2015-12-04 Weathering The Storms

From Transformers: Lost and Found

The round ceremonial chamber is not as large as the jail, but it's still big. Syncons are gathered on the floor and line the single balcony running along the wall. At one end of the chamber, about as tall as the gilded walls, glows a large Decepticon symbol, seemingly trimmed with neon lighting. Before it, on a dais, sits an altar-like slab with the still body of Animus lying on it, trapped by localized constriction fields. The three Storms stand guard in front of it.

Standing above the altar, the focus of the attention of all the gathered bots, is a tall, fearsome-looking Decepticon, clad in plates of golden armor and a purple helm, with two pylons towering from his back: Bludgeon. His skull-like visage stares into the distance as he speaks.

"At last, my ascension is at hand!" Bludgeon produces a vicious-looking scalpel. "I have before me a being in possession of that which I have sought for so long: a green spark! A spark that the most powerful of all Cybertronians possess. A spark whose qualities I shall assume, and add to my own. Once I have transformed myself, through this ceremony, we shall return to Cybertron. And finally, under my glorious leadership, our world shall rise again!" The assembly erupts into cheers. Solemnly, Bludgeon begins cutting Animus' chest open.

To the side of the dais a table bears many other strange instruments which may be used during the ceremony, including the scanning device that was used on the away team in the alley.

Now this is about Rodimus's speed. An evil chamber filled with evil Decepticons doing evil things. Seeing the large Decepticon symbol on the wall, he can't help but smirk a little -- deep, deep down -- and make a mental note to rub it in Blast Off's face later. It's not like they've ever run across any evil Autobots cut--ting people open and doing weird ... things ... to sparks....

Tyrest started out an Autobot, didn't he?

Never mind. Rodimus burns the mental note.

"Hey! Ugly! Hands off my crew!" And with that Rodimus bursts forward, pairing his first stride with a shot fired dead on at Bludgeon.

Brainstorm has long since lost any desire for exploration and discovery. @emit Lagging near the end of the group, he's here mostly because he doesn't want to risk wandering off alone. For all he knows, he could run in to some stragler, or something worse. At least here he can count on the others to draw fire, and to protect him should something happen. Out there, he'd be on his own, and in these subterenian tunnels, he can't even relly on his jet form to escape.

The sight before him does absolutely nothing to make him want to move forward, either. Infact, it only brings back memories of recent..ideas. But that was different "Crazy, /and/ a Megatron wanabee" great combination!

Cyclonus does not enter with such dramatics as his Captain, but he does follow his Captain's lead in coming in armed: sword in hand, his gaze sweep sharply over the scene once they -- once /Rodimus/ -- bursts in. "Ah," he says in reply to Bludgeon's declaration, his voice dry. He strides forward to begin carving himself a path through the syncons like he's harvesting wheat.

<FS3> Cyclonus rolls Melee Weapons: Great Success. (3 4 4 8 6 1 7 2 8 7 3 5 4 8)

<FS3> Rodimus rolls Firearms+1: Good Success. (8 6 3 3 4 1 6 6 6 6 2 8)

A miniature robotic stego enters the melee, chainsaws whirring! Uttering something entirely unintelligible in a loud voice, Slugfest aims to maim!

Flipping back into her vehicle mode, Gearstrip goes, "I'm gonna go after their stuff!" and raced toward the table full of ceremonial gear on a burst of her antigrav thrusters. "What do you even think his spark is gonna do, guy?!"

<FS3> Slugfest rolls Melee Weapons: Success. (7 3 5 1 5 4 2)

<FS3> Gearstrip rolls Transportation+1: Good Success. (3 5 2 7 6 5 2 7 1 6)

Oh god, not this again. As they push forward to the next chamber, an ill feeling of deja vu washes over Tailgate as he takes it in and has about point-nothing seconds before Rodimus is already shooting across the room. Though he has his sling in one hand, he's not about to aggro anything he can't handle. When Gearstrip uses her thrusters to zoom off and towards the gear, he moves in her wake at a slower pace, still nursing his patchjob but ready to cover her charge; if anything nips at her heels he'll fire away at them.

<FS3> Tailgate rolls Body+body+1: Success. (3 2 1 1 7)

Without a break in concentration, Bludgeon shifts his shoulders and smoothly dodges Rodimus' otherwise well-placed shots. He looks up at the invaders. "I return your greetings. It appears you have defeated my pet, but no matter. Storms, Syncons, ATTACK! I must complete the ceremony!"

The Storms sail up and above the rabble, and each picks a target.

The bulkiest, known by the code name Thunderstorm, lands in front of Rodimus and puffs his chest out, arms on his hips and a hostile sneer on his face. Take your best shot.

The lithe and speedy Rainstorm unsheathes an ornate, curved blade and descends in front of Cyclonus, landing as five Syncons collapse in halves between them. Oh, he remembers the alley. He runs a finger along the sealed gash upon his chest, points to Cyclonus, and then makes a cutting motion across his neck. In a flash, he grips his blade with both hands and slashes.

The last, the black and silver Lightningstorm, settles to the floor in front of Brainstorm. One cannot help but notice an unsightly rip in his hat. He summons electrical charges through a complex array of hand motions and surrounds himself with, well, a lightning storm.

The remainder of the away team is left to fend off the lesser Syncons, who rush in by the command of their leader. They have not forgotten the rumble in the alleyway, though, and they are not as confident now as then. One of them proves the wisdom of their hesitation, though, as he is ripped up by stegosaws. Two of his compatriots, however, spot the cassetticon and make to tackle him.

A wide variety of weird devices rest on the table Gearstrip and Tailgate reach: cutting blades of varying shapes and sizes, some serrated; forceps and pliers; drills of different lengths and widths; probes and scanners, including the one used in the alley to home in on Animus; and welding equipment.

Slugfest squeals as some mechs try to tackle him! He whirrs his saws constantly, as they rip through an ill-fated lackey like scissors through tissue paper. He intends to do the same to the two mooks that are trying to mechhandle a stego! "No no no!" he protests.

<FS3> Slugfest rolls Melee Weapons: Success. (1 1 3 6 2 2 7)

Gearstrip reverts to root mode, standing on the table and staring down over the breadth of materials. She picks up the welder, far larger than the hand welder that she frequently whips out, and puffs out her cheeks a little as she looks across its length. "Do you think it would help stop them if I destroy stuff?" she asks Tailgate with a worried look. "Or-- or should we try and fight? Oh. Do you need a lift?"

"Yes," Cyclonus says, straightening as Rainstorm traces a finger over the gash in his chest. "I remember." His hands barely seem to twitch and his sword is already up and flashing to defend and counter. <FS3> Cyclonus rolls Melee Weapons: Great Success. (4 6 3 3 6 1 5 7 8 8 5 2 8 8)

"Really? You're just going to stand there?" Rodimus has never been one to turn down opportunity, although he does, on occasion (every occasion), make unwise choices: it's unsporting to shoot what with the guy just standing there and sneering, so he winds up for a punch instead. (He should really be shooting.) He jabs straight up to crack that smug little look off Thunderstorm's face. "Fine! You're just in my way!"

<FS3> Rodimus rolls Unarmed+1: Success. (5 4 2 3 4 6 8 1)

Storm meets 'storm, but as the first starts generating his deadly lightshow, the other makes no move to retaliate, his briefcase clutched to his chestplate, making no effort to hide the fear in his optics. Why did one of /those guys/ decide to ago after him. A mook would have been bad enough, but a 'Storm'? Nope! He's out of here! Jets may not be adiquitely equiped for indoor flying, but the room isn't /that/ small, and frankly, a few scratches would be preferable to being dead, so up, up and away it is, to anywhere that's not infront of an electricity throwing Decepticon.

Tailgate weaves after Gearstrip to the table and the array of frankly horrifying objects on it; his visor is wide at the blades and drills before she calls him back down to himself. "I don't know-- what looks important?" Destroy that! "We gotta get that guy away from Animus!" That's really all he knows for certain. "Give me a lift and maybe we can get close enough?" Tailgate tentatively picks up another welder from the table, giving it a quick test before nodding up to Gearstrip.

Gearstrip starts to fire up the welder to start slicing through drills -- she gets through the first couple before the wisdom of what Tailgate says sinks in. She nods gravely and then flips into her vehicle mode, dropping thrusterless to just above the ground where she fires her thrusters and hovers, waiting for Tailgate to board. "It's kinda risky getting in close," she says, "but I don't have a better idea."

Rodimus' punch strikes Thunderstorm's chest with a thud, but the latter does not move. He lets out a single, satisfied "heh", and then takes his turn with a punch of his own.

Rainstorm just had that fixed! Once again, Cyclonus' sword tears into him, and his look of surprise this time is mixed with a heavy dose of "Not again". He drops to his knees as he drops his sword to hold in his innards.

Lightningstorm watches Brainstorm fly off with curiosity; not a fighter, perhaps? But his honor will not be sullied. He rises into the air, and holds his hands up to summon a ball of electrified plasma between them, which he then fires at the fleeing jet.

Slugfest guts another Syncon, but the remaining one avoids the blades, grabbing the stego by its tail and holding it up. What do I do with this?

Bludgeon spots Tailgate and Gearstrip at his equipment table. He leaves the body of Animus and moves over, optics fixated upon them. "There are very advanced and complex pieces of equipment there, small ones, the product of much ... experimentation. It is unwise for you to be in such close proximity. You shall move away, or you shall taste my blade." He grips his sword in its scabbard with one hand, and with the thumb of the other pops its hilt up, so that the glowing blade peeks out.

Other members of the team are holding out for now. Slapdash is the worst among them, though; he plum forgot to bring a sidearm along on this little expedition, so he's duking it out with Syncons. Ammo and Fencer jointly decided they'll have to make up for him and are shooting and slashing, respectively, in his defense.

Connexion seems to be hanging back, but not idly. On the way here he had located his bag of tricks, confiscated when he was captured. He is spending most of his time rooting in it, interrupted by Syncons whom he bumps away with his ample frame (and perhaps a little something more, not easily noticed). Slugfest squalls and protests as he kicks his short lil legs while the nasty minion holds him by the tail, upside-down! "PUT ME DOWN!" He struggles and struggles, trying to swing himself sideways to try to nip at his captor.

<FS3> Slugfest rolls Melee Weapons: Success. (7 4 4 3 6 5 6) The clang reverberates from Rodimus's fist down his arm and right into his core. He shakes his hand out, but doesn't give Thunderstorm the satisfaction of a muttered, 'Ow'. He does, however, think it. He slides in and to the side, trying to move beneath the strike of Thunderstorm's punch so that he can get behind him and deliver a hard kick at the joint of his knee. <FS3> Rodimus rolls Unarmed: Success. (2 6 5 2 5 7 3)

"Yee!" Brainstorm doesn't even pause to figure out what the hell is heading for him. When there's something on a rapid colision course with you, you don't stop to think about it, you move. And thus, Brainstorm does, throwing everything he has in to a turn. Nopenopenopenope!

<FS3> Brainstorm rolls Transportation: Failure. (2 4 6 6)

"Be ready to move!" Tailgate tucks the welder up along his arm and hops up onto Gearstrip's alt mode; he doesn't weigh much, and between the two of them their size matches out. It's just in time, too-- they seem to get the Decepticon away from Animus, so that's good. Unfortunately that means he's over to them instead. Tailgate hefts the welder, flickering it in response to Bludgeon. It flashes orange and somewhat angry in the reflection of his visor, and he leans over on his perch on Gearstrip to poise the flame over the delicate probes and scanners. "Oh yeah?" Cue High Noon.

Gearstrip hovers in careful and vibrating stillness, preparing to dodge like Pegasus when the chimera moves to strike.

Cyclonus has no answer to Rainstorm. He watches the bot go down with a gaze almost impassive in its careful reserve, his fingers tightening on his sword, and then in a flash of movement the blade is slicing through Rainstorm's neck. He turns away without watching the aftermath, his gaze settling on Thunderstorm and Rodimus and the way that it is really not going in the Captain's favor. He reaps more syncon wheat on his way over to assist. <FS3> Cyclonus rolls Melee Weapons: Great Success. (7 6 1 5 8 1 2 3 8 3 6 5 3 7)

Thunderstorm earned his position as captain of the Storms due to his fighting prowess. He compensates for his opponent's attempt at a dodge and scores a solid hit. For his next trick, he rotates his shoulder cannons and prepares to unleash a pair of shockwaves. If any Syncons are behind Rodimus, oh well.

Lightningstorm smirks as his lightning ball connects with the jet. Should he continue the pursuit? He scans the field and sees the head of Rainstorm roll across the floor, and Syncons falling like dominoes. Ah, a worthy adversary. Still engulfed in lightning, he descends, summoning a second sphere and hurling it at Cyclonus in advance of closing in.

Slugfest succeeds in biting the annoying Syncon. Surprised, he drops him. Other Syncons nearby laugh, but they carefully surround the stego, penning him in, looking for an opening. Some have swords at the ready.

For a split second, Bludgeon's gaze darts to the scanners - one in particular. "As I said: UNWISE." In a smooth and controlled motion, Bludgeon unsheathes his sword and extends it to rest millimeters from Tailgate's neck. His unblinking optics return to bore into Tailgate's. "Drop the torch and you may live slightly longer."

Tiny stegos don't like being surrounded! Slugfest whirrs his chainsaws ever-faster, until you can barely see anything but a blurr on his back. He eyes the advancing Syncons, then charges, attempting to saw through a Syncon while trying to run through its legs.

<FS3> Slugfest rolls Melee Weapons: Success. (7 1 1 3 1 4 4) <FS3> Cyclonus rolls Fortitude: Good Success. (3 7 8 4 8 2 6 3)

Well, Rodimus earned his position as captain of the Lost Light by ... being friends with the guy who bought the ship.

That's ... pretty terrible, actually. It certainly doesn't say much for his prowess.

The solid blow sends Rodimus stumbling into a pivot. He comes around to find shoulder cannons leveled in his direction. Rodimus's eyes go wide. "Hey! No fair!" They were playing nice! A good game of slap-slap! And here this guy goes bringing cannons to a fist fight. Rather than do the sensible thing -- where the sensible thing is DODGE -- Rodimus stands his ground and plays a life-or-death game of quick draw. He fires.

<FS3> Rodimus rolls Firearms: Failure. (1 4 3 4 5 2 2 2 4 5 2)

Brainstorm yelps as, despite all his efforts, the lighning ball flies in to him, sending a surge of pain and electricity through him, causing him to lose control of his own systems for several moments. This may have not been so bad if he were stationary, but in flight, and in mid-turn to boot, this is hardly a good thing.

He lands with all the grace and subtulty of a fighter jet spining out of control and smacking in to the ground, although by the time he comes to a stop, he's shifted back in to root mode, still clutching his precious briefcase, a dazed look on his face.

Cyclonus stumbles as the sphere of lightning blindsides him, but he's able to stay up and turn his attention fully to Lightningstorm with low-boiling fury in his optics. He lifts his sword to meet the Storm's attack. Rodimus will just have to take care of himself.

<FS3> Cyclonus rolls Melee Weapons: Success. (4 7 6 4 6 4 1 6 1 2 1 3 5 6)

As Bludgeon's sword stops so very close to him, Tailgate's hand rests firmly on the trigger, and the flame burns as he holds the welder in a hover over the table. The flame shrinks to a low burn. His other hand is on Gearstrip, palm ready to hang on tight. If he blinks under the scrutiny of the Decepticon's stare, there's hardly any telling; his visor stays lit, though. Inside, his spark is buzzing in a panic, and he can practically feel it in his head. "Connexion has been playing you this whole time!" Where's he going with this? Half-truths, from what he heard in the jail. He was paying attention! "How do you know you've really found what you were looking for?!"

<FS3> Tailgate rolls Deception: Great Success. (1 5 8 7 2 7 2 4 8 3 6)

The little hums and shivers of ready tension as Gearstrip hovers in place are paired with a gathering whine in her systems as she struggles with the tension inherent to the hostage tableau of Bludgeon's blade centered on her passenger. Her sensors are trained on him, prepared to hurtle out of harm's way instantaneously at the first opportunity.

Rodimus' shots at Thunderstorm go wide as the blasts from the latter's cannons knock the captain away. Any Syncons further back would fall like bowling pins as the Autobot sails back. Satisfied for the moment, he finally turns away, and notices with shock that his underling Rainstorm has been dispatched. His mouth closes and optics glow with fury, and he locates the culprit: Cyclonus. His remaining charge is nearby, so no shockwaves this time; with an anguished yell, he leaps.

For his part, Lightningstorm easily blocks the swing of the sword with his shield of electricity. Seeing that his captain has chosen to engage, however, he yields and moves away. He then sees that his master may be having a small bit of trouble, so he starts to float towards the equipment table.

The most unfortunate Syncon ever is sliced apart from underneath as Slugfest escapes his confinement. The laughter from the others ceases, and they give chase.

Bludgeon hesitates. "He has? He has, hasn't he! He's with you, he told you, did he? First the tale about green optics, and then - the scanner, it must work. My master created it! But ... I had to perfect it ... did he ..." His brilliant mind is momentarily overcome with calculations and suppositions, determining if his spark scanner could have been compromised in its design. The distraction causes his blade to waver and drift to one side.

From across the chamber, Connexion perhaps has a better grasp of the overall situation than those under nearly constant assault. "Your friend is left unguarded! You must save him so that the ceremony cannot be completed!" He bumps aside another Syncon.

As the blade drifts, Gearstrip moves instantaneously, bursting in a sudden thrust to bring Tailgate out of the reach of Bludgeon's weapon. She sweeps closer to the scanner that Bludgeon paid so much attention to, dipping slightly in her motion so that Tailgate can maybe snag it as they burst past. "We're gonna live so long," she pipes up, which is-- not exactly the wittiest comeback ever, but oh well.

Flat on his back, spoiler dented, Rodimus wheezes, "Yeah, you better run." He has to work to sit up, finally doing so with a groan of metal. He shakes his head to clear it. (Something rattles.) He drives his fist into the ground and pushes to his feet, staggering as he finds his footing. He looks after Thunderstorm, fingers twitching with the urge to fire, then glances at Animus. "Ugh." He turns his back on the fight and dashes (limps) for the altar. "Brainstorm! Get over here!"

Tailgate gets a little more information than he started with, possibly. He watches the doubt sow itself behind Bludgeon's optics, and for a moment he is far too aware that he's gotten far too good at lying to someone's face. He'll have time to mull this later. Hopefully.

Tailgate spies the shift of the blade, and as he feels Gearstrip rumble underfoot he hunkers down and holds on, dropping the welder through the air towards the table in an attempt to reach down to snap up that One Scanner instead.

The way he sees it, Brainstorm has two options. He can either remain where he is, sprawled out on the ground, and play dead until the hostilities end, or he can get up and try to get to saftey again. Playing dead means it will be less likely that he will draw attention, but with all these people fighting everywhere, it also greatly increases the chance of him being trampled, and makes it harder for him to react if he is noticed. On the other hand, getting up and running means that someone will probably see him, but it also means that he can just keep on running, asuming nothing like that hits him again.

Or, there's the newly appeared third option -- getting up close to someone who can protect him, like Rodimus, who is conveniently calling for him. Climbing to his feet, Brainstorm starts towards the captain, slowly at first, as his legs still hurt from both the jolt and the crash, but eventually, the fear of being out in the open overcomes the pain enough for him to pick up the pace as he tries to avoid getting mixed in the ongoing fight again.

<FS3> Gearstrip rolls Transportation+1: Success. (6 1 4 8 6 1 4 3 2 5)

Cyclonus is not expecting another general so soon -- you were supposed to be taking care of this one, Rodimus!! He twists, lifting his sword to try and block as the other general fortunately slips away to find a new target.

<FS3> Cyclonus rolls Melee Weapons: Amazing Success. (8 8 6 8 8 8 7 2 1 2 4 6 6 1)

Slugfest runs and runs! Pursued by Syncons, he runs circles, trying to shake them by darting under objects that won't allow the Syncons to follow.

Thunderstorm gets a taste of his own medicine as the force from Cyclonus' block sends him flying. He crashes into a column, and the balcony above him collapses, raining down rubble and burying him out of sight.

Slugfest's darting around columns, statues, and such creates a comical trail of Syncons that bang into each other as they attempt to grab him. Finally the chase leads to one Syncon with a dreadful-looking spiked mace, who's been watching the whole thing and is already wound up. He swings as the stego gets close.

Bludgeon's attention returns to the room too late, as he sees the two intruders make off with his scanner! His sword sings as it leaves its scabbard but slices nothing but air. He quickly assesses the room, and sees Rodimus and Brainstorm heading to the altar, while Lightningstorm hovers above. He beckons to his Storm to chase the thieves, while he himself returns to the altar; he would arrive just as the Autobots do.

Lightningstorm reacts as quickly as his namesake, rocketing forward and sending an arc of lightning at the scooter and its rider.

Finally, Connexion found what he was looking for in his bag. He shakes his fist at Bludgeon as he is walking to the altar. "I have something for you, evil one!" He puts one leg back, drawing back the arm on the same side while the other points forward. From a gemstone in his rear hand a purple beam emerges, shooting at Bludgeon. It erupts into a brilliant burst of standing light beside the Decepticon, and within it the silhouette of an ancient warrior forms. With slow but expert motions, it begins to strike at Bludgeon with its own dark sword. Now Bludgeon has to contend with this distraction as well!

Slugfest realizes he's running towards a Syncon that's trying to do the old batter-up on a stego! He tries to dart to the side before the Mace connects, while trying to deflect any blow with his tail! <FS3> Slugfest rolls Defense: Success. (8 5)

Gearstrip fires her thrusters in a pattern of evasive maneuvers as the electricity arcs toward them. Her yelling basically comes down to, "Aaah! Aaaaaaah!" as she veers, attempting to use some of the traffic of Syncons to screen her and Tailgate as she dodges low to weave through the air.

"Brainstorm, get Animus free." Battered and dented, Rodimus slides between Bludgeon and his crew to give Brainstorm room to work. He rolls his shoulder back, joint clicking as he squares his stance. "I'll take care of this guy," he very optimistically says. He lifts his chin, snaps on his guns, and grins at Bludgeon. "Should've picked some other brand of crazy, nutjob." Lifting his arms, he fires. <FS3> Rodimus rolls Firearms+1: Good Success. (3 2 3 8 4 4 4 4 7 1 3 6)

"Aaaaahh!" Tailgate echoes his ride, clutching the scanner to his chest as he zooms away atop Gearstrip, shouting in surprise when they find themselves chased by one of the storm trio who aims to strike them with his namesake. All he can do is keep his head down and try to give her an extra lean in momentum when she needs to turn. Minis screaming, good sign. Fine. FINE. Cyclonus has now dealt with two out of four generals like a freaking twink, and now he looks around for more twinking to do. Oh look. Gearstrip is flying around trying not to die with Tailgate on top of her. Hm. He tracks the lightning attacking them back to Lightningstorm and his fury rises. No. None of that. He leaps towards the bot, sword raised.

<FS3> Cyclonus rolls Melee Weapons: Good Success. (8 3 3 6 5 7 5 5 5 3 1 4 6 8)

<FS3> Gearstrip rolls Aerobatics+1: Good Success. (5 7 5 5 7 4 6 5)

The sight of the incomming Bludgegon only encourages Brainstorm to pick up his pace even more, and pain be damned, practically sprinting by the time he ducks behind Rodimus, more than happy to let him handle the self proclaimed Megatron 2.0. With the iminent threat to his life occupied elsewhere, he's free to turn his attention to the altar, though not before throwing Rodimus a look and a "Right in the middle of this?" before crouching down to give the setup a look nonetheless. Generators, power source, access panel. There's gotta be something here!

<FS3> Brainstorm rolls Engineering: Good Success. (3 2 2 4 1 3 3 8 7 5 6)

The zap from Lightningstorm misses, electrocuting a pair of Syncons in the way instead. Then he takes a solid blow from Cyclonus, and his pursuit is interrupted. He lands roughly, with a glowing rip in his arm to match his hat. He looks up at Cyclonus and his white optics sear brighter. With a high-pitched yell, he generates his largest shield of electricity yet, a sphere of arcing plasma around him that shocks a few Syncons for good measure. He spreads his arms with fingers bent like claws, and four tendrils of energy extend. He swipes, and they thrust at Cyclonus.

Swing and a miss? Not exactly. The mace swung at Slugfest meets with and rebounds against a spiky tail, which brings it swinging back around and into the head of its wielder, knocking him out.

Before Bludgeon can return to the altar, Connexion's phantom assaults him, and although its movements are slow, he has to defend himself as he goes. Rodimus' shots are on target, searing holes in his armor and halting his advance. Despite the distraction, he is able to split his attention enough to get a look at the captain. "I remember you. My quarry. You would have made a perfect sacrifice for the greater glory of Cybertron, but for a lucky shot," he spits at the end. "You still would. I wonder how your luck is today, without a cowardly sniper to protect you."

Behind Rodimus, Brainstorm's fiddling with the altar's controls succeeds, and he has control of its constriction fields.

Cyclonus steps back, gaze sharp and calculating on the tenderils of energy. He tries to sidestep the attack rather than meat it head-on so that he can continue to close the distance between him and Lightningstorm.

<FS3> Cyclonus rolls Reaction+Reaction: Success. (3 4 5 7)

Gearstrip brakes, slowing to a tamer pace and then again to a hover. Her panels light blue beneath Tailgate's feet. Reorienting in the direction of the altar without immediately applying momentum again, she goes, "You okay up there? Still got the thing?"

Slugfest yays when the Mace backfires on its handler, continuing to flee the conga line of Syncons still running after him. When one gets too close he swings his tail to try to keep them off of it. "NO TOUCHING THE TAIL!"

<FS3> Slugfest rolls Melee Weapons: Success. (6 3 1 6 1 4 8)

"Got it!" Brainstorm excaims cheerfully as the controls respond to his bidding "Shutting the fields down now" he glances over at Rodimus, though the expression on his face dampens a bit again as he spots Bludgegon once more, before shifting to mild confusion, and curisosity at the sight of the shadow. No, no, he has deal with this first. Questions can come later, when no one's shooting at each other anymore.

Tailgate lifts his head as the lightning slams into Syncons, eyes moving as he spots the blur of royal purple of Cyclonus diving in on the source of it. Sometimes it's nice to know a guy that will literally leap into a fray to stab things, isn't it? On the inside, he cheers, even as the wielder creates his next attack. His feet brace on Gearstrip's panels when they brighten underfoot.

"Yeah! I've got the thing." Tailgate isn't sure what it does, but he has it!

"Good! Get him and find cover!" Rodimus calls back at Brainstorm. He doesn't dare look away from Bludgeon. He shifts to keep between them. He gives Bludgeon a brighter smile for recognition. "My luck's pretty good. I'm still standing, aren't I? You don't get to call anyone cowardly when you keep trying to kill other people for your latest crazy idea. Why don't you sacrifice yourself for a change?" He fires again, the rest of his words a snarl: "Do the rest of us a favor!"

<FS3> Rodimus rolls Firearms+1: Great Success. (1 2 3 8 5 8 6 5 7 7 2 3)

The electric fingers from Lightningstorm's latest attack slide along with Cyclonus and penetrate. The Storm's chin lifts up, every so slightly, in satisfaction. But now for complete victory, in a manner worthy of this opponent. Hands up high, a bar of plasma forms above him, a spear of pure electrical power. Once complete, he rotates his hands to point it at Cyclonus, and then with a swift downward swipe of his hands, it flies.

The Syncons are thinning out. While a good number have been cut up, zapped, or otherwise bowled over, some have also decided that they should get out while the getting is good. Those remaining are either the bravest or the most foolish. Two of them now face Slugfest, twirling bolas over their heads. With a snap they release them, and they spin forward in an attempt to entangle.

Connextion's concentration is broken as a Syncon manages to bat at him and cause him to drop his gemstone. The specter distracting Bludgeon flickers and vanishes.

Rodimus' second volley does even more damage than the first, knocking Bludgeon's sword away and damaging his legs. He doesn't cry out, but simply reaches for and produces a knife, its blade glowing as well. He resumes his advance, slower now, with his eyes fixated on Rodimus. "Sacrifices are necessarily for the greater glory. Glory cannot be achieved without sacrifice, of course!. But this is too far for one such as you, is it? Unfit for glory, Autobot leader? Let me show you the way." He expertly lifts the knife up and throws it at Rodimus.

"Right!" 'Get out of the fight' -- now that's an order Brainstorm can get behind! His optics darting pereodically to the side to keep tabs on the nearby fight, he looks down at Animus, offering the would be sacrifice his free hand, "Can you move?"

At first coasting toward Brainstorm and Animus, Gearstrip sails on climbing height, giving good vantage to the whole battlefield as she moves. "Uh oh," she says, and banks to reorient towards Lightningstorm to buzz past his head toward the space of air behind him to maybe give Tailgate a chance at a shot. "What I wouldn't give for a really good grounding agent right now," she says as they glide.

Cyclonus stumbles as the electric fingers penetrate his frame, the attack slowing his advance on Lightningstorm. He tries to move forward quicker to close the distance (you know, into stabbing range), but he has to try to stumble aside again to avoid the electric plasma spear being thrown at him.

<FS3> Cyclonus rolls Reaction+reaction: Success. (6 2 1 8)

"You're telling me--" Tailgate braces his feet, angling to grip his slingshot. Of course he's going to take a shot! He pulls back as hard as he can and aims at the back of Lightningstorm's frame as they vault past. Try hard mode.

<FS3> Tailgate rolls Firearms+1: Good Success. (1 8 7 2 2 5) <FS3> Tailgate rolls Deadeye: Good Success. (8 5 3 6 7 3 8)

"Funny thing: people like you? Who talk about sacrifice? Costs of glory? You're always trying to make someone else pay." Possible reactions to having a knife thrown at you, in descending order of reasonableness: duck, dodge, parry, try to grab the GLOWING KNIFE out of THE AIR and throw it back at the bad guy.

Guess which one Rodimus picks. "Pay up!"

<FS3> Rodimus rolls Style+1: Good Success. (5 3 4 1 6 7 4 7 3 5 5 6 5 4 1)

Animus wiggles his arms and legs eagerly. "Yes, finally! What say you and me move very very far away from here?" There's no Syncons nearby and Rodimus has Bludgeon occupied, so escape would be no trouble. Ammo and Fencer are looking satisfied with themselves, having cleared the opposition in their area, including anyone harassing Connexion.

Tailgate's shot, amazingly enough, finds its way through the lightning shield and beans its projector in the head, tearing a hole in his hat as it goes. Although the spear he hurls still sticks its target, the shot eliminates its lethality. It also confuses him, and he looks around to see what that was.

One of the last remaining Syncons is a bit taller than the rest, and has a noticable blemish on his forehead. He espies the small one who gifted him with it hovering nearby, and his optics burn. He steps up very, very slowly, and hoists a large, heavy scimitar about his head. It may take him a few seconds, but he will swing that thing down!

Rodimus snatches the knife from midair and quickly throws it back at Bludgeon. It stabs in the center of his chest, and the Decepticon stumbles and falls. He reaches to pull the blade out, and as he struggles, he turns his head to the side and sees those two little bots, one holding his scanner. If anything happens to that, all his plans are destroyed!

Animus wiggles his arms and legs eagerly. "Yes, finally! What say you and me move very very far away from here?" There's no Syncons nearby and Rodimus has Bludgeon occupied, so escape would be no trouble. Ammo and Fencer are looking satisfied with themselves, having cleared the opposition in their area, including anyone harassing Connexion.

Tailgate's shot, amazingly enough, finds its way through the lightning shield and beans its projector in the head, tearing a hole in his hat as it goes. Although the spear he hurls still sticks its target, the shot eliminates its lethality. It also confuses him, and he looks around to see what that was.

One of the last remaining Syncons is a bit taller than the rest, and has a noticable blemish on his forehead. He espies the small one who gifted him with it hovering nearby, and his optics burn. He steps up very, very slowly, and hoists a large, heavy scimitar about his head. It may take him a few seconds, but he will swing that thing down!

Rodimus snatches the knife from midair and quickly throws it back at Bludgeon. It stabs in the center of his chest, and the Decepticon stumbles and falls. He reaches to pull the blade out, and as he struggles, he turns his head to the side and sees those two little bots, one holding his scanner. If anything happens to that, all his plans are destroyed!

<FS3> Gearstrip rolls Transportation+1: Good Success. (4 1 7 5 1 2 7 5 3 1)

<FS3> Cyclonus rolls Fortitude: Great Success. (2 2 5 7 3 7 8 8)

Cyclonus stumbles. The spear he hasn't been able to avoid has pierced his frame, although low in his abdomen to avoid his spark. He falls to one knee, and for a moment it looks like he won't be able to rise again. Then with visible effort he braces himself on his sword and drags himself back to his feet. Summoning the last of his strength, he tries to take advance of Lightningstorm's distraction to finally close that distance and finish this. <FS3> Cyclonus rolls Melee Weapons: Good Success. (5 7 3 2 8 4 5 6 6 2 8 1 6 4)

Helping Animus to his feet, Brainstorm nods readily "That's what Rodimus said to do!" to disobey would be mutiny, and you know him, always the good, rule abiding Autobot! He would never do anything even remotely illegal! Really! (Just don't go digging around his workshop too much. You'll just be wasting time. There's nothing there, honest! Just don't bother! And don't ask about the ship's weapons either.)

A brief glance around the room is all the engineer needs to locate a safe route to a safe spot, near Ammo and Fencer. He starts towards it eagerly, almost forgetting about Animus, though, after a glance at the other bot, he does slow down a bit, ready to offer him a hand if he should need it.

Rodimus looks pleased with himself for about a half-second before Bludgeon gets all distracted by the minis. "Hey! HEY. I'm not done with you!" PAY ATTENTION TO HIM. "Over here, ugly!" He fires again, and again, pouring on a hail of gunfire to pull Bludgeon's attention back in his direction.

<FS3> Rodimus rolls Firearms: Good Success. (6 1 5 7 1 8 8 6 4 5 4)

As Animus and Brainstorm approach the others, Ammo looks at them with mild surprise. "Well, you rescued him at least. Hmm. That's good." Sorry, Brainstorm, that's probably the best compliment you'll get out of him. Fencer nods once, so, even less there. Slapdash simply moves up to help Animus.

Connexion waddles up to Brainstorm. "Almost done! Now for the scanner. If he gets it back, he can just find another victim. If we cannot destroy him, we must destroy the scanner!"

If not for his polydermal armor, the third set of shots from Rodimus would have finished off Bludgeon; however, they still do a wonderful job of keeping him down on the ground, and have the desired effect of returning his attention to the Autobot. "So," he mutters painfully. "What is your judgement, Autobot? Will you make me pay? Am I to be a sacrifice for your glory?" With a jerk he pulls the knife from his chest and holds it at the ready.

Lightningstorm swats at Gearstrip as she zooms by with Tailgate holding on for dear life. His hat is knocked off again and skitters to the ground. This gives Cyclonus the opening to score another sword strike, this time across his chest. Flustered, the last remaining Storm sails up into the air. He sees the scanner in enemy hands, but his master nearly defeated. He quickly spins up another ball of lightning and fires it at Rodimus.

<FS3> Rodimus rolls Reaction+reaction+1: Great Success. (2 8 1 4 7 8 8)

The big Syncon is quite slow, and his downward stroke completely misses Tailgate. He picks the blade up again and lumbers after them. He won't catch them unless they choose to get close.

"Don't tempt me." Rodimus's guns whine a warning as he keeps them in check. "You're going back to Cybertron, where you'll answer for what you--"

He's in the middle of monologuing. It's a hero monologue. They are different than villain monologues, but no less self-involved. There's a lot less 'sacrifice' and a lot more 'justice'. Still, though -- monologue. That Rodimus manages to catch a glimpse of the crackling blast of electricity and react to it, diving out of the way, is really quite remarkable. That he comes up firing at Lightningstorm is just to be expected. "I'm busy over here!" <FS3> Rodimus rolls Firearms+1: Good Success. (3 7 3 4 2 1 1 8 5 5 5 5)

"Destroy it? Easy!" Gearstrip sails across the room, gathering momentum as she speeds past Cyclonus and weaves onward toward the door. Bearing Tailgate out of the battle as he holds tight to their prize, she drops to her wheels, weaving and rolling past Rodimus. She finally brakes to a halt to let Tailgate get off, and flips out her mini-welder. "Here goes!" she says, dropping to a knee over the scanner so that she can start to melt through its casing in searing strokes of her spot welder. She leaves Tailgate to cover her with his awesome slingshot for the precious seconds this will take.

When Lightningstorm steps back and then flies off, Cyclonus looks very much like he'd like to lie down and take an old man nap. But, great, there's a big Syncon chasing Tailgate and Gearstrip around. That's just great. He slowly starts to drag himself over to put a stop to that.

<FS3> Cyclonus rolls Melee Weapons: Great Success. (1 3 7 6 6 1 5 3 7 7 3 1 4 7)

"Like I said before, I was kinda busy watching everyone's backs back there" Brainstorm shoots Ammo an offended look. Haven't they been over this already? Really, guys! Well then, two can play at this ignoring you game! Instead, he turns to Connexion, though as the older bot explains what it would take to end all this, the expression on the engineer's face shifts to one of disapointment, which only gets worse as Gearstrip follows his instructions. He really would have liked to get a peek at that. There has got to be a better way. He turns to look at Bludgeon, then at Rodimus, then back to the Con, and then back again at the Captain "Or you know, just kill him. Not like he doesn't deserve it"

The bolas tossed at Slugfest are ineffective! The stego's chainsaws easily sever their cords. Not far away, Cyclonus' latest sword technique (he is really getting a workout today) decimates the tall Syncon; he has but a moment to turn his head to look at what got him before he falls to pieces.

A moment is all Bludgeon needs. With Rodimus' attention elsewhere, he rolls backward and to his feet. It is only then that he sees that Animus, his ceremonial sacrifice, has escaped, and his spark scanner, the means of finding others suitable to sacrifice, has been destroyed. Bludgeon lets out a cry of anguish. "Noooo! All of my work is ruined! I was nearly a god among Cybertronians!" He looks around with a malevolent glow in his dead optics. "You all shall pay! You all shall die!"

And with that, the entirety of the ceremonial chamber starts to shake. Dust and sand falls in small cascades from the ceiling and pebbles bounce across the floor. Columns holding up the balcony begin to fracture and crumble. The lighting around the enormous Decepticon symbol sparks and sections go out.

The remaining Syncons scatter to any exit they can find, while LightningStorm returns to his master's side. Bludgeon makes no effort to leave the chamber; it's clear he means to cave it in on himself and everyone else. It would be a good idea to run. Now.

"Uh oh." Gearstrip looks up, startled and bug-eyed behind her goggles. "Quick, hop back on!" she says, and seconds later she's got Tailgate back aboard and she's sputtering with thrust back up into the air heading toward the exit.

"More like king of the loony bin!" Rodimus shouts back at Bludgeon. "Enjoy an eternity of going crazier." As the Decepticon and his minion make their stand, he turns away to sweep the room for stragglers, making sure the last of his crew get out the door. With Gearstrip and Tailgate to lead the way, they do like the meta says: they run.

Thanks, but no thanks, Bludgeon. Brainstorm is not a huge fan of this whole dying thing, so he hardly needs much encouragment to follow Gearstrip's lead and make for the exit. Shame about the scanner, but its not that big of a deal, and certianly not worth risking dying over.

Cyclonus -- is a straggler. It's slow going for him, what with a plasma spear embedded in his frame. He might need. Help. Moving quickly. Before they all die.

Help arrives, battered and bleeding, as Rodimus offers Cyclonus an arm to lean on. They are the last ones out. For their sake, let's pretend it is because they stop to be sure that the others are safe, first; let's ignore that they can't move any faster. As the ceremonial chamber collapses around Bludgeon, the Lost Lighters make their escape.

Slugfest scampers out of the room with the other Lost Lighters, after rahring at the retreating Syncons before exiting.

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