2018-05-17 Stand Behind Enemy Lines
From Transformers: Lost and Found
|Stand Behind Enemy Lines|
|Participants||Lieutenant, Rodimus, Wheeljack|
In Unicron's heart, the drones swarm nearly as thickly as they do on the front lines of battle, with one very important distinction: they aren't particularly trying to go anywhere. This changes as the Lost Lighters bridge in, disrupting their pattern. They pay Lieutenant and Pipes very little attention, but as Rodimus draws forth the Matrix, he and Wheeljack are the sudden subject of the study of about 200000 sets of eyes.
This close to Unicron, the war within Lieutenant and Pipes is very real. Only the anchoring presence of the Matrix allows them to keep hold of themselves, and even that waxes and wanes on unpredictable tides.
"Come on, we're not far!" Rodimus bolts for the door.
<FS3> Lieutenant rolls Presence+presence: Failure. (2 3)
<FS3> Pipes rolls Presence+presence: Success. (7 6 2 2 5 1)
<FS3> Opposed Roll -- Matrix=12 Vs Unicron=12
< Matrix: Great Success (6 3 1 6 7 4 7 1 2 7 7 6) Unicron: Great Success (4 4 4 3 1 8 5 2 7 6 8 8)
< Net Result: DRAW
Once in Unicron, Lieutenant feels that overwhelming presence that had been missing for the past month on Cybertron. Unicron. He's lost the mental battle on Luna-1 and very nearly with Vortex those first weeks he had returned. It's not easy. The avian heads straight to the calling of Unicron's spark.
Wheeljack knows what he's getting into when they step through that bridge. He thinks he's prepared for it, even though he can't help but glance back at the control room of the Lost Light one more time before the portal swallows them up-- and they're surrounded by teeth and eyes. His gasp swallows up the curse that wants to come out, but quickly he nods and runs after Rodimus, hands tight on his tools. "No pressure or anything!" he says, a rather flat attempt at a joke.
"Uh, actually, lots of pressure." Rodimus grins over at Wheeljack, then promptly trips over one of the worms, scrambling and banging into a door that just barely opens for Lieutenant. He only just manages to get his foot in, when Pipes comes up behind him.
The door opens again, allowing Rodimus and Wheeljack through so that Pipes can enter as well.
The last time a pack of Lost Lighters went to Unicron, the worms were thick even here. Today, now, it's empty of anything but them. There's a thud, thud, thud thud thud of bodies hitting the closed door which suggests that might not last.
"Jackie, make your magic happen," Rodimus says, thrusting the Matrix forward.
<FS3> Opposed Roll -- Matrix=12 Vs Unicron=12
< Matrix: Good Success (1 5 1 8 6 1 3 6 8 2 4 2) Unicron: Great Success (6 5 7 8 5 2 8 8 6 4 3 7)
< Net Result: Unicron wins - Solid Victory
<FS3> Pipes rolls Presence+presence: Success. (8 4 6 3 2 4)
<FS3> Pipes rolls Presence+presence-3: Good Success. (7 5 7)
Lieutenant spends 1 luck points on not being doomed.
<FS3> Lieutenant rolls Presence+presence+47: Great Success. (3 2 3 3 7 3 2 5 7 7 8 6 6 5 1 3 1 3 2 8)
While Unicron's presence is powerful, so are Lieutenant's memories, friendships -- and the love he holds for those he's left behind. He manages to shake the weight of Unicron's presence, shoring up the walls of his own self in firm bulwark against the darkness. He can sense the drones outside, like an itch at the edge of his senses. He thinks he might even be able to communicate with them. They are close enough to the same wavelength, here.
Lieutenant ponders for a moment exactly how he'd get through to the drones. He's not Soundwave (thank the primes) so he can't use mind control on them. Could he? "A moment." He pardons himself as he turns to wear he can face in the direction of the hoard. He takes a vent, he tries to narrow down the wavelength before attempting to speak. It's a long shot "Cease."
<FS3> Lieutenant rolls Hacking: Good Success. (6 2 4 6 1 4 5 8 7 3 6 3 1 2)
The pace of the thump-thomp against the door slows, almost baffled. There's a questioning thwimp? of another light hit.
"It's not magic," Wheeljack says without thinking, because he's giddy with nerves and exhaustion, and the sound of bodies slamming against the door is making him flinch, but he kneels down, pulling out his tools and the scanner, attaching pieces here and there, muttering to himself all the while. "You know, if I amplify the signal to give them something to lock onto," he says, "it's probably going to get us attention that we don't want. Not that I won't do it, but just so that we're aware!"
"I'm aware," Rodimus says, kneeling with Wheeljack. "Do whatever you can. How's it going back there, Lieutenant, you still with us?"
<FS3> Wheeljack rolls Engineering: Success. (5 4 5 1 1 2 2 5 8 4 3 1 6 3 1 1)
Okay, okay. That wasn't terrible. Lieutenant sighs, because at least they heard him. He'll try again in a second. "Hopefully that unwanted attention does not kill either of you." Zombie. He'll live. "Simply keep doing what you are doing, Rodimus. While I appreciate the check in, I would concern myself with you for once. You are important." And not immortal. That's also an important note
Lieutenant turns his focus back to the drones behind the door. "Salutations, it is your new deity."
<FS3> Lieutenant rolls Hacking: Amazing Success. (2 1 5 6 8 2 1 7 8 7 7 8 5 7)
The blip of the signal likely brightens on the screens far distant, but it's unlikely that it brightens for long. It draws a sharper reaction from their surroundings, however, with the halo of energy surrounding Unicron's spark taking on a prickly quality. WHAT YOU DOIN'.
Outside the door, there's another thonk-thonk as Wheeljack tweaks the signal, only for everything to go completely silent when Lieutenant announces his ascension to godhood.
He'll blame the worms and Lieutenant's piping up again for the distraction. Wheeljack looks up, startled, when Leiutenant pipes up. He has to puzzle over that last line in particular, but the thumps stopping makes him eye Lieutenant in a new light. "Is that you?" he asks. Shakes his helm, turns back to his task, starts fiddling around with his equipment and the matrix even more. "Whatever you're doing, keep doing it! It'll make this much easier. As soon as I get this steady, we can get moving again."
<FS3> Wheeljack rolls Engineering: Success. (6 2 6 5 2 2 3 1 2 1 5 1 3 5 2 7)
Tez spends 1 luck points on pity.
<FS3> Wheeljack rolls Engineering: Good Success. (1 2 4 7 3 7 6 4 4 1 4 1 4 1 3 7)
That...worked. It worked! He'll need to inform Starstruck of who's topping when he gets back. In the meantime, what to do with his new following? He presses a finger to his lips before looking back at the other two and the spark. They seem good. On the surface, anyway. Lieutenant nods at Wheeljack before glancing over at the door. "Return from where you came, and those that are down planet-side, have them retreat."
<FS3> Lieutenant rolls Hacking: Good Success. (8 3 4 1 6 3 8 1 2 3 3 2 4 7)
Whatever Wheeljack's doing, it's also making this easier: the signal breaks, clear and strong, to shine like a beacon down to Cybertron's surface. It worked. Hopefully it will keep working. Because that's when Unicron really starts objecting.
Lightning lances from the spark to strike at Rodimus, Wheeljack, Pipes and Lieutenant, and the doors break open to allow a flood of drones through into the core. They are here to clean up.
<FS3> Opposed Roll -- Rodimus=fortitude+50 Vs Unicron=12
< Rodimus: Great Success (6 7 6 6 7 5 2 6 6 3 1 3 7 3 8 1 4 2 3 7) Unicron: Success (8 1 6 1 2 6 5 5 4 1 3 1)
< Net Result: Rodimus wins - Crushing Victory
<FS3> Opposed Roll -- Pipes=fortitude Vs Unicron=12
< Pipes: Good Success (6 4 5 4 8 6 5 1 2 6 3 3 7) Unicron: Success (5 2 2 2 7 6 1 6 1 1 2 4)
< Net Result: Pipes wins - Marginal Victory
<FS3> Opposed Roll -- Wheeljack=fortitude+50 Vs Unicron=12
< Wheeljack: Amazing Success (8 4 1 8 8 3 7 1 7 1 8 3 4 8 4 5 1 5 6 2) Unicron: Good Success (6 2 3 8 5 4 1 5 2 7 2 5)
< Net Result: Wheeljack wins - Crushing Victory
<FS3> Opposed Roll -- Lieutenant=fortitude+50 Vs Unicron=12
< Lieutenant: Success (3 1 3 4 2 4 8 1 1 1 2 6 5 1 5 4 6 2 4 1) Unicron: Great Success (5 1 8 1 4 4 6 7 8 8 6 2)
< Net Result: Unicron wins - Solid Victory
Wheeljack spends 1 luck points on thank you for not death by unicron.
Lieutenant spends 1 luck points on not being worth it.
The lightning lances through Rodimus and Wheeljack, but the Matrix in Rodimus's hands flares brighter against the light: not canceling it, but blending it in its own, and haloing them with a glow. Pipes staggers beneath the strike, however, and Lieutenant is knocked to his knees.
Looking up at Unicron's spark, Rodimus curls his fingers over the Matrix's handles: "Come on, guys. Soundwave--. Soundwave, please."
They can do nothing but wait.
In the end, there is no spacebridge to pull them from Unicron's core. The dark lightning strikes, fast and fierce, as it attempts to tear them apart. But the light of the Matrix -- even hollow, even empty -- reaches out to answer and turn that energy into something else. As Rodimus moves, gathering Pipes and Lieutenant under the Matrix's mantle, the world goes white.
And then, nothing.