Dead End listened to Spinister's introduction, utterly bored. Oh joy. They got to defend a Weapon-of-the-Week. Coo! Calay! Not only that, his partners were Sell Sword and Starscream. Oh, frabjous day! Maybe if Starscream pretended it was one of Megatron's Weapons-of-the-Week, they could go home early.
He might as well scout out the assigned area; Starscream would probably expect him to have a map and tactical analysis five minutes ago. Dead End transformed and rolled off into their designated sector, an industrial zone of mixed warehouses and light manufacturing plants--and what looked like a sewage treatment plant, or possibly an algae farm. He'd probably wind up dunking his finish in that mess--or else the holodeck would malfunction and use actual lethal force on him.
On the other hand, Dead End thought as he rolled down a side street, these warehouses all looked alike, and were good places to hide things... like a stray Porsche.
It may come as a relief to Dead End to discover that Starscream is not interested in beating him up. Then again, it may merely give him more reason to question his significence in everything. Whatever. Either way, seeing the Stunticon scouting in advance was good.
Starscream was getting a bird's-eye view of the terrain, flying above in robot mode. After a few considerations, he transmitted to both his conspirators. //Dead End. Given that the only ground vehicles our opponents have are Wreckage and Scourge, you give us a distinct tactical advantage for speed and maneuverability. I'm considering making our target a mobile one and placing you on defense. What sort of radius does your force field have? Can it be extended so you and the flag are contained? Sell Sword, have you been able to spar with anyone else?// Starscream was hoping he could point out he was capable of holding his own against someone like Wreckage or maybe even Scourge.
Fliers fliers fliers... Skystrike and Thundercracker together were going to be a problem, but Sky-Byte was the only one in his team with airborne capacity. Starscream made a note that Scourge's firepower would make flight difficult for even someone as talented in the skies as he, but was hoping that Sky-Byte and Scourge could be pitted against each other. Frenzy could be a problem to the larger mechanoids in close combat, or could put some of his talents to work for defense purposes but otherwise wasn't considered an offensive threat by Starscream.
The warehouse doors were thin and easily rammed open. He'd have cover from the annoying number of aerial opponents in this exercise. So...
// Sir, my forcefields--when they are functional--are about a millimeter from my skin and serve to reinforce it. They are not extendible. I am not Trailbreaker. I also do not run out of energy for my forcefields nearly as fast as he does. Beyond that, you'd have to ask Megatron why he built us the way he did. //
"Yes, Sell Sword, I am," Dead End informed the helicopter as he dropped down beside him. "Please excuse me for a moment, I need to complete my mapping."
With that, he transformed and flew to the top of one of the taller buildings in the area, and quickly completed his own scan of the sector // Uploading complete radar map of the sector, as soon as you are ready. //
Finally, he dropped back down beside Sell Sword. "You may also want a map of the sector."
It is at this point that the communications tower outside is activated. Due to alterations made, it manages to trigger the solid-light holo-projectors of the training room, causing images to form in the sky overhead. See the Dark Tower thread for full details.
Don't open the coffin. Don't let them take Skids. Don't go to Delphi. And do not - I repeat do not - look in the basement.
Post by Starscream on Dec 30, 2007 21:51:08 GMT -5
Starscream was admittedly gobsmacked at the sight of the behemoth, and people on Broadband had identified it as Unicron. Hmm. Impressive. "Unicron, huh?" Starscream said at the end of the video, turning his head to Dead End. "And you said I managed to strike a bargain with him?" Good to know...
Dead End stared at the sky. Unless Needlenose had very peculiar notions of background flavor for the simulation, this was not exactly an intended transmission. The locals--running about terrified of some impending doom. They'd known something had depopulated the planet, so it probably wasn't something pleasant--
"Unicron," Dead End said flatly. How obvious in retrospect. The Devourer roamed this universe too. Dead End knew with utter certainty that it would be back. They wouldn't have to wait for starvation and entropy to claim them. It would all be over for them, Decepticons and Autobots alike, much sooner than that.
He sat down heavily on an abandoned forklift. Breakdown would be sobbing in a corner with that thing looking down at him from the sky, and Drag Strip's brittle facade of assurance would have cracked into so many splinters as he pounded on Motormaster and demanded that their leader do something. Wildrider would be huddled nearby, silent at last, optics wide with terror. Motormaster would, for once in his existance, be too shocked to grab Drag Strip and slam his head into the pavement. Motormaster would simply stare at the thing tearing into the planet and call out in one brief moment of grief and despair, "MEGATRON!"
That's what had happened before. They'd turned to each other, merged without orders, seeking strength in the mechs closest to them--and it was Menasor that survived Unicron. Menasor had the strength not to be pulled into Unicron's maw, not to be crushed by tumbling buildings.
Dead End needed them now. Even Motormaster, for his unrelenting strength. He needed them... and they were gone. He was alone, abandoned to die--and die soon. His past was a brief, futile struggle against the inevitable, a flame guttering slowly out in the smothering darkness. The present was a black well of despair. The future... was oblivion.
Why did he have to be right?
"So it will end. How long before it returns to destroy us all?" Dead End said bleakly.
Then Scourge's radio transmission came in. The big black truck was still focused on the game! The pointless, futile little game! Yet... Scourge was not afraid. He had seen ultimate death in the skies, and he was not afraid... and his voice was comforting, strong, seductive. Perhaps there was something to be gained from this exercise after all. Motormaster was gone, but Scourge was here.
Did even that matter? In the end, nothing could stave off the inevitable. Still, it would be nice to have a leader again, to have companions, even if they all were doomed to the same oblivion.
It finally registered on Dead End that Starscream was speaking to him. He looked up at the Air Commander. "He had been mostly destroyed by that point--just his head was orbiting Cybertron. Apparently it still had will and power."
"Theres nothing to say it will kill us all. At least the fliers that can will be able to get off world and then just keep running." He says, he's had to flee many times, but he doubts he'll get away this time.
Post by Starscream on Dec 31, 2007 17:00:12 GMT -5
"That is enough from both of you!" Starscream snapped. "What is left here for Unicron? We are probably in the safest place of the universe from him, with a Matrix-bearer. I am NOT losing this game because you two cannot gain some perspective on the issue here. Now." He pointed to the Stunticon. "Dead End. Finish your mapping." He turned and pointed to the mercenary. "Sell Sword. You'll be best suited to let your opponent close with you. Work with Dead End and find some good places for the purposes of an ambush, ideally places Dead End can take the flag and lead our opponents past. I am going to get an aerial scan of the surrounding area. Dead End, I expect maps transmitted to me the moment you've compiled them."
And with that, Starscream transformed and took off. Pray he doesn't have to return to offer more morale coaching, it will be far, far less pleasant.
// Actually, sir, // Dead End radioed the rapidly flying Starscream, // I had finished mapping and was about to upload it to you when the local newscast interrupted things. // He offers the upload transmission to Starscream and Sell Sword; it's up to them to accept it.
Dead End thought his perspective was perfectly reasonable. He always knew they were all doomed; nothing had changed, except that (a) there were now graphic pictures of a likely doom, and (b) other Decepticons were coming around to his point-of-view.
"Sell Sword, if you will reference the map at grid <several sets of coordinates>, you will note there are a number of nice arrangements of major streets with side alleys leading into dead-end loading areas and such like. There are also some going straight through to the next major cross-street, if you want an 'obvious' escape route to channel fleeing victims through. And, some of those 'dead-end' loading areas have narrow pedestrian alleys that you, or myself on two wheels--or flying--can take, or warehouses with thin doors that can be driven through," Dead End informed Sell Sword.
"I can't quite take down thick concrete walls like Motormaster, but I can ram through sheet metal walls. The construction here is a mix of that ceramicrete-block stuff and sheet metal. The radar returns differ, depending on the material; once you've compared a few to what's on your maps, you'll see the difference."
Dead End radioed Starscream: // I assume, sir, you'll be dealing with Thundercracker and Skystrike? Or will you want my assistance in ambushing them? //
Last Edit: Dec 31, 2007 17:27:11 GMT -5 by Dead End
Post by Sell Sword on Dec 31, 2007 18:22:33 GMT -5
Sell Sword waited until Starscream got out of hearing range until he spoke again.
"Of course, the way i heard it was that the new prime got lucky. He just happened to have fallen into the same hole that Galvatron and the matrix ended up falling into. Whats you pessimistic take on this, Dead End." Sell Sword asks.
Sure, he may have claimed not to know much about whats been happening on Cybertron, but its hard to miss some news that comes through. Especially when it involves people continuously asking you if you were there when Unicron got defeated.
Post by Starscream on Dec 31, 2007 22:23:16 GMT -5
The F-15 accepted the transmission for the maps. And went over them. Transmitting to both of them; //Probably not, Dead End. I can outrun them. Focus on remaining at ground level and draw them to you. Stick with high-rise buildings, it'll encourage them to slow down. Sell Sword, if Scourge is in the area he is your target, secondary to stopping anyone who has obtained the flag from Dead End. // Noone else would match him in terms of ground performance, after all. //Dead End, will you be able to maneuver sufficiently in this area?//
Hmm.. the area was reasonably small. Starscream's speed might not mean much. But in his battle with Spinister, one thing was made clear - Sell Sword's ability was limited unless he could get close enough. The speedy Dead End would be best to handle the flag itself.
"I have no idea, Sell Sword. I just know that Rodimus Prime got the credit for blowing Unicron apart. And this is a different Rodimus Prime than mine. Who knows if he can do the same thing?" Dead End shrugged.
Dead End extended his radio antenna and tied the flagpole to it, then transformed. Dead End sighed audibly. "I look like college football fan's car on the way to the Bowl game," he said in a tone of disgust.
To Starscream, he transmitted: // Yes, of course. // There is no other possibility.. I am a Stunticon! said his tone.
// I have already been pointing out likely routes and ambush sites with escape routes to Sell Sword. So, we are going to use terrain and maneuverability rather than forting up or setting booby traps? Well-considered, sir, given our individual strengths. Megatron did not give you the credit you deserved. //
Transmitted to both Sell Sword and Starscream: // Sell Sword, Commander: This is the Stunticon tactical frequency. <gives freq>. It's already set up as a broadcast channel that I know for tactical coordination. Switching now. //
Dead End switched to the Stunticon tactical channel: // I will be coordinating my course with Sell Sword for ambushes and the like. We lack any decent high-rises here, though there are a few mid-size office buildings. I think we shall be ready to start soon. //
Finally, he had one more radio transmission to make...
//We've got mobility on our side. No need throwing at away by sitting in a well armoured box.// Sell Swords says.
//Also, Dead End. Why don't we just stow in your trunk, or in your cab? Or for that matter, why don't we stow in Starscream's cockpit? Nobody can catch up to him, so at worst the game drags on into eternity as he outruns everybody.//