Transformers: The Forsaken Crusade

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Transformers: The Forsaken Crusade

Postby Foximus » Thu Jun 12, 2014 1:07 pm

Motto: "Freedom is the right of all sentient beings."
Weapon: Laser Rifle
FOREWORD

The following fan fiction takes place in the IDW universe after the Dark Cybertron arc. Please be aware that spoilers for Dark Cybertron and perhaps MTMTE and RID issues taking place after the events of Dark Cybertron will be included within the fan fiction.

After the events of Dark Cybertron, a crew of Decepticons loyal to their cause and forsaken by their old leader Megatron set off on the Justified Means, a large transport ship converted to the new crew's needs, into the stars. An unknown benefactor has gathered anyone not willing to stay behind on Cybertron under Starscream's thumb or follow the ancient warrior Galvatron to Earth.

Written by the combined efforts of Seibertron RPG members: Foxfire13795, MasterSoundBlaster.

Table of Contents:
Chapter One:
Chapter Two:
Chapter Three:
Chapter Four:
Chapter Five:
Chapter Six:
Last edited by Foximus on Thu Nov 24, 2016 1:32 am, edited 14 times in total.
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Re: Transformers: The Forsaken Crusade

Postby Foximus » Sat Jun 21, 2014 3:39 pm

Motto: "Freedom is the right of all sentient beings."
Weapon: Laser Rifle
Chapter One: Shot in the Dark

Sitting along in the most remote corner of the Autobot Blurr’s little business, a jet black and crimson femme stared down into her glass. She tilted the half-empty glass around to slosh around its contents in a lazy whorl. She lifted up the glass with a sharp abrupt movement and downed the fuel within in one gulp. The femme grabbed the bottle on the table and poured more into her glass. She set it down and mused at the bottle’s label as she had done many times in the last breem. It read ‘Nightmare Fuel’ and even had a little art of Skullgrin on it. The femme shook her head with a strained, wry smile and sipped some more Nightmare Fuel from her glass.

The femme stiffened when she noted someone new in the bar moving toward her with slow deliberate steps as if they were approaching a wounded animal. She waited until the mech came to a stop beside her table, his unwanted presence there looming like the haze of stupidity.

“Honestly, you people,” the femme growled out, “How many times to I have to fraggin’ tell you?! I don’t want to join your little party to that dirt planet.” The femme kept her volume low so as to avoid attracting attention but kept her tone harsh and intense. “As much as I despise Starscream, I’m not about to follow a pretender only to be led astray again! I don’t know how you people can blindly follow someone like that. At least Starscream was one of us for a time, even if he’s always been a traitor at spark.”

The mech standing beside her waited respectfully for the slightly drunken femme to finish her tirade. Once he was sure that the femme was finished, he cleared his throat and spoke, “Commander Flamewar, I did not come to speak to you about Galvatron. I come with a proposition. May I sit?”

Flamewar finally deigned to look at the mech, slightly surprised that her little rant had not scared him away. “Hellbat,” she said flatly. Hellbat blinked in surprise. “Yes, yes, I know who you are, and you obviously know who I am. Sit.”

“Thank you, Commander,” Hellbat said with some regained composure. He swiftly took the opposing seat. Flamewar still sat slumped on the table not really bothering to present herself with any of her former dignity. “How’s that leader of yours doing? Not Dezarus. I know he’s been executed.”

“He’s well. In fact, he is the reason why I have come to you,” Hellbat replied smoothly.

Flamewar gave Hellbat a look and waved at him to go on. “Well, he is…gathering together a crew of like-minded parties to depart Cybertron and search for a new place for us out in the stars.”

Flamewar interjected, “You’re leaving Cybertron?”

“Ah, well yes,” Hellbat stuttered.

“I’m in.”
- :CON: -


“It’s filthy out here, Needlenose! Honestly, this is no place to have a business!” Windsweeper fussed while polishing the counter of his and Needlenose’s little roadside stand. The phrase ‘Chic Chips’ was scrawled across the front of the counter, which was essentially some pieces of scrap metal thrown together to make a ramshackle stand on the street.

“Don’t worry about it, Windsweeper! How many times do I have to tell you? We gotta start small. We can’t afford a place…yet. But as soon as these babies start selling like they used to…” Needlenose leaned against an adjacent building as he watched Windsweeper polish the counter of their sales stand for what had to be the umpteenth time in the last breem.

“Yeah, yeah, we’ll be the heads of our own fashion empire. I’ve heard it before, Needlenose,” Windsweeper snapped back. He then stopped his relentless polishing and whirled on Needlenose. “I’m tired of selling in these places! There’s grit and grime and..and-“

“Customer!” Needlenose shouted pointing behind Windsweeper with wide optics. Windsweeper spun around to come face to face with a small, kind of dippy-looking mech. “Uhhhh…” was all Windsweeper managed to get out before Needlenose shoved the other Con to the side and spread his arms welcomingly to their customer.

“Welcome to Chic Chips, the finest and most fashionable in hardware accessories! How may I help you?” Needlenose said with all the charm of a practiced salesman.

Wipe-Out was taken a bit aback by Needlenose’s contrary actions and politeness to him. The small mech stared at Needlenose stupidly. “Uhhh…I actually just came here to ask for directions…” Needlenose’s faceplate flattened in irritation. Leaping over the counter and slinging an arm around the smaller mech’s shoulder, Needlenose looked down at Wipe-Out.

“Look, pal. I’m trying to run a business here. Here’s the deal. You buy one of my chips, and I’ll give you directions to anywhere you want to go. How about it?” Needlenose’s tone had changed from charming to slightly menacing in the span of a few seconds. Wipe-Out suddenly wished that he had never ever walked over here. “But…I don’t have any money…” Wipe-Out whined out.

“Is there a problem over here?” asked a voice from behind Needlenose. The fashionista jumped and looked over his shoulder to see a kind of avian looking mech with a magenta paint job. “None at all!” Windsweeper interjected from behind the counter. Needlenose nodded and tightened his grip on Wipe-Out’s shoulder. “Yeah, no problem! Right?” Needlenose asked Wipe-Out. “Uhh…” was all Wipe-Out could manage.

The newcomer sized up all three mechs present. “You lot wouldn’t happen to be Decepticons, would you?” he asked.

“I am!” piped out Wipe-Out proudly. Needlenose looked down at his captive in disgust and shoved Wipe-Out away from him. He folded his arms over his chest plating and glared at this newcomer. “Used to be. There are no more Decepticons anymore. War’s over, remember? Now buy something or get away from my shop.”

“Our shop,” Windsweeper corrected before beginning to nervously polish his precious countertop.

“Yes, that looks like it’s going great for you,” the newcomer said with a condescending glance over to the counter. “I’ve come with an offer for all of you. My commander is getting a bunch of Cons together. We’ll find a new place for us. We don’t have to deal with a wild Cybertron or a living city that constantly breaks down.”

“No thanks,” Needlenose spat venomously. “As you can see, we’re doing fine right where we are.”

The magenta mech gave Needlenose a long look before glancing over to Wipe-Out. “Yes, well. For the one true Decepticon left amongst this trio, here,” the mech handled a card over to Wipe-Out before considering Needlenose and Windsweeper. “Just in case you two change your minds,” he said and tossed two more cards onto their little counter before walking off.

Needlenose glared at him until he was out of sight then turned to Windsweeper and slammed his fist down onto the counter. “Who even was that guy?! What made him think he could just walk up to my shop and-“ The rest of Needlenose’s statement was cut off as the counter buckled under his weight and sent him crashing to the ground. Windsweeper jumped away to avoid the dust cloud that Needlenose kicked up with his little crash.

“Perhaps we should consider it, Needlenose. Wherever they’re going has to be…cleaner than here,” Windsweeper said as he dusted off Needlenose’s hand so that he could help his friend up.

“I guess you’re right Sweeper. It’s not like we’re having much luck here…” Needlenose said as he got back to his feet.

“Can I come with you guys? There are directions on this card, but…even with them I’m a little directionally challenged,” Wipe-Out asked hopefully.

Windsweeper looked to Needlenose who shrugged. “Why not? I’ll just add it to your tab along with a chic chip, ok? What’s your name anyway?”

“Thanks a lot! I’m Wipe-Out! Wait. Tab?”

“Don’t worry about that...It’s nothing,” Needlenose said as Windsweeper handed one of the cards over to him. “Let’s get moving, huh?”
- :CON: -


“Let me in this instant, you ruffians!” Mindwipe barked at the two brutish Decepticons standing guard at the entrance to the Justified Means. The two much larger mechs exchanged looks and grinned widely under their mouth plates at one another. “Ruffians? That hurts, Batzo. But inspectin’ all luggage brought aboard is standard procedure, so ‘fraid we can’t let you in till you let us look inside that little box of yours. Isn’t that right, Snapdragon?” said the more simian of the two guards.

Snapdragon grinned and nodded, “Why that’s right, Apeface! There could be something heinous in it!” Snapdragon twisted his expression into one of mock horror. Apeface held one hand out for the black box that Mindwipe had tucked under one of his arms. The hypnotist glowered at the two Horrorcons. His optics flickered slightly as he began to hypnotize the two brutes. He waited until their pleased expressions faded into the familiar slack-jawed one that Mindwipe was ever so fond of seeing.

“You have already seen the contents of the box,” Mindwipe said slowly, “And now you’re going to allow me to board. Nod if you understand.” The two Horrorcons slowly nodded in response. “When I snap my fingers, you shall remember it as I’ve stated and resume being who you are.”

Mindwipe cautiously moved past the two Horrorcons, eying them warily. As he crossed the threshold into the ship, a smug smile spread across Mindwipe’s faceplate. He strolled leisurely into the ship and snapped his fingers.

Snapdragon glanced around a bit confused at first, looking around for Mindwipe until he remembered that they had already moved him along. He looked over to Apeface with a bored expression. “I guess that was fun enough. When do you think all of the people that the captain has recruited will get here? I’m itching for an oil bath.”

“They’ll get here when they get here,” Apeface grumbled out to his fellow Horrorcon. “We’ll just give them trouble for being late. Oh, oh! Look at that one!”

Snapdragon looked over in the direction that Apeface was pointing. A devilish grin spread behind his mouth plate. A new crimson mech approached the pair of Horrorcons and moved past them toward the open doorway. He was met with a sharp shove my Snapdragon, sending him careening backwards in a heap.

“What was that for?!” he cried indignantly.

“Name,” Apeface said with a straight face while he looked down at a datapad. Snapdragon turned his head slightly to conceal his snickering.

“What?!” the mech asked as he picked himself up off of the ground and dusted himself off. “Knock-Out. My name is Knock-Out.”

“MMmmmmmmmmmm…” Apeface tapped a stylus to his chin as he made a show of carefully examining the datapad. “Nope. You’re not on the list.”

“List? What list?” Knock-Out asked baffled.

“The one to get in. You need to be on it to get in, and there’s no Knock-Out on the list,” Apeface said as if he were explaining it to a little protoform. He folded his arms over his chest and waved at Knock-Out dismissively. “Get out of here.”

“I was invited here! See?” Knock-Out held up the card that Drillhorn had given him. “Let me in.” Knock-Out glared at Apeface with a look of pure exasperation. Apeface looked over very deliberately to Snapdragon. “He’s got one of those passes, Snapdragon.”

“I guess we can make an exception and add him to the list,” Snapdragon said with a smirk hidden by his mouth plate, looking down on Knock-Out. Apeface drew himself up and made a show of writing Knock-Out’s name onto his datapad. “In you get,” he said with a chuckle.

“Hmph,” Knock-Out passed the two Horrorcons, muttering to himself, “Brutish dolts…” A sudden, sharp, searing sensation made Knock-Out yelp with pain and surprise. He whirled about to see that Snapdragon had slashed his arm with his clawed actuator. Both Horrorcons glared at the mechanic balefully. The crimson medic slowly let his optics drop down to the damage on his arm. “No! My paint! Do you know what you’ve done!?”

“You’ll get worse next time,” Snapdragon growled out harshly.

“Get lost,” Apeface said with a look that could bludgeon anyone to death.

Knock-Out composed himself and hurried into the depths of the Decepticon ship. The furious optics of the Horrorcons followed him well after he had passed out of view.
- :CON: -


The bridge of the Justified Means was quiet and nearly void of any life while Leozack gazed out over the crowd lining up to board the ship. A satisfied grin etched across his faceplate as more and more mechs lined up to get off Cybertron.

""Look at them all, Skyquake! A new Decepticon army to be remade in my own visage!" The cyan and white commander stated aloud as his words echoed the interior of the bridge. "I almost didn't believe you when you said there'd be this many willing to leave the planet."

From the opposite side of the room, Skyquake stood with his arms folded over his chest plating and had optics locked on Leozack's position.

"Hmmph, you aren't much of a talker I see." Leozack mused as he turned and continued to peer out the looking glass over the former Decepticon crowd. "You know you ought to be a little more grateful, I could have left you to rust on that miserable rock."

"You're starting to sound like him." The former leader of the Predators stated breaking his silence. "We're leaving so we don't have to deal with mechs like Starscream."

"Right, right. Just getting a little excited about the turn out."

"Take pride in the masses, but the moment you let your pride blind you is the moment you become just like him."

"I know," Leozack said, his tone becoming somber, "It is a lesson that I have learned the hard way..." Leozack paused before continuing, "Starscream is my inferior in every conceivable way. While his kingdom crumbles, we shall create a new glorious empire, freed from the shadows of the likes of Megatron and Shockwave."

"We're far from an empire, Leozack," Skyquake cautioned, "A rag-tag crew of disgruntled veterans."

"Please, Skyquake. You underestimate them," Leozack retorted. When Skyquake did not provide any rebuttal, the captain cast his red optics down onto the masses grouping below once more.

- :CON: -


Sparkstalker walked along the corridors of the Justified Means, taking his own personal tour of the ship with Slugslinger following closely behind him. Slugslinger wore a rather bored expression on his faceplate as his optics scanned the corridors for any sign of impending danger. There were none, but it was something that he had to do. A sigh escaped his vocalizer as he looked down at his employer. “Hey, boss. I don’t think we should be wandering around here. The invitation said to go in the other direction and wait for the captain to brief us.”

Sparkstalker turned on his heel sharply, nearing causing Slugslinger to bump into the smaller mechanoid. “I hired you to protect me, not ask questions!” the cryptologist snapped. Slugslinger raised his hands up in surrender, rolling his optics. He followed along behind his volatile employer as they wandered through the ship.

Sparkstalker had Slugslinger check around corners before they rounded them, look inside doors before they were completely opened, and other such paranoia driven precautions. That was, until eventually Slugslinger just stopped and stared at Sparkstalker. “Look, boss. It might be safer if we got to the place and scoped it out before anyone else gets there. Plus, there’s less risk of someone trying to off you in a crowd! They could be watching us right now…and we wouldn’t know it! Not that anyone would be dumb enough to attack with me right next to you. Bam! Bam!”

Sparkstalker glanced back at Slugslinger and cast an anxious glance around him. The hallway suddenly seemed a lot more open than it had before, and he a lot more vulnerable. “Y-yes. Perhaps you have a point. Let us go convene with the others,” Sparkstalker muttered.

“Great!” Slugslinger said with some renewed vigor as he shoved Sparkstalker out in front of him. “I’ll hold up the rear then. Don’t want to get ambushed from behind!” he said with a sneer. With a few initially tentative steps forward, Sparkstalker hurried on down the corridor with Slugslinger following fairly closely behind.

From behind the bodyguard and cryptologist, two red optics glinted in the darkness.

- :CON: -


“Are we lost?” Needlenose asked as he scanned the barren horizon of Cybertron. Windsweeper and Wipe-Out plodded along beside him. At his query, both of them glanced around for any sign of where to go. “I hope not. I can feel rust particles working their way into my internal mechanisms. Much longer and I’ll need a full pressure washing to feel clean again,” Windsweeper whined.

Needlenose let out a sigh and put his hands on his hips as he turned to Wipe-Out with narrowed optics. “Is this directionally-challenged thing of yours contagious?”

“Contagious?!” Windsweeper cried, leaping away from Wipe-Out, “Stay back! Augh! Everything here it so filthy…!”

Wipe-Out looked at the two taller mechs helplessly. “No…I don’t think so. This kind of thing always happens to me…” the smaller mech stammered. Hastily, he lifted his hand up above his visor and swept his optics out over the terrain. “Uhh…um…Oh! Oh! I see something! Look! Over there!” Wipe-Out pointed toward a silhouette on the horizon. In his enthusiasm, Wipe-Out began running toward it.

Only to suddenly discover that the ground beneath his feet had magically vanished.

CRASH! BANG! CLUNK! THUNK!

“Uhhh….?” Wipe-Out was upside down. On his head in fact. He flailed his limbs around until he flipped down onto his back. Lifting his optics up to finally take stock of his situation, Wipe-Out came face plate to face plate with a mech that had no optics. “EEP!” Wipe-Out squeaked in panic and crawled backwards as fast as he could until he butted up against something solid behind him.

Upon closer inspection, Wipe-Out was able to delineate that the opticless mech was an unfinished protoform. Despite that fact, Wipe-Out’s optics grew no less wide. He stared at the protoform in silence until he heard someone call out to him.

“Hey! Wipe-Out! You alright down there?” Needlenose called.

“Did you land in anything unsavory?” Windsweeper asked.

Wipe-Out managed to tear his optics away from the protoform in time to catch Needlenose punch Windsweeper in the shoulder. “I’m…fine! I think…?”

“What’s down there?” Needlenose called.

Wipe-Out glanced back to the incomplete protoform, then moved his optics around the rest of his surroundings. Pitch black greeted him. Turning on one of his flood lights, Wipe-Out shone a little light on his surroundings. Pods with some sort of fluid in them lined the walls with various protoforms in various stages of completion floating in them. Wires hung from the ceiling and draped down on the tables below, and broken containers laid strewn about the floor and tables.

“It…kinda looks like an old lab,” Wipe-Out called up to his friends topside.

“What? Hold on,” Needlenose dropped down the hole that Wipe-Out had created and landed with a thunk beside Wipe-Out. “Whoa…Windsweeper, you’ve gotta check this out!”

With a groan, Windsweeper dropped down the hole as well, narrowly avoiding landing on top of Wipe-Out. By this time Needlenose had moved off to inspect some of the pods and their contents. Windsweeper moved to join his friend, taking care to avoid the scattered debris around the room, casting a disdainful look at everything.

Wipe-Out finally picked himself off of the floor and gathered his feet beneath him. He glanced over to the two taller mechs and rubbed the back off his head feeling a little left out. Moving over to the end of the line of pods, Wipe-Out looked at the being inside. It was very developed. It had optics and…a face…and pretty much everything looked intact. It was missing its lower leg and arm…but. She looked completely normal otherwise. Wipe-Out thought she because her form definitely had the attributes of other femmes that he’d seen. Not that he had seen that many, but this was definitely a she.

Wipe-Out reached out and rested a hand on the pod.

Per-wiiiiip! Per-wiiiiip!

Wipe-Out jumped back and stared in surprise as the pod came to life. The fluid drained from the pod, its hatch slid open with a definite hiss. The femme inside slumped forward, collapsing uncertainly onto her one fully formed leg. “What did you do?!” Needlenose said as he rushed over closely followed by Windsweeper.

“I don’t know! I touched it and stuff happened!”

“Is she dead?” Windsweeper asked as he leaned forward to inspect the femme curiously.

“I don’t know…” Needlenose said as he reached out a finger to poke the fluid-coated femme.

Suddenly, the femme’s amber optics flashed to life, and she lurched forward reaching a hand out toward the trio of Decepticons. She garbled out some raspy, strangled noises from her vocal processor.

“AHHHH!” the three screamed in unison, huddling together with wide optics. The femme’s optics dimmed as she entered stasis lock and slumped down over the open pod. The three Decepticons exchanged looks and hastily separated. “What’re we gonna do with her?” Wipe-Out asked, “We can’t just leave her here.”

“I guess not…” Needlenose conceded.

“I’m not touching her while she’s covered in that slime,” Windsweeper said flatly.

“I got it. Let’s hurry up and get out of here, or they’ll leave without us,” Needlenose said as he hefted the femme up.

- :CON: -


With the crew of the Justified Means assembled in its entirety in the main hall, now repurposed to serve as a ceremonial chamber complete with stage, Leozack stepped out onto said stage to address those that had gathered before him. The crowd’s dull roar eventually died out as their optics turned toward him.

“My fellow Decepticons, I thank you for deigning to join me on my glorious expedition into the stars! Freed from the shadows of the likes of Megatron, Shockwave, and Starscream, we shall find a new purpose for ourselves and achieve glory beyond all imagining.”

“Perhaps one day, our brothers who journeyed to Earth with Galvatron will realize their folly and come to join our greatness. Perhaps not. But for our part, we shall excel! We shall conquer adversity! Those who stand against us shall fall before because we are Decepticons!”

“And I shall be your captain,” Leozack finished with a slight bow toward the crowd. “And he,” Leozack said gesturing off to the open door, “Shall be my second-in-command.” Skyquake stepped from the door with a stoic expression etched on his faceplate. He moved toward the stage and stopped once he was next to Leozack, casting his optics out onto the sea of face plates.

The crowd immediately erupted into a chorus of whispers and wide optics directed toward the leader of the Predators. Leozack smirked slightly at the crowd’s reaction, letting it go on a fair while. He then raised his hand to make the whispering die down a bit as optics refocused on Leozack.

“And Flamewar shall be my third-in-command,” Leozack said, gesturing toward a femme leaning against one of the walls.

Flamewar sighed inwardly as all optics now turned toward her. She pushed off of the wall that she had been leaning against and walked up onto the stage to stand on Leozack’s left side. She offered the crowd a bored wave before placing her hands on her hips and waiting for Leozack to finish his little speech.

Leozack turned to address the mass of Decepticons before him. “Those with the skill, report to engineering! We launch in a breem! The rest of you are dismissed.” Leozack gestured for Skyquake and Flamewar to follow him as he stepped down from the stage and made his way toward the bridge.

“Very impressive, Captain,” Flamewar said flatly once they were in the hallway, “You really had them wrapped around your finger. With your permission, I would prefer to speed things along in engineering.”

“Go on, then,” Leozack said with a dismissive wave of his hand. Flamewar peeled off of their trio as Leozack and Skyquake entered the bridge.

“Captain on the bridge,” called Submarauder.

“Engage thrusters,” Leozack said, taking a seat in the command chair, “Warm up the quantum generators and prepare for jump.”

“Aye, sir,” Gaihawk called. The ship shook as it took its leave of the terrain below and entered into Cybertron’s orbit. “Quantum generators prepped and ready, sir.”

“Initiate quantum jump.”

“Initiating quantum jump. Jump in three….two…one…” The ship lurched and shook as the quantum generators accomplished their customary task of defying the laws of physics. The ship lurched again as it ceased its quantum jump. They found themselves in the orbit of a foreign planet. “Where are we?” Leozack asked of those stationed on the bridge.

“Scans identify this planet as Salvvatan VIII,” Stranglehold replied. “Orders, cap-“

BOOM!

A massive shockwave roiled through the ship as it shook and quaked. “What was that?!” Leozack snapped.

“We’ve been hit!" Hellbat cried, “Secondary Engine Block, Starboard side!"

"Heavy Concussion blast!" Killbison informed over the roar of the emergency siren, "Coming from the sur-"

KRAKOOOOOM!

"Captain, we've lost lateral controls! The ship's beginning to freefall!"

"Engage all emergency procedures!" Skyquake ordered as he stepped up beside Leozack who was still in shock of what was happening. "Prepare an emergency landing sequence. Engage all air brakes and activate the forward booster systems! Level us out!

"We haven't been in the air for half a breem yet and we're already under attack..." Leozack muttered to himself as he scanned the chaos erupting in the bridge. “What could have shot us?! Salvvatan VIII is uninhabited!" Leozack snarled.

“Apparently not as uninhabited as we thought," Skyquake said calmly as the ship descended down toward the planet’s surface. Down. Down. Down toward whatever had shot them down.
Last edited by Foximus on Wed Aug 20, 2014 1:17 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Transformers: The Forsaken Crusade

Postby Foximus » Sat Jun 21, 2014 4:25 pm

Motto: "Freedom is the right of all sentient beings."
Weapon: Laser Rifle
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Last edited by Foximus on Mon Jun 23, 2014 1:17 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Transformers: The Forsaken Crusade

Postby Rex Prime » Sat Jun 21, 2014 6:48 pm

Motto: "I Have Two Choices, Victory Or Death"
Weapon: Energo-Sword
That was a fun read! With nice characterization for the Decipticons! Though I didn't finish reading all of it, but I will when I have time.

Though, I hope you include some more Decipticons! I really do want to see how the RID Starscream will get involved in this, because he is one of my most favorite Starscreams ever!
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Re: Transformers: The Forsaken Crusade

Postby MasterSoundBlaster » Sun Jun 22, 2014 3:11 am

Motto: "You can run,you'll just die trying"
Weapon: Fusion Cannon
Oh we've got much BIGGER things planned than Starscream scheming ;)
I am not a GEEWUNNER...I just really like homeages

Burn wrote:Please don't clog this thread up with garbage. Either post a real picture of yourself, or tell Va'al how pretty he is.
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Skill: 6

Re: Transformers: The Forsaken Crusade

Postby Foximus » Tue Jul 08, 2014 9:19 pm

Motto: "Freedom is the right of all sentient beings."
Weapon: Laser Rifle
Chapter One Extras - Soundtrack:

Shot in the Dark by Ozzy Osbourne (Chapter One Theme)
Puttin' on the Ritz by Taco (Needlenose's Theme)
Burning Down the House by The Used (Windsweeper's Theme)
Simple Man by Lynyrd Skynyrd (Wipe-Out's Theme)
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Re: Transformers: The Forsaken Crusade

Postby MasterSoundBlaster » Sat Jul 19, 2014 2:06 pm

Motto: "You can run,you'll just die trying"
Weapon: Fusion Cannon
Chapter Two: Ten Cent Pistol

“Status report!" Leozack cried over the silence that befell over the command deck of the Justified Means as his optics scanned over each officer at their stations.

“Well it wasn’t a crash landing, but it wasn't a pretty one either." Submarauder replied as he glanced down at his console screen. “Engine systems are offline and we've got two gaping holes in the starboard side of the hull."

“Did we lose anyone from the damage?"

“No sir, the damage struck the power relay running to the main thrusters and the lateral communications relay."

“So we’re stranded here until we can get repairs down?"

“Aye."

Leozack leaned forward in his command chair and rested his chin strut in the face of his interlocked fingers. His processor began to wander on what course of action he believed he should take in such a situation, weighing his options and trying to calculate the most reasonable course of action.

“Send all the engineers to the communication relay and have them get started on repairs. Once that’s complete we can clean up the mess in the engine deck."

“Aye-aye, Captain." Submarauder responded as he punched in the alert to all available engineers. Skyquake turned from Leozack’s side and made his way towards the door before he was stopped by Leozack’s hand holding him back by the shoulder pauldron.

“Skyquake… Someone or something is out there… I want you to gather a team and investigate. Find whatever shot us down and report back to me."

Skyquake stared back into the crimson optics of the captain and gave a non-verbal response, signaling he fully understood his reasoning. He shook Leozack’s hand off his shoulder and departed the bridge, making his way towards the crew quarters.

- :CON: -


“Easy now Wipe-Out… Easy does it…" Needlenose instructed as he and the olive and black mech carried the dysfunctional femme down the corridor. “She may be broken but we don’t want her falling apart any more than she already is now."

“She’s leaving such a mess! Look! Energon splatters here… CR slime there! Ew! I just can’t handle it!"

“Hey, you can worry about the mess later clean-freak. For now we need to get her to whatever doctor’s aboard this rust bucket."

“RUST BUCKET?!?"

“Primus help me…"

Wipe-Out chuckled at the sight of the two Decepticons bickering with one another as he fixed his hold around the femmes shoulder plating. He stared down at the dismembered femme and wondered who she could be. Her frame was familiar… He had seen her before somewhere… Well, maybe not this femme exactly, but someone just like her. He just couldn’t put an actuator on it…

As they continued down the corridor, their trek was halted by the bulky mass of Skyquake. Needlenose nearly leaped into the air at the sight of the former Predator leader, dropping the femme’s legs and causing them to fall to the floor.

“Sk-Skyquake!" the fashionista stuttered as he brought himself to a salute. Windsweeper followed in the actions of his fellow jet-former. Both mechs stared at Skyquake with widened optics while Wipe-Out was left to hold the femme up all by himself. He didn’t understand the presence that Skyquake brought to the corridor, not having heard the tales of the Predator’s savageness before. The small olive mech only stared up at Skyquake in confusion rather than frightful awe.

“At ease." Skyquake coldly replied as he locked optics with Needlenose. “You two come with me. We’re going to find whatever shot us out of the air." Skyquake then shifted his focus to Wipe-Out and the femme he was holding up from under her shoulders. “Take her to the medical bay. It appears that we do have some who were injured in the attack."

“Attack? Umm…sir, she wasn’t-“ Wipe-Out began as Needlenose leaped over to his side and slammed his hand over the smaller mechs mouthplate, cutting off his transmission.

“Yes! Yes the attack! Found her curled up in the corridor! Poor thing… Don’t worry Commander, my friend Wipe-Out here will gladly escort her to the medical facilities as you have instructed!" Needlenose replied with a nervous laugh shortly following his lie. Skyquake paid no attention to the fib and continued down the corridor. “From now on, I do the talking okay?"

“Well okay, but I don’t see why we had to-“

“I’ll explain later, but for now do what he said and roll with it. We gotta go help that ghost of a machine."

- :CON: -


“Lousy, no good, Horrorcon…" Knock-Out muttered under his breath as he examined the scratched paint on his forearm. He reached for his tool kit while Mindwipe stood idly by, leaning up against one of the medical slabs.

“Trouble with ‘security’?" the hypnotist asked as he caught sight of Knock-Out’s arm.

“Security? That’s what they’re calling those lugnuts now?" the crimson doctor joked as he pulled out a liquid metal sealant gun from his chest of supplies and began filling in the claw marks. “But yeah, ol’ Lizard-breath out there left me a nice little scratch."

“Did you happen to provoke them?"

“Provoke? Do I LOOK like a mech that can stand up to them in any way?"

“Heh. Maybe you just can’t speak their language then." Midewipe mused, having easily gotten past them using his hypnotic abilities.

“Whatever. Hey, mind handing me my power-buffer?" Knock-Out asked as he placed his tool down and shook his arm around to dry the liquid metal faster. Mindwipe reached into the supply chest and pulled out the device Knock-Out requested and handed him the pistol-shaped tool. “Thanks."

“So… They only brought one doctor aboard?" Mindwipe asked curiously as he took notice of how empty the med bay was.

“I was invited." Knock-Out replied over the whirling of his buffing machine, “Quick-Fix, on the other hand, I think was already listed to come along. He of all Decepticons would have been the first to sign up to escape this place. Think he’s out and checking on the damage the ship took, seeing if anyone got injured or something… Hey, mind giving me a hand with the detailing here?"

Mindwipe let out a sigh as the doors to the Med Bay opened up and a small olive and black mech entered the room, dragging along a grey and blue femme as he backed into the room.

“Well, well, well! How curious…" Mindwipe called out as he sighted the damage the femme had suffered. The exclamation caused Knock-Out to look up from his restoration work and over to the smaller mech standing in the doorway.

“What happened to her?" Knock-Out inquired without a change in his tone, obviously not showing any concern with her current condition.

“She uh… Sheee was caught in the blast!" Wipe-Out replied as he recalled Needlenose’s advice to just ‘Roll with it’.

“Huh… I didn’t get a report of anyone injured yet…" the crimson medical officer pondered as he set his tools down on the slab. “Whatever, the paperwork can come later. Bring her in and set her on a slab."

Mindwipe assisted Wipe-Out in hoisting the dismembered femme up upon the medical slab. Wipe-out then tried to look over the table and watch the doctor perform his handy work.

“She seems… Familiar…" Mindwipe commented as he brought his hand to his chin strut and stroked the metal underneath his vocalizer.

“Oh, do you think so? Hm... Is suppose she does have one of those… faces…" Knock-Out replied as he opened the main access panel running along the femme’s chest to evaluate the spark-structure. A bright blue light escaped the ventilation holes on the spark-casing. “Ah good, she’s still alive."

“You can fix her right?" Wipe-Out chirped as he stood on the tips of his toe struts.

“Can I fix her…" Knock-out retorted sarcastically.

“Flamewar…" muttered Mindwipe as he snapped his fingers.

“What about her?"

“The femme here, she looks like Flamewar!"

Knock-Out stared down at his newest patient and cocked his head as he examined her features. At least what was left of most of them.

“Well… To a degree I suppose she does… I mean she’s got this mouthplate…"

“Just look at the chassis, you idiot! Even seeker clones wear mouthplates sometimes!"

“Easy now Bat-brain! It was just an observation… Maybe they’re related somehow? Why don’t we call her down here to see, shall we?"

- :CON: -


Skies of Salvvatan VII

“So what exactly are we looking for?" Snapdragon grumbled irately, dripping with some kind of fluid even in his Cybertronian jet alternate mode.

“Something suspicious. Or someone," Apeface grunted in reply. The pair of Horrorcons had strayed from the formation that Skyquake had originally ordered them to search in. The others were no longer visible from the two Horrorcon’s position. “Hrm…" Apeface muttered, lost in his own thoughts.

“I know that tone," Snapdragon groaned, “Wouldn’t you rather take an oil-“

>>”Apeface! Snapdragon! Where ARE you?!"<< Skyquake roared over the comm lines.

“Argh…my audios…" Snapdragon growled, “Looks like we upset the ghostie."

“OOOoooOOoooOOOooo…Scary…Hahaha!" Apeface jibed at his fellow Horrorcon, “Just shut your comm system off. I already have."

“Yeah, yeah, anyway, you think there are any pits of some kind of…fuel or…something around here while we wait for the others to find something?" Snapdragon asked.

“Probably not," Apeface grunted, “This place has been uninhabited for eons."

“Well something shot us down," Snapdragon retorted.

“Yeah? Like what?! We haven’t seen-“ Apeface abruptly cut off, “Oh."

“Oh? Oh, what? What are you…Oh," Snapdragon fell silent as the landscape changed from the same static environment that they had been soaring over abruptly changed into a strangely Cybertronian-looking city. They two Horrorcons descended and transformed back into their robot modes as they looked around.

“This is weird," Snapdragon remarked stoically as the two wandered the deserted streets of the pseudo-Cybertronian city.

“Yup," Apeface shot back, “So what do you think made this?" The self-proclaimed comedian asked as he gestured to what appeared like a dent in the ground with another Cybertronian shaped dent inside of it.

“Probably the same thing that made this," Snapdragon said looking down into a massive trench that broke the otherwise continuous city block. “You wanna call this in?"

“Hm," Apeface grunted as he squatted down to inspect the incredibly large hole in the ground more closely. “Probably."

- :CON: -


Southside of Unidentified Cybertronian-like City

“Damn those two!" Skyquake growled as he closed his comm link with the Horrorcons.

“Oh primus, this place is atrocious…Any luck getting a hold of them, Skyquake?" Windsweeper asked tip-toeing over a puddle of unidentifiable gunk.

“No, but it doesn’t matter. We need to keep looking for whatever shot us down." The former Predator commander instructed as he turned back towards the deserted streets and walked further into the empty city. His optics swayed back and forth, to and fro as he scanned the ruins of the former civilization center. Scorch marks peppered along the buildings and spent ammo casings littered the streets.

“Man this place sure has seen better days." Needlenose commented as he took in the sights. Windsweeper scurried along behind him, picking up handfuls of spent bullet casings and stockpiling them in his arms. Needlenose rolled his optics at the sanitation engineer’s hopeless attempt to remove all the litter off the streets.

“Sweeper, you know that’s pointless," Needlenose sighed. Windsweeper rose to his full height after stooping to collect yet another casing and glaring at the fashionista. “What?" Needlenose asked in total exasperation, “It is! Don’t give me that look that you do."

“And what look is that?" Windsweeper said in an excruciatingly flat tone.

“You know…" Needlenose said uncomfortable with the direction this conversation was going, “The…craaaa….uhh…obsess….the burn-everything-in-sight look."

“Adorable," Windsweeper said in his flat tone, “But, that’s not why these are important. These are recent, Needlenose," the sanitation engineer said holding out one of the casings to his companion. His optics narrowing, Needlenose took the casing and examined it more closely. “Recent? How recent? Like…just fired out of the gun or…"

“Not fired out of the gun recent, but it’s not as old as the grime and dust around some of the buildings. The scorch marks on the walls were probably made at the same time too."

“So…that means…" Needlenose gestured for Windsweeper to connect the dots for him.

“Soooo…Whatever shot us down might be the same thing that fired these!"

“And this helps us…how?"

“It helps us…uh. Um. We can follow the trail back to the shooter’s lair?" Windsweeper asked hopefully. Needlenose moved over to Windsweeper and patted his friend on the back. “It’s ok. It was a good try. You can put down the casings now."

“No!" Windsweeper said possessively, turning to keep the collected litter away from Needlenose’s mitts. “No."

>>”Hey, Skyquake, boss-sir,"<< Apeface chirped over the former Predator commander’s internal intercoms. Skyquake halted in his prowling of the city and put a hand to his audio, trying to mute the inane prattle of Windsweeper and Needlenose. >>”Apeface, Snapdragon, where in Pit-“<<

>>”Look, look. We know you’re ticked, but we found something,"<< Snapdragon cut in. >>”Looks like a…giant…imprint. And there’s the shape of a Cybertronian in the middle."<<

>>”There’s a trail of energon leading away. Sending coordinates over. You want us to go ahead and try and find him?"<<

>>”No, you two have done enough,"<< Skyquake responded harshly, >>”Don’t move until we get there. Understand?!"<<

>>”Yeah, yeah, whatever you say. We’ll stay put,"<< Apeface responded before cutting the link off.

Windsweeper and Needlenose, having overheard the spoken transmission walked over to Skyquake as their second-in-command whirled around to face them full of a barely restrained fury. “Decepticons, take to the skies!" He growled out furiously, transforming and scorching Needlenose and Windsweeper with his after burners.

“ACK!" Windsweeper shrieked at the soot and dust that was deposited on him from their squadron leader’s thrusters, dropping his load of collected casings in the process.

“I really don’t envy the Horrorcons right now," Needlenose commented dryly.

“Well, come on," Windsweeper said with a defeated sigh, “Let’s not make them envy us by keeping him waiting."

- :CON: -


The Justified Means

“This better be good, Paint Job," Flamewar grumbled as she walked into the medical bay with a bottle of Nightmare Fuel clutched in her hand. The crimson and black femme sent Knock-Out a pointed glare before knocking back another gulp of the Nightmare fuel. The red medic gave the femme an incredulous look, which only incited a glare from the already grouchy Flamewar.

“Yes, you! What did you call me in for? Spit it out, already."

“Perhaps, you should set down that bottle, Third-in-Command, ma’am," Mindwipe suggested with tented fingers from across the room.

“Can it, Crazy Eyes. Your Jedi mind tricks don’t work on me," Flamewar growled. When a bewildered expression crossed both of their faceplates, the femme just sighed. “Earth humor, you wouldn’t get it. Come then. What did you call me in for?"

“Ah, yes, well," Knock-Out said regaining some of his composure after being nicknamed by an inebriated femme. “I called you to come take a look at a patient. She was injured in the blast and she-“

“She?" Flamewar asked, the repetition of the pronoun catching her attention.

“Yes," Knock-Out continued still a bit flustered at being so continually interrupted, “As I was saying, she was injured when the ship was hit. One of the engineers brought her in. Anyway, we called you to see if you could identify her. Couldn’t find any record of her in the ship’s database," he said tapping the crew roster on a datapad.

“She possesses a striking resemblance to a certain present party," Mindwipe chimed from the nearest dark corner.

Guiding the inebriated femme to the examination table in the emergency ward, Knock-Out gestured to the blue and grey femme that rested upon it. Flamewar followed attempting to walk in a straight line and managing to succeed in that goal fairly well. Her optics followed to where Knock-Out had indicated and finally came to rest on the femme.

“Well? Do you know her? I only ask because sometime mold mates tend to be familiar with one another. Like…the Seekers, for instance," Knock-Out offered.

Flamewar’s gaze darkened and her body visibly tensed at the slight of the femme lying on the table. Her free hand clenched, but she remained silent while a somewhat dubious Knock-Out watched her reactions. "…Nightracer. Her name is Nightracer," Flamewar finally said.

Snatching up the datapad from Knock-Out’s hands, Flamewar entered the necessary medical information into it and handled it back to Knock-Out. “That should be enough information for treatment, yeah? Now don’t bug me again unless it’s a life or death situation, Paint Job." Whirling on her heel, Flamewar strolled out of the medical bay and lifted up a hand on the way out. “Later."

Knock-Out and Mindwipe stared at the door as an awkward silence filled the bay. Reaching up and rubbing his head, Knock-Out did little to disguise his bewilderment. “Well, okaaaaaay then." The crimson medic turned to the ship’s therapist and shrugged at him. “That’s the second weirdest thing to happen in my lab today."

“The first being?" Mindwipe asked curiously.

“You."

- :CON: -


Strange Cybertronian-like City

“There’s another – ick! – puddle over here!" Windsweeper called pointing to a pool of stagnated energon.

The search party led by Skyquake angled over to move in the sanitation engineer’s direction with Apeface and Snapdragon dragging their pedal actuators behind the main lot. “Good work. Spread out. Find the next one," Skyquake ordered. The Justifiers under Skyquake’s command immediately spread out to do so. Needlenose moved over to Windsweeper and glanced down at the pool of energon.

“Is it recent?"

“No…it’s the same as the original puddles the Horrorcons found back at the hole," Windsweeper said.

Skyquake turned to look at Needlenose and Windsweeper from afar. The gaze made Needlenose sling his arm around Windsweeper and pull him in a different direction. “C’mon, let’s get moving. The Spectre is looking this way."

Skyquake’s gaze rolled off of the pair of Justifiers and snapped sharply onto Gaihawk and Hellbat who were both waving him over. “Windsweeper!" Skyquake called, making his way over to Hellbat. “Date both of these samples of energon," he ordered as he scanned the surrounding area.

“Two?" Windsweeper asked as he jogged over with Needlenose.

“We are close. I can smell it," Skyquake said, his piercing gaze scanning the surrounding buildings.

“Smell it…?" Needlenose whispered to Windsweeper, “What does that mean?"

Windsweeper made a face and shrugged and then continued his analysis of the energon samples. “It looks like…the first sample stagnated at around the same time as the others, but the second-“

“Quiet," Skyquake snapped.

“But the second sample is new! It’s-“

“Quiet!" Skyquake snarled, shutting up Windsweeper promptly. Skyquake’s optics narrowed as he seemed to strain to hear something. Needlenose and Windsweeper exchanged looks and tried to listen as well. Abruptly, Skyquake moved off toward one of the nearby buildings. Needlenose and Windsweeper jogged along after him uncertainly, not having heard anything themselves.

Plunging into the building’s dark recesses, Skyquake found only more evidence of recent habitation. More pools of energon. Used energon cubes strewn about the floor. Smearing of the energon. He climbed the stairs in groups of twos and threes. Each subsequent floor only showed more evidence that someone had used it, until finally, Skyquake reached the top floor and stopped suddenly, causing Needlenose and Windsweeper who were following the most closely to crash into each other to avoid touching Skyquake.

“Hey, what is it? What do you s-“

“Oh sweet Primus above."

“It can’t be…"

“Is that-?!"

With a glare, Skyquake silenced those behind him and opened up a private communication channel with the captain. >>”Leozack,"<< Skyquake said both speaking aloud and transmitting to their illustrious captain, >>”We’ve found the shooter."<<

>>”It’s about time! I take it you took care of them, Skyquake."<<

>>”About that sir…"<<

>>”What? Did matters become too complicated for you to handle?"<<

>>”No. It’s…"<<

>>”Who? Who could it possibly be?"<<

>>”Sixshot."<<
I am not a GEEWUNNER...I just really like homeages

Burn wrote:Please don't clog this thread up with garbage. Either post a real picture of yourself, or tell Va'al how pretty he is.
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Re: Transformers: The Forsaken Crusade

Postby Foximus » Sat Jul 19, 2014 8:26 pm

Motto: "Freedom is the right of all sentient beings."
Weapon: Laser Rifle
Image
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Re: Transformers: The Forsaken Crusade

Postby Foximus » Sat Jul 26, 2014 1:40 pm

Motto: "Freedom is the right of all sentient beings."
Weapon: Laser Rifle
Chapter Two Extra - Justified Means Partial Crew Manifest:

[From the personal datatracks of Skyquake::Page 1]
  • Leozack
  • Skyquake
  • Flamewar
  • Slugslinger
  • Knock-Out
  • Snapdragon
  • Apeface
  • Needlenose
  • Windsweeper
  • Mindwipe
  • Wipe-Out
  • Sparkstalker
  • Nightracer
  • Jolt
  • Sizzle
  • Full-Tilt
  • Hellbat
  • Gaihawk
  • Drillhorn
  • Jalljuar
  • Killbison
  • Deathcobra
  • Submarauder
  • Counterpunch
  • Slugfest
  • Overkill
  • Octopunch
  • Stranglehold
  • Airwave
  • Axer
  • Battletrap
  • Blackout
  • Cement-Head
  • Flamefeather
  • Cindersaur
  • Darkwing
  • Direct-Hit
  • Dirge
  • Fireshot
  • Vanquish
  • Flattop
  • Hammer
  • Half-Track
  • Greasepit
  • Grit
  • Meltdown
  • Roadgrabber
  • Ruckus
  • Kickback
  • Shrapnel
  • Blast-Off
  • Onslaught
  • Vortex
  • Wingthing
Last edited by Foximus on Mon Sep 22, 2014 9:47 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Transformers: The Forsaken Crusade

Postby Foximus » Sun Aug 03, 2014 4:48 pm

Motto: "Freedom is the right of all sentient beings."
Weapon: Laser Rifle
Chapter Two Extra - Soundtrack:

Ten Cent Pistol by The Black Keys (Chapter Two Theme)
Cops Theme Song (Apeface and Snapdragon's Theme)
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Re: Transformers: The Forsaken Crusade

Postby Foximus » Wed Aug 20, 2014 1:15 am

Motto: "Freedom is the right of all sentient beings."
Weapon: Laser Rifle
Chapter Three: War Pigs – Part 1

“Out of the way! Move, you repugnant serfs!” Leozack snarled as he shoved his way through the crowd that had culminated around the boarding ramp. The Decepticons nearby made an effort to move away from Leozack, but they were just replaced by others who swarmed in to take their place. Leozack could not have been more disgusted or frustrated.

Lifting up his optics, Leozack saw the large, menacing form of Skyquake break the sea of crew. With an effort, Leozack shoved his way into his second-of-command’s path despite being pushed by the whispering crowd that was making way for the little convoy. Skyquake nodded respectfully to the captain and stopped, moving aside slightly to admit Leozack a view of their antagonist.

Sixshot was being carried by an especially annoyed-looking pair of Horrorcons, his arms draped around the Horrorcon’s shoulders as his feet dragged across the floor. Sixshot’s head hung low, his optics offlined. Leozack motioned for Skyquake to walk abreast with him as they continued on their way inside of the ship, the Horrorcons uttering grunts of relief.

“Back to your posts! All of you!” Leozack ordered the crowd gathered in the hangar as he and the search party entered one of the adjacent corridors. Turning to consider Skyquake, Leozack scowled coldly at his second-in-command. “Why is he injured? What happened?”

“We found him this way. I don’t know how he was injured, or why he’s on this planet. Those are questions you’ll have to ask him when he wakes up. If he wakes up. As for why he’s in stasis, the medic can probably give you a better guess than I can,” Skyquake reported flatly.

Leozack’s optics narrowed as he fidgeted uncomfortably and increased his pace toward the medical bay. Bursting into the medical bay, Leozack jabbed his finger at an examination slab, looking wordlessly at the Horrorcons before casting his optics about the medical bay. They locked onto Knock-Out and glanced over to Mindwipe, who was skulking in a corner.

“You,” Leozack said pointing to Knock-Out, “Bring Sixshot back to optimum efficiency.” Knock-Out stared at Leozack, glancing to him and to Sixshot, who the Horrorcons were tossing roughly onto one of his surgical slabs, his optics slowly widening.

“Oh. I-I mean, yes. Right away, Captain,” Knock-Out said with a haphazard salute before rushing over to Sixshot’s side. “No pressure or anything,” Knock-Out grumbled under his breath as he began to examine the Phase Sixer’s injured frame.

Turning to Mindwipe, Leozack scowled and jabbed his thumb in the direction of the door. “You. Out.” Mindwipe smiled and bowed with a flourish before slinking past Leozack and out of the medical bay. His nerves finally calming somewhat, Leozack took the time to spare a glance around the rest of the medical bay. His optics landed on a blue and gray femme rested on one of the medical slabs near Sixshot. He didn’t recognize her, and she looked fine.

“Who’s she?” he asked, turning to Knock-Out.

The crimson mech glanced up from his examination of the Phase Sixer to look over to the prone femme. “Her name is-“

“Nevermind. Someone just get her out of here!” Leozack said with a dismissive wave of his hand. “Skyquake, go check on engineering. The rest of you are dismissed.”

Knock-Out gave Leozack an exasperated look as he was – not for the first time today – cut off midsentence. Turning away from his patient to Nightracer, he forced her systems to begin their start-up sequences before turning back to Sixshot with a sigh. On the slab behind him, Nightracer’s yellow optics onlined. She sat up and looked around in confusion. Looking at the nearest mech, Leozack, who watched over Knock-Out’s work like a hawk.

Needlenose and Windsweeper hastily moved over to her side and beckoned her silently to come with them, casting sidelong glances over to Leozack. With a perplexed and slightly concerned expression, Nightracer moved off of the slab to stagger uncertainly onto her feet. Windsweeper grabbed one of her arms to help her out of the medical bay.

- :CON: -

“Phew, that was a close one,” Needlenose sighed as the trio scurried out into the corridor. The fashionista beamed a smile at the perplexed blue and gray femme from behind his mouth plate. “So your name’s Nightracer, huh? Were you warborn? What’s your story? Why were you-“

“Needlenose! Stop it!” Windsweeper snapped from the other side of the femme.

“Whaaaat?! Readers want to know!” Needlenose cried indignantly from his side of Nightracer.

“Readers? Are you talking about that magazine of yours? I told you that no one cares about that,” Windsweeper grumbled with narrowed optics. The sanitation engineer glanced up at Nightracer whose expression was growing both increasingly perplexed and homicidal. Straightening and released the agitated femme, Windsweeper gave the femme a courteous nod.

“It’s good to see you again, Nightracer. You might not remember us, but we found-“

“Shh-shh! Not here, Sweeper!” Needlenose hissed, glancing around conspicuously before shoving Nightracer and Windsweeper into the nearest doorway. The two were crushed against the metal frame of the door, until Windsweeper managed to snake his arm out to hit the control console for it, causing it to slide open and the trio to tumble inside. Needlenose glanced up and around on top of the two fallen Decepticons to take a look around the room.

“Huh,” Needlenose muttered, “What’s this place?” Before he could riddle out an answer, Needlenose found himself roughly hoisted up onto his feet by his collar plating, and saw the end of a flamethrower shoved in his face. “It doesn’t matter because in the next few seconds, your face will be a molten pool of metal.”

“Hahaha…Easy there, Sweeper…Ha. You wouldn’t melt your old pal Needlenose, would you?”

“Look at what you did!” Windsweeper shouted, taking his flamethrower away from Needlenose’s face to shove his elbow into it. Needlenose’s optics adjusted as he tried to look at Windsweeper’s arm. “I really don’t need your elbow three inches from my face to see…uh…what am I looking at?”

“Do you not see the grease there?! And the dust that has glued itself to the grease?!”

“No,” Needlenose said slowly pushing Windsweeper away from him. “It’s probably not even there. I swear you hallucinate half of things you think you see.” Windsweeper gave Needlenose a death glare before further examining the accused spot on his arm. Needlenose sighed, looking at his friend hopelessly.

“It appears to be a refueling facility,” said Nightracer quietly. Needlenose glanced up in surprise to hear the femme speak for the first time. His optics darted about to confirm what the femme had already suggested. “Oh, yeah. Looks like this was some kind of mess hall. Hm…”

Windsweeper uttered out one last growl at Needlenose before composing himself somewhat and turning to look at Nightracer and then the rest of the room. He moved over toward one of the tables in the room and took a seat in one of the adjacent chairs, crossing his arms over his chest. Needlenose pulled up a chair and gestured for Nightracer to take it as he plopped down in another across from Windsweeper.

The femme hesitantly sat down in the chair in the dimly lit room, the only light filtering in from the doorway and some low lights at the extreme rear of the room. The two other Decepticons looked at her expectantly as she looked from one to the other slowly. “Where am I?” she finally asked.

“You’re on the Justified Means, a starship currently…uh…’docked’ at Salvataan VII,” Needlenose answered, “Oh, but don’t worry. We’re Decepticons just like you, see?” Needlenose pointing to his and Windsweeper’s respective insignias, then to Nightracer’s own deceptibrand.

“You’re among friends,” Windsweeper added, finally having settled down.

Nightracer nodded and rested her elbows on the table and tenting her fingers together. “Alright. Good, good. And what’s a Decepticon?”

- :CON: -

Leozack watched Knock-Out work, standing with his arms folded over his chest and his fingers drumming against the plating of his arm. When Knock-Out sat up from his work with a sigh, Leozack immediately let his arms fall to his sides and walked over to the end of the medical slab, studying Sixshot’s immobile form with a piercing gaze, then looked over to Knock-Out expectantly.

“Well?”

Knock-Out grabbed a highly absorbent cloth from his worktable and wiped the energon from his hands as he walked over to Leozack’s side. “He’ll live,” the crimson medic said finally. Leozack scowled and narrowed his optics at Knock-Out. “I had few illusions that he would not. What injured him?!” Leozack snapped irately.

“The vast majority of the damage was caused by a single massive blunt force trauma. There were some scorch marks from blaster fire on his armor, but they didn’t even scuff him. Just left behind the soot. Whatever hit him was enough to damage him so as to make it impossible to transform. Cause of stasis…probably extensive energon loss.”

“Probably?”

“Definitely. Guess even Phase Sixers run out of fuel at some point,” Knock-Out said as he looked over Sixshot. “That’s my diagnosis.” Leozack’s gaze shifted back to Sixshot as his rubbed his chin with a thoughtful expression. “When will he be functional again?” the captain asked.

“Hard to say. I’ve fixed the damage, but an ordinary Cybertronian would be dead if they’d taken the hit Sixshot had. That being said, our dear Phase Sixer here is far from ordinary,” Knock-Out said slowly, finally giving Leozack a shrug, “Your guess is as good as mine, Captain.”

“I’m back, sir! There were a couple-“ Knock-Out and Leozack immediately turned toward the source of the new voice. A rather meek looking mech stood in the door with three or so Decepticons piled onto a stretcher behind him. Leozack glanced at Knock-Out quizzically. “Who’s this?”

“My assistant,” Knock-Out said, gesturing for the more inexperienced medic to enter. The mech’s optics went wide as he hastily scrambled to drag in the injured Decepticons. He stopped before Leozack and snapped off a sharp salute. “Field medic Quick-Fix reporting, Captain!”

“What are you doing, you idiot? Get those mechs onto medical slabs stat!” Knock-Out snapped.

“Ahh! Yes, sir!” Quick-Fix said with a start, hurriedly moving the stretcher and tossing the injured Decepticons onto the slabs unceremoniously in his haste. Knock-Out sighed and smirked at Leozack. “You just can’t get good help these days. Excuse me, Leozack,” Knock-Out said before moving over to Quick-Fix.

“Let me handle these! You go deal with that one over there,” Knock-Out said, jabbing his finger at the immobile Sixshot. Quick-Fix’s optics slowly widened as they came to rest on Sixshot. He looked at Knock-Out, fear etched across his faceplate. “I-Is he….d-d-dead…?” the field medic stammered softly.

Knock-Out gave Quick-Fix a flat, exasperated look. “Of course not! Now get going!” Knock-Out tossed the energon covered rag that he had been holding at Quick-Fix’s head and turned around to tend to the other injured. “Ah, Slugfest. You just can’t catch a break, can you? Heard those Lost Lighters gave you and Overkill some trouble on Temptoria,” Knock-Out said with a smirk. A groan of pain answered the crimson medic.

Quick-Fix scurried over to Sixshot’s side and sat down on a stool beside the Phase Sixer, glancing periodically at his vital signs displayed on an adjacent monitor. Leozack turned the away from the mundane proceedings, and lifted a hand to his audio receiver, opening a private communication channel with Skyquake.

>>”Skyquake, give me a damage report on the engines.”<<

- :CON: -

Skyquake heard Leozack buzz impatiently on his internal comms as he stepped into the engine block that had received the worst of the damage. From his optic, the damage looked rather dire, but he was unschooled on such matters and walked over to one of the engineers performing maintenance on a console of ambiguous purpose.

“You,” Skyquake said, resting a hand on the mech’s shoulder plating, “Where is the engineering chief?”

“Eh?” The mech turned from his delicate work to look to see who had addressed him. A frown marked his faceplate as he saw who it was. “Th’ name’s Hammer, bub,” said the engineer as he turned back to the console, “You want Wipe-Out. I think I saw him fiddling with engine block on the upper levels.”

Skyquake stared at the mech disgruntled with the rather gruff reception and removed his hand from Hammer’s shoulder. Turning, Skyquake climbed the stairs to the upper levels and looked about for the chief engineer, not really having an idea of what he looked like. However, when he saw a mechanoid who was wedged headfirst inside of the damaged engine block with his legs clawing the air frantically…he was not entirely sure if Hammer had been accurate in his report.

Tapping one of the flailing appendages lightly, Skyquake watched as the legs stiffened as the mech inside obviously paused to think. “Uh..um…yes? Who’s there?” called a muted echo from within the engine block. “Second-in-Command Skyquake,” the former predator said flatly. The legs suddenly flinched with surprised and the flailing resumed, presumably to dislodge himself from the engine block. Skyquake let out a terse sigh, and continued, “I am looking for Wipe-Out. Have you seen him?”

“Oh! I’m he! Reporting! Uh. Sorta…” called the small mech faintly.

“Primus…” Skyquake muttered to himself as he reached forward and yanked the smaller mech out of the engine block by the seat of his leg plating. The black and olive engineer’s yellow optics grew wide as he looked around, his optics finally landing on Skyquake and somehow growing even wider in recognition.

The sky commandant set Wipe-Out down on his feet and gestured to the engine block. “Well, give me a status report. How bad is the damage?”

“Right! Well…bad. We don’t have the parts to fix this engine, and the other one took some damage too,” Wipe-Out said gesturing to the another engine block, “Took the parts out of this one to get the other one back in working order…but…unless you want to make very slow right turns…Need to stop somewhere to get it fixed up. I think we can get out of the atmosphere with the other engines though. Maybe. Uh. That’s my official report, my liege!” Wipe-Out added with a salute that turned into a bow half-way through.

Skyquake looked over to the damaged engine block, presumably now more a hollow shell than anything else. He glanced over to Wipe-Out. “And the breach in the hull?”

“Oh, uh. We also didn’t have the raw materials to fix that. In space though, we can close off this side of engineering. There are fire doors for that, but I figure they work just as well as an anti-getting-sucked-out-into-the-vacuum-of-space buffer.”

Skyquake growled lowly with frustration. “Anyone sucked out when we were initially hit?” he asked. Wipe-Out could only shrug as an answer. “Didn’t really do a head count,” Wipe-Out said.

>>”Skyquake, where are you?! Answer me!”<<

Skyquake grimaced under his faceplate as Leozack’s shrill voice crackled over his comm lines. >>”I’ve spoken with the chief of engineering. The damage is bad. We’ve lost an entire engine and can’t patch the breach in the hull without raw materials. We will need to go to an outpost or a supply depot to repair and refuel,”<< Skyquake answered impassively.

>>”What a catastrophe…”<< Leozack grumbled, >>”Very well. Meet me at the bridge. I’m on my way there now.”<<

Skyquake sent back a non-verbal acknowledgement and cast his gaze back onto Wipe-Out who was fidgeting and glancing up at Skyquake sheepishly. “Come with me to the bridge,” Skyquake ordered as he turned and began walking down the stairs. Wipe-Out hurriedly attempted to follow, jogging so he’d be side by side the much larger mechanoid.

“Sir, yes, sir! Might I say, your finish is looking particularly shiny today!” Wipe-Out said half-cheerily, half-nervous wreck. Skyquake ignored the subsequent string of praised, falling into thought as he walked. After a while, he suddenly noticed that Wipe-Out’s yammering was becoming increasingly distant. He glanced down to where the chief engineer had been, only to find that he had disappeared.

Backtracking, Skyquake glanced down one of the corridors that they’d just passed only to see Wipe-Out continuing to yammer away as he kept his optics dead in front of him, turning down back toward main engineering. Jogging, Skyquake caught up to the smaller black and olive mech and grabbed him by his collar, instantaneously shutting him up.

“Where are you going?” Skyquake asked, irritated. Wipe-Out craned his head around to look at Skyquake with wide, innocent optics and pointed down the hallway that led back to engineering. “The bridge…?”

“That’s not the way to the bridge.”

“It’s not? But I could’ve sworn it was! I remember! Take a left at the second fork…or…was it the third…no. No. Definitely the-“

Wipe-Out abruptly fell silent as Skyquake put a hand over the engineer’s mouthplate, not wanting to displease the second-in-command any more than he already had. He glanced up at Skyquake to see him with narrowed optics, as if listening particularly hard. Wipe-Out tried to follow suit, but all he heard was the soft hum of the Justified Means.

“Music…” Skyquake finally muttered. Wipe-Out looked at the sky commandant quizzically. The ship’s second-in-command finally seemed to return to himself as he looked down at Wipe-Out. With narrowed optics, Skyquake yanked Wipe-Out up by the back of his collar and resumed his brisk stride. Wipe-Out’s optics darted about in a panic when he realized that Skyquake meant to carry him to the bridge. He would have struggled in protest if he hadn’t realized that it would only serve to make Skyquake even more angry at him, so instead, Wipe-Out remained perfectly still as the pair continued to the bridge.

- :CON: -

Sparkstalker walked down one of the many corridors of the Justified Means, fidgeting nervously, side by side with his bodyguard Slugslinger who wore a rather bored expression. The cryptologist glanced down at the small metal token in his hand with three digits carved into its surface. He glanced at the numbers printed on a door that the pair passed by, cursing quietly to himself.

“Not this one either…We’re close though…Hurry!” Sparkstalker said as he looked nervously up at Slugslinger. The larger mech just shrugged and sighed, following along behind his employer. “I need to get off of this ship…” Slugslinger muttered to himself with a sigh. Sparkstalker suddenly turned on Slugslinger and jabbed a finger into the warrior’s chest.

“Absolutely out of the question! I cannot be left unattended!”

“Right. Whatever you say boss,” Slugslinger groaned out, more determined to keep his thoughts to himself next time. Bored out of his mind, Slugslinger began idly twirling one of his guns around a finger idly. Of course, it was just his luck that Sparkstalker actually found the slaggin’ place they were looking for and bumped into the back of the smaller Decepticon.

“Watch it, you buffoon! Gah! Will I never escape the curse of incompetence by my peers?!” Sparkstalker snapped in frustration before turning away toward the door with the numbers that matched those on his token. The cryptologist pressed the open command on the control panel beside door. The door hissed open slowly, revealing nothing but an inky darkness. Slingslinger’s optics narrowed as he stepped in front of Sparkstalker protectively, trying to pierce the darkness with his gaze.

“Stop! Stop it! I do not require your assistance here!” Sparkstalker said angrily, pushing Slugslinger back, “You guard the entrance.”

“But-“

“I am your employer! You will do as I say!” Sparkstalker snapped imperiously before glancing uncertainly into the room that awaited him. “Ah…if I don’t return after four and a half breems…you may enter to look for me,” Sparkstalker amended with a sidelong glance at Slugslinger who nodded in response. Sparkstalker then entered the room, the door sliding shut behind him.

Slugslinger sighed and leaned against the wall next to the door. “Primus, I need to get away from that paranoid schizophrenic…” The praetorian twirled his gun idly waiting for his grouchy employer to return when something caught his optic. He quickly turned his head to try to see what it was, but when he looked, nothing was there. An unsettled feeling quickly found its way into Slugslinger’s circuits. It felt like there were optics on him. Watching him.

“Bah…I’m losing it…” Slugslinger muttered, rubbing his head with another sigh. “Boss’s paranoia must be starting to get to me. Scrap, I need off this ship.”

Within the dark recesses of habitation suite, Sparkstalker glanced about nervously in the darkness, trying to find whom he had come to see. The soft rustle of metal above caused Sparkstalker's head to jerk up abruptly. Something darted down from the ceiling and landed with a whoosh of air in front of the cryptologist, its red optics gleaming brightly. Purple lights from the sides of the room lit up the habitation suite dimly, revealing Mindwipe's jet black bat alternate mode gazing at Sparkstalker approvingly.

“Hm...you came,” Mindwipe rumbled curiously.

“Heh!” Sparkstalker chuckled nervously, recovering from the spark attack that Mindwipe had given him, “You have a certain flair for the theatrical, don't you?”

“Not without purpose. I find it more curious that you, a mech of science, would come to seek my aid,” Mindwipe chuckled darkly as he transformed back into his robot mode and began to circle around Sparkstalker. He rubbed his chin thoughtfully as he looked Sparkstalker up and down.

“Ah...yes, well,” Sparkstalker said, turning to face Mindwipe as the hypnotist circled him. “Perhaps, I should go if-”

“Nonsense! I can see it clearly. You are being hunted, but by who, you do not know,” Mindwipe said turning his back to Sparkstalker and walking over to a table with an assortment of oddly shaped objects on it. He began fiddling with them as Sparkstalker took a tentative step backwards.

“H-How did you-”

“Guess? Your fear betrays you, Sparkstalker. You have the appearance of terrified prey. A dangerous thing...” Mindwipe held up something to the dim purple light and grabbed a powdery substance from the table and sprinkled it into the other object. Suddenly, Mindwipe held his hand back out to Sparkstalker. After a moment had passed, he glanced over his shoulder impatiently.

“A vial of your innermost energon. Now,” Mindwipe said with mild irritation.

“What?!”

“It is a necessary ingredient,” Mindwipe said by way of explanation without explaining anything at all. Sparkstalker gaped at the mystic Decepticon with mixed emotions of skepticism and desperation. Eventually, desperation won out and, after Sparkstalker went to the pains of extracting his innermost energon, he handled the vial over to Mindwipe.

The therapist took it and poured it into the other container, putting away the vial in subspace storage as he turned around to face Sparkstalker, holding a strange looking container with a red glowing substance sloshing around lightly within. Mindwipe offered it out to Sparkstalker who hesitantly grabbed it and stared down at the reflective surface of the liquid before glancing back up at Mindwipe.

“Ah...what am I supposed to do with this?” Sparkstalker said, an edge creeping into his tone slightly.

“Look down into the liquid,” Mindwipe said calmly. Sparkstalker's optics narrowed, but he did as requested and stared down into the strange cup. After looking at the bottom of the cup for a while, Sparkstalker instead focused his optics on the reflection only to see himself staring back. Frustrated, Sparkstalker again took his optics away from the liquid to glare at Mindwipe.

“What am I supposed to be looking at!? There's nothing there!”

Mindwipe's optics narrowed imperceptibly as he placed his hand on Sparkstalker's head and tilted his head back down, forcing him to look at the liquid again. “Look harder,” Mindwipe rumbled mysteriously. Sparkstalker saw himself, but this time, he could see the hard lines that paranoia and apprehension had etched into his faceplate. Sparkstalker attempted to relax a bit and looked at what else was in the reflection. Mindwipe's faceplate appeared as well, his optics having the disconcerting quality of being the same color as the liquid.

Sparkstalker studied them curiously for a while before eventually looking back at his own face, now a bit more relaxed than before. The cryptologist blinked as Mindwipe's clawed actuator pressed under his chin and lifted the hacker's face up to Mindwipe's own face. “Now drink from the chalice, and the ritual will be complete,” Mindwipe said in hushed, reverent tones.

“Is it...really safe to drink?” Sparkstalker said, his former apprehension returning as he looked at Mindwipe suspiciously. Mindwipe folded the wings on his back to rest down at his sides as he frowned at Sparkstalker. “You have committed too much to this ritual to simply back out of it now! Besides, if I had wanted to extinguish your spark, I would have done so while you were distracted. Do not filthy the sanctity of the ceremony with your doubt now!” Mindwipe hissed, “Now drink.”

Sparkstalker flinched at Mindwipe's harsh tone and glanced down at the glowing red liquid. With a sigh, Sparkstalker put the chalice to his mouth and downed the contents of the chalice. Sparkstalker's optics went wide, and he gagged and coughed. “That's disgusting! What was that?!”

“Liquid courage,” Mindwipe said, snatching the chalice away from Sparkstalker and walking back over to his table. “The ritual is complete. Leave now before my compatriot returns from his work in the medical bay.”

“Gladly,” Sparkstalker hissed as he whirled on his heel and exited the habitation suite. He glanced over to the bored Slugslinger with irritation. “What a waste of time! Come, Slugslinger,” Sparkstalker grumbled as he marched off ahead, leaving Slugslinger having to jog to catch up.

“Uh...you're looking better, boss,” Slugslinger commented. “So hey! Killbison just came by to ask me if I would help bring aboard some supplies at this outpost, and I told him 'well, I have to ask my boss' and I was won-”

“You can go! Just shut up! Gah, I am surrounded by imbeciles!”

- :CON: -

Leozack watched the stars stream by in white streaks as the Justified Means limped through the Salvvatan system, hobbled, crippled, and vulnerable. It had been miraculous that they had even escaped Salvvatan VIII's atmosphere. As the door to the bridge hissed open behind him, Leozack glanced, not for the first time, back at them, hoping to see that his second-in-command had arrived.

Alas, it was Killbison returning to the bridge after having been dispatched to find someone to help with moving the supplies. Leozack waved Killbison over and nodded at his subordinate to proceed with his report.

“Slugslinger said he'd help out with supplies. So there's him, Drillhorn, Jalljuar, and me. Plus whoever else you decide to come along, boss,” Killbison grunted.

Leozack nodded and waved Killbison away. Killbison shrugged and turned to walk out of the bridge. As he did, the door slid open to admit Skyquake and the contrite Wipe-Out who was still held in one hand by the much larger mechanoid. Killbison hastily stepped aside with a surprised look. Skyquake pushed past him without so much as a second glance. A huge grin spread over Killbison's faceplate at the ridiculous sight as he slipped out of the bridge, snicking to himself.

Skyquake stepped up to Leozack's side and set Wipe-Out down onto his feet before resting a hand on the engineer's shoulder. Wipe-Out's optics were wide as he glanced up at Skyquake fearfully before looking at Leozack. When Leozack didn't immediately notice them, Skyquake cleared his vocalizers to draw the captain's attention. When that still wasn't enough, the former Predator commander spoke up.

“Captain.”

“Hm?” Leozack turned slightly to see the looming form of Skyquake. His optics flicked down when he noticed someone else had accompanied his second-in-command. “Who is he?”

“The chief engineer, Wipe-Out,” Skyquake answered, “He will know what we need to fully repair the ship.”

“Is that so?” Leozack asked, examining Wipe-Out, who stiffened immediately.

“Ah, um-” Wipe-Out stuttered before being cut off by Leozack who put his hand up to the small engineer. Leozack nodded up at Skyquake and said, “Excellent work, Skyquake. I will oversee the acquisition of supplies myself. You'll have the ship while I am away. I trust you'll keep order?”

“Yes,” Skyquake said flatly, his faceplate unreadabe.

Wipe-Out twiddled his fingers uncomfortably as two of the three authority figures on the Justified Means discussed matters and totally ignored him. He lifted up a finger to Leozack as a question struck him. “Does this mea-”

“Did I give you leave to speak?!” Leozack snapped at Wipe-Out who flinched instinctively. Turning from Skyquake and Wipe-Out, he looked down at Submarauder who was working navigations. “Submarauder, are we close?”

“Almost there, Captain. We'll be there in less than a breem,” Submarauder replied quietly in his soft-spoken manner.

Nodding and rising to his feet, Leozack looked at Skyquake wordlessly and briskly left the bridge. Skyquake watched the captain leave, then glanced down to see that Wipe-Out was still just standing there. “You ought to get going. It wouldn't do to keep the captain waiting,” he advised.

“Oh! Right!” Wipe-Out bounced into motion and offered Skyquake a crisp salute and a cheery expression, “At once, my liege!” Wipe-Out jogged after Leozack exiting the bridge and leaving Skyquake looking back after him. The sky commandant let out a sigh as he moved to sit in the captain's chair. “I wonder if that one will find his way to the hangar...” he muttered quietly.

- :CON: -

Drillhorn leaned against one of the shuttles in the Justified Means' hangar, tapping a foot on the floor impatiently. Slugslinger leaned out of the shuttle to look at Drillhorn with the impatience that the drill tank felt. “Well?" Slugslinger asked gruffly.

“If you ask me one more time, punk, you're going to find my foot rammed up your a-”

“What he means is that asking if they're here yet, isn't going to expedite the process," Jallguar interjected from within the shuttle, stepping up to Slugslinger's side. Slugslinger glared at Drillhorn and scowled, folding his arms over his chest. “Curmudgeonly old timer...I'd like to see you try to take me on..." he grumbled before turning and raising his arms to the heavens. “I finally get away from the boss, and now I'm still stuck here!"

Slugslinger plopped down onto the shuttle's bench and held his head in his hands. Jallguar looked back disapprovingly at Slugslinger before stepping out to stand outside of the shuttle with Drillhorn. The older mechanoid had a familiar scowl plastered on his faceplate. “No respect from these uppity tykes," he grumbled to Jallguar, “Back in my day, we had respect for our elders."

Jallguar just shrugged and remained quiet. He knew it best just not to get involved when Drillhorn got into one of his moods. Drillhorn looked as if he was about to add something else when the Killbison entered the hangar, dragging Wipe-Out behind him. Killbison waved and tossed Wipe-Out ahead of him, sending the little engineer sprawling across the floor. “Found him," Killbison said gruffly, “We ready to move out?"

“Yes, let's hurry," Jallguar said as he walked inside of the shuttle. Killbison scowled and looked over to Drillhorn. “I see he's as stiff as ever," the double barreled tank commented. Drillhorn shrugged as he pushed himself off of the shuttle's exterior. “At least he's respectful. Where did you find that layabout, anyway?" Drillhorn asked as he walked into the shuttle.

“He was on the complete opposite end of the ship! Ridiculous! And he kept wandering off on the way here!" Killbison exclaimed.

Wipe-Out picked himself up off the floor and sighed, rubbing the back of his head, as he glanced up at the shuttle. Printed on the side of the purple craft was its name in big black letters: UNDETERMINED MEANS. Wipe-Out hurried along inside, not wanting to be more of a bother than he had been already.

“Finally," Slugslinger sighed from where he sat. The gunslinger got up and walked over to where Leozack sat in the pilot's seat. “Hey Captain. All's aboard that's coming aboard," he said.

Leozack glanced at Slugslinger with a frown. “I do not need you to state the obvious to me. Take a seat," he ordered before turning and pressing the control to close the shuttle's boarding hatch. The warning alarm and lights went off as Leozack gave the command for the hangar bay doors to open. They hissed open, and Leozack piloted the Undetermined Means out into the void.

The outpost was visible from the viewports on the front of the shuttle. A space station that looked like a spire slowly rotated on its axis. The shuttle zipped over to the structure, approaching the station's docks. The crackle of static over the shuttle's comm system turned the occupant's attention to the speaker.

>>”Greetings fellow Decepticons,"<< said a smooth voice from over the comm, >>”Please identify yourselves so that we may prepare an appropriate welcome. If you choose to remain silent, I'm afraid we shall have to take that you are not our comrades, but filthy Autobots who have hijacked one of our vessels, and you will be shot down with great prejudice."<<

Leozack flipped the toggle and leaned forward to reply. >>”I am Leozack, the former second-in-command of Dezarus. We have come to obtain supplies to repair our ship,"<< he said calmly.

>>”Leozack? We are honored to receive you. Please, dock in hangar bay A."<< The crackle of static disappeared as the communique cut off and one of the hangar doors opened in response to the mysterious Decepticon's words. With a frown, Leozack steered the Undetermined Means into the hangar. The door closed behind them as the shuttle settled onto the floor of the hangar. Leozack stood as he opened the hatch and walked to hatch's threshold.

On the hangar floor below, armed guards pointed their blasters up at the hatch while a black and white mech with his hands behind his back, looking up at them with his singular optic. Leozack scowled at the group of Decepticons below. “What is the meaning of this?!" he asked indignantly.

The forest-green and black mech stepped forward and gestured for the armed to lay down their weapons. He spread out his arms accommodatingly. “I apologize for the rude reception, my lord Leozack," he said before taking a bow, “One can never be too cautious these days."

“Hmph," Leozack grunted with narrowed optics as he walked down the ramp with the others following behind him closely. “I presume you are in charge of this facility?"

“Not exactly. Aperture here is the main brains behind our operations here." the bulky tank-former stated with a gesture to the black and white scientist standing off to his right. "I am Treadlock, I oversee security and the ground-forces we have command over here on Escalation."

Aperture approached Leozack and stared curiously at the commander's frame with his emotionless singular optic. "Curious... You were one of Dezarus' subordinates and he has been presumed to be offline for quite some time now... What brings you out this far?"

“That is a tale I shall share with you in the time to come, but at the moment our ship is in need of repairs," Leozack said before turned and gesturing for Wipe-Out to come forth. The little engineer stepped forward uncertainly. Leozack pushed Wipe-Out toward Aperture. “This is our ship's chief engineer. He should be able to provide you a list with the things we'll need."

Aperture nodded before gesturing over to one of the guards. “This is Squeezeplay. He'll escort you to our stores."

Wipe-Out looked uncertainly at the blue and white mech. He glanced back at Leozack who didn't even offer him a second look before shrugging and walking over to Squeezeplay. Squeezeplay placed a hand on Wipe-Out's back and led the engineer out of the hangar. Aperture watched them leave and then turned his attention back to Leozack and the others, giving Treadlock a curt nod to carry on.

“While your engineer assesses the supplies, may I interest you in a tour of Escalation?" Treadlock said, never a change in his charming tone.

“Very well," Leozack said with a dismissive wave. Aperture nodded and twirled on his heel leading the way forward with his guards and Treadlock following at the group's sides. Leozack followed impassively with his subordinates and Slugslinger trailing along behind.
Last edited by Foximus on Sun Sep 21, 2014 11:20 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Transformers: The Forsaken Crusade

Postby Foximus » Tue Aug 26, 2014 9:22 pm

Motto: "Freedom is the right of all sentient beings."
Weapon: Laser Rifle
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Re: Transformers: The Forsaken Crusade

Postby Foximus » Tue Aug 26, 2014 9:28 pm

Motto: "Freedom is the right of all sentient beings."
Weapon: Laser Rifle
Chapter Three Extra - Soundtrack:

War Pigs by Ozzy Osbourne (Chapter Three Theme)
Voodoo by Godsmack (Mindwipe's Ritual)
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Re: Transformers: The Forsaken Crusade

Postby Foximus » Sat Oct 25, 2014 8:18 pm

Motto: "Freedom is the right of all sentient beings."
Weapon: Laser Rifle
Chapter Four: War Pigs – Part 2

The halls of Escalation were brightly lit for a Decepticon facility. Sterile white and black were the primary color scheme of the floor and walls, and even the lights overheard were strongly florescent and bathed the halls in almost painfully bright light. On either side, the white walls were broken up by clear glass barriers, offering a full view of the rooms beyond, which seemed to serve as laboratories. The black and green tankformer known as Treadlock gestured around the hallway.

“As you can see, Escalation spearheads Decepticon scientific research. The facility is headed by a triumvirate of scientists, each an expert in their respective field. Aperture, here, is one of them. The other two are out at the moment unfortunately. Circumstances called them away.”

Slugslinger scowled and looked around decidedly unimpressed. He opened his mouth to say something but was interrupted by Captain Leozack deciding to speak up at just that particular moment. “And what work do you do, Aperture?” The black and white cycloptic scientist turned and inclined his head slightly at Leozack, speaking in the same dull tones.

“I study the neural make-up of the processor,” he replied, “Developing technologies like those of Bombshell's cerebro shells for the war effort amongst other things.”

“Most impressive, most impressive,” Leozack said with a casual aloof tone, his head turned to peer into one of the laboratories within the hall. Cylindrical vats containing luminescent green liquid lined a wall while in a central tank full of the same green liquid, what looked like a turbofox writhed in pain. Its limbs were coated in some sort of rust, but instead of immediately disintegrating the metal like cosmic rust did, the rust seemed to have no effect on the overall structure of the turbofox. It was, however, clearly in pain.

Slugslinger followed Leozack's gaze and grimaced at the sight of the turbofox. The mechanoids within the lab held their heads low and gazed at the monitors, scribbling things down onto their datapads. Something about it all seemed really...weird to Slugslinger. He decided to voice his opinion with his usual arrogant tone.

“So why are you doing all this?”

“Pardon?” Treadlock asked, somewhat abashed.

“Why make things like...that,” Slugslinger gestured to the turbofox, “Or anything anymore? The war's over. The Autobots won. Didn't you get that memo?”

Treadlock glanced over to Aperture who said nothing but stared at the blue bodyguard with his cold, emotionless optic. The tankformer grinned reassuringly at Slugslinger, which made the bodyguard shift in his stance uncomfortably. “We received a message like all did, but were hesitant to heed such a...vague call. Still, it simply couldn't be ignored. Our scouts last reported that our Lord Megatron was leading an uprising...is this incorrect?”

“Ha! Oh, you've got no ide-”

“Megatron,” Leozack interjected with a glare at Slugslinger before addressing Treadlock and Aperture, “has betrayed us all, I'm afraid. I do not expect you to believe me without proof, though it brings me no pleasure.” He held out a disk and pressed the button in the center. The holographic image of their former leader spring to life in miniature with the Autobot insignia standing out brightly in the center of his chest. Slugslinger sneered and waited for the inevitable reactions of woe and despair and disbelief.

That sneer rapidly faded away as he realized that not one of the Decepticons escorting them had reacted in any way. Slugslinger glanced about to make sure but...wait. They weren't even looking at it! They had their heads turned down toward the floor, all muttering something quietly. Well, almost all of them. Treadlock and Aperture were among the few of the Decepticons actually looking at the hologram, they seemed relatively calm about it.

“What the frag-”

Killbison and Jallguar shot Slugslinger two very intense glares that told him to 'shut it'. But, honestly, the bodyguard could care less about Leozack's two little flunkies. Nuh-uh. Consequences be slagged. Something was really weird here.

“-is wrong with you?!” Slugslinger finished gesturing wildly around. “Didn't you hear him?! Megatron betrayed us! Megatron is an AUTOBOT!”

“This is, of course, a shock to us as it must have been to any of your own number, but...did you not consider that perhaps Megatron is employing an elaborate ruse?” Treadlock asked calmly, “Or if this is truly so, as heinous as it might be to consider, does it really change anything?”

“Well, I...” Slugslinger started uncertainly, “Uh...”

“And it really begs the question, Captain Leozack,” Treadlock continued, turning to Leozack, “What is the purpose of your journey, hm?”

Treadlock and Aperture both regarded Leozack with an air of curiosity while Slugslinger turned to look back at his captain with confusion. Leozack regarded Slugslinger first with cold disapproval for speaking out of turn before shifting his gaze toward Treadlock and Aperture. “We are seeking to reignite the Decepticon name under a new purpose. A better one. Megatron's ways were antiquated. We were simply too blindingly loyal to recognize it.”

“I see. How curious,” Aperture stated plainly before gesturing at Treadlock.

“Indeed! For now, however, let us finish the tour. Afterward, you may refresh yourselves in the recreational quarters until your engineer returns to us,” Treadlock said charmingly. With a gesture to down the hall, Treadlock whirled on his heel – a strangely lithe motion from a tankformer – and led the way with Aperture following closely at his side. Leozack's usual frown deepened slightly, but he said nothing and followed without further comment.

Slugslinger cast the turbofox in the vat one last look. “That's not a very honorable way to go, now is it?” he muttered under his breath with a remorseful expression on his faceplate. His attention was torn from the beast when Killbison prodded him in the back roughly with an annoyed look on his faceplate.

“C'mon, move it, ya loudmouthed slagger,” Killbison grumbled lowly at the bodyguard. With a sneer, Slugslinger resentfully moved along.

- :CON: -


“So...uh...which way did you say it was?” Wipe-Out asked his escort curiously, peering down an intersection of three corridors. Instead of bothering to answer verbally anymore, Squeezeplay just grabbed Wipe-Out's head and twisted it in the proper direction. “Ah! Yes! Right! Of course!” the chief engineer chirped eagerly, “Let's hurry up then, what are we waiting for?”

Squeezeplay lifted his optics to the heavens and muttered quietly, “Oh please, just kill me now. Someone. Anyone...”

“Found it!” came Wipe-Out's shout from down the corridor. The black and olive engineer peered into a massive stockroom complete with everything that a space station needed to keep itself functioning. He darted inside and immediately began touching everything. Squeezeplay's optics nearly bulged out of his cranium when he got to the door. Transforming into a creature that looked suspiciously crustacean, he scuttled over to Wipe-Out and snapped up the smaller mech's arm in a rather large and imposing claw.

Wipe-Out turned his head slightly to look at Squeezeplay both terrified and confused. “Um...What did I do?” he asked sheepishly.

“You can't just go rooting around in here!” he growled out fiercely.

“Why not...? I need to look around for the parts to repair my ship...”

“Because...er...because...” Squeezeplay frowned for a moment, looking a bit confused. He scratched his head with a claw looking strangely perplexed.

“Because...?” Wipe-Out asked helpfully – or what he hoped was helpfully.

“What?” Squeezeplay asked, his full attention suddenly snapping back to the little engineer.

“I don't know! You were going to tell me!” Wipe-Out exclaimed helplessly.

“Tell you what? I didn't say anything,” Squeezeplay said gruffly, releasing a very confused and still terrified Wipe-Out. The black and olive mech's optical visor narrowed as he scrutinized Squeezeplay. The crustacean Decepticon leaned away from Wipe-Out as if he were some kind of mentally unbalanced mech.

“Let's...get the parts you need for the ship picked out, yeah? I'll just go get a bin or something. I think there's one over here somewhere...” Squeezeplay turned away from Wipe-Out and scuttled off. He paused for a moment and looked back at the bewildered engineer. “And don't...touch anything. Everything is labeled, so just point it out, and I'll do the heavy lifting, the mantra, got it?”

Squeezeplay waited for a confirmation from the engineer before moving off any further. Wipe-Out waved at him reassuringly. “Got it! So, just to make sure, don't touch anything and you're going to lift the mantra?”

“What in Pit does lifting the mantra mean? What mantra?” Squeezeplay snapped, yet again questioning the sanity of the engineer.

“The one you just mentioned,” Wipe-Out said only growing exponentially more perplexed.

Squeezeplay just issued a deep sigh of one whose patience has reached its limits and turned away, waving a claw back at Wipe-Out. “Just don't touch anything,” he grumbled out irately as he walked away to get the cart/bin thing.

Wipe-Out rubbed the back of his head and watched Squeezeplay go. “That was decidedly weird. Oh well,” he shrugged and turned around to resume his touching of all the things. “Oooh! Transwarp tube! Could use a couple spares...” he murmured as he snatched them off of the stockroom shelves, tucking them deftly under his arm. He gasped at a fission coil caught his optic. “Oh, definitely might need one of those!” He tucked it under his other arm, and looked at the other goodies that packed the shelves, darting from shelf to shelf ogling them all. However, with his hands now full, he couldn't exactly carry any more.

So, he did the next best thing: made a pile of stuff. However, as he prowled the isles of shelves, he couldn't help notice that they were strikingly absent of any sort of chemical compounds. He tilted his head, slightly perplexed. In fact, a lot of things were missing. Well, he needed to find where they kept the chemicals in any case.

“Hey! Um...sir?” Wipe-Out called meekly for Squeezeplay, “Hellooooo...?!” When no answer came, Wipe-Out wandered back over to his pile of things only to see Squeezeplay looming over them with a wheelbarrow type thing trailing in a claw behind him. He seemed transfixed by the items littering the floor. Wipe-Out wandered over to the larger, bluer Decepticon warily, not entirely sure if he found the sheer amount of things disturbing or, just maybe, the fact that Wipe-Out had touched many things disturbing. In truth, he was a little afraid to find out, but he did know the most appropriate response.

Making himself as small as possible, Wipe-Out cleared his vocal processor to get Squeezeplay's attention. “You know, sir, you were gone quite a long time finding that cart, so I took the liberty of gathering all the parts that I needed into one place, your great...clawed...greatness!” Yes, that was good groveling there. Besides, Leozack certainly wouldn't fault him for being quick. Nope. Needed to get the Justified Means fixed up after all!

A cursory glance suddenly told Wipe-Out that Squeezeplay had not reacted to a word that he had said. Curious, the black and olive engineer leaned out in front of Squeezeplay's glazed over optics and waved in his face “Hey? Your great clawed greatness?” Abruptly, Wipe-Out found himself held up by his neck, pedal actuators dangling just above the floor. The suddenness of the action made Wipe-Out's optical visor widen, and he clutched at Squeezeplay's claws. It close around his neck in an ever tightening vice. The pressure was unlike anything he had ever felt before. It felt like his head were going to explode before it had time to pop off of his body.

“I-I'm s-sorry!” Wipe-Out managed to squeak out as he looked down on the face of his attacker. This kinda seemed like a bit of a harsh reprimand for just touching a few things, and Squeezeplay's optics betrayed no hint of emotion. No anger, no irritation, no nothing! It was like...like he was looking into offlined optics except for the fact that they still glowed a brilliant red. It scared the engineer. Something that was very rare. Oh sure, he groveled, but that was all part of being a Decepticon who wasn't particularly high up on the food chain.

Slowly, some glimmer of something returned to Squeezeplay's optics. He looked confused for a moment, then pained, lifting up a claw to his head once more. Now more curious than fearful for his life – still fearful for his life, mind, but less than he was curious – Wipe-Out noted that Squeezeplay had also stopped trying to pop his head off. He wasn't exactly letting up on his iron grip, but it wasn't getting any tighter. The engineer was more than happy to take that as a win.

“Are...you okay, your gr..great clawed...greatness...?” he choked out, doing his best to form coherent words.

And as abruptly as Squeezeplay had snatched him up, Squeezeplay let him drop to the floor. Wipe-Out fell promptly into his aft and rubbed his neck. Yep. It was still holding up his head. He looked up at Squeezeplay who still looked rather pained. “Uhh...” was all Wipe-Out really managed. Squeezeplay glanced at Wipe-Out, an annoyed expression replacing the pained one. His optics trailed from Wipe-Out to the pile of parts neatly arranged on the floor. The crustacean issued out a groan.

“What is this?” Squeezeplay asked rhetorically, “Didn't I tell you not to touch anything? Are your audio receptors malfunctioning?! And what for the love of Megatron are you doing on the floor?”

“Uhh...”

“Actually, no. Don't answer that. Let's just get this loaded up and get out of here. I'm going to go insane if I have to listen to the mantra you for one more astrosecond!”

“Uhh...”

“Stop talking!” Squeezeplay snapped.

“...Yes,” Wipe-Out finally muttered, “Can do, your great clawed greatness. Just one more question. Where is the chemical stockroom? I need to pick up some engine fluids...and-”

“You cannot enter the chemical stockroom,” Squeezeplay said without feeling before snapping with his usual acerbic tone, “Engine fluids? Oh, no. You're not going into the chemical stockroom.”

“You just said that...” Wipe-Out pointed out, his former confusion returning.

Squeezeplay sighed in exasperation. “I don't care if you're hearing things, ya little glitch. You're not frolicking about in Oil Slick's stache. I'll go in and get what you need, and then we're going back to your friends, and you and I will never ever see each other again. Towards peace. Got it?”

“Uh...yes. Got it. On towards peace then!” Wipe-Out said, mirroring Squeezeplay's little...er...battle cry, he supposed. Not that he was one to judge. Still with Megatron being an Autobot now, he couldn't help but wonder if that particular motto was still appropriate. “That's a weird motto, you know,” Wipe-Out mentioned as Squeezeplay loaded up the materials.

“Please, please, stop talking,” Squeezeplay groaned as he paused in his work to hold his head in some slight pain, “You're giving me a migraine.”

- :CON: -

MEANWHILE ON THE JUSTIFIED MEANS

“A little to the left. No, no, more! More! C'mon, Ruckus, you can do it, just stretch!” Needlenose called from where he stood, watching the triggercon push the rather heavy bar into place.

“HERE?!” Ruckus asked in exasperation.

“No, no, my left. That's your left.”

“WHAT?!”

“THAT WAY!” Needlenose shouted back, pointing for emphasis.

Ruckus groaned loudly and pulled the bar the other way. Nightracer and Windsweeper looked on from one of the nearby tables. The blue and black femme leaned in and pointed to Ruckus. “Why is he shouting constantly?” she asked Windsweeper.

“That's just how Ruckus has always been. However, he was a little quieter before his audios were damaged in his brush with Thunderwing way back when. Now he tends to...overcompensate.”

“Right...” Nightracer muttered. She leaned out of the way as Flamefeather and Cindersaur carried a table by their own and went to set it down on the spots that Needlenose had marked out earlier. “Why exactly does Needlenose want to make this...” Nightracer gave a general gesture indicating the room around them, “...a nightclub again?”

“Needlenose goes through these phases. One day, he's going to be at the top of fashion with his accessory chips, the next, he's the owner of a chain of the most exclusive nightclubs,” Windsweeper explained as he watched his friend hopelessly try to direct the two Firecons before Ruckus started shouting at him again. Windsweeper turned his attention back to Nightracer. “Now I have a question for you.”

“Yes...?” Nightracer said hesitantly.

“How much exactly do you know about yourself?”

“Well, I didn't even know my own name before you two mentioned it. I...know how to hold my gun, load it, fire it, take it apart and put it back together again. I know I need to refuel with something called energon. Other basic things like that. No history.”

“Hmm...kind of sounds like a second generation training program...” Windsweeper mused.

“Second generation?” Nightracer pressed.

“Oh. Uh...Hm. According to Cybertronian myth, the light-bringer Primus fought against Mortilus, the god of death. The battle left Primus so badly wounded that he had to merge with Cybertron to survive. He reformatted himself into Vector Sigma, which is in the core of our home planet Cybertron. Myths aside, Vector Sigma is real. It created new cybertronian life by sending out pulsewaves that ignited new sparks across the planet. Over time, however, these pulsewaves grew less frequent and eventually stopped altogether.”

“So...how do we make more of ourselves?” Nightracer asked.

“We can't. And that's been a problem for millions of years now. Those that came from the original pulsewaves of Vector Sigma are called the first generation, or, less formally, they were forged. The second generation was constructed cold.”

“Constructed cold?”

“Yes. The Prime at the time – Nova Prime – figured out how to create new sparks by splicing them off of the Matrix of Leadership or so it goes.”

“So which are you?”

“That's...ah...I was forged. But don't just go around asking that. It's kind of a personal question. To some more than others, mind you,” Windsweeper explained.

With a nod, Nightracer probed a bit further, enthusiasm evident by her leaning across the table closer to Windsweeper. “So how can you tell which you are? Which do you think I am?”

Windsweeper shrugged at Nightracer, sitting a little more straight as the femme got uncomfortably close. “You're usually told when you're activated – or you figure it out pretty quickly. There's no way of telling between those forged and those that were constructed cold.” The disappointment was evident on Nightracer's faceplate. Windsweeper sighed until he recalled something potentially helpful. “Well, maybe there is a way, but I have no clue what it is. A while back, something happened to a couple mechs I knew were constructed cold. They just dropped and started writhing in pain, and then, as suddenly as it started, whatever was killing them just stopped.”

“Huh...”

>>”Exactly what do you think you are doing, Needlenose?”<< crackled Skyquake's booming voice over the ship's intercoms.

“Ah, heh, Skyquake,” Needlenose said sheepishly, “I just thought that, you know, the Justified Means could use a sort of recreational area...vent off some steam, you know...” Needlenose knitted his hands together nervously as the prolonged static over the intercoms signified Skyquake's contemplation. Finally, a response came.

>>”Do what you will,”<< was Skyquake's reply. The second-in-command toggled the intercom off from where he sat in the bridge. He cast one cursory glance back to the viewscreen's live feed of Needlenose's commandeered room. The sky commandant looked over to Hellbat who was sitting at his station on the bridge. “Make a note of Needlenose's activities, Hellbat.”

That done, Skyquake flipped to the next security feed. A hallway. Next. Another hallway. He set the security to scroll through each feed automatically. The automated feed continued flipping through them until something caught Skyquake's attention. He flipped back to the previous feed.

“That music again...” he muttered as he looked at the feed for the cargo bay in the lower levels of the ship. He swiveled the security camera around in the cargo bay, looking for its source. Frustrated that nothing was showing up, Skyquake swiftly rose from his seat and turned on his heel, exiting the bridge in pursuit of his prey. It would not escape him this time.

Meanwhile, on the screen, the security feeds continued to cycle automatically. It flipped onto the medical bay.

Knock-Out was wiping his hands clean of energon and grease after having tended to the injured. His assistant Quick-Fix sat by Sixshot's bedside with a look of anxiety as he stared down at the phase sixer. The crimson and gold mech tossed the dirty rag into a rubbish receptacle and strolled toward the exit of the medical bay. Quick-Fix's head hastily jerked up with a frantic expression. Knock-Out looked back at him.

“You have the medical bay, Quick-Fix,” he said with a casual wave.

“But...”

“I have some errands to take care of – Primus help Mindwipe if he's painted our suite with his concoctions again – so I need you to take care of things here, namely Sixshot. The others should be fine. If there's an emergency, just call me.”

With that, Knock-Out made his exit from the medical bay, leaving Quick-Fix with a processor full of protests and a slack jaw behind his mouthplate. Casting an uncertain glance back down at Sixshot, who looked remarkably dead despite being pretty wholly intact thanks to Knock-Out's efforts. It was just...kind of terrifying to see a phase sixer in stasis. They were supposed to be unstoppable killing machines.

To distract himself from his prone patient, Quick-Fix fiddled with the tubes feeding energon into Sixshot's systems and check and rechecked his vitals. Still feeling uncomfortable, Quick-Fix stood and checked on the others in the medical bay, readjusting their examination slabs to be a touch more comfortable for each. He was checking Slugfest's vitals when the frantic beeping of someone else's vitals dropping made the medic jump and whirl around frantically.

Sixshot was sitting upright on his slab, having torn out the the wires that monitor his vitals and moving to take out the tubes feeding him energon. “Ahhh!” Sixshot's head jerked sharply in the direction of the shout, his burning red optics falling on Quick-Fix. The medic hurried over to the phase sixer in a panic. “Don't take those out! You're injured! You need-”

“Where am I?”

“What?” Quick-Fix asked, momentarily dumbfounded.

“Where am I?! Answer quickly,” Sixshot asked with more aggression, reaching for his hypersonic concussion rifle as swiftly as he could. It was obvious that Sixshot was definitely still feeling his injuries. He did, however, manage to get it out and level it squarely at Quick-Fix's chest. “Now,” he growled out.

“Y-You're aboard the Justified Means,” Quick-Fix stuttered out, still a bit stunned. The phase sixer relaxed visibly, lowering his gun and putting it away. He rubbed his hand idly as though trying to 'rub out' the pain. Quick-Fix edged forward slightly, hoping that the phase sixer's aggression had ended.

“Who is the commanding officer of the ship? What system are we in?” Sixshot asked marginally less aggressive but every bit as gruff.

“Ah...Leozack is the captain...We're still in the Salvataan system...” Quick-Fix answered timidly. The field medic leaped backwards a few meters when Sixshot suddenly bristled and whirled on him with urgency.

"Still? Means I haven't traveled very far..."

“W-We're in s-synchronous orbit with uh...a space s-station called Escalation...!” Quick-Fix managed to squeak out, all while trying to close in towards the phase sixer to assist him with his injuries.

"Wait, Escalation? THE Escalation?!"

"Y-Yeah," Quick-Fix sheepishly replied as he grabbed hold of one of the energon tubes Sixshot had pulled from his body, "Captain Leozack took a few crew members over into the faci-" The medic began to explain before he was cut off by Sixshot grabbing hold of one of his wings and pulling him closer, his crimson optics piercing through Quick-Fix's optical visor.

"How long have we been docked?" Sixshot questioned with a tone more stern than it was curious, his grip tightening on the field medic's wing.

"Several breems!! Ten or so at the most!!" Quick-Fix panicked as he tried his best to remove the phase sixer's grasp from his chassis. "Please!! I only wanna help you!!"

At this latest revelation, Sixshot immediately rose from his slab and tore out the tubes feeding him the energon. The field medic dropped to the floor and sighed in relief that the pain was over, clasping the fresh indented metal as he turned to look up at Sixshot.

“Alright then. Time to go,” he muttered. Sixshot regarded the field medic for a moment, then moved out of the medical bay and into the ship beyond. Pausing for a moment, Sixshot looked down at his hand and clenched it. Slowly and painstakingly, the phase sixer transformed into his lupine alternate mode with a few grunts.

“W-wait!!” Quick-Fix called from within the medical bay.

Shaking out the aches and ignoring the medic, Sixshot set off at a somewhat uncomfortable pace. At the first corner he rounded, he spotted Full-Tilt strolling down it. Sixshot leaped forward, landing directly in front of Full-Tilt, whose optics were round as spheres when he saw exactly who had decided to randomly pop in his way.

“S-Six-”

“Which way is the hangar?!” Sixshot snarled.

Full-Tilt pointed down the corridor, pressing himself to the wall and trying to make himself as small as possible. “Down the hall to the left, and take the third right. Big blast doors. Can't miss it.” Sixshot lopped past Full-Tilt who watched the phase sixer go. “Well, that was probably the most terrifying thing I've ever experienced. Moving on.”

- :CON: -


Facing out into the starry expanse of space, the hull of the Justified Means had a gaping hole in its side where it had been hit. Engineers from within and without buzzed about, soldering and welding the hull plating back together. On the other side, the Horrorcons lounged. Apeface paced the hull, twirling a bolt gun around in his hand idly as he did so. Snapdragon was laying down on the side of the ship with his optics offlined.

After a few sighs from his comedic comrade, Snapdragon onlined one of his optics and gazed at Apeface with mild irritation. “All your pacing is shaking the hull. Stop it.” Apeface ignored Snapdragon. The reptilian mech growled and sat up, folding his arms over his chest and giving Apeface a particularly dirty look. “It's about Mindwipe, isn't it?”

“Exactly!” Apeface said pausing for a moment in his pensive pacing. He knelt down to look Snapdragon in the optics. “It's too good of an opportunity to pass up!”

“Primus help me. You and your little capers. Tell me again why I'm not enjoying an oil bath?”

Apeface waved a dismissive hand at Snapdragon, standing up to his full height once more. “Because Skyquake thinks that he can discipline us,” he said in way of answer. Snapdragon threw himself back down on the side of the hull and put his hands behind his head with a harrumph.

“And why don't you plan something...funny for him instead? And I can go and marinate in oil,” Snapdragon suggested, “Everyone wins!” The reptilian Horrorcon threw his arms up and wiggled them about a little for effect. Apeface just shook his head at Snapdragon.

“You just don't get it. We have the element of surprise with Mindwipe!”

“'We'? Oh, no, no. Don't count me in on this one! This is all you,” Snapdragon said, pointing a digit at Apeface without getting up.

“You are by far one of the laziest mechs I know, you know that, right Snapdragon?”

“Thank you,” Snapdragon said smugly.

“What in Pit...?”

“Hm...?” Snapdragon onlined his optics to see Apeface looking off at something below the ship. With a sigh, the reptilian Horrorcon sat up to try to get a better look. It was someone taking off from the hangar looked like. With a star fighter alternate mode. Distinctively white and teal and black. Sixshot. And he was heading straight toward the space station Escalation. Snapdragon chuckled. “Several someones are going to get a very surprising visitor.”

Apeface clapped his hands together. “Excellent. I suppose our fearless 'co-leader' Skyquake would just love to know about this. How about we let him know and wrap up our little maintenance run, hm?” Snapdragon sprang to his feet and clapped Apeface on the back.

“Now you're speaking my language!” he said cheerily, rubbing his hands together, “I have a date with a few metric tons of oil.”

“And after you'll help me with Mindwipe, yeah?” Apeface asked slyly as he began walking back toward the access hatch. Snapdragon rolled his optics slightly, but decided to relent.

“Oh, I suppose...”
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Foximus
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Re: Transformers: The Forsaken Crusade

Postby Foximus » Sat Oct 25, 2014 8:19 pm

Motto: "Freedom is the right of all sentient beings."
Weapon: Laser Rifle
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Foximus
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Posts: 1366
Joined: Mon Jul 25, 2011 9:35 pm
Location: The Peaceful Tyranny

Re: Transformers: The Forsaken Crusade

Postby Foximus » Tue Feb 17, 2015 12:33 am

Motto: "Freedom is the right of all sentient beings."
Weapon: Laser Rifle
Chapter Five: Strangers to Paradise

The quiet hum of the Justified Means's engines dominated the bridge for several long, peaceful moments. With a satisfied sigh, Leozack onlined his optics and beamed down onto the crew manning the bridge. A handful of his trusted team. Others with specialties in naval operations. His second-in-command standing stalwartly at his side. He turned to Skyquake with that same smile still plastered on his faceplate.

“Skyquake! Status report!”

“Sir,” Skyquake said respectfully as he looked down at the datapad in his hands, “Repairs to the ship's engines went perfectly, without any complications. We should be nearing an unexplored system within a few cycles. Third-in-Command Flamewar is operating on Sixshot, and should have the deactivation protocol to you promptly. Ah...that appears to be it.”

“Excellent! Excellent! No one will dare pester us with a phase sixer protecting our new settlement,” Leozack said, rubbing his hands together. Nodding to Skyquake, Leozack clapped his lieutenant on the arm and strolled toward the exit of the bridge. “You have the bridge, my friend.” The doors to the bridge hissed shut behind Leozack, but almost immediately hissed back open, causing the captain to turn as a hand grabbed his shoulder.

“Boss!” Killbison said with a look of distress plastered on his faceplate. Leozack's optics immediately narrowed as he brushed off Killbison's hand from his shoulder.

“What? What's wrong? Spit it out!” Leozack snapped with a harsh edge to his voice.

“It's Hellbat! He's...He's...!”

“Tch!” Leozack scowled and slapped Killbison harshly with a hand. How unlike his so usually gruff and tough subordinate. “Speak! I have no patience for your stuttering,” Leozack growled out with irritation.

“Hellbat is being nice. He said please. To me!” Killbison gestured at himself like that was supposed to mean something to Leozack. The captain gave his subordinate a rather annoyed look and sighed. “No, no, boss! Something's wrong with him. He's never like that!”

“Did you perhaps consider that his cordiality could be a ruse for something more insidious? Hm? Don't bother me with such trivial matters, Killbison. Return to your post,” Leozack waved Killbison away and promptly turned away. Absolutely ridiculous. From up ahead, the jet-former noted the ever growing noise of shouting and cheering.

He increased his pace and soon arrived at the open doorway that was the source of the commotion. Inside, it appeared that some sort of bar had been set up. The source of the shouting was none other than Slugslinger, posed atop a table with a crowd of admirers flocking around him. Leozack gave the praetorian an incredulous look.

“...aaand tha's when I saw I was surrounded by...by...a hundred Autobots! Yeah, they thought they could take me! Me! Ha! I eeeven saw Op'imus there, yeah, he waaas theeeeere...” Slugslinger shouted at the top of his vocal processor, clearly overenergized.

“What happened then?!” one of the shocked and awed admirers yelled from the crowd.

“Wha...? Oh! Oh! Well, ya see...wut happened...they all attacked! I fended off...all single-handed like the thousand Autobots...”

“I believe you said one hundred,” Leozack called from where he stood at the door.

“Did I...? Oh, yeah, but they called for reinfor...ments...cause they knew who they were dealin' with...Slugslinger! Master marksman! So after all the fightin'...Opt'mus...he came up...and begged me to spare his men...but bein' a respectable 'Con, I told him 'nooo can dooo' and shot the slagger right in the faceplate...”

“Did you now?” Leozack said with a particularly smarmy smirk.

Detecting the hint of dripping sarcasm from Leozack, Slugslinger looked over to Leozack with a troubled expression. “Yeah...!” He shouted defensively, “I did! 'Course he didn't die...slagger...comes back to life like Megatron!” Slugslinger pouted as he looked over to Leozack.

“Oh, yes. I'm certain. Do carry on,” Leozack said casually as he moved away. Visibly upset, Slugslinger hopped – more like dropped like a sack – off of the table and jogged after Leozack, leaving his adoring public behind. He eventually caught up to Leozack who had stopped and turned with an inquisitive look on his faceplate.

“Take that back...” Slugslinger said, frowning at Leozack, slightly more coherent now than when he had been blubbering atop the table. “Right now.”

“I rather don't think I will. We both know that account was fictitious. Why anyone would believe it even with the aid of high grade energon is incomprehensible to me. You are, have been, and will always be a coward, Slugslinger. No amount of fiction you conjure will change that fact. Now, if you'll excuse me, I have important matters to tend to.”

Turning sharply on his heel, Leozack strode down the hall, leaving the disgruntled Slugslinger to stare after him with a wounded look on his faceplate. A sudden anger boiled up within the bodyguard. “How...dare he! I'll show him! I'll...I'll...” Slugslinger drew out his blaster and grinned down at it. “Yeah...this'll do nicely!”

Slugslinger stormed off after Leozack, whipping around a corner with blaster raised. His optics registered movement and before he could even process who it was, he pulled the trigger, blasting a hole through...Skyquake.

“Eeeyaah!!” Slugslinger yelped as he backpedaled and lost balance, optics still riveted to the gaping hole in Skyquake's torso. The gunslinger tumbled backwards and fell onto his aft, whereupon he promptly whirled and crawled away. “I'm sorry! I'm sorry! I didn't mean to! I'm sorry!” Slugslinger muttered more to himself than to Skyquake. The bodyguard felt a hand on his shoulder, and instantly whirled about, expecting immediately to be shot in the faceplate.

Instead, Skyquake looked at him with confusion. Slugslinger's optics trailed down to Skyquake's torso, which was suspiciously intact. “What are you doing on the floor?” Skyquake asked, a genuine look of confusion on his faceplate. “Someone of your renown shouldn't be groveling on the floor. Stand up! Be proud.” The sky commandant offered Slugslinger a hand up.

“But...I-I shot you...” Slugslinger managed, still in shock.

“You missed, though I'm sure not on purpose. You're far too skilled for that. Your reflexes must have saved me, now come on. Get up.”

“No! I definitely shot you!” Slugslinger snapped hastily rising to his feet and looking at Skyquake like one watches a mentally unstable mechanoid. “I'm not that good! I rounded the corner, saw movement, and pulled the trigger...and you were...”

“Perfectly fine. Honestly, Slugslinger, you are too modest,” Skyquake sighed with mirth. The second-in-command gave the bodyguard a good-natured clap on the back and continued on his way. Slugslinger looked after him completely and utterly confused.

“But...” Slugslinger muttered as Skyquake passed out of sight, “Am..am I going crazy?” He rubbed the back of his head with a perplexed frown. Something moving out of the corner of his optics caused him to frantically whirl around to come face to face with...a wall. Slugslinger sighed. “I really am going crazy...I thought I saw-”

A hand suddenly burst out of the wall as though the wall were made of some sort of liquid and grabbed Slugslinger by his collar plating. “AaaaaaaaaAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHH!!!!” The gunslinger immediately jerked away, but the hand had an iron grip on him and promptly yanked him into the wall, leaving the corridor deserted.

- :CON: -

Peering into the medical bay, Leozack immediately noticed Flamewar bowed over Sixshot's open, exposed cranium with a laser scalpel in hand. Knock-Out sat in a corner of the medical bay, polishing his finish and looking rather displeased with Flamewar, casting furtive glances at her. Leozack chuckled at Knock-Out's misfortune of having his status reduced from chief medical officer to that of a mere assistant.

The chuckle drew the attention of Flamewar who looked up from her work. As soon as she saw Leozack standing in the doorway, she immediately straightened and bowed respectfully to him. “My lord Leozack, can I assist you in some way? I've not yet finish programming the shutdown code back into Sixshot. I apologize for my incompetence.”

“Not at all,” Leozack purred, pleasantly surprised by the usually so gruff femme's change of demeanor. “Carry on. Please.

“At once, my lord,” Flamewar replied with utmost respect and yet another bow before returning to her work with her earlier intense focus. Knock-Out even stood from his sulking and offered Leozack a bow. A grin worked its way onto Leozack's faceplate. Things were going...perfectly! Turning, Leozack began strolling down the corridor, humming to himself happily.

“Haha! This is almost too good to be-” Leozack abruptly halted as he passed a branching corridor. Something had caught his optic. Something teal blue with a lion shaped head. Leozack turned slowly, looking on completely disbelieving. “L-Ly...zack...?” he whispered almost too softly to be heard as his hands began to tremble slightly. There she was. Standing there in the middle of the hallway, Lyzack looked at him with a smile and outstretched hand. Leozack lurched toward her, reaching out for her, unable to get his feet working right for a moment.

At that moment, a hand burst out of the wall adjacent to him and grabbed him by the shoulder. Leozack jumped, startled, and looked down at the hand as it tugged him away from Lyzack and toward the wall. Snarling ferociously, Leozack wrenched violently away from the hand only to have another grasp his arm and yank him back. “NO!” Another hand gripping him by his leg now, pulling it back. He looked up at Lyzack who now had a worried expression on her faceplate.

Two huge arms came up from at his sides and locked his arms, slamming him into the the wall. Leozack thrashed against the arms that held him, his optics locked onto Lyzack. “LYZACK!!
And just like that, Leozack was gone through the wall. He suddenly found himself in a strange place, completely unfamiliar to him. He still felt the weight of the hands on him. He slowly turned his head to look at who was holding him.

Slugslinger had his arm and was looking at him apprehensively. Leozack looked at his leg. Wipe-Out clung onto it for dear life. He couldn't see who held him from behind, but he could tell that it was a rather large mechanoid. “Skyquake...?” Leozack managed.

“Looks like he's back with the rest of us,” said the mech holding him who was decidedly not Skyquake. Slugslinger released his arm slowly, and the one holding him from behind released him. Wipe-Out, however, did not immediately let go. The tiny engineer was muttering something as well.

“It's not real! It's not real! Wake up!”

Leozack shook his leg a couple times but the engineer only tightened his grip. “Can someone get this simpleton off of me?” he asked in exasperation.

“I've got him,” said Sixshot who stepped out from behind Leozack and yoinked Wipe-Out roughly from Leozack's leg. Suddenly wrested away from the object of his clinginess, Wipe-Out looked around a bit confused. Sixshot set him back down onto his feet and patted the engineer on the head.

“Oh...Welcome back, your glorious captain-ness-ship!” Wipe-Out chirped happily when he saw Leozack looking at him, snapping off a sharp salute. Leozack could only shake his head and rub his temples with a hand, trying to assess this new reality.

“Where are we? What's happening?” he managed after a moment or two.

“'You are being deceived',” Sixshot replied stoically, “That crazy scientist Aperture brainwashed you like he has the rest of the Cons on this station.”

“That's why they kept saying weird things!” Wipe-Out piped up. “And acting weird...his great clawed greatness tried to kill him once we got to the chemical stockroom until his magnificent six-ed-”

“Yeah, yeah, that's enough,” Sixshot interjected gruffly, “The short version is that I found Squeezeplay trying to kill Wipe-Out so I took him out. Then we came to look for you. Figure I owe you one for picking me up off of that Primus-forsaken planet.”

“We're still on Escalation?” Leozack asked, optics narrowed.

“Yeah, Aperture was using you and your men as laborers for...whatever he's got cooking here,” Sixshot replied, turning to look at the door as sounds began to come from down the hall. “Look alive, we've got company!” Sixshot swept out of the room with the successive sounds of gunfire accenting his departure. Slugslinger and Wipe-Out looked to Leozack for instruction.

Leozack was fuming. He balled his hands into fists and glowered furiously at the open doorway. “Aperture...you will pay dearly for this humiliation. Oh so dearly...Come! Let us find the rest of our comrades, and then make Aperture regret ever crossing us.” With that Leozack stormed out of the room, weapon in hand with Wipe-Out and Slugslinger trailing behind.

- :CON: -

“I swear, Mindwipe, you and your...your...”

“Rituals,” the hypnotist said calmly as watched Knock-Out scrub his side of the habitation suite. The medical officer gave him a very pointed glare. Mindwipe shrugged innocently and added, “I let you perform your science in here. The least you could do is tolerate my own practices.”

“I keep my science on my half of the suite! You just throw your magic everywhere!” Knock-Out snapped. “Don't you dare lecture me! I've got far too much on my plate what with Sixshot and all of the injured from the explosion...on top of my...other duties.”

“Ah, yes, speaking of those...”

“Yes, yes, just let me grab my things,” Knock-Out said with a dismissive wave. The crimson and gold mech's optics narrowed slightly as he heard a strange pounding sound, steadily increasing in volume. He looked at the door to their habitation suite, then at Mindwipe who looked equally bewildered. Rising to his full height, Knock-Out opened the door to the habitation suite and peered out into the corridor, Mindwipe peeking out from just behind his shoulder.

They were greeted by the sight of Apeface and Snapdragon sprinting down the hallway with a horde of unfamiliar Decepticons chasing them. Snapdragon whirled about gunning down the advancing party of intruders. Meanwhile, Apeface noticed Knock-Out and Mindwipe peering out of their habitation suite. With a devilish grin behind his mouthplate, he charged for them. Knock-Out hastily jerked backwards, trying to avoid the clearly crazed Horrorcon, but Mindwipe who was directly behind him, hampered his progress.

Knock-Out soon found himself violently ripped away from his room and tucked neatly under one of Apeface's behemoth arms. He struggled in vain against the Horrorcon's iron grip. “Let go of me! Have you lost your mind?! And who are they?!”

They are from Escalation. Attacked me and Snappers just as we were coming back inside from our little 'detention'. I figured you didn't want to be infected by those goons,” Apeface answered while turning and firing on the Decepticons behind, clearly enjoying himself. Snapdragon was catching up with a clearly disgruntled Mindwipe thrown hastily over his shoulder like a sack of spare parts.

“I-Infected? With what?”

“Not sure, doc,” Apeface replied as he rounded a corner, “Something nasty! What do you want from me, a clinical diagnosis? You don't want them touchin' you.”

“That's helpful...” Knock-Out grumbled unhappily as he was jostled around. “Where are we going?”

“We're here!” Apeface said as he burst into the cargo bay. Immediately, he flew up into the air and deposited Knock-Out roughly on one of the topmost crates. “Stay out of harm's way, doc,” Apeface said before diving back down into the action, firing onto the infected Decepticons as Snapdragon darted past him, throwing Mindwipe off of his shoulder as he skidded to a halt.

“Ugh, they never end,” Snapdragon grumbled irately.

“I know!” Apeface replied with cheer.

Knock-Out groaned and sat up, watching the Horrorcons go at it below with the horde of infected Decepticons pouring into the cargo bay. He issued a terse sigh and tried to stand up when he felt a hand on his shoulder. He slowly turned his head, horrified. Flamewar was standing behind him, peering down at the chaos below with a stern expression.

“F-Flame-”

“What's the situation?” she asked, sparing Knock-Out a glance.

“Escalation...uh..attacked...they're infected...”

“Got it,” Flamewar said abruptly leaping down into the thick of it, fusion bow in hand. She fired off several energy bolts as she fell, striking multiple hostiles squarely in their heads or center mass. Knock-Out rubbed his head, utterly confused at the sudden appearance of the crimson and black femme. Suddenly someone new appeared from the depths of the cargo bay: Skyquake. His response was immediate. He opened fire on the invading Decepticons and joined the Horrorcons and Flamewar in their efforts to hold them back.

“Decided to join the party, did you 'Quake?” Flamewar said with a smirk as she reloaded her bow. “Don't let them touch you.”

“Ha! Is that all?” Skyquake said as he drew out his minigun and unleashed a hail of gunfire down on their assailants, cutting their numbers. “Who are they?”

“Escalation apparently,” Flamewar replied, launching an acid laden arrow into the cranium of one of the enemy Decepticons. “Either Leozack said something to aggravate the crew there or...well something else. We need to find out what's going on.”

“We saw Sixshot go to the station,” Snapdragon piped as he fired off a couple more shots.

“Sixshot's here?” Flamewar asked with genuine surprise, “Well, isn't that something.”

“Where have you been? That's old news!” Apeface grunted, turning his head to look at the femme.

Flamewar's optics widened as one of the infected lurched out for Apeface while he was distracted. “Look out!” Apeface whirled his head back around to see one of the infected in close proximity to him. Reflexively, he balled his hand into a fist and punched the Decepticon, sending it careening into the wall. The Horrorcon hissed and slapped his forehead with his other head, chastising himself for his own stupidity. He examined his fist which was now coated in what look like cosmic rust. Looked like, but didn't feel like.

“You alright, Apey?” Snapdragon asked.

“Do I look alright? No! I am not alright!”

“Is it cosmic rust?” Flamewar asked as she fired suppression shots.

“Don't seem like it. Ain't spreading. Hurts like a glitch though,” Apeface said, examining it. Transforming into his simian alternate mode, the Horrorcon charged into the thick of the enemy horde, smashing heads together left and right, ripping limbs off in a flurry of motion. Snapdragon paused in his assault, watching his long-time friend and comrade go at it.

“Ah, slag it. I'm comin' in, Apey!” Snapdragon said, tossing his guns aside and transforming into his draconian alternate mode. He charged into the fray after Apeface, destroying and annihilating all those in his path. Flamewar lowered her fusion bow slowly, shaking her head at the Horrorcons' antics. She put her weapon away, folding her arms over her chest and looking over to Skyquake.

“So why would a research station attack us, Skyquake?”

The former Predator commander merely shrugged. “That's something only the 'Cons on the station could tell us,” he replied. Mindwipe cautiously walked toward the command pair and peered over at the Horrorcons who were utterly devastating most of the Decepticons in their path. He knit his fingers together and looked from Skyquake to Flamewar. Knock-Out clambered down from his perch as well, looking over to where the Horrorcons cautiously, and taking up a position beside Mindwipe.

“So...they're now infected by...whatever,” Mindwipe wiggled his fingers as he spoke, “What becomes of them?”

Flamewar looked over to the hypnotist and shrugged, “My guess is that there might be an antidote on the Escalation. If there's not...” She gave Knock-Out a pointed look, “...our chief medical officer here is going to have to synthesize one.” Knock-Out immediately grimaced at the thought. “So try not to get infected, yeah?” Flamewar said with a look that implied that he might've been planning to do some such idiotic action.

“Hey! Don't mean to interrupt, but!” Apeface called, causing everyone to turn to look at him, “We cleared a path.” Apeface swept his simian arms out in a grand gesture, the infected Decepticons laying in two distinct heaps beside the door. Snapdragon had reverted to his robot mode and seemed to be tallying one of the stacks.

“Ha! Two! Two!” Snapdragon cheered, whirling around to face Apeface as he held up two digits.

“What?! No way! Let me count!” Apeface whirled about and began counting the heaps himself while Snapdragon looked on proudly.

“C'mon, let's get to the bridge. We can assess the situation better from there,” Flamewar said as she walked ahead, side-stepping pools of energon left by the infected. Mindwipe and Knock-Out followed with the former helping Knock-Out along, almost protectively. As they passed, Apeface turned slightly and grinned beneath his mouthplate, reaching his hands out over them and generally looming.

“OoooOOOOoooooOooo...I'm gonna touch yoooooou!”

Mindwipe snarled and shoved his way between Knock-Out and Apeface. Snapdragon gave Apeface an irate look and batted him back with a hand. “Hey, hey! Don't get the 'doc sick,” Snapdragon chided. Apeface looked at Snapdragon cheerfully and simply shrugged and turned about to resume his counting. Mindwipe visibly relaxed, but kept a watchful optic on the two Horrorcons. Skyquake carried the rear of the party, stopping and turning to the Horrorcons for a moment.

“Why-”

“ARG! Slaggit! Two?! How did you get two more than me?!”

“-don't you two-”

“I don't know. You really have to be losing your touch if I got more than you,” Snapdragon chuckled.

Skyquake's expression darkened with fury. Snapdragon was the first to note this and nudged Apeface's side with his elbow. The simian Horrorcon looked at his comrade confused at first, but when Snapdragon inclined his head toward Skyquake, the pieces came together. Without turning his body, Apeface looked back at Skyquake.

“Did you need something, boss-sir?” he asked.

“Why don't you two go clear the ship of any more intruders, hm?” Skyquake suggested with barely restrained anger. “And perhaps LISTEN WHEN A SUPERIOR IS TALKING TO YOU!” Whirling on his heel, Skyquake followed Knock-Out, Mindwipe and Flamewar out of the cargo bay, visibly seething.

“Tch, ha! Did you see his face, Snappers?” Apeface chuckled after Skyquake was out of audio range. He waved Snapdragon along and wandered into the corridors accompanied by his long time comrade who merely sighed in response.

“I want to take an oil bath...” Snapdragon mumbled.

“Hey, hey! Not until I even the score at least!”

“Fine...I regret ever winning now!”

- :CON: -

Escalation

Alarms blared throughout the facility as Leozack stormed through it with his men. He scanned a corridor, picking out a new batch of brainwashed servants. He immediately fired on them, Slugslinger sweeping into the corridor behind him and picking off a couple. Suddenly, something caught Leozack's optic, and he rushed into the throng of thralls. Sixshot bustled into the corridor behind him, toting Wipe-Out under one arm. Lifting his free arm up, he covered Leozack with suppressive fire.

Bursting from the crowd, Leozack held Killbison by his neck, shooting at any others who approached from behind his subordinate. His subordinate, in the meantime, thrashed around in his grip, trying to attack Leozack. Whirling as he neared his team, he shoved Killbison at Slugslinger who then held him. Leozack smacked Killbison on the side of his head with the butt of his rifle. A small device fell to the floor.

“Snap out of it!”

“B-Boss...? What...ow...” Killbison said as his optics brightened, “Where...I was on the ship!”

“It was a lie. We're going to shoot Aperture now,” Leozack summarized turning and firing on the remaining thralls. Slugslinger released Killbison who simply shrugged and followed Leozack's lead. Once the thralls were subdued, Leozack turned and looked back at his assembled team. “Killbison, Drillhorn, Jallguar, try to contact Hellbat and Gaihawk on the Justified Means. Tell them to get over here now. We're going to rip this place apart...”

“Wait, wait,” Slugslinger interjected as Leozack's trio of loyalists set about to carry out his orders, “We can't just blow up the place! These guys are Decepticons just like you an' me!” Slugslinger gestured to the subdued thralls.

Leozack whirled on Slugslinger with a vicious snarl. Slugslinger took a step back. “Hey, whoa now!”

“You have no idea what-” Leozack cut off abruptly, deciding to phrase his words a bit more carefully, “-what they made me live through in that dream.”

“It didn't seem so bad to me! Kinda seemed like it was designed to make us happy!” Slugslinger retorted, “Do you hate happiness and joy?! Maybe you should go shoot a protoform in recharge cycle while you're at it!”

“As much as I'm enjoying this conversation,” Sixshot interrupted, “Fighting with each other only buys more time for Aperture to get away. So! If you'll excuse me-”

“Us!” Wipe-Out piped up from under his arm, “Us.”

-us...I have a scientist to go slag. You're welcome to join me if you want,” Sixshot said as he stepped past Leozack and Slugslinger and continued on down the corridor. Leozack issued a sigh that was half growl as he rubbed his temples. Slugslinger looked at the ship captain uncertainly. After a moment, Leozack had regained his composure and issued another sigh.

“Well, let's be go-”

“Ah...Captain,” Jallguar called uncertainly, “There seems to be a situation back on the ship...”

“What?” Leozack asked, clearly unsettled.

“It seems as though they're being sieged by them,” Jallguar nodded toward the subdued thralls.

“Patch me through immediately!”

>>”...Ello?”<< crackled the voice over the comm.

>>”This is Captain Leozack! Flamewar? I need a report presently!”<<

>>”Well, it's about time. Tell you what, I could actually use a sit rep on your part too. Things are dicey here. The Horrorcons are dealing with most of the infected on the ship, but they're just two mechs. Unfortunately, it seems like their objective was to disable weapon systems and propulsion. Well. What little we had left anyway.”<<

>>”Infected...? Nevermind. I need Hellbat and Gaihawk deployed immediately!”<<

>>”Unable to comply with that request, Captain. We're kind of occupied over here. How about that sit rep on your side of things?”<<

>>”How dare...”<<

>>”Look Leozack, I really need to know what's going on. Try to preserve as much as you can. There could be antidotes stored on the station. We'll need them for the swift treatment of our own infected.”<<

>>”Where is Skyquake?! Put him on!”<<

A grumbling could be heard through the comms for a moment, then they went silent for a time, until a new voice spoke on the channel.

>>”Yes, Captain Leozack?”<<

>>”Get me the rest of my team.”<<

>>”...Perhaps you didn't hear Flamewar? We cannot send aid.”<<

>>”Nevermind! Aperture has betrayed us, but the vast majority of his followers have been brainwashed by some of his technology. Try not to kill them. Leozack out.”<< Leozack cut communications and stormed off in the wake of the phase sixer with his three subordinates following closely behind. Slugslinger looked after them with a frown, then jogged to catch up.

He paused suddenly as something caught his optic. The turbofox from earlier was still in that tank, writhing in agony. The rust was nearing his shoulder. Slugslinger bit his lip, looking from side to side. With a sudden jerk of forward motion, Slugslinger thrust himself forward and fired at the glass panel, shattering the divide between the corridor the the laboratory.

Darting into the room, Slugslinger grabbed the nearest blunt tool he could find, which happened to be some sort of surgical ax. He did not want to know what it was for. He smashed the tank open, and the green fluid flooded out onto the floor, coating Slugslinger's legs. The turbofox whined and snarled, thrashing weakly at the base of the tank. Slugslinger gripped the ax tighter to still his trembling hands to no avail.

“Aw...slag...” he grumbled as he lifted the ax over his head. With one swift, sharp motion, he brought it down on the turbofox, and severed the beast's front leg from its body cleanly at the shoulder. It convulsed and snarled at the pain. Nudging the infected limb away with the ax, Slugslinger scooped up the turbofox in his arms and darted out of the lab. The turbofox instantly turned and bit down hard on his arm as hard as it could. Slugslinger cringed but continued at a steady pace to catch up with the others.

Bursting into the secondary hangar, Sixshot and Leozack came upon Aperture very calmly tabulating boxes as some of his mind slaves loaded them onto a shuttle while Treadlock oversaw the operation. Both Treadlock and Aperture looked up as Leozack and the others entered.

“This is unfortunate,” Aperture said without emotion, “Treadlock, come. We have no more time.” The black and white scientist waved to Treadlock as he boarded the shuttle. The laborers dropped whatever they were holding and immediately turned on Leozack's party as Treadlock moved to join Aperture.

“Uh-uh,” Sixshot said, dropping Wipe-Out, and transforming into his tank alternate mode. He blasted the floor beneath the encroaching Cons' feet and obliterated most of their legs and a large section of the floor. Treadlock's optics went wide at this development, hastily looking into the shuttle from where he stood at the shuttle's cargo bay door. The shuttle's engines whined to life, lifting the shuttle up off of the floor of the hangar as the hangar door opened slowly.

“Sixshot! Stop them!” Leozack barked as panic began to set in.

“I'm tryin'!” Sixshot shouted back as his gears ground together as he attempted to shift form yet again.

“What's taking so long?!” Leozack snapped as he and the rest of his men opened fire on the shuttle. From within, Treadlock fired back with his cannon, causing the majority of the Cons to scatter.

“I-I'm stuck!” Sixshot said in his half-transformed state.

Stuck?! Wh-Wh-HOW?! Gah! They're getting away!” Leozack cried as Aperture and Treadlock flew out of the hangar, Treadlock still in the back, firing at them. “NO!”

“Hyrrrk!” Sixshot grunted as he attempted to force the transformation, metal screeching as he did. “Wait...There! I got it!” The phase sixer suddenly shifted correctly into his space gun alternate mode, jetting out of the hangar in pursuit of Aperture and Treadlock. He acquired them on his targeting systems, locked onto Treadlock, and fired. An enormous bolt of purple energy burst from Sixshot and lanced its way through oblivion toward Treadlock and Aperture.

With a burst of light and energy, the energy connected with the shuttle, obfuscating it from view. As the light faded, only the darkness of space remained. Sixshot drifted back to the station slowly and transformed carefully back into robot mode. Leozack stared out into space solemnly for a moment, then turned away.

“Let's get what we need and return to the Justified Means.”

- :CON: -

LATER.

Leozack stood in the medical back aboard the Justified Means watching Knock-Out flit about the infected crew members. He frowned as he surveyed the scene, looking over to Skyquake who had joined him there. “Where are the Horrorcons? Were they already treated?” the captain asked.

“They're rounding up the last of the infected. It seems as though whatever signal was controlling them was destroyed along with its creator,” Skyquake muttered.

“Good, good,” Leozack muttered, sighing and rubbing the bridge of his nose.

“You look exhausted,” Skyquake noted, “Perhaps you should go for a recharge cycle? Things seem well-in-hand now.”

“Hm...? Oh. Ah, yes. Perhaps. A recharge cycle, you say? Ah, yes, that sounds ideal. I leave the ship in your charge, Skyquake. Are you quite sure everything is in hand?”

“Yes,” Skyquake answered curtly, not one to repeat himself. Leozack merely nodded and stumbled out of the medical bay, clearly beleaguered by something. Skyquake watched him go with narrowed optics, then turned his attention back to Knock-Out and his assistant Quick-Fix. They hastily applied the treatments while hastily recruited volunteers continued synthesis of the compounds in the surgical suites of the medical bay.

“Doc! DOC!” Snapdragon burst into the medical bay, optics wide and frantic. His optics soon settled on Knock-Out who looked up from his work a bit stunned. The reptilian Horrorcon bustled into the medical bay, Apeface lying prone on his back. “He collapsed, doc!” Snapdragon said by way of explanation, hefting his long-time friend and comrade off of his back and onto an empty examination slab.

“He's not...looking good....doc...” Snapdragon said, clearly deteriorating himself.

Knock-Out turned to Quick-Fix. “Prep a surgical suite for him now!” The field medic hastily rushed into the back to do so as Knock-Out gestured for Snapdragon to move Apeface to a hover stretcher. He did so promptly. “Alright, now you just wait here on this slab for treatment,” Knock-Out said, gesturing to the one Apeface had just been on.

The red medic whirled and carted Apeface away into the back, leaving Snapdragon to look after him with a stoic, neutral expression affixed on his faceplate.

- :CON: -

Leozack punched in the access code to his quarters and watched in a dream-like haze as the door hissed open before him, revealing his rather spacious quarters. Stepping inside, Leozack turned and locked the door behind him, wandering over to his desk where his personal computer awaited. He stared at it for a moment with a pensive expression before typing in a pass-code onto it. As he submitted it, a hidden door by his recharge slab hissed open, a calm blue glow issued from the room beyond.

Leozack looked at it for a moment, hesitant. Clenching his fists, he gathered up the courage to walk toward it and enter the room beyond. The cool, blue glow enveloped him in its soothing embrace. Before him was a familiar sight, but not a welcome one.

"Hello again," the Lion-headed captain said as he slowly set foot into the room, "I know it's been awhile since we last...talked..." Leozack's tone dropped, his usual zeal and vigor was soon replaced with what could best be described as sorrow and regret.

"My promise to you that I'd be around more seems to have faltered a little since we launched, but we hit quite the snag upon our departure from Cybertron." An eerie silence swept over the room once again as the cyan and white jetformer gathered his breath. The soft blue glow of the dim lighting inside Leozack's hidden domain soon coated the entirety of his form. As he stepped deeper and deeper into the low-lit room, his body began to drown inside of the light.

"I know it's not an acceptable excuse, but with Sixshot having shot us down, and the Decepticon extremists of Escalation attempting to take the crew, I was needed elsewhere. I hope you'll forgive me for trying to ensure the safety of the Justified Means and her crew." Once again silence was all that followed Leozack's statement as he began to pace back and forth within the room.

"What is it?" He asked before he was answered by the eery silence once more, "Don't give me that look! I know you're not telling me something." Not finding a response, Leozack clenched his fists as his patience grew short from the one-sided conversation. "What is it you want from me?! What do you want me to do?! I've done everything I can to help you! But now you're just sitting there, giving me that spark-rending stare! Just tell me what it is you want from me! I-I-I've procured this ship to keep you safe! Left our homeworld of Cybertron, to escape the ever-growing chaos! Assembled scholars and doctors to treat you, and still you stand there and make me feel like it's never enough!"

Leozack slowly sank to the floor until he was only supported by his hands and knees, an ever growing guilt weighing down in his chassis as he gritted his teeth looking for a response.

"Have I not done enough to help you..."

After a long pause and marshaling his strength, Leozack rose to his feet and stumbled to the center of the room. A small terminal sat next to a large oblong shaped container. Leozack then fiddled with its controls before switching on the bright floodlights around the base of the central container. The dim blue light was soon drowned out as intense white light swept through the room and fixated on the central piece.

Wires and cabled draped down from the ceiling and sprouted up from the floor connecting to a now revealed stasis pod. The main body of the pod was transparent allowing anyone on the outside to view exactly who was inside. Leozack walked up to the pod and rested a hand gently on the surface of the glass, staring up into the resting optics of a face he had known long since his forging.

"Lyzack..."
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Foximus
Brainmaster
Posts: 1366
Joined: Mon Jul 25, 2011 9:35 pm
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Re: Transformers: The Forsaken Crusade

Postby Foximus » Thu Nov 24, 2016 1:30 am

Motto: "Freedom is the right of all sentient beings."
Weapon: Laser Rifle
Chapter Six: Fade to Black

A lone datapad sat on a table in Needlenose’s lounge, screen brightly lit a displaying an article in the progress of being written by none other than the lounge owner himself:

So hey, readers! It’s been a while since my last update, I know, I know. Things have been crazy! So last time, we Cons were all dealing with the bombshell being dropped that Megatron had joined the Autobots. Some of us are still dealing with that, but some are dealing better than others.


Needlenose paused, tapping his finger on the table for a moment.

You might be wondering about me. What’s Needlenose doing with himself, huh? Well, don’t you worry. I happened to sign on with a crew of Cons led by a mech calling himself Leozack. Most of you have probably heard of him. Deathsaurus’s second in command. Yeah, well, he gathered up some Cons, including myself, onto this ship called The Justified Means – fitting name, I guess - and we’re setting out on some…grand quest to renew the Decepticon cause! Or something. But we had something of a rocky start.


Windsweeper passed by the table Needlenose was working at, sliding him a cube of energon before hurrying off. The fashionista gave him a little wave and took a sip from the cube.

As soon as we jumped away from Cybertron, we got shot down over Salvataan VIII! Wondering who could have done that? Well, you might be surprised to learn that it was none other than Sixshot. Yeah, that Phase Sixer, destroyer of worlds guy. That was his way of calling for help. Sheesh.

After the excitement, Windsweeper, Nightracer and I went into a mess hall – soon to be the future location of my new club, look forward to that – and caught up on that. Now for those of you who don’t recognize the name Nightracer, you shouldn’t because she doesn’t really know who she is either. She didn’t even know what a Con was even though she was wearing the badge! Very mysterious.


Taking another sip from his drink, Needlenose sighed and rubbed his temples.

Well, anyway, Sixshot’s little call for help had banged up the ship a bit, so we went to one of our outposts to patch the ship up. Only. Our luck sucks or something. The Cons who ran that place were more than a little unhinged. We had infected, brainwashed Cons running amuck! It was mayhem. I mean I wasn’t out there myself, but I heard it was.

Now Knock-Out’s dealing with the fallout of that. Don’t envy him. I heard Apeface was in pretty rough shape. Ship’s still being patched up before we can move out. The Cons that were brainwashed on the station have even decided to join up with us.

So yeah, rough start if there ever were one, but hey, at least it can’t get any worse, right?


- :CON: -

The medical bay was a flurry of commotion. Knock-Out and Quick-Fix hurried about the surgical suite where Apeface lay on the berth, optics offline and still. Hooking up equipment to the brutish Horrorcon, Knock-Out took a step back for a moment while his assistant continued the prep work. The red medic glanced to Snapdragon who was looking on with…a scowl? Standing next to the Horrorcon was Mindwipe, staring disinterestedly at the proceedings. Knock-Out bustled over to them.

“How long has he been infected?” Knock-Out asked, glancing to Snapdragon.

“Little bit longer than I was,” Snapdragon grunted.

Knock-Out frowned, glancing over to the still Apeface. Waving his arms dismissively, Snapdragon gestured to Apeface. “Look, I’ll let you in on a little secret, Doc. That guy’s faking it. Just give him the same treatment you gave me, there’s no need for…all this. He’s pulling your leg.” Leaning to the side of Knock-Out, the Horrorcon called out to his prone comrade. “Hear that? Jig’s up. C’mon, I wanna get back to my bath.”

“He’s not faking,” Knock-Out said as he glanced up to Snapdragon. The larger mechanoid glanced down at Knock-Out as if he were hard of hearing. “His spark readings are dangerously low. Yours weren’t.”

“What?” Snapdragon growled, optics narrowed at Knock-Out. “How’s that make any sense?” He spread his arms out in frustration, glancing over to Apeface suspiciously.

“I don’t know yet. Can only guess that he reacted poorly to it,” Knock-Out muttered, moving over to one of the machines and examining the readings.

Snapdragon’s optics narrowed to slits. Marching over to the red medic, he grasped the doctor’s shoulder and swung Knock-Out around to face him. “What are you saying?” His grip tightened on the doctor’s shoulder. “Are you saying this could be serious?” Knock-Out glanced with wide optics to where Snapdragon’s hand had clamped down like a vise.

“Well…” Clearing his vocalizer nervously, Knock-Out looked back to Snapdragon. “…Yes. The spark readings were – ahem – well, not good to say the least.

Snapdragon’s optics widened, his grip on Knock-Out loosening slightly. Taking advantage of the opportunity, the doctor managed to extricate himself from the Horrorcon’s grasp, darting over to the medical berth. He glanced at his shoulder. A dent. His faceplate scrunched up as if in pain. Shaking himself out of it, he glanced to Quick-Fix who nodded to him.

“Alright, let’s see what we can do…” he muttered as he drew out a laser scalpel.

Looking over to the medical berth, Snapdragon straightened, his expression unreadable. He walked over to the side opposite Knock-Out who glanced up at him as he did. Abruptly, Snapdragon’s face contorted to one of fury. “You better not die on me! You hear me, you bolt-brained idiot?! DO YOU HEAR ME?!”

Recoiling from the berth, Knock-Out looked to Quick-Fix and Mindwipe. “Get him out of here! I can’t work like this.”

Quick-Fix approached the Horrorcon, reaching to take his arm as Mindwipe approached from the other side. Yanking his arm away from Quick-Fix, he jabbed a finger at Knock-Out. “You fix him.” Mindwipe grabbed his other arm and tugged the Horrorcon lightly, not expecting Snapdragon to budge a moment before he was ready. Snapdragon leaned over his prone friend. “You fix him or so help me…”

Balling his hand up into a fist, Snapdragon pulled back, roughly shaking off Mindwipe. “I can walk,” he snapped, turning and stalking toward the door to the surgical suite, Mindwipe and Quick-Fix following him out.

Letting out an exasperated sigh, Knock-Out shook his head and went back to work.

- :CON: -

In the tentatively dubbed “announcement hall,” a gathering of rather motley and worn looking mechs stood before a small stage. They chattered dully amongst themselves until Leozack strutted in and took to the stage. Their optics followed him, but quickly flicked back to the entrance as Skyquake stalked in, taking up a position leaning against the wall.

“Ahem,” Leozack began as a way of centering the crowd’s attention back on himself. Beaming a winning smile, he spread his arms out as if to embrace the crowd. “Welcome, and congratulations to you all! You’ve elected to join The Justified Means in our little crusade to continue the Decepticon dream.”

“That’s what this is? What a joke,” called one of the crowd.

“The dream is dead. Megatron quit,” growled Squeezeplay.

“He did worse than that. He became an Autobot!” shouted yet another.

This gave rise to a multitude of angry voices vocalizing their displeasure. Blinking, Leozack stepped back slightly as the din rose, and the assembled Cons grew more and more unruly. He held up his hands. “Now, wait-“

“Ha! Some dream!”

“What’s the point anymore?”

“Listen-“ Leozack said before being cut off yet again.

“What were we even fighting for?”

Quiet,” Skyquake growled, his voice somehow booming over the din. Optics fell upon the sky commandant. Looking to Leozack, he gestured for the captain to continued. The optics of the crowd followed Skyquake’s own. Nodding to Skyquake, Leozack stepped forward and held his hands up.

“Now, I know you’re all angry. But so are we,” Leozack clenched his hand into a fist as a scowl formed on his faceplate. “But we refuse to let it go to waste! We refuse to let the lives of our fallen comrades be in vain!”

Leozack pointed down at the crowd. “We refuse to obey Megatron’s order to disband. We are Decepticons. We are proud. And we follow our own path now. Megatron twisted his own ideals over the course of the war. We will renew them as they once were. No. No, we will rewrite them. We will find our own way. But we will not give up. We will not let it all have been for nothing.”

Throwing his hand to the side, Leozack half-turned, allowing a moment of silence to fall upon the announcement hall. Several mechs in the crowd turned to each other, exchanging glances. Turning back to face them full-on, Leozack spread his arms once more. “I know your experiences at Escalation were trying, but I invite you to join us and find a new purpose. A new home for yourselves.”

Glancing to the crowd, Leozack lowered his arms, awaiting some form of response.

“Alright,” rumbled a voice that had not yet spoken out. Leozack looked at the mech. Large, imposing, and decidedly reptilian. Skullcruncher had his arms crossed over his chest as he ground his teeth together to produce an unsettling screeching noise. “Let’s just see what this ‘new purpose’ you’re going on about is like.”

The rest of the crowd looked to Skullcruncher as the large bestial mech jabbed his finger out to Leozack. “But if it turns out that it’s not all you cracked it up to be,” Skullcruncher snapped his teeth together, “It might end up being feeding time.”

Leozack nodded in acknowledgement, a confident smirk on his faceplate.

Grunting, Skullcruncher moved toward the exit. The other assembled Cons looked to each other, nodding and making to shuffle out of the announcement hall. “Jallguar will assist you with room assignments,” Leozack commented as the gathering of Cons cleared out. He trotted down from the stage and sauntered up to Skyquake.

“That went rather well,” he commented.

Skyquake lifted his optics to the ceiling and pushed off of the wall that he was leaning on. He looked down at Leozack.

“Where is Flamewar?” he asked.

His face contorting into one of displeasure, Leozack shrugged. “I don’t know. She does whatever she pleases! She could at least act a little like a third-in-command and show up to the new crew’s orientation.”

“Hrm…” Skyquake muttered, glancing at the stage. Suddenly, his jade optics narrowed, and his head swung toward the door, his arms uncrossing.

Optics widening, Leozack glanced about uncertainly. “What? What is it?

“There it is again…” Skyquake rumbled.

Frowning at Skyquake, Leozack cocked his head to the side. “What? What are you talking about?”

Skyquake held out a hand. “There. Do you hear it?”

Leozack narrowed his optics and tried listening for it again. “I don’t hear anything. Skyquake!” But the sky commandant had already gone through the door, off to chase whatever it was. Leozack growled and rubbed his temples. “One never shows up and the other’s crazy…I wonder if Starscream ever has these staffing problems…”
- :CON: -

Skyquake strode out into the corridor. He noted Skullcruncher, leaning against the wall with his arms crossed. The reptilian Decepticon tried to catch his optic, which he did, but failed to capture his attention. He turned and walked away, trying to pinpoint the source of the sound.

Scowling, Skullcruncher pushed off of the wall and marched after Skyquake. “Hey.” Skyquake stopped, half-turning his head to look at Skullcruncher.

Skullcruncher held out a datapad. A list of names was on it. “You got a different list of Cons on the crew?”

“That is it. Who are you looking for?”

“A friend. Does it matter? So this is it?” Skullcruncher rapped the datapad with his knuckles. “Slag, I guess he’s not here.” He shook his head and frowned, disappointment and slight irritation etched on his faceplate. “Nevermind then,” Waving dismissively, Skullcruncher turned to go.

“Wait,” Skyquake reached out to grasp Skullcrucher’s shoulder. The reptilian mech turned slightly. “Do…Do you hear something?”

Vaguely perplexed, Skullcruncher glanced around. “Nothing that stands out.”

“Try again,” Skyquake ordered, releasing Skullcruncher. Skullcruncher, for his part, gave Skyquake a look before offlining his optics and trying again.

“It’s…rhythmic, almost melodic,” Skyquake prompted.

“Hrrrmm…Nope. Don’t hear anything like that,” Skullcruncher shrugged.

Optics narrowing, Skyquake clenched his fist and whirled about, striding off into the ship. Skullcruncher watched him go, rubbing the back of his head. “Wonder where I can get some high-grade around here.”

- :CON: -

“Hm, are you sure you can do this?” Needlenose asked as he stood next to the stage of his lounge with Noisemaze.

“Do you want music or not?” retorted Noisemaze as Needlenose held his hands up in surrender.

“Sorry, sorry. It’s just gotta be perfect. Grand opening and all,” Needlenose rubbed his hands together. “Okay, so music, check.” Stepping away from Noizemaze as the other mech shook his head and moved away, Needlenose counted on his fingers. “Refreshments, check. Tables, seating, atmosphere, check, check, check.”

Needlenose pulled up a seat at the table where Windsweeper and Nightracer were sitting. “I feel like I’m missing something…What am I missing?” He drummed his digits on the tables as he rested his head in his other hand. Windsweeper and Nightracer exchanged looks before Windsweeper turned to Needlenose and put a hand on his friend’s back.

“Relax. You’ve got it all prepared. It’s clean too thanks to yours truly.”

“Yes, yes, I’m very grateful to you for your contribution. I was less grateful when you went back and did it another three times,” said Needlenose as he looked to Windsweeper. Windsweeper spread his hands out.

“What? I had to be sure.”

Nightracer glanced around the lounge. The moody lighting accentuated the color of the décor and tables themselves. Behind the bar, canisters holding a variety of luminescent liquids glowed softly. They’d been arranged earlier by Needlenose – well – Needlenose’s directions at the very least to maximize their…’fashionable flair’. Whatever that meant.

The stage was fairly small. An improvised outcropping with the illusion of a backstage. The illusion was maintained with polymer mesh curtains draped on the wall behind it. Windsweeper had even painted it so that it seemed to have depth even when the curtains were pulled aside. Suddenly, it struck Nightracer.

“Does it have a name?”

Needlenose and Windsweeper both looked at her. Needlenose’s optics narrowed, then widened. He snapped his fingers. “A name! That’s what I was missing! Thank you, Nightie. You’re beautiful!” He shook his head. “So obvious!”

Nightracer looked over to Windsweeper who shrugged. “Something he picked up from Earth,” he said by way of explanation.

Needlenose leaned over the table, his hands clasped. “What should we call it, hm?”

“Needlenose’s?” Windsweeper suggested with a shrug.

Needlenose narrowed his optics at Windsweeper. “You know for someone with artistic talent, you have the most unimaginative mind ever.” He shook his head, waving his hands. “It needs more…you know…” Needlenose shook his hands, “pizazz!”

Tilting her head to the side thoughtfully, Nightracer reached out with a hand, “What about…Spectrum?”

Needlenose waved Nightracer, pushing off from the table. “No, no, that’ll never…Wait an astrosecond…” He whirled about on his heel. “No, that’s good! Really good.” Needlenose spread his hands out. “Spectrum…” he said, tasting the words. “Yes, good, I like it.” He looked at them, gesturing with his hands.

“Well? What are you two sitting around for? There’s work to do!”

Windsweeper looked to Nightracer. “Here we go again.”

- :CON: -

Away from the commotion within the ship, Slugslinger sat on the outer hull, holding the turbofox in his arms. It was biting his arm. Slugslinger winced. He tried petting the creature to soothe it, but that only made the turbofox bite down harder. “Ow! Sheesh, can’t you stop that?”

The turbofox answered him with a growl. Slugslinger let out a sigh. “They’re busy in the medical bay, so your new leg has to wait. Sorry, uh…hm. What should I call you?”

Another bite for an answer. Slugslinger winced. “Maybe Biter. Fangs? Chomper? Hm…Chomper. Kinda like that. What do you think?” He looked down at the turbofox in his arms. It released his arm from its maw and looked up at Slugslinger’s face. Slugslinger’s faceplate brightened. “You like it?”

Chomper’s ears flicked back against his head as he pulled back and lunged to snap at Slugslinger’s face.

“Ack!” Slugslinger reeled back, toppling over. Chomper squirmed, trying to free himself from Slugslinger. He sighed. “Yeah. Chomper’s pretty accurate.” The turbo fox whipped around and nipped Slugslinger’s face. The bodyguard’s hands darted to his face and pushed the beast away.

“Scrap, that hurt…” he muttered, rubbing his face. Whining and yelping drew his attention to Chomper who was flailing around in midair as he gently drifted away from the hull of the ship. “Chomper!” Disengaging his magnalocks, Slugslinger quickly darted out and scooped Chomper up in his arms. Chomper bit down on Slugslinger’s arm. The bodyguard alighted back onto the outer hull, reengaging magnalocks.

“Phew, that was close,” he sighed. Chomper growled in reply. Slugslinger smiled wryly.

“Slugslinger!”

Slugslinger jumped, turning his head toward the source of the voice.

“There you are. I’ve been looking all over for you.” Sparkstalker. Slugslinger grinned at him.

“Oh hey, boss. Whatcha need?” Slugslinger shuffled Chomper around in his arms to try to better conceal him from Sparkstalker.

“Apparently, Needlenose is opening some kind of club. You’re going to protect me when we go, of course.”

“Right, right, well, I gotta take care of something, but, uh, I’ll meet you there.”

Sparkstalker lifted his optics to the stars. “Primus, help me. You are so useless. Why did I even bother hiring you?”

“Aw, boss, c’mon. You know I’m the best!”

“That remains to be seen,” Sparkstalker grumbled before ducking back down the hatch that he came from, slamming it shut. Slugslinger winced before looking down at Chomper.

“I’m not sure boss is gonna like you,” he muttered. Chomper glanced up to Slugslinger momentarily before going back to gnawing on his arm. Slugslinger sighed.

- :CON: -

“Hey, hey,” Needlenose said as Flamewar took a seat at the bar. “Glad to see ya, welcome to Spectrum! What can I get ya?”

“Got any Nightmare Fuel?”

Needlenose winced, “Er…not sure. I’ll check. One astrosecond.” As he moved away, Flamewar cast her optics about the night club, lounge, bar, whatever Needlenose wanted to call it. Noisemaze was up on the stage, playing some music, but most of Spectrum’s occupants kept to the tables or bar rather than the dance floor. Nightracer, Windsweeper, Ruckus, Slugslinger, Sparkstalker, and more. Bigger turnout than she would have thought. Flamewar wheeled about on the barstool and leaned back against the bar.

Her optics flicked to the entrance when the doors suddenly opened. In strode a familiarly menacing figure. Sixshot. The club went deathly silent as all optics turned to him. Even Noisemaze on the stage stopped the music rather abruptly. Flamewar glanced around, seeing the uncertainty and fear on their faceplates. Her face broke out into a grin. “Well look what the turbofox dragged in,” she said, hopping off of the barstool, spreading her arms out wide. “Sixshot! Been a while.”

“Flamewar,” Sixshot said, the smile evident even under his mouthplate.

“So I heard something kind of interesting,” Flamewar said, trying not to smile. Traces of the phase sixer’s smile disappeared as he rolled his optics.

“Did you now?”

Flamewar tented her fingers, “Oh yes, something to the effect of you getting stepped on by Metroplex?” She grinned, punching Sixshot lightly on his chest.

From the bar, Needlenose looked on in horror. Creeping up beside him with a bottle of Nightmare Fuel in his hands, Windsweeper had a similar expression on his faceplate. “Who is that and what has she done with our grumpy third-in-command?” he asked. Without removing his optics from the pair, Needlenose shrugged.

“I dunno,” he managed hoarsely, “But she’s gonna kill us all.”

Sixshot punched Flamewar’s shoulder in return. She winced and rubbed her shoulder, smiling ruefully. “Scrap, I forgot you don’t know how to hold back. But anyhow,” Flamewar planted her hands on her hips, smirking at him. “Is it true?” He let out a sigh and averted his gaze.

“It is?” Flamewar snickered, “You tough glitch. You got stepped on by a city and walked away from it?” She shook her head. “Sometimes you phase sixers surprise me despite knowing what you’re capable of.”

“Oh please, you’re not surprised.”

“True enough,” Flamewar admitted, waving him over to the bar. The two both took seats next to each other. Flamewar looked at Needlenose expectantly. “Get one for my friend too,” she said, jabbing her thumb at Sixshot who loomed behind her ominously – at least to Needlenose. When she saw that Needlenose was frozen in place and staring at Sixshot, Flamewar snapped her fingers at him. “Anyone home?”

“Uh!” Needlenose jerked into motion and grabbed two glasses from behind the bar. “R-Right.”

“Make mine a double,” Sixshot commented.

Stiffly and mechanically, Needlenose turned to the pair and filled their drinks. “Enjoy,” he said, turning and moving far, far away. Flamewar took a sip of her drink, staring forward, the smile gone from her face.

“So is it true?” Sixshot said, glancing to Flamewar. She sighed, covering her face with a hand. Sixshot’s optics narrowed. “You seem like you’re handling it well enough.”

“Ha,” Flamewar choked out bitterly, “Does it? I’m not really.” She took a long draft of her drink, wincing slightly. “It was all for nothing. It meant nothing. I wouldn’t have believed it if I hadn’t seen it for myself. Megatron, an Autobot.” Her grip tightened on the glass, cracking it. “What a sick joke.”

Sixshot sipped his own drink. “Welcome to my world,” he said.

She held her head in one hand, waving her other one about. “Some part of me thinks – hopes, really – that it’s some sort of plan. A ploy. Soundwave sent Ravage to watch him. Maybe something will come of it.”

“But…” said Sixshot, sensing something more.

“One of the major skills in my line of work is reading people, and I…I don’t. He wasn’t lying. Not that I could see,” Flamewar clenched her drink, shattering it. She shook her hand off to hide her own trembling. Sixshot peered down at her.

“So what now?”

“I don’t know,” Flamewar paused a moment to consider, “Carry on, I guess.”

Out of earshot from Flamewar and Sixshot, Needlenose and Windsweeper huddled together, staring at the two. Needlenose’s optics were narrowed. “I thought she was from Caminus…but she seems to know Sixshot and all? He’s been missing for like ever,” he muttered to Windsweeper.

“So just who is she? I don’t remember her,” Windsweeper asked. The two exchanged looks. “You ask her.”

“Me? What with tall, dark, and lethal sitting right next to her? Noooooo thank you,” Needlenose hissed back.

“I’ll do it,” Nightracer said, making the two jump. She moved off toward where Flamewar and Sixshot were before they could recover. Needlenose shook his head frantically as Windsweeper lunged out and grabbed her hand.

“No, you could get us all killed!” Needlenose uttered in a hushed whisper. He pushed her in the opposite direction. “Just, uh, do anything else.”

“Nah, I’m gonna go ask,” she said flatly, slipping from Needlenose’s grasp easily. Needlenose and Windsweeper both tried to nonchalantly grab her again, but she dodged their efforts and hastened over to the two at the bar.

“So what about Overlord then?” Sixshot asked, looking down at Flamewar who shook her head.

“That headache? I think the DJD finally got to him too,” she replied. Turning her head slightly as she noted Nightracer’s approach, Flamewar fell silent as she stared at the newcomer. Sixshot’s optics followed her own. “Can we help you with something?” she asked.

“Those two wanted to know if you were from Caminus,” Nightracer stated, pointing to Needlenose and Windsweeper who were doing their best to look busy.

“Oh, is that all,” Flamewar waved dismissively, “No, I’m from Cybertron.”

“You are? But then how come I’ve never seen you before?” Needlenose asked, suddenly right behind Nightracer along with Windsweeper.

“Well-“

“And me too. Us. That is,” Windsweeper added.

“Well-“

“I have a question too if it’s not-“

“What. Is. This,” boomed a voice from the entrance of the room.

Flamewar grinned at Needlenose, jabbing a finger at him. “Did you not clear this with good ole ghostie? Busted.” Needlenose grimaced, glancing to the ominous form of Skyquake in the doorframe. Flamewar waved to catch the former sky commandant’s optics. They narrowed when they caught sight of Flamewar.

Skyquake bustled over to Flamewar. “What is the meaning of this? Did you do this?”

Flamewar rolled her optics, “Oh, Primus, please.” She patted the unoccupied barstool next to herself. “Give it a rest, will you? I authorize his little club. So there.”

Instead, Skyquake remained where he was and crossed his arms. Irritation briefly flashed across Flamewar’s faceplate. “You use your command for things like this rather than being present for orientation? Where were you?”

“Elsewhere obviously,” Flamewar replied blithely. Skyquake’s countenance darkened. Flamewar’s expression fell flat. “You and Leozack make a strong enough showing by yourselves, almost too strong if you ask me. And I want nothing to do with it. You and Leozack both need to lighten up.”

“Then why come at all?”

Flamewar turned away. “It was better than the alternatives. C’mon, Skyquake. Take a load off.” She glanced at Needlenose. “Can I get another?” She pointed to her shattered glass. Windsweeper gawked, an extremely pained expression on his faceplate. He hurried over to the mess, cleaning it up. Needlenose hurried to the other side of the bar as Nightracer simply stood where she was.

Flamewar turned back to Sixshot who had been enjoying his drink in the meantime. “Sorry about that Sixy, where were we?”

“Overlord,” he reminded her.

“Oh, oh, right. Well, I guess his little stunt at Garrus-9 caught up to him finally.” Flamewar’s optics flicked to the side as a heavy thunk sounded beside her. She looked over to see that Skyquake had taken the other seat next to her. Something…something felt off. Her optics narrowed, seeing tension in the sky commandant’s body.

Needlenose sheepishly placed a drink in front of Skyquake. “On the house. Heh…” he mumbled before moving away. Skyquake’s jade optics watched him go as he took a sip of the high grade.

“That’s right, Skyquake, you were at Garrus-9 when Overlord commandeered it,” Flamewar said, watching him carefully. “You and your team were trying to seize it if memory serves...What happened?”

Skyquake immediately tensed, his grip tightening on his drink. “Nothing that I want to talk about,” he almost growled, shooting a glare sidelong at Flamewar.

Flamewar held up her hands in surrender. “Very well,” she said, taking a sip of her drink. “Maybe another time.”

Flamewar turned back to Sixshot who looked at her expectantly. She averted her optics and took a sip of her drink. “We all have things we’d rather not remember.”

- :CON: -

Snapdragon paced restlessly outside of the medical bay, back and forth. Mindwipe leaned against a wall, watching with the amusement rather plain on his faceplate. “You’re going to wear a groove in the floor if you keep that up much longer,” he commented, extending a hand out to Snapdragon. “Look, I know you’re worried, but don’t you have something else you could be doing? Taking an oil bath maybe? Get your mind off it. You’re not helping him like this.”

Snapdragon whirled around, his optics snapping onto Mindwipe. “Like I could just do that,” he snarled, “Can it if you’re not going to say anything useful.” He resumed his pacing with renewed agitation. Mindwipe sighed, shaking his head and shrugging.

Both mechs stopped what they were doing when the door to the medical hissed open, admitting Knock-Out to the corridor beyond. Snapdragon looked at him expectantly, stepping closer. Knock-Out shook his head. “I can’t help him,” he said, avoiding optic contact with Snapdragon.

Snapdragon lunged out, grabbing Knock-Out by his shoulder. “What?! What do you mean you can’t help him?! You’re a doctor, aren’t you?!” He shook Knock-Out roughly, hardly believing what he was hearing.

Knock-Out grabbed Snapdragon’s arm, trying to stop the much more powerful mech from manhandling him. “There’s nothing I can do for him anymore!” Wrestling out of Snapdragon’s grip, Knock-Out stepped away, gesturing to the door. “Go see him. While you still can.”

His shoulders drooping, Snapdragon stared at Knock-Out as the anger drained from his face, slowly being replaced by despair. He shuffled past the crimson doctor into the medical bay. Mindwipe glanced to Knock-Out, seeing the despondent look on his faceplate. Whether it was from the current situation or the scratches on his finish, Mindwipe wasn’t completely sure. Knock-Out followed Snapdragon inside, and Mindwipe followed suit.

The group made their way to the surgical suite where Quick-Fix awaited them, his optics glued to the floor. Knock-Out opened the door to reveal Apeface lying still on the surgical slab, hooked up to all sorts of devices whose readings were faint at best. Tentatively, Snapdragon staggered over to his friend, looking down at him.

“Hey dummy,” Snapdragon managed, “Wake up. Hey. C’mon.” Snapdragon shook Apeface. “C’mon, slaggit!” Snapdragon snarled, slamming his fist down onto Apeface’s chest. He leaned down into Apeface’s faceplate. “HEY! YOU HEAR ME?! WAKE UP!” He slammed his fists down on Apeface’s chest again.

Knock-Out hurried over, placing a hand on Snapdragon. “Stop it!” Snapdragon shrugged him off roughly, sagging to his knees against the examination slab. His hands gripped the edge of the surgical slab tightly.

“Just…leave us,” Snapdragon uttered lowly. Knock-Out looked at him, lingering for a moment. Snapping his head up, the Horrorcon snarled. “Leave. Now.

The fight that remained in Snapdragon vanished in the next moment. Knock-Out stepped back, looking to Quick-Fix and Mindwipe who were peering in by the door. Mindwipe stared at Snapdragon’s defeated form for a moment before letting out a hefty sigh. He stepped inside, causing Snapdragon to bristle and Knock-Out to intercept him.

“What are you doing?” Knock-Out whispered.

“There may be something I can do,” Mindwipe said, glancing to Apeface.

“What? Mindwipe, please! You can’t mean-“

“Do it,” Snapdragon uttered, rising to his feet. He stepped away from the surgical slab. “If you think you can do something to save him, try it.”

Knock-Out pulled Mindwipe to the side roughly, whispering harshly to him. “You can’t just say things like to someone who’s grieving. What if you’re wrong?!”

“Then I am wrong. But at least we will have exhausted all options.”

Stepping away from Knock-Out, Mindwipe approached the prone Apeface. He let out a sigh, rubbing his hands together. “Alright. Here goes.” Mindwipe offlined his optics.

<<”Through the powers divine granted to me, I ask once again to unleash the chains that bind my potential. Release!”>>

Mindwipe’s onlined in a burst of green energy as his hands ignited in the same green energy. He slammed his hands down onto Apeface’s chest. The prone Horrorcon’s body jolted as though struck by lightning.

The energy quickly dissipated as Mindwipe collapsed backwards. Knock-Out rushed over to him, helping him to sit up. “What was that?”

A sudden sound drew Knock-Out’s attention to the machinery connected to Apeface. Looking up, he saw something that baffled him. Apeface’s vitals were stabilizing. No. Not only that. They were surging.

“How did…you…”

“Hrrrggghh….” Apeface groaned from the surgical slab, sluggishly sitting up and glancing around. “Why’s it feel like my chest got stomped on?”

Snapdragon marched over to his side and swiftly punched Apeface in the shoulder. “’Cause you’re a slaggin’ heavy sleeper. Heh.”

Looking up at Snapdragon, a wry smile became evident behind his mouthplate. “Don’t tell me you were worried. Ha! You were!”

“Feh,” Snapdragon grunted, crossing his arms. “Not likely.”

“Ha! You can’t fool me,” Apeface said elbowing Snapdragon’s side. “Eh? Eh? Admit it.”

“…Maybe.”

“Ahaha!”

Covering his face with a hand, Mindwipe slumped slightly where he sat. Knock-Out frowned. “Are you alright?” Mindwipe shook his head.

“I am fine. It is just…taxing to call upon those powers,” Mindwipe muttered.

Helping Mindwipe to his feet, Knock-Out did not feel his suspicion or concern ebb in the slightest despite Mindwipe’s reassurances. “To be sure, I should probably perform an examination-“

“No! No. Spare me your science,” Mindwipe said, pushing Knock-Out outside. He staggered to the door, moving out of sight. Frowning, Knock-Out looked after him before glancing over to the reunited Horrorcons.

“Mm.”

- :CON: -

“Doo da dee da doo…” hummed Wipe-Out as he merrily worked under one of the engine coils.

“Hey.”

“Ack!” Wipe-Out started, slamming his head against the coil. “Ow…” Wiggling out from under the coil, he rubbed his head, looking up to the mech that had called out to him. Leozack. That’s nice. Wait. Oh. Leozack! Wipe-Out bounced to his feet.

“Uh! Uh…uh…” He struggled to find the words.

“How are repairs coming?” Leozack asked, glancing about the engine room.

“Uhhhh….!”

“Are you a drone or are you a mech? Use your words,” hissed Leozack, “You’re taxing my patience.”

Wipe-Out beat his chest a few times, clearing his vocalizer, “Uh. Er. I mean. We are, uh, good to, uh, go. Uh, mostly.”

Leozack stared at Wipe-Out.

“Uh! I mean! We can go now. And, uh, I’ll finishing tuning as we go,” Wipe-Out paused before adding, “Your, uh, great…maned…clawed…majestical-“

“Enough. That’s good enough. Stop,” Leozack sighed, shaking his head. “We’re setting course for a nearby resort planet. Think you can finish your tune-up by the time we arrive?”

Stiffening like a statue, Wipe-Out saluted. Rolling his optics, Leozack waved dismissively, turning to leave. Deflating as soon as Leozack’s gaze was off him, Wipe-Out sagged where he stood.

“Phew.”
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Transformers Podcast: Twincast / Podcast #181 - Wipe-Out
Twincast / Podcast #181:
"Wipe-Out"
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Posted: Sunday, August 6th, 2017
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