Dead End proceeded away from Sellsword and Starscream. Since Starscream promptly transformed and flew off, the latter wasn't too hard.
Dead End wound through the streets and alleys of the warehouse district, scanning for anything moving with his radar. Someone had to be bold enough to come hunting him, or at least scouting the area, didn't they?
He came to a street he'd noted earlier, one with a ramp leading up to the roof--which doubled as a parking deck. Dead End zoomed up the ramp to the roof and scanned the surrounding district. Unless they dug through the ground--and Hellbender was in the other game--he should notice anyone moving into this sector.
Post by Sable Conolly on Jan 11, 2008 10:47:33 GMT -5
Scourge has a map of Dead End's sector. In a city like this, there have to be radar-dead areas. Given that Dead End went and mapped them, figuring out where there are is a bit tricky. Scourge has a few best guesses at where the geometry would interfere enough that Dead End would have to be very near to pick anything up. Scourge also has to be aware of aerial surveillance.
Why Dead End's sector first? He knows that Dead End will put up a fight, if he finds him. However, Scourge has an idea of what sort of fight Dead End will put up, and despite the force fields, he's pretty sure he can take Dead End. Also, if Scourge can put Dead End down without putting him out, he can pump him for information, he's fairly sure. He's less sure about Skystrike, Thundercracker, and Wreckage. Finally, Scourge is hoping that the jets will duke it out among themselves.
Scourge heads toward a water treatment plant, driving along the bottom of a river bed. It's a deep, muddy river, and he heads in the direction of the current. Scourge is confident that he cannot be spotted from above for now. He has inherent skill in both stealth and infiltration, something that people often do not expect from him. Blessed with power and martial prowess as his and bearing such a temper, why would anyone assume him capable of subtlety? That, and people see what they want or expect to see and filter out the rest. People do not want or expect to see a semi-truck driving along the bottom of a river bed.
Of course, once he gets to the water treatment plant, it'll be a different story. He supposes that he can hang around inside, crawling on hands and knees, but if he wants to accomplish anything, he's going to have to get out of the building.
Dead End's radar informed him of Starscream and Thundercracker's antics over in Thundercracker's sector of the city. Not like Starscream to be so inaccurate with someone whose combat tactics he should know very well. Oh well, perhaps he just got unlucky with the first shot.
He watched the pillar of smoke sprout in the distance with vague interest; it wasn't happening here, but it was distracting. Possibly too distracting. He'd been sitting on one rooftop long enough. Dead End revved his engine and gunned it, easily jumping the gap between this rooftop and the next, another cinderblock, steel-frame building he'd scoped out.
He landed much more gently than it looked--lifters were good for that--and jounced across the rooftop to another, simlarly sturdy building. If he took care, there was a hopscotch pattern of solid roofs that could take him halfway across his sector.
If he got an enemy on his tail, there were much more flimsy roofs he could jump on with the aid of his lifters.
Post by Sable Conolly on Jan 12, 2008 10:00:40 GMT -5
One of the problems of being underwater in a muddy river is not having a fantastic idea of what is going on outside. Now, if his team was here, he'd have Movor up in orbit for orbital intelligence and possibly also Ro-Tor in the air for aerial surveillance. Scourge would be much better informed than he is. Instead, he is relying on a strange car who could well be leading him into a trap.
One of the other problems of being underwater in a muddy river is being unable to use his top speed. Scourge doesn't want to run into a river bank or leave a conspicuous trail in the surface water. Also, water is harder to displace than air.
Still, he has made it to the water treatment plant. Underwater, he quietly transforms to robot mode, his verbal cue muffled by the medium, and he withdraws the Sword of Fury. He cuts through one of the intake screens and collapses back down into semi-truck mode, heading toward the mixing tank.
After a while of nothing much happening while Starscream went off and set things on fire and Sellsword did who knows what and where the hell was Scourge?--Dead End got bored. This whole exercise was pointless, anyway, since they weren't ever going to be fighting in small teams of Con against Con. They were going to fight Autobots, and probably get slaughtered since everyone would be holding grudges from this stupid exercise and not support each other.
There must be something suitable in his memory banks to tide him over until this waste of his all-too-short lifespan was over. Ah, there was: some nice dark, depressing Clark Ashton Smith: The Chain of Aforgomon.
The Porsche began to read, text slowly scrolling across his interior radar display.
Post by Sable Conolly on Jan 12, 2008 17:32:52 GMT -5
Scourge pretty much exists in a perpetual state of foul temper. He might be angry and mad at the same time, or furious and depressive, but the edge is always there. However, it has subsided somewhat. Driving around in a mucky river (due to silt, not pollution) has given him time to think and bring his boiling fury down to a bare simmer. He really should check on his team mates. This is supposed to be a team exercise. Being a lone commando is very manly, but he's rather defeating the purpose of the game.
He opens connections to both their channels, //Sky-Byte? Frenzy? I have the flag secured. What has happened so far? Sky-Byte, see if Frenzy needs an aerial insertion into a likely spot to gather data.//
Scourge's own slowness in navigating the river has reminded him that Frenzy has short legs and could probably use a lift. He isn't going to warn them about him being in two places at once yet. They might give away the surprise. Still, it's more team work than might be expected of him. Luckily for him, the mixer is not mixing at the moment. He moves onward, toward the flocculation vat.
Well, that story was much too short! Dead End had finished it, and nothing interesting had happened. Perhaps Scourge had gotten lost. He briefly considered radioing Scourge to ask him, then dismissed the idea. If Scourge couldn't find his way here with a map, he didn't deserve the chance to chase Dead End around the rooftops.
Hopefully Scourge or someone would turn up to relieve the incredible tedium before he finished reading The Beast of Averoigne.
Post by Sable Conolly on Jan 12, 2008 21:29:03 GMT -5
Scourge's reply is somewhat droll, //Guarding the flag, Sky-Byte. Unexciting work, as it should be. You heard Frenzy, Sky-Byte. You're our flier. Get our spy where he needs to be.//
Seems like the fliers are having their own little 'my wings are bigger' contest. At the very least, people should be amply distracted.
The sedimentation tank is singularly disgusting, and just when Scourge thinks it's as bad as it can be, he has to go through the filtration tank, which proves to be even worse. It's true. The world exists to anger Scourge, and it succeeds. Several clearwell tanks later, and he's done.
A swift transformation, Scourge hauls his way out of the last clearwell tank and quickly hides himself inside the nearest building, bashing in a wall with a minimum of fuss. He waits a time inside, shaking himself until dry.
There is a helicopter out there hunting for his fuel, and he needs to find a Stunticon who will not make himself easy to find. Scourge supposes that he gets to try it before he buys it, this way. Dead End can fly. The most inconvenient place for Dead End to be would be some place up high. The Stunticon'll be able to scan for intruders from there.
Of course, this is assuming that Dead End is even here and not in a different sector.
Scourge considers his map of the city and withdraws his steel cable. He can do a jog along some alley ways, keeping close to the walls and under overhangs, and it'll put him near a relatively tall building. Scourge makes his run, and he pauses, dead still and flat against the facing of the building away from the city centre. As long as Dead End isn't in one corner-ish area, he won't be detected from this approach. With the assistance of his steel cable, he scales up the side of the building and crouches on the top, sheltering near the shed on the top and the antennae. Scourge scans about, and... success!
How is he supposed to get over there? Moreover, without losing the element of surprise, if he still has it, even? It's entirely possible that he's been detected. Scourge does not sigh. He merely rappels back down the side of the building and makes his way towards Dead End's location. Hopefully from behind Dead End's position, he attempts to scale Dead End's building. Once up, he makes no attempt to be stealthy. Instead, he stands tall and proud, the cable held in his hands. Scourge greets, his voice a low, breezy growl, "Hello, Dead End."
The proximity alarm on Dead End's radar started blaring at him as soon as Scourge put the first hand over the edge of the roof. He transformed and said, "Oh, bother. At least you got here before I finished the story--"
Then shot the edge of the roof out from under Scourge with his air concussion rifle, transformed back into a Porsche, and hit the gas, accelerating for the far edge of the roof from Scourge...
// I'll have to notify Starscream, you realize, or he'll suspect. And I can't just roll over; that would look bad.. not to mention be boring. Toodles! //
Post by Sable Conolly on Jan 12, 2008 22:59:29 GMT -5
There is scant little time from the feel off the approaching pressure wave to move, but Scourge's reflexes are very good. He rocks forward ever so slightly, putting his weight onto the tips of his toes. As he does so, he crouches down slightly. Then, Scourge snaps up, with all the power of an orbital payload rocket, vaulting toward the sky. Below him, the roof where he was standing crumbles. The sun glints off his frame, despite the simulated muck that dots his body.
Scourge lands with a thunk. Quickly, he loops the steel cable into a lasso and, hips swaying from the throw, snaps it out after one of Dead End's rear wheels or his muffler. He calls out after him, "Can't have been a good story if being assaulted is more interesting."
Scourge purrs, //Of course. I would not expect anything less. I shall enjoy shattering your force field.// There is no 'if' about it. He'll manage it somehow. Scourge notes the flag with avid interest. It could easily be a decoy. Starscream may have hid his flag in some random building and equipped Dead End with a fake. Dead End could be lying about the flag being mobile. The flag could be with Starscream, Sell Sword, or some mobile construct. Dead End might even think that he has the real flag, to make the illusion seem better. Better find out!
Dead End was not to be caught so easily. Perhaps if he'd stood around gloating instead of transforming and bolting, he would have been shocked as Scourge leaped high in a way Motormaster never had and came down, avoiding Dead End's impromptu ambush. Dead End, however, was confident in the limitless ability of the universe to screw him over and kill him. Only by staying light on his wheels and moving fast did he have any chance of prolonging his barren existance by a few pointless moments.
The steel lasso fell short, kicked back by Dead End's spinning tires. Dead End surged across the short gap between this building and the next, landing with a double 'thud' of tires on the far side.
"No, rather the intermission was highly distracting!" he shouted back at Scourge.
// First you have to catch me, Commander Scourge, // Dead End purred back.
Post by Sable Conolly on Jan 13, 2008 13:51:37 GMT -5
Scourge does not transform to semi-truck mode. Due to the laws of anime physics, as a truck, he'll probably crash through a roof, but as a robot, he can land on them after gorgeously long leaps without so much as cracking the roof. Also, staying in robot mode gives him hands that he can use to grapple on to the side of a building if he misses. If Dead End gets too far ahead of him, Scourge may reconsider and transform, or he might just start shooting the roofs out from under Dead End.
Finally, if Scourge is really in trouble he'll call Sky-Byte for help.
Scourge would rather not go there. As soon as he starts running, he starts reeling back his lasso. Scourge builds up speed until the very edge of the roof, and he leaps after Dead End. Poised for a hard landing, perhaps even a landing where the roof caves in on him, he snaps out the lasso after Dead End, this time aiming for the flag attached to the Stunticon's antenna.
Dead End's reaction should be interesting. If the flag is real or Dead End thinks it is real, he should act more concerned than if Dead End thinks it is not real. Of course, with Dead End, concerned is rather hard to tell.
"Not nearly distracting enough if you're still moving," Scourge replies, his threat like a velvet strangling cord.
Commander Scourge? He could get used to be called that, oh yes.
Dead End was not one of the geniuses among the Decepticons, for all that he affected the air of a bored intellectual, but neither was he stupid. Really, Scourge would have to be blind and stupid not to go after the flag, and Dead End was quite sure that Scourge was neither. He'd expected that move. There was also something to be said about having 360 degree high-resolution radar, too.
Dead End rolled 90 degrees in mid-jump, letting the lasso snap past the flagstaff horizontally and fall back, then continued the roll the rest of the way and landed with a solid 'thump' on the sturdy roof. He skidded in a sharp turn on two tires--
"The only problem is I'm not some amateur Autobot, Scourge!"
-- and accelerated toward the next jump. This one headed for a much less sturdy, sheet-metal roof...
Post by Sable Conolly on Jan 13, 2008 17:06:14 GMT -5
Scourge does not follow Dead End to that aluminium roof. Dead End can fly. He could take this chase to the air if he really wanted to make life difficult for Scourge. So gifted, Dead End might trust his chances with that roof, but Scourge doesn't. Instead, he bounds off his roof at a diagonal and makes a leap for a nearby building with a sturdier looking roof. Landing hard, Scourge is pretty clearly trying to flank Dead End.
The Decepticon also attempts to return an earlier favour that Dead End proved unable to deliver. With his left hand, he draws his plasma gun, which he doesn't have to shout to use. Leading Dead End a bit, he snaps off a shot where Dead End's next patch of ceiling will be. Right-handed, Scourge cracks the lasso forth, again trying at the flag.
Dead End acted to protect the flag. Of course, it could still be a decoy. This chase will wear on a while yet, in all likelihood, but for now Scourge is flush with the thrill of the chase, and Dead End hasn't goaded Scourge yet in a way that would lead to rash, unwise actions.
Scourge fairly coos, although his tone is mocking, "Oh, come off it, Dead End. An amateur Autobot? You're at least a professional."
Dead End can fly--just barely in car mode, enough to do totally unnatural stunts, but to stay in the air in car mode is energy-consuming. Just flying away in robot mode wasn't something Stunticons did, unless they heard Megatron's voice calling the retreat. Sometimes not even then.
The roof he was aiming for vanished under Dead End's wheels. How convenient! He let himself fall through the roof as Scourge's lasso just tapped the tip of his flagstaff. Scourge was getting too handy with that--time to open the distance. Dead End slammed onto the concrete floor two stories below and bounced, then accelerated forward--
He smashed into the sheet metal wall, tearing a new entrance, and zoomed down the ally outside. Now Dead End was at street level, out of sight of the flat and gently sloped rooftops...