2017-07-03 I Ain't No Gladiator

From Transformers: Lost and Found

2017-07-03 I Ain't No Gladiator
Date 2017/07/02
Location Hutt Colosseum
Participants Bone-Spur, Conduit, Frisk, Glaze, Hound, Starstruck, Sunstreaker, Ultra Magnus
NPCs Vashta, Launcher
Plot Forced Fighters
Scene GM Lieutenant
Summary An artifact-seeking mission quickly goes awry.

Anialus might not have socialized with this group before tossing the group planetside. Where he's dropped everyone off is inside a building. It's huge interior, but empty. Outside can clearly be seen where they stand. It's dark, only lit by many colorful lights outside that bounce off other buildings not to far away from them. Casinos and hotels by the looks of it. This building is far more different, than those out there those. No labels tell of what it is with other isles to go further inside what might just be a stadium. The scanner blips in Conduit's hands to go down. Look, walk and talk, there's an artifact to find.

Conduit steps out of the space bridge with a small thrill in his spark. Just traversing the bridge was fascinating, but finding an artifact is even more enticing. It's similar to how he spent his time between leaving the Decepticon rank and file and the unfortunate accident that left his crew dead and him in stasis lock in deep space ... well, time to get back in the saddle. He sweeps the scanner around, leaving commentary about their surroundings to others. "This way," he extends a finger past the scanner held outstretched in his other arm. He doesn't advance too boldly; he's no front-line fighter, he'll let the more combative types led the way. His free hand moves occasionally to his waist, ensuring that the precious capsules he's packed are still secured.

Ultra Magnus is, in contrast, a front line fighter. The largest and most armed and armored being the ones most likely to draw a certain amount of hostile attention, he takes point near the forefront of the little party -- although not at the very front, because there are probably those more perceptive than he is. His gaze roves the building with uncertainty writ across the edge of his helm.

Starstruck's a little disappointed he didn't have time to stop and chat with the AI; he hasn't really bothered to stop by and talk to the esteemed ex-Knight, as the research of the Knights and what these artifacts do isn't really his thing. He'd been interested in trying since they were here anyway, except - well, the artifact's signal came through and Anialus basically put his boot to their asses and kicked them through the bridge.

And of course his second time coming through the space bridge puts him in a place just as dark as the first, even with the colored lights from outside peeking in. Flicking on the headlights on his chest, bright beams of light cut through some of the darkness directly in front of him. "Alright, Condy, you've got the scanner," Starstruck says cheerfully. Here's one of your combative types, leading the way again, morning star stored away Just In Case. There's a tension to his frame as he moves forward, an anticipation of what they might find here.

Bone-Spur made it all official just today-- she's now one of the crew, and as one of the crew she now has ensuing duties. Pressing matters bring her along on the next excursion, and she shoulders her way through the space bridge with only mild trepidation. She knows her new commanders, and names out of need, but while they move into the empty building she is doing an examination of the others with stormy optics. Spur might be unfamiliar, but only for the time being. She's a quick study.

Frisk hasnt been on one of these missions yet, its kind of exciting! This is the kind of stuff he wanted to join up for, going to strange new worlds, adventure! Running out ahead of Ultra Magnus- very likely through his legs, even- Frisk happily runs up to Starstruck and climbs the mech's leg and back up to his shouler, where the microraptor happily sits in alt mode. Now he's up front AND has a giant mech to act as bullet sponge should anything happen! Its win/win ... for him! "What do you think we'll find?" Please let it be exciting

The bridge is less fascinating to Hound than what's beyond it. As soon as they've stepped into the room, the second in command is glancing around, walking a few steps toward the window before reversing his course to come back to the group when Conduit calls out a location, and points the way. "Got it," he says, stepping forward. Technically he's in command here, as the ranking officer, but it's been a while since he's been down on the ground like this, and the urge to step forward to act as a scout is fierce. Hound only curtails it some as Ultra Magnus and Starstruck step forward toward the front of the group. Instead, he stands by Conduit, checking his pace deliberately. "Let's get to it," he suggests, "but keep on the alert for anything that might come next."

Sunstreaker can already feel the grip of anxiety on his spark. But its safer to leave Bob behind- he doesn't know exactly how this is going to go after all. Its better that the bug stay safe, even if he has to be a little more uncomfortable for it. Glistening, golden armor clamped tight around his frame, he follows not far behind Magnus. He makes a face, nasal plating scrunchin in distaste, when Frisk climbed on Starstruck. He can see the minute scatches from here. Better the Con than him.

Glaze is only too happy to help out on an artifact excursion. This is serious business that affects everyone, unless someone can come up with a better way to get rid of the planet eating monstrosity that's threatening the entire galaxy, or possibly even the universe. Everyone should put in some work not just fore a better tomorrow, but for a tomorrow in general. He's actually even a little excited - this being his first such outing.

Like Ultra Magnus, he keeps to the front, sled-shield secured to his back, but within easy reach. He might not be quite as good a barrier as the larger mech, but he's certianly more use out here than in the middle of their little party.

Passing through one of the halls that leads them down, they can hear the sudden thunderous wave of screams and cheers. Whatever is going on out there practically shakes the patrons with thrill. There are anouncers yelling, clearly thrilled over something but in a foriegn language. None of the group will be able to see it the further down Conduit leads them. The scanner wants them to go down as far as possible.

What awaits them at the bottom, however, no longer has windows and muffles the sounds of the crowd. The last person through the hall will just barely manage to evade the slamming of the door. In front of them are just rows and rows of cells, each with some alien prisoner inside. Various species all glancing from behind glasses of their prisons. Have they come to break them out? Are they their saviors?

<FS3> Conduit rolls Mind+Mind: Success. (1 8 3 3 5 4)

<FS3> Sunstreaker rolls Mind+Mind: Good Success. (5 5 7 7)

<FS3> Ultra_Magnus rolls Mind+mind: Good Success. (4 1 8 3 6 7)

<FS3> Frisk rolls Mind+Mind: Good Success. (4 4 4 8 6 8)

<FS3> Hound rolls Mind+Mind: Success. (3 3 7 6)

<FS3> Starstruck rolls Mind+mind: Success. (4 8 2 3 1 4)

<FS3> Glaze rolls Mind+Mind: Good Success. (2 8 2 5 3 6 5 7)

<FS3> Bone-Spur rolls Mind+Mind: Success. (4 8 2 4 3 4)

Bone-Spur's optics trail after Frisk, naturally, her heavy gaze roaming to Sunstreaker when he makes a face at the antics. Her slower lumbering leaves her near the back, a hulk of armor and spikes making mental notes as they descend, her nose wrinkling periodically.

The slam of door at her aft causes the dinosaur to pivot around, rumbling, only for the smell of things down here to have her turning back again. Well, slag.

"Of course." Conduit is only too happy to follow Hound's order here, and he continues sweeping the scanner as they descend, hoping it would pick up any "anything" of concern. "A show," he mutters as the pass within earshot of the din, but he maintains his concentration as they continue down. Even the door slamming behind them is merely noted as a minor concern, compared to finding the artifact. The firepower among the others in the party is surely enough to handle it if necessary. He aims the scanner into one cell after another, caring more about their goal being inside one than the welfare of their occupants. "Nothing so far." Similarly, the collars only register as a fact. Prisoners. Interesting.

<FS3> Frisk rolls Transportation: Good Success. (1 2 6 3 2 1 5 8 5 8 1 3 6 1)

Starstruck grins at the mecharaptor now perched on his shoulder as he leads the way down, changing course whenever Conduit tells him to. "Don't know," he answers Frisk, honestly. "Could be anything." He won't say what he's hoping it is (Quintessons for punching). "We'll have to see when we get there, eh?" Playfully reaching up to scritch a fingertip over the top of Frisk's helm, if allowed, everything seems fine to Starstruck as the move deeper into the stadium. The sounds of a crowd have him looking around in interest, though he's unable to see anything.

It's not until they reach the room of cells that Starstruck begins to realize things are Not Fine, especially when the door slams behind them, trapping them. "That can't be good," he mumbles, glancing back the way they came in before turning his attention to the cells. Prisoners...with collars. No, not good at all. Carefully moving to the cell closest to him, he asks, a bit awkwardly, "So uh...if you can understand me, what're ya in for?"

Magnus scans through the cells with a deep frown graven into his features. His gaze flickers toward the source of the noise, and lingers on the collars with a tightening of his jaw. He starts doing a head count of the prisoners in range, surveying the room with deep discontent in his expression. "Anyone recognize any technology with respect to those restraints?" he asks. not what Glaze was expecting. Maybe ruins, or a mueseum, but not a prison. So many different species, and all collared. Are the cells not enough? Nor was he expecting the door slamming behind him. Reflexivley, his head snaps to the back at the sound, though once he's sure that no one was hurt, he relaxes a bit. Just a bit, as their suroundings still unnerve him a bit "Is this really the right place?"

Frisk narrows his optics slightly at the scritches, giving a small growl deep in his throat. Move it or he bites it, standard. But his annoyance at being scratched like some domesticated bird disappears when he sees what they walk into, and hears the door snap shit behind them. "huh... So not what I expected." Frisk shifts from Starstruck's shoulder to the top of his helm, leaning out to get a better look around. In a quick movement of feathered limbs, Frisk leaps off of the large mech's helm and glides gracefully down to the floor, transforming to jog up to one of the cells. They all have collars... Already Frisk's excitement is beginning to taper off, body language becoming less excitable and more on guard. He takes a second to examine the locks, maybe he can get them open...

The sound of the roaring crowds isn't quite enough to put Hound on edge, at first. It's a distant sound, after all, and it could be from any cause. As long as the scanner doesn't lead them out into the middle of an occupied arena, they can just get in, get the artifact, and hopefully get out without much further problem. There's always the chance that there's some sort of security around that will try and remove them, but they'll deal with that when they get to it. The slamming of the door is what makes Hound jump, and immediately turn around, looking for a handle and cursing. "Fragging..." he hisses, searching for a handle or a panel or anything that could let them out. He spares a glance at the prisoners, his optics tightening and his armor clamping down. "Someone try and talk with them," Hound says, "And someone help me try the door." Getting it open doesn't seem like the best bet, considering the state of the... prisoners... but maybe...

Bone-Spur leans her shoulder into the door that has closed, testing its metal under the tap of pauldron. She looks over her shoulder as some of the others test at the cells, her optics narrowing into slits. Rather than try and stop any of that, Spur turns to the main door and runs a palm down along where the hinge was, seeking out the fastenings. "I'll take care'a this, just worry about them, eh?"

<FS3> Frisk rolls Fortitude: Failure. (6 2)

Sunstreaker's finials twitch as they go down the halls, hearing everything thos noises slowly fade. He rubs at the base of one as his steps become more like stomps as they procede. Then no more sound, but plenty to look at. His spark skips a beat, vents sucking in sharply. "Slag," he growls, runing his servos over his face a few times. He stomps past some others, he ends up close to Frisk before one of the glass prisons. He wastes no times in cocking a fist back to bring it down into the glass.

<FS3> Sunstreaker rolls Fortitude: Success. (6 5 5 7)

The main door has no hinges and does not budge when it comes to brute force movement. Although some of the aliens try yelling at Hound and Bone-Spur, supposedly cheering them on, but it's in vain. Those 'glass' panes look clear, but as Frisk and Sunstreaker will discover, they burn to the touch. Probably why no one is even near the panes.

Starstruck's question only gets a few mutters, they don't understand but the word Cybertronian is uttered. Some hushed noises break through the yelling, and, while gone unnoticed thus far, there is a turning sand timer near the entrance full of smoke. It's the only thing that whispers, "Over here, saviors."

Starstruck frowns when it's made clear that the prisoner he was speaking to doesn't know what he's saying; at least they seemed to know what he is. "No dice, boss!" he calls back over to Hound, where the SIC is working with Bone-Spur to get the door open. "I don't think they understand what we're saying. This one knows what a Cybertronian is, though." Movement out of the corner of his optic has Starstruck glancing up just in time to see Sunstreaker and Frisk actually come into contact with the glass, Sunny straight up punching it. Star winces. Best not try that.

Conduit glances up from his cell inspections as others in the party test the cells, and shakes his head slightly before returning to his work. The shouts from inside the cells are heard, but it's no language he discerns, so on with the scans. The timer, though, prompts him to swing his scanner around to aim at it. One optic on the scanner, the other on its target, he approaches cautiously. "Contact here." Yes, Conduit, never mind those prisoners, really.

Hound spares a brief smile for Bone Spur, and steps back to let the Rigardian get at the door. "Go for it," he invites her with a nod to go at it. She does look a lot tougher than him, with all of that knobbly armor of hers. "It's more than a match for me." He watches as the door continues not to give, his frown beginning to deepen as the door continues not to give way. "I thought it would be solid, but..." he says, shaking his head, and turning toward Starstruck. "Any other languages?" he starts to ask, when the slight hiss of sound interrupts the muttering of the other prisoners.

Frisk brushes the lock, trying to look for any kind of panelling or keyhole to work with, only to recoil back as a burning sensation flares through his hand. "ARGH!" Holding the limb, now with some feathers looking worse for wear from the contact, the microraptor instinctually flips back into alt mode with a loud hiss. Hopping back to Starstruck, he climbs the mech once again to hand off his hip while favoring the injured wing, "Word to the wise, don't touch the glass." He looks over with the others as the thing at the end speaks.

"Saviors, gather." the smoke says in a more urgent and insisting tone. Turning and turning in it's sand timer prison. If it could move toward you all it would.

"I would be more surprised if they didn't" Glaze takes another look at the prisoners. With so many species, it would be incredibly unlikely that atleast some of them didn't recognise them as Cybertroninas, given their own species infamy among other races. It's strange that there's no one with whom they can communicate.

Well, almost no one "Looks like there's someone who can understand us over there" turning towards hound, he nods at the hourglass, before turning to head there. Sunstreaker and Frisk get a concerned look along the wya "Are you both okay?"

"Gentlemechs and femmes," Ultra Magnus intones in a staid, bland tone, "there is something speaking to us."

Bone Spur steps back a few paces before lowering her shoulders and crouching, head cocking at the sound of something beckoning their attention. The whisper in her audials and the sight of the turning smoke has her gaze moving to Hound. "Still want me to try knocking it in?" Her eyes move from the commanding mechs to the door, then the hourglass. She's curious,of course, but she also wants out.

Starstruck shifts when Frisk climbs him again, making it easier for the microraptor to reclaim a position on Star's frame. "I don't know about this," he says warily, even as he steps closer to the hourglass. "Disembodied voices coming out of inanimate objects usually aren't a good sign." Not that any of this is a good sign, considering they're just as trapped as the aliens in the cells.

Sunstreaker takes a step back, his scowl setting into a deep glower while he draws his punching hand close. He rubs at the knuckles before pushing down on them, a crack resounding with each one. He grumbles something about scorch marks before turning to that voice. "You don't say, Magnus," he growls before snapping at Glaze, "I'm fine." Then he stomps off, away from everyone if only for a little comfort that no one could hear his racing spark. Captives, he hates it. "Why're you calling us that?" he demands the inanimate object.

Conduit casts a sidelong glance at Ultra Magnus. After all, he's holding the scanner directly at the hourglass. With a sigh, he checks it again, and it registers ... nothing. He lowers it, but doesn't approach closer to weird talking object. He can hear it just fine right where he is. "Who are you?"

"Uh, give it a moment," Hound says, stepping further away from the door and beckoning Bone Spur away from the door, his attention shifting toward the hourglass and the sound of the disembodied voice. Getting a contact within the prisoners seems just as important, even if it's... as strange a one as this. He steps up, tilting his head at it and letting the others ask questions for the moment.

The prisoners begin to silence, fretting and worrying noises, steadily rumbling into shouts and pleads. Some even pound against their panes only to cry out in agony at the pain. But they are of no use.

The smoke in the sand timer slips out of it's prison at a bursting speed as glass panes come in over them on all sides, entrapping them all. The smoke fill their prison box, clasping on a collar for each before slipping out through the bottom and reforming. It's not a humanoid, it seems to be some quadrapod with a pair of arms, which hold the scanner Conduit once had. "I am the Guard." it whispers, "And you are our new fighters."

Ultra Magnus draws his helm up in dour consternation, eyeing the new 'glass' around him with a snarl written in a ripple across his lips. "I beg your pardon," he says crisply. Several guns prime themselves in a winding up of energy down the length of his massive of frame. "We are nothing of the kind," he... asserts despite all evidence to the contrary.

"Mhm. Jus'tell me when." She will happily bust things over then. Bone-Spur lifts up to her full height, following close behind to see the hourglass over and past the others' shoulders. The noises behind her have Spur stepping around to look just when the trap springs.

The saurid lets out a great snarl and claws at the thing that's clamped at her neck. "Are you slaggin' me?" Bone-Spur is unflinching when she pulls a punch and whacks forward at the glass.

It all happens more quickly than Conduit can react, but he's not surprised. So much for keeping his distance. The scanner being plucked from his hand does annoy him, though, and his purple biolights flare. He stifles the instinct to test the glass, but instead feels at the collar around his neck. If he converts to alt mode, will its tether snap? Perhaps his special cargo would make quick work of it, but he doesn't try it for now. There's attention on them, from this Guard. Best to wait, and observe this ... centaur?

<FS3> Bone-Spur rolls Fortitude: Great Success. (5 8 4 6 2 6 8 1 8 7 4 8 3 1 2 2)

"I fucking knew it!" Starstruck snaps at no one, as glass comes down around him, separating him from Frisk as well as the others. Talking inanimate objects are always a bad sign, didn't anyone else watch movies? Then again, he can't really judge anyone in this situation, considering he'd walked toward the hourglass too, and it seems like it would've caught them all anyway. He only wishes he'd moved when the prisoners started getting rowdy; they obviously knew what was about to happen. "What Ultra Magnus said. We're not your anything." Magnus isn't the only one with guns priming, the cannons in Starstruck's legs whining quietly as they online.

Glaze staggers back from the pane appearing infront of him, only to nearly smack into the one behind him. This is not good. Not good at all. On instinct, begins to reach for his pistol and shield, only to realize that he, and the others, have now been fitted with collars. Slag. Instead, he turns back to the creature calling itself 'The Guard' "And if we refuse?"

Just to be safe, Frisk shifts around starstruck's hip to drop down to the panelling on the back of the mech's thigh where he will be safe from anything that might bust out of the hourglass. A raptor head pokes out from around the large 'con's leg to watch the smoke and see what happens. Only that doesnt help as the thing surges forward and traps them. Frisk struggles against the collar forcibly snapped to his neck- even going so far as to hit the floor in his attempts to claw it off- but its in vain. "CHELA BE DA- ARGH!" After a few attempts he quickly dissolves into very angry microraptor noises, "Maybe I can change back to- OH FRAG WILL THIS KILL ME IF I GO BACK TO ROOT MODE!?" Its around his alt mode's neck so does that mean it will snap his neck if he transforms!?

Oh hell no. Sunstreaker's armor bristles. He grabs the collar to try and tear it off. He refuses to be a captive again. Optic wide and bright, he look at 'the Guard.' One ugly fragger. "Release us right now and maybe we won't kill you!" he snarls, not giving up on the collar. Get it off, get it off!

When the sand starts to move, Hound is beginning to frown, but it's only when the glass box descends on them that he curses, and begins to jerk back, his arms coming up as though to fight an enemy that isn't actually there. He has to stop short of actually hitting the glass- he saw what happened to Frisk and to Sunstreaker earlier. It's when the collar snaps around his neck that he really hisses, his fingers coming up to scrabble at the surface of the thing. "Hold on, here," he says, holding out a free hand toward the others. "You-- Guard. On what grounds are you holding us? If this is about being in here without permission, we can negotiate. We didn't mean to trespass." He can't help buy eye the strange form, and the smoke around them, with distrust, but... The fact is that it's true, and if there's even a chance that they can talk their way out of this, he needs to try it.

Bone-Spur will feel the burn at her punch but receive no burns for her actions. Still, no damage done to the glass aside from a cool Webb wubb noise. All will notice, that although they can power up their weapons now, they will steadily be powering down. "Collars prevent transformation, use of weaponry, and abilities." the Nuckelavee smoke creature explains and in a no-room for argument tone adds, "You will fight because Hutt demands to be entertained." Oh and considering the fact it's smoke, it's likely not killable.

"VASHTA!" Demands a voice entering the same way the group had come in. This one isn't an alien race, it's Cybertronian. Average sized, various shades of lavender, and face covered in tattoos. An Autobot badge nearly scratched out entirely on his shoulder. "What the HELL? Where did you-- Hound? Sunstreaker? ULTRA FRAGGING MAGNUS? Tell me these are fakes! You did NOT-- What?? Let them go! We have MORE than enough as it is!"

<FS3> Starstruck rolls Mind+mind: Success. (3 5 3 5 7 5)

No, wait, what--! Starstruck looks around, distressed, as his powering-up cannons begin to power down. No way, no way no way! "Who gives a fuck what this Hutt wants, let us go!" He's not about to be someone's prisoner, someone's gladiator, if that's what the hell is going on. His tanks curdle when he remembers that he'd kind of wanted this, in a different sense, wanted to find those Quints who were building and selling mechs. And now he's stuck in a situation where he's gonna be used against his will to entertain some Star Wars wannabe? Fat chance!

Before any more of Starstruck's anger can rise to the surface, a new face enters the fray. A very, very familiar face, even if it doesn't wear the visor. The rage suddenly goes ice cold, and Starstruck's antennae wilt all the way back when he says in a hoarse voice, "...Mixer?"

Conduit watches with pity in his optics as others on this excursion flail against their sudden imprisonment. His patience is borne out as the newcomer ... some sort of ex-Autobot, interesting ... argues for their immediate release. Best not to make assumptions. What Conduit is more worried about is the scanner; it will reveal their purpose here, and the artifact probably should not fall into their hands. "Yes, and return our equipment, if you would." He clasps his hands behind his back, the better to hide their wringing, and channels some Magnus-style exterior calm.

Bone-Spur drags the punch as far as she can, scraping her spiky knuckles and letting out a short growl that echoes in her chest. She is tempted to transform before the collars uses are laid out for her. Then she just scowls and bares her teeth, the rankle of her nose clear. "Chela burn you, let us out of this place..." She is once more tempted to strike the wall, but instead turns her head to look to Frisk as he struggles around.

"And if we refuse?" Glaze repeats, his brow ridge creasing as he watches the Guard. His face scrunches in disgust. To fight for someone's amusement? No, he has no intention of harming anyone for something so sick.

The disgust only deepens when the nrecommer arrives. "You should be ashamed of yourself, supporting this - this opperation!"

Frisk listens to what the creature explains to them, before a small burst of near hysterical laughter bubbles out of him, "Oh great, im gonna have to fight some alien THING stuck in my alt mode. I'm gonna die! ... Oh Chela whose gonna tell Killa... She can't know I died like a chump!" Yeah, he could really care less about the standard who just showed up, though seemingly at the end of his little freak out he does look over at him.

Sunstreaker starts thrashing around, probably doing more damage to his own neck than to the collar itself. He probably knocks into the glass, scorching parts of his armor. Hearing what the collars knock him out of the near panicked attempt to remove the collar. Venting hard, he looks down at his arms, trying to activate his energon blades. There's just an empty click as they don't pop out.

Sunstreaker turns his fiery glare upon the 'autobot' that just said his name. He almost seems to be trying to physically burn him with the look. He snarls, striking out at the glass barrier with his fist once more. Ouch, ouch... He curls his hand close. "Release us!" he demands again.

Hound turns, when the second voice appears, and his optics widen at the sight of another mech. Then they zero in on the scraped remains of the badge on the mech's shoulder. "We're not fakes," he says, bracing his hands on his hips and speaking with all of the authority that he can muster. "This team is part of the crew of the ship the Lost Light. We came here as part of a mission. As I told your friend there," he gestures to Vashta, "we didn't intend to trespass. Let us go, and we'll go on our way after we got what we came for."

Vashta shakes- or more so rolls it around a few times- and ignores the rest. It just drops the scanner to the mech's hands and swiftly turns to smoke back into it's sand timer. "Not Mixer." The autobot hiss, "Launcher. And I don't have the power to release you. I'm just as much of a prisoner as you guys now." He sighs, fidgeting with the scanner that keeps beeping. "I'll answer your questions but you guys will need to answer mine."

"Firstly, Vashta over there is not my friend. That's a creature who took me as well as the rest of you." But he actually had to fight the thing, unimportant. Launcher looks over each one of them, "So what mission are you guys on that would bring you to this corner of the pits?"

Not Mixer. That's right. Mixer's dead. Starstruck's spark, if possible, sinks further in his chassis. It feels like it's about to drop out of him and plop onto the ground at his feet, just as useless and out of power as the rest of him feels right now. He needs a moment to process this - this Launcher-not-Mixer, the situation, the collar, everything. So for now he'll leave the questions to the others, and try not to stare too hard at Launcher, try not to map out all the similarities and all the differences between this mech and the one he used to know.

An ally, of sorts, but one without the ability to free them. So much for Conduit's patience. At least there is more information at hand, although their bargaining position is ... highly dubious. It's not his call to reveal what they are doing here, so like Starstruck he stays quiet, and resumes gentle inspection of his collar, as well as the surfaces of the cell that are not damaging to the touch. The collar may blunt his abilities, but a small brood of nanites separate from him? Again, though, patience.

Glaze scowls when his question goes once again unanswered. Well, either way, he's still not fighting for someone's entertainment. He would rather die first himself. If that's what's fated for him, then he'll take it like a mech. It's been a long time coming. As for answers, he'll let the officers handle that. It's not his place to get in the way. Instead, he turns back to the walls surounding him. rather than trying to break through it like the others, he slides his shield off his back, and lifts it to carefully tap the nearest one, as a test.

She doesn't know this one, but Bone-Spur is quick to lean close to the wall and gruff down at Frisk. "Stop that, now. We're not dying, just trapped. Get your wits about you." She is not helpful in advice, but perhaps Frisk does need someone to snap at him to get him to stop. "We need a sharp mind, not a bird brain."

Launcher sighs, tugging at the collar on his own neck. "These collars are set to detonate should you refuse to fight. And out there, if you aren't giving it your all in the fight, Hutt will blow your head off."

Sunstreaker is not taken by Launcher- he's seen a lot better looking mechs while in a battlefield- nor does he have patience. The beat of his spike and awkward gulps of his vents might hint at something more like panic. "Frag you!" he snarls at Launcher. "We're here to save the universe- slag that! I hope you and the rest get eaten!" So much shouting from the usually quiet and broody mech.

"You-" Sunstreaker's mouth snaps shut, optics widening. His servos shoot to the neck. His head is a very delicate issue. He is not losing it. "Have you ever seen the collars come off? Can they come off?" Hound's optics narrow, a little bit. These two might not be friends, but at the moment they're both still their captors, and this Launcher is certainly still involved in this operation, from what he said. And the pits... that, combined with the prisoners, and what Launcher says, certainly clarifies what the cheering outside was all about. "We're here to retrieve an item," he says. "But what you mean is, these collars will explode... at the whims of this 'Hutt.' What happens after the fight? I can't imagine we just get released."

There is a near twitch at Bone-Spur's comment, resulting in a muttered, "Call me a bird again, and I'll be the first to line up and fight you." He may be covered in feathers but he is a Scalewalker through and through, thank you. That does seem to do the trick, though, and soon the microraptor is putting his tricky little mind to work trying to see if there is a way out of there.

<FS3> Conduit rolls Inspire: Success. (7 2 4 4 1 3 2)

While Bone Spur is listening to Hound and the others exchange words with Launcher, her optics are over on Frisk with a glint. Her words definitely helped her tell which place this one grouped himself as. The crook of her smile flickers in and out as he seems to start reexamining his surroundings. Good.

"Please, calm yourselves!" Conduit doesn't usually raise his voice, and it sounds strange even to his audials. However, it's clear that around half of these mechs are unaccustomed to taking risks. "We're at a disadvantage, but we are momentarily safe and quite secure." Well, too secure. He continues anyway. "And we have value to this Hutt, so even that is some small amount of leverage we can use. We also have the attention of a sympathetic individual with at least some freedoms." He gestures politely to Launcher. "Let us work with what we have and work together, and the odds of our survival will immediately increase." Ahem. The engineer tries to stand up a little straighter, although no doubt Ultra Magnus has an enumerated set of reactions to his pep talk being iterated through at this moment. "An item to save the universe?" Launcher repeats, clearly not believing them. But it is what it is. At Sunstreaker's question, Launcher glances quickly at the timer. "...Not unless by.. removing the head first." He nods, yes, though. There is a way, but should he say it here and now, they could all explode in a matter of moments with Vashta hanging around. "Hutt has the master control, but he's not the only one who can use it. After the fights though, you will come back to your... cells. Should you all live by the fifth day, then you will fight the champion for the winnings. Rinse and repeat."

Were Conduit an Autobot, he might have gotten a smile of gratitude from Launcher. All he gets is a nod.

Starstruck lifts his helm when Conduit speaks, though the 'calm yourselves' doesn't exactly apply to him, not in the sense Conduit means it. He's just been standing here quietly, trying not to have a breakdown while the others work on figuring out how to get out of this mess. It's looking grim, he knows that much - Hound's got a point that in this sort of situation, it's rare for a fucker like Hutt to just release winners. Winners, Star knows, excite the crowd, and that keeps everyone entertained. You don't throw away entertainment when that's the whole purpose of this place.

"So we just repeat this," Starstruck says, hollowly. "Every five days. Until we're dead." Or become the champion, but that sounds about the same when you're life is this. Sucking in a deep breath, Starstruck vents it out slowly, antennae drifting a few degrees up toward their usual position. "Well, we'll just have to perform some miracle and get ourselves out of here. I don't wanna be the Russell Crowe of this story." He'll be more optimistic and helpful with regards to that miracle later, once his processor stops feeling like it's full of static.

Glaze scowls when the answer to his question does come. Looks like it might , infact, be the end for him. Unless they manage to get out by some miracle. Conduit is right, to some extent, but he doubts that they're valuable enough to this Hutt to gain any real leverage with it. And Launcher? Well, even if Glaze did trust him, what can he do anyways. At least he's confirmed that whatever it is that causes pain when touching the forcefield doesn't travel through his shield, and possibly, other object. There's also something Starstruck brings up, whether he knows it or not. Five days is a pretty long time "You do realize that we will be missed if we don't return soon? Our comrades will come searching for us."

Conduit's speech earns him a nod and a rather approving look from Hound, before he turns back toward Launcher. "It's a long story, and most of it isn't important to what's going on here, but it's important that we retrieve that item," Hound says. He shoots Glaze a look, as though to tell the mech not to say more, not with Vashta there. The crew will almost certainly send someone after them if they're gone too long, but giving their captors warning of this, particularly of the Space Bridge, will not give them the advantage. In the meantime, they still need to deal with this Hutt, and with the fighting that they will apparently be dragged into. "What is the winnings we're supposed to be fighting for?" Hound asks. "If we're just sent back into the fighting again afterward?"

Sunstreaker's optic go pale. No way to get it off without... Without removing their head. "Of course not," he mumbles, starting to pace in a circle before sitting down abruptly. He pulls his polishing rag out, starting to clean at his burned knuckles. "Never thought I'd be back in gladiatorial combat," he grumbles before speaking up. "Not getting our heads blown up is a hell of a motivation, Hound!"

Conduit returns Launcher's nod. See, diplomat. Nevertheless, he lowers his voice so his new buddy can't hear, but Glaze can. "Indeed. And they will come with guns blazing. All that falls to us is to last until then ... unless an earlier opportunity presents itself." The Decepticon seats himself on the floor of his new accommodations, and surreptitiously begins checking if he can communicate with his nanites, hovering a palm over their hidden capsules. Even if this collar dampens his connection with them, they offer options for later.

"The winnings vary, sometimes it's a week of supervised freedom, or even a day to rest. Sometimes, like this round, is a trophy of some sort. The public never sees it so it's often just random junk. I've been here over a decade so I've seen just about everything." Launcher's shoulders drop, pitying the group. They should have never come here. "I'm sorry, I have a lot more freedom so I can try to look for whatever it is for you guys." Notice how he's not been immediately ushered into a cell yet? How Vashta just lets him stand around and chat? He's earned it as a 'veteran' fighter. "Look, I'll do what I can. If you guys need anything from me," a glare at Vashta's sand timer, "ME. Just let me know. I'll be down the row."

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