2016-01-12 Bread And Circuses

From Transformers: Lost and Found

Bread And Circuses
Date 2016/01/12
Location Sciria
Participants Blast Off, Cyclonus, Getaway, Mercy, Quicksight, Rodimus, Tailgate, Whirl
NPCs Bieva, Bleeat, Blip and the Blips, Ch'thisia, Crazy Eight, Nilaia, Rit, Tiritura, Whisper
Plot Arena
Scene GM Sao, Tez
Summary Or How To Say 'Fuck You' In Cybertronian

The arena is a massive globe of shielded purple and white light. Seating is tiered from every corner of the globe. The central fighting arena is cut off from the seats with a clear shell, an invisible barrier of force keyed to collars affixed to the combatants. There are three levels to the globe: air, ground, and sea. Personal screens at each seat allow bettors to view the fighting from six different floating camera views, while massive screens at north, west, east and south points in the arena show camera views and odds.

This time, when the Lost Lighters are finally led out of their cells -- under very similar conditions from the first time -- they are not brought to a chamber with all of them in one group. The setup is similar -- the watery roof, the table full of weaponry (their own and other people's), but the breakdown is different. Each room has a wall with a screen showing the four screens of the arena in splitscreen. As they are brought in, there is a raging battle happening between Rit, the Spear-Thrower, and the feline cyborg from Punch and Arcee's cell. Spears fly, claws slash. The sounds are distant and muted: a roaring audience, the scream of the cat, the singing chant of the Spear-Thrower. Good times, good times.

Mercy and Quicksight find themselves in a room together.

Tailgate and Cyclonus are delivered into another room with all their weapons laid out.

Rodimus and Whirl get to be cooped up together now, too, however temporarily.

The change is nervewracking - at least after last night, Mercy -thought- she knew what they were in for. And she -thought- she'd be able to look after all of the others. Instead, she finds herself in a room with the one crewmember who seems to hate her the most (though she isn't sure precisely what she did to make that happen...maybe he really didn't like the hug?). After a nervous look around, she hesitates and then looks to her temporary roommate. "How...are you feeling?" the medic wonders, quietly.

"Well, this sucks," is Whirl's first assessment of the situation he currently finds himself in. At least he gets to get out of his cell for a little bit, even if he has to share this room with Rodimus. "I guess this means we're going to have to kill each other or something? I assume that's why we're in a room together, unless maybe they plan on having us do some team up where we kill two other people."

Cyclonus's time imprisoned has been a study of reserve, and it continues even now as he ends up in a room along with Tailgate. He looks at the weapons, and his expression darkens further. He says nothing.

Rodimus tries to take out his guard with an exciting new technique only to meet basically the same result, so when he's next cooped up together with Whirl, he's a snarling ball of EXTREME DISPLEASURE. "We're not doing that," he says in a flat voice. "I'm not fighting you, Whirl. He wants a show. Refuse to give him one. It's simple."

Good times for everyone that isn't bleeding in the ring, anyway. Tailgate isn't much for words when they're led off again, and when they are delivered to the rooms he is torn between watching the screen and everything else. The longer he goes without saying something, the more tense he gets. Being that his current cellmate is who it is, he looks up at Cyclonus after a long disquiet. "...The rest of the crew will come for us, right?" Surely?

Once again, Quicksight does not bother taking a weapon. His own are still perfectly usable. He stands near a wall, looking as sullen as ever, giving his match a gloomy look. "You should worry about yourself, Autobot" he scoffs before giving the screen a brief glance "You know that we're probably gonna be out there in a moment, right? Why are you worrying about me?"

Dark green blood spills from the cat creature as it finally stumbles and falls beneath Rit's last launched spear. His bellowed triumph comes with the raise of both arms, and the camera angles across four different shots of Rit delighted to be victorious and not bleeding (or fried) on the ground. The voice announces his name and planet of origin booming with pleasure, and then cuts in local channels to the rooms that host the Cybertronians.

"If you fight well, you will be given fuel. If you fight badly, you will not. And tomorrow, when the odds are ready to be laid, you will fight for the chance to face me, one on one, and make good on all those delightful threats you so enjoy, my warmongering friends." Crazy Eight's chuckle is warmly obnoxious through the speakers in each of their chambers. On the screens, two chambers sink slowly back into the surf.

Mercy's head tilts to the right as she studies Quicksight - her face is a study in sincerity as she speaks, quietly, "Because you're a crewmate." Her answer is simple, and her tone surprisingly warm. "I care because...because...I just do." she finally finishes before looking back to the screen as she hears the cheering. Wincing, the medic looks like she'd like to sink into a wall. "I care about everyone." she adds in a whisper...and sounds like she means it, too. "I don't want to fight!" she shouts up at Crazy Eight's voice, hands finding her hips. "YOu are -mean- and not nice and a bit-brain!"

"Are you serious? You heard what he said last night." Whirl looks over at the speaker as it booms out Crazy Eight's voice and then glances back at Rodimus. "And just now, if we fight well then we'll get fuel. What do you think is going to happen if we don't fight at all? We'll either get starved out or killed outright. Is that what you want, Captain? You want to die in this hellhole? Or do you want to live long enough for us to get out of here?"

"We cannot rely on the rest of the crew to retrieve us," Cyclonus says with simple quiet as he watches the screen. His expression is sharply considering. "I will not harm you, but I also must assure you are not put in the position to face this -- Crazy Eight -- in single combat."

"We buy time until the others find us by refusing!" Rodimus meets Whirl's gaze with a hard stare. He's just making a point of having two eyes, probably. What a jerk. He even frowns. Look at that. Two eyes and and a face. "I'm not playing his games, and I'm definitely not hurting my crew! We're not going to die here!"

Crazy Eight does not answer again. But perhaps it is Mercy's announcement that she does not want to fight that leads the chamber she and Quicksight to be the first to begin rising through the roiling blue waters of the arena toward the surface. There's an extended drumroll that plays from the speakers, and an announcement to the audience of the special treat of brand new warriors of Cybertron -- "one of whom, ho ho ho, isn't even a warrior," -- because this is apparently an audience that enjoys the vicious, and Crazy Eight is kind of like an enormous awful Santa Claus.

Versus: "an old favorite". The audience is encouraged to place their bets as the walls on the chamber slide down and Quicksight and Mercy are revealed, alone in the vastness of the arena. Across the way, another chamber begins to rise.

"Last one standing is the victor!" bellows Crazy Eight. "Let the bout begin!"

"Then you're an idiot" that's a compliment, as far as Quicksight and Autobots go. It means he does not consider Mercy to be among those vile Autobots that really do stand opposed to the Decepticon cause of equality and justice, just misguided. And genuinley stupid.

As their room begins to rise, he shakes his head "I don't want to make this guy happy, but I don't want to starve either. Or worse" wait, what? Versus an old favourite? So they're not going to be fighting each other? He doesn't really care either way -- he has no reservations against killing an Autobot to survive, but this is an interesting turn of events. He gives the audiance only a brief, acidic glance before turning his attention to the other chamber. Either way, he's not about to just let someone knock him around.

Tailgate tips his head up at the voice, near and far all the same. His visor pulses with a passing light, barely stifled. He looks to his hands, balling small fists. "If someone has to take me out of the fight, that's okay. I'm not-- this kind of person." A Gladiator? "But if it's all the same to you, if something's going to try and kill me, I won't make it easy." It's here that with a moment of hesitation he moves to the table to equip himself again. There's no uncertin reluctance here.

"I am no..." Mercy's protest ends with a faint squeak as their room begins to rise. She reaches to snatch a pistol, similar to the one she'd used the night before, but she looks about as eager to use it as she had in the training bout. She barely looks at the audience, instead turning to focus her optics across the area towards the 'old favourite'.

"Okay, you do that then. Me, on the other hand, I'm going to do what it takes to survive and if that means wailing on you then what choice do I have? Should be easy since you don't plan on fighting back or anything, right?" Whirl gives Rodimus a shrug and turns to the screens, troubled by what he sees. Poor Mercy, he would really rather not see her die.

What stands revealed as the walls fall away from the other chamber is a giant robot, wielding a giant staff with a flapping banner on the end. This monster swings its staff high in the air and bellows: "BLIP!"

Lumbering forward, it bounds over the low-edged wall sinking into the floor and starts running gamely at Quicksight and Mercy. After its first few pounding steps, though -- the monster explodes.

It bursts into five smaller versions of itself, two that used to be its arms flying off in a wild circle, one dropping from its core into a roll, and the two that used to be its legs still running forward. The one that used to be the core and head of the monster is wearing a rook-like craggy crown on its head. They are all otherwise identical. Also, they are all yelling "Blip!"

It's possible that there are some translator issues here.

"Whirl, come on!" Rodimus pauses, trying to consider how to actually appeal to Whirl. His better nature? No. His altruism? No. There must be something -- some angle, some hook -- but he visibly struggles to find it. Minutes pass. He continues to struggle. At some point he just abandons it to move toward the screen, studying what can be glimpsed of the audience rather than watching Mercy, Quicksight, or their monster buddy.

Cyclonus looks down at Tailgate, hesitating a moment as he watches the minibot balling his fists, and then reaches to touch his clawed fingertips very lightly to the smaller bot's shoulder. A touch, and then it's gone. "I will not let the others harm you, either," he says, and then he reaches for his sword.

The camera angles are mostly focused on the arena fight, demonstrating the faces, stances, the charge of the combatants with expert camerawork, but there are flashes of the audience -- it is large, and loud, and seems made up of the same broad swath of population as anywhere else in Scira.

He can totally take that, with or without the Autobot! Quicksight tenses, ready to spring in to the air, though the sudden seperation makes him pause. Just for a moment though. "This'll be over fast!" Jumping in to the air, he shifts in to his winged form and zooms forward, over the blips, before wheeling around and doubling back straight at the nearest one, shifting back once he's sure that his momentum will cary him the rest of the way, blade out and ready.

If there is one thing that Getaway hates more than anything else is is getting caught. That is not supposed to happen to him. Thus getting gotten has taken its toll on him. He has been quiet, sullen even, thus far and kept to himself. Yet now, paired with Blast Off it is clear to him what it is that he must do. "I am an escape artist," he says to the Combaticon he is with. "And it is clear to me that there is one way out of this." He lays his hand on the table of weapons, picking up the options he has carefully selected after much consideration. With them in hand he looks at Blast Off and says, calmly, "By going through you." With a name like 'Getaway' should you escape anything other than him chasing the most direct route out of this?

The large mech begins charging and...bursts into five? Mercy is about the same size as them, maybe a wee bit taller even, and that surprises her. She stares for a brief moment. And then she puts her pistol away. Yup, she puts it away, and instead reaches for the medkit she keeps in a forarm compartment and pulls out a sizable syringe. "I can stop this!" she suddenly assures Quicksight before she dashes forward, straight towards the one with the crown, syringe half-hidden in her palm.

Knowing you'll need to fight, that makes it so much worse. Tailgate's not afraid to punch evil in the nose, but when it's something like this? The touch isn't long, but it's enough; the small bot looks up at Cyclonus again, features only obscured by the plates of his face. Still, he manages a look of apprhension, despite the reassurance. Tailgate quietly palms his slingshot and a belt of sticky grenades.

Whirl watches the fight on the screens, even leaving back against the weapons table so he can relax while he does so. "Looks like they're having us team up and fight other people. Talk about lucky for you, looks like I wont have to kill you in front of the crew afterall."

<FS3> Quicksight rolls Transportation: Great Success. (7 6 8 3 8 3 1 2 8 2 1 5 4 4 8 4) <FS3> Mercy rolls Medicine: Good Success. (7 2 7 6 1 1 1 4 5 2 4 8)

"Whirl, as soon as we get out of here, I'm going to weld your aft to the hull. Permanent rivet duty. As a rivet." Rodimus scans the screens with rising frustration in his gaze.

<FS3> Opposed Roll -- Quicksight=melee Weapons+body+5 Vs Blip1=5 < Quicksight: Great Success (6 5 8 6 3 8 4 7 7) Blip1: Failure (6 5 3 1 2) < Net Result: Quicksight wins - Crushing Victory

<FS3> Opposed Roll -- Mercy=body+unarmed+3 Vs Blip2=7 < Mercy: Great Success (7 6 8 2 7 8 4) Blip2: Good Success (8 4 4 8 4 2 2) < Net Result: Mercy wins - Solid Victory

Quicksight makes short work of the first of the blips. It crashes to the ground with a last, whining "...bliip?" as it shuts down. There's a huge roar from the crowd as those who have bet on the underdogs (?) react with surprise and delight at his sharp, quick flying.

Mercy slips past the crowned blip's guard and administers a dose of her knockout agent. Apparently, whatever systems these blip robots have are compatible enough with Cybertronian systems that shutdown comes rapidly, almost immediately.

"Blip!" yell the ones that remain awake. Two converge on Mercy, one on the ground and the other diving out of the air, while the remaining third, still airborne, flies at Quicksight on what is, apparently, a collision course.

Whirl glances at Rodimus over his shoulder. "Don't hate the player, hate the game. Anyway, I have no intention of actually killing you unless it's absolutely necessary. I'm thoughtful like that."

"It seems," Cyclonus murmurs, watching the screens, "that they are pitting us against others, rather than against each other." He is quiet a moment, watching. "This is -- preferable."

<FS3> Quicksight rolls Transportation: Good Success. (4 3 4 5 4 7 6 4 8 4 1 5 1 1 1 7)

As the crowd cheers, Quicksight finds himself feeling two very contrary emotions. On one hand, this is recognition! People are cheering for his skills. On the other, he has not quite forgotten where he is yet. Nor what he's doing. Quicksight is not built to take a lot of damage. He's built for speed. Thus, he does not simply stand around and wait for the Blip to reach him. Launching himself in to the air again, he dashes away from his attacker, and towards one of Mercy's, the one coming at her from the air, aiming to shift back to root mode once he's close enough to grab, and stab, at it. This is not out of any desire to help the Autbot medic. It's simply a convenient, distracted target

Mercy -had- thought that if the boss one went down, the rest might shut down too...the one with the crown had to be the boss, right? In the fairy stories she likes so much, the king always has a crown, and the king is in charge. But it seems fairy tales lied to her! Sad! Pulling the syringe out of the napping mech, Mercy sees two of the three remaining dashing for her. Not good...NOT GOOD! "Look out!" Mercy calls urgently to Quicksight as she sees another one charging for him. Wheeling back as quickly as she can manage, she reaches for the pistol at her side. "We don't have to fight!" she protests as she tries to leap out of the way of the two. Maybe they'll hit each other and take themselves out...

<FS3> Opposed Roll -- Quicksight=melee Weapons+body+3 Vs Blip3=5 < Quicksight: Good Success (6 1 8 3 6 5 7) Blip3: Good Success (7 6 3 8 7) < Net Result: Blip3 wins - Marginal Victory

<FS3> Opposed Roll -- Mercy=reaction+reaction Vs Blip4=5 < Mercy: Success (5 7 4 1 3 5) Blip4: Failure (6 4 4 5 3) < Net Result: Mercy wins - Marginal Victory

<FS3> Opposed Roll -- Blip4=5 Vs Blip3=5 < Blip4: Good Success (8 3 8 4 1) Blip3: Failure (6 3 4 4 5) < Net Result: Blip4 wins - Solid Victory

Mercy dodges quickly out of the way and two blips bounce off each other and crash to the ground, ricocheting with the force of the impact evidently. Meanwhile, Quicksight finds himself caught in the grappling hands of the last remaining upright Blip, who takes a few scrapes of his blades but catches hold of him and then throws him with surprising force -- for a little robot -- bodily into Mercy.

Blast Off is here with the rest, stuck in a cell with Getaway, watching the screens. Trying not to look as if he cares. As if he is aloof as ever, above this all, and perhaps even bored. Except for glimmers when he's not- especially when Mercy appears onscreen and his spark skips a beat seeing her with /Quicksight/. He was about ready to swear revenge on the other Decepticon should he harm her, but fortunately it appears bloody vengeance will not be neccessary- yet, at least. So he resumes trying to look unaffected by this all.

Until Getaway starts speaking. Blast Off (who of course has already grabbed weapons the moment he was able to) slowly turns his head to look at the other mech, optics coating over with that icy glare he does so well. That's all he does for a long while, too, milking the moment for every drop of disdain that he can. But eventually he does reply, voice thick with contempt. "I'd like to see you try, Autobot. I didn't get to be a /Combat/icon because I am *bad* at combat. You choose to take me on, at your own peril."

"Funny," Getaway answers Blast Off as he rolls his shoulders, limbering up. "I thought Onslaught had you around only because you were dumb enough to listen to him."

"Ngh?" Quicksight stares for a few moments in surprise as he finds himself grabbed, before he's sent flying, in the wrong mode, and certianly not in a direction he himself would have chosen. "Agh!" No, he's okay. At least, he thinks he's okay. He does not check to see if Mercy is okay. No time for that anyways. He scrambles to his feet, giving a slight hiss of pain, and leaps, charging his enemy at an angle, aiming to stab at his side uppon shifting back.

Mercy had been about to dash forward to help Quicksight after managing, through some small miracle, to avoid being caught by either of the Blips coming for her. Instead, she finds the Decepticon throwns into her. Landing beneath him, the medic grunts. Well, at least she can be a cushion for his fall, right? And then he's off her, and she can get up. She moves to dash after him, to help with the last standing Blip (assuming the two that ran into one another are down for the count) [BigScene] Ultra Magnus says, "Quicksight, roll transportation again, will ya"

<FS3> Quicksight rolls TRansportation: Good Success. (1 8 7 6 6 6 2 5 1 5 3 7 6 4 3 5) <FS3> Opposed Roll -- Quicksight=melee Weapons+body+3 Vs Blip3=5 < Quicksight: Success (7 4 6 5 3 6 3) Blip3: Good Success (4 6 7 6 7) < Net Result: Blip3 wins - Marginal Victory

<FS3> Opposed Roll -- Mercy=firearms+reaction Vs Blip3=5 < Mercy: Good Success (8 8 8 6 4 6 4) Blip3: Good Success (7 6 2 6 8) < Net Result: Mercy wins - Marginal Victory

As Quicksight struggles to grapple with the quick-handed, grappling Blip, Mercy's pistol shot takes it down. There's a long moment's silence afterwards when all the blips are unconscious and yet there is no declared victor. The booming voice carols out a reminder: "Last one standing is the victor."

There's only one question: will either of the Cybertronians strike the other? There's a fascinated hush from the audience, watching to see if that fragile allegiance of Decepticon and Autobot turns.

When the booming voice speaks, Mercy's head snaps up to stare at the ceiling before slowly lowering to look at Quicksight. Pistol in hand, she stares at him for a long moment before slowly lowering the weapon and simply letting it drop from her fingertips. "Just...make it quick, okay?" she murmurs, softly. Apparently, if there's only one to be left standing, she's decided who it'll be.

"Shit." Whirl becomes fixated on the screens. Quicksight better not do what he thinks he's going to do, not to Mercy of all people.

Something flashes in the Combaticon's optics, a crimson streak that hints at a certain cold comfort with bringing about violent death and a boundless pride. And Blast Off stops, and stares, a pregnant pause filling the air between them. And then the moment is gone, and the murderous edge dissipates- for now. Instead, Blast Off's optics dim and he leans slightly back to regard Getaway with a haughty demeanor. "Ah. Trying to make me angry, to lose my edge and act in blind rage? Sorry, that only works on Brawl. But I wouldn't expect that to be something a coward like you could possibly understand. Do you even know /how/ to fight? Or perhaps you're panicing now, and hoping to commit suicide by Decepticon?"

Then the loudspeaker makes an announcement, and Blast Off's poise encounters a hiccup as he glances, distracted, at the screen. WHAT?

This -- This catches Cyclonus's attention. He watches Quicksight and Mercy on the screens closely.

"Mercy-- no, Quicksight-- don't--" Tailgate finally speaks, his voice crackling and visor sparking bright when he approaches the wall with the screen, hands up as if he might be able to press his way into the arena.

"Yeah." Rodimus, for all his prickle and snap, can only echo Whirl's sentiment as he watches. His focus is intense. If Quicksight could spontaneously develop telepathy, that would be super convenient.

So it does end up being him against her after all. Shoving aside his now downed oppoenet, Quicksight turns towards Mercy, ready to bolt once she raises her gun...and pauses. He stares at her for a couple moments, then shakes his head "You really are an idiot". One last glance at the audiance, and he charges. He doesn't shift in to his plane mode, he just runs, aiming to knock the Autobot's legs out from under her. There's a smug look on his face. Last one standing, right?

There's a surly energy to the audience when what Quicksight does is knock Mercy down, rather than anything more dramatic. There's a beat's pause, an almost hush, and then Crazy Eight expresses his displeasure simply. His puppets have not performed according to his desires, so he knocks them both out. When they come to again, they are back in the room with all the weapons, and able to view the screen as the next matchup is beginning: another pair of chambers rising through the water to surface, another set of slightly tenser, more irritated announcements from whatever control both it is where Crazy Eight watches the fighting.

Blast Off and Getaway's room slides up through the lapping waters and its walls drop, releasing them into the arena.

Across the arena from them, Whisper changes form into the sleek lines of a fighter jet and is already in the air and performing a strafing run in pursuit of the giant crystalline spider that is, apparently, a matchup that has occurred before. Ch'sthia charges towards Blast Off and Getaway, or maybe she's just charging away from her airborne Decepticon pursuit, spinarets rapidly working behind her as she spins some personal weapon. If they don't move quickly, though, that could be a collision.

Mercy lands hard on her aft (and not for the first time) but before the fact that she isn't actually hurt registers, she's offline. She wakes up, eventually, and it takes a moment to gain her barings. She scrambles to her feet and spins around until she can see Quicksight. "You okay?" the medic demands, quietly, before adding, "T..thank you for not killing me." And then the new fight on the screen has the medic gasping slightly and moving to stare at the screen.

Tailgate practically spasms when Quicksight moves in on Mercy, only to knock her to the ground instead. He clutches at his forehead when they both get knocked out instead. He really had no idea how that was going to end. As the next chambers rise up for Blast Off and Getaway, his unease comes right back, but he does step back from the screen. "Ch'sthia-- and Whisper. That's the Decepticon that was in our cell." Tailgate points the latter out for Cyclonus.

Blast Off doesn't have a lot of time to discuss things further, because suddenly it's his turn. And there's a ...big spider running his way? The Combaticon doesn't even have to think very long before reacting- he transforms into shuttle mode and rockets up into the sky. For now he doesn't fire on anyone, or anything, he just circles and looks for any sign of a place he could ram his way through.

Whirl suddenly becomes extremely interested in the screens when the nxt round begins. "Hey Rodimus, get over here and watch my boyfriend kick ass!"

"I see." Cyclonus focuses on Whisper in particular; an unknown Decepticon is of particular note -- and potential danger. Rodimus goes, "Ugh." He rolls his eyes -- okay, his head, he rolls his whole head; fixed-lens eyes can't roll -- and pointedly looks away.

<FS3> Opposed Roll -- Whisper=12 Vs Ch'sthia=11 < Whisper: Good Success (7 6 4 4 6 8 3 2 6 1 8 5) Ch'sthia: Amazing Success (8 7 1 7 1 7 7 8 2 3 8) < Net Result: Ch'sthia wins - Crushing Victory

Quicksight does not move imediatly uppon regaining consciousness. For a couple moments, he simply lays there, staring at the celling with a gloomy look. It's only when Mercy speaks up does he finally shift, turning his head to look at her for a moment, then mutter "That wouldn't have been any fun". Rolling over to his side he clmibs to his feet, but only long enough to make it to the nearest wall and plop down there again, knees pulled up to his chestplate, head resting on his knees "Plus, that way I could tell them to frag off. I don't obey anyone but Megatron" and those who execute his will, obviously

"There's one I haven't heard since the war. Coward. I guess when your first steps are running away from Megatron, it comes with the territory. But hey, what should I use for you when you are the one that took to a knee for... oops, here we go." Getaway stops his retort as their room rises. The crowd, the need to preform for others? Being judged? He's got this. "Now who's the coward," he snorts as Blast Off takes off. Himself he charges at Ch'shia. "Here, catch," he says as he lobes something at her - his gun that he sabotaged while waiting for his turn. It should overheat and explode; a grenade meant for BO, but the spider can have it.

<FS3> Getaway rolls Resourcefulness: Good Success. (6 7 2 2 4 5 7 7 2)

<FS3> Opposed Roll -- Getaway=reaction+firearms+3 Vs Ch'sthia=11-2 < Getaway: Good Success (1 8 2 8 3 4 6 7 6 4 1) Ch'sthia: Good Success (3 4 6 5 3 8 1 7 6) < Net Result: Getaway wins - Marginal Victory

There are no signs of any weaknesses in the force-shielding. Blast Off may search, but it is fruitless. Meanwhile, below him the battle is joined. Ch'sthia leaps into the air, her threads cording behind her in an outward billow like a balloon-net of taut, hard-corded threads. She fouls Whisper mid-flight as the Decepticon flies low for another pass, and begins spinning a tighter cocoon around her in mid-air. They crash to the ground, Whisper transforming to thrash and fight in vicious silence, but Ch'sthia is too quick for her today, and soon she is sealed entirely in a cocoon of gleaming crystal.

As the sabotaged gun sails towards her, Ch'sthia rears up to catch it in two of her crystalline claws at once in surprise, and it detonates with startling force, sending the spider hurtling backward onto her back. Her legs wave wildly in the air without dignity, a few worrying cracks running over her surface with pale, clear fluid leaking from them. She might not be down and out, but for the purposes of this fight, she might as well be.

That totally leaves Getaway versus Blast Off.

Blast Off *really* dislikes that getaway guy now, but he dislikes being held captive and treated like an animal in a fighting pit even more. << I shall *not* be commanded by the likes of /you/. >> He informs Crazy-8 disdainfully. << I am in charge of my own destiny, not /you/. >>

When Blast Off vocally refuses to fight at this point, and there are no other enemies to take down besides each other, Getaway experiences the possible disappointment of winning a victory when Crazy Eight shuts Blast Off down right out of the air via whatever his remote making-people-offline magic is. He might take some minor injuries in the crash, because-- you know, that was a little high up??

"Whirl. Whirl -- I have an idea." Disaster generally follows that kind of thing. Rodimus reaches forward to pull Whirl by the elbow so that he can whisper his idea like he thinks SOMEONE is EAVESDROPPING on the poor helpless prisoners and he wants it to be a surprise. Secret. It involves a lot of big gestures.

Ch'shia slowing down doesn't deter Getaway any, in fact, he speeds up. He transforms and immediately upon becoming a sleek racing car he streaks for the spider. Why? He means to use her body as an impromptu ramp - racing up one of those akimbo limps to ramp-launch himself at Blast Off. "There are two ways out of here, dim-wit. Be the last living oir among the dead!" He transforms once more, as in root moide he means to tackle BO with a shuttle choke hold. "Guess which you will be!" Yet, close as he is he means to whisper to BO privately. "For Whirl's sake, trust me? Slam me into the ground so hard that you could kill me." He even whisper-asks nicely.

"Ew, you're touching me," Whirl says though he offers no resistance and makes no effort to pull away. He looks skeptical somehow as Rodimus whispers to him and there's a whole exchange involving will shaking his head and getting loud but eventually he vents a heavy sigh and nods his head.

As the fight seems to wind down, Mercy steps back slowly from the screen and huffs softly. And then she steps back further, and she moves to slowly sit nearby beside Quicksight. Poor 'Con, stuck with a 'Bot who seems intent on getting touchy.

As Blast Off is tampered with, Getaway looks from the downed spider before him to, well, himself. He is the last standing. He duysts his hands off. "Win is a win. I'll take it." Unfortunately, although Getaway's plan sounds promising, Blast Off is in no condition to participate. They go down together, though Getaway's pressed close grip leaves him on top when they hit the ground. The chamber walls slide into place around them, and as they sink again back down into their original position, Blast Off discovers himself awakening again. Their video screen shows the next pair of rooms sliding up out of the water.

Whirl and Rodimus find themselves standing in the arena, the walls sinking around them, as the tiny, point-eared creature from Blast Off, Quicksight and Getaway's room -- now inside a giant power armor mecha thing that looks kind of like an Atlas -- steps out of the room, and the sea sylph's tank leaves her diving out into the water on the attack. Icicle darts fly out of the water towards Rodimus and Whirl as she moves, swimming rapidly. They shatter against their metal skin in a burst of startling cold. Hi robots. This is your wakeup call.

Quicksight watches the fight with with a half-hearted interest. After the aliens went down, he stopped being sure who to root for. The issue renders itself moot pretty quickly anyways. Whatever. He pulls his knees in tighter, only to find that the Autobot has decided to get up close to him. Great. Shooting her a warning glare, he scootches away from her "I didn't spare you because I like you you know. It just wasn't worth killing you, so stay away" turning away he settles his head back on his knees, though after a few moments he speaks up again "What's your deal anyways?"

"I know you don't." Mercy assures Quicksight in a 'there there, there there' sort of way. Poor little boy is pouting. Don't worry, your'e a big man! way. She eyes him for a moment before sloooooowly scooching a wee bit closer. "My deal?" she asks, confused, before looking back to the monitor.

As they rise, Rodimus wastes a moment searching the arena like too many of the others: looking for weakness, an exit, a sign--. He's looking for a lot, but all he finds is an attack. He (rather foolishly?) puts his back to Whirl, and coordinates with a quick call: "You can fly over the water, so you deal with her, and I'll take care of -- whatever the hell that is." As soon as he's said it, he moves to do so, trusting Whirl to follow his order. Suggestion. Guideline?

"LET'S DO THIS!" Whirl yells like a madman when he and Rodimus are let loose in the arena. There's a quick nod to Rodimus to confirm that no, he has no intention of backing out on their pre-discussed plan before he transforms and takes to the air. He strafes the water from above, tracking the sea sylph's movements and opening fire from his canopy-mounted cannons when he spots an opening.

<FS3> Opposed Roll -- Whirl=firearms+reaction Vs Sea Sylph=10 < Whirl: Great Success (3 2 3 4 4 7 7 1 7 6 7 3 2) Sea sylph: Good Success (6 4 6 4 2 8 2 1 4 8) < Net Result: Whirl wins - Solid Victory

<FS3> Opposed Roll -- Rodimus=firearms+reaction Vs Tiritura=10 < Rodimus: Good Success (3 3 1 3 8 6 8 7 2 1 1) Tiritura: Good Success (7 2 6 4 4 4 2 6 5 7) < Net Result: Rodimus wins - Marginal Victory

"Your deal" Quicksight repeats "Why do you keep acting so -- so nice to everyone" the word 'nice' comes out sounding as if he were talking about something revolting "Why did you just give up like that? I could have killed you, you know. Why do you care about Decepticons? Well, I guess that traitor isn't really a Decepticon anymore, but still. You're an Autobot!"

Whirl's timing and precision prove to be excellent. When the sea sylph launches herself high to send spears of ice flying up at him, they might crash into him in midair, but his firing slices through the hardness of her scales, and after a few rounds of this, it's very clear that while she might be able to make him kind of cold and uncomfortable, what he's doing is making her bleed. One of his shots cracks hard through her lean, shimmer-blue flame, and dark red blood flows stainingly into the water as she sinks beneath.

Meanwhile, Rodimus's victory over Tiritura's slow, smashy mecha may be slightly less decisive than Whirl's brutal victory over his erstwhile fishy roommate, but no less certain. It ends with the mecha smoking and whining to a frozen halt and the tiny creature inside cowering like it's expecting to have its head blown off at any moment.

Now Rodimus and Whirl have only each other to face -- and, of course, their audience. Blast Off comes to and feels miserable all over, inside and out. The Combaticon forces down his urge to start clawing at the walls threatening to close in on him againand simply leans against them instead, watching as Whirl and Rodimus come onscreen and frowning even more under his faceplate. Well, at least there's no question in his mind that if push comes to shove, Whirl's gonna win that fight.

Mercy allows her optics to return to Quicksight. "I -am- nice," she answers, mildly confused. "I like Decepticons -and- Autobots AND mechs who weren't either." She shoots her roommate an odd look and begins ticking off bots on her fingertips. "I like Slugfest, and Rodimus, and Blast Off and...and...-everyone-." she ends lamely before huffing softly. "I gave up like that because I didn't want to hurt you. Or anyone else." she admits with a roll of her shoulders. "I know you could have killed me. But I trusted you." To make it a quick death, anyways!

Rodimus loves slow, smashy mecha, because then he gets to drive in circles around them. Sometimes literally. Often while also driving them crazy. He's got practice. He pats Tiritura's smoking and whining side with a, "Nice try, but you were never going to win," before pacing over to join Whirl.

Rodimus flashes him a truly ridiculous grin, and goes in for a massive pun-- oh, no, it's a high-five. High-...claw. Whatever!! "Nice."

Rather than attack Whirl, however, Rodimus instead pulls Whirl into a little creative art project that involves his guns, the platform beneath them, and an extremely rude scrawl scorched in gunfire across the ground. How long does it take to write 'Fuck you' in Cybertronian using nothing but guns? Well, they probably won't get to find out. But in the meantime, he does as best as he can.

Whirl might feel kind of bad for shooting up the sea sylph but she made absolutely no effort to introduce herself and she is kind of a weirdo so he doesn't. With that taken care of, he touches down onto solid ground and transforms just in time to return Rodimus' high-five/claw.

Then their personal message to Crazy Eight begins to form, Whirl doing his part and spending thousands and thousands of rounds of ammunition to scrawl the words into the floor. It takes a while but once it's done, Whirl tosses his gun on the floor and makes a rude gesture to the audience while spinning slowly so the cameras can get a good shot of it from every conceivable angle.

Their message of defiance is not interrupted until they are good and finished. There's time to add an artistic flourish, even. Crazy Eight watches with one hand thoughtfully over his mouth, from somewhere inside his control booth. Then he knocks them both out, and sends them sinking back beneath the waves. He doesn't even make an announcement about it.

When they come to again, it is in time to watch the next room begin its slow slide up into the arena.

Quicksight turns to look at Mercy, bafflement on his face. He stares at her like that for a few moment. "If you really believe that, how are you still an Autobot?" he turns away again, glancing up at the screen to see how whatever fight is on right now going. Just in time to see Rodimus and Whirl's little gesture. As much as he might hate Autobots, even he can't resist a soft chuckle.

The ground shudders beneath Cyclonus and Tailgate's feet before rising to send them into an arena bloodied and scorched by the previous fights. For a moment, all is still, leaving them to wonder if they might not be facing each other.

"I'm a Lost Lighter." MErcy informs Quicksight easily, without hesitation. THe look she gives him is a bit of a 'duh' sidelong glance before she huffs a sigh. "We're all going to starve here...which is better than hurting each other, I guess." She is quiet a moment before adding, "Just make it quick and painless when it gets to that, okay? But it's not going to get to that point, because the rest of the crew will come and get us and we'll all be home and okay."

Cyclonus stills -- tenses, rather, he's already still -- when the platform begins moving beneath their feet. The Great Sword is in his hand, but he doesn't look to Tailgate. Tailgate is not an option. He looks out around them.

Tailgate, for his part, has watched all of this without fail. It's been an emotional rollercoaster, ending with Rodimus and Whirl's bastard bullet dance and their rudeness scored into the arena. It gives him just that little bit of oomph he needs, and when the room rises, Tailgate has his feet planted and sling in hand, eyes dim against the messy arena. When it gets quiet, he looks around at first; when it's Too Quiet, the minibot glances over to Cyclonus' profile, a jagged frame against the background of the audience.

Blast Off remains leaning against the wall, shifting to put more of his back on it and keep an eye on Getaway. But mostly, he watches Whirl, and his frown turns to a smirk that only fades a little when he's offlined- but doesn't completely go away. Thattaboy, Whirl. Beyond that- he puts that aloof expression back on his face and idly watches the rest of the proceedings.

It's just them. Who will strike first? The silence stretches.

Then it snaps.

The ground quakes beneath them with the mighty thunder of metal. Bleeat is all but unrecognizable as he joins the fray wrapped in layers of metal: it's a suit of mechanized armor that puts him at just about Cyclonus's height -- and very much more than his weight. That sweet, confused little organic is a riot of anger and power stampeding in to trample Cyclonus and Tailgate alike.

"You would have made a good Decepticon" Quicksight mutters, and there is just a little less hostility in his voice. He doesn't answer her remark on their potential fate. He doesn't want to offline here, but he doesn't want to be stuck in this humiliating cycle of apeasing his captor for a drop of energon either. He simply pulls his knees in closer, and looks back up at the screen.

It is not common for Cyclonus to have agility on his opponent, but this one is likely. He steps between Tailgate and their stampeding opponent, crouching in preparation and curling his fingers around the hilt of his sword. He lets Bleeat get quite close before he slide evasively and moves to strike.

"I make a good me!" Mercy chirps with a flash of a grin, a hint of her usual self. Catching the movement of hugging his knees a little more closely, Mercy schooches and reaches to try and pat his hand reassuringly. She remains silent, however, her attention pulled back to the screen as she hears the animal's call. ", don't hurt them Bleeat! And don't you two hurt Bleet!" she yells at the screen. Like they can hear her.

Whatever Tailgate thought he was expecting, it wasn't this. What-- what is that? His optics widen, vision suddenly obscured by Cyclonus stepping in front of him. Unlike most times, however, the minibot doesn't stay behind the bigger bot. Not when that metal creature is careening for them with all its bulk. Tailgate tucks his sling back and moves to the side with a quickstep, folding into his altmode and circling out of the way-- giving Cyclonus room enough to move if he needs to.

<FS3> Opposed Roll -- Cyclonus=melee Weapons Vs Bleeat=9 < Cyclonus: Great Success (6 8 7 1 2 3 7 1 4 1 2 1 5 7) Bleeat: Good Success (3 2 2 6 5 4 8 7 5) < Net Result: Cyclonus wins - Solid Victory

Despite his earlier compliment, Quicksight is not quite ready to allow an Autobot to touch him. As she reaches for his hand, he recoils, and shifts away again, not as far as before, but still enough to pull out of her reach. He's not above responding to her outburst at the sight of the organic on the screen "It's either it or them."

Bleeat's smash is arrested by the sudden strike of Cyclonus's blade. The edge carves through the joint of his forward knee, bringing the elephant down -- but not out. The massive inertia of his momentum sends Bleeat rolling over onto his side. Tailgate gets clear without a fuss. There's a trumpeting noise deep within the armor that howls out through the joints to scream his rage. He tosses his head and lashes at Cyclonus with a trunk that's been modified to an armored mace, smashing at his side.

<FS3> Cyclonus rolls Reaction+Reaction: Good Success. (5 4 8 8)

Cyclonus manages to slide out of the way of the swinging mace of Bleeat's trunk before it can smash into his side. "Stay down, creature," he snaps at it. "I have no wish to play into this madman's fantasies of entertainment by injuring you further." He steps back another step, leaving space between them; if the elephant wishes to fight more, it will have to manage to get up. Mercy doesn't push the hand holding on Quicksight. SHe twists around onto her knees and a little closer to the monitor. "But they don't have to kill Bleeat!" she insists, concern in her voice.

"Then it'll kill them" Quicksight draws the situation to a logical conclusion. Taking a good look at the screen he thinks for a couple moments, then appends his previous statement "Or they'll have to beat it untill it can't move."

Tailgate circles around the edge of the arena, pulling to a drifting stop on the other side and facing the tangle of mecha-pachyderm and Cyclonus from a fair pace away. The beacons on his hood flutter light against the shine of the animal's armor. Oh. Well. That's actually pretty effective, since Cyclonus took out its knee with a single strike. It lies there and makes angry noises!!

That leaves Tailgate, Cyclonus, and a whole lot of tension. Their audience shouts for blood.

Eventually -- /eventually/ -- Cyclonus must turn his gaze from the elephant to the minibot standing nearby. The sword is heavy in his hand. He watches him for a long moment, and then he smiles; the expression is slight and tinged with dryness. "Do you trust me, little one?"

When it's clear the elephant won't be getting up soon, Tailgate shifts back to root mode, sling back in hand and expression somewhat guarded as he faces Cyclonus across the arena floor. Though Tailgate's feet remain planted firm, the tension stays in his frame, twitching uneasily behind his gaze. The question comes, and perhaps some of that tension slips away when it does. A little more when he answers, small voice brave. "Yes."

The crowd goes, "Boo!" and "Cut him!" and "Shoot someone!" from all around them. Someone throws something at the forcefield which prickles with a sharp static crackle.

Cyclonus leaps. It's almost a show, like a brief indulgence for their captor, and the high arc of his sword gleams in the lights in a manner that must be entertaining. He brings the blade down square towards Tailgate's face -- and then yanks it up short to barely tap the minibot's forehead. "Fall," he whispers.

Big, brave little Tailgate turns to face certain Death like a champ. He even braces himself, as if to fight it to the last. It should be scarier when it's someone like Cyclonus-- sword flashing, eyes crimson, the shadows playing deep into his angular face-- but Tailgate has no reason to be afraid. The question was already there. His answer was yes. The sword comes down with the larger mech, and he feels the heat leave his face as it comes close-- and sets light against his head. Cyclonus hardly needs to explain before Tailgate is buckling over, his visor sparking and bleeding with light when he hits his knees and crumples under the 'strike', unmoving.

<FS3> Tailgate rolls Deception: Failure. (3 5 2 5 3 6 3 2 4 4 6)

Crazy Eight's voice booms out into the arena, announcing the victor. The crowd stirs and mutters amongst itself. It's unclear if they are satisfied. Possibly some of them were really hoping for a rally from the underdog. In any event, Cyclonus and Tailgate remain awake as the walls slide back up around them and their room sinks down. The play is the thing, after all.

"Very nice," Crazy Eight's voice states. Though there are more fights that seem about to begin, based on the rising of other chambers on camera where they can all see, it appears that showtime is over for the Lost Lighters, because their guards are starting to troop to their rooms to begin to escort them back to their regular cells. "Some of you will even get to drink tonight. As for the rest of you ... I hope you enjoy the taste of futility." He laughs at them again, but the sound is somehow a little less jolly than it was earlier. There might be some satisfaction to draw from that, anyways.

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