2016-07-17 Whom Gods Destroy
From Transformers: Lost and Found
|Whom Gods Destroy|
|Participants||Astrotrain, Cyclonus, First Aid, Grimlock, Mirage, Moonracer, Pipes, Quicksight, Soundwave, Tailgate, Wheeljack, Windrose|
|NPCs||Coalback, Ratbat, Shadeborer, Udun|
|Summary||Attack of the Titan: now in live action.|
Dunia trembles. The Obsidian Convoy has been pretty efficient about breaking down their camp and Astrotrain's efforts to help them get out of harm's way have earned him and the rest of the Lost Light a lot of points with the locals. Rock shivers and crashes down all around them. The sound of high weight impacts pounding into the stone beneath them is growing, slowly, closer. It resounds with a slow and steady rhythm, almost like the beating of a drum.
The earthquakes and tremors are enough to shake the mightiest of robots-- even Grimlock! He staggers slightly, bending his knees to keep his footing. It'd be damn embarassing if he were to topple over at something little like two tectonic plates grinding against each other. That, and he'd probably crush somebody if he fell, and he prefers to keep his crushing intentional.
"Hn. Who's in charge here?" He growls out, standing tall amongst the chaos-- whether the question is directed at the Dunians or whatever Lost Lighters that are about remains to be seen.
This is not going to be a pleasant place to be, but Windrose is here. Because all that knocking is setting off rediculous amounts of seismic activity around it, and despite her misgivings it was probably wise to have someone with some geological knowledge on hand. At least she can stay in the air in her altmode and not have to be on the shaking, quaking ground. Yay helicopter. "<< Tectonic disruptions scanning at... >> There's a pause as the camera and sensor module beneath her cockpit nose swivels a few times. << ... Honestly at this rate the established scale for geological vibrational activity isn't going to be able to -quantify- it. >>"
Moonracer does not stand tall amongst anything -- well, maybe a cluster of mini-bots, but they're not here and she's right there. What she lacks in chassis size, she makes up for in the size of her mouth: a bright-caroled, "Not me!" catches and carries, not quite /over/ the rest of the noise, but definitely through it. //Someone// taught her to project. Her bright-faced denial is accompanied by a flash of metallic teal and grey-white as she lifts one arm over her head, /just in case/ anyone wasn't sure about who /super duper definitely/ wasn't in charge here.
"Soundwave holds the highest command position," Cyclonus says, weight shifting to try and keep steady as a quake rolls under their feet. He hasn't taken to the air yet, probably because it's cramped af in here. And someone has to make sure the minibots don't fall in.
The shaking has gotten worse since he and Brainstorm first went to the mines and felt the first tremors. It feels ominous to say that he's gotten used to it, but Wheeljack has at least acclimated to riding out the shaking without wobbling or falling over. It doesn't mean he's not worried, though. Most of his attention is on the ceiling above them, and the echoing crashes of falling rocks. "Honestly, it might be better to quantify it in terms of how long before the ceiling comes down," he calls up to Windrose where she hovers. "And the answer to that seems to be 'not long' unless we do something."
Contrary to his various suggestions before, this rumbling and quaking place is not actually because Tailgate insisted on 'helping'. He still hasn't gotten the story straight, except that it is probably, explicitly?-- one of their faults that Udunus is waking up on the wrong side of the bed. He can't seem to shake the feeling they're all getting the stinkeye as everyone scrambles to pick up camp. Tailgate has a Convoy crate in his hands when a new shift comes, and he stumbles, cradling the big box as he tries to keep his balance. A stumble to the left, a wobble to the right. Yikes! "So what do we do?"
That beat rings within Soundwave's audios. Constant, a sound above the clamor. IF he were to focus, and let the othe noise fade, he can feel it shake within his frame. Or was that just him. It sounds so much like something is coming... Or, if the superstitions and stories are to be believed, someone.
Soundwave flexes his previously injured servo as pebbles clatter onto his helm from above. Hmmm... He opens his deck, letting Ratbat inside. Letting him into safety. He stands still, as still as one can as the ground and walls and ceiling are quaking like this, and listens closely. If he could more readily pin-point the source... The light in his visor looks over to Grimlock and then Cyclonus... Yes, he does hold highest command position... His gaze slides down towards Tailgate. But he... Is unsure what to do. If the locals' stories and superstitions were to be believed... Udunus comes. He vents cycle out some of the dirt and dust the quakes are stirring up. "We must speak with him." If this was a titan. And that is a big if still. Where's Windblade, she'd know...
First Aid is going to cling to a tent pole to keep it steady while other bots work to bring up the stakes and wrap the canvas. He looks worried, naturally, visor furrowed, armor bristling. At some point hes snapped out of his fretful trance by a rock crashing nearby. "You're a cityspeaker now, sir?" he asks of Soundwave, incredulous.
Grimlock 's visor narrows at Cyclonus, and he gives an annoyed grow. A growl that gets a bit louder as Soundwave tromps up. He tne glances down at First Aid, and barks out a harsh laugh at the question. "Ha! Maybe Windblade loaned him some facepaint." Mirage is a bit of a late arrival to Dunia, but he could not turn down the opportunity for real action after the line of disasters that occured at his party. While he rarely enjoys conflict, he cannot deny that it keeps him occupied. Every moment he spends here is one less he has to spend thinking about other things. Edging towards the crowd of locals and Lost Lighters alike, he clears his vocoder to draw attention to himself. "Do we even have a good idea of what we're up against yet?" he remarks, glancing down the dark tunnels. "If you need someone to scout ahead..."
It's better than talking about what ifs and hows, forming a plan out of vague ideas and suspicions.
"I was doing great until you reminded me of that potential as well," Windrose retorts to Wheeljack with her usual mid-crisis dryness. Why was she doing this again? Probably some mumbo jumbo about it being the right and noble thing to do, but Rodimus isn't here to make such speeches so lets stick to feeling obligated due to previous involvement in one of the explorations, her skills and knowledge potentially being useful besides that.
This is probably not the best place for small mechs with barely any armour to speak of. This clearly isn't stopping Quicksight. Where he lacks in protection, the little Decepticon easily makes up in speed and agility, not to mention that his size makes for a lot less surface area to get in the way of falling rocks. So far, the scout has managed to make himself useful checking over the area, making sure nothing gets left behind.
It's the conversation nearby that makes him look up, a smirk flickering through his optics at First Aid's address of Soundwave. How does it feel now, Autobot? Grimlock, however, gets a wary scowl.
Cyclonus reaches to set a steadying hand on Tailgate's box -- which should have the additional affect of steadying Tailgate's person. "That may prove -- difficult," he says in careful reply to Soundwave.
Moonracer says, "Oh, hey, scouting!" like it isn't /exactly/ what she was originally sent off-planet (her planet) to do. It's not /quite/ an offer, just shades shy of volunteerism -- but it's there, now. Out in the open, where 'bots can hear it. You will no longer hear messages on channel <Public>. The threat of the cavein of this vaulted cavern is no joke. Stones breaking off lead to rains of dust that cloud around them all. Most of the colonists seem primarily fixated on getting the hell out of here. It is the old priest, Shadeborer, who lumbers slowly toward the others. He moves, leaning heavily on his staff as he goes.
"He comes from the deeps," he says in a low, sad voice. "He comes to punish us for squandering the energon we were to protect. The clearest path from the depths will be ... through the mines. If you wish to see our doom, that is where to look. From whence it comes."
Wheeljack is glancing between the group and Soundwave, his fins flashing in a worried pattern. "Look, if this is the Titan, and it is causing the earthquakes, then we should probably at least try to talk to it before attacking it," he says. He isn't particularly happy about defending Soundwave in this situation, but it does seem like a good idea to start with. "If this is a Titan, it's already angry enough to cause this, and riling it up more could be dangerous for us and all the other Convoys spread out through the tunnels, right?"
Tailgate wibble-wobbles and doesn't fall down. "Thanks." He adjusts his grip on the box, looking between Soundwave and the others. Surely Windblade has already gone to find out what she can do? His thoughts are pulled away by the approach of Shadeborer, who gets the most apologetic twist of a look that Tailgate can muster. "So the best way out is through the mines. What's stopping us? We should start moving!"
Windrose doesn't need people reminding her a cave-in is potential, there's enough pebbles pinging off her canopy and clattering through her rotors for that. Not that being on the ground would be any better, really. At least not right now, she's got better angles and range hovering mid-air, other than having to wibble to the side on occasion to avoid larger chunks of debris. "And if talking doesn't work? Then what?"
Mirage frowns at all the fleeing mecha, watching the colonists with a leery optics, and then turns towards the tunnel that Shadeborer gestured towards. The stones thump, thwack, crack as they hit the floor, creating an ominous crescendo like the drumbeat of an approaching army. 'Of course we would be running towards it instead of away,' he thinks to himself, but that is always the irony of his mission and choice of career. Stepping up beside Moonracer, he pulls his gaze away just long enough to offer her a commiserating nod.
"At your order, sir," he calls over the noise to Soundwave. He can't say he's not scared, but there is also a flicker of curiousity there. He wants to see the Metrotitan, having listened to recordings of their speech and recognized in it a being that saw the world as he: a world of beauty, art, and endless movement. Soundwave isn't the only vainly hoping.
Soundwave remembers his encounter with Navitas. The feeling of being within his presence... Windblade was there too. His vents hiss, the glare of burning light furrowing into Grimlock through his visor. He does not respond to the taunt. "Titan, has a mind just like us..." He says almost softly to First Aid. "Titan can be reasoned with. We can keep from further destruction to Dunia." A third titan, alive. Possibly. They could speak with it. He could be like Navitas... They cannot let this chance escape them.
"Through the mines..." Soundwave nods and turns towards the mines, heading that direction. "Mirage, Moonracer, scout ahead in the mines." They did volunteer, in a way. There's only a faint pause in his step, hearing Windrose. "No one is required to come." He is not sure what will happen if the titan doesn't- if it is a titan- listen... But he holds stubbornly that they will manage to speak with him and do so successfully.
Grimlock glances over at Windrose-- and there's another amused, wrath-filled laugh. "Heh. Then we stop it." He notes, and gives his enormous fingers a flex into minibot-sized fists. "I've never fought a Titan before." A statement of fact that just has the ... barest hint of eagerness to it.
Grimlock finds himself nodding in agreement with Tailgate, of all 'bots-- "No use wasting time. We should move." He rumbles, and then starts over in the direction Shadeborer dictated! As he descends, Grimlock spares a moment for-- "Wheeljack? Didn't you go on one of these things down in the mines? You're not the one who made the Titan mad, are you?"
<FS3> Mirage rolls Invisibility: Good Success. (8 1 2 6 4 1 8 6 6 8 1)
<FS3> Mirage rolls Transportation: Good Success. (5 8 5 8 7 3)
Professionalism does lurk /somewhere/ inside Moonracer's petite-pretty chassis, and a hint of it filters up through the too-wide shine of her eyes as Mirage acknowledges her with a nod. /Her/ grin is as lopsided as a symmetrically-assembled 'bot's face can provide, and she turns away from the mine's entrance for a moment to focus on Soundwave; the professionalism slips slightly, replaced with something not-quite awe and maybe-someday affection -- but it doesn't last. She nods, squares off her shoulders (squeak-wiggle, say her tell-tale, tattle-tale tires). She covers with a soft, "Right. /Scouting/," and throws a (nervous) bright grin back to Mirage. "Onward and ... inward."
That is what he was waiting for. The scout begins to online his cloaking tech, his frame slowly fading from view, as he gestures towards Moonracer with a digit. With only a few gestures he communicates the direction he will be taking (to avoid them scouting in the same area). "I will report back to you when I have a good grasp of the situation, sir," he responds.
And if he doesn't? Moonracer will. One of them will get out of this in time to help the others, hopefully. One last reassuring glance towards the obviously-nervous Moonracer before he disappears entirely. The scout cannot disguise the sounds of transformation, however, as he reverts to alt and swerves deeper into the tunnels.
"Sir, permission to join them" Quicksight pipes in. That team looks like it could use some Decepticon representation, and it would certianly be more interesting than hanging around here, helping people pack.
Tailgate hefts his crate to take it over to where the convoy is loading supplies up, dropping it off with them before he moves back to rejoin the other Lost Lighters. "Hopefully it's not as much of a maze as the rest of this place/" The minibot watches as Mirage cloaks over and Moonracer gets ramped up to head off and scout; stepping up alongside Soundwave, he tilts his head back to look up. "Will we be keeping up behind them?"
Whether or not it's required, Cyclonus takes a step towards the mines. He's not a scout, so he doesn't follow after Moonracer and Mirage, but it's an indication of his willingness. "I do not find our odds particularly promising," he tells Soundwave in that dry voice of his.
<FS3> Moonracer rolls Exploration!!!: Good Success. (6 5 1 3 8 8 3)
<FS3> Moonracer rolls Transportation: Good Success. (2 7 4 5 3 6 8 6 5 3 7)
The locals want to get the hell out of the way of the possible angry city-sized robot. It's a good thing the Lost Light has the finest Logistics this side of the universe! Or at least that's what Astrotrain would be thinking while he sits in his locomotive mode so the camp's stuff can be loaded inside. His only annoyance is that the tunnels are too narrow for him to fly out of here, it would be a lot quicker. Oh well. At least with his bulk the locomotive isn't too bothered by the vibrations, yet. "Com'n people, move it! If it ain't important, leave it, we ain't got time for every little knicknack paddywack!"
Moonracer doesn't have anything so fancy-schmancy as being able to /cloak/, but gosh-darn it, the little gal's got /spunk/. She's got /verve/. She's got a noseplate for trouble and the guts to follow through -- backed by Velocitronian vroomcar technology. So it's a measured step forward, a ferrous-furrowed frown, and then a faint zip-hum in the air and a bright-streaked afterimage afterburn are all she leaves behind as she /zips/ in her chosen direction. Y'know. That one that /isn't/ Mirage's.
There's an exasperated sound that could almost be a sigh coming from the helicopter's exhausts. "And if I don't come with you'll all get lost in the myrad of tunnels, if not under megatons of rock." Despite the dry sarcasm that is her method of dealing with stress Windrose is quite aware of why she is down here, sticking her struts out for this ramshackle crew. She doesn't take a lead like Mirage, Moonracer and Quicksight, but she does keep her scanners open, tracking the seismic vibrations and keeping tab on directions as they proceed.
<FS3> Windrose rolls Exploration: Great Success. (7 8 5 8 3 6 5 6 1 4 8) <FS3> Windrose rolls Geology: Success. (4 6 8 6 5 5 1 6)
"Negative. We do not engage the Titan, if it is down there, Grimlock." Soundwave is using his command voice. He wants to make it clear that attacking this titan is a big no-no. And this is where things got... Difficult for him. More specifically, his mobility. He doesn't mind walking, though."Affirmative," He tells Tailgate. They will head in and let the scouts help direct them down the best paths. If things go well... And things usually don't. He tips his helm in the direction of Cyclonus, agreeing with him. Odds not promising but... There's still that chance and they will have to take it. And onward he goes.
First Aid eventually splits off to help load up Astrotrain with an armful of folded tents. He keeps a sharp optic out for any stragglers with injuries, perched up on anything that might serve as a step bar on the locomotives frame. "<< Comm if anyone gets hurt... >>" he tells Soundwave, peering after the group.
Soundwave also completely heard Quicksight and gave him a nod to go ahead and join the other scouts. Go, go be free little blue bird.
<FS3> Quicksight rolls Transportation: Great Success. (5 8 4 4 4 6 7 4 1 7 7 6 6 4 1 8)
<FS3> Quicksight rolls Observation: Great Success. (7 2 1 7 8 1 8 2 6 1)
There are those who stay behind and help the crew get their last scrambling things aboard Astrotrain so that they can escape. Coalblack cheers with a whoop he hoists a few of the smaller bots aboard the train, working to try and keep spirits up in the wake of disaster.
The tunnels open out before them. The first passageway that led to the mines themselves has already caved in, but with multiple scouts and explorers working on the problem, Windrose is actually able to find a shorter, straighter run through the rock that will take them to the broad open caverns where the mining structures tremble at the impacts from beneath. It's not immediately clear what is coming up from below, but as Moonracer and Mirage and Quicksight come out into the breadth of the open cave, they can see the flicker of bright flame against something gleaming darkly metal from far, far beneath.
"Sure. Because you're going to 'talk' to it." Grimlock rumbles-- lacking wheels of his own, he remains in the rear group ... all the better to keep an eye on the treacherous Soundwave. "Think the Titan will like someone poking around in his brain like Drift did?" He says. "Titan's bigger. Bigger brain. Will that make it easier?" Hey, SOMEONE'S got to be the voice of reason, right?
<FS3> Moonracer rolls Exploration!!!: Success. (2 3 5 5 6 2 8)
<FS3> Moonracer rolls Nosy Newsie: Failure. (1 1 2 3 3 4 6)
In response to the whooping from Coalback, Astrotrain blasts his whistle, which has a weird echo within the caverns. But it gets the point across. Don't let your hopes down folks, we're getting out of here.
Though Grimlock sometimes likes to be a little too logical when it comes to Cons-- he has a point. "It'd be good to know what you're planning, in any case. I think trying anything like what Grim said is-- probably a bad idea." As they make their way into the mines after their trio of scouts, Tailgate keeps up beside Soundwave rather than in the midst of the others.
"Aha!" With the erukea moment some of Windrose's pep returns, as she transforms and lands next to Soundwave. "Commander." Mind you she's just keeping it professional since it was established Soundwave was in charge. "I've found the most efficient route through this section." She flickers open a holographic display with a quickly yet expertly constrewed map on it for the others to see. She'll make sure the groundpounders can find their way through while the scouts are scouting ahead.
"If precedent is any indication, we can attempt contact, but productive conversation seems unlikely," Cyclonus says, gaze flitting between the group. "We should be prepared for the possibility of conflict."
Having recieved the go-ahead, Quicksight launches after the other scouts. Even in the middle of a cave that's crumbling around him, he makes no hesitation to use his own altmode. Small and agile, the drone easily manueveurs through the passage, an out in to the more open cave. Where the groundpounders might be restricted by the gap, Quicksight's wings give him the ability zip over it "<< There's definitely something down there. Pretty sure I can get closer to get a better look. >>" It might be a smidge hard to tell whether he's asking for permission, or stating his intent. Maybe both?
<FS3> Moonracer rolls Perfectpratfall: Good Success. (5 4 1 8 2 6 8 4)
Don't blow your whistle, Astrotrain. As if your voice wasn't enough... At least the triple-changer was going away and they were going... Towards that heavy, constant beat. In the mines, the sound echoes and nearly makes Soundwave's audios vibrate. He can feel a headache coming on. But he clenches his jaw and keeps moving, ignoring what he can. Why did Grimlock have to linger around him. Like an annoying rust spot. "We will speak to the titan... And if that fails... Then I will attempt a different route of conferring with Udunus. We will not attack the titan." He says this firmly, clearly. No one is to attack him. The thoughts and recollections of Navitas swirl in his processor. It could be like that again. And he will not let them pre-emptively harm a titan like before.
Soundwave stops to look at the display as Windrose drops down. "Windrose, lead the way," he tells her before moving forward again. And there's Quicksight over comms. "<<Get a closer look but do not risk your safety.>>" A lot could go wrong in these tunnels. And as much as he hopes they can speak and reason with a titan minus one cityspeaker, the safety of the crew is a step above.
While the tremors continue, Mirage sees nothing to explain them as he blazes through the tunnel. His attention is used up trying to avoid getting crushed, having to dodge and weave seamlessly around chunks off falling rock. From time to time he even has to rapidly shift from alt to root mode (and back) in order to leap over obstables in his path. It would have quite the sight if anyone could see him. Even the sound of his roaring engine is drowned out by the noise of geographic disturbances.
When he finally emerges, it is into a wide open room used for... what? He cannot say as he is no miner. As he looks at the equipment rattling around him, though, like frightened mecha shivering in their armor, he is impressed by what these colonists have built. Far across the room he sees something small moving about, but at this distance it is impossible to recognize Quicksight. His first instinct is that one of the natives have been left behind.
It's not his mission, and he doubts it is the source of the disturbance, but he finds his path diverging just to get a better look at the flash of movement. However, as he approaches the edge of the pit, he is distracted by the flash of blue flame below. "... Oh no," he mutters. "That can't be good."
Flames climbing up out of the ground rarely are.
Even out of her altmode, Moonpie sticks her turns and only scrapes the paint a little; she's not afraid to get a little roughed up in pursuit of information, after all. Without incident, she makes it across the clearing ahead of the rest of the scout-team; she proceeds to go /precariously/ farther than good sense would dictate, and leans out, out, out -- gal's got gumption, that's for sure. But -- curses, even those moon-pie eyes aren't much help when new-fangled data is on the line; she says, out loud, "I have /no/ idea what that is," and leans /just/ a little bit faaarther to try to maaaake oooout something more about the gleam of metal -- then takes a quick-scoot step back. Or, well. Tries. What she /actually/ does, see, is /yip/, high and undignified, and wrench her balance so all her weight is balanced on one foot and kept there by the frantic windmill-blur of her arms. She's--! She's--! She's--! crashing back down on both feet, loud-solid and /away/ from the edge, /grinning/ fit to burst -- all bing-bang-bong baaada-bing! with a little meant-to-do-that finger-gun salute. "I," the pause is dramatic -- or maybe she actually was a little spooked by the near-miss, "/still/ have no idea."
First Aid nearly falls off his perch on the side of the engine when the painfully loud whistle blasts. But hey it boosted morale! "Looking like its mostly wrapped up here," he says, vents choked from the swirling dust as he wipes the grit from his visor.
"'Different route.'" Grimlock deadpans. "You mean where you hack into someone's mind and try to make them into your drone? I don't think this one's gonna fit in your chest compartment, Soundwave." Any further taunting goes by the wayside, however, as Grimlock hears Moonracer's cry of dismay, however distorted through the tunnels, in the distance. "That doesn't sound good." He grunts-- and then looks at Soundwave. "You getting a radio signal from the scouts? Might help to see if they're dead or not."
That's all the encouragment Quicksight needs. Hesitating only lng enough to properly position himself, the scout swoops down in to the pit. If he had a face in this mode, he'd be practically grinning. Some might say that flying in to a hole, right at potential danger is a bad idea. Quicksight preffers the terms 'fun' and 'totally possible for him'.
Quicksight's swooping dive enables him to dip into the breadth of the shaft, sailing down into the dark of the pit. The flames below flicker and dance, and what it's hard to say, really, is scale. The earthquakes come with the rhythm of his progress as he climbs from below. Wings the size of city streets crush through the rock around him. The glowing crown of heat that blazes around his head seems to resemble a circlet of glowing molten metal, its heat white-red ablaze as he climbs. He grows larger as he grows closer, and it seems that he is truly enormous.
Udunus is rising from the deep. He'll be here soon.
Professional composure, Windrose, professional composure. That thought it all that keeps the femme from getting giddy when Soundwave instructs her to lead the way down the path she's found. "Right this way!" There is an obvious perkiness in her stride that she just can't keep contained as she directs the group down the tunnel to catch up to the scouts at the massive pit.
A pit that even she has to take pause at. "... Even I can't scan the bottom of this chasm. -Something- is down there though." Thank you Miss Obvious.
Pipes was torn as to what to do when the tremors started and things started going to pot. Head down into the tunnels to find the source of the problem? Or stay with the convoy and help them pack up and get out? In the end, his caring for their hosts won out, and so now he is doing his best to get them clear. Need somethng hauled? Pried up? Carried (within reason)? Pipes is your bot. He treats the falling rock from the cavern ceilings as just a bonus challenge to his work.
<FS3> Quicksight rolls Courage: Good Success. (3 8 8 3 6 1 2 8 1 2 1)
Cyclonus turns his gaze -- not quite, but in the direction of a glare -- on Grimlock. He studies the Dinobot for a long moment before turning his attention back towards the path ahead of them. That is: the path that Windrose found them. [BigScene] Windrose heehs at Pipes. 'just a bonus challenge' Soundwave elects to ignore Grimlock at this point. Playing into taunts is just a way to keep the Dinobot going. Besides, Grimlock's idea of what his outlier ability is, leaves much to be desired. Seem someone puts too much heed on rumors and scary campfire stories. "All scouts, alive and accounted for," he says evenly. His steps quicken after Windrose, each stride becoming faster than the last. He's speed walking, this is how he gets around with composure.
And then finally... The pit. Soundwave looks down, engaging his sensors but, mostly... Listening. For a sparkbeat, for the quick crackle of a brain synapsis, for anything and everything. The fire below reflects back in the crimson of his visor, matching his intense and searching gaze. He stays silent for now.
"Hold onto something tight." You're right, Astrotrain's voice is more than enough. The whistle is just extra fun. "This is gonna be a bumpy ride." But the train is on the move once everything is loaded up, packed in or strapped down. As much as he likes a fight, he really does not want to be around when one starts with a Titan, so the triplechanger isn't wasting a moment in getting moving through the tunnels to get back to the surface. That is huge. That would be huge even if Quicksight wasn't so small. He's been near a titian before, back on Eukaris, and it was one of the awesomest experiences of his life. He's never been near a titan that was coming straight at him before, hwoever. Common sense would probably dictate that this would be a very good time to turn tail and get out of here.
Quicksight might be a bit lacking in that department. In fact, he's developing an urge to go even lower, take a really close look. But Soundwave said no, and as far as he's concerned, Soundwave's word is law. He doesn't imediately go straight back up again, however, hesitating long enough to snap a picture, radioing back as he goes "<< Definitely looks like a titan to me. This thing's HUGE! >>"
Grimlock stomps after the others, picking up his pace-- the irate semi-glare from Cyclonus just slides off Grimlock like so much low-powered blaster rounds. He skids to a halt near the edge, however, and peers down at the rising Titan. "Hmn." He grunts, moving to pull out his Galaxial Rocket Launcher-- a matter of reflex. "Better start talking, Decepticon." He rumbles. At least he's not shooting at the thing. Yet.
The sounds sent back by the scouts are unsettling, at best. Tailgate becomes increasingly worried the further that they go. When they reach the pit, Tailgate can feel his spark drop in his chest, and large blue optics flash behind his visor when he inches closer beside Soundwave in order to look down.
"Whoa." The minibot only lingers there on the edge long enough to get a glimpse of what lies far below, stepping back once he realizes what it must mean. It's not good. That thing is big.
Moonracer, brow contemplatively furrowed, picks up a rock; the motion is smooth and she is fast, so the pause between scoop-up and lob-down is nigh imperceptible. Oh, yeah -- probably should have mentioned that. She /flings/ the rock down into the pit, and leans in to listen to it fall. Hit the gro-- Quicksight's radio transmission jerks her back away from it again, but she's shouting-down a, "SORRY ABOUT THE ROCK!" as she step-turns -- right into the realization that unless luck's on her side, Soundwave /totally saw that/. Ulp. Definitely heard that, anyway. Might as well 'fess up to, "I might, /might/," she's no good at subterfuge -- that might's most definitely a /most definitely/, "have thrown a rock at the, uh," she glances back at the shaft again, takes a long and nowhere near subtle step /away/ (step toward), "most-likely-a-titan."
The tunnel ahead of them will open out into the broader scope of the mining cavern and its trembling structures. There are only a handful of the colonists left, but they're quick to accept aid from those that will offer it. Like Astrotrain, Pipes finds his efforts glowingly rewarded with gratitude from the surviving Dunians. Only Shadeborer, with the weight of millenia bearing down the slump of his shoulders, stands forlornly watching their guests drive off down the tunnel toward his angry god, and finally, his staff angling hard into the stone beneath him, folds himself down to his knees.
What Soundwave can detect, rising out of the deep, is an overwhelming amount of noise. The titanic processor of Udunus is firing with so much signal that it's almost impossible to sort the wheat from the chaff enough to determine meaning. What does seem very clear, though, resounding and echoing through hundreds of the individual signals that scream from the Titan's central core, is rage. Betrayal. Loss.
The Titan climbs. His great wings slice through stone in a hard beat, sending another shaking quake through the cavern and vibrating their frames where they stand near the edge of his pit. The sweep of his great wing, as he draws closer, very nearly knocks into Quicksight as he surges out of the depths. His roar is deafening loud enough to shake the mountain.
Windrose takes a few steps back from the edge. Instead of looking down she looks up, angling up the modules over her shoulders to do the same. They're already a good ways underground, she's trying to make a quick estimate at where the Titan would go if he kept climbing upward through the ground. Because there's still people in the tunnels up the--
The sudden roar shaking the entire mountain snaps her out of the attempt to focus, the femme staggering back another step as the sound rattles through her chassis. "Oh what the blazes have we gotten ourselves into...
OK, right choice, right choice, Pipes thinks as his efforts are met with many a thanks. As the work peters out, Pipes notices Shadeborer. Is he ... tired? Praying? ... Giving up? He jogs over to him, and takes a quick glance at that staff. "Sir, we've all got to get moving soon. Are you all right? Do you need help getting out of here?" He looks up a little nervously, watching for any large stones to come loose.
When Quicksight gives his report over the comm line, Mirage quickly puts the pieces of the puzzle together. That thing moving across the room was one of the other scouts. Stumbling back from the edge of the pit, he refocuses his attention. Quicksight will identify the enemy. In the meantime? He will make himself useful. ::Scouring the perimeter. I'll look for any alternative methods of escape should we need them,:: he calls back to let everyone know.
After he has only taken a few steps from the pit, though, the massive titan makes his appearance known. The ground rumbles under Mirage's feet and, reluctantly, he looks back. There it is: a living legend and myth before his optics. As beautiful as he had dreamed? Yes, but much more terrifying, too. It is such an overwhelming sight, he looses focus and his cloaking flickers off. Those escape routes? They were going to need them.
Cyclonus slowly reaches for the Great Sword at his back, but his gaze consistently flicks between Grimlock and the titan below, like perhaps it's not just the danger below that concerns him. And then the titan rises, and he takes a step back. Give it room.
Moonracer probably /doesn't/ say, "Can we /shoot/ it?" out loud -- probably. It's a bit of a toss-up. Sure does /think/ it real damn hard, though, over-awed and so, so, so, so, /so/ hella out of her league. Whooo-ee, boy is she ever. Good thing she's real damn cute and can fake it /real damn well/. "What's," man, when 'bot voices crack, they sure don't do it elegant - kind of a screech-grind that tries to make it through the end of the word, gets caught up too damn fast. Moonracker clears her vocoder, sharp and just as unpleasant, then raises her voice /enough/ that, "What's the /plan/?" is /definitely meant to be heard, and (a shade desperate-heartsick) by /someone in charge of this mess/. /Someone/ have a plan, she's plumb out.
"Be ready to run for our sparks?" Windrose replies to Moonracer, her 'dealing with stress sacrasm' having returned to her voice.
Soundwave ignores Moonracer... You know what, 'ignore' is harsh. Its more like Soundwave is overwhelmed. His joints all physically lock up with quick series of clicks. He tries to... Find something to grasp. To focus on. But there's so much. So quick. Too much, too quick. But he can feel rage building, immeasurable rage- his rage? Not his but so strong. So strong... His vents stutter and take in dusty air- his t-cog does not appreciate this- and then hisses back out harshly. Focus. The quest. The crew. The titan...
The light in Soundwave's visor ignites again, joints unlocking and shoulders straightening. Right, speak with the titan. He hesitates before his speakers online so he could be heard, stepping away from the edge as well. "Udunus." He was not expecting this from the titan... But he came here, he must try... "Udunus, why are you angry." So angry.
Quicksight banks sharply to avoid a colision with the enraged colossus. The titan probably wouldn't even notice if that happened, would he? Quicksight, on the other, would notice it quite well, up to the point he's smashed in to unrecognisable scrap metal against some wall. He'd much rather avoid that. This doesn't seem to be enough to make him get out of the air however. He does put a little extra distance to avoid another close call, but he remains airborne, circling near the emerging titan.
Light flickers and splays over Grimlock's armored hide as the hellish titan rises from the depths. And so, Grimlock takes in the situation with a honed sense of threat awareness ... the Titan's one thing, but the Decepticons are closer.
"The -plan- is Soundwave talks to it." Grimlock says to Moonracer. "And for when that fails, I'm working on a backup." He takes another step from the edge, and then scans the chasm, taking in the terrain, the equipment, and even the ragtag bunch of 'bots on this mad mission. He can work with this. "Were any of you miners before the war?" He asks nobody in particular.
<FS3> Grimlock rolls Tactics: Success. (6 4 5 4 8 3)
Tailgate is more than happy to give the rising titan all of the room he needs, stepping back even further. Miner? Heck no. "Collapsing entire sections of geography isn't really mining. Sorry, Grim." It's a long No. He does take his slingshot from his subspace, but only so that the grip in his hand gives him something familiar he can cling to. "What are you thinking?" He's hoping that Soundwave has some sort of success first, but...
Windrose turns her gaze from analyzing the rock walls to look the way up at Grimlock. "No. But I know my fair share about geology and terrestrial analysis." That's kind of a strange question from the Dinobot, but then again, they are standing in middle of a mine.
"The god is coming," Shadeborer says in a low, raspy voice. His hand coils in a tight grip around the staff. He bows his head. Udunus does not answer in any way that can really be understood. Towering and wreathed in flame around the crown of his head, he breaks free of the mine shaft in a great thrusting push of his massive wings, his enormous boot coming down hard against the ground near the edge. Structure and scaffold tear free of the walls in a shattering rain of screaming metal and broken rebar. Dust and rock shower the floor as the Titan raises one enormous fist with the flaming tongue of something long uncoiling it from it. He lashes out with it and rips the elevator platform free of its moorings, sending it crashing to the ground.
<FS3> Grimlock rolls Reaction+reaction: Success. (6 2 4 8)
<FS3> Mirage rolls Reaction+reaction: Good Success. (6 7 3 7 4 5 6 3)
<FS3> Moonracer rolls Reaction+reaction: Success. (3 3 6 8 4 3 6 6)
<FS3> Cyclonus rolls Reaction+Reaction: Good Success. (2 8 6 8)
<FS3> Quicksight rolls Transportation: Good Success. (6 5 1 7 3 5 4 4 1 2 7 6 1 4 4 3)
<FS3> Soundwave rolls Reaction+Reaction: Success. (5 8 4 6 1 3)
<FS3> Windrose rolls Reaction+reaction: Success. (4 6 8 4 3 5)
Mirage is moving towards the perimeter, intent upon his new task, when he hears Soundwave's voice echoing through the cavern behind them. While he had been all for talking with the titan at first, once he hears the Decepticon's words his spark twists. 'What the slag is he doing?' he asks himself. What will asking why it is angry do? Nothing, he knows. All he had heard of the titan's speech, they were creatures of impressions and emotions. Such direct statements seemed at odd with such an expansive, endless creature.
There is no real time to linger on it, though, as the explosion of the mining platform sends shards of shrapnel tearing across the scene. The scout's optics widen and instinct kicks into gear. He darts away from the raining debris and away from the fight.
"What is /he/ thinking?" Cyclonus snaps, looking at the titan, because that one is probably more important than Soundwave's thoughts. He leaps back with a stumble when the titan comes screeching out and ripping the elevator, but manages to avoid serious injury. "What is he thinking, Soundwave?!" he yells a bit more /pointedly/.
So it's praying, then. Probably. Normally, Pipes would be very respectful of such practices, but in the current situation, he can't afford the luxury. "I am sure he is very pleased with your ... reverence, but if you want to keep doing that, maybe you can do it somewhere safer?" Pipes is half-inclined to firebot-carry this guy away; it's clear that the convoy respects him, and he doesn't want him to needlessly die in some cave-in. He looks between Shadeborer and the rest of the convoy finishing up their evac.
"<< Just grab the old coot, he can worship whatever ground is left of the Titan walking on it later! >>" By the radio Astrotrain shares Pipes' sentiment. That and he is already on his way and has no intention of stopping and coming back to play mecha-geezer babysitter.
Windrose ughs and twists sideways to avoid chunks of struts and elevator clattering back down the cavern as Udunus continues to throw his temper tantrum. "Clearly someone got up on the wrong side of the planet this morning," she mutters flatly. This is looking less and less like talking is going to work. She's not really favoring a fight, but all the same extends her arm-tool into place. Though instead of the usual blade the two prongs lock partially open, and what looks to be a faint energy source of some kind charging in the joint. "If you have a plan B, big guy," she asides to Grimlock, "Now would be a great time to hear it....
"Udunus is pleased with nothing. We have failed him. I have failed him." Shadeborer grips his staff and looks up at Pipes -- well, actually, they're probably close to on the level at this point -- with a slow cycling sigh running through his systems.
"Good plan," Moonracer says, "/great/ plan, that is a /fantastic/ plan, I approve of such foresight," and except for the slightly-giddy note in her voice from repressed-panic bleed-off, she sounds achingly, utterly sincere. Giant Ancient Angry Robot Man may be joints-oilingly /terrifying/, she may be ducking all but a few chassis-denting fragments of door, but -- well. The war with its /sides/ and its inborn and fine-tuned distrust and paranoia of one for the other (and vice-versa, just as intense) happened a long, /long/ way away from her. So, braced and ready to bolt though she /definitely is/, it's /faith/ that's in her eyes as she watches the Decepticon, and -- hopes? "Come on," whisper-grinds, and she winces and shakes her head before repeating it again, "come onnnnnnn, get through to hiiiiimmmmmmm." It's loud enough to be heard, sure, but hopefulling quiet enough that it won't. You know. Prove to be a distraction at the exact wrong and-then-they-all-die moment.
Grimlock raises a hand to ward off the raining metal shards-- not so much 'dodging' as batting them out of the air before they can do much damage. As Windrose speaks up, Grimlock nods. "On my command, get in close, and hit the Titan with everything you've got! Aim for the weak points-- the eyes, the joints between the armor!" Grimlock arms his Galaxial rocket launcher with an ominous *KA-CHUNK!* Though to his credit, he doesn't start firing. Yet. "You! Geologist!" He says to the chopper-femme. "How stable is the rock at the bottom of this hole? Any way we can drop the floor out beneath him?"
<FS3> Grimlock rolls Command: Good Success. (1 8 7 7 2 4 2 1)
Soundwave takes several steps back, lifting his arm to shield his chassis and the precious cargo it holds. His vents heave with intense effort as he stands his ground. Cyclonus's question barely gets his attention... And even then, its quickly wisked away by the titan. Everyone speaking with all this excess sound. Hrrgh... "Silence!" He shouts at no one in particular. It comes out angry, he does not mean it angry. There's so much rage, chaffing at his being, mixing in his mind. He amps up the power to his speakers.
"Udunus!" Soundwave cries, watching the titan, almost desperate. Talk to him. Please. "I heed you, I feel your anger but do not understand- why are you doing this? Why are you angry? Let us help you." Help him with other problems, obviously not help him destroy Dunia. Obviously.
<FS3> Mirage rolls Invisibility: Good Success. (3 4 8 3 6 7 3 1 6 2 8)
<FS3> Mirage rolls Body+body: Failure. (6 5 3 5)
<FS3> Pipes rolls Optimism: Failure. (6 1 3 1 1 2 4 1 2 6 6 3)
<FS3> Moonracer rolls Effervescence: Success. (1 2 4 3 5 3 8 2)
<FS3> Pipes rolls Body+Body: Success. (2 8 3 2 5 6)
<FS3> Mirage rolls Reaction+reaction: Success. (1 6 4 2 8 1 1 5)
<FS3> Quicksight rolls Observation: Good Success. (5 4 4 6 1 8 4 8 5 6)
Windrose is about to start an objection when it sounds like Grimlock's great 'plan' is just going to be to fight, but then he actually comes around to addressing her. "... Oh. Oh, that's a -great- idea." No, that's not sarcasm. That really is a good idea. "If nothing else knocking him back down the pit would buy more time..." She muses a bit, then darts off to the side. "I'll find out!"
This is insane. I'm insane for even thinking of doing this. Especially around a pissed off Titan! Despite such thoughts to herself Windrose transforms, trying to get just high enough she can get a clear scan around the Titan's feet. Hopefully nothing will fly at her right away...
Although Astrotrain's prodding may have had something to do with it, it's mostly the urgency of the current situation and the intransigence of Shadeborer that tilt his mood over. "Fine, whatever, but I'm going to make sure that you live to fail him another day." That didn't come out right but he in fact doesn't care at the moment. He crouches and lunges low on Shadeborer, in an effort to pick him up and physically carry the old fool to safety. Yeah, you heard me, fool. Sittin' and prayin' in an avalanche. Seriously.
<FS3> Windrose rolls Surveying: Success. (4 4 1 2 7 2 4 6)
<FS3> Windrose rolls Geology: Failure. (2 5 6 6 6 5 2 2)
The Titan stands, the long whip hissing along the ground like a long, narrow snake. The great wings stretch from his back. Flame wreaths his head, seems to escape his nostrils and past his teeth. He slams one fist into the roof of the cavern and stands there for a moment almost as though his knuckles hold up the mountain above him. It's not clear whether he processes the question, whether he truly understands what is being put to him, but the fractious sputter of his thoughts must answer it, in shreds of raw feeling overwhelming to process. Loss. Bleak stars. Emptiness. An endless, sparkache well of being left behind. Its tang is all too familiar as Soundwave is rocked with it, a screaming sense of absence that ripples along his senses like crashing waves. Loss leading to -- Betrayal. Thousands of bots, running over and through him. Using what they promised to protect. Spending what they promised to preserve. Squandering it.
The thought leads Udunus to turn and lash out with one massive kick, smashing and destroying the entrance to the tunnel with the mining card and sending a piece of track flying wildly loose through the air toward the ground.
<FS3> Opposed Roll -- Pipes=unarmed+body Vs Shadeborer=7 < Pipes: Good Success (1 7 8 7 6 5 4 6 4) Shadeborer: Failure (5 4 4 2 3 5 2) < Net Result: Pipes wins - Solid Victory
Pipes really has remarkably little difficulty manhandling the despairing old priest. It's a little sad and pathetic, but he can still do it.
Titans are always big. But this guy is big and on fire. Tailgate can't help but stare up as Udunus tears parts of the mines free from one another, debris flinging as he flaps and stomps and lashes. This is the most emotional he's ever seen Soundwave-- and Tailgate has the feeling it's to no good end. This guy isn't listening, is he? "Soundwave..." He murmurs, gripping his slingshot tightly in his fingers. Grimlock has the right idea. "If we can't talk to or fight this guy but we can push him back down-- We can get out!"
Quicksight weaves and dives, doing his best to avoid the shrappnel raining down uppon him and the others. This is actually kind of fun! He understands the gravity of th situation, but this sort of test of his skills has always been a part of combat for him, his armour offering him little actual protection against serious opponents.
For all the choas, he still doesn't forget to keep an eye on the situation. He can't exactly turn to look at anyone in this mode, but he does steer closer to Grimlock "Ey Dinobrain! You ain't in charge here, remember!" there's a certain amount of satisfaction in his voice.
When that 'Silence' cuts through the cavernous space, Mirage feels his spark drop. Those words echo with fury. It's wrong. So wrong. Even though he is no cityspeaker, he knows it will not understand their words. To make it understand, it will have to be all tone and emotion. Soundwave just made a huge mistake. ::Someone, I need help scouting the exits,:: he calls over the radio, hoping someone will pick up his slack.
That done, he pauses for a fleeting moment. Is he going to do this? Yes, he is going to do it. It is not the first time he's tried to save someone who might be an enemy and it won't be the last. Not wanting to hint what he is doing, the scout onlines his invisibility and immediately changes course back towards the titan. Once he is within range, he takes a flying leap and tries to grasp the creature's twisting armor to climb and find... something? An access panel? He doesn't know, but that is beside the point. The titan twists in just the right way to avoid the scout and he has to flail to catch himself on whatever is near. A bit of the titan's armor, but far from where he wants to be. He is not sure he can make the climb...
Cyclonus tears through the falling rubble to catch at Soundwave's shoulder with his hand. "He won't listen," he tells him. "You'll get us all killed. We have to stop him."+
<FS3> Mirage rolls Presence+presence: Success. (6 1 1 8)
As gratifying it would be to blast Quicksight out of the air, Grimlock has better things to worry about. "Not like your precious leader is doing any better!" He says-- and as the Titan roars out his rage and starts smashing more machinery, Grimlock has had enough. "Now, FIRE!" He bellows out-- and Grimlock does just that! He sights in on Udnus' left optic, and lets fly with a single, potent rocket-- *FWOOOOSH!* How effective it is against a Titan ... may be up for debate. "Blind him! It'll be the best way to slow him down!"
Moonracer is answering Mirage with an, "On it," but whatever might have followed the confirmation -- it was probably on the dork-ass end of cheeky, anyway -- is swallowed by an, "Oh, /Primus/," of shock -- and not a little bit of admiration. Got some abject horror mixed in there, too, but the balance keeps tipping back over to, "Okay. Okay. We--," there's that break again, she has /got/ to get that /looked/ at, "'ve got this." It's hard to tell if she genuinely believes it, or is just trying hype herself up enough that she's willing to break away from the clenched knot of titan-wrangling crewmates and go -- "I'm scouting for exits," crackles to life over whoever's comms still pick up what she's putting down, and then she zip-blurs into (slightly desperate) action again. For Soundwave's effort. For Grimlock's. For scout-shit insane Mirage's, so help her, she's /finding a damn way out/.
"Damn it!" Windrose has to veer to the side sharply to avoid the latest projectiles of the Titan's tantrum. But right now she is certainly thanking Primus that she's a helicopter and not one of those jets that have to keep moving in straight lines and wide curves. No offense to the jetformers present. "<< I can't get a complete scan with all the debris flying around! >> " she radios back to the others. "<< But his stomping and smashing about is going to weaken the infrastructure anyways. If you can knock enough below and behind him loose to collapse, his own weight will do the rest. >>"
<FS3> Moonracer rolls Exploration!!!: Good Success. (4 1 6 7 5 7 4)
Pipes finds one of the last lingering set of locals and dumps Shadeborer before them. "Please, please, take him and save him. You'll probably have to carry him so he can keep praying, but if I can carry him, you all can." Already upset at coming across so grumpy, he converts to his alt mode and heads down the tunnel in the direction that most of the others went. He doesn't know the way beyond that, but he figures if he just heads towards noise - and follows the tracks that the ground vehicles left - he'll figure it out.
The plated armor of the ancient Titan glows with heat under Mirage's touch. It is oppressively hot to explore through these plates but luck and courage are on Mirage's side. As Udunus lifts his whip for another crack at the mining structures, he reveals the avenue of an access panel that Mirage can work his way inside the labyrinthine halls inside him. The city inside him is lit with living fire, orange and white and red patterns of force written all through him like dozens of cracks. It's not a stable city by any means, because the Titan is in motion.
Aside from the way they came, there is another passageway past the pit and the thrashing god. It leads the way into the old energon processing center and, beyond, out into the cave system that Brainstorm and Wheeljack and Coalblack used to escape the other day.
Pipes is able to locate the others fairly quickly because the tunnel Windrose found earlier is actually pretty much a straight shot through the dark and the stones. It may take him a round or so to actually get there, but he's on the right track. The first burst of Grimlock's flaming missile flowers beautifully around the Titan's face. His crown flares up like a ring of fire and he lets out with another bellow loud and strong enough that in itself it is enough to cause the mountain around them to shake. More stones shatter and fall from the roof. An ancient stalactite breaks and sails down to shatter on the cave floor underfoot.
Cyclonus looks at Soundwave for a long moment. He says nothing, indicates nothing, just studies the other bot's face. And then he says: "No." He draws his Great Sword and turns away from Soundwave and towards the titan. Yeah, he's going to get in trouble for this one.
The titan's metal burns beneath him, a fury older and more intense than Mirage can imagine. The scout can feel his paint cracking, peeling from the heat. Once again, he wonders what he is doing. His mind, so small, cannot compare with this mecha's: a drop in an ocean. But can he stand by and let a legend who has seen unimaginable ages die? There are so many stories beneath him, and it goes against all his instincts to let them fade away. Gritting his dentals against the pain, Mirage looks around and spots what he is looking for. Up above, on the mecha's twisting armor, he spots an access panel.
Against the movement and jolts, the scout begins the laborious process of climbing. It takes so much focus that his cloaking fades off halfway though, making it possible for those below to possibly catch a glimpse of white armor crawling along the titan's frame before he finally manages to find the access panel
Exhausted, but triumphant, Mirage moves to pry it off and slip inside. Now, if he can just find the heart of this whole matter... If he can just reach the mecha's spark, maybe he can be heard. Or if not? He hates to think of it, but do what needs done.
<FS3> Mirage rolls Stealth: Success. (2 2 2 2 1 5 5 1 2 4 3 7)
Pipes zips through the tunnels as quickly as his truckness will allow, thankful that he had his headlights brightened the other day. The tracks are fresh and easy to spot, the path rather straight. It's pretty constant rumbling, which he somehow gets accustomed to, along with dodging mini avalanches (which, to him, are of course just avalanches), but there's one big momma that sends him slipping and sliding. He recovers, and keeps on ... truckin'.
Grimlock stares up at the bellowing titan, the sound of it enough to rattle even HIS armor. Though, to judge by the casual way Grimlock pulls out another rocket and jams it into the barrel of his launcher, the Dinobot is right at home in the hellish chaos. He spares a glance over at Cyclonus as the purple mech draws his blade, and nods approvingly-- had he a mouth in this mode, he'd probably be smiling. "'bout time." Is all he has to say on the matter. This done, Grimlock spares a moment to consult his radio.
"<<Geologist! Anything down there we can use? Fuel dumps? Lava flows? Machinery? Or ... wait, there's not a coolant line down there, is there?>>"
It's almost as an afterthought that Grimlock fires off his second rocket-- Grimlock may be a brute, but damn if he isn't good at his job.
Tailgate sees and hears the exchange between Soundwave and Cyclonus past the sounds of the titan and the falling rocks caused by the reaction from Grimlock's shot at its face. Keeping his arm up to block falling dust, he watches as Cyclonus says No, too. Scrap. "Use one of your cassettes!" Tailgate has all the good ideas, right? "They can take you up in alt, right?!" BOOM. A rock narrowly misses the little guy and he moves out of the way of more clattering down. "Careful, Grim!"
Quicksight lets out a low, irritated hiss when Grimlock goes ahead anyways. Autobots! Oh, they're fine forcing the Decepticons to obey their officers, but when a Decepticon joins the chain of command, insuboridnation is suddenly okay, huh? At least he knows how to be a propper soldier, even is he is always happy for a fight, which is why Soundeave will recieve a com from him "<< Sir, your orders? >>"
"<< Dammit Grimlock, I'm a Geologist, not an Engineer! >>", Windrose snaps back, barely keeping a retort of how she actually has a name suppressed as well. That's not important right now. "<< There's too much junk being thrown about, my scanners are bouncing off random chaos before I can get any fixed points. >>" Pause. "<< .... I'd have to get closer. >>" Dear Primus don't say to get closer.
Anger flares within Soundwave from the insubordination. Cyclonus!! Fine... Another flyer... So Windrose or Quicksi- He looks down at Tailgate... And nods. Of course. "I will be back. Keep them in line." He hesitates before ejecting Ratbat. He'll get to Udunus's head one way or another. He can reach the titan yet.
<FS3> Mirage rolls Presence+presence: Failure. (6 2 2 6)
<FS3> Mirage rolls Reaction+reaction: Success. (6 7 5 1 4 1 3 2)
<COMBAT> Titan's Fist passes. <COMBAT> Titan's Whip passes.
<COMBAT> Titan's Crown passes.
<COMBAT> Soundwave passes.
<COMBAT> Quicksight passes.
<COMBAT> Cyclonus passes.
<COMBAT> Grimlock uses a Missile!
<COMBAT> EXPLOSION! Right Next To Titan's Crown - Critical wound to Left Hand.
<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Titan's Crown - Critical wound to Abdomen.
<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Titan's Crown - Light wound to Left Leg.
<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Titan's Crown - Critical wound to Head (Reduced by Armor).
<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Titan's Crown - Moderate wound to Head (Reduced by Armor).
<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Titan's Crown - Serious wound to Chest (Reduced by Armor).
<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Titan's Crown - Critical wound to Abdomen (Reduced by Armor).
<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Titan's Crown - Serious wound to Left Arm.
<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Titan's Crown - Critical wound to Left Hand.
<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Titan's Crown - Moderate wound to Chest (Reduced by Armor).
<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Titan's Crown - Serious wound to Left Arm.
<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Titan's Crown - Critical wound to Right Foot.
<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Titan's Crown - Critical wound to Left Foot.
<COMBAT> SHRAPNEL! Titan's Crown - Serious wound to Chest (Reduced by Armor).
<COMBAT> Windrose passes.
<COMBAT> Titan's Crown has been **KO'd**!
Finally, after one of the more harrowing drives in his memory, Pipes arrives at the vast chamber where his crew ended up and ... He skids to a halt and reverts to root mode, looking up, and up, and up. After a moment trying to figure out what's going on, he shouts, "Is that the titan? Are you fighting it? Seriously?" Despite his incredulity, in a flash his pistols are in his hands, and he takes aim and fires, if only to distract the giant. "Maybe we should just get clear of it?"
Grimlock's missile strikes the Titan square in the center of his head. As the explosion bursts forth from molten metal circlet of his crown, tongues of flame leap out from all around his head and shoulders. With the flame, metal shrapnel hurtles outward in a whining shriek of soaring shards. From the midst of the flame and smoke comes a screaming roar that once again shakes the mountainside, and when the smoke clears, molten metal is running down the sides of the Titan's face. One of his massive glowing optics has completely shattered and the other is at least partly obscured by the white-hot blaze dripping and melting down his features. Layer and layer of circuitry shows where parts of his armored helm were blown clear off. Pain and torment scream through his thoughts now along with the rage, the loss, the betrayal that racked him before. His internal screaming is almost more deafening to Soundwave, en route through the air where Ratbat bears him, than his external screaming.
"Don't speak to me as if I'm like you," Cyclonus tells Grimlock in a low growl as his gaze lifts to the titan. He watches the Dinobot's missile connect and hears the rage and betrayal in the titan's scream. A flash of raw grief crosses his expression. "This is wrong," he says, and his gaze is drawn inexorably towards Soundwave flying towards the titan's head on Ratbat. Then he looks back, stepping forward with his sword raised, but he waits on the defensive.
Well this is kinda awkward. Quicksight is well aware that the fight has started. Quicksight might not actually be built for fighting, but the scrappy little Decepticon has never been one to back down from one either. A part of him craves the action, even though he probably won't be able to put so much as a miniscule scratch on his opponent. Nonetheless, Soundwave hasn't responded to his question, and since the Decepticon leader seems to have something else planed, Quicksight dare not engage without his okay. This leaves him circleing near the action, trying to avoid getting caught in the crossfire. He's about to try and ask again, only to hear Tailgate's orders. The noise making it difficult to have heard any verbal conversations that might have gone between the white minibot and the deployer, Quicksight, already irritated by Grimlock's actions, sees onlyh one possible response "<< Who the frag died and put any of you autofraggers in charge? >>"
She shouldn't be doing this. She's not suppose to use her skills for combat. This is part of why she left Cybertron in the first place!
And yet, Windrose is here, braving angry Titans and cave-in debris to try and get a better sensor angle on the mess. Why? Because personal feelings aside, this is her crew now, and she has a professional duty to see them through whatever madness they have wrought upon themselves, for good or for ill.
She doesn't have much for weapons in either mode. But she does have precision, we will just have to try and work with it. The helicopter buzzes in low, trying to stay out of the Titan's immeadiate enraged view, and continues scanning around his feet to look for weak spots in the ground, or something that can be used to help push him back.
"<< If you wanna fight me over it, Quicksight, we can fight about it later! You and me! But right now we need to get out, so deal with it! >>" Tailgate is not in the mood, so he converts to Boss mode over the comms, silently noting Cyclonus' grief as it flickers over him. Mgnh.
<FS3> Windrose rolls Surveying: Good Success. (8 8 5 3 1 5 4 7)
<FS3> Mirage rolls Presence+presence: Failure. (5 2 5 4)
<FS3> Tailgate rolls Command: Failure. (1 2 6 1 1 6 5)
<FS3> Mirage rolls Reaction+reaction: Success. (8 2 5 1 2 4 6 4)
<COMBAT> Titan's Wings passes.
<COMBAT> Titan's Boot passes.
<COMBAT> Titan's Whip attacks Grimlock with Energy Sword - ARMOR on Abdomen stops the attack!
<COMBAT> Tailgate attacks Titan's Boot with Tailgate's Energy Slingshot and MISSES!
<COMBAT> Quicksight passes.
<COMBAT> Titan's Ruined Eye passes.
<COMBAT> Titan's Fist passes.
<COMBAT> Pipes attacks Titan's Boot with Pipes's Guns Shooting Mode - ARMOR on Abdomen stops the attack!
<COMBAT> Grimlock attacks Titan's Whip with Grimlock's Dinosaur Mode but Titan's Whip DODGES!
<COMBAT> Windrose takes careful aim at Titan's Boot.
<COMBAT> Soundwave passes.
<COMBAT> Cyclonus passes.
<COMBAT> Sao has started a new turn. Pose and choose your action.
Tailgate's response only serves to piss Quicksight off even more. What right does lying trash like that have to be giving orders?"<< How about you go throw yourself at it. Maybe then you'd know what it's like to be a real soldier instead of just lying trash!>>"
<COMBAT> Titan's Wings passes.
<COMBAT> Quicksight passes.
<COMBAT> Titan's Whip attacks Grimlock with Energy Sword - Serious wound to Neck (Reduced by Armor).
<COMBAT> Titan's Fist passes.
<COMBAT> Titan's Boot passes.
<COMBAT> Soundwave passes.
<COMBAT> Grimlock attacks Titan's Whip with Grimlock's Dinosaur Mode but Titan's Whip DODGES!
<COMBAT> Tailgate attacks Titan's Boot with Tailgate's Energy Slingshot - ARMOR on Chest stops the attack!
<COMBAT> Pipes attacks Titan's Boot with Pipes's Guns Shooting Mode - ARMOR on Chest stops the attack!
<COMBAT> Cyclonus passes.
<COMBAT> Windrose takes careful aim at Titan's Boot.
<COMBAT> Titan's Ruined Eye passes.
Getting in closer to the raging war on the angry god that has begun around here, Windrose can get a better look at the structures still standing and the breadth of the pit. The Titan hasn't strode far from the depths and his wings spread now as he thrashes around, whip singing towards Grimlock wreathed in a fresh blaze of heat that ripples and snaps over its surface as it cracks against him.
The Titan is having some trouble processing where its attackers are with one of its massive eyes shorted out and nonfunctional and the other partly obscured, but as Ratbat and Soundwave make their grimly determined way up to the region of its head and shoulders, they can still find, even in the midst of all this chaos, space enough to land on. Safely? Probably not. But broad enough to actually land on and get up in there.
Mirage is thwarted by obstacles at every turn inside the glowing city of the Titan's frame. Gouts of unexpected heat and steam occasionally burst through around him. It really is hellish in there.
Maybe if Mirage knew something about the internal structure of Cybertronians, he would have some way to guage his location in the metrotitan and where to go next. As it were, he is hopelessly lost. As he scrambles through the constantly twisting tunnels, sometimes finding himself being thrown across the room when it tilts under his pedes, he loses sight of both the access panel and any possible hint as to the location of the mecha's spark chamber.
The farther in he goes, he finds more shifting components that only add to the cacophony and danger. Mirage dances away from a spurt of flame just in time to almost be crushed by a shifting piston. "Gah!" he cries, stumbling back as his moving footing knocks him out of the way of the piston just in time.
Behind it all, the sounds of battle continue to rage. The titan's frame shivers with an agonized howl, and Mirage shivers along with it. He is so exhausted, and he can feel hope slipping away. As golden optics shift his surroundings, he shakes his helm to see the agonized twisting all around him. It looks like death throes, he realizes.
That hellish whip proves to be both savagely fast, and terribly sharp! The flaming lash draws a rent in Grimlock's armor, and he tumbles end over end in the brawl! "Grrrh. And here I thought it'd be easy!" Grimlock says-- and with that, Grimlock picks himself up, and shakes the dust (and a bit of his own molten armor) with a somewhat canine feel.
And then, Grimlock starts lumbering forward, gearing himself up into a run as he launches his ponderous bulk across the chasm, and towards one of the thing's enormous arms! The mere mass of Grimlock is impressive enough, but with the claws and teeth added! But is it enough to crack a Titan's armor?
It's almost a shame there is no one in Windrose's cockpit to see all the colorful displays on the screens. She's working on a rotor and a prayer here, but for all his gruff and brutishness, Grimlock had a solid idea. They have a better chance at pushing the Titan back over, not that it's saying much of a difference, and into the pit than they do actually defeating it outright.
The only weapons she really has in this mode are the small guns on the ends of her pylons, but all the same as she passes behind the titantic form she opens up a few bursts of fire. As much at the ground around his feet as the back of his heels. The guns aren't very strong, they're probably not going to do a lot of damage to the behemoth.
But even a pebble can break a crack, start a landslide. She's effectively throwing a -lot- of pebbles trying to find the cracks here.
Pipes casts a quick look at Cyclonus, and internally he agrees. This is wrong, and also dumb. He got off some great shots at the titan's foot but they had no effect. They should get some better ideas. He's thinking of fading back when he sees that same foot thrusting close. A latent fear grips him and fixes him in place, and memories of another (not as) large nemesis burst forward. With a panicked cry, he shoots, not only at the oncoming boot, but at the rock floor below him.
Tailgate hopes the titan just eats Quicksight. It will solve many of his problems, actually. But no. Tailgate vents and doesn't answer. He fights for them all the time. He's doing it right now-- He's busy shooting at the titan's armor to get his attention. Screw Quicksight and his logical insults. Tailgate cuts under some falling debris when he spots Windrose up above, and where her aim is heading. Ah! Yes! He turns his slingshot on the ground below Udunus' foot this time, pulling back as hard as he can before firing.
<FS3> Soundwave rolls Reaction+Reaction: Success. (7 1 3 6 6 1)
"We cannot kill it!" Cyclonus roars across the chasm at Grimlock when he leaps for the titan. "We must return it to the deep!" His fingers twist and tighten on the hilt of his sword, his frustration and impotence clear on his face.
If Quicksight could spit, he would about now. He can't, so he doesn't, though he does grumble "Fraggin lying scum thinks its better than everyone else". Still having not recieved any concrete directions from Soundwave, the scout refuses to engage, his urge for a fight dampened slightly by sheer reluctance to work with Autobots who think it's okay to be insubordinate when the one in charge is a Decepticon. Insted, he continues circling, keeping an eye on the action bellow, and near the titan's head. Doing nothing, however, is stil not his ideal activity, so he does eventually make another attempt at an inquiry "<< Sir? Any orders? >>"
Soundwave trusts Ratbat. Ratbat is a nimble flyer and quick. Plus, in a cave he's less noticeable than most other things. Getting up to the Titan, with nothing more than stubborn determination, isn't the problem. Ratbat swoops and releases the cassette player, which flips and transforms within the air and to full size. Soundwave finds a hold and grips it tightly. "Ratbat, stay out here." Stay safe. The Decepticon Commander looks for an opening, some way to get inside the titan's head- this time physically and not just psychically. He has to stop though, to take in a shuddering intake, body seizing. This close, its almost overbearing- and not just the heat. As soon as his servos stop shaking, he again looks for an entry. "<<Do not let the Autobots kill Udunus.>>" Honestly, that seems obvious. But there's just some Autobots that think otherwise.
<FS3> Mirage rolls Presence+presence: Failure. (5 1 1 5)
<COMBAT> Titan's Fist attacks Tailgate with Axe - ARMOR on Chest stops the attack! <COMBAT> Titan's Wings passes. <COMBAT> Windrose attacks Titan's Boot with Blaster Pistol - ARMOR on Chest stops the attack! <COMBAT> Tailgate passes. <COMBAT> Soundwave passes. <COMBAT> Titan's Ruined Eye passes. <COMBAT> Titan's Boot attacks Pipes with Blunt - ARMOR on Chest stops the attack! <COMBAT> Pipes attacks Titan's Boot with Pipes's Guns Shooting Mode - ARMOR on Abdomen stops the attack! <COMBAT> Grimlock attacks Titan's Fist with Grimlock's Dinosaur Mode but Titan's Fist DODGES! <COMBAT> Titan's Whip attacks Grimlock with Energy Sword but Grimlock DODGES! [BigScene] Grimlock says, "Dang, Tailgate soaked a Titan punch." <COMBAT> Quicksight passes. <COMBAT> Cyclonus passes. <COMBAT> Sao has started a new turn. Pose and choose your action. [BigScene] Soundwave says, "Respect the smol" <FS3> Mirage rolls Presence+presence: Failure. (5 1 1 5) [BigScene] Quicksight says, "NEver"
New Activity ---------
[BigScene] Tailgate pull down sunglasses [BigScene] Soundwave says, "RAJ" [BigScene] Sao says, "I'm gonna newturn again tho because that was a whole turn of nothing." [BigScene] Quicksight patpats
New Activity ---------
<COMBAT> Titan's Wings passes. [BigScene] Sassy Pipes says, "agreed. as awesome as the smols were" <COMBAT> Titan's Whip attacks Grimlock with Energy Sword but Grimlock DODGES! [BigScene] Mirage is honestly crying really hard right now <COMBAT> Titan's Fist attacks Tailgate with Axe - Light wound to Chest (Reduced by Armor). <COMBAT> Soundwave passes. <COMBAT> Titan's Boot attacks Pipes with Blunt - ARMOR on Chest stops the attack! [BigScene] Sao hug Rag D: <COMBAT> Quicksight passes. [BigScene] Sao says, "er" <COMBAT> Grimlock attacks Titan's Fist with Grimlock's Dinosaur Mode but Titan's Fist DODGES! [BigScene] Sao says, "Raj" [BigScene] Soundwave says, "TEEGS NO- SAO WHY" <COMBAT> Windrose attacks Titan's Boot with Blaster Pistol - Moderate wound to Left Hand. <COMBAT> Pipes attacks Titan's Boot with Pipes's Guns Shooting Mode - Moderate wound to Left Arm. <COMBAT> Cyclonus passes. <COMBAT> Titan's Ruined Eye passes. [BigScene] Tailgate says, "ooh I have an idea" <COMBAT> Tailgate passes.
<FS3> Mirage rolls Reaction+reaction: Good Success. (8 1 6 1 4 5 2 7)
"Not with talk like that, we won't!" Grimlock snarls at Cyclonus. Pessimist! He sails through the air and *CLANGS!* into the Titan's arm-- which carries him out of the way of that deadly whip! Still, as Grimlock scrambles and clatters at the thick armor, even HIS deadly fangs cannot do more than superficial damage! Well then, time for a change of strategy.
Grimlock transforms to his robot mode and scrambles upwards, using the better reach and grip of his 'bot mode hands to keep himself steady! Hand over hand, he hauls himself up the thing's shoulder-- and then, there's a *SCHING!* and a flash of red as Grimlock draws his energy sword, and attempts to plunge the blade into the Titan's shoulder joint-- though whether this will do any damage, or if it'll just give Grimlock a handhold to hang on remains to be seen!
It's hard to find a way to get in, to get at the processor of the Titan -- but where his armor might have defended him from all comers before, it is a little easier now. For one thing, his massive face is a wreck after taking the square-on missile. Circuitry gleams and sparks with fire and energy before Soundwave. The access is there, where his helm is already breached. Whether he will be able to process the screaming noise of the Titan, and speak back well enough to be understood -- well, it's hard to say. Udunus doesn't appear to be in a very good mood for listening to anyone.
Udunus's fist comes down hard but Tailgate manages to escape the brunt of the impact. He straightens up again, his whip sailing in a slashing bite that misses Grimlock. His wings beat, sending a whirling wind of dust and fragments of rock through the cavern.
He takes a staggering step after the first blast through the armoring underneath his foot, when Pipes manages to fend off the impending doom of the boot coming down towards his head with the fresh fire.
"<< Yes sir! >>" Quicksight fires back, his response much more enthusiastic than his question. Finally, concrete instructions, and instructions, and instructions that he very much likes. Not that his oppinion matters in these things -- he'd obey even if Soundwave instructed him to shield Tailgate or something of that sort, but this he is quite happy to do. Positioning himself above the battle, the scout watches the scene bellow, just waiting for someone to go a bit too far and give him an excuse to swoop down on them.
<FS3> Tailgate rolls Deadeye: Success. (4 4 2 5 6 6 8 3 1)
<FS3> Tailgate rolls Firearms+1: Good Success. (6 7 6 6 4 7 8 2)
Tailgate's fire from his nifty slingshot slices into the rock underneath the massive Titan and there's a moment's glow as the energy seems to absorb into the rock. Hairline fractures begin to run along the stone in cleaving cracks. It is a promising result, if not an instantaneous one.
<FS3> Soundwave rolls Presence+Presence: Good Success. (1 7 4 8)
<FS3> Windrose rolls Reaction+Aerobatics: Success. (5 4 1 7 5)
Against all odds, Mirage continues to drag himself through the twisting titan for a few minutes. His attempts to dodge the spurting flames is more sluggish, and he's thrown from his pedes more than once. A spurt of flame manages to sear his armor and cause superficial damage, while he still has miraculously avoided anything more serious.
"/Idiot/," Cyclonus growls under his breath, and then he frees one hand from the hilt of his sword to transform it quickly into a blaster cannon. He points it at the hairline glow in the ground that Tailgate has begun and /fires/. Repeatedly. Against all odds, Mirage continues to drag himself through the twisting titan for a few minutes. His attempts to dodge the spurting flames is more sluggish, and he's thrown from his pedes more than once. A spurt of flame manages to sear his armor and cause superficial damage, while he still has miraculously avoided anything more serious.
Just then, he turns a corner and finds himself, in all places, standing in the shadow of the mecha's massive transformation cog. For a moment, he forgets his frustration and hopeless. While he has seen many amazing sights today, this is the most so. As a follower of Adaptus, it is rare that he gets to see such a miraculous display of His gift. The scout feels his own transformation cog twitch with the desire to transform, almost like a beating spark.
The scout stops dead. If he does not make it out of this, this is a place he could perish at peace. But some small part of him still remembers how reluctant he is to let this wonder perish. For that reason, he makes one last desperate attempt. <<Mirage reporting. I'm inside the titan, beside the transformation cog. Orders?>>
It's much easier to damage a heavily armored target when it is large and also bearing down on you. He silently thanks Brainstorm as his acid bullets explode and dissolve at least a small part of the foot. The resulting stumble is enough for Pipes to scramble back and away, although the swing of the boot feels as if it thrums against his chest armor.
There are conflicting orders bouncing across comms, but the one he thinks has the best odds of success is Cyclonus's. Well, it's more of a simple statement of fact than an order, but it's sensible. Keeping his acid shots loaded, Pipes fires away at the same area Tailgate targeted and, well, everywhere else around it, while moving around to avoid being a target himself.
<FS3> Pipes rolls Firearms: Great Success. (7 7 5 7 6 4 8 6)
<FS3> Cyclonus rolls Firearms: Success. (4 6 6 5 8 2 3)
That... actually worked. Sort of. Windrose is marveled by this as much as anyone else. The moment is shortlived though as the Titan starts flapping its wings and throwing crap around the cavern again. If she wasn't already paying more attention to the environment around here that could of been nasty. As it is she barely manages to swing out of the way of a random hunk of machinery, taking full advantage of a helicopter's maneuverability to avoid the random debris being stewn about. But clearly, being in the air is not a good thing anymore.
As such the Navigator transforms, planting a foot against the debris she just dodged and using that to kick-off and drop herself back to the ground. Sees other people are aiming at the legs or the ground. "Keep trying! Even the hardiest stone wears down eventually." Her arm-tool extends into place, but instead of the usual axe-spade the prongs remain partway open, a bit of energy crackling between the joint. "I really hope this keeps working..." She takes aim at the cracks forming with the mining laser built into her tool and opens fire.
<FS3> Windrose rolls Firearms: Good Success. (4 2 8 2 1 7 1)
<FS3> Quicksight rolls Transportation: Amazing Success. (3 5 2 4 8 7 6 7 8 7 4 5 3 8 1 6)
Despite the suddenly poor flying conditions, Quicksight remains airborne, weathering the artifical whirlwind with relative ease. Sure, he gets a bit knocked around, but it's nothing an experienced flyer like him can't handle! This is hardly worth landing over when he's got a job to do!
Soundwave pulls himself up, spotting an access way... Well, its less an access way and more like a hole he can fit himself in. If he just displaced a little of his mass when he gets there, he should be able to get in. The sparks and fire burn at his armor but its readily ignored, like much of the battle... He manages to get to the access but its less slipping in and more like... Falling. Falling through the titan's breach. He holds his helm upon landing. Why couldn't he shut it off. He doesn't want to shut it off but he also does.
Soundwave stays hunched over, clinging to his helm as he wrestles with the tumult. Any comms that may have made it, are washed away by the tidal wave that is the titan. Its pressure is immense. He wishes Ravage were here... Slowly, surely, he begins to pull himself up, to hise pedes, shoulders drooping as if carrying a significant weight. The light in his visor burns bright still as he scans the area before trudging on. Processor... Processor... Gotta find the processor, focus on that.
Tailgate doesn't get to see the results of his shot at first-- the titan's fist glances off of him as he makes to dodge, and sends him tumbling head over heels across the vicinity of the pit. When he pushes himself up there's a long cut across his armor, but despite the startling size of it, it's nothing horrible. Luck was on his side. Maybe a little smallness. When he looks back to the fight, Cyclonus and Pipes have joined the ranks of bots firing at the ground. It worked! Mirage's comm changes his mood rather quickly. "<< Mirage, we're trying to get the titan back down his hole! I suggest you head upwards to get out-- we can't have you in there when he goes back down-- >>"
Focused fire on Tailgate's crack leads to the crack, and shift, and slide of stone beneath the Titan's massive feet. His wings pummel the air. His whip thrashes wildly. Under the combined force of Cyclonus's cannon, Pipes's acid fire, and Windrose's mining laser, the edge breaks and begins to slide into the abyss.
He doesn't, however, fall all the way. As Grimlock's blade lodges in his shoulder in a bright blaze of heat where it slices in through the jointure of his armor, and Soundwave and Mirage have both found hectic purchase inside his labyrinthine interior streets, the Titan cracks hard against the opposite side of the pit. He kicks out wildly, wings thrashing and flailing beneath him, temporarily trapped on his back. His sticking there is only very temporary, however, The gap yawns beneath him, dark and almost endless.
Oh, and the unearthly might of his impact smites the cavern, and the resultant quake shakes the mountain to its very bones. The bigger they are--...
More rock begins to fall from above, and one of the towering structures of the mine shrieks and whines with ripping metal as it falls down across the edge of the pit.
<< Get out of there! >> Cyclonus yells over the comms to Soundwave, Mirage, Grimlock -- anyone who's still on or in the titan. << He's going to fall! Get out! >>
The whole world tumbles and crashes around Grimlock-- He's thrown about, dangling from the sword he drove into the Titan's shoulder ... and then, as everything stills for a moment, Grimlock looks down (down, down) at the big chasm. Oh yeah. And so, Grimlock scrambles away from the Titan, flexing his legs before LAUNCHING himself away from the Titan, landing hard (if gracelessly) on the 'safer' rock at the edge of the pit.
"HA! -TOLD- you my plan would work!" Grimlock declares, triumphant. And then, a pause. "Wait. Where's Soundwave? I need to gloat at him."
<FS3> Opposed Roll -- Soundwave=mind+telepathy Vs Udunus=12 < Soundwave: Great Success (7 6 3 4 8 4 3 8 7 6 6 7 4 5 4 1) Udunus: Good Success (5 1 5 3 5 8 7 6 7 1 5 4) < Net Result: Soundwave wins - Solid Victory
Pipes ceases fire and looks on with satisfaction as the titan topples. He turns and heads towards Tailgate and Cyclonus, with a bit of a strut to his step. "Back to the deep, right?" Of course, it's then that things really start to fall apart, both literally around him and figuratively with the team. "What? We have bots in there?!" Pipes was too busy ogling at and/or dodging a titan to notice. Despite the worsening conditions, he whirls around and weaves his way closer to the pit. There's not much he can do. At least Grimlock bounds his way to safety; he gives him a quick salute.
Windrose blinks a couple of times behind her visor. "... People were insane enough to -go inside- him?!?!" She's at a loss for more than that to say.
Grimlock shrugs at Windrose. "That was my plan B. Punch him in the brain 'til he stopped moving."
Before Mirage has a chance to react, he feels the titan shifting underneath his pedes. At first he thinks it is simply the floor again, but when he is thrown across the room he realize it can only be one thing. The titan is falling. Golden optics widen in fear, and the scout struggles for purchase or a handhold, but everything is twisting and writhing out of reach. Thwam! He slams back into one of the twisting hallways, and yet that is still not enough to stop him. Between the bursts of flame searing his frame, now unable to dodge them, and slamming into things repeatedly Mirage can barely focus through the haze of pain. For a moment he thinks he sees the light of a spark as he falls by, but it is hard to say. Everything is moving too fast, and by the time he is done he is too winded to really notice where he is.
Soundwave's world pitches forward as the titan falls back. He falls with it, square frame bouncing and skidding across the floor wherever he's at. He grunts, picking himself up and settling on his hands and knees and just... staying like that. In the back of his mind, he hears Cyclonus. Get out. Falling. The titan. The titan. His fingers curl into the floor, frame shaking. His vents circulate. He's so close to the processor, he might even be right next to it and not realize. His helm lifts, visor gleaming. He activates his speakers once more. The titan must hear it this time.
"Udunus, I hear you. I understand your pain..." What Soundwave can make out of it from all the chaos. "Cease this and we can help. Help you and Dunia, your people." A beat. "Udunus, will you come back to destroy your people again?" His helm bows as he goes in deeper into what he can into the titan's mind. He must know, even if the effort washes out his vision for just a moment. It'll come back. Probably.
Cyclonus curses under his breath and then leaps, transforming to his alt-mode mid-air and then swooping down towards the falling titan. << Blow a hole! >> he says over the comms. << I'll catch you. >>
There's a flaking of energon across Tailgate's open gash now, and as he rejoins Pipes' side he's wiping at it tentatively with one hand. That was so close. Cyclonus transforms and sweeps up and down past the edge of the pit to follow the titan's course; Tailgate moves closer to the rim, visor bright and sparking light. "Come on, come on..."
While Quicksight doesn't exactly have a face in this mode to express his feeling, as the titan falls, his patern above the battle becomes a bit agrivated, his turns and movements sharper and faster. This could be bad, since Soundwave is still inside. Thing is, unlike Cyclonus, the scout can't really do much to help. He's not built with any sort of carrying capacity, nor a cockpit. The only thing he can do is continue to follow his instructions, and make sure that none of the Autobots get any bright ideas about sending the titan to a premature fall.
It's not immediately clear that Udunus understands, that he can sort Soundwave's attempt to communicate with him from the noise of countless other small noises all around him, from the skitter of feet inside him, from anything else, but Udunus's fury is a tidal, black, endless thing. It seems almost to rise up and swallow Soundwave's senses in its sheer mass. Soundwave has immense powers of telepathy and a lot of experience processing noise. He lacks the specialization of a Cityspeaker to communicate with the Titan. But even if he had it, the rage might still swallow them all.
It's so hard to sort out what he means: the thought Udunus has no people and Udunus's people betrayed his trust and Udunus's people forsook Megatronus all seem to coexist simultaneously, doubling, tripling, echoing in the dark melange of negativity that threatens to sink them both. There is no other answer. Udunus lets loose with one more scream as the thrash of his wings takes out the base of another structure and sends any who are unfortunate enough to be too close to him still flying across the rock. He lashes out with his whip and with his other fist, scrabbling for purchase as he begins to slide against the ledge. He hasn't lost his grip yet ... but gravity is a very powerful force and he has a lot of mass.
Grimlock and then there's another cry of rage, enough to make even Grimlock take a step back! "Get back." He snarls at Tailgate, Windrose, and Pipes. "We need to finish this."
And with that, Grimlock transforms to his dinosaur mode mid-stride, tromping over towards where Udunus' hand still clasps desperately at the edge of the chasm-- and then, in a trick he learned from Sludge, Grimlock raises one clawed foot and *STOMPS!* it down upon the rocky floor, aiming to send a jagged crack streaking through the stone like geological lightning!
<FS3> Grimlock rolls Property Damage: Good Success. (7 4 1 8 3 7 1 6 4)
When a Dinobot tells you to get back, you -get back-.
In fact, Windrose transforms back into helicopter mode. "Grab on!" she shouts to the minibots. They're at least light enough she can lift them out of the way of the Grimlock about to be Grimlock all over what remains of the cavern.
Pipes looks down forlornly as the titan struggles. What can he do? He drops to a knee as the titan thrashes, and he suddenly remembers leaning over Starstruck in the garbage pit, needing to lift him out, and they used ...
Pipes jumps up and reaches for and finds his tie-down straps. They are coiled up as usual, but still interlinked, clasp-to-clasp. Perfect. He ignores Windrose's sane advice, and instead finds a nearby fallen boulder, then hurriedly loops the makeshift chain rope around it. He stops to look at Tailgate. "Don't let this slip off, yeah?" He turns and runs to the edge of the pit, looping the rope around his waist, and leaps. Ignore the heat, ignore the gigantic furious titan, ignore the fall, just get down there and grab whoever you can.
<FS3> Opposed Roll -- Grimlock=Reaction+Reaction Vs Quicksight=Reaction+Reaction < Grimlock: Success (1 8 6 4) Quicksight: Success (2 2 3 1 2 2 7 1) < Net Result: DRAW
"What? WHOA! Pipes!" Tailgate barely has time to react to what he's being told to do, but he does it, scrambling away from the edge and flinging himself across the tie around the boulder to keep it there. Staystaystaystay--
<FS3> Mirage rolls Firearms: Good Success. (4 4 1 5 8 1 8 1 6)
This. This is what Quicksight was watching out for. The moment the dinobot announces his intentions, the scout wheels around, and charges him, hoping to throw him off balance before he can do the deed, or at the very least distract him enough to dellay him "Oy! Fragger! We still got people there!" "I'm surrounded by insane people!" Windrose remarks in exasperation. Brave, but insane. She gives a flustered sigh through her vents... and then deploys a grapple line to snag the same boulder Tailgate ties the lines to. Insane as they are, she can at least make sure Pipes survives his heoric insanity.
Soundwave collapses, systems nearly fried from the overload his audios and mind are recieving. But he can hear him... His armor is rattling, arms pushing him up shakily. He's muttering to himself- that sure does bring back memories, which he doesn't have time for- inbetween breathless cries of pain. But he got it. He got an answer. Udunus was angry, and he was going to stay angry. This hurt doesn't go away, Soundwave knows that... And he knows he can't allow this titan to kill the people of Dunia. The image of the dead mech from Udon flashes in his mind. Nothing, no matter how sacred, should be left to do that damage.
"I... hear you... I am sorry..." Soundwave drags himself to his pedes, beginning the gruelling task of trying to drag himself back to the breach. Its not easy, he can't focus on anything. He's trying though. And as he tries, his shoulder cannon comes online. "I am sorry... But I cannot allow you to harm anymore." His canon onlines, warming up... He clings to whatever he can get his servos on, struts rattling in his armor. And he fires every shell he has in the head chasm of the titan.
<FS3> Opposed Roll -- Soundwave=reaction+firearms Vs Udunus=12-2 < Soundwave: Good Success (7 5 7 4 2 8) Udunus: Good Success (1 8 6 2 5 6 8 3 3 8) < Net Result: DRAW
"Yeah? Who?" Grimlock snorts and snarls as Quicksight buzzes around him like an annoying little bee. This doesn't stop him from delivering a rock-splintering *STOMP!* though ... even if Grimlock's prevented from delivering any more blows! He lashes his tail behind him, and then *LOOMS!* over Quicksight. "Careful, 'con. That Titan's still dangerous."
<FS3> Opposed Roll -- Grimlock=Intimidation Vs Quicksight=Courage < Grimlock: Good Success (7 2 3 4 3 1 4 8 4) Quicksight: Great Success (1 8 7 5 3 1 8 1 1 4 7) < Net Result: Quicksight wins - Solid Victory
When Mirage finally recovers from being tossed about, he can hear the titan straining with effort. Optics dimmed and bleary, he looks around at the twisting, cavernous space. So beautiful, so deadly. From here he can see the dim light from the mecha's spark chamber, and as he watches? It continues to pulse stubbornly against all odds. If he could just get there, perhaps he could find the right thing to say... Before he can stop himself, the scout lets out an agonized keen. But he can't stay. The cries of the others are echoing faintly through comms, and he knows he has to leave here.
Thankfully, he came to rest near an already damaged bit of armor. Bracing himself against it, Mirage onlines his weapons with a whine. One, two, three blasts and he adds a new hole to the carnage. His optics bleed light as he takes one glance back towards the titan. If only there were words he could say, but there is nothing. Instead, his optics brush across one of the twisting components before he leaps.
Unfortunately for Grimlock, Quicksight has a tendency to be a little too brave for his own good. The looming and thrashing does absolutely nothing to disuade the scout from continuing to buzz around the dinobot even as he fires back "Like Soundwave! Pretty sure one of you Autofraggers is in there too!" The cannon bursts forth into the processor of the ancient, grieving, wrathful mind. Pain seems to blast through every sensor and nerve in that brain, and for a moment, Soundwave is overwhelmed by the backlash of his immediate proximity to it, receiving this awful hollow shriek on every frequency he can hear.
The lights inside Udunus's frame do not all die at once, but there is a slow flickering, a wilting to his energy, as the damage from Soundwave's cannon fire begins to shut down his circuits one by one. The thrashing does not stop but grows less directed. Even as the rock Grimlock broke shatters under his DINO STOMP -- the hand of the Titan falls away from it. He's no longer struggling to stay alive or upright. His thrashing about is much more random. Which means that his heavy, massive frame is scraping over the ledge, sliding towards free fall, and they are still inside him.
Mirage manages to blast through the armor from within, cutting a hole through the skin of the Titan and out into the open air to leap to freedom!, just as the enormous bot begins to plummet.
Cyclonus is there. He doesn't quite catch Mirage perfectly in his open cockpit, but he gets underneath the bot and lifts him back to safe ground. << Soundwave, what's your status? >> And then the titan begins to slip and fall. << Soundwave!! >>
Grimlock 's ire turns into a little more of a state of perplexion as Quicksight proves to be much braver than the typical Decepticon! That, and there's the news of-- "Soundwave's in there?" And Grimlock stands up a little taller to peer over Quicksight's head, all the better to watch the Titan fall ... and maybe even with Soundwave inside! "This trip keeps on getting better."
Soundwave screams. The Decepticon Commander is not one to scream, he usually meets pain with glowering, grunts, or silence. But this time... This time he screams, and it can be heard on his speakers before they're almost violently cut off, unnecessary systems beginning to shut down. No, no... It wasn't supposed to happen like this.
Soundwave mutters to himself, an acrid smell curling from his helm as all that sound overloads his audio receptors, burning out part of the sensors and wiring. He releases whatever he was holding onto and falls against the side of a hole he created, the warped and burned metal from the explosion pressing against his rather limp frame. He transforms right after impact, bouncing in the air and... falling into the hole. He's not quite well enough to answer any comms.
<FS3> Pipes rolls Presence+Presence: Failure. (2 2 2 1 4 6)
Pipes falls, and the updraft of heat makes it seem a little like floating. It's like those orbital insertions he used to do. Or meteor surfing. Anyway, he can steer a little, and as he nears the titan's head he hears Soundwave's scream. He can't tell exactly what the sound is, but it draws him closer, just in time to see a very boxy cassette player fall out of the head. Thinking fast, he snags a storage container, the kind he stores Earth items in, and pops the lid open. He sails down, reaches out, and clamps the box shut on the ... smaller box. << Got Soundwave! >> he comms as he stashes the container.
Just as he does, his strap rope snaps tight, nearly slicing him in half. "UUGHAAAAAAAAA!" The rebound wrenches him back up at an angle, away from the titan and toward the side of the pit. Spinning wildly, he slams head first into the rocky wall.
Tailgate moves his eyes away a bit as the titan falls back down the pit, his spark sinking. He waits for what feels like a lifetime for Pipes' voice to come back; when he hears it, he motions to Windrose to help him start pulling the rope up back to the pit's edge. "<< We're pulling you up! Hold on! >>"
Quicksight has heard plenty of strange things, including the roars and screeches of furious titans, but none of that can beat the sound of Soundwave, the Soundwave, who's emotionless demeanor is almost as legendary as the mech himself, screaming in pain. It's certianly enough to make the scout break off his harassment of Grimlock and dart over the pit in time to see Soundwave tumble downwards. It's really only the strenght of his loyalty, rather than any properly concieved plan that's making him dart downwards. He doesn't really have any idea of what he's doing. Between his two modes, he lacks either carrying capacity, or the ability to fly. His designers didn't really care to give an MTO who wasn't expected to survive his first mission the ability to fly in his rootmode.
As it turns out, he doesn't have to do anything. Luckily, someone beat him to it. Except...if planes could do a doubletake, that is exactly what the scout would be doing as what he just saw slams at full speed against the mindset he's had so far of his leader's rescuer. He even manages to to pass him in his own downwards dive before finally managing to collect himself and pull sharply up.
"By Primus, that worked." Windrose would of been holding her breath had she been in robot mode. Or actually required breathing. ".. Oh, yeah, right!" Well she's already holding on with her own grappling line, so instead of bothering to transform she just tilts back and uses the lift of her helicopter mode to help pull up Pipes' line. "Grab him one he's up to the edge!", she calls back to Tailgate.
Cyclonus drops Mirage off on solid ground and transforms back to root mode. He glances around sharply to see Tailgate and Windrose already pulling Pipes to safety, and then he rounds on Grimlock with fury in his eyes. He storms over to him and slams his forearm into the larger bot's chest, trying to force him against the wall. "You pathetic, blood-hungry, honorless /worm/," he snarls at him. "You are worth /nothing/."
Grimlock gives a dismissive snort as the Titan falls-- and, he's so distracted by the sight that he's taken completely off guard by Cyclonus! Grimlock is slammed against the wall-- though there's only a moment that passes before Grimlock braces himself and shoves BACK!
"RARGH! Who do you think you're talking to, you outmoded fossil!" Grimlock snarls back, and snaps his teeth animistaclly at Cyclonus-- though he's not going for blood. Yet.
"We killed a Titan. -I- killed a Titan. Good. It would've torn this whole damn planet apart if we didn't! Go sing a song to Tailgate if you feel bad about it, but don't blame me."
When Mirage is dropped on solid ground, he drops to solid ground. A mixture of exhaustion, pain, and his deep sense of failure is more than enough to keep himm grounded. While he hears the others talking, distantly, he couldn't care less. Their voices are like things a lifetime away. His optics cycle and dim as he dances between consciousness and unconciousness. However, he does manage to mutter one fleeting words through the hazy morass of his surroundings, too quiest to be heard. "... Hound?" The one who always made sense of these things, the one who always fixed it. Where is he?
From above, Ratbat descends... And lands atop Tailgate, as gently as a bat can before staring down the pit and where, far below, the titan must lay... Or may still be falling. And then his yellow optics turn to Pipes. "Is he conscious?" He has a smooth voice, slick like axle grease. Like a politician. He has a distinct Kaonite accent. "Tell him 'thank you' when he comes to. And to return my officer." His audios all twitch and he looks over at... Oh, that's interesting.
It's really hot, but getting not as hot, Pipes thinks. He feels the tugging and the lifting as he's pulled up, but his vision is blurry and lava-colored. As he is dragged over the edge of the pit and back onto solid rock ... oh, how nice you are, rock ... he attempts to stand but immediately falls forward from vertigo. He rolls over onto his back and absently pulls three storage containers out, setting them on some side or other next to him. He peers up, looking where Ratbat's voice is, and misunderstanding who the cassette is asking about. "I dunno. He's is in um uh ... maybe that one?" he slurs, and points to where there isn't a container. His midsection stings with pain.
"Yes, of course, let us all worship your /victories/." Cyclonus's voice is dripping with contempt; he shifts back a step when Grimlock shoves, but presses in again immediately after, unintimidated by the snap of teeth. "They're all you care about. You would send our whole crew into the depths if it would assure your /glory/. You disgust me."
Tailgate, of course, hurries over to the edge when Rose lifts up the line, ready to pull Pipes up when he comes into reach. Ratbat's landing startles him only a little, but he has big shoulders-- there's room! "Guys, are you both okay? Oop--" Tailgate half-catches Pipes as he faceplants, sitting up and reaching for the containers to find Soundwave. It's a really strange feeling-- one that's a little disturbed by the sounds of a fight brewing when he looks up. Uh oh.
Once Pipes is safely on relatively solid ground again Windrose releases the line from her grapple and transforms to land by where he has sprawled out, next to Tailgate and Ratbat. "Uh, okay?" She presumes Pipes meant the containers he set out instead of the empty space he's pointing to. She stoops down to pick up one of the containers and open it to look for the cassette-boss. She's pointedly ignoring the confrontation going on somewhere over there.
As the others pull Pipes out of the pit, Quicksight darts out of it on his own power, taking again to the more open space of the cave. He doesn't go far, however, choosing instead to circle right above Pipes, like some vulture over a potential meal. When the other blue mini responds to Ratbat's demand by pointing to empty space, he pitches in "Stop fragging around, Autobot!" there's definirely a note of anger in his voice, but there's something off about it, like he's not quite sure how he's supposed to be feeling here. It's only when Tailgate reaches for the other containers does the scout finally drop down, to help, though not for Tailgate's sake, and with no small amount of glowering at him.
"Better to worship 'victory' than some mad titan!" Grimlock takes a step forward, and then forces himself to transform back to robot mode ... it takes effort, to rein in his more animalistic urges. "Hhhhhhrh. TYPICAL. I do what has to be done, I save -EVERY- last 'bot on this planet, and this is the thanks I get." Grimlock glares at Cyclonus a moment longer, and then turns to storm off down the tunnel, back to the main encampment! "I'm going back to the ship. Somebody else can write the report."
Ratbat huffs- high society and all that. He'd help search but he's just these useless claws. "I did not mean now. I... Just take all the containers back. You all need a medic." He spreads his wings and launches into the air, gliding off in a flit after Grimlock. He'll go get the medic. Actually be useful... (After all the action but shhh.)
"You saved yourself. Anyone else was a coincidental accident on the way to stroking your own ego." Cyclonus glares hot and fierce at Grimlock's back when the other bot turns, and there's a moment where his hand starts to reach for his sword like he just might use it.
Pipes sits up, unsteadily. His hips are fine, its the abdomen that's pinched and crunched, and he grabs it and keeps himself from twisting to see what Tailgate and Quicksight are doing. His head is getting clearer, but clarity of vision is not there, and he feels a headache coming on. He'd help - he really would! - but right now he just needs to sit. The containers aren't all that big, they can find Soundwave.
"Here." Windrose hands the container she picked up over to Quicksight, mostly because she realized she doesn't actually know what Soundwave's altmode looks like. Oops. Just passing the box is easier that admitting she got ahead of herself.
Instead she walks over, and tries to help Mirage off the ground. "Com'n, we need to get you up to the surface and a medic."
Tailgate glances up to Quicksight and after Ratbat, deciding to leave the search to the Decepticon scout so he can push himself away and towards where the air seems to be tightening around Cyclonus. Maybe Tailgate's imagining that. His voice is a refreshing change from the charged exchange with Grimlock. "Hey..." His hand alights o Cyclonus' off arm, rather than the sword arm. "Help me get everyone out?" There's no use fighting with a dinobot.
Optics unfocused, when a shadow looms over him Mirage feels a flicker of hope. He is on the verge of muttering Hound's name again when the shadow speaks. The scout's optic ridges furrow at the sound. Not Hound? That doesn't make any sense. This isn't how the dream always goes. "Where's Hound?" he mutters. "Hound is supposed to be here."
When Windrose touches his frame to help him up, though, the scout hisses in pain. The discomfort is enough to distract him from his ruminations on Hound, though. Hissing, he tries his best to get to his pedes with Windrose's help. There really is one thing to say. "... Ouch."
Slowly, Cyclonus vents a long stream of air, the hand reaching for his sword slowly lowering when Tailgate touches his arm. He is silent a long moment, and then turns, wordlessly, to help with the others. Time to go home.
Quicksight only eyes Ratbat as the casette departs before Windrose draws his attention. He practically grabs the box out of her hands, only remembering to mutter a low "Thank you" once it's securely in his hands. To be honest, he's never actually seen Soundwave in his altmode either, but he's quite confident that he can at least recognise him by his colour scheme. Still, the cassettes could probably do the job a lot faster. At least that fragger of a security cheief left, letting the scout relax a bit. While everyone else is picling themselves off the ground, the scout has time to search. It would be extremely undignfied for a mech of Soundwave's stature to wake up among...what even is this scrap? It would definitely make Quicksight a rather poor subordinate (in his mind at least) if he didn't so much as attempt to relieve his commander of such a fate.
Windrose tries to be gentle, but it's a bit hard when Mirage is zorched all over. "Hound can come see you while you're in medical." Pulling would be bad, so she just gives the mech support so he can shuffle about. "But it's probably not safe to linger around here even with the behemoth gone. I doubt the cave is very stable any more."