2017-12-29 This'll be Fun

From Transformers: Lost and Found

This'll be Fun
Date 2017/12/29
Location Thrillsought Gauntlet Planet
Participants Arrow, Skydive, Vortex
NPCs Vivant, Moxie, Glory, Darter
Plot The Thrillsought Gauntlet
Scene GM Yam
Summary The Thrillsought Gauntlet is less fun than expected.

The trio of rescuers - Arrow, Vortex and Skydive - have managed to borrow a smallish shuttle from Iacon. Barely fits three mechs and whatever stores they brought along with them, but at least it has some cool artwork of shooting stars on the nose. Skydive pilots the tiny spacecraft, using the encrypted data from the Thrillsought card track the location with surprisingly exact coordinates. Only issue so far is that their dinky shuttle doesn't go super fast, so it's been an hour. Not much longer, though!

Because they couldn't always meet up to spend time together, Skydive had begun writing letters back and forth with Cavalier. His most recent one detailed that he was going off to help Air Raid and that he'd be back as soon as he could. He wouldn't want the mech worrying too much about him, so he felt he needed to tell him instead of vanish, unlike some people.

Unfortunately part of him wonders if he even should've gone. Well underway, Skydive is looking a little haggard as he pilots the little shuttle along. Honestly, this trip couldn't have started worse. First he wasn't able to requisition the shuttle he wanted, only able to take this one on such short notice. Then Vortex arrived with Arrow, which delayed them a bit as Skydive needed convincing to even consider taking him along. And now he's had to endure them both. In a small shuttle. For an hour.

Primus give him strength.

Vortex lays slumped in his seat, one foot on the pilot's chair. He's bouncing it. Bouncebouncebouncebounce, Skydive. "Are we theeeeeeeere yet?" He's not run out of things to talk about, he's just impatient. His rotors shuffle. "We shoulda just bridged there! Ugh, I feel cramped. I wanna set my rotors loose!"

Arrow's painted, kitted up, and ready to go to the Gauntlet. He's watched it on the datanet's encrypted broadcast in the past and he knows how dangerous it is- how deadly. It's earned its name for a reason. Only the best of the best or those with little else to lose go for it, and then there's the little fact that puts a kibosh on any of his chances of getting in to begin with: he still can't fly.

At all.

There's a sick knot of anticipation in Arrow's tanks that only grows the more they approach the Gauntlet's coordinates. He dealt with this by chattering endlessly about anything- anything -that caught his optic or that came to his head when they started out but now he's quieted quite a bit. "Are we there yet? Skydive? Are we?" He pesters as he leans dangerously far out of one of the back seats of the shuttle. "Skyyyyyyyydive please are we there yet?"

Skydive only needs to suffer twenty more minutes of this before coming upon the planet. The Starcuddler doesn't handle re-entry very well, as it rattles ominously and a few heat-resistant tiles fly off, but Skydive brings it to the surface without incident.

The hatch opens to a barren stretch of land. Loose sand is felt underfoot, the landscape is dotted with short red, coral-like shrubs. A bright orange gas giant can be seen clearly in the pale blue sky, just beyond the green-striped rings. The wind whips the sparse foliage, and far in the distance is the sound of dull cracking or thumping.

A swallowtail flag ripples about twenty yards behind them.

These two are very, very lucky that Skydive has dealt with the likes of Raid, Fireflight, and Slingshot for four million years. It really tempers a mech. And so, ever the longsuffering one, he endures for the promise of saving his brother. ..Please don't be much longer.

And lucky for him it isn't, though he would've prefered a better re-entry, only hoping this thing can make it back out. Once the shuttle settles on its landing struts and powers down, Skydive turns to look behind him at the other two, giving a stern nod. "We're here. Remember, we remain together until we can ascertain the situation and find Air Raid. Otherwise, no one needs to know why we're here other than to race. ..I honestly have no idea why you two painted yourself up." He adds on with a shake of his helm before opening the hatch and stepping out.

It's barren and windy. Not bad for flying, but the sand wouldn't be great to feel while airborn. Luckily they don't have to fly just yet, so with a wave of a hand he ushers his companions along to the flag where, he hopes, a coordinator might be to sign up with.

Bumpy landings, schmumpy landings! Vortex has endured worst. He's already scrambling for the exit when Skydive talks to them. "Yep, yep, got it- FREEDOM!" He dives out of the hatch and does a little cartwheel in the barren nothing world. He whoops.

Out here, in the bright day, Vortex's new 'paintjob' is far more prominent. He's mostly orange with some white and silver and just touches of cobalt. Even his visor is different- it's autobot blue. "Technically, mine isn't a paintjob. One of those holo-emitter color things. Won't scrape off or anything, heh... And it's fun!" At least, that's what he had told Arrow. He looks around, rotors ticking around behind him. They perk. He tromps over to the flag to tug at it curiously. "This place doesn't seem nice for a flyer competition."

As everyone piles off of their fancy new spacebus Arrow swallows thickly. Oh boy. This is it. He hopes they can get in, oogle shiny flight frames, find Air Raid, and then get out because he's really not ready for this even if he's prepped himself as much as he can. He steps out onto the barrens and flicks his wings. The little flier is black, gray, and white with golden accents now- most prominent though is his missing visor. Crimson optics reset at the change of light as he kicks at some of the sandy ground. "It's kinda fun," he admits about the swapped paint. He hasn't mixed up his colors in a long time.

"I think it's supposed to be harsh and unforgiving," Arrow says as he looks around, wings giving another flap and stirring up a little of the dust. "Kind of the mood for the Gauntlet, sort of a harsher vibe..." He wavers a hand in the air, mimicking one of those 'vibes' he's talking about.

A voice is cleared nearby. "Um?" A pure white conehead seeker is walking towards them from seemingly nowhere. "Who are you? What are you doing here?" Her hand hovers over what looks like a nudge gun at her hip.

Vortex looks up from playing with the flag, optics widening. "Ramjet?!" he yelps. Look, they just had the dead rise from the grave- coulda happened to that idiot too! Except... Its not. Yes, now he can see the differences. He shifts, from spooked too oozingly friendly. He flutters and flicks his rotors- look at him, so exotic. "Ah! Hey there! We're- hold on." Patting himself down, he pulls the Thrillsough card Skydive 100% gave him. "We're here for Thrillsought!"

Skydive 100% did not give him that card. Either way his attention lifts at the arrival of the conehead femme, Skydive's wings lifting a tad at the edges in a greeting manner while tucking away his glasses, not wanting the scratched by the sand. "Yes, we're here to compete if there are spots still available."

Oh heck, Arrow straightens up as they're approached, dropping his wavering hand and turning on his heel to face the conehead femme. He clasps his hands under his wings in some approximation of a parade rest and tries to exude confidence. They totally belong there. All three of them.

The seeker looks juuust about ready to pop everyone in the head, until the card is brought forth. She grabs it and holds it up to the sun. "Not Ramjet! I'm Vivant. Follow me. Don't worry about your shuttle." The Starcuddler suddenly gets swallowed up by sand. Mysterious.

Vivant leads them onto a large metallic circle in the ground, which jerks and shifts before beginning a slow descent. "What are your names? Are you new competitors?" She squints at Arrow in particular. "Spacers aren't permitted. All three of you atmospheric aircraft?"

Vortex immediately looks back at the Starcuddler when he's told not to worry. Fair thee well, Starcuddler. He follows Vivant, making sure to try and shepard Arrow in front of him. Stay close, buddy. He reaches out to touch the walls on their descent. "New competitors- all of us! No spacers. Do we look like spaceheads?" He barks a laugh. "I'm ALPHA BRAVO! And I'm flying under The Skipper." Here, he gestures to Skydive. "The is part of the name. Very important."

<FS3> Vortex rolls Deception: Good Success. (2 1 7 1 8 4 5 6 1)

Skydive is told not to worry. And yet, he can't help but do just that when he sees their ship swallowed by sand. So much for a quick getaway. Displeased, he stifles his thoughts for now and follows along with the others, shifting his stance as the platform begins to move. As for names, he's about to speak up, but Vortex beats him to the punch and calls him that.

If looks could kill Vortex would be dead thrice over right now. No.. No.. Keep it in. Do this for Raid. Hnn.. "..Yes, I am.. The Skipper. We've been looking for a new challenge and we think yours is just the sort we're seeking."

Arrow puffs up a little at Vivant's scrutiny and nearly loses it as the Starcuddler is swallowed by the sand. Great. Everything's a deathtrap. Cool. He has no problems sticking close to Vortex as the mech spins his lies, this feels familiar at least. "None of us are spacefarers, we wouldn't have needed the shuttle if we were," he points out. "And since Bravo here wasn't kind enough to introduce me too, I'm Domino, longtime watcher first time competitor." He gives his winningest smile as he unburies his old hacker handle from the depths of his memories of Lanarq. At least he'll respond to it.

Vivant seems convinced, and finally cracks a smile. "It should tickle you just right then, /The Skipper/. Alpha Bravo, Domino. But I'm just one of the coordinators. The owner rarely shows his face." She taps their names into a datapad, which looks like it holds a thorough database of competitors.

The lift pulls them back through the ground, it's curved glass walls rising up around them and sealed tightly. The ground bounces, briefly, and the lift opens up to a massive, dimly lit room that extends all around them in a wide ring shape. Towards the northern wall, a floor-to-ceiling holographic leaderboard with names flickering in placement every few minutes. The floor has a little give, possibly made of rubber, with a vague diamond plate pattern, though some patches are just metal grates, where more mechs can be seen walking around below.

This central room is teeming with fliers of all types. Giant commercial jets with wingtips that scrape the tall ceiling, tiny little VTOLs, boasting teams of rotaries, beastformers with dazzling feathers... It's loud, with sudden roars of cheering, to fights that erupt and fall apart when tasers are flashed. Vivant almost has to shout as she guides the trio to a spot that's not so crowded, near the curved wall.

Vortex looks innocently at Skydive. So innocent and pure and adorable- how can you be mad at this face? He nudges Arrow lightly- ooo, cool name! Then back to Vivant. "Good to hear! And good thing we don't need to see the owner, right?" He chuckles as the lift opens and... His rotors prick and go still, visor flashing. Whooooa...

Vortex follows after Vivant but he's definitly not paying attention to anything she might be saying. So many fliers- look at those big guys! And over there, the enclosed rotor arms hnf... But all those rotaries. He's never seen so many rotaries at one place who weren't fighting. "Yeah, yeah- hey! Vivant, who're they? Do you know?" He tugs on the conehead, pointing over to those choppers.

It's hard for Arrow to contain his utter awe as they step out into the room of fliers. Bigs, smalls, and everything in between- and Arrow has to work to maintain his composure as his wings wiggle in excitement. He's never seen so many fliers in one place before, he's never dreamed he'd be among them and- and-

Wow Arrow really should have gotten his scrapped wing fixed. Someone's bound to pick up on the lagging lefty with his luck. Arrow stills his excited waggling as best he can. Battle scars are badaft, but that doesn't mean that these folks won't be able to tell the difference even if he's at the top of his lying game. He zones in on a few little fliers roughly his size- some of the VTOLs. Man- hovering. Wouldn't that be cool?

Skydive grimaces ever so faintly at Vivant's tone when she says his fake name. Ugh, it's awful. But he has to bite this bullet right now. He otherwise remains silent as they take the lift and descend into an entirely new area beneath the surface. It's incredibly impressing, Skydive stepping closer to the glass to examine the sheer volume of fliers in one space. It.. reminds him of Vos, but with far more variety.

But while it's stunning to see so many people, he's intently scanning the crowds for just one, sifting through them intensely for a particular sherbert color scheme.

Vivant looks over to where Vortex is pointing, then checks her list. There's a big beige-and-red tandem rotor 'copter. "Glory." And a minibot-sized baby blue quadrotor. "Moxie." Moxie catches Vortex's visor, and narrows her own.

Skydive can't see anything particularly familiar in the group of about two hundred fliers. But he does catch sight of the wingtips and helm of a /gold/ seeker. Then, gone in the crowd.

Vivant lines the trio up against the wall and taps her lips. "All three of you fit the featherweight class. How lucky. This factors in with points. Skipper? If you wouldn't mind covering your insignia. We'd rather not incite another war here and the blood boils hot, so it's only prudent." She points at Arrow's dipped wing. "Is that going to be a problem, Domino?"

Vortex smiles under his facemask. Glory and Moxie, got it. And there's more too. He can't wait to flash rotors. Talk rotor. Give rotary stories, lambasting thrusters and wings! He waves when Moxie looks at him, bouncing in the place he stands against the wall.

Vortex's visor shutters. "The Skipper," he corrects quickly. "Er- wait. Featherweight?! I'm not a featherweight. Arrrrrrrr-Out Domino here, maybe... But not me." He puffs out his chassis, gaze sinking to her datapad. "Hey, you knew there names- ah! You can tell us if one of our buddies are here, right?"

"I can compensate, ma'am," Arrow replies stiffly to Vivant, please drop that topic. His right wing flicks a little lower to even out with the left one. "It won't be an issue." Not if they can get out of here quick at least, hopefully before the first flights even begin.

<FS3> Arrow rolls Deception: Amazing Success. (8 5 7 1 6 5 8 5 8 8 8)

Skydive goes noticeably stiff when his gaze glosses over a particular glint of gold among the crowd, quickly shifting back to where he thought he'd seen it. But that moment was all that as needed for the shimmer to melt away in the crowd, Skydive losing it. Damnit.. No. No it isn't him..

He wants to go see, but Vivant continues to keep them for now, lining them up for inspection. "You're plenty lightweight, Alpha Bravo." He comments lightly before giving Arrow a side eye, making note of the wing. Hm.. As for himself, he nods and reaches into subspace to draw out a magnetic plate to cover up his sigil, looking up after and eyeing the datapad at Vortex's mention. "A colleague of ours was scheduled to meet us, but our communications were severed. His name is Air Raid."

Moxie tugs at Glory's hand, and they pull away from the group of rotaries to point in Tex's direction and argue. He must be a hot topic...

"Air Raid..." Vivant scrolls through her list, twice, then clicks her tongue. "No one here by that name. You can access the database from a console in your designated quarters, if you want to check yourself."

Maybe it's Arrow's charming red eyes or his politeness or his fancy paintjob - Vivant doesn't question his ability further. With a silent comm, she summons a burly mech spattered with paint. Or maybe energon. Or both. He sets a large paintbucket down, dips his hand in, and reaches to splat a broad blue handprint over Vortex's face, then a bit on the tops of his rotors. Arrow is next, with two streaks beneath his optics, and the tips of his wings. Skydive gets horizontal bars on his cheeks, and some sloppy stripes on his wings as well. "We use this to find you in the wreckage," Vivant informs, her assistant toddling off.

Well, that would have been too easy, wouldn't it? Just finding Air Raid by asking? He's probably using a pseudonym, just like the rest of them and Arrow resolves himself to using that console in their quarters to see if he can dig up where the mech is and under what name. That's for later though. He squinches up his face and optics as the assistant slaps down more paint on his repainted frame. Ugh. He tries not to flinch at the mention of wreckage. With luck they'll be done and out of here before they have to participate. It's fine. It's fine. "When are we racing, ma'am?"

Vortex swears softly. "I can't believe he's using a fake name..." he grumbles, crossing his arms. He lightens up when he sees Glory and Moxie gesturing at him. His rotors lift and fan into peacock formation. Look at him. He's a pretty bird. Pretty bir- "ECK!" He stands there, stunned after his face is palmed which leaves his rotors open to be marked. "Well, wasn't that just pleasant..." Great, blue. Like his normal painjob. Maybe the rest of the orange will keep mechs from really looking at him...

<FS3> Vortex rolls Enthusiasm: Good Success. (6 3 2 8 7 7 1 6 1)

Skydive's wings fall a little at that. Damn. He'll have to comb that database when he gets a chance, see if anything looks familiar, or ask around. He's sure Rid has made an impression already on some folks given how unique he looks. Looking back out into the crowd out of desperation, it distracts him long enough to not see the large mech approaching them. Hackles rise and wings pin back when he looks back to see the brute finishing Arrow and moving to him next. "Don't you da- Ergh!" Optics fly wide and a step back sends him against the wall, leaving him no room to flee and forced to be so messily painted. "..Hnn, thank you.." He grates with wings twitching in irritation. Skydive isn't overly vain, but he's enough that he doesn't really enjoy his paint being so grossly splattered over. And blue just doesn't work with his scheme.

"They've already started, actually," Vivant answers Arrow. All three will notice the paint slowly fading from their frames, but if they turned at a certain angle, the dim lighting catches and the surface brightens like a reflector. Vortex's lovely fanning rotor display draws more optics, but they're lost in the crowd.

"Here's how this all works: The matches are constant and overlapping. You're required to compete at least once a day, or you'll be considered suspect. We've had undercover enforcers here before and we're not going to take any chances. The more matches you place high in, the more chance to become a finalist. This year's prize is one million shanix and a complete frame rebuild. Rules depend on the type of match, but all matches allow combat. You can choose to team, but the idea is to eliminate your competition. We have our own infirmary if you need repairs. There are training tracks and wind tunnels you can use." Vivant hands Skydive a card with a number. "This is your room. Barracks are one floor down. I have to go greet other late attendees, so good luck!" She turns to dart off.

"A race a day... Huh, interesting... So we just gotta-- I'm sorry, the grand prize is what?" Vortex slow-blinks, trying to process what was said. And once it is... Oh man, the mercenary blood starts pumping. A million shanix... A frame change. He could afford any mod he wanted. He no longer would have to settle for a hand-me-down, frankenbody. A custom made body-- he's dreamed about it since he was a down and out little plane in Carpessa.

Fire burns in his blue visor. A competitive killer rising. With Vivant gone, Vortex turns to the others. "A million shanix and a rebuild," he repeats, claws popping out. He could take out competition before they even fly...

There's a cold pit in Arrow's stomach. Once a day? He's going to be caught so fast, but he hears the rest of the explanation and nods at the right moments before he lets himself turn a worried look to his companions when Vivant is finally gone. It's loud enough in here that they can presume to speak with some kind of anonymity. "We need to team up," he says as soon as he's certain no one immediately nearby will hear them. The prize is tempting, sure- a million shanix could do a lot of good for him- and the rebuild... Arrow would be more excited for it, but he doesn't know how it would work for him, it's hard to get excited about that. Right now he's a little more on the desperate side of the scale than the ambitious side.

Oh.. Well isn't that convenient? Skydive watches the paint fade away and turn into a sort of invisible sheen instead. This is much more preferable. Back to Vivant, he listens to the race summary and is.. a little taken aback for a second at the prize. A million shanix and a frame change? That's quite the reward, no wonder so many mechs are competing. ..A part of him wonders if Air Raid joined just to blow off steam or to win the latter of the prizes.. But before he can ponder on that further, Vivant thrusts a card to him and he takes it without hesitation. "Thank you, Vivant. I think we'll be fine from here." And off she goes.

After a glance to the card he looks back to Vortex and Arrow, his expression wrinkling, especially at Vortex, when he hears them focusing on the prizes. "We're not here for shanix or frame changes, unless you've forgotten." He reminds them, tone stern. Skydive the flashes them the room card before passing it to Arrow. "We'll discuss the races when we come to that. First, Arrow, I need optics on that database. Dig up what you can and see if you can find Air Raid. Vortex and I will scope the common area here for leads. We'll meet you back at the room in an hour and see what we come up with."

Vortex waves a hand at Arrow. "Yeah, yeah. We'll team up! And I know why we're here," he snaps at Skydive. "But we'll find him and get the prize. Win-win." Nothing can go wrong. His rotors flick and he twists to behind heading off. "Scope the room? On it. I'll start over here." Where the rotaries he saw are.

Vortex skips over in Glory and Moxies's direction, occassionally elbowing the mech in his way. "Hey there!" he calls before he's reached them. Hai, I spinny too.

Glory startles and squints down at the orange chopper. Moxie looks up. "Hello," greets Glory, tentative. He's Magnus-sized, five blades to each rotor. "We were just saying. You look awfully familiar. I feel like I've seen your face on a poster."

"Maybe for a movie?" suggests Moxie, framing Vortex's masked face with her fingers.

One floor down from the lobby, Arrow will find that the circular level is cored with the lift that apparently goes several more floors down. The ring is divvied up like slices of a pie, only the rooms aren't quite enclosed, the only privacy being the dividing walls alone, open to the curving 'hallway'. Each room has two bunks for four occupants, an energon dispenser, and a small holoviewer connected to a simple console on the back wall with competitor placements and occasionally a video feed. In the Lost Lighters' room, there's a coral fighter jet snoozing on the lower bunk. It's a lot quieter down here.

Arrow scurries to his and the other Lost Lighter's bunks and stops short as he sees the other occupant. Oh. Scrap. This isn't great, but he'll just have to find a quiet place to talk to his companions later... For now, Arrow sets himself to getting into the console and trying to narrow down his search to find Air Raid, please actually be here you sherbird...

<FS3> Arrow rolls Hacking: Good Success. (4 2 5 1 1 6 5 4 2 5 3 1 8 8 4 2 8)

With Arrow working on the hacking portion and Vortex off on his own little adventure, Skydive sets off into the crowd. He hates crowds, he really does, but he knows how to put such unease out of his mind when he has to, slipping through the bustle with soft excuses and pardons without much hesitation. He won't stop until he's around the other side of the room, taking stock of the patrons before question on in particular, hopefully a less violent one. "Pardon me, I'm looking for a mech. About so high, beastformer, sort of reptilian and avian with yellow, orange, and green colors. Have you seen him, perhaps?"

Vortex squeezes between two bi-planes before managing to stumble to a stop before Glory and Moxie. He grins under his mask at thim, four rotor blades flicking. "Haha, me? Nah, I just got here! Nice to see some fellow rotaries around though. Here to kick some jet-lagged aft?" He laughs and flares his rotors after a lil spin. He puffs his chest up too. Hehe, look at him. One of the copters.

<FS3> Vortex rolls Deception: Good Success. (8 3 8 6 3 4 7 4 4)
<FS3> Skydive rolls Socializing: Success. (6 4 4 8 6 2 6)

The database is pretty simple, seeing as a full and thorough dossier of each mech could easily be used to tip the scales. Though, this competition isn't exactly /fair/. Still, they've hidden a few slivers of information, but Arrow is swift and deft in his work, extracting arrival dates, frame types and room numbers. No "real" names though. There are three hundred mechs competing, and among them, four pteranodon-types.

A blue-green beastformer twitches nervously before Skydive, forcing a smile. His strange metallic panels look akin to the feathers of a peacock. "Reptile...? Oh like a dinosaur? I saw one hanging out with... Hmm. A yellow mech? Really bright yellow. Type of bomber. Gosh, are you here alone? My name's Darter."

Glory smirks and puts his hands on his hips. "Buncha' fixed-wing stiffs. They've been easy so far. Sliced one up in a match last night. He didn't see it coming. You gonna' team with us?" Moxie is still framing Vortex's face.

Skydive gives the pavonine mech a quick glance over, more curious than anything, before offering a polite smile. Bright yellow bomber, got it. A large part of him wants to get moving, but he notes the mech's nervousness and decides to stay a moment longer. Might get more info out of him. "Nice to meet you, Darter. I'm Skipper." It takes a lot not to slip on his name. And the The just sounds silly, sorry Tex. "And no, I'm here with my friends, they're just exploring before the race. ..Is this your first time here?"

Vortex laughs. This Glory guy- he likes this guy! "I like going for their thrusters. Nix those and they lose their lift. And they just...." He whistles, making a hand fall before flaring his fingers with a 'boom' sound effect. "Team? Wow, I..." His rotors flutter but he rubs the back of his neck. "That sounds great but I guess I got a team. Ummm...." He turns and gestures to someone who looks vaguely like Skydive. Sameish fixed wing alt, whatever. Ain't got time to look for that godly face. "Him and another. Sorry but the goods are taken, heh. We can do other things. This is my first Gauntlet you know."

Arrow flicks through the pteranodon-type mechs and frowns. He's not familiar enough with Air Raid to properly identify him if he's disguising himself somehow, but he saves the data to a drive and gives a quick ping to his companions. "<<Hey,>>" he says. "<<There's four Pteranodons, Bolster, Swipe, Trench, and Slant- any of those sound like something Raid would use? I can't tell if any of them look enough like the guy, you two know him better.>>" Arrow starts to poke around the room as he waits for their response, and also starts to peek around the nearby areas too, maybe he can catch the most recent broadcast on a console...

"We're not supposed to make friends here," Darter replies solemnly. "And yeah, I'm here for the shanix. I need it. I'm in some uh, trouble with money right now. Heh. M-maybe we won't end up meeting on the field, Skipper?" He waves and flees.

"Wait a slaggin' minute!" Glory leans, getting way too close to Vortex's face. "You're wanted!" He moves to clap a big hand on Vortex's shoulder, and squeezes. It's probably not a super friendly gesture.

"We could turn you in and get even more shanix!" Moxie's blades whirl excitedly. They're not being particularly quiet.

The sleeping coral jet in the barracks starts to stir. The most recent broadcast depicts an explosive race through a nearby canyon, but nothing in it is worth noting.

Vortex's visor shutters, head moving back as Glory gets in close. Is he in trouble for teaming up with a fixed-wing-- oh... Oh, slag. His rotors all clatter and he tries shoving off the servo. "I'm sorry but... Wanted? I'm not wanted. I'm Alpha Bravo. Autobot. Autobots don't get 'wanted.'" He says with a dismissive wave. "<< Mech, why are those names so lame... Eh, check out Trench. Check him- Raid's got the mohawk metal plate up there. Oh, and, uh... We might have a problem. I thought the paint would be enough for us... >>"

"<<...Enough for us for what? What happened?>>" Arrow shoots back over the comm, wings hiking up a bit as he starts to pace the room, he brings up the file on Trench on the console but- okay no, he needs to know what's going on.

"I hope not. Good luck, though." Skydive gives the mech a sad smile, feeling a bit bad for him. Wonder what he did to dig himself into a hole like that. There's a moment after Darter leaves that Skydive looks back among the bodies around him, wondering who to ask next, but it looks like he won't have to when his comm buzzes.

Out of all those names it's the final one that has Skydive freezing up, optics bright with realization. That's it. "<< It's Slant. >>" He says with firm decisiveness. Don't argue him on it. It's Raid. "<< We're headed back to you, Arrow. I'll also need you to search for a bomber frame, very bright yellow. Vortex, I'm coming your way. >>" He doesn't waste any time moving through the crowd again towards the commotion, spotting the larger rotary above the crowd.

"Bravo, there you are, I wondered where you'd run off to." Skydive is no actor, but he can at least play friendly, his optics bright and sculpted lips smiling warmly when coming up to his side. "I'm terribly sorry to pull you away from your new friends, but the race is going to start soon and we can't be late." Friendly expression turns on the other rotaries and he dips his helm subtly. "You'll have to excuse us."

Glory's optics narrow. "Autobots aren't saints..." Then along comes Skydive. Fixed-wing GARBAGE. With really, really nice limits. Glory is momentarily distracted. There's a sudden swell of excitement from the mechs around them as they watch a live broadcast of a current match. It ends, names shuffle on the leaderboards, and the room erupts, either with cheers or howls of anger. Mechs push and shove as they weave around. Glory gets knocked back, his grip falling away, and Skydive is able to whisk Vortex out of the situation. FOR NOW.

Vortex is glad Skydive is here and for whatever just happened. Because they manage to get away. Oh good. He didn't want to kill the guy. Rotary buddies! They'll warm up to him. "<< Oh, uhhh... Nawmuch. Juuuust that... Remember the fireworks guy? He put a bounty on us. Last I saw it, it was pretty high too. High enough that mechs recognized me through the painjob. He might have raised it... It's fine. I meant to show you the posters I brought back as souvenirs but got distracted- We're on our way back so I'll show you then! Won't that be fun? >>" Haha, so fun... He tugs on Skydive, let's hurry.

"<<Skydive is right, Raid is Slant,>>" Arrow says as he taps at the console and flicks past Trench's photo to the one of Slant. The Pteranodon is red, white, and black instead of the sherbirb he's been the past... while, but that's Air Raid. Arrow moves onto the search for the bomber but he doesn't have to go far. "<<He's rooming with a yellow bomber, too, so that's two pteranos with one sto->>" There's the news.

Arrow's side of the comm goes quiet for a moment, and then: "<<Tex that's the opposite of fun. And you can't- we have a roomie- but as soon as he leaves for a race we need to talk. All of us.>>" The coral fighter can't hang around forever, and Arrow... really needs to come clean. It's gonna be a long competition...

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