2017-05-18 Come to Worm Swarm at Swerve's If U Want An Ass Kicking
From Transformers: Lost and Found
|2017-05-18 Come to Worm Swarm at Swerve's If U Want An Ass Kicking|
|Location||Lost Light: Recreation -- Swerve's|
|Participants||Fireflight, Swerve, Gearshift, Trailbreaker, Brigade, Doublecross, Steeljaw|
|Plot||Rebirth of Unicron|
|Summary||What starts as a nice rowdy night of drinking turns into something out of a horror movie.|
Often referred to as the heart of the ship (by Swerve), the bar is rarely empty, rarely quiet. Central to the whole is the bar itself: just tall enough for a minibot to serve over the edge and lined with stools capable of accommodating bots of any height. Large, clear vessels stand behind the bar, containing the brews of the day. Behind the bar, an engex distillery assures there's always something new.
Round tables are scattered across the floor. Seats fold up from the floor beneath. Large booths along the sides of the room have room for a half-dozen or more, if they don't mind getting cozy, while monitors here and there find occasional use showing old vids.
A sign outside the door says:
No Guns, No Swords, No Bombs
Underneath is written: I MEAN IT!! LOCK YOUR WEAPON SYSTEMS DOWN AND DUMP EVERYTHING ELSE IN THE BIN BY THE DOOR. It is signed with a little frowning Swerve face.
On the other side of the door is a SHAME LIST. No, really, that's what it says. It has the number of days that various people are banned from Swerve's and counts down at the start of the morning shift.
Out there, orbiting silently around Earth's L1 point, are now eight colossal, jet-black monoliths. The first two in line are certainly from the Shivah and Eukaris colonies; the next two are probably from Velocitron and Devisiun, according to reports from those planets. The provenance of the other four isn't known for sure, but if the pattern holds, other colonies are suffering the effects of their own catastrophes.
The rate of arrival has accelerated, and made those in command of the Lost Light and of Elita One's ship, the Ariel, nervous. So, all of their crewmembers have been called back from excursions to the other ship or to the nearby human planet. No one can guess exactly what might happen or when, but the fear is that it will be bad, and soon.
Trips to the monoliths themselves have also been halted. Each one tends to be confronted, sooner or later, by swarms of claw-headed, worm-like drones. While individually they are easy to kill, there are so many that it's foolish to try to beat them all back. So, the ships monitor from afar, most sensors set to dance between the black shapes looking for any sign of anything. Lately it's been quiet. Yes, too quiet.
Except for Swerve's. Swerve's, tonight, is LOUD. Possibly to keep all that quiet at bay or maybe all mechs called back from Earth just need a good, hard drink. Who knows. One things for sure, the bar is abuzz with bar songs. "Oooooooooo~ I'm a lonely Cybertronian!!" Jackpot croons before chugging his golden engex. And he's one of many in this lively joint.
Swerve is more than happy to keep the music loud and the enegex flowing, and he's the happiest he's been in ages. For once his bar is rowdy and loud but staying in one piece! It's a miracle!
He bustles about, serving patrons gladly, his visor bright.
Gearshift herself managed to get herself her favorite Rewind in the crowd, and now she's looking for a familiar face to sit with and maybe chat. The sight of the monoliths has made her nervous though, and the thought of them doing something to her home nags at the back of her processor.
"Yeah, Jackpot! Serenade 'em!" Trailbreaker holds up his whatever-eth drink in tribute to his comrade-in-partying, splashing a little bit of it on the bar counter. People are in good spirits! That's something to celebrate, and a reason why he'll at least try to appear the same way. Despute his outward cheer, that big grin on his face and Enjex-flush on his cheeks, he's actually here to drink away his nerves. News about the monoliths has him uneasy, making him think of when the sky on Earth would darken and the warm air would chill before a storm.
THANK GOODNESS FOR BOOZE. Booze is helping that. He waves at Gearshift cheerfully, and then proceeds to sing off-key along with Jackpot.
THANK GOODNESS FOR BOOZE. Booze is helping that. He waves at Gearshift cheerfully, and then proceeds to sing off-key along with Jackpot.
Swerve continues doing what he does best: Serving drinks and cracking one-liners. He's eagerly refilling the drinks of those sitting at the bar as well.
Gearshift lights up when Trailbreaker waves to her, and starts pushing her way over to him.
When she reaches the mech she shouts over the din "I don't think I've seen Swerve's so busy before!" It's practically overflowing with other crewmates. "I also don't think I've seen Swerve smile so much, and smiling is practically his default facial expression!" She laughs and beams at the larger mech
Jackpot sloshes his drink towards Trailbreaker as he begins his second verse, arm slung around Bluestreak. There's plenty of mechs ordering drinks, Hot Spot clamoring for some shots for him and his fellows. If anyone is worried about the monoliths, they certainly don't show.
And then red lights start flashing, like crimson strobes. "Wooooo! Now it's a party!" Jackpot calls, laugh roaring. Hot Spot honks his fire engine horn, getting a whoop from some mechs already drunk. "Swerve, didn't know you had dance lights!" Jackpot continues, waving his empty engex mug- more please! Unfortunately, however, they're not dance lights. They're alarm lights.
And then promptly spits it out when he sees those red lights flashing. Drunk he might be, but not so much that he doesn't know what that means. He stands up, figuring he's at least on the bigger side and more likely to be seen. "Hey, uh, guys? Everyone? Alarms! Alarms?!"
Gearshift straightens, startled by the sudden sound and red lights. She looks up at Trailbreaker, deferring to him in the situation "What do we do?!" She yells over the sound.
Swerve yells "I don't have dance lights! THat's an alarm you aft!" just as Trailbreaker is yelling his call. He's frantically trying to pick up glasses now, putting bottles and glasses alike behind the bar as quickly as he can. "Stay calm everyone!"
<FS3> Trailbreaker rolls Drinking: Great Success. (2 6 1 5 8 6 8 8 5 1 5 3 5 4 1 7)
At the mention of alarms, Jackpot looks confused... And then squints at his empty mug. "Alarm? Uuuuuuuuugh... Holds it, I gots... I gots a mech on the inside." The lucky mech taps his comms. "Errr, Mainsy? Yeah, heeeeey, Mainframe. There's an alarm and- minor hull breach? No big deal? 'Aigh, thanks Mainsy, I- NO! Well, you're drunk!" Jackpot holds out his empty mug again- MORE PLEASE- "See? 'is nuthin and now we gots dance lights- OI! Fill 'er up, Smile-guy!" Hot Spot honks his fire engine horn again.
"Why are you askin' me?!" Trailbreaker catches himself, remembering he is in the Combat division. If there's trouble, it's gonna be his job to deal with it. "Sorry, sorry. I, uh, just." He stops to hold his head so the room will stop spinning; he stood up a bit too fast there considering all the Enjex in him. "No, I got this! I got this. Everyone, if you can't fight, um...get someplace safe. Or get behind me! And just wait to hear what's going on..."
Ah. Hull breach. Still. "Okay, um, not as bad as I worried. But, still!" Nervous drunk is nervous. And hopes he's not too inebriated to pull off proper forcefields.
Swerve seems skeptical of a drunk telling him not to worry about an alarm but if he's paying Swerve will keep serving. So that's what he does, though he's less chipper than before.
Gearshift accepts the apology with a nod and watches Jackpot on the call. "Isn't a hull breach usually a bad thing?" She asks quietly. "Should we go investigate?" she finishes her rewind and looks back up at Trailbreaker. "I'm not so sure staying here and ignoring it is a good idea...."
The alarms going off isn't all that uncommon. And on a ship like the Lost Light, anything from a grumpy Grimlock to an errant grenade in a game of grenade toss can cause a haul breach. A lot of tense mechs are already loosening up, seeing how there's been no comms or sirens. Must not be a big deal after all. Hot Spot sets some shots in front of Trailbreaker and Gearshift, slapping the larger mech on the back. "Come on, its probably nothing! Loosen up, take a shot on me!" The chipper fire truck bounces into a nearby seat, taking his own shot.
It's not long before Swerve is laughing and smiling as he's serving drinks, back to the mood he was in before.
"Well," Trailbreaker answers Gearshift in as low a voice as he can use and still be heard in the cacaphony, "it could be nothing. Hull breaches happen for a lot of reasons. And we might be safer here than out there, gettin' in the repair crew's way. If they need me, they'll ping me." There's a little sigh at that. "In the meantime, I guess we just sit tight and see."
He, perhaps unwisely, orders another drink to calm his nerves.
Gearshift nods and picks up the shot that's been set in front of her, and eyes the one that's been bought for Trailbreaker as well. "How strong are these?" She asks no one in particular as she quaffs it quickly, coughing a little when she sets it back down onto the bar. She leans "I trust your judgement, Trailbreaker," She assures the mech "I just have a bad feeling is all."
The jovial and light atmosphere quickly return to Swerve's. Everyone is enjoying themselves and Jackpot has returned to singing his own rendition of a classic bar song. "-and eaten by a monsterrrrrr. Ohhhh-hey?" He cuts off, touching back to his comms. He sips his drink and shrugs. "Hey! Mainsy says to turn on the TVs! They- oh, nevermind! They're... On..." Someone from the bridge turned them on- possibly Mainframe- and everyone looked. Those not looking where subsequently directed towards the massive screens.
In full color, HD, the images show the outside of the Lost Light. The monoliths, to be exact. Out from within the monoliths spill huge amounts of material - metallic for the most part, some pieces too small to distinguish, other pieces as big as asteroids. The rivers of stuff flow out from the newly appeared massive doorways and stream toward L1 as well. From the primary monolith, the one from Shivah, a particularly large structure falls out, burning red fire behind squares of transparency, surrounded in a frame of silver and white.
The signaling among the monoliths ceases, and there's no other sound to be heard as the glistening material glides together, beginning to form a single mass. A silence unlike any other begins to fall on the patrons of Swerve's as they watch.
Gearshift watches the screen with wide optics, her expression changing quickly from curiosity to horror. What was going on? What were those things? She gulps, a servo bracing on Trailbreaker's arm, her lips pressing into a fine line. This does not look good.
Swerve is stopped mid laugh as the silence falls. He's stunned, and can, at most, mutter to himself, wondering over the materials and what they could be forming. The old habit of his former occupation coming to the forefront of his processor.
"...Uh." Trailbreaker's fuel intake goes dry. "Gearshift, our mutual bad feelings mighta been the right instinct." His Enjex-addled mind races to try to figure out what any of that could mean. "Does...anyone know what that could possibly be? Other than possibly...very, very big?" If all that material is gathering together...
<FS3> Swerve rolls Metallurgy: Amazing Success. (6 1 6 1 2 6 8 2 4 2 8 8 2 7 8 8)
Gearshift nods, her frame starting to tremble. "What is it forming?" She wonders aloud, her grip (what little she could really get) on Trailbreaker's arm tightening some. He's inadvertently become her support in this scenario, whether he likes it or not.
Swerve shakes his helm as if to answer the femme's question, completly unsure of what the thing could be. In all the years he spent as a metallurgist he'd never seen something like this.
No one answers Trailbreaker. The silence begins to bear down on everyone as all optics and visors ate glued to the TVs. Some mechs seemed to have paled and gone rigid. Others are slackjawed. Jackpot, his drink partially raise, slowly set his engex down looking a bit sick. The quiet makes armor bristle weith fear and anxiety, like some high-pitched horror movie silence is drilling itself into their head.
The gushing of material from the monoliths begins to wane, and the mass that they are forming together starts to take on a roughly spherical shape, although there are distinct, gaping voids in its outline. The frothing shards start to settle together into solid plates, here silver, here a darker gray, here orange. Some pieces, rather than merge with the rest, take up an orbit of their own around the mass, linking up into wide arcs. It's all very orderly and calm.
There is a point on the rough sphere where a circular opening is forming, while two prominences assemble themselves on either side, climbing up and over. The gulf in the center begins to glow.
The only communication that is received from the mass is a shockwave, one that's first visible as a ripple across the mass's new surface. In mere seconds it slams into both ships, knocking them from their orbits. Glasses break and shatter, as Swerve's is rocked and jostled violently. Hope you were hanging on to something.
Swerve yells then watches in horror as so much of his stock and glasses are knocked to the floor, each shatter like a piece of his spark breaking off and fading into the ether. This bar is his livelyhood, and the thing the monoliths have made is threatening that very thing. He's scrambing now to pick up the pieces, talking to himself as he does.
Trailbreaker doesn't mind Gearshift's grip on him. He's frightened himself, wishing he was better at appearing courageous like Prime and Rodimus. Instead he's trying very hard not to shake himself. Don't worry, he tells himself, it's always worked out before. It worked out with the Swarm. It worked out with finding Kup. It'll work out this time too.
And then that beam hits the ship, and Swerve's rocks wildly. Trailbreaker grabs onto the side of the bar for dear life, just barely staying on his feet and for once glad of his heavy build. He manages to release one hand to generate a forcefield to keep a few nearby patrons from being hit with flying glass.
Except one hits him in the face. Of course. Gearshift yelps as she's knocked to the floor like nothing, and she makes a mad grab for Trailbreaker's arm before she hits the floor, groaning in pain. Her plating ripples in displeasure as she slowly uses her stool to pull herself up, holding onto it for dear life. "What was that?" She asked. "What's it doing?" As if someone would know the answer.
Steeljaw had just wandered into Swerves, looking for a little refreshment and within moments, a massive crash echoed through the bar. He stops short, hunching slightly as his ears laid back and mane slicked back to his form, prepared for fight or flight if need be.
As the bar is left to scramble in the tumult, the speakers crackle to life: "Lost Light," Rodimus says, activating the ship's comms on Perceptor's advice -- just in time for the shockwave to hit them. What follows the first words of his address is a truly /vile/ string of swearing right over the ship's systems as he scrambles to keep his feet. In the wake of that, he's a bit lackluster as he says, "--brace for impact. That would've been more helpful five seconds earlier, huh?" He has still forgotten to kill the comms. "And prepare for a possible fight."
It's Swerve's turn to curse. And pray. Both, both is good. He goes to the lower shelf where he keeps the 'my first blaster' and cocks it. "You heard the captain, brace yourselfs and arm up!" He sits on the floor, leaning against the bar and surveying the carnage to his glassware and stock the shockwave wrought.
Trailbreaker frowns, reaching down to help Gearshift up. "You alright there? Uh, everyone okay?" he adds, looking around the bar. His hands are shaking as he forces himself back to his feet. Primus, he is both too drunk and not drunk enough for this. "Uh...thanks for the warning, Captain," he adds weakly, even though Rodimus obviously can't hear him. Except his gloom isn't going to help anyone, not in this situation. He swallows down his fear and stands up tall as he can.
"Hey, it's gonna be alright! We've faced some scary stuff before, right? We can deal with whatever this is too! We can do this! And if you don't feel like you can fight and you need a place to hide, I'm here to protect you!" He holds his hands out, forcefield generators ready. Steeljaw scurries to the edge of the wall just inside the door, right before the whole ship shakes again and he yelps as he skids across the floor, trying to grab to something to keep him somewhat upright and possibly protected from falling mechs, glassware and anything not bolted down.
Brigade is shuffling into the bar just moments before the impact, the sudden impact jarring the precarious mecha. "Frag, no!" he shouts, grip tightening on his cane as he tries to stay upright. The tank falls back against the doorway with a loud crack, a noise drowned out by the sound of shattering glasses. He braces himself with his free hand, just barely managing to avoid falling into a heap. He opens his mouth, a few choice cuss words on the tip of his glossa before he hears Rodimus's annoucement.
A strange look flashes across Brigade's crimson optics. Straightening back up to a respectable position, he flexes his grip on the cane. "Frag, yes!" he shouts, flicking a button on the handle. Electricity crackles along the length of the cane.
"AAaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa!" Comes a loud yell as someone stumbles into the bar. It's a white and red Aerialbot, bumping his way into the doorway, then the floor, picking himself up and then bumping into the nearest table, and maybe person. "Oh my Primus, did you guys see what's out there?!", belts out Fireflight. "Have you- oh." He stops and stares at everyone, who have obviously caught onto the same thing he has, and he joins them.
Stumbling into another table, he grabs the side and tries to steady himself. "Are we under attack? What's happening? Do we need to fight or something? Has anyone seen my teammate- ohhh..." Suddenly his expression brightens as he realizes where he is. "...Is this a bar? Wow, do you have Enerfizzles? Sodagex? Ooooh..." Outside calamity temporarily forgoten, Fireflight stares in amazement at the beauty and lit-up colors and drinks and wonder that is Swerve's Bar. "This place looks so cool!"
Gearshift accepts Trailbreaker's help, bracing herself against the mech in case another wave hits the ship "I'm okay, thank you Trailbreaker" She says. With Rodimus' order she gets her knife hammer out.
Then Fireflight arrives and she's...well honetsly surprised. At least someone seems to be enjoying themselves, right?
Swerve groans and rolls his optics, shouting from behind the bar "You can parous the menu if AND THAT'S A BIG IF we surivve this, okay?!" Up on the TV screens, the picture of their enemy continues to come together. The orbiting ring of material has solidified into a circular outrigger ringing the entire central sphere, which is now covered with curving plates of orange and gray. There remain missing swaths of structure between the stretches of completed surface. Overall the sphere is huge now, the donations from the now-emptied monoliths enough to create something the size of a moon, at least. The glowing maw is now rimmed by triangular tooth-like structures, while the prominences taper into curved horns.
From this hole now vomits a horde of worms, white and wriggling up and over the jagged teeth and springing up into space. Some form a thin cloud around the sphere, while plenty of others fly towards the ships.
Somewhere, somehow, a faint roar is heard by all.
And not a moment later did the first burst through the side of Swerve's, going for the slosest Lost Lighter. And then its brothers began to pierce through too.
Swerve jumps up from his spot behind the bar and starts aiming at the worms. He's yelling, furious at the state of his bar, his baby, his life.
As the wormy intruders udulate through the ship (or whatever space worms do), a wormlike head peers in the doorway! Well, a wyrm-like one. "Sssseee, we told you, breaking glassss everywhere." the dragon head hisses, looking back into the hall. And is joined by a second identical head on the left side of the stocky body moving slightly into the doorway. "Maybe it'sss decorative..." The right head growls. "They were full! That's not decorative, that's wasssteful!" The left head grumbles. "It could be. Like peanutssss on the floor..." "That'sss ssstupid!" "YOU'RE SSSTUPID!" And then a third worm pokes around the corner next to them, causing both dragon heads to blink. "Wait, there are three of ussss?" asks the head on the right confusedly.
And then the worm hisses and winds around the two heads, who yell together. "AUUUUGH!"
They may not be much help at first....
Steeljaw had just managed to right himself, stare wide opticed at Fireflight in his exhuberance and then before he can open his mouth to say something, the first Worm comes into view and Steeljaw lets out a snarl as he brings his small guns to bear that were half hidden by his mane.
Trailbreaker stares when Fireflight stumbles in. "Yeah, it's a pretty good place when it's not a HUGE EMERGENCY! I suggest either grabbing a gun or getting somewhere safe!" Not that he's sure quite what to expect, but he's standing grounded, staring at that doorway with an intent squint behind his visor.
And then WORM THINGS. CREEPY WORM THINGS. Flashbacks to the Swarm fill Trailbreaker's mind as he instinctively flares his glowing forcefield outward, trying to shove them back violently. Trying being the keyword...
Fireflight beams at Swerve. "Really? Thanks!" He gazes back up at the swirling colors and points, "I wanna try that one- oh! And that one! Oh, and do you have- Ow!" Fireflight's delight is rudely interrupted as the reality of attacking... space worms?.... presents itself, the Aerialbot suddenly remembering the peril he seems to be in. "Oh. Uh...." He braces against a tabeltop, fingers grasping the edge hard. He really wiahes he knew where Skydive or Air Raid were right now, they'd know what to do. "Uhhh... what do we do?"
He shrieks a little as the worms get closer, trying to put some tables and things between himself and the attackers. He still has time to glance over at Trailbreaker, and his expression brightens once more. "Oh, that's good to hear. And ...uh, thanks!" He continues putting objects between himself and the worms, debating whether he should bring out his guns in this tight space. His aim isn't... well it isn't that great, to be honest.
Gearshift can't help being almost distracted by Fireflight. He's loud and he's excited and it would be downright adorable if they weren't in absolute peril right now. Instead she rears up and tries to bring the hammer end of her weapon down on the worms.
Unlike some of the others who are still surprised or shocked by the situation, the order to suit up and prepare for a fight reawakens old instincts in Brigade. It may have been hundreds of years since he's been on a real battlefield, but his endless training is not without some impact. The first thing he does is pull back into a more favorable position, fighting from a fixed position a necessity in his case. Stumbling back into one of the booths, the tank braces against the table and shoves with all his might. Crash! He sends it falling to the ground, a barrier between him and the creatures. He twists his cane over the top, ready to press back any of these things that get too curious.
Hearing one of the others ask what to do, the tank shouts in his infamous loud voice, "What do you mean what do we do?! Find cover, secure the exits!"
The inital shots by Swerve and Gearshift don't damage the worms as they continue to come in. Trailbreaker's shield keeps back from the mech, not for the lack of trying. It makes those who try an easier target but as soon as one may be shot, there's another on taking its place. There's lots of worms and they're all snapping at a chance to sink their teeth into something. One of those worms lunge for Steeljaw, jaws snapping at the cat's mane. Others head for Fireflight in his moment of indecision- wings are delicious!
The worms press in on any barriers, more and more burrowing into Swerve's. Shots and booms acan be heard in the floors above and below. The worms are everywhere.
Swerve's terrible aim doesn't deter him even slightly as he continues to try and fire on the worms, even trying to get them away from the panicking Fireflight. He's doing his best, really.
Gearshift knows she was never a warrior, she was never really meant for the battlefield. In fact her frustration with trying to hit the worms has her thinking of the spiders on Eukaris, and how Grimlock nearly killed her just to get one of them. It's not a pleasant memory to say the least. A broadcast crackles from Lieu: "Lost Lighters, prepare for an invasion! Take up arms and aim only for the wormlike creatures." Then a second, smaller voice pipes up, "We're about to get fraked!"
"I think it's a lil late to prepare for the invasion!" Trailbreaker continues to shout at speakers that can't hear him, gritting his teeth as he does his best to strengthen his forcefields. He knows where his strength lies. Enjex makes his aim weaker but burns up as great fuel for his draining Outlier ability. "Try to take 'em down while I hold them back, everyone! Uh, best you can, anyway! I can't do this forever..."
Fireflight glances over at the tank barking orders. It sounds like Brigade knows what he's doing. "Oh, right. Got it!" Alright... he can do this, right? Fireflight listens to the com braodcasting over the speakers, grits his dentae, and brings out his photon displacer gun. If anything, maybe it can affect the worm's sight (do they even have sight?). "Ok, here goes!" He aims at a worm, presses the trigger, and..... nothing happens. He stares at the gun, puzzled, then laughs nervously. "Oh... ha ha ha..." A sheepish grin spreads across his face. "Forgot the safety. Heh..." More nervous laughter as he flips the safety off, then tries again.
Steeljaw yelps as one of the worms attacks his mane, "Get OFF me!" he snarls and instead of trying to kill the worms with guns, he drops all pretense and just wades in, tooth and claw, doing his best to kill anything that wiggles.
Doublecross lets out a snarl as his right head snaps at the worm trying to bite at the left neck. The left shakes hard to dislodge the worm, his eyes glowing a bit as he inhales, a fiery glow starting in his mouth...before the other head bashes into the top of the left dragon skull. "Ow!" The right hisses. "NO FIRESSS! We promisssed!"
The two heads look to either side, taking in all the worms running around now, then look at each other, arriving at a decision simultaneously. "MOOOOSSSSH!" The dragons roar, then begin rears up and stamping and hopping up and down, wings extending a bit as he begins stomping on any worms unfortunate enough to come close to his rather large feet. Then he simply throws his stocky body on top of them and rolls around. Squishing noises ensue.
The worms still can't get to Trailbreaker but those not in his shield? The worms are on them. And they gain number by the second. What was one or two worms going for Fireflight are now five. His aim is off, barely scraping one worm with his shot. And then the jaws of the beast is upon him.
Steeljaw manages to bite and claw a few worms but their sheer amount make up for it, others leaping at the cat. Doublecross demolishes a fair amount of worms but it doesn't seem to change anything, others pressing in to take their vanquished brothers' places. Like a hyrdra, where one dies, two more take its place.
The bar is beyond in shambles but its definitly in chaos. Brigade's work is valiant but doesn't make a dent. And both Swerve and Gearshift get worms all up in their business. Everyone does, actually. Except Trailbreaker thanks to his shield.
Brigade's attention is immediately drawn to defending his own position once the worms enter the bar in number. A score of the creatures press up against his makeshift barricade, and the tank's spark begins to beat in time with an all-too familiar battle fury. Onlining his cane, he starts to smash at the things with the sparking rod. Jolts of electricity stun the creatures, buying the tank a precious few moments. It doesn't completely fry them like he would have hoped, but he's not one to look a gift horse in the mouth. Pressing his advantage, he batters one of the creature's against his makeshift barrier with a hard swipe of his cane.
Gearshift looks between the worms that are encroaching on her, Trailbreaker's field protecting him next to her, and poor Fireflight. She sighs at herself and runs to help him get the worms off of him. "Hey you! Come here!" She calls out. You're going to have to work with her Fire, she's not as tall as you.
Swerve gives up firing on the worms and has not taken to trying to stomp on them, hoping also to take his frustrations out on the worms. He wants them dead. He wants his bar back, and he wants this day to be over! "...Not makin' much progress this way." Trailbreaker realizes people are way too spread out for his barrier to reach them, and all it's doing is stalling the worms. He has to draw them away from others. This'll take some timing and creativity.
"Hey, uglies! Why doncha pick on someone your own...nah, that doesn't really work. Me. Pick on me, assholes!" He dissipates the barrier before jumping into alt mode, using his magnawheels to try to race right up to the ceiling and hoping the creatures follow. It's his job to protect others, one way or another.
"Aiiigh!" The worms are on him before he even knows what's happening, and Fireflight starts struggling to break free. "Ow..no, no, No! Get off! Gahhhh!" He starts whacking at the worms with his gun in a blind panic, then calms down enough to hear Gearshift speaking to him. He glances at her. "Ok! Trying!" He swings a punch at the nearest worm as he attempts to push them back enough that he can move closer to Gearshift.
Steeljaw is a mass of claws, snarls and frantic scrabbling as he tries to avoid getting bitten but it seems he can do nothing more than take one down, only to have another one bit at some other part of his metal hide. Once or twice he lets out a yowl of pain as he is set upon. Being the smallest of the group, it doesn't take much to overwhelm him.
Undaunted, Doublecross continues to thrash, bite, and stomp at the critters around him as he backs up, the swirling numbers building up. Give him a big target, he's much better than lots of small targets! "We ssshould burn them!" argues the right head. "No firesss!" says the left, before snapping at one of the worms that's gotten up to their wing. "Sssmall firesss?" "NO!" The right head notices Trailblazer as he goes roaring by, leaving roadkill behind and uses the temporary clear route to move to where the others are forming up their defensive line. Seeing Steeljaw getting overwelmed, the dragon lowers its tail like a ramp. "Kitty! Up!" "Up on back, yesss! Away from floor!" "Lessss wormsss!"
Gearshift reaches and starts trying to wipe the worms of of Fireflight, standing on the tips of her pedes to do so.
She's really not a fighter, but at least she can do- Is Trailbreaker driving onto the cieling???? She looks up to see the mech climbing and her optics flicker "wow!" She says, surprised.
Fireflight and Gearshift manage to get some worms off the Aerialbot but even more swarm in, latching on with pinsers and gaping jaws. Removing them seems moot at this point. There's so many worms, its not even worth it. They attempt to burrow through kibble along broad limbs or wings.
Doublecross manages to clear enough worms with Steeljaw to allow the kitty some space to climb up on the monsterbot. Worms converge on Trailbreaker, some breaking away from Swerve to chase after. But ther worms fill the room so densely, the attempt to lead them away doesn't accomplish much. They're coming from the walls and ceiling and floor, holes and gaps everywhere as they continue to come.
And then the lights dim... And go off, save for a few very unhelpful emergency lights.
Swerver really starts to panic now, a string of curses and calls out to crewmates coming from his vocalizer. "What do we do? Do we call Rodimus? Do we leave? How can we get out? is the door stuck?" He goes on and on, unable to stop himself.
Gearshift yelps when the lights go off, and gulps as the worms start to overtake Fireflight "We need to leave" She agrees with Swerve, calling to Brigade or Trailbreaker "Can one of you break the door?" She doesn't think to check if it's working, the more important thing is getting out.
"...Oh, crud." Trailbreaker isn't so sure about this idea he had. He transforms back into root mode on the ceiling, now standing in the dark and surrounded by worms. He calls down to Swerve. "Just stay calm! If we panic it's not gonna help!" Nevermind how much he wants to panic, which is very, very, very much right now. "I'm not sure we can get to the door through all these worms, and there must be way more down the hallway!"
Hindered as he is by the darkness, he tries to fire at the worms surrounding him and below him with a rifle from his subspace. "Are you okay down there?!"
The twin dragon snaps out in sharp, serpentine motions with their jaws, one after the other, their clawed hands clawing at any worms that starts to get a purchase on its upper body. By this point even Doublecross's thick armor is starting to suffer small breaches, with little cracks here and there where the worms have nom'd away, mostly along their legs and tail, where they're lowest to the ground.
Then the lights go out. Mostly.
One of the dragons looks over to Swerve at this point. "Can burn now pleassse?" the right head says, a bit pleadingly as the other spits out worm bits, backing up grudgingly towards the door. It IS Swerve's bar after all! Doublecross does not want to be banned. Banned dragons are sad. They continue to stomp as they hold out their wings to give Steeljaw a better perch as the rapidly increasing mass of worms filles the room more and more.
Steeljaw manages to get a few off of him, then sees Doublecross's tail after a few are cleared off over the ones he took care of. Without need for any further encouragement, he quickly scrambles up the dragon, trying to swipe and bite any on or around the dragon as he passes, heading for higher ground. "Thanks big guy!" He takes up a fighting stance higher up and attacks anything that comes close.
Fireflight screams in terror as the worms overwhelm him, finding himself nearly drowned in writhing bodies that wrap around and probe into his armor. Uuuugh, this is disgusting- and it hurts! These things BITE! "Aiiiigh!" He can hear Trailbreaker saying not to panic, and the young Aerialbot tries to follow that advice, tries to think happy thoughts... his gaze lifts up to the bar again, with the swirling bright colors, and for a moment it calms him- until one of the worms blocks his view of even that, and he yelps again, and then everything goes dark across the room. Struggling, he tries to break free somehow, swinging and punching and kicking, but there are just so many and he's not a very good fighter. "Help!!!"
Gearshift tries again to brush the worms off of Fireflight, her own panic rising. "WHat choice do we have?!" She yelles to Trailbreaker. "We stay in here and get devoured?! Or leave and have a chance to get away?!" She says "or at least regroup for a united front!"
Swerve nods and makes a break for it, yelping at the bites from the worms. He heads where doublecross is "Fraggit. You wanna burn the worms? Go for it!" he yells
Brigade is distracted when he spots a flicker of movement on the ceiling. In the time it takes to glance upwards, watching Trailbreaker streak across the ceiling, he feels one of the things latch onto his frame. Cruch. He has solid armor, but that hurts like slag. But he has more immediate concerns. "WHAT THE FRAG ARE YOU DOING?!" he shouts. Stupid heroics have their place, but this isn't it. All that will happen is that Trailbreaker will be eaten first, and the rest of them will quickly follow.
As infuriated as he is by Trailbreaker's thoughtless stunt, old instincts kick into gear. He needs to move. Armor starting to shift, the tank transforms into alt mode and starts to crush through the worms. He'll even make it a good distance before he seems to remember that his alt mode has been useless for years. His engine gives a weak rev and starts to stall. "FRAG YOU, NOT THIS NOW!"
"YEAh, I figured out that was a bad idea! I'm very drunk!" Trailbreaker shouts back at Brigade. And then Gearshift's words sink in. "Yeah...yeah. Okay. We'll try to get out!"
Gearshift may be trying her best but her best isn't doing much for Fireflight. Not as worms latch onto her and continue to get at the Aerialbot. They break easily, there's just more than she and Fireflight can handle. That any of them can handle. Swerve stomps on some, but there's already more at his back. Trailbreaker hits some with his shots because, at this point, its impossible to hit any of them even for a very drunk guy, but he can't stop all of them from getting to him.
Brigade's alt squishes a fair amount of worms but they're already beginning to try and swarm the tank, some wriggling into very undesirable tank places. Doublecross and Steeljaw are having about as much luck as everyone else. Its just never ending, these squirmy, biting, billowing worms.
Gearshift grows frustrated with the worms and instead focuses her attention on running at the door, slamming her body into it. She's going to at least act on her own suggestion, even if her smaller frame can't do it.
Swerve sees what the femme is doing, and joins in, taking a running start and slamming into the door.
The right head of Doublecross turns to the left as it snaps another worm in half. "He said yesss!" it hisses with an indecent amount of pure glee. "Ooooooh!" Both heads rear up, their jaws parting as their red optics glimmer. "BURRRRRRN!" And then both heads let out twin gouts of flames, playing it over the mass of worms back and forth like a firehose as he stands firm, trying to shield those working at the door as best he can.
Trailbreaker at this point wants to curl up and hide inside of a bubble just to make it all go away, as the worms bite at him, squirm and swarm. It's no better on the ceiling than it was on the floor, and Brigade is right. "Okay, I'm coming down now! Clear the way!" Curling himself into a ball, he turns off the magnawheels and tries to just land on a clump of worms, hoping he'll at least squish a few with his body weight. Landing clumsily either way, he struggles back to his feet and rushes around towards poor Fireflight. "Hold on!"
That's that. The moment that Brigade's engine sputters out for good he knows he's in a terrible spot. Somewhere along the line he lost his cane, his best weapon, and now the worms are starting to swarm him in earnest. The tank does the only thing he can: reverting to root mode. If he tears off a few of the creature's helms with his shifting armor, good, even if having worm-parts jammed in his armor is agonizing. He is not going down peaceably, though. With no other options, the tank starts bashing the worms with his fists. It's an impossible fight, but it sure as hell makes him feel better. "IF YOU MORTILUS SPAWN ARE SO EAGER FOR A TAILPIPE TO CRAWL UP, AT LEAST YOU FOUND THE BIGGEST AFT ON THE SHIP! I'LL GIVE YOU A TASTE," he curses.
Fireflight continues to struggle with the worms. He calls for help, but Gearshift is getting overwhelmed, too, and everyone is busy trying to survive. Again he wishes his big bros were here, they'd know what to do. Skydive would probably cut them all away with his fancy sword and Raid would blast them away with bravado. Fireflight... well, he's never really been that great at fighting. he tries but... he just hasn't ever been very good. The Aerialbot hears talk about doors and suddenly feels the heat of fire, rolling away from it all and again trying to get on his feet. "I- I can't get them off me!" He stumbles and falls, crashing into an engex container, cutting himself and the worms, getting wet and pungent for his efforts. "Uuugh..." he keeps trying to shake the worms off, punching, pulling, grabbing a broken container and just smashing at worms with it. "I don't... don't know if I'm going to make it... Tell -OW!- my brothers they can have all my stuff if I don't make it. There- Ow- isn't much, but... whatever I had is theirs..."
Doublecross continues to let loose gouts of flame at the mass of worms not already engaged with those near him, which sets worms to burning merrily. This probably is not pleasant for olfactory sensors in the area, but it beats being nom'd to death! Some keep getting through, just by sheer numbers. On the other hand, the bar IS probably starting to catch in places, which probably is making it slightly harder for the worms at least.
At the yells, the right head looks towards where Brigade is being overwhelmed, while the left looks to where Fireflight stumbles back, with more clinging to him, with Trailbreaker trying to clear him off.
"Fireflight?" says the left. "Brigand!" says the right distractedly. "BRIGADE!" "WHATEVER!?!" The two look paralyzed by indecision, , which distracts them from fighting the worms, before they finally manage to break their deadlock, slapping and yanking at the worms starting to swarm over them as they tromp towards Brigade. "Bitesss!" the left hisses as their heads start to snap out at some of the worms on Brigade. Sort of gorillas in the mist grooming or..something. With worm guts.
This of course means Doublecross is now starting to be swarmed as he stops breathing fire everywhere.
Doublecross's fire crackles and burns the worms, taking some down... Though now there's some worms flying around while on fire. So there's that. Worms drill into Doublecross's back, and Trailbreaker's and Brigade's too. Actually, everyone at this point. They've ravaged the bar and it take minimal effort to get the door down to reveal... A worm-filled hall. They've destroyed walls, ceilings, floors. Everything is in shambles and they still come.
It's not looking good for Fireflight- for anyone at this point. They're getting chewed up and spit out by sheer numbers. It's starting to look bleak as tremors go through the bar, the floor creaking. It might give out with all its damage from worms.
"Oh nononono." Trailbreaker shudders at the burrowing and drilling, hoping at least his forcefield generator is still going to be operable. He's gonna need it. Marching through the awful swarm and seeing that Doublecross is aiding Brigade, he shouts and gives a thumbs up. "Thanks, guy! Guys! Uh, right!" And then he stares down at poor Fireflight and just outright plunges his hand into that swarm. "Hey! Try to take my hand, okay!? I'm gonna try to take you to Brigade and Doublecross and put a barrier around us all at once. That-that might be all we can do at this point...!"
And as he knows, he might just be delaying the inevitable. But it's giving someoen time.
Brigade fights with all he has, slamming into the creatures mercilessly as they eat into him. As the battle rages, though, even with the aid of others it starts to dawn on the tank that he might not make it out of this alive. The tank growls low in his vocoder, the mere idea of that infuriating to him. "Frag you, Trailbreaker!" he mutters, as if this whole situation is somehow the other mecha's fault. It takes a moment for him to reveal what he means by that. "You lucky bastard! I'm not drunk enough for this," he snarls. Damn, if he's dying today he's doing it with a good buzz.
Brigade refocuses his efforts, instead of fighting the things trying to pull back towards Doublecross. The tank has to crawl and drag himself along without his cane, a difficult task at best while being eaten alive. He manages to get a few feet closer before enough is enough. There's only one thing left to do in this situation. Reaching into his subspace, Brigade pulls out his flask. Now there's the good stuff. He does not get very far before one of the wriggling worms knocks it out of his hand and latches onto his forearm, though. "FRAG YOU, TOO, UNIVERSE! I NEEDED THAT!"
There's a hand thrust his way, and a reassuring voice. Fireflight doesn't know who it is, but he sure doesn't question it. The Aerialbot gasps in pain as he feels worms boring into his armor but gritting his dentae, he flings his hand out there, trying to latch onto Trailbreaker's. "Okay! Aigh! I- Thanks!" Relief is obvious in the young mech's voice.
The twin dragons snarl and hiss in pain and anger as more serious breaches start to be ripped in his tough armored hide, energon starting to drip down here and there as they swat and claw at the worms. As Brigade starts to pull back Doublecross backs up, the left head turning back to keep its eyes on Brigade, belching out a small fireball at the mass of worms between the old tank and Trailbreaker and Fireflight. His thick tail curls, acting like a shovel as he tries to give Brigade something to lean on to get to his feet.
Meanwhile the right head resumes liberally fireballing the darkness. Mostly the worms in the darkness. It lets out a shriek as one of the worms latch on to its neck, gnawing into the armor there as its left hand scratches and claws frantically at it. Trailbreaker grits his teeth. He's not gonna be able to get to Doublecross and Brigade; it's too thick with worms, worms wriggling and biting into him and getting into his joints. It feels awful. But if he can at least save one person...
He yanks Fireflight closer and flares up a flickering forcefield, weakened by his own damaged condition. They're closed in, trapped, but at least Fireflight won't die violently. Maybe.
Brigade growls a little at the offered support. He would usually turn it away, and even getting eaten alive he acts grouchy, but the tank finds the strength to pull himself at least into a sitting position. That done, a smile ghosts over his lip components. Sure, he's in a terrible mood and probably dying, but... "Damn, that's a fight," he mutters. He'd do it again just to feel like himself for a moment.
As the worms converge on those left in Swerve's, the ship-wide intercom still manages to ring out. Lieutenant's voice with some static, "All crew members brace for a quantum jump, in ten..., nine..., eight..., seven..., six...,- fsssht- two..., one-" The voice changes to that of Hound: "Initiating quantum jump!"
Hound's proclamation comes just before the fog of worms descends upon the conjoined ships. Securely linked together, and despite festering with worms tearing up the majority of their hulls and innards alike, the ships flit away from the Solar System in a quantum energy burst. If any pieces of the ships were splinched off in the jump, they can't be distinguished from the other debris left behind.
When the outside world resolves again, it is stunningly still. All the worms have stopped as well, deactivated from the jump or their distance from their master. Either way, they no longer pose a threat.
Faint stars glitter in suddenly different locations in all directions except straight ahead. There, instead of the distant glow of Earth is, well, seemingly nothing, a dark patch. Sensors reveal that it is a nebula, but they cannot relay more information in their damaged state. The Lost Light and the Ariel limp forward toward its dark embrace.