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2016-04-23 Payback

From Transformers: Lost and Found

Payback
Date 2016/04/23
Location Eukaris
Participants Cyclonus, Hoist, Pipes, Quicksight, Rodimus, Skystalker, Vortex
Plot Colony: Eukaris
Scene GM Sao
Summary The Lost Lighters move in to rescue the remaining spider captives, but run in to a little resistance along the way

The rain bursts down on the forest like someone has detonated one of the overhanging clouds. The canopy defends the oncoming Lost Lighters intermittently from the downpour, only to splash them near as intermittently with sudden gouts of water like a faceful of cold-to-lukewarm wet. The moss is like a sponge underfoot.

The Crystalline camp is accessible through the cave system at the base of the mountain that looms on the verge of the jungle, and the tunnels open out in foothills of dark (and currently wet) igneous stone. Heavily defensively armed and carrying a secret diplomatic weapon -- okay, not that secret -- the team advances on the encampment, which is also coincidentally much better shelter from the rain outdoors. The mouths of the tunnel entrances are sheltered from the spattering drops.

Who invented rain. Whoever invented rain should probably be murdered. Cyclonus doesn't look particularly happy to be tromping through the wet jungle with the wet rain making everything more wet, but then again he looks unhappy most of the time, so who can tell. He does not say anything out loud, but there might be the slightest hint of relief in his expression when they make their way to the protected mouths of the tunnels.

Pipes does not let his grumpiness about how he was treated by the Crystalline keep him from extracting some enjoyment from the squishy, springy patches of moss. Little splurting trampolines. He works between muddy puddles and tufts of green matting as they go. Not only is this fun, dangit, but it distracts him from the damage lingering in his arms, especially that hunter bite. The occasional dumps of rain are nice to, and he swats the water around, half for fun, half to keep up his gumption.

Pipes knows that there is a supposedly diplomatic aspect to this mission, but if things go sour he wouldn't mind teaching the rude arachnids some manners, in particular about who they may and may not eat. As they approach the tunnels, he has his pistols already in his hands. "Anybot see any spiders? They're sneaky."

Vortex doesn't mind the rain. It feels cool and not as sticky as the humidity. Humidity is the worst. As least he could shake some water off. His complaints are considerably less than their last outing as he focuses on... Well, everything. He's not letting spiders get the drop on them and this time he knew how to handle them. Go for the legs. And with his recently sharpened- and resharpened- blade, he's ready to slice them off. His shoulder wound is much better, but it was still a weakspot, and his shattered visor has been replaced. Unfortunately, there wasn't time to scout out and retrieve his three other blades, which means he's grounded. And also leaves him with the one remainign blade and his newly acquaired Getaway-knife. This was also sharpened and resharpened. He holds it in a defensive reverse grip, other blade at the ready.

Vortex shakes his helmet as some water spills onto his visor and frowns. "Yech, I almost don't want to go back in..." Not in those maze of tunnels but they had to. People to rescue, bodies to retrieve, and things to slay. "No spiders yet, but when I do..." He chuckles, stomping in a puddle. "That'll at least be fun."

With his back patched and the rest of him flight tested, more or less, Skystalker is with the troop heading back to find the mouth of the spider caverns. He does not seem to mind the wet or the muck, at least for the moment. Yesterday he was feeling the grind, but it's back to a passive acceptance now. This is just Eukaris.

Skystalker is briefly distracted by Pipes, because it's hard not to be when he's trekking behind the minibot's hopping course. He checks the weight of his staff at his back and then primes the two guns on his forearms, shiny and largely unused as they idle into readiness. "We're ready now, Tex. That's the difference this time." Fun, he doesn't remark on.

To say that Quicksight is happy to be returning here would not be completely correct. His experience as the spiders' prisoner left him with no love for the creatures. That, however, is exactly why he's quite happy to help lead a party of Lost Lighters towards their caves. The compliment of the group isn't entirely to his liking, but on a ship full of Autobots, it's a little hard to avoid having them along. His duty is to help, not complain. Plus, it's not all that bad. He's not entierly fond of this whole diplomacy idea either, but, again, he's in no position to complain here, and it's no guarantee that it'll even be accepted.

The scout's optics flicker warily over the trees, bearing no intention of getting jumped again. With a group this big, it's pretty likely that they'll be spotted first "Oh, they're around here somewhere, with all this noise. Feel free to go pal around with them" at this, he glances back at Pipes. Yes, he's still bitter over that. He doesn't let the Autobot distract his attnetion for too long, however. The jerk isn't worth getting cocooned again.

There's a flashing gleam out of the corner of the eye as one of the Crystalline soldiers darts through the trees off to the left. It reappears more clearly in front of them and to the right at a diagonal as it darts out through the dense foliage before them. It is only a lone, single soldier, zooming across moss, vine and root toward the mouth of the tunnel nearest them.

Cyclonus turns. As the swordbearer, he tends to let enemies come to him, so he makes no move to attack the little lone spider from a distance. He does inform it: "You should not attack us." It's only fair, one supposes.

Hoist is keeping to the back of the group. Not out of cowardice, but because it's the best position for him to be in. He's mainly here for when they need to start dragging people off the battlefield, considering how badly previous encounters with the spiders have gone. But he's pretty use to the 'combat medic' role after having managed through the war. Somehow he's not sure they're going to listen to Cyclonus' suggestion.

Pipes watches the (probably) scout spider zip to and fro. He doesn't up and shoot it, yet, but observes as it works its way to a tunnel entrance. "Pinch point," he says to the party. "If it has friends, they could be in there." Or they could be hiding all around them right now. Not paranoid at all.

Quicksight follows the gleam, his body tensing slightly as it darts through the trees "I say it's going to get reinforcments" he's already learned the hard way that ignoring these things is a bad idea. His voice sounds almost a little hopeful. He would really love to get some payback in. PReferably outside. The idea of having to fight in an enclosed space is not appealing to the scout who's so used to relying on his wings. The forrest is bad enough, let alone the caves.

"Skystalker, I'm way more than ready." One could say Vortex seems a little over-eager. And not in a playful sense. There's a glint in his visor, a predatory way to his gait, and an almost unsettling way he swings his blade so casually before him. He's taking this very seriously. His optics catch sight of the spider darting out and he takes two running steps after it, stopping only because he heard Pipes. It could have friends. The chopper growls and the gnashing of his teeth could be heard behind his faceplate. He's practically vibrating with the urge to still go after the lone spider. "Someone shoot it already."

"They do have the advantage of being spiders in a jungle." Skystalker asides down to Pipes, his optics trailing after the lone soldier scout. "Don't we want to get this message to one of the smart ones? Surely we'll attract the same attention whether or not we shoot it dead?" It's not that he doesn't want to kill spiders-- but he probably doesn't want to waste what combat sureness he has on a scout.

"The time we'd spend dealing with a lone scout away from the main camp is time our buddies inside might not have to spare," Hoist offers to the conversation. Last thing we need right now is people wandering off on a tanget.

The spider doesn't even slow at Cyclonus's suggestion. Since no one has shot it, it reaches the tunnel's mouth vanishes into the tunnel.

After a moment, a cluster of three of the gleaming spiders begins to surge out of that choke point. They chatter and snap their mandibles in threat. As they appear, there's a sudden scratchy scream from a little behind them, and then two spiders, glittering in the rain, launch themselves out of the trees to begin advancing on their flank. There's another tunnel entrance a little ways ahead, and there's a shifting shimmer of light in the shadows that suggestions more motion up ahead.

"Bolts," Pipes curses. Yep, outside of his paint job, that's usually as blue as he gets ... unless Overlord is involved. He half-turns to Skystalker, with a bit of a groan. "I know, but it looks like we better do it quick. I've seen this story before." While normally the friendly type, today he's more of a mind with Vortex. He reluctantly waits, but he aims his pistols anyway. He also adds a late retort to Quicksight. "Watch me, pal.

Vortex twists around, tip of his blade up and ready. Should have run after the slagging spider and killed it. He slowly circles around so he can face the tree-dropping spiders. "I'll take the back end. I like the screamers. Don't wait up." There's a beat as he crouches, tucked in... And then he launches straight at the spiders, going for the nastier of the two.

Well, let's see if this works. Cyclonus's gaze darts across the enemies approaching from all sides, reaching for the holo the team's been given with the message -- and then Vortex goes in for the attack. "/Wait/," he snaps, flipping on the holo to let the message flit to life and display. LOOK. LOOK SPIDERS. LISTEN.

"Called it" Quicksight watches as the spiders begin to appear, his posture tensing in preperation for a fight. He can't really be blamed here for not taking out the scout -- he doesn't have any guns to speak of. What he does have is a pair of sharp knives, which snap out out of their sheathes on his arms as he follows Vortex's lead, though rather than taking them on head on, he darts to the side, trying to outflank the flanker

Hoist lets out a sigh of expectance when more Spiders start emerging around them. He cocks his blaster pistol and makes sure the safety is off, but other than lifting it to take aim he hesitates when Cyclonus decides to try the message first. So he just keeps an eye on one of the approaching jerks and waits for this to work or not.

Though Skystalker has his guns at the ready, his manner is one that speaks more ready to dodge and defend than engage; he takes up a place near the middle of the group, the muzzles on his arms snipping and snapping with the faint crackle of a ready plasma charge, just in case. His optics flit up after Cyclonus' movements, watching out of the corner of them as the older bot sets the message live.

The image that has been set up is a few spliced shots of Ch'sthia in action in the arena, phasing directly into a recorded message. The words are in galactic standard, put forward with the force of great gravity from the large, ancient crystal spider. The message says: "I am Ch'sthia of the Crystalline. These Cybertronians are my allies. To make war on them is to make war on me."

It's a pretty up front message. It's hard to misinterpret.

It seems to have a disparate effect on the crystal spiders. Two of them slow, growing visibly more cautious and wary. One of them starts chattering noisily in a clatter of its mandibles.

<COMBAT> Soldier B passes.

<COMBAT> Soldier A passes.

<COMBAT> Hunter G passes.

<COMBAT> Vortex attacks Soldier D with Knife - ARMOR on Chest stops the attack!

<COMBAT> Soldier I passes.

<COMBAT> Quicksight passes.

<COMBAT> Pipes takes careful aim at Soldier C.

<COMBAT> Hoist passes.

<COMBAT> Soldier J passes.

<COMBAT> Soldier H passes.

<COMBAT> Soldier F passes.

<COMBAT> Cyclonus passes.

<COMBAT> Soldier K passes.

<COMBAT> Soldier G passes.

<COMBAT> Soldier E passes.

<COMBAT> Soldier D passes.

<COMBAT> Soldier C passes.

<COMBAT> Skystalker passes.

<COMBAT> Rodimus passes.

When Vortex strikes at one of them, it screams, and then even the most cautious and uncertain of the spiders seems to recover enough of themselves to go on the attack. The ones at the tunnel's mouth surge out of it into the falling rain.

Cyclonus curses under his breath. SO MUCH FOR THAT IDEA. He pockets the holo again (where do robots have pockets) and replaces it in hand with his Great Sword. If it comes to this, so be it: he turns towards the spider that seems to have focused on him, blade at the ready.

Pipes can't really blame Vortex for wanting to get the jump on the spiders. Even if he started things this time, they started it first when they decided to cocoon and eat them. He's been tracking one of the bugs for a moment, and since things have clearly gone pear-shaped, he quits hesitating and fires.

Rodimus was at the back, making sure that nothing snuck up on them from behind. He was very thorough about it. That explains why he's a little bit belated.

He catches up to the others right at the end of Ch'sthia's message, and regards the images of her with a beaming smile. "Sure glad we didn't have to kill her," Rodimus says in a possibly-not-under-enough-tone. "Class ac--k! Tex! Come on!" He catches Vortex's leap a little too late, and lifts his bow to see if and how the spiders respond. --oh. Okay. They respond like that. "That's coming out of your paycheck!" Metaphorical paycheck, anyway. He targets the spider going after Skystalker, first. No one tell Skystalker.

Quicksight hesitates slightly when the messages is played, but when that ultimately doesn't do anything to change the outcome of the situattion, he happily lunges again at the side of his former target. Payback time!

Vortex might have heard someone say 'wait' but he was already mid-lunge. Well, no use trying to stop fate. He stabs with the knife but the tip glances off the surface. Damn, they were all wet and slick on top of it. He snarls, kicking a foot up to slam into it's face as his blade slices down to seperate the limbs from the body, knife up to possibly fend off any counter.

"It was worth a try," Hoist comments over his shoulder to Cyclonus. "Maybe these ones aren't smart enough to make total sense of it." You can tell the engineer has been through more than his fair share of fights, as he keeps his wary position and pops off a shot with his blaster at one of the rushing spiders, even while making castual banter.

Skystalker groans into his teeth, eyes flashing after Vortex and then moving to face the oncoming spiders. So this is how it'll be. Okay. Got this, maybe. We'll see. The starfighter glances off to Cyclonus and Hoist for just a moment before he hefts one arm to take aim at the spider bearing close to him, his body limber and ready to weave away.

<COMBAT> Soldier A attacks Cyclonus with Knife but Cyclonus DODGES!

<COMBAT> Vortex attacks Soldier D with Knife - Moderate wound to Right Leg.

<COMBAT> Soldier F passes.

<COMBAT> Skystalker attacks Soldier B with Plasma Rifle and MISSES!

<COMBAT> Hoist attacks Soldier C with Blaster Pistol and MISSES!

<COMBAT> Soldier J passes.

<COMBAT> Soldier G passes.

<COMBAT> Soldier B attacks Skystalker with Knife and MISSES!

<COMBAT> Hunter G passes.

<COMBAT> Cyclonus attacks Soldier A with Great Sword - Light wound to Neck (Reduced by Armor).

<COMBAT> Soldier K passes.

<COMBAT> Soldier C attacks Hoist with Knife - ARMOR on Chest stops the attack!

<COMBAT> Rodimus attacks Soldier B with Rodimus's Energy Bow - Light wound to Left Arm.

<COMBAT> Pipes attacks Soldier C with Pipes's Guns Shooting Mode and MISSES!

<COMBAT> Soldier I passes.

<COMBAT> Soldier H passes.

<COMBAT> Soldier E attacks Pipes with Knife - ARMOR on Chest stops the attack!

<COMBAT> Soldier D attacks Vortex with Knife and MISSES!

<COMBAT> Quicksight attacks Soldier D with Knife but Soldier D DODGES!

Soldier D screeches as Vortex's blade bites deep into one of its slashing legs. There's a thin thread of lingering crystal chitin linking the leg to the ... rest of the leg when it lunges away from him, but one of its eight is now hanging uselessly on a spindly thread of spun silicate. It thrashes at him, snapping its fangs on nothing as his block with the knife prevents its answering blow from slicing through into him.

Meanwhile, more spiders are swarming up out of the tunnels after the first wave, their chattering rapid and interspersed with high-pitched noises of anger and consternation, in so far as chattery spider noises are interprable. There's a lot of missed shots as the spiders zip up into closer range to use their bladed limbs. Rodimus gets a clean shot with his energy arrow bursting into the jointure of one of the spiders' legs and its gleaming crystal abdomen.

The spider is quicker than Cyclonus is, and even when his blade cuts across its neck it's already moving too quickly for the cut to go deep. Cyclonus barely manages to twist away from the spider's mandibles before he's lunging forward again, slicing the sword low towards the spider's thin legs.

Moving up alongside Skystalker, Rodimus manages a shot on the advancing spider. "You should fall back," he tells Skystalker. Rodimus tells Skystalker. Rodimus, whose left arm looks as though it's barely held together by a patchwork of admittedly high-quality welds -- no disses for Knock Out here!, tells Skystalker. Shut up, Rodimus.

Pipes's carefully aimed shot misses its target, but does make a satisfying sizzle as its bolt streaks through the rain and mist. He tries to track where that spider went when another one bounces off his chest plate and lands in front of him. "All right, let's go!" With a practiced twirl, his pistols are now wielded as clubs, and he sweeps them at his new target.

Vortex smiles under his facemask, his blade spinning up and spattering the liquid spider. His legs shift beneath him and he swipes the knife to send the mandibles away before lunging again, blade hungry to unequip the beast with it's front, left bladed leg this time. Instead of holding the knife aloft, he goes right in to keep the mandibles at bay. Maybe even cut those off too.

Skystalker ducks and slips out of the range of the spider's sharp points, much to its dismay. His shot whistles under its abdomen, hot plasma scorching into a tree trunk. The shot from behind catches the spider in the leg, and Skystalker glances up to see the source join him. He doesn't say anything, instead priming his guns again and lifting them to aim for the next spider that comes vaulting for him.

Quicksight lets out a short hiss as his knife meets thin air, but that's hardly enough to dampen his spirit. In fact, it only makes him more eager for a fight, and a hit. Or, it would, were it not for an incoming threat. Hitting is all good and well, but he's not going to be able to do much if he's down for the count. Spinning to face his attacker, the little Decepticon tries to dart around it, lashing a blade out as he moves.

<COMBAT> Soldier J attacks Hoist with Knife - ARMOR on Head stops the attack!

<COMBAT> Soldier I attacks Skystalker with Knife - Light wound to Right Hand.

<COMBAT> Soldier F attacks Rodimus with Knife - ARMOR on Chest stops the attack!

<COMBAT> Soldier E attacks Pipes with Knife - ARMOR on Chest stops the attack!

COMBAT> Soldier D attacks Vortex with Knife - ARMOR on Abdomen stops the attack!

<COMBAT> Pipes attacks Soldier E with Pipes's Guns Melee Mode - Critical wound to Chest (Reduced by Armor).

<COMBAT> Hoist passes.

<COMBAT> Soldier H attacks Quicksight with Knife but Quicksight DODGES!

<COMBAT> Soldier C attacks Hoist with Knife - ARMOR on Abdomen stops the attack!

<COMBAT> Soldier A attacks Cyclonus with Knife - ARMOR on Chest stops the attack!

<COMBAT> Rodimus attacks Soldier B with Rodimus's Energy Bow but MISSES!

<COMBAT> Quicksight attacks Soldier H with Knife - Serious wound to Left Arm.

<COMBAT> Vortex attacks Soldier D with Knife - Light wound to Left Leg.

<COMBAT> Soldier K attacks Rodimus with Knife - ARMOR on Chest stops the attack!

<COMBAT> Soldier G attacks Cyclonus with Knife but Cyclonus DODGES!

<COMBAT> Soldier B attacks Skystalker with Knife - ARMOR on Abdomen stops the attack!

<COMBAT> Skystalker attacks Soldier I with Plasma Rifle and MISSES!

<COMBAT> Cyclonus attacks Soldier A with Great Sword - NEAR MISS!

<COMBAT> Sao has started a new turn. Pose and choose your action.

<COMBAT> Soldier D has been **KO'd**!

"Okay, well if you're not gonna fall back--!" Rodimus cuts off as he braces himself for the lunge of two spiders; he twitches, twisting to pull his left arm back. No bite. His shot goes wide as he takes the strikes on his chest, and he shifts his stance to throw them back. He clears room to take another shot, still picking on the one attacking Skystalker rather than one of his own friends. "You gotta at least up your banter!"

Soldier D tries to lunge past Vortex's guard to snap its fangs into his trunk, but what instead happens is that the leaping slash of Vortex's blades bite in deep past its leg. It shudders and crashes limply against Vortex in a weighted slackness of gleaming wet crystal.

Soldier I swarms up into close quarters with Skystalker and the slashing leap of its bladed legs skews the blast of his guns past the curve of its carapace.

Pipes's weapons slam into the crystalline soldier's body with amazing force, one of the other -- crack! crack! -- and the spider stumbles, dazedly falling back in the face of the powerful onslaught. Its slashing attack scratches uselessly at Pipes's armor.

There's a fast flurry of attacks from the spiders on the other, back and forth exchanges of blows that either miss or just don't connect with enough force to get past armoring. The rain pounds down on them all.

sPIDES. Cyclonus doesn't even manage to bring his blade to bear on the spider, although his frame keeps its counterattack from sinking in to do any real damage. And then another one is leaping from behind and he just manages to step out of the way before it can reach him. Spiiiiiiiides.

The bouncy spider once again bounces off Pipes's chest armor with ineffectual scratches, but the answering golf swing of spiked pistol grips score a direct hit with a crispy, shattering, satisfying crunch. Somehow the spider is still in the fight, but Pipes is in soldier mode now, and it's not an urgent threat in its condition, and there are suddenly a lot more of those threats. Bashing seems to work well, so he focuses on one of the fresh arrivals. "Workin' it, workin' it," he grunts as he dives in.

Hoist mutters as the spider creature manages to avoid his shots, unsurprisingly, and thrusts at him. By some luck the spider catchs the slope of his chestplate at a bad angle though and the attack skids off his armor instead of penetrating. Hoist scuffles back from that attack, only to have another spider jump him as well! "I am starting to understand why humans hate spiders!" Shifting his attention to the one right on top of him trying to gnaw on his head or what not, Hoist flips his blaster around to grab it by the muzzle, and attempts to pistolwhip the freak upside the head with it.

"I don't have the time for banter, Rod!" Says Skystalker, bantering. He growls this out in reply to Rodimus as the spider wheels his shot away, grazing its leg over his hand. He lifts his opposite arm, the plasma hot when he points it right in the spider's face.

Vortex allows himself a small laugh before throwing the spider away, standing and stomping on its leg joints. His helm swivels back, taking in the chaos before springing into action. He holds out his blade and twists in the air, coming at a spider like a sideways spinning top. Of death.

"Ha!" Quicksight's optics flare when his weapon makes contact with the enemy as he himself dances out of is reach. Finally! Much like the miss, the hit only serves to invigorate him, perhaps even more so. This time he lunges at it, again trying to keep to its side as he goes

<COMBAT> Soldier J attacks Hoist with Knife - ARMOR on Abdomen stops the attack!

<COMBAT> Vortex attacks Soldier F with Knife - ARMOR on Head stops the attack!

<COMBAT> Soldier I attacks Skystalker with Knife - ARMOR on Head stops the attack!

<COMBAT> Soldier F attacks Rodimus with Knife and MISSES!

<COMBAT> Soldier C attacks Hoist with Knife - ARMOR on Chest stops the attack!

<COMBAT> Soldier B attacks Skystalker with Knife - ARMOR on Neck stops the attack!

<COMBAT> Quicksight attacks Soldier H with Knife - Moderate wound to Left Leg.

<COMBAT> Hoist attacks Soldier J with Blunt - ARMOR on Head stops the attack!

<COMBAT> Soldier H attacks Quicksight with Knife but Quicksight DODGES!

<COMBAT> Soldier G attacks Cyclonus with Knife but Cyclonus DODGES!

<COMBAT> Soldier E attacks Pipes with Knife - ARMOR on Chest stops the attack!

<COMBAT> Soldier A attacks Cyclonus with Knife - Light wound to Right Arm.

<COMBAT> Rodimus attacks Soldier B with Rodimus's Energy Bow - Moderate wound to Left Hand.

<COMBAT> Pipes attacks Soldier J with Pipes's Guns Melee Mode - Critical wound to Neck (Reduced by Armor).

<COMBAT> Soldier K attacks Rodimus with Knife - ARMOR on Chest stops the attack!

<COMBAT> Skystalker attacks Soldier I with Plasma Rifle but MISSES!

<COMBAT> Cyclonus attacks Soldier A with Great Sword - Light wound to Left Leg.

<COMBAT> Sao has started a new turn. Pose and choose your action.

<COMBAT> Soldier B has been **KO'd**!

<COMBAT> Soldier H has been **KO'd**!

"What?! There's always time for banter!" Rodimus fires, shearing off on of the spider's limbs and putting an end to that threat against Skystalker. In doing so, he puts his back to one of the spiders -- but even as it tries to attack him, Vortex is there, and the attack goes wide. For someone who just prized the importance of banter, Rodimus is briefly at a loss. Did Vortex just ... help ... him? DAMNIT. He recovers after a moment, turning to fall in next to Vortex and aim at the same target. "I already took one out," he says in a boast. Obviously he missed Vortex doing so ages ago.

Pipes smashes enough Crystalline soldier with enough bruising force to send it staggering back. Several of the spiders in the fight let loose awful screeches as they slash in close only to be fended off or dodged by Cybertronians moving more quickly and ably in combat than the easy prey they'd prefer.

Rodimus's arrow slices through the forward limb of one of the spiders only to burst in a cracking slice through it into its eye.

Quicksight's vicious leap shreds his target through the layers of crystal and its screams die as it collapses on folded-over legs.

Once again, Pipes feels the flow of his Brainstorm-crafted weapons and they grant him another crippling blow to a Crystalline. Even if they don't take the spiders down all the way, they certainly make them want to run away and reconsider their dietary choices. Case in point: his prior target, who once again dings off his front armor.

Pipes's energon is flowing now, and he finds the next arachnid who needs convincing: the one he missed earlier, who is still trying to avoid engaging. "All right, let's go!" He gets a running start and swings.

Again, Cyclonus's blade manages to graze the spider, but again barely enough to scratch; meanwhile he has /two/ of them attacking him, and he evades one but doesn't manage to avoid the other's teeth sinking into his arm. WHAT IS WITH THESE GUYS AND ARMS. He shakes his, trying to get it loose to slice it up.

Vortex growls as his blade finds purchase but scrapes through armor and not anything softer. He lands, sliding slighly as he does so and kicking up mud and moss. "Yeah? Already killed one and had enough time to watch your back. No need for thanks, it's my job. Try and keep up, Cap." It was hardly a boast because he wasn't joking. Watching a leader's back is a soldier's job. He jumps high into the air, lifting his blade over his head before kicking himself into a tight downward flip. Even without blades in his rotors, he finds ways to become a spin machine. Hey, spinning adds so much momentum, it's like his blades weigh twice as much and were sharpened four times. Let's get that head off.

There's a solid KLONK but the alien bug just shrugs off the blow. Fortunately Pipes is there to do a lot more damange to the beastie. "Keep it up chap!" Ugh, that other guy is -still- trying to claw his way through Hoist's armor though. Swinging his blaster back into a proper hold, Hoist backs off from the errant blows, silently praising Primus under his breath for his well kept armor as he manages to back off from his attacker and snap off another probably ineffective shot.

Quicksight's optics glow bright and cheerful as his knives conncect again, the thrill of the fight, and the kill, rushing to his head. This Fight is going great for him. He's actually managed to down one of these things! "That's for kidnapping us!" he declares to the folding body before turning to seek out his next victim. Skystalker and co, it seems have things covered. The other neutral, hover, looks a bit outnumbered. No problem, Quick knows how to be a team player when he's not busy insulting people.

"Agh!" Skystalker gets hit twice in the bust by spider legs, one knocking him across the back of the head, the other thumping against the edge of his collar as he twists to give it the brunt of his plating. His wingtips splay out in a subconscious threat when he pivots back into place, reaching up and back to draw up his staff from its place on his back. It's still got the edge on it from the day of his escape, and he intends on using it on the remaining spider he faces.

<COMBAT> Soldier I attacks Skystalker with Knife but Skystalker DODGES!

<COMBAT> Soldier J attacks Hoist with Knife and MISSES!

<COMBAT> Soldier G attacks Cyclonus with Knife but Cyclonus DODGES!

<COMBAT> Soldier A attacks Cyclonus with Knife - Light wound to Left Hand.

<COMBAT> Hoist attacks Soldier C with Blaster Pistol and MISSES!

<COMBAT> Vortex attacks Soldier F with Knife - ARMOR on Head stops the attack!

<COMBAT> Soldier F attacks Rodimus with Knife - ARMOR on Head stops the attack!

<COMBAT> Soldier E attacks Pipes with Knife but Pipes DODGES!

<COMBAT> Skystalker attacks Soldier I with Knife - Light wound to Right Hand.

<COMBAT> Quicksight attacks Soldier G with Knife but Soldier G DODGES!

<COMBAT> Pipes attacks Soldier C with Pipes's Guns Melee Mode - Moderate wound to Neck (Reduced by Armor).

<COMBAT> Cyclonus attacks Soldier A with Great Sword - Moderate wound to Right Leg.

<COMBAT> Soldier K attacks Rodimus with Knife - ARMOR on Chest stops the attack!

<COMBAT> Soldier C attacks Hoist with Knife - Moderate wound to Right Arm.

<COMBAT> Rodimus attacks Soldier F with Rodimus's Energy Bow but MISSES!

<COMBAT> Soldier A has been **KO'd**!

The Crystalline fight on. Many blows crack against armor and against crystal bodies. The spiders hiss and snap and slash, attempting to strike at and clutch and rip the Cybertronians by their extremities. Especially their left extremities.

The spider skitters and scurries, but finally Cyclonus is able to slice cleanly through several of the legs, leaving it, if not necessarily completely dead, at least immobile and out of the fight. Which lets him turn the deal with the /other/ spider who keeps trying to eat his arm. Okay fine you die next.

Those flames painted on Rodimus's chest look more than a little battered from all the blows they are absorbing. He's really in no position to criticize Vortex, given that his own shots sizzle past the spider the expend themselves in a shatter of sparks on the ground, but that doesn't stop him: "Are you even doing any damage with that?"

Skystalker moves much swifter with his staff, blade or no blade-- it gives him that extra oomph he needs to cause his enemy to evade as well when it whistles past, dangerous and sharp. The starfighter and the Crystalline soldier dance back and forth for a few swings dodging one another until Sky makes a strike, the bladed staff slicing open the hide across the creature's front right leg.

Vortex snarls as his feet his the floor but his blade gets caught in the armor. "I'm hitting it, at least!" The spider is right here in front of him and, ready to just kill this glitch, he unleashes a hail mary of stabs and cuts and slashes at the thing's head and neck and eyes. DIE! SCREAM! SUFFER!

Again, Quicksight is undaunted by his miss. A little annoyed, maybe, but hardly discouraged. He simply strikes out again, careful of both the creature itself, and the Great Sword going for it.

Hoist is doing his best to tank two different attackers here, finally one of them seems to get smart and dig into his arm instead of constantly bouncing off his armor. "Slagging hell that hurts." No kidding. One of his attackers is heavily wounded thanks to Pipes though, so that's the one he tries shoot with his blaster. For all the good it's been doing. Maybe if he aims for a leg he can cripple it farther..

<COMBAT> Soldier G attacks Cyclonus with Knife - ARMOR on Chest stops the attack!

<COMBAT> Soldier F attacks Rodimus with Knife - ARMOR on Chest stops the attack!

<COMBAT> Soldier E attacks Pipes with Knife - ARMOR on Chest stops the attack!

<COMBAT> Skystalker attacks Soldier I with Knife - Moderate wound to Left Hand.

<COMBAT> Quicksight attacks Soldier G with Knife and MISSES!

<COMBAT> Hoist attacks Soldier J with Blaster Pistol - Light wound to Chest (Reduced by Armor).

<COMBAT> Soldier K attacks Rodimus with Knife - ARMOR on Head stops the attack!

<COMBAT> Soldier J attacks Hoist with Knife - ARMOR on Chest stops the attack!

<COMBAT> Vortex attacks Soldier F with Knife - ARMOR on Head stops the attack!

<COMBAT> Soldier I attacks Skystalker with Knife - ARMOR on Chest stops the attack!

<COMBAT> Soldier C attacks Hoist with Knife - Light wound to Left Hand.

<COMBAT> Pipes attacks Soldier F with Pipes's Guns Melee Mode - Serious wound to Right Arm.

<COMBAT> Cyclonus attacks Soldier G with Great Sword - Light wound to Right Leg.

<COMBAT> Rodimus attacks Soldier F with Rodimus's Energy Bow - Moderate wound to Right Hand.

<COMBAT> Hoist has been **KO'd**!

<COMBAT> Soldier I has been **KO'd**!

Catching a glimpse of one of their own going down, Rodimus fires off his shot and then turns to get a better look. "Someone go check on Hoist!" he calls above the scramble and clang (or think? what noise does crystal make on metal?) of combat as he endures another couple of blows. He's been smart enough (or his help has fallen in close enough) that his tremendously battered left arm hasn't taken any of the blows. Probably for the best. It'd be so bad for morale if his arm fell off.

The Crystalline are definitely taking losses, as Skystalker blasts a shot against the cracking shell of one of their abdomens and finally sends it spinning onto its back, ravaged legs curling in on itself. Hoist's attacker lets out a shrill of triumph and turns to launch itself at one of his comrades like a spider intoxicated by combat and not necessarily aware of how many of its fellows have already fallen.

The spider tries scrabbling up Cyclonus's chest, which has him stumbling back, but the Crystalline's claws feet scrape at his chestplate without sinking into his frame. He rips at it with his hand, trying to pull it off of him so he can get enough distance to angle the Great Sword in for another attack. He has no banter. He is a grump. He's also not the one to check on Hoist because he's a jerk.

Vortex more or less shrieks in outrage and forces himself to jump back. This spider is handled anywyas, let's just go get another one! His helm jerks up, optics narrowing at- "I got it!" He runs over to the larger, green Autobot, skipping and twisting around spiders and fighting. He flings his knife into the ground, letting the tip burrow in the mud, and he leaps onto- yes, onto Hoist. He hold his blade out for defense and lifts his free servo high before bringing it down to slap Hoist firmly over the face. It looks a lot like clawing, what with his claws... Okay, he might have left some claw marks. "Better get up before I try peeling you open next!" He snaps at Hoist. Was he serious? Possibly considerably... Maybe... If it'll wake him up, yes.

Hoping back a bit, Quicksight gives another frustrated hiss. Another miss Whatever. He can just keep attacking it until he either hists, or the thing turns towards him. If he heard Rodimus call, he doesn't show it. He's not a field medic, and he honestly doesn't care that much if some Autobot falls over. He's got more itneresting things to do anyways, whatwith a new spider coming at him. Abandoning his last target to Cyclonus' mercy, he turns to jump to the side of his latest opponent, lashing out at it as he did with the last one.

Another good smash, and a leg or two belonging to one of the spiders bugging (heh) Rodimus shatter apart. But then he looks up when Rodimus shouts out, and sees as Hoist, who he just moved away from, falls to a pair of spiders. He grits his masticators, cursing himself for not staying with him. He'd go to help him, but he's got to keep smashing these things, or else they'll all be lunch. Vortex volunteers, so Pipes opts to cover him instead. No banter this round.

Skystalker gets a good thump on his chest from the spider as it dodges away once more, and when it comes back around for a new strike, he edges back, knocks it hard in the mouth with the blunt end of his staff, and whirls the blade around to cut its left leg open at the root. It shrieks, of course, but Skystalker doesn't need to see to it once it flails over in pain. He turns to find the next one over engaged with Rodimus, and is more than willing to plunge for it blade first.

Hoist finally manages to drive off one of the spiders with his shots? Maybe? Unfortunately the other one is being extra persistant, and digs into him with his claws once more. Sadly that armor isn't going to hold out forever and Hoist topples over with a yolp, slamming into the ground. Well at least the spider goes to attack something else.... And maybe it's a good thing that his vision is already getting blurry by the time Vortex is bounding towards him and he can't see the other horrific terror coming in his direction...

<COMBAT> Tez has joined the combat as a npcmaster.

<COMBAT> Pipes attacks Soldier C with Pipes's Guns Melee Mode - Moderate wound to Chest (Reduced by Armor).

<COMBAT> Soldier F attacks Rodimus with Knife and MISSES!

<COMBAT> Vortex attempts to rally Hoist and SUCCEEDS. Hoist is back in the fight!

<COMBAT> Soldier J attacks Quicksight with Knife and MISSES!

<COMBAT> Soldier G attacks Cyclonus with Knife - ARMOR on Head stops the attack!

<COMBAT> Soldier C attacks Vortex with Knife and MISSES!

<COMBAT> Skystalker attacks Soldier F with Knife and MISSES!

<COMBAT> Hoist passes.

<COMBAT> Soldier E attacks Pipes with Knife - ARMOR on Chest stops the attack!

<COMBAT> Rodimus attacks Soldier F with Rodimus's Energy Bow - Moderate wound to Left Leg.

<COMBAT> Soldier K attacks Rodimus with Knife - ARMOR on Abdomen stops the attack!

<COMBAT> Quicksight attacks Soldier J with Knife but Soldier J DODGES!

<COMBAT> Cyclonus attacks Soldier G with Great Sword - Moderate wound to Right Leg.

<COMBAT> Soldier F has been **KO'd**!

The spider attacking Cyclonus leaps at his head only for the thrust of Cyclonus's sword to drive it back, leg nearly shattering from its body, while the spider chasing after Vortex is forced away from Vortex and Hoist by Pipes. The thick crystalline carapace reduces but hardly eliminates the damage, and it skips away to leave its fellow striking at Pipes from behind. Quicksight trades blows with his opponent, but each is too swift to quite land a blow on the other. One spider, backing away from the sweep of Skystalker's weapon, walks right into Rodimus's shot, and that's it for him.

Pipes thwacks the center of the spider that was jumping at Vortex. Maybe it helped him get Hoist back on his feet? Pipes can feel a little better now.

This whole time, though, that first spider Pipes bashed has been bouncing against him, to no effect. Still, he'd probably be able to concentrate better without that distraction.

Quicksight flashes his spider a mocking look as its blows fail to leaves so much as a scratch on his paintjob. Okay, so he missed too, but he was more concentrated on not getting hit at the time. Now then, back to buisness. Spider, meet knife. Knife, spider. Hopefully.

Vortex grins under his mask and hops off Hoist. "Your lucky day, Greenie!" He tells him, stooping to pull his knife from the soggy earth. He turns to glare at the spider that had tried to attack him. "Your turn to die." He runs at the spider before jumping up and slashing down. Nothing too fancy, really. He hopes this one will scream.


Well, that's -- not exactly who Rodimus expected to go help a fallen Autobot. As Vortex peels off, he shifts, but the two spiders pressing in on him mean that he can't exactly go hover over Vortex and make sure he doesn't murder. He has to trust him. He's not happy about it, though!! Turning back, he shrugs off another couple of thwacks and falls in next to Skystalker. "Good!" he says with wide cheer as one of the two goes down. "Starting to thin this out a little!"

Thank Primus for armor. Cyclonus's blade sinks through his spider's leg, and the thick armor of his frame prevents any real damage from the little monster's attack. He presses his advantage, driving forward to try and slice through another of the legs. Enough of those and it's out of the fight. Well, this is it. In middle of a battle, dealing with two hideous alien attackers. Hoist tries to do his best to help get through to their allies but it wasn't enough. The only small satisfaction in it all is that Hoist was dying here on the field of battle alongside his friends and allies, rather than abandoned and alone like he always feared. So there was at least tha--

  • SCREECH*

--Honestly Vortex's slap was more of a screech thanks to the sharp fingertips, good thing Hoist has a faceplate. But Hoist snaps his head back from it all the same. To see Vortex standing over him, with sword in hand. "SHIT WAIT I'M ON YOUR SIDE STI--" Oh, he went to attack the guy attacking them. Blink. "... Did anyone else see that actually happen?" How weird... Uh.. okay... He just scuffles in the other directin to get out of Vortex's way, stay away from the monsters, and trie to patch up the arm the alien tried to rip apart.

Skystalker provides the incentive for the spider to evade him, and Rodimus us there to cut off any escape with a shot to the lower half. He twists the staff in his hand, the knife whistling in an arc as he moves to get in line when Rodimus falls in. There's a flicker of a smile from Skystalker before he flares his wingtips, slipping to the side to come in on the next spider.

<COMBAT> Soldier E attacks Pipes with Knife - Moderate wound to Right Hand.

<COMBAT> Soldier J attacks Quicksight with Knife but Quicksight DODGES!

<COMBAT> Soldier C attacks Vortex with Knife and MISSES!

<COMBAT> Hoist treats Hoist: < Left_Hand (Light): unsuccessful

<COMBAT> Cyclonus attacks Soldier G with Great Sword - Moderate wound to Right Leg.

<COMBAT> Vortex attacks Soldier C with Knife - Light wound to Left Leg.

<COMBAT> Soldier K attacks Rodimus with Knife - ARMOR on Abdomen stops the attack!

<COMBAT> Skystalker attacks Soldier K with Knife but Soldier K DODGES!

<COMBAT> Quicksight attacks Soldier J with Knife - Light wound to Right Hand.

<COMBAT> Soldier G attacks Cyclonus with Knife - ARMOR on Chest stops the attack!

<COMBAT> Rodimus attacks Soldier K with Rodimus's Energy Bow - Light wound to Left Leg.

<COMBAT> Pipes attacks Soldier E with Pipes's Guns Melee Mode - Critical wound to Chest (Reduced by Armor).

<COMBAT> Soldier J has been **KO'd**!

What with Pipes being the big threat that he is, the (battered, chipped, CRACKED) spider determinedly trying to bring him down goes to sink its teeth into the metal of his arm. Cyclonus's target takes another hit on one of its right legs, and for all its determination, the attacks are coming at him a little ... lopsided. Vortex scores a hit, Rodimus scores a hit, but it's Quicksight who actually manages to take one down, carving away one of the spider's limbs to send it in a crash to the ground.

The rain-soaked dirt and stone is slick beneath their feet, making it difficult for some to get their hits in, and obscuring visibility for others. Still, they keep coming. They must not be very smart.

Not going to lie, the Autobot's cries did lift Vortex's spirits a bit. It was nice to hear someone be afraid. But back to priorities. He laughs as his blade sheers through a part of the Spider's leg, knife grip shifting to hold off the spider's counter attack. He throws the bladed legs away, blade do a fancy twist and twirl as he slashes the beasts's other legs. "Is anyone else having a GREAT TIME right now?!" He shouts back at everyone. Hoist's cries must have really elevated his spirit.

When Skystalker's stance shifts a little more reckless, Rodimus's smile blazes into a grin. "Come on, you've gotta help me take this one down before Vortex gets his or else he's never gonna let me hear the end of it!" This is what matters in a fight.

Hoist does the best he can in the conditions, it's not really important that -he- can keep working after all. The attempt did help to calm him down a little after being scared to life instead of death. "You have a terrible concept of a great time!" Hoist retorts to Vortex. Then afterwards, "But thanks." His own matter dealt with, he trudges over to Pipes. "Don't stop fighting, just give me a little room to work." He switchs his good hand to his welding torch and tries to at least clean up Pipes' most recent wound.

Ironically, it's only when Pipes pays attention to Bouncy that he finally gets a piece of him, chomping into his hand, on the same arm as his other bite. "Ouch!" He shakes his arm to get the thing off, and streams of energon run off it, mixing with the rain. Pipes's countering smash is once again extremely effective, but that bug just doesn't stop. "Get off of me!" he shouts as he takes another swing at it.

"Yeah!" Quicksight cheers when it becomes clear that his many-legged friend is not getting up any time soon. Vortex's question gets an even more enthusiastic response "Are you kidding? This is awesome!" he's actually taken not just one, but two of these things down. Maybe he can get another one before they run out? Glancing around the battlefield, the scout finally settles on aiding his fellow Decepticon with his own spider again, darting to get at the creature from the side.

"All of your chatter is entirely unnecessary," Cyclonus finally breaks his own silence to snarl at his teammates, even as he hacks away at his now lopsided spider's legs. One by one, you little shit.

Skystalker would be having a better time if they weren't fighting spiders in the muck of a jungle biome. His blade kicks the spider back into Rod's arrow again. He has to work with what he has. Which includes Rod's voice in his ear as he plunges his staff in again. Notably, he does not reply to the notion of a contest; maybe he heard Cyclonus, or maybe he's just got the sense to save it.

<COMBAT> Soldier C attacks Vortex with Knife - ARMOR on Head stops the attack!

<COMBAT> Soldier E attacks Pipes with Knife and MISSES!

<COMBAT> Rodimus attacks Soldier K with Rodimus's Energy Bow but MISSES!

<COMBAT> Quicksight attacks Soldier C with Knife but Soldier C DODGES!

<COMBAT> Vortex attacks Soldier C with Knife - Light wound to Right Leg.

<COMBAT> Soldier G attacks Cyclonus with Knife - ARMOR on Chest stops the attack!

<COMBAT> Hoist treats Pipes: < Right_Hand (Moderate): unsuccessful

<COMBAT> Soldier K attacks Rodimus with Knife - ARMOR on Chest stops the attack!

<COMBAT> Skystalker attacks Soldier K with Knife but Soldier K DODGES!

<COMBAT> Pipes attacks Soldier E with Pipes's Guns Melee Mode - Critical wound to Chest (Reduced by Armor).

<COMBAT> Cyclonus attacks Soldier G with Great Sword - Light wound to Left Foot.

<COMBAT> Soldier G has been **KO'd**!

Cyclonus's Great Sword slices through the last of the spider's legs -- or the last it can live without for the time being -- and leans back on his heel to take the briefest moment before turning his gaze back to the others. He turns to Pipes, who's the only bot left going one-on-one with a spider, and lends his sword to the fight.

"But fun!" Rodimus calls back to Cyclonus. He absorbs another blow, as impervious to the strike on his seriously scratched up chest as he is to hits to his ego. (Actually, that's a lie. He can be ~sensitive~ at times. GOOD THING HIS ARMOR IS MORE ROBUST.)

Hearing everyone's retort nearly brings a tear to Vortex's optic. This brings back Combaticon memories. Good ol' slaughterings back in the day, ahhh... There's a thwack to his helm but he doesn't even pay that any mind as his blade carves up another leg. "Thanks Spitfire, but I got this." He goes in to lunge for another attack but stops, looking over at Hoist to stare at him. "... You're welcome, Greenie! Anything for a friend!" He calls to Hoist with a little wave before he goes for the spider again. He goes to jump over the spider, swinging his blade down at the neck. Off with your head~.

While Hoist is trying to be helpful, Pipes isn't exactly cooperating due to going after Bouncy, uncharacteristically aggressively. His injured hand continues to gleam pink with its fresh cuts. Pipes scores a third destructive blow on the spider, but it somehow, against all Eukarian odds, won't lay down and just stop. "Psycho," Pipes mutters. He sees Cyclonus moving in; this is probably for the best, this one might be a mutant. The creature can barely function (if that's how they do), so the minibot kicks it clear between the two of them and swings down with his left hand, gun handle seeking a fourth and hopefully final strike. Right hand gets a break, it's getting a little bothersome.

"Why is this thing so slippery?!" Skystalker breaks his silence with a somewhat pitchy snarl, frustration getting the better of him as he and the spider dance for even longer. Maybe this says something about his own movements. Sky lunges in again, turning his staff over in his hand in a dervish of blade and blunt metal.

As arrows fly through the rain and the blade on the end of Skystalker's staff slashes past a dodging crystal body, there's a distant roll of thunder to accompany the continuing splatter of the raindrops. You would think that the falling bodies all around them might have an effect on the morale of the remaining combatants, but if anything, they seem to grow more desperate in their defense of the mouth of the tunnel as fewer and fewer of them stand against the invaders.

Fangs snapping hard against Vortex's armored helmet, the spider struggling to hurt him bites down so hard that it -- breaks one of its own fangs against his head without biting through anything. It shrieks very close to his audial.

Vortex's spider slips away from Quicksight's knives, but the smaller DEcepticon simply hops back to poise himself for another blow "All the ones left are already taken" he points out as he strikes at the thing once more. Well, okay, they weren't all claimed at the time, at least, not by two people at a time, but Pipes' spider doesn't really count. He'd much rather be fighting along-side a Decepticon than some jerk autobot who only cares about paling around.

Sweet Primus Hoist what have you done by being polite to Vortex? Welp, not really much to worry about that now. He's got enough to worry about with all the chaos going on around them, and with the fighting Pipes can't really hold still for him, and ON TOP OF THAT one of the monsters has the gall to butt in on everything yet again. "These working conditions are apalling!" Hoist... seems to decide to try and return the favor, as he tries to scorch one of the remaining aliens with the flame of his welding torch. Maybe it'll cut through some of that tough crystalline exterior.

<COMBAT> Soldier E attacks Pipes with Knife and MISSES!

<COMBAT> Quicksight attacks Soldier C with Knife and MISSES!

<COMBAT> Hoist attacks Soldier K with Flamethrower and MISSES!

<COMBAT> Vortex attacks Soldier C with Knife - NEAR MISS!

<COMBAT> Soldier K attacks Rodimus with Knife and MISSES!

<COMBAT> Skystalker attacks Soldier K with Knife - Light wound to Right Hand.

<COMBAT> Rodimus attacks Soldier K with Rodimus's Energy Bow - Moderate wound to Right Leg.

<COMBAT> Cyclonus attacks Soldier E with Great Sword - Light wound to Right Foot.

<COMBAT> Soldier C attacks Vortex with Knife - ARMOR on Abdomen stops the attack!

<COMBAT> Pipes attacks Soldier E with Pipes's Guns Melee Mode - Moderate wound to Chest (Reduced by Armor).

<COMBAT> Soldier E has been **KO'd**!

No one likes being in the middle of a massive burst of flames, and that's just as true of the spider that Skystalker and Rodimus are pursuing. Well -- no one but Rodimus, maybe, since he's heedless of the fact that Hoist is trying to fry the thing. He ignores the flames to get a good angle to strike at the spider's limb, laughing at Skystalker: "Not slippery enough! There you go, you got it. Let's finish this up!"

The flick and dance of Cyclonus's Great Sword slashes out and neatly hits at the correct angle to lop off the tip of one of Soldier E's bladed limbs. Finally the cracked ruin of the Crystalline soldier that Pipes has been struggling against takes one more blow of those heavy guns, slips across the slick wet stone beneath its newly unbalanced feet, staggers and crashes to the ground. It starts trying to climb up again, twitching and wriggling against the ground, but finally shudders and passes out. Its determination is no match for the level of punishment it has taken in the course of this fight. The rain seems to pool and puddle in a few places across the unique pattern of cracks gleaming in its crystal surface.

Meanwhile, as Soldier K leaps, shrieking, out of the way of the blazing tip of the welding torch, Rodimus's energy arrow bursts at the jointure of leg and body, sending searing cracks through the surface of the armor and opening its underbelly to future strikes.

The two that are left chatter to each other as they struggle, mandibles clacking noisily, but who knows what they say.

Cyclonus's vents cycle as he helps take down another one, and he pauses near Pipes for a moment, eyeing his injuries, and then turns without a word to approach one of the two remaining spiders. Almost done.

Pipes's last dead-center strike, along with Cyclonus's deft assistance, finishes off Bouncy. Finally. Pipes lets his pistol handle stick for just a nanoklik before he wrenches it back up, and he watches grimly in its death throes. Pipes vents in relief, and looks up to Cyclonus. Normally he's frightened of Cyc, but at the moment, his own ire is up, and he's not so meek. "Thanks for the assist," he states. He turns as the rain cascades on his head, and his red visor gleams as he carefully picks out the next target. "I gotta finish up."

Vortex could just see his blade squelching into the beast's neck and cause its head to just fall off... But the tip of his blade meets only air. He lands, hissing to himself. He missed... HE MISSED! The interrogator laughs and twists around to face the damned thing. He jumps at the accursed spider, stabbing at the beast, aiming to go through the eyes. Or mouth. Or anything! He just wants it to die! And die horribly. If only he had time to carve it open and play with its insides... For a later time, a later time...

He distracted it long enough for Rodimus to shoot it. Hoist will take that, it's still contributing. Once the flame has been expended Hoist switchs back to his usual weapon. "Just keep up the pressure chaps, we're almost through." He takes a few steps closer to Rodimus' position so the monster can be kept between their potential crossfire. If it worked before, it might work again. "If this sort of thing keeps happening Captain, I may need to request procurement of a more formidable piece of weaponry." Even as he's shooting, for the minimal good it's done lately.

There will be time later to think on the strangeness Skystalker feels fighting beside Rodimus. It's there in his head as he slashes upward and into crystal hide after the arrow strike takes, and there as he brings his staff back in an arch to plunge it for the spider's weakened right side..

Oh no you don't. Hoping back again after another unsucessfull strike, Quicksight hisses faintly. But again, this is hardly enough to get him to back off. This thing looks almost dead. Another pass or two should do it!

<COMBAT> Vortex attacks Soldier C with Knife - ARMOR on Head stops the attack!

<COMBAT> Soldier K attacks Rodimus with Knife - ARMOR on Chest stops the attack!

<COMBAT> Soldier C attacks Vortex with Knife - Light wound to Left Hand.

<COMBAT> Skystalker attacks Soldier K with Knife - ARMOR on Abdomen stops the attack!

<COMBAT> Rodimus attacks Soldier K with Rodimus's Energy Bow - Light wound to Left Leg.

<COMBAT> Quicksight attacks Soldier C with Knife - Light wound to Right Foot.

<COMBAT> Pipes attacks Soldier C with Pipes's Guns Melee Mode - Critical wound to Abdomen (Reduced by Armor).

<COMBAT> Hoist attacks Soldier K with Flamethrower - Serious wound to Chest (Reduced by Armor).

<COMBAT> Cyclonus attacks Soldier C with Great Sword - Moderate wound to Chest (Reduced by Armor).

Lightning splits the air above them in a brilliant flash. The spiders are drawing closer to each other over the slick surface of the stony ground, snapping their fangs and lashing out with their bladed limbs as they try to form up on each other. The flames hiss and spit against the wet surface of solder K's crystalline surface. The two of them chatter back and forth, both badly wounded and cracked, one scorched, and it almost seems like they might be psyching each other up.

Maybe today IS a good day to die?

"You better get on that procurement, then," Rodimus says with a quick grin in Hoist's direction. "Because there sure are a lotta things that wanna fight us!" He pushes forward as the tide turns, driving them back. That he earns another hit in doing so doesn't even really seem to register. He's taken so many hits, nicks, chips, and scuffs over the fight that he can't keep track. At least his arm is safe today.

Vortex snarls as his blade bounces off the thing's head but everyone else makes contace. This was his spider! Leave him to it! He yelps in surprise as a sharp leg lances his hand, making him drop his blade. He's still furious about the lack of beheading that he doesn't even feel anything from the wound. Fine, up close and personal then. Shifting his grip on the Getaway-knife, he rushes the spider to shank it a new one.

Cyclonus seems to have on concept of Vortex's annoyance now that he's joined the fight against his target. He slashes and stabs and gets a good hit on the spider's abdomen. His movements are ruthlessly efficient and his attacks precise.

"Come on, die already!" Quicksight lunges at the spider from the side again, oblivious, or simply indifferent to Vortex's annoyance. There are only two spiders left. Share! He wants a piece of the action too!

It's all the practice Pipes has gotten in these past few moments - on Bouncy - that may be why his smash is the strongest against his new opponent. He watches the two remaining spiders chattering, and there's a slight hesitation again. These are thinking creatures, talking, they're weakened. But his thoughts return to his last encounter, and what the Crystalline intend to do to all of them, and his attention sharpens with Vortex's shout. The spiders could run, but they won't. His determination returns.

Looks like persistance paid off as the flames do finally eat through that crystalline chitin some. Unfortunately the weather is getting damp again and not being an actual weapon the torch can't keep up the heat. Good thing Hoist already got his blaster back in hand. "That is just so reassuring. Nice bow, by the way." Such witty banter. It's an action hero thing. He's not suppose to be a big time fighter, but there is some satisifaction to the part of him that worries about being alone to being fighting alongside Rodimus. And Skystalker over there, too.

Of course the armor's strong enough. "How the hell did I get here--" He huffs against the rain dripping down his face. Skystalker pulls his staff back and goes for another centered jab as Hoist and Rodimus take on other spots. Surely one of them will get the thing pinned?

<COMBAT> Skystalker attacks Soldier K with Knife - ARMOR on Abdomen stops the attack!

<COMBAT> Rodimus attacks Soldier K with Rodimus's Energy Bow - Light wound to Left Hand.

<COMBAT> Quicksight attacks Soldier C with Knife - Moderate wound to Right Leg.

<COMBAT> Vortex attacks Soldier C with Knife - Light wound to Right Arm.

<COMBAT> Pipes attacks Soldier C with Pipes's Guns Melee Mode - Moderate wound to Neck (Reduced by Armor).

<COMBAT> Hoist attacks Soldier K with Blaster Pistol and MISSES!

<COMBAT> Cyclonus attacks Soldier C with Great Sword - Serious wound to Neck.

<COMBAT> Soldier K attacks Rodimus with Knife - Moderate wound to Right Hand.

<COMBAT> Soldier C attacks Vortex with Knife - ARMOR on Abdomen stops the attack!

<COMBAT> Rodimus attacks Soldier K with Rodimus's Energy Bow - Moderate wound to Left Foot.

<COMBAT> Soldier K attacks Rodimus with Knife - ARMOR on Chest stops the attack!

<COMBAT> Skystalker attacks Soldier K with Knife - ARMOR on Abdomen stops the attack!

<COMBAT> Quicksight attacks Soldier C with Knife - Light wound to Right Leg.

<COMBAT> Hoist attacks Soldier K with Blaster Pistol and MISSES!

<COMBAT> Cyclonus attacks Soldier C with Great Sword - Light wound to Chest (Reduced by Armor).

<COMBAT> Vortex attacks Soldier C with Knife - ARMOR on Chest stops the attack!

<COMBAT> Soldier C attacks Vortex with Knife and MISSES!

<COMBAT> Pipes attacks Soldier C with Pipes's Guns Melee Mode - Light wound to Left Hand.

<COMBAT> Soldier C has been **KO'd**!

The spiders fight back surrounded, chattering at each other even as weapon after weapon slashes and cracks and bursts against their bodies. They lash out, scraping at armor and snapping their fangs. Finally, though, one goes down in a crash of broken carapace and the deep bites of weapons.

Then there is one, surrounded on all sides by Cybertronians, injured and alone. It stands there digging its feet against the stone beneath it, its dark faceted eyes roving between all of its enemies.

Another exchange earns Rodimus a cut across his hand where his bow stretches out to deliver a pair of arrows to the spider's limbs. With only two up, he's watching when the other one goes down. "That doesn't count!" he calls immediately at Vortex. "You had help!" He has plenty of help with his, too, and you can bet that if he'd taken his down, he'd be claiming credit. With the last one so severely outnumbered, and apparently hesitating to attack, he holds his next blow. "Let it go if it wants," he calls, keeping an eye on it as it goes.

And another spider is down. Cyclonus turns to the last one left and focuses not on the spider but on Rodimus as he calls to let it go. His gaze slides to the spider, gauging its reaction and curling his hand around the hilt of his sword in case it decides on a kamikaze run.

And then all that bravado finally comes around to bite Rodimus in the aft. Or arm as it were. Hoist mutters and mag-locks his blaster to his hip and moves closer to Rodimus. "Let me see that wound. How do you even get so... nevermind, I don't want to know." Hoist just tries to do his best and make sure Rodimus isn't going to get robo-rabies or something.

Quicksight is thouroughly enjoying himself this time around, unlike the last fight. His optics glow bright and lively as yet another spider falls "One more to go!" he looks just about ready to lunge at it too, but Rodimus' words stop him in his tracks. As much as he dislikes listening to Autobots, the scout still has respect for authority, and until Soundwave says otherwise, Rodimus is authority. He doesn't lower his guard, however, or his blades, taking up a stance from which he could easily move in case it decides that it would rather try and take one of them with it.

Skystalker holds when he sees the hesitance in his target, Rod's words reaching him as he brings himself into a passive stance, the blade still held at length between himself and the crystal creature. As if to address the digging of its feet into the ground, stubborn and unsure, Skystalker's wingtips fan out in a new bluff, his thrusters spitting in a bluff of heat and noise at his back.

Not the best strike Pipes has gotten in in this brawl, but effective nonetheless. He glances at Quicksight, who also got a stab in on this same spider. "Nice work. Pal." There's a smirk under that faceplate. Normally Pipes would try to make amends in less intentionally irritating ways. Must be the weather.

Pipes looks over at the lone remaining Crystalline as Rodimus calls out. It can barely stand. He studies its eyes, its movements; and with smooth motions he spins his pistols around and holsters them. He moves over to Rodimus and Hoist; maybe once the engineer has attended to his superior officer he can look at Pipes's hand.

Vortex grins as the thing goes down. Sure, he didn't do it by himself but it was dead and that's all that matters. He gives his nice a little flip in the air before holding the handle and crouching over the carapace. His blade slips into the gap in the carapace at the neck. Expertly, he starts to carve. "Huh, what? Sure, sure..." He says rather loftily to Rodimus. After a moment, he grabs both sides of the thing's head and pulls. There's a horrid, wet squuuuuuelch as the head begins to seperate from the body. With neat little cuts, he cuts filaments and other stuff until he coul pull it further. He reached into the new opening, gouging and making innards some outards. "These things sure are held togehter pretty well!" Vortex starts to hum as he works until finally... He jumps to his pedes, holding the head above his victoriously, two thick filemant-like innards trail from it as its blank eyes refelct back any lightning. "Did it!" Then he happily ties the entrails together at his waist and beams down at his new spider-head belt. "You guys want one? Bet they make good necklaces! Or puppets!" He bops the mandible of his spider head. "Oh, right, everyone okay?" He looks up happily. He beheaded it in the end and that's what matters.

<COMBAT> Soldier K passes.

<COMBAT> Skystalker passes.

<COMBAT> Quicksight passes.

<COMBAT> Pipes passes.

<COMBAT> Vortex passes.

<COMBAT> Rodimus passes.

<COMBAT> Hoist treats Rodimus: < Right_Hand (Moderate): successful

<COMBAT> Cyclonus passes.

The wounded spider stands there in the rain uncertainly for a moment. It starts to scuttle back toward the mouth of the tunnel it was guarding, and stops. Then it starts to skitter to the side, edging out toward the squishy carpet of the moss reaching out from the forest. The consequences of failure face it inside. Outside, there's only the jungle full of wild things and the pounding of the storm.

The mouth of the tunnel is clear of living guardians. The scattered crystal dead litter the ground before them. From the air above the mountain, the storm howls on.

What a familiar grumble: 'how do you get so--'. Rodimus can only grin as Hoist tends to his hand. "Thanks," he says, flexing his fingers and then stilling them to allow him to work. He rests his bow against his chest. The paint is scraped all to hell, and he's still splattered with mud that the rain just hasn't managed to wash away. He looks a mess, but he looks gleeful about it, particularly as the spider clears the tunnels. "Okay! Looks like we're heading onward!"

Skystalker stands with his wings up as he watches the last spider flee. He glances around him, amber eyes creasing downward to the litter of limbs and torsos. A dozen thoughts cross his mind, but he loses all of them when he looks up and sees what Vortex is doing. The starfighter promptly turns away and spits god knows what comes up into his hand. Maybe in a second, Rod.

"No," Cyclonus informs Vortex, his voice low and dark and just a touch dangerous. "You disgrace yourself playing with the remains of our fallen enemies." He carefully wipes the blood and ichor from the blade of his Great Sword.

"Now watch it bring more friends" Quicksight comments as he watches the spider scurries away. Somehow, he doesn't sound too opposed to that idea. He does sound a bit tired, but that's all that afflicts him, having remained completely untouched throughout the fight. The same can't be said for that poor spider they just took down, apperantly. Scanning the battlefield, his gaze stops on Vortex, and his trophies of war, promptly contorting in to a look of disguist "Wha -- why?" why would anyone want to wear pieces of organics? Eugh! The scout promptly refocues his attention elsewhere, turning to step towards Skystalker even as the starfighter has his own reaction to the scene "You okay?"

As the battle stops, Pipes can't help but shake himself to try to gather his thoughts, raindrops flicking and flying as he does. In some fights, he gets into a sort of trance, where he suspends his normal personality and becomes methodical and, well, maybe a little brutal. It hasn't happened in a while, but this one did it, to an extent. It's uncomfortable for him, but he made peace with the tendency a long time ago, since it probably helps keep him functional. It still governs him to an extent when he beholds Vortex's fashion sense. "Better that than us sitting on their dinner plates. Still, sorry Tex, not a fan." He looks around at the crystal carnage numbly. "Ready when you are, Captain."

Hoist at least makes sure Rodimus can still use his hand because they're going to probably need to do more fighting when they get farther into the tunnels. "That's about the best I can do on a short notice. Let's hope we don't... oh who am I kidding, this is probably just the start of things."

Vortex shrugs a bit, not arguing with anyone. Maybe it just makes a bad belt. He unties his spider head and scrapes some insides out until his hand could fit snuggle inside. "'Grrr, I don't let Vortex have any fun. Scowl, huff, honor.'" He makes the mandibles click together like the spider talking. The voice is similar to Cyclonus's. This was much better than a belt. "Why not? It's a trophy, Spitfire. I got lots of 'em. You can see them sometime! Hehe..." He looks over at Rodimus rather perkily. "This went great! Can't wait to get in there and save everyone. " Bet Air Raid will like his new puppet.

"It is a fallen enemy, not a trophy for you to desecrate," Cyclonus spits at Vortex, his temper boiling to the surface as he rounds on the Con and strides towards him. "Put it," he says in a low snarl, "down.

Skystalker is bent at the waist, hand accidentally catching the majority of what he tried to stifle. Ech. He is quiet a moment, hyper aware, other hand clutching his staff to bear his weight when Quicksight comes close. "I'm okay, just-- a second. I'll be fine." Skystalker cleans his hand with the mud under him, wiping the back of his palm over his face before he stands, eyes roaming back up to where Cyclonus growls at Vortex.

"Vortex! Save it for later," Rodimus calls, kind-of-sort-of backing Cyclonus up. "Drop the head and let's get moving. I can't believe I have to even say that," he says, dragging his (bloodied) fingers down his face. "We've got enough fights waiting ahead of us. We don't need one now."

Pipes hangs back and lets the rain pummel him as he continues to settle his mind, get more of himself back. He observes Skystalker with sympathy, and is mildly surprised to see Quicksight's concern for him; maybe there's a chance he can connect with him still, but he isn't worried about it right now. He lets his optics dim for the moment, and listens to the rain more than the shouting.

"If you two get in a fight over something as silly as this I am not putting you back together when there's bigger matters to worry about." That's... about the worst Hoist can threaten. And considering it's Vortex and Cyclonus, who probably don't really care about being beat up....

Quicksight continues watching Skystalker with some concern until the older flyer finally straightens out again. He remains next to his friend even when turns to observe the new comotion between Vortex and Cyclonus. He doesn't make any attempts at interfiering. He doesn't really have a reson to, and what could he do in this situation anyways?

Vortex is... Perhaps a bit taken aback by the amount of disapproval. Mostly because they want him to get rid of it. But he worked for this! He looks up (and up) at Cyclonus for a moment before clicking the mandibles together rather tauntingly. "'Grr, I'm old and crotchety. And bossy, hrrr...'" He says in that same voice before sighing. "Fiiiine, I'll put it down." He tugs the head off his hand and drops it to the ground. And squishes it under a pede. "There, good to go now? Time to rescue bots?" He looks at Rodimus expectantly.

"You would not think it so silly if it were your own body. Or the body of someone you cared about." Though he's clearly responding to Hoist, Cyclonus doesn't take his gaze off of Vortex. But at least he also doesn't rise to the bait of the Con's mocking; his vents hiss as he watches Vortex crush the head underfoot, but he turns and pointedly looks to their captain to resume the journey through the tunnels.

Skystalker has fallen silent, falling into place beside Quicksight and winding both hands around the grip of his staff. He has nothing more, save for watching Cyclonus give Tex one last reply before turning to Rodimus. "Ready when you are."

Faltering smile steadying as attention turns in his direction, Rodimus says, "Good. Let's go save the day!" With that, he turns to head on in search of a fight -- complete with a left arm held together with staples, duct tape, and determination. Goooo heroes.

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