From Transformers: Lost and Found
|Participants||Air Raid, Rodimus, Vortex, Ravage, Cyclonus, Grimlock, Skystalker, Mercy, Jumpstart, Getaway|
|Summary||A shuttle full of Lost Lighters finally touches down on Eukaris. All eyes are on them.|
Early recon has found a good place for a shuttle with search and rescue teams to set down and explore the surface: navigation, working with communications, is able to triangulate the place on the planet where the peculiar interference discovered by Windrose et al is least likely to disrupt communications. When the ship touches down on the surface, it is in a field of long golden grass, bruised under the weight of the vessel and releasing a sweet, spicy scent into the air. The air is warm and dry, like 23 degrees C, with an endless breeze that whispers through the field in a sound alluringly like surf.
The first thing to do is to put down a communications beacon that will help cut through the electromagnetic interference and allow ground teams to keep in contact with each other and, boosted at the shuttle, back to the Lost Light.
The next is to start exploring. Wooded stands spot the edges of the landing field, with distant mountain peaks glowing in the distance beneath cloud cover, and a thick, gnarled jungle between. And it becomes apparent that the hard bright lights peeking from between the shadows of the wooded stand belong to someone. Someones. Who are watching.
No, the FIRST thing to do is get out and roll in the grass! Mercy has a particular love for organic things, and she rarely sees a patch of grass that's large enough for her to do that. So when Mercy steps off the vessel, she is quick to plop down, sprawling on her back slightly to the side, she flings her arms and legs outwards. She'll leave the setting up of comms to those far more capable of it.
You know what the best thing to do is when touching on on an unspoiled plain of golden grasses? TRAMPLE IT. Rodimus gallops out of the shuttle in a burst of energy like he has to 'dibs' first foot on the colony's soil. He settles once he has and pivots to scan the area, then look back at the others slower to emerge from the ship: "Okay! Go ahead and get that beacon up and start a watch while they're working on it. Eyes sharp, but no shooting unless someone is shooting at you -- and maybe stop to ask who they are first even then, huh? We still don't know where her people are yet."
Grimlock tramples pristine grass beneath his massive boots. He shows no joy at setting foot on a new planet, no thrill of exploration- for to Grimlock, this is just another potential battlefield. "Hrm." Grimlock mulls, already with his double-barreled blaster held loosely at his side. "We're sitting dynoducks out here." He grumbles. "A halfway competent opponent would've shot us down while we were landing, though. Unless they want to steal the ship." He pauses, and looks back at the shuttle, and then over at Rodimus.
"It's what'd I'd do."
This place reminds Vortex of Earth. Not a great planet but not the worst. Oh well, organic places meant organic creatures. And they make the most fun sounds. Vortex hops out of the shuttle, observing the tall grass and even crouching to get a better look at it. The grass on earth was shorter- at least he remembered it being short- but this tall stuff could be good for little things to hide in... If he was supposed to be doing something, he didn't seem to have remembered or cared as he starts combing through the field. Gotta be a little critter somewhere around here. He starts to hum to himself, rotors spinning lazily in the breeze. Felt nice.
Air Raid is glad to leave that beacon slag to the nerds. He strides out, bow on his back, and smirks openly at the rolling and trampling. Moving further off to the side, he toes the base of the tall grass, making it squeak as he snaps a few stalks. It's a rare moment of serenity as he takes in that strange, spicy scent and listens through the constant breeze for Grimlock's voice. Orders are usually barked, and there's no barking yet.
Some people are probably annoyed at Ravage being here, but with Soundwave being restricted from leaving the ship as part of his parole, no one should really be surprised he sent his right-hand cybercat in his stead. Someone from Communications has to make sure the aforementioned beacon is properly deployed and set up. A trivial task for the experienced spy, but necessary to deal with the interference. His abilities as a tracker may also come in useful for the searching, since his bestial senses don't rely so heavily on technological augmentations, so it was only a logical choice.
He is, for the moment, behaving and focusing on getting the beacon up and running. Though he does roll his optics at the antics of certain others.
Skystalker has been plastered to the shuttle's windows ever since they broke atmosphere, eyes wide with one of the most enamored expressions he's ever worn. Look at it. Just look at it. When they land, the starfighter toes out of the ship and into the grass, absentmindedly moving into the sea of scented grass. He's not with communications, and so his strolling is undisturbed for now. The fields, the mountains, the trees, the clouds-- Skystalker closes his optics down for a moment, attention pulled away by the delighted rolling Mercy is doing. He fixes his amber eyes on her, features pulling back with a laugh. Yeah, he gets it.
Skystalker brings his wingtips down, compacting them in the faint, warm breeze so that he can scan the horizon towards the mountains.
"Soooooo.... obvious question. Where are the robots?" Getaway is already in a sour mood, what with all of the organic... stuff... everywhere. If he had a nose it would be turned up in disdain. So rather than think about it too much he tries to focus on work, which means setting up that beacon. Which means he is talking to... Ravage? "Talking freely to Cons now... what's the world coming to. I mean, not that you're bad for a Con. At least you likely realize how dangerous this is." Danger would be why Getaway is openly packing heat as he has a sniper rifle strapped to his back. It hasn't been since his wetwork days that he'ls used one but hey, maybe here he'll get some practice.
Cyclonus is quiet. It's very shocking all-around, surely. He paces slowly around the edges of the field they've landed in, his gaze sharp on the hints of optics through the grass. He watches. He waits. He takes no apparent enjoyment in the grass or the promise of a fight.
"Good thing we're apparently dealing with quarter competent opponents, then -- or maybe they don't have the kind of heavy ordnance it'd take to hit a ship." Rodimus watches the spill of crew and then says, "Get them organized into a watch, would you, Grimlock? Skystalker, Air Raid, get in the air and get a look." He is entirely oblivious to the glow of eyes in the shadows of the woods. He pauses to comm Windrose on the shuttle about securing the ship for quick lift off in case of ambush.
Mercy isn't leaping up to joi any sort of ranks voluntarily. Nope, she's busy contentedly sighing in her continued sprawl while she stares up at the sky and saviors the feeling of the breeze across her limbs. "this is -amazing-," she voices to no mech in particular. They all -know- it after all, right? Right!
Grimlock grunts a vague affirmative to Rodimus, and then sweeps his gaze back to his ... 'crew' Air Raid's already got orders to patrol, so it's down to- "Vortex! Watch that quadrant. And don't TOUCH anyone." Grimlock points to the far corner from where he's taken up his post. And then it's "Cyclonus! Optics on the treeline." And with that, Grimlock himself starts moving into position- and first his shadow moves over the blissed-out Mercy, and then an enormous foot ... but Grimlock manages to stop himself. Barely.
His blue visor stares indignantly down at Mercy, and Grimlock emits a faint growl. "Are your legs broken, or are you just stupid?"
Air Raid is studying the rifle on Getaway's back when Rodimus gives an order. He needn't ask twice, as Raid takes a short running start and springs into the air, twisting into the shadow of a jet. If Skystalker follows he'll keep some lazy formation.
"Aye aye." It seems that the crew, or at least some of them, are just as interested in the planet as they are why they are even here. Skystalker makes some mental notes to get samples of things if he can, but that will have to wait until after. Priorities. "That it is." Skystalker answers Mercy, despite her dinobot company, before lifting off of the ground on the faint push of thrusters. The grass ripples below him, then Skystalker is folding up and into the air. The starfighter is a gleaming dagger in the sun, trailing parallel to Air Raid in a wide angle formation.
Ravage turns his head just enough to glance over his shoulder at Getaway without looking away from the beacon. "Danger seems to hardly be a deterrent for this crew." Ravage mostly holds a similar opinion on talking to most Autobots. But seems to at least tolerate Getaway's terse chatting. Maybe just because they come from similar wartime professions. "I'd wager some of them -revel- in it." Head briefly turns the other way to give a glower in the direction of Grimlock, Vortex and a few others. That comment certainly didn't discriminate one side or the other.
Indicators flicker fully and the tiny manipulators retract back into Ravage's forelegs. "The beacon has been established. Give shipside a few microns to fully synchronized, though it likely won't completely counteract the interference this location is less burdened by it."
"Yes," Cyclonus says in brief reply to Grimlock, focusing the slow travel of his gaze onto his assigned area of approach. Then, in slightly less brief comment, he adds, "The latter." His steps are not quite delicate -- he's too big for that -- but they're far from the tromping of some other bots.
Getaway is no comms expert, but he is happy to ride the coattails of Ravage's hard work. He totally helped! "Good, I'll let Rodimus know," he says loudly. He leans in though, before standing, to whisper tot he Con, "I'll cover for you if you want to sneak off. Prowl around." As he stands he unslings the sniper rifle to get it in hand. He strolls up to Rodimus. "I got the beacon setup, boss. Since this is a colony and I have diplomatic experience, I'd like permission to head out and make contact with the natives. I'll take...," he points at Jumpstart, "That one," He hopes he remembers his obscure Autobots correctly. She turns into some non-vehicle, right?
Vortex's helm whips up at his name and he scowls. Ugh, fine... He sticks his tongue out at the dinobot from beneath his mask before heading that way. He wouldn't touch anyone but he could totally touch some dumb animals, hah! Just had to find one... His optics scan for movements in the grass as he takes his post... So far from everyone. He groans and crosses his arms. This was so boring! Hmmm... Cupping his servos around where his mouth is, he shouts back. "Grimmy! Can I have your spot?! This one's boring!"
Mercy goes still as the shadow of Grimlock lands over her, followed nearly by his foot. The medic's head turns slightly to stare up at the dinobot before she shakes her head. "Neither...but it is -lovely- and I have always heard about being able to do this so I thought I'd try and..." Before she can really get going with her rambling, something seems to make her think again and she sits up fully. "And you don't need me unless you get shot...so don't get shot." Simple! She moves to stand despite that.
Grimlock stares impassively at Mercy for what seems like a long, long time. "Stay on your feet." He growls. "It'd be embarrassing if someone died 'cause you were too busy 'frolicking.'" The dinobot manages to make the 'f' word into an obscenity. Mercy gets a none-too-gentle *PROD* in the center of her chestplate with Grimlock's index finger- though any other proverbial (or, knowing Grim, possibly literal) chewing-out is interrupted by Vortex's 'request.'
"NO." Honestly, how does Onslaught put up with that guy?
Jumpstart comes down the landing ramp last. She takes in Eukaris quietly, and hesitates for a moment before setting foot on the surface. When the other flyers take to the air, in all their mechanical profanity, her headfeathers fold ever so slightly. "Too loud." She observes, but doesn't join them. Not yet. "No jet engines here."
Ravage would be loath to actually admit it, but Getaway going to report so he can do what he's best at doing is appreciated. Just don't ever expect him to say as much in public. With this plethora of mechs around it's not hard for the much smaller cybercat to slink away from notice and engage his cloaking systems. Out of sight, out of mind. The best climate he works in.
<FS3> Ravage rolls Stealth: Amazing Success. (4 8 5 8 1 7 8 5 2 3 7 7 5 7)
Air Raid wingrocks slowly, gazing down at their little shuttle. "You're a plant-geek right Skystalker? Is that what's making that smell?" His attention shifts to the distant mountain range. There's an embarrassing rattling of his ailerons as he struggles against a sudden gust.
More glowing optics begin to show in the shadows of the trees, in a few noticeable colors.
As the noise and bustle spreads through the grass, it's possible to detect a few shifts in the breeze-tugged grasses that seem slightly ... off ... just a few blades of grass that seem to bend a little in a way that suggests something a little off.
Jumpstart blinks as she sees Getaway point at her. Which of course leads to Jumpstart pointing at herself. "...Me?" She pauses. "Jumpstart. Not that one. Jumpstart."
"Let's not split up too much just yet, but you can stick by me," says Rodimus, reaching out to ding Getaway's side with the jab of his elbow. He looks up toward the beacon with a pleased satisfaction, all 'good work, team' in his glow. Over the now-boosted comms, he asks, "Anyone spotted anything yet?"
As more optics begin to glow in the trees, Cyclonus watches. And counts. "A number gathering in the trees," he reports quietly over the comms.
"That won't ever happen!" Mercy assures Grimlock. She sounds really confident about that, too. The jabbing at her chestplate has her staring up at him for a long moment after she finishes stumbling backwards before she flashes her trademark grin. "Okay!" And she twists on her heel to actually SKIP away from Grimlock towards where he instructed her to go.
"Yes. Some plants emit scents when broken or bruised." Skystalker takes a few gusts to get used to the toil of the air, soon compensating for the distant puffs of current that pass down over the mountainsides. "Definitely an audience." Skystalker answers Rodimus soon after Cyclonus, somewhat stiffly.
Knees buckling slightly and leaning back with arms dangling towards the ground, Vortex makes an extremely exaggerated and extremely immature groan as he's denied. "Fiiiiiiiiiiiine." He snaps back ups, crossing his arms once more in a pout. Where's all those damn bodies they were supposed to be finding... "Stupid Grimlock..." He grumbles, looking around in the grass for critters again. He wants to squish one... No! Cut it up. No, wait! Disembowel! The options were plenty... Just had to find one in the grass.
Getaway groans. Rodimus touched him. He was uneasy before and now, well, he feels far more uncomfortable. "Great. Safest place to be," he mutters. He looks back to the birdlady. "Right, sorry. If it helps any, I knew there was a 'Start' in your name?" He then looks back forward and then moves to get behind Rodimus. "Pretend to be Skids for a moment," he asks as he means to set that sniper rifle on Rodimus' shoulder if he can, all to get a much steadier view of that treeline.
Grimlock glares after Mercy's skipping, just as a matter of principle- but she's saved by the 'good' news Cyclonus brings. "We got company!" Grimlock growls out, and flicks the safety on his blaster off with a resounding *CLICK!*
"Guns on the treeline! If you didn't bring a gun, WHY DID YOU COME HERE IN THE FIRST PLACE?"
"Sorry, forgot what you were--" Rodimus twitches as Getaway lowers his rifle over his shoulder, glancing back with a startled flare. He settles, and tries to stand still so Getaway can get a look. Tries. Let's just say he's no sniper's friend. His frame vibrates as he calls out: "Okay, but how many is a number? Friendly audience? Tough crowd? What're we looking at? Remember we're not firing until we've identified a clear threat!"
"Huh," is all Raid replies with. Grimlock's jarring voice has him twisting gracelessly in the air to train his weapons on the treeline. It's several extra seconds of clacking and snapping as pylons and missiles shuffle beneath his wings. A gatling-style cannon twitches beneath his nosecone.
When Grimlock's voice raises in ordering weapons on the treeline, there's an invisible scrabble that pulls up dirt and shreds grass not far away and resolves into what appears to be a large lizardformer - chameleon beastmode? - darting for the trees at speed. His hue gleams golden in amidst the golden grass for a moment before his specialized stealth field melts away entirely into a dull matte green-brown hue as he zooms for the safety of the treeline. Imaginatively, he's yelling: "Alarm! Alarm!"
Jumpstart frowns ever so slightly at Getaway, an expression that only deepens when he abandons the diplomatic part of the mission and gets behind Rodimus. Her gaze shifts towards the treeline and the optics that are springing up there. Then she looks up, at the Cybertronians flying above. Long story short Jumpstart is doing a lot of looking. "This is asinine." The beastformer concludes. When the others aim their guns, missiles, lasers, and swords on the treeline, Jumpstart moves forward. "This /is/ their planet, you know." Then the lizard gets excited. The birdformer shakes her head and tries to step past the line of weapons. She raises a hand. "Hello!" She shouts. Hey, it worked last solar cycle.
An audience? Bah, guns are over rated. Mercy has a much better weapon. Taking a step forward, the medic lifts her arm and offers a broad wave to the eyes in the treeline. "Hi!" When the lizardformer zooms towards the trees, it is Mercy's turn to glare back at the dinobot. "Don't let them scare you - we're friendly!" She pauses a beat and then mutters, "Well most of us."
"That seemed," Cyclonus says, watching the chameleon-bot disappear into the grass towards the trees, "unwise."
It's quite possible that Ravage facepawed at Grimlock's abrupt gusto at treating the eyes in a trees as a threat immediately requiring the prominence of guns in response... But you'll never know because he's not visible right now. Or moving more than necessary, because that could draw attention in such an open, natural environment. No surprise most people would focus on the most obvious indication of ... Pausing mid-thought, Ravage turns his own attention in a different direction. Being a master of stealth and subterfuge included the art of counter-intelligence, and something was just off enough to tip his wariness. Sure enough, Grimlock's bellowing panics another scout into revealing themself and fleeing.
Hmph. Amateur, panicking like that.
Ravage, on the other hand, remains calm, even as he starts to circle in the direction of the tree-line himself. He's taking a less direct route, but it's to avoid getting in direct line of sight as he approaches, getting to the side of all thsoe eyes watching.
Vortex looks up, jumping into a better position, drawing out his own blaster. He would use a blade but if needed to transform, he'd be grounded without one. He trains his gun on the treeline. Now this, this felt familiar. His finger twitches on the trigger, itching to blast a few faces i- WHOA! Look at that! With a laugh, he takes aim and... "DAMMIT!" Lost it. He huffs, waiting to shoot at the next thing to move in the trees.
Skystalker does not draw his twin plasma guns, instead tipping sideways and sliding his way down a descending air current towards the canopy of the trees. "Can't get a number. The cover's good." Ask someone on the ground. He watches in silence from above as the lizard breaks his own cover in a sheer panic. Huh. "Look at those stealth plates." A bit admiring, sure. "They haven't done anything to need to put gun sights on them--"
Getaway knows there is talking going down, but he's content to keep that gun on Rod's shoulder to see how long the captain can stay (mostly) still. That and to use his scope to look for any lizardformer friends. "If this is their planet, the likelihood of encountering just one is pretty low," he advises. From the rear.
Grimlock 's optics track the fleeing chameleon-bot- but he doesn't shoot him in the back! This is called 'dinobot diplomacy.' "They -also- killed Elita One's crew." Grimlock rumbles at Jumpstart as the little birdbot opts for 'actual' diplomacy. For now, Grimlock keeps his blaster loosely pointed towards the treeline ... though as an experiment, he brings one foot down in a heavy *STOMP!*- maybe looking to panic any more sneaky-sorts!
<FS3> Grimlock rolls Intimidation: Good Success. (7 4 5 4 7 7 2 4 3)
There are rustlings and growlings amongst the shadows now, reactive to the fleeing chameleon. As Ravage grows closer he finds it easier to pick some out in the gloom than others. Many of them are quite large -- Getaway spies a few of these quite easily through his sniper sights, in part because let's face it: big damn Scale Walkers don't stealth all that well.
A few of them have the reek of recent injury, showing in a few places of crusted over energon and field-style patch jobs. Some are in root mode, bearing heavy weapons -- mostly melee weapons, though at least one has a bag full of javelins slung at his side -- and others are in plainly animal forms: a cobraformer, a huge lizardformer, a couple more whose reptilian roots seem clear if all that their low-slung, heavy-jawed, heavy-clawed bodies seem hard to identify.
Nothing flees from Grimlock's mighty stomp, at least not visibly.
<FS3> Mercy rolls Kind Sparked: Good Success. (6 8 8 3 3 5 7 6 5 4 4)
Cyclonus's optics flit sharply to Grimlock. "We don't know if her crew is dead," he says, still without weapons in hand, "nor do we know if these are the bots that attacked them." His gaze darts to Rodimus next, something expectant behind his removed gaze.
"We don't know if it was -them- that did that," Mercy points out. And even if it was lizard bots, it might not have been these ones! Stubbornly, the medic takes another step forward, holding her hands out to show that she, at least, doesn't have a weapon. "I can help you, if you're hurt." If there was a fight, maybe that'll make them come out? "I'm sure our captain won't let them shoot you if you want to come out and talk, and be friends?" Right Rodimus?
Rodimus has had just about enough sitting still. Keeping up with his Skids impression, next he forgets to stay in place and moves forward to join the others toward the tree line. He draws up next to Vortex, who definitely doesn't get a pointed look at all as he repeats his earlier command: "Hold fire," he calls, waiting to see if anything -- or anyone -- answers the hello. He'll even repeat it. "Hey! You!" Repeating it.
"< I am moving to get a better gauge of their position and numbers, >" Ravage comments smoothly over the radio. Remaining professional and unphased by Grimlock's loud and obnoxious displays. Every movement sleek and efficient, no more than necessary, his small and lithe form giving him a naturally low profile. Especially compared to being surrounded by such large bots. "< Majority of them appear to be reptilian in motif. Primarily melee weapons. Battle damage evident. >" He makes no hostile movements, but remains quietly crouched and out of sight, observing.
Jumpstart smiles towards Mercy as she steps forward. Jumpstart lets the friendlier mech take the lead, instead coming up behind her. "Don't get too close. Let them come to us." She offers to the medic softly. "I spoke to two of them yesterday. Not...scaled ones, more like me. They didn't like us, but not murderously so. We can wait."
Air Raid hovers in place (because he's no longer a crappy terrain jet dangit), weapons somehow aching. It's not that he /wants/ to light up the forest, he just expects things to end that way. But no comments from him, he remains a good soldier, watching and waiting.
Vortex's rotors are very still as he forces himself to stay stiff as to follow orders. This was gonna be a warzone, he has to listen to orders. But he could not wait to let loose. Let's get lethal. He rubs the trigger anxiously, growling from what he can hear of Mercy. Someone shut the bleeding spark up already. Although, if she got herself killed... No, medics were kinda important, he supposed. Come on, someone give him something to shoot already. Anything.
The deep, resounding growl of answer starts in the depths of one frame, but it finds echoes in a dozen others, until the forest seems almost to vibrate with the snarls of the Scale Walkers. Emerging into the warm gold of the sunlight and the gentle breeze pulling in a rustling rush through the high grass, the mech that steps out into the light is huge and golden with blue stark across his hard, intense features. He is carrying a massive spear and he does so with such panache that it is hard to notice that he very slightly favors one leg as he strides forward. His glare is hard and uncompromising as it sweeps the Lost Light's envoys. He does not seem intimidated. He says, "Strangers. We have had enough of strangers here. Monsters. Standardformers. If you are here to take Eukaris, the Scale Walkers will defend our lands to the last drop of energon."
The words are echoed from a booming roar from the trees, almost like punctuation. A few more emerge from the shade of the trees to stand beside him, flanking, holding weapons.
<FS3> Mercy rolls Medical: Failure. (1 6 5 6)
<FS3> Mercy rolls Medicine: Great Success. (4 2 8 6 4 8 2 2 6 3 8 6 8)
Mercy pauses as Jumpstart comes up behind her, and she nods. The voice from the trees has her head snapping around again. She falls quiet, and her optics narrow as she looks to the speaker. "I'm a medic...I can help you. Repair your leg, and anyone else's injuries, too." She makes the offer quickly, before anyone else (hopefully) can do something she'll regret. "Honest, we want to help!"
Getaway is left trying to keep his big gun up with his tripod having run off. "Guh," he strains to adjust to keep the thing up. "What's with this rush to grant newcomers with the benefit of the doubt," he mutters, mostly to himself, thinking how little of it he saw. "Maybe if my alt mode was a raccoon or something..." But look! Robots with weapons! Things start to feel much more familiar again.
Grimlock takes in the wounded warriors, and gives a 'hmf.' He could take 'em. Though that's his assessment of just about everyone. "Scale walkers?" Grimlock can't help but muse ... and then, had he a mouth in his robot mode, he'd smile.
There's the telltale sound of a transforming robot, and an obligatory "RAAARH!" And Grimlock transforms to his bestial dinosaur mode! Tail lashing behind him, he tromptromptromps up beside the more 'diplomatic' of his fellows, and then stands silently behind them. I mean ... reptiles, right?
<FS3> Grimlock rolls Being A Dinosaur: Good Success. (7 4 5 8 3 4 6 7)
<FS3> Mercy rolls Persuasion+presence: Success. (1 7 3 6 5 4 6)
Jumpstart isn't looking at Grimlock when he transforms. She might feel the earth rumbling a little, but she is not ready for that roar. "Gah!" The birdformer lives up to her name and jumps. And, let's be honest, might hold onto Mercy a little. Her headfeathers recover only as Grimlock tromps up. "...He might be a monster." Jumpstart notes.
Rodimus holds his hands wide and low, palms turned up and empty. Considering that he has weapons on his arms, the whole 'look, i'm not carrying anything' gesture doesn't really have as much weight as it might otherwise -- but maybe those pipes are just decorative!! "We're here in peace and exploration, searching for our lost colonies. We're not here to take anything. And we're searching for others -- standardformers, I guess, like us."
Skystalker is silent and watchful as the scene plays out far below him, his armor a sheen against the color of the sky. He drops a bit lower as the meeting starts, his frame vibrating when Grimlock shifts to his more monstrous shape and roars. Whoa. Sky was definitely not expecting to feel that one up here.
Look at all of them... And they have terrible weapons. Oh man, oh man. He was hopping now, holding his blaster tightly and ready to get going. 'Last drop of energon', they say? That can be done. "WOO! Show 'em Grim!" He laughs, cheering his boss on for possibly the first time yet. Hey, he's all for intimidating and fighting these bots too. But, ugh, diplomacy or whatever had to be done...
Getaway clears his throat. "How come no one has used the universal greeting? Or is that not a 'thing' any more? How did it go again... bah weep nah ninny... bomb?" Hopefully saying 'bomb' on foreign soil is okay.
Dinobot's scarlet optics narrow in his broad face. He stares down at Mercy with visible dislike in his expression. He says: "We need no help from standardformers."
His feet plant in a wider brace as he stares at the giant dinosaur figure before him. He draws in an intake that seems to expand the golden bellows of his massive barrel chest, and then in the blink of an eye he, too, has transformed into the monstrous figure of a giant carnivorous dinosaur. He bellows back at Grimlock in an answering "RAAAH!" and there's a kind of stagger as his stance widens, and it becomes more apparent from the split of a seam down one of the massive haunches of Grimlock's fellow tyrannosaurus that he is a recent veteran of combat. His teeth snap hard at nothing and he rumbles in an additional seething growl.
More seethe out from the trees, cobraformer reverting to lean, long-fanged bot holding a pair of long knives, two more slightly shorter than their leader stepping out. The serpent lifts her chin, purple hood flaring around her neck, and says, "Like you? Cybertronians? We have seen others. They would not fight the monsters."
"Not all of use have the unfortunate fate of being 'standardformers'." And then Ravage is sitting there in the grass, like he has always been there. Technically that's true, but only now he's uncloaked and spoken up. Maybe they will lighten up a little seeing other aniforms amongst the visitors. "Despite most of them having to endure life without such finess in form, they mean no ill will." Pause. Tilts his head to the side, watching the others emerge as well. "Monsters?"
"Grimlock, get them to let me help them!" Mercy hates seeing any mech suffering, whether they are friend or foe, or neutral. She would elbow the dinobot but, well, she happens to like her elbow where it is. Attached to her arm, which is attached to her body.
Grimlock 's optics go slightly wider as his challenge is faced- but then Grimlock tromps forward, meeting Dinobot's glare with his own. "Hnnn." He growls, and snaps his deadly teeth in response. "What monsters? We're just here to find the 'Standardformers.' Then we'll leave." He huffs, a brief flicker of flame seeping from between his teeth ... and as Mercy speaks up, he swings his head over at Mercy, glaring at her for an annoyed moment. Medics. Hnf.
Oh god they're roaring at each other. Jumpstart hunkers down. She did not think she would be caught between two t-rexes today. Her blue optics flit between the scaleforms coming around and Ravage, as he reveals himself. Something about the cat sitting there seems to make Jumpstart herself straighten. It also makes her unhook her wings, just in the case the fact she wasn't a standardformer was lost on the scalebacks. "Oh good they bond over killing monsters. This is ideal."
"The Fur Walker walks with the Cloud Walker walks with the Scale Walker walks with the standardformers. You are all of you of no tribe." The tall purple serpentformer temporarily looks annoyed, her long-bladed weapons held in either hand, her mouth peeled back from the sneer of her teeth. Snake to cat, she stares at Ravage for a moment, and then lifts her head, hands tightening on her long bladed knives. "If you are in league with the aliens we will find out and we will destroy you."
"Rrrgh," rumbles Dinobot. He turns his head to one side, turning the flash of his scarlet eye to focus on Grimlock. He grinds his heavy taloned feet into the ground underfoot, ripping some of the grass up by the roots. Dinobot says, "They came to us looking for something. We didn't care what. They annoyed us with their questions and fled before the threat when the invaders came."
Getaway shoulders the rifle as he approaches Jumpstart. She seems to have a good handle on what's going on. all of the roaring is lost on him because, hey, posturing for the sake of posturing just seems so pointless right? Who can understand that kind of behavior. "So, we're making friends?" He is asking her opinion. "You understand what they are working out there? Think we can ask lizardbots there to give us rides? Sure would beat walking in this... much." Dirt. Grass. So unnatural!
"Mercy," Rodimus hisses, "you can't just shove help down their intakes." He steps forward to stand next to Grimlock -- HELLO. LOOK DOWN HERE. HE IS IMPORTANT TOO. -- and stand as tall as he can. He still looks awful short. Nodding at serpent, he says, "They aren't fighters, but we are. What can you tell us about the monsters? About where the other Cybertronians are?"
"Destroy us?" Grimlock swings his massive, toothy maw down towards the serpent-femme. "Haw haw haw!" He even stamps his foot in mirth, shaking his head. "It would be a bad idea if you tried." He swings his tail behind him, and then stands up to his full height again. "If you've been invaded, tell us where these 'monsters' are. We can kill them." He says with thorough certainty.
Mercy turns and stares at Rodimus. What does he mean, she can't force them to accept help? Bah! BAH! Hrmphing, the medic lifts her chin and looks back to the various non-standardformers and begins making a mental list of their injuries. She just wants to make sure she has enough to help when they realize that that is going to be the end result.
It's Ravage of all people that turns his head to glare at Getaway. Though he keeps his retort to a sharp, "Don't say such rude things just because someone transforms into a creature like it could be some kind of -mount-." He still has issues with people being obnoxious about animal alt modes and basing judgments on it. Blame it on having to deal with Functionalists.
Jumpstart places a hand on Mercy's shoulder. "You'll get your chance. Let them work this out first." The birdformer lets her hand drop then. It got the point across. "We're working on the tribe thing." She remarks to the viper, but then goes quiet. At least until Getaway shows up. Which earns some narrowed optics. "I'd give you a ride but I'm afraid you're too slippery. Can't risk a fall from that height." She notes in hushed tones to the diplomat.
Getaway rolls his eyes at Ravage,. "NOT what I mean, chill Whiskers. If we're roaming around then we don't know where they are goiing. Well, that and dirt in tires is just... ew. But hey," he wide-eyes at Jumpstart's comment, "We can walk. I can walk. No big."
Dinobot's tail lashes in a wide sweep as he shows his teeth, pride driving his head high and hard where he stands. "We fought them off," he says. "Your ship landed on the edge of our perimeter."
The signs are there, of course. Mercy's diagnostic sweep finds numerous injuries in those Scale Walkers that are visible. Few appear unscathed. The serpent who stands so aggressively hipshot looks the least battered of those front and center, but even she shows signs of having been gored through her side.
"Styleguide tried to follow them, but he was spotted, and had to come back," says the serpentformer. She turns her head, hissing a long low sound. A few more in the trees take up the sound, or variations on it. "We expect that they will come back. They have poisoned teeth and many limbs. They took away Edgefang and Holloweye with them."
The high, piercing voice of the chameleonformer comes from above, in one of the trees; it says, or halfway to screeches: "I found pieces of Edgefang. They ate him. Eat us, eat you, eat everything!"
Mercy lets out a long huff, but bobs her head once in agreement with what the femme behind her suggested. "I know, but...but...I -hate- seeing anyone, or thing, suffer...and the fight left them hurt," She keeps her voice low, so as not to interrupt the dinobot matin...er, dominance ritual.
"Poisoned teeth. Many limbs. Hnf." Grimlock muses, and even goes so far as to rub at his dino chin with his teeny dino-arms. "Sounds like a bug hunt. Good thing we're better armed then you. Heh." And there's another little flicker of flame in Grim's maw.
"They're not going to eat us," Rodimus says firmly. He comms into the air: "Skystalker, Air Raid, go ahead and join us. Looks like we might need you to get directions." To the serpent, he asks, "Styleguide -- tell me he's not that big." He thumbs at Grimlock and his buddy. "Would he be able to go up with one of ours for some aerial recon, so we can get hold of a trail?"
The chameleon's voice screeches out an immediate: "No! Ground, or nothing!"
Air Raid drops back to the grass with a heavy thump, having transformed a split-second before hitting the ground. Tall blades scatter around him. Conversation has been going on for a bit, however clipped, so there might not be a fight today. Just the same, he's still got his warbow out, arrow nocked as he jogs over to Rodimus. "...Ground?"
Skystalker hovers above the canopy, silent until the chameleon squeals about being devoured. "Not if we can help it." It's intended to be reassuring, but the description of the invaders has Skystalker concerned. He sweeps out over the field again when Rodimus calls him back, pivoting in the air and dropping down to land and shift back to root mode beside Air Raid. Rather than run after the jog, he just steps carefully after the jet.
Jumpstart listens closely to the scalewalkers, and even smiles a little bit when the lizard refuses to get a ride. "How did you not just explode during the war?" Jumpstart asks Mercy, then she pauses. "Perhaps these monsters attacked Elita One's crew, not..." She looks to the scalewalkers. "The natives."
Well they seem to have avoided a needless confrontation with the natives, at least. Good, less colonies that end up hating them after visiting, the better. Ravage slinks back amongst the group, though as the conversation shifts from confrontation to the 'monsters' he does turn his gaze off towards the distance again. "Tracking is one of my secondary functions, Rodimus." It feels weird having to remind people of such things, but without Soundwave around for coordination, necessary. "And Jumpstart is correct. They seem more likely of culprits to propagating that assault as well."
The chameleon lizardformer drops out of the tree still in lizard-form and reverts to root mode on the way down. He's either really short for a normal bot or really tall for a minibot. He's mostly brown and green. His features are largely hidden behind a mask, but his optics are brilliant yellow. Fists at his narrow hips, he says: "I hate flying. Cloud Walkers, fsshhhhst."
"The Scale Walkers are no friends to the standardformers," Dinobot begins in a slow rumble, but then hesitates, glancing down and aside at the slight figure of his tribesman. He hisses and growls a little slower, shaking his head. "But defending Eukaris is our task. If you want to hunt the invaders, Styleguide can do what he wants."
Grimlock hmmms, and lashes his tail a bit. "We're not getting anywhere." Grimlock rumbles, and then wheels about, stomping back towards the shuttle. "Someone get me once these primitives point us at these 'monsters,' so I've got something to kill." Grimlock transforms back into his robot mode before hitting the entry ramp.
Rodimus twists to look out over his crew and startles when Ravage speaks up rather lower than he was looking. Sneaky, sneaky. "You track, and you're ground." He gives Ravage a quick, crooked smile and then hooks a thumb toward ...Styleguide? "How about it? Want to help get back at these monsters? Get a direction, and the rest of us will be right after you. Just don't get spotted."
Getaway puts a hand to his head (since the other is busy holding the rifle). "Am I the only one that is more than a little worried about this whole tribe thing?" He looks (and gestures) to Cyclonus. "How did those work out for us, gramps? I wasn't online then, you were. If I remember my history right, they were a real horror show. So, we're linking up with the first tribe we've met? Aside from this being a potential trap, wouldn't it be wise to look in on those other tribes? Ravage could do that easy, right spycat? Wouldn't it be wise to weigh our options here? I mean, we are kind of behind enemy lines here." Getaway; voice of reason.
Vortex is starting to feel really left out, on the fringes here. Why did they need a perimeter when all the action was over there? Glancing around, Vortex heads back to the attention when the flyers are called down. If they were going to be included, so was he! His rotors spin as he looks at the, uh, Scalewalkers. It's a shame they weren't fighting them after all. But hey, monsters sure sounded like a good replacement! All signs were pointing to yes! Monster hunt! He looks over at, uh... That one Autobot. Him, with the face. "We're fighting monsters! I think everyone will be happy about that if they're eating bots." Don't ruin this, Autobot.
Ravage gives Rodimus a 'you do remember who you're talking to right?' look for that 'don't get spotted' remark, but doesn't comment about it. "Gladly." He could use the opportunity to actually put his skills to use instead of being cooped up on the ship all the time. Calmly he pads over to the indicated Scale Walker. "Some of my closest allies are reptilian." Overkill and Slugfest are also kind of stupid, but we're not going to bring that up.
"They caused less death and ruination than your war," is all Cyclonus says in answer to Getaway, his gaze on the beastformer tribe.
Jumpstart turns from Mercy, wings flaring slightly as the talk of the hunt begins. "I'll see what I can see from the air. I...did some scouting during the war. Not that it went well." As Getaway speaks she arches a brow towards him. "Haven't you been listening?" Jumpstart replies. She points at herself. "Cloudwalker." She points to Ravage. "Fur Walker." She points at the departing Grimlock. "Scalewalker." That finger migrates to Vortex. "Decepticon." Then to Rodimus. "Autobot." Jumpstart grins. "Like he said: we're no tribe. So stop worrying and start helping."
"Autobot," Rodimus corrects her. His gaze narrows. RIGHT?
"Autobot!" Air Raid affirms proudly.
Mercy pauses and turns to stare at Rodimus. "AND an Autobot," she agrees with a grin. Maybe she misunderstood the rules of the game
Getaway can only give Jumpstart a puzzled look. There are words being said but that doesn't mean he follows. He's heard mention of other folks, other forms, of natives,right? The lizards seem to make Grimlock look smart, so maybe the 'furwalkers' are all as useful as ravage? He'd rather herd cats than lumber along with more dinos.
Dinobot reverts to root mode as the other giant dinosaur retreats. He is careful about his balance, favoring his injured leg as he stands tall and straight and huge, and scowls. "No tribe wants Eukaris to fall," he says. "I have had no messages from the other leaders, but I will choose to make no war on the Fur Walkers until no more invaders swarm my woods." His growl rumbles deep in the base of his chest, and he adds, "Unless they start it." Obviously.
The serpentformer raises her head, showing a flash of long fangs with her smile. "Better you tribeless strangers choose to die hunting them than we," she says. Politely.
Styleguide looks a little uncomfortable, slanting a look askance at Ravage, but seems to come out of his first wariness when Dinobot affirms that he's not going to be attacking the Fur Walkers anytime soon. He makes a scratchy noise. "... Can show you path. Standardformers went there. Looking for something. The invaders gave chase. I followed. They found me. Had to return." His yellow eyes narrow and he reports: "I was the only stealth scout that did not get speared or taken."
Rodimus gives Air Raid two thumbs up for his pride. Autobot bias, what? Oblivious to Ravage's look, he says only, "Good. Stay in contact, and Jumpstart will keep an eye from above. In the meantime--." He glances from Mercy to Styleguide and then back. He side-eyes Dinobot. "It may be that we can help you while we're waiting. Do you need anything?" He doesn't say medical treatment. He just thinks it really hard.
Gee, tribes fighting with each other, doesn't that sound familiar.
But that's not important right now. Ravage nods to Styleguide, maintaining his professional aire but keeping an inoffensively neutral tone to his voice as well. "Lead the way."
Styleguide drops into his chameleon form and begins to scuttle his way through the trees. He doesn't immediately engage his stealth field, but let's be honest, even when he does, he shouldn't give Ravage that much trouble.
Dinobot's eyes narrow. He stares down into Rodimus's face for one second past, then two. He looks sneeringly across at the other Lost Lighters, vehement in how unbowed and powerful he is, merely by standing there. He turns away. He booms over his shoulder: "The Scale Walkers are a free people. If any of the wounded of our tribe wish your aid, they may take it."
Rodimus side-steps out of Mercy's way just in case she tramples anyone in her rush to go help. He calls after, "Don't use up all of our supplies! We still need to find Elita's crew, and at least these guys are standing." Turning his attention back up to Dinobot, he asks, "So, about these other leaders -- do you have like, comms or...." He trails off and considers the weapons. "Something?"
Jumpstart nods towards Rodimus and turns in the direction that the chameleon is scuttling. She spreads her wings and lets them flatten the grass, lifting her a few feet allowing transformation into her eagle form. Then, she wings for the sky.
Even if he can't directly see the chameleon-bot Ravage can at least smell him at proximity, which is all he needs to follow. Though it helps that he knows to look for the signs of another stealther. His cloaking technology is a bit more elaborate, but he's at least professionally courteous enough to only follow the other scout and not stray too far away from his guide.
Air Raid turns slightly on one heel to watch Getaway head off. Hmm. "Welp, looks like you've got your bird, captain. Anything else or should I report back with Grimlock?"
"Radio communications are not working. Haven't been in days and days." Dinobot growls in disgust, shaking his head with startling vehemence. "Occasionally a traveler will come. A tribeless with a message, sometimes, even if the tribes war. Now, silence."
Styleguide leads Ravage through wood and brier. Mostly woods, which means that Jumpstart can only see them occasionally in shifting flashes far beneath from tree to tree. It may be awhile before they pick up the trail other than the scent of battle and blood that wreath the immediate area around the Scale Walkers' camp.
Welp, it looks like they'd have to maybe wait a while to monster hunt and everyone was splitting up... Who should Vortex go with? He doesn't really fit with any of these groups so... He hops up next to Air Raid. "WE can tell Grimlock!" He looks up at Air Raid, rotors spinning. Look at that, now he has someone to talk to.
With Dinobot's tacit permission, a few of the wounded must be considering asking for help. Dinobot is too proud, but the serpentformer hisses out a long, aggravated sigh, and says: "There are those who cannot stand. Walk with us to our camp and I will show you." Her fanged smile shows, sharp and stark, and then she says, "If you are afraid to come alone, bring someone, but two will be no more or less safe than one."
"Go ahead and stand down. Check in with Grimlock, get a perimeter on the shuttle," Rodimus says with a nod at Air Raid and Vortex. Looking back up at Dinobot, he pauses a moment, then spreads his hands and asks, "Maps?"
If she watches closely enough Jumpstart would occasionally pick up a flash of Ravage's movements, just long enough to let her keep track of them without giving himself away. The pattern isn't hard to pick up on. Ravage has had centuries to perfect the method of signally to Laserbeak and Buzzsaw overhead without exposing himself.
Mercy shows no such fear - rather she offers a distracted, "Okay," over her shoulder to Rodimus before ever so trustingly following the serpentformer. "Let's go help!" She beams at the femme and only just manages to keep from skipping as they go. Best to not appear -too- happy.
Air Raid regards Vortex with a mixture of wariness and annoyance. "Alright," he says to Roddy and begrudgingly beckons Vortex to follow him back through the waving grass. "Wonder how much sunlight we have left."
Jumpstart appreciates the signals. She's...a halfway decent hunter, but not one that is particularly accomplished. She's a technician, not a scout. But she can fly well, and enjoys simply being on the wing in a warm climate. You never forget the wind, no matter how long you spend on board a ship.