2015-09-15 Train Job: Axe and Ye Shall Receive
From Transformers: Lost and Found
|Train Job: Axe and Ye Shall Receive|
|Participants||HighDef, Tailgate, Drift, Arcee, Soundwave|
|NPCs||Axe, Ignition, Legislators, The Rodpod, Daytripper|
|Summary||Time has come to do the daring - break onto Ignition's ship and get the Circle of Light back. If there are any left to be found.|
So here's the plan:
As Ignition's ship floats through the treacherous, sensor-tangling nebula, the Rodpod -- stealthy, low-key craft that it is -- sneaks up behind. Daytripper holds the ship steady, Laserbeak tows a crew over, they sabotage a few things, cut a few things, and sneak in to the aft end of the ship's fuel lines, port side.
It works great. They open into an unoccupied storage area shaped like a U built around a single locked room. That's when they realize that their map is wrong. It's okay, though! They continue, HighDef keeping a map of their progress so far so that they won't get lost...er. Internal security systems are definitely a thing -- but maybe the Autobots can spend a little time wondering at how quickly Soundwave and Ravage are able to hack into and disable those systems, preventing any warning. And how easily they deal with all secured doors on their way through the ship. Reassuring!!!
Leaving behind a little sabotage as a present for Ignition to find after their exit -- good luck getting those fuel systems running!! -- the team continues past one of their possible exterior choke points, resists the temptation of the forward bridge, where Soundwave reports two active(ish) minds, and continues to the belly of the ship.
There, three minds wait: two dulled, their personalities carved to little more than basic responses and the ability to follow orders, and one blanked by a focused, determined tranquility.
That's not a lot of minds. It certainly doesn't for even a fraction of what the ship could have carried of the Circle of Light.
There are two secured doors to either side of the stairs: one to the port side, one starboard. The starboard one is right in front of them. Right there. Just in front of your nose.
Until there is something sure to be shared, Soundwave keeps the guessing to himself. The time aboard the ship so far has gone (mostly) according to plan which is great, but everything since has been... troubling, and thus Soundwave has been (mostly) quiet. More than normal. In additional to keeping his mind open to reading for others he is also patched into the communications system in effort monitor what is going on which is...
Ravage paces, disliking this 'keeping together' thing. Instead of, you know, darting off to do what he pleases. He stalks from Arcee's position back to the middle where Tailgate is and then back again, repeating this as the group progresses.
Finally, Soundwave motions for drift to come forward from the back of the party. "On the other side," he motions to the appropriate door, "One of the Circle of Light can be found. With him are two others, that must be taken before they can alert any others." Rodimus sent him here to rescue the Circle, not to spare Ignition or her crew.
Arcee frowns and listens as Soundwave directs Drift toward the door. Since progress through the ship has to be made, she waits for a moment, idly watching the restless Ravage pace about. She's carrying a dagger in one hand and a pistol in the other. "I'm headed up the stairs," she tells Soundwave, "Unless you still want us sticking together." She sort of hopes she can head off on her own. The time for mayhem has arrived.
Soundwave quickly clarifies to Arcee his intent, holding up two fingers - to indicate the threats on the other side - and then points those fingers at Drift and Arcee.
Arcee stares at Soundwave incredulously. Then, she looks at Drift. "You need help with this?" she asks with a smirk.
"Er." HighDef hovers close-like to Soundwave, her in-progress map in-progressing. "What do you need me and Tailgate to do?" They're a unit! Kind of?
The forward bridge's occupation lends an even sneakier feel to creeping down and around it to the innards of the ship; while they were traipsing around in the quiet, (thanks to Soundwave and Ravage) Tailgate took the time while they were fussing with the fuel lines to start entering nonsense into the navigation core. It was grade A prime keysmashing, for the most part-- he could find the inputs and with some com-guidance was able to put in some things that ought to eventually make the ship believe it is idling outside of the Cosmic Carnival.
With the group at the door junction, he's there with HighDef like he's supposed to be. Totally doing his job, guys! "Hang back?" Drift and Arcee-- he wouldn't want to be those guards(?).
As requested, Drift found the biggest bomb he could carry and strapped it to his back before setting out on their mission. He's stuck to his orders and keeps himself at the rear of the group until Soundwave motions for him to pull forward. He turns his attention to the door pointed out to him and approaches it, hands wrapping around the hilts of his swords.
"Not neccessarily," he says to Arcee, flashing her a smug grin. "But you clearly want to get your hands dirty so why not join in?" He unseathes his swords and swings them at the door, the sheer sharpness of his blades and technique cleaving through it with little resistance.
Soundwave is quick to give Tailgate and HighDef directions. As drift slices he motions for them to follow. "HighDef, cameras." Meaning if there are any, holo up a cover so anyone watching sees nothing wrong. "Tailgate, far door." Or in other words, be a lookout. The door gives way beneath the swing of Drift's sword. Metal parts and tears, forced to the side to reveal Axe kneeling on the floor a cell opposite drift. He's shacked and fitted with an inhibitor claw, but he looks peaceful, tranquil. He looks odd without his signature weapon. He doesn't even look up when the door opens.
One of the golden drones -- a Legislator -- does. It carries a Great Sword in its hands, and while the heart of the sword is quiet in its grip, it brings it up in a powerful, studied guard. It says nothing. There are no numbers, this time, just a silent defense.
The rest of the room is occupied by corpses. The partly disassembled, strung-out remains of various members of the Circle of light are neatly stacked and pieced.
"Yeah. Let's do this," Arcee agrees with Drift, actually smiling slightly as he cuts down the door.
Once they're inside, Arcee holds the pistol out defensively as she sizes up the situation, then she frowns in dismay. They found the Circle, did they not? Or...maybe it wasn't even what it appeared to be. She'll leave the figuring out up to someone else. For now, she goes directly after the Legislator slashing savagely with the dagger and ready for a brutal takedown.
"Got it," HighDef bright-confidents and slides toward the perforated door on careful little feet -- only to be shocked still by what she finds there. Unused to war and its horrors, she's literally frozen in the doorway.
Tailgate can be the most lookiest lookout ever, just you see. He stops short of actually giving a small salute of confirmation, and as Drift and Arcee breach the door and beyond, he follows only far enough to get a glimpse peeking past the door of what lies beyond that-- the Legislator, the cell-- before he edges back again, only to bump shoulders with the Camien beside him. Tailgate reaches out to tug her back behind the door frame again when he realizes she's frozen. "Don't watch-- The cameras--"
What HighDef thinks is what calls Soundwave to act. As she freezes there, he places a hand on her shoulder and attempts to help turn her away, towards him. Let her focus on him. "Do not look on them to do what you must do," he advises. He'll move around, to try to step in front of her to survey the room more than concern himself with the corpses. This may seem cold. Callous even. They are not lost on Soundwave, but rather they motivate him further. Fortunately Tailgate takes over. "Ravage, stand guard." He will seek to move past the melee to get to Axe, his mind focused on the Circle of Lighter he approaches.
The first thing Drift notices as soon as he enters the room is Axe chained up in his cell. A smile begins to creep on his face, pleased that they were able to find one of the Circle so quickly. If they're all this easy to locate, maybe this wont be so difficult after all. His smile instantly fades when his gaze sweeps the rest of the room and he takes in the gruesome sight that surrounds them. His optics go wide as they settle upon the various corpses and stacks of body parts, able to recognize which pieces belonged to which member of the Circle and recalling the names of the lifeless bodies callously heaped on the floor.
For a moment he is still, unable to speak or move as his mind processes what he's seeing. Then his optics flash with an intensity more suited for Deadlock rather than Drift and he lunges for the Legislator after Arcee's already engaged it. He practically roars as he swings his swords at it, going for it's abdomen as if to disembowel it on the spot.
HighDef shakes her head, and follows it with a nod. She's been eased and pulled back enough from the door to recover herself. It's time to look at the walls, and just at the walls, to figure the positions of the cameras. Even before she finds them, though, she starts illusioning, spinning a static scene of still Legislator and static corpses. No interlopers for whoever's watching.
Focused on the threat that Drift presents, the Legislator meets him with a parry that checks the ferocity of his disembowling strike, and follows it with a strike that pierces the armor of his shoulder to nip the lines beneath. Energon runs freely, but the damage is minimal. What lingers isn't the pain, but the way the movements echo the Circle's forms.
As Drift holds the Legislator's attention, Arcee cuts through, scoring a line on its side. Her blade bites through the gold armor, but does little more damage than the strike on Drift.
The legislator turns to face them both, blade at ready.
Elsewhere, thoughts simmer at a patient background hum. Axe is deep in meditation, true, but he's actually turned off his eyes and ears -- and the sight across the room is enough hint why he might feel that necessary. Some of the energon is fresh.
No one has yet responded to the activity. The Legislator hasn't so much as sent up a peep of alarm. Just when someone, elsewhere, turns to the scene on a camera -- HighDef's illusions cover the scene. Nothing here!
Tailgate makes sure that HighDef is able to concentrate and push the room's sight out of mind for the moment, before he sidles back to be the lookout as intended. It'd be really awkward if someone came downstairs to find themselves being assaulted, right? Totally.
Drift is stabbed but he doesn't feel the sting of the blade that cut him, nor does he register the heat of his energon dripping down his armour. He does take notice of the way the Legislator moves and the fluidity of his swings, instantly recognizing it from all the times he's tried to teach Rodimus the same thing. Other than that, he spares it no more thought, the mental effort that goes into hypothesizing how the Legislator came to know such technique can be saved for after he's done killing it. Drift darts to the side and begins strafing the Legislator to find an opening in it's defense and exploit it before taking another swing.
Arcee would be perfectly content on her own to continue slicing up the Legislator, but now...there's another factor. There's Axe. They might have a chance of getting him out of this predicament, if they divide their efforts.
"Drift," Arcee says, watching as Drift attacks the Legislator, "Want me to go get Axe? Can you handle this mech for a moment?" She remains on guard against another possible attack, but is prepared to break away and head over to Axe if need be.
Upon reaching Axe, Soundwave slaps him. Hopefully that gets the attention he requires. Even if Axe is not listening, he need only think what Soundwave needs in order to get answers. "Are there others onboard?" With Arcee moving to Axe, Soundwave steps back so that she might free him. "HighDef," he calls to the Camien, "Help tend to him once he is freed." Because axe might not be able to walk on his own, and it should give something for HighDef to focus on.
"Ergh," HighDef says in regards to focusing on walls and illusions and helping some stranger around. She shuffles in that direction, though, one hand still raised as a focus point, her attention evasive. One step in front of the other, don't step on anything dead.
The Legislator steps back as Drift strafes, attempting to keep Arcee and Drift in line of sight. The pattern of its steps haunt Drift's memory, and -- /there/, /then/. He knows when and where to strike, exploiting an opening in the Legislator's guard with the ease of one taught by a master of those techniques.
The Legislator might have strength and bulk on its side, but Drift has ferocity to lend him strength and greater skill that assures he strikes true. His sword carves, tearing past the armor to reveal the flicker of a fractured spark casing in the Legislator's core.
This is all very noisy, however. There's a shuffle of movement at the far end of the hall where Tailgate so patiently watches. The secured door lights. Someone on the other side is on their way through!
Axe rouses with fury, lunging toward S-- toward Soundwave? He falls back in his shackles, caught at the limit of their reach before he can even reach Soundwave, in clear surprise. Ignition is prominent in his thoughts and he sheds thoughts of her with effort on seeing Autobot and Decepticon working together. "--what?"
Once she reaches Axe's side, Arcee uses her dagger to cut through his shackles. As savage as she is, she's actually fairly careful not to cut him in the process. She tries to get this done as quickly as possible so that Highdef can evaluate his condition. But she doesn't say anything to him...she'll let someone else do the explaining. So long as there's still a live Legislator in the room, she's more concerned about returning to see how Drift is faring.
"Someone's on the move down here." Tailgate relays with a whisper into their comms, himself tucking as far as he can behind the doorway, his hand on the switch, ready to close it if and when the other one opens. He's intending to have it open just long enough to see who exits. If it's another of the golden bots, there are ways around that. If not-- well, we'll see. It's a golden bot! Tailgate wins!
Soundwave repeats for Axe's benefit. "Are there others of you still onboard? That were not slaughtered here." That is said devoid of emotion. Cold, hollow words for such a brutal act. Still, Soundwave shakes his head. "Save your strength. Think on it," he directs. And then points to HighDef. "Remain with her if you wish to leave." His attention is needed elsewhere, as Tailgate calling out might indicate. "If it get close, dispatch of it," he comms back to Tailgate.
As soon as his blade tears through the Legislator's armor and reveals the damaged spark casing inside, Drift lunges forwards to ram his undamaged shoulder against te bulk of the Legislator, toppling it over onto the same floor the deceased Circle members spent their last moments. Once it's down, Drift moves to plant his feet on either side of it's waist, straddling it and staring it right in it's optics. Even as he takes his sword and plunges it deep into it's spark, his gaze never wanders, making sure the anger in his optics are the last thing it ever sees.
Once the Legislator is dispatched, Drift rushes to join the others tending to Axe. "Axe!" He kneels crouches in front of him, placing his hands on his shoulders and looking him right in the face. "Are you injured? Can you stand?"
"I-- Right." Tailgate is armed, yes, but the 'dispatch' command has him at a moment of unease as he slides the door shut oh so casually, staying behind it as he does. Nothing to see here. Everything is perfectly in order. Just a door closing like a normal door. There's definitely nothing behind here you want. Still, when he steps up along the wall again, it is to fumble a moment with the gun in his hands and look worriedly at it in his grip. This is concerning.
HighDef is still trying to look anywhere but carnage, but manages to note Drift's approach anyway, as she stays in the lee of the Axe. She points Driftish-ward. "I bet he'll be much better at helping you walk than me."
The Legislator's spark gutters and dies beneath Drift's blade. The light leaves its optics and its limbs slacken.
Axe leans uneasily away from Arcee as she cuts through his shackles, then rubs his wrists together to ease the lingering charge. He shakes his head at Soundwave, but it's less an answer than general confusion. Some of the fog clears when Drift addresses him, shocked into the clarity of focus: "Drift!" He pauses, then says, "Yes, I can stand." Whether he can or not, he's going to. He might lean a little on Arcee or Drift here or there, but don't tell, okay?
When he finally stands, Axe tops even Soundwave. (Grimlock and Ultra Magnus would still stand taller, for those keeping track.) "My axe?" Because of course he uses an axe -- and not just any axe. A pretty Great Axe.
After a few moments, there's the drag of a footstep on the other side of Tailgate's door, then it opens. A Legislator looms tall and gold before him.
Arcee is not really 'in' with this group thing. She isn't much concerned about the corpses of the Inner Circle scattered about, or even the dead Legislator, but she feels very vulnerable here in this 'group powwow'. Axe needs assistance to stand, and she's silently willing to provide said assistance, but her attention is clearly elsewhere -- toward the way they came in. She's fairly sure they're going to meet up with more resistance very soon, despite the holograms and the radio interference...those are only distractions for so long.
Once Axe is standing, she doesn't stick around to talk with him. Arcee slips away silently, deciding to listen to that inner voice and patrol for more trouble.
Maybe if he's super quiet-- oh, slag. While the gun is still in Tailgate's hand, and he's frozen into a somewhat defensive stance-- the firearm has subconsciously tipped out of sight behind the curve of his thigh. As if it were something he was being caught playing with. 'Dispatch of it'. Soundwave was very clear. And yet-- Tailgate isn't exactly the murderdeathkill type, is he? His visor wide open and feet planted, Tailgate looks up at the golden mech that fills the door. At first it's just looming at him, so--.
"...Hello." OKAY SO MAYBE HE ISN'T SO GREAT AT THIS PART. Don't be mad!
Fortunately Tailgate is not alone.
Leaping over Tailgate, utilizing the minibot's very obvious distraction technique, Ravage lunges for the Legislator with a "Raaaaarr!" Claws and teeth and all, aimed right for that big meaty golden neck.
Drift smiles when Axe recognizes him. It's been a while but who could possibly forget Drift? "Good. We're going to get you out of here." He offers Axe as much support as he needs to stay on his feet. "No sign of your axe around here but.." He moves to the Legislator's lifeless body and pulls the Great Sword out of his hands, handing it over to Axe for him to use should he accept it. He didn't want to leave it behind on the ship anyway. "We're going to tear this ship a new asshole so I'm sure we'll find it eventually." His interest is piqued at the commotion currently coming from the room Tailgate is posted in and he approaches it, swords drawn.
HighDef tags along placidly as Drift and Arcee help Axe along. Placidly! Watching his back as if it's the most interesting thing in the world.
Axe hesitates to take the sword offered to him, and accepts it only after another glance around the room. Grimly, he moves toward the shattered corpses of his friends to sort through for any other Great Swords. He doesn't care about the maybe-attack in the next room. He's very focused on recovering the Pretty Okay Swords.
"Te--." Whatever else the Legislator might have said, Ravage's attack cuts it off. It catches Ravage by the throat when he attacks and swings him back over his shoulder, throwing him hard into the wall. He pulls ... an axe. He falls back a step toward the stairs, forcing the others to deal with the choke point of the door.
Ravage being tossed is cause for Soundwave to leap into action....! Soundlessly. There is no battle cry, no emotional outburst. Instead he points at the Legislator. "HighDef, take his vision. Arcee, his legs." Soundwave brings up his rifle just in case.
Tailgate's delay slash distraction finds Ravage getting hurtled off, and this is unsurprisingly the thing that seals his decision-making. Between this and the axe being drawn, the minibot doesn't have much leeway when it comes to putting himself in the side of the doorway and lifting the borrowed pistol. It feels heavy in his grip, but he still fires at the Legislator's lower legs in an effort to drive him further back. There's just not enough space here.
"Er. As you like." With that, HighDef slides out from behind Axe and aims her pistol-like for the Legislator's face. She aims as /careful/ as she is /able/ and fires.
Once she leaves the room, Arcee is able to hear the commotion caused by the nearby scuffle, and she heads over to see Ravage and Tailgate dealing with a Legislator over by the stairwell. Naturally, when one of his tapes gets injured, Soundwave isn't too far behind, so she isn't too surprised to see his sudden arrival. She delves into her arsenal and draws her laser-pistols, aiming for the Legislator's supporting joints, especially his knees. Her concentration is primarily on this, and she doesn't give much thought to the fact that she may, in fact, be blocking someone else's shot.
"Er. As you like." With that, HighDef slides out from behind Axe and aims a black wall of illusion around the Legislator's head.
By the time Drift reaches the doorway, he realizes that it's far too crowded for him to just barge in and start swinging his swords around. He also realizes that the Legislator the others are currently engaging is holding an axe. "Axe!" Drift rushes over to his fellow Circle of Lighter and gestures at the door on the opposite side of the room with a sword. "I think I've found a more appropriate weapon for you, let's go get it!"
Hopefully Axe follows him, even if he doesn't it wont stop Drift from cutting through the door and any others that stand in his way as he goes, eventually returning to the room they originally entered from. Now he can approach the Legislator from behind and he does, darting in close and slashing across it's back with both swords.
The scatter of gunshots at his feet forces the Legislator back a pace, which opens its side to a shot from Arcee. The blinding nothing that covers its senses produces a brief, distressed wail that perks attention above deck. Ignition's turning attention tickles at Soundwave's awareness, but she's slow to respond.
Following Drift, Axe charges in to wrench the axe from the Legislator's hand. He pivots and comes around, looking much more himself with a weapon in hand, but between Tailgate, Arcee, and the slash of two swords carving through the golden metal, there's really little left for him to hit. Not that it stops him: as the Legislator goes to its knees, Axe lashes out with a fierce slash that sends the Legislator's head rolling to bump up against Tailgate's toes. Dai Atlas would probably frown mildly at the ferocity of his attack.
Arcee's cold visage suddenly perks a tad, her cyberfangs glinting with a...slight grin, as she exclaims her approval over how quickly this Legislator was dispatched. "/Nice/," she exclaims.
It's the little things that serve to remind Tailgate he's the one that put himself here-- way out of his league. The head sent rolling to his feet is one of them; rather than say anything, he simply steps back when it comes to rest, pistol warm in his hand and eyes between the fallen Legislator and those who came up so effectively behind it.
All of the violence is... perhaps why Rodimus sent Soundwave to spearhead this mission. With the Legislator taken care of, Soundwave hurries to Ravage to both collect and check on the catcon. ravage folds up and stows away in Soundwave's chest. Why? Because it is time to go.
"There is no reason to remain. You," Soundwave says looking to Axe, "Are the only one left." Let that sink in everyone. "Drift," he commands. "Give the explosive to our expert." Tailgate. To the Autobot Soundwave now looks. "We will require only a fraction of that explosive to rupture the hull for our escape. The rest need to be rigged to detonate on a timer." he concentrates his mind on Ignition's to try to get a sense of how rapidly she might approach where they are now. Because he wishes for her to get a them-going-away present. Everyone else? "When the hull ruptures and we are sucked into space, do not worry. Daytripper will have us," he reminds.
The light in the eyes dims even as Tailgate turns away. The Legislator's face shadows dark and blank and empty.
HighDef has one hand partially over her optics, post illusioning, but she relaxes a bit once the Legislator is down and the crew's presumably moving on. Time to trot.
A timer can't be that hard, can it? Tailgate's mind tries to center on the simple things-- set a timer to go off. That's the big thing. He'll only need a fraction to bust the hull. That will surely be easier. And if the timer doesn't go-- you know, he can always blame Ignition! There's no discounting for his moment of outward nerves over all of this, but Tailgate still stands straighter and puts on a straight face for everyone else. "Right."
Arcee is fairly zen about the prospect of being forcibly ejected into space. She just peacefully stands there and waits for it to happen. Worse things have happened in her life, and...Tailgate's awesome. She trusts him.
Drift watches the Legislator's head go flying right off it's shoulders and roll into Tailgate's feet. He gives Axe a nod of approval and wipes as much energon off his blades as he can before sheathing them at his waist. He's about to suggest they move upwards to seek out any other prisoners that may remain when Soundwave informs him of the news, a haunted look creeping onto his face. For a moment he just stares, everything around him fading away, entirely focused on the revelation that they were too late to save everyone.
Drift snaps back to the situation at hand when Soundwave says his name. "Right.." He reaches around to unstrap the bomb he's been carrying around and hand it over to Tailgate.
Fake it til you make it -- and Tailgate does such a /good job of faking it/.
As Ignition turns her attention to the Legislators and calls for a report, it's fairly clear in her thoughts when reports fail to arrive. The brisk stride of her feet through the hull is not as audible as it might /seem/, but Tailgate has to finish a rush to be sure they are safely out before the rest of the explosives detonate.
The first crack of explosives throws them into the black where the Rodpod hovers, what would normally be Rodimus's mouth transformed into a gaping bay to scoop them all up. You just got eaten by Rodimus's giant head. How do you feel?
As the bay doors transform closed again, they have a glimpse of Ignition fighting her way through the howling suck of vacuum, struggling to avoid being pulled out after them, and then the last of the explosives detonate in a blinding flare. They see no more.
The Rodpod coasts away, safe in the knowledge that however leisurely they saunter away, the Inquisition is far, far too damaged to catch up.