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Clash at Promontory Point

Who: Scattershot, Encore, Hardhead, Hawkeye, Cyclonus, Shockwave, Amber MacKenzie, Nate Briar
IC Year: 2033
Location: Mars
TP: Martian Memorandum

None


Valles Marineris

The magnificent Valles Marineris valley system is comprised of a multitude of valleys and canyons stretching 3,000 miles, from the Tharsis Planitia at the western end of the canyon system to the Elysium Planitia at the east end. The region is filled with extinct volcanos and other peculiar geological findings. The atmosphere is almost 80 percent carbon dioxide here, rising to well over 95% further east and making it hazardous for those who need to breath oxygen.

Scattershot is studying several monitors, hands folded behind his back, a cloud of whispy energon smoke gathering above him. Various images and feeds of the Decepticon encampment flash on screen. "There we go...It ain't much of a window, but that'll just make it more fun..."

Lightspeed slides out from under the computer panel, he just finished hooking up some wiring for the computer. "That better Boss?"

Encore 's own enercigar-smoke should reach Scattershot's nose well before the big Autobot himself does, coated with dust. He seems to smoke a more expensive brand than Kup as he looks briefly out the window over the surface of mars.

"Bloody dust gets everywhere." He comments, sniffing. "Third filter-change this week." He pauses. "I know that look, yer up to something.2

Amber MacKenzie is perched atop a stack of boxes, taking a break from her exercises. It's also a good idea to keep from underfoot, since having someone step on her will really ruin her day. She idly swings her legs as she watches over the Autobot meeting, listening intently. This isn't her type of mission, but she's anxious to know what's going on. For now, she's silent. This is their show.

Hardhead comes walking into the area as he surveys the gathered Autobots and Humans. "I understand an operation is about to occur." He pauses as he crosses his arms across his chest. "I want in."

Amber MacKenzie's heart, beating normally up until now, drops into her stomach, and she swallows hard. The time has come... "Er," she begins timidly, "I could use the chance to plant some oxygen caches for future missions."

Hardhead looks at Amber and nods. He looks at her suit. "Is that rated for combat?"

Encore looks over at Amber, then shakes his head. "Nah that's not an exo-suit." he comments with a sniff. "That's just a vac-suit.2

Amber MacKenzie shakes her head. "No, sir, but I'm not here for combat. My talent is in getting into tight places without being seen. To be more effect in my mission, I need more oxygen available since the Con base is far away. It's my intention to bury caches of oxygen that I may need on the way back from one of those missions."

Hardhead nods his head. "Understood. That is a valuable objective that should be obtained." He looks at Encore. "Are you capable of transporting organic life?"

Encore nods "Course I am, guv. Not sure I'm airtight though."

Hardhead looks at Encore and nods. "I am air tight...in my alternative mode. I could leave Duros here, my effectiveness may be limited, but it should still be effective enough for this mission and provide an emergency transport for Ms. MacKenzie."

Nate Briar arrives silently thanks the Glaive. The Glaive comes to a halt and nears Hardhead and hangs out by the Autobot he has taken a shine to. Nate has not liked many Autobots that much yet but the Duros counterpart of Hardhead makes Nate see the human and devotion side of the headmaster. As for Amber? Nate finds her to be as warm as a Decepticon in the Yukon...

Amber MacKenzie sighs and gets her nerves under control. It's like performing before a national audience, right? Piece of cake. "I'd appreciate a ride, yeah, and transportation for a box of cylinders, but I don't want to tie up one of your fighters. Maybe you can drop me off in the vicinity of their base, and I'll handle the placement of the caches." She pulls a rather odd duster out of a storage box. It's been coated with petroleum jelly, of all things, and then dragged through the dust. Voila! Camo!

Hardhead lifts his head off how shoulders and sets it on the ground. Duros quickly reverts to his Robot mode and waves to the gathering. "Ms. MacKenzie, Hardhead tends to be too conservative in his tactics. It will be fine." He quickly moves to the computer system and begins to play with it. "Besides, I need a chance to study the attacks without you-know-who grousing about everything. " Hardhead's frame reverts to his tank mode as he emits. "I do not grouse."

The robot form of Hardhead almost seems to collapse to the ground as the body of the robot folds into an odd looking tank. For a fraction of a second, the head of the robot jumps off and becomes a humanoid figure who slides into the cockpit of the tank which encloses on the figure.

Encore sniffs a little "I can carry Duros, and she's got a suit of 'er own, boss. I can carry 'er and provide breathing air through an 'ose..." He looks thoughtful for a few moments. "But I'm pretty opposite to Hard'ead 'ere... cautious I ain't"

Duros smiles at Encore. "No worries Encore. I need to stretch my legs." He continues to analyze the latest battle data. "This is interesting."

Amber MacKenzie grins down at Encore. "That has its place," she points out more cheerfully. "Thanks for offering, though." Her gaze moves to Duros. "And thank you, Duros, for offering me your place for a time." And to Hardhead. "If you're okay with sitting this one out for a while, Hardhead. I'll try not to keep you out of it for long, just enough to drop me off in the cover of some rocks. Thanks."

Tank Destroyer <Hardhead> emits. "Affirmative, Ms. MacKenzie." He pops open his canopy and begins warming up his engines. He emits to the crows. "Are we ready?"

Encore grins "Soon as we're outside I'll get airborne for top-cover"

Amber MacKenzie steps over the side of her stack of boxes and drops lightly to the floor, her ascent slowed by the lesser gravity on Mars. She lands in a crouch and leaps towards the top of Hardhead's canopy. Someone enjoys the lower gravity here. She pauses to wave to the Autobots and then slips inside.

Tank Destroyer <Hardhead> gets loaded with the supplies as he continues to rev his engines. Content that Amber is in securely, he shuts his canopy as he rolls off towards the location that Amber has outlined. "Ready Encore?"

Encore grins and nods, stepping out of the bunker and, with a few running steps, transforms to take to the air, something which, with his huge bulk, he only just manage to do; gravity, thrust, and drag all hold a brief war, with thrust and its friend lift eventually winning and dragging him skywards.

"Let's kick the tyres and light the fires."

Folding and unfolding with the usual noise, Encore transforms into an AC130U Gunship

Tank Destroyer <Hardhead> continues to rumble towards the first location designated by Amber. He internally emits, "Are you comfortable?" His treads crush millions of year old rock as he approaches the first location. He slows down as he arrives.

"I'm fine," Amber responds reassuringly. "With you, I have two layers of protection: my suit and, well, you. As long as there aren't any Decepticons lurking in the area, I'll be fine." The seat is a little big for her, but she's not complaining.

You climb up the large rock face to the northwest and head into the Compound.

Promontory Point, Mars

The vast red planetscape of Mars extends for thousands of kilometers, uninterrupted by little more than dust, rocks, and the occasional geological feature, at least until this particular area. Formerly the site of the Terran compound, it was the resting place of the massive city-Transformer Trypticon for a time, and of the compound itself, there are few traces; Trypticon parked himself right on top of it. To the southeast is the largest canyon system on the planet, Valles Marineris, dwarfing even Trypticon himself.

The space fighter's nosecone snaps back as its body flips upright. Arms and legs unfold from the wings and fuselage respectively, and a dour face emerges from the body, forming the robot mode of Cyclonus!

Cyclonus flips forward ninety degrees, limbs folding up and a nosecone snaps down across his head. Wings emerge from his sides and Cyclonus is now in his powerful space fighter mode!

Starfighter <Cyclonus>, as self-appointed observer and appraiser of all Decepticon activities on this planet, is soaring high over the EDC base, watching the work being done to it to make it more suitable for Decepticon operations. He's not overly concerned about watching for Autobots, as sentry duty, as far as he is concerned, is for his lessers. And yet, as he seems to slowly circle overhead, he may pick up an invader or two all the same...

Tank Destroyer <Hardhead> comes rolling in to a barren location with a large rock outcropping. He pauses as he opens his canopy. "We arrived at the first locations Ms. MacKenzie." His cargo area opens and the supplies are revealed.

AC130U Spooky II Gunship <Encore> , flying low over the Martian terrain, could be hard to see... if it weren't for the wash of his propellers kicking up dust. He's harder to spot than if he were at high altitude, for sure, but skimming down low as he is, it's only the relatively small dust plume his propellers are kicking up that gives him away as he loosely circles Hardhead and the others, optics peeled

Amber MacKenzie slowly climbs out, trying to reduce the chance of being seen by those at the base. Stepping around to the cargo area, she lifts the large box with some effort and sets it down behind some boulders. She's wearing her camo, a duster coated with red Martian sand, dust, and bits of gravel. After she takes cover, she says quietly, "I'm clear, Hardhead. Thanks for the ride."

From Glaive II - Prototype <Nate Briar>, Nate Briar hovers behind. The sniper rifle is in hand of the Glaive and tries to scope out the place. So far, no hostiles are near or in range. This is good. The pilot continues to ready the weapon systems and idle wonders about why a Decepticon would fight a goat.

Starfighter <Cyclonus> doesn't see any Autobots... not exactly. The only problem is that the dust plumes off far in the distance. A typical Decepticon might have dismissed such a thing as a local weather phenomenon, but Cyclonus is ever suspicious of all he observes, and notes the strange and unnatural patterns that the plumes are moving in. He decides to change course towards the sighting and observe more closely, and puts more power into his engines.

Tank Destroyer <Hardhead> slowly begins to climb up a rock outcropping, the dust pelleting his Green and Brown Tank armor. His cannon raises into the sky as he scans the horizon for trouble. He quietly emits, "Be careful..."

AC130U Spooky II Gunship <Encore> nods in agreement with Hardhead. Rather, his pilot hologram does, not that the other Autobot can see it. "Roger that." He radios back, scanning the Martian skies carefully- and spotting a dot where there should not be one. "Allo, eyes skyward. Single contact, bearing two niner three, unknown altitude. Can't see any tats from here, but considering where we are, I doubt it's friendly."

Amber MacKenzie stays put for a few minutes as Hardhead continues on. Eventually, she slowly peeks over the edge of a boulder and just watches the surroundings for several minutes. If nothing moves, then she unloads a shovel from her backpack and starts digging in the soft red sand. Digging is rather difficult in silty sand, but she clears enough of the annoying stuff to press a few canisters in. Now that works better; she forgot that her strength is augmented here. Afterwards, she brushes the sand over the buried oxygen with the back of the shovel; she's not going to risk using her hands and breaching her suit with a fragment of rock.

From Glaive II - Prototype <Nate Briar>, Nate Briar continues to remain slightly behind the group as his weapon systems are getting activated for full combat. "Not sure of what we might be dealing with. I'll keep an eye in the sky so to speak." The Glaive looks for Amber to make sure she has cover if a hostile shows up. "I'd expect a patrol might move in sometime soon."

Starfighter <Cyclonus> closes in rapidly, and soon sees that the plumes are indeed not natural-- they were being caused by the gunship which could only be one particular Autobot. There's a bright magenta flash in the sky as energy is shunted into his engines and he accelerates rapidly towards the EDC and Autobot force. He focuses on their aerial support, first, and opens up on it with a pair of bright laser blasts which illuminate the dust clouds brilliantly.

Combat: Starfighter <Cyclonus> strikes AC130U Spooky II Gunship <Encore> with his Disruptor attack!

Tank Destroyer <Hardhead> emits, "Incoming!" He cannot get a clear line of fire on Cyclonus yet, "I do not have visual on the target, please light'em up!" He then radios towards Amber. "Decepticon or Decepticons approaching...proceed with the mission, but be careful."

AC130U Spooky II Gunship <Encore> banks hard as the dot he'd had his optics on suddenly resolves itself into a Cyclonus, on an attack run. His sudden evasive turn isn't enough, however, to avoid the fire from Galvatron's personal fighter.

"Lightin' him up." Encore comments. "As ordered..."

His pilot hologram adjusts his hat and then begins a series of switchback turns that appear, at first, to be evasive maneuvers, the Spooky slow and ponderous as one might expect... until suddenly it turns a little sharper just -so- and Cyclonus is staring down those three gun barrels, the forward gatling gun already spun up to speed to fire!

Combat: AC130U Spooky II Gunship <Encore> strikes Starfighter <Cyclonus> with his Minigun assault (Disruptor) attack!

Amber MacKenzie hears nothing of the laserfire, of course, but she stiffens on hearing Hardhead's warning. "Right," she says, barely above a whisper. She's finished here anyway, and packs up her shovel. The box of canisters is lighter now, but she will wait and watch for a time until she can locate the bad guys and determine when/if it's safe to move to another location.

From Glaive II - Prototype <Nate Briar>, Nate Briar continues to remain out of the fight so far. The Glaive doesn't respond to the combat yet. "You okay, Encore?" The Glaive tries get a read over Cyclonus. "Is that just a Sweep?" The AI in the exo responds with, "Colonel, you need to check into the Unicronian Decepticons. That is not Scourge." "Right..."

Starfighter <Cyclonus> can't quite see what's going on down below thanks to all the dust, but he's fairly sure that this isn't the only Autobot around here. He takes the minigun across his fuselage, the bullets scoring streaks across his armor. "Ah, Encore, is it? You've faced me in the sky before. You know how this is going to end," Cyclonus says as he draws closer. "I am built for aerial combat. You are not. This contest will be... short." And as he roars closer to his prey, his laser cannons fire again, this time with increased power, the bolts crackling with energy.

Combat: Starfighter <Cyclonus> strikes AC130U Spooky II Gunship <Encore> with his Oxidizing Laser attack!

Tank Destroyer <Hardhead> rolls further on the rock outcropping. "Good work Encore." The tank emits. He raises his side mounted cannon towards Cyclonus targeting the last explosion. "Providing support fire." He shoots out a blast towards Cyclonus.

Combat: Tank Destroyer <Hardhead> strikes Starfighter <Cyclonus> with his Support Fire! (Laser) attack!

AC130U Spooky II Gunship <Encore> banks hard to try and avoid the laser strike but fails, some of his fire control systems fritzing out a little; his minigun might be a little sputtery, and some of his Bofors rounds might not be fused right. Not like that'll stop him trying. The big Autobot slams on his airbrakes and pulls a little to the starboard, hoping for Cyc's faster Cybertronian starfighter chassis to streak past. He opens up with the Bofors gun at the right moment, giving the Decepticon as little warning as he can.

"Yeah, but I ain't fightin' alone! Light 'im up, boys!"

Combat: AC130U Spooky II Gunship <Encore> strikes Starfighter <Cyclonus> with his Bofors Cannon attack!

Amber MacKenzie crouches beside a boulder, still as a statue except for her watching eyes. She's looking for any signs of movement, but her efforts are crippled by the dust raised by the fight so far. Her comrades are out of sight, but she finally gets a glimpse of the enemy through clouds of swirling red dust, verifying for herself what she's heard over radio. "Oh, *him*," she mutters to herself, wishing it were someone else. As soon as he makes his pass, she slowly moves towards another likely group of boulders, taking advantage of every bit of cover. At least there's a lot of it. The damned, bulky box of canisters is slowing her, but there's no help for it.

From Glaive II - Prototype <Nate Briar>, Nate Briar continues to hover the Glaive but now in a defense position. "Encore, take cover!" The Glaive's systems attempt to get a bead onto Cyclonus. The pilot bites his lower lip, "I should order a retreat but I think he'll follow us back." Nate sighs and doesn't fire a shot yet. He wants to be careful before he engages.

Starfighter <Cyclonus> takes several shots from the Autobots, the cannon fire exploding across a wing and causing him to wobble in the air, and the laser scorches his underside. "Foolish Autobot, I was quite aware that you were likely supporting some other forces, though I could not see them. And now that I know they are there, I do not NEED to see them, either..." Cyclonus replies as he flies past. And he begins to disgorge bombs down below, and one might think an incendiary bomb wouldn't do much good on Mars, but these bombs have been impregnated with oxygen and would burn in the blackness of space. Before long the dust clouds are lit with the orange glow of the flames...

Combat: Starfighter <Cyclonus> strikes Tank Destroyer <Hardhead> with his Incendiary Bombs Area attack!

AC130U Spooky II Gunship <Encore> snarls as his engines sputter and start to cough "Frell it! Dust filter's gone... gonna try and stay in the fight but... dammit, engine down engine down!"

Tank Destroyer <Hardhead> holds his ground as he flames engulf his tank form. He emits an ancient Cybertron Curse as Encore radios his distress. He then tight beams to the humans. "Air support is gone...I'll attempt to hold him off." With that Hardhead launches his own volley back at Cyclonus.

Combat: Tank Destroyer <Hardhead> misses Starfighter <Cyclonus> with his Flak Cannon! (Disruptor) attack!

Amber MacKenzie doesn't miss the fireworks this time; they're uncomfortably close... And bloody hell, she's carrying oxygen. Deciding that RIGHT HERE is good enough, she hurriedly buries the second cache of oxygen canisters. In fact, she buries the entire box. Done! "I'm ready to leave if you guys are," she radios quietly.

From Glaive II - Prototype <Nate Briar>, Nate Briar quickly dodges the attack and looks over as Encore has to retreat due to severe damage. Then Hardhead is damaged pretty badly. "AMBER!" He looks to see if she is still alive. He then checks, "Duros?!" As Nate gets the Glaive to ready the sniper rifle, he gets the smaller weapons ready to damage Cyclonus. Hopefully!

Combat: Glaive II - Prototype <Nate Briar> misses Starfighter <Cyclonus> with his Pistol attack!

You send a radio message to Nate Briar: I dropped off a bit back, so I'm clear of the fire. I can feel the heat, though. My part of this is done, so there's no need for anyone else to get hurt any more.

The point was not to get noticed. And when Autobots aren't supposed to be noticed, Scattershot doesn't tag along. But the moment Cyclonus engaged the small group of Autobots, the game changed to one that the Technobot leader is much more comfortable playing "Back to base, Autobot. Good fight out there." He radios to Encore as the massive battlecruiser roars past, towards the melee...

Cyclonus. Lovely. Of all the Decepticons to notice the group's activity, and reinforcements can't be far away. "Nate, what's yer sitrep? Wrap things up and Ah'll take care of things here!" Multiple turrets come online, zeroing in on Cyclonus...Time to make an impression.

Combat: Battlecruiser <Scattershot> strikes Starfighter <Cyclonus> with his First impressions! attack!

<NEST> EDC Colonel Nate Briar says, "This might be a helluva fight if Scattershot has to show up."

Starfighter <Cyclonus> hears Encore's engine sputtering, and chuckles to himself as he imagines the likely source of his difficulty. "Ah, yes, foolish to use prop engines on a world such as this. I do not fear the dust, however--my nuclear turbines are completely self-contained." He roars down to Hardhead, confident that he can engage them on the ground now that they have no air support, and draws his sword to stab the Headmaster with--but he made that conclusion too soon as he is caught in the middle of a bewildering fusillade of thermal blasts! "Gah!" Cyclonus curses out loud, holding up a hand to protect his optics from the pyrotechnics. Whether he can still hit Hardhead at this point remains to be seen!

The space fighter's nosecone snaps back as its body flips upright. Arms and legs unfold from the wings and fuselage respectively, and a dour face emerges from the body, forming the robot mode of Cyclonus!

Combat: Cyclonus strikes Tank Destroyer <Hardhead> with his Diamond-Boron Carbide Sword attack!

Ka-BOOM! The ground next to Hardhead suddenly explodes, kicking up red dirt into the air. Looking up from the new crater, one can see the sleek form of Shockwave's laser gun mode as it streaks in from the direction of the Martian Lake. The laser gun is high up, positioned opposite of Cyclonus to flank the Autobot Headmaster. Shockwave had been returning from the preliminary work at the lake to install geothermic energy collectors when he received Cyclonus's message. Concerned about a possible repeat of the Autobot spy incident, the Decepticon cyclops is eager to stamp out any Autobot or human activity on Mars.

A second pink blast flies past the Technobot battlecruiser, narrowly missing. "Cyclonus," he emits, "What is the situation here?" He fires another titanic blast, though this one might succeed in knocking Scattershot from the sky. "Is this an Autobot attack or merely a recon mission?" Either is bad news, though, given how close they are to the base. Galvatron has done a poor job securing their foothold on Mars, Shockwave decides.

Tank Destroyer <Hardhead> cannon fails to adjust as Cyclonus moves far too rapidly, now bumper to face with Cyclonus, he attempts to engage his engines, but his treads seem to slip on the rocks as Cyclonus blindly stabs through his front end. He emits a roar of pain quickly masked by his engines. Next to him a large crater appears courtesy of Shockwave. The large blast seems not to phase the Headmaster as he rolls towards Cyclonus, his treads finally making purchase with the slick rocky surface.

Combat: Tank Destroyer <Hardhead> misses Cyclonus with his Vengeance! (Ram) attack!

From Glaive II - Prototype <Nate Briar>, Nate Briar bangs his head against the dashboard slightly. "Fuuu---" is all he mutters into his radio as he picks up that the big purple monster with one eye is now there. "Why did it have to be Shockwave? /WHY?/" He doesn't respond to Amber or even bother to fire another shot at Cyclonus. Instead, the Glaive just prepares for whatever happens next. He knows his battle isn't going to be a victory tonight. There is no reason waste the ammo on Cyclonus. Especially if he might have to dance with Shockwave on the face of Mars.

Amber MacKenzie comes to the sudden and very unwelcome realization that her ride home is on fire. "Bugger!" she whispers viciously. Until poor Hardhead cools off, she'll have to find an alternative mode of transportation. She just hates it when a plan comes apart! "Hey, Nate? I may need a ride back." she radios, starting to slowly move back the way she came, looking for the others. "And Hardhead might, too."

<NEST> Hardhead says, "Colonel Briar, You have to see to the safety of Ms. MacKenzie."

<NEST> Scattershot says, "Briar, Ah've got Hawkeye enroute for sniper support and evac."

<NEST> EDC Colonel Nate Briar says, "I know. I know. I guess I was looking too much into payback against Shockwave. I really was hoping to rip that optic out of his head."

<NEST> Hardhead says, "Colonel Briar, there will be other battles."

<NEST> EDC Colonel Nate Briar says, "Hardhead, I just want to mount that optic on my wall."

Battlecruiser <Scattershot> guns his afterburners as Shockwave's blasts flash past him... Hardhead looks like he's had it and there's a non-combatant in danger- time to put all the cards on the table. Scattershot picks up speed, past Cyclonus...He's focused on crushing Shockwave, but he can also see a number of fallen Autobots that the cyclops snuffed the life out of. "This one's fer Bottlethrottle!"

Combat: Battlecruiser <Scattershot> strikes Shockwave with his FTL CAPABLE BATTERING RAM (Ram) attack!

<NEST> Amber MacKenzie says, "Guys, if there isn't any other reason to stay, how about if we get the hell out of here? I'm not too proud to run away if there's nothing more to be gained. Like Hardhead said, there will be another time."

"I do not know yet," Cyclonus replies to Shockwave. "This force is too small for an attack--" He sidesteps the charging tank to give it a vicious kick in its side armor. "--so I would say recon is a... *logical* conclusion. Regardless of what the truth is, we should destroy them all the same." He gives himself a moment to look around and wonders who else might be lurking about? If only a Sweep was here--he could probably sniff them out.

Combat: Cyclonus strikes Tank Destroyer <Hardhead> with his Kick attack!

<NEST> EDC Colonel Nate Briar says, "MacKenzie, I read a report about a goat beating up a Decepticon this morning when I was eating my Cap'n Crunch. I'm kind of concerned about how the reports read that the Colonel of the EDC backed away from Shockwave but a goat took on a Decepticon."

<NEST> EDC Colonel Nate Briar adds in, "True story."

"Agreed," Shockwave replies to Cyclonus even as smoke pours out of Shockwave's barrel from his previous three shots. The laser gun shifts its trajectory, aiming now directly towards Scattershot as it engages him in a brief dogfight. It's an odd sight, seeing a space cruiser and flying gun try to outmaneuver one another. Scattershot has the advantage, as his turrets give him a wider firing arc, but Shockwave's hovering ability evens it out.

It's all moot, however, as Scattershot does the unexpected and /rams/ Shockwave, crashing into the side of the laser gun and sending it spinning off sideways. It takes a good five seconds for Shockwave to recover, and by this time he's some distance away. Not out of range, however. As he takes aim, he briefly takes the time to look up the latest intel reports on active Autobots, but finds nothing. "Who?" he asks even as he cuts loose.

Combat: Laser Gun <Shockwave> strikes Battlecruiser <Scattershot> with his Shoxcannon attack!

<NEST> Velum says, "That's... pretty sad, in all honesty. Good for us, yes. But sad."

<NEST> Hardhead says, "Slag, Colonel Briar. That was Slugfest and Aimless, the worthless counterpart for Misfire. They are barely Decepticons. Quit worrying about your ego and worry about your troops."

<NEST> EDC Colonel Nate Briar says, "Speaking of sad stories..."

<NEST> EDC Colonel Nate Briar says, "Velum, have you had your briefing with Powerglide yet?"

<NEST> Velum says, "Wait wait wait. Aimless is here? And to think I'd seen the last of him on Nebulos."

<NEST> Velum says, "Er. No, sir."

<NEST> Hardhead says, "Still a lousy drunk."

Navigating the Mars landscape isn't something Hawkeye does every day, but the sniper has enjoyed the challenge so far -- with the exception of all that red dust clogging up his servos. "Blast! I'm definitely going to need a good hydroelectric soaking when I get back to base!"

The sharpshooter was part of the strike team, but his primary job was to hold up in the rear *just* in case some extra support was needed. As it turned out, Scattershot had decided that support was needed a little quicker than Hawkeye had expected. Nonetheless, the gun-metal grey Autobot was eager to get into some action.

"Hawkeye to Scattershot! I'm close to your position! Is it true that you're engaged with Shockwave and Cyclonus?!" The crack shot dawns a grin as he snaps out his 75 mm Sniper Rifle from subspace and takes up a position just close enough to be within weapons range.

"Standby for support fire!"

With a gentle tap on his helm, Hawkeye activates his targeting visor, painting a potential target with a red laser. Combat: Hawkeye takes extra time to aim his next attack.

<NEST> Velum says, "Let me know if you ever spot him, Hardhead. I still owe him a punch in the face."

<NEST> Hardhead says, "Roger!"

There's a brief moment of celebration as Scattershot celebrates being bad ass, but the Technobot has overcommitted. A big mistake against a mech like Shockwave. The counter attack comes quick and fierce, sending the battlecruiser reeling! Scattershot transforms and grins, unslinging his rifle while his shoulder turrets open fire full auto. "Good to have you, Hawkeye! And where else would Ah be? Look, Hardhead is in serious trouble and Amber Mackenzie needs evac. Do what you do best. " "And this one's for Wolfwings! And Frybot!"

Combat: Battlecruiser <Scattershot> strikes Laser Gun <Shockwave> with his Payback lasers! (Laser) attack!

From Glaive II - Prototype <Nate Briar>, Nate Briar positions the Glaive to near Amber and provide some cover fire as needed. Especially with Hawkeye nearing. "Amber, how do you want to get back to base?" The Glaive is designed for two people. The problem is that Nate's not about to break the airtight seals for the exo to let Amber in. "Should Hardhead and Amber head back to base? I can provide a cover for them."

<NEST> Scattershot says, "Sounds like a plan, Briar! Hardhead get the lady out of here! The Colonel and Hawkeye have got yer exit covered!"

Tank Destroyer <Hardhead> emits a grumble as he his kicked by Cyclonus denting his paint job, his, armor, his pride, and more importantly breaking off his bumper. Realizing the error of his tactics, he breaks towards the humans. "Incoming...Ms. MacKenzie prepare for extraction..." He then emits back to Cyclonus. "We will finish this later...when I am whole."

"Whichever way is quickest and safest for *all* of us, Colonel..." Amber pauses to listen to the broadcasts. "Yeah, that works. I hope your hull has cooled enough, Hardhead." It would be a shame if her suit melted, wouldn't it?

<NEST> EDC Colonel Nate Briar says, "Well, Velum, you need to get on that."

<NEST> Hardhead says, "My internal cockpit reads normal...my armor may be warm to the touch, the Colonel can help you in."

<NEST> Velum says, "I'm, ah, not so sure I will be, sir."

Laser Gun <Shockwave> may not know Bottlethrottle or Wolfwings, but Frybot was well known by Decepticon Central Intelligence. The mech had fought the Decepticons on countless worlds over countless vorns, and his death was celebrated. Shockwave transforms into robot mode, boot thrusters continuously firing even as his handle splits apart into legs. He raises his right arm protectively, blocking any laser blasts from hitting his face. The rest of his body, however, is peppered by repeated laser blasts. Each one makes a loud ~PING~ noise as it glances off his dark purple armour, leaving behind a dent in his chassis to go with the gunfire music.

Flying forward towards Scattershot, Shockwave detects the slightest heat variance on his back. A low level laser. He traces it back, glancing over his shoulder at Hawkeye's sniper spot. "Cyclonus," he emits, "We have additional company." In contrast to Scattershot blazing away with everything he's got, Shockwave charges his arm cannon and fires two quick shots: One at the Technobot, and one at Hawkeye with the hope that it'll disrupt his aim.

Combat: Shockwave strikes Hawkeye with his Twin Blasts (Full-Auto) Area attack but misses Scattershot!

Cyclonus sneers, "Disregard Scattershot's words, Shockwave. In all likelihood this 'Bottlethrottle' was a person of little consequence. As for you, Hardhead, do not think you've a chance against me, whole or not. Fortunately, I have more threatening Autobots to contend with..." Now that Scattershot is the only obvious Autobot threat left, with Hardhead retreating and Nate not really committing to the fight very much, Cyclonus ignores them, stalking up to the Technobot leader with his sword drawn. If he fails to notice Cyclonus in time then he could get a rather vicious slash across his back.

"More Autobots?" he declares, mid-slice. Following the laser blast, he says, "Ah, I see. I suspected there were more of them skulking about. Which one is it this time?"

Combat: Cyclonus misses Scattershot with his Diamond-Boron Carbide Sword attack!

Hearing an array of radio chatter come in, Hawkeye's able to pick out the orders within, "Roger that Scattershot! I'll cover the retreat as best as I can. Speaking of which, I think it's time to put this plan into effect!"

Following his target's movement across the Martian landscape, Hawkeye compensates here and there, continuously calculating a firing solution. Trouble arises though as a few vicious bolts of energy fly into frame, slamming the sharpshooter in the shoulder.

"Arggh! Looks like they've spotted me Scattershot!"

When Shockwave pauses for just a few seconds, it's enough time for Hawkeye to finalize his aim.

"You know what they say, payback's a 75mm shell!"

Combat: Hawkeye strikes Shockwave with his 75mm Sniper Rifle attack!

Tank Destroyer <Hardhead> ponders responding to Cyclonus, but he has another concerns. He gave his word and he doesn't intend on breaking it. He opens his Canopy so that Amber can be loaded into it and they get the slag out of dodge. "Ms. MacKenzie." He simply emits.

Scattershot leaps backwards, avoiding Shockwave's counter blast, cursing as Cyclonus leaps through the smoke of the blast, side stepping the swing of his sword. Two big hitters. The little bit of Computron in the big mech forms a decent plan: stay too close to Cyclonus for Shockwave's ranged attacks to be effective. "Shoot his eye out then, Hawkeye, he's only got one!" Scattershot leaps into Cyclonus for a huge tackle and a little bit of ground and pound!

Combat: Scattershot strikes Cyclonus with his HERE COMES THE PAIN attack!

Amber MacKenzie peers out from behind a boulder, trying to locate Hardhead. Damn those red clouds of dust, but at least they'll mess up the bad guys' fields of view, too. She viciously hopes that their air filters are totally clogged up! Hmmmm. There's a good chance of that, considering that they're probably used to Cybertron, which doesn't have a whole lot of dust. Maybe some genius can make a bomb that'll choke up air filters...

A swirl of wind reveals Hardhead, and she's instantly up and making a dash for the tank destroyer. A graceful forward handspring later, she's on the canopy and slipping inside. "Hi again, Hardhead!" she greets enthusiastically. "What's your top speed?"

<NEST> Amber MacKenzie radios, an unpleasant thought occurring to her, "Uh, people, how do we keep them from following us back?"

Tank Destroyer <Hardhead> slides his canopy shut around Amber as he intones to her. "Ms. MacKenzie. My top speed is slow...but I was built to last...we'll make it." Energon leaks out his wounds and electricity crackles as he roars off like the tortoise against the hare.

<NEST> Scattershot says, "We'll hold the line, ma'am."

From Glaive II - Prototype <Nate Briar>, Nate Briar clicks in a full cartridge into his rifle for the Glaive. Now that Hardhead and Amber are setting up to part ways, Nate decides to help out Hawkeye and Scattershot. "Alright, we will circle back and meet up after we make sure that we're good to go." The Glaive watches as Amber and Hardhead get ready to head back. "Cyclonus and Shockwave will have to be fast on us and then make sure to get reinforcements to follow them back. I'll be on radio silence for about five seconds." The Glaive's rifle disperses a full ammo clip at Shockwave. Nate didn't want white noise.

Inside the Glaive, Nate has a drip of sweat move around his eyes. The gravity of Mars is strange indeed.

Combat: Glaive II - Prototype <Nate Briar> misses Shockwave with his Auto-Rifle attack!

<NEST> EDC Colonel Nate Briar says, "Curses."

Cyclonus is not a little enraged as the bulky Technobot throws himself onto him and tapdances his face with his fists. It's not the pain so much as the humiliation of being thrown into the dust and beaten on. "GET! OFF! OF! ME!" Cyclonus roars, reaching up to grab Scattershot by the throat to throttle the life out of him. "How DARE you!" he seethes, his metal fingers squeezing at the Technobot's throat. "You are an UNWORTHY adversary! Cast ME into the dust, would you? When I am done with you, Scattershot, there will be nothing left BUT dust!"

Combat: Cyclonus strikes Scattershot with his STRANGLE (Kick) attack!

The Technobot's plan works: Shockwave is, at least for now, unwilling to blast Scattershot if it means putting Cyclonus at risk. As he's still in the air, Shockwave is an easy target and pays the price. Hawkeye's 75mm shell (which, I assure you, *nobody* other than Hawkeye calls 'payback') rips into his right shoulder, blowing off the dark purple armour there. "Nnngh!" Shockwave emits as his body is wracked with spasms. His boot thrusters cut out, and he falls from the sky. The arm twitches even as he plummets, shooting sparks out of it. A few wires and cables form the majority of what's keeping it attached.

Recovering only at the last second, Shockwave manages to right himself and land on his feet, though it's a heavy landing that looks more like a crash than anything. Ducking behind a large red rock, he peeks out to survey the battlefield. From here, he can spot Hardhead rolling out, but can't do anything to stop him. He tries to flex his hand, but it's failing to respond to commands. He can't see Hawkeye's position anymore, but does see the Glaive II taking aim at him. He rolls back behind the rock as bullets ricochet off it. Creeping around to the other side, Shockwave takes aim with his one good arm and tries to blow Nathan away with a single well placed blast.

Combat: Shockwave strikes Glaive II - Prototype <Nate Briar> with his Arm Cannon Blast attack!

Scattershot narglespurplesputters as Cyclonus wraps his hands around his throat...the two are locked in a staring contest as well...if looks could kill, Cyclonus would be fried like bad comedy by now. Scattershot punches uselessly at Cyclonus' chest, before realizing a much simpler, more direct means of turning the tides. "Unworthy?...Time ta...take you down a peg..." Scattershot's shoulder turrets train on the Decepticon commander's face. Right in the face.

Combat: Scattershot misses Cyclonus with his Point Blank Son! POINT BLANK! (Laser) attack!

Hardhead heads to the southeast, and slips out of sight.

Pumping his fist as most sharpshooters (and Tiger Woods) do after a well-placed shot, Hawkeye looks on as Colonel Briar gets blasted by Shockwave. "Colonel! Are you alright?! Moving to assist now!" In a matter of moments, the Autobot has gone from robot to attack helicopter.

Closing in on Nate's position, Hawkeye manages to catch a glimpse of the Decepticon cyclops, but he can't quite get a solid lock on him with his heat-seeking missiles.

"Get to safety if you need to Colonel! I'll keep the big guy busy with a little dose of hot lead!"

Swinging his sights over Shockwave and his formidable cover, the attack helicopter lets loose with a bright flash of machine gun fire that Hawkeye hopes will be enough to suppress the powerful foe.

Combat: AH-64 Apache Helicopter <Hawkeye> misses Shockwave with his RRrrraAAtttt RaaaTTTaaatt TaaaTTT attack!

From Glaive II - Prototype <Nate Briar>, Nate Briar drops down in pain from the throttle that Shockwave just did. The Glaive is damaged on the left side thanks to the purple blast of Shockwave. It also was needing repairs earlier that weren't completed. "Slag..."

Taking a second to try to recover, Nate uses some homing missiles he has and tries to launch them at Shockwave and Cyclonus. "Let's get ready to evac in 5..." He doesn't mention that he's injured. The Colonel gets the Glaive's rifle mounted on the back of the exo and tries to bandage up cut on his left forearm from getting jostled around in the inside.

Combat: Glaive II - Prototype <Nate Briar> misses Shockwave and Cyclonus with his Full-Auto Area attack!

Cyclonus sees the attack coming, though, and twists his body to the side to cause Scattershot to topple off of him. "I think not!" he rumbles, rising up to his full height. "And now, Scattershot," Cyclonus says, optics blazing with malicious intent, "I will show you the folly of your efforts!" And then he fires a point-blank blast of his own from his oxidizing rifle right into Scattershot's chest. "And once I've done with you I'll run down your friends and kill them one-by-one!"

Combat: Cyclonus misses Scattershot with his Oxidizing Laser attack!

"NEVER!" Scattershot is up with the speed of a much smaller 'Bot, grabbing the barrel of Cyclonus' rifle and pushing the blast astray. There is a moment of stillness as the two titans have a contest of strength over the rifle...Scattershot puffs smoke into the Decepticon's face. "You're not walkin' away from this one, Decepticon! They'll be feedin' ya to yer blasted Sweeps tonight!" A kick. It's not the most graceful of attacks, but Scattershot isn't a graceful fighter. He's a kicker. Of ass.

Combat: Scattershot misses Cyclonus with his BAM! (Kick) attack!

From Glaive II - Prototype <Nate Briar>, Nate Briar misses again. It has to be Glaive that is messing up. Not the pilot. And it has to be gravity issues too. Sure, that's the case.

"I'm falling back now. I think the Glaive needs a repair. Also, oxygen levels are running near critical." He knows that Scattershot and Hawkeye will return to base. They are tough.

"Let's get an evac going?"

Sharpshooters hate missing and that's the same with Hawkeye. Although a wild burst of machine gun fire isn't exactly meant to pin-point precise, a miss is still a miss. The chopper hovers above the canyon, "If I had more time to kill, I'd definitely be introducing you to my sniper rifle again Shockwave! But looks like you'll get to function another day!"

Turning tail, or rotor in this case, Hawkeye starts making a retreat, zipping past the Colonel and Scattershot in the process. "I'm right behind you Nate! I think right now's the perfect time for a tactical withdrawal!"

On Scattershot's orders, the chopper comes around for another pass over the canyon, sending a huge veil of Martian dust down below before rising up high into the sky. Hopefully, the distraction/annoyance would be enough to buy time for an escape.

Cyclonus gnashes his teeth, his face filled with his contempt for his opponent as he tries to pull his gun back out of Scattershot's grasp. He manages to avoid getting kicked largely because he's too close for it to do much damage--mostly it just glances off his hip. "Shut UP! You fool! The nerve of you--thinking yourself a match for me? You aren't even half the fighter that a truly worthy enemy such as Magnus is--this fight is a waste of my time! NNNRRRGHHH!" And such is the depth of his outrage that Cyclonus chooses to use a most undisciplined attack against Scattershot--that is, he headbutts him with his big pronged head.

Combat: Cyclonus strikes Scattershot with his BUNNY EARS TO THE FACE (Smash) attack!

Maybe the EDC needs to carry out some low gravity training exercises, Briar. That's what the Decepticons did. Shockwave, now at the bottom of the canyon, cranes his neck upwards even as he takes aim where he expects Nate and Hawkeye to appear. His right arm is still hanging uselessly and failing to move. No matter, his firepower hasn't been diminished, and that's what's needed here. But neither Autobot nor human appear. Slowly, as if in disbelief of Hawkeye's radio transmission, he lowers his arm cannon and activates his boot thrusters. "We shall see, Autobot," Shockwave transmits back.

The Decepticon clears the ridge, returning towards Cyclonus and Scattershot. It seems the Technobot has gotten on Cyclonus's nerves. Even as he flies back, his right hand suddenly twitches out of control. Ah ha, movement again. Progress. Either that or all the Martian dust has gotten into his now exposed shoulder and is causing electrical shorts.

Combat: Shockwave quickly patches up some of his minor injuries.

From Glaive II - Prototype <Nate Briar>, Nate Briar sends out a message "You better get back to base, Scattershot. I know you're tough and you’re brave, but they might send that rusting Seeker of Death after you." The Glaive's thrusters ignite, and the pilot tries to return back to the secret base of the EDC. The armored suit will needs some patching up and repairs.

Scattershot gets rabbit earred right in the face and staggers back, a mix of pain, anger, and surprise bubbling through the big mech's circuits as he backs away...A quick glance confirms the escape of his allies. Mission accomplished. "You're really gonna stand there and compare me to Ultra Magnus, slagheap? Well...in the words of the #2...Ah can't deal with that right now! The Technobot transforms and slams his engines into overdrive, the battlecruiser kicking up a massive cloud of thick red dust as it launches into the sky...hopefully knocking the two big 'cons back. Never a fan of retreating, but...This one isn't the fight. "Loud and clear, Briar. Ah'm on mah way."

Cyclonus shakes a fist imperiously at the retreating Autobots. "Come back, you cowards! Come back and face your doom!" When they fail to comply, he's forced to just stand there and seethe in the direction they left in. "Rnnngh! Damnable Autobots!" He glances at Shockwave as he hovers back in view. "I take it you are relatively undamaged, Shockwave?..."

Shockwave touches down next to Cyclonus, not bothering to chase after the much faster Scattershot. His right arm just below the shoulder is still shredded, but he's moving fairly smooth. "Relatively," he confirms. "My right arm's motor functions have been impaired, and my transformation has been affected as a result." The cyclops gives Cyclonus a long look, obviously wondering about his rage against the Technobot during the battle. "Yourself?"

Cyclonus glowers. "Their weapons were completely ineffectual," he lies, though even a quick glance would reveal that he took a pretty good beating. "Mostly I suffered the annoyance of having to face the Autobots' usual band of louts. It aggravates me, Shockwave, it aggravates me to no end that the majority of our foes are so..." He struggles for the right word. "...never mind. One day, soon enough, we'll rid ourselves of them, and endure their company no longer."

Viator transforms and lands neat the two Decepticon commanders, and rushes over, saluting. "I have scrambled Seekers, Commanders!" His optics widen at Cyclonus. "By the pit, how many Autobots were there?"


Shockwave recognizes each lie as Cyclonus says it. From the ineffectual weapons to not having to endure the company for long. He doesn't point this out, however. Instead, he says: "Of course. We should get back to base, Cyclonus. First the Autobot spy at the Martian Lake, then the skirmish two days ago, and now this. Galvatron needs to prepare for an Autobot attack instead of focusing solely on uncovering this... device underneath the ground." Shockwave suspects Galvatron knows more about this thing than he's let on. As Viator lands, Shockwave states, "Four Autobots, two humans." He doesn't bother mentioning that Amber wasn't a combatant. "Viator, have your Seekers fan out and search for further intruders."


Nate Briar leaves the Glaive II - Prototype <Nate Briar>.

Nate Briar has arrived.

Glaive II - Prototype <Nate Briar> has left.

Nate Briar takes Glaive II - Prototype <Nate Briar>.

Nate Briar vanishes out of reality.

Nate Briar has left.


Cyclonus narrows optics at Viator, like it's his fault. "Many, but they were still not enough. And you're *late.* How is it Shockwave got here before your precious Seekers?" Yes, he's taking his frustrations out on him, but Cyclonus never was a very nice guy. Turning his attention back to Shockwave, he says, "Hm. I would... suggest that instead of having Galvatron perform such a task, we handle the defense of our holdings on Mars ourselves. After all, are we not his lieutenants? Is it not our duty to handle tasks that Galvatron deems unworthy of his attention?"


Viator merely holds a salute to Cyclonus, without response. His optics narrow as Cyclonus turns his back, however. He takes a few steps backwards and nods to Shockwave. "It is already done, commander. Boomslang and Polarity both have squadrons in the sky."


Shockwave and Cyclonus take care of the business of running the war while leaving Galvatron out of it? Shockwave doesn't have to be told twice to know that's a good idea. "Agreed," he says quickly. After nodding at Viator's response, he says, "As Geo has the Constructicons working on her excavation project, we will need to assign other resources. The landing pad is nearly prepared--I recommend we bring Trypticon to Mars immediately. He can survive on his own until his new foundation is finished."


Cyclonus nods to Shockwave, cupping his chin. "Hm, yes. Trypticon may complain about being forced to wallow in the dust, but he will endure for as long as required. Give the order, Shockwave. It may be the only thing that can stop the inevitable Autobot attack."


Scattershot heads to the southeast, and slips out of sight.

Scattershot has left.

Members of channel <Earth> are:

Boomslang (gagging), Defensor(#4135), Devastator(#4137) (gagging), Dust Devil, First Aid, Hean Sannity Show(#8012), Miztli Man-Beast(#8270), Nate Briar, Reseau d'Information(#5051), Rodimus Prime, Shockwave, Some Other Thing(#5923), Superion(#4134), Victory Leo


Shockwave nods, "Consider it done. I also recommend setting our forces on Decepticon Island on high alert. Not to repel any attack should the Autobots take advantage of Trypticon's departure, but to evacuate. I can draw up a withdraw strategy to prevent significant casualties." The Decepticons can't afford to maintain a garrison there that can take care of Metroplex.


<Earth> Earth Defence Command's warning systems, along with Teletraan II and Metroplex, suddenly patch into a high priority alert.

<Earth> Trypticon is transforming from city mode to dinosaur mode.


Cyclonus nods again, finding all this quite reasonable. "Yes, I find it hard to imagine the Autobots won't capitalize on Trypticon's departure, especially when they have done so before. Order them to resist any Autobot attack which does not include Metroplex, but to begin evacuation at the first sign that he has departed from San Franciso--and that would include *mysterious blackouts* in that city." He taps his chin. "Hm... We'll need contingencies in case they capture New Crystal City. Hard drive wipes, bombs..."


Shockwave recalls his failure on Kwarch quite well. He won't be making that mistake again. Still, the reminder is apt. "Viator, you are to review our records at Decepticon Island and prepare them to be erased in the event they may fall itno enemy hands." Then, back to the Decepticon second in command, "Cyclonus, it occurs to me that we are taking a major risk with our mission here on Mars. Moving Trypticon, potentially losing our holdings on Decepticon Island... whatever Galvatron hopes to find under the ground, it had better be worth it."


<Earth> Now in dinosaur mode, Trypticon lifts off from Decepticon Island, slowly but surely departing Earth. Escorted by a trio of Sweeps, he avoids any interaction with allied forces to the best of his abilities. His destination: The Decepticon foothold on Mars.


Cyclonus raises a brow at Shockwave. "You doubt your leader, Shockwave? If Galvatron thinks it is worth sacrificing some of our holdings for a chance at ultimate victory, then it IS worth it. The Autobots can be beaten, but by conventional means it could take eons. Better to find a way to deliver a killing blow and end it all the sooner." Or maybe the reason why the Decepticons haven't beaten them yet is because they keep looking for super-weapons instead of just *attacking* them. Who knows!


"But surely, as his lieutenants," Shockwave replies, trying to placate Cyclonus, "We should inform him when we believe there is a flaw in his reasoning. At the very least, Galvatron may have additional information about the objective he has Geo excavating." Galvatron claimed to not know much about it other than that was a 'gift' left by an ancient race. This is not a satisfying explanation for Shockwave.


Cyclonus's mouth makes a thin line. No free ride for YOU, buster. "Galvatron's reasoning is NEVER flawed. Yes, some call him mad, but only because they cannot grasp his sheer brilliance. And you, too, Shockwave, for your capacity for logical thinking, your imagination is sorely limited. Who else but Galvatron could conceive that such wonders as he finds for his plans could still exist, or how to use them for maximum effect? Rest assured, Shockwave, when Galvatron finds what he desires the Autobots will suffer."


Combat: Your COMBAT flag has been cleared.


Shockwave realizes he isn't going to convince Cyclonus. He listens to Cyclonus heap praise after praise upon Galvatron, enduring it with only the unwavering stare that comes from having only a single optic for a face. Shockwave is silent for a few seconds after Cyclonus's speech as he considers how best to respond. "You are correct," Shockwave lies. It is the sort of lie that would not stand a chance of succeeding on anyone other than Cyclonus. "Galvatron knows best." These words grate on Shockwave, but he says them anyway for the good of the Empire... and for the good of his own continued health.


In truth, Cyclonus is fairly concerned about losing their holdings on Earth but doesn't see much that he can do. Once Galvatron gets a bee in his bonnet about some new superweapon it can be virtually impossible to dissuade him from it and onto something more practical. "Of course he does. Now. Perhaps we should return to base. This... damnable dust is making me look half a Junkion." He turns, transforms, and flies off back to the former EDC base, his cockpit empty


"I will join you momentarily," Shockwave says, "Viator and I have much to discuss regarding Decepticon Island." The Cybertronian Commander watches as Cyclonus transforms and flies off. Not for the first time, Shockwave rues the mental flaws Unicron installed in Cyclonus. He would have made such a superb Decepticon leader otherwise.

================================== Autobot ===================================

Message: 3/52                      Posted        Author

Skirmish...on the RED PLANET       Sat Apr 07    Scattershot

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Scattershot stands posed in front of a giant Autobot symbol like a mechanical General Patton. 


 Autobots, congratulations on a successful punch to the Decepticon's collective lugnuts today. Several hours ago, Col. Briar led Encore and Hardhead in a fast strike against the enemy encampment, providing distraction for a special op being run by EDC with assistance from Autobot stealth teams. 


 Despite being engaged by Cyclonus and Shockwave, our men held their ground until EDC op preperation was complete. Mahself and Hawkeye joined the battle to provide extraction support. Ah would like to commend all units on the field tonight- because of their valour, an important EDC operation can now move forward to it's second phase. Ah am recommending Encore and Hardhead for all appropriate medals and acknowledgements, and am giving one hell of a thumbs up to Hawkeye for a shot that near took Shockwave's arm clean off. Well done, Autobots." The Technobot commander salutes, and an upbeat brass band version of 'You've Got the Touch' plays ala 'The Stars and Stripes Forever.'

==============================================================================


================================= Decepticon =================================

Message: 2/38                      Posted        Author

AAR: Mars Defence & Tryp's Move    Sat Apr 07    Shockwave

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        Shockwave sits in his office on the Absolution. Three medi-drones scurry around him, working to repair heavy damage done to his upper right arm. Shockwave ignores their surgical efforts as he speaks. 


        "Early this morning, Cyclonus came under attack by three Autobot warriors and Nathan Briar. As I was en route back to base from our Martian Lake expansion efforts, I joined him in repelling the assault. The Autobots included Scattershot, Hardhead, and their resident sniper Hawkeye." 


        One of the medi-drones moves out of the way, revealing the extent of Shockwave's damage. The right arm was nearly blown off, and the drones are currently welding the internal cables back into place. "Cyclonus and I received moderate damage, and the enemy was forced into a retreat. While a victory tactically, strategically it signals a severe lack of security in our Mars operation. For the third time since landing, we have been attacked by the enemy, who has been able to move freely across this planet to harass us." 


        One of the medi-drones stops its welding, re-assesses how the repairs are going, and then transmits a message to the others to replace the whole arm module. "Accordingly," Shockwave says, still ignoring their work, "Cyclonus and I gave the order to bring Trypticon to Mars. He arrived mere moments ago, and is currently resting in fortress mode. Once the final work has been completed to his landing pad, he will take his place there." 


        Now Shockwave addresses someone in particular. "Moving Trypticon to Mars is a risky gambit, Galvatron. I have taken steps to prepare Decepticon Island for evacuation in the event of an Autobot attack that includes Metroplex. Whatever your objective under the sand is, Galvatron... it had better be worth it. Shockwave out." 


==============================================================================

================================== Reports ===================================
Message: 9/29                      Posted        Author
Trypticon Moves!                   Sat Apr 07    Shockwave
------------------------------------------------------------------------------

        *** Front page news *** 

        As reported by Earth Defence Command, NASA, and numerous civilian agencies, at 4 AM Eastern time Trypticon, the Decepticon cityformer previously stationed on an island in the Pacific, transformed to his mobile dinosaur mode and left Earth. Earth Defence Command scrambled Talon Exo-Armours and StarKnight Exo-Suits to monitor his progress, but the Decepticon, escorted by three Sweeps, departed Earth's atmosphere without engaging any allied forces. His destination quickly became obvious: Mars, the site of which was attacked by Decepticons one week ago. 

        When asked whether the Autobots would take advantage of Trypticon's departure by using Metroplex against Decepticon Island, EDC General Faireborn declined comment, saying only that "all options were being reviewed with Autobot Command and the Security Council." The Decepticons' long term goal on Mars and their sudden interest in it beyond removing allied stations there, has been widely discussed and debated since their landing. 

==============================================================================

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