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Log Title: Autobots v. Megatron on Mars

Characters: Blaster, Cuffs, Megatron, Snoop, Typhoon

Location: Mars

Year: 2008

TP: Geothermal Actuators TP



As Logged by Blaster - Monday, May 26, 2008, 8:26 PM



Autobot Shuttle <Veracity>

If you've been inside of one Autobot shuttle, you might as well say you've been inside all of them. A silver floor, silver walls, and a white flueroscent-light lined ceiling.

The layout is quite simple, actually. At the very front of the room are two gray pilot-chairs, each one located infront of a small monitor -- a larger third screen spans the width of the windshield, covering from the top of the window to the ceiling.

On the left, fifteen feet from the pilot's seat, resides the navigation station. Across from that is weapons control. Lining the edges are numerous seats; each one having a safety harness for those times when there's turbulence outside of the shuttle. A medical repair-table resides in the back left-hand corner -- across from a three-mech prisoner transport chamber.


<<Autobot>> Metroplex reports, "Shuttle just entered outer atmosphere from Earth, Asian continent. Projected trajectory suggests preparation to leave Earth's orbit for space."

<<Autobot>> Lt.Cmdr Blaster says, "They definitely can't be up to any good. Cuffs, you still on medical leave?"

<<Autobot>> Cuffs says, "... No, I'm not. Making my way to the launchpad now"

<<Autobot>> Lt.Cmdr Blaster says, "I'll met you there, lil' buddy."


Outside>

North Central United States - North America

The North Central US is predominantly farmlands. These farmlands dominate the scenery, from the vast expanses of wheat fields all across Kansas, clear up through the fields of wheat, corn, and soybeans in Nebraska, and on up through eastern South Dakota and North Dakota. In the Dakotas, however, the farmland is partially divided by the Missouri River, west of which the territories become less farmland, and more ranchable areas. A lot of this area is flat, but in the western Dakotas, the rolling hills turn into the Black Hills in South Dakota, with their peaks and spruce trees. This area is also home to the rocky walls of the desolate Badlands, closeby. There are national forests and grasslands all through this area as well, through the Dakotas and Nebraska. To the east of this region, the 100000 lakes of Minnesota, and the Iowa cornfields span outward, into the open hills and plains of Illinois and Indiana, and their historical importances.

Contents:

  • Typhoon
  • Autobot Shuttle <Veracity>


<<Autobot>> Lt.Cmdr Blaster says, "Get in, Typhoon. We're going to go pick up some security. Snoop, report to the landing bay."

<<Autobot>> Metroplex reports, "Shuttle has left Earth's atmosphere. Tracking as far as Sky Spy's sensors can reach."

<<Autobot>> Lt.Cmdr Blaster says, "Track 'em as far as you can, Metro! Ty an' I are headin' back to Autobot City to pick up Cuffs an' Snoop, and then we'll see just what those Bottom-40s are up to."


Typhoon boards the Veracity.


<<Autobot>> Cuffs says, "Where did you go with the shuttle?"

<<Autobot>> Weatherbot Typhoon says, "We were in Iowa, helping with storm damage. On our way back now."

<<Autobot>> Cuffs says, "Ahh. okay."

The shuttle flies back to Autobot City.


Landing Pad - Autobot City

The sounds of aircraft landing and taking off overrun all other sounds here. Shuttles, aircraft, rockets, and other air and space worthy craft reside here in large quantities. Nearby is a large air control tower, where traffic is directed and aided along the way to prevent accidents and unnecessary damage. There are three main launching pads, six runways, and two helipads, as well as at least ten hangars to hold all of the various aircraft and supplies for the incoming and outgoing ships.

Contents:

  • Autobot Shuttle <Veracity>
  • Snoop
  • Cuffs


Outside> Autobot Shuttle <Veracity> streaks in from the sky, shedding momentum quickly as it slows to land on Autobot City's tarmac.


Outside> Snoop looks up at the flying thingie

Snoop


Snoop is a small gold and grey Dinobot Compy. Her optics are bright blue and burn with a near-constant curiosity. Her small body is a dull steel grey. Her slender, short arms are tipped by fearsome claws. Her legs appear thick and powerful, allowing her to outrun most other 'Bots. As long as she is conscious, she seems to be looking continually at everything around her.


The Veracity shuttle unseals, with a slight hiss of pressure equalization.

Outside> Twin speakers from the Veracity boom, "All aboard!"


Cuffs boards the Veracity.


Outside> Snoop cautiously approaches the hatch and peeks in.


Blaster sits in the command console, instead of his usual spot at Communications.


Typhoon is at the Navigation console.


Cuffs climbs in and waves at Snoop. "Come on, Snoop! Nothing to be fearful of!" he coaches.


Snoop hops in, boarding the Veracity.


Blaster says, "Hey, Cuffs. Nice to have you aboard. Take Security." He motions to the Security pod. Looking back towards the doorway, he calls, "Here, Snoop!" He pats his lap.


Cuffs nods "Of course." He smiles at Blaster, a little nervously as he takes the console there "Do we know where they may be heading yet?"


Typhoon glances back from her console. "Not yet, but I've tied our sensors into Metro's and we're still tracking them -- tho we'll lose 'em if we don't hurry!"


Snoop wanders over to Blaster and props her silver chin on his lap.


"Let's blast off then already," Cuffs notes as he buckles himself in.


Blaster scritches Snoop absently as he nods to Cuffs. "Couldn't have said it better myself! Prepare to launch! Typhoon, lay in a tracking course to follow the Con shuttle, but not too closely -- I want to know what they're after. Fly casual."


Typhoon nods, laying in a course and filing it with Jetfire and Metroplex, just in case.


Blaster jives, "All systems go!" He launches the shuttle.


Cuffs nods and settles back as he brings the console to life, relaxing now that he was in his element.


Outside> Autobot Shuttle <Veracity> rumbles and vibrates as it lifts off the tarmac and launches into the sky.


Blaster pipes The Sounds through the shuttle as he pilots it into the skies over the US and Mexico.

The shuttle flies onward into the Stratosphere


Stratosphere - Western Hemisphere

This many miles above the Earth's surface the air is very thin and cold. Frighteningly cold. In the warmer regions the temperature is around -50 degrees Fahrenhiet and can drop below -100 as you continue upwards. The land and oceans below seem very distant and features like fields and cities become nothing more than patches of color nestled in the gentle greens and browns of the surrounding terrain.


Cuffs glances to Blaster "Volume down!" he pipes over himself "Just a little, thanks!"


Blaster glances at Cuffs sheepishly. "Sorry, man!" He lowers the volume a bit further, switching the music to Rank 1.


"You didn't have to change it. Just volume down," Cuffs chuckles.


Blaster chuckles. "It's OK, man. Felt Rank 1 was a little more appropriate and soothing, anyway."


Cuffs nods. "Fine with me," he notes as he settles back. "How long till we reach them?"


Blaster follows Rank 1 with some less-technoy Jim White. He replies, "Well, that depends where they're going. I'd rather not catch them 'til they get there."


"What if they were heading for a superbase? " Cuffs asked in amusement.


Typhoon says, "Whereever they're going, I have a lock on them. They won't be going far!"


Outside> Autobot Shuttle <Veracity> rockets through the stratosphere, still climbing rapidly.


The shuttle flies onward to Near Orbit - Earth.

Near Orbit - Earth

Starting at around 43 miles and extending to 310 miles is the Ionosphere, the layer so called because it consists of ionized particles that help reflect harmful uv radiation.

This layer, and expanding outward to the moon, is where most objects orbit the earth. There's no real air to speak of up here, which makes breathing a problem. This is also a travellers first real view of space, or their first view of the Earth.

Looking up you'll see the black tapestry of space, dotted with millions of sparkling stars and distant worlds. Beneath you, the Earth is a peaceful collage of green and blue.


Blaster double-checks systems as the Veracity achieves orbit.


Typhoon says, "Orbit achieved. Recalculating angle and velocity to slingshot around and give chase to the Decepticon shuttle."


Blaster jives, "Excellent, Typhoon! Take us out!" He settles back, giving Snoop another skritch. To match his good mood, he has the shuttle's inner speakers start pumping AC/DC, the volume starting to climb again.

Snoop taps her tail to the music

Outside> Autobot Shuttle <Veracity> rockets out of Earth's orbit, to the OOC disparaging remarks of IRL space-expert Snoop. >B^)


Outside, the Decepticon Shuttle <Dictator> can be seen in the far distance, streaking out of Earth's atmosphere.


Cuffs continues watching the screens alertly, scratching a little at his neckline "I see them. Hmm. That's curious. Where ARE they going?"


Typhoon says, "OK. Tracking the shuttle's trajectory..."


The shuttle flies onward to the Inner Planets - Sol System - Space.

Inner Planets - Sol System - Space

The inner planets are commonly referred to (coming out from the sun); Mercury, Venus, Earth, and Mars. Of course, Mercury and Venus aren't very tolerable to life (mechanical or otherwise), and Mars is to far from the sun to be worthwhile without a lot of work.

There are two heavenly bodies in this area that *are* worth mentioning though. One of those is the Earth, a planet teaming with life of all kinds. The Earth has seen better days, because at the moment it is the golden prize and everybody is fighting over it.

The moon however sits quietly as the only satellite to Earth. The moon is important because of several reasons; it's a big sphere of nothing, meaning there isn't any life to get rid of to mine it, and it's a great source of solar energy (If one were so inclined to want that). Obviously, the busiest part of this sector is around the Earth.


Typhoon says, "Got it! There's only one destination it could be going at that direction and speed: Mars." She lays in a course to follow.


Snoop looks up. "What Mars?"


Cuffs blinks. "Mars?" He glances up. "What could they want that's THERE?"


Typhoon glances back at Snoop. "It's a planet, like Earth. But not as cool. Interesting local weather patterns, tho..."


Blaster jives, "Well, whatever they're after, we're going to find out. Catch us up, Typhoon."


Typhoon launches the shuttle out of Earth's orbit, and rockets towards Mars.


Cuffs nods and settles in, tapping the guns on line as they cruise towards the Red Planet. "Guns online. Just in case..."


Blaster glances at Cuffs and nods. "Excellent idea, man."


Outside> Decepticon Shuttle <Dictator> suddenly breaks orbit and heads down towards Mars's surface.


Cuffs blinks a little "... It dissapeared! Completely!" he taps the console and plays with the dials.


Typhoon frowns, glancing at the sensory data from Cuff's console. "Frak!"


Blaster says, "Lay on the juice, Typhoon. We need to get there before the Decepticons drop from the charts completely."


Typhoon nods. "On it!"


Outside> Autobot Shuttle <Veracity> rockets to Mars, getting there in a cartoon-only timeframe.


Typhoon says, "Approaching Mars. Scanning for the Decepticon shuttle."


Cuffs nods "Increasing scanners to full power for best scan." He peers at the readings, and then ahss! "Go north! Maybe they're after that Pioneer probe!"


Blaster jives, "Ah, man! Not the Phoenix. That would just be evil! Not cool!"


Typhoon says, "Got it, Cuffs. Taking us down after the Con shuttle."


Cuffs nods "I'll head out to see what's up. You two can stay here if you want..."


Typhoon scans over the data again, and frowns. "Frak!" she repeats. "The Con shuttle

  • is* close to where the Phoenix landed..."


Cuffs mutters and pulls out his rifle and begins to get it ready.


Blaster says, "When we land, Typhoon will stay and guard the shuttle. Cuffs, Snoop and I will go with you."


Typhoon frowns, whipping around in her chair and opening her mouth to complain.


Blaster jives, "Save it, Typhoon. Take us down!"


Typhoon scowls, and turns back around in her seat, hands flying over the console as she grumbles to herself unhappily.


Blaster lowers the visor over his optics, scanning the data streaming over from Cuffs's security station sensors.


Mars

Mars is the fourth planet from the Sun in the Solar System. The planet is named after Mars, the Roman god of war. It is also referred to as the "Red Planet" because of its reddish appearance as seen from Earth.

Mars is a terrestrial planet with a thin atmosphere, having surface features reminiscent both of the impact craters of the Moon and the volcanoes, valleys, deserts and polar ice caps of Earth. It is the site of Olympus Mons, the highest known mountain in the Solar System, and of Valles Marineris, the largest canyon. In addition to its geographical features, Mars’ rotational period and seasonal cycles are likewise similar to those of Earth.

Until the first flyby of Mars by Mariner 4 in 1965, it was speculated that there might be liquid water on the planet's surface. This was based on observations of periodic variations in light and dark patches, particularly in the polar latitudes, which looked like seas and continents, while long, dark striations were interpreted by some observers as irrigation channels for liquid water. These straight line features were later proven not to exist and were instead explained as optical illusions. Still, of all the planets in our Solar System other than Earth, Mars is the most likely to harbor liquid water, and perhaps life.

Mars is currently host to three functional orbiting spacecraft: Mars Odyssey, Mars Express, and Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter. This is more than any planet in the Solar System except Earth. The surface is also home to the two Mars Exploration Rovers (Spirit and Opportunity), as well as the lander Phoenix. Geological evidence gathered by these and preceding missions suggests that Mars previously had large-scale water coverage, while observations also indicate that small geyser-like water flows have occurred in recent years. Observations by NASA's Mars Global Surveyor show evidence that parts of the southern polar ice cap have been receding.1


Contents:

  • Megatron
  • Decepticon Shuttle <Dictator>


Cuffs nods at Blaster "You got it." he stands, unclipping his seatbelt as he heads to the door, tapping the panel. Carefully, the shuttle decomprsses to match the Mars atmosphere.


Outside> Megatron is outside the Dictator with a hand-scanner.


The Veracity shuttle unseals, with a slight hiss of pressure equalization.


Cuffs disembarks from the Veracity.


Outside> Megatron is in view of the Autobot shuttle, as Tyhoon has just done a fly-by and landing nearby. He is near the site of the Phoenix landing, and looks up to No Good (TM).


Outside> Cuffs steps out, then freezes "Slag... Blaster, it's Megatron." He utters to the red boombox. "YOu go left, I'll go right? " he stares at the huge mech, rather nervous.


Snoop walks down the hatch and steps onto the new surface.


Outside> The ground below Megatron is frozen, with polygon-shaped patterns in the arctic soil.


Snoop disembarks from the Veracity.


Typhoon, having just landed the shuttle before Cuffs and Snoop debarked, does a post-flight check quickly, grumbling to herself still.


Outside> Cuffs pauses at snoop. Wasn't Snoop staying behind too?


(Radio) Blaster transmits, "Megatron, himself? Man, that's bad mojo. Be careful out there!" to Cuffs.


Outside> Snoop looks at the big 'bot. "I... I went out door. It opened."


Outside> Megatron freezes as well, turning as the Autobot shuttle lands nearby.


Blaster hops out right behind Snoop, carrying his Big Aft Rifle.


Veracity> Typhoon stays to guard the shuttle, frowning.


Cuffs states softly "Go back in the shuttle and wait, okay Snoop? " he notes with a guesture "You can come out a little later. Big danger" he notes, still eyeballing Megatron as he starts down the ramp moving twards the nearest cover. Which, according to the latest Astronomy Picture Of The Day, is absolutely ZILCH

<OOC> Blaster LOL
<OOC> Cuffs says, "I'm serious! Its FLAT. it's like Kansas. Only dustier"


Snoop looks back at the shuttle. "Oh. Okay." She schlumps back into the shuttle and plops down in a corner.


Blaster heads left at Cuffs's suggestion, also warily watching Megatron over the flat, dusty landscape. His visor protects his sensitive optics from the Martian dust.


Cuffs moves, a little more noticeable no doubt with white armor, in comparison to Blaster's mostly red and yellow. He blinks a few times, waving a hand in front of him as he stalks across, trying to see what Megatron was doing.


Megatron casually hangs his sensor on his hip, watching with apparent amusement as the Autobots spread out


Veracity> Typhoon comes in from the cramped engine room, and looks surprised to see Snoop back on the shuttle.


Veracity> Snoop looks up at the other big 'bot

Megatron calls back (and radio broadbands, in case his voice doesn't carry in the thin

atmosphere), "Autobots! Mars is Decepticon Domain. Leave now, or be destroyed."


Veracity> Typhoon drawls, "Hey, Snoop! What's goin' on out there?"


Cuffs frowns at that and glances across to Blaster, and then back as he returns. "We're just making sure you're not going to be damaging more of EARTH's property."


Blaster jives, "Yeah, man. If you think we're turnin' any planets over to you and yours, you are straight-trippin'."


Cuffs didn't mean it RIGHT like that, but that works.


Veracity> Snoop says, "They tell me to come back in because big trouble."


Megatron rasps, "The humans need to learn not to meddle where they aren't welcome, and you Autobots need to do the same. Leave immediately. This is your final warning."


Cuffs scowls again as he glances to the scanner, and then the Pioneer at that, then back to Blaster as he states, "What claim does the Decepticon Empire have here? There's only you."


Veracity> Typhoon glances at the viewscreen. "Megatron? Yeah, he's pretty much Big Trouble incarnate. You might be safer on the shuttle with me."


Veracity> Snoop shrugs. "Okay."


Blaster jives, "Yeah, man. I know math and smarts ain't you Decepticons' forte', but you may have noticed you're outnumbered out here, two to one."


(Radio) Cuffs sends Blaster a radio transmission, '... He's not outnumbered, powerwise you realize...'


Megatron chuckles raspingly in the near-emptly air. "Oh, I find that this --" he pats his fusion cannon -- " is all the claim I need. And, Blaster, you'll need more than the pathetic two of you to take on the might of Megatron."


Veracity> Typhoon walks over to skritchy Snoop, her optics on the viewscreen where their Autobot allies face off against Megatron.


(Radio) Blaster transmits, "Chill out, man. It's psychology. Don't let him know you fear him, or we're done," to Cuffs.


Cuffs frowns a little, glancing to Blaster again, and then back. "Maybe, but you forgot last time... you MISSED," he notes, optics glowing. Yeah, still upset, if shaken, about

his last meeting with Megatron.


Veracity> Typhoon runs a quick inventory check. She frowns, and says, "Sorry, Snoop. I have no ener-goodies. You any good at ship repair?"


Megatron frowns, squinting across the distance, as if trying to place who this cheeky Autobot even is...


Veracity> Snoop says, "I zap stuff!"


Cuffs is very shiny, but that only means he reflects the red of the sand, his rifle

held in front of him, optics glaring back.


Veracity> Typhoon tears her optics from the viewscreen long enough to glance down at

Snoop and smile. "That might some in handy, too," she grins.


Blaster glances from Cuffs to Megatron, readying his own rifle.


Megatron rasps, "I don't even remember who you are, Autobot, but know one thing -- I /never/ miss." He raises his cannon, and fires at Cuffs!


Veracity> Typhoon drawls, "Oh, frak!"


Blaster curses as well, and fires back at Megatron.


>> Megatron strikes Cuffs with Plasma <Low>. <<


<<Autobot>> Weatherbot Typhoon says, "Blaster! Request permission to use shuttle weapons against Megatron!"

<<Autobot>> Lt.Cmdr Blaster says, "Negative, Typhoon! We need that shuttle to get back to Earth! Keep it out of the fight!"


Cuffs grunts and shifts, starting to jerk sideways when the blast strikes him in the arm. He gasps and stumbles backwards from the force. He drops to a knee, then shakes it off. "You don't? I'm surprised. You took so much GLEE in 'trying' to beat me to death before shooting me in the chest!" he barks, returning fire himself.


>> Cuffs strikes Megatron with Power-Taser <Medium>. <<

>> Megatron temporarily loses motor functions from the attack! <<

<<Autobot>> Cuffs says, "... RUN! He's going to be ANGRY when he shakes it!"


Blaster fires on Megatron at the same moment as Cuffs.

>> Blaster strikes Megatron with Disruptor-Charge. <<


Veracity> Typhoon makes a face, and jumps back onto her seat, bringing the engines quickly back online.


Megatron sneers. "So many Autobots beaten, it's hard to keep -- ack!" he pauses as Blaster's Disruptor-Charge hits him, and turns his attention slightly at the Autobot Communicator. At that moment, he's hit by Cuffs' Power-Taser, and cries out in more anger than pain as he falls to his knees, circuit breakers switching over rapidly to restore power almost as he hits the dust.


<<Autobot>> Weatherbot Typhoon says, "Ready to depart on your order, Blaster!"


Cuffs bolts instantly towars the shuttle, hoping that Blaster would follow through "Blaster, let's get out of here..." he shouts... then suddenly stumbles himself, sideways as though struck by ... something.


Blaster pauses a moment, then his features set. "No way, man. This is the perfect opportunity to hit him while he's down. If we run away, he'll destroy the Phoenix and protect whatever he's tryin' ta hide." Blaster runs forward towards Megatron instead, launching a flying kick at the Decepticon leader's head just as Megatron starts to recover and struggles to stand.


Megatron struggles to stand, his hate-filled optics flashing between the two Autobots on the Martian surface.


Veracity> Typhoon watches anxiously from her seat at NavCom.


Cuffs turns, his optics dimmed a little as he drops to a knee to fire at Megatron from the other side now, not wishing to leave Blaster behind.


Blaster, too distracted by his rush to attack to notice Cuffs's difficulty, launches his kick just before Cuffs fires.


>> Blaster misses Megatron with Kick. <<

>> Cuffs strikes Megatron with Pistol <Medium>. <<


Megatron recovers enough to grab Blaster's leg and throw him aside, only to get nailed in the chest by Cuffs's pistol.


Veracity> Typhoon drawls, "Frak! We should be out there helpin!"


Blaster is thrown to the ground, but rolls, recovering quickly and bringing up his rifle.


(Radio) Cuffs sends Blaster a radio transmission, 'You're crazy! We can't take Megatron! Not even Optimus can!'


(Radio) Blaster transmits, "You might be right. Get back to the shuttle. I'll cover you!" to Cuffs.


Megatron growls deeply, optics flashing over to Cuffs like a laser. "Autobot, I will not make the same mistake twice. Your desire for death will be granted."


(Radio) Cuffs sends Blaster a radio transmission, 'H... Hurry... having a problem...' Cuffs sputters a little as he climbs to his feet, optics flashing now wildly. His face tenses as he realizes something was very wrong, gun held in one hand as he tries to lift it up, staring at Megatron before he drops to a knee.


Veracity> Snoop just looks up at the big 'bot again.


Megatron aims his cannon at Cuffs and fires again.

>> Megatron misses Cuffs with Plasma <Medium>. <<


Blaster fires at Megatron again, trying to throw off his aim so Cuffs can get back to the shuttle.


>> Blaster strikes Megatron with Electricity-Surge. <<


Blaster laughs as he pours on the power from his electro-scrambler, happy that the shock will travel at all in Mars's thinner atmosphere.


Cuffs grunts at this and flinches as he sees the cannon go off... very surprised to find himself still in one piece. "B... Blaster..." he stammers, a hand to his chestplate, right where Megatron had originally struck him.


Megatron grunts as electricity surges through him, but merely sneers again at his two Autobot opponents.


Veracity> Typhoon is so focused on Megatron that she doesn't seem to notice Cuffs's predicament.


Megatron says, "The two of you aren't going anywhere. You die here, on Mars. Somewhat fitting, in a way, that you should lose your lives on a planet the humans named for a god of war."


<<Autobot>> Cuffs says, "G... Get out of here, Blaster....."


Megatron turns, and instead of firing at Cuffs again, aims his cannon for the Autobot Shuttle.


Veracity> Typhoon's optics widen. "Oh, smeg!"


<<Autobot>> Lt.Cmdr Blaster says, "Typhoon -- something's wrong with Cuffs. Get him in the shuttle."


>> Megatron strikes Autobot Shuttle <Veracity> with Plasma <High>. <<


Snoop runs out the door, and skids to a stop half-way between Megatron and the shuttle.


<<Autobot>> Weatherbot Typhoon says, "Smeg! Blaster, another shot like that and none of us are going anywhere!"


Cuffs starts to stir again, his hand shaking as he brings it up again "Blaster, GO!" he rasps again as he fires at Megatron, trying to distract the huge mech, stepping back a few times.


(Radio) Cuffs sends Blaster a radio transmission, 'Idea... V... Vibrations... Dust cloud... He won't S... See us... Music!'


>> Cuffs strikes Megatron with Heavy-Laser <Low>. <<


Snoop looks up at the bad bot and blinks her optics. "Stick?" She thumps her tail against the ground repeatedly, stirring up a cloud of dust.


Blaster belatedly starts to realize that Cuffs was right, and they should have retreated earlier. Receiving an idea from Cuffs, and noting how easily Snoop's tail disturbed the dusty Martial soil, he nods. "Right!" Suddenly, Blaster transforms.


Megatron is struck by the laser, but doesn't seem deterred. Instead, he laughs, training his weapon once again on the smoking Autobot shuttle.


>> Megatron strikes Autobot Shuttle <Veracity> with Fusion-Cannon <Low>. <<


Blaster lands lightly in the frozen Martian dust, and cranks up his speakers, blasting "Akko" by Future Prime at top volume. It sounds strangely muted in the rarified Martian air, but it has the effect that Cuffs predicted -- the vibrations start kicking up a tremendous cloud of dust, and soon Megatron is completely obscured in it. Blaster yells, "Snoop -- help Cuffs get back in the shuttle. Typhoon -- get that shuttle spaceworthy and prepare to take off!"


Megatron roars as his vision is obscured by the growing cloud of dust. Fusion blasts streak out of the red cloud, coming dangerously close to the Veracity.


Veracity> Typhoon hurriedly activates fire control, and reroutes power to essential areas of the ship, thinking,

. o 0 ( If I crash another shuttle, Hurri will *never* let me live it 

down. )


Cuffs stands carefully and staggers towards the shuttle, choking out "Snoop... Fetch... Blaster!" as he moves towards the shuttle, ducking one blast.


Snoop runs over towards Cuffs, then skids to a stop. Hearing Cuffs' suggestion, she runs over to Blaster and clasps the carry handle in her mouth. She then runs into the shuttle, looking back at Cuffs.


Outside> The red dust starts to clear around Megatron. As he comes into view, his burning optics and the glow of his fusion cannon are the first things in view. Almost choked with rage, Megatron bellows, "Autobots! You'll not escape that easily!"


Blaster says, "Well, that's one way of doing it! Good work, guys! Typhoon, as soon as Cuffs is on board, get us out of here!"


Typhoon says, "Got it, boss!" She revs up the engines, ready for takeoff.


Blaster transforms, settling back heavily into the command chair.


Outside> Megatron focuses his rage on Cuffs, who's managed to get his attention once again. He opens fire on Cuffs with the power of his fusion cannon!


Outside> >> Megatron strikes Cuffs with Fusion-Cannon <Low>. <<


Outside> Another cry of pain, as his chest was struck and Cuffs coughs, optics widening a little, only he feeling the little POPS in his chest. Not good. He lifts his gun, backing up towards the shuttle as the dust swirls around them both, firing one last time. "If this doesn't work... Just go," he mutters into his Radio.


Outside> >> Cuffs misses Megatron with Power-Taser <Medium>. <<


Blaster says, "What's that darn fool doin'?"


(Radio) Blaster transmits, "Cuffs! Get in here!" to Cuffs.


Snoop disembarks from the Veracity.


(Radio) Cuffs sends Blaster a radio transmission, 'Trying....'

Outside> Snoop dashes back out of the shuttle and skids to a stop in front of Megatron.

Snoop grins up at him, then starts running circles around him while whipping her tail back and forth, hoping to create another dust diversion.


Outside> Megatron slaps the taser wires aside, seeming powered by pure fury. His roar of anger drifts across the Martian landscape as he's once again engulfed in a red spinning dust devil. He fires his cannon out of the dust column at Snoop as she goes whizzing by.


Outside> Cuffs says, "SNOOP! Get BACK!"


Outside> >> Megatron misses Snoop with Plasma <Low>. <<


<<Autobot>> Cuffs says, "F... Fire engines... backwash... dusty..."


Blaster hops out of the shuttle after Snoop. To Cuffs, he says, "Enough of the bright ideas, tough guy, until we get you in the shuttle." He attempts to get Cuffs in the shuttle, bodily if necessary.


Cuffs continues to stumble backwards to the shuttle, coughing a few times as he's grabbed, staggering after Blaster, a harsh ticking noise coming from his chestplate.


Veracity> Typhoon apparently listens to Cuffs's idea, and lifts the shuttle, swinging it around to wash Megatron with the engine's dusty blowback. She sets the shuttle back down right next to Blaster and Cuffs.


Blaster guides Cuffs towards the door of the shuttle, tracking it through the dust storm with his visor. "Get inside, man!"


<<Autobot>> Lt.Cmdr Blaster says, "OK, Snoop. Cuffs is on board. Get back to the shuttle!"


Blaster waits at the door of the shuttle, sending out a locator beacon for Snoop.


Snoop gets the transmission. She starts to run back to the shuttle, using her tail to give Megatron a whap on the back of his knees before sprinting off and hurrying back into the ship.


Megatron fires into the dust cloud a few more times, screaming in frustration, but Snoop is long gone.


<<Autobot>> Weatherbot Typhoon says, "Snoop's aboard. Get in Blaster, and let's get out of here!"


<<Autobot>> Lt.Cmdr Blaster says, "You don't have to tell me twice!"


Cuffs collapses just inside the door, body shaking


Outside> Megatron again strides through the dust cloud, approaching the shuttle as the snandstorm clears.


Blaster heads again for his seat, hanging on as Typhoon takes off.


Outside> Megatron aims his fusion cannon at the fleeing, heavily-damaged shuttle. Cuffs just lays on the floor.


Typhoon takes off as quickly as she dares in the wounded ship.

Outside> Megatron fires blast after blast at the retreating shuttle, vowing to destroy you all!


Typhoon takes the ship out of Mars's orbit.


Once they are safely out of cannon range, Blaster says, "Typhoon, check on the engine and hull capacity, and make sure we can get back to Earth in one piece."


Blaster checks on Cuffs. "Hey, man! You OK? What happened out there?"


Typhoon nods to Blaster, and heads to the back to make repairs and analyze the damage done by Megatron's fusion cannon.


Cuffs grimaces, his body a little numb as he lays there, shivering "n... not.s.. sure... numb... can't see too well. Motor problems..."


Blaster frowns. "Well, hold on, man, and don't worry. We'll have Doc Aid look you over when you get back, and we'll get you patched up in no time." Blaster does some first aid of his own during the trip back. He patches up most of Cuffs's obvious wounds using resources on the ship.


Cuffs shivers a little as he's worked on, almost oblivious to the pain now as he continues to lay there, otpics flashing "M... Megatron... Never... Misses." he murmers.


Blaster frowns. "Nah. He misses all the time. I think he missed Snoop, like, four times in a row." He scans over Cuffs, his frown deepening. He mutters to Snoop, "Hm... his major damage is patches up, but his strange symptoms persist."


Typhoon comes back from the engine room, covered in grease.


Blaster looks up at Typhoon. "Well?"


"Wh... When he hits... he hits." Cuffs tries again, leaning back against the wall.

"Medbay. Fast...."


Typhoon says, "Well, it ain't pretty, but we should get back on one piece. How's Cap'n Cannon-Fodder?"


Blaster nods, patting Cuffs on the shoulder. "He'll be fine. I have most of the fusion damage patched up, but he seems to be having a lot of unrelated symptoms I can't quite pin down. Doc Aid will definitely have to have a look at him as soon as we get back.

"Hurry it up if you can, OK?"


Blaster turns back to Cuffs. "Just rest now, man. We'll take care of you." His usually bombatic voice is quiet now, and he sounds concerned.


Snoop looks up at the bots with a look of concern. She hops over to Blaster.


Blaster stands as Cuffs slips into a low-power recouperative mode. He give Snoop a scritch, then settles in the command chair, flipping a switch to lower the comm recorder.


Snoop follows Blaster to his chair and looks at him conceredly.


Blaster glances back down at Snoop. "I'm going to record a report, and then we should be back home soon. Cuffs will be OK."


Typhoon glances back from her post a navcom, then goes back to pilotting the damaged ship, concentrating on what she's doing.


Snoop looks up at Blaster again. "Help?"


Blaster looks up at the recorder, then back down at Snoop. "You were a big help today, that's for sure!"


Snoop sighs and hops over to Typhoon. "You help me?"


Typhoon glances back quickly from what she's doing, and sounds distracted. "Uh, sure, Snoop. What do you need?"


Snoop moves her little arms up and down. "Scratchy."


Blaster mentally prepares himself to record a transmission.


Typhoon says, "Uh, I'm a little busy at the moment. You need scrithies?"


Snoop says, "No, no! Scratchy when I move.""


Blaster flips in the recorder, and smiles


Typhoon types in a course correction, and then stares down at Snoop, optics blinking.

"Huh?" she asks intelligently. "What's scratchy when you move?" She sounds lost.


Snoop gets frustrated. "There's scratchy when I move arms and legs and tail and head!"

Typhoon's optics blink again. "Oh! From the dust!"


Blaster says from his chair, "This is Blaster, reporting from the Autobot Shuttle Veracity."


Typhoon smiles down at Snoop. "Don't worry, Snoop. As soon as we get back I'll make sure you get a shower to get all the dust out of your systems. Maybe we can get Hoist to give you a lube replacement."


Snoop grins a big, toothy grin. "Okay!"


Blaster pauses in his recording and gives Typhoon a look.


Typhoon looks sheepish, and lowers her voice. She checks back at her nav system, making another small correction. The ship continues to accelerate smoothly.


Blaster continues, "Earlier today Metroplex detected a Decepticon shuttle taking off from Decepticon City. Typhoon and I picked up Cuffs and Snoop and gave chase to see what the Decepticons were up to."


Snoop jumps up on Blaster's lap and says into the recorder, "Yeah! We went to space and there was big mean guy, but they chase me back in fly ship."


Blaster glances down at Snoop, and smiles. Scritching the dinotape, he continues, "Uh, yeah. We followed the ship to Mars, and lo and behold, it was Megatron himself."


Typhoon glances back at Blaster and Snoop, and shakes her head, glancing at the ceiling in bemusement. She goes back to her course corrections.


Blaster continues. "He'd landed near the Phoenix touchdown site, and apparently was trying to prevent the humans from finding something he didn't want found. We engaged him in battle, but Cuffs and the shuttle sustained heavy damage, and we were forced to retreat." He frowns. "Something is wrong with Cuffs. I repaired most of his physical damage en route, but he's still exhibiting strange symptoms that may have something to do with the power failures he'd been experiencing before. Doc Aid, if you could have a look at him when we get back, it'd be a groove -- and not your fellow Protectobot.

Also, 'Jack, you might want to have a look at the Veracity. Megatron did a number on it, and it's a miracle that Typhoon has got us this far. If we crash before we land, be sure to recycle my remains in a rockin' club somewhere. Blaster, out." He signals and the recording ends.

Settling back in his seat, he watches the viewscreen as Typhoon flies them back to Earth.

References

1. Source: Wikipedia

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