots the lead investigator.

Cyclonus and Slingshot see this as they walk through the police station. Cyclonus argues with himself (Galvatronus) about the folly of coming here. A cop returning from shift, sees Cyclonus and realizes he shouldn’t be here. He tries to alert his fellow officers but they don’t see the intruders. Cyclonus catches up to the officer and mesmerizes him. Soon he looks past Cyclonus like the rest. Cyclonus thinks they are pressing their luck, but Galvatronus demands they continue searching.

Checkpoint sees an opening and moves in. He congratulates Onslaught over the Decepticons’ victory over the Gamma Delta. This noticeably irritates Onslaught. The Delta was his campaign and he hates that he wasn’t able to finish it himself. Even worst, some undisciplined louts (the Stunticons) swoop in and steal his glory. Onslaught leaves in a huff with Stormcloud close behind. Barricade is impressed and puts Checkpoint in charge of the Relic investigation.

When they are alone, Stakeout demands to know what Checkpoint was thinking. Checkpoint points out that now they can openly search for the relics and cover their tracks when necessary. Stakeout grudging compliments his junior partner but warns him he might wind up like their fallen comrade. Checkpoint better stay on his toes.

When the Stunticons return to Darkmount, they are greeted by an unwelcome sight: Devastator. This Devastator is the green and purple G1 version. Megatron is pleased with Scalpel’s progress and pulls the Stunticons off active duty to once again help Scalpel refine the combination matrix. Motormaster wonders how long before they are cannon fodder.

That night Hot Spot and Blades arrive at the Tooth and Claw to meet Lance. There is a bit of friction between Blades and Lance, but the red lion gets down to business and tells them what he knows.

Lance’s version is longer, but the short version is Primus made the Thirteen Primes and in turn the Primes made the Colossi. The Colossi worked with the Primes, until a fragment of Unicron infected a colossus: Galvatronus. He turned the Primes against the Colossi. The Colossi discover his deception and tell the only three Primes who will listen; Solus Prime, Vector Prime and Nexus Prime. Together, they formulate a plan.

Vector Prime summons a warrior from another time and place: Voltron. Voltron is immune to Galvatronus’ corruption and engages him in battle. While he is occupied, Solus Prime forges a tool to defeat him: the spark extractor. (Decepticons would later reverse engineer their own extractor from this model)

The battle ends with all the Colossi, save Voltron, piling on top of Galvatronus. Solus uses the extractor and removes each colossi’s spark. Nexus Prime places the sparks in vessels (the Combiner relics) to preserve them. Upon learning of their creations’ sacrifice, the Primes built the Valley of the Colossi to house the relics.

Blades observantly asks what happened to Voltron, but Lance ignores him to bring things to today. The relics are reviving the Colossi in combiner forms. Lance fears Galvatronus has arisen. The rampage of Devastator 1.0 is his strongest evidence.

Hot Spot notices someone else taking an interest in Lance’s story. It is a red and gold robot, a Torchbearer from Allura’s retinue. Lance becomes a bit squirrely and bolts. Before he goes, they agree to meet later. Lance slips out of the bar and the Torchbearer follows.

Blades and Hot Spot leave through the back. Blades leaves first. When Hot Spot follows a few minutes later he can’t find him. A trio of Torchbearers gets the drop on him. Hot Spot fights all three with surprising ferocity. His Elite Guard training is on full display. The Torchbearer leader realizes they can’t take him down without drawing attention and vanish down the alley. Hot Spot starts to give chase, but finds an offline Blades. He calls First Aid and lugs Blades to safety.

Back at the station, Roadblock is crunching data. He hears someone enter and thinks it is Stakeout so he doesn’t turn around, but it is Swindle. Roadblock’s algorithm just scored a hit. The profiteer quickly pieces together what is going on and slips out. Roadblock turns around, spots Swindle and goes after him but runs into Cyclonus instead.

Cyclonus mesmerizes him and returns him to his workstation. He’s sees the coordinates and realizes this is about another relic. He downloads the coordinates and erases the location and the program. Galvatronus senses a colossus spark in Roadblock. Not the one he is after, but close enough.

Cyclonus leaves the station with Slingshot, Wildrider and now Rook enthralled. From a distance, another red and gold Torchbearer spies their exit and shadows them at a distance.

Swindle finds Onslaught and tries selling the relic location. Onslaught strongarms Swindle into compliance. Onslaught sends Stormcloud to assemble his strike force. (He’s not giving Barricade another chance to fail.) Onslaught drags Swindle along. If things pan out he’ll get paid. If not, he wants an easy to reach scapegoat.

The Combaticons arrive at the coordinates, a multi-level freeway interchange. Their initial search yields nothing. Swindle is starting to feel vulnerable when Barricade and his cops arrive. There is a tense stand-off between Barricade and Onslaught which becomes a skirmish.

The Combaticons start off with the upper hand. Vortex, Blast Off and Stormcloud supply air support the cops don’t have. Stakeout and Checkpoint cover each others backs fighting Brawl. But the tide of battle goes against the Combaticons. The fight herds the Combaticons into a corner. Swindle, looking for an escape route, finds the relic. He grabs it hoping to use it as a ticket for his own survival, but the relic pulses and the six merge into Bruticus.

From the roof of the Tooth and Claw, Hot Spot, Blades and First Aid see Bruticus rise in the distance. From a hotel room, Lance, Allura and her Torchbearers see the same thing. And hiding in the ranks of the officers, Cyclonus sees Bruticus assemble up close with hungry eyes.

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Re: Scramble City Saga - A Summary

Postby Stormtalon » Tue Aug 30, 2016 12:20 pm


Interval
Allura and her retinue of Torchbearers operate out of a half destroyed warehouse. The captain of the Torchbearers is Firestar. At the moment, she is keeping track of multiple operations when alpha squad returns with Lance. She’s pleased, until she learns three of them lost to civilian firefighter. Firestar admonishes them...harshly. It isn’t helped by Lance’s obnoxious flirting. She escorts Lance to the abbess.

Allura holds court in an immaculate room. It is a stark contrast to the rubble and debris everywhere else. Abbess Allura is very formal, but manages a dig like ‘wherever there’s trouble, Lance can’t be far away’. Once they are alone, Allura comes in for a warmer, more intimate greeting, but Lance keeps his distance.

Allura thinks this has to do with his treatment at the hands of the Torchbearers. By way of apology she updates him on their old gang’s whereabouts. Keith hasn’t been spotted, but she is sure he’s in the city. It’s is all part of Pidge’s plan. That leads to Lance’s big question: what do you want from me?

Allura proves evasive, so Lance puts together the REAL plan: Allura’s homecoming. She came up with this plan involving the Combiners and took it to Keith, but he shot her down so she planted the seeds of the plan in Pidge’s head and let him do the rest.

Allura is impressed. Lance brags clandestine plans are kinda his thing. She asks plainly if he will help her. Lance says no. They both transform into lions and fight. The lion fight is pretty one-sided. Allura goes for the throat whereas Lance pulls his punches. But Lance is a clever streetfighter. He pulls a trick and has Allura pinned. That is when he is stunned from behind by Sparkshock, one of the Torchbearers. As Lance blacks out, he hears the Torchbearers report another combiner. Allura says five down eight to go and then Lance goes offline.


Streetwise/Stakeout: Stakeout was hardwired to be a detective. This hard-boiled beat cop has closed some of the toughest cases on Cybertron. He is streetwise to the rhythms of Scramble City. (Think Jerry Orbach’s character from ‘Law and Order’)


Groove/Checkpoint: Checkpoint has a thousand ideas to shake up law enforcement. Stakeout thinks he’ll make a good cop one day if he throttles back and stick to the groove. Checkpoint thinks Stakeout is too stuck in his ways.


Rook/Roadblock: Roadblock was built to be intimidating. It makes riot control a natural fit, but it isn’t what he wants to do. Roadblock possesses a keen analytical mind. (Think a rhino that enjoys puzzling over theoretical physics) Where others see a tank, his fellow Protectobots see their greatest strategist. (Think Roadblock from GI Joe: Renegades)
Last edited by Stormtalon on Fri Oct 14, 2016 4:03 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Scramble City Saga - A Summary

Postby Stormtalon » Fri Sep 16, 2016 7:58 am


Chapter 7
We begin with the tableau of Bruticus towering over all as the Protectobots rush towards the danger. Barricade, seeing a chance to deliver a combiner and get rid of a thorn in his side, orders his cops to capture Bruticus.

It goes exactly as you would expect with Bruticus mopping the floor with them. The Protectobots regroup with Streetwise and Groove. Using the confusion of battle as a cover, the Protectobots merge into Defensor sans Rook.

Onslaught’s discipline and the Combaticons unit cohesion keep their first merge free of the madness and confusion that plagued Superion and Menasor. But when Defensor sucker punches him, Bruticus lose that control.

Hot Spot’s Elite Guard training helps Defensor hold his own against an enraged Bruticus. Defensor lands a final blow and in the dust up vanishes using his force field’s invisibility. When the dust clears only the Combaticons remain.

Barricade subdues and hauls the Combaticons away. In an alleyway, Cyclonus sees all this and sets his sights on two new targets.

We return to Fortress Maximus with the Aerialbots under Team Magnus’ supervision. The Aerialbots appreciate the one-on-one training, but know this is still a prison sentence even if there are no bars. Things change when Kup is put in charge of the whole group while the rest of Team Magnus preps for a mission.

The Aerialbots plot some substitute teacher-type shenanigans, but clearly their heart isn’t in it. Some interpersonal stuff goes down where Silverbolt works to regain the trust of his team. Kup notices his efforts.

Back in Scramble City, the Combaticons wake up in stasis cells to a gloating Barricade. Barricade’s smugness is short lived as Megatron orders the Combaticons release. Megs is pleased to have a truly Decepticon combiner and orders them back to Darkmount. Barricade is thrilled. Even if Onslaught receives a hero’s triumph, he is at least leaving.

The Protectobots can’t find Lance or Rook and carefully begin searching for their lost comrade. Near this time, one of Swindle’s ‘enterprises’ blows up. The Protectobots rush into action, but in order to save bots on roof, they need to merge. They form Defensor and save the day.

At the police station, Onslaught sees Defensor in action and has a change of plans. He’s going to stay. No one can see him, but Cyclonus is manipulating Onslaught by stoking his hatred for Defensor. The other Combaticons at first seem reluctant but soon also fall under the same sway and agree to stay to tear apart Defensor.

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Re: Scramble City Saga - A Summary

Postby Stormtalon » Mon Sep 26, 2016 5:57 am


Interval
Rook wakes up in an alley with no memories of Cyclonus or being under his thrall. He stumbles across some mini-cons trapped in the rubble. Rook sees the devastation left in the wake of a combiner brawl and helps them but is injured in the process. The mini-cons, moved by his efforts, take him to a sublevel below Scramble City one inhabited by the city’s mini-cons: Micropolis.

The Stunticons begin experiencing Menasor’s memories. Dead End, the most cunning of the lot, puts together these memories and sifts out Menasor’s biography before the Colossi fell. In the Age of Primes, Menasor was Megatronus’ squire. And just as Megatronus wanted to supplant Prima as first among Primes. Menasor wanted to be number 1 among the Colossi. Motormaster assumes Prima’s colossus is Superion, thus a reason for their rivalry. Dead End allows Motormaster to believe this, but has reason to believe otherwise.

Elsewhere in Darkmount, Scalpel demonstrates his prototype combiner, the Power Core combiners. The demonstration is sabotaged by Viper. There are signs this is payback for being left out of the program. Scalpel must go back to the drawing board. Before Scalpel deletes the files and starts over, Viper copies the schematics for the Power Core Combiner system.


The Combaticons
The Combaticons comprise a cohesive unit. It makes them a more effective combiner than Menasor or Devastator. The only deviation is Swindle. The profiteer is always out for himself and that can be disruptive when they merge into Bruticus.


Onslaught - Onslaught is the Decepticons’ top strategist. In the heat of battle, he can weave gambits to achieve their goals. He is odd among Decepticons because he isn’t ambitious. Seeing his plans come together is he one joy. Rising in the ranks doesn’t interest him. (Think Hannibal from the ‘A-Team’)

Stormcloud - Stormcloud loves victory. She finds Onslaught insufferable, but his plans secure victory and thus her loyalty. While Onslaught has no lofty ambitions, Stormcloud has plenty to spare. And extra note: Her toy is Combiner Wars Blast Off. Blast Off still retains his space shuttle mode in this story. (Think Airachnid from ‘Transformers: Prime’)

Blast Off - Blast Off suffers from an excess of self-esteem. He’s stuck on himself. His primary role in the group is recon. His secondary role is sub-orbital bombardment which is Onslaught’s prefered finishing move. Both allow him to fight at a distance so he keeps his faceplate looking shiny. (Think Face from the ‘A-Team’ with a touch of Starbuck from ‘Battlestar Galactica’)

Last edited by Stormtalon on Fri Oct 14, 2016 4:04 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Scramble City Saga - A Summary

Postby Stormtalon » Sun Oct 09, 2016 6:43 am



Chapter 8
A new day begins in Scramble City and a new catastrophe threatens its citizens. The calamity looks suspicious but the firefighters do their duties. The Protectobots are scattered across the city looking for Rook so it takes them time to reach the trouble. By the time they get there, Hot Spot sees his fellow firefighters being carted away. The Protectobots realize this was a ruse to capture them and they must be on their guard.

Back at the station, Streetwise and Groove check the prisoners. Rook is not among them. They slip out ahead of Onslaught who is feeling pretty smug. He has deduced that the rogue Combiner team is comprised of emergency responders. He’s about to interrogate his prisoners when an explosion rocks the station.

He reaches the cell block only to discover a gaping hole in the side with the firefighters escaping. Down the block they see Defensor walking away before pulling his vanishing trick. Onslaught calls his Combaticons but they don’t get there in time and Swindle doesn’t make it at all. While smug on the inside, outwardly Barricade berates Onslaught for his failure and the damage to his station. Damage the firefighters WILL NOT be putting out. Onslaught storms off.
In Micropolis, Rook comes to know the mini-cons. Topside, mini-cons are viewed as tools with feet, but down here they have a life all their own. He earns their trust and they take him to where they have recovered two more combiner relics. Rook looks them over. One is still charged, but the other is empty. He barely has time to wonder about the empty one, when a Torchbearer, Hotwire, drops in and snatches both relics. Rook chases after her, but she is faster. She’s almost to the exit when she is stopped by the mini-con combiner, Arms Micron.

The Combaticons launch their second plan to draw out Defensor. This one involves the emergency techs like First Aid and Blades. Vortex looking out for his brother warns Blades not to fly. Blades relays his suspicion to Hot Spot and they develop a counter-strategy that doesn’t even need Defensor to show. The Combaticons are hampered because Swindle is once again a no-show. And the Protectobots rack up win number two in this battle of wits.

While this is going down, Streetwise, Groove and First Aid, continue searching for Rook. Instead, they find the last combiner relic. First Aid knows a secure place to hide it. Streetwise escorts the pacifist leaving Groove to continue the search. This is the opening Galvatronus needs to sneak up, hypnotizes Groove and draw him into his fold.

The Combaticons corner Swindle at his shop. Onslaught leans into him. Like it or not, Swindle is part of their unit. That means he works for them now. To emphasize his point, Brawl and Vortex destroy his business and Stormcloud is assigned to whip him into shape.

At Torchbearer HQ, Lance needles Allura about her plan. Allura is confident things will work out. Pidge and Hunk are escorted in. Hunk is overjoyed to see Lance, but confused seeing him cuffed by Allura. Lance tries to talk sense into Pidge, but Pidge believes in Allura’s plan even more than Allura. Hunk looks like his missed a page or two from the script. When Lance is sure where everyone stands, he calls for Keith.

The Black Lion makes a dramatic entrance. Torchbearers swarm the Sanctum and there is a tense standoff between Keith and Allura. Lance breaks the tension, by freeing himself with a wink and a smart remark to the other Torchbearers. Keith and Allura trade warnings. Keith warns her about Galvatronus. Allura warns him not to get in her way. As they leave, Hunk joins them. Pidge is hurt, but Hunk wants to hear Keith’s side. Keith, Lance and Hunk make their escape.

Back at the police station, Megatron demands an explanation for Onslaught’s actions. There is a brief moment when Onslaught begins coming out of the thrall, but Cyclonus is there to reassert his control. Onslaught shouts at Megatron and cuts off transmission. Onslaught plans on ending this. He sends Blast Off to the other side of the city on a bogus supply run. When he’s gone, Onslaught tells Stormcloud he doesn’t know if he can trust Blast Off over some minor imagined slight. Cyclonus shadows Blast Off to this remote location.

Keith, Lance and Hunk return to Keith’s hiding spot located near Micropolis. As they near his lair, they spot Arms Micron, Hotwire and Rook. Keith wants to leave them to sort it out, but Lance recognizing Rook gets involved.

While Lance gets the lowdown from Rook. Keith speaks with Arms Micron like a teacher/student manner. Keith settles the situation by giving the charged relic to Hotwire and letting her go. Everyone looks at Keith as if he went mad. Keith answers their questioning looks by mention a lava break on Planet Arus. This satisfies Lance and Hunk, but not Rook. Rook demands answers, but Keith offers none. Lance takes the protesting Rook back to the surface.

Along the way, Lance answers Rook’s question by way of a story. He spins a tale about five lions charged with defending Arus. One day, a volcano erupted and the lava flow threatened village. They couldn’t stop the volcano so they redirected the lava flow. This makes Rook ponder what direction events are going and how Keith’s action might redirect them.

Across town, Blast Off falls to the ground beaten. Slingshot, Wildrider and Groove hold him down as Cyclonus mesmerizes the last member of his team. Once Blast Off is in thralled, they merge into Galvatronus. For the first time in ages, Galvatronus lives.


Stormtalon
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Re: Scramble City Saga - A Summary

Postby Stormtalon » Fri Oct 14, 2016 4:29 am


Interval
Megatron, fed up with Onslaught’s disobedience, summons the Stunticons and orders them to retrieve Bruticus.

At Fort Max, Magnus receives word from a contact in Scramble City. They have a relic and want to deliver it to the Autobots. He assembles his team (Hot Rod, Kup, Springer, Arcee and Blurr) for the retrieval. Kup convinces Magnus to bring the Aerialbots as back up citing Silverbolt’s growing maturity.
Scalpel, feeling his position in jeopardy over the Power Core debacle, connives the Constructicons to go to Scramble City and beat the Stunticons to the punch.

Viper, ever on his own agenda, follows those two teams.

Brawl - The name says it all. Brawl is only happy when he’s mixing up in battle. He is a model Decepticon: full of aggression and sneering contempt for the weak. (Think a evil version of Cole from ‘Gears of War’)

Vortex - Vortex can be a bit ‘unhinged’. As a helicopter, his agility allows him to perform aerobatics impossible for his fixed winged cohorts. These crazy maneuvers in the heat of battle has earned him the nickname of Mad Vortex by his fellow Combaticons. (Think a more sinister version of ‘Howling Mad’ Murdoc from ‘The A-Team’.)

Swindle - Swindle is always looking to make a profit. He often earns the ire of Brawl who sees Swindle as a sniveling coward. But no one messes with Swindle because there will come a time when you need something (maybe a hard to find quantum injection or a functional biomech organ) and Swindle is the only one who can get it: no questions asked. (Author’s note: There is nothing I can add to Swindle’s character. He is the only Combaticon with any personality development.)
Stormtalon
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Re: Scramble City Saga - A Summary *COMPLETE*

Postby Stormtalon » Wed Oct 19, 2016 8:19 pm



Chapter 9
Rook returns to the station and receives a warm welcome from his fellow Protectobots. The reunion is soured when Streetwise and First Aid can’t find Groove, but a broadcast demands everyone’s attention. It is Onslaught calling out Defensor. If Defensor doesn’t turn himself in, he promises Bruticus will destroy Scramble City block by block.

The Protectobots look to their leader, but Hot Spot surprisingly suggests surrendering. His reasoning: Onslaught will continue pursuing them and become more reckless and more destructive with each attempt. There is some back and forth, but in the end, the Protectobots reluctantly agree.

Across town, Galvatronus revels in his completeness. No longer having to timeshare Cyclonus’ body he can remember who he was. Once, he was a piece of Unicron, he broke off during the fight with the Thirteen. In time, he fell to Cybertron and took over one of the freshly made Colossi. Now, he longs to rejoin Unicron and discovers something in Scramble City that can help.

At the appointed hour, the Protectobots arrive at the central plaza. Vortex is surprised to find Evac/Blades among the Protectobots, but says nothing. Onslaught is skeptical about this group surrendering. He points out that Hot Spot’s bearing isn’t that of a firefighter, but of an Elite Guardsman.

To prove themselves, the Protectobots merge into Defensor. Satisfied, Onslaught orders them to separate. Defensor is reluctant so the Combaticons merge into Bruticus. Face to face for the first time, Bruticus suckerpunches Defensor. Defensor separates with Bruticus still looming over them. He clearly wants to go further, but something (Vortex) is holding him back.

The Stunticons arrive at this tense stand off. Motormaster nastily orders Bruticus back to Darkmount. He goes too far when he brags about hauling Defensor in as his own prize. Bruticus tries to stomp Motormaster, but the other Stunticons attack and assemble into a laughing Menasor. Menasor has been looking for a chance to put Bruticus in his place. The Protectobots clear the area of citizens while the two Decepticon combiners fight. Across town, Galvatronus sees and hears the clash. He leaves his inspection of a service tunnel and lumbers towards the battleground.

The Protectobots finish evacuating the area, but it is clear nowhere is going to be safe while those two fight. The Protectobots merge into Defensor and go invisible. They reappear between Bruticus and Menasor and try to stop the fighting. Both Decepticon combiners knock him on his rump.

Defensor shakes it off and engages both opponents. Menasor is easy, but Bruticus drawing on his Combaticons’ expertise proves a challenge. Defensor buckles under the relentless blows and separates. Menasor moves in to finish off the Protectobots, but Bruticus attacks him until they separate back into Stunticons. Bruticus gloats over both fallen teams.

That is when the ground shakes. All look up to see Galvatronus entering the plaza dripping with menace. He challenges Bruticus and Bruticus answers by charging the challenger.

As Galvatronus fights Bruticus, Menasor reforms and joins the fray but it is unclear who he’s fighting. Hot Spot starts to rejoin the battle, but Blades points out, they should wait and let them destroy each other. It’d make their job easier.

The Protectobots scramble out of the way. That’s when Streetwise spots Groove as Galvatronus’ leg and tells the others. They are trying to figure out how to save Groove when Team Magnus arrives.

Magnus formally greets Hot Spot calling him by his Elite Guard handle, Fire Convoy. They quickly assess the situation. Magnus offers aid, but Blades snarks, “Not unless you have a combiner up your sleeve?” To which he replies, “Not up my sleeve, but…”

The Aerialbots fly in and deliver an airstrike. They hit all three combiners before merging into Superion. The Protectobots join the fight, but Magnus intervenes. He’s here for the combiner relic. First Aid and Streetwise tell him the location of their relic. Rook tries to speak up about his find, but things move quickly and he misses his chance.

The Protectobots merge into Defensor and join Superion. The Autobot combiners acknowledge each other and throw down. They tag their rivals first: Superion punching Menasor and Defensor walloping Bruticus, then they tag team Galvatronus.

Below ground in Micropolis, the mini-cons evacuate as the Combiner battle draws closer. The entire place shakes from floor to ceiling. We even see feet and fists crash through into their sublevel. Arms Micron tries to rescue as many as possible, but he can’t be everywhere. He stares up angrily and makes a choice.

Topside, the fight is turning against Galvatronus with Autobots on one side and Decepticons on the other. The Decepticons are fine with going through him to get at Superion and Defensor. Galvatronus unleashes his secret weapon: scramblization.

Galvatronus switches limbs putting Wildrider in his right arm. A purple energy engulfs that arm as Galvatronus punches Menasor and knocks him to pieces. He switches Wildrider for Slingshot and does the same one-punch to Superion. Blast Off is already Galvatronus’ left arm. Bruticus dodges the first punch, but gets nailed by the backhand. Galvatronus switches Blast Off for Groove and goes in to finish off Defensor.

Defensor throws up a shield. Galvatronus hammers on it weakening Defensor with each hit. Magnus watches with sad resignation. Springer and Hot Rod return with the relic and Magnus order his team to fall back. Kup and Arcee don’t like abandoning their allies, but the mission is to recover relics not fight combiners. Hot Rod points to a bigger problem. Just beyond the plaza a new combiner merges: Devastator.

Defensor collapses from the strain. Galvatronus pulls back for the final blow when Devastator grabs his arm and pulls him off balance. Devastator shows only blind rage toward Galvatronus. He was once infected by Galvatronus so now Devastator wants to tear him apart.

Devastator and Galvatronus fight. Without a limb stolen from Devastator, Galvatronus can’t one-punch him so the fight has to be old school. While they brawl, Arms Micron approaches Defensor and communicates directly with Rook. They see how beat up Defensor is and suggests he retreat. But Defensor can’t back down. Their teammate Groove is in Galvatronus. They won’t abandon their friend or their city. An anguish cry draws their attention.

Galvatronus uses his destruction field on Devastator. Galvatronus tears him apart. Arms Micron makes a quick decision and agrees to help. Galvatronus turns his attention back to Defensor and sees Arms Micron glowing.

He flies across the plaza and strikes Defensor, raising a cloud of dust. When it clears, Defensor is still standing. He is now holding his signature weapon: the Skyboom Shield.

Galvatronus uses Groove to strike but can’t break the shield. He uses his destructive field, but Defensor remains. Defensor sidles over to the Aerialbots providing them cover. They re-merge into Superion and take to the sky. Next, Defensor covers the Stunticons. An understanding passes between them. Galvatronus is the threat not each other.

The Stunticons merge into Menasor. Galvatronus seeing the strategy places himself in front of the Combaticons. Superion strikes from the sky, but his missiles don’t make it through Galvatronus d-field. Menasor makes just as much progress. Finally, Superion and Menasor join Defensor. With their combined strength, they push Galvatronus through the Skyboom Shield.

Galvatronus falls back crashing into Magnus’ team. Buried in the rubble, the relic begin to pulse.

The Combaticons merge into Bruticus and agree to the unspoken truce between combiners. Defensor approaches the fallen Galvatronus cautiously and only lowers his shield to reach Groove. That’s when Galvatronus strikes. A punch from Groove shatters Defensor and sends the Skyboom Shield flying.

Galvatronus tries to grab Superion, but he flies out of reach. Menasor, in a panic, grabs the Skyboom Shield, but it transforms in his hands into a sword. This is Menasor’s weapon: the Malice Edge. Menasor goes on the offensive putting Galvatronus off balance.

Bruticus tries to scuttle around behind Galvatronus when he encounters Ultra Magnus. There is a brief introduction before Menasor is sent flying in their direction.

Superion swoops down and snatches the sword to continue the attack. Arms Micron transforms again in the hands of a new combiner. This time it forms a rifle, the Stratoblaster. Superion gets off a few shots but the recoil throws him around. He has to land to steady his aim. Galvatronus sees his opening and Slingshot-punches them back into Aerialbots.

Bruticus looks around for the weapon only to discover Arms Micron at Ultra Magnus’ feet. He picks it up and it transforms into the Magnus Hammer. Galvatronus pounces, but Ultra Magnus’ battle instincts kick in. He connects with an upward sweep of the hammer and knocks Groove off Galvatron. A second swing knocks off Slingshot. An armless Galvatronus staggers from the attack. Ultra Magnus winds up and with a mighty blow knocks the torso off of its legs. The torso transforms into Cyclonus spinning wildly across Scramble City. Blast Off and Wildrider transform back to their robot modes and collapse.

As the Galvatronus bots come to, they hear a strange voice telling them he is waiting for them. (This is Nexus Prime, the Prime of Combiners, calling to them.)

(Tableau: Aerialbots and Protectobots gathered under Ultra Magnus wielding his hammer.)

Each team recovers their lost mate. There is a tense stand off over what comes next. Onslaught has lost his lust for battle. Without Cyclonus manipulating him, he sees no window for victory and withdraws his Combaticons. With the odds now 2-3, the Stunticons and Constructicons follow suit. As they retreat, Motormaster talks to Hook and both nod looking at the retreating Combaticons.

Some of the Autobots want to go after them, but Ultra Magnus overrules them. Their mission is to find relics not fight combiners. Ultra Magnus separates back to Team Magnus and the Magnus Hammer transforms back into Arms Micron.

The mini-con combiner says nothing. He spares one glance at Rook before disappearing down a service tunnel. Magnus orders the collection of Aerialbots, Protectobots and his own team to regroup at Fortress Maximus. But Hot Spot speaks up. The Protectobots are staying. Scramble City is their protectorate and they won’t abandon it.

Magnus squares off against Hot Spot. It looks like things might come to blows, but Magnus repeats their mission: to recover relics, not fight combiners. The two salute and the Aerialbots and Team Magnus leave the Protectobots to their duty.

A few days later, Scramble City media is back online with breaking news: the Decepticons are pulling out. Images show the Decepticon forces streaming out of the city. Onslaught and his Combaticons are escorted under guard by the Constructicons and Stunticons. The Protectobots return to a thoroughly trashed police station. Barricade and his bully boys abandoned it and joined the Decepticon exodus. The Protectobots begin rebuilding a new security force for Scramble City.

In the sublevels below, the mini-cons and Arms Micron begin rebuilding Micropolis. They inspect a breech going down several sublevels.

Deep in that hole, Cyclonus is in bad shape. That is when Viper comes out of the shadows. Cyclonus thinks Viper was sent by Megatron. He blames everything on the voice in his head, but Viper knows all about Galvatronus. He explains his master isn’t done with him. “Master? You mean, Megatron?” No someone much worst. As the mini-cons seal up the breech, they can hear screams coming from down the hole.

Back up on the surface, Allura and her Torchbearers are packing up the Sanctum. Her scouts have lost track of Keith, Lance and Hunk. Allura is absolutely livid making Pidge more suspicious. Her attitude changes when Hotwire returns and presents her with a combiner relic. Allura returns to her wise Abbess role and dismisses Hotwire. Pidge notices Hotwire’s conflicted conscience as she leaves. For now, the Torchbearers return to monastery.

As citizens, take to the streets to celebrate the end of the occupation. The media announcer happily declares the Combiner Wars over.


The End… of the Scramble City Saga
Please return for the Crystal City Chronicles


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