2018-12-01 Thus Always to Tyrants

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Thus Always to Tyrants
Date 2018/12/01
Location Cybertron -- Iacon
Participants Minimus Ambus, Rodimus, Soundwave
NPCs Deaddrop, Kaon, Megatron, Tesarus, Turmoil
Scene GM Yam
Summary Thus Always to Tyrants

All had been mostly quiet within Metroplex's core, the fever-pitched battle outside only evinced by dull thumps and muffled crashes that shake the walls and strain the metal supports. Megatron had reached the dimmed control room, where power continues to flicker on and off. The tyrant is backed by Kaon, Tesarus and Turmoil, and a few extra heavies for good measure. They stand just within the double doors, weapons primed, blades sharpened and whirring, sparks of electricity arcing between coils.

Turmoil growls the status of his failing troops outside, warning of the pesky Lost Lighters that are soon to be right outside the control room doors.

Megatron is returned from his battle with Soundwave. The tyrant has retrieved his fusion cannon and made his address to his troops, letting them know that he is here. But first, he must secure Metroplex, the anvil on which he will break the various forces opposing him. "This is unacceptable." Megatron notes at the state of the control room. "To allow these Autobots to penetrate our defenses..." He strides towards the center of the room, where his command chair is waiting. Megatron keys in a few numbers on a control pad on the arm. "Dispatch the rest of the DJD to the chamber. It must be secured and anyone within terminated. I will follow as soon as we are stabilized here. I must be seen outside as soon as practicable. Turmoil, you will return to your troops. Hold nothing back." A panel whirrs and opens in the foor, allowing a rack to rise from it. "Deaddrop, status on key combatants."

The drone whirls to Megatron's side. "Lord Megatron. Air Commander Raptorion leads our forces in orbit. I am unable to raise Shockwave. He has not checked in for some time. Chancellor Terminus has executed our contingency plan. Autobot leaders were last reported heading to Metroplex.

Megatron nods in reply. He removes his helmet, the one damaged by Soundwave. He sets it on the rack, showing the red cables and crest that mark his cold-constructed form. "Very well." He gestures towards the heavies. "Deposit that over here."

That is Soundwave. The former Decepticon lieutenant is held by two Decepticons, who drag his shattered body across the room towards Megatron's throne. Soundwave cannot feel or use anything below his mid-back. His tape deck is shattered. His helm is broken in places, mouthpiece mostly fallen away, and his visor spiderwebbed with cracks so as to be nearly blinding. He leaves a trail of energon, which pools when he is propped up by Megatron's throne.

Though when they first advanced upon Metroplex and powered through resistance like so many storming shock troops he was enormous Maximus Ambus, Minimus was forced to reduce once they actually breached the exterior. He left the armor and its turrets and its guns blocking the doorway along with Prowl manning it as a newly stationary weapon, and charged on in, yanking weapons out of subspace like a Minimus Ambus Armed For Bear.

The fleet's forces within Metroplex have been forced into retreat by Megatron's arrival. Ravage had led a small team that stood guard outside the reinforced doors to Metroplex's spacebridges -- which were, and are, locked. But they've been pushed back, pushed out by Megatron's return. The door to the spacebridge room remains stubbornly closed, and information on the spacebridge room and its occupants is hard to retrieve. Pay no attention to the nerds behind the screen!!

Megatron will find that he is locked out from access to Metroplex's systems through the physical terminals -- but his remote tie to the titan's networked bomb remains.

Heat shimmers from Rodimus's frame as he steps over a fallen Decepticon. The flames licking along his limbs extinguish, but for a spark that falls away to ignite the spilled energon of the fallen. Even as Ravage and the other forces fall back, Rodimus and Minimus advance, a mirror of the shifting push-pull of the wider battle.

"Megatron!" Rodimus calls, planting his foot on the door and kicking. Sorry, Metroplex. Doors don't usually open in that direction, but he seems determined to kick them down and make an entrance.

    <FS3> Minimus_Ambus rolls Unarmed: Good Success. (3 3 4 6 3 4 7 4 6 1 6 5 7)

Minimus Ambus applies force to the door, cracking the metal and hinge so that Rodimus's giant foot kick has a better chance of breaking through. It doesn't quite SMASH IN in a glorious dramatic fashion but the metal does twist and bend with a clanking screech as they force their way through.

Soundwave has been ducking in and out of consciousness since Megatron shattered spinal strut, the beating beforehand a painful blur. He dips back into the world of the living as he's propped up against the throne, vocoder spitting a bite of static. Between his own systems errors, damage reports, and the cacophony of battle drilling in his audios, its hard to focus. Or be entirely aware of his surroundings. Another catch of static of his throat and Soundwave reaches up with a weak, shakey hand to pull his shattered visor away. If he can see, he can make sense of what's happening around him.

"Yes, Lord Megatron," Turmoil replies, turning to stalk towards the opening doors. Tesarus and Kaon look reluctant to follow, focus drawn to the mangled mess that is Soundwave. They clearly wanted to savor the suffering of this traitorous assassin, but a bark from Turmoil spurs them along and they move out - only to be met with the doors ripping open before them.

Turmoil is the first to act, leveling his own sizable rifle on Minimus and firing squarely at his chest.

    <FS3> Opposed Roll -- Minimus Ambus=reaction+reaction Vs Turmoil=11
    <       Minimus_Ambus: Good Success (5 2 3 5 6 7 3 7 4 1)          Turmoil: Good Success (7 5 3 4 8 3 1 7 2 1 2)
    <               Net Result: Turmoil wins - Marginal Victory

Through the opening the Lost Lighters can see Megatron replacing his helm, black this time, the heavily-armored headpiece clicking into place with a series of maglocks. He turns, and Deaddrop rises to the ceiling, to record what must surely be a historic moment. Megatron glances over his shoulder and sees just who it is on the other side of the door. "Enough of that!" He shouts at Turmoil after his general opens fire. The vicious one, the tyrant has to remember. Megatron grabs Soundwave at the place where his armor flares around his neck and hoists the broken mech, so that Rodimus and Minimus and anyone else can see just what and who Megatron is holding. The tyrant advances, practically holding Soundwave out like a shield. "There will be more than enough time for shooting momentarily. But until then, I believe that Rodimus and I have a matter to discuss." Megatron rocks Soundwave side to side, so that his shattered legs bang against each other. Look at his little dance, Rodimus. Look.

The crack and shatter of Turmoil's shot blisters into Minimus's chest, splitting his paint and crunching some of the metal around his badge. Minimus -- being not quick enough to dodge out of the way even in his fancy new medium frame -- hoists his favorite shotgun. "Yes, yes, we're all very impressed with how cruel you are, Megatron," he sneers in a booming rumble that definitely better suited his much larger frame. Then he shoots a spray of bullets across Turmoil, mostly just out of sheer contrarian impulse.

    <FS3> Opposed Roll -- Minimus Ambus=firearms Vs Turmoil=11
    <       Minimus_Ambus: Great Success (4 2 7 8 5 8 6 2 4 8 6 1 3 1)          Turmoil: Good Success (2 3 6 2 4 8 2 1 6 3 8)
    <               Net Result: Minimus_Ambus wins - Solid Victory

Scorched and scuffed from the fights that brought him here, Rodimus stands square before the awful show that Megatron puts on for them. His gaze shifts -- marking Soundwave, his injuries; Megatron, his soldiers; Minimus, his scuffle -- and then return to Megatron. --for a moment. He can't help looking, gaze drawn, just as Megatron wants, to the clang of Soundwave's climbs. "I'm ready to discuss your surrender!" Rodimus calls, words hot and eyes bright as his fingers curl to form fists.

Turmoil backs away under Megatron's command, just after Minimus peppers his armor and leaves each wound smoking. He lowers his rifle and glowers through his visor, gaze drifting to the other tense Decepticons in the room. Tesarus looks particularly hungry for that lime-flavored ununtrium skeleton, but he doesn't move. No one does, until Megatron commands it.

Soundwave gets a brief moment to pull his visor away, most of it crumbles away in shards of red glass. And then he's grabbed again, hoisted in the air with a pained noise. A broken servo grabs at Megatron's arm as if that can make a lot of difference. But the bleary, hazy glow of his optics clears when he sees Minimus and Rodimus. Mostly Rodimus. (Sorry Minimus.) Seen through his marred and broken faceplate is a small, tell-tale smile.

Megatron stops about halfway between Rodimus and his throne. He looks at Minimus and the other Autobots, taking his measure of the situation. Eventually, though, his optics fall back on Rodimus. "It doesn't suit you, standing there. Why, I believe the last time we were opposed like this, you were wearing the matrix on the outside." Megatron chuckles, though he lowers his helm. "Think about how that ended for you. Consider, also, that you are no Optimus Prime, Hot Rod. You're out of your league, making a demand like that of me." When Soundwave grasps at his arm Megatron simply drops him, letting his former lieutenant fall to the floor. In the shadow of his fusion cannon. "Soundwave. My once oh-so-loyal servant. Do me one last service." Megatron looks up at Rodimus and Minimus. "Tell them what I told you, before I gave you the beating you so richly deserved."

The white heat of rage is an incandescence that glows through Minimus and draws him iron straight as a poker even as his shotgun wavers between the members of the DJD. Even his facial insignia seems to quiver with it. He can't wipe the sneer from his face. As Soundwave falls, he begins to move forward, slow, measured, staring down Turmoil with each onward step.

Gaze locked by that slight smile, Rodimus's features give away everything he should better hide: his absolute focus on Soundwave, on his condition; the helpless softening of his gaze as he watches, and the sympathetic flinch that makes the collapse as Soundwave is dropped nearly a shared pain; then, the absolute hatred that hones the edge of his gaze as he looks back to Megatron. He steps forward.

Rodimus's tone aims for something more casual, but everything about his expression makes it a lie. "You know, Megs--" Megs. "--I almost feel bad for you. Here you are, baiting me like we're still on Earth and the Lost Light hasn't saved the universe five or six times. Everyone else has moved on, and here you are just cycling back through your old patterns. You're a relic. Do us all a favor and rust."

There's a distant explosion outside Metroplex's thick walls, and the rattling of shrapnel as it buries into metal too far away to do anything more thank shake dust loose from the control room ceiling. Light hums as everything kicks back on, at least for now, illuminating the energon that surrounds Soundwave.

As Minimus steps forward, Turmoil tightens his grip on his weapon. He looks to Megatron, seeking any kind of permission. He's vicious but he's trained, at least.

Soundwave collapses with a loud crunch of metal, something else snapping inside him from the impact to his damaged frame. A fresh stream of energon joins the stale ones as it collects in a pool beneath him. Its just another spike of pain to add to the bunch.

Soundwave gives himself some leverage, lifting himself unsteadily with an elbow. He glares up at Megatron then his cannon. And then the ground at Rodimus's feet. The beat of joy from seeing him has vanished and he can't meet his optics or Minimus's. Even after Rodimus's very nice speech at Megatron. It take a moment for his vocalizer to work through enough static to be audible. "His spark... He's tied the titan bombs to his spark," he says hoarsely. "If he dies, they all go off."

Megatron hmphs at Rodimus's reply and a smile spreads across his face when Soundwave complies. The grin that smile forms can only be described as 'shit eating.' "Quite the record." Megatron replies to Rodimus. "Let me extend you a chance to save the universe once again." He reaches into a compartment on his leg with his free hand. When Megatron withdraws it, a slender ribbon of amber, tattered here and there and torn at the ends, is entwined around his black fingers. He considers it, working his fingers so that it dances under the renewed lights. "As I said, standing there doesn't suit you. You aren't the hero, Rodimus. You are impulse, and passion, and heat, but untempered. Carrying the matrix does not make you a Prime, and despite what Optimus may have thought it does not make you wise." Megatron pauses when Turmoil glances towards him. "If Minimus takes two more steps, kill him." Then he's back to his speech. "So let me give you a chance to make the correct choice. Your Soundwave still functions. You can have him, if you so choose. I think you've already chosen him." Megatron fixes his optics on Rodimus. "Give the order, Rodimus. They'll listen to you. Stand down, end this war, bring peace to us all, and I will let you have him." He nudges Soundwave with his foot. "You can leave. I'll find some pleasant planet where you can live out your days. I may even spare some others." Megatron turns his hand and the ribbon tumbles from it, landing so that it drapes across Soundwave's broken form. "The time to choose is now."

If Megatron was looking for that moment of dawning comprehension and shuddering horror, he doesn't get it -- at least not from Minimus Ambus. He gets a brief glare of utter contempt, instead. "Yes," he says, and he modulates his voice to contain just a fragment, just a tiny slivered edge of the most obnoxious of tones: pity. "It is a truly pathetic ending for a mech who once genuinely thought he wanted a better future."

He looks to Rodimus, but only for a moment. His scarlet gaze is writ bright with certainty, and it's almost apologetically that he glances at his friend and captain. There's a sadness in his glance, a familiar understanding, and a trust that, once reforged, never died.

Then he charges Turmoil. /Kill him his aft/.

It's not Turmoil that moves, but Tesarus. The massive grinder-tank plants a treaded, angular foot between them and looms with his menacing twin waldos, their three-pronged grip coming down on Minimus' shoulders. They crush to make purchase, and Tesarus hugs Minimus right into the spinning, ununtrium-coated blades. They catch his arm and part of his shoulder, yanking, threatening to haul him further into the maw as they bite cleanly through armor and seek mechanical bone.

Turmoil doesn't look terribly pleased by this kill-steal.

    <FS3> Opposed Roll -- Minimus Ambus=fortitude Vs Tesarus=13
    <       Minimus_Ambus: Good Success (5 7 2 6 8 3 6 4 2 7)          Tesarus: Good Success (1 4 7 7 1 6 5 1 7 5 6 4 6)
    <               Net Result: DRAW

Where Minimus manages only contempt, Megatron's latest atrocity somehow manages to surprise Rodimus. You'd think he'd know better! You'd think he'd expect less. Checked mid-step, Rodimus rocks back on his heels as he looks from Soundwave to Megatron.

That shit-eating grin calls a snarl to Rodimus's lips, a growl from his engines, and a faint, thin whine from the coils of his guns. Terribly, awfully aware of Minimus at his side, Rodimus's engine goes quiet in a brief stall as Megatron plays out his ribbon-bound cards. Then: ignition. He tears his gaze from Megatron's hand to meet his gaze, and takes another step forward. << "Rodimus to all fleet forces," >> he says, his words clearly transmitted. << "Megatron's refused surrender." >> Rodimus shakes his arms, his hands, just once, loosening them and sloughing off the energon and slag from his fight to get this far. He's a beat behind Minimus, and the first drag of his foot is slow, but his second is unexpectedly fast as he launches forward. Rodimus draws his fist back in a flame-wreathed strike. << "Dismantle him." >>

The armor rends -- and such trouble Minimus went through to get it, too, damnit -- but when the slice cuts through, and through, and down into him, the unutrium buzz -- meets its match, and there is a deeply unpleasant resonance that vibrates through them both as Minimus grapples and twists, attempting to escape the clutches, writhing and kicking as he attempts to force a point of leverage and wrench Tesarus backwards. It is very slow going. He'll just be over here for awhile now.

    <FS3> Opposed Roll -- Minimus Ambus=unarmed Vs Tesarus=13
    <       Minimus_Ambus: Great Success (6 8 4 3 8 5 5 8 7 7 1 6 1)          Tesarus: Success (2 3 8 3 6 3 1 6 6 4 6 4 4)
    <               Net Result: Minimus_Ambus wins - Crushing Victory

Soundwave takes the ribbon when it falls on him, his working fingers curling around it. He laughs as he holds his gift, the sound as hollow as the future Megatron promises Rodimus. And then he laughs again, a little louder, a little brighter, when he hears Rodimus's transmition. And as Minimus and Rodimus charge to battle, Soundwave holds his gift tight. Draws some strength from it to push himself up further and glare at Megatron. "I couldn't beat you- but they will." He says it with a stupid amount of confidence. Learned from the best.

Megatron 's expression slowly falls. He didn't seem to want this outcome, but here he is. Denied, pitied, and scorned once again. If only they would just listen. But they don't. Megatron is largely impassive, save for the scowl etched deep into his faceplate. Not even the reflection of the flames licking at his chestplate seems to move him. Not until Soundwave speaks. Before looking at his former lieutenant Megatron gives an order: "Kaon. Stop him." Megatron indicates Rodimus with a tilt of his head. This is so beneath him. Instead, he turns his attention towards Soundwave. The aperture on his cannon opens. There is no hesitation. "Such heroic nonsense." The tyrant spits his words at Soundwave. Then he fires.

Maybe if Soundwave's torso hadn't been so badly damaged. Maybe if he'd used the superfuel later. Maybe if this, maybe if that. How long did it take them to get here? To the end? The fusion blast rips through Soundwave's armor as if it weren't even there. The range is too close, the damage too great. The energon left in him ignites in a spectacular burst that ruptures his armor up and down his frame. Pink and purple flames escape from Soundwave anywhere they can, like he's bursting with heat and light. Because he is. Even his faceplate is ruptured by the inferno. The flames turn more towards a color similar to Rodimus as they die down and lick hungrily at any remaining fuel. Soundwave is, in a word, slag.

Many people feel what happens to Soundwave. Ravage knows it first of all. The twins and the birds, even Penchant, dimly, somewhere. Megatron looks up at the one who might have felt it the most. No challenge, no pithy insults now. Just a glare filled with hatred and lacking in any regret.

    <FS3> Opposed Roll -- Rodimus=unarmed Vs Kaon=0-50
    <       Rodimus: Success (3 4 2 1 2 5 3 5 6 7 2 3)          Kaon: Embarassing Failure (4)
    <               Net Result: Rodimus wins - Solid Victory

Tesarus roars in stolen hunger when his tangy meal twists from his gut's jaws. Metal teeth leave Minimus' arm and shoulder thoroughly shredded, his hand completely gone, and the rest of the limb nonfunctioning. Tesarus moves forward again, X-shape visor bright as he angles to corner Minimus into another awful hug.

Kaon turns his unseeing gaze on Rodimus as yellow bolts bounce over his frame, and zips in to intercept the flaming strike. He gets a nice crispy, armor-blackening punch to the jaw, staggers backwards, then turns his sparks to max. Rodimus might not want to deal with Kaon, but Kaon definitely wants to deal with Rodimus. His electricity lances out in all directions, but the larger, bright column of light flashes towards Rodimus, promising a voltage that eats up the wires in the gaps of his armor if he doesn't dodge.

    <FS3> Opposed Roll -- Rodimus=reaction+reaction Vs Kaon=13
    <       Rodimus: Failure (2 6 5 6 2 1)          Kaon: Great Success (3 6 7 4 5 6 7 4 8 8 3 5 5)
    <               Net Result: Kaon wins - Crushing Victory

When Kaon throws himself between Rodimus and Megatron, he is -- insultingly -- barely a nuisance. He is a stunningly, incredibly, profoundly painful nuisance, but Rodimus simply reaches through the arcing crackle of electricity to grasp Kaon's coils and ignite. It's fire vs. electrocity, and Rodimus's paint blisters and peels, while fuses and circuits pop, sizzle, and reset. His sharp, choked cry of pain becomes a snarl, and then scatters into static as his voccalizer fritzes. The biolights on Rodimus's frame burn out and go dark, but he's far brighter lit by fire. Rodimus reduces the coils to slag, and throws Kaon to the side to throw himself forward -- and to the ground, next to Megatron, next to Soundwave.

It's be a good chance for Megatron to gloat, but there's a tickle just at the edge of his awareness, that someone is doing something to his link to the titans and their spacebridges. It's a little distracting.

Minimus_Ambus spends 1 luck points on If I'm going to be stupid, I'm going to be stupid spectacularly.

Minimus is waiting for Tesarus to do this. As Tesarus moves to 'hug' him, he twists, angling so that only the already shredded pieces meet the maw -- poor useless arm -- and jerking to smash head fist into the visor with the angled missile of his head. Unrestrained for once in his life, he sacrifices his body and his dignity with the fierce howl of pain and fury, shifting in his attempt to smash Tesarus in the visor and then use his still-functioning arm and the leverage of his braced feet to flip and hurtle him to the floor. This is definitely not the kind of dancing that Sanguine had in mind.

    <FS3> Opposed Roll -- Minimus Ambus=unarmed Vs Tesarus=0-50
    <       Minimus_Ambus: Good Success (6 2 6 3 3 6 1 7 3 1 5 7 3)          Tesarus: Embarassing Failure (1)
    <               Net Result: Minimus_Ambus wins - Solid Victory

Its hard to see how Soundwave's frame grays with the char and scorch marks left by the fire that had consumed him. The flames are the only light within him now. Soundwave's body sizzles and creaks as it begins to cool. The hand that held the ribbon so tightly is open now, the ribbon now fallen to the floor. He won't be picking it back up again.

Megatron does not seem to notice his subordinates being thrown or burned. He watches Rodimus, fists clenching as he prepares to rejoin the battle. When the captain of the Lost Light throws himself down at Soundwave instead of striking Megatron, the latter sneers. "Oh? You wish to rejoin him so soon?" Megatron lifts his cannon and aims it at Rodimus. "That I am more than happy to arrange!" He fires again. Though once the shot is expended the tyrant touches his chest with his offhand. "Deaddrop. Status report on the space bridge chamber. It must be taken, I have no more time for this!"

Kaon remains locked in the burning star between his opponent, screaming as heat melts through the metal of his coils. The fire envelopes him and leaves him nearly ash as he's thrown aside in a molten heap. Tesarus catches the edge of this, and gets a nice, blinding headbutt for his distraction. Minimus shatters the tank's visor, stunning him long enough to haul the much larger mech off his feet and to the ground. Prone, Tesarus reels for a minute, slowly pushing himself up on his palms.

Turmoil decides this is a good time to come up from behind and attempt to stab a curving plasma blade into Minimus' back.

As Megatron blasts Rodimus in the back, the heat and light of the force flares sharply, lighting up the room. Only Rodimus isn't a pile of slag when the light dims, protected at the very last second by the swelling energy of the Matrix. Rodimus will feel a tremendous drain, a heavy pull, his strength sapping quickly.

    <FS3> Opposed Roll -- Minimus Ambus=reaction+reaction Vs Turmoil=11
    <       Minimus_Ambus: Success (2 8 1 5 3 6 4 3 3 6)          Turmoil: Good Success (5 5 2 7 5 8 7 1 5 2 2)
    <               Net Result: Turmoil wins - Solid Victory

"You absolute fragging idiot," Rodimus says, his words soft, hushed, and gentle. Ever so quietly, he tells Soundwave, "I'm going to kill you." He curls forward protectively over Soundwave -- over half of Soundwave; over half of Soundwave's dying, dead body -- and triggers the transformation sequence that parts the flames of his chest. The Matrix is loosed. Maybe it's the fusion-cannon blast that knocks the Matrix free, maybe it's not, but it drops into the shattered ruin of Soundwave's scorched husk. Rodimus collapses, then, falling forward on his hands: dazed, and now without the Matrix's protection.

Deaddrop's report would amount to, "They are up to something!" but that much suddenly becomes quite clear to Megatron: he's lit from the inside out, spark flaring in a profound swelling of overloading power. He's staggered, and for no obvious reason.

The plasma blade slices through Minimus Ambus's back in a rain of sparks. His lips peel back in a snarl and his foot comes down with all the force of his weight on Tesarus's head before he can get up. He turns -- twisting on the hook of the blade like the most inconvenient salmon ever caught -- and slams Turmoil with the shotgun. It goes off, firing in an arrhythmic staccatto towards the ceiling as Minimus wrenches. Blood and sparks spray from Minimus. His arm is a useless husk dangling from his right shoulder, with trailing wire and fragments of metal bone dangling from it at all angles. But he still fights like a cornered badger, mad as hell.

"You think your matrix will save you?" Megatron bellows after his shot glances off of the protective aura of the matrix. "It's just a bauble. A toy. A shackle! I've defied and defeated every matrix bearer! I tore it from Prime's chest like the garbage it is. If they are going to worship the matrix, then let them know it belongs to Megatron!" Instead of launching another blow at Rodimus the tyrant kneels and reaches for the fallen matrix. At the last moment that power swells within him and Megatron cries out, bellowing with rage and pain. He is forced to straighten up, cables and joints seizing as his optics flare and his fusion cannon hums with power. "Raaaaargh!" Megatron shouts before he must fall to a knee again. "Shock...wave..." He says through gritted teeth as he slowly reasserts control over his frame. "Break...down the doors...cut...through the walls...what are they waiting for!?!"

    <FS3> Opposed Roll -- Minimus Ambus=melee Weapons Vs Turmoil=11
    <       Minimus_Ambus: Great Success (7 8 5 3 8 3 2 1 7 8)          Turmoil: Good Success (7 2 3 7 3 7 4 3 1 5 1)
    <               Net Result: Minimus_Ambus wins - Solid Victory

    <FS3> Opposed Roll -- Minimus Ambus=unarmed Vs Tesarus=10
    <       Minimus_Ambus: Great Success (8 7 2 7 4 7 6 3 3 7 5 3 4)          Tesarus: Great Success (1 2 1 3 8 8 4 3 8 7)
    <               Net Result: Minimus_Ambus wins - Marginal Victory

The Matrix falls from Rodimus open chassis to the shattered remains of Soundwave's. When it hits the burnt, broken back of the hollow, there's an impact that's felt. Not physically, but something deeper, within the sparks of those in the room not experiencing sudden, overloading pain. The Matrix glitters from within and as it does, the blue hue returns to the patches of Soundwave's frame not completely devastated. There's a realigning of struts that pop and crack, unseen cables stretching out and snapping back into place. His foot twitches and fingers curl.

With a gasp of rickety ventilation, Soundwave's optics online. They match the same golden hue of the Matrix casing. Armor plates still shift and move, and he still feels bad but he... He feels. The sensation of having knees is great, don't underestimate it. His optics flit about, wide and bright, as he looks to Rodimus. He lifts a hand but it stops, because he hears more than he sees and just as quick as he is to look at Rodimus, he looks over and sees Megatron. Sees his cannon. And he acts, rolling to pivot from the ground and grab the fusion cannon away while Megatron is on his knee. Its a rare opportunity.

Tesarus can't quite dodge the heel that comes down on his head, and it snaps his neck not so cleanly. All of his limbs fall limb and he appears down for the count, as Turmoil wrestles with his feisty catch.

"DIE!" Turmoil rasps, just before Minimus deads him hard with the butt of his shotgun. Metal shards fall around them from the blasts to the ceiling, knocking out the remaining lights. Turmoil stumbles and pitches forward, his grip falling from the knife that remains wedged in Minimus' back. Energon gushes from his massive head wound.

Megatron's command to Shockwave is met with deafening silence. The lingering Decepticons watch the light of the Matrix with growing dread, and when Soundwave rises from the dead, they break their scattered formation and start to retreat through the twisted doors.

As Rodimus falls forward in his quiet collapse, he doesn't quite see the result -- but he does see the light, and he does hear it, hear movement. In the moment before his gaze off-lines, he smiles, and his lips shape words he doesn't quite finish speaking: Take him apar--.

"You first," Minimus rumbles in a deep rasp. Shedding blood and spitting fresh sparks from shorn wiring, he staggers after Turmoil's stumble. He's aware of the conflict going on in his periphery, aware of Megatron falling, aware of the Matrix, of all of it, but in a dreamlike way he is focused on the task at hand. All will be for naught if he can't take care of these Decepticons.

He reaches up to try to get at the knife-- nope, that's wedged in there but good and he can't reach it one-handed. Fine. It can stay. It's his knife friend now.

Minimus hauls back with his single remaining fist, the gun already having clattered to the floor, and hisses, "Get... wrecked," before he smashes his fist down on Turmoil's already badly damaged head.

They always go for the cannon. Even the resurrected ones. Megatron's optics are wide as Soundwave reassembles and rises. He would have blasted that shuddering mass of technology if he had been able, but the surge through his systems is only just fading. He tries to rise, but the cannon is caught before he can. "No..." Megatron growls upon seeing the restored Soundwave. "I will not be denied! Not again! Everything I have done, I did for Cybertron! For our race! And it seems you will even come back from the grave to betray me!" Megatron tries to fire his cannon, which maybe will catch Soundwave, maybe Rodimus, maybe nothing...he can't exactly aim it good right at this moment. "I will walk across as many corpses as necessary, twice if I have to, in order to save our world from mediocrities like Hot Rod and self-serving fools like Starscream!"

Soundwave grits his teeth his body still stitches itself back together, the Matrix glimmering in his restructured chassis. He fights, ignoring any heated blasts, with all his restored spark for the cannon. The cannon that he had Ratbat supply, that he spent years searching for, that he returned. And now he takes it away. "You betrayed usa all first! And I'm sorry you can't see that," Soundwave snaps back, wrenching the cannon off Megatron's arm.

Soundwave turns the fusion cannon around, pinning its heated, open end to Megatron's chassis. His hesitation is brief, sad. Pain and regret mark his expression. But it doesn't matter, he knows what has to be done. "And his name is Rodimus," Soundwave corrects before firing the cannon at Megatron.

Turmoil's helm folds inward with a burst of energon. Minimus' knuckles come away with delicate shards of brain module. He's not getting up. No one is. Minimus is surrounded by bodies and fleeing Decepticons that give him wide berth as they move around him for the halls.

When Soundwave turns the cannon on Megatron, the fusion erupts in a solid beam that blasts Megatron's chest, heating metal and peeling it back in a gruesome blossom to surge over the casing of his spark.

Minimus Ambus staggers away from the fallen, trailing blood -- some his own, some other people's -- and slip-slides over the throne room floor, half slick and half sticky with energon.

Minimus rasps, << "Hold please." >>

Still reeling from the surge through his body, Megatron is unable to resist as Soundwave snatches his cannon. He doesn't have time to quip or insult. He simply looks at his lieutenant, utter defiance written on his features. Then the blast comes. It renders Megatron's armor and throws him back. The tyrant falls and strikes the floor of his own throne room, skidding back until his head rests agains the chair. His armor is peeled back, and the flicker of his green spark can be seen through melted rents in his spark chamber. There is other slag in there as well: the trigger for the space bridge bomb, now wrecked. Now active.

Megatron's optics flicker. He's alive, but hurting. A hand comes up, to feel at where his chest has been blown open. "Hnnngh..." He's largely incapacitated, but conscious. Flickering, fading. " you had it in you after all..." Megatron chuckles weakly. He's holding on, it seems. "Well. Now we all die. Fitting, then. Wipe it all away..."

Soundwave's hands are shaking when they drop the cannon after Megatron is hit. He's still on the ground but he's whole, even the glass that fronts his chassis is there and whole. Its in this condition that he looks around- to the bodies, to Minimus, and to Rodimus. His new, golden optics linger on Rodimus and he has to tear them away, pushing himself up and walking- walking again is nice!- to Megatron. He kneels beside him.

"Don't," Soundwave says, taking Megatron's hand away from his chassis into both his own. He vents. "You didn't need to-" He grimaces and doesn't finish. Instead he says: "I will lead the Decepticons to be everything you envisioned- the oppressed no more and oppressors no longer. We will make sure Cybertron is better than it was. I swear to you... Now yield to me, Megatron." He looks him in the optic. "I challenged you. I did not yield. And I live. Yield and maybe we can... Maybe no one else has to die. You included. Yield to me, please."

The slagged metal of the space bridge bomb trigger likes wrecked in the hollow of Megatron's spark chamber. It certainly seems like that's probably a bad sign. And yet:

Nothing happens.

Minimus manages to get his balance together on his way across the throne room. A piece of his hand, already hanging loose, breaks off and skitters over the floor, rolling in energon slurry. He looks after it in a disinterested way as he walks on agonizingly slow steps towards Soundwave, Rodimus, and Megatron. For once, he doesn't try to make an arrest. He drops to his knees at Rodimus's side with startling force, a resounding crack of metal to floor, and inadvertantly bleeds on him a little as he scrambles to determine his status, living or dead.

His shotgun lost, and his rifle impossible to wield one-handed effectively, he does dredge a lightweight pistol from his hip, but in his present state of beleaguered pain, its muzzle wavers dangerously as he lifts it.

Megatron waits. And waits. And waits. Eventually he realizes that nothing will happen. His helm *thunks* against his throne. "Incompetents." The tyrant sighs, body settling into position. His spark chamber is damaged to the point it does not pick up the animating force well, leaving Megatron prone. He glances at Soundwave, red optics flickering but still burning. Intermittently. Megatron laughs, just a little bit. "Oh, Soundwave." His hand flexes, clenching. "Tell whatever myth you want. That is freedom, in the end. It isn't measured in laws or leaders. the story we tell ourselves about who we are and who we can make listen. My story is told, it seems." He shifts, but it's clear that his body cannot respond with much resembling strength. "So. Kill me here, and I will fade, and my story will be what you tell. Or I live..." Megatron tilts his head, looking past Soundwave to Minimus. "...and they put my body or my story in a box somewhere." He looks back to Soundwave, holding his golden gaze. "And it seems you will be the one to choose which." He cracks a lopsided grin. "I would say that is a good bit more power and freedom than simply my yielding."

Rodimus has ended up on his side. He's damaged, but not fatally, the dendrite patterns of electricity branching all throughout his magenta paint. There's a perfect, scorched corona scarring the center his spoiler, but nothing that has broken his armor. Minimus would be able to tell he's alive from the flicker of his struggling biolights and the very faint rush of air in his vents.

Even as Megatron speaks, his spark is under tremendous strain: it flares wildly, visibly, burning fast and hot and threatening very soon to burn out. The power comes maybe not from him, but it pours through him, destructively.

"You're a stubborn ass," Soundwave tells Megatron flatly. "I hate you but I thank you. All the good you've done for me- even if others cannot see it." Tight-lipped, Soundwave lifts a servo. "And you don't deserve it, a choice. Certainly didn't give me one- but I'm not you. And I want to know. What do you want? How would Megatron rather end his story?"

Soundwave stares Megatron down, looking further than most- hearing more. He vents. "I am sorry," he tells Megatron. His gaze doesn't waver as he reaches forward into Megatron and extinguishes what's left.

Minimus's weapon drops, clattering to the floor. He didn't have that good a grip on it anyways. His fingertips touch very lightly against the side of Rodimus's near vent, and then he comms Prowl quickly with a hoarse rasp of, << "It's done." >>

Prowl doesn't let Minimus hear his joyous holler. He leaves it to Blaster to make it wonderfully clear to the remaining Decepticons that their leader is dead. DEAD. Panic ripples through the remaining troops, and the commanders that live will have great difficulty wresting control back.

Megatron laughs lightly as Soundwave calls him stubborn. But he listens. Something about being blasted by your own trademark weapon tends to soften one out for a bit. He looks back at Soundwave, optics still locked on his. "All I ask, Soundwave, is that you tell it truly. Remember me as I was. I accept your judgment." And that is the end. Not that crushing one of the most powerful sparks in the history of the Cybertronian race, one coursing with stolen space bridge energy, is without its hazards.

Just as Soundwave is about to do the deed he hears a screech from above. "NO!" Deaddrop, who captured Megatron's last words, transforms and drops onto Soundwave. When he crushes the life out of Megatron, his spark detonates. Soundwave will lose his hand (souvenirs: the scraps of the hand that killed Megatron, will be collected later) and Deaddrop is thrown. But she comes back, the microbot, every limb trembling. She falls to her knees before the throne, and the fallen king. And she wails, and wails, and wails.

It is not long after Prowl's transmission that another one comes through. Relayed through the Castigator's communications system to all fleet command. <<"This is Air Commander Raptorion of the Decepticon Armada.">> Her voice is measured, professional. <<"Show me.">>

Soundwave is down a hand but the rest of him-- it looks good. He doesn't look like he's been dead recently. "Of course," Soundwave mutters, looking at his bloody stump. Figures Megatron would die even semi-willingly without retaliation. From where he was blown back, Soundwave rolls and picks himself up. He leaves Deaddrop to wail and joins Minimus beside Rodimus. It's there that he sends a public broadcast across New Iacon. Over it he says, << "Decepticons, Lord Megatron has fallen. I, Soundwave am now the leader of the Decepticons. And it is my first order as Commander that every Decepticon cease their fighting immediately. Stand down, there will be no more fighting today. Or else." >>

Soundwave looks to Rodimus, resting his remaining hand against the side of his head. His thumb strokes his cheek. He looks back up to Minimus. "Let's get both of you to a medic. You look terrible."

Minimus Ambus drips some more blood as he forces his way back up to his feet. "He's alive," he tells Soundwave. It's not that he thought there was doubt about this, but it's an assurance he feels is necessary. "We both have one hand. We can haul him." More energon splatters onto the floor. Minimus studiously ignores it.

Blaster is more than happy to reroute the recording to Raptorion.

It takes a little while for there to be a coherent response to Soundwave and to Blaster. The Decepticon channels are full of chatter, cursing, panicked, shell-shocked, defiant. All of it. Then Raptorion breaks in again, addressing all Decepticons: <<"Decepticons. This is Air Commander Raptorion. Lord Megatron is dead. I have been unable to contact Shockwave, General Turmoil, or Chancellor Terminus. I am now in command of all Decepticon forces.">> Her tone is measured, but assertive. <<"I order all Decepticon forces to stand down. Return to your barracks and to our ships and await further orders.">> Inquiries immediately come to the fleet command. Ignition, Minimus, Hound, the commanders. Raptorion requests an immediate meeting to negotiate a ceasefire. Soundwave is not included in these conversations, but who are we kidding. He can hear them.

The throne room is growing cold. Deaddrop approaches Megatron and climbs onto his arm. She holds his head, optics dark and inert. She is still weeping. The first tears of what are likely to be many, balanced by an even greater joy.

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