Autobot Academy: Flames of Future Past

Discussion in 'Transformers Fan Fiction' started by Dropkick, Aug 22, 2019.

  1. Dropkick

    Dropkick Doktor

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    There are universes out there that are constantly at war. There are universes that lack conflict. But the universe of Galdex 917.26 and related streams, the perfect balance is achieved.

    Once considered Outliers by the Functionist Philosophers of Cybertron, Cybertronians with powers beyond the scope of their alt mode soon grew more and more common as time went on. Soon, these powers were given the name of Talents, and many who develop such abilities decide to use their abilities to help society in times of discord and disaster, becoming the heroes to new generations.

    But the future is not always so bright. This collection of stories details the horrible details of what exactly happened in the "future" of this once bright world.



    -----------------------------------​


    Chapter 1: Brimstone
    File Log 15
    Scientist Name: "Brimstone"
    Status: Healthy.

    -------------------------

    Name: Project Darksteel
    Subject 1: XT-001
    Test: "Dark Energon"?
    Day 1
    The science division has found a crystalline substance of unknown origin. Purple in color and mysterious in property. Great Convoy has tasked me with finding two things if possible. Finding a way to make a Cybertronian Immortal, or find a way to travel back in time.
    This was our first test. Dark Saber brought in a body, hoping that we could "fix" his past mistakes. So, we will begin testing tomorrow.

    Day 2
    The unit known as "Longshot" has been brought back to life. Things seem relatively normal, his life signature is reading well, but his wounds don't seem to be recovering and he cannot wake up. Dark Saber is growing increasingly nervous about the process. He wants this Longshot back, but for what purpose?

    Day 3
    Longshot finally woke up. He's perfectly fine, activities normal, and he's able to talk. But why have his wounds still not healed?

    Day 5
    Something is going wrong. Dark Saber says that Longshot's acting more violent then usual. Not helping the fact is that this Longshot subject is destroying my lab equipment! This requires further investigation...

    Day 8
    Consider this a failure. Project Dark Steel has been deemed a failure, what with the results that we've been given. Subject XT-001 must be kept in a high-profile containment cell. There is no point in keeping it around other than to place more experiments on. Dark Saber refuses to return to guard my facility. We've had Turbo transferred to the security division as such. It still sucks that such a talented guardsman would leave just like that. Maybe I pushed a button of Dark Saber's I shouldn't have, by promising that I could perhaps raise the dead...


    -----------------------------


    Name: Project Jungle Fury
    Subject 2: XT-002
    Test: Flood Spore
    Day 1
    We've received word of an outbreak off in the outer sectors of the colonized planet once known to me as "Animatros". After King Atlas was sent to contain the outbreak, we were sent a sample of this spore so we could learn how it works, and what it requires. We only have one test subject so far, as the other 3 were able to escape after the resistance faction broke in and took them with them. We were still able to save this one for further research.
    Damn you Lightbright, always messing with my pets.

    Day 2
    Great Convoy has asked that we shut down the program immediately. He's said that the Galvans not only want us to hand over the spore, but that it is dangerous and should not be toyed with.
    I must continue my research on this phenomena.

    Day 8
    The Flood Spore has finally been duplicated. We've sent the duplicate to the Galvans, but we are keeping the main spore for research purposes... Great Convoy doesn't need to know about this.

    Day 10
    We've injected the spore into subject Zeta. He's proven unresponsive, but with enough time, we might be able to do something.

    Day 11
    Subject Zeta is not looking well. His metal has turned green and he's growing red tentacles from weird places in his neck... best place him into quarantine for now.

    Day 13
    Subject Zeta is no longer looking Cybertronian. Their entire left arm has been converted into plant mass, and it seems as though he can no longer process what we say to him. This is most intruiging indeed.

    Day 15
    Subject Zeta, now XT-002, has become very violent. It's constantly attacking the doors anytime we try to give the subject food, so I assume it will attack us if we enter. We will not enter Containment Cell 14-B for any more given points of time. May this never be found by Atlas, nor any of the Council.


    --------------------------------


    Name: Project Portal Breaker
    Subject 3: XT-003
    Test: Time Travel
    Day 1: After the failure of King Atlas, and the disappearance of Citizen Beta Maxx, Great Convoy has stressed to us we must complete a Time Portal for usage. We were able to successfully replicate the signature needed to travel backwards in time, to the point of Acadeimos's fall. But we still need a mainframe and powersource for usage...

    Day 2:
    King Atlas has so kindly volunteered to use his thrusters as an engine for our Portal. That's good. Now, we just need the mainframe and programming necessary.

    Day 3:
    The Portal frame and everything is ready to go. Prisoner 1455-C is going to be sent through with a tracker and tether attatched. Should anything arise, we will pull him back through.

    Day 4:
    Day of the launch. Let's do this.

    Day 5:

    DAMN YOU LIGHTBRIGHT!!!

    Day 6:
    This is most peculiar. At the point of explosion of the portal frame, we have discovered a piece of biomass. It appears to be citizens Steelshot, Cliffjumper, and Frontline mixed with prisoner 1455-C. It looks like a miserable piece of trash, so we'll move it to cell block 10-A for containment.

    Day 7: It's sentient.

    Day 8: Great Convoy and the Council have shut down Project Portal Breaker after witnessing the devastation wreaked by the portal. I don't blame the Convoys, it was fairly destructive. There goes our hope of chasing down that damn Chronokinetic.



    -----------------------------------

    Name: Project Point Break
    Subject 4: Ravager, XT-004
    Test: Elemental Fusion

    Day 1
    As of recent developments, I have found an old audio log dating to before the founding of that puny place named Autobot Academy. The files are corrupted beyond repair, but with some salvaging, maybe we can get some use out of it.

    Day 2
    Lost Light Crew Member A-459 (Subject Roadblock) has given us two defunct bodies. He says they used to be friends of his, but they're of no use to him anymore.
    That's fine by us. We will gladly take them.

    Day 3
    The two bodies radiate a faint signature, not to unlike that of the Talisman we acquired about 15 cycles ago. Now, what to do with this information.

    Error Link: File not found.

    -------------------------------

    Name: Project Exhousia
    Subject 5: [ERROR]
    Test: [REDACTED]
    [REDACTED]

    End Log


    -----------------

    End Chapter 1​
     
    Last edited: Sep 2, 2019
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  2. Dropkick

    Dropkick Doktor

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    Chapter 2: Scorch

    What...

    Wait...

    I... forgot something.

    What was it...

    But... my name.
    I forgot my name!

    Oh, uh, Scorch!

    My name is Scorch!

    Scorch, Autobot Hero, Hero Liscense 1424-5459-SC

    Wait... what is that noise?
    Where is that noise coming from?!

    Primus dammit, where...

    Ugh... where am I?

    What is going on?

    What... is this?

    What am I seeing?

    Is that...a fight?

    Uh... Right!

    They... captured me... the Decepticons!

    The Decepticon Captured me!

    My name is Scorch...

    ARRRGGGGHHHHHH

    My... body... feels like it's splitting!

    Decepticons! I'll tear you to shreds!

    My name is Scorch...
    I'm an Autobot hero!
    Hero Liscense 1424-5459-SC

    Oh... they don't want just the Academy...
    They want everything!

    DAMN DECEPTICONS!!!
    GET OUT OF MY HEAD!!!
    ARGGGGGHHHHH

    Cobalt!
    Where's Cobalt?!
    Carbide?
    Tekno, what are you-
    No!
    Where are you going?
    Don't let me forget you!

    My name! Is...
    Scorch!

    Hero... Liscense... 1424-5459...SC...

    My... memory... why is it slipping...

    who... am I?

    I... am... Scorch?

    ..........................................

    I cannot get out of here...

    You can't have me!
    You'll never have me!

    The Decepticons will never take me!

    I am Scorch!

    Autobot Hero...

    ID 1424-5459...

    Wait, that's not right...

    I... cannot remember...

    Who am I...





    I am Scorch...
    I... am... Scorch...
    I...



    -------------------------------------------------------


    The process was a success.
    Transferring files now...

    Changing body...
    File type selection: Laser Rod
    Process Complete.

    Ready for use by Great Convoy




    END CHAPTER 2​
     
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  3. Dropkick

    Dropkick Doktor

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    Chapter 3: Relics Of The Past
    Waking up, it's hard to see where I am...
    I'm... in a hospital bed?
    Or is this a lab?
    Either way, it's probably best if I wake up now.
    I cannot remember anything beyond...
    Oh.
    Right.

    We died... but how did we die?
    I look down at my chest, and see why...
    The circular blue amulet attached to my chest is gone. My fragment of the Ore of Elements.
    Wait a sec... there were multiple fragments?
    ...
    HIGHTAIL!!!

    I scramble up, and off the bed, only to fall onto the floor. Note to self: It's Probably not a good idea to try and run after finding out you just died and came back from the dead...
    I slowly stand, and look around. Looks like I'm not the only one who had something on their minds.

    Wait a sec... that person standing up...

    "Hightail?"

    "Gridlock?"

    "BUT I THOUGHT WE DIED?!"

    -----------

    Both siblings looked around confused at what was going on.
    They hear a laugh, and they turn to find a maroon and dark red colored femme at the doorway.

    "Greetings. It's been a while, has it not?"

    The two siblings look at the bot in confusion.

    "Wait, who are you again?"

    "Do we know each-other? You sound like you know us..."

    The femme slowly reached up, and removed her face guard.

    "Greetings. I am Brimstone. You may have known me by the previous name of "Calamitas". That name died a long time however..."

    She motioned to them.

    "And, yes, if you were wondering, no you did not die. Your sparks did not move on, and were permanently stuck in limbo in your bodies... you both just needed a jumpstart... or something. It took us a while, but we were finally able to bring you back."

    The two looked at Brimstone funnily.

    "Wait, why do you look older? How long have we been out?"
    "Where is this?"

    Brimstone sighed.

    "You've been asleep for the past millennia. A lot's changed... a war happened, Shockwave tried to wipe out half the Universe, and most importantly, the Academies fell into ruin."

    She motioned to them.

    "Now come. We have much to discuss."

    --------------

    The two siblings were confused as they came into view of the giant room that was "The Grand Council."

    The room had multiple seats, with a singular seat in the center. In that seat, was what appeared to be a Convoy.

    Next to him were multiple body guards and others with bodytypes that looked like Convoys.
    Brimstone bowed.

    "Great Convoy, the experiment was a success. We were able to successfully revive the twins, and now they are here."

    Great Convoy nodded.

    "Excellent. You have done great work Brimstone. Now, we just need a safer way to return to the past... that doesn't involve an exploding portal. Continue your work on Project Exhousia and begin Project Timebreak. I look forwards to your progress."

    She nodded, before exiting the chambers.
    He turned to the two siblings below.

    "Now. On to the problem of you two. Calamitas says you two are from the Era of "Heroes", is that correct?"

    Hightail just looked confused, as Gridlock looked at the Convoy in orange... he looked familiar somehow...

    And it seemed that they also noticed, as they were trying to avoid eye-contact with the two.
    Hightail just shrugged.

    "I mean, yeah? We don't remember much... wait, what happened to Star Convoy? Calamitas said that you were called Great Convoy, so does that mean Star Convoy's dead?"

    Great Convoy nodded.

    "Yes. Many perished in the war between Autobot and Decepticon... I ended that war."

    Hightail grinned and was jumping up and down.

    "Cool!"

    Gridlock sighed.

    Why did he still not trust these people?
    Hightail nodded, and went towards the door.

    "Well, if you're the new convoy, then you'll definitely be someone to follow! Thanks for bringing us back to life!"

    She grabbed Gridlock's arm, and started out.

    "Now come on, let's get something to eat... I'm hungry!"

    Gridlock sighed.

    "Fine... I'll think about what's been going on, then I'll decide on what is truly happening..."

    Great Convoy watched as the two went out.
    He turned to the others.

    "The Orange one will not be a problem... the blue one however... we will need to keep a close eye on him. I remember Brimstone briefly saying that the reason she wanted to bring these two back was because they were able to Powerllinx into a much stronger being... I do not want to lose that power."

    -------------------------

    Gridlock was outside on the Balcony, and sighed as he looked into the sunset.
    Why does this world seem so familiar... yet so different?

    He remembered looking at the bots gathered by Great Convoy's side... the one in orange, and the one in black and gold... why did he feel like he knew them?
    He sighed.
    When suddenly, a grappling hook wrapped around his arm.

    "Huh?!"

    He was pulled down, and into the alley below...
    He looked up when he was on the ground.
    Wait...

    "Lightbright?! Ramjet?!"

    "Gridlock?!"


    -----------------


    Gridlock still couldn't believe his ears.
    Officer Prowl and Scorch, their teacher, their own P.E Teacher, had been converted over into mindless bodyguards for Great Convoy to just dispose of. Not only that, Hosehead was dead, Tailgate was missing, Longshot had been turned into some freakshow zombie, and Saber had gone into a life of regret...

    He was still trying to wrap his head around the details...
    He looked over to the others gathered. They also looked surprised.

    "Now, onto more pressing matters... We thought you had died on Acadeimos! When Shockwave took that thing out of your chest!"

    Gridlock shook his head.

    "I don't know what happened, all I know is that, that Brimstone person brought me and my sister back to life..."

    Lightbright groaned.

    "Of course that witch had to bring you two back..."

    She reached around and popped a small device out of his neck, before crushing it.

    "Don't worry, that was a miniscule tracker they put in your neck. Brimstone puts it in all of her test subjects. I would know that because we rescued Warpath and Guzzle a couple months prior to you being here, and they had similar ones in their necks. Thankfully we aren't far... The next patrol won't be coming for the next 10 breems, but we still need to avoid the Omega Sentinels."

    She sighed as everyone went down into the sewers, and Drift closed the lid behind them.

    "Still, this is great! Where's Hightail? We could use your combined powers in the fight against Great Convoy!"

    He shook his head.

    "We're at ends... She trusts Great Convoy too much... I feel like she's going to want to follow his rule, no matter what we say. She's always been one to love any convoy..."

    Lightbright sighed.

    "Great... well at least we have one of the problem Twins now. That's better than none. The most we can do is make sure Great Convoy never gets his hands on you."

    Gridlock nodded.

    "That would be sound."

    He headed out with the resistance.

    He would miss his sister, but it was for a good cause. Something needed to be done about this injustice. And he wouldn't sit idly by...






    End Chapter
    -----------------------------

    Bios:

    Gridlock
    Faction
    : Resistance
    Appearance: His blue is much more faded, he's missing the blue buckler on his chest, and his top crest has been broken, but other than that he looks mostly the same.
    Altmode: Attack Helicopter
    Bio: Two siblings, torn apart by a tragedy and split further because of fanaticism. Gridlock was lucky in that he was found before Great Convoy was able to change his mind about anything. Once he was told what was happening, he agreed to go with the Resistance. He still acts like his cold and distant self, but he is much more willing to take action in situations, and is much more willing to do stuff for a greater cause at the end of it all.

    Hightail
    Faction
    : Council
    Appearance: Her orange is much more faded, she's missing the orange buckler on her chest, and her side crests have been broken, but other than that she looks mostly the same.
    Altmode: Sports Car
    Bio: Two siblings, torn apart by a tragedy and split further because of fanaticism. Ever since she was saved twice by Star Convoy, Hightail has grown an unhealthy obsession with Convoys and as such will follow the orders of a Convoy to her death... this unfortunately means she's found a liking to Great Convoy simply because he is a Convoy and bears the matrix. She still acts giddy and happy about everything, but she is much more willing to think through some of her more crazy actions, but in the end, she never questions any of the tasks given to her by the Convoy Council.
     
    Last edited: Aug 23, 2019
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  4. Dropkick

    Dropkick Doktor

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    Chapter 4: Relic

    Guzzle didn't like it.
    They had retrieved the Kronorium. Warpath had made sure they hadn't tripped any alarms. They were out safely... and they'd seen what had happened to their old comrade. They didn't want to risk the secrecy of their mission inside, but they also didn't want to leave their friend to suffer... but the importance of their mission was much too grave. They had to make sacrifices.

    But they still couldn't find out what the hell any of this meant.
    They read the Kronorium multiple times...
    And it never changed.
    Lightbright was frustrated with it.
    She said that her friend Beta Maxx had to have changed history somehow.
    But the Kronorium said differently.
    Whatever something Beta Maxx had done, it wasn't enough...







    Or was it?


    Slowly, Guzzle looked closely at the pages again...
    It couldn't be... could it?
    The pages had changed. And they required something of the ones in the future.
    In order to prevent the calamities of the future, they needed a sacrifice.
    The sacrifice of one who still had an innocent, immortal spark.
    In order to destroy Great Convoy... and his council of Primes, they needed to destroy the thing that gave them power. They needed to remove it from their hands, and give it to a rightful heir.
    In order to do so, they needed the power of an immortal spark. The power of one's true innocence.
    In order to find one, one must search through the multiversal time stream, and find themself. When they were most innocent.
    And the one who was to do so now...
    Guzzle eventually showed the details to the other Resistance Members.
    He was scared of the implication that they'd have to sacrifice someone's soul...
    But it was for a better tomorrow.
    It was for a time where they didn't have to worry about tyrannical monsters.
    And most of all, it was for a time where he and his comrades could live peacefully.
    It wasn't a pleasant thought, but...
    Maybe...
    He would live to see a better tomorrow.

    He looked at the Kronorium again with the others as the pages rewrote themselves.
    The first step...
    Once again, to find the Talisman.
    Finding with it the Ore of Elements...
    creating an Elemental Shard...
    And with it, creating a bright future. ​
     
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  5. CyberRavager

    CyberRavager Everyone needs an Upgrade, every once in a while

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    Are these cannon? The future scenario is a bit of a mystery to me in terms of canonicity, hence why I'm asking.
     
  6. Artork312

    Artork312 The Robo-Chuvak

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    Think of it as a timeline "where heroes failed, Grand War happened and now there's a SW/Days of the Future's past situation".
    As for it's canonicity..on it's own - NO. But it can happen, hence why a dude from that timeline came back to the past to prevent it..
    And yes, I wanted to make a multiverse theory reference, but it's dead now.
     
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  7. Stonecrusher

    Stonecrusher Just another Edgelord

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    Soft canon at least.
     
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  8. Dropkick

    Dropkick Doktor

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    Heya. Been a while. Huh... Like, a long while. Like, holy s*** I've been gone for a whole year while.
    Not gonna lie, I kinda wish I could stay away from here. I wish I didn't feel like I left something here that was just... wrong.
    Guess some explanations are in order.
    Sure, I was gone for a Year. Sure, I left on a toxic note. That's all true. But what's also true, is that I've been able to grow these past months.
    COVID drove me nuts and off the walls. I can't sit around here and look at this anthology of stories I've made, and feel like I've accomplished something.
    So yes, while I left because I felt like I wasn't doing anything, I'm at least gonna finish this. I still feel like I'm not going anywhere this time around, but this time, I feel like I should finish things. Properly, not that Rush Job of a mess that was Jungle Tyrant.
    We're doing things the RIGHT way this time around.


    It's about time I actually finish a story concept I have for once in my life anyways.

    So without further ado.

    Let's jump right back into the swing of things.

    (And by the way, yes Artork agreed to let me use his assets. This was discusses a while back.)


    Flames Of Future Past: Maverick Hunters

    [​IMG]
    Chapter 1: Irregular Hunters: Part 1

    The air was loud with explosions. They went off like single bullets from an automatic gun. Screams and destruction punctuated the small gaps that attempted silence. Smoke was starting to stain the sky over the entire city.

    The Investigation room however, was quiet. Officer Strixx sat in his chair and waited. He waited for a while longer, till he hears a knock on it and one of his men comes in, with a suspect in his cuffs following suit.

    As they entered, Strixx looked over the battered looking conehead and, after checking the files, looked back up and nodded.

    "Ramjet, I assume?"

    The older mech in cuffs sat down and glared at him, as if to see if he's afraid of him or not, and after a minute or two he answered.

    "Yes, that's my name, though I doubt you're that interested in it, officer."

    Officer Strixx nodded before putting his hands together and leaning forward on the table.

    "Then let's cut to the chase, citizen. There was an attempt at Mayor Graxx's life, he's still online, but there were tracks of someone using a Talent. That means the most logical suspect would be from some Autobot remnants, and since you live in the block closest to the mayor's home, Me and my crew think that you might have something that will help us find them."

    Ramjet laughed.

    "Hah! The only thing Autobots I know is what most know. Just because I lived during Age of Heroes doesn't make me the most knowledgeable about them nor give me some super power of seeing into the future."

    He then looked closer, grumbled something at the officer and spoke.

    "And look, just because I know more about the people in the Age of Heroes than most people living here, that doesn't mean that I know all of them. So in my honest opinion, try looking in some other place. I’m sure Great Convoy is willing to hear you out."

    Officer Strixx sighed, before pinching his nose.

    “We get it old man… just, tell us if you know anyone from your age that would try something so brazen.”

    Ramjet shrugged with a sly look in his eyes.

    “Nope. Not a clue. Now, can you get me outta these cuffs? Not exactly a good look on me.”

    The officer sighed, before motioning to the guards. Once they let Ramjet out of his cuffs, Ramjet stretched his arms before heading back outside.

    There was chaos on the streets again. It was a normal thing to see. But Ramjet still didn’t like it.

    ---

    It was pure chaos. Hover-drones were rushing down to bash vehicles off the road, and armored walkers were firing missiles and blast-waves, chewing up the road itself. Even demolition bots had been somehow coop-ted into the fighting, sweeping in with their propeller heads and ramming their spiked pistons down into the roads.

    “Squad 15 reporting,” a strong, controlled voice chimed over a comm. “This is Guzzle, we’re sweeping the South side, but there are a lot of battle droids involved. Just took down an Omega Sentinel, but we're barely alive... Are the other squads doing alright? This is getting hectic. I can break off to assist.”

    “No, Guzzle. Stay where you are for now. I have the other squads en route. The source is a sky-carrier still hovering over the far side of the city.”

    Lightbright’s display zoomed to the most damaged edge of the city, and showed a large ship with massive hemispheres embedded in either side. She knew the shape, it was similar to the ship they gave Beta-Maxx... only this one wasn't outfitted with Time-Travel.

    “I thought that looked out of place. ...So Eagleer turned to the Neo-Maximals?”

    “Afraid so, yes.”

    “Have we located Great Convoy’s whereabouts or where his next move is?”

    “No.”

    “Then that’s our first--!?”

    Guzzle was cut off by an explosion over the comm.. Lightbright watched it warily until Guzzle’s voice returned.

    “We’ll talk more later Commander.”

    “Understood.”

    Lightbright gripped the side of her head, face scrunching with grim frustration.

    How could we miss this? The Silencerz aligning with the Neo-Maximals... And we're losing... why can’t I find the cause?


    “Lightbright, it’s a war zone out there!”

    Caught, the Commaner twisted, and her expression faded to a sad one as his eyes locked on to the last few remaining members of the Resistance.

    “Yes, it is. We’ve got the squads deployed. They’ll... they’ll have this cleaned up soon.”

    She sighed, before nodding abruptly.

    "Whirl, take our Air units and engage Eagleer's forces. Drift, take the Land forces and go after Noumander. Chameleao, I need you to scout out the area, find out when the next attack from the Silencerz and the Neo-Maximals might take place. "

    The doors opened and in stepped a bot with a familiar conehead. He was disheveled and he looked like he had just gotten out of a barfight. Lightbright sighed and put her fingers to her temple.

    "Again with this? What is this, the 15th time Ramjet?? You're lucky Strixx isn't as strict as the other City-Masters. How many times have I told you to stay at base?! I know you wanna play hero as Jetman, but I need you to STAY here. We need to safeguard Gridlock and make sure he doesn't fall into Neo-Maximal hands. And we certainly don't need more of our members going to a disposal center!"

    Ramjet's frame sank slightly, and he stepped fully inside. Looking up at the display, he had to finally look down to the side. “...So it’s true. The Silencerz group are now allied with the Neo-Maximals then?”

    Lightbright grimaced, turning back to the console. “Hugh...Despite all my best efforts, yes. I’m.... I’m sorry, we tried... We might get taken out if the assault keeps up and the Resistance might be gone for good..."

    "Then let me out of retirement training newbies and let me fight Commander!"

    ---
    A bot stormed down the halls, as he heard voices coming from the conference room.
    Once inside, they would pay attention to what was going on... before coming in.

    "Let me out there Commander! I can fight still!"

    “No, Ramjet! You’re not suited for it! You're getting old, and you’re too valuable to us all. You’re one of the last true legacies of Acadeimos! If we lose you, we lose far more than just a few--!?”

    “Just a few what!?”

    The sudden fury in Ramjet’s face stunned Lightbright silent. She stared, wide-eyed, at this normally goofy silly bot training Break to make drinks and have fun.

    Ramjet continued, his arm snapping out. “Innocent people are dying out there, too! Everyone is dying! Dying because of our mistakes! I’m not watching silently anymore!”

    He turned around and found himself face to face with non other than Devcon.

    "Bout time you showed up ...come on Devcon, we're leaving."

    Devcon smirked, and grabbed his gun.

    "And it's about time someone here actually took action. See ya commander."

    And the two were gone through the doorway, only the thump-hiss of hydraulic doors echoing in Lightbright’s ears.

    Lightbright slumped against the console,close to tears. “...We're all that's left... if Beta fails, then... what more do we have besides those we have left..."

    ---

    Ramjet was back in his old armor again. Jetman. It felt good to be back out here.
    He liked it.
    To his side, was Devcon. Just earlier, the two had come to an agreement.

    "I'm only in this to kill each and every one of those stupid Silencerz RJ. They killed my little brother, now each and every one of them's gotta pay."

    Ramjet had agreed to that notion, and ran out onto the street, flying himself toward the explosions. It didn’t take long as he wove through the abandoned or destroyed vehicles. More and more wreckage became part of the path before he saw something, and skidded to a halt. One of the buildings to his left was all but gutted by the detonated remains of an assault walker bot.

    He didn’t know why he felt so compelled to check. He ran into the gaping hole that used to be the door, and quickly glanced around.

    His eyes widened, pained, as he saw a hand just around a corner of a wall, energon still pooling out around it.

    Then the hand twitched.

    Ramjet ran. Skidding around the turn, he found a fembot there. He knelt down, brushing some hair from her face. “Ma’am?”

    Her eyes weakly peeled open, and then she jerked, shoving away from him.

    He raised his hands. “Easy, easy! I’m not going to hurt you!”

    “A-are you... one of the ones... attacking?”

    Ramjet shook his head, and carefully reached over, starting to pick her up into his arms. His eyes found her stomach next, and he couldn’t hide the pained shock in his face. The femme's torso was in pieces.

    Looking into her eyes, he shook his head. “N-no... I’m... I’m here to help.”

    She seemed to grow very calm. “Oh... I guess you just... couldn’t help... me...”

    The woman smiled gently for him, and then went limp in his arms, before the color drained and she turned a dull grey.

    Ramjet sank between his own legs, still holding her. His face was slack, eyes wide, staring past her as energon poured down his all-too-hard frame.

    “...I’m... so sorry...”

    He squeezed her close, his frame shaking so much it rattled.

    Devcon just nodded solemnly.

    "RJ. We can't save them all. You know that more than I do."

    Ramjet furiously came up and glared at Devcon.

    "WELL AT LEAST TRY THEN!!! WE BECAME HEROES FOR A REASON!!! IF WE CAN'T SAVE INNOCENTS FROM DYING LIKE THIS WHAT POINT DO WE HAVE LEFT THEN?!"

    He shook his head.

    "Or did you forget the Acadeimos oath as well?"

    More explosions and chaos soon followed as screams could be heard coming from deeper within the city.
    Ramjet's helmet lifted enough to let his eyes focus outward, and his face was etched into rage. With pupils dilated to points, the irises seemed to intensify.

    “Life is so cheap to us, isn’t it?” he rasped out.

    The woman was set down gently, and the thump-hiss echoed rapid-fire as Ramjet blitzed out of the building.
    Devcon followed closely behind him, sighing and muttering under his breath.

    "Get with the program old man, it's us or them. No need to save the weak."

    ---

    A hover-drone was just zooming down over the nearest car when it sensed movement. Twisting, its optics and mouth flashing with a building charge to attack, it only registered a white fist before its body was shattered into sparking wreckage.

    Ramjet landed from his jumping punch, and charged ahead. His eyes locked on the air-carrier hovering so far away. He sped up, leaning full into his sprint, and his eyes glanced around quickly. Maps and positional data overlaid with his vision, and he saw that the aerial highway would get him closer to the ship than anything else.

    Another trio of fliers came zooming down at him.

    Ramjet spotted them, and his eyes sharpened. He gripped his left forearm. His eyes blazed up, and his left hand snapped into a narrow shape before vanishing inside the bulbous forearm.

    Golden energy bled out of the barrel that used to be his wrist, and he opened fire.

    The first few shots went wide, but the pulsing orbs of energy struck true with the next volley. The fliers blew apart in melting chunks of metal.

    Already, his internal systems were activating in ways he’d not felt since a long time ago. Targeting systems, energy pathing, internal cooling, it was all adapting to his new needs.Just like after the fall of Acadeimos...

    As he hand-flipped over a rail to get onto the highway proper, Jetman only scowled a bit more.
    He hated using Violence, but if the Neo-Maximals were gonna start destroying cities willy nilly in search of the Resistance, harming civilians and hiring mercenaries, then he might as well embrace his name.

    Ramjet transformed, and took off flying.

    ---
    Devcon was driving down the highway at full speed.
    A spiked wheel came whirling out of the wreckage of a vehicle, and Devcon fired at it, whittling it down to a few chunks of smoldering machinery.

    As he cleared the first hill of the highway, he saw an assault walker. It spotted him, and braced, the missile bays snapping open.

    The energy networks that had opened up told Devcon what he needed to know.

    With a building shout, he drew his Pistols back, and energy started to pour into the barrel as well as ripple and flow over his entire frame.

    The walker fired twice. Devcon dove to the left of the first missile, then rolled under the second, and rose up spinning.

    "At least make it fun afthole!” he roared, ramming his pistols forward, and firing at last as energy bled off his body.

    The air pulsed with force, and a massive blue-white storm of power erupted from his shot. It flew out, barely held together, and collided with the walker. The walker was blown in half, a good portion of its central structure completely liquefied and vaporized.

    Devcon leapt through the falling pieces, already charging more power, and kept running.

    Fliers and demolition bots were blown apart, littering the path Devcon chose just as much as the ruined cars and transports.

    He just kept running, his legs ramming him forward. He and Ramjet just needed to destroy that Sky-Carrier...

    The air suddenly roared under the chop of a rotary engine, and Devcon skidded to a halt, looking up as he reached a portion of the highway that had lost its guard-rails entirely.

    A hornet-class transport swept down in front of him, the air blasting away as the air-assault ship locked its nose cannon on him, and opened fire.

    Devcon dove to his left, firing at the same time. Another air-shocking blue-white blast wave flew out as his feet barely left the ground the bullets chewed apart.

    The hornet took the blast to the face, but it was heavily armored. Even so, the raw force shook the assault craft backwards in the air a bit.

    Devcon growled, and charged forward as he pulled more energy into his body. “You’re not dropping me that easily!”

    ---

    Ramjet lunged out, punching everything that got in the way of his flightpath.

    Ramjet felt the dangerous shake of fracturing metal and cement, and flew off again from the collapsing highway.
    He glanced back over his shoulder, exhaled sharply, and then flew on ahead.

    The highway was weaker the further he saw. Pieces started to give way, even as more fliers came rushing down to ram or blast him. Ramjet jsut rammed into them, blew them apart in waves, and kept flying.

    Looking up after another landing, he allowed a bit of satisfaction to mark his lips with a smile. The sky-carrier was right there. He was almost on it.

    ---

    Devcon groaned. He had just finished destroying one Assault Gunship when suddenly, two more came and attacked him.
    He took care of those two.

    It was all to get payback...
    It would all be over soon and he could rest easy knowing those punks that killed Longshot would be brought to justice.

    Leaping over another gap, he saw a robotic car steering for him, a gun mounted to the hood, a droid aiming it.

    Devcon firmed, building energy, and ran straight for it. “Bring it!”

    He fired without pausing, still racing straight for the attacking vehicle.

    Before it could even fire, the vehicle was blown open, the lowest portion of the frame gliding along on loose wheels. Devcon jumped on it as he ran forward.

    Looking up at the belly of the ship, Devcon nodded, and ran harder. He saw a hill further ahead, just off the highway. With the way the carrier was flying, he could use that to get closer enough to jump aboard.

    ---

    Guzzle dropped down to a crouch near the highway, his brow creased. Touching his white audio-sensor, he spoke, “Lightbright? What squad was handling the highway?”

    “...I didn’t send a squad there yet.”

    “Well someone just cleaned it out fast. And you sound concerned. What’s wrong?”

    Lightbright grimaced. “...Ramjet and Devcon just took off. They took the highway... I think they're going for the carrier.”

    Guzzle’s eyes widened. “Why did you let them!? They’ll get killed out here Commander! Omega Sentinels are one thing, but there are Tangible Threats out here, built for destruction! What if one of the Convoys is out here?!”

    “I COULDN’T! Go after him, Guzzle... he has to live.”

    Guzzle cut the line and his feet burst with power, rocketing him down the road. “Hang in there you two... I'm on my way.”

    ---


    Name: Devcon
    Talent: Fuel Output Exaggeration
    Devcon.png
    Bio: During the age of Heroes, Devcon was one of the best Bounty Hunters you could find, taking high-end jobs and getting out practically unscathed. Now, he is all but a shadow of his former self. He thought that by taking all of the high-end and dangerous jobs out of the field, he would be able to protect his family, and provide a stable income for his family to retire peacefully. But when it came down to it, he was never there when he was needed most. During the Siege of Acadeimos, he was off away, and only received word afterwards that his younger brother had been killed at the hands of the notorious street gang, the TEKU. Nowadays, Devcon hunts down the remnants of those who killed his younger brother. Though "affiliated" with the resistance and their fight against Great Convoy, Devcon holds no true allegiance, and only cares about one thing, and one thing only. To kill off any and all members of those who wronged him and his family.
     
    Last edited: Apr 23, 2021
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  9. Stonecrusher

    Stonecrusher Just another Edgelord

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    Good to see you back, DK.
     
  10. Dropkick

    Dropkick Doktor

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    Chapter 2: Irregular Hunters: Part 2

    Before reaching the hill, the carrier opened its bay, and let the ramp down. Ramjet and Devcon looked up, and their eyes widened at the massive shape leaping straight down at him.

    A giant icicle crashed down, cracking the ground violently. It rose up, and turned, revealing a femmebot wearing a dark hood and a scythe made of Ice.

    “Well, well. Look what we have here?”

    Ramjet grimaced, standing up. “Wh...R-Reaper Ice? What are you doing!? Why are you attacking innocent civilians like this!?”

    The girl simply chuckled. “Like I have any need to tell you? I’m glad you’re out here, though, Ramjet. Time to die!”

    She suddenly burst forward with a hydraulic roar, and Ramjet tried to jump back. He wasn’t fast enough. A large fist slammed into his trunk, and sent him flying as he shouted from the pain.

    Ramjet hit the ground harshly, skidding and flipping over himself. Reaper Ice was charging already, and Ramjet strained to get up, his chest-plate already dented and split in several places, light leaking out.

    Devcon came in blasting his pistols at her, but she simply swung her scythe into his arm, and ripped his arm off. He fell backwards. She raised her scythe and swung it down to end his life. This time, just as Reaper was about to hit, Devcon rammed himself forward, under the attack, and rolled out behind her. Building energy as well, he fired into her back.

    The girl pitched forward, but spun around, and blasted him with a shot of ice and snow.

    “You don’t have what it takes for war, old timers. Shoulda stayed home.”

    A rippling sphere of blue light fired off from Reaper’s cannon, and Devcon tried to leap back, but it hit dead-on. He was frozen in place.

    Reaper Ice reached down, and clenched the blue robot around the torso. Hefting Devcon up, she started to squeeze. “So much for Acadeimos’ legacy, hm?”

    Ramjet strained, trying to lift his arm, but his body was stunned, as it began to crack and warn of critical damage in his core systems. He had to get back up, but the amount of damage that Reaper had just done… was almost as if she knew exactly where all his weakpoints were.

    Before Reaper could finish off Devcon though, she paused, and both Ramjet and Devcon heard the building hum of rising energy.

    A pulse-shock sounded, and Reaper started to rush backward, letting Devcon go, but not before the blast-bolt struck her, blowing her hood clean off. Glowing-hot metal and parts flew out as her face was finally revealed.

    Guzzle rocketed into view, standing ahead of Ramjet and Devcon, more energy building over his giant Tank form.

    Reaper chuckled again. “Saved by your Resistance buddies... of course. Just needed to buy some time anyway. Take care old timers. I’ll kill you later.” She leapt up right as Guzzle fired again, his shot flying under her feet.

    Reaper landed rushing away at top speed, the carrier catching her up in the loading platform.

    The Ice finally faded, and Devcon just bowed his head as he knelt there, arm missing.

    “Trying to get yourselves killed?”

    “No.”

    Guzzle sighed, and transformed back into robot mode. “You two weren’t built for Combat… You were built for Heroics Work. I was designed as a fighter for the Verte Seven insurgency. Same with all of the Convoy’s enforcers… they are designed as war machines also.”

    Ramjet scoffed.

    “Not like that stopped me before… I’m fighting this time, Guzzle. With or without your help.”

    “Dying you mean?”

    Devcon nodded solemnly, but with a face

    “If necessary.”

    Guzzle growled, rubbing the back of his helmet. “...Look, you two... You’re unique, the last legacies of a lost era.”

    He looked up one last time.

    “ ...Are you serious about fighting?”

    Ramjet looked up, meeting his eyes.

    Guzzle’s face slackened. That’s an edge I never saw before. Ramjet... what happened to you this time?

    “...If you use all of the systems you were designed with, you’ll get stronger. Maybe even as strong as I am,” he added with a smirk to cover his little slip of expression.

    Ramjet’s eyes eased, and he smirked, bowing his head again. “I’ll work on it.”

    Guzzle offered his hand. “Come on. Let’s get you repaired... then I’ll show you some pointers, okay?”

    “The carrier.”

    “Long gone. Pick your battles RJ.”

    Ramjet’s face turned bitter at the ground, but he slowly reached up, and let Guzzle pull him to his feet.

    Guzzle blinked. “...Energon?”

    Ramjet looked down at the blue still staining him from the woman in the building. “...The Silencerz problem is my problem now. I won’t rest until this is settled.”

    Concerned, Guzzle asked, “Are you sure you’re okay?”

    Ramjet met his eyes with that edge again. “No. And I don’t think I will be for a long time. Let’s go...”

    “And, you know, to stop leaking fluids out of your chest plate.”

    Ramjet chuckled, holding a hand to his damaged form, which was now starting to leak Energon. “That, too, yeah.”

    Sharing the humor, Guzzle was interrupted by something, and he tapped his audio-sensor. “Ah, we’ve got transporters back up. Ready?”

    Ramjet and Devcon nodded.

    ---

    Devcon knew he was in the CR chamber due to the damage of his arm, but he was also aware. Too aware. He was supposed to be completely inactive for this process. Just one of the many reasons the repair chambers were in the deepest, most secure section of the Resistance base of Operations.

    Guzzle had brought him there for the repairs and for their practice a little later.

    Then he remembered the battle, the carrier. The sigil on the side... His eyes sharpened. He needed to know...

    “That will have to wait.”

    “What will have to wait?” Guzzle asked, appearing at the side of the opened chamber.

    Devcon blinked up at him, and then started to push himself out. “Nothing, really. Any news about the carrier and Great Convoy’s forces?”

    “Yes, actually. You want a briefing before we do some training?” Guzzle asked, offering his hand.

    Devcon took it with a smirk, and let Guzzle pull him out onto his feet.

    “Maybe we can train later, if you don’t mind.”

    Guzzle nodded. “Come on.”


    ---
    Ramjet sat on the chair, thinking...
    He didn't need as intensive of repair as Devcon did, and while they were still in good shape, he couldn't shake the feeling.

    He knew Reaper Ice...
    She was Tailgate.
    She was reported missing...
    And now he knew where she had run off to.

    Ramjet shook his head.

    He knew he should've been there. At the Siege of Acadeimos...
    He should've been there to protect the Freshmen...

    And he had failed them.

    He remembered Misfire going crazy, almost killing his mother.
    He remembered being helpless as he saw Saber crying over the body of Longshot.
    He remembered not being able to help as Hosehead and Tailgate fought hordes of Decepticon Drones on their own...

    It was a mess.
    He knew he couldn't change it now, but it didn't help the hurting in his spark.
    He was responsible for all of those kids.
    And he failed, each and every one of them.

    Walking up he headed for the Debriefing room. Lightbright was no doubt going to yell at him now, and no doubt there would be many things happening...

    But Ramjet felt it.
    He knew that Tailgate had a chance to be saved...
    Maybe. Just maybe...
    He could redeem the poor soul.

    ---


    The strategy room was large and tall. A circular display table waited in the center. Lightbright stood there in her armor, Drift stood, his sword holding him up rather than the console. Other members were busily working away at the consoles and arrays around the room. Whirl, as per usual, wasn't there. Devcon, Ramjet, and Guzzle walked up to Lightbright as she nodded.

    “...Still alive, I see?” Lightbright chose to say first, a strained look in her eyes.

    Ramjet focused on her, and nodded. “Sorry, Commander, but I had to do it.”

    With a little sigh, Lightbright turned to the table proper, and started to input commands. “Fine... but don't expect it to last. Anyways, since you wanted the info, this is what we know now.”

    A map of the world rose up in the holo-display, with several glowing points.

    Guzzle pointed at it, “We’ve managed to beat back most of the grunt forces across the city, but these areas are the hold-outs, the strongest fortresses of Great Convoy’s power.”

    “He’s retreated to his defenses?” Ramjet confirmed, a bit incredulous.

    “Biding his time, we think,” Lightbright answered. Still grim, she added, “We have no sign of Great Convoy or the Silencerz. Great Convoy's new headquarters must be very well hidden.”

    Ramjet crossed his arms. “This kind of fortification would have taken years or resources... you telling me that he had that much raw material to build this many strongholds?”

    Lightbright glanced to Guzzle, who uncomfortably looked down to the side.

    “Yeah, we know,” the Green and White bot finally said.

    Lightbright saw it as Ramjet and Guzzle discussed things. The dark gravity in Devcon's eyes as they glided from himself to Ramjet to Guzzle and back.

    “Commander, can I have access to your research on the Silencerz and their forces?” Devcon abruptly asked.

    LIghtbright blinked. “…If you wish, of course.”

    “I don’t know about it, but they’re our primary concern now. Might as well get the info we need.” Devcon’s brow creased as he looked at the map.

    Devcon's systems looked to the visual data. Slowly, he put his hand and hovered over the map, slowly moving around it.

    Guzzle raised an eyebrow. “Devcon, you okay?”

    “Fine, just a moment, please,” Devcon distantly answered.

    When his hand passed over the icy fortress near the Northern Mountains, he froze.

    “…It was the Silencerz entire Mercenary team, wasn’t it?” Devcon began quietly as his hand finally retreated.

    Guzzle nodded, sighing a bit as he answered, “All of them. Armadrillo, Eagleer, Noumander, Kuwanger, Mandriller, Penguigo, and Octopulld. Chameleao's the only one left who's on our side.”

    Lightbright also nodded solemnly. "We believe that remnants of the TEKU are mixed in with them as well. So that means that Downbeat and his remaining forces could be in there also."

    Devcon’s expression was a grim mask. “All that's left of the Silencerz Elite Mercenary team, each experts in regional combat, and then logistical control. Great Convoy couldn’t have convinced a better team of Mercs for this.” Looking up at Lightbright, he asked, “Eagleer’s forces were primary in the attack on the cities, right?”

    “Yes, that’s correct. Some TEKU members were in there too... But Eagleer’s also rather hard to reach. We believe his armada’s fuel requirements will force them to ground at the airport in two days.”

    Devcon’s fist clenched down at his side. His eyes focused back on the icy area. Penguigo's controlled area. “I need to investigate Penguigo’s base.”

    Both Guzzle and Lightbright stared at him. Guzzle finally managed, “…Why?”

    “Just something I have to do, first. Me and Penguigo... have personal business. He was one of my coworkers before the war. After that, then me and RJ should be able to hit the airport. I have business with Eagleer also.”

    Guzzle set his hands on his hips scoffing. “And when do you expect to pull this off old timer?”

    “Tonight. After you and I go over some pointers.”

    Lightbright leaned forward. “Devcon, I know you were a Bounty Hunter, but you are not ready for frontline combat. We need to develop proper weapon systems for you, not to mention--!?”

    “I have proper weapon systems already, Commander,” Devcon's voice was calm and collected, despite cutting off the Commnder. “I didn't want to scare anyone on base, but I've been killing TEKU for years. That’s also why I’m not assaulting Penguigo himself, yet.”

    “There are easier ways of testing your systems,” Ramjet muttered, controlling his frustration.

    Devcon looked straight at him. “We’re out of time."

    Ramjet crossed his arms scoffing. “And if I say no, you don't go?"

    “I go anyway.”

    “I could stop you.”

    “You’d have to kill me.”

    Ramjet’s face turned dark. “…This is stupid, Devcon. Your petty revenge isn't worth it, we need to save as many of those Civilians as we can! Attacking Eagleer first is the best option for that! If we just alert Penguigo of our activities-”

    Devcon leaned toward him, straight edge in his eyes. “I was born for this Ramjet. You weren't.”

    Drift stamped his sword as he scoffed. “That’s simply not true. None of us was born for this. Yet we are here.”

    Devcon scoffed, and then ran out of the room.

    "Fine. I'll do it on my own merits."

    Guzzle and Lightbright shared a grave look. Lightbright looked down first, sad, but thoughtful. “He may be right.”

    Ramjet sighed.
    “I’ve seen him fight. He’s strong, but he lets his emotions get in his way... This is going to kill him.”

    “We’ve both seen him fight,” reminded Guzzle.

    Ramjet grimaced to the side. “Yes. We have… I'll be in my recharge chambers if you need me.” He marched out as well.

    Lightbright looked at the map, her face heavier than before.
    This was just all going so, so wrong...
    Beta please be safe.

    ---

    Name: Guzzle
    Talent: Hyper-Durability
    [​IMG]
    Bio: Guzzle's been through a lot, and that's kind of a given, because he's also old. Older than most in the Resistance. He lived through both the Verte Seven insurgency, the Acadeimos Siege, the ensuing wars, and now he's living through hell fighting against Great Convoy. He's seen comrades get captured, killed, and worse. Far, far worse. But that doesn't stop him. He'll fight to the bitter end if it means letting the others see a better future.
    After all, he's seen what the future has in store for him. Might as well make the most of what time he has left.
     
    Last edited: Apr 27, 2021
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  11. Dropkick

    Dropkick Doktor

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    Chapter 3: The Frozen Base

    That Guzzle had thoroughly trounced them every sparring match they shared did not surprise Devcon. Guzzle also didn’t bother trying to reiterate his warning. He saw the focus in Devcon’s eyes, and the lack of such in Ramjet's eyes.

    The two legacies of Acadeimos were just that stubborn.

    Only one thing really explained the Silencerz mercenaries actions from what they had been able to study. Intense, consistent aggression. It was like rage was just pouring out of them, even when they controlled themselves.

    Either in the data or the Mercenaries themselves... Devcon needed more information, but his gut feeling was that something was taken. Something subtle, but vital. And knowing Great Convoy, it could be just about anything.

    There was no time for direct study yet. For now, he needed to focus on the mission. He kept part of his processes percolating on the information as he deployed for the Northern reaches. Penguigo’s base would be tough to reach, even more so undetected. That, and Devcon had business to settle.

    The base itself was a series of caverns with well-placed defense systems and a large force of battle-bots. They were all designed for cold weather combat, too.

    Devcon was hunkered down near the front portion of the base, the mountains looming above. Ray-bots hopped around, their red optics scanning constantly as their ‘ear’ cannons wiggled and swirled. Wasp-Mechs hovered back and forth in packs of patrols, and he saw the mechanical wings of bat-bots inside the cave entrance.

    The natural formations of the terrain made infiltration from the sides nearly impossible. He had to sneak in the front door.

    Devcon converted into his speeder mode, and covered himself in snow, and moved out. He slid through the snow almost like a snake for the most part. Most other bots, if not specialized, would have frozen up or had their heat systems burn out. His system was adapting to the cold as he went, channeling power through the networks closer to his surface, letting the core systems run hotter than usual as the coolant mingled with the surface network. Fuel-Output was such an underrated talent in his eyes, and people underestimated him for it.

    A ray-bot slammed down just past his nose, and Devcon went still. He resembled a jumbled mound of snow drifts as long as he didn’t move. His heat signature was so heavily muted by the combination of snow and his adapting system, he didn’t read on infrared either.

    The rabbit-like machine looked around carefully, and then sprang away.

    Devcon exhaled slowly, a strange habit of stress relief he’d picked up from Lightbright and the other Resistance staff around the base. He kept crawling.

    On he went. Just under and outcropping, around a hill. It was slow but precise. Nothing was detecting him yet.

    Just near the cave, he froze again. Wasps were hovering over the vague trail his body left some meters back, scanning it readily. They weren’t sounding an alert yet, but they were investigating the odd trail in the snow.

    Devcon looked to his left, toward the rock wall there. He started to lift out of the snow.

    The wasps moved along the path, and stopped over a pile of haphazard snow next to a jutting rock-face in the hill. As one hovered with its back to the rock, it didn’t detect the snow splitting, revealing two very human-like eyes, narrowed with deadly focus.

    After a few moments, the wasps fired into the drifts of snow, and found nothing. They shared a brief serious of beeps, and then flew off to their routes.

    Devcon slowly moved off the wall, and crouched there for a moment, like a little mound of snow.

    Making sure it was clear, he continued ahead. He was able to slip around the edge of the cave unnoticed.


    ---


    Not being noticed inside was going to be a much bigger challenge. Devcon had to carefully dash between large pipes, slimming himself against them in the shadows during passing patrols of wheel- and bat-bots.

    He knew he was so close. Just a bit more and he'd be in the command chambers...

    After painstakingly moving through the base for the better part of an hour, he came to an impasse. The hall branched in three places. He knew he needed the closest one, but there was no cover to be seen, and the security bot traffic was constant. Wheels and wasps were rushing around, bats hanging along the ceiling pipes.

    Fighting my way through this entire facility won’t be terribly productive yet. But I also have business to settle with Penguigo... No, I need to figure this out. Devcon’s eyes tightened at the view as he pondered his options.

    Only one real option filtered to the surface of his thoughts. A distraction. Looking around himself, he spotted a length of metal down on the ground. Likely spare parts from previous repairs. Picking it up, he eyed the hall-junction, and then threw the metal between the pipes around him.

    The first sound chimed painfully on the far end of the hall, where the metal ricocheted off a corner pipe, and drove into the spiked track of a wheel-bot.

    The bot swerved and crashed into several of its fellows, causing the wasps and bats to flutter down to investigate as traffic ground to a halt.

    Devcon broke from cover, ducked and dove through a pair of pipes near the corner of the hallway he needed, and slammed himself inside the corner of the opening, in the shadows.

    Knowing he would still need to capitalize on the stopped traffic, he quickly looked down the new hallway, and saw that it was far more industrial than the rest of the facility, darker, too.

    Looking up, he didn’t see any bat-bots. With a nod, he climbed up quickly, and used the ceiling pipes to hang-crawl along at a slow, firm pace, silent as a ghost.

    This was the right way, he knew it. He saw light for an open chamber beyond. He assumed it was full of enemies, but he would just cross that bridge when he got to it.

    ---

    Nearing the large doorway, he paused when he heard voices.

    “Enough excuses!” a rasped, but powerful and distorted voice boomed. “Get that damn thing open!”

    “W-we’ve never seen anything l-like this!” a very timid voice replied, clearly stuck between terror and urgency. “None of our t-tools are working, Commander Penguigo!”

    Inside the chamber, Penguigo leaned down into the mech’s face angrily, his ice-cold beak uncomfortably pressing to their chest through the thermo-suit.

    “So you’re telling me it was a waste of resources to keep you here?”

    “N-no! We’re working on it! W-we just need time.” The mech was shivering from the cold despite his gear, and he had a team working frantically around him.

    A large, capsule was embedded in the ice behind him, various cutting and burning tools arrayed around it.

    Penguigo growled, his optics livid. “One day. That’s all you have left.” His hand snapped out, gripping the man’s neck.

    Instantly choking, the mech gripped Penguigo’s wrist desperately. “P-Please… we… do… best… plea…” his eyes were rolling back.

    The others were huddling away, shivering for more than just the cold. One femme was wiping tears off her face before they crystallized there.

    Pengigo dropped the man, gasping. “In case you thought I wasn’t serious. Get to work!” he barked at the team, and then turned, storming toward the exit.

    Devcon let his pistol deactivate in his hand from aiming it at Penguigo. Dammit, he was getting away, and Devcon had the perfect shot...

    So why did he hesitate?

    ...

    Watching the Penguin storm out, Devcon caught a glance at the penguin’s optics, and his own tightened.

    Something’s wrong with his optics… He's changed...

    Penguigo stomped along, his optics scanning for a moment as he passed under Devcon's position, but he just kept walking.

    Devcon slid down the wall-pipe nearest him, and eased out into the chamber, hiding along the edge of the some of the consoles there.
    Why did he hesitate...
    Penguigo was the reason he wasn't there to help in the Siege of Acadeimos...

    He hated him. He was petty. Rude. And most of all annoying...

    But now, his focus needed to focus on the main problem in the room.
    RJ would've wanted him to do it anyways.
    He hated doing this...

    Observing the area, he noted how this team of Mechs was not loyal to Chill, but they were scared out of their wits. Justifiably. That might make them turn on Devcon just as much as if he were their real enemy.

    This close, it was painfully clear the cylinder they were trying to break into was the source of some of their troubles...
    Devcon also knew, that something wasn't right.

    Devcon thought it over carefully, and grimaced. He only saw one real way to do this right. With a deep breath, he stepped out into the open.

    “I’m here to help you.”

    The entire team twisted, staring at him, frozen as if the chill finally finished the job.

    The man Penguigo had been choking still had a hand at his own neck, eyes wide.

    Devcon kept his hands up and unthreatening. “I saw what he was doing to you. I don't know what's in that Capsule, but Penguigo wants it... and I still have business with the stupid airhead... I’m not leaving you here to die. If we work together, I will get you out.”

    “Who are you?” the mech in the center finally asked, standing upright, wary.

    “My name is Devcon. I work with Lightbright and the Resistance.”

    The woman who had nearly cried sank with relief. “Then the Resistance is real?! There's a chance to beat Great Convoy? Are we really-!?”

    “Stop being so optimistic Nova... We can’t trust him, and if we’re seen like this, we’re all dead!” the leader cut her off urgently.

    Devcon firmed. “...Ramjet would've wanted me to do this anyways..."

    He turned over to all of them, his face hardening.

    "Penguigo’s going to kill you all anyway, and you know that. Talk to me! You know this facility. I can make a distraction or do some heavy lifting, just tell me what you need to get out?”

    The man stared grimly, but Nova frowned, and then started talking before she could be silenced, “The armored transport!”

    “Nova!”

    “I’m getting out of here with or without you, Firebolt!” she sharply whispered back. For Devcon, she continued gently, “The resources Penguigo is processing here get shipped out on an armored transport each night. We just need to get to it without raising any alarms, and we’d be able to get to your base in a matter of hours!”

    “It’s in the heart of the facility,” Firebolt added, disgruntled. “We’d have to get past literally every security system Penguigo has in place to even have a chance.”

    Devcon looked to Nova rather deliberately. “So if I made a distraction, they just wouldn’t run the transport at all?”

    She shook her head, defeated.

    Devcon thought for a moment, and then raised an eyebrow. “Does he want the capsule open… or moved?”

    Another team member spoke up, a woman with large, round glasses. “It’s a special interest of his boss. If we could get it free without damaging it, they would prefer that.”

    “And wouldn’t they use the armored transport to get it out?” Devcon continued.

    Even Firebolt calmed into a bit of faint hope at this point. “…And breaking it out of the ice safely is more believable than opening it.”

    Devcon smiled. “Exactly. We’ll do it.”

    “But we can’t get it out of the ice,” Nova continued, arms slack at her sides.

    Devcon grinned warmly. “That’s my job. I can open it. We just don’t tell them that.”

    The team blinked. Firebolt asked, “How would that get it out?”

    “Want me to show you?”

    Most of the team waved toward the capsule instantly.

    Devcon walked over, and reached out, just touching the capsule, before closing his eyes. The capsule immediately began to hum with building power. The team stared in awe as it flash melted the ice all around itself, and actually somehow lifted into a vertical orientation.

    It was Devcon’s turn to grow awed when the capsule’s pale blue surface evaporated between the top and bottom generators, and left standing in its place a perfect image of one of the Primes... Vector Prime.

    The gentle face, rotund frame, and bushy beard were all clear. Only the faded, pale blue color of the hologram’s nature kept it from becoming a perfect image.

    The face turned sad. “So it begins...”

    Devcon gently nodded.

    “...Us Primes left these Capsules for the bravest warriors. To give power to those who needed it... these capsules would have activated when the world became consumed in war, grief, and sorrow...I am terribly sorry that it has come to this."

    “Young Warrior, us Primes gave Cybertronians the ability to choose your own destiny. We had hoped the world would allow you to choose a peaceful one. I know what knowledge I gave your generation... If you’ve chosen to fight, I know it’s for the right reasons. Please, never forget how important Life is however. Existence, living, the ability to choose. We must protect it.”

    Devcon nodded solemnly... hatred still burned in his heart, but he knew that the Prime's words were not to be ignored. “I promise.”

    The hologram smiled gently. “In this capsule, you will receive an upgrade to your acceleration systems in your legs. While it doesn’t support constant thrust, it is inexhaustible, and reusable in rapid succession. I think you’ll find it was the wisest choice,” the image offered a smile, and then blinked off.

    Devcon reached out, his fingers passing through the air the Prime had occupied. He closed his eyes for a moment, and then turned, backing into the capsule.

    Light began rush between the top and bottom apparatuses around him, engulfing him. With a smoldering rush, the mechanic team ducked down to avoid being blinded by the flash of energy that ripped through the chamber.

    The glow faded at last, and Devcon stepped down out of the mist remaining. His once-blue and red legs had changed. Clean white and blue metal, wreathed in gold, with sharp cobalt plating along the unified ‘toe’. His legs were almost elegant.

    Nova slowly stood up straight as she looked in awe. “…By the Primes…”

    Devcon looked up, and readied his guns. “Now then, about that transport…”


    ---


    A short time later, Devcon was crouched down to the side of the main console in the capsule room, the team spread out as normal, with Firebolt at the console itself. Devcon had a small canister down with his feet, and his pistol was aimed at it. Firebolt and Devcon shared a nod.

    Firebolt punched in a few commands, and the screen near his right winked on, showing Penguigo’s angry face.

    “What is it now, you stupid excuses for mechs?”

    Firebolt grinned with fake enthusiasm. “We’ve done it! We found a way to free the entire capsule from the ice! We’re doing it right now!”

    Off to the side, out of the Penguins view, Nova caught Devcon’s glance, and she suddenly screamed, “The containment unit! RUN!”

    And Devcon shot the canister as Firebolt dove to his left with a shout of dismay. An explosive rush of gas and air ripped through the chamber, and then Devcon pulse-blasted the console itself with his pistol as Penguigo was shouting his beak off. The console turned off with an unsavory crunch.

    “Like we planned, quickly!” he shouted to the room.

    All the team members rushed to the edges of the chamber, and pulled up the grating in the floor, ducking down, and out of sight.

    Devcon then blew up several more canisters, as if the first had caused a chain reaction, and then leapt into the capsule, which sealed down around him, going quiet.



    ---



    Just a few minutes afterward, Penguigo charged into the room with a small force of wasp and ray-bots. He stopped, silently looking around the ruined room with narrowed optics.

    “Sweep for survivors.”

    The ray-bots and wasp bots moved out through the chamber, scanning pipes and grates. Nova squeezed herself against the tunnel wall as she saw a scanner sweep pass down through the grate she’d used.

    Penguigo marched across the chamber, and looked up at the capsule. “Not just a trick then… Perhaps I scared them enough to try something stupid? It worked.” He chuckled, and then touched his audio sensor. “Bring a transport to the capsule room. The Convoys will be pleased.”

    Waiting in the capsule, Devcon grit his teeth as he tried to focus his thoughts elsewhere. Given the situation, he pulled up the records for Penguigo, his service years, and profile data.

    Penguigo always showed the ability to resolve dangerous situations with few casualties... and that made him one of the best mercs that I knew working out in the field... And now he’s a psychotic who strangles humans to make a point... This isn’t rebellion, this is psychosis. Something happened to the bot I once knew.

    Penguigo’s murderous optics kept panning the room as he waited as well. The transport finally rolled its way in a few minutes later, resembling a large, multi-wheeled truck.

    Devcon knew Penguigo was in the worst possible position for the others to use this chance to get into the truck. They had taken precautions, but it was going to require flawless timing.

    Wasps flew over, shot grapplers onto the capsule, and started to lift it toward the truck.

    Devcon waited, his hand over his pistols, over a command signal button. There was an explosive embedded in the back wall, matched to a signal... He had to time it right.

    The capsule shook. He knew it was locked down.

    “Seal it up,” Penguigo said with a wave of his hand.

    Click.

    The back of the room exploded, chunks of ice and pipe crashing against the walls as Penguigo was knocked flat.

    The Penguin roared as he hopped up, charging toward the back wall. “Check this area! Now! And get that transport out of here!”

    With so much dust and mist filling the room, all one could see were shapes rushing toward the truck, and then the truck sealing up quickly, before starting to roll out of the room. Wasps and Wheels poured in around it to help secure the chamber.

    And the mission was a success.



    ---



    Nova was crying with relief, stuffed into the back of the truck with the rest of the team, just around the capsule. Firebolt knew they weren’t out yet, so he was tense, but they had a real shot now. The others were too terrified to do much beyond squeeze themselves into tight corners, and wait.

    The transport stopped. Everyone held their breath, and Devcon’s pistols were ready, his hand on the control to open the capsule. If we have to, I can give them cover-fire while they gun it for the safehouse.

    After an agonizing minute, the transport just started rolling again, and the muffled sounds clearly indicated they were outside at last. Nova gasped with relief, sinking against the bulkhead.

    Devcon opened the capsule, hopping out lightly, and let it seal beneath him. “Not bad, hm?”

    They wanted to cheer, but knew that was too dangerous. He was, however, awarded with tearfully grateful faces. Nova actually stood up, and leaned toward him as if trying to whisper. Devcon leaned down to listen, and then stopped short, blushing, as she kissed his cheek.

    “Thank you,” she whispered next, and then quickly sat back down, blushing herself.

    Devcon relaxed enough to smile at her kindly. If I didn’t, I couldn’t forgive myself... and RJ wouldn't accept me back either.


    ---


    There was one final bit of excitement when they realized the transport was locked from outside. Devcon used his data-net access to confirm their location, and when it was clear they were in safe territory and the transport itself was the only hindrance, he just blew the doors open with a blast, and then stopped the transport himself so the Ice Base team could get out safely.

    A rescue vehicle from Lightbright arrived to get them to true safety, and Devcon waved them off with a smile, Nova and Firebolt waving down at him until they were out of sight.

    Then Devcon focused on the transport again. “I’m not letting the Convoys get even the capsule itself. You and I are going to HQ. Ready?”

    The transports AI gave an affirming beep, and Devcon hopped into the driver seat, letting the transport turn toward what he knew to be Resistance territory, and accelerate.

    On the ride, Devcon leaned his head back as he scanned for tracking devices. “Something is missing from them. The Mercenaries. None of them would've wanted to do this... not wanting lives wasted.” His eyes looked out over terrain. “What would change them so completely? They have to be stopped, but…” His eyes tightened. Lightbright and Guzzle would never stand for it...

    Then he glanced back over his shoulder to the Capsule. And his gift from Vector Prime... I’ll keep that to myself as well.

    ---

    Name: Penguigo
    Talent: Cryokinesis (Ice Shard)
    [​IMG]
    Bio:
    A mercenary hired by the Silencerz that grew tired of being constantly sent to the Arctic wastes on retrieval jobs and Bounties. He eventually joined Great Convoy for the chance to finally make his name known. He's a rowdy, and very belligerent mercenary that only really cares about getting his name known, which causes him to butt heads with Noumander a lot.


     
    Last edited: Apr 27, 2021
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  12. Dropkick

    Dropkick Doktor

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    Chapter 4: Turbulence

    Guzzle was looking at the report in mild disbelief. He was standing in the command center of Hunter HQ, Lightbright near him, apparently waiting to see Guzzle’s reaction to the information.

    Tossing the data-pad down onto the edge of the display table, Guzzle frowned. “Devcon pulled it off.”

    Lightbright was tapping a finger. “That was filed by the rescued survey team Penguigo had enslaved, I’m sure you deduced. He returned about five hours ago?”

    Guzzle crossed his arms. “The capsule?”

    “Exactly. Where did it end up? He didn’t have it when he got here.”

    And then the doorway opened behind Guzzle. He turned, and his eyes flared a bit.

    Ramjet walked in, his helmet looking shinier and more pronounced as he looked on in his Jetman getup. “Sorry, that took longer than expected. The armada should be touching down soon, right?”

    Lightbright pointed at him bluntly. “What did you do to yourself, RJ?”

    “Upgraded,” Ramjet answered simply, and moved up to the table without hesitation. “I want the airport mission.”

    “Yeah, you and most of the others..." Guzzle muttered darkly. “I’ve been trying to locate The Silencerz primary base, so my squad is busy, but we intend to attack the airport in force as soon as possible...”

    Ramjet looked at Guzzle directly, then to Lightbright. “A full assault would just decimate the infrastructure. It’s one of the primary travel hubs for this part of Cybertron.”

    Ramjet thought to himself a little after he said that. I also need to face Storm Eagle alone. Anyone else there will mess up what I have to do.

    Drift stamped his sword as he turned to face Ramjet. “Ramjet, This is absurd! You can’t handle a massive assault single-handed! Devcon's a different story since he used to be a Bounty Hunter but you can't just waltz in there!!!"

    Ramjet just sighed in acknowledgement.

    “I can do it. To get back to the more important issue, however, the airport is more important than anyone is saying. One Hunter has a much better chance of stopping Eagleer himself. With the commander neutralized, the armada can be command-overridden with his control codes. A brute-force assault will just destroy the airport along with everything else in the area. We’re going to spend enough time rebuilding the city as it is. I don't want to risk anymore pointless lives...”

    Lightbright was clearly about to repeat her admonishment, but Guzzle snapped a hand up to stop her. Lightbright was startled, and both she and Ramjet looked at the gold and green mech.

    “Alright, fine. You can storm Eagleer's grounded Armada... But keep this in mind, hero. If you screw this up, you’re not the one paying the price. If you don’t pull this off, you’re never working with us. Again. I don't care that you have experience in the War and in that stupid Heroics thing they had you go through at the Academy. You mess up, you're done RJ.”

    Ramjet raised an eyebrow. “…If I agree to those terms, then I have another request. Your personal guarantee that no one—and I mean no one—will interfere.”

    Guzzle just shook his head. “Fine. Deal. Don't die out there.”

    They shook hands, and then Ramjet turned to the display table. “Let me show you what I know, and you tell me where I’m off on the placements of his forces.”

    Guzzle faced it with him, and they started to discuss the tactical arrangements Eagleer was likely to use.

    ---

    Ramjet looked out around the edge of an open hangar door. He was on the outer rim of the airport’s territory. Eagleer’s not playing around, that’s for sure. His eyes took in the hover-grippers that were nearly swarming like insects, mingled with fire-turrets on the hover-platforms, omni-directional assault cannons slowly spinning in ready-state, and more assault walkers along with the occasional Omega Sentinel.

    He was on the cargo side of the airport, and looking at a series of conveyer lifts normally used for lifting heavy cargo into the taller transports. Eagleer's flagship, the one that had led the assault on the city, was at the highest dock, hovering just beyond the rim of the landing pad. It was ready to bolt away.

    Ramjet looked down at his left arm, sad for a moment. Then he firmed, and his two arm-cannons readied. “Time to get serious.”

    He spun out from the edge of the doorway, before transforming and taking off with a vertical blast. A burst of light flared off his feet, and he jetted across the sky as he flew straight for the giant ship.

    Landing sharply on one of the conveyer lifts, he looked up, and saw grippers already rushing down to snare him. Starting to build energy in his cannons, his body sucking more power in from the air around him, Ramjet dash-jumped high to the next conveyer, just around two grippers.

    As they swerved up to recover, he fired down at their tops. The blast-wave of red power incinerated most of their structures, the remains raining down and clinking off the conveyers below.

    With more grippers rushing down, Ramjet transformed again and took off.

    After some time, he crashed down to a crouch on the upper-level of the airport. He was almost on level with the flagship already. He smiled, and started running.


    ---


    Eagleer observed the sitauation, and leaned over his console inside the bridge of the sky-carrier. His blue-purple frame was broad and tall, his wings snapping open and shut in agitation. “A Resistance Member, eh? Armada! Take off!”

    A signal beeped on a specific screen, and Eagleer’s optics widened at it. “Hold!” he shouted into the same control as before, and then activated the one beeping at him. “Yes, sir?”

    A shadowed face with two glistening optics, and a third point above and between them appeared. “Eagleer, hold your position. I want that mech destroyed.”

    "G-Great Convoy sir?! I-I am honored, but... He’s just a scout. If we don’t mobilize--!?”

    “He’s the one, Eagleer. And if you can’t kill him here and now, you’re of no use to me. Bring me his head, or you’ll be handing me yours.”

    The signal shut off.

    Storm Eagle glowered at the console, but whispered, “Yes, Commander.” Looking at the display of the intruder, he frowned. “Isn’t that Ramjet...? Hmph... The old timer should actually be worth my time then. No matter. All forces. Combat formations. Frag the intruder."



    ---



    Ramjet blew apart one of the fire-turrets, and crashed to his haunches on its lift-platform. Interesting. Security is fully alerted, but Eagleer’s not taking off out of here. Pride because it’s just me?

    Grippers came rushing down at him, but Ramjet was already ready. His eyes focused up through his helmet, and he suddenly wrenched up, firing. His arm pitched back, his body and the platform shivering.

    The entire group of grippers flew apart, strings of molten metal whipping back and splashing the next stable landing of the airport.

    Ramjet leapt across the remaining gap, and rolled toward the scaffolding just up the slant of the landing.

    ...A signal...?

    Glancing around, trying to get a better feel for the direction with such overwhelming sense, he finally nodded to himself. Slipping between the supports of the scaffolding, Ramjet ducked down behind some spare piping on the other side as grippers zoomed down to the area to try to compensate for their brethrens’ failure.

    The long-legged walkers dropped down with them, loping around with scanners on full.

    Ramjet smirked a bit that he lost them so easily considering their obviously serious desire to find him. I can see why Convoy wanted thinking Sentinels. Basic Bots just don’t cut it, do they?

    Not leaving cover yet, he looked further ahead. The superstructure of the airport landing was oddly complex in this area. It rose up high, the actual crossing surface only accessible by climbing the entire scaffold to the top. Yet there were big gaps between the layers of support structure below the surface. And the signal… It’s through that mass of oxygen canisters, he realized, looking at the level just above his own, where a mass of the pipe-canisters were packed tightly into the recess.

    “What a weird place to store this... Maybe Eagleer knows about it, too, and tried to just hide it?” Ramjet shook his head, and glanced back. The grippers and walkers were all facing away from him that moment.

    With a sharp burst, he flew forwards. His momentum carried him across the dip in the ground, and he slammed his hands onto the edge of the level he needed.

    Hooking one foot-tip into the wall, he shoved up, and rolled onto the surface proper, and ran to the cylinders of gas. His helmet glimmered as his scanners revved to full. A soft signal pinged through the canisters, and showed him in holographic display in his own vision that the storage space was very deep, and packed tight. Just taking the cylinders out would take a lot of time he simply didn’t have.

    Sighing a bit, he scanned the structures around the cylinders. Steel and Titanium alloys, designed to handle Energon explosions for emergencies. If I was ever going to just blow something up, this would be the spot. Guzzle will chew me out bad if this causes more than a little damage after my big speech.

    Ramjet braced, and flew backwards a small distance, before crashing forwards with blinding speed.

    A cluster of cylinders were instantly torn apart by the blast of power. Superheated Energon exploded instantly, causing a chain reaction. Ramjet transformed and braced with crossed arms as the forces of the clustered explosions tried to blow him off the platform. Good thing his body was more than equipped to take it.

    Just as the grippers and walkers were rushing around to try to investigate, the explosions finally stopped. Ramjet charged in.

    A dark, tight space waited for him after a little drop onto its floor. The only source of light was a capsule, patiently sitting against the far wall.

    Ramjet stepped forward, touching the capsule.

    A holographic approximation of Solus Prime appeared, her holographic eyes looking at Ramjet clearly. “...I see. It has come to this. Young Warrior, enter this capsule. It contains an upgrade for your helmet’s structural and shock-absorption systems. With it, you can practically use your helmet as a battering ram against even the toughest surfaces. Not even something as hard Unicron's external armor itself will be able to withstand this force." She smiled gently, and then faded from sight.

    After returning the smile in kind, Ramjet turned, and stepped backward into the capsule, waiting.

    Light rushed between the two surfaces of the capsule’s interior, engulfing him in power just before it all burst out, splashing against the walls of the tight space.

    Ramjet stepped out through the mist of the cooling capsule, and his helmet glistened. Now, instead of white and maroon, it was white with contrasting brighter red, and wreathed in golden details. A crest of gold marked his brow around his Visor and nosecone, too.

    Unable to resist a little smile of impish pleasure, he looked up at the ceiling. “They won’t expect this.”

    ---

    Eagleer watched from his bridge with narrowing optics. A geyser of metal and dust erupted on the platform just beyond the nose of his sky-carrier, and bolts of golden power flew out of it like a spiral storm, blowing apart the last defenders before his carrier itself.

    Ramjet came charging out of the debris, dashing forwards in his Jet mode, surging for the sky-carrier.

    Eagleer frowned. “He upgraded his systems somehow? No one's been able to punch through Durabyllium like that...” He shook his head, and started tapping commands into the console. “Looks like we do this face to face, Ramjet.”

    A countdown started as the console screen turned red, and Eagleer walked back to a disc-mark on the flooring. It turned into a lift, and he dropped out of sight from the bridge.

    ---

    Ramjet just landed on the prow of the sky-carrier, two defense turrets taking aim. He ran, firing. As they blew apart, and he leapt over the wreckage, the entire sky-carrier shook violently.

    Alarmed, Ramjet crashed to a crouch, bracing as his sensors tried to calibrate the disturbance.

    He didn’t have time. A wave of fire was engulfing the top of the carrier in a blast-wave straight toward him. He knew he had no time to leap out of it, even with his jet mode. He crossed his arms and braced.

    In the wake of the blast, Ramjet was still there, ducked down with his crossed arms, his body steaming, but otherwise unharmed. Puzzled, he lowered his arms slowly, looking around. “What the…?”

    The top of the sky-carrier had literally been leveled. It was now a jagged platform floating at the edge of the airport. Only the wire-frame of the top ‘fin’ was left standing in any real sense.

    And then Eagleer flew down out of the sun, and flapped his wings to slow himself to a steady landing. His large, turbine-buster was clear at his left side, his right hand clenched in a fist. “Hello again old-timer.”

    Ramjet slowly stood up. “…Why did you attack the city, Eagleer?”

    An optic-ridge piqued. “Why wouldn’t I? Great Convoy's right in some regards. Autobots, Decepticons, they just want to control and use us. You’ll see. Even if you defeat Master Great Convoy somehow.”

    Ramjet's brow creased. “You really believe that? You can think and feel for yourself, Eagleer, why aren’t you using it!?”

    “Ramjet...”

    Ramjet looked up and sighed. “Yes?”

    “You talk too much.”

    Eagleer braced, his wings starting to snap violently toward the deck as his claw-feet clenched the plating.

    Ramjet was nearly hurled off the ship that instant. With a yelp, he sharpened his profile in the streaming wind, and started to fly forwards. The wind kept him slow, but he kept pushing forward. He can’t move either!

    Building energy as he flew against the wind, Ramjet finally rammed his cannons forward and fired.

    It scorched the air, but was barely affected by the wind. Eagleer grimaced, and dove to his right, dodging the blast. Ramjet transformed and flickered right up to him.

    Too fast!
    Eagleer realized urgently, and rammed himself straight into the air in momentary panic.

    Ramjet’s hand caught empty air, and he looked up with a frown.

    “A present!” Storm Eagle shouted, and then his beak opened unnatural wide, firing a purple, metallic egg just before he shot skyward.

    Ramjet leapt back.
    "That's disgusting!"

    "It works though doesn't it?"

    The egg hit the ground, and split into four missile-birds, all homing toward him instantly. Their flashing optics were flickering more and more quickly as they flew.

    Shifting tactics, Ramjet charged for them, firing his arm cannons. Two exploded from his shots, and he dove, twisting, between the last two, rolling to a crouch behind them. He fired twice, blowing them up, and then he heard sheering wind.

    Ramjet barely dove forward in time. Eagleer himself flickered across the sky-carrier where Ramjet had been crouched, tearing a line up in his wake.

    That could have cut me in half, Ramjet realized as he watched Eagle soar off again. Ramjet growled, thumping the jagged metal with his fist. “I can’t reason with him,” he realized aloud painfully. “Don’t you know how many innocent mechs you killed, Eagleer!” he suddenly roared.

    “In fact,” the voice came from behind, Ramjet’s optics flaring, “yes.”

    Ramjet dove to his right, and the force of the rip-rush yanked him along even though he dodged it. He tumbled violently, rolling at high speed, and finally rammed his hand into the jagged surface to stop from flying off the edge. He transformed and charged forwards.

    The sheering air again. Ramjet and Eagleer crashed right into one another, sending both tumbling backwards.

    This time, Ramjet’s face slackened to grim focus, and he stood up as he turned around. Eagleer turned back to face him.

    Eagleer raised his buster and fired.

    "STORM TORNADO!!!"

    Ramjet simply transformed and dashed forwards, before socking Eagleer again in the face. The wind disappated immediately.

    "STOP BLOWING SLAGGING WIND, YOU BIRD BRAIN!!!"

    Eagleer met his optics, and time seemed to stop. The sundering metal under his one wing all but froze in place.
    How can he charge like this? He’s not combat trained! And those eyes… how can pain be that cold?

    Meeting Eagleer’s eyes over his aimed cannon, Ramjet fired a cluster of missiles pointblank as he flew off. Eagleer roared around the explosion.

    Ramjet dove to his left, Eagleer crashing through the space he’d been standing on.

    Eagleer stopped himself with his feet, and stood heavily. One wing was totally obliterated, and his frame was scorched and scratched. “…All this for nothing, Ramjet...?"

    Ramjet shook his head. “For a better tomorrow... I don’t want to kill you. Stand down, surrender, and we can stop this blood-shed.”

    Eagleer smirked. “Blood? Do you have any? Because I don’t.”

    Ramjet’s face clenched with constrained anger. “You should value blood as much as your own Spark and Energon, Eagleer! This is pointless!”

    “An interesting theory,” the mech replied, raising his turbine buster.

    Ramjet charged. Storm Eagle fired.

    "STORM TORNADO!!!"

    This time, the wind exploded, howling with a vicious roar as an even stronger tornado spawned out of Eagle’s buster and surged toward Ramjet, sheering the damaged ship as it went.

    Weaving out to his right, Ramjet dashed with his left foot, twisting so that his back was to the tornado just as it started to rip past him. The circulating wind yanked him off the sky-carrier, but Ramjet didn’t seem shocked. He arced over the cyclone, aiming with his cannons, and fired three pulse-blasts over the top of the wind-blast, straight for Eagleer’s chest.

    Eagleer’s optics flared, and watched Ramjet head-crash the surface of the carrier, only to plow clean into it, vanishing into a hole.

    Cutting off his cyclone, Eagleer yanked himself to his left, backward. His already scorched chest-late got three scars from the passing bolts, but he dodged them successfully. Where would he even get the idea to try that move? He gripped the three scars, and looked around warily.

    “Cat and mouse doesn’t work against eagles Old Timer...”

    Sheering metal sounded, and Eagleer’s optics sharpened as he twisted. Ramjet erupted at his feet, driving his helmet straight up into the Maverick’s chin. Eagleer reeled from the blow, grimacing, and Ramjet landed with his legs spread over the hole he’d made.

    “Does that still apply if your wings are clipped?”

    Eagleer glowered.

    Ramjet charged energy with a shout, but Eagleer suddenly jerked down at the smaller Reploid, and his hand grappled the end of Ramjet’s cannon.

    “Feedback’s a pain, isn’t it? Now mine?” He pressed his turbine buster into Ramjet’s chest. “Point-blank serves me just fine.”

    Ramjet turned grim... Ramjet suddenly roared, and drove his head straight into Eagle’s head. Eagle fired, but the tornado blew off Ramjet's right shoulder as Ramjet fired off missiles point blank as well.

    Eagleer roared from pain as his right forearm vaporized, energy bursting out the vents on the back of Ramjet's back. Eagle fell backwards, before Ramjet put a foot over Eagle's chest.

    “Too many innocent mechs died from your attack, Eagleer. There are consequences,” Ramjet declared, arms at his sides, energy expelling over his frame. He had pushed himself to the limits, but Eagleer was down for now.

    Eagleer held his buster to the sparking stump of his right arm, and narrowed his oddly hollow optics at the Hunter. “They knew the risks when they thought they could take power for themselves. Great Convoy is right, and you know it.”

    Ramjet aimed. “No, Eagleer... Yield.”

    Eagleer sneered, and then roared in fury, jamming his buster toward Ramjet.

    The tornado never fired as Ramjet crushed his spark by stomping down and crushing his chestplate.

    Eagleer’s head crashed limply down to the surface of the carrier, before his body turned grey, devoid of all color, energon starting to leak onto the ruined skyship.

    Ramjet cringed at the sight, and just sighed with a tired look on his face. “…Why wouldn’t you yield?”

    Slowly, Ramjet knelt down beside the inactive mech, and then reached in. He cracked open part of the torso, and started to dismantle something.

    After several minutes of work, he pulled out a set of chips. “The command codes. There we go.”

    His finger closed, and he touched his audio-sensor. “All armada forces. Stand down and deactivate.”

    ---

    Across the airport, other sky-carriers lowered down, powering off. The grippers, walkers, and other bots all landed or eased to a stable position, and simply turned off.

    Clamps reached out, and took the damaged sky-carrier closer to the platform, keeping it stable.

    ---

    On that carrier, Ramjet looked down at Eagleer’s turbine-buster. He reached down, touching it, and out popped a chip. Ramjet grabbed the chip, before inserting it into his arm cannon... and his helmet glowed. The inner-workings of the firing mechanism and power networks transmitted into his own system.

    “That simple, hm? Guess you weren't that dumb after all bird brain...”

    Ramjet stood up, and aimed out into the open air. His arms widened and formed a turbine around his cannon-barrel, then fired a tornado into the air with equal power and force to Eagleer’s own.

    Reverting the weapon to his hand, Ramjet nodded, and looked down at the chips in his other...
    This really was a long day...

    At least they now had a good number of ships to assault Great Convoy with.

    ---

    The control center doors opened, and Ramjet walked in. For a moment, there was an awkward pause in the room, all the workers turning to look from their consoles, Guzzle at the central table with his arms crossed and a grim look on his face.

    Ramjet just kept walking until he had to jerk with surprise when the room burst with applause.

    Guzzle smirked. Ramjet was left completely confused as he looked around in a mild social panic.

    One mech finally declared, “Well done, sir!”

    “You did it!” another cheered.

    A cheer roused from the whole room.

    Ramjet sighed, laughing a bit as he rubbed the back of his helmet. “Just doing my part, like all of you.”

    Guzzle stepped up to him as the applause gently died away, everyone returning to their tasks of necessity. “That was a bit more than your fair share, RJ. I’ll admit I underestimated you. Nice helmet, by the way,” he added in a more dry tone, snapping a finger up at the modified head-guard.

    Ramjet chuckled anxiously. “Just trying to keep up with the technology these days! I’m years out of date, after all!”

    Guzzle raised an eyebrow.

    Dismal... Ramjet waved his hand, “You know what I mean.”

    “Right. Anyway! We had a deal. I kept my part, as promised.”

    Ramjet nodded. “You did. Thanks, Guzzle. I appreciate the trust.”

    Guzzle paused for a moment, and then just smiled. “No problem.” He gestured to the central console, and Ramjet joined him near it.

    Continuing, Guzzle began, “We still have a lot of work ahead of us. I’m leading a scouting party through a few sectors to check on some leads on the Silencerz base. Where are you heading next?”

    Ramjet touched the controls, and brought up the map again, with additional floating screens of data connected to key points on the map. The airport showed as ‘secured’.

    “A good question. One second.”

    He reached out, touching the screen for the location he felt would be best. “Noumander.”

    “A tough one, RJ. It’s a heavily fortified factory complex. Noumander himself is a formidable siege-battler. He uses oil and fire like a painter uses a brush. You can see the level of force we recommend for that area.”

    Ramjet nodded quietly, bringing up the diagnostics they had on file for Flame Mammoth himself. He’s tough, yes, and powerful in the most simple terms, but with this new turbine-tornado, I’m willing to bet I can suck the fire out his strategy all too easily.

    And with that, Ramjet smirked under his Jetman helmet.

    "Let's bring down this big boy then."



    ---

    Name: Eagleer
    Talent: Wind Tunnel
    [​IMG]
    Bio: Eagleer is a taciturn and careful strategist that always looks for ways to outsmart his opponents. Initially part of the Resistance, His first reaction to Great Convoy's vision was to attempt to fight against the Convoy, but upon realizing how outmatched he was against him, decided to join Great Convoy as a Strategist instead, rather than be destroyed. He loyally, yet reluctantly agrees and follows his commands, but after a long time, he's come to agree with Great Convoy and his vision.
     
    Last edited: Apr 6, 2021
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  13. Dropkick

    Dropkick Doktor

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    Chapter 5: Burning Noumander

    Ramjet got up and inspected the chip with Eagleer's weapon data on it.
    It was simple enough... a chip with a Tornado embroidered onto the side of it...
    And yet, there was something off about it. Something unnatural about it.

    Ramjet couldn't place it, but he swore he saw Great Convoy use something similar to these...

    Was he giving Talents to his subordinates?
    And how dangerous would this be in the wrong hands...

    Ramjet shook his head.
    He would hold onto it for now.
    Bird Brain would've wanted this anyways.

    Stepping out of the door, Ramjet was immediately greeted by one Devcon as he wiped off energon from his mouth.

    "And where have you been."

    Devcon rolled his eyes.

    "Rescued some Civilians held hostage by Penguigo, and got some intel. What about you? Don't tell me you've just been playing hero in the City again with that stupid getup."

    Ramjet sighed, putting his now Golden Jetman helmet on.

    Devcon's eyes widened as Ramjet smirked.

    "Unlike you, I've been doing something productive. Took down bird-brain's armada, and unfortunately had to offline him. On the bright side, LIghtbright's got a whole fleet of ships e can use to fight Great Convoy with now."

    Devcon growled, pushing Ramjet against the door.

    "I thought I said the Silencerz were MY problem. You went and cleared the fragging Airport all on your own, and took all the glory for yourself... is that it? You want the recognition for taking down Eagleer? Eagleer was MY guy! I worked with him! We both worked for the Guild!"

    Devcon let go of Ramjet as he punched the wall with unkempt rage.

    "We ALL fought under the same commander RJ! We were ALL mercs under the Autobot name, and I want to know WHY they insist on making things here so DIFFICULT for us!!! Or did you just FORGET under that high and mighty attitude of yours?!"

    Ramjet frowned.

    "Devcon, this has nothing to do with-"

    Devcon got up in Ramjet's face as he practically snarled.

    "THIS HAS EVERYTHING TO DO WITH LONGSHOT!!! THEY DISTRACTED ME!!! LEFT ME FOR DEAD!!! OUR BATTLE ON POVA LEFT 15 SQUADS DEAD AND ALL 8 OF THOSE ELITE AFTS UP AND ABANDONED ME!!! CHAMELEAO GOT OFF THE HOOK BECAUSE HE'S WORKING FOR US NOW BUT I PERSONALLY WANT TO FRAG EACH AND EVERY ONE OF THOSE PIECES OF JUNK BECAUSE I WOULD HAVE BEEN FIGHTING ON ACADEIMOS I IT WEREN'T FOR THEM!!!"

    Huffing, he let go and started speeding down the hallway.

    "I'm going after Noumander, with or without you RJ. I'll meet you in the Debriefing room."

    ---

    Guzzle and Lightbright looked at the image with concern.

    Guzzle just shook his head.

    "How can you be sure Cardinal Convoy's gone. For all we know, Brimstone's Lab explosion was staged, and that gave them an excuse to also send him back into the past."

    Lightbright sighed.

    "I don't know for certain, but I want to stay hopeful about things. Cardinal could just be out on another mission to the Galvan Alliance. Those missions usually take this long..."

    Guzzle shook his head.

    "Not this long Lightbright."

    Lightbright sighed.

    "We know Beta left a mark in the past, and it hasn't since been reversed, which means that he made a lasting impact on the past. That's for sure."

    Guzzle groaned.

    "So we're just putting our faith on blind hope then? Hope that Brimstone's Temporal Portal is shut down for good?! You remember the last time we tried that! We lost Cliffjumper, Steelshot, Frontline, and HOUND who we were TRYING to save during that!!! Save him from becoming another of Brimstone's projects! And how do you know the Convoy Council didn't just rebuild the Portal chamber?!"

    Gridlock came into the room, clutching his head.

    "Ugh, you two couldn't be louder..."

    Guzzle turned to Gridlock, concerned.

    "Hey, kiddo, what's up."

    Gridlock looked at the terminal with a slight dizziness to his step.

    "I'm.. fine... I'll be fine... just, tired is all."

    Guzzle nodded, before turning back to Lightbright.

    "Back to what I was saying... Lightbright, I'm not gonna put blind faith in this anymore. I NEED ANSWERS. Because of YOU, I already lost my 3 best friends! Warpath got torn apart by Omega Sentinels, Krakenwagen's somewhere stuck in who knows where between Space-Time because YOU wanted a Guinea Pig, oh sorry "Volunteer" for Beta Maxx's stupid Time ship, and don't even get me started on what happened to Nobilius! The poor spark stayed behind to save us, and you know what he got?! He got turned into that Plant Abomination we found in Brimstone's abandoned laboratory! I NEED FACTS LIGHTBRIGHT!!! NOT Hopeless Optimism!!!"

    Lightbright sighed, shaking her head.

    "Guzzle, you know I'm sorry you lost your friends, but, we have to have faith that Beta can change the future..."

    "AND THEN WHAT HUH?! We don't know if we destroyed their Time-Jumping operations, and we sure as hell don't know where the hell Brimstone is anymore! It's sick! I bet you they have Gridlock's stupid sister strapped to a table and they're experimenting on her now, trying to get that stupid Artifact out of her chest or something!"

    Gridlock punched Guzzle in the face.

    "TAKE THAT BACK!!! MY SISTER'S STRONGER THAN THAT!!!"

    Guzzle roared.

    "OH YEAH?! THEN TELL ME WHY WE HAVEN'T STOPPED GREAT CONVOY AFTER ALL THIS FRAGGING TIME!!! WE'RE FIGHTING A LOSING BATTLE!!!"

    He huffed as steam vented out of his frame.

    "Yeah, sure, we took down Convoy's fleet and that stupid Bird he called a Chief Strategist, but what about everything else?! We're losing and YOU know it!!!"

    He punched the console as it flickered.

    "I'm sick of it Lightbright, we need to make a move, and we need to do it NOW!!!"

    The door shuffed open as Devcon and Ramjet walked in.

    Ramjet snickered as he walked in.

    "Hope I didn't disturb anything."

    Guzzle just groaned.

    "You're here for the debriefing aren't you."

    The two nodded, as Guzzle nodded.

    "Heh, two's better than one anyways... Now, let's get to business."


    ---

    Ramjet huddled down against a rock near the gates of the factory. It really was a fortress. The walls were thick and slanted with tiny windows (little more than slits). Only one primary gate was visible, the sides of the factory blocked off by large rock formations. And it was tall.

    Ramjet’s eyes focused, and a holographic map of the facility overlaid with his real view

    Panning his eyes across the parts of the factory he could actually see, keeping his overlay active, he saw mining-bots and grippers on patrol. There were dozens outside, and likely even more inside. The air was already loud with smashing metal and hot with the molten metal from within.

    At last, he spotted something. Up in the right-hand rock formation, a small transport was rolling up to a gate embedded in the side. He wouldn’t have seen it if the transport hadn’t rolled up.

    A single femme got down from driving it, and she was quite subdued around the guarding bots. Ramjet’s eyes tightened, and he slipped around the rock, moving closer.

    The femme herself quietly punched in a code at the small gate. The vehicle was only waist-height, and held a trolley-worth of raw ore and energon.

    As the gate opened, he quickly moved to his transport, settling his pale blue-white frame into the control-chair, and started to drive it inside.

    "...Now or never Devcon."

    And the two bots raced in, and quickly magnetized to the bottom of the transport as it went on.

    They passed through a small hallway, and then it opened out into a catwalk over a massive chamber. Ramjet gawked down at the small lakes of molten metal linked by operating platforms and conveyor belts. Massive smashers hissed before they shot down, and crushed junk down with a sickening thud-crunch. Ramjet could almost see his own frame fracturing under it.

    More disturbingly, he saw body parts. Lots, and lots, of body parts. Large chunks of damaged Mechs, Omega Sentinels, and Drones alike were being moved along the conveyers, and dumped onto the molten pits after the smashers got them.

    The trolley took a sharp turn, forcing the two to squeeze to hold on. Somehow even with the map and perfect measurements, they hadn’t comprehended the raw size of the facility from the outside.

    The catwalk beneath became solid flooring again, as Ramjet and Devcon looked ahead between the wheels.

    The driver pulled to a stop inside a small administrator facility. It was an exaggerated room with a parking area for the trolley, and a stairwell against the left wall to the raised portion of the room ahead. There was a small office there.

    There were also nearly a dozen mining bots and grippers in this small room alone, all clearly on full alert.

    The driver hopped down, and quietly walked up to a pair of bots at the stairwell. They scanned her, and then let her through.

    Ramjet watched as a ghost, seeing a female mech stand up in the office, and smile at the driver. The smile was very kind and sincere. It wasn’t just a polite one. She cared about the driver.

    Turning his audio sensors particularly, Ramjet was able to hear them talk.

    The driver spoke first, “Anode, I’ve got the materials ready. I just need the clearance code for this hour so I can get it down there fast.”

    The femme named Anode nodded quickly, and hurried back to her desk. Her eyes received a laser-transmission from the console, and then she hopped back over to the driver. “Here you go, Lug. Good luck. And be safe?” she asked, a deep currently of fear suddenly appearing in her eyes.

    Lug nodded, serious, but smiling for her. “Always. You just stay safe yourself, okay?” She looked as if she was going to talk again, her hand reaching out to touch her arm. Instead of speaking they shared a worried look, and then she forced a smile and nodded.

    Anode returned to her desk, and Lug hurried out, running down to the trolley, and starting it back up.



    ---



    Devcon’s servos were getting jittery from seizing in one position for so long. As they drove past a set of conveyers, Devcon looked to the side, and gawked at a massive, open-mawed head dropping onto the conveyer, being carried toward a compactor. It looked some kind of broken dragon head, but he’d never seen anything like it. Where had it come from?

    I took a surprisingly long time to navigate the trolley down through the facility, to the lower level, and deep into a furnace facility.

    There were other mechs and femmes around, surrounded by mining bots and grippers amidst the dark green pipes. There were also a pair of heavily armored, green bots near the far side, in front of a circular, sealed door. They had chain-mace arms and massive shields.

    In the center, where Lug drove up to, a large blast-furnace waited, Mechs constantly working away with it.

    “Lug! What took you so long! Noumander ordered these materials nearly three hours ago!” a senior demanded in a harsh whisper as he came up to help unload the ore.

    “The mine is almost tapped out, and you know it. I was lucky to get this in so little time,” Lug muttered back darkly.

    “Yeah, well, we all know what happened to Fender with the last late delivery, too.”

    Devcon watched Lug turn rigid with controlled rage.

    “Still better than Anode’s situation,” Lug finally said, hefting more ore onto a smaller conveyor toward the furnace.

    The senior paused sadly. “She handles it better than I could, that’s for sure.”

    Lug was reaching to the trolley again, and stopped, apparently just going into a haze. In fact, she was staring rigidly down at the puddle of coolant at her foot. She then saw the 2 armored mechs holding to the bottom of her trolley.

    Her eyes hollowed, but she quickly started working again. Apparently by accident, she grabbed a piece of ore the other was going for. However, when the other one stared at her to let go, he saw the grim focus in Lug’s eyes. Then Lug slowly tilted her head to the trolley.

    Her partner slowly looked down as he pulled another couple of pieces of ore to send them along, and saw the reflection for himself.

    As if making normal chat, the older mech said, “You remember what happened the last time we found someone trying to fight back?”

    Lug answered, “They killed a team to make sure we never helped.”

    “…Yeah. They used basin seven, right?”

    Lug twitched, but slowly bowed her head. “…Yes, I believe they did.”

    “Let’s just keep it all quiet next time, eh? The less everyone knows, the better.”

    Lug nodded.

    The trolley was now empty. Ramjet needed a cleaner moment to break cover and start to find Noumander, so he held on for now. He had to stop Noumander and shut down this operation before more innocent workers were killed the way the two he’d just overhead described.

    Lug got into the trolley, and brought it about, driving back into the main facility. With a dead look in her eyes, she turned a different way this time, and kept on, parallel to one of the larger conveyers.

    Basin 7 flitted past on one sign. Ramjet caught it, and then looked at the flooring beneath them. It was going by faster. Now grave, Ramjet’s eyes looked in the direction of the driver.

    So that was the point of their little chat. They spotted us, and they want to kill us fast so they don’t get killed themselves. Ramjet shifted his grip on the trolley, bracing.

    Lug locked the vehicle into drive, and let the glow of Basin 7 warm her face. “Nothing personal,” she said aloud, “but I’m not letting her die because you’re an idiot.”

    She dove off the trolley to the left, rolling rapidly, sparking off the floor with her body.

    Lug stopped herself at last, and watched, her eyes flaring.

    The trolley shot over the edge, diving toward the molten pool...

    And then Ramjet and Devcon both flew up from where it was, crashing forwards.

    Crashing to his haunches, Ramjet transformed and cycled his respirator for a moment, and then stood up, turning to look at Lug. “I’m here to help you.”

    Ramjet’s face fell darkly dismal as Lug shoved herself up and charged with a constrained grunt of effort.

    He also saw a gripper just hovering down into view off to the far left.

    Lug grabbed Ramjet, trying to tackle him. Ramjet focused, and grabbed onto Lug around her back and sides. With a sudden pitch of one leg, Ramjet wrenched the femme off her feet, and skid under the conveyer. Devcon followed suit.

    Lug started to struggle intensely, but both Devcon and Ramjet restrained her, and clamped a hand over the femme’s mouth as the gripper floated overhead. Lug froze at this point, understanding the problem. They’d all be killed if that gripper saw this mess.

    Devcon was watching the gripper with his dark-set eyes. Disturbing ideas were brimming through his mind. Killing the femme in their hands to stop her ruining everything, then blowing the gripper sky-high with a pulse-blast. Or just forcing the femme into stasis-repair mode, and sneaking through after the gripper was gone.

    It all stank of death to him. He knew what these bots were dealing with. Friends had already been murdered in front of them. Would he do any different in their situation? Persevere, stop anyone from mucking it up even worse?

    Even more frustrating, the gripper was hovering around the area. It must have sensed something, possibly the trolley’s splash into the molten metal.

    Ramjet whispered at the femme’s audio-sensor. “I am here to save all of you. I'm Jetman, and I'm here to rescue you. I saw how important Anode is to you, and that she cares about you, too.”

    Lug’s eyes widened, and then focused to the side, toward Ramjet. She was listening.

    “This is going to get messy, I won’t lie. If we have a plan, your people won’t suffer for it. I’m here to stop Noumander, but I have to retrieve something first. Will you help, or is this going to get a lot of innocent mechs killed?”

    Lug was rigid. I want to believe him, and I don’t even know why, but this is insane. He’ll just get us all killed! He can’t take this place alone, and Noumander is a killing machine! Hell, he could EAT these mechs. Anode… She could almost hear her voice. How this Mech holding her could have snapped her neck already, justifiably after an attempted murder, but was giving them a chance. How he wanted to help.

    Slowly, Lug nodded.

    “You’ll help?” Ramjet confirmed gravely.

    Lug nodded again.

    Devcon and Ramjet released her, and offered their hands properly. "I'm Jetman, the mech next to me is Devcon, he's a bit edgy."

    Devcon scoffed.
    “…Lug,” the femme managed, barely shaking the stranger’s hands.

    “Is Noumander behind that sealed door in the furnace room?”

    “Usually, yes, but he has secret exits of his own. He patrols the place alone most of the time, just to keep everyone panicked.”

    Devcon glanced out, as if just looking for more patrols. That one gripper was stubbornly circling around.

    Arrogant as always are you Noumander...

    “…Lug, for the moment, pretend your plan worked. Pretend I’m dead in the molten metal. Do your people have any plans at all? For escape, I mean.”

    “Some ideas, but none of them would work. Too many bots patrols the place now, and Noumander himself could kill us all in one fire-wave.”

    Devcon glanced at him. “What actually happened to that team?”

    “Noumander caught them helping someone inside. He burned them both so badly they melted into one chunk of debris, and he tossed that in the vats.”

    Ramjet closed his eyes, bowing his head. His fists were clenching. Focusing, he calmed, and lifted his head again, though he noticed Lug was appraising him anew for the emotional pause.

    “…How would you get Anode out with you, if Noumander and the patrols weren’t an issue?”

    “We’d have to get her first. If you can figure out how to get those bots out of the administrator chamber, I’ll be all about it. You kill any one of them, the full alert goes up. Noumander doesn’t need us all that badly. We’re already down to a fraction of the number was started with.”

    “Is there a safe location? A waiting point you could get everyone else to?”

    “We talked about emergency-sealing one of the empty vats as a hold-out, but we’d just be pinned down until Mammoth tore it open and melted us all.”

    “But the vat is sturdy otherwise?”

    “Yeah, the whole place could come down around it, it’s Noumander and the bots that are the real problem.”

    Devcon let his pistols form. “I’ll get Anode for you. You get everyone into the vat, and seal it when the alarm goes off. Can you make that happen?”

    Lug looked down. “…I don’t know. Some might come, but the others…”

    Ramjet nodded. “Then I’ll see if I can disable the alarm system before we raise any concerns. Do what you can, just in case. Whatever happens, we'll get Anode to you guys, and all of us out of here.”

    “But how?!” Lug demanded in a sharp whisper.

    “Noumander has the control-codes for the Factory. We neutralize him, shut off the bots, and we evacuate.”

    Lug blinked. "…Do you know who he is? What he can do?”

    Devcon sighed. “Intimately. I know his fighting styles too...”

    “And you seriously think tiny Mechs like you can take him out?”

    Ramjet scoffed.

    “Please, I've fried petro rabbits bigger than this hunk of metal.”

    Lug didn’t know why she believed these oddly armored mechs. There was something about their voice and eyes. It wasn’t bravado. It was just complete certainty and grim focus. At last, Lug said, “Alright, I’ll do what I can to convince everyone to run for the vat if the alarm sounds. You swear you’ll get Anode?”

    Ramjet nodded firmly.

    "On my spark."

    Lug clenched her fists. The idea of leaving her fate in this stranger’s hands… She couldn’t risk it all to these newcomers. She’d get everyone she could into the vats, but she had to make sure she could get to Anode.

    “Then let’s go.”

    Lug led the pair along the conveyer, under it, to a junction. There they silently separated, and Lug realized she completely lost track of the other mechs almost immediately. Now she just had to convince everyone that a suicide plan wasn’t suicidal.



    ---



    “How’d it go?” the older Reploid asked quietly as he and Lug started working at a console near the blast furnace.

    Core adjusted some temperature settings, and answered, “Smoothly enough. Still, I’m worried. Even a trolley going missing might stir him up, Blowhole.”

    Blowhole groaned quietly. “We just have to hope for the best.”

    “The vat might be necessary. At least to buy us some time if things go South.”

    Blowhole rubbed his neck, his eyes closing for a moment. His dark gray and black frame was etched and dented from years of labor. “You may be right. Let’s just hope it doesn’t. I’ll help spread the word.”

    Lug nodded, and smiled at her comrade. They split apart, and shared quiet comments with others. Surprise and concern was instantly clear, but they quickly adapted, and started to spread the word.



    ---



    Devcon realized he was starting to understand how stress could kill a mech.
    It was taking too long.

    That's when he felt it...
    There was another signal. Strong this time. There was something embedded in the structure of the factory, not just hidden away. He had finally eliminated the last possible, normal entrance. He was going to have to burrow through the walls at this point.

    “I wonder if this capsule was here since the place was built...” Devcon muttered quietly to himself as he pressed his hands to a wall in a ventilation duct.

    Idly, he noticed his sensors were picking up hard-wire comms in that surface. He shrugged, and did a precise stabbing gesture with his hand, punching a small hole in the metal wall. He touched the wires there, and his systems patched in.

    Signals began to flow. It took a few cycles for him to decode it.

    …up to something\\

    //Work continues as normal. Orders?\\

    //If they’re up to something, they’re not working as normal,\\ a powerful signal suddenly cut across it all. Noumander himself. //The fools are probably going to try making a stand in that abandoned vat they think I don’t know about. If they try something, kill the administrator girl, and use her body-parts in the first volley at the vat. Until then, just watch the fools.\\

    Devcon’s helmet overshadowed his face. His hand, however, was grinding into a viciously tight fist. So I absolutely can’t trip the alarm now. I couldn’t possibly get to her before those bots cut her down.

    And Devcon suddenly lurched back, and started blasting the wall. With the crunching rush of the compactors throughout the facility, all he had to do was time it right. He wasn’t even the loudest bang in the ventilation shaft.

    So he dug, one vicious blast of energy at a time.



    ---



    As it seemed to be the way of things, the capsule chamber was lit only by the capsule itself. Devcon clambered his way through the hole he finally tore through the last layer of metal wall, and dropped down to a crouch facing the capsule. He couldn’t help a little smile.

    Standing, he moved closer, and touched it. The capsule faded open. In a soft flash, Nexus Prime’s holographic form appeared.

    “Hmph. Guess things have gotten this bad if you're all seeking out our power. Fine then. You've probably earned it. Here, enter this capsule. This one comes with great power and duty. It is an upgrade to your weapons systems.”

    Devcon warily gripped his forearms. He shared the Prime’s concern.

    “Not only will this allow you to charge and dispatch even greater levels of energy at a time, but it can super-charge any talent that you have or modify yourself with...”

    Devcon nodded.

    “Remember..." Nexus added with a grave tone, “that this is a weapon. It is a tool for destruction. Remember. Only use it at the utmost need. Sadly, if these capsule have been activated, then there is a great deal of need for it…”

    And the image faded.

    Devcon bowed his head. Time to end this. He gripped his arm again, and then hardened himself. Turning around, he backed into the capsule, and closed his eyes.

    The rush began, energy building over him in overlapping waves. With a pulsing flash, only mist remained, pouring gently over the base of the capsule.

    Devcon stepped out, and clenched his hands. White, blue, and gold wreathed his arms now, and now his Pistols looked more akin to Combat Sub-Repeaters...

    “First, secure the hostages RJ” he muttered, looking up past the brow of his helmet from his bowed head. “Then we put a stop to Noumander’s madness.”



    ---



    Anode’s hands stopped over the keyboard as she read the data for the next shipment.

    Mechparts… if those are fresh,
    her eyes squeezed shut, tears dripping down her face.

    The officer door opened, and she jumped, startled, then paled as a mining-bot glared at her from its hard-hat shadowed optics. “No dawdling,” the monotone voice commanded.

    Anode cringed down at the screen. “I-I… This shipment isn’t… I can’t send this to the furnace,” she finally let it roll out of her, her frame sinking.

    The mining-bot leapt over the console, and slammed down behind her. Anode gasped, trying to dive forward over the console, away from it, but the mining-bot yanked her back with a pick-axe hooked around her throat, slamming her against its rotund metal frame, and glaring down into her widened eyes as she gripped the pick at her neck. “If you fail to comply, termination is required.”

    “I c-can’t… my friends bodies aren’t coal!” she shouted back through her fearful tears.

    The room trembled, shook, and soon enough started to violently tremor, and Anode froze.

    The doorway swung open, but no one entered. Instead, something massive crouched down outside, the optics flashing ominously over a long, slowly articulating metal limb. “Anode, Anode, Anode,” Noumander thundered in his quiet voice. Sulfur and gasoline wafted into the office, almost making her choke.

    “We’ve discussed this. Your service for your life. Master Great Convoy has no time for the weak-minded who wish to serve the arrogant. Embrace the strength of the Convoys, and you’ll understand. Bodies are just material. You know that.”

    Anode grimaced against the pick still pressing hard into her neck. “No… I’m not like that. You’re a monster!”

    Noumander raised an optic ridge, crouched as he was just to get his eyes under the doorframe. His trunk flicked up, long enough to almost hit her in the face across the room from the door, and the air writhed from the heat burning out of the nozzle. Anode couldn’t help a horrified whine, but she was bracing for the end, not giving in.

    “I… used to think you were heroes. Great Convoy and... and then... you lost it... He lost it... This isn't peace... Y-you wretches are worse than anything you ever destroyed!” she found the strength shout right into the trunk.

    Noumander smirked, and burning light flashed deep in the base of the trunk. Anode saw it, and her face hardened, looking at his optics over the top ridge of the trunk-nozzle.

    And that was when the most deafening, air-shocking roar Anode had ever heard filled the entire administrator facility. Some horrendous force not only rammed Flame Mammoth clear down the hallway, but also tore the front of the office apart, blasting it open like a papier-mâché house.

    Anode stared off to the right, down where the trolleys parked, only to see a strange bot with wings hand-flipping over the banister there, his body writhing in purple light as one of his arms aimed through the surviving window. He was aiming far behind her, but Anode was too stunned to care about the odd direction.

    "Let's see if Bird Brain is as smart as he was! STORM TORNADO!!!"

    Ramjet fired. A shock-wave of power burst back behind him, and a torrent of volatile plasma mixed with cutting gales ripped forward like a sideways geyser of scorching light. Most of the room just behind Anode was reduced to a charred, smoking cave.

    Ramjet landed sharply, and ran to her, his hand extended. “Anode! We have to run!”

    “W-where?” she asked, still dazed.

    The alarms started to blare.

    “To Lug and your friends,” Ramjet answered with a warm smile.

    That smile. It immediately relaxed her. She knew she could trust this weird and clearly powerful mech.

    Their hands gripped, and Ramjet pulled her into following him, soon both of them dashing down the steps, and out past the parked trolleys.

    “You knew the trolleys were rigged to the mainframe?” Anode managed as they ran out onto the first catwalks beyond the administrator area.

    Ramjet chuckled. “I just assumed with how heavily centralized this facility is. Run, run, run!” he emphasized as his cannons fired off across the facility, blowing grippers out of the sky all around them.



    ---



    Back in the torn and shattered remains of the Administrative area, a massive silver, red, and black fist punched up through some torn metal, and Flame Mammoth launched himself out of the debris, landing with an earth-shaking crash. The whole facility practically shook as Noumander bellowed in anger.

    "GARAAARARAAAAAAGGGGGHHHHHHH"

    Raising both arms and flaring his trunk, a digitized mammoth cry that was loud, and very VERY angry, roared through the entire facility. The conveyers and compactors paused, then reversed suddenly everywhere. They weren't getting out that easy.



    ---



    Anode ducked to let Ramjet shoot past her to take out another gripper, and shouted, “He just manually overrode the controls! He has direct control over the entire facility!”

    Ramjet charged energy over himself, and fired down a crossing pathway, blowing several mining bots to liquefied metal chunks. “That’s my problem, not yours. RUN!”



    ---



    Down in the heart of the facility, Lug and the others reacted the moment the first alarm went off. Before the bots around them could strike inward, dozens of the workers pulled out make-shift weapons, and opened fire. Most of the bots in the room were destroyed in a minute, and the two mace-lashing guardians were easily outrun. One poor mech took a mace to the arm, but he let the limb fly off without hesitation, and just ran.

    Lug and Blowhole led the pack, charging down an older, dusty hallway of the factory. Blowhole kick-rammed a large set of doors open, and Lug waved the large group into the empty base of a metal vat.

    “When we seal this from the inside, it should buy us some time, then we can do what we can as they funnel in. It’ll be a hell of a fight,” Blowhole declared with grim satisfaction.

    Lug glanced down the hall as the last stragglers ran past her. But a suicidal one. …Anode… She waved Jadis in, and made to follow.

    Blowhole gawked when the doors slammed shut behind him, and he whipped around. “Lug?!”

    “I have to get to Anode. Seal it! We’ll take care of ourselves!”

    “Lug, no!” Blowhole’s voice roared through the massive metal doors.

    “I have to!”

    And Lug ran.



    ---



    Anode and Ramjet dropped down off a catwalk onto solid metal flooring at last. Compactors were slamming down onto the conveyers all around them, and large vats of motel metal surrounded them otherwise.

    "Ugh, where the hell is Devcon?!"

    A mining-bot threw his pick-axe with such force it resembled a disc ripping for Anode’s head. Ramjet caught the pick, then twisted around and snapped it back toward the charging bot. It blew a clean line through the bot’s torso, and it just fell over.

    “Where did you learn to fight like that?” Anode had to ask, still pulsing her respirator to stay cool internally in such a heated environment.

    Ramjet shrugged, looking around rapidly. “What can I say? Had one hell of a mentor...”

    Anode stared at him for a moment, and then looked out as well. “There,” she pointed along one of the conveyers. “That path leads toward the exit.”

    “And is full of compactors. Are you sure?” Ramjet challenged.

    “Do we have another option?” she retorted firmly.

    “Point, run!” Ramjet conceded with a quick nod, and shoved her along with him as they broke into fresh sprints.

    “YOU AREN'T GETTING OUT SO EASILY!!!”

    Anode shuddered at Noumander’s voice echoing through the entire facility.

    “The Master told me to expect you! Even so, you’ve done an amazing job infiltrating my little fortress!” Noumander bellowed a laugh. “You really should join us! Your power is quite impressive. And don’t think I don’t recognize my own comrade’s weapon! If you bested Eagleer, you’re worth the attention!”

    Anode looked at her companion as they ran. “He knows you?”

    Ramjet‘s face was grim. “Apparently.”

    “Anode!” Lug shouted, just dashing out of a side hall at the end of the conveyer they were running down.

    “Lug!” she called out, both relieved and freshly panicked.

    And then the massive Mammoth crashed straight down behind Lug. The entire facility trembled with the weight of the impact, and Lug pitched forward, tumbling into the edge of the conveyer with a grunt.

    Anode gasped with empathy and fear even as both she and Ramjet stumbled to regain their footing.

    “Oh look at this!” Noumander called out with a malicious glint in his optics.

    “We have toys! You shouldn’t have!”

    And then Noumander lifted one leg, and slammed it down toward Lug, who was just picking herself up.

    The flooring exploded from the force of the crash, ripping up toward Lug.

    It pitched the mech up into the air, flipping wildly.

    “LUG!” Anode cried out.

    Ramjet started to dash forward, his cannon aiming high to the ceiling near Lug.

    Lug slammed flat onto the conveyer with a pained groan as buster-bolts exploded high above. Her optics managed to flicker open, and she saw a compactor bearing down on her. She couldn’t possibly move in time. She would be flattened and fractured in a blink. Anode… forgive me…

    Her eyes shut, and she cried out as his world crashed and shook. She heard Anode’s voice cry out again, but it wasn’t horrified. If anything, it was just completely shocked. Noumander had even gone silent for a moment.

    Lug realized she was still fine, and opened her eyes. They flared wide when she saw Ramjet standing over her, legs braced, half embedded in the conveyer, hands, shoulders, and back pressing up into the compactor.

    Ramjet's body was the only thing keeping Lug from being crushed.

    His body shivering with effort, Ramjet looked down at Lug, his expression frightful for it intensity. “RUN!”

    Lug scrambled toward Anode, finally escaping the edge of the compactor, and Anode grabbed onto her as she reached her. Looking back to Ramjet, they saw that the top of the compactor was half destroyed. The bolts had blown most of the mechanism apart. Now Ramjet was dealing with the several-ton structure of the compactor rather than it’s crushing might. It still should have crushed them both flat…

    “W-what is he made of?”

    Anode shook her head, and then yanked Lug back with her. “We’re just in the way. Hurry!”

    They started to dash back down the conveyer, but froze, skidding to a halt as mining-bots and grippers appeared en masse, just waiting for them. They had nowhere to go.

    Noumander started to chuckle. “Very brave, Ramjet. Foolhardy, I’d say. Literally putting your neck out for these fools?” The trunk gestured loosely towards the two femmes.

    Ramjet's body began to shimmer as he gritted his teeth. With a violent groan and quivering frame, he started to tilt the compactor away to his right. It finally reached a tipping point, and crashed down like a great tree, splashing molten metal and shattering conveyers for over a dozen meters out in that direction.

    Then Ramjet turned to face Noumander, stoic. “Stand down. This doesn’t need to end with any more death, Noumander.”

    The big mammoth chuckled. Mace-bots crashed down around him, four of them. “Kill this idiot.”

    The mace-bots charged, frightfully fast and nimble as they pounced forward, maces already starting to swing.

    ---

    Devcon started to build energy over his body, and dropped to meet them.

    The first two swings he twisted under and flipped over. The third mace he palm-rammed down into the ruined conveyer, and kicked the fourth as he flipped over the third.

    "HEY TUBBY LONG TIME NO SEE!!!"

    The closest mace-bot swung its shield at him next, just as Devcon landed. Devcon folded backward to dodge the swipe, and then snapped his pistols forward, firing.

    It was a fully charged blast. A shock wave ripped behind him, and a torrent of blue-purple energy tore the air.

    Noumander’s optics flared, and he leapt up, watching the mace-bots simply evaporate in the torrent of power.

    He crashed back down angrily, shaking the ground again. Devcon’s dash was disrupted, and he tumbled into a forward roll.

    “You’re in my hell again Devcon. Time to burn!” Mammoth roared, and lashed around with his trunk.

    A gushing ocean of fire swept out around Mammoth, slow and heavy, somehow like water. It was a wall crashing down toward Devcon even as he skidded along on his back.

    Firming, Devcon aimed down at the flames fired. It seemingly had no effect as the plasma simply coalesced into the fire wave...

    "Damn!"

    Ramjet landed also close by, before aiming his cannons at Noumander.

    "EAT THIS YOU BIG BOI!!!"

    The air-sheering roar returned. A tornado spawned off of Ramjet's arm, and blew a hole in the conflagration.

    Noumander’s optics widened just before he took the blast to the gut, and was thrown back into the far wall nearly thirty meters away. He crashed back down along with chunks of the metal surface.

    With a strange chuckle, he replied, “Trying to blow me off, old timers?”

    Devcon picked himself up, and looked across at his adversary with a dark temper to his eyes this time.

    “You’re cracking jokes? You used to protect and serve your friends, Noumander!” Devcon roared, snapping his arm out. “Now you’re a mass-murdering psychopath! And you just don't care! WHY!?”

    Noumander braced himself. “What can I say? I got tired of playing NICE Devcon!!!” he roared as he suddenly leapt forward towards Devcon, optics burning wild.

    Ramjet, however, was building energy over his purple-hued body. He just stood there, glowing, looking up at the falling giant with a cold hardness to the resolve in his eyes.

    “It’ll take more than wind to take me down!!!” Noumander shouted as he came crashing down.

    Suddenly, Ramjet grabbed Devcon from under the giant, and shoved a chip into his hand.

    "Use this Devcon!"

    Devcon wrenched his left arm up, roaring with furious power, and inserting the chip into his SMG. His guns fired, but it didn’t just unleash a tornado. The air all around the two mechs shore apart, and writhed into a mad vortex.

    Noumander hit the side of it as he fell, only to be wrenched to the side as part of his arm and leg were simply obliterated from the force of the wind. His body crunched the wall, and he slammed down heavily, gawking.

    The tornado still engulfing him, Devcon looked down at Noumander, and then aimed his guns straight at the large mammoth. “This is your last warning. Stand down!”

    Noumander sneered, and blared his elephant roar once again, fire erupting toward the small bots.

    The flames burst apart against the vortex of wind, and Devcon opened fire. A fresh tornado burst out, twisting the flames upon themselves, and rushing to Noumnder in a backlash inferno.

    Noumander roared as he stumbled away in the fire, crashing back several steps as he spun around, trying to put himself out.

    Still smoldering, he roared, and sprayed thick, dark fluid out of his trunk at the two.

    Knowing full well what it was, Devcon dashed to his right and Ramjet to his left, Flame followed Devcon, spraying the floor in a thick mess. Ramjet skid up the wall, and burst-dashed over to Flame himself.

    Ramjet landed on the large mech, as Noumander wrenched his arms back to try and grab the small mech to throw him off. Devcon growled, clamped onto the piping around Flame’s face, and reached down, wrenching the trunk up. It sprayed more sludge vertically just before both of them kicked themselves off the giant, and hit the wall, digging toes and fingers into it.

    The flames still smoldering on Mammoth’s body ignited the moment the oil was even close to his body. In a moment, Noumander was a writhing inferno, screaming as he crashed through his own sludge, igniting all of it, super-heating the air all around him.

    Devcon leapt off the wall with a little jet of air from his buster, and spin-kicked Noumander in the face right as the bot came around to him. It cracked the weakened armor, and the heat got inside.

    "THAT'S FOR LONGSHOT AFTHOLE!!!"

    Noumander screamed in pain as Devcon landed, looking at the scorched ground.

    Noumander’s body started to explode in pieces. Parts of his limbs, his trunk. His body fell over and continued to burn and burst.

    Anode and Lug watched in a mixture of satisfaction and horror as Noumander’s body tore itself apart.

    At last, it was just a mass of smoldering grey wreckage, Noumander's optics devoid of life, energon leaking everywhere. Ramjet dashed over to it, and started to pry into the armored body despite the heat scorching his own armor.

    Anode and Lug ran over. “What are you doing?” Lug asked, horrified.

    Ramjet yanked out a few small pieces of charred debris, and stood up as his optics flickered. “Access codes. The facility is back under our control.” He put the charred bits in his back storage unit.

    Anode looked back, and saw the mining-bots very calmly marching away, returning to the mines. The grippers just hovered down, and went limp on the ground.

    Ramjet turned away from Anode and Lug, and grabbed an orange chip from Noumander's trunk. His cannons changed, the barrel expanding with a little plasma light near the edge. As a test shot, Ramjet unleashed a torrent of fire as a focused beam out of his arms. He aimed it down, and it melted through the flooring with ease.

    “Nothing to it.”

    He turned, reverting to his normal base colors. “Let’s get your friends out of that vat, hm?”

    Lug nodded, a bit numb. “…You did it.”

    Ramjet dusted his hands off, then parts of his legs.

    “I did my job, nothing more, nothing less. Come on, the important part is getting you guys out of here safely.” He turned more somber, and bowed. “For what it’s worth, I’m deeply sorry for your friends. I should have been here sooner. Their deaths are my responsibility.”

    Anode and Lug blinked at him.

    At last, Anode eased over, and touched Ramjet’s shoulder. The mech looked up at her, and she was almost struck by the sorrow in his eyes. “…My friends’ deaths weren’t your fault… if I heard that right?”

    Ramjet nodded. “You did.” Then he stood up fully. “I can’t blame you if you end up blaming me for it. For now, thank you.”

    Lug shook her head free of the odd situation, and said, “It’ll be hard to get them out. With the door sealed, it’ll take a while to cut through.”

    Ramjet smiled. “I just happen to have a new cutting tool.”

    Anode and Lug eased back from his somewhat disturbing manner.

    “The fire-blast?”

    “Properly focused, it’ll cut that vat open in less than a minute.”

    Anode added, “And you’re sure you know the precision so soon?”

    Ramjet laughed. “Devcon'll help me out.”

    Lug raised her eyebrows, and then nodded. “Let’s go.”



    ---



    Ramjet had been right. He cut through the doorway easily. So easily, in fact, the rescued workers were all a bit alarmed. It meant their plan would have failed completely if he hadn’t come to their rescue, as Lug and Anode explained.

    Blowhole recognized the two saviours from the trolley. He stared at Lug, who looked away awkwardly, and then came forward, offering his hand. “I’m very sorry.”

    Ramjet smiled. “I speak for Devcon too when I say we probably would’ve done the same, Blowhole. I can’t blame you. You’ve all been through hell. Now come, let’s get you out of it finally.” He gestured back for the entire crowd.

    Another mech finally said, “We owe you our lives. What was your name again?”

    “…I'm Jetman, if you wish to know, but you don’t owe me anything. Just live. Live freely, and live well. That’s the whole point.”

    Anode and Lug shared a look. At last, Anode stepped forward with a smile. “We will. Just promise to do the same, hm?”

    Ramjet smiled happily.

    And, at last, they set out to leave the factory in silence. For the moment, it was a mausoleum... A place of death. None of them wished to linger any longer.

    ---

    Name: Noumander
    Talent: Pyrokinesis (Firewave)
    [​IMG]
    Bio: A large, cocky and arrogant mercenary that is extremely proud of his huge stature and immense strength. Constantly bragging about how great he is, and how powerful his fire is compated to others, his tendency to look down on smaller, weaker bots puts him on very bad terms with his teammates, as well as highlighting the cause of tension between him and Penguigo. He refuses to work with people he deems weaker than him, and usually ends up squashing them if they get on his nerves too much.
     
    Last edited: Apr 17, 2021
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  14. Artork312

    Artork312 The Robo-Chuvak

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  15. Dropkick

    Dropkick Doktor

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    Chapter 5: The Last Guardian

    Ramjet and Devcon returned to the Resistance Headquarters to hand-shakes and a growing bit of awe in the other Members. Ramjet was blushing, and quick to dismiss the level of his own skill, whereas Devcon mostly stayed silent. His private reasoning was absolutely sacrosanct, and, in his own heart, he didn’t think he was any better than any of them. He just had to do these things.

    He noticed, however, that Guzzle was oddly grim. He shook his hand, congratulated him, but said almost nothing before inviting the pair to a briefing that would refresh everyone of all the recent updates to Great Convoy’s forces and their holdings.

    The briefing turned out to be embarrassing. Most of the ‘updates’ were losses by Great Convoy due almost entirely to Ramjet and Devcon. The skirmishes between other Resistance squads and the Convoy’s mass forces were holding, but very little ground had been lost or gained. At least it wasn’t lost…

    Guzzle dismissed the last gathered resistance soldiers, but gave Ramjet a look, and gestured subtly for him to approach.

    Ramjet stood up, serious and curious. He joined Guzzle near the central console of the command center, his eyebrows up, waiting.

    “That was quite an operation.”

    The tone wasn’t happy. Ramjet’s eyes tightened. “…It was very hard on those Factory workers.”

    Guzzle leaned against the table, arms crossed across his armored chest, and he looked straight at his comrade. “The others are worried about you.”

    “They still don’t believe I should fight, Guzzle. But I'm Jetman... protecting people is what I do, so if I must fight, I must.”

    “Must you?”

    Ramjet frowned a bit. “What’s the real point you’re getting at?”

    “You disappeared again. After helping the workers. And don’t think I somehow blindly missed the subtle upgrades on you and Devcon,” Guzzle finished with a dry wave of his hand at the recently upgraded limbs.

    Ramjet self-consciously rubbed one forearm, but remained serious. “I have a duty to serve and protect the populace, Guzzle. I want to understand why Great Convoy is doing this, just as much as you Guzzle. I told you that already.”

    “It’s poorly timed research. You single-handedly dealt one of the biggest blows to Convoy’s forces with that factory, Ramjet. He's scrapped down for resources as it is, and without the ability to mass produce Omega Sentinels, he's weak... so that's why even I was anxious about that Factory."

    Guzzle frowned.
    "Ramjet, Something is going on, and you’re not sharing. That’s looking weirder and weirder."

    Ramjet’s face turned grim this time, and Guzzle had to admit it was a strangely frightening change in the innocent bot’s demeanor. “You mean to say: looking more and more like one of Great Convoy's supporters...”

    Guzzle’s jaw clenched, but his silence was heavy.

    Ramjet crossed his arms. “You know I fought for the Autobots through and through. I don't care that one of my best friends used to be a Decepticon. I moved past that. I am NOT going to support Great Convoy, because he's a twisted insane piece of slag..."

    Ramjet pushed himself, so that his helmet was face to face with Guzzle.

    "I don't care. If you want to, then lock me up. You either believe I’m turning or you don’t, Guzzle. No one listens to a Convoy supporter if they say ‘oh, I’m innocent’. We much prefer to blast first, and ask questions later, right?”

    Guzzle growled down to the side. “Dammit, RJ, you’re not getting the message. I know you’re fine! It’s everyone else! You took out an army alone, and you didn’t even come back to celebrate. You keep worrying about all the tiny details, and that looks weird to everyone!”

    “There wasn’t anything to celebrate!” Ramjet roared back, and Guzzle eased back on his feet from the surprise of the ferocity in the white mech. Ramjet's arm was out to the side for emphasis as he went on, “Dozens of innocent Cybertronians were slaughtered in that hell-furnace! Dozens! I barely got those few survivors out, and I had to blow Noumander to pieces to do it! I had to pull his body apart with my bare hands, Guzzle! He wanted to kill them just to make a point! Just to control their thoughts! Don’t you get that those mechs will NEVER fully recover from that atrocity? And that was a tiny fraction of what Great Convoy has done! And what about the war, are we just going to forget that ever happened?! ALL MY FRIENDS FROM ACADEIMOS ARE DEAD OR MISSING!!!”

    “WE ALL KNOW THAT, RJ!!!" Guzzle roared right back, startling Ramjet enough to calm him down and ease away.

    “Everyone of us knows that! That’s WHY we have to come together, remind each other how much we’ve done that’s good. The bad is always too heavy, too big! If you let yourself keep thinking like that, you’re already dead, Ramjet!"

    Ramjet rubbed the back of his head. He regretted snapping the way he had. It was a waste of emotion, and misdirected.
    The factory had left a mark on him. Just like that femme he failed to save... Ramjet cringed as the image of her bleeding and dying in his arms flashed so clearly in his thoughts. Along with all the others he had failed to save..

    Guzzle eased. “…Sorry... I was just trying to get your attention.”

    Ramjet shook his head. “You were right. I’m agitated after what I saw in there, nothing more. I’m sorry for snapping. I’ll make sure to show up sooner next time. If there’s nothing else, though, I need to go check on some data.”

    Guzzle shook his head, and waved his friend off. When Ramjet was gone, Guzzle sighed heavily, rubbing the side of his head with two of his fingers.

    "Kids these days..."



    ---



    Ramjet sat in a small office-space in The Resistance Headquarters. A single holoscreen was lit up in front of him, and he was leaning on the desk with one elbow, his eyes tightened at the view. It was a map of a good chunk of the planet, with red-lit dots in several locations.

    Ramjet reached out with his other arm, and touched one dot near the top. Penguigo’s profile came up, as did a display of images and data about the ice-fortress. “I’m best equipped for Penguigo now. Noumander’s weapon will wreak plenty of havoc there.”

    Then he reached over, to a Southern dot.

    “Chameleao’s forest territory...strange...”

    Ramjet looked closer.
    There appeared to be a Distress signal emanating from the area....
    Why would there be a distress signal from one of their own members???

    Ramjet faintly cringed. Something about it was wrong. He emphasized Chameleao’s profile, and that data took over the display.

    Chameleao has always been a mystery... So little data on him. All we have is his combat record, which is rather intimidating on its own. He’s also done the least direct damage in terms of Resistance members... I should try to talk to him soon... but, the distress signal though… Ramjet rubbed his chin, thinking.

    After no change in the signal intensity, not that he really expected it, Ramjet sighed, and stood up. “No time like the present. If I can knock this out tonight, it’ll be all the better.”



    ---



    The botanical forest was a strange place. Cultivated for the last fifty years with some of the greatest advances in biotechnology and agricultural studies, it was large, vibrant, and had the benefit of cybernetic flora. Robotic wood-peckers, weaponized water-skimmers... it was so interesting.

    Originally, there was a defense system in place simply to make sure the forest wouldn’t be vandalized. Obviously, under Great Convoy’s control, it was now an open-air fortress and death-trap. And that was just the system already in place.

    He eased away from the tree, and shifted into the brush.

    It was slow and painstaking, but he was making it. At one point, he froze when a bird-bot leaned out from its mechanical hollow, and narrowed it’s targeting optics down at the bush he was in. It took forever for the bird to focus elsewhere, and Ramjet was quick to slink away.

    The most awkward part of his infiltration came when he reached a sunken, cave-like pool at a narrowed part of the forest floor, wedged between jagged ridges. A lumberjack waited at the top, and skimmers filled the pond. Obviously, he had to climb, but doing so without being seen was going to be the worst part.

    Limited to using the outside of the ridge on the right to avoid being seen, Ramjet was forced to climb across a nearly shear rock surface, and do so silently.

    He felt the pitch of losing his foothold. His shift to his right foot had failed near the center of the ridge. Making no sound beyond an anxious twitch in his eyes, he clenched with his hands and left leg, just halting himself from falling with a resounding crash.

    Finding his footing again, the painstaking process took far longer than he felt it should have, but it worked. At last, he was on the far side, and he knew he was close to the signal.

    Taking a moment to let his respirator cycle, he looked up, and realized the large rock cave in the hill beyond was where the signal was coming from. More precisely, just above the cave itself, on the hill. From plain view, he couldn’t see where it would be hidden, however.

    Stretching his servos quietly, he made his way to the hill, and started to climb, taking care in each shift of grip.

    After climbing to what he thought was near the top, Ramjet paused, blinking. There was a ridge-line, and then a recession into the hill, which was actually much taller than he thought at first. He hadn’t thought to actually analyze the topographical data for his map, which was foolish in hindsight.

    And there was a hole. A new hole, clearly just torn open in the rock and dirt of the hill-side. Mechanically torn open.

    Ramjet firmed, and leapt over the edge of the landing. Still silent, he hurried to the hole, hugged the edge, and started to slink inside.

    What he found shocked him further. The hole only lasted a short distance before opening up into a large, open-air chamber. But that’s impossible. I’m using the correct maps now. There is no such hole in the mountain at this location. That sky-view must be…

    Ramjet’s mental process halted as his eyes caught the recently disturbed rock and dirt at the far side of the room. Whatever had dug there had to still be in the area. Small particles were still pouring down into place. Oddly, it looked like whatever it was focused on a single point at the far side, digging a smaller hole straight down.

    And the signal’s coming from right there. Okay, so something is still in this room, and the ceiling is somehow holographically transposing the sky above. Ramjet formed his cannons with a grim frown.

    Air rushed above him. Ramjet dove into a dash to the far side of the room as something crashed down heavily in his wake. Twisting as he aimed back, Ramjet fired three pulse-blasts.

    A heavily armored Dragonoid bot stood there, and the pulse-blasts burst over the massive three heads it lifted in defense. Before long it roared and screeched.
    The dragon swirled its claws, and rammed one forward. The massive claw rocketed out on a thick chain rattling free of the forearm, aiming to crush Ramjet in half.

    Ramjet ducked, and jumped high over the claw. As it came rushing back to the bot, he landed, and fired precisely at the center head with a full charge. A roaring rush of purple-blue energy surged out, scorching the wall behind him from the backlash.

    The bot was rammed backward, it’s upper-body engulfed in the blast, but it didn’t fall. Ramjet widened his eyes, and then saw the dragon-bot leap mightily, aiming to crash onto him again.

    Until he transformed.

    He transformed in a magnificent blast of electricity as he came up and growled.

    "You do not want this fight."

    Ramjet skidded to a halt, as he took the mech in.

    He was gold, with white and blue accents, and more than anything, electricity seemed to be flowing throughout his entire body.
    While the electricity was crackling off his body, he was obviously very, very powerful.

    "This is your last warning. As the Last Guardian of this Divine Relic, you shall not abuse it's power."

    Ramjet looked at him confusingly.

    "And who made you the one to dictate that?"

    The dragonoid simply growled.

    "I am named Stormweaver, Cybertronian. After the Great War, and Shockwave's decimation of Half of the Universe, I was rescued by Onyx Prime, I was given new purpose after I was forcibly destroyed by that Mech named Draedon. And now, I am the last Guardian of the Primes, tasked with guarding the Relics of the Primes."

    He sighed.

    "And I see that I was already too late."

    He raised his fingers as he pointed at Ramjet's helmet.

    "I would recognize Solus Prime's handiwork anywhere. She has granted you power."

    Finally, he raised a finger in challenge to Ramjet.

    "If you want this capsule, the last Capsule that has not been destroyed by Great Convoy, then prove to me you are worth it's power! Fight me and prove your worth Ramjet of Tetrahex!"

    Ramjet simply shook his head.

    "Right..."

    ---
    Ramjet dashed through, beneath the bot, and twisted around as he charged, firing between the claws again. Stormweaver was blasted against the wall, but crashed down as normal afterward, twisting around as his claws spun.

    I’m doing damage, but what the heck is this guy made of!? Ramjet gaped, and side-dashed to avoid the next claw, building energy. He had to get out of two more attacks before he fired a second full-blast.

    This one carried the bot bodily into the wall behind him, and it was starting to smoke out of the gaps in its armor on its back.

    Just have to keep this up then, Ramjet affirmed, and dashed as needed.

    Stormweaver unleashed a large volatile and unstable blast of Electricity, as Ramjet dodged and fired.

    Blast after blast, the bot was getting more volatile, but clearly hurting.

    Finally, Ramjet dashed straight for the bot, charging a full shot. Stormweaver swung around, and lightning in two directions, but Ramjet wove between them, and leapt up. Ramming his legs to either side, he forced the bot’s arms out, and head-butted him straight on.

    It was finally enough.
    Stormweaver staggered back, Energon bleeding from his mouth.

    "Heh... you are worthy of the Prime's power after all..."

    He nodded.

    "Until we meet again, Ramjet of Tetrahex."

    And he transformed and left.

    ---

    At last, it seemed no one was coming for the moment. Ramjet eased, and walked over to the disturbed dirt. Ramjet knelt down, and touched the softer soil. His signal pinged, and Ramjet leapt back.

    The dirt erupted as the Capsule lifted into view. Ramjet smiled at himself, and then walked up, touching the capsule.

    The shell faded... and before Ramjet, stood the visage of Prima. “...So be it then... Enter this capsule. It will upgrade your body armor significantly, and make you much tougher in a fight. It won’t make you invincible, however, so you must still exercise caution.”

    “This signal was weaker than the others,” Ramjet tried to talk to the hologram, troubled and still unsure of his own plan.

    The hologram didn’t vanish this time. It waited, and then finally Prima spoke again, “Our ability to guide you is over. The Age of Primes and Convoys has long since gone... Now the choices are yours. I will give you all that I can, but there was only so much we could plan for. You likely don’t have much time left now. You must trust yourself. Know that I’m proud of you, whoever you are, Warrior."

    And then the hologram winked off.

    Ramjet nodded once, before going on.
    He turned around, and backed into the capsule, waiting.
    The lights began to rush over him, and then the blinding flash.
    Ramjet stepped out of the mist transformed completely. Clean white, golden trimmed armor with maroon hints and red accents now covered his entire frame. His upgrades were finally complete.



    ---



    Thick, brown-armored, spiked boots compressed the dirt near the now empty capsule.

    Overshadowed by the light above, twin optics and a forehead gem glistened ominously. “For them to slip away even here,” Great Convoy muttered.

    The air shimmered near the hole leading into the cavern. First a body appeared in the distortion, and then it peeled away off of a hunched, spindly Mech. Chameleao himself.

    “Perhaps if you’d include me in your plans in my territory, I could offer greater success,” the Chameleon muttered dryly.

    Great Convoy turned, his cape rippling. “I’m playing this one close to the chest, Chameleao. The Resistance has managed to reach each of these last Prime Relics in the order I was targeting them...”

    “The Prime’s legacy is not so easily pillaged. You, of all of us, should know that,” Chameleao continued, one optics rotating backward, the other sliding along Great Convoy’s form with an analyzing manner.

    Great Convoy smirked. “So it would seem. No matter. I have more important matters to return to. Signal Downbeat, and tell him and his TEKU remnants to occupy my Fortress while I take care of some things...”

    The two left the chamber in silence.



    ---



    Ramjet opened his chamber door at headquarters, stretching his neck a bit as he sealed it behind him.

    Devcon clearing his throat made Ramjet freeze and stare, his optics shifting for the dim light. “…Devcon?”

    The bounty hunter was sitting on a foot-stool at the far end of the room. “I wanted to speak with you after you returned from the factory, but didn’t want to hound you. I waited until I knew you’d be heading back to your quarters. No one knew you had left. And don’t worry, my inquiries were indirect. No one else knows. Not yet.”

    The only mildly veiled threat disturbed Ramjet deeply. “I had to take care of something quietly.”

    “And upgrade yourself again, in the process.”

    Ramjet remained grave himself, but didn’t respond yet.

    Devcon stood up slowly. "Don't worry, I got the upgrades also. It was the Primes, wasn't it..."

    Ramjet nodded.

    Devcon just sighed.

    "Well... then guess we're set."

    He looked to Ramjet, his face detailing a grim facet.

    “I know I can’t stop you from choosing your path..."

    The two stood in silence...
    Until Devcon spoke up again.

    “…RJ,” the hunter began in a weary manner, “I will never doubt your dedication. But we're both on different paths now... You have the chance to redeem yourself. You have a Protege, and you have a life ahead of you... I was doomed from the moment I was conceived. Maybe dad was right, I should just die in a blaze of Glory like Longshot did...”

    Ramjet closed his eyes, but said, “Then that is how it must be. Do what you must Devcon.”

    Devcon glanced over his shoulder, as if to speak again, but shook his head, and walked out.

    After the door sealed, Ramjet opened his eyes, tears slowly dripping down his face. I wish things could be different also Devcon... but things just aren't like that anymore..."

    Wiping the fluid leaking off his face, he walked over to his charge-station, and settled in for the remainder of the night.

    ---

    Name: Storm Weaver
    Talent: Electrokinesis Ultima
    [​IMG]
    Bio: The Guardians of The Primes, were a legendary race of Warriors chosen only from the best Cybertron had to offer. They guarded the relics of the Primes, and other powerful objects the Primes might have had.
    Stormweaver was once a science experiment for a mad scientist, gone entirely mad with power and rage, Stormweaver eventually found a new purpose after Draedon was killed by Shockwave and his entourage. He was saved by Onyx Prime, upgraded, and then anointed as a Knight Of Cybertron. And a Guardian of the Primes. The last of his kind after the Guardians of The Primes were all but wiped out in Great Convoy's purge of the Old Era, Stormweaver finds himself lonely at times, but nonetheless, will serve his duty until the very end.
     
    Last edited: May 10, 2021
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  16. Dropkick

    Dropkick Doktor

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    Chapter 6: Frostbite

    Ramjet stood with Devcon as the two stared at the holographic map.
    Both the Factory and the Airport were secured.

    5 more areas to secure, and then they'd be finished.

    Devcon turned over to Guzzle as they looked on.

    "What's the status with Chameleao? Why haven't we gotten a Status report from him?"

    Guzzle shrugged as he tapped a few more things into his terminal.

    "No idea. Chameleao's been off radar scouting the Forest Region of Vos for the past 7 breems now, but he never takes this long to report back. You think something happened?"

    Ramjet shook his head.

    "I dunno what's going on with Lizard-boy, but I don't trust it one bit..."

    Devcon shook his head.

    "I don't like it either. But right now, we need to focus on what's next."

    Ramjet tapped the terminal.

    "We got an intel report from Chameleao before he departed for Vos. Says that Octopulld's docking here in Tetrahex for about 10 cycles. We can hit his Naval fleet hard here, and gain a huge advantage in the fight against Great Convoy."

    Guzzle nodded.

    "The Convoys only have so many dedicated Naval Commanders for navigating harsh waters, especially places like Sirena where it's mostly water. We know for a fact that Crablos and McWhalen are off planet right now dealing with the Galvans, so if Octopulld's really docking for refueling and repairs, we can't afford an opportunity to cripple the Council's forces."

    Devcon shook his head.

    "I don't like it at all. I've worked with Octopulld in the past, sure he's not nice and perverted as Kaon, but he's also a damn good Shipmaster. He's a master of ocean-based combat. So you bet he wouldn’t fall for the most basic trick in the book."

    Guzzle sighed.
    "You could be right..."

    Ramjet gripped his cannon, as he looked back to the Ice Base.

    "Maybe we could take down Penguigo's Ice Fortress?"

    Devcon put a hand up to his chin. "Not a bad idea actually RJ."

    Ramjet nodded, before his cannons changed to an orange color.

    "Alright then Devvy, let's go burn that Fortress to the ground."

    Devcon just groaned.

    "Do not. Ever. Call me that. Again."

    ---

    As Devcon and Ramjet approached the Icy Fortress, Devcon stopped Ramjet, as the two finally reached the doors that led into the heart of the facility.
    Devcon nodded once.

    "We work together to clear out the base, but Penguigo's mine."

    Ramjet looked at Devcon concerned, before Devcon just raised his hand.

    "I have personal history with him. You don't have anything to do with him, and this is my fight."

    Ramjet nodded.

    "Whatever suits you. Let's go then Devcon."

    The two bots readied their weapons, before charging into the base guns blazing.

    Rabbitmechs and Batmechs attempted to come down and attack, but were swiftly met with charged SMG fire as Devcon blasted anything that came from the doors.
    Ramjet busted through a wall as he grabbed two Security mechs by the head and smashed them together.

    As they continued on, Ramjet laughed.

    "I wonder how many Drones Great Convoy built to supply his bases, because the amount of Drones we're fighting is ridiculous! It's like when we had to fight those Tachyon units way back when!"

    Devcon blasted another drone that got too close.

    "Tell me that again!"

    They kept going, until eventually, they reached a door that led into the main heart of the facility.
    Devcon faced it with a Grim determination as he stared down the door.
    And he readied his SMG as he nodded.

    "Ready or not, here I come Penguigo..."

    ---

    Devcon entered the room to find silence...
    The whole area was deserted, and there wasn't much left in the room besides ice all over the place.
    And that was when Penguigo decided to show himself. Coming from deep within the facility, as soon as he saw Devcon, he knew that this was to be a fight worth his time.
    Penguigo let himself skid to a halt, smirking as his force poured forward around him.

    Devcon ran normally at them, sweeping his SMG forward. “Nice surprise seeing you again birdbrain!”

    Penguigo only smirked in return.
    “This should be fun, boy.”

    Devcon fired.

    Another siege-wave of power ripped out, shaking the frame of the large doorway to the ice-base. The bots surging toward him were, once more, all but evaporated by the power of the explosive attack.

    Ramjet came dashing through the still glowing cloud of energy, his eyes tightening as he realized Penguigo was nowhere to be seen. He skidded to a halt, wavering a bit on the icy ground. “…All that, and you hide from us?” Ramjet called out to the walls.

    “Tactical advantage. I’m no idiot. You two have taken out two of our best. No one expected it, but you’re both clearly good at fighting. I wonder, though, how good you are in my domain?”

    Devcon just threw his hand behind him.

    "Stay back RJ. I got this..."

    Devcon slowly walked forwards as he observed everything.
    The very building itself was echoing Chill’s voice perfectly. Those pipes weren’t just for moving fluids and gas. Devcon grimaced as he thought about it. Did he really design this place to that level of detail? It even helps make his voice a weapon?

    “I see the doubt in your optics. Did I make the building so perfectly? Who would? You remember me during our time up in the Frozen Wastes of Messatine, don’t you?”

    Devcon's lips pressed into a line. “…You did everything you could to avoid the death of your Teammates. You always captured your enemies in humane ways. You’re the reason we had such a great Combat record Penguigo... Or did you just forget that?!”

    “Humane huh? Tell me Devcon. Do you know the easiest way to get an opponent to surrender?”

    Devcon braced himself as he slowly looked around the hall. “I’ll bite. What is it?”

    Penguigo’s face was in the piping just as Devcon turned to it. His eyes flared with panic, his arm rising up.

    “You terrify them.”

    Penguigo somehow pulled back into the gap between the pipes like a flicker of light, and Devcon's shot only resulted in a smoldering cave in the wall.

    A cave, not a crater. Devcon’s brow creased as he looked into the darkness waiting beyond the pipes. “…This isn’t a hallway…” he realized.

    The maps were wrong, the read-outs and data for the entire facility were wrong.
    It was one massive chamber, divided into a seemingly labyrinthine network of halls and chambers by the pipes.
    All fit for Penguigo's body.

    “It was my own discovery,” Penguigo went on. “Autobots and Decepticons are desperately violent… and if you can break through that to reach their fear? Well… suffice to say, few things become more pathetic. I’ve also learned something fascinating. Would you care to add it to your research?”

    Devcon stepped through the hole, motioning for Ramjet to stand back, his feet carefully grinding onto ice-slicked rock. “And what have you learned, Penguigo? What's Great Convoy got spilling into your circuits, huh?!” His voice is carrying directly in here. I can pinpoint him…

    “That even you noble Resistance Members become trembling children in the dark!!! Autobot, Decepticon, Neomaximal, Resistance, it makes no difference. You all just quiver in your boots!”

    Devcon’s SMG shifted, his colors gaining an orange tint. He hoped to god Ramjet was right about this Fire Chip

    “You killed Neomaximals also?! Your own teammates?!” His voice was dead, his head bowed so even the little light remaining couldn’t show his eyes.

    “All too easily in fact. It was downright insulting to my pride as a former Mercenary! I would’ve chewed those green recruits into scrap in training. Something like ‘pull yourself together, or you’ll get taken apart.’ Well… they couldn’t pull it together.”

    Devcon’s other hand clenched into a fist. “And how do you explain your change then?! From a Mercenary who wanted to save his squads lives, to this psychopath speaking to me now? You tortured and nearly killed everyone who enters your little fortress. You murdered friends and allies. And what for?!”

    “Oh, simple really.”

    Devcon’s body tensed. Out to the right…

    “I got sick of wasting my time,” Penguigo’s voice dropped to an acidic contempt. “There’s always another death! Always more death! You’ll learn that soon. Great Convoy will provide a world of peace! Without death! I wonder how many friends dying in your arms you’ll last until you agree with me. I broke at number seven.”

    “That makes no sense!!! It doesn’t explain your change!!! You don't just murder people because you lost someone!” Devcon couldn’t stop the emotions from tightening his voice.

    Doesn’t it!? How can you be so hypocritical Devcon?!” Penguigo roared, ice scraping as the air roared from the speed of his body rushing straight toward Devcon in the dim light.

    "Don't think for a second I forgot what you did to the TEKU after you found out about your precious little brother dying!!! Tearing Tekno to pieces, limb by limb! Breaking apart Base-Line's helmet and shattering his Core framing! You're just like me and you know it!!!"

    "DON'T BRING LONGSHOT INTO THIS!!!"

    Devcon snapped his SMG up and unleashed a gout of flame, but he couldn’t even follow the speed. The flames were torn apart by the passing rush, and Devcon himself had his feet wrenched out from beneath him.

    Face-planting with a pained grunt, Devcon quickly scrambled onto his feet, and lashed flame-torrents around himself, lighting and burning the space around him, giving him surer footing. Wet was better than iced.

    At last his optics could pick up on the lights faintly glimmering across the ceiling so high above. The facility really was huge. The ‘lab’ in the center was like a small set of buildings in the middle of a dark field.

    Penguigo came somersaulting out from a rafter above. Devcon aimed up, firing SMG shots in rapid succession.

    Grinning, Penguigo snapped his hands out, deflecting the shots out to the sides. With a wave of purling mist rising over his beak, he opened his maw, and lurched down. Blasts of ice came hurtling down toward Devcon from his gullet.

    Devcon ducked into a dash, skidding along the ice at full speed as blasts of ice exploded behind him.

    Penguigo landed, and skidded after Devcon, moving with incredible speed as he fired more ice blasts after Devcon.

    Devcon tried to weave between the shots, but nearly sent himself skidding out toward the far wall. The floor was curving. Was it really all just a massive ice-cave?

    Penguigo shot past him, whirling up onto one foot like a dance. “You can move quickly, boy, but you’re lost on the ice! It takes finesse!”

    Devcon aimed, firing, but his eyes watched as Penguigo smoothly twirled down and shot off to the side, just past Devcon as the mech came rushing forward. Penguigo was smiling down at him sidelong for that one moment.
    Devcon twisted, barely staying upright as his feet clipped and scraped on the ice, his booster thrusts keeping him accelerating toward the mad Penguin.

    Penguigo opened his beak again, and this time unleashed a venting blast of freezing mist. Devcon watched as statues of sharpened penguin-figures formed in a rush, and started to skate toward him at high speed from Penguigio’s venting shove.

    Instinctively, Devcon fire-blasted one, and it melted enough for him to dodge it, but the other was coming in too fast. He leapt over it, flipping. His feet hit the ground solidly only for a moment, and he slammed flat, skidding along helplessly.

    Penguigo was skating backward at Devcon’s side the next moment, Devcon stopping to stare up at him in shock. Smiling, the actually smaller mech raised his right fist, clenching it. “I’ll bring you back as an ice-sculpture. You’ll get to see my private collection!”

    The fist came hammering down. Devcon’s body flexed, and he caught the blow with all four of his limbs.

    It was so strong they both ground to a halt instantly, Devcon grimacing as his hydraulics groaned, cement digging into his plates. A wave of mist pulsed out from the blow, Penguigo’s own hydraulics moaning.

    Dammit, I forgot that Penguigo was a melee combat expert.

    Penguigo used his other hand to bat Devcon’s shoulder. Despite the broken ice, it was still enough for Devcon to start spinning rapidly.

    This time, however, Devcon’s left fist hit a blocking leg, and his hand gripped his right wrist. Penguigo’s optics flared as the SMG appeared at his face, the pilot-light for the plasma torch from Noumander's Flame Chip already burning.

    “Finesse, right?” Devcon muttered, their eyes locked viciously around the SMG in the gloom.

    Penguigo suddenly smirked, his beak opening.

    Shotgun ice and flame collided the next instant.

    The two Mechs were skidding away from each other, both steaming from the explosion of melting ice, scorches on their armor.

    Penguigo flowed back easily, lowering his arms, but his optics sharpened as he watched Devcon fluidly spin into a crouched stop further away.

    “Are you ready, Chill?” Devcon asked with grim iron in his voice.

    Penguigo cracked his hydraulic neck, and vented mist out of his flanks. “Indeed. Come on then, boy. Let’s finish this game.”

    They both burst forward, the air howling around their metal frame, the ice sheering in their wake. Devcon had his SMG back, charging as flame bled out of the barrel. Chill’s beak was open, cryonic energy pouring back around his face.

    “This is no game!” Devcon roared at last, and lunged just as they were to collide.

    Ice shards flew out, tearing through support pillars, ice, and ceiling alike.

    However, a shockwave of fire tore back through Chill Penguin’s path, spreading and writhing back.

    Penguigo himself flew out of the epicenter next, his body cracked, steaming, and scorched.

    His optics dimming as he fell back, Chill started to smile, before his body faded to grey.
    His body hit the ground, tumbling violently until it hit a support beam, and just bent around it, falling inactive.

    Devcon slowly stood up, his body smoking and steaming equally. Exhaling mist from his warmed respirator, he started to walk toward Penguigo’s frame as his SMG stored on his back.
    Kneeling down at the decimated body of the old Mercenary, Devcon reached down, and closed Penguigo's lifeless eyes.

    "...you may be a twisted fragging piece of slag, but even you didn't deserve this..."

    Finally, he grabbed Penguigo's beak, and out popped a Chip, with a stylized snowflake on it. Most likely a gift from Great Convoy.
    Taking the Chip, Devcon slipped it with the other 2 chips he got, and simply sat there as he took some time to think back on what was going on...
    Devcon leaned on his raised knee, his head sinking as tears dripped down his face. They hit the ground as ice crystals.

    “…I don't know if I'm strong enough to keep going Longshot..."

    ---

    (No bio today, sorry to disappoint.)
     
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  17. Dropkick

    Dropkick Doktor

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    Chapter 7: Overloaded
    In the briefing room, Ramjet and Devcon sat around the table as Guzzle and the others went on to discuss more recent activities.
    Guzzle simply sighed heavily.

    "Alright, so we got good news and bad news."

    Devcon raised an eyebrow as he looked around.

    "That being?"

    Lio Convoy shook his head.
    "The good news is that we've hit them hard over the past 3 missions. Bad news, is that the other Convoys are being surprisingly silent about all this."

    He pointed out the three places they had just taken down.
    "Weapons Production, Aerial Armada, Abandoned Missile Base. All of them, taken down, and they haven't responded yet. At all."

    Lightbright nodded.
    "There's something going on here that isn't right. They wouldn't just sit there and take it while we take down some of their most important bases of operations."

    Whirl walked over, and shrugged.
    "So what? The big and mighty council's gone soft? Makes it all the more easy when we hand them their afts."

    Drift shook his head.
    "I don't think it's that simple."

    Guzzle nodded his head in agreement.
    "I agree. The Convoys were using Noumander's plant as a Weapons Production facility. Noumander himself was in charge of supplying the Convoys with fresh metal and raw materials so they could build those damn Sentinels. Eagleer was their chief pilot and ace Tactician along with Kuwanger... and Penguigo was occupying an old abandoned Decepticon Missile Base. Shiva Class Warheads, Thermo Bombs, Glass-Gas Missiles, Acid Bombs, you name it, there's a Warhead down there for the situation... this wouldn't just go unnoticed by the Council... there's something we're missing here."

    Ramjet shrugged.
    "Unless nobody's home."

    Lightbright nodded.
    "You might have a point... I haven't seen many of Convoy's enforcers around either except Reaper Ice and a few of his expendables..."

    Devcon groaned, before tapping on the map.
    "This is getting nowhere. I'm going on another mission. Our best option for fighting is disabling their supply lines, if there isn't anything important going on, I'm going to go take down Arma-"

    That's when everything started going nuts.
    Devcon skidded to a halt when the entire room flickered from a loss of power, the doorway slamming shut as a security default.
    Alarms started blaring, computers started to short-circuit, and power was starting to leak everywhere.
    Lightbright looked on with tension as she grabbed a hold of herself.

    "Status report! What's going on?!"

    Pulling up the controls, Soundwave would look on in concern.

    "It’s a power-attack! The energy system is being overloaded deliberately, and the data I’m calculating shows that this is just a build up. We’re about to get an electrical surge to the entire building on a siege-weapon scale!"

    Ramjet cursed.
    "Well, looks like we got our answer Lightbright! They're attempting to take us down now!"

    Lightbright nodded grimly, before tapping her comms.

    "We are under attack through the power-system! CUT ALL SERVER HARDLINES NOW!"

    One of the soldiers in the room looked at Lightbright with confusion.
    “But, Commander! That will leave headquarters out of commission for weeks!”

    “Better than all of us dying!” Guzzle shouted back.

    Lightbright nodded.
    "Just do it!"

    ---

    The Headquarters was without power. Everything was shut down. There was a moment of silence where they all waited... and then electricity blasted through the building. All manual relays were blown to pieces as Electricity overloaded the whole base, but everyone was fine in the aftermath. Nobody was seriously injured.
    They'd just avoided a threat, and it was barely in time.

    Lightbright sighed.
    "Do we have any information on where that attack actually came from?”

    Lightbright looked to the others, as Soundwave perked up and showed off the schematics on his arm-linked datapad.

    “Yes, Commander,” he began, turning it toward the others, who looked at it intently. “Our scans confirmed it came from a power-routing hub not too far from headquarters. The complexity and severity of the overload process required for the attack leads us to assume Mandriller himself launched the attack. Scouting reports, if accurate, also indicate the Neo-Maximal forces have not yet left the facility.”

    Ramjet straightened, absently rubbing his forearm with the other hand. “Well... Any ideas on how they would rig a power-hub to generate a surge of that severity?”

    Lightbright remained looking at Soundwave as well, and he explained.

    “Actually, that was part of our confusion. The hardware of the facility couldn’t create that kind of attack. An overload, short some breakers, sure, but not a system-massacring shock-wave like what tried to hit us.”

    Soundwave adjusted some controls on his pad, and faced it toward the others again. “Take a look.”

    Guzzle took a look, nodding slowly. “Far too powerful, yes. So what do we suspect?”

    “A weapon system designed specifically to use electricity. We know Mandriller was a weapons development specialist, he was just unique in that he used them as much as he designed them. With his predilection to electrical systems, and his lack of regard for collateral damage, this kind of siege-attack screams his MO.”

    Guzzle raised his eyebrows. “Of course, I should’ve thought of that.”

    Lightbright looked over with a tentative caution. “What’s on your mind, Guzzle?”

    Guzzle blinked up at her, glancing to the others to notice they were also quite attentive. “It’s just that it really does make sense. Great Convoy’s weapons development, basically. All they would need is enough power considering the other resources they already controlled. It’s probably why Mandriller has been so quiet.”

    Whirl nodded. “Precisely. He’s now made himself the priority target.”

    Devcon remained serious as he looked to Guzzle. “Permission to handle this?”

    Guzzle rather dryly asked, “Could I stop you?”

    “Only if you killed me,” Devcon delivered the rather morbid line with nonsensical humor in his voice.


    ---


    Yeah, he’s waiting for us...

    “No defenses yet?” Ramjet’d realized the same thing.

    Devcon nodded. “None. That attack on headquarters is looking more and more like bait.”

    “We can abort, re-analyze the data?”

    Devcon shook his head before he replied, “No, this has to be resolved. We’ll never have a better chance of neutralizing Mandriller. Especially with how careful he’s being.”

    “If he was going to launch that attack, it makes the most sense for him and his resources to be concentrated in the basement levels. The utility tunnels.”

    Devcon sent a confirming double-click back, and opened the vent, dropping down with surprising silence for his metal body, followed by Ramjet, who simply just crashed down.

    "You couldn't be any louder..."

    Ramjet shrugged sheepishly as he continued on.
    "It's in my energon, sorry Devvy."

    The hall was dark, as was the chamber beyond. The power-hub was a public building, and the floor level represented a business center as much as a power station. It only looked so ominous now thanks to all the power being off.
    The pair hurried across the expansive chamber, still hiding behind a few potted plants and benches just to be sure they were staying aware of their surroundings.
    As they approached the lower levels, they saw a massive crater in the wall... followed by a giant ship of some kind, crash landed into the walls and making a giant mess of the lower levels, along with the path it took coming down.

    Ramjet laughed as they walked past, obviously proud of his handiwork.
    "Huh, so that's where that ended up."

    Devcon let himself smile a bit, and then focused anew, beginning the two's descent. For the moment, he remained careful and quiet.
    At the bottom of the stairwell, a security door waited, but the pad console was inactive.
    Devcon touched the handle, and his brow flattened when the door simply creaked open.

    The structures were different in the basement. The flooring and walls were a sturdy, bronze-colored metal, piping filling the ceiling above him.
    After easing out into the hall, the pair started to move off to their left.
    The hall ended at a large chamber, with more halls leading off in every direction.

    “This is the main junction. There are a few potential paths, this one is the most direct,” Devcon explained, a particular series of halls and maintenance ladders highlighting to their vision, terminating in a large, flashing chamber.

    The moment their feet actually clicked past the threshold of the hallway, however, their audio receptors caught the problem.
    Revving engines and power-cores surging to life.

    “Trap’s sprung!” Ramjet said aloud, and burst along the flooring at full speed, transforming into his jet mode and flying high to avoid the missile and blaster fire coming their way.

    Assault walker drones were marching out of several hallways, already firing off bolts of energy and guided missiles like arcing streamers. Mono-wheel drones with war-mask front and spiked arms were revving out of other halls, surging toward the pair from all sides.

    Devcon sped along, his SMG snapping into ready form as energy started to dance over his body. The hall they needed was blocked by one of the assault walkers.

    With missiles exploding in his wake, energy blasts scattering over the flooring around him, and racer-bots closing in, Devcon aimed forward, firing a fully charged plasma wave. The pulse-wave blew three racer-drones at his feet away in pieces, and the assault walker’s surviving slivers of structure simply collapsed to either side around the vaporized hole that had been their central body.

    Devcon leapt over the wrecked, and landed dashing. Racer-drones shot after him, the assault walkers starting to pursue, but far too slow to actually pose a threat with how far ahead Devcon and Ramjet had blitzed.

    ---

    Ramjet crashed to his haunches as he continued going forwards with Devcon.
    A strange sound hummed behind Ramjet, and he started to twist and dodge, but it was too fast.

    Something slammed into his left shoulder, leaving a streaked trail of blinding light, and he was spun around like a top before he fell flat from the stunning blow.

    “Are you alright!?” Devcon asked in controlled panic.

    Ramjet growled, planting his hands down to push himself up. “Just a bit dented. That thing was damn fast.”

    The hum again.
    This time Ramjet snapped his cannons backwards, his eyes sharpening to slits, and he fired.
    Something exploded around his pulse-blast, and he watched wreckage scratch and scatter along, stopping at his feet.

    A chorus of hums sounded this time.
    Ramjet and Devcon's eyes flared, and both of them were slammed flat. A crisscrossing network of burning light formed over the two, and faded gently as the zipping streakers started to angle around for another pass.

    Now more aware of what he was dealing with, Ramjet transformed and blasted forwards.
    "Bring it on you two-bit drones!"

    The streakers started to diminish in numbers quite rapidly as Ramjet simply just crashed straight into them, living up to his name as "Ramjet". One or two still shot past him, but Ramjet was able to dodge now that he knew what they were, but more of the little flyer bots simply rained down as semi-molten junk.

    The pair finally shot around a corner, and another streaker can flying straight for him from further ahead. This time, Devcon jumped, before snap-kicking his armored boot straight into the thing. It shattered on impact, the pieces still glowing as they rained past his firm expression on either side.

    Landing lightly, Devcon dashed ahead.

    Just down another length of hall, the pair skidded to a halt, facing a large, circular door with an orb-lock in the center.
    Devcon sighed, and moved forward. He started to reach out to the lock, intending to start deciphering the code, but as soon as his fingers touched the orb, it whirled in place vertically, froze, and the door split open into the floor and ceiling.

    The two were left staring at the open chamber beyond, which was pitch black.

    “If it opened that easily, it may well be designed to seal us inside.”

    “Good point,” Ramjet agreed, and his colors snapped to an orange over-tone. His buster shifted, igniting a pilot-light, and then he torch-blasted the opening’s entire perimeter. The chamber beyond seemed empty under the flickering firelight.

    Reverting his weapon mode and colors, Ramjet and Devcon started into the chamber. The door did try to shut, but it jammed instantly, and the hydraulics inside the wall gave strangled grinding sounds before simply breaking loose with rather deafening bangs inside the armored bulkheads.

    “Clever. I’ve been watching you two for a while now.” It was the smooth, deep voice of Mandriller himself.

    The chamber echoed horribly, Ramjet couldn’t pinpoint the voice. It also sounded filtered.

    Devcon caught on as well, as his colors changed to purple and white, and he raised his SMGs. “…You’re not in here.”

    “No. See, while I would much prefer to rip your sparks out with my bare hands, I'm not an idiot. You’ve come too far to blow off as a fluke. So I'm going to let Great Convoy do the thinking for me.”

    “Your joining with Great Convoy... Why Mandriller? Are you really that braindead?!"

    “So naïve, Devcon. Just because I hate thinking on my own doesn't mean I can't think at all. Great Convoy's amazing in that regard. He just lets me do my own thing. And I love it here.”

    Devcon clenched his fists. “No, Mandriller, I know that’s a lie. Everything Great Convoy stands for is a lie.”

    Mandriller’s laugh echoed through the room. “Keep on dreaming, kid. It’s cute. Oh, by the way. I didn’t really think you’d catch the door, but I couldn’t bet everything on the lock, now, could I?”

    ---

    And then the lights blazed on in the room, nearly blinding Ramjet and Devcon from the shock of the change.

    Shielding his eyes, Ramjet was looking up, and widened them again as he saw as massive, dark, sphere of water floating over him. Something was inside it, humming with tremendous power.

    “Just one of my experiments. Was going to be a gift for my friend Octopulld, but it wasn’t his style. The Convoys loved it, though, and Brimstone gave it some massive improvements. Consider it a gift from her.” Mandriller ominously chuckled. “Play nice.”

    Two massive optics flashed to life inside the sphere, staring coldly down at the tiny bots. Ramjet felt the air rush as it started to move, and he burst to one side, tumbling into the wall with a sharp bang as the entire sphere crashed down where he’d been standing, shaking the entire room.

    The thing inside the water was roughly spherical as well, but it had mechanical tendrils reaching out, and moving through the water.

    The next instant, globules of water flew out, scattering across the room.

    Devcon and Ramjet dashed around, along the wall, but a globule hit Devcon's leg. He gave a shout as he was slammed flat, held fast by the goop. It wasn’t just water, but…

    "Ramjet, careful! It’s magnetically charged water!"

    Devcon looked up to see the bubble-bot surging toward him, it’s containing bubble stretching in its wake.

    Out of time, he reacted on instinct. He gained purple highlights, his SMG glowing with wind, and he fired a tornado-blast instantly.

    The puddle at his feet was scattered apart, and the bot itself was rammed back to the far wall with a groan of energy and machinery.

    Devcon fired another tornado, but the bubble-bot surged into the ceiling, letting the wind dent the wall violently.

    Ramjet was already charging, and dashed between fresh globules the bubble-bot tried to rain down him.

    It was bracing, ready to rush down and crush him. Ramjet slowed enough to make it drop, and as it started to fall, he crashed straight into the body.

    A storming cyclone of power erupted around Devcon as he fired another Tornado Blast at the bubble-bot.

    The bubble around the machine was torn apart, and the machine’s unique charging engines scattered sparking waves of energy over the entire structure the next instant, the tornado hefting the thing up, keeping it off the ground.

    At last, it started to crack and burst, exploding in shivering waves.

    Ramjet and Devcon dashed out from under it, colors reverting, and spun around, skidding back, to watch the wreckage crash down as a sparking mess.
    The next door opened, and the two looked at eachother, before nodding and proceeding on their way.

    ---

    Another ventilation grate dropped open, and Ramjet rushed down, crashing to his haunches in the darkness. His brow creased, his optics going into low-light rendering. His holographic overlay showed he was in a hallway...
    And yet it wasn't.
    Disabling the overlay to avoid confusing himself, Ramjet panned his light around, his cannons ready.

    “This level of remodeling would take weeks at best, assuming full crews round the clock,” Devcon said in the internal comm.

    “No kidding,” Ramjet replied without moving his mouth.

    Lights flashed in the gloom, and Ramjet spun around.

    He knew it was Mandriller immediately. Two of the lights were glowing, narrowed optics. The rest seemed to be ringed around large, hefty shoulders, and cuffed around massive gauntlets.

    It was clear Spark was close to Flame Mammoth’s size, only a little smaller. But they were massive nonetheless.

    "Haha! I’ve been waiting for you.”

    “I’m sure. Stand down, Mandriller. This doesn’t have to end in violence.”

    “Oh… but it does, Jetman, Devcon!"

    Ramjet’s eyes flared as the lights streaked. He knew Mandriller was behind him, but the speed was insane. Ramjet twisted, but grunted as something large slammed into him, sending him flying back.

    Energy was sparking and writhing off of Mandriller’s body, revealing his full frame in jittering webs of light.

    Using his internal comm as he picked himself up, Ramjet tapped into Devcon's comms... “Devcon, he has energy surging over his entire body.”

    “That kind of overload should reduce him to a blithering scrapheap. I would know!”

    Devcon started to aim at Mandriller.
    Mandriller’s smile flickered with the light. He streaked again.
    Devcon ducked, and dove forward, hearing the swipe that might’ve sheared his head clean off.

    “POWER!!!" Mandriller roared, suddenly jerking down, and ramming his right fist into the flooring.

    Devcon’s eyes widened as a shock-wave of electric power ripped out in every direction from the massive bot.

    Rolling onto his feet properly, Devcon braced, and leapt up, barely dodging the shock-wave. He aimed and fired a full clip from his SMGs, the back-blast flashing in his wake, but Mandriller flickered out of the path.

    Devcon was already twisting, firing toward what was previously behind him, and saw a few bolts bounce off of his body. Ramjet blocked the incoming punch with his foot, but cried out as power jolted over his frame, and a final burst sent him flying back, skidding along the floor.

    “Not bad, eh?” Mandriller began, rubbing his knuckles off of each other, leaving waves of sparks and energy. “A combined system of defense and offense in the same functionality. I’m rather proud of it myself.”

    Ramjet growled with effort, pushing himself up. His right leg was giving him heat warnings. “…Wait,” he called internally again, “Devcon, his heat signature is through the roof.”

    Devcon nodded, sorrow finding his eyes despite his focus.

    “The flaw he was always trying to resolve when we were partners... was how drastically his Talent overheated his systems. Flash-boiled his energon last time he tried to go this hard...”

    Ramjet dashed to his right to avoid ripping electrical spheres that Mandrill was firing along the ground from his passing fists with sweeping gestures.
    “So you're thinking he made a superior coolant system that wouldn’t overload?”

    “I think he’s replaced most of his structural configuration with a different type of alloy actually. However, the only material with that kind of functionality we know of would become incredibly brittle at normal, cooler temperatures. Now his overall heat would just melt or flash-burn anything normal, so we’d need something—”

    “Incredibly cold, and fast-acting,” Ramjet finished for Devcon.

    Devcon took the hint and grinned as his body flashed blue-white in paler hues than normal as he twist-flipped over another shock-bolt. His SMG lengthened slightly, venting mist as he landed. “Penguigo’s ice... let's try it.”

    Mandriller fired off another volley of blasts, and then slammed his fist down to send a wave after them.

    Ramjet dashed toward him, and then dashed into a flip-jump that sent him flying over the attacks, hurtling toward the energy-writhing bot.

    Mandriller laughed, and flickered.

    Devcon then fired his shot.
    A rippling chunk of ice and cryogenic energy shocked the air, but he missed as Mandriller hit Ramjet's foot on the opposite side, sending him flipping off again.

    He landed, electricity sparking off him, but still standing.
    Ramjet was not going down easily.

    “Not bad!” Mandriller roared, already on top of the mech, fists up and rushing down.

    Ramjet snapped up, and blocked with his left arm.

    Mandriller slammed down, and his glowing optics widened as he watched Ramjet dent the ground at his feet, but hold firm, power lashing around their colliding limbs.

    “Hey Mandriller, you look a little flushed. Maybe you just need to cool off!” Ramjet said with a sharp edge in his eyes, as Devcon aimed his SMG at Mandriller’s chest, firing multiple times.

    Both of them were shocked at the severity of the effect, stumbling back as Mandriller’s shout was even cut off, his entire body freezing over in a shell of ice almost instantly.

    Growling through the shell, Mandriller’s superior raw power let him shatter free, and energy surged back over his body, rippling with overloaded power. “You little scrap-bots! I’ll tear your Sparks out for that!”

    He was snarling as he started to dive forward.

    Devcon fired another volley of SMG shots, and Spark froze again, shivering. This time cracks sheared along his flanks and left leg.

    With a murderous roar, Mandriller broke free, thrashing to either side, and then let power surge over him again as he straightened himself up, arms out, fists clenched, eyes burning down at the two Resistance Members.
    The lights of the room were weakly flickering on as well.

    Ramjet’s eyes flashed with understanding. “You’re draining the power from the entire facility! You'll kill all of us!” His eyes locked on Mandriller’s feet, crackles of power connecting the footpads to the ground between each step.

    “You’re not going to live long enough for that to help you!” Mandriller snarled, barely forming the words, and lunged with a fresh storm of power over his body.

    Devcon firmed, aimed, and fired three times.

    The shots were calm, focused, and evenly spaced. The first one froze the giant Ape in place, his optics stuck wide, the second froze the chest plate enough to shatter it open, and the third hit the internal systems directly, striking his Spark.

    The power of the facility rushed back to life, the massive chamber filling with light as Mandrill looked at Ramjet and Devcon with fury, hatred, and... sadness?

    "T-This... changes... nothing... Devcon..."

    His eyes flickered out, and he crashed down to his knees from his own weight. Parts of his insides simply fell out and shattered, and he crashed down at last, before his body faded to grey.

    Ramjet cringed, his arm reforming, and his colors reverting.
    Devcon shook his head, before scoffing, and turning away.

    "Alright, let's clean this place up RJ."

    Ramjet kneeled down to Mandriller's form.
    “…Even filled with anger, why not stand down rather than cause all this?”

    He popped out a chip, and found Mandriller's Weapon Codes. Ramjet inserted them into his own cannons slots, and sighed, before turning back to Devcon.

    “Mandriller is down, and the Command Codes are successfully saved. All Drone units in this facility are deactivated now...” he began seriously. “Let's go let the Others know we can resume operations as planned.”

    Devcon looked down at Spark’s ruined body. He shook his head.

    "Damn dirty apes... Let's just hope we aren't too late RJ."

    ---


    Name: Mandriller
    [​IMG]
    Talent: Electrokinesis
    A book-dumb mercenary with a knack for building weapons that blindly follows orders and doesn't like to think at all. He joins in destruction and chaos for the heck of it, and rarely ever thinks about the consequences. And because he encounters light resistance from other foes, he never takes anything seriously.
     
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  18. Dropkick

    Dropkick Doktor

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    INTERLUDE 1 - Convoy Problems
    Great Convoy sat looking at the screen with disappointment.
    3 of his key installations had fallen to the Resistance Forces.
    They were failing, where most of his enforcers had succeeded in many regards.

    The only one he was particularly upset about right now was Eagleer, being one of his chief tacticians and the leader of his 2nd Airborne Division... but the others were also of note and regard.

    Break was actually supposed to keep an eye on the Mountain Base with the Abandoned Decepticon Missile base on it. Break actually did a great job of keeping it under tight lockdown until he got Penguigo. Being of simiilar stature, Great Convoy felt safe enough to send Break out on another mission over just watching over the Abandoned Missile base.

    Armorhide and his squadron were supposed to watch over one of the main Weapons Factories he used to produce new Omega Sentinel parts by the daily, but they were now reassigned to watching the Capital, under Black Convoy's command for the current moment, so he assigned Noumander to guard the Weapons Factory.

    And now, Noumander, Eagleer, and Penguigo were all dead.
    As if on cue, Black Convoy walked into the room, before kneeling.

    "My Liege, we bring news of Mandriller's assault on the Resistance base."

    Great Convoy nodded.

    "Do tell Black Convoy."

    Black Convoy nodded, before tapping the holographic table and displaying the Powerplant that Mandriller used.

    "Reports from our soldiers indicate that Mandriller was successful at shutting down one of the main Resistance Bases we have been keeping an eye on. While the base is shut down, Sector 7 and Sector 12 both are without power, and will likely not be with power for the next 4 solar cycles. Unfortunately, Mandriller suffered death by what can be consummate as only two of the Resistance Soldiers."

    Great Convoy's brow raised at this.

    "Only 2 you say?"

    Black Convoy nodded.

    "Chameleao says that it was the same duo that brought down Noumander and Penguigo. And if reports are correct, one of those two had defeated Eagleer single-handedly."

    Great Convoy nodded.

    "Surely they don't believe they can actually win this."

    Black Convoy shrugged.

    "Honestly, we don't know for sure sir. It all depends on Cardinal Convoy's mission into the past. Other than that, we don't have much else."

    Great Convoy nodded.

    "Very well. Inform Kuwanger and Chameleao, I want Chameleao to take Kuwanger to the Resistance Base of operations and assault their base. Destroy what they can, leave no trace."

    Black Convoy looked incredulously at Great Convoy.

    "Sir? You want Chameleao to reveal his position to the Resistance?"

    Great Convoy scoffed.

    "They're on their last legs. They don't have much longer. Crippling their base of operations is what is important, and Chameleao has served his purpose well enough. His transparency talent will also prove to be useful with getting Kuwanger in there unnoticed."

    Black Convoy nodded, and saluted.

    "It shall be done sir."

    And with that notion, she walked out.

    And Brimstone walked in.

    "Great Convoy my liege, it is always a pleasure."

    Great Convoy sighed.

    "Brimstone, what brings you here to this place."

    She nodded.

    "We've had no success with Project Ravager 2.0... While Hightail has proven to be quite cooperative, she also has... a problem without her brother. Something we are trying to rectify. Project Portalbreaker, as you know, was successful, and with the recent developments we've increased Portal Capacity by 25%. You should experience a shorter travel time through the time vortex with the improvements and a better choice of where to go."

    She then grabbed her staff.

    "In other words, we've proven successful in cloning some powerful candidates from the years of the Academy. They're more than willing to serve our causes. And also, we've found a new mercenary that has proven quite... entertained at the idea of fighting the Resistance."

    She opened her hands as three silouettes walked out, revealing them in their glory.

    "Lightbright isn't the only one who can use clones to her advantage. May I introduce our newest soldiers to the cause. Mercenary Warrior, Swindle the 3rd. The perfect gun ace, Grandsnipe... And the unbreakable and unstoppable Accelium."

    She bowed deeply.

    "For the new world, My Liege."

    Great Convoy was smiling under his faceplate.

    "Excellent work Brimstone. The Resistance will not know what hit them."
     
    Last edited: May 4, 2021
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  19. Dropkick

    Dropkick Doktor

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    Chapter 8: Armored Authority

    Lightbright and Soundwave looked at the screen that displayed their new current base of operations.
    Lightbright sighed.

    "We're on our last legs... Alarmus is getting frustrated that we've had to leave behind the previous base and all the members still recovering... and Great Convoy could assault this one at any moment... We're not even sure if this one will work to our benefit..."

    Soundwave nodded glumly, before turning his head to the screen.

    "All of our bases in Sector 12 are out of commission... I can only state that the situation is desperately dire now Lightbright..."

    Lightbright nodded sadly.

    "I know... I just hope Beta's doing alright... we've crippled so many of Great Convoy's operations, but it feels like we're missing something..."

    There was a bang, and the doors opened with a loud crash as Guzzle stormed in.

    "I've had it! I have absolutely had it!!!"

    He slammed his fists down onto the table, as he stared at the room.

    "This is absolutely it Lightbright! I've had enough of this! We need to do something and we need to do it now! I'm taking command of this fight and that's final!"

    He pointed at the screen.

    "If we don't act soon, we're going to have to retreat to the Acadeimos Resistance Base, and I ain't letting that happen! We can't just sit here and do absolutely nothing while Great Convoy shuts down all of our facilities!"

    He growled.

    "I'm putting an end to this, here and now."

    Grabbing his blaster, he would motion to the map.

    "We're going to launch simultaneous assaults. Armadrillo's occupying the Mines here in the mountains of Uraya. We hit him here and disable the mine, we cripple Great Convoy's ability to produce Omega Sentinels and Omega Spreems."

    He pointed down to the sea-base area.

    "Great Convoy's Deep Sea Squadron is making landfall for repairs and refueling here at their Sea-Base in Protihex. We're hitting there second, and we're going to hit it hard."

    Finally, he pointed to a giant central spire that stood watching over Iacon.

    "Kuwanger's Fortress Tower. I'm going to lead a squadron here so that we can assault the base and destroy as much as we can. After you guys are done handling Armadrillo and Octopulld, we'll formulate plans to assault Great Convoy's Palace."

    Lightbright gasped.

    "Guzzle you can't! That's suicide! No attack we've made on the Convoy's Palace has ever proven successful!"

    Guzzle scoffed.

    "Hasn't stopped anyone before. We have Ships, we have intel, and we have the mechpower. Just try to stop me."

    He grabbed the Kronorium as he started.

    "Let's move out! Squadron 15 and 16 you're with me! We're going to that stupid tower and giving Kuwanger a taste of his own medicine! Ramjet, Devcon, you lead Squads 20 and 21, you're assaulting the Mine! Squadron 12 and 13 stay on your toes and prepare for Octopulld and the Deep Sea Squadron making landfall! Now, move out!"

    ---

    Sitting outside of Armadrillo's Mine, Devcon and Ramjet watched with bated optics.

    "... I don't like this."

    Ramjet nodded.

    "I don't either. It all just screams trap... just like with Mandriller."

    Devcon nodded.

    "I know Armadrillo. He's loyal to a fault, and once he's given an order, he'll follow it to the bitter end... so, sorry RJ, but we won't be able to get him to stand down."

    Ramjet sighed gravely.

    "Why am I sensing a pattern with these stupid Irregulars..."

    Devcon laughed.

    "They used to be associated with the Silencerz. The Silencerz have never been the most subtle when it comes to these things."

    ---

    Inside the gloom, Devcon’s optics were quickly adapting to the emergency lighting. Hewn rock held in place by powerful metal girders filled the area around him, continuing on as a single, massive hall.

    He kept running as Ramjet flew next to him, but caught the glint of metal ahead, and skidded to a halt at last.

    Armadrillo was standing there, optics frigid with focus except for the subtle raise of one optics-ridge.

    “…Armadrillo,” Ramjet began firmly, standing up straight.

    “Ah, I see... Jetman, Devcon... what brings you here to my mine?”

    Ramjet let his face fall into his battle focus once more. “Stand aside. We're blowing this joint sky high, and you can't stop us.”

    The Armored mech faintly smirked. “I’ve been looking forward to this. I was hoping you’d come for me yourself."

    He started to laugh.

    "When Great Convoy sent me to the mines, I feared I would be wasted on basic grunts and bots trying to crack into these natural fortresses. But orders are orders. And when I heard about your defeating Eagleer, Noumander, Penguigo, and Mandriller, I knew you two were the real deal. Worthy of fighting anyone, even Great Convoy, no doubt.”

    His optics narrowed.

    "Not that I'd allow you to get that close to Master Convoy. Even if you manage to defeat me, you won't last even 5 breems against Great Convoy."

    "Sounds like you're just scared of disobeying orders like you did on Pova.” Devcon retorted, unable to hide the rage cracking into the edges of his firmed voice.

    It caught the armor covered mech off-guard, he could tell. Armadrillo’s optics sharpened a bit, the smirk vanishing.

    After a moment more, he spoke again, drawing a long Energon Katana from his hip. “Let's see how well you fight then Devcon. If I remember correctly, you were the dirty coward on Pova. Using it as nothing more than an excuse to go murdering those stupid TEKU members.”

    Armadrillo’s fists clenched, and he rotated his forearm plates forward. “That reminds me, however. How did you get around Mandriller’s prototype armor?”

    Devcon's eyes tightened. “…Ice.”

    The smirk returned as Armadrillo aimed his Katana at Ramjet and Devcon. “Beautiful. I warned him it was too glaring a weakness. That prototype had promise, but was far from complete.”

    Ramjet tipped his head up a bit. “You helped design it?”

    Armadrillo shook his head. “I’m no weapons tech, you know that. Just a strategist. Extreme weaknesses are just that. They leave you completely vulnerable to something. It’s far better to blend your weaknesses, mitigate them. That way, even if one falters,” he drew one foot back, his tail lifting, “you have another strength to bare.”

    Ramjet let his cannon form. “We don’t want to do this with violence, Armadrillo. There is another way.”

    “A luxury you can’t afford, Jetman. Orders are orders..."

    He smirked as his Katana burst to life with energon. "So tell me one more thing,” Armor began as casually as before, but suddenly blurred into the air, whirling his body violently until he became an ovoid mass of streaked color.

    Ramjet braced, but gawked when the spinning body hit the ground, only to ricochet off at an insane speed, ripping toward him.

    Ramjet dove to the side, feeling the air yank past him from the ram-attack of Armor, but just as he was recovering, he saw the sword-wielding mech hit the far wall, and bounce back even faster.

    Firing two cannon blasts, Ramjet watched them ping off the ripping mass without any sign of harm, and he started to dive to his right again, further down the hall.

    Armor unrolled just before he reached Ramjet, and twisted around to bring his right arm down at the mech in a chopping gesture, before his sword struck true and clipped Ramjet's wing clean off.

    Ramjet grunted, rolling to the side as the two combatants continued deeper into the cave.

    “How do you intend to get around MY armor!?” Armadrillo demanded at last, a manic look on his face.

    Growling a bit, Ramjet was at a loss for words, until he remembered.
    Long ago...
    He was given a memento.
    A memento of a time long past.

    A gift from a younger student.

    He grabbed the hilt he had so desperately wanted to keep safe, before it wildly flared to life.
    Glowing with red light, Ramjet grinned at Armadrillo, with a slight smirk.

    Thank you Saber, for giving Ramjet such an amazing weapon.

    A sharp step-kick from the mech sent Ramjet flying back, as the two soon began to clash swords. He slammed his hands down to slow his skidding path, and looked down his front to see Armadrillo sneering at him.
    Ramjet smirked, leveling his sword at Armadrillo.

    “You’re fast for all that heavy armor!” He called, flipping back onto his feet, sword snapping into position. “Shall we speed things up?”

    “Please do!” Armadrillo shouted back with enthusiasm, and dove into a tight roll, whirring up and blasting off.

    Ramjet flipped and started with a left swing.

    While Ramjet was faster in the air, no doubt, Armor was fast too.
    The two kept clashing, matching sword blow with sword blow, as they jumped and landed, striking and missing.

    Unfortunately, Armor was blasting off the walls faster and faster. He was accelerating beyond his previous speeds, catching up fast.

    Ramjet powered up, energy bleeding off his armored frame, but he heard movement over the wind around him. He ducked, barely avoiding a pick-axe flying at his head.

    Mining drones were on the walls, throwing their weapons at him from every angle. Armadrillo hit the walls without heed for them, shattering dozens of them at his impact points as he ripped after Ramjet.

    Forced to twist and almost flip around three more axes, Ramjet folded and twisted all the way, his back slamming to the surface of the mining carts as he swung at Armadrillo.

    Half of a cart warped and tore open from the plasma swing, his back slowing his forward speed.

    Ramjet's eyes widened as he watched Armadrillo’s whirling body tear out of a wall as if it were nothing more than a dust cloud.

    Two more swings clashed mid-air, and then Armadillo unraveled just over Ramjet, coming down with both feet.

    “You can do better than THAT!”

    Rmjet rolled to the far edge of the track, barely hanging onto his sword without rolling off the narrow minetracks, and watched Armadrillo’s body crash-slam into the center, bending and warping the already weakened metal violently. It turned the tracks into a blossoming flower of warped metal, and threw Ramjet toward Armadrillo in the center.

    Ramjet swung down, his sword missing and his boot hitting the Mech’s armored back-shell instead of successfully kicking the face.

    Armadrillo continued his deft twist, and lashed out with his sword, catching Ramjet’s leg.

    At the same time, the two felt the weightlessness of open air, and glanced down. The duo had just sailed over a chasm in their fight

    “Poor timing, kid,” Armadillo noted with a fresh smirk, and then wrenched Ramjet up, over, and down.

    And then the two hit the ground, with a sound emnating from both of them like an angry, angry metal masher.

    Both of them actually cried out in pain as the two impacted heavily into the ground.

    Ramjet turned over slowly, pressing himself off the dirt with protesting whirs of his damaged servos. “I get the feeling… That Resistance Base… would be grumpy…”

    “Well I definitely would be after this!”

    Devcon’s voice came form above, but he was helpless to do anything lest he risk breaking his entire frame. Both Armadrillo and Ramjet were lucky in the regard that their bodies were way, way, waaaay tougher than usual, so the two sprang up, swords drawn and at the ready.


    Ramjet coughed, before tossing his cracked helmet to the side.

    "Hah, never needed that thing for a proper fight anyways."

    Armadrillo simply looked on with a smug face.

    "Hah, so the little rat posing as Jetman was really an old Acadeimos survivor. How fitting."

    The two faced each other, swords poised to strike like two scorpions waiting to see who struck first.
    Armadrillo grinned manically.

    "I'll give you credit! You're just as tough as me! If not more than that! So come on, let's finish this honorable duel Jetman!"

    Powerful motors whirring sounded on either side of him, and Ramjet dashed away just as a whirling sword came swinging down, sheering up the rock that had been his landing point.

    He clambered over a rise in the tunnel floor, and dashed along further.

    Devcon then made a comment.

    "If you keep going after Armadrillo, remember this! There's a reason he's so heavy, and that's because his talent makes his body polarized!"

    Ramjet skidded to a halt. …Polarized? Polarized metal. Of course, Polarized Durabilium is the most durable thing on Cybertron, but also insanely… heavy. He’s that fast with that kind of weight? No wonder he tore the mines to pieces. However, he lifted his sword, his eyes determined and ready, that means I can give him a magnetic charge very easily. It would require a lot of power, but, his buster shifted composition, and his colors shifted to a brown-golden hue over his white armor, I picked up a few tricks about that from Mandriller.

    And he burst forward once more. “I bet you’re waiting at the end of this hall, aren’t you?” he quietly muttered to his adversary as he dashed forward.

    ---

    A secondary vault door opened in the dim light, and Ramjet stepped down from it, into the rocky chamber it had protected.

    He saw signs of where equipment and consoles had been in patterns on the rock floor, but it was all cleared away. It was just a large, rocky cube in the heart of the cliffs.

    And then Armadrillo landed heavily, cracking the ground on the other side of the room. “You really do fight quickly.”

    Armor smirked faintly, but all emotion left his face just as fast. “This game’s over. I'm ending this now!”

    Ramket was starting to brace, but his eyes flared when Armor flickered with sheer speed. He heard air screaming just behind his head, and dove forward on instinct, rolling and twisting to aim back.

    "SPECIAL TECHNIQUE!!! SINGLE SWING BISECTION STRIKE!!!"

    Armadillo’s left arm practically FLEW through the air as his sword kept spinning and spinning, before he unrolled and swung down hard at Ramjet's sword.
    Ramjet brought his sword up to block, and there was practically nothing that could've stopped the two, as two immovable objects clashed.

    Rocks were sent flying, a giant crater was formed, and the two Armored individuals were practically fuming as their swords did not that much damage to eachother.

    Ramjet blocked another fist strike, but his arm’s armor dented and he was sent flying toward the far wall with a bark of pain.
    His talent seemed to finally be giving out.

    “I’ll admit, I’m going to enjoy this, Ramjet!” Armadrillo shouted, and whirled into another drill attack, ricocheting off the ground at full speed toward the prone Reploid.

    Ramjet somehow pitched and rolled aside, the rock surfaces shattering where he’d been, and then the wall beyond, Armor rapidly sailing toward the far end of the room to bounce back even faster.

    With a burst of thrust from his feet, Ramjet ripped to his left as Armadrillo came shooting in. Aiming down his flank, at the space he’d been occupying, Ramjet aimed and struck the ground. He aimed his cannons at Armadrillo, and closed his eyes.

    "For Primus sake, please let this work."
    He fired a shot of electricity forwards out of his cannons.

    The two shots hit the floor and wall, but didn’t just dissipate. They spread and pulsed along the surface as they started to exhaust their charge.

    Armadrillo struck the corner at full speed, unable to halt his inertia, and a storm of electrical energy filled the room the next instant.

    The Armored mech roared from pain, unraveling at full speed, and crashing along the ground toward the front wall, slamming into it with his armored back at the end of a trail of sparking light. His optics flared even as his limbs smashed into the rocky surface, chunks of it floating out ahead of him from the force of the impact.

    “No,” Armor gasped, his optics finding Ramjet. “It’s not possible!”

    Ramjet was up, his free hand supporting his sword-arm. His expression was grim. “Stand down, last warning!”

    Finally crashing down to his knees, Armor growled as his body continued to spark and crackle under waves of jittering light. His special armor was holding the charge like a capacitor. “Stand down? After this insult to my warrior pride!? I’LL TEAR OUT YOUR OPTICS!!!” the mech roared, surging forward.

    However, this time Armor was all but stumbling along, his systems clearly suffering from the overloading shock perpetuating itself on his exo-structure. The ground might have cracked under each of his steps, but he was practically crawling compared to his previous speed.

    Ramjet tensed. “Fine!”

    He charged his hands together.

    "I saw this from my friend once, so I thought I might as well try it out!"

    He started to charge energy in his hands... letting it build, and build, before pushing his hands forwards.

    "Special Technique: HADOUKEN!!!"

    A small fizzle of energy came out, and what appeared to be a small fart cloud of energon puffed out weakly from Ramjet's hands.
    Both Ramjet and Armadrillo stared blankly at the spot where Ramjet's "Hadouken" had come out.

    Ramjet looked at Armadrillo sheepishly.

    "I swear something was supposed to happen there."

    Armadrillo simply scowled, and howled in rage as he charged forwards.
    Armor was getting close, his left fist pulling back even as his servos quivered and twitched. “YOU DARE INSULT MEEEEEE?!?!?!"

    Ramjet jumped backwards, sword drawn as he grimaced. Armadrillo really wasn't going to back down, was he...
    Armor’s optics flared out of their angry focus as Ramjet shot in, and their heads collided at full speed.

    Even with energy sparking over both mechs, Armadrillo was pitched back, his armor shattering over the top of his head.

    The mech stumbled back, the room shaking with his gestures, and he finally slammed flat onto his back, pinned by his own weight, his head dazed.

    Ramjet stood firm, legs spread, sword up near his face. “You’re out of options. Deactivate your weapons, and give me the control codes for the mine’s defenses.”

    His optics finally focusing again, Armadrillo looked down himself at the smaller Hunter. “Always have an end-game, Old-Timer.”
    Ramjet dashed back, sword locked as Armadrillo surged onto his feet.

    Still crackling with energy, Armadrillo wrenched his arms out to the sides, and sneered.

    His enhanced armor started to unclamp from his main frame, and simply fall off his body. The ground shattered under each incredibly dense plate, the room quaking yet again.

    And all that was left was a slim form, mostly purple in color, with small plates of silver around his primary systems. “Catch me if you can!”

    Ramjet swung again, and fired an electrical blast. Armadrillo flickered, and this time the air screamed from his raw speed. Ramjet hit open air, and spun around, only to pitch back from a blurred punch to his face.

    Before he could even recover, Ramjet took another thunderous blow to his gut, pitching him into the air. Something hammered down into his back just as fast, and he slammed flat, cracking the ground with a muffled shout into the rock.

    “Now we’ll see who’s faster, kid!” the voice shouted, and he whirled into his drill form yet again. This time, he was bouncing around the chamber like a mad pinball, rocks and debris starting to trickle down the walls and rain down from the ceiling constantly.

    Ramjet groaned, but quickly rolled, then dashed. He had to throw himself out of the path of Armor’s blurring impacts from every angle.

    Back-flipping at last, Ramjet landed, but took a drill-ram to his head, knocking him to his left.

    “You.”

    Another blow to his back, pitching him forward.

    “Can’t.”

    A direct blow to his front sent Ramjet ripping back, smashing into the far wall with a pained groan, his armor dented and scratched.

    “Win.”

    Armadrillo unraveled, landing easily, his body whispering compared to the previous power it had to exert just to move. “Well fought, Ramjet, but it’s over. I’m going to deliver your head to Great Convoy as requested. Orders are orders.”

    The light of the chamber intensified, before Ramjet roared, and wrenched his arms forward, arcing out with his limbs. His last functioning hand converting into his cannon form, and just as Armadrillo was about to crash into him, Ramjet unleashed.

    "Checkmate."

    A barrage of missiles erupted out of his cannon.

    Armadrillo was whirling toward a storm of death, and he started to unravel, roaring as he tried to claw at the ground and change directions.

    He could not grip the ground in time. The rockets overtook him, and sent him flying across the room as a sparking comet.

    Armor bounced off the wall, explosive markings all over his body, no longer conscious as his body started to rupture and explode along the external systems, his armor tearing itself apart until he limply crashed flat. Energon leaked from his frame, but he smiled.

    "It was... a.... good... fight...."

    And finally, his eyes went dark, and his body went grey.

    Ramjet stood up, battered, beaten, and at a loss for words, before limping forwards, and tapping his comms.

    "Devcon... tell Command we have... control of... the mines... and for Primus sake, come get me..."


    ---


    Armadrillo:
    [​IMG]
    Talent: Hyper Durability
    Commonly cited as the greatest example of Loyalty amongst the Neo-Maximals, Armadrillo is a stoic soldier who never disobeys an order. He is loyal to a fault, continuing to follow Great Convoy’s orders long after being hired by the Convoy, and would follow Great Convoy even if it meant the death of him. He currently occupies a mine that is a prime resource of raw materials needed for the production of Omega Sentinels.
     
    Last edited: May 8, 2021
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  20. Dropkick

    Dropkick Doktor

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    Chapter 9: Shipyards Ablaze

    Holographic images of naval vessels and wrecked bots with Boat modes, lit in green, floated in a field of blue light. Many of the ships damaged, with red lighting through their structures, some half-sunk into the blue field.
    The display was on the central console of the Resistance headquarters current base. One of the last few they had really... Around the large table stood a number of Resistance Members. None of them looked pleased as the din of the support teams around the edges of the room filled the air.

    “This makes the third patrol fleet ambushed this week,” Devcon said, firm anger in his voice, hands gripping the edges of the console a little too well. “Octopulld is toying with us, and we’ve lost a lot of good mechs already.”

    Ramjet was silent for the moment, his eyes grim as they soaked in the holographic display.

    Lio Convoy replied, “What concerns me most is how difficult he is to track. Clearly he has either invented or discovered some kind of stealth technology for his armada. Our sensors are top of the line, and the tech I was able to take from the Convoy Council is second to none... They simply should not be able to drop off the scanners like this.”

    Ramjet finally spoke, one hand up at his chin, the other arm crossed to hold the elbow, “Regardless, we don’t have the time to develop a proper countermeasure. Too many are dying. Are there any patterns to the patrols that have been ambushed? Any commonalities?”

    Devcon shook his head. “Not in their behavior or position. However, we do know he almost always strikes during a formation change. Logical, of course. They’re most vulnerable to flanking attacks while shifting formations for the next phase of a patrol.”

    “So it could be any patrol, but if he hits, it will be during a formation change,” Ramjet confirmed aloud, obviously just thinking verbally.

    “Perhaps we can force his hand?” Lio Convoy offered, but his expression was grim rather than hopeful.

    Ramjet and Devcon focused on him.

    “Bait, I mean. Give him a target too good to pass up. He clearly has reason to be confident, it might nudge his ego the right way.”

    Ramjet’s eyes narrowed at the hologram again. "There's potential with that..."

    Devcon voiced his concern, “I see the merit, but if we give him a juicy target, he may just commit his fleet, and stay hidden himself. He’s too smart to assume he won’t see the obvious bait.”

    Ramjet closed his eyes, his brow knitting, and bowed his head. “…How big is Octopulld’s armada? That we know of, at least.”

    “Between twelve and fifteen cruisers,” Lio Convoy answered, leaning back and crossing his arms. “Why? Something on your mind Ramjet?”

    “Multiple traps,” Ramjet said with a slow exhale.

    Lio Convoy and Devcon shared a glance. Lio Convoy focused on Ramjet again, and asked, “You mean give him enough choice targets that he must mobilize himself, or be unable to direct enough force to actually take any one?”

    “Basically,” Ramjet confirmed, looking up at last.

    “You seem more distressed by the plan than the attacks,” Devcon challenged in a calm voice, but the sharpness in his eyes was focused.

    “I’m here to save lives, not put them at risk.”

    Devcon nodded, looking down at the display again himself. “Not to mention, who would we choose for the bait? Guzzle's still besieging Kuwanger's Tower, and most of the other Resistance Cells are staying silent...”

    Lio Convoy grimly smiled. “Us.”

    Ramjet and Devcon blinked at him.

    Hands on his hips, Lio Convoy looked up, and nodded before he explained, “We are the strongest members fighting against Great Convoy’s rule, if you had to choose singular individuals for such a thing. If we discretely reveal that each of us is leading a patrol platoon, I doubt Octopulld could pass it up.”

    Devcon let his confusion show. “I understand the plan, but how would we help you if you were the one he chose?”

    “We’ve taken a lot of hits. Tightening up security makes sense. If we put the platoons within a smaller distance of each other, either of you can come to help me, if I’m the one attacked.”

    “Not a believable distance, though,” Ramjet pointed out with a frown. “It would take us several minutes to get to you. I’m not sure I’m comfortable with that risk. You’re our technical heavy hitter.”

    “I have my ways. I assure you, if he chooses me, I will last long enough for support to arrive and take Octopulld down,” Lio Convoy replied with a polite kind of firmness.

    Ramjet and Devcon shared a look this time, both worried, but also appraising.

    Ramjet finally asked, “Are you sure, Commander?”

    Lio Convoy nodded.

    Devcon sighed. “Okay… I’ll start getting it organized.”

    “Check,” Ramjet casually agreed, and marched off.

    Lightbright walked around to Lio Convoy, and quietly asked, “Are you really sure about this?”

    “Like you, I must take responsibility for my part of this. If I have value of some kind, this is my chance to turn that against the enemy,” Lio Convoy explained, oddly grave despite the situation, and turned to walk away.

    ---

    Devcon stood on the control deck of a cruiser in the open waters. The deck was open to the air, and offered a full panoramic view of the ocean around them. The other ships in his platoon were arrayed behind his in a V-formation.

    Router stood at the helm, directing the ship’s specific path. He had a holographic display just over his controls, and his optics glided over them briefly. It showed clusters of dots off to the Northeast and East from their own position. “We’re all in position now, sir.”

    Devcon nodded, his head staying bowed a bit, his eyes tightening. “So much can go wrong with this…”

    There were a few technicians on the command deck with them.

    “That part is true. However, if we can keep Octopulld out of the water, and on a ship, we have a good shot. No one can match him in aquatic combat with our current abilities,” Router replied with a sidelong look at the end.

    Another bot climbed up onto the command deck. He had a giant radar dish on his chest, with a turquoise body and black highlights.

    “We’re looking good so far, sir,” he reported to Devcon formally, standing to attention and saluting.

    Devcon nodded to let the bot relax. “No sign of enemy movement in the water?”

    “None yet. I checked in with Ramjet and Soundwave in the other platoons to confirm.”

    Devcon looked out again. “Just have to keep up appearances then. Good job, Radar.”

    Radar simply moved over to the comm station, relieving the other bot there, and sat down, working away.

    Devcon felt a private comm signal ping, and glanced down as he replied, "Yes, Ramjet?"

    "Just checking in. Lio Convoy seems well, but I have to admit, he’s being cryptic. He was preparing something in his cabin for a good two hours earlier, but I couldn’t peg what it was. Not without giving away the game, anyway."

    Devcon tapped twice. "Understood, good work. Just watch his back for me, please?"

    Ramjet nodded pinged back an affirmative. "Will do. I share your suspicion that they’ll go for him instead of either of you."

    Devcon looked up, eyes soaking in the ocean beyond.

    ---

    Lio Convoy seemed to grow disinterested with the view from the command deck of his own ship, and clambered down onto the main deck. The command deck was elevated near the prow, leaving the main deck as a wide, open space. It was primarily designed to launch and land hover-vehicles for amphibious assaults.

    Drift climbed down in his wake. “Something wrong, Commander?”

    Lio Convoy turned around, before nodding once. “Nothing, Drift... Simply waiting here.”

    Drift raised an optic ridge. “You seem confident we’ll be the target.”

    “Of course. Octopulld's ego has always been something Devcon emphasised... They may choose another strategy, but I’m the most obvious choice.”

    “And you don’t want to wait below decks?”

    “No,” Lio Convoy answered with steel in his voice, his eyes sharpening toward the aft of the ship as he stood. “I have certain plans of my own.”

    “Very good, sir,” the mech conceded, and walked back to his position on the deck. This time, he wasn’t relaxed. His optics were sharp over the waters.

    ---

    Down in the deep, optics flashed on just above an armored mask, and beneath the bulbous head of an octopoid.

    “They really did it. How foolish. Fleet, deploy to Ramjet and Devcon’s platoons. I’ll tend to the Traitor.”

    The ocean began to tremble as shadows glided out through the depths.

    ---

    “Movement,” Radar reported sharply, his hand flying over his console.

    Devcon’s SMG activated, and he touched his audio sensor, “We have movement. Platoon ready, Commander Lio, Ramjet, be on guard.”

    ---

    Across the waters, Ramjet frowned down at the darker water expanding toward his ships. “We’ve got movement, too.”

    ---

    Lio Convoy simply stood up, before flexing his arms. Best to be prepared for anything...

    ---

    The combat vessels in all three platoons changed. Their flanks opened, spreading out, with articulating cannons swirling about to gather orientation and targeting data. With yellow energy humming to life in the base of every cannon-barrel, they watched the shadows rushing toward them from below.

    On Devcon’s vessel, Radar shouted, “Torpedoes and plasma surges in the water!”

    Devcon firmed. “Open fire! Stop their advance!”

    Ramjet and Lio Convoy gave similar orders.

    The next instant, the waters ignited. Explosions and flashes of energy pitched and churned the waves into mist, steam, and amorphous craters of shock.

    Devcon flipped up onto the top of the view-deck, and started to fire blasts down into the water. Plasma-bolts could burn down through the waves much better than physical projectiles, but he could tell his attacks were fizzling out too early to do much good.

    That was when the water to his left erupted violently. Devcon twisted, even the other ships starting to fire toward that location, but his eyes widened at the massive, mechanical sea-dragon that was looming up over his ship.

    This was one of the monstrosities Noumander’s factory had been building. He recognized the gaping maw with a massive cannon building energy down toward him.

    More so, the cannon fire from the ship was only pinging off of its armored flanks.

    Reacting on instinct, Devcon leapt up into its face, before unloading a whole clip's worth of energon into the beast's maw.

    As the beast reeled back with a hydraulic gasp, Devcon held onto the lip, and swung over it. As it aimed up, he aimed down into its gullet.
    Inside the armored skin, the condensed blasts of Energon blew the back side of the head clean off, and rammed the serpent’s body down into the waves with a blasting crash.

    Devcon, able to flip off, rushed down to his ship to land safely.

    "Damn... hope RJ and Lio have it better than I do..."

    ---

    Knowing his crew was well-trained for combat, Lio Convoy was still waiting down on the main deck even after his ship had opened up its flanks to return fire.

    Drift leaned out from the view-deck. He had climbed back up as the ships readied their guns. “Commander! By far the larger forces are after Ramjet and Devcon’s platoons!”

    Lio Convoy looked up over his shoulder. “Then I estimate I was right... Alright men! Hold the line.”

    “Sir!” the mechs on the deck returned, pulling back from the railing.

    A geyser of ocean water made Lio Convoy focus up, though he didn’t seem shocked.

    Octopulld whirled out of the pillar of water, and then flipped down, crashing to his haunches on the deck. Four tentacles arms lashed to his sides, his sturdy legs braced down, and his optics sharpened. “Ahhh, if it isn't the traitor, Lio Convoy... How good of you to join us.”

    Drift slammed down to the deck that instant, his swords drawn, and pointed at the octopus based mech. “Surrender. Now.”

    Lio Convoy had no reason to correct the command. He seemed remarkably calm, his hands resting on his sides. Somehow, he wasn’t forced to shift weight as the ship pitched from explosions around it.

    Octopulld chuckled, two of his tentacles aiming at Inferno. “Swords definitely are not the best weapon choice, puny Soldier. My torpedoes will have you in pieces or off the deck before a single strike hits me.”

    Drift’s mask-plate shifted faintly. He was smirking.

    Using his internal comm, Lio Convoy warned the other platoons. "Ramjet, Devcon, all ships, Octopulld has personally landed on my ship. Drift is engaging."

    ---

    Devcon’s optics snapped up, sharp with frustration and battle focus. “Radar, Router, do you two have this situation?” he asked quickly, braced down on three limbs atop the ship.

    Radar was commanding members to attack the approaching submarine, Router using a larger blaster to blast bolts of Energon on the other side.

    “Of course, sir!” Router replied. “Go!”

    “You heard him!” Radar confirmed.

    Devcon leapt off his ship, and landing on the water with an explosive burst of his dash-thrusters. He instantly accelerated, and kept blasting himself forward. In just a moment, he was skating across the water at full speed, a geyser churning up as a wave in his wake.

    ---

    Soundwave frowned down at his control screen on Ramjet’s main ship. He leaned away enough to shout over to his commander, who was blasting shark-drones and torpedoes out of the water on the port side of the vessel that moment. “Sir! Devcon has mobilized toward Lio Convoy’s position!”

    Ramjet blew another shark-bot out of the water, and then twisted, clearly aggravated. “Alone? Idiot! Are the coordinates still consistent from last check?”

    “Yes, sir!”

    “Hold and disable those enemy ships! You have platoon command until I return Soundwave!”

    “Sir!”

    Ramjet transformed and took off with a blast of sheer wind, taking off like a missile towards Lio Convoy's position, but it would take time…

    ---

    Octopulld started the fight. He fired both tentacles at Drift. Drift neatly dove down to his left, away from Lio Convoy, while firing a plasma bolt into the first missile, detonating it safely away from the Commander, before catching the second missile in one of his swords. The sweep sent the missile out toward the water, before it exploded.

    Octopulld tucked and rolled to his left, opposite Drift, and uprighted as he fired with all four tentacles. This time, one missile was aimed straight at Lio Convoy. The doctor seemed ready for it, his jaw setting and his hands clenched on his cane, but he snapped his eyes up as balled-up jolts of energy ripped down and blew the missiles up early.

    Whirl was soon diving out of the view-deck, firing with both forearms. Energon pelted Octopulld's skin, before Whirl finally landed.

    Octopulld was caught in the middle, two tentacles aimed at Drift, one at Whirl, and the last at Lio Convoy.

    “Bit of a Mexican stand-off we have here,” Octopulld muttered, seeming amused.

    Whirl and Drift said nothing. Lio Convoy remained stoic and calm, but replied, “You’re completely out-done tactically. What game are you playing at?”

    Octopulld didn’t reply immediately. His optics were scanning from one enemy to the next in turn. “Oh, I’ve still got a few tricks up my sleeves. I really wonder if you can stop them ALL!?” he roared as he suddenly twisted around, spinning like a top.

    The tentacles fired in rapid succession. A volley of torpedoes can ripping out, arcing into an explosive vortex.

    Whirl opened fire, wrenching himself backward. “Lio!”
    Several torpedoes were bearing straight for him, and neither Resistance Soldier could possibly reach him in time.

    Octopulld was also leaping away, intending to land in the water over the side.

    Lio Convoy’s hands shifted as a black metal started to encase his form. Just as the missiles came in, he spun around, as if to meet them head on.

    Octopulld actually choked and sputtered as a pincer-grip on a metallic chord flew out and clamped around his neck. From the smoke where Lio Convoy had been standing amidst the exploding missiles, it wrenched down, pulling the Octopus back into the deck with a shattering smash.
    He dented the floor as he was dragged along, before finally coming to a stop at the middle of the deck again, as the claw retracted into the giant hulking mass that was writhing behind the smoke.

    Drift and Whirl just stared. As the smoke cleared, a hulking mech stomped out.

    Whirl whistled.
    "Damn where do I get one of those."

    Lio Convoy rose up to his full height, his body encased in a black metal exo-suit resembling an Omega SPREEM, but obviously more armored and detailed. His head was visible inside an armored bubble of transparent material.

    All three mechs on the deck were just staring at him, even as Octopulld was trying to recover.

    Lio Convoy stepped forward again, his voice coming through heavily filtered by the suit. “Reports of my vulnerability on the field were exaggerated. You like it? Experimental Armor Unit 55-001 taken from Brimstone's laboratory! Uses Nanotech and CNA cells taken from Project Exhousia!”

    Octopulld growled, and suddenly wrenched his own tentacles out, up, and in, aiming at the suit. “Clever!”

    “Don’t let him into the water!” Lio Convoy shouted, firing once. The air pulsed from the plasma bolt fired by the suit.

    The white-yellow orb he fired ripped across the deck, and Octopulld barely back-peddled away from it. A chunk of the aft portion of the boat was blown into molten chunks in his place. Whirl somewhat wryly held his left hand up as he cringed away, the blast narrowly missing him.

    What ensued was a ballistic dance. As Octopulld spun around mid-deck, firing missiles off to keep his enemies away, Whirl, Drift, and Lio Convoy blew the missiles out of the air and dodged around. The ship itself was starting to take the brunt of the battle.

    Octopulld laughed.
    "Been a while since I had this much fun! Let's keep going!"

    The odd dance continued until the ship suddenly gave an explosive snap of heavy metals, and listed to its starboard side.
    Lio Convoy stumbled, spreading his armored legs wide to catch his balance, and looked over his shoulder to the forward part of the ship dipping toward the waves.
    I’ll admit I had failed to calculate the collateral damage to the ship. This is going to get messy, Lio Convoy realized, and then turned to aim a fresh blast of Energon at Octopulld.

    “Get down!” a new voice shouted over the din of battle.
    The trio braced back and away as the deck around Octopulld lit up with plasma bolts.

    Devcon came sailing off the water from the starboard side, firing the whole way, and crashed to his haunches just over the ship’s railing.
    Octopulld instantly snapped off missiles in pairs at Devcon, spinning his own body to lash each set of limbs toward the armored Mech.

    "Devcon! Been a while!"

    Devcon started to rush forward, firing plasma bolts into two of the missiles, and twisting so that he drilled his body around the third missile.
    He landed with a diving roll as the fourth missile exploded out in open water, near one of the other ships in the platoon.

    Octopulld reverse rolled away from Devcon.
    Devcon trained his SMG on the Octopus Mech, his eyes sharpening as he steadied the arm with his free hand. He smiled at Devcon with his optics as his free limbs aimed.

    Devcon fired first, as he unloaded blasts of SMG fire into Octopulld's shoulders.

    He cried out, twisting around as his shoulder spit smoke and sparks out. Devcon was trying to look for a chance to grapple Octopulld into the deck and detain him. Octopulld used the momentary gap in the attack to whip his tentacles out more sharply.

    All four members of the Ship force had to grip onto chunks of the deck to keep hold of themselves as the ship started capsizing, and Octopulld finally back-flipped into the water.

    “Damn it!” Lio Convoy shouted. “Somebody get a lock before he vanishes!” he ordered as he tapped his audio sensor.

    The ship pitched back finally, something crashing into it from the front corner.

    Ramjet was there, his thrusters blasting at full force as he pushed the boat up as hard as he could. “This ship is done, get off!”

    Another ship was angling up on the port side. Drift was rallying the crew to start jumping across.

    Lio Convoy picked himself up, staring into the water with constrained frustration. “All this…”

    Devcon’s fists clenched, his brow knotting. Octopulld wasn’t leaving yet, he was zipping through the water, firing away at the other ships. “…I’m ending this.”

    Lio Convoy snapped an arm out, blocking Devcon. “No! He’s too well adapted to submerged combat soldier. You’ll just be killing yourself!”

    Devcon glared up the metal arm at his friend. “There is too much at stake here, Commander! I am doing what I must!” And he suddenly jumped straight up, arcing down into the water.

    “No!” Ramjet roared after him.

    Lio Convoy grimaced at seeing it, and Ramjet looked over his shoulder while he was still holding the ship afloat.

    “Devcon, you idiot!” the red Hunter roared in frustration.

    ---

    Devcon dove into the water, rushing deep at high speed.

    He heard Octopulld laughing, and looked up, seeing the bot rush and weave through the water with graceful ease.

    “So you really are that head-strong. Now you’re in my territory, Devcon!”

    Devcon snapped his SMG up and fired, but his bolts sizzled through the water too slowly. Launch whipped between them, and then swirled into a vortex.

    Devcon couldn’t help but get carried around at sickening speed, and then be tossed out into the calmer water as if it was a wall, his systems shuddering.
    Memories of Pova resurfaced, as Devcon stared down his old comrade... Octopulld’s optics sharpening as he fired each time as well.

    He likes savoring the kill-shot. He wants to watch me get hit. That’s when I can get close...

    And Octopulld ripped through the fluid behind Devcon, tentacles twisting around to aim as his optics sharpened with malefic pleasure. “After all my comrades fall to you, I finally get the pleasure of blowing you out of the water! Now die Devcon!!!”

    Devcon’s legs burst their thrusters, and he suddenly whirled around and charged just as the missiles left the Mech’s barrels.

    Devcon’s SMG started to fire.
    Octopulld’s optics flared as Devcon approached. It all slowed down for him, his audio sensors hearing Devcon’s roar of exertion through the thick waters, his tentacles starting to break apart, and the blue glow of Devcon's SMG filling his optics.

    At last, it stopped, and Devcon sighed in relief, as he watched on... Octopulld’s body was leaking energon into the sea, and was starting to sink already... before finally it faded to grey and he sunk deeper.

    Touching his audio sensor, Devcon started boosting towards the surface of the ocean.

    "This is Devcon. Octopulld is down. Mission complete."

    ---

    In a dark chamber, lit only by the glow of the holographic screen before him, Great Convoy frowned.

    “Far more trouble than they should be,” Great Convoy muttered, watching the holographic display of the most recent Sea battle.
    That made 6 dead now. How utterly worthless...

    Standing, his cape spilling down behind him, the Convoy exhaled, rubbing his brow. “I see it was a mistake to underestimate these Resistance Members so much. Just a few of them have already wiped out 6 of those Silencerz mercenaries... Completely outgunned, they still pull through..."

    He reached up, and touched his audio sensor. “Reaper Ice, return to base. We need to prepare for a frontal assault.”

    “…Frontal assault? Sir, the Capital shouldn't just fall to those puny-.”

    “Of course it won't, allow me to show them how it's properly done. We need to tend to this personally, Reaper Ice. Notify, and Mobilize Chameleao and Kuwanger. We need them to make the distraction while we deploy.'"

    He grabbed his staff, and continued walking.

    "We also need to notify Black Convoy and Fire Convoy, we're heading to Iacon for the current moment. Mobilize all troops in our current regiment, and have them escort us to Iacon. Once the Resistance makes a move, we'll ambush them and stamp them out. Is Venator's unit back from scouting the Outer systems?”

    Reaper Ice was silent for a bit, before she kept going.

    "No sire. The only units in the Capital right now are Armorhide's unit and Scorch's unit, aside from that we have a few Omega Sentinel units that can provide support."

    "Good. Have the Sentinel's on standby, and prepare for the Capital attack. They won't know what hit them."

    “…Yes, sir.”

    Great Convoy chuckled.

    "Ah, yes, that reminds me..."

    He turned to Downbeat.

    "Take charge of the Capital while I'm gone. Grandsnipe and the others will provide you with the necessary firepower to defend yourself..."

    Downbeat nodded.

    "At once my liege."

    Great Convoy chuckled, before stepping towards the door.

    "The Resistance ends today. No more games."



    ---

    Octopulld
    Talent: Hydrokinesis

    [​IMG]
    Octopulld is a perverse and sadistic soldier, that, while he always resented Great Convoy's vision for the future, still followed orders anyways. He has an open love for the thrill of combat and will go to great lengths in order to have what he calls a "fun fight". But most importantly, he loves to paint "art" and isn't afraid to cheat to win, but hey as long as he gets a fun fight he'll be happy.
     
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