2015-02-18 Happy Hunting
From Transformers: Lost and Found
|Participants||Hustle, Knock Out, Rodimus, Rumble, Slugfest, Ultra Magnus|
The nerd crew hard at work in the engine room may not have quite yet managed to get the engines up to a hop yet, but they've at least got the power back on. With the restoration of lights across the ship, one might expect a party in the newly-discovered bar -- but no, no parties. It's not even (just) Ultra Magnus's sour face at the very idea of party that kills the notion. It's the fact that there is still a sparkeater loose on the ship.
In addition to bright lights, security cameras are back online and Red Alert's multiple redundancies mean that the ship is /quite/ well-covered. It takes only moments after the power is restored for the hunter to become the hunted: the sparkeater is found, cornered, and chased off. When last seen, it was reported headed back to what seems to have been its cell on the lowest levels of the ship. It's there that Rodimus waits for it with a small crew -- Hustle, because she knows what fun looks like, and FUN LOOKS LIKE A SPARKEATER HUNT, and Slugfest and Rumble as they were the ones to originally find the room. Why Knock Out? There's no excuse for Knock Out.
With Red Alert in their ear promising that the sparkeater is on the way, Rodimus looks around with a remarkably casual air to say, "So this is the place you saw it, huh? Man, what a mess."
Knock Out is clearly here in case emergency medical aid is required. "I just want to reiterate my /strong objections/ to being present," the good doctor makes sure to inform the group. "I mean, the likelihood of me saving one of you if you were too badly wounded to make it to the medibay in time -- well, it's actually pretty good, because I'm just that talented, but /still/."
"Yeah, it was just *strollin'* through the guts of the ship, just like it owned the place," Rumble exclaims, keeping a close optic on Slugfest in case his tape brother gets the notion to chase after interesting smells again. "An' we found its main hangout, too. What I wanna know is, where'd it find those turbofoxes? He's got those corpses stacked up like he's been snackin' on them for a while!"
Slugfest is firmly planted in the crack in the wall, wedging his back plates so that he can't be pulled out by no stinkin' spark eater! Only the tip of his thagomizer is visible from outside the crack in the wall.
"So here's what I wanna know: Do we have a plan to capture this thing? Kill it? Is this something you guys do a lot on Cybertron - wander around hunting spark eaters whenever they happen to crop up?" Hustle asks, wandering near the others -- letting them go first, of course.
"I should've taken that bet on how many times you'd complain." Rodimus sounds distracted as he speaks. He's eyeballing the pile of corpses to take a quick count. "It's a good question," he rather /grudgingly/ admits. Rumble has a point. Ugh. How terrible. "Right, a plan." He pauses for a moment, then rattles off, "Red says it's headed back this way. Might be because we're here, might be because it thinks there'll be a snack. Either way, we need to get it here and it moving. There's an airlock just down the hall." He points the opposite direction that the sparkeater is going to enter. Hopefully. "We'll lead it down there, I'll hold it, Rumble will hit it, and kick it out into space. Should be easy, right? You up for it, Rumble? I /know/ you hit hard with those pile drivers of yours."
"Huh? Yeah, I can do that, sure," Rumble says to Rodimus begrudingly. As he says that, he's also in the process of pulling Slugfest out of the wall by his tail. Once he's done doing that, he grins cheesily at Hustle. "Hi."
Slugfest for a moment Slugfest thinks the sparkeater has him by the tail and tries to wedge himself in more firmly!
Whoa, hey know, Hustle. You're going to have to fight Knock Out for the privilege of going last. He certainly makes no move to go before her. "That sounds like a /pretend/ plan," he says, frowning faintly at Rodimus.
"I see that my recommendations as to harm's way have been disregarded as per usual, Captain," is how Ultra Magnus greets his commanding officer, which can't be according to any rulebook in the service, except for the footnote as regards chain of command and the role of an XO. The clanks of his footsteps are not subtle, either, as he rounds the bend from elsewhere in engineering. It's hard to miss Ultra Magnus, really.
Hustle just sort of stops and lets Knock Out either go ahead of her or stand next to her, either way she doesn't really like this plan, and Ultra Magnus is welcome distraction. So's Rumble, really. "Hey there," she smiles disarmingly back. "Pretty brave of you to volunteer to take that thing on so close to an airlock. I'm impressed."
"I thought it was important that I be here to make the decisions. On the spot. Be in command. You know," Rodimus says in distracted excuse to Ultra Magnus. "Oh, by the way: Perceptor says we can't shoot it. The sparks are too volatile or something." He flashes a smile back over his shoulder and spoiler. It's quite a smile. There's even a tink of light glinting off -- oh, no, wait. That's the sparkeater.
The cradle of sparks visible in its gut is the first sign of its approach. A moment later its eyes are visible above. It pauses a moment, considering the feast set out before it, and then lunges. Emaciated limbs of bare metal cut through the air as it claws across the deck to strike.
Ruining Rodimus's day, the sparkeater slithers right past him to make a grab for Slugfest's tail. Here, Rumble, let it help you with that.
Well Knock Out will just stand next to Hustle, then. He's not going ahead!! "Of /course/ we can't shoot it," he sighs like this is probably the Autobots' fault. And then the thing is leaping out at Rumble and Knock Out is very helpfully pointing at it. "SPARKEATER!"
Rumble looks like he's about to tell Hustle something, when suddenly, SPARKEATER. And it's going for his tape brother, too! "...Oh <CENSORED>!" He startles for a moment, then instead of doing the SANE thing of backing away, he *rushes* it, as if the size difference didn't even exist. "You leave him alone!!" he bellows, transforming his pylons out as he tries to land on its back and begin pounding it.
Slugfest lets out an unholy squeal, his feets pawing as he tries to squeeze right through the crack to the other side!
Ultra Magnus's first instinct is to aim a weapon, and then he stops for a number of reasons, the first of which is orders. "Keep it in sight!" he calls out, just in case there was any doubt as to this being the target of this operation. He starts forward, although he does not charge into a fight immediately.
The strike of Rumble's pylons knocks the sparkeater flat to the deck, and the strength of Slugfest's pull tugs the tail right out of its hand. Slugfest pops through the crack into a corridor that brings him out right by the airlock. For his bravery, Rumble earns the creature's attention. It twists, far more flexible than any creature of metal ought to be, and comes around to tear its claws in a shredding rake down his arm. It throws him off with a sinuous flex, and then darts away to reconsider its next mouthful.
"Fall back toward the airlock!" Rodimus says, shifting to stand in front all 'how dare you ignore me'. (This has no effect on its attention.)
Slugfest is conveniently by the airlock! So he sits there as he waits for the others!
Hustle is momentarily frozen. She's never seen a sparkeater, she didn't think they existed - it's Rodimus's shout that snaps her out of it. She runs with the others to a position behind the captain while she shakes off the weirdness she's just seen. Time to get serious.
Rumble gets claw-raked, and tracks a small trail of bleeding energon as he jog-skips down the hallway toward the airlock. He's muttering a lot of choice curses as he does so. "This sucks," he finally admits.
"Primus Primus Primus--" Knock Out runs with little dignity as he flails towards the airlock. Aaaaaaaaaaah.
Slugfest sees Rumble coming, sprints towards him, grabbing one of Rumble's arms in mouf and PULLS his bro towards the airlock, pelting little feets!
Ultra Magnus is slow to withdraw, possibly intending to place himself at the rear of the retreating party as a particularly large and bulwarky member of this defensive party. He waits for the Decepticons to move closer before starting a backward walk, scraping over the decking in a very nearly dignified contrast to the flailing of certain parties present.
"Could be worse. There could be two of them!" Rodimus points out. See, guys? Look on the bright side. He glances over at Hustle and laughs adrenaline-bright: "Still want to keep it?" He keeps pace with Ultra Magnus, and is about to say something else when the sparkeater CONTINUES to RUIN HIS DAY by ignoring him.
Next target? Ultra Magnus. All flashing limbs and razor-edged tail...s (okay, maybe not tail: there are four of them, and they end in jagged points), the sparkeater leaps for him. It claws at his armor with its arms while the tail-like limbs snake around his arms.
"Thanks bro," Rumble says with a slight grin as Sluggy gives him a free trip to the airlock. In the meantime, he's hurting more than he'll care to admit, so he transforms his pylons back in for the time being. Another swipe like the one he just took could cost him a limb, or worse. "Oh hey, look, maybe he'll eat Magnus," he says with some interest, watching as the sparkeater goes after a bigger target.
As the slashing, clawing monster hurtles into him, Ultra Magnus changes tacks from a backward drag to an increase in momentum, gear grinding as he tries to simultaneously struggle with the sparkeater (survive) and follow orders (to move for the airlock). Sometimes multitasking is hard.
Twisting his arms against the lashing slide of the ophidian limbs, he attempts to pinion the sparkeater in the crush of both arms at once, turning its attack into a grapple and trying to crush it by main strength. His eloquence is reduced from its usual seriousness to something a lot more like a "rrgh," but at least that means he isn't trying to arrest it.
"There are worse things for it to get," Knock Out agrees with Rumble. From behind --something.
"You are completely -insane-!" Hustle shouts at Rodimus. Okay yeah Captain Spoiler seemed like fun and winding up was a blast, but now there's room for concern. How do you just run up to something like this and just - just try to fight it without a plan or an idea of what they're dealing with?! Nope. All of her nope. #Nope. She's getting out of the line of sight of that thing.
She looks out from behind Knock Out. SOMEHOW. "How do you -live- with these people?" she whispers hoarsely.
That's one way to deal with a clingy fan: crush it. The sparkeater lets loose a shivering wail and howls its displeasure with Ultra Magnus's smush. The snaking limbs around his arms spasm and withdraw, only to strike at his face and eyes to force him to flinch and release it.
"Get that inner door open, Red!" Rodimus says as he reaches to grab at the sparkeater's arms and help pull it off of Ultra Magnus. "Rumble! You ready to hit it?"
"We're doin' the best we can, toots, it ain't our fault things got <CENSORED!> up along the way," Rumble tells Hustle with a shrug. "It's too bad we can't shoot it, neither."
Rumble isn't even hiding, he's standing alongside Slugfest. "You ready to pitch 'em, I'm ready to hit 'em!" he calls to Rodimus, perking up considerably. Doesn't even matter to him that he's bleeding out of a massive claw rake; this next plan might make it worth the effort.
"Not by choice!" Knock Out hisses back at Hustle. "At least when it comes to Big Blue and the Bot Without A Plan."
"If no can shoot, how us fight?" Slugfest wonders.
Expecting Ultra Magnus to flinch is a little like expecting Rodimus to stand back and get out of the way of trouble. Bracing against the floor in a wide plant of heavy boots, he tenses up from the base of his feet up to the reach of his head. He doesn't let go. He does push his head backward to try to avoid the worst of the attack, so as to protect the bright glow of his eyes. But he's preternaturally bad at letting things go. "Rodimus, get back--" (Well. Okay, so he's not very realistic either.) He hoists the thrashing monster in his grip with a growl kind of like "graaah," which is also a much less dignified noise than he usually makes.
"You have my condolences, I know what it's like to be stuck with a bunch of ramrods you can't stand," Hustle quickly whispers to Knock Out. "At least the big guy has some weapons. And strength. I mean look at him, you could break him apart and make five other guys out of him."
The sparkeater is not on board with this whole 'grab and pull away from snack' thing. Rodimus only manages to further piss it off. The sparkeater digs its claws into Ultra Magnus's chest. Since big and blue isn't flinching, it strikes at Rodimus instead.
"Uh -- I don't think pitching is in the cards!" The inner airlock door slides open with a whump of displaced air, leaving a single, albeit thick, door between them and the void of space. Rodimus ducks the first lash, but the second coils around his arm. "Get over here, and all of us are going to heave on three. Ready?" He counts slow to give Rumble a chance to scramble over and punch: "One, two--!"
Rodimus heaves. "Three!"
Ultra Magnus pushes the thrashing, vicious tangle of limbs and wrath off from himself with a deep-borne grunt as he thrusts it away, leaving behind deep gouges in his armored chest and probably in his wounded dignity, too.
Rumble is in a bit of pain, but that's never stopped him before, especially when the stakes are high and cooperation is his highest priority. "We ain't fightin' this thing, Sluggy, we're showin' it the exit door!" He transforms his pylons out, and ones he leaps into position to give the sparkeater a good thump toward the airlock, he proceeds to do so.
"Oh for Primus' sake--" Knock Out is really not happy about this. /Really/. But it somehow looks like Ultra Magnus is totally failing at this, and Rodimus and Rumble might need help, so FINALLY the medic emerges from his hiding spot, rushes over, and shoves. GET OUT GET OUT GET OUT.
Sigh. Helping. Ugh. Even Knock Out is doing it.
Hustle gathers her courage and actually applies it, because if she doesn't help these guys EVENTUALLY this thing will get her too. And maybe Nautica, who really isn't half bad. When you get past the nerding.
Hustle rushes forward towards the sparkeater, lookng at one of its clawed hands. It's in such awful shape, kind of lose, she has no idea what's hold it together. What was that Chromia said about small, dexterous hands? "HEY SPARKY, YOU MIND IF I BORROW THAT?!" she shouts, trying to draw it's attention so she can -steal one of its hands-
Each strike loosens the sparkeater's hold on Ultra Magnus -- from Rodimus's nagging drag to Ultra Magnus's tangled thrash to Rumble's pylon pummel to Knock Out's unhappy shove. And yet the sparkeater is reluctant to let go so easily. Sharp claws bite deep in Ultra Magnus's armor, and tear away a large chunk of his chest near his shoulder.
Then there's Hustle, all clever fingers and bright ideas, destroying its final anchor (and gaining herself a hand as souvenir). The sparkeater thumps into the airlock in a tangle of too many limbs, and Rodimus snaps, "Close it!"
The airlock doors snap shut, cutting off the jagged points of its tails and leaving behind a few toes. It lunges again for the door, but before it can gouge into the metal, the door behind it snaps open, and the sparkeater is sucked out into space leaving the dark quiet of the stars behind.
Slugfest eees as the Sparkeater is flushed into space! See! This is why Slugfest bes a (relatively) good lil stego now!
Once the sparkeater has been sent into space, Rumble sighs in relief, momentarily quiet as he rests his head against the sealed airlock door.
Ultra Magnus says, "Nnnf."
Staggering backward, Magnus reachces up to touch at the edges of the great fractured chunk wrenched free of his pauldron, cracks running outward in the previously pristine gleam of paint near the base of one of his dormant mounted launchers.
Hustle tosses the severed hand up and down in her own, looking at it. "Sorry I wasn't faster there big guy. Not sure how to safely deal with that. Frag, I'm holding mythology literally by the hand here." She tosses it up once more, snatching it out of the air midway, walking towards Magnus. "You gonna be all right there, big guy? I mean, I'm no expert or anything but you're not gonna recharge and then turn into a sparkeater before you wake... are you?"
"Okay so now more of that, right?" Knock Out checks himself for any scrapes or scratches. Who cares about your pauldron, Magnus.
"Yes! Eat /that/, Sparky!" Rodimus crows. He pumps his arm into the air with a twist of his hips that's suspiciously like the first swing of a victory dance. The shift of weight that would lead to an actual step into a dance hitches as Hustle's words redirect his attention to Ultra Magnus. Enthusiasm only slightly dampened, he turns to get a better look at them all. "Nice work, guys. Injuries? Knock Out, triage and treat."
"I have no idea what lurid works of fiction you're referring to, but I have no plans to do anything of the kind," Ultra Magnus states in a voice gone thin with an etched kind of strain. He narrows a particular look at Knock Out across the brief distance between them, looming in high aggravation barely restrained.
Rumble peers curiously over toward the 'trophy' Hustler's managed to claim...he'll need to take a look at that, later. "Check it out, Sluggy," he shows his tape brother his still-leaking war wound. "Battle scarrrssss," he growls in a cheesy, bestial voice, before grinning cheerfully. Then, he steps over to wait for Knock Out.
"Yeah, yeah." Knock Out sighs in a long-suffering manner, but starts going down the line of injured bots to make quick assessments. (He checks Rumble first.) "My professional opinion is that no one is going to die between her and the medibay. So let's go."
Slugfest ooohs at Rumble's scars! "Prolly should get fixed. No want leak deaf."
Hustle snorts, but can't help smile at Ultra Magnus. "Trust me, reality doesn't really care about what you plan. Sometimes scrap just happens." She takes a look at the eerie object in her hands, sort of idly considering what she's gotten herself into being on this ship with these crazies.
"It may not be a pet, but it'll have to do. Maybe I can turn it into a puppet," she kind of muses to herself, moving along according to orders, not paying much attention to them. "Maybe rig to fall onto someone when they walk through the door."
"Medibay it is." Rodimus leads them off with a spring to his step and a cheerful lift of his voice. It's on that high that he calls advance warning to Ratchet and collects a report from Red Alert. Not only are they crazies, Hustle, but they are lead by an adrenaline junkie. /This will be great/.