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2018-01-21 Defenders

From Transformers: Lost and Found

Defenders
Date 2018/01/19
Location A Planet
Participants Blast Off, Rodimus, Ratchet, Sky Lynx, Waspinator, Whetstone, Windblade
NPCs Hotfix, Ignition, Traction
Scene GM Sao
Summary Another win for the good guys!

The nice thing about having a clear flight path / trajectory for certain doom is that sometimes, you can get ahead of the game; and when a force of the Harbinger fleet breaks off from the main mass and advances on a planet, Intelligence is on it, and so they have a little time to set up. Even as the enemy ships approach in an angled formation -- four to port, three to starboard in an imperfect vee -- in advance of Udunus and the main mass of the Unicronian force, the Cybertronian forces rise to meet them, while below, the mass evacuation of the colonial population that were manning this outpost and energon mine has been more or less completed.

The sun shines brilliant blue-white in the distance, and the ground is a glittering series of cavernous hollows -- potential cover is everywhere, but all of it glitters in a panoply of crystalline structures, and the light glows from the planet's surface so that even from high in the air the place seems a gaudy blue and silver bauble.

<FS3> Windblade rolls Inspire: Good Success. (6 5 1 3 7 7 4 4 3 3 5 4 1 8 2 4)

<FS3> Rodimus rolls Command: Amazing Success. (7 6 5 7 7 1 7 2 8 3 3 4 1 8 7 6 5)

<FS3> Ratchet rolls Command: Good Success. (3 8 7 3 2 2 8)

<FS3> Windblade rolls Inspire: Good Success. (8 5 5 1 3 1 3 2 2 1 5 8 5 3 5 4)

<FS3> Rodimus rolls Command: Amazing Success. (5 5 8 1 4 5 8 6 5 5 8 7 2 6 7 3 8)

You must stop gagging that channel to speak on it.

Windblade does not wait until after the battle to share her pride in Intelligence: those members present all get a quick private comm from the Camien, warm and approving and (perhaps most importantly) encouraging for the fight soon to come. Then it's onto a broader channel to begin tossing intelligence incoming between ground and air. In glare like this, every glint of refracting light dazzling to those in the sky, every blip over comms is potentially life-affecting. Though positioned with the grounders, she's in the air above them, keeping pace with the line and trying to keep her rotor-aimed wind gusts aimed considerately away from anything vital. << Watch out for them scattering from that wedge and trying to sweep in around you. >>

Ever since his meeting with Optimus, Ratchet has had the old days in the back of his mind. So, uncharacteristic of his senior years, the Chief Medical Officer has taken to the field to oversee support efforts for their meager forces. He walks behind the lines, medical kit slung over one shoulder and all the usual accoutrements interfaced with his systems. "This slag brings me back." Ratchet remarks, turning his optics skyward. He pats the back of an (ex?) Decepticon ground pounder before moving on to where his medics, neutrals, Cons, and Bots among them, wait. "No heroes today." He tells them, wagging a finger. "If one of you goes down, it's five or ten or them. Understand? Look after yourselves. Remember who you're here for, and come back at the end of it." He turns, peering into the distance. "If you believe in a god that doesn't have tentacles, say a prayer. Try and dodge the lethal shots." The doctor gestures. "Get out there and save a life." He himself turns to the front line, fingering a pistol on his hip. "I'm gonna need a drink after this."

Waspinator hovers in alt mode near the others in the air, many limbs twitching with nercous energy as he waits for their approaching enemies. Artifact feeling heavy on his frame, the insect focuses his anxious mind on the tasks he has been assigned: aerial combat... though how effective he will be with his stinger against mechs with guns is anyone's guess. Windblade and her presence is something of a comfort, at least. Windbot izz nice.

<<"STRIKE YOUR BLADES UPON ME TO WHET THEM!">> Whetstone loudly notifies his team from the ground. He drags his own blades across his armor, and finally twists into the air in his draconic alt mode. With Windblade's direction, Whetstone flaps towards the nearest ship on the starboard side and spits a sharp stream of white-hot fire towards the weaponry.

The smaller shuttle in this scene is Blast Off, Deputy for Intel, and he's doing what snipers do best. (At least when they're also shuttles.) The Combaticon ship soars through the skies, flanking Waspinator and ready to snipe anything and anyone who seems to be in his way. He radios Windblade, "<< Understood- and on it. >>"

Once, not so long ago, Waspinator's history as a titan hunter made for awkward conversation. Now, it makes for a possible hope:

It's not Rodimus's craziest idea, but to be honest, it's up there. Find out if Waspinator's stringer, which has been known to allow him to show some control over another titan, will work on a mad zombie of a titan. It's right up there with 'send beloved Camien hero into Unicron's brain'. He is on FIRE. --Metaphorically. Literally, Rodimus is actually somewhat removed from the front lines, as the action has yet to hit the ground. Instead, he helps Windblade coordinate the aerial assault as he directs ground forces to entrench, find cover, and get any nasty surprises ready for when the Harbingers hit the ground. In a break between the flurries of commands, he asks the other commanders on the high level comm: << "Anyone want to place a bet? Time's running out." >>

Sky Lynx is, of course, front and center. High above the field, he hovers in dragon mode, weapons primed and ready. Come at him, harbingers! "<< With all of us, and myself especially, we will undoubtably win! Who would be fool enough not to bet on us? >>"

And the battle is joined!

Energy shielding lights up like shining beacons in the pale sky, and high above the ground forces, Autobot, Decepticon and neutral alike launch themselves into the fight, slashing in close quarters like Whetstone or lighting up those heat shields with plasma fire. The ships are large scale, not simple shuttles, and two release small volleys of starfighters and gravity planes that engage in hot, high speed battle through the shining daylight.

While the ground fighters get organized and the medics prepare behind glittering cover, they are primed and ready to fight, and most eyes are angled high towards the blitz of fire and color that is the slowly descending battle. Three of the Harbinger ships don't seem to be piloted by anyone thinking that clearly, because they seem to just be angled downward with every apparent intension of simply plowing through everything in their way, and it is these that take the worst damage on the way down. The other four, armed with either fighters to defend them or sharper piloting, make a much harder fight of it.

From Windblade, a tight-beam to Rodimus and the other commanders: << "What are the odds for 'everything goes perfectly and we win'? I'll drop some shanix on that." >> For everyone else, rousing good cheer from the Camien. << "That's what I like to hear! Blast Off, Whetstone, Sky Lynx, you keep on, I like what I'm seeing! Waspinator, courage! You can do this, I know you can. Watch for the gaps, listen to your team to call them out for you." >> Nice, yes. But not above veering down the line-- shedding gusts that glitter and sparkle in her wake- to scold an airborne squad who are being baited out of formation. << "Do you want to be the first casualties today? Go, go, go!" >> Don't /make/ her tell Ratchet on you, guys.

Blast Off is no stranger to epic mile-high firefights, and the shuttle moves in and out of the path of both more agile and more clunky attackers, He keeps focused on one thing- stay high and keep a path open for Waspinator and target anything that blocks Wasp's path, or seems to be bearing down on him. "<< I have you covered. >>" He radios to Wasp and Windy, then can't help but take a second to look over Sky Lynx's way. "<< Of course we will win. We'll show them what superior aerial forces look like! >>"

Whetstone finds himself busy with the smaller fighters that break off from one of the larger ships. His stream of fire whips as he orients himself with beating wings that already wear the scorch of laserfire. At some point he attempts to CRONCH into the nosecone of a jet. <<"Behold, Windblade!">>

Waspinator looks about ready to break down in terror as the impending moment of what he has been told to do comes closer. Its probably the reassurance from Windblade, given directly to him, that keeps the bug in place and quickly moving as he has been tasked- stabbing at anything that may get too close with his stinger if he can't outright avoid it.

Ratchet can feel the ground rumble as those larger ships make their earthward plummet known. "We've got seekers and aerial types down, go!" Ratchet dispatches a group of his few, precious flying medics. He always could use more of them. He transforms into ambulance mode, zipping towards where he feels the pressure of the battle line will fall. Veteran of a thousand battles, he might have a guess. <<"Slag it, Rodimus! You know I don't go in for optimism.">> No bet from the CMO, then, as he jukes and drives over the uneven ground. <<"Windblade, you can actually see what's going on...tell my people where they need to be.">>

<< "Nice, good, I like it," >> Rodimus approves of Windblade's bet. << "Your teams are doing well. Keep it up!" >> He drops his visor down over his eyes, letting the software handle a quick calculation of angles on the swiftly descending ships and the positions of the ground forces. He redirects some of the forces on the ground, getting one batch clear of the expanding potential debris field just before a flaming chunk of ship falls to shatter through the glass surface. He flags Ratchet on his view, watching where he's diverting his attention, as though the medic is a particularly sensitive bloodhound. Where Ratchet senses pressure, Rodimus watches to send relief. << "Ratchet, one of these days, I'm gonna get you to admit that medicine is just optimism in practice." >>

Sky Lynx doesn't wait for the enemy to come to him. As soon as the ships are in sight, he lunges forward, jaws swinging open to send a powerful blast at the nearest ship. And another. He's not going for small fry here either. Oh, ofcourse he's happy to blast them as he passes, but his real target is one of the ships. He's getting up close and personal here.

<FS3> Waspinator rolls Melee Weapons: Good Success. (3 4 6 7 1 3 5 5 7)

Though the descent continues, it is not without cost for either side. A hotshot flyer who once was an Autobot crashes to the ground, lines cut and engine whining to death. A pair of Decepticons running cannons for each other across multiple of the flyers take out two before they are crunched in the passage of a third. Yet the combined efforts of the aerial defenders completely destroy one of the descending ships, and badly cripple a second. The fight is not one-sided. The fight is, at times, ugly. Fighters dodge in and out of the fight on both sides, tagging each other in a breakneck game of keepaway.

Whetstone and his team are making short work of fighters in close quarters, picking them off with vicious accuracy. He crunches that jet's nose and as he does so, he shines, alive with glowing light, and purple sparks shower outward from the point of impact. A few of them even sting his tongue.

Blast Off clears Waspinator's path and Waspinator zips in in the midst of his terror to slam his stinger into one of the fighters, and then another. For a moment, Waspinator seems to glow, limned with a shining energy that sheens golden even in the brilliant blue haze of the day, and purple sparks shower from the fighters after each strike, spraying every which way. For a moment, it seems little more has happened but basal injury.

Then each of the fighters he has struck with that stinger drop from the sky. It's not that they respond to his command. It's just that they no longer respond to anything else either, locked frozen midair as two warring impulses work havoc on their Unicronian-charged processors.

What this means, of course, is that numerous of the other ships begin to focus fire in Waspinator's direction, and it is all that Blast Off and Sky Lynx can do to keep them off him as the battle crashes downward.

All too soon they seem to be in range of the ground fire, and the guns from below join the fight, roaring volleys carefully aimed to avoid friendly fire. There are only a very few incidents of stray shots that do damage where damage oughtn't to do. Still, Ratchet's team has a lot to handle and it's still early.

<FS3> Ratchet rolls Command: Good Success. (4 4 2 1 2 7 7)

<FS3> Rodimus rolls Command: Good Success. (1 1 1 4 8 3 2 3 8 4 5 1 1 7 5 6 4)

<FS3> Windblade rolls Inspire: Great Success. (2 5 7 6 3 4 4 4 8 4 1 7 2 1 7 7)

<FS3> Ratchet rolls Medicine: Amazing Success. (7 6 8 7 7 6 3 7 5 1 8 3 6 7 7 8)

<FS3> Windblade rolls Melee Weapons + 1: Success. (7 1 4 1 3 3 2 6 1)

<FS3> Rodimus rolls Firearms+2: Amazing Success. (1 7 5 2 6 4 7 6 2 2 6 7 8 3 6 8 7)

<FS3> Whetstone rolls Melee Weapons+2: Great Success. (6 4 3 1 8 5 8 5 8 3 3 4 5 8 5 4 7)

<FS3> Waspinator rolls Melee Weapons+1: Success. (1 3 5 2 1 1 4 1 6 7)

<FS3> Sky_Lynx rolls Firearms: Good Success. (5 7 2 2 8 1 5 3 5 1)

<FS3> Blast_Off rolls Firearms+2: Amazing Success. (5 8 1 4 7 6 5 4 4 8 2 6 8 1 2 6 7 7)

<< "I witness! Keep it up, watch each other's backs! Calling for support now!" >> Windblade is not above contributing to the dragon-drama playing out above if it means the show-offs fight harder and keep themselves whole and healthy. She multi-tasks at the same time, flashing a pulse of map adjustments over to Ratchet's HUD for dispersal to the medics. Pulsing pink motes mark those claiming wounds severe enough to take them out of the fight, including those incapacitated by Waspinator-- provided they survive their plummet. It's a map which grows progressively busier as the reports pile in. << "Ground, they're starting to focus on our point team. They're going to need--tch--" >> The rest is left to conjecture as the Camien has to zig sharply to avoid the roar of burners coming in hard. She unrolls from alt to root midair, sword already in hand as she falls to meet the first wave with others on the ground.

Ratchet has saved the life of every Prime since Nominus, as he will tell you after a hard shot of engex or two. He senses where the weight of the enemy's attack will fall and transforms, ready to support the bots who actually shoot people. An Autobot, a big one, goes down in front of him. An ugly plasma wound that burns through his armor and cuts deep into his core systems. Nothing that Ratchet hasn't seen before. "I got this one, keep them off me!" He turns the shoulder of a fighting mech to provide cover fire. The Chief Medical Officer goes to work, rebuilt hands still a marvel of dexterity guided by peerless experience. A plasma torch flashes, cutting away the mech's own armor so that Ratchet can patch the wound, salvaging a lethal blow and saving a mech for another day. "Get him out, back to triage!" Ratchet snaps before he's on to the next. And the next. And the one after him. Ratchet's hands drip with energon and mechfluid but they work, keeping the Lost Light's forces in the fight longer than they have any right to. He takes a moment, drying them off with a cloth and rubbing some oil into his joints. "Hardly a skirmish." He remarks to the medic attending him, while quirking a grin. "Windblade's giving us good intel, relay that to the team. Everyone travels in twos, if they can." Then the ship lands, and more come. "Slag. On your toes." Ratchet rises.

As the first ships hit the ground and begin to unload, Rodimus shifts from backline commander to frontline fuck-'em-up-er. This comes with a fairly inevitable fracturing of his attention: his strategic touch lightens, with less ability to spot weaknesses and rearrange the flow of battle to account for it. Instead, he trusts his leaders on the ground, rallying the closest near him in a coordinated volley of gunfire in those first vulnerable moments as the ship's doors open and they begin to step forth and find targets. << "Windblade, tell your teams to make sure the ships' guns are down!" >> he calls over to her, sending similar commands to those with heavier armaments. His own weapon is a Brainstorm Special: a bow, his favored and favorite thing, which even in the absence of physical ammunition (he has only a precious few arrows left) fires some satisfyingly powerful bolts.

Blast Off is in his element. There's been so much going on lately, so much in store that could leave his fuel tank in knots if he thinks about it too hard, but THIS he knows. Smiting his enemies from his lofty position in the wide open air- or space. The shuttle continues his mission of covering for Waspinator. There's so MANY targets, but his expert marksmanship is laying waste to one after another as he makes almost every shot really count. "<< And I've STILL got it. >>" Blast Off radios to Wasp, just a little proudly. Has his back, and just HAS IT, thankyouverymuch.

Blast Off is in his element. There's been so much going on lately, so much in store that could leave his fuel tank in knots if he thinks about it too hard, but THIS he knows. Smiting his enemies from his lofty position in the wide open air- or space. The shuttle continues his mission of covering for Waspinator. There's so MANY targets, but his expert marksmanship is laying waste to one after another as he makes almost every shot really count. "<< And I've STILL got it. >>" Blast Off radios to Wasp, just a little proudly. Has his back, and just HAS IT, thankyouverymuch.

Whetstone reaches the ground with a nosecone in his maw and flames spilling out around it. He spends a few seconds looking triumphant with his breast lifted to the sun and his wings spread. <<"Observe your fate, coward sparks!">> he yells uselessly over his own team's comms. As the Unicronian ranks join them on the ground, Whetstone folds back into root mode and draws both scimitars, springing across the glittering ground to meet his foes. <<"Flaming Arrow strikes!">> he cheers.

Waspinator would be startled if he saw himself, glowing and bringing enemies down with stabs as he flies... of course it doesn't last, in true Wasp fashion. All it takes is the sight of the enemies turning towards them. He stabs out again at a nearby enemy but not nearly as impressively as before. Blast Off gets an unsure response of "<< Good for Shuttlebot? >>" Before he turns back to the scary task at hand.

"<< And I got more! >>" Sky Lynx bellows both over the comms, and aloud as he lets loose another blast, searing one of the larger shuttles, and catching a smaller fighter along the way. Okay, maybe not more, but he definitely 'got it' too. To add to the damage, he lunges at the transport, claws outstretched. He's got no illusion of clawing his way in, but knocking it around - that's definitely in the ralm of possibilies.

<FS3> Sky_Lynx rolls Transportation: Good Success. (2 1 5 5 3 2 7 3 7 2 6 5 5 5 2)

A great roar goes up in answer to the screams of the zombie knights as they begin to emerge -- from a transport that landed, from another still on the way down as they launch themselves from opening cargo bays towards the ground. Weapons fire blasts and sputters across the shining ground, and much of Combat is altogether ready for this, tucked behind convenient cover that they have appropriated and cutting zombies off at the knees -- injuries that take longer to regenerate and slow down the advance.

In this vast swath of a pitched fight, the difference between those who fight with artifacts and those who do not is all the more pronounced. The zombies who die permanently all die in showers of purple rain from the weapons of Lost Lighters who bear artifacts.

Windblade fights back to back with a big bluff ground mech, her blade on one side, his axe on the other; yet for all his heavyweight pounding, it is her blade that slices into the zombie attackers for both and creates wounds that actually stay, purple sparks bursting from each cut and jab.

Ratchet has created a dynamic and organized medical team and their daring triage parties keep a continuous flowing rotation, bringing the injured out of the fight and patching them up with an efficiency perfected over millions of years. Ratchet's team knows their shit, and although it's been awhile since their challenges looked like /this/, they perform beautifully under the pressure and after his amazing example.

Rodimus's bolts explode with purple sparks as they hit, and their effectiveness is devastating. His team fires with him and their coordinated volley is satisfyingly well-timed and effective -- but of that group, only Rodimus and a couple of laser rifle shots do permanent damage; the others spray bullets or plasma that does damage, but that the zombies immediately begin to heal up.

Blast Off cuts a swath through those that focus fire on Waspinator, and it helps reduce the pressure on the stinger-armed. He has to keep moving, though, because as he continues to protect this weird secret buggy weapon, he begins to draw a lot more fire of his own, of the kind that snipers generally prefer to avoid.

Luckily, there's Whetstone, dive-bombing and slashing his way into the fray, and each slicing slide of his shining scimitars launching purple parks from his zombie targets. He is a righteous terror, and while nothing flees him -- they don't seem to be /able/ to do that -- he definitely leads his team into cutting right into the heart of a number of those landing.

When Waspinator manages to strike a zombie, there's another rain of purple sparks -- and another frozen, dumbstruck zombie, standing pointlessly in place. It doesn't die, but neither does it do anything else, making it an easy target for someone else to shoot down.

Sky Lynx and the spaceship are locked into a brutal grappling contest as his claws bite through shielding into the hull, and while he doesn't actually manage to get inside, what he does manage to do is twist it off course and change it's downward trajectory. There's a heartstopping moment where it almost seems like he's about to crash it into some of his own people, and then instead, he lets go, launching free of it and sending the ship itself CRASHING into the glittering, crystalline structures of the ground. Smoke and fire billow from the crunched vessel, and although some zombies are starting to crawl out of it, the thing is never going to fly again.

<FS3> Blast_Off rolls Reaction+reaction+2: Good Success. (4 6 8 5 6 4 8 8 6 3)

<FS3> Whetstone rolls Reaction+reaction+2: Failure. (4 1 4 4 5 3)

<FS3> Waspinator rolls Reaction+Reaction+1: Good Success. (1 7 8 2 4 4 6 2 8)

<FS3> Windblade rolls Reaction + Reaction + 1: Great Success. (6 7 4 2 7 8 8)

<FS3> Rodimus rolls Reaction+reaction+2: Great Success. (2 6 7 8 7 7 3 4)

<FS3> Sky_Lynx rolls Reaction+Reaction: Success. (4 5 5 4 8 2)

Windblade's focus also must, by necessity, grow more narrow. Zombies, zombies everywhere. Still, she's able to aim a curt, << "Focus on the ships' guns up there, team, if it shoots you take it out," >> to relay Rodimus' orders. Far less peppy, this relay. This comes of being in motion, ducking under her back-to-back partner's arm to stab her sword into the chest of the knight the bigger bot had already injured-- and then yanking back around to roll through some deflecting slashes to keep the next off of herself. Purple sprays around the pair as she manages to catch and drag her blade in another deep cut, casting an eerie sparkle over their paint.

This is indeed heading into the more close-quartered combat Blast Off tries to avoid, but for now the shuttle manages. He may be a glass cannon, but he knows how to use his formidable firepower to knock out a path before him (or Waspinator) and he knows how to fly through enemy gunfire. For now he is able to stay on task, though there are a few close calls and he suffers some damage. Just not enough to slow him down, yet. "<< They're closing in, Waspinator... be careful. Fortunately, you still have me. >>" Sky Lynx isn't the only shuttle with a healthy ego.

<FS3> Rodimus rolls Recon: Success. (5 7 2 4 3)

Whetstone slashes and parries amongst his ground team, purple sparks raining as energon sprays. In the thick of the enemy swell, he inevitably takes a terrible blow, a spear straight through his middle. Only the spear is driven into the ground by a hulk of a Knight, leaving Whetstone skewered and prone. His little ground team fend it off, and move on to push the nigh overwhelming line. <<"Agh, medic!">>

Waspinator is hit, dropping a few feet in the air as a zombie smashes into his chassis. Its startling for sure, but he strike is shaken off soon enough and the bug is back to his fast paced flight. The message from the shuttle makes Waspinator truly realizing how he isn't exactly making it easy for the mech to cover him and slows down a tick. Fear may be pushing him to move faster, but it is that same fear reminding him Blast Off is practically the only one watching his back by this point.

On the heels of Windblade's orders comes not a countermand, but a clarification, as Rodimus's voice breaks across all lines: << "If you've got an artifact, focus your fire on the Harbingers and the zombies. If you don't, focus your fire on the ship and their guns. Watch your shots: there's a difference in how they respond." >> Finer details escape him at the moment, such as who might be more effective than others beyond 'artifact good', but he at least notices when his shots end in showers of purple sparks. It's pretty cool, actually. He'll do that again.

The casualties start to mount. Ratchet keeps pace at the front line, but his medics are seeing more and more mechs taken back to triage, the area he designated behind the main line of combat to treat damaged mechs. "Traction." Ratchet says, after he's patched another soldier. "I'm heading back to the triage area. You have the line." There usually comes a point in a battle, sometimes it's the tipping point, sometimes it isn't, when Ratchet determines that it's time to head to the rear and tend to the lives in danger there. He transformers into his ambulance mode and rushes back, to where the damaged mechs are waiting. Ratchet transforms upon arriving and gets to work, organizing the medics and doctors under his command. Medics picked Whetstone up off the ground and carried him to the rear, thanks to the valiant efforts of his team, where he could be proeprly tended. Ratchet sees Whetstone and heads towards him, judging in a moment which mechs need to be returned to the fight. "Hotfix, attend me." Just like that, another bot steps to Ratchet's side. "Laser scapel." The doctor slices the spear apart and removes it with an almost cruel jerking motion. But he patches any leaks, hands moving deftly along the open area in Whetstone's armor. It might be pretty, but that's Torque's job. "Get out there, soldier!" An energon infusion and Whetstone is ready to return to the skies.

Okay, that didn't do as much damage as Sky Lynx hoped, but it's something. That's one air threat down. For good measure, he launches a parting shot from his mouth at the disembarking enemies. That little manuveur costs him. Being so close to the ground makes him an easy target for the zombies themselves, leaving him with a dark mark on his belly, pink drops flying away in the wind as he swoops back up.

It's not enough to stop him ofcourse "<< No guns shall fire after the great Sky Lynx is through with them! >>" he reassures Windblade as he unleashes another blast at the nearest ship.

<FS3> Whetstone rolls Recon: Good Success. (4 7 2 2 1 7)

<FS3> Windblade rolls Melee Weapons+1: Good Success. (4 6 1 4 7 4 3 1 7)

<FS3> Windblade rolls Recon: Embarassing Failure. (1 1 1)

<FS3> Blast_Off rolls Recon: Success. (2 3 5 2 2 8 1 3 4)

<FS3> Blast_Off rolls Firearms+2: Great Success. (1 8 8 7 7 2 5 5 4 2 1 2 4 3 6 5 4 3)

<FS3> Sky_Lynx rolls Firearms: Great Success. (8 1 3 7 6 3 7 7 8 1)

<FS3> Waspinator rolls Recon: Good Success. (4 4 5 5 7 3 8)

<FS3> Waspinator rolls Melee Weapons+1: Amazing Success. (2 7 7 7 6 7 7 7 5 2)

<FS3> Rodimus rolls Firearms+2: Great Success. (2 3 4 2 8 3 6 2 4 7 7 7 8 3 4 6 1)

Though the battle is hard-fought, and there are a number of casualties on the side of Good and Righteousness, the tide is beginning to turn in favor of the defenders. It helps that fire is being directed now so that those who lack the power to slay the zombies are destroying the mounted weapons of the ships. It helps that more than one of the ships has been destroyed. It helps that Waspinator has really hit a groove now, and each zombie knight he strikes with that Titan stinger is frozen, locked in a paralysis of internal struggle between conflicting forces. He has managed to create a barricade of zombie bodies now, standing around him like so many statues, frozen in place, and this weird, weird protection prevents all but the most precisely aimed of shots from flying into him.

Sky Lynx is swapping fire with one of the ships in the air now, and he scores a beautiful slice across its weapons, blasting its cannon and then its turrets out from under it. Now the ship flies but can't shoot. Excellent.

Rodimus shoots a zombie in the head with a bolt from his bow and it explodes in purple sparks and flying shrapnel. His next few shots have similar results and those nearest him see him limned in golden light just for a moment as he takes another shot, in glorious contrast to the purple sparkles.

Blast Off is providing air cover for Waspinator's one-insecticon onslaught, and doing a bang up job. Every one of his shots that strikes a zombie target is a shower of purple sparks and super effective. One he hits right in the fuel line and earns himself a pretty little half-purple explosion for his trouble.

Windblade is definitely too distracted with all of this close quarters fighting and not getting stabbed or shot to notice anything going on above, but her blade sings, cutting and gliding through zombie metal like it blazes with fresh heat.

A few see, though: the flash high above of something very fast hurtling through the sky before it vanishes in a local cloaking field.

<< "Thank you, Rodimus!" >> Let it not be said that Windblade resents correction. Details are important and it is evident the Camien, so inexperienced in comparison to the battle-hardened soldiers around her, is more of a sprinter when it comes to fights. This extended conflict, it's taking its toll on the Cityspeaker. She's missing things. Luckily the reflexes drilled into her by Chromia prevent the femme from taking any hurts. Luckily she's doing just fine with what's directly before her. And behind. And to the sides. Luckily the team in the air are good at what they do, those healthy egos proving to be well-deserved so far. Every new mote on the map renews her will to carry on and save the medics from needing to fuss over her, or the mech who has her back. Chop chop. << "Whetstone, status report...?" >>

Whetstone can't really keep track of who grabs him and where he's taken, but the pressure of the spear is gone, and his bloodied armor stops gushing. He heaves himself upright when Ratchet rallies him, and mutters a weary 'thanks' before dashing back on the field. <<"Rejoining my team presently! And, ah, I believe something is headed towards us? Very fast? From the upper atmosphere.">>

<FS3> Rodimus rolls Reaction+reaction+2: Success. (1 2 6 5 1 6 5 7)

<FS3> Sky_Lynx rolls Reaction+Reaction: Success. (1 4 6 4 1 8)

<FS3> Waspinator rolls Reaction+reaction+1: Amazing Success. (7 7 5 8 1 7 1 8 7)

Waspinator doesn't realize just how much damage he is doing until suddenly there are no enemies left to fight, the frozen zombies forming a ring of protection around him that only the rare blaster shot seems to be getting around. He most definitely did not mean to do that. It gives him ample opportunity to look up, however, spotting something streak across the sky before disappearing into nothingness. Flipping back to root mode- skillfully catching his stinger as it ejects- Waspinator points dumbly to the sky, looking back to his one mech entourage, "<<Wazz... Wazz Wazzpinator only mech to zzee that? >>" There isn't really time to remain on that, as the enemies are still trying to get to him.

Blast Off is in fine form, slaying it (literally) and keeping the forces of darkness away from the Wasp- who is also in fine form. As he twists and turns through the sky, the shuttle has to keep an eye on both larger forms and patterns coming at him as well as the smaller details he needs to shoot at. Thus he catches, very briefly, a glimpse of... "<< Windblade, did you see that thing at about 11 Oclock? Fast... looked like it had a cloaking shield of sort sort once it got closer... >"

<FS3> Blast_Off rolls Reaction+reaction+2: Great Success. (3 5 2 3 8 4 7 6 8 7)

When one of the crew near him takes fire and goes down, Rodimus steps between him and his opponent to unload another shot into his target, and then another, stepping forward so that the fallen can be pulled back, patched up, and propped back up with gun in hand. << "Something?" >> He risks a look up himself, too late, and takes fire for his pains. << "Brace for possible reinforcements and grab cover!" >>

<FS3> Windblade rolls Reaction + Reaction: Good Success. (5 8 2 7 8 1)

Ratchet slaps Whestone on the back, his armor not looking particularly fashionable but all the critical parts repaired. Ratchet takes a moment to wipe off his hands again, surveying the battlefield from what perch he has. "We never really stood a chance." He remarks, low, under his own breath. He steels himself, standing a little straigher and letting tension run through his frame before it's released. "Who's next?" He turns back to the triage area. Fixing battle damage is banal, but it keeps a mech occupied.

<FS3> Windblade rolls Reaction+reaction+1: Great Success. (3 8 3 8 7 6 7)

<FS3> Sky_Lynx rolls Firearms: Success. (8 5 6 3 6 2 1 1 3 3)

<FS3> Windblade rolls Melee Weapons+1: Success. (3 4 5 1 8 2 4 1 2)

<FS3> Whetstone rolls Melee Weapons+2: Amazing Success. (3 7 7 8 3 3 1 8 8 1 2 8 4 3 3 2 5)

<FS3> Blast_Off rolls Firearms+2: Great Success. (5 8 2 4 8 3 3 8 6 3 7 2 4 5 5 4 8 2)

<FS3> Rodimus rolls Firearms+2: Great Success. (6 3 1 6 8 1 4 2 2 6 7 5 1 8 6 5 7)

Sky Lynx is much too busy blasting away at his next target to look up at anything distant, but what he misses the others soon fill him in on "<< Let them come! We will destroy them too! >>"

<FS3> Waspinator rolls Melee Weapons+1: Success. (4 1 2 7 6 3 2 1 3 3)

The tide of this battle is actually turning in a measurable way. The zombie knights that are already on the ground continue as an inexorable onslaught. But those who are at or near their ships begin to withdraw. It is a slow, reluctant withdrawal, punctuated and garnished by a thousand explosions of purple sparks as shot after shot, blast after blast, strike in and around them. Many on the ground are tiring. Some on the ground are wounded or dying, even with all of Ratchet's team operating at an amazing peak.

Windblade is tiring, and her fighting buddy has taken a serious hit to the side. He's starting to leak energon at an alarming rate but has fended off all attempts of the medics to pull him out. He keeps it up, shielding Windblade from their assaulters even as she is locked in a sword duel with a zombie knight bearing a pair of daggers.

Whetstone basically EXPLODES back into the field of combat, a bladed dragon of fire and fury, cutting a purple detonating swath through the enemy line and personally carving a hole for other warriors to follow his charge. He earns a few cheers from those nearby him, even, and it's a rousing, rallying moment for a number of mechs who were otherwise flagging, who renew their efforts with a will.

Rodimus basically provides covering fire for his men as the injured are pulled out, and then as they take cover from the potential threat of reinforcements, he still manages to blow up another zombie in another explosion of purple sparks.

Blast Off is cutting wickedly effectively into the enemy from behind cover, now, as Waspinator continues to be a target of many, but still manages to freeze another zombie in its tracks!

There's a shimmer in the air and a breaking crackle of energy as the cloak drops. It's a single ship, a small personal flitter, like a miniature space yacht but with a stealth mode, and as it opens its bay doors, a black helicopter emerges from the open bay, firing onboard weapons ... not at Sky Lynx, but past him, towards the ship he is currently engaging with.

Something above them? Windblade hears the reports, the voices over the comms urging her to sift through and look up. She can't. A failing, one she'll maybe get the chance to apologize for later. Right now, her priority is keeping those daggers away from herself and her living shield. "Fall back," she grits out between strikes. Parrying, parrying, striking, parrying, and stepping backwards to physically nudge the bleeding mech towards the cover Rodimus has urged them to take. << "Ratchet, need a stubborn medic up here for my battle buddy, he's hit hard." >>

<<"We can't take much more of this, Rodimus. I'm at my limit.">> Ratchet notes, speaking not just for himself but for every mech in medical. More and more soldiers are slipping through their graps, a trickle turning to a tide that threatens a full on flood. Ratchet pulls his hand away from his radio transmitter and gets back to work trying to make some semblance of a poor mech's guts. He nods to Hotfix, the unspoken word 'goner' between them. The Chief Medical Officer makes a few quick fixes, mitigating the mech's pain, before he moves onto the next. It's the triage tent, not the miracle tent. <<"Windblade, I'm on it.">> Ratchet quirks a grin at his attendant. "Hotfix, this is yours. I'll be back." The doctor transforms, moving over the terrain as fast as he can towards Windblade. The linchpin. They lose her, the whole line could collapse.

Whetstone can't help but join in on the cheers that come up around him, as the gem of his Great Sword simmers with the energy of his spark. He pauses to steady himself, and squints over at the decloaking ship, and the chopper that emerges. To... aid? Eh? <<"What am I looking at...">>

Brace for reinforcements, Rodimus said. He did not consider that it might be their reinforcements. He squints suspiciously skyward between shots. << "Right, Ratchet," >> he comms to confirm, then opens back to the wider line: << "Find your cover and stick to it. Harass them back on those ships and take out the ships' weapons, but keep your fire away from the engines. If they wanna run, let them." >> After a slight pause, he says, << "Run or shuffle." >> You know. Zombies.

This time Sky Lynx does look. Well, that's a pleasant surprise, even if he's not sure who it is "<< I believe the reinforcments are for us! >>" he announces over the general channel. To the newcommer he adds "Welcome to the battle!"

But there will be time for introductions and pleasantries later. Right now, he's got some ships to fry.

"<< Don't azzk Wazzpinator. >>" Is the bug's response to Whetstone over the comms. Waspinator basrely has any idea what is happening at the moment, don't make him try to figure this out too. All he knows as they fall back at Rodimus' orders is no titan has shown up, and his terrified spark is put at ease for that.

<FS3> Windblade rolls Reaction+reaction+1: Success. (3 1 4 8 2 6 4)

<FS3> Whetstone rolls Reaction+reaction+2: Success. (4 3 6 2 4 8)

<FS3> Windblade rolls Melee Weapons+1: Good Success. (4 4 3 5 2 3 7 7 4)

<FS3> Sky_Lynx rolls Reaction+Reaction: Success. (8 3 2 4 3 3)

<FS3> Waspinator rolls Reaction+Reaction+1: Great Success. (2 8 7 8 7 6 5 5 4)

<FS3> Waspinator rolls Melee Weapons+1: Success. (2 3 7 5 1 3 2 5 6 2)

<FS3> Sky_Lynx rolls Firearms: Failure. (5 5 5 4 3 4 1 2 6 2)

<FS3> Rodimus rolls Reaction+reaction: Good Success. (8 8 1 7 1 4)

<FS3> Blast_Off rolls Reaction+reaction+2: Good Success. (8 5 8 5 4 8 1 6 5 1)

<FS3> Rodimus rolls Firearms+2: Good Success. (3 6 6 5 5 7 3 4 5 5 6 8 2 1 5 2 3)

<FS3> Ratchet rolls Reaction+reaction: Success. (3 4 5 8)

<FS3> Blast_Off rolls Firearms+2: Amazing Success. (7 5 7 3 3 1 8 8 7 8 4 4 6 6 1 8 2 4)

<FS3> Whetstone rolls Firearms+2: Good Success. (2 6 5 7 4 6 4 8 6)

Blast Off remains focused on his job but he can't help but notice when the ship appears... space yacht? What? The Combaticon keeps scanners sweeping over towards that ship but remains focused on keeping Waspinator alive as they follow orders.

The ambulance that is Ratchet takes some fire and the slash of a blade at his tires as he surges across the broken up and glittering battlefield to the rescue. He's definitely felt worse before, but pain is sure a familiar thing to the old mech; still, he's also /worked/ through worse, and it doesn't stop him from getting where he's going.

Windblade loses some ground to the knifework of the zombie she's fighting, and the gash of the blade takes her across the torso. Of course, her return slash separates its head from its body in a rain of purple sparks, so you win some, lose some.

Rodimus successfully evades the falling swing of an axe as he moves behind cover and shoots another zombie in the center of its frame. The change in orders makes it all the easier for the zombies to withdraw into their ships. One of them even begins to slowly, jaggedly close its doors, its engines heating in a revving towards retreat.

More damage-- in the exchange of fire between Sky Lynx and his target. One of his shots even misses entirely. The helicopter shoots a few more times even as she sinks beneath him, dipping in a brief aerial salute before-- she drops out of the air entirely, transforming to root mode on the way down. The frame is familiar to some: dark gleam of metal, glossy black interspersed with deep charcoal matte, with gold trim centering the curves of its leanly narrow torso and hips, and gold-bladed gauntlets marking its hands. The rotors on her back are still slowing even as she falls.

Ignition hits the ground in a classic superhero landing, hard though they may be on the knees: one boot flat, the other knee striking the ground. Her long, slightly wavy sword's blade is lifted to the sky, and her ancient shield is a brilliant flash of light as she raises it, and -- as she is limned briefly in the shining light that has kissed several of them so far this battle, her shield bursts into flames. Her jaw hard, her face set, her cheekbones sharp enough angles to cut diamond, she rises. Her voice projecting with a powerful projection of ferocity, she calls, "By the power of the Knights of Cybertron, the universe will stand against you, Harbingers."

Just in time to help them mop up.

"Hey, thanks, nice timing, but as you can see, we got this," Rodimus calls over to Ignition in what is definitely not a seething fit of raging jealousy.

Once Windblade racks up more soldier cred, she'll know that moments like these-- in the wake of decapitating an enemy-- she should really take a moment to savour it all. Maybe strike a pose. See: Ignition. But frag it all, getting stabbed /hurts/, and the other guy is bleeding even worse, and does anyone realize that war sucks? Sword drooping, she presses her arm to her middle and hooks an arm through her meatshield's to start dragging him towards Ratchet. Blessed Ratchet. << "...were we calling in reinforcements in the plural, or is it just the one?" >> trickles through the command comm.

OK, well that's interesting. Blast Off eyes the rotary as she appears, recognizing her instantly, his armor plates ruffling slightly. "<< Ignition? >>" Still, even the appearance of this person from the past can't keep the sniper from doing his work professionally and well.

Waspinator ..has no idea who that is, which becomes clear enough as he sends a confused look the Captain's way then Blast Off's when there is enough of a break in his fight. Whoever this is was before his time on the lost light.

Takes a few scratches. Nothing that Torque and a few coats of paint can't fix. He transforms, vaulting off of a ledge near Windblade. He lands a bit heavily, wincing. "Ugh. Too many miles on these servos." Ratchet straightens, his Orion Pax impression leading to a hitched step that soon resolves itself. "Let me lend a hand, there." He takes the other side of Windblade's meatshield, examining his wounds. The doctor's gaze wanders over to Windblade's own damage. "Doesn't hurt too much?" Not life threatening, in other words. Ratchet works as they haul, preventing Windblade's supporting mech from bleeding out. "I'd be more excited if we weren't throwing loons at the lunatics." The doctor notes upon Ignition's arrival.

Whetstone's shrouded lips pull into a snarl and a hard arch creeps up his tail and spine when he recognizes the gleam of Ignition. But he says nothing for now, turning to keep his blade at the backs of the retreating ground mechs. <<"Gawk later! Fight!">> he barks at no one in particular.

Well, looks like atleast other people know who that is. This is becoming a pattern with her, but Sky Lynx doesn't really care right now. He's already gotten distracted enough. He's got other issues to worry about. Like ships. And guns. And guns on ships shooting at him. It hurts, but thankfully, nothing important for arial combat has been hit. Crashing another ship might be rather more troublesome now, but he can still blast away.

"You do," Ignition calls to Rodimus, her voice carrying that same fierce strength and the barest shade of a smile touching her lips as she adds, "But not alone."

Ignition spins into the fray, her long blade slashing through one zombie-- purple sparks rain from the place where she strikes -- and bashing her flaming shield into another to shove him aside. Her charge is just as dramatic as her entrance.

But Rodimus isn't wrong: although the Duly Appointed Enforcer, etc., joins them in cutting a swath into the enemy, she isn't here saving the day. Their prepared front met the enemy, and held.

The zombies are withdrawing. There are some pockets of the pitched battle that continue, fighting, killing, dying -- places where the zombies don't or can't retreat, points on the battlefield where the ongoing crush is too much and there's nothing left to do but war. But now even more of them are retreating into what remains of their ships. The first ship launches. Another's engines begin to heat, doors whining as they drag to a creaking close.

This planet is not going to be overrun, not this fight, not today.

Rodimus snarls, an ill-concealed tantrum that sees him throwing himself into the thickest knots of the fight to haul the injured free and give them shelter; his shots encourage the last lingering remnants of the Harbinger fleet to join their fellows in fleeing. He may or may not be a touch foolish, a touch reckless, as if to out-hero, to out-awesome the sudden competition. May or may not be. (May.) When he gets a moment, he looks for Windblade in the chaos, sending her a ping as the defensive action turns into a mop-up: << "Your diplomacy is needed." >> Because his is certainly failing.

<FS3> Windblade rolls Diplomacy: Good Success. (1 7 4 3 3 8 4 3 1 2 2 2)

"Just a scratch," Windblade assures Ratchet, with her hand remaining firmly clamped over the scratch in question. She's right-- in comparison to the other's wounds. "You work fast," is added, an appreciative compliment, before Rodimus' ping leads the Cityspeaker to finally look up and around. Quick queries are sent out to the bots in the sky, wordless requests for welfare checks, but it's Ignition blue eyes zero in on. Hard not to, what with the flaming shield and swinging wiggly sword and general snazziness. Diplomacy, right. << "It's good to have others to rely on in this fight, and the goal of putting these fallen to rest again as they deserve. Thank you for your assistance," >> she offers up, looping Ignition into the comm circle. The words are a sight prettier than the Camien herself, gore-streaked and paint-scratched and dented.

Blast Off isn't so sure he likes this sudden reappearance but for now Ignition seems to be on their side, so he keeps the majority of his focus on continuing to do his job, clearing out threats... however, those threats are receeding and the shuttle is able to circle up and around for a broader view of the battlefield below- and it's the kind one likes to see. A victory.

<FS3> Whetstone rolls Knighthood: Great Success. (6 2 7 7 7 8 1 8)

Whetstone ends up in his alt mode again, sinking teeth into zombies that spark smartly against his tongue. Eventually he just collapses atop a heap of shambling frames, smoke wafting from his jaws. The battle seems /mostly/ won, at least! <<"Victory!">> he decides to announce. <<"Right?">> Then, Windblade's diplomacy crackles over his comms. <<"She's here to soak the glory!">> he blurts without thinking.

Ratchet nods almost absently to Windblade. His focus is on the work at hand, the mech in his care. Ratchet lays him down and starts to work, preventing any vital systems from failing, but doing little more than that. There will be time for a full recovery later. The doctor straigthens up, seeming to notice his own wounds for the first time. He presses two fingers to where some mech fluid leaks, before touching those fingers to his tongue. "Huh. I need a bit more nucleon in my diet." He turns, watching the Harbingers retreats. Ratchet touches his fingers to his radio unit. <<"This is the hard part. Tend to the wounded you know first, then get out there. See how much we can save." Ratchet follows his own advice and is soon wading among the corpses. "Another victory like this..." He murmurs, "And who needs a defeat..."

Waspinator is still very very confused but the drawing end of the battle has his attention and he continues to fight back the remaining. He will stare once they are sure it is safe.

Sky Lynx continues to fire at the remaining ships as they withdraw, but the time between shots grows longer and longer. Maybe it's becasue there's less to shoot at, or because the battle has taken it's toll on him too, or a mix of both. Streaks of energon run down two of his legs, and the gunshot wound is making itself known more and more. He's still got fight in him, but he wouldn't mind heading down soon.

Ignition wipes down her sword and with a cloth as the last of her enemies is either slain or gone, and then the cloth vanishes. She sheathes it, and the blaze of firelight dies on her ancient shield. It is deviceless and black, but there is something about it that suggests the antique gear of the Knights. She turns to face them upon the battlefield and, at the angle of some distance, gives the Cityspeaker a grave bow, her golden gauntletted fist pressed against her chest. Her comm crackles to life, and her accented crispness surges into the conversation, cool and clear. << "Your glory is your own. I am not here to steal from you, but to aid you. You have many enemies. And-- this time." >> Her head lifts and her pale blue eyes stare between them, sliding along towards Rodimus in particular, who she certainly remembers, and then onward, lingering here or there among them. << "I believe your enemies are the enemies of life. This is one fight, and I congratulate you on it. But it is not the only fight." >>

Right. Air teams. << "Whetstone, please, there's enough to go around," >> is sent privately by Windblade. To the team as a whole, << "Draw back, those with injuries go through triage to get a tag from the medics. Those without, assist your fellows. You did well up there. You did /very/ well. I'm proud of all of you." >> Maybe that's glory enough to appease a few; it's probably not enough for all of them. Not with Ignition there, flicking fire on oil-soaked logs. << "Perhaps it is best to study the larger picture away from the battlefield. We've wounded to see to and scouts to send out," >> and she has no idea who she's speaking to, not really, but...

Surely the point will remain sound even after someone whispers to Windblade that she's speaking to the etc. etc. of Tyrest.

Rodimus acknowledges Ignition with a quick, upward jerk of his chin as he looks across the cleared field. << "Make nice with the obnoxious lady, would you?" >> he comms Windblade, tagging the message with a truly unnecessary number of emojis signifying gratitude before he turns his attention to Ratchet: << "Have your medics focus on the ones who can't be moved and let me know where to send recovery teams from the Lost Light," >> he says. << "We can spacebridge back the stable ones for treatment there." >>

Climbing to a slight rise, Rodimus cups his hands to shout, and back sound with a transmission: << "You guys kicked those Harbingers right back into the black hole they spawned from! Nice work, and a Rodimus star for all of you!" >>

Windblade and Rodimus are proud of him? Waspinator lets out a small wing wiggle of happiness before following the orders given. Not very injured, the bug flies around the area to look for any mechs downed to help them get to the triage... while also conviniently leaving the others to argue without risk of him being caught in the middle.

Whetstone is appeased! He thrusts the fist of his wing in the air, and shares a toothy grin with those that remain of his ground squad. They eventually disperse to follow orders, but Whetstone is not going anywhere. He'll just lie here until someone drags him back.

Blast Off will let the diplomats... diplomat. The aloof sniper is content to fly over the battlefield, taking out any remaining possible threats. Though hey, sounds like he gets another Rodimus Star. Cool. I MEAN- *cough* not that he cares about these, right? The shuttle does rumble his engines into a purr, however, as he sweeps low and starts to think of landing.

Sky Lynx fires off one last blast before wheeling around and circling down to land near the rest of the fighters. It's a bit of an awkward landing, the reason for which is made clear when he covers the rest of the distance on foot, teetering to the right as he attemtps to favour both legs. Nonetheless, he still offers "I am not so baddly injured. I could carry some of those who are back."

<<"Affirmative.">> Ratchet replies to Rodimus, though his tone cleary communicates 'yes I know that.' <<"Request we keep a combat team or two here to cover my people in case they come back. Wouldn't be the first time.">> Ratchet kneels by a Decepticon whose spark is near zero-point. But it flickers, and with his help it might flare. Not bad for a day's work.

Ignition strides across the field towards Windblade. Her features are grave, and she continues to speak via the channel as she says, << "I am glad of the invitation. There is much to discuss." >>

Right. Windblade, commanded by emojis, corrects course to intercept Ignition... and to steer her away from Rodimus' position, to engage in the much that needs to be discussed. << "We can talk as I send the scouts out. This way, please, ma'am. I'm Windblade of Caminus. And you are...? >> Open comm shrinks to tight-beam, a subtle shooing to corral their new friend away from those as are busy.

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