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2016-04-24 The Queen Under the Mountain

From Transformers: Lost and Found

The Queen Under the Mountain
Date 2016/04/24
Location Eukaris
Participants Rodimus, Cyclonus, Vortex, Skystalker, Hoist, Deluge, Blast Off, Bulkhead, Buzzkill, Air Raid, Pipes, Windblade, Lieutenant, Jumpstart, Quicksight
NPCs Chela, Torrent
Plot Colony: Eukaris
Scene GM Sao
Summary A team of Lost Lighters takes on the Crystalline Queen under the mountain.

As the rain batters the mountain above, the Cybertronians venture into the dark, occasionally glow-lit tunnels. Eerie fungus clusters in patches on the stony walls inside the mountain. As they climb deeper, there are distant creepy scrabbling noises and chattering, but it appears that their slaughter of the advance guard has prevented immediate warning from reaching the Crystalline in the depths of the mountain.

There are ancient etchings that Cyclonus and Windblade are able to identify that send Windblade taking a team into one of the narrower fissures, deep black and growing steadily warmer as they climb below.

But the rescue team advances into a tunnel that opens out, more and more thickly glowing fungus lining the walls to cast eerie light back across their path. The air in here smells a little of sulfur, a little of burnt carbon and ozone, but at least the air in here is dry, as opposed to the thick, sweaty air outside before the storm broke.

The lights of his body lit against the dark, Rodimus advances at the head. Where else would a Rodimus be but the vanguard (and probably making a lot of noise and making the screen shake for anyone behind him). His bow is lit, string humming with potential, but he hasn't shaped an arrow onto the string quite yet.

His orders are to at least try diplomacy. They have this whole granny guilt trip and everything, and while it wasn't effective at the entrance, Rodimus is ready to throw it down again at the first glimpse of someone who can talk. However, the highest priority is retrieval of their own missing -- and Elita's. Diplomacy can go fuck itself if need be.

Cyclonus is quiet. He hesitated earlier when the teams split, watching Windblade and her crew go down another tunnel like perhaps he's second-guessing his decision to stay with the rescue team. But he made a promise to return for his comrades. His steps are quiet through the tunnel, and he has been characteristically silent as they make their way.

Vortex did not want to be in these tunnels again. At least this time they were on the offensive. He's sticking close to his fellow Combaticon, well aware of his injuries and extremely determined to have that not happen again. Ever. These tunnels must be even worse for the larger bots. His knife and blade were ready for action. Maybe this time he could steal a head without some sore sports stopping him. Unfortunately, he's been told not to attack until the spiders too- boring!- so that leaves his chances even more limited. Oh well, he'd make due.

Skystalker walks with his staff in hand, the tip drifting behind him but never touching the ground below; his view is of the backs of a few bots, amber optics like embers in the dark tunnels and running lights flushing periodically red. He walks with a silent step, subconsciously in pace with a couple of the others as they make their way down.

Hoist is quite glad to get out of that rain and damp air. Unfortunately it's by coming into a place that is damp and creepy in entirely different ways, and not the least bit comforting. This is not really the sort of place he wants to be, that's for sure. But there are comrades down there still needing rescue so the engineer steels his determination to help and keeps trudging on.

Hopefully this time there won't be any Vortex jump-scare revivals needed.

Once the call went out for more folks to help down on the planet, Deluge was one of the first in line. And it appears he's more than ready for a fight, whether it comes or not. A hefty grenade launcher and what appears to be a chaingun take up space on his broad back while an intimidating fireman's axe rests casuall on his shoulder. He likes to be prepared, so sue him. Still, the giant remains more or less quiet while taking up the rear, ready to shield his teammates should anything come up from behind. During the dark spots of the tunnel, the only thing that's really visible of him is the glow of silver optics and the hint of red whenever he takes a puff off token cygar.

Blast Off can think of a whole lot of places he'd rather be than some cramped, stuffy tunnel filled with enemies that like to get up close and personal. Like - pretty much anywhere. Time spent on the ship with *Quicksight* would probably be more relaxing than THIS. But he came planetside again, despite still being barely repaired, looking for his fellow Combaticon, Vortex. Who he still feels really guilty about leaving in the first place...but it all worked out in the end right? Right? Maybe.

Anyway, the shuttleformer found Vortex only to get involved in another rescue attempt. In the meantime he's managed to tear open the injury on his shoulder again, but slag if he's going to let it stop him. Vortex wants to find Air Raid it seems and Blast Off isn't letting his teammate get captured again. (He might (miiight) actually kinda not want Raid to get eaten either, even though he is an annoying turboturkey)).

Bulkhead sticks near the back, glad to be doing something more than just standing around watching mechs work on a communications booster. He hadn't really wanted any of the spiders to attack them, but that didn't stop him from being disappointed when none showed up. Every other damn bot on the ship has gotten to smash some bugs except him, or at least that's what it seems like. Though he will admit that they all came back pretty worse for wear so he should probably be counting his blessings that he's coming in to this rescue in top form. He stays near the back of the group near Deluge, thinking two big bots are better than one for watching their afts, right? He glances back at the 'Con every now and then, a little nervous to let him out of sight for more than a few minutes at a time. Too many damn 'Cons on this ship. It doesn't help his mood, either, to be in these stiflingly small tunnels. He would've preferred the rain-soaked jungle; less claustrophobic.

Light from outside spills into the broad curve of a cavern as Rodimus leads his team through a tunnel that wends along the outside of the cave system. Not expecting to find them, an enormous Crystalline Hunter strolls in from outside, carrying a pair of cocoons tucked neatly up under her belly. The lights from the fungus cast a weird, reflective greenish glow across the rain-spattered curve of the spider's crystal carapace. She freezes at the sight of them. That is an unusual number of Cybertronians to find in the midst of a home invasion.

Rodimus pops upright and angles his bow down. He gives the large crystalline spider a smile. How do smiles translate?? "Hi! We're gonna need you to put those down -- oh, and...." He fumbles a moment to switch from bow to guilt bomb, then deploys the message from Granny hopefully.

Cyclonus stills. Given what happened last time, he holds out an arm to quell any forward action from anyone behind him while Rodimus deploys the message. Since Deluge and Bulkhead are tanking in the rear of the team, he's up near the front behind Rodimus. He watches the hunter carefully but doesn't draw his weapon yet.

Vortex lets his blade glide along the wall of the tunnels until they reach the cavern. He hopes SOMETHING will happen alre- Oh, giant spider. Nice. He poises his blade, pedes shifting in a ready poise. He wants to jump at it. Slice and dice. But he was told to wait and so he was going to do that. His rotor spins restlessly- quietly whirring without any rotor blades- and gives away just how eager he is to lunge. He sorta hopes diplomacy doesn't work.

The fungus casts color across portions of Skystalker's frame as they move into the mouth of the larger cavern. He turns a look over his shoulder to Bulkhead and Deluge at the back, as if to double check their tail, before looking back and onward to the Hunter as Rodimus replays the message they brought.

After what happened last time, Hoist keeps a hand ready on his blaster all the same. Debating if he should wonder what is in those coccoons, or if he really probably does not want to know.

"I still don't see why we're trying to reason with these damn things." Deluge grunts as they reach the tunnel exit, the group coming out into a larger cavern to spot.. Oho, speak of the devil. He very much holds similar feelings as Vortex, a bit aggitated when they're forced to hold off. "Ngh.. We should just kill it, not have a friendly chat.." He mutters with a growing frown, hand growing tighter on his axe.

As Ch'sthia's voice deploys firmly into the cave, the message is plain: "I am Ch'sthia of the Crystalline. These Cybertronians are my allies. To make war on them is to make war on me."

The Hunter backs away from them towards the tunnel entrance behind her. "I do not make war," she says. She makes no move to drop her cocoons, but she also makes no move to assault them. Her voice is strong and clear, but her mistrust is plain by her tone. "But do you make war on me? I see many weapons among you. You must have killed many to come so far."

"No," Rodimus says firmly. Hope brightens in his eyes as the message is met with an answer rather than an attack. "We're carrying because we've been attacked. We've fought -- and, yeah, killed -- in self-defense. Not by choice. We've come to retrieve the others like us."

"We have defended ourselves," Cyclonus says, low and quiet, "when your children have attacked. We are armed for our safety. But we do not bring war."

Bulkhead glances back at Deluge, an unbidden smile quirking at his lips. "I'm with ya on that," he says, servos itching to grab his cannon where it's strapped to his back. He's glad, at least, to be in the open cavern - he can stretch without touching the walls. He doesn't want to try and 'talk it out' with these monsters either, but Rodimus is trying to be a Good Leader and he supposes there's some merit in trying to work things out without massacre. It was a lot different in the Wreckers, where the rule was 'shoot first and maybe ask questions later if anyone's still alive to be asked'.

Vortex's vents hiss as Rodimus speaks to the spider. Yeah, retrieve others and clearly that spider had others in it. If you ask him, they should disembowl the beast and free whoever's in there. But still, he stays where he is, grips on his weapons tightening.

Hoist keeps back in the group as Rodimus and Cyclonus try to reason with this spider and everything doesn't immeadiately break up into a fight. Maybe there is some hope this won't get any messier after all.

"Self defense, right.." Deluge mutters quietly under his breath to himself with a little smirk. As Rodimus begins to speak up, the mech lets his axe drop from his shoulder and hang in hand while piping up over them. "You've got some nice little wraps under yah there, big lady. If that's our fellows then you can hand 'em over and we'll be outta here without a fight."

The giant spider hesitates visibly, shifting her weight across many of her feet in an awkward little prance over the surface. She still makes no move to divest herself of her burden. Then she says, "This is a matter for the Queen to decide." She turns about and darts with startling speed into the passage ahead of her, scuttling into the gloom.

It does leave the passageway open behind her.

Rodimus pauses half a second as she scuttles off without them. He doesn't look back at the others and admit uncertainty, but he does hesitate, which implies it. After a moment, he calls after her: "Okay! But we're coming with you!" And he heads on after. She invited them, right? Right.

Well. That could have gone worse? Cyclonus follows after the Captain, because what else is there to do.

Vortex growls a bit. "Great, she got away with them..." He thought this was a rescue mission! He doesn't wait as he surges forward and after Rodimus, only slowing slightly to stay close to Blast Off. Stupid, injured brother...

Deluge just hangs head with a groan as the spider makes a hastey retreat. "See, it's getting away! Tch, shoulda shot it." Grumbling now, Deluge makes it clear that the smaller mechs in front of him better move it before they get run over, bellowing like some drill sargeant. "Hup to it, mechs! Get the lead out, after it!"

Hoist lets out a soft sigh. "Well, that went better than last time..." he murmurs mostly to himself as they all follow after Rodimus, Cyclonus and their unexpected escort.

Blast Off has his hands on his ionic blaster, and yes it is armed and ready to go- but he waits for now. He's ready to shoot but in no rush to attack should the spider show some sense. Aaand- thar she goes. The Combaticon follows as Rodimus leads them after her. He glances to Vortex, looks like he wants to say something, then... just makes a soft huff and glances away.

"Is it heading to the Queen, then?? Or running?" Skystalker asks in a hush, eyes narrowing after the spider's disappearance. There goes one, two, three-- okay, fine. Skystalker presses his lips flat and quickens his pace after Rodimus,

Bulkhead doesn't even wait for Deluge to shout; when he sees the spider leave the cavern and Rodimus yell that they're following, he's already moving. No way is he gonna let that thing get away with the bots they're here to rescue. Silently, he agrees with Deluge - they should've killed the damn thing and taken the bots they'd come down this hellhole in the ground for.

This tunnel is mostly dark but for their own biolighting and the glows of their eyes, but at the end of the long hallway the glow of the fungus resumes eerie greenish-blue, and the spider glitters as it darts around the corner. Ahead of them, two more spiders meet the first and they hesitate in a flurry of voices in a variety of shades of anxious. As the Cybertronians go closer, words float back:

"--allies--"

"--coming for the Queen's hoard--"

"--never get out of here--"

"--the lost Queen really is alive, or else it is a very clever mockup--"

As more spiders join the first, Rodimus holds his hand up to signal a halt. Let's not crowd. He addresses points as he catches them: "One, we are totally friendly. Vortex, put your knife down and look friendly back there," he calls over his shoulder. He doesn't even look. He just assumes. "Two, we don't care about your hoard. Unless it is people." He pauses. "Please tell me your hoard isn't people, because then we definitely care. Three -- whatever, look, if you're trying to get out of here, we can help, but you really gotta stop trying to eat us." There's a point four, too, but that's enough to start with.

Cyclonus offers his friendliest look, which looks something like >: |. Rodimus may think that's enough to start, but Cyclonus clearly doesn't, because he adds in even tones: "We require the return of our people."

Vortex bristles a bit. "They're not knives!" Well, one was... But the other was a sophisticated rotary blade made for maiming! There's a pout in his voice as his arms drop to his side, and angles his blade down. He wasn't letting them go, however. He perks at the mention of people. "Yeah! Stop stealing us! Not cool... And give us back!" Though, waking up all webbed like that was pretting cool.

Hoist watchs Cyclonus try to look friendly, and winces softly. That has got to be quite a strain. Leans closer to Deluge and Bulkhead with a low murmur, "Don't look too closely. They say Cyclonus successfully smiling would burn everyone else's faceplates off..."

Skystalker strains to hear the chattering of the spiders above the thump and jostle of their party, coming up behind those in the front as they move and then halt again. He knows how to keep a distance and look somewhat approachable; his passive face is probably better than Cyclonus' is.

Oh no, he doesn't like the sound of that, the idea that his 'hoard' could be made up of not only their lost people but others, too. Bulkhead has to take a second to keep his fists from switching into their wrecking ball mode and smashing these spiders into spider slime. He doesn't care about democracy, if there's even a hint that Rodimus' thought could be right, he's gonna explode all three of them. Make it rain spider parts harder than the water falling outside.

Deluge feels like he's being teased with at this point. He hears about his shipmates fighting crystal spiders, and now there's crystal spiders right in front of him and he can't fight them! It's fair to say he's starting to feel a bit on edge as they enter into another cavern. Luckily Hoist comes to the rescue with that little joke, forcing a smirk onto his face as he chuckles. "Him or Magnus? Heh."

As Rodimus chides Vortex about looking friendly, Blast Off can't help but almost look amused. This warrants another glance towards his Combatibro. "Now, now, Vortex, you never did learn to show as much *patience* as I. Sometimes taking a more subtle, quiet approach is key."

The spiders turn to stare at them, mirrored looks in their jewel-faceted dark eyes as the glow of the fungus reflects off their bodies. Finally one says, "Come with us. The Queen will decide upon your message and upon your petition."

Then they turn, two waiting to flank the party and the third advancing through the tunnel to guide the way.

Assuming they follow for the purposes of how long this scene could otherwise be: the tunnels wind through the series of caves and finally lead to a broad, broad open space, a high-ceilinged cavern lit by glowing lights inside little knotted cocoons of crystal cord. At the center of the room hangs a chandelier of them, made entirely of the silky crystal spider stuff. It's really neat-looking, and casts reflective light all across the stone floor.

The Queen is enormous. Her crystal armor seems to have spread, making her half again the size of the Crystal Hunters -- half again the size of the Ch'sthia they know and whose message they bear. Her court of spider hunters is here waiting, chattering amongst each other, but silence falls as the three spiders and the Cybetronians enter, spilling out into the room.

The Queen is eating a Eukaran Cybetronian as they enter. Energon drips from her fangs and her face, glowing as she rends apart the dark blue frame of a particularly ill-fated sharkformer. There's a whole pile of cocoons awaiting her to the side of her stone dais.

The reason for this feeding frenzy might be revealed simply in the massive gravidity of her huge crystalline form compared to those of her hunters, but perhaps it's not necessary to determine why she's devouring so many.

Hoist stops and cranes his head way way back to look way way up at the Queen. "... That's a really big spider."

Oh, that's too bad, but at least it was a beastfo-- JUST KIDDING.

Rodimus steps forward and lifts his voice: "Stop!" His bow activates again, and he draws an arrow onto the line of energy that serves as string. He keeps it angled down, but he's clearly taking a half-step up in aggression to firm his position. If the size of her is at all daunting, it doesn't show. "Release our people," he says, stealing Cyclonus's simple words. They sounded way better.

"You mean that's a really /fat/ spider." Deluge follows up on Hoist, snorting to himself when entering the main lair with the rest of them. Looks like a good fight, though..

Something of a low fury starts flickering in Cyclonus's optics as he watches the Queen engorge herself. His hand moves slowly to curl fingers at the hilt of the Great Sword on his back, careful but clearly ready to draw it forth at a moment's notice.

The first thing that comes to Skystalker's mind as they enter the enormous cavern is that it is really quite beautiful. He turns his head up when he scans the place, eyes widenening slightly before they fall on the Queen herself. They deepen with a low rage when he sees her meal, looking away from it at at the glittering eyes instead, then to the rest of her. Skystalker knows organics-- and aliens-- quite well, and her engorged frame and ravenous appetite only tell him one thing. He does not share it.

Welp... Vortex immediately gets back to raising his blade, not even hiding his aggression. He watches the energon dripping and sloshing and can't help but feel a little jump in his spark. It sends an electric current running through his whole frame. He's grinning wildly under his mask, hopping from foot to foot. LET'S GO! Let's get some spiders! Mash it up! There's a growl behind his mask as he awaits eagerly to be unleashed on the spider. There's a pause in his movements however as he looks at the coccoon pods. Air Raid was in one of them. As were other bots he didn't particularly care about. But he has to save his hunting teammate. "Rodimus, say the word..." He hisses, rotor spinning wildly.

The grip on his weapon tightens as Blast Off beholds the Queen and her idea of culinary delights. Is Air Raid in that pile somewhere? "I wonder if our turboturkey's goose has already been cooked," He muses, sounding rather unaffected by the idea... yet his optics are still searching that pile for any sign of who might be inside.

He's not a huge fan of the dark, and Bulkhead's shoulders ease with relief once they're in this nicely lit cavern, with a chandelier made of coccoons and oh my fragging Primus that enormous spider is eating a Cybertronian. Bulkhead doesn't even try to stop himself now as he reaches back for his cannon, hefting its weight easily in his servos and adopting an aggressive stance not unlike the helicopter 'Con nearby. "Rodimus," he growls, the word coming out harsher from his anger. "Tell me I can blast her into little spider pieces."

The Queen is slow to stir. She rends the sharkformer the rest of the way apart, hurling pieces of his body aside from her dais with an awful splatter of energon and a shower of sparks from tearing metal. She gestures, and one of the hunters hastily brings her another cocoon.

"I see you have saved me the trouble of hunting. Very polite." Her voice is deep, resonant, rich with unspent laughter and venom. Her bladed claws slide down the crystal cords of the cocoon, splitting them wide to reveal the form of the bot within. By happenstance, the frame is familiarly the dark orange frame of Elita's mission commander, Torrent, whose strong, bold features were last seen on a staticky message that was given to the Lost Lighters less than a week ago. She is awake, although it is apparent that she is extremely groggily so, and she's just as plainly missing ... her left arm. Apparently it's not just you, Rod.

"My Queen, these travelers come under the protection of the Lost Queen," says the hunter hastily who is their escort. "They bring a message which they will play for you."

Hoist looks one side to Bulkhead's huge cannon. Looks to the other side at the various guns Deluge brought with. Looks up at the Queen finishing off her 'meal' towering over them, and then down at his measily blaster pistol. "... I feel so underdressed..."

Gesturing patience at Vortex and Bulkhead, Rodimus then immediately proves himself a hypocrite as she reaches for her next snack.

Rodimus darts forward to stand over Torrent. Obviously he's just offering her a DIFFERENT orange snack. He replays the message from Ch'sthia and brings his bow up in plain aggression. "This is your last warning. Fall in!" he calls back.

Slowly, Cyclonus draws the Great Sword from his back. He does not attack, but there is a coil of readiness to his frame, and his gaze is locked on the unraveling form of Torrent between the Queen's claws. "If you do not care for the words of your Lost Queen, care instead for the continuation of your own lives."

Deluge 's silver gaze glances down to Hoist and a broad smirk stretches across his face. "Ah, not the size of the gun, just how you use it. ..I just really like guns." And no, he isn't overcompensating. He's glad he loaded up, though, as he feels they might soon need it when he sees their GLORIOUS (idiot) CAPTAIN rush over to stand right in the face of the giant queen. "..Mech's got brass, I'll give him that." Deluge notes, marveling a little at the fearless action. "Should we prepare the eulogy?"

It's okay, Hoist. Skystalker is currently armed with a large metal stick. He stiffens as the next cocoon is brought out, and Rodimus sweeps forward as Rodimuses do just to play the message in the Queen's face. Primus, if he gets his head bitten off now, that's the end of that. As Cyclonus speaks, Skystalker appends one more thing, deciding to test his luck at making threats. "And the continuation of whatever legacy you're preparing for." She's the Queen, after all.

"You come here," rumbles the Queen, rising with a clatter of limbs as her mandibles spread wide, and some of the sharkformer's blood dribbles off her to drip perilously near to Rodimus's face in this brilliantly close proximity, "and threaten me in the voice of my own Mother, to rob me of what I have already taken, for my own children? Hunters, to me. Take them now," she orders, and raises one of her eight legs.

What happens next she must not expect. Because while several of the hunters in the room swarm towards the Cybetronians -- they are immediately met not only with the resistance of the visitors, but with their own sisters. "For the Lost Queen!" shouts one of them.

"She yet lives! You must not usurp her right!" says another, leaping toward the Queen and Rodimus.

So that's new.

    <COMBAT> Hunter E attacks Hunter C with Knife - ARMOR on Chest stops the attack!
    <COMBAT> Crystalline Queen attacks Rodimus with Knife - ARMOR on Chest stops the attack!
    <COMBAT> Hunter G attacks Hunter A with Knife but Hunter A DODGES!
    <COMBAT> Hunter F attacks Crystalline Queen with Knife but Crystalline Queen DODGES!
    <COMBAT> Hunter C attacks Vortex with Knife but Vortex DODGES!
    <COMBAT> Hunter B attacks Bulkhead with Knife - ARMOR on Chest stops the attack!
    <COMBAT> Hunter A attacks Hunter E with Knife - ARMOR on Neck stops the attack!
    <COMBAT> Hoist attacks Hunter C with Blaster Pistol and MISSES!
    <COMBAT> Vortex attacks Hunter C with Knife but Hunter C DODGES!
    <COMBAT> Blast Off attacks Crystalline Queen with Sniper Rifle - Moderate wound to Head (Reduced by Armor).
    <COMBAT> Rodimus attacks Crystalline Queen with Rodimus's Energy Bow but MISSES!
    <COMBAT> Hunter D attacks Hunter G with Knife - ARMOR on Abdomen stops the attack!
    <COMBAT> Cyclonus attacks Hunter C with Great Sword - Light wound to Right Hand.
    <COMBAT> Skystalker attacks Hunter A with Plasma Rifle and MISSES!
    <COMBAT> Deluge fires fullauto!
    <COMBAT> Deluge attacks Hunter A with Machine Gun but MISSES!
    <COMBAT> Deluge attacks Hunter A with Machine Gun - Moderate wound to Head (Reduced by Armor).
    <COMBAT> Deluge attacks Hunter A with Machine Gun but MISSES!
    <COMBAT> Deluge attacks Hunter B with Machine Gun - Moderate wound to Chest (Reduced by Armor).
    <COMBAT> Deluge attacks Hunter B with Machine Gun but MISSES!
    <COMBAT> Deluge attacks Hunter B with Machine Gun and MISSES!
    <COMBAT> Deluge attacks Hunter C with Machine Gun and MISSES!
    <COMBAT> Deluge attacks Hunter C with Machine Gun but MISSES!
    <COMBAT> Bulkhead attacks Hunter A with Blaster Cannon but MISSES!

Cyclonus turns to the closest of the attacking hunters, which happens to be one already leaping towards Vortex. He steps in, blade glinting in the eerie light as it slices across one of the spider's clawed legs.

The Lost Light has a tendency to cause civil unrest, right? This is totally normal. Skystalker brings up one of his arm-mounted guns, using his staff as a level under his wrist to aim from afar, first going for one of the hunters clashing with one of those that defend the elder queen. Get on the good side. His shot goes wide amidst the chaos of legs and mandibles, though.

Vortexis thrilled when this all erupts in chaos. He giggles wildly as everything caves in. "About damn time!" He hollers excitedly before taking off. He's heading for the Queen. He wants to kill that one. And honestly, that's the biggest threat right now- literally. Plus, the Captain was there- and everyone thinks Tex is reckless, tch. And then there's a giant spider in front of him. He drops down, slidding under the spider and lifting a blade. It meets air. He curses and rolls back to his fit, not stopping in his pursuit for the Queen who'll most assuredly- well, I guess she won't kill Rodimus. Huh... He glances to the side and changes course as his arm missiles heat up. Tucking his blade into his rotor and knife in hand, he jumps to the coccoons while ifting an arm to fire a missile at the queen. Let's find that missing teammate. Also, free others or whatever.

And then the spiders attack.... only to have other spiders turn on the spiders that start to attack. Guess some of these are still loyal to the other lady after all. "Here we go again," he mutters, but levels his blaster ... and wouldn't you know these Hunters are even quicker than the last ones. Okay, let's try something else. He turns his attention to one of the hunters trying to attack the hunters that actually sided with them, but instead of his blaster tries scanning the creature with his diagnostic array.

You'd think with a target that big, Rodimus could hit, but the strike to his chest has him staggering back. He plants his feet and surges forward, answering her with the draw of another arrow as Blast Off's shot rings against her armor. "We're not here to threaten you, we're not here to rob you -- we're here for our people, and we'd no more abandon them than you would your children!" As some of the hunters turn against their own, Rodimus says, "You don't have to tear yourselves apart! Just stand down!" And if she doesn't, he has a very persuasive arrow for the Queen.

WELP. Here we go. As the Queen seems to be the one ordering their destruction, so Blast Off decides to aim his sights on her. He'll let the smaller ones aquabble amongst themselves and try to take out the head of the operation. If she falls, so will the rest- most likely. Hopefully. He takes his shot- and BINGO. Heh. Not bad. As Vortex leaps forward he follows his Combatibro from a distance, still aiming for the Queen.

Yep, that's it, they're gonna watch their captain get eaten.. But oh? The Queen instead orders her minions to attack, or at least most of them. This is exactly what Deluge has been waiting for as a far too sinister grin spreads across his face and silver optics glow with an eery eagerness. "About FUCKING TIME!" The mech roars and maglocks his axe in favor of the massive minigun, threads of bullets rattling as they unfurl and drag behind him. "Unless you want a bullet, get the hell outta the way!"

Deluge doesn't waste any time once the barrel is spinning full speed, pulling the trigger and letting loose across the entire field, his far too excited laughter just barely heard over the gunfire.

The Queen roars in outrage as several of her court turn traitor. "Take them!" she orders. "Take the traitors! You would stand against your Queen in the name of a ruler who vanished without a trace? Destroy them all and cocoon the food ones!" She is clearly beyond diplomacy for all Rodimus's best efforts. She takes the impact of Blast Off's shot but while she clearly takes some damage through her armor it hardly slows her down as she lashes and swipes at Rodimus with her bladed limbs.

But her loyal Hunters are still huge, armored, crystalline and fast. Though one takes some of the pelting fire of Deluge's onslaught, the chaos is a swarm of giant crystal spiders.

The cocoons are much easier to slice open from the outside than the inside. Some of the bots inside are unconscious or too badly injured to do much. Some of Elita's lost crew still live, though, and Air Raid is here. But also there some Eukarans are still living in these cocoons, including a couple of Cloud Walkers, and some of them have taken only minor injuries and might even be able to join in the chaos or help the escape.

Bulkhead tries to shoot the spider making a beeline for Hoist, but when another one he didn't see (pay attention, idiot!) stabs at his chest with a cruel-looking foot, the shot goes wide, and high, smashing into the opposite wall. He swears, kicking back from his assailant far enough to get off another shot.

As Vortex rips through the cocoons with his blades, he frees a variety of people from their silken prison. One such person is a Cloud Walker, evidenced by the wings on her back, and she falls out of the cocoon face first the second it's ripped open. It takes a few seconds for her to get her bearings, but when she does, the Cloud Walker wastes no time in getting in on the action and taking down the beasts responsible for her capture. She immediately transforms into her alt mode, a big ol' pissed off bee, and goes for the nearest spider stinger first.

Blast Off D

    <COMBAT> Hunter B attacks Bulkhead with Knife but Bulkhead DODGES!
    <COMBAT> Hunter A attacks Hunter E with Knife - ARMOR on Chest stops the attack!
    <COMBAT> Crystalline Queen attacks Rodimus with Knife - ARMOR on Chest stops the attack!
    <COMBAT> Hunter F attacks Crystalline Queen with Knife - ARMOR on Chest stops the attack!
    <COMBAT> Hunter D attacks Hunter G with Knife - ARMOR on Abdomen stops the attack!
    <COMBAT> Hoist takes careful aim at Hunter D.
    <COMBAT> Skystalker takes careful aim at Hunter A.
    <COMBAT> Hunter G attacks Hunter A with Knife but Hunter A DODGES!
    <COMBAT> Hunter E attacks Hunter C with Knife - ARMOR on Head stops the attack!
    <COMBAT> Deluge fires fullauto!
    <COMBAT> Deluge attacks Hunter A with Machine Gun but MISSES!
    <COMBAT> Deluge attacks Hunter A with Machine Gun but MISSES!
    <COMBAT> Deluge attacks Hunter A with Machine Gun and MISSES!
    <COMBAT> Deluge attacks Hunter A with Machine Gun but MISSES!
    <COMBAT> Deluge attacks Hunter A with Machine Gun and MISSES!
    <COMBAT> Deluge attacks Hunter B with Machine Gun but MISSES!
    <COMBAT> Deluge attacks Hunter B with Machine Gun but MISSES!
    <COMBAT> Deluge attacks Hunter B with Machine Gun but MISSES!
    <COMBAT> Deluge attacks Hunter B with Machine Gun and MISSES!
    <COMBAT> Cyclonus attacks Hunter C with Great Sword - Moderate wound to Right Hand.
    <COMBAT> EXPLOSION! Far From Crystalline Queen - Light wound to Right Hand.
    <COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Crystalline Queen - ARMOR on Chest stops the attack!
    <COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Crystalline Queen - Light wound to Left Leg.
    <COMBAT> Buzzkill attacks Hunter D with Knife and MISSES!
    <COMBAT> Bulkhead attacks Hunter B with Blaster Cannon but MISSES!
    <COMBAT> Rodimus attacks Crystalline Queen with Rodimus's Energy Bow - Moderate wound to Right Foot.
    <COMBAT> Hunter C attacks Vortex with Knife - Light wound to Left Leg.
    <COMBAT> Blast Off attacks Crystalline Queen with Sniper Rifle but MISSES!

Air Raid just sprawls on his torn bed of crystal threads, vaguely aware of the chaos. He'll not be joining the fray, no, but he /will/ moan uselessly and try to shield his optics from the light of that chandelier. "Hurghh, fuck..."

Rodimus gets off a great shot -- a great shot! an amazing shot! he looks so cool! -- and then a missile goes off not so far from his feet and he fucking yelps and dances back a step, taking the Queen's next strike as a glancing blow. He needs a repaint so bad. He's gotten hit on the chest so much that rather than golden flames on red, he's nearly silver. "Watch the friendly fire!"

The next slice of Cyclonus's Great Sword cuts clean through one of the hunter's legs, although it's got plenty more where that came from to support itself. His vents hiss as he moves, trying to slip past any attacks to move in again for another strike.

"Rrgh," growls the Queen in a low snarl, lowering herself near to the ground as her legs bunch for a mighty leap.

Torrent has notably taken some damage in the explosion as well, largely in the blistering of her paint. She flinches and stirs enough to shield her optics with her one good arm, sitting up on one knee. She says in her low, smoky voice ... a string of curse words that ought to turn the air near her blue, but doesn't.

The confusion of spiders continues, leaping and slashing at Cybertronians and at each other, along with battlecries related to one Queen or another.

The next thing that happens is a gentle shudder that rocks from the base of the mountain. It's a pretty minor earthquake as earthquake's go, but it's detectable as a shiver from beneath their feet that gently tremors the high walls of the cavern and makes the interesting chandelier shimmer interestingly.

While he's taking aim Hoist spares a glance aside at Rodimus' yelping. That missile was going off really close to the coccoons. "Oh bother." He lets out a sigh, then turns back to the spider he was aiming at, holding out his arm sideways to snap off a shot where his scanner is trying to focus, even as he starts moving in the direction of Vortex and the coccoons.

It's a battlefield, that's for certain. Skystalker hasn't been on many. He sweeps forward to train his gun, hoping that he can at least give the other spider an advantage in her strikes. The ground shudders underneath of him, though with the missile going off, he doesn't make note that it is below his feet.

Vortex doesn't watch his shot as he tears into the cocoons. Not Raid, not Raid, not Raid, not- HEY! YOU'RE WELCOME! Ungrateful Insecticon... Not Raid, Not Raid, not Raid... He keeps peeling openning the coccoons, letting the bots roll out without much more help to them. "You're my fire, friend!" He shouts back over at Rodimus with a bit of a laugh. A strained laugh. Not Raid, not Raid, not Raid, Air Raid, not Raid, not- He stops cutting a coccoon up, freezing up. Wait a minute... He turns around. "AIR RAID!" He more or less leaves the partially sliced coccoon as he scuttles back to his fellow combat comrade. He grabs Air Raid's shoulder and gives him a shake. "Raider! Raider! Get up! I saved you!" He's about to slap him just like he did Hoise when something lances his leg, bringing him to his knee. Vortex snarls and turns around, grabbing his rotor and standing rather protectively before Air Raid to block the spider. Did the ground wobble? Didn't notice.

Blast Off keeps an eye on his brother as Vortex slashes cocoons, steadying another shot for anything that comes at the other Combaticon. He takes a shot at the Queen but- but MISSES? The shuttleformer frowns under his faceplate, muttering as various Cybertronian and other people are freed... including some big angry bee the shuttleformer nearly swats at as she buzzes nearby. And then... Air Raid! The Combaticon is still not particularly happy with him, and still thinks Raid might want his job... maybe. He's not sure. Then again the Aerialbot looked so... so almost *sad* the last time he saw him. Blast Off blinks, pausing and feeling even a little /relief/ that the stupid turboturkey didn't get himself killed, after all. Not that his next comment would give the mech a big clue. He puts on his aloof face and goes back to shooting spiders. "Well, it's about time you woke up, Air Raid."

Then the wall shakes and that aloof expression flickers and the shuttleformer glances up, then back to the exit he suddenly thinks about maybe possibly getting to. Like- SOON. "We should grab our people and get out of here..." He says to no one in particular.

Buzzkill completely misses the spider she was aiming for, but in her defense she has been trapped in a cocoon up until five seconds ago so cut her some slack. She makes an angry buzzing noise and is about to go for another strike when the ground starts shaking. Oh, that's not good. That might be a problem in a bit. Instead of attacking, Buzzkill flies over to any unopened cocoon and opens them herself with her mandibles.

Deluge is so gung-ho on the firepower that he's not even really aiming. This isn't exactly noticed until the second go around, to which he grunts as he allows the gun to stop spinning and hooks it back onto his back even as it shimmers with heat. "Fuck this, time to get face to face."

The giant mech smirks as he looks over to the Queen getting ready to do something. Yep, that'd do. Using his bulk to his advantage, Deluge charges headlong towards Rodimus and the Queen, making a leap to transform mid-run and speeding full throttle towards them to smash into the spidery legs. "Watch out, Cap, this lady's goin' down!"

He tries to get it this time but the spider is faster than he anticipated, and he gives a roar of frustration as he juke around its attack and misses AGAIN. Using the momentum of his dodge, Bulkhead tries to get behind it and shoot it in its fat ass this time.

    <COMBAT> Hunter A attacks Hunter E with Knife but Hunter E DODGES!
    <COMBAT> Hunter F attacks Crystalline Queen with Knife - Moderate wound to Left Leg.
    <COMBAT> Hunter G attacks Hunter A with Knife - ARMOR on Abdomen stops the attack!
    <COMBAT> Hunter D attacks Hunter G with Knife - ARMOR on Abdomen stops the attack!
    <COMBAT> Crystalline Queen attacks Rodimus with Knife - ARMOR on Abdomen stops the attack!
    <COMBAT> Hunter E attacks Hunter C with Knife - ARMOR on Abdomen stops the attack!
    <COMBAT> Hunter C attacks Vortex with Knife - ARMOR on Chest stops the attack!
    <COMBAT> Hoist attacks Hunter D with Blaster Pistol and MISSES!
    <COMBAT> Hunter B attacks Bulkhead with Knife - ARMOR on Chest stops the attack!
    <COMBAT> Deluge attacks Crystalline Queen with Unarmed but Crystalline Queen DODGES!
    <COMBAT> Vortex attacks Hunter C with Knife - Serious wound to Right Leg.
    <COMBAT> Skystalker attacks Hunter A with Plasma Rifle but MISSES!
    <COMBAT> Rodimus attacks Crystalline Queen with Rodimus's Energy Bow but MISSES!
    <COMBAT> Cyclonus attacks Hunter C with Great Sword - Serious wound to Right Leg.
    <COMBAT> Blast Off attacks Hunter C with Sniper Rifle but MISSES!
    <COMBAT> Bulkhead attacks Hunter B with Blaster Cannon but MISSES!

Air Raid shouts in response to his own name being yelled at him, and barely manages to register that this is in fact Vortex and not another hunter. "Wha-! Primus!" His voice hitches when Vortex shakes his shoulders. "YA' GLITCH, OW!" He tries to shove Vortex off while sparing Blast Off a confused look. He didn't expect to see these two coming to his rescue, obviously. "W-what's going on... Oh slag..." Vortex's nearest arm gets used as a brace as Raid tries to haul himself upright, and fails miserably, slumping to the ground at Blast Off's feet. He's going nowhere fast.

What with the MISSILE by his FEET, Rodimus is oblivious to he rumble of the earth. "Points for style!" he calls after Deluge as he approaches the problem face-first. Losing another layer of paint and metal to the scrape of queen's claws, his shot goes wide. Good thing he didn't mock Deluge for it. Risking a glance away at the others, he calls, "How're we doing on those cocoons?"

Before he knows it, Cyclonus is attacking in sync with Vortex, both of them cutting and slicing through the legs of the hunter they're teaming up on. He pauses only for a moment when he feels the earth rumble beneath his feet, his gaze sweeping sharply as he looks for a cause -- but only for the briefest of moments, because the hunter is still alive and is intent on their death.

Hoist joins the others by the coccoons, silently glad he's not on the other side of Vortex's waking up this time. "Good to see you still in one relative piece Air Raid." As he offers a hand to help Air Raid back up (again) he glances at Vortex and Blast Off. "Keep us covered." Then to the various people that have already been pulled free. And raises his voice more usual. "Everyone! This is no time to worry about sides, tribes or what not. Gather those too weak or injured to move, and get out of here!" Now lets see how many caccoons need to be opened yet.

While Blast Off took the time to glance back at the exit, one of the spiders jumped in to attack his brother. OH NO YOU JUST DIDN'T. The shuttleforer whips his weapon around, takes aim, and fires at the foul creature instantly. Except as he does so, his sudden movement sends a sharp pain through the arm holding the rifle just as he fires. With a soft hiss of pain, his arm crumples down and the gun shoots uselessly into the ground. Blast Off sucks in air through his vents as he tries to get a lid on the pain- can't worry about it now, after all. He stands there and just *looks* at Air Raid as the bot falls at his feet.

"Well." His voice remains flat. "Graceful as ever, I see." He keeps standing there, staring, for a long moment before he *finally* reaches his gun down (not his hand, his gun) and offers it as a "leg up" to the fallen Autobot. "What's going on is you need to start fighting alongside us, unless you wish to be this Queen spider's next meal. Which apparently you almost were." Once that's done, he'll go back to shooting at that damn spider.

With the Lost Lighters pulling all the spider aggro, Buzzkill focuses entirely on tearing open as many cocoons as she possibly can. Selfless heroism to save her people? Not really, she's looking for her fellow bees, the fact that she is freeing others is entirely coincidental. "We're doing fine!" she snaps at Deluge despite not knowing him or knowing if he was even talking to her. It's just kind of instinctual right now.

Skystalker curses to himself as he misses again, and pockets the notion of supressing fire; he's really bad at this field combat thing. Instead he is taking off at a clip after Hoist, wrenching up the dagger end of his staff to use it to slice cocoons open like ripened pea pods.

Vortex feels his blade go cleanly through the damned thing's leg. That's right! Don't mess with all of this. "Found Air Raid!" He tells Rodimus. He does shoot Cyclonus a look- does that look grateful or admiring?- and makes notes to get his own GIANT SWORD sometime. Didn't Brainstorm mention being a weapons genius? His vents hitch as he more or less tugged down by Air Raid and brought to his knees from a glancing blow from the wretched creature. He glances at Cyclonus again and puts his rotor down to put Air Raid's arm aroung him, his own arm around his waist. "We're in the belly of the beast, Raider..." He didn't look good, Raid didn't look good. He glowers at the spider and then at the queen. "I got him, Blasty! Shoot the damn queen! Missile incoming!" He shouts very loudly, raising his arm to unleash the volley at the queen. Cut the head off and the rest die, right? That's the saying, riiiiiight?

Deluge isn't sure how he could miss something so big, especially when he's also big! Growling, the large fire truck pulls a tight, drifting turn and transforms right in the middle to skid up beside Rodimus on a knee. "Gah, I hate when the FATASS targets get slippery." He hisses to the captain beside him, yelling that one word directly at the queen. "You keep at it, I'm goin' in!" Oh yeah, he's pissed, optics glowing fiercely as teeth bare in a snarl. "It's not over 'till the fat lady sings, so I'm gonna make her SCREAM!" With that war cry, Deluge barrels ahead straight for the queen, axe in hand as he makes a running leap to chop straight into that big shiny face of hers.

There are fewer and fewer of the crystalline cocoons left as the stumbling captives are revealed into the open air of the giant cavern. Most are in no state to join the fight, and some that would otherwise be seem more inclined to follow Hoist's advice and stumble towards the tunnel mouths.

The battle of the crystal spiders is ongoing. The Queen screams in outrage as more and more of her captives are loosed. "Fight harder!" she orders. "Take them down!"

Air Raid offers Hoist the briefest of appreciative smiles, but ends up foregoing his hand, and Blast Off's SNIPER BARREL when Vortex yanks him upright and keeps him there. He's not about to ignore Blast Off's urging for him to join the fray, but he can't stand on his own, starved of energon. So he pulls his rifle from subspace and struggles to aim it. He'll just have to shoot weakly at whatever nears Vortex for now.

    <COMBAT> Hunter E attacks Hunter B with Knife - ARMOR on Chest stops the attack!
    <COMBAT> EXPLOSION! Very Far From Crystalline Queen - Light wound to Chest (Reduced by Armor).
    <COMBAT> EXPLOSION! Pretty Close To Deluge - Moderate wound to Abdomen (Reduced by Armor).
    <COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Deluge - Moderate wound to Right Foot.
    <COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Deluge - Moderate wound to Neck (Reduced by Armor).
    <COMBAT> EXPLOSION! Pretty Close To Rodimus - Moderate wound to Left Arm.
    <COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Rodimus - Moderate wound to Chest (Reduced by Armor).
    <COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Rodimus - Light wound to Chest.
    <COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Rodimus - Moderate wound to Right Arm.
    <COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Rodimus - NEAR MISS!
    <COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Rodimus - Moderate wound to Right Leg.
    <COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Rodimus - Light wound to Chest (Reduced by Armor).
    <COMBAT> Hunter D attacks Deluge with Knife - ARMOR on Chest stops the attack!
    <COMBAT> Hunter B attacks Bulkhead with Knife but Bulkhead DODGES!
    <COMBAT> Hunter A attacks Hunter E with Knife - ARMOR on Abdomen stops the attack!
    <COMBAT> Crystalline Queen attacks Rodimus with Knife - Moderate wound to Right Arm.
    <COMBAT> Rodimus attacks Crystalline Queen with Rodimus's Energy Bow but MISSES!
    <COMBAT> Hunter C attacks Vortex with Knife - ARMOR on Chest stops the attack!
    <COMBAT> Cyclonus attacks Hunter C with Great Sword - Moderate wound to Right Arm.
    <COMBAT> Blast Off attacks Crystalline Queen with Sniper Rifle but MISSES!
    <COMBAT> Hunter G attacks Hunter C with Knife - ARMOR on Abdomen stops the attack!
    <COMBAT> Hunter F attacks Hunter A with Knife - ARMOR on Chest stops the attack!
    <COMBAT> Deluge attacks Crystalline Queen with Axe - Moderate wound to Head (Reduced by Armor).
    <COMBAT> Bulkhead attacks Hunter B with Blaster Cannon but MISSES!
    <COMBAT> Hunter C has been **KO'd**!
    < Current Action: attack (Options: CALLED=RIGHT LEG)
    < Damage: ..... (Modifier: 0)

One final slice, and Cyclonus's blade is finishing off the hunter he's been so long attacking. Of course, Vortex abandoned their team-up to go shoot at their own crewmates. He straightens, turning to consider his options of attack -- and draws himself straight to throw himself at the Queen herself.

He fires for the third time, and for the second time, the spider's attack sends his shot going wide. He doesn't see where it hits. Hopefully he didn't hit anyone. He sidesteps out of range, taking aim and thinking if this shot misses he might just get in close and straight up beat the thing to death with his cannon.

It's only a matter of time before Buzzkill gets to the last cocoon and when she does, she is disheartened to find that what lies inside isn't a member of her hive, but a random lizard from the Scale Walker tribe. She scans the room frantically, thinking that maybe she missed one but no, there are none left. No more cocoons, no more bees. Now she's really pissed. "YOU FAT BITCH!" she screams, taking flight and rushing to the queen to sting her in her big fat butt.

"Understood," Blast Off replies to Vortex after... helping Raid up (that seems so wrong somehow. He'll ponder it later though). "Now get him while I finish this thing off and we get out of here before this whole place collapses in on us." Not that he's claustrophobic or anything though. Still wincing with pain, the Combaticon attempts to shoot again, this time back at the Queen. But the injury causes his arm to buckle again and he misses- AGAIN. Muttering under his breath, the sniper finally shifts position to find a rock or something to help steady his aim. Maybe then he can SHOOT SOMETHING besides the DIRT.

So, Rodimus misses. Is that really a surprise, though, when the missile basically goes off right between him and Deluge and he takes a whole face -- and arm, and chest, and other arm, and leg -- full of shrapnel? He staggers, and nearly falls, only to catch himself by planting the end of his bow on the ground. Just as he begins to push up, the queen catches him with a slice across the arm, and he nearly drops the bow. With a snarl, he pushes upright. "Thanks for the warning!" He didn't see who shot that missile, but yOU CAN BET HE'LL FIND OUT.

This would be a good time for Rodimus to step back, so he -- does not that. Because - because he's dumb. Bleeding freely from a half-dozen cuts, energon trickling out to run over the rock beneath him, he calls, "Get the injured out of here!" The -- cocooned injured. Not the Rodimus injured. Then he lifts his bow.

Skystalker is helping loose the last hostages when the next missile goes off, and he whips around at the sound of it, optics widening when he sees the aftermath. Can't Vortex aim those things?! The starfighter fires up the thrusters at his back and boots, bursting into movement at speed towards the Queen, staff point forward.

Deluge remembers jumping at the spider and hearing the EXTREMELY delightful sound of crystal shattering under his axe blade. Everything after that is a little hazy as he lays on the ground now, scorched in spots with crystal shrapnel sticking out of parts of his body. "Hnn.. Wha.." He rumbles, hand to his head when sitting up. And that's when it hits him!

And by it we mean one of the other spider minions, Deluge reeling as it jumps atop him and seeks to stab into his chest with sharp feet. Luckily his armor stops it and he growls, "Fuck off!" A boot kicks it off and he rolls back to his feet, finally unlocking his grenade launcher from his back. "Vortex, I owe you a punch for that! Later, though!" Not even worried from the closer proximity, he fires off an explosive round at the smaller spider that attacked him with hopes the shrapnel strikes the queen.

Hoist is trying to keep the evacuess going, but it's hard to notice the explosion going on behind them. He said cover fire, Vortex, not blow them all up in the process. "I swear, it's almost like working with Wheeljack again." Okay, people are getting out of here. And Rodimus is really looking like shit. But like a good captain he insists on keep fighting so others can escape. "Give her bloody hell, sir." Rodimus says to get people out of here so he'll keep focusing on that. "If you're not strong enough to fight, keep moving. Exit's that way!" He points at the tunnel while helping get his shoulder under a limping mech to support him. He's not bothering to worry if it's a walker, Elita's crew or otherwise. He's just getting them out of here.

The other spiders seem to grow more enraged when one of their own has fallen dead in a crash of breaking crystal. Even as the last shreds of crystal cord rip away from the cocoons, there's still so much chaos left in the room. One of the spiders lunges for one of the recent escapees only to be leapt at by its fellow.

Vortex watches his missile this time. And he remembers that his aim really isn't all that great. The explosion lights up his visor as it more or less misses the queen and instead... The copter seizes up, suddenly clutching Air Raid. No, no, no! He wasn't supposed... That wasn't supposed to happen! His vents get shallow and fast. He just hit his teammates and their leader. Vortex stands there by the dead hunter and unbroken coccoon, stuck in place. He glances up at Blast Off, not moving and very still. He just did that. "Yeah, yeah... I'm gonna get Raider outta here." His grip on the larger mech tightens and he starts helping him out of the cavern. It was like the fight was swept out of him.

Deluge remembers jumping at the spider and hearing the EXTREMELY delightful sound of crystal shattering under his axe blade. Everything after that is a little hazy as he lays on the ground now, scorched in spots with crystal shrapnel sticking out of parts of his body. "Hnn.. Wha.." He rumbles, hand to his head when sitting up. And that's when it hits him!

And by it we mean one of the other spider minions, Deluge reeling as it jumps atop him and seeks to stab into his chest with sharp feet. Luckily his armor stops it and he growls, "Fuck off!" A boot kicks it off and he rolls back to his feet, finally unlocking his grenade launcher from his back. "Vortex, I owe you a punch for that! Later, though!" Not even worried from the closer proximity to himself due to its lower radias, he fires off an explosive round at the spider while skirting backward.

    <COMBAT> Hunter F attacks Hunter A with Knife - ARMOR on Chest stops the attack!
    <COMBAT> Hunter D attacks Deluge with Knife - ARMOR on Chest stops the attack!
    <COMBAT> Skystalker attacks Crystalline Queen with Knife - ARMOR on Chest stops the attack!
    <COMBAT> Crystalline Queen attacks Rodimus with Knife - ARMOR on Abdomen stops the attack!
    <COMBAT> Cyclonus attacks Crystalline Queen with Great Sword - Serious wound to Right Leg.
    <COMBAT> Blast Off takes careful aim at Crystalline Queen.
    <COMBAT> Rodimus attacks Crystalline Queen with Rodimus's Energy Bow - Light wound to Left Leg.
    <COMBAT> Hunter G attacks Hunter A with Knife - Light wound to Right Leg.
    <COMBAT> Hunter A attacks Cyclonus with Knife - Light wound to Right Leg.
    <COMBAT> EXPLOSION! Very Far From Hunter D - Light wound to Right Arm.
    <COMBAT> EXPLOSION! Pretty Close To Deluge - Light wound to Left Hand.
    <COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Deluge - Light wound to Left Arm.
    <COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Deluge - Serious wound to Right Arm.
    <COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Deluge - Serious wound to Head (Reduced by Armor).
    <COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Deluge - Serious wound to Chest (Reduced by Armor).
    <COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Deluge - Critical wound to Chest.
    <COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Deluge - Light wound to Chest.
    <COMBAT> Buzzkill attacks Crystalline Queen with Knife - Light wound to Right Leg.
    <COMBAT> Hunter E attacks Hunter B with Knife - Light wound to Right Hand.
    <COMBAT> Hunter B attacks Bulkhead with Knife - ARMOR on Abdomen stops the attack!
    <COMBAT> Bulkhead attacks Hunter B with Blaster Cannon but MISSES!
    <COMBAT> Deluge has been **KO'd**!

Blast Off glances to Vortex, forwning just a little as the aftermath of that errant bombardment hits his teammate and seems to completely knock the wind out of the rotary. Hmm. This is one of those times the shuttleformer wishes he were more... he's not sure. Able to express caring? Perhaps? He wouldn't even know what to call it. His mouth parts open behind the faceplate, words catching there, then closes again as he reverts his attention back into aiming carefully at his target- that damn Queen. As he hears Vortex heading out, he finally radios his brother, " << I... I know you will. Get him home, Vortex. I'll be along shortly. >>"

As the fighting goes on around them, there's another shiver that rocks the mountain from somewhere deep within. Again, it isn't a very strong quake, and it's possible that it's hard to notice what with all of the explosions and stuff.

When one of their own goes down, Rodimus snaps off his shot and then points his bow at Deluge in a quick sweep. It's just a point-point, not like an aim-point. "Get him back! Are there any cocoons left?" He is keeping his focus on the queen, who is returning the favor, and thus -- doesn't really have the time to check.

Bulkhead had heard the first explosion and ignored it, but this one he pays attention to, mostly because the next glancing blow of the spider's leg spins him and he happens to see who got caught in the explosion. "Aw, scrap!" Sure, the guy had been kind of a prick that first night in the common lounge, but Bulk can't let a fellow big mech get wasted like that. So this time when his cannon misses it's his own fault, as he's automatically running over to see what's left and if there's anything he can do to help.

Cyclonus's blade sinks deep into one of the Queen's legs, and he shoves his weight into it to try and cut as far as he can into her crystalline flesh. He grunts sharply as he feels one of the hunter's mandibles sink into his leg, and he kicks to try and dislodge it.

Buzzkill manages to wrap her bee legs around one of the Queen's and rams her stinger right into it, giving her body a little twist to push it in deeper before pulling out and taking flight. From here she gets a perfect view of Deluge blowing himself up and it takes her a few seconds to process what she just saw. Seriously? These guys are the people who saved her? Good god. She tries to shrug it off and go in for another sting while she can.

Hoist stops at the exit of the cavern, passing off the mech he was helping to one of the other more able evacuees. Hoist isn't about to run out on his own crewmates... That, and some of the hunters are still trying to hass the evacuation, even while most of the fight is going on around the Queen. "We're getting people out as fast as we can! They were very successful hunters!" Hoist flicks the safety back off his blaster, takes aim at the hunter stalking around the fight and opens fire. He's not worried about hitting, so much as keeping the Hunters away from the escape route.

The captives pretty much seem to have been freed. All that's left is the chaos of battle, and the few who are too weak or badly injured to actually successfully escape their own selves.

There are definitely a lot of explosions going on. Skystalker's spear grazes over the queen's belly, her armor diverting the strike and leaving a mark across the surface of the crystal. He picks up from there, though, undeterred despite the lack of cutting he can do. If she's flailing at all of them, there's more of a chance someone can get in there. Distraction is fine.

The Queen bellows and slashes as she fights. "You have taken down more than these, Hunters!" she cries, exhorting them as best she can though a spiderweb of cracks shows across various points in her crystalline armor. "Fight off these strangers and we will bring our sisters back to reason!"

You see kids, that's the problem with guns. Sometimes they jam, which is exactly what Deluge's grenade launcher does. The click of the trigger goes off, but no grenade comes out. The mech's attention shoots to the weapon instantly, optics widenly as he drops it and tries to back up. "Ah, fucking hell--AGH!!" But he can't get away fast enough, the whole weapon, and ammo inside, exploding in a brilliant display that sends a rather battered and torn up Deluge almost flying across the room before skidding a long way through the ground until finally stopping in a heap. He doesn't get up.

    <COMBAT> Hunter B attacks Bulkhead with Knife - Moderate wound to Right Hand.
    <COMBAT> Hunter D attacks Skystalker with Knife - ARMOR on Chest stops the attack!
    <COMBAT> Rodimus attacks Crystalline Queen with Rodimus's Energy Bow but MISSES!
    <COMBAT> Hunter F attacks Hunter A with Knife - ARMOR on Neck stops the attack!
    <COMBAT> Hunter E attacks Hunter B with Knife but Hunter B DODGES!
    <COMBAT> Hunter A attacks Cyclonus with Knife - ARMOR on Chest stops the attack!
    <COMBAT> Hoist attacks Hunter D with Blaster Pistol but MISSES!
    <COMBAT> Crystalline Queen attacks Rodimus with Knife - ARMOR on Chest stops the attack!
    <COMBAT> Buzzkill attacks Crystalline Queen with Knife - ARMOR on Chest stops the attack!
    <COMBAT> Blast Off attacks Crystalline Queen with Sniper Rifle - ARMOR on Head stops the attack!
    <COMBAT> Skystalker attacks Crystalline Queen with Knife - Moderate wound to Left Arm.
    <COMBAT> Hunter G attacks Hunter A with Knife - ARMOR on Chest stops the attack!
    <COMBAT> Cyclonus attacks Hunter A with Great Sword - Moderate wound to Chest (Reduced by Armor).
    <COMBAT> Bulkhead attempts to rally Deluge and FAILS

The spider slashing and snapping at Bulkhead seems to lose interest when he continues to ignore her even after she's bitten his hand. For one thing, there are a lot more live targets around here, including her sister that is attacking it. She turns and bunches, leaping for one of the attackers of the Queen with a noisy screech of, "Cybertronian trash!"

Slag, Deluge is down. Bulkhead is already trying to help him, so Hoist bounds over to give the other big green guy some cover. For as much luck as he's had at actually shooting things. Which may be why he opts to just try and grab the Hunter harassing Bulkhead and knock it away from him. Hoist is fairly strong, he just doesn't have a lot of hand-to-hand experience. "If you can't get him online," he comments over his shoulder to Bulkhead, "I can haul him out."

Cyclonus's blade bites through the armor of the hunter's chest, but not as deep as he'd certainly like. He pulls it free of the spider again, gaining momentum to swing in a wide arc again to try and slice deeper.

Blast Off doesn't hear from Vortex, so hopefully that emans his brother is getting himself out of here with Raid, like he said. Unfortunately, despite careful aim- and a successful hit- the Queen's armor seems to cause the shot to just bounce off. Frag. He's just taking aim when another, smaller spider suddenly leaps at him. There's no time to do much besides swing his rifle around to shoot at the oncoming target and hope his arm doesn't buckle in on him again. It hurts like slag, but he'll take pain over death anytime.

Buzzkill goes in for another attack onto or her stinger to bounce off the spider's armour. At this point she says 'fuck it' and flies off to find a different way to be productive, like helping the weak and injured get their shit together. She lands near a group of such people and transforms into her root mode. "Get the hell out of here!" she yells, grabbing a manta ray-former by the shoulders and shaking him. He mumbles something in response and Buzzkill just shakes him harder until he comes to and starts limping towards the exit. She does this to anyone who is still capable of walking but when she happens upon a panther-former missing both his legs, she opts to carry him out on her back.

Rodimus glances back at Hoist's report, getting a quick look for himself. His shot goes wide, but that's not much of a surprise; the bigger surprise is that he's still up and trying to fire. "Get him and the rest of the injured out," he says with a quick, approving nod. He addresses the others in a quick shout: "If you're not under attack, focus on clearing the injured! We're here for retrieval, not revenge." He takes a step back himself, reaching down to take Elita's crew member by the arm and shake. "Hey, can you walk?" It leaves him one-handed, which means he has to switch from his bow to his built-in weaponry.

It's more or less slow going. Air Raid was heavy and bigger than Vortex and Vortex was less muscle more quick and sharp. He stumbles a bit as another explosion goes off. He looks over, fearing the worst for Blast Off, but finds it was just an Autobot. Thank Primus. He stiffens suddenly, realizing that he couldn't leave. Not now. He's barely injured, Blast Off is still here with plenty of Spiders all around, and he left his last rotor back there. He glances at Air Raid and hobbles over to the edge of the cavern, setting him down. "Be right back, alright? We'll get you out as soon as everyone else is safe too." He pats Air Raid's head- pretty sure he's unconscious but just i case... " << Hey, Blasty, left a blade by you. Mind grabbing it for me? I'm not done yet. >> " Vortex vents deeply and runs back to the fray with only his knife. He runs to the stupid Autobot that got blown up- twice. "Move, big boy! You're doing it wrong!" He runs straight to Deluge, does a little jump onto him and brings a hand down. The claw marks are deeper than with Hoist, drawing some energon. "Wake up before I cut out your tongue! I will!" Vortex was completely serious. He's a lot scarier when he's sobered up and serious.

    <COMBAT> Hunter D attacks Skystalker with Knife - ARMOR on Chest stops the attack!
    <COMBAT> Hoist attacks Hunter B with Unarmed - ARMOR on Abdomen stops the attack!
    <COMBAT> Skystalker attacks Crystalline Queen with Knife but Crystalline Queen DODGES!
    <COMBAT> Hunter F attacks Hunter A with Knife - ARMOR on Chest stops the attack!
    <COMBAT> Hunter E attacks Hunter B with Knife - ARMOR on Chest stops the attack!
    <COMBAT> Hunter A attacks Cyclonus with Knife - ARMOR on Neck stops the attack!
    <COMBAT> Vortex attempts to rally Deluge and SUCCEEDS. Deluge is back in the fight!
    <COMBAT> Rodimus attacks Crystalline Queen with Blaster Pistol but MISSES!
    <COMBAT> Hunter G attacks Hunter A with Knife - ARMOR on Chest stops the attack!
    <COMBAT> Hunter B attacks Blast Off with Knife and MISSES!
    <COMBAT> Cyclonus attacks Hunter A with Great Sword - Light wound to Chest (Reduced by Armor).
    <COMBAT> Crystalline Queen attacks Rodimus with Knife - ARMOR on Chest stops the attack!
    <COMBAT> Blast Off attacks Hunter B with Sniper Rifle but MISSES!
    <COMBAT> Bulkhead attempts to rally Deluge but they are not KO'd.

Bulkhead feels the spider's bite in his servo just before he gets away, and he hisses in pain, but doesn't stop. It leaves him alone after that, anyway, and he ignores his own leaking energon as he skids to a stop by Deluge's prone body to kneel beside it. Scrap, he looks even worse close up, and Bulk winces. "Hey, man, you gotta get up, fight's not over!" And that's when, as he's taking in the bloody ruins of Deluge's frame, he sees sigil. Ah. Misjudged him. "Ya big, fool idiot," he says, not unkindly, and reaches down to gently shake the mech. Anything more than that feels too rough, and with the state Deluge is in he doesn't want to make it worse. "Get up, come on!"

He doesn't look up when he hears Hoist behind him, giving his dumb aft cover. He doesn't say anything, either - at least not until the jumpy helicon from earlier comes running over, pushing past him and smacking Deluge in the face. Bulk watches on in horror for a second before making an attempt to drag the bot off. "Hey, knock it off, you're gonna make it worse!" Except it seems to work, this time, and Bulkhead's optics stutter in surprise.

The pantherbot Buzzkill is carrying is quite a bit larger than her so she struggles to carry him but she uses a burst of energy to dart into the closest tunnel. FREEDOM... except not really because the tunnel loops back around into the main chamber which she only realizes after running the entire way. "Ugh, fuck." No one seems to notice her so she sort of hangs out in the back, waiting for the Lost Lighter's to finish up so she can follow them out the proper exit, provided they survive.

    <COMBAT> Hunter D attacks Skystalker with Knife - ARMOR on Chest stops the attack!
    <COMBAT> Hunter G attacks Hunter A with Knife - ARMOR on Neck stops the attack!
    <COMBAT> Hunter F attacks Hunter A with Knife - ARMOR on Abdomen stops the attack!
    <COMBAT> Crystalline Queen attacks Rodimus with Knife - ARMOR on Chest stops the attack!
    <COMBAT> Vortex attacks Hunter B with Knife - ARMOR on Abdomen stops the attack!
    <COMBAT> Hunter A attacks Cyclonus with Knife - ARMOR on Head stops the attack!
    <COMBAT> Blast Off attacks Hunter B with Sniper Rifle but MISSES!
    <COMBAT> Deluge attacks Crystalline Queen with Machine Gun and MISSES!
    <COMBAT> Bulkhead attacks Crystalline Queen with Blaster Cannon but MISSES!
    <COMBAT> Skystalker attacks Crystalline Queen with Knife - ARMOR on Chest stops the attack!
    <COMBAT> Rodimus attacks Crystalline Queen with Blaster Pistol but MISSES!
    <COMBAT> Hunter E attacks Hunter B with Knife - ARMOR on Chest stops the attack!
    <COMBAT> Hunter B attacks Blast Off with Knife - Light wound to Left Hand.
    <COMBAT> Hoist attacks Hunter B with Unarmed - Serious Stun wound to Left Arm.
    <COMBAT> Cyclonus attacks Hunter A with Great Sword - Moderate wound to Head (Reduced by Armor).
    <COMBAT> Blast Off has been **KO'd**!

Hoist grapples with the spider thing. When he manages to get a grip on the beast's arm he shoves down his elbow and twists until he can hear it's crystalline body start to crack. Alas, it's not enough to keep the thing from lashing out at Blast Off. "That. Is. Bloody. ENOUGH!" Hoist shoves the bug aside, and goes to do his real job, lunging to grab Blast Off out of the way. "No one is dyin' on my watch. Not even Decepticons!" ... And it seems to work, so he tries Tex's approach and just smack Blast Off across the face.

Deluge would have appreciated Bulkhead's efforts were he concious, but it's all for nothing as he lays there, smoking and sparking from open injuries. It's only when the crazy that is Vortex leaps upon his broad chest and rakes some serious claw marks into it while screaming at him. The pain is just enough to jolt the mech out of his stasis lock, fingers curling in the dirt as back arches and optics fllare to life. "Fuck fuck, I'm awake!!" About to smack whoever did that, he pauses and blinks when met face to face with Vortex, giving a thick little swallow. "Uh.. hey there." He's fierce..

But no time for that! Head back in the game, he hoists himself back onto his feet, with much effort, and almost drops the minigun that he unslings. "I'm so sick and tired of these damn spiders!" Minigun spinning to life, he cuts a wide, halfhazard arc across the room, completely missing the Queen of course. But that doesn't mean he won't hit the minions on the next go around.

"Uggh." Torrent groans, her heavy contralto raspy as she scrubs at her face with a single hand. She reaches to snag Rodimus by the arm and hauls, using him and his giant feet as leverage to haul herself standing. The yank is probably not very good for him considering the injuries. Sorry, Rodimus. She is big, broad, and bulky, and though she has lost more than just her arm, the coiled hose kibble hooked against her back suggests her water-bearing alt mode. "I can walk. If I had my harpoon, I could spear a few compound eyes out."

Rotaries. Always leaving their scrap littered around everywhere. Blast Off would sigh at the irony that somehow he constantly finds himself dealing with these particular sorts of mechs, except for the whole spider-in-the-face thing going on right now. "<< Yes, sure...in a bit. Just. a. little. busy! >>" Unfortunately for Blast Off, his arm DOES buckle again as he aims to shoot. The shot goes wild as he tries to scramble back... but there just wasn't any time, he's already badly injured, and the spider lands a blow that knocks the shuttleformer back with a sickening clatter... his left arm barely hanging on at all now.

His gun goes flying from his hands and he struggles once, twice... then lays still, optics dimming just as the spider looms over, ready to make the kill- then suddenly Blast Off's snatched away by... Hoist? If he were awake he might huff as the Autobot starts smacking him across the face.

Vortex flicks the energon on his claws back at Deluge's face before he hops off. Job done and he gets to keep his tongue. He looks back at where he seated Air Raid before looking back at who to attack next. Suddenly, all that insecurity and guilt he felt from his failure to the team vanishes. Rage grips him and he moves without thinking, heading right for the spider that brought his brother down. Was he screaming? He was screaming. It's a war cry. A whirling dervish war cry. He jumps at the spider straight on, about to give it a lesson in what happens when you mess with a Combaticon.

Rodimus gives Torrent a quick smile. "Focus on walking. If you can help someone who can't, get them out, too." With Torrent up, he moves to find someone else, stepping back toward the exit and pulling his big friend (that's the queen; his big ugly friend) with. "I want to see this room cleared!" he calls to the other Lost Lighters. "Get the injured off their feet and out of here!"

When Deluge gets up Bulk can't help the shit-eating grin - it's good to see a fallen comrade back on their pedes. He feels a little more comfortable about patting Deluge on the shoulder when he, too, stands. "Glad to have ya back, big guy!" He says, before aiming his cannon in one hand and firing at the Queen. It doesn't hit, of course it doesn't, the fuck was he thinking - oh yeah, he was thinking that it'd look pretty damn cool. He was right. Rodimus would be proud.

    <COMBAT> Hunter F attacks Hunter A with Knife - ARMOR on Chest stops the attack!
    <COMBAT> Hunter D attacks Skystalker with Knife - ARMOR on Chest stops the attack!
    <COMBAT> Hunter B attacks Bulkhead with Knife - ARMOR on Chest stops the attack!
    <COMBAT> Crystalline Queen attacks Rodimus with Knife - ARMOR on Chest stops the attack!
    <COMBAT> Vortex attacks Hunter B with Knife but Hunter B DODGES!
    <COMBAT> Hunter E attacks Hunter B with Knife but Hunter B DODGES!
    <COMBAT> Hoist attempts to rally Blast Off and SUCCEEDS. Blast Off is back in the fight!
    <COMBAT> Skystalker attacks Hunter D with Knife - Light wound to Left Hand.
    <COMBAT> Rodimus attacks Crystalline Queen with Blaster Pistol but MISSES!
    <COMBAT> Hunter A attacks Cyclonus with Knife - ARMOR on Neck stops the attack!
    <COMBAT> Deluge fires fullauto!
    <COMBAT> Deluge attacks Hunter A with Machine Gun and MISSES!
    <COMBAT> Deluge attacks Hunter A with Machine Gun but MISSES!
    <COMBAT> Deluge attacks Hunter A with Machine Gun and MISSES!
    <COMBAT> Deluge attacks Hunter A with Machine Gun and MISSES!
    <COMBAT> Deluge attacks Hunter A with Machine Gun but MISSES!
    <COMBAT> Deluge attacks Hunter B with Machine Gun and MISSES!
    <COMBAT> Deluge attacks Hunter B with Machine Gun and MISSES!
    <COMBAT> Deluge attacks Hunter B with Machine Gun and MISSES!
    <COMBAT> Deluge attacks Hunter B with Machine Gun but MISSES!
    <COMBAT> Cyclonus attacks Hunter A with Great Sword - Serious wound to Abdomen.
    <COMBAT> Bulkhead attacks Crystalline Queen with Blaster Cannon but MISSES!
    <COMBAT> Hunter G attacks Hunter A with Knife - ARMOR on Chest stops the attack!
    <COMBAT> Hunter G attacks Hunter A with Knife - ARMOR on Neck stops the attack!
    <COMBAT> Hunter F attacks Hunter A with Knife - ARMOR on Chest stops the attack!
    <COMBAT> Crystalline Queen attacks Rodimus with Knife - ARMOR on Chest stops the attack!
    <COMBAT> Skystalker attacks Hunter D with Knife - ARMOR on Neck stops the attack!
    <COMBAT> Hunter D attacks Skystalker with Knife - ARMOR on Chest stops the attack!
    <COMBAT> Hunter A attacks Cyclonus with Knife - ARMOR on Head stops the attack!
    <COMBAT> Vortex attacks Hunter B with Knife - ARMOR on Abdomen stops the attack!
    <COMBAT> Rodimus attacks Crystalline Queen with Blaster Pistol but MISSES!
    <COMBAT> Hunter E attacks Hunter B with Knife but Hunter B DODGES!
    <COMBAT> Hunter B attacks Bulkhead with Knife - ARMOR on Chest stops the attack!
    <COMBAT> Cyclonus attacks Hunter A with Great Sword - Light wound to Abdomen (Reduced by Armor).
    <COMBAT> Blast Off attacks Hunter B with Sniper Rifle and MISSES!
    <COMBAT> Hoist attacks Hunter B with Unarmed - Moderate Stun wound to Right Leg.
    <COMBAT> Deluge fires fullauto!
    <COMBAT> Deluge attacks Hunter A with Machine Gun and MISSES!
    <COMBAT> Deluge attacks Hunter A with Machine Gun and MISSES!
    <COMBAT> Deluge attacks Hunter A with Machine Gun and MISSES!
    <COMBAT> Deluge attacks Hunter A with Machine Gun and MISSES!
    <COMBAT> Deluge attacks Hunter A with Machine Gun and MISSES!
    <COMBAT> Deluge attacks Hunter B with Machine Gun and MISSES!
    <COMBAT> Deluge attacks Hunter B with Machine Gun and MISSES!
    <COMBAT> Deluge attacks Hunter B with Machine Gun and MISSES!
    <COMBAT> Deluge attacks Hunter B with Machine Gun and MISSES!
    <COMBAT> Bulkhead attacks Crystalline Queen with Blaster Cannon - Moderate wound to Left Leg.
    <COMBAT> Crystalline Queen has been **KO'd**!

Hoist gets Blast Off back on his feet. "Apologies for the smacking mate, but we're kinda in a rush." Then Hoist turns around, and having had enough with the damn spider trying to eat his friends and crewmates, swings his foot right into it's spinnerettes. "STAY DOWN."

As the slashing, vicious battle continues in a clash of blade on armor and bullet on crystal armor, bullets fly every which way, armor takes scratch and crack after scratch and crack, but it's not until the blast of Bulkhead's cannon sends the gravid crystal form of the giant Queen to the ground that the tide of the battle really seems to have turned. The spiders who joined the Lost Lighters begin to keen in triumph.

The cavern shudders around them once more, and this time, in time with the shudder, they can all hear it: the distant shriek. It sounds like the cry of an eagle, but magnified a hundredfold and vibrating through the very stones of the mountain.

The mountain begins to shudder in earnest, rock, dust and pebbles beginning to rain from the roof of the cavern. The chandelier falls in a smashing bounce of crystalline cord.

All right! They killed the Queen! Now all Buzzkill has to do is casually follow the Cybertronians out of the tunnels and she'll be home free. She begins doing just that when she hears the distant shriek and immediately freezes in her tracks. Both her and the pantherbot stare at each other with their jaws hanging open in shock. When the chandelier comes down, she hefts her fellow Eukarian up on her shoulders and double times it.

"Nice!" Rodimus barely has time to call a cheer before everything starts falling, and then his nice becomes a quieter, "Oops." He sweeps a look around the cavern and draws his arms back, for once not under attack. Taking full stock of the situation, he repeats his earlier order: "Grab a buddy and let's get out!" He sets an example, looking for any lingering injured to pull out before they are entombed.

That damn spider was coming at him again, slashing every which way at his chest while he tried to get into position to take a real shot at the queen. Hoist takes care of its attention long enough that he can get some distance, spinning and dropping to one knee strut to take real, good aim this time. Bulkhead shoots for one of the Queen's legs. He grins when he sees his aim is true, sees his blast hit, and when the whole damn bitch goes down right after he actually jumps to his pedes and hollers in victory. "Yeah! Another one bites the dust!" He likes that song. He doesn't have long to celebrate, though, as the cavern starts to shake, sending the chandelier crashing to the ground.

Skystalker has a Hunter at his side that insists on striking at him as he darts around the legs of the Queen, the armor of his chest glancing off two of her blows as he tries to give his comrades more room; in the end he has to turn on the hunter instead, staff spinning as Rodimus starts commanding the Lighters to clear the room. Just a second, pal. As he and the spider exchange sharp blows, Sky knifes its leg over once, and the second hit to its neck knocks the hunter back far enough that he is able to flare his thrusters and bolt, running, out of range, intent on rejoining the others to help clear the cavern.

The ground shivers under him once more, and this time Skystalker is aware that it is not an explosive-- they've already gone off. The sound of the shriek pierces his audials, and he turns his optics to the floor as it echoes underneath. What in the world? No time to stay and find out. The starfighter starts moving faster when pebbles start tinkling against his wingtips.

Though Cyclonus doesn't manage to defeat his opponent by injury, the topple and crash of the Queen marks the end of his battle with one of her hunters. He turns, straightens, and then truly begins to feel and hear the shudder of the earth around them. And the shriek. He turns to whoever's left who can't make it out on their own power, as Rodimus indicates but also of his own accord, moving to grab who he can to race out.

Vortex is unrelenting in his attack but this knife is weak compared to his rotor. He only stops when the Queen goes down. That... That means they won! He looks over at Blast Off, looking relieved to see his teammate... relatively alright. He absconds to his teammate and falls flat on his face as the whole place shakes. He looks up in confusion. What is this, a booby trap? Kill the queen and everything caves in. His helm whips around to Rodimus and nods. He only pauses to grab his rotor still on the ground, subspacing it. "Blast Off, your legs work, let's go!" He shoots his teammate a look- a 'I'm so happy you're okay, you have no idea' look- before dashing to where he stuck Air Raid. Hnngh, still heavy. He huffs and pulls Air Raid over his back and starts heading out, semi-carrying, semi-dragging his unconscious frie- teammate.

Deluge sprays another broad arc of bullets across the scene and unfortunately misses. Blame it on his vision still being hazy and the fact that he was just a little dead a moment ago. But just a little. A little angry at this, he can only stare in awe when Bulkhead strikes the final blow on the queen. "Holy shit.. Nice one, bud. I'll buy yah a drink for that." He chuckles, and coughs a little from pain, while bumping Bulkhead's shoulder with a fist.

And then the roof starts to give in as the whole room shakes. "Seriously? We win and now we gotta run! Ah hell.. EVERYONE OUT!" He shoulders his minigun and grunts, standing straight as he rallies everyone out. He may be an ass, but he stays behind at the cavern exit until everyone's evacuated before he himself leaves.

Well, that facial smacking finally DOES awaken the KOed Combaticon, and Blast Off does indeed *hufff* as he comes to in that manner, his good hand reaching up, feebly at first, to quell the blows. "I-I-STOP THAT!" Thank you, in other words. Blast Off shakes his head, violet optics coming back online as he scrambles away once Hoist places him on his feet. Ugh. Not feeling so great. Maybe sitting down will work. His good arm swings up as he spots that spider still looming nearby and Vortex lunging for it with a war cry. It's almost... inspirational, and enough to spur him to try another shot. It doesn't connect, but... then again he's still kind of seeing two or three spiders where only one exists.

Blast Off reaches his hand to his face, feeling rather ill. It's like the room is still spinning and he groans... and then groans even louder. Wait. The shuttleformer blinks. That groan wasn't him. The good hand falls to the ground -as do other things here- as he shifts his weight to look around the chamber. Looks like the Queen is dead, good. But... things are shaking and falling, that trembling is getting worse, and with it so too does his sick feeling. His vents wheeze as he tries to get to his feet. "We... I need to go." Barely still functional and vulnerable as hell, Blast Off just wants out of here before the walls close in on him. Again. Vortex says something and he stumbles after him, "I'm.. I'm coming. I'm fine."

"Bulkhead, help Deluge." Even though Deluge will probably try to resist it, he can see how badly the mech is still banged up. Hoist considers a moment, then huffs when he sees how badly Blast Off is staggering. "Again, apologizes chap." Followed by just grabbing Blast off, slinging him over a shoulder, and hot footing it for the exit tunnel. But at least he's being polite about it, right?

The mountain is starting to come down, except that it's not coming down in the usual way of a landslide. Instead, it almost seems to be coming apart from up above. There are great crashing, scrabbling cracks from up above. More dust and trembling stone fall all around them.

"Move!" Cyclonus barks, even though everyone /is/ moving, really. Maybe he just means move /faster/, given that the mountain is currently pulling open above them. (Is that really so bad? It seems less bad than the mountain crashing /in/ on them.)

Bulk grins at Deluge's comment, giving him a, "I look forward to it," just before the cavern starts coming apart. And then they're all hustling business, everyone helping each other to get out of this place before it all comes down on top of them. Bulkhead doesn't need Hoist's instruction to do just that, though he's sure Deluge doesn't appreciate how he hovers nearby, ready to lend a supporting servo or arm or shoulder if Deluge wavers. He stays behind, too, at the entrance until everyone is out - which he hadn't expected Deluge to do, and which he probably would have done anyway. One lesson he's learned, definitely NOT from the Wreckers, is that if he doesn't look out for his teammates it's unlikely anyone else will. War does a lot of bad shit to people, one of which can be a 'every bot for themselves' mentality.

This is embarrassing, and Blast Off *hufffs* again as Hoist just slings him over a shoulder. The huff is a weak one, though, and seeing how Hoist is at least *hoisting* him the heck /outta that crumbling hellhole/, the Combaticon can't actually complain all that much. Black fingers on his good right hand flex and twitch as he tries to keep himself calm, keep that left arm still attached, and try not think about being trapped down here forever, locked away. Unable to even move. Again.

Vortex gnashes his teeth as he keeps pulling Air Raid along. It was easier carrying bots around in his alt mode, through the air... Dragging them along for the craziest, and last, ride of their lives hehe... This manual labor was HARD. How did Brawl do this?? " << Blasty, you okay?? >> " His vents huff, hearing Cyclonus and moving a big faster. These tunnels seem even smaller as bits and piece falls. Almost there... SO CLOSE. They had to be.

As they scramble to escape the chamber through the mouths of the tunnels out into the mountain, the stone ceilings above them are suddenly breached by enormous bronze-hued talons, shredding apart the stones of the mountain. Whistling wind and spattering raindrops begin to breach the room along with the talons of the risen Titan.

Pipes feels relieved as he's buffeted by blasts of cold and humid and rainy atmosphere. Or, maybe it's because there are no more little boulders knocking into him. He dangles from Windblade as he looks down at Chela's tantrum. He thinks about correcting Quicksight about the spider invaders being organic, but decides now isn't the time for bickering. To Windblade he answers, "Yeah. Banged up a little, but, thanks to you, OK. ... How about you?" He remembers her when she was connected to the titan; she hasn't had time to recover, if she needs it.

"Worry about being okay after we get away from rocks falling everywhere," Hoist comments over his shoulder to Vortex without bothering to slow down. Priorities man.

Buzzkill is running like hell to get out of the tunnels in time but she can't help but gawk when those massive talons rend open the ceiling. "Wooooaaaahhhhhh!" both her and the pantherbot she's carrying on her back say in unison.

Deluge isn't one who's used to others looking out for him, so Bulkhead's concern is a bit odd. "I'm fine, I'm fine.." He grunts, barely able to hold himself up on the wall as the others flee. When it comes time for him to go he only gets a step before knees give out. Luckily Bulk's offered arm is there to catch him, to which Deluge clings and right himself with a grunt. "..Ngh.. Thanks.. Let's get out of here, yeah?" Hand on the big mech's shoulder, he heads out with the rest while the roof starts to tear off, Deluge looking up to spot the rediculously huge bird doing it. "Damnit, first giant spiders, now giant birds! Are we gonna get a break!"

The mountain cracks open and Cyclonus is wheeling around, staring up at the titan framed against the sky with a rare expression of open shock -- and awe. "Primus," he whispers, and there's a long moment where he can't manage to even move.

Vortex suddenly jumps, stone falling where he and Air Raid had been moments ago. He grunts as he gets back to his pedes, looking up at the open air. Right now would be a good time to be able to fly. WHAT A SHAME. Then he catches sight of the giant... Bird? Maybe staying grounded wasn't so bad. He ducks his head and keeps going. Vortex takes many things in stride. He's seen some things. He didn't have the strength to jump out of one of those openings with both of them so he'd just have to make it to a tunnel's end. He's unsure if he could carry Air Raid much longer. At least at this pace.

A badly injured Blast Off is being carried over the shoulder of Hoist, who is getting them both out of this crumbling mountain. The shuttleformer is trying very hard to keep his nearly severed left arm still attached and NOT think about the mountain closing in on them. "<< I-I AM FINE. Perfectly fine. >>" He radios back to Vortex, perhaps a little too insistantly.

And then the ceiling starts to COME DOWN. He radios specifically to his teammate. "<< --I AM NOT FINE. Vortex!--! >>" Wait. What? Wait. This is strange, yes. But maybe instead of walls coming down they can finally fly UP? "Never mind the bird, is there some open SKY up there?"

Bulkhead catches Deluge when he falters, big strong arm always ready to help a friend in need. Well, maybe not a friend, not yet, but a teammate. "Sure thing," is all he says before he half-carries Deluge up the tunnels behind the others, rushing as fast as he can. He's concentrating mostly on moving, so when the ceilings of the tunnels begin removing themselves (or, more accurately, he sees when he looks up, being ripped off by a giant bird) he's almost startled. Then he says, slowing for a moment before he catches himself, "Del....I think that's a titan."

When the talons first tear into the rock overhead, Rodimus activates his guns again and turns his gaze up. "It might be a little bigger, but--." He breaks off. Actually, he doesn't have anything for this. "Okay, a lot bigger. --are you sure it's a titan?" He pauses in obvious doubt. That doesn't look like HIS titans.

"Of course it's a titan!" Buzzkill snaps, rudely forcing herself into Rodimus' conversation. "That's Chela! I can't believe I'm actually seeing him, I thought he was only a legend!"

    <FS3> Jumpstart rolls Opticsensors: Good Success. (1 4 8 4 3 8 4 3 6)

"I'm-- I'm ok," Windblade assures Pipes, first. But then as the mountain tunnels are revealed from the sky, she flies closer to Chela's shoulder, Pipes still connected at her angle as she ratchets up the volume on her voicebox to announce to everyone, to assure, "He is here to protect." A pause, before she adds, "Get out as soon as you can."

Lieutenant moves over the massive shoulder of Chela to check for Windblade and the rest. The bird team is all accounted for. No one seems to have gotten hurt by the rocks, that's a relief. He looks down, able to spy Rodimus and his team, but he's too high up to make of their condition. He simply salutes from where he is.

Jumpstart wheels above Chela, watching the big titan work on the rocks below. Between them, she can spy a few familiar forms running. Autobots. And a few Decepticons. "...Oh no." Jumpstart whispers. She switches to Autobot radio, in case Windblade isn't loud enough. "<< FLY, YOU FOOLS! >>"

Hoist turns his head just enough to look up, and see a very different looking towering form tearing the mountain apart. "Well, considering the habitants, it would make sense that their Titan is also a beastformer." Not that he stops to oogle at it. "Or more likely the Titan sparked it's first colonization in its own form. That's how it works, isn't it? I'm a bit rusty on the theoretic behind the Titan population generation and distribution."

    <FS3> Quicksight rolls Observation: Great Success. (2 4 2 8 7 7 3 7 1 3)
    <FS3> Cyclonus rolls Clavis Aurea: Success. (8 3 3 5 4 6 5 6 2)

With the ceilings being raked apart by gigantic claws as they flee, Skystalker does not want to stay under the maw of the mountainside any longer than he must, but the sight of those talons and the shape they belong to has him slowing just enough to get a good look at it. More importantly-- there's sky up there. Skystalker bumps into Cyclonus' elbow as he runs past-- it's purposeful-- aiming to take wing when he gets a space large enough. Who needs a ride?

"He was -- one of Onyx Prime's," Cyclonus says, unable to take his eyes off of the titan. And then he shakes his head, pulling himself from the well of memory and faith he's fallen into, and transforms into his alt-mode. << If someone needs transport-- >> he says. He'll wait just long enough before taking off to the sky.

This is trully an amzing sight, and Quicksight witnesses it eagerly, darting over and aroung Chela as the titan works. He can see his crewmates down there too. Looks like they had fun and...is that Blast Off? Being carried by an Autobot?" Quickisght doesn't even stiffle his laughter. Ooops, looks like one of his shots caught that. Whooposie. He's not going to publish it, or rub it in to the shuttlecon's faceplate, per Soundwave's orders, but he will rellish in its possession.

Chela lets out a mighty eagle's scream and swoops down, lunging into the opened face of the shuddering mountain. He grabs up a crystalline hunter in each set of talons and launches himself back to the air as he carries them aloft. Crushing their crystal bodies in his might, he throws them down again. Chela clearly makes no distinction between friendly and unfriendly spider as he goes to rend more of the alien silicate beings who have been feasting upon the people here. His bellow forms words that resonate to the shaking of the mountain underfoot: "I PROTECT."

And that's when the ruined mountain begins to spit smoke and ash into the rainstorm.

Nope, this winged idiot was too heavy. Another swipe or rumble and Vortex falls to his hands and knees, venting heavily. He slips out from under Air Raid and it tempted to depart his limbs from his body when he gets a comm. " << YES! Cyclonus! Air Raid needs lifted out of here, he's too heavy for me to carry. >> " He grabs Raider's arm and tugs him along. Why couldn't flyers be smaller? Like that Quickie guy. What an upstanding flyer!

"What do you mean, of course? What's a titan doing--" Rodimus swallows the '--looking like that' on reflection. "<< Stop him! Some of those are friendlies! >>" After a pause, he adds, "<< Ish! >>" While he looks like he has been treated as a GIGANTIC SPIDER QUEEN's personal chew toy, he's still trying to get out by climbing up fallen rocks rather than, you know, get help. He scrambles. It's not the coolest he's ever looked in his life, and the slick rain and blood doesn't help.

Pipes had half a mind to take a chance and drop onto Chela so Windblade would be free to do ... whatever she does, but then the mega-eagle goes into destroy mode, so he just hangs on instead, trying to be aerodynamic. And lighter. "If you need to drop me, say so. Just -" not from too high up, OK?

Buzzkill dumps her burden onto the ground carelessly before transforming into her bee form and taking hold of him again in her legs. She takes flight to get away from the crumbling mountain and maintains a good distance that provides both safety and a fantastic view of Chela murdering all the spiders. It's so beautiful.

Cyclonus waits long enough for Vortex to drop Air Raid on him before shooting into the sky, swooping closer to Chela. "<< /No/. Those are allies -- Cybertronian allies. They helped to protect your people, titan. >>"

    <FS3> Quicksight rolls Observation: Good Success. (1 1 3 6 3 4 4 7 2 8)

Windblade glances to Chela as Rodimus' order comes over the radio. She admits, quietly, over her own, << I don't know if I can stop him, now. I-- I wll try. >> She is first going to draw back to find a spot to settle Pipes into safety, telling him, "Thank you. For--." She shakes her head, cutting herself off, before she takes to the air again and transforms to fly back to Chela.

Deluge can't exactly fly, so he just rolls his eyes at Jumpstart's call over the commlink. And it doesn't help that Chela is attacking the crystal hunters, to which Deluge bites, "Oh thanks! Could've used you before we killed the big guy!" He's just grumpy because he's extremely exploded. But he stows the attitude for now and just moves ahead to urge Bulk to keep going. "You heard the lady, let's go before we end up as bird food." With that he forces himself to work past the spiking pain throughout his systems as they run out into the rain and away from the chaos. He's not one for diplomacy with giant bird Titans, and also too wrecked, so he'll let the others do it.

It's a good thing Blast Off doesn't notice Quicksight up there taking pictures, or he'd feel even worse. He's feeling pretty bad as it is, though. And the the whole smoke and ash thing the mountain seems to be doing isn't helping. But there IS SKY NOW. Except... he may be too injured to fly. Hmm. "Alright, set me down Hoist." He may just have to try and find out. He may just be missing an entire half of his nosecone. So- yeah, fly? Maybe. Going where he's actually trying to go? Might be more difficult.

Oh, this is a good day for Quicksight. First Blast Off, and now that idiot Air Aft being caried out as well? Goodie! The little scout moves to position himself so that he can get the best view of the Autobot's rear end. Click!

Jumpstart keeps a high watch over the battlefield, not about to dive in. She glances towards the crown of the mountain, where the smoke is beginning to build. "<< ...Not to be too much about bad news, but...I think this mountain is about to experience a volcanic event now that Chela is gone... >>" Jumpstart wings away from the mountain, scanning the jungle below. "...I hope no Eukarans have drawn too close..."

Chela backwings with a mighty downdraft that probably makes flying near his airways kind of hard, letting the fresh cool rain pelt his enormous frame after thousands of years of dormancy near the heated heart of the volcano. His optics blaze with the white hot rage of a vengeful god. He does not look very persuadable. He lets the spider bodies in his talons fall, hurtling to whatever doom they haven't already suffered in his crushing grip.

"Someone tell him to just murder the queen. Or something." Hoist has no idea how this works. He also has more important things to worry about. "Huh?" Blast Off wants down so he... hmm. "Okay." He sets Blast Off down, but holds onto his better arm with one hand for a moment. "Just wait a tick." With the other hand he reachs into one of the storage compartments from his altmode that are on his back, and yanks out... A roll of duct tape. "Always reliable in a pinch!" He pulls and wraps a few quick swatchs over what would be Blast Off's nosecone. "It's no heat shielding but it'll keep you from sucking up too much dust for now." Once done he steps back so Blast Off has room to live up to his name. But not too far, in case it fails spectacularly and he has to grab him again.

Vortex stands there in relief as Air Raid is taken and safe. It's not often the mech feels tired. His rotor starts whirring to life... And does nothing but make him look a little sad. He looks around, a little lost. What should he do... He looks at the bird. He still has missiles left. He couldshoot the bird. " << Blasty, you safe? >> " Being grounded sucked.

"<< Of course it is. >>" Rodimus pauses midway up the slope of broken rock to help others the rest of the way. If someone's smart, they'll wait at the top to pull people up as he pushes them up -- but if there's one thing they've proven today, it's that they aren't very smart.

Bulk openly snorts at Jumpstart's message. "Yeah, sure, I'll just pull some wings outta my aft and attach 'em to my shoulders, we'll get outta here quick!" He doesn't say anything to Deluge's next comment, just giving another half-muffled snort. You don't have to tell him twice to get a move on, and he hustles the two of them out of the mountain and into the treeline. Jumpstart's next message, though, is worrying. "<< Anybody got any idea how to get us grounders out of the way? Can't exactly see us surviving a pyroclastic flow. >>"

Pipes drops from Chela into the mud. Wonderful, solid, ground-like mud. He looks up again at her as she hovers for a moment. "It's OK, go." He watches with satisfaction as she converts unencumbered and propels herself away. He pauses for a moment. Everything is quiet here, relatively - rain, leaves rustling, but he can't stay still. There were crewmates escaping from the tunnels, they might need help. Pipes isn't in ideal condition himself, but good enough. He converts to his own alt mode and tears through the muck, yea verily, towards the danger.

Thus far the volcano is only smoking and sputtering ash. It has yet to explode into pyroclastic flow. The danger is nigh but not yet arrived.

Lieutenant can't help with the diplomacy with the titan; and while he is currently on the safest place on the titan, he can help drag a few off the mountain. Maybe. If there is one good thing his wings are great for, it's for falling with style.

With Rodimus reciting orders, naturally Skystalker is drawn to his aura of stubborn climbing to safety. The volcano is spitting ash, bots are still scrambling, and Skystalker arches up and loops back down, swooping in and folding back into root mode at the exit slope to pull people out. Not so smart, they might be-- but they've got each other's backs.

FINALLY! On his own two feet and not slung over the shoulder of an Autobot. Thank Primus. Blast Off blinks in mild surprise as Hoist whips out... duct tape? There's abrief second where the shuttle just gives him a nonplussed look, uncertain if the Autobot is serious or not. But- apparently he is. "Uh..." he stares at Hoist, then the wrapped wound. "...Thanks." Ok, now to get the smelt outta here. He nods, then steps away and transforms into shuttle mode. It's painful, and his nosecone isn't pretty, but he's more or less functional. His cargo bay door opens. "<< Alright- anyone who needs to get in- GET IN NOW. And buckle up, this won't be a smooth flight. >""

Despite the wind and currents and the fury of the titan, Windblade struggles to maintain her path towards Chela, who will hopefully recognize her in this form. (Or maybe not.) "<< Stop, Chela. You have to stop. Some of them do not deserve this, >> she tries to call, trying to fly closer to the titan against her own instincts. Hey, an order is an order. "<< Protect them by helping them get out! >>"

"<< Someone take him, >>" Cyclonus snaps, forced by the battering of Chela's wings to land outside the mountain with Air Raid on his back, hopefully to be retrieved by whomever has made it out already. And then he's lifting off again, trying to swoop back inside for someone else until everyone's clear.

Blast Off radios back to his brother, "<< Of course I am. Now stop dallying and let's get out of here.>>" Because Tex is totally the one who's been dallying, right?

Good, good Blast Off can transform. Hopefully means he can fly too. "DELUGE! BULKHEAD! OVER HERE!" He specifically yells to the other really big guys he knows none of the normal fliers are going to be able to pick up. "GET IN!" Looks at Vortex. "You too, if you can't transform and fly." Hoist is making sure others get out of here.

Quicksight himself is rather too small to be of any help in the evacuation, except maybe to soar over the whole scene and watch for any dangerous developments. So soar he does, killing two (metaphorical, of course) birds with one stone by continuing to snap pictures.

"Tch, I can handle some lava! Like I need to be flown out!" Deluge is losing a lot of energon still, so it's safe to say he's just a little dilerious when he says that. This at least makes it easier for Bulkhead to drag him into Blast Off's hold where he just kinda lays there on the floor with a stunned 'guh'. The room's kinda spinning now that the injuries are catching back up, but at least he's on board.

Chela snaps his beak and rocks his head to the side as he wings higher in the air. He does not answer this message, but he also does not deal any more murder by talon in the depths of the broken mountain. He circles in great sweeps of his huge wings and then swoops low, whooshing over it in a long, low pass that skims the tops of the trees.

The ash is growing thicker as it spits and coughs from the hugely opened mouth of the mountain.

Vortex takes off. A ride! And one of his favorite bots to ride at that. Blast Off was the best Company Car ever. He sees Blast off and reaches out to run his servo along his side. Good Blasty. He hops into his cargo and leans on the side. "I got Raid out and safe, Blasty. How're you?" He rubs the wall some more as he looks at the other two. "You look like shit." He says perkily to Deluge.

Pipes answers Cyclonus's call for help and pulls up just after he lifts off again. Air Raid lies in a (carefully placed) heap before him. He must be alive if Cyclonus had concern for him, although it doesn't look it. "You look like scrap," he murmurs to him. He picks him up and flips back to alt mode with Air Raid resting on him, and motors back to a safe spot, away from the volcano.

"Hoist, if you don't get your aft out of here right after we do and get killed, I'm bringin' your aft back and killing you again," Bulkhead warns, even as he brings Deluge toward the Decepticon shuttle waiting for them. He gently sets Deluge down before sinking to the floor himself. Damn it all if he isn't exhausted, but also exhilirated. He never got to kill that spider that kept bothering him but it's probably dead now, along with any other creature left behind in that mountain. The thought cheers him up even more. "Get us the hell outta here, 'Con!"

"Thanks.." Deluge groans in response to Vortex, face down right now. "I try really hard."

"<< All clear down here! Regroup back at base camp, and make sure everyone's out! >>" Rodimus calls the last empty out of the tunnel, and he reaches up for Skystalker's hand to help him the rest of the way. He waits long enough to see that everyone is on board a transport, scattered into the jungle, or free in the sky before following after.

Air Raid stirs somewhat, shifting to lean back against Pipes' cabin. "Thanks mini-optimus."

The VTOL jet that is Windblade hovers in the air, buffetted by the winds of the passing titan. She waits, watching. When Chela delivers no further vengeance, then the Cityspeaker finally starts to move again. She doesn't go to rescue anyone else, though. She is dragging herself away from the mountain, back to camp. And it seems like that is all she can manage to do for now.

Hoist is right behind the big guys getting about Blast Off. Only fair since he carried the shuttlecon out of the mountain, right. "Let's go Blast Off!" Call it even now. He turns and glances back to Deluge. "... I think shit is being nice, Vortex," he half-jokes, even as he kneels down to do something about Deluge bleeding all over on their way flying the hell out of here.

Jumpstart sweeps away from Chela as the big titan rises. She darts back towards the mountain and then dives down the side. She keeps an eye on Blast Off's evacuation attempts, and seems poised to snatch up any small bot who might be left behind. Hopefully she won't be needed and can haul aft away from the exploding mountain.

Cyclonus makes final swooping passes through the inside of the mountain before he finally zips back out, satisfied that no one has been left behind. He heads back to camp, silent.

Blast Off waits (somewhat im)patiently as people make their way in, his thrusters firing to life as icy smoke billows out to join the ash and smoke and create a foggy haze. "<< Come along, hurry up, haven't got all day. >>" He's well enough to be grumpy at least. Vortex gets a tight-beam radio message, "<< ...Good. Stupid turbo turkey is annoying but I suppose even he doesn;t deserve to be spider food. And... I will be fine once we get out of here. >>" Then back to the others, "<< Alright, buckle in. We're leaving. >>" With that, Blast Off lives up to his name. It's hairy and its scary, and there's one moment there it looks like he's about to go crashing right down into the mountain... but with an extra pull of his rockets, Blast Off gets himself airborne and heads to his beloved sky.

Buzzkill moves even further away from the mountain when the smoke gets thicker. At this point she would go back to her hive and resume life as normal but considering a good chunk of their population got eaten by a giant spider and mountains are falling apart, she is starting to think normal doesn't exist anymore. Injured Eukarian in tow, she follows the Lost Lighters back to where ever it is they came from.

"You're welcome, old friend," Pipes answers in a false baritone. He comms. "<< I've got Air Raid, returning to base unless anyone else on the ground needs extraction. >>" He wanted to do some offroading; now's his chance.

Skystalker takes Rodimus by the forearm as he hauls the battered captain out last, giving him a visual sweep but not quite voicing the obvious as others might. Some of them look terrible. Still, Skystalker sticks with him and the other grounders in case they need a faster exit on wings; just in case. He can run with the rest of them-- he's got both legs.

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