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 Post subject: The Birth of Preda-Convoy
PostPosted: Thu Jul 09, 2009 8:04 pm 
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I found this, and I'm still planning to write more of it, at least in my head, so I re-posted.

"Lord Panzer."

Hearing his title called, the Predacon Warlord clenched his fist. He looked up from his war room table, covered in readiness charts and stellar maps he'd been poring over for megacycles. "What?" he answered irritably, "Send it to my transponder."

"Sir its a subspace hail from the Trypticon."

"Trypticon?" Panzer pondered. It had been stellar cycles since he'd heard that name. Trypticon was a relic, the first of the old cityformer Decepticons, those monuments to energon waste. Some Admiral or Archon had seen fit to wake him out of permanent stasis and retrofit him into a destroyer class ship. Now with three modes - warship, battle station and godzilla-bot - Trypticon was among the most powerful siege weapons in the Predacon fleet. Nary a city nor space station could survive his onslaught. Alas, sieges and full scale assaults were dreadfully rare these days. Trypticon was relegated to white elephant, taking part in escorts and ferrying diplomats around the galaxy. Of course that meant the Predacon Navy kept him on a tight leash, and his crew was full of careerists and moles. So he, or the ship, if you preferred impersonal pronouns, was well outside the regular orbit of an upstart Warlord who spent his days holed up in a moonbase bunker, plotting ways to expand his empire under the radar of the Maximals and Tripredicus Council alike.

"Who is it?" The Warlord asked his page. Surely the hail came from Trypticon's current VIP guest.

"No name is given. The captain's name is Dienonychon."

A saurian. Of course. Lord Panzer composed himself. Like most Predacons and Maximals of the time he hadn't been DNA bonded, but his alternate mode followed an animalistic design pattern, which carried over to his robot mode appearance. Panzer was an extremely large feline bot, gold and black. His mechanical panther mode was built like a tank, decked out with cannon, teeth and claws. Were he to be stranded in prehistoric earth's Beast Wars, he likely would have been an oversized sabretooth cat. As imposing as he was physically though, he was still young for a Warlord, and needed a moment to adopt the appropriate regal bearing. "Put it through," he said finally.

On his screen, as expected, there appeared a saurian Predacon, this one with a beast mode of some carnivorous dinosaur midway between a raptor and t-rex in stature. His black scales glinted silver in the light, on top of violet metal. It occurred to Panzer that the captain matched his ship.

Something was wrong, though.The captain's mouth opened, but he said nothing. Smoke wafted out instead. No light shone from his optics. As realization dawned, the former captain was unceremoniously dropped to the floor and out of view, revealing his killer.

"Ursus Primal!" Panzer called out. Quickly he wiped the shock off his face, "My old friend, to what do I owe the pleasure?"

Ursus Primal crossed his massive arms and gave-- was that a bit of a smirk through his faceplate? That was unlike him. Ursus was one of the Convoys, that line of Maximals modeled in appearance and character after the great Optimus Prime. Among their ranks were the famous protectors of Cybertron and the Pax, Big Convoy and Lio Convoy, along with lesser knowns such as Optimus Primal. To a one, they were insufferably moralistic and meddlesome, often running afoul of their own superiors in their quests to bring justice, or whatever. But, many a Predacon had learned not to underestimate the leadership or battle prowess of a Convoy, no matter how young or low on the totem pole. Ursus Primal was no exception. He, his ship and his crew were perpetually relegated to patrolling the backwaters of the galaxy, but he seemed to like it that way. The bear in him liked a wide range, and liked to root around under unturned rocks. Fate had it that under one of those rocks, Panzer was quietly trying to conquer a little known race of mechanically gifted organics. A little noted but hard fought war followed, where the two had met in battle more than once. Ursus was even larger than Panzer, with tough armor and powerful weapons. Like Panzer, his "beast" mode was mechanical, mimicking a polar bear, but he had a third mode, a "snow plow", in addition ("Snow plow" in quotes, because in practice it was an APC more than anything. What snow is so hard to move it needs a die-cast eight foot high front plow attachment, tank treads and dual plasma cannons?). Stellar cycles had passed since that war, but memories of bots lost and plans foiled still ran deep.

"We're not friends," Ursus answered gruffly, "but I had some news I wanted to share."

"You've hijacked the pearl of the Predacon fleet. Congratulations. I'm sure the Predacon Navy will send its own greetings shortly."

"Oh, there's more than that," Ursus said, holding back a chuckle.

"Revenge? Please don't tell me you're that amateur to ruin the element of surprise by announcing yourself from halfway across the galaxy."

"I don't want revenge, Panzer. I've come to respect you. As a Predacon. You've risen to to top from nothing, and proven yourself through strength and cunning in battle. You fear no Maximal and suck up to no Predacon. So, I wanted you to be the first to know." Ursus Primal stepped forward, into the light.

Panzer scoffed. "Flattery will get you-- wait," he craned his neck closer to the screen, and squinted at the purple insignia on Primal's chest, "is that? You're a Predacon?"

Ursus Primal laughed a full throated, deep and evil laugh. "Surprised? It's not a trick, if you're wondering. My new crew will vouch for me, and so will Trypticon himself. I've been shown the true nature of us Cybertronians, through the blessing of reprogramming. I know now that our duty is to perfect ourselves through battle, and take our rightful place as rulers of this universe. From here on, Ursus Primal is no more. You may call me Preda-Convoy." The newly minted Predacon bowed down on one knee, "And, as my first act as captain, I pledge my loyalty, and this ship, to you, Lord Panzer."

Panzer stared in shock, and then couldn't help but burst out laughing. But as he soon learned, this was no joke.

[[ OOC: Next Installment: 3 Days Earlier... ]]


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 Post subject: Re: The Birth of Preda-Convoy
PostPosted: Fri Aug 21, 2009 9:30 am 
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Three days earlier

Standing there, it was all a bit freaky. Airlocks were claustrophobic enough to begin with. The walls, floor and ceiling were covered in quickset styrofoam, making it look like a snow cave -- which would've been a nice alternative to what waited for them outside. Ursus Primal was covered head to toe in a white latex suit. The headpiece didn't fit too well, and he was carrying a big block of a cooling and airflow system on his back under the suit. His partner in this mission, who barely came up to Primal's knees in beast mode, looked even more uncomfortable.

"Are you really sure these suits are safe?" Jackribbit asked.

"It will be if you stop fidgeting with it."

Jackribbit was, as you might guess, a rabbit-toad fuzor. He was one of the youngest members of a young crew, hyperactive, always on edge, and a little neurotic. He was also extremely flexible and resourceful, and Ursus would admit privately that Jackribbit was growing into one of his favorite new recruits. What he knew of the kid's life story was that he'd come online on one of the far colonies, got sick of it out there pretty quick, and stowed away on a freighter. They found him just after leaving orbit, and since they didn't have time to drop him off anywhere, they put him to work. Jackribbit hitched rides and picked up odd jobs like that all the way to Cybertron, and by the time he arrived he was a good mechanic, passable pilot and an overqualified janitor. On Cybertron, the grand tour was fun, but Jackribbit found that life on the road was what he craved, enlisted in the Maximal Expeditionary Force, and here he was.

"Okay, okay," Jackribbit said. "Let's see," he tried to focus on the tasks ahead, "Stabilize the launcher, then I hold the probe while you set the ballistics, then I double check, we load the probe--"

"Wait," Ursus Primal stopped him, "You forgot the first step, most important. As soon as we get out there, we check the suits for leaks, make sure everything's safe."

"You just said they'd work!"

"I said it won't if you keep fidgeting with it. This is our first field test and we're putting safety first. If one of us springs a leak, I don't care what else is going on, we abort."

"But what if--"

"No what ifs. I'm not losing anyone else today." Ursus paused and reflected, but all that did was bring back Arcelone's mangled torso, and Sunbather's screams of agony, echoing through the ship until they turned to a muffled whimper, and went silent. "Besides for all we know we might have to spend a whole lot more time in these suits."

"Gulp."

The intercom crackled to life, from an upper corner somwhere behind the foam. "Everyone ready?"

Ursus tapped his comm through his suit. "Shellshock, are you suited up?"

Two bangs from the other side of the airlock portal behind them answered. "Standing by. Hopefully you won't need me," the turtle-bot said through the intercom. If anything went wrong, Shellshock was the one-bot rescue squad. A security officer by profession, Shellshock had the necessary EMT training, and his hard shell and thick scaley synthflesh would hopefully hold off the acid and rust long enough if his suit failed. Shellshock was one of the few veterans on the crew. He'd spent most of his life working security on Cybertron, but he had been on at least one space expedition before, and spent several stellar cycles marooned on an alien planet and a space station that was apparently a major Cybertronian outpost but no one had ever heard of. He didn't like to talk about those experiences, which made one wonder why he chose to go out in space again. Now, with them crash landed on another, far more inhospitable alien planet, Shellshock couldn't help feeling like a bad luck charm.

"Here's hoping," Ursus Primal answered. "Alright, Pegasus, open'er up!"

Motors whirred, sucking the atmosphere out of the airlock. There were a few moments of eerie silence, before the outer hatch, still silent, began to roll open. A wave of heat immediately rushed over Ursus and Jackribbit, and then they braced themselves as the toxic, blackish-orange smoke rushed in. The two stood perfectly still as the soup washed over them and filled the space around them.

"Y-you okay, boss?" asked Jackribbit.

Ursus nodded. "So far, yes. Everything seems to be working fine. What about you?"

"Um, I think, I think I'm good!"

"Well that's one thing looking up." Ursus tapped his comm. "Our suits are working perfectly so far. Tell Amalga and Dr. Fin they did a great job."

//We're right here, Captain. Thank you, sir!//

"No, thank you. We'll get out of this jam yet." He looked forward, to the black smog, volcanic rock, and faint red glow of lava in the distance. "Well, onward and outward!"


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 Post subject: Re: The Birth of Preda-Convoy
PostPosted: Sat Aug 22, 2009 12:08 am 
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They walked out carefully over the rust caked rocks. The surfaces were crumbly and slick, red dust filled the gaps between boulders, and some spots would unexpectedly crumble and give way. It was as if the planet were decomposing itself. Primal trudged along carefully with his cylindrical probe launcher. His ursine instincts served him well here. He let his companion go ahead while he looked back at his ship. This was the first chance any of them had to survey the damage from the outside. It was, in a word, bad. Between the acid clouds and rust clouds, the hull was quickly starting to look like just another slagged down rusted up rock. The bridge deck was just a skeleton now. The canopy had cracked during the crash, and once the smog got in and started corroding things on both sides, it made quick work of it. They were just lucky to get out, and lucky Fusebox thought quick to seal off the deck with foam. Well. Sunbather, that was no kind of luck.

Jackribbit moved quickly, bouncing along on three legs while cradling the probe in his forearm. He made every forward step twice though, testing the ground before putting his full weight on it. "Up here maybe?" he asked, as he reached a particularly large slab of rock.

"It's nice and flat, and we're a good half click from the ship. Check the sides, make sure it's stable."

Jackribbit made three hops on each corner of the slab, which Ursus couldn't help but notice looked almost like a primitive alter. The rock didn't budge a pico, so creepy symbolism aside they'd found their launch pad. Ursus Primal nodded. "Alright, let's set up."

"Okay, uh, whoa hold on there, you feel that?"

"Feel what? The.. ah, hm, that's a breeze." Looking up, they could see motion in the smog around them now. Deep red and hints of green now rolled in with the murky orange, and faint flashes could be seen overhead, with rumbles of thunder. "Pegasus? We've got some weather out here."

//Yes, sir. The front came out of nowhere but it looks like a small one. Are you guys alright out there?//

"Gettin' a little warm but we're fine so far. We can't launch in a storm."

//Just sit tight a few cycles until the rust cloud rolls in and it should calm down.//

"Roger that," Ursus answered. "Alright, Jack, looks like we're hunkering down for a few."

=======

Pegasus leaned back in his seat and sighed. All the Captain and Jackribbit could do was wait, and that went double for him. He was a lion-eagle fuzor, so actually a griffin rather than his namesake. When he met other Earthen mythology aficionados they would always be irked by the inaccuracy, and then be treated to a long explanation of the different inspirations behind his name and beast mode. Pegasus had fashioned some elaborate ideas about himself, what most would call fantasies, but ideas that really came down to a devotion to nobility, chivalry, and divine reason. At one time, he had the money for a custom beast mode and weaponry, to make himself into his fantasy. Now, maybe cash was tighter, or maybe he wanted to get out into the galaxy and put his ideals to the test.

"It's a foolish waste of time and resources, I still say," said a gruff voice from under the engine manifold. Engineering now doubled as the bridge, so space was tight. Even moreso because the chief engineer, Fusebox, insisted against all odds that the engines could be fixed, and had tools and parts strewn all over the place, each one supposedly essential to his quixotic, irritable quest. "They oughta be in here building me a new ion converter."

"Well I think it's brave," Pegasus answered.

Fusebox muttered something. "slgsknpnseesghrnrmumcpn."

Pegasus didn't catch the words, but he sensed the gist and called on it. "What was that?"

"Nothin'... I said you're being naive."

"Hmph. Well that, I might be. But you know we keep asking if you need help."

"And I take it, when I can use it. Otherwise you're just in the way. Right now I need an ion converter, but you're all busy watching the weather channel."

"Okayy," said Pegasus. Fusebox's attitude was just hard for him to take sometimes. "The doctor, Shellshock and I need to monitor the away mission, but, Amalga?"

The femmebot, a young modeless patchwork of spare parts, called down from a catwalk, "I'll start gathering the parts now!"

"Thanks!" Pegasus called back. "Look, uh, Fusebox, nobody's saying the ship can't be fixed. We just, like the Captain said, it's survival, and we've got to explore every option and know what we're up against."

"Well.." Fusebox trailed off, "It just better not be a Predacon fleet! Cause I'll be slagged if I gotta get weapons back up, too!"

Dr. Fin, standing by quietly all this time, let out a hearty laugh at that. Pegasus just sighed and turned back to his console.

===========

Ursus and Jackribbit crouched on the downwind side of the 'alter' and the thick storm winds whipped around them. No words passed between them for a long while. Finally, Jackribbit had to ask, about something that was bothering him. "Did, did I hear right that the rust clouds are alive?"

Ursus shrugged. "They're not.. beings, I suppose, the doctor did find microbes."

"Like, nanites?"

"Nope, organics. Extremophile bacteria. They're smaller than nanites, and you can't get much more primitive, but they're a whole lot better suited to this world than we are."

"But, they eat metal."

"Not exactly, but it's not too great for us, I'll give you that. Dr. Fin thinks they surround themselves in rust as protection from the sulfuric acid. He still doesn't know what they actually eat, but they release oxidizing catalysts. Get a lifeform in a situation where it needs rust, and it'll evolve a way to make more rust. It's just trying to survive, same as we are."

"Huh. Couldn't, I mean we've got DNA scanners, right?"

"Heh, ever seen a bacterium beast mode?"

"Yeauuhh.. No. But, what about splicing the genes?"

Primal shook his head. "No, I asked, the biochemistry's just too different. They don't even have standard DNA. Maybe it can be done, but we don't have the time or equipment, or frankly... I just don't think its something they teach much in medical school."

"Oh. Okay. Well, I don't think I'd want to come home as a rust-toad-rabbit anyway. Oh." Jackribbit stopped. He had another worry now. "You don't think the Preds...?"

"Let's just hope to Primus we get out of here before we find out."

========

Once the storm cleared, the launch was pretty simple. Point cannon straight up. Put probe in cannon. Push button. Probe goes up. Coming down, that was the tricky part. Radio only carried several hundred feet in these fumes, and the clouds went up at least a mile. Maybe more. Finding out how much more was one of the things the probe was for. But, with no radio, the only way to get its readings was to physically recover it.

They had scanners for the purpose. Quickly they propped up a satellite dish on the cannon, and then Ursus and Jackribbit spread out at an angle, carrying their own dishes. Focused microwave was the best active scan to tell probe from rust cloud, and with three scanners they could triangulate when they didn't get perfect readings. This was one of the reasons the Captain was out there, besides not wanting to force anyone else to go out on a mission this dangerous. Out on the edge of the galaxy, in a battered old ship held together by tape and solder, your sensors were the only eyes and ears you had. Though he trusted his science officer, when he had one, Ursus was a captain who wanted his own eyes and ears as keen as could be. Picking signal out of the noise a nanoclick faster was sometimes the difference between near miss and transwarp explosion.

"500, 600, looks good, starting to-- Jack, take two more steps back! Ok, ahh, losing it. Okay, spread out some more and we'll watch for re-entry!"

The next tense cycle felt like a megacycle. They say no one writes poetry in Cybretronian time units or the Metric system, but you get the idea. Primal kept getting fuzz on his scanner, perking up, then drooping down. Jackribbit was amused, seing the Cap be the nervous one for once.

"Okay, okay this is it! 800, 770, Ok tighten up! Tighten up! It should.. Ah slag 700 c'mon.."

"It should be slowing down, right?"

"Yeah, the chute. I don't think the chute's working! Six hundred. Ok, vector 30, vector 30! Keep going.. Now left, left!"

Jackribbit stumbled about on the rocks. "Ah! Wait, which?!"

"Ok just tighten up, tighten up! Dammit!"

"I see it, the wind's got it now!"

"450, ahhhRRrrr! We're losing it!"

"I can--" Jackribbit perked up his rabbit ears in the suit, "I think I can hear it! If I just, ah slag it!" He dropped the scanner and started to paw at his head.

"Jack? Jackribbit what are you doing?!"

The fuzor just kept repeating, "I can get it, I can get it!" as he tore off his hood. He winced as the smog singed his fur and skin. Rust was better than acid against his synthflesh, but it was still plenty toxic and 300 degrees out. But, he just focused on the sound. He could hear the whoosh in the air coming down. He could do this.

"Jackribbit! No!" Ursus had dropped the scanner now, and ran after his crewman. The fuzor was hopping back and forth erratically now though, and there was no way the bear was going to catch up.

//Boss bot, what's going on out there?//

"Shellshock! Jack took his headgear off!"

//On my way, what'd he do that for?//

"He thinks he can catch the probe by sound!"

//Ah, that's a rabbit for ya!//

Jackribbit slammed into a high rock, and almost slipped off. He wheezed and coughed, and hes eyes were watered up. But the probe was almost to the ground. He steeled himself, closed his eyes tight and held his breath. He perched up on the rock, listening to the wind, ignoring his captains yells and footsteps. There it was. There it was. There it was.. going!

Ursus had almost reached him when Jackribbit took a giant leap. His back feet hit stone twenty feet away, coiled up and leapt again as a flaming ball dropped down from the murky sky. Jackribbit twisted in the air, reached out, and cradled the flaming projectile as it hammered his gut. No grace left for a landing, he crashed hard on his back. "I *cough* *cough* got it!"

Ursus Primal finally caught up and found him in the gap between three boulders, curled up around the probe, shaking and coughing with the hair burnt off his ears and skin soon following. Ursus cupped one hand over his forehead. Just as he begain to crouch down, he heard footsteps coming, loud, lumbering, unmistakably Shellshock.

"How is he?!" the turtle called ahead.

"We need to get him inside, now!" Ursus answered. Shellshock closed the distance fast, faster than you'd ever expect from a twelve foot giant tortoise, and had a backup mask, latex blanket and can of coolant already at the ready. Ursus scooped up Jackribbit and the probe, stood still just long enough for Shellshock to apply first aid, and then they ran for the ship.

=====

Jackribbit awoke to burning pain and the familiar dull yellow world of emergency lighting. Dr. Fin was nearby, but it was the Captain keeping watch over him. "Did--" Jackribbit had to stop and cough as he tried to speak, "Did we get the probe? *cough*"

Ursus smiled. "Jackribbit! Thought we lost you, buddy."

"Did we get anything off it?"

The captain nodded, but his voice was somber. "Yeah. Yeah we got some good readings. Jack, it wasn't worth it though. It wasn't worth your life."

"I'm *cough* I'm still alive, ain't I? Geez, Doc, what's it take to get some CR time around here?"

Ursus chuckled, and let the doctor reassure Jackribbit that he'd get into CR just as soon as they could confirm he was stable. Clearly though, there was more on the Captain's mind. "Next time, and I hope there won't be one, but next time you want to take that kind of risk and be the hero, ask me first, okay?"

Jackribbit smiled. "You woulda said no."

"Maybe. But I'm captain and that's my call to make, okay?"

"Yeah.." the fuzor turned his head away. "Yeah. I'm sorry, sir."

Ursus Primal shook his head, and laid his giant hand gently on the fuzor's shoulder. "No need to apologize. You did good, kid. You did good."


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 Post subject: Re: The Birth of Preda-Convoy
PostPosted: Sat Aug 22, 2009 2:19 am 
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Two Days Earlier

Green sunrise peeked up over the sickly red and orange clouds. The sky faded from green to yellow away from the planet's near star, until topped off by a thin layer of white ice clouds above. Two volcanic peaks poked out of the smog, and on one of them, four tired and dirty figures emerged from the hell down below.

"Whew! Finally!" Jackribbit exclaimed. Mostly healed up and done with the punishing day-long climb, his exuberance was finally returning.

Ursus Primal waved him on ahead. "Keep moving! Let's put at least a few vertical clicks between us and those clouds."

"Right, right!" Jackribbit nodded, "The further the better I say!"

"Still," said Pegasus, "It is nice to finally see some daylight. I feel like I can finally stretch my wings."

Shellshock nodded at that, "No wings here, but I gotta agree with that." The four of them had been chosen for the journey essentially by default. Three of them had suits already made, and there was only enough material for one more. Pegasus was beast moded, a fast flier, good fighter, and least useful of the remaining crew in the tech department. They did also need two big lugs, in Ursus Primal and Shellshock, to carry the subspace transmitter and power source, and Jackribbit with the skill to set up the rig, scouting instincts and keen senses. They'd seen no sign of the Predacons on the probe readings, but that didn't prove anything.

The captain laid out and reviewed the game plan as they climbed. "See up there, where it flattens out? We'll set up there. We'll take off the rubbers, and Shellshock, you do a once-over on everyone for damages while Jackribbit starts on the transmitter setup. I'll assist, and Pegasus, you've got a delivery to make."

The griffin nodded. "Yes, I've got to get these dresses back to the tailor for alterations."

"Right," said Ursus, "And do it quick. I know Fusebox still thinks he can rig up a shuttle, but that ship was smelling more and more like a deathtrap to me."

=======

They got up to the plateau and got straight to work. Jackribbit hummed merrily as he laid out the equipment. "The power socket's connected to the.. ion converter! The ion converter's connected to the.. AC adaptor!"

Shellshock, meanwhile, gave a worried grunt, and tapped against the back of his hand and arm. "Hmmph. We're all intact, but I think something must've seeped through those suits. My armor all feels soft."

Ursus nodded. "I'm sure it'll fade--"

"Shh!"

"Jackribbit?"

"Shh!" the fuzor raised his arm. "Listen!"

The four of them stood perfectly still. All the rest of them could hear was the morning breeze rapping up against the rocks, but Jackribbit heard more. "Buzzing," he whispered, "Two.. Three sets of wings I think, maybe more."

"Predacons?"

"Predacons."

Pegasus began to pace back and forth. He was still suited up, and in beast mode, not at all ready for battle. "Someone help me get this off so I can transform."

Shellshock took a step, but the Captain motioned him to stop. "No. Pegasus, you take those suits, you get back to the ship. We'll cover you if necessary."

"But, sir!" Pegasus protested, but was met with a stern look. No more words were needed. "Yes, sir."

"Jackribbit, where are they coming from?" Ursus asked.

"Northwest. They're circling north around the mountain, trying to get the drop on us I think."

"Okay, that's good. Pegasus, go south, straight down the slope and into the clouds. Hopefully they won't follow once you're down there."

"Yes, sir," the griffin nodded. "Good luck and godspeed," he wished them, and the Captain nodded back, before he bounded down the mountain.

It was another cycle before the Predacons came into view, at some distance. They heard a faint echo of a curse about rabbit ears. There were three flying insects, as Jackribbit said, two black and one green. There was also a black bird, a ravon or vulture probably, who was looking somewhat singed and short of feathers. Finally a bot in robot mode, also black, who appeared reptilian and to be flying with the aid of a jetpack.

"So, uh," said Jackribbit, "Think we can take em?"

Ursus Primal cracked his neck to the side. "Sure. Noo problem."

Shellshock grumbled. "I don't know, I got a bad feeling I know some of these 'cons."

"Really?" the captain cocked an eye ridge, "What do you know?"

"Hm," Shellshock squinted and turned up his magnification. "The green one, he's sniper. A good shot, but if we can get him close range he'll panic. Uh, slag, yeah that's her. The lizard's a swordswoman. Never heard her say a word or lose her cool, and she's tough as they come. Ah, don't know him.. Don't think I know him, and, ohh, her." Shellshock looked over at the transmitter and sighed.

"What?" said Jackribbit.

"The comms expert," Shellshock explained with a shake of his head, "We're not getting any sort of signal out while she's around."

"Oh," said Jackribbit, "Well she's a tech, then, she can't be much of a fighter, right?"

Shellshock chuckled and shook his head, "Try Secret Police comms expert."

"Alright," said Ursus, "Not all great news, but good to know. Let's see what they want." He looked over, already reading his comrade's reaction. "I know. Just stay calm until I say otherwise."

The Preds were in range now. One of the black insects, the one Shellshock hadn't pointed out, came forward to the lead, and called out, "Predacons, terrorize!" They transformed in unison, revealing he, the visored gun toting commando; she, his companion, the dagger wielding femme fatale; the ravon, a thin, gangly, half dead looking bot with no weapons but a sick and twisted grin; the lizard, a guay to be exact, wearing ninja mask and holding a katana at the ready; and, her jetpack, who flipped around and transformed into a diminutive bot with short arms, short legs, and a big head.

"A kid?" Jackribbit said under his breath, "They brought a kid?"

The lead Predacon smirked in the fuzor's direction. "Just for that, my boy's going to be the one to take you out. But," he flew a foot higher, and launched into his speech, "What do we have here? A genuine bonafide one of kind Optimus Prime knockoff! You, my new faceplated friend, will be the first, but not the last Convoy to share the honor of being defeated by the Prismatic One! I must say, I almost envy you."

Ursus Primal tilted his head. "Yyeah. Look. We're outnumbered. We're low on energon. We don't have our weapons. Why don't we just talk surrender terms?"

The Predacon leader, who-- let's just come out and say it -- was named Prism, crossed his arms and smiled. "I like a bot who acknowledges his obvious limitations. Well?" He pivoted around to face his cohorts, "What say you?"

The other black insect, Lightspeed of course, considered. "He's BSing about no weapons. And I don't know where he gets off about terms. But, we listen to some Maximal blather, deny all the terms, do a thorough search, and we're all home by bedtime."

At this, the ravon chimed in. "BOOO-RING!"

"I dunno, cous," said the green dragonfly bot, a.k.a. Threatener, "He's a Convoy. You gotta fight a Convoy. I mean, how am I, I mean you, gonna pick up chicks with 'Yeah once I ran into Ursus Primal and he totally surrendered because he forgot his gun that day. And, uh, yeah cause I'm such a badass.'"

"Threats," said Lightspeed, "You do realize that's still better than all of your actual pickup lines."

"Really? so, uh, do you--"

"NO. Ew."

"BOOO-RING!"

By now, the toddler-bot agreed. "Kick! Their! Butts!" Even the silent lizard, Blade, now raised her sword, in seeming agreement.

Prism turned back to the Maximals and shrugged. "Well, that's it then. You're Maximals, you're on my mountain, and you made a big bloody mess out of a secret base that I wouldn't give a shit about, except we got stuck cleaning it up and it's making us late for a party, so I'm sorry but I'm just going to have to tear you limb from limb and put your head in my trophy case."

"Right," said Primal, "I understand, no hard feelings. And, oh, I'm sorry, is this your wife or your.."

"Fiancee!" Lightspeed beamed, waving her ring finger.

"Ah! Congratulations! All the best. And you were right," Ursus Primal smiled, "I was BSing about no weapons." He held his arms to his sides, and two large cannons ejected from his back. Magnetically guided, they attached to his forearms, and immediately he swung them forward and gave Lightspeed and Prism each a plasma blast to the chest.


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 Post subject: Re: The Birth of Preda-Convoy
PostPosted: Tue Sep 15, 2009 10:43 pm 
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With all the banter, one could be excused for thinking the Predacon band was offering for a game of touch football, not open war. And, the battle started almost as a game, except that two of the Preds had holes in their torsos.

The child 'con ran to his mother. "Mommy! Daddy! Are you okay?"

"Yeah," said Lightspeed. She picked herself up off the rocks and shook the loose bolts out of her head. "Let's go beat up the turtle! Okay?"

"Yeah!"

Shellshock was in for a fun day of being pestered by a pop gun and endless supply of small flash grenades, while Lightspeed darted in and out of his range giving him jabs and cuts. She judged, correctly, that this Maximal didn't have the spark to throw down on a two foot tall toddler, so it was a perfect confidence building exercise for her son. She just had to keep Shellshock busy enough that he couldn't come to the aid of Fearless Leader.

Ursus Primal, meanwhile, was getting tag teamed by Prism and Blade. Their first priority was getting rid of those plasma cannons. A quick ninja strike from Blade sliced up one of them, and Prism's plasma rifle disabled the other moments later. Ursus had plenty to make him dangerous without those, though.

Jackribbit took to the offensive. He couldn't fly, but he could sure jump, plus he had a extendable whip that doubled as a grappling hook and a rapidfire blaster. He kept after the dragonfly, trying to destroy his sniper rifle, or at least keep him from lining up any good shots. Meanwhile, for some inexplicable reason, the black bird bot was fixated on chasing after Jackribbit. Actually, if you took Sin at his word, most of those words being comments about Jackribbit's hindquarters, the reason was very clear. It had to be some sort of mindgame, though.

It was spirited sparring matches, and cat and mouse. But the fight wore on. The damage piled up. And with each traded blow, things got a little nastier, a little more desperate. Some of them had to notice, in their spare nanoclick to catch their breath, that the clouds below them were billowing and rising. A storm was approaching.


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 Post subject: Re: The Birth of Preda-Convoy
PostPosted: Sat Apr 03, 2010 11:44 am 
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Ursus Primal made a tactical error early on, by trying to take down Prism claw to hand. One thing he could usually count on about flight moded, big talking Preds with a freshly waxed shell was that they went down quick in a fist fight-- if they didn't run away first. It turned out this Prism though liked nothing better than a good brawl. Those buff servomuscles weren't just for show, and he kept taking punishment and coming right back. Unknown to Primal, Prism had a kinetic absorption ability. Every blow he took was being stored up for one powerful retaliatory strike. The lizard femme on the other hand was a sneaky little opportunist, keeping behind him and giving him a sharp stab any time he took his optics off her for a nanoclick, then darting out of range and into a blind spot. She was taking a lot of slices at the middle of his back, which worried him in the back of his mind. A bot of that discipline seldom did anything less than deliberately.

He saw Shellshock briefly get the upper hand, when the giant turtle threw away his scruples and gave the Pred tot a good whack. The child fell back several yards and got up crying. Shellshock gave chase. The child's mother made a desperate move to stop him, which, being entirely expected and executed with greater passion than skill, Shellshock countered, got her trapped against the ground, and started bashing her head against a rock.

A click later though Ursus heard a loud crack and saw Shellshock flying through the air with a trail of smoke. Damned secret weapons. Then, from the opposite direction, he heard a scream. The raven-bot had caught Jackribbit.

Jackribbit was pinned, forcably bent over, and crying for help. His captor had a sick grin on his face, and was poised behind his new toy. Primal knew what was coming next. "NO!" he yelled out. On instinct and rage, he immediately decked Prism, threw off Blade, and ran to stop this from happening.

Sin just smiled at him. "Oh, do you want in?"

Then it was Ursus Primal who yelled out. Something expoded into his back with awesome force, and he collapsed to the ground. He had little time to wonder what had happened, for Prism was on top of him immediately, pinning one shoulder, holding his other arm in a lock, and pushing something into his fresh, burning wound. Prism forced the pistol through Primal's cracked spark chamber, smiling as Ursus tensed up, winced and bit his tongue. The barrel of the gun was right up against his spark now.

"Surrender," Prism demanded coolly.

Ursus gritted his teeth, looking up at Sin and the prone Jackribbit. "Just make him stop!"

"No conditions. You will surrender. To me. Now."

"He's just a kid!"

Sin smiled even wider, "Mmm, honey you didn't tell me you were a virgin. Let's make this special."

Jackribbit was just repeating to himself at this point, "Please don't Please don't Please don't...."

"You're not really going to let him.." Ursus pleaded, "What about your kid? You're letting him watch this?"

"Good point," Prism conceded, "Except he's already on his way back to the ship." Ursus felt Prism shift slightly on top of him, but his hold stayed steady. Prism then barked out an order, "Threatener! You've already got him, don't get any closer!"

The reply called back from a moderate distance, "You think I'm a rookie?! Hey there Shelly, how's tricks? Don't make a move, don't make a sound, or else you're gonna get Threaterized."

Ursus could only deduce that Shellshock was now squarely in the scope of a sniper rifle. "Please.."

"Heh," said Prism. He looked up at Sin and Jackribbit. Sin was actually showing an incredible amount of restraint, relatively speaking. An unspoken bargain had been struck. Prism had never condoned Sin's proclivities, at least when they were in his presence or might involve him, but in this case they both knew that he couldn't give up a tactical advantage this good. It was time to call the next shot. Prism grinned slightly, and casually remarked, "Oh, Sin, don't wait on account of us."

"Please don't Please don't Pleas--" Jackribbit abruptly choked. He swallowed, tried to breath, and then screamed in agony. The image burned itself into Primal's cortex.T here was only one, possible, way to stop this.

"We surrender! I surrender!," Ursus Primal cried out, "Just please, if you have any decency in your spark.."

"Good," said Prism, "Thank you. Blade?"

A moment later, the world went dark for Ursus Primal. It was only stasis lock, but in truth his life as a Maximal ended at that moment.


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