2016-01-10 Welcome to Scira

From Transformers: Lost and Found

Welcome to Scira
Date 2016/01/10
Location Sciria
Participants Blast Off, Cyclonus, Drift, Mercy, Pipes, Punch, Quicksight, Rodimus, Tailgate
NPCs Crazy Eight
Plot Arena
Scene GM Sao
Summary Welcome to Scira and it's weird flying things!

The city exists on variegated levels, each rimmed in a different hue of light, from brilliant white, to a pale pink, to a brilliant red light, to finally the rich amethyst cast of the highest level. Each street is peopled with dozens of species. Shops and businesses cluster together in limited space, vying for attention in neons and flourescents. Small craft flit between the levels.

What's most notable about the busy cityscape into which the team of Lost Lighters enters from the endless, sun-soaked heat of the purple desert beyond is that, in most places Cybertronians go throughout all creation, mechanoid life in general and Cybertronian warmongers in particular get a serious side-eye from the locals. Here, it's hard to tell if anyone cares at all.

That's partly because here, there are no locals. Planet Scira may have some local population of some kind but it's hard to tell who exactly it is. Biological, biomechanical: every kind of interstellar traveling life is represented here, particularly if they have some form of wealth to transfer. Advertising designed to attack all the senses there are (and some that Cybertronians don't even have, probably) assaults them from the moment they enter at the lowest, white-lit level of the city. The moment they pass the first gates into the city, someone is trying to sell them something. It could be illegal, but it's hard for anything to be illegal here besides getting away without paying.

The city is brighter than Rodimus. He looks somewhere between impressed, appalled, and deeply, profoundly jealous. "I should get a repaint," he says, succumbing to the assault of an advertisement for responsive mood-paint and flame-motif alterations. He glances back for Drift with a grin. "After I drive you into the dirt, of course. Check this out, though!" He eagerly points out a display which makes his current frame and bodywork seem subtle and classy with its flashy neon brilliance. "Awesome, right?"

Cyclonus is mostly here to keep Tailgate out of trouble. It's definitely not because he's been figuratively dragged here by his roommate. Also, he's interested in things sometimes, okay!! He is not so susceptible to the glut of advertisement as some in the party; his gaze remains coolly impassive as it pans slowly over their surroundings.

Blast Off is perfectly happy to stay inside the city- the purple deserts have a nice color to them, to be sure, but the sand tends to get in one's joints and gears and if there's the tiniest crack in your heat shields- ugh. No. The merchants trying to seel him stuff gets an annoyed glance and an especially aggressive one induces a trigger finger twitch, but no... mustn't shoot anyone if he can help it, right? At least not yet. As it is, the Combaticon gives them an icy stare then walks away with as much aloof superiority as he can muster. Maybe he can find some specialty engex here, something /special/ for something he has planned later.

Pipes looks at all the shops with vindication. Why vindication? Well, until a few cycles ago Pipes was stuck in medibay due to a second catapult-related accident. When he learned about what this city had to offer - shops upon shops, specifically, literally stacked high - he uncharacteristically agitated to be set free, I mean, discharged to accompany the away team. Ambulon was not wholly convinced, and Pipes may have been rude in insisting that the injuries a) weren't bothering him too much and b) weren't related to him actually being catapulted, which Ambulon had forbade (and which Pipes would have done anyway, but that's beside the point). The conversation ended with a grumpier-than-usual Ambulon perfunctorily patching the stegoslashes in Pipes, and Pipes thanking him and virtually running to the transport.

So, cool (temporary) scars and all, Pipes is here, optics ogling at all the commerce. "I'm going shopping. Who's with me?" He looks at Tailgate, and for some reason at Punch. Drift has been listening to Rodimus' trash talking ever since they agreed to race and he's anxious to get a chance to make him eat those words, but first there's a whole new city to explore. "So awesome," he says, staring at the ridiculous display Rodimus points out. "You think it's flashy enough though? You might need to double up on flames if you get something like that."

They're here to get supplies-- Tailgate's not exactly expecting the assault on his senses otherwise. It's not a subtle place, that's for sure. He was pretty open about letting Cyclonus know that it would probably be an awesome field trip, and stopped short of actually trying to drag him. He may have worked the 'what if people start something with us?' angle. Tailgate's gaze, in contrast to that of the swordsmech, is somewhere between wonderment and delight. Even if it's a weird place, it's pretty cool. "We should try to find the weirdest things we can." Tailgate is near enough to Pipes at the comment to him that he lifts a hand to knuckle light at the other bot's elbow. "You could use a centerpiece for your collection, right?"

Quicksight takes this all in with a curious wonder in his optics. During the war, his viewpoint of alien world has mostly been from a bird's-eye perspective. After that, his job was over, and things were handed over to the fighters, planners, and so on. He rarely got to see such places from this angle. Oh, sure, he intends to get airborne at some point, but for now, he might as well enjoy the view, since he's here. Right now, he's subconsciously keeping closer to the only other Decepticon in the group. Who'd want to be close to Autobots anyways?

Absorbing all that he can take in Punch is happy for the distraction provided in abundance around him. Looking casually at the adverts Punch takes extra care not to catch the gaze of the many sellers and their many more wares. He's not buying... yet. Just browsing. He does catch the look from Pipes and, after taking a moment to consider the question, Punch replies, "I can handle a little window shopping, sure." Stopping for a moment Punch drinks it all in. A very, VERY welcome distraction.

"You think so?" Rodimus considers the display with a thoughtful sort of expression. "Yeah, you're right." Clearly not flashy enough. "Better get more flames, too." He leans forward, studying the display in-depth to try to figure out where the shop is for post-race gloating. "What about you? I mean I know flames aren't you think, but aren't you tired of the whole Circle of Light aesthetic yet?" Tired of it. Asks the guy who has had flames painted on his chest for over four million years.

Cyclonus most follows Tailgate, either at his side or behind as they move along, kind of like a particularly gloomy-looking shadow. He does not comment on the value of looking for 'the weirdest things they can,' but he doesn't argue, at least.

The bustle doesn't give them a lot of time to orient themselves. The group gets buzzed by a low-flying aircraft, towing a banner that whips with silky white fabric in a stream behind it. It's moving too quickly to get a clear idea of what it is selling. It's skimming close enough the fabric literally catches on Cyclonus's horns and rips as the flyer zooms past.

Ah, yes, the only two sane people in the group are obviously going to be the Decepticons (as far as the Decepticons are concerned, at least). Blast Off envisions shooting another pesty merchant - and that aircraft that buzzes low by them all- but again exhibits so much restraint and poise (SO MUCH) by simply giving them an icy glare of death (his second? third? in five minutes) and moving on. He glances over to the other mech and speaks so that only he can hear.

"Quicksight. What do you think? Did you ever see much of planets like this during the war? I did, and I have to admit it's places- and people- like this that can make me long for the good old days." Of getting to shoot anyone who annoys you, basically.

?I so could,? Pipes responds to Tailgate. No he couldn?t. He has at least a hundred centerpiece-worthy artifacts with him on the Lost Light alone, but such an evaluation is invisible in the glare of these lights. He scans them sedulously and finds the first promising sign: ?All Organic? in bright green neon with a patchwork green-and-blue orb rotating below it. Seems as likely as anywhere to have Earth stuff. He reaches to grab Tailgate?s and Punch?s hands and pull them along into the shop. Cyclonus may follow if he isn?t distracted by errant aircraft banners.

Mercy is moving with the rest of them, wide optics taking in the various craziness that is...wherever they are. Her mouth hangs open, slightly, and she whispers, "It's so pretty!" Only Mercy would be likely to say -that- at this particular moment - but it's what the medic seems to focus on.

When Tailgate is with someone like Pipes, he feels right at home. Tiny guys being bros. He looks up as the low flying craft runs above them, and the minibot is just a tad late when he chimes, "Look out for that--" Oops. When Pipes grabs onto his hand, Tailgate stumbles along, half looking back at poor assaulted Cyclonus as he is tugged into the shop Pipes has picked out. He's coming, just hold your horsepower! Gentle!

"You need all the flames, bro. If you ever think you have enough, you're wrong. The answer is always more flames." This kind of encouragement is probably why Rodimus hasn't gotten sick of the flames he's been sporting for.. what? His entire life? Drift hovers by Rodimus' side, optics darting around as he tries to take in everything all at once. "What's wrong with the Circle of Light aesthetic? I think it looks cool and it lets people know what I'm all about right away." As if the Great Sword on his back didn't announce his involvement with the Circle, but considering Cyclonus also has one.. not really an exclusive thing anymore. "Why? What would you suggest? And don't say flames, I can't steal your thing."

Cyclonus frowns. He /frowns/. His horn is too sharp and his weight too solid and grounded for it to even tug at his head; the banner just slices cleanly where it snags. He wastes a moment glaring at the flyer before he looks back down to see Tailgate being dragged into one of the shops by Pipes. He curses low and quiet and moves to follow.

"Oi!" This call comes from a short, hairy ball of fluff with a massive metallic bodyguard -- the bodyguard looks like it is another ball of fluff, actually, but it is inside a gargantuan armor. It's emerging from one of the shops -- purveyors of fine toys and robotics! -- with a small robot dragon on a leash. "Cybertronians. I say," says the littlest ball of fluff, "Autobot creatures, are you here to market your war criminals? That auction house on emerald level is full of scam artists but I can give you a fair price right here." "Screek," says the robot dragon. It flaps its flightless wings.

No matter how busy the location, nature (or indeed species) of the people or how much of a discount's on offer in the sales Punch has learned how to survive in the urban jungle. Pipes enthusiastic towing towards one of the many shops is met with no resistance. Punch looks and sees the ancient saviour of reluctant shoppers everywhere.

The 'No Smoking' sign out front. Nodding to it he says to Pipes, "I need a smoke. I'll be just outside." Punch then looks for the second marker of safety. Everywhere that sells... sells food. Sometimes that's a stretch of the word but anyway. Food comes in wrappers. Those wrappers theoretically go in bins. People flow around these recepticles just enough to provide shelter from the storm. Allowing the smoker to... well smoke. Which is what Punch procceds to do.

Being on the shorter side of the height chart in the group, Quicksight is not as bothered by the low-flying craft, though he does give it a judging look as its banner snags. Poor form. Learn to fly first! "Not really. I think there were a couple, but I only got to see them from the air anyways. After that" he shrugs. You know what probably happened after that." he gazes around at the varied population of the city before turning back to Blast Off "Old days? There were aliens wandering Cybertron in the old days" wait, what did that guy over there say?

Rodimus finally -- finally! -- turns his attention away from the display for more than a microsecond to give Drift a very long and very thoughtful look. "Yeah, no, can't be flames. And I mean -- water's not really you." It's the natural opposite to flames, but he looks unenthused. "I guess you could work the Circle of Light thing a little longer but like -- I don't know, better colors?" Like ... red and yellow!!

Rodimus turns his attention to the emerging fluff and, to his credit, barely looks tempted. "Keep moving, buddy. No one's on the market."

Blast Off blinks at Quicksight. "No, the old days of conquest and not putting up with alien nonsense. There are times I-" His train of thought is derailed as some creature comes out and says **WHAT**??!! The Combaticon just stops and stares a moment. Violet optics shine brightly, then flash a deeper shade that hints of magenta and spilled fuel, even as his trigger finger- nay, his whole hand, twitches as it yearns for a gun. Like totally ASAP. No, no, can't shoot. YET.

"I beg your PARDON??!!" he asks, cultured voice dripping icicles that threaten to stab this impetious fool. He looks over at Rodimus as *he* begins to speak, frame stiffening and not exactly sure what the answer is going to be, to be honest- and whew. Ok, that was the correct answer Captain. Blast Off contents himself with stabbing the creature in his mind. "Now be gone before I'm tempted to ACT like a war criminal."

Pipes lets Punch go do his much-less-fun activity of choice. "OK, we'll catch up!" No worries, he has his mini-hero with him. And Cyclonus! Cyclonus too, who Pipes is usually kind of frightened of, but not when shopping is distracting him.

The shop smells. Smells like a planet infested with organics: vegetation, dirt, moisture. A diaphanous layer of mist hangs at the ceiling, here and there sprinkling down where it's saturated. Pipes vents in the atmosphere. "Wow, that must be what it's like. Hi!" he shouts friendly-like to the shopkeeper, lurking behind a counter in a cloud of his own. "Have anything Terran?"

"Who's selling what?" Mercy finally realizes that there are conversations going on that she's not been paying attention to. She skips forward, and reaches up for Blast Off's hand. "Who's doing what now?" she repeats, a little louder. "Are we shopping for fabric again? Because I like lace. And blue. My favourite colour is blue."

"Better colours?" Drift gives Rodimus a dubious stare. "How can one colour be better than another colour? It's all a matter of personal opinion, and my personal opinion is that white and red look fantastic together."

When the fluffs and their robot dragon offer to buy war criminals off of them, Drift lets Rodimus tell them to keep moving and figures that's the end of it until Blast Off starts taking the offer really badly. "Woah, okay, calm down everyone," he says, not wanting to see this escalate into a problem. "Just keep moving, alright? No ones selling anyone."

Tailgate looks over his shoulder and quietly notes Cyclonus tailing him as Punch makes his excuse to remain outside. He keeps right beside Pipes, for the benefit of both bots in their wake. Easier to find! When the enter the shop he first looks up into the lingering mist, his vents fogging the metal around them. Oh, hah. "Are these all plants? Neat." They are nice robots, cloudy shopkeeper.

"Yeah, keep moving!" Quicksight adds his own voice to the end of the conversation. Rare is it for him to agree with an Autobot, but in this case, he'll make an exception "Really, what do they think we are" shaking his head, he turns back to Blast Off, only to cut off mid thought uppon seeing Mercy "Watch it, Autobot!" They think they can do anything now, don't they?

"Really. How rude." The fluffball sniffs and then turns to waddle off past the cybertronians, dragon clacking lightly against the ground. The bodyguard clanks heavily after in a groaning metal tread. "Some people don't know a good deal when it walks up to them on the street." The bodyguard gives Blast Off a long look, beady eyes bright sparks of nasty edge shielded behind its helms. "Don't try it." Three small humanoids with a floating wagon full of what appear to be bootlegged data of some kind are passing by. They look juvenile. It's probably sad. One of them goes, "Oh, you want to buy fabrics? We can get you fabrics, cheap, cheap fabrics!" because all it takes is an expressed preference for someone to jump on you I guess. Taking a deep draw off of his cig Punch lets the smoke curl naturally and shapelessly for a change. It really is idyllic here. There's that much across the spectrum of all senses he can't think at all. Which, right now is exactly what he needs. Not thinking is resting his processor. After making some progess at using smartmaking to aid the process of decompressing he's exhausted, mentally speaking. If he were thinking about it, which he isn't, but if he were Punch'd estimate his mental capacity somewhere around that of a photocopier. One that jams a lot. "Blast Off, it's okay," Rodimus says, and flashes a smile after the bodyguard as the others move off. "Besides, if they tried anything, they'd find out pretty quickly why the Galactic Council fears us."

That is not a very Autobot thing to say.

Having entirely lost the thread of his conversation, Rodimus looks back at Drift with a bemused sort of smile. "I guess we better find a track, huh?"

It's clear that Cyclonus is mostly just following Tailgate's lead, but he does look around the shop with some subdued interest. He missed the visits to Earth, and his experience with organic life is a bit more limited than others'. He's not entirely unaware of the arguments going on outside, but it doesn't seem to be an emergency at this point.

The Combaticon's mind is turning towards more violent thoughts, though he keeps himself from acting upon them for now. And Mercy's hand suddenly taking his shifts his focus from mayhem to more mundane things. Like uh... shopping. Right. Still, he gives the creature an especially icy glare before sniffing haughtily at Drift. "*I* am acting perfectly civilized. The /picture/ of a gentlemech." At least until he's not. He then looks at Rodimus. "I didn't come here to be harassed, however."

Blast Off glances down at Mercy, gaze shifting from ice to a more normal state. He's a little stiff and tense at the hand holding, but he doesn't pull away. "Uh... yes. Blue is a beautiful color. We are here to do some shopping, are we not? In fact... weren't you going to help me choose a bowtie?" He's about to go on when Quciksight seems to take even more issue with the hand holding than he does. "No, uh... actually she is... alright." Now he's the one trying to move on, mainly so he can get away from all this awkardness. Maybe he can give that hand a slip while he's stepping forward, too. Yeah.

"Wow, you're that anxious to lose, eh?" Drift grins and shrugs his shoulders. "Alright, if that's how you want to start your vacation, who am I to argue? Let me just send a quick message to Hound about the shipment we're supposed to be picking up while we're here and.." He pauses for a moment as he compiles and sends the aforementioned message. "Done. Okay, let's find a track for me to thoroughly kick your ass on."

The shrouded shopkeeper - he appears to be organic himself - gestures peacefully over to one of the displays near the back of the store. Not in the front! Pipes thinks to himself with surprise. He waves to the proprietor and moves up to the shelves and cases. "Hm, yeah, lots of plants. Looks like farming implements to go with them." Mildly disappointing, as Pipes usually goes in for the more technological gizmoes, but there could be some unique gardening contraption to pick up. Or maybe he could go the whole way and start a farm on the Lost Light.

<OOC> Sao says, "everyone who is currently still outside, please do a mind+mind check. I'm using this for perception, so if you have an arguably perception-like background skill, you can do mind+that instead."

<FS3> Drift rolls Mind+mind: Good Success. (4 8 6 1 4 8) <FS3> Punch rolls Mind+mind: Good Success. (7 2 6 3 7 1) <FS3> Blast_Off rolls Mind+mind: Good Success. (7 4 6 1 1 8) <FS3> Mercy rolls Mind+mind: Good Success. (8 2 2 7 6 7 4 3) <FS3> Quicksight rolls Mind+Observation: Great Success. (4 8 8 5 5 8 8 1 1 7) <FS3> Rodimus rolls Streetwise: Good Success. (8 7 2 5 1 1 2 7 4 4)

Holding Blast Off's hand, Mercy turns and stares up at Quicksight before sighing. "He's my -friend-," she informs the Decepticon, her chin lifting. Then Blast Off reminds her about her promise, and she ooohs and bobs her head eagerly. "Tha'ts right. AND I'm helping him pick a bow tie..." she informs Quicksight proudly. "I think you need a yellow bowtie, Blast Off!"

Tailgate looks from Cyclonus to Pipes, the latter earning an appreciative flicker of optics. Pipes really loves his Terran stuff, and it makes Tailgate happy to see it. "Someone on the ship has plants, I think." While Pipes looks into that, the other minibot is drawn over to a series of shelves with what might be cacti-- they are certainly spiny and mean looking, except most of them already have blooms. He lifts a finger and pokes one, only to startle when it fires needles at the hard hide of his palm. "Ack!"

Quicksight stares at Blast Off as if the other mech just grew a second head. He does simmer down though, though he makes a point to look in the exact oposite directionfrom Mercy "What is goining on on that ship. Next someone's going to tell me that there's a Decepticon dating an Autobot." Ugh. "What's a bow tie anyways?"

Despite the flurrying noise and bustle, it's possible to pick up the faint whine of something buzzing close to their audials. Literally everyone in the party has the chance to observe the spark of a golden-gleaming dart whizzing past them. Quicksight is the only one who gets a look at his early enough to see the others. There's at least one tiny golden dart skimming past each of the Cybertronians.

There are information terminals inset against the side of the columns where platforms serve to ferry people between levels. The nearest lift spills off a group of minibot-sized mechanoids with enormous feathered hats, all stumbling drunk and laughing uproariously. They leave gold and green glitter in the path of their footsteps. One of them is carrying a big flag that says CRAZY EIGHTS' ARENA on it in electronically glowing letters. There's an eight-limbed creature who looks kind of like a tree woman standing near the lift, waiting her turn. She sneers a little at the smaller bots, and then glances aside at the Cybertronians as if she finds them mildly more intimidating but no less gross than the littler bots. "If you are seeking to sport amongst yourselves," she says, in a voice with a weird refracting quality as though she actually has a dozen voices at once, "rather than to pollute the public oxygen with your foul emissions, you will find enclosures on the blue level that may be rented."

Rodimus absently waves after the lightly buzzing dart as one might a fly, then looks over at tree thing with a wide smile. His answer to sneered disgust is radiant obnoxiousness. "Blue level! Great, thanks! Really kind of enjoying it here, though. Might stick around for a while." In an aside to Drift, however, he says, "See what's on the blue level."

Cyclonus's attention draws quickly to Tailgate from some flowering plants he was examining as the minibot yelps. "What?" he says, his voice sharp as he steps closer. "What happened?"

Punch takes a break from his break from reality to check if Pipes and the others are still a hopping Punch notices his cig's been speared. He wasn't even half way done too. Slighting another and letting it light itself Punch looks further to the creature and says, "Pass. Maybe in another lifetime. One where... other half of witty metaphor." He then casts another glance towards the store, freezes, then has an idea. Considering he just dropped from photocopier to toaster in intellect that may be less inspiring than it sounds.

Tailgate holds his hand to inspect it, nothing showing on the surface. The pins would definitely penetrate skin, but not metalloids. "Huh. It's okay, it just-- shot prickles at me." Despite this angry demonstration from the cactus, Tailgate reaches back up to pick the same one up by the pot. It's missing that tiny patch of curved needles, but otherwise it is a handsome olive green with royal purple blooms. He looks from the cactus to his roommate. "I like it."

The awkward levels just went from uncomfortable to holy slag is it time to go home yet? Blast Off is still tense, especially since he didn't quite manage to give Mercy the slip and he's feeling increasingly antsy for some reason. A wing elevon twitches as he attempts to remain calm. "Y-yes, yellow would compliment purple, wouldn't it?" His free hand comes up to scratch almost absent-mindedly at his neck. "Yes, let's look for-"

Nope, he can't quite escape Quicksight's angry mumbling. He tries to take a step forward, then pauses, then glances back to the other Decepticon. Trying not to sound too defensive, he points out, "Now... now the war is over, though." Suddenly he's really happy the war is over or something. So much for longing for the good old days. "The war is over, and...and we need to learn with each other, right? And besides, even if a Decepticon and an Autobot *were* dating, well..." There's a nervous little huff coming from his vents, "It's not like that should cause a huge commotion, anyway. It's- it would not be anyone's business." Yeah. He starts desperately trying to find either a bow-tie or enegex- maybe even more the engex right now. Yeah, definitely engex. And what's with the weird darts? He swats in the air at them. "Besides, this place is odd- let's get our business done here and get back to the ship."

Pipes looks up at Tailgate's yelp. Cacti. "Ooh, you OK there, Tailgate?" He doesn't come over though, there's neat stuff here, plus, Cyclonus. His own gaze is drawn instead back to a particular implement, gleaming in a case: a red pole with three pairs of rotating blade wheels at one end, each pair canted to intersect its partner in cutting motions. He points a curved finger at it. "How much for this thing?"

Drift definitely saw something whizz past his head just now and he looks around to see if anyone else saw it too. No one else looks too concerned so he shrugs it off. Whatever, it's probably nothing and will never come into play ever again. "Wait, so you're saying they have tracks on this blue level?" he asks the spider tree lady who obviously thinks he and his kind are horrible disgusting creatures. "Bro." He hooks an arm around Rodimus' and grins. "You, me. Blue level. Let's race, c'mon. I'm going crazy listening to your trash talk, I've gotta take you down a peg."

Quicksight begins to turn again to give Blast Off a confused, and slightly suspiscious look for his sudden nervousness, but the darts draw his attention before he can complete it. Thus, instead of furhter bothering Blast Off about his sudden acceptance of interfactional romance he turns to look around those still in the area "Did anyone else see that?" his optics fall on the octo-lady "Look who's talking, organic" seriously, he's heard about what some of them do with their food!

Mercy finally releases Blast Off's hand to clap several times. "Yay! And yes, yellow is so -PRETTY- with purple," she agrees. She urns to give Quicksight a look, and if she had one, she'd stick her tongue out at him. INstead she simply skips the half step towards him and reaches for his hand. "Don't worry - I can hold your hand too, if you're scared to go's fun, I -promise-." the medic chirps before she's suddenly distracted by the whizzing dart. "Oh, that was pretty...did anyone else see the pretty gold fly that zoomed by? I you think they're organic, or mechs?"

"You like it," Cyclonus echoes Tailgate, faintly baffled. "It -- attacked you."

There's an odd change in the atmosphere in the shop where Pipes, Tailgate and Cyclonus are shopping, as if the shopkeeper just saw something that suggested to him that it might be a good idea if these particular customers were suddenly invisible. You wouldn't think that is a very good business practice. <OOC> Sao says, "indoors robots, go ahead and make that same roll I asked outside robots to make" <FS3> Pipes rolls Mind+mind: Failure. (2 1 6 3) <FS3> Cyclonus rolls Mind+Mind: Failure. (3 2 1 2 5 6) <FS3> Tailgate rolls Mind+Mind: Success. (8 1 4 3 2 4)

The idea has formed into a fully fledged plan. Punch recieves new orders and fades into the crowd of people as he carries out his new mission. Okay he's abandonning his post outside the shop but that's okay. Punch is always nearby... real nearby so it's not like he'll miss anyone leaving or anything.

In the murky atmosphere of the plant shop it's hard to pick out anything different by eye, but there's a sharp whine that whizzes just past Tailgate's audio receptors.

Arm in arm with Drift, Rodimus can't resist a hip-check that actually puts him a little more off-balance than it does Drift. Drift has way more hip to check. "We'll see if you're still crowing like that after eating my dust," he gloats, starting forward with no idea of where he is going. They will figure it out on the way. "How do you think we get there?" He is definitely not asking the tree. She can just suck his exhaust.

The tree lady answers anyway, by gesturing toward the lift. She might just be trying to get rid of them though, idk.

So? You did too." Tailgate's voice is a tricky little smile, depsite the obvious violent nature of the cactus. He's determined to buy it, eyes alight when he cradles it in his hands and moves in line after Pipes. It's here that the plant shop guy seems to get sketchy, but Tailgate doesn't notice; instead, Tailgate turns his head after the sound of something whizzing past his receptors, optics flickering. He lifts one hand to slap his palm against the side of his head in a light jostle. What was that? Hmm.

"I--" Cyclonus can't really argue with that, although his expression shutters into even deeper reserve. He frowns as Tailgate lifts a hand to slap at what looks like the air, as far as he's concerned. "What?"

"They're annoying, is what they are," Blast Off grumbles to Mercy and Quicksight regarding the darts, "And just another sign that we should get this done quickly and get back to the ship. Something metallic gold like that, and fast and small, could be some kind of observation device or drone, who knows. Again- let us keep moving along. I do not like being spied on, if that's what they are." At this point he'll just fly himself back, frag it all. His hand flexes a little as Mercy lets it go, free at last! And he takes steps towards a promising looking shop. "And yes, I agree Quicksight, organics are usually rather disgusting. Too many around. Again- the sooner I'm off this planet the better."

Ahead, there's another street full of shops, ranging from what appears to be an exotic pet shop, to a blatantly tourist-catering shop full of the kinds of terrible snowglobe knicknacks that just scream 'spaceport leftovers', to cheap fried organic food, to equally low-grade mechanoid food. The next lift is ahead, although its access is slightly blocked by a crowd watching a small team of sword-wielding blue aliens inexpertly performing some really loud street theater.

There's a vendor at the corner selling literal scrap, too. Different strokes. "Silica snacks!" it shouts, waving its metal hands in the air. "Freshly irradiated!"

The shopkeeper's erstwhile pacificity seems to melt into the mist. He shuffles over to Pipes and flashes fourteen fingers, then just six; sudden impatience is written on his wrinkly face.

Pipes looks at him quizzically ... hm, math, oh, twenty. Shanix maybe? This slight mental effort is certainly enough to make any, say, whizzing golden thing escape his notice. The price seems a bit steep, so he plunks down just fifteen on the countertop. "How about that, then?" Gotta haggle, right? He turns to Tailgate. "Ooh, got something good, huh?" The shopkeeper sighs in frustration, seeing another customer queueing behind this one.

Quicksight yanks his hand away as if Mercy's was covered in a deadly corrosive "Don't touch me" he hisses "I'm not scared of anything" he turns away again, arms crossed in defiance, and to keep the Autobot from trying to take his hand again.

Drift has absolutly no problem asking the tree but she provides the answer before he can even open his mouth. "Thanks!" he shouts over his shoulder as Rodimus starts moving, dragging him along by the lock of their arms. "Yeah, yeah, you keep saying stuff like that but you know you're going to lose, right? You're my best friend so I wouldn't lie to you about that." He pulls in close and tightens the grip of his arm. "I hope you're ready to experience every tedious filler episode of that anime with me."

"What's a filler episode?" Rodimus has no idea what he's in for. As they come up to the next lift with the sword-wielding street theater, he's loud in his crow of delight: "Drift! Check that out! Man, they are terrible." /Rude/. "I bet you could do better."

"Either this guy's got bugs in his shop or my audials are ringing." Maybe both. It //is/ a plant shop. The flowers stay there somehow. Tailgate doesn't seem to dwell long on it. "Weird. Maybe I need them checked." Then there's Pipes, to who he lifts the potted cactus. And to the shopkeeper too. Unlike Pipes, Tailgate isn't much for haggling, but he saves his bits up-- he's happy to support a business and pay in full.

Wow. The irony of Rodimus calling anyone terrible at swordplay is almost too much for Drift to bear. "I'm sure they're uh.. doing their best." He doesn't want to be rude about it but it's obvious these guys pale in comparison to his expertise. "You're right though, I could."

Cyclonus frowns as Tailgate explains. His attention grows sharper on their surroundings, his gaze starts making its way slowly around the shop, looking for possible bugs.

Mercy ohs up at Quicksight, and her shoulders slump a little bit. "I'm sorry," she offers, sincerely. "I was just trying to help." Which is what she's good at. Just not in this particulare case, it seems. And then Blast Off is talking about leaving. "I thoiught we were shopping?" she protests.

Blast Off totally gets where Quicksight is coming from, and almost envies him as he watches him cross his arms and walk away. And since when did Blast Off stop jerking his hand away from Mercy? He's... not even sure. But somehow, though he still has flashes of standoffishness, somehow... Mercy's touch is... Ok. Not that he's going to start seeking out HER hand to hold or anything, but...

OK, anyway. Blast Off galnces to the various vendors and street performers and gives a little huff. "How amateur." He scoffs at the performers, then looks to the snack vendor. "How much, and how long were they irradiated!?" He turns to face Mercy as he waits for the answer. "Yes, we are, I am just saying if this place continues being annoying I plan on getting what I came here for and leaving as quickly as possible."

There's a faint plink at Cyclonus's back, like something small and metallic just ricocheted off him.

One of the combatants holds up his sword. The other one sort of stumbles as the routine moves off kilter. "Look, we're not upscale enough for the blue district, all right--" one of them starts to say.

The other one goes, "Hey! Hey! You want to go?!"

"Freshly irradiated!" yells the street vendor. "Get it while it's hot, haha!" He tells Blast Off a price in some random galactic currency, and then starts listing off a few other acceptable forms of payment. Apparently he's not picky.

"Man, I hope not," Rodimus rather heartlessly says when Drift faint-praises the show. As one comes up all sassy, he can't help but flash a brilliant grin. He draws his arm from Drift's so that he can push him forward and says, "Fifty says he kicks your aft!"

Cyclonus turns around, sharp and sudden, to look quickly for whatever just ricocheted off of him. WHAT. HOW DARE you. At least he's not pulling his sword out. (Yet.)

The shopkeeper hears the plinking and any shred of relaxation in him is gone. He snatches up the fifteen shanix with one multi-fingered hand and shoves the bladed thingamabob into Pipes' hands without a word as he rounds the end of the counter. With all his arms - looks like four - he pushes and shoves at the Cybertronians to go, go, have a nice day, thanks for your business, now get out. He doesn't even ask for anything for Tailgate's cactus ... maybe there's a sale or something! The surprised Pipes says, "Oh! Thanks, um, hey, nice doing business - oh, OK, don't have to push, are you closing?" He heads back out to the street.

Cyclonus catches sight of a faint gleam of gold before the spark of it vanishes.

Drift looks embarrassed when one of the 'swordsmen' (if you can even call them that) starts getting sassy at him. "Ah, haha.. no, there's no need for that." Then Rodimus literally pushes him into it and turns it into a wager. "Seriously!? You're betting fifty on this? Rodimus please.." He flashes a grin and whips out the swords holstered on his hips. "We can get way more money out of this."

After disappearing for a while Punch has returned to the same spot he was waiting at earlier. This time he's got a parcel under one arm. That and a feeling of accomplishment.

"But you forgot to take my-- oh--" Tailgate is rushed out with the others, left with a confused sort of look back to the storefront and the likely locked door. "What in the world was all that about?" He doesn't try to give the cactus back, instead reaching into his subspace to find something to leave on the stoop. A trade, then, he'd feel bad otherwise. He slides a pack of snacks under the door. What?

There's a faint plink against Pipes's back. Tailgate gets one too. Something tiny and metal has hit them each in the back.

"I saw something," Cyclonus says, a note of frustration in his voice. He glares at the shopkeeper when he attempts to /push them out/. He only moves at the pace of Cyclonus. He has a giant sword on his back. Don't even.

"This is a bad idea," says one of the aliens.

The other one waves his sword in the air in a bright gleam of metal. There's a thin sheen of light running down it from some internal power source. It wavers. "He has two!" he says. "Give me your other one, I need to have two!"

"Spirits of the universe, this is how we die," says his friend.

The commotion is drawing a lot more and more cheerful attention from the crowd, which finds the prospect of blood and hilarity a lot more engaging than simple badly choreographed fencing. "I'll bet on the underdog," says another fluffball alien, "if you give me odds, Cybertronian." Other wagers start springing up.

"Hey, it's cheaper than Crazy Eight's! No cover!" someone evidently hilarious says, because she gets a huge laugh.

"Okay...i'll find a shop!" Mercy offers Blast Off as the Decepticon stops to get himself a snack. She moves off a short ways through the crowd, still easily within calling distance. "Oh, I think there's a shop over her with fabric...oh! And here too!" Mercy's chipper voice calls back to the snack-collecting 'Con.

"Yes! Show 'em how we do it, Drift!" Rodimus cheers him on as he draws his swords. "Kick aft and take names, Lost Light-style." He falls in next to the first of the aliens, leaving Drift to face off against the sword-wielder. "Don't worry. We fight like -- all the time. He's never really hurt me." Rodimus is metal. "It'll be fine!" he reassures his new friend. That he's picking a fight with. After insulting. "He's still gonna kick your pal's aft, though." When others start to get in on the betting, he really gets into it, all wide grins and eager numbers.

<FS3> Drift rolls Swordplay: Great Success. (5 6 6 2 2 6 1 8 7 8 8 5 7 6)

As Mercy moves off between members of the crowd, it first seems like people might not really be inclined to get out of her way. As one of the little gold darts flits past her, though, a few people give way hastily and soon she has more of a wide berth, freedom to mosey this way or that towards whichever shop she likes. Something plinks off her back as she goes.

"What did you see?" Tailgate turns around when he feels the plink of metal on his back, momentarily confused. "Is someone throwing things?" Because he's been around anti-mech people before, and that would totally make sense. "Yes, but if they're *freshly* irradiated they are often far too raw," Blast Off complains to the vendor with his customary air of disdainful superiority, "Silica snacks require some aging to get the best taste." His fingers pinch together as if grasping some of the snacks in his hand, "And I can hazard a guess that you didn't even flavor it with sea rust, correct? Please, if you want me to purchase your culinary delights, you have to make them actually *delightful* first."

He glances back to Mercy. "Very well, I shall come over shortly. I haven't finished telling this individual how he's doing this all wrong yet, though." He frowns as he spies more gold darts, casting his gaze around the square and not particularly liking how people are starting to give Mercy a wide berth. His trigger finger gets twitchy again.

"What?" Without the distraction of intense shopping, Pipes finally notices something else - the mysterious ricochet sound on his back. Long experience has taken away any impulse to reach to see if there's something stuck there; his back is too bulky. "Maybe? Something tiny dinged on me. Do you see anything on my back?" Pipes circles around to check Tailgate's back too, just in case.

As much as Blast Off and his Autobot friend (Autobot? Friend? Does not compute!)confuse or irritate him, Quicksight does not stray too far from them, close enough to not loose sight of them. It seems that he's not the only one with the right idea about Autobots. The sight of the aliens backing away from Mercy evokes an amused chuckle from the scout.

If there is anything on their backs, it isn't visible by eye. Beaming as the path before her suddenly clears, Mercy moves to peek at some yellow polka-dot material before she whirls at the plinking on her back. "Blast Off, throwing snacks isn't nice!" she chastizes although she's grinning as she waggles a finger back towards her friend. That done, she returns to her window shopping. "Oh, there's striped stuff too!" she calls.

"If they are, they ought to find bigger items to throw if they wish to do any damage," Cyclonus growls.

No one warn this street performer that he's about to square off sword style with a guy who used to be notorious for his brutality, he might back out. "Don't worry, I'm not actually going to kill you," Drift says, a smug grin plastered on his face. "I'm just going to show everyone here that I could if I wanted to." Once his opponent is properly armed, he wastes no time in putting his skills to work. This is going to be a very unfair competition.

"Friend," the vendor says, "if you do not wish to purchase, you may find your coin to buy you something elsewhere." After a moment, he eases his cart a couple of meters away from Blast Off and gives him a wary look.

Within seconds of each other, something plinks off Quicksight and Blast Off from behind.

Parcel and Punch both move towards the others as it seems shopping, in that store at least, is concluded for now. Which is handy as Punch can't have another cig whilst carrying the parcel. He's out of self lighting cigs and needs his other hand free to work his lighter. As he reapproaches the trio he asks, "So... get anything nice?" Punch was never good at shop talk.

"I guess it'd be more about getting us worked up." Tailgate vents small, tucking his cactus away into his personal space with care and inspecting his mini friend's back. He even runs a hand over his back, idly wondering if Pipes is ticklish. "I don't see anything."

"We were just trying to make a little scratch to go up district," the alien tells Rodimus anxiously. He puts his hands on his head, having been divested of his weapon so that his buddy can try swordplay. "This is terrible."

This is going to be a very unfair competition, but the blue alien hurls himself into it with all the passion of a born performer. Sadly, while he's really passionate, he's not really skilled. He also yells "Have at thee!" at one point, or -- something that his translator software renders as have at thee.

"What? Why's it terrible! Bet on Drift," Rodimus says, "because trust me, your pal is gonna lose." No one is going to bet on the underdog. Except that one fool, who is gonna lose. The odds will be terrible. "What's the deal with the different districts? Someone said there are tracks on blue?" His eyes are fairly glued to Drift, the blue brilliant in delight.

Blast Off is starting to get suspicious now (it doesn't take much). The Combaticon has been on enough away missions with his old team to know when something's off- and something's off here. He doesn't know what, but he doesn't like it. He *really* doesn't like the way the vendor is backing off from him now, either. Scowling under his faceplate, he looks to Mercy. "What? I didn't throw anything at ....." Now he swings his head around to pierce the vendor with an icy gaze. "What is going on here? Is it something I said?"

Then *plink* something whacks him on the back, and now he twirls around, trying to see what just caused that. Violet optics start flashing a deeper purple as his hand drops down- *this* close to bringing out his weapon from subspace. He keeps circling, scanning the crowd, even as he starts stepping closer to the other two, hissing at them, "I just got hit with something in the back. Did you?" His other hand brushes against his back, trying to feel if anything is there.

"Did you see anything?" Cyclonus asks Punch in a demanding voice immediately upon the bot's rejoining their group. Hello to you too, Cyc.

"Huh?" Feeling something strike his back, Quicksight pivots, trying to figure out what hit him "Do they just have things flying in the middle of the street here all the time?" hearing Blast Off he turns back to the taller Decepticon, raising his hand to catch his attention "Yeah, I did!"

It's been a while since Drift was able to properly show off his amazing sword skills and his competitive streak in addition to the fact that Rodimus is there watching means he may take it a bit far. Okay, he does. The blue alien will soon find himself disarmed with a few well placed swings from Drift's blades and then kicked in the gut hard enough to send him onto the ground at which point Drift moves to stand over him, the point of his sword inches away from his opponents throat. "You up for round two?"

<FS3> Cyclonus rolls Mind+Mind: Good Success. (2 6 7 1 7 6)

Pipes is a little ticklish. He wiggles a little at Tailgate's touch, but it doesn't break his concentration on checking his back. "Same here, nothin'." Oh well. He looks up to greet Punch, and answers his question by holding up his latest acquisition. "This! Check it out!" he spins the little bladed wheels with his finger, and they make a pleasing chippy-choppy noise. He jumps a little as Cyclonus interrupts the demo, though, so he stows the tiller away in his storage.

<FS3> Tailgate rolls Mind+Mind: Failure. (6 5 1 6 3 1) <FS3> Pipes rolls Mind+mind: Failure. (4 2 3 3)

"I thought you threw something at me," Mercy turns away from the display she'd been looking at, now confused as Blast Off asks his question and Quicksight replies. If this is some elaborate Decepticon joke to make fun of the silly Autobot, Mercy is falling for it completely. She moves back towards the duo, chin tilted up as she peers from one face to the other before starting to circle around behind them. "I don't see anything."

Punch's expression changes and he looks round a couple of different places. After checking obvious, and unobvious, lines of sight Punch replies to Cyclonus, "No. I still can't either. It's too busy to really tell in any case." As fruitless as it is Punch looks to see if anyone's looking out of place or looking at the four bots by the front of the store.

Sure, yeah. The tracks, the arena, the opera house, anyplace you have to pay an entry fee to get in," the blue alien says somewhat distractedly. He doesn't bet against his friend. "White district is the dregs. You get stuck down here, half a chance you end up bought and sold-- that's why we want to get out, we won't last five minutes..."

The blazing speed and artful sweep of Drift's blades literally cause a sudden rain of sparks from somewhere unexpected, mid-strike. Halves of a golden dart fall and clatter to the ground because he just struck one of the flying things in midair. "Ahhhh!" moans the blue alien that Drift has so neatly disarmed. "Don't kill me! I don't want to die!" (He's not trying to kill you, dude.)

Cyclonus is the only one of the little party whose glance is at the right angle to see, apparently, but one of the golden darts sails out of nowhere to strike Punch in the back. Punch feels the plink of metal against his back. Then the thing has apparently vanished.

There might be a feel of something just slightly odd about the metal of Blast Off's skin where he was struck, but it's hard to entirely reach, and it's easy to imagine it. After all, something definitely struck there.

There's a lot of sighing and muttering from the crowd. The wagering certainly went according to its expected course, really. Terrible odds. The hilarious lady goes "Oh shit" although it's not immediately clear why.

Something plinks against Rodimus's back now, too. Plink!

Tailgate is almost tempted to give Pipes another couple of pokes. No, no, another time. Just you wait. One day. Ticklefight. Done. He knits his fingers in front of himself, taking a harder look around. "Let's find the others." Technically, being command, he can do this-- right? It's his first test. Tailgate steps away from the shop and waves the trio with him to follow. "They were heading this way."

"There!" Cyclonus lunges for that hint of gold plinking Punch's back, which probably looks kind of strange, and it's not like he's going to /catch/ it. Sorry, Tailgate.

Cyclonus does not manage to catch the dart. He, alas, only manages to look a little silly.

SPARKS. Rodimus LOVES sparks. He laughs at the pyrotechnics without much thought to its cause and says, "Wow, Drift, not messing around, are you? Could've let him play a little." He sets his hands on hips and looks over at Drift with a wide grin. "Come on. Let's head over to blue. Sounds like that's where the fun is on all counts."

"Whaaaaooh-- what?" Tailgate stops midstep, to his credit, foot in the air when he looks after Cyc's paranoid grabbing. "What was there?"

OK, Blast Off *definitely* doesn't like this. He turns his face to Quicksight and then Mercy. "So we all three have had something hit us in the back. I *don't* like this, not at all." His optics are flashing purple as they continue to scan the crowd, trying to pick up any signs of aggression or anyone seeming at all too interested in them. "We've either got some juveniles who think it's funny to throw things at stranger's backs... or we have something worse going on." His optics ridges furrow down as he remembers the creature earlier. "And they.... sell people here....." he says a little more quietly. And it's not like half the galaxy doesn't already hate Cybertronians.

"I think we should leave." The Combaticon takes out his ionic blaster and grips it in his hand. As Cyclonus lunges forwards Punch shakes his head and says, "Oh come on. I just got pinged?" He sighs. He is losing his touch. "What was it that got me?" Since Cyclonus was aiming to do verb to the noun Punch guesses Cyclonus can fill in the blanks.

Pipes is ready to follow Tailgate but stops short with him. His general fear of Cyclonus is not reduced by his slightly silly display, so don't worry big guy. "What, now we've all gotten dinged?" Subconsciously Pipes attunes his aural sensors, and his hands drop down, ready to receive his pistols. He looks around at the crowd, the blinking signs. Suddenly he's got a bad feeling about this.

Quicksight eyes Mercy warily, turning to keep his face towards her as she tries to go around him and Blast Off. He abandons the activity pretty quickly however as Blast Off voices his supisciouns. "You think someone's trying to kidnap us?" He doesn't wait for a confirmation. Blast Off's lead is enough for him. A flick of his wrist releases a short but pointed blade from his arm armour. The other one remains hidden, but the arm is raised slightly, ready.

Drift can't help but laugh as the blue alien staring down the pointy end of his sword starts freaking out. Ha ha, he thinks he's going to die! Hilarious. "I told you when we started, I'm not going to kill you." Drift sheathes his swords and offers a hand to help the poor guy up. "That was pretty fun though, I have to admit."

Regardless of whether or not the blue alien takes the offered hand, Drift eventually moves on and swings an arm around Rodimus' waist and grins. "Good plan. Let's find a track and put to rest who's the better racer. Spoiler alert, it's me." He begins leading Rodimus towards the lift but not before tucking a generous cash tip in the other blue alien's hands. Hey, life is rough on the streets, he knows what that's like. "Take care of yourselves, yeah?"

Cyclonus spits another curse, this one more colorful than the last. "I don't know what they are," he says, frustration coiling in his voice. "And they're gone too fast to catch." The fingers of one hand twitches, like he'd maybe feel better with a sword between them.

" think...we should get everyone else!" Mercy steps in closer to Blast Off, optics widening and flashing brightly as she looks up at the larger combaticon. "Everyone should go home." she repeats, bouncing up onto her toes and clutching her hands together in front of her chestplate. "Now."

"Whaaaat?" the alien clutches Drift's money like it's his ticket out of hell. "Suvo! SUVO!" He's basically vibrating with excitement as he runs up to his friend. A happy ending, yay!

Elsewhere, though, something weird is definitely going on.

Blast Off, Cyclonus, Mercy, Pipes, Punch, Quicksight, Tailgate and Rodimus all feel this: an odd, chilling sensation, like some internal static fuzzing each of their personal electromagnetic fields. This doesn't happen to Drift.

Tailgate isn't worried about Cyclonus looking silly, even if he totally saw it. He sets his toe down, visor narrowing before he opens his comms right to Rodimus. Hello, sorry to interrupt the voices in your head, Captain-- "Rodimus, there's some things--" Fzzt. "--after--" Pzzt. Zzzt. Tailgate's comms get a lovely micful of static from his field's quirking about, and he drops the effort when he feels the crawling chill in his frame. "Oogh. What-- Hff."

Grin softening to something a little quieter and a lot warmer, Rodimus leans against Drift's side to look back over his shoulder at the sword-wielding aliens. In a low voice, he says, "That was nice. They were pretty good sports about it. Hope you enjoyed winning, because that's the only victory--" He breaks off, armor rippling with a twitch that crawls up his spine to shiver his spoiler. "Only victory you get today." He glances to the side, trying to find whatever it is that's throwing off the interference.

Blast Off nods. "They could be. I mean perhaps it's just some young punks but... after hearing that they sell people here, and now we have all been hit with something, and I can't find what we were hit with, can you?" He keeps alert to the crowd. "I don't like it. Hit your enemy with something to offline them, take them out without too much commotion. Onslaught always had a plan for that." This is one of those times he wishes his former leader was here. As Mercy steps closer to him, he feels a strnage urge to ...what is it? Protect?? What the smelt is that about, anyway? But he steps forward, making himself more of a target before anyone could get to the femme- easily, at least.

"Yes, I... I think you are right. We should inform...." Suddenly he starts feeling odd. The shuttleformer shakes his head a little, bringing his spare hand up to his torse even as his grip tightens on his gun. "I will... uh.... Do you feel that?"

Radioing Rodimus while he still can, Blast Off attempts to send a message, << Rodimus. Where are... where are you? Three of us have been... hit in the back with... something. Feel... strange. We should... leave. >>

"We have to go," Cyclonus says, sudden and urgent, and he sweeps up both Tailgate and Pipes -- one under each arm -- and starts trying to shove through the crowd as fast as he can back in the direction of the ship.

Punch is certain he didn't draw his photonic cannon. Still feels like he used it on himself though. On the low setting at least. His self diagnostic helpfully tels him he's low on salt.Stupid thing never works. Punch tries to speak but his vocaliser feels shorted. Instead he tries to hand signal Cyclonus with the full retreat gesture. Whatever this is... it's compromised him.

"Ugh" Quicksight shakes his head, as if that could clear the odd staticy chill "You feeling this too?"

Pipes wonders if maybe rushing out of medibay was the best idea, as his sensors register a drop in temperature, although that doesn't seem right. Then there's the frazzling sensation. Oh, Ambulon is so gonna let him have it when they get back. Cyclonus suddenly snatches Pipes up, which both surprises and frightens him. "Whoa! OK, I guess we're going!" He has second thoughts now about whether it's just his recent injuries, so he doesn't resist. Brrr.

"Yeah, they were. Seemed like good guys, trying to make an honest living the best they can, you know?" Not like the stealing and dealing he himself did when he was in that situation. Drift smiles when Rodimus leans in close and starts trash talking him again but something seems.. off. "You okay? You sound kind of weird and you're twitching." He starts looking concerned now. "Rodimus, what's up?"

"I feel stra-- aah--" Tailgate doesn't protest any more than this as Cyclonus hoists him up off of the ground and makes off down the street with them. There was clearly a huge sale on adorable sidekicks. "What about the others?"

The next thing that cuts off, in some cases mid-message, is communications. Radios and vocalizers shut down in rapid succession. The white light that shines bright across all the city seems to grow stronger so that it's hard to keep optics functional.

As they reach the lift, someone is trying to sell Rodimus and Drift one of a selection of psychedelically patterned multi-colored blankets. It's kind of incongruous. Well, Drift is still totally fine!

"No, I'm fine. Something in the area must be throwing off some kind of crazy EM field," Rodimus says absently. He pulls just slightly away to turn and look for the others. He still moves toward the lift, but he's a little distracted. << Near the lift. What do you mean, hi-- >> That's when his radio cuts, leaving Rodimus to squint against the rising light. He says, "--." Then he says, "--" a little more emphatically, turning toward Drift. Cyclonus tries to curse again, but now he can't even do that. He continues shoving through the crowd even as his optics start to dim; he just shoves with increasing urgency.

As the effects begin to set in, Quicksight tries to utter a curse, only to find himself unable to do so. He had been thinking of getting aloft to take a look at things, but that desire is fading with his sight, and being replaced by a growing sense of panic. All this doesn't prevent him from swearing, even if its just to himself, as the conversation he had with Skystalker just a while ago comes back. Scrap.

This is going too bad too quickly. Punch shunts what power he can to his foot jets and takes aim for the rough vector of the ship. Height is key. If he can't take off then he's screwed. If he can, and he loses thrust, at least he might crash close enough to be spotted by those still on board. Okay. Maybe not but anything's better than nothing.

That's a good idea, Tailgate. Pipes tries to comm the others to check in. << Hey, this is Pipes. Anyone else >> but then his transmitter cuts out. "No good, my" and then his voice cuts out. Dangit! Cyclonus still has a grip on him, but he has the urge to get free, transform, and just drive, somewhere away in case this is some localized thing. He wriggle and wiggles, and pokes. Leggo!

It's a weird, new planet so Rodimus' excuse seems totally plausible up until he suddenly becomes unable to speak. This is really not good and Drift is starting to freak out a bit though he tries his best to stay level-headed. If something is seriously wrong (which he's pretty sure is the case) then he'll be no use if he's losing his shit. "Okay, the race is being postponed. We're going back to the ship, c'mon." He turns his back on the lift and the person trying to sell him trippy fabric he would probably be all over if it weren't for the current situation.

Everything's so bright, buy why? Tailgate presses his grip into the sturdy arm around his waist, fingers panicking. "Cyc-- lon-- u-- " His vocalizer dips off, and he finds himself unable to finish. The grip strengthens against the bigger mech's wrist.

That's when they shut down, pretty much all at once. Whatever this is, it appears to have directly been calculated to take down Cybertronian systems. Cyclonus almost manages to haul his rescuees all the way back out into the gorgeous purple desert before he goes down.

NO. RODIMUS WANTS TO RACE. He has a tantrum right then and there, dropping to the ground.

When the radio cuts off, that's when Blast Off goes into I'm a fragging Combaticon Don't Get in My Way Mode. "Yes, and my radio transission to Rodimus was just cut off. Someone is interfering with us. Someone is */asking to be shot/*." He syas a little more loudly, swinging his gaze- and his gun- around the area as if *daring* someone to step forward.

"Come on, let's get out of here." He steps forward and attempts to transform into his shuttle mode. He'll take Quicksight and Mercy with him, should they want, and leave under his own power. Before he falls offline. THIS is a GREAT PLAN.

All for naught- as he doesn't even get that far- instead falling to the ground, offlined, his gun still tightly in his grip.

Not for the first time...

Punch falls to the ground, unconscious.

Cyclonus's grip on Pipes tightens when he starts to wriggle in his grasp. No. He knows best. Of course, it all becomes moot when his steps slow and then finally stall as he's forced into a heap, offline. Sorry tinies.

Maybe I'll listen to the neutral next time is the last thing that flickers through Quicksight's mind before he colapses. Maybe, and if there is a next time.

Tailgate can barely register Cyclonus falling, but somehow he knows in his spark that it's bad. He's pinned under the armored purple arm of his friend, his mind vacating as they all crumple into the purple ground.

Raggle fraggle, we'll go faster in vehicle mode, Pipes mentally shouts at Cyclonus, but there's no way he's getting free - until their motion stops, and he feels the grip slacken as they all fall down. Crunch. Pipes looks up from under a giant purple arm and hazily sees glowing purple freedom ahead, but before he can crawl out, it's all black.

Normally Drift would roll his optics and finally concede when Rodimus pulls a death drop on him when something isn't going his way but this is definitely not one of those times. "Rodimus!?" Drift drops to a knee and gathers Rodimus into his arms, optics darting around in a desperate attempt to find some kind of explanation. He reaches out to the Lost Light over his radio, explaining that Rodimus and possibly others are in danger. <<Send help NOW!>> is how the message ends.

It's amazing how wide a berth the fallen are given by the denizens of the white district of Scira. A few low-flying aircraft set down around the fallen and some mechanoid people of varying species start making busy, picking them up and loading them in without reference to their dignity. Nobody is there to observe this but the bystanders -- and Drift.

The craft that sets down nearest the lift with Rodimus and Drift is the largest, and among the beings that emerges from it is a massive Cybertronian. He has extra arms. Two frame at his hips; the other two are holding a pair of massive hammers out to either side as he walks. It's hard to tell by looking at him what his altmode would be, but he's big, he's purple and scarlet with white body lights, and he's smiling. More of the littler ones are following him, but several of them look uncomfortable about the fact that Drift is clearly awake right now.

As Drift scans the immediate area, he gets a glimpse of the other Lost Lighter's who seem to be suffering from the same mystery condition as Rodimus. He's torn between rushing in to try and save them from being taken away, and staying by Rodimus' side lest the same thing happen to him as soon as he moves. His grip around Rodimus tightens when a large craft lands nearby and by the time the multi-limbed, massive Cybertronian approaches them, his Great Sword is already drawn and poised to strike defensively. "Any closer and I'll be forced to gut you like a pig."

Mercy is only too happy to leave now that things have gotten weird. Very weird. "Come on, let's go...oh..." The medic's words trail off in a slow groan before she, too, like the others crumples into a heap when she shuts down

The big hammer-wielding fellow smiles at Drift, and then he laughs. His head, thrown back to laugh, reveals the sharp, sharky flash of his teeth. He pulls out two more weapons. Now he is wielding two vicious short swords and two giant hammers. It's kind of ridiculous. He says in a low, booming voice whose depth seems almost to vibrate, "My bid was successful. That's my property, and it cost me a pretty penny. I recommend you get out of the way if you want to live to fight another day." Two of his minions come up behind him holding long-nosed energy weapons. Both are trained on Drift, and there are more in conference behind them. This is not going to be a fair fight.

This is most definitely not going to be a fair fight. Drift is good, but he's not that good. Two hammers and two swords? Fuckin' really? Regardless of how badly he's going to get his ass handed to him (if not outright killed,) Drift stands his ground with one arm wrapped around Rodimus, the other holding out his sword and ready to make good on this threat. "I'm prepared to die here, can you say the same? I'm not going to warn you again."

"Oh, you won't die," the large Cybertronian says with another wide, toothy, vicious smile. "But you will fail." He moves to strike, hammers raised high above his head as he charges forward, but the energy rifles behind him are already firing at Drift, trying to herd him away from Rodimus by dint of their fire. It's tragic that Rodimus isn't awake to see Drift's heroics. The others are already being loaded up onto their crafts with remarkable efficiency.

<FS3> Opposed Roll -- Drift=Melee Weapons+Body Vs Crazy8=12 < Drift: Great Success (3 8 2 2 3 1 6 7 8 2 7 7 6) Crazy8: Great Success (8 8 4 5 8 2 4 3 7 4 4 8) < Net Result: DRAW

Drift isn't going to let himself be baited by the rifle fire regardless of how much the energy shots burn him. If he lets go of Rodimus then he's definitely going to be taken, if he holds on maybe he can endure long enough for back-up to arrive. "You underestimate me," he says with a snarl, swinging his Great Sword to clash with the other Cybertronian's hammers.

"Perhaps I did." Crazy Eight is visibly startled by just how well, and how quickly on his feet, Drift is prepared to keep him at bay. Despite the difference in their sizes and the multiplicity of weapons the massive arena taker has in his arsenal, the effort to buy time seems at first like it is working. Crazy Eight doesn't lose ground, but neither does he gain any in blow, counterblow, swing, and thrust. It looks like it's working. There might even be time for another shuttle to land.

Then Drift's opponent bellows in a massive, earthshaking roar, and then he hurls both of his hammers in rapid succession at Drift's head. In the moment's distraction, he transforms into the shape of an enormous octopoid beastformer. He slams into Drift with all his might, encircling his core with ravening robotic tentacles, and hurls him outward with demented force. He crashes through the blipping force-shield of the lift and is sent flying up multiple levels by the gravitational pulse of the elevator.

Drift isn't intimidated in the slightest and he keeps up with the four armed Cybertronian, swinging his sword to stave off the assault of the hammers. He's doing a pretty good job until he isn't, the hammers finally coming down on his head over and over again, stopping only to give his assailant time to transform before coming under assault again. Even through the cranial trauma, Drift does what he can to keep his grip tight on Rodimus but eventually he's forced away and thrown violently into the lift. He'll be deposited on some random floor much to the surprise of anyone who happens to be waiting for the lift at the time.

There are startled squeals and various alarms when Drift hits the lift, and eventually spills out in one of the higher class, brightly hued districts. Below, his crewmates are loaded up onto the fliers and taken up into the air. But at least Drift can reach the Lost Light.

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