Log Title: The Return of Zetar



Characters: Backblast, Bishop, Dust Devil, Hardpack, Kickback, Leroy 2, Zetar

Location: Iacon Plain - Northern Hemisphere - Cybertron

Date: May 03, 2017

TP: Siege of Iacon TP

Summary: Zetar returns, to Bishop's surprise and disbelief.

As logged by Zetar - Wednesday, May 03, 2017, 10:25 PM

Iacon Plain - Northern Hemisphere - Cybertron

Iacon is an Autobot-controlled city-state, located near the north pole of Cybertron. It is also the location of the capital city of the same name. It is by far the largest and most well-defended Autobot settlement on Cybertron. It is home to the military command on Cybertron, as well as the center of Autobot culture. Even Autobots originally from other parts of Cybertron tend to call Iacon home. Most Autobot residents dwell in the Great Dome, although there are other locations in Iacon, including Nova Point.

Backblast has chosen a ground-level position today. It's clearly designed so he can use it both hull-down and while in robot mode. He's in the back, brewing up a little bit of energon tea. "What part of 'quiet' don'tcha get, lad? C'mon in, the tea's hot"

The Minibot puts a hand over his mouth, looking abashed. He lowers his volume to just barely audible, "Sorry. Heard about the possibility of a hot drink and could resist." He extends a hand, "Name's Hardpack. Cryogenics specialist."

Backblast shakes the little hand and gives a thumbs up. "Thanks. All good, I've got the brew on right now." The little stove is shielded and doesn't give off much radiant light or heat. "Backblast. Sniper, scout... I'm trained in SIGINT"

Hardpack wraps his arms around himself, gripping his elbows as though unnaturally cold. He tilts his head slightly, "What's SIGINT?"

Backblast smiles "Signals Intelligence." He indicates the long, flexible whip antenna, and the two smaller ones - one hoop, one dipole - on his back. "I can pick up on any major Con radio traffic... can't decode it, but I can detect it. My decryption gear got slightly immersed in water after a hull breach... my bombes got boned"

Hardpack winces slightly, "I know how dodgy that can be. Especially when it tries to freeze back up all around you." He physically shivers at the notion... or maybe a memory. "Any Decepticon action out there?"

Backblast nods a little. "The little stegosaw's runnin around doing stuff. The hot chick with the propellor is singing again... they've got a couple of snipers up and about in concealment, no doubt at least one of 'em knows about me." He sniffs.

"Gonna need to build up a fresh set of bombes at some point I think, I might try a hybrid of digital and analogue this time instead of the pure digital setup I had before. Digital's good and all but sometimes cryptography requires... heuristic calculations."

Hardpack looks past Backblast, toward the Decepticon lines. "So typical mischief, just trying to keep us penned in here..." He shakes his head, "And they recalled me from Earth for this."

Backblast chuckles a little. "Nah, nah." He sniffs, thinking a moment. OpSec; he was considering talking about the security breach, or the push to break the siege. "The Silver Shouter's probably gearing up to try and kick us off or something... I got recalled right from the Omicron cluster man. Three weeks on the shuttle to get back here."

Hardpack frowns and shakes his head, "Man, being out there in the cold void for three weeks... I thought Antarctica was bad." He shivers again at the thought, "Sounds rough."

Backblast nods "Yeah it's rough but I'm home, y'know? Earth's not far away and there's some -epic- off-roading terrain there... Encore and Fanfare are outta the deep freeze and those guys are crazier than me." He laughs, pouring out the tea. It's good, warm energon tea. He also offers over one of his enercigs, lighting one up himself. As he sips his tea he settles back behind his rifle, scanning over the lines again. "Never been to Antarctica. I seen pictures though it looks fun to drive on"

Hardpack gratefully accepts the tea, taking a long sip of the hot liquid. He lets out a happy sigh, "That's good. Thank you." He looks down, shifting his leg to display the tracks on the backs of them, "Might need to get your tires changed out if you're headed down south."

Backblast takes a sip of his own tea, nodding. "I can get spiked tyres fitted, no worries." He looks at the tracks a moment. "My tyres are already military-tread all-terrain... if my waterjet system goes down they'll even keep me chugging along at one third speed"

Hardpack chuckles before taking another sip, "You say that now. Next thing you know, you're up to your underchassis in powder and kicking up your own little snowstorm trying to get free." He shakes his head, his jovial demeanor slipping, "Or the ice starts cracking. Worst sound in the world there..."

Backblast sniffs "Only if you're not amphibious." Backblast transforms, seaming to change shape around the big 90mm gun. In his altmode, his amphibious nature is clear - there are intakes for the waterjets, and nozzles above his rear mudguards.

"Course, in that situation best thing I can do is stick around to help anyone else in trouble" Backblast transforms back

Hardpack grins slightly, raising his tea in salute, "I stand corrected." He takes another sip, tilting it back. He looks disappointedly at the empty cup.

Backblast chuckles, pouring out another. Shortly after he does so, the stove sputters and dies as its little fuel block runs out. He pours what's left into his flask, which he keeps on his belt for the long hours behind the scope.

Honestly, as far as front-line working environments go, there are worse ones. The camo net above keeps the worst of the sun off, in the back away from the gun port there's enough space for brewing up and preparing more substantial refuelling... even a little spot where Backblast could sneak a nap, should he so choose. There's also space for a spotter, should he be assigned one

Hardpack smiles again, "Thanks!" He gasps slightly, covering his mouth again and lowering his volume to a whisper, "Sorry. Thanks." He takes another sip of the hot beverage, "So what do you do when you're not popping of Decepticon heads?"

Backblast smirks "Spy on the buggers. Or go find trouble to get myself into... I'm a suicide jockey." he grins. "I do a lot of off-road driving, I was thinking maybe this year doing the Baja 1000, if they'll let me"

Hardpack nods slowly, "Afraid I'm not exactly designed for speed.... slow and study up the snowy slopes. Speed can literally kill in those environments." He takes another sip of the tea, "Now, Suicide Jockeys... I haven't been up here too long, but I hear a lot of Autobots mention you guys, and that you're crazy."

Backblast grins widely. "Who else is gonna haul Wreckers around like the crazies? It was primarily the idea of Fanfare and Encore, a squadron of those Autobots who don't fit elsewhere - the fliers, the snipers, the speed freaks..."

Dust Devil is of course having a bit too much fun as the silvery blue hovercar speeds into the Iacon area. Transforming, he slides to a stop, glancing around to see what trouble he can get himself into.

Backblast and hardpack are concealed in a ground-level sniper's nest. If DD knows his sniper-signs, he'll know where it is.

Kickback is back on the Decepticon lines. He's still badly injured from his tangle with Backblast. Knowing there's an Autobot sniper out there, Kickback tries to keep larger, more heavily armored Decepticons between him and the walls of Iacon. Otherwise, what are Combaticons and the like for if not walking shields? He frowns, worrying a bit how Bombshell is faring inside Iacon, although he'd never admit it. I mean, they're not friends, of course. Friend is another word for fool.

Bishop drives out from Iacon, headed somewhere a bit of a hurry.

Backblast blinks and follows Bishop with his scope. "Oi oi..." He mutters. "That reporter's in a rush

Dust Devil smirks as bishop shows up. He folds his arms and looks at the newsman. "Hey Bishop....need some news?"

Bishop zooms up to Dust Devil and slides in for a stop, kicking up a thick cloud of the silica particle dust prevalent on the Iacon Plain.

Dust Devil's forcefield lightly crackles and protects him from getting Dusted with the news. "Figure you wouldn't mind a chance to work on some of your previous topics."

Backblast watches Dusty and Bishop casually through the scope. Casually, he pulls out a directional microphone and listens in.

Bishop approaches Dust Devil, camera drone hovering overhead, its lights blazing. "Sure thing, but make it quick...I got someplace to be in a tick."

Dust Devil radios <<hey bud, come on out. He's facin me so come up behind him and be quiet!>> He grins at Bishop, "I've asked him to come. He's a nice guy."

Leroy 2 buzzes across the plain, looking for ambulances to chase.

Bishop cocks an eyebrow...or rather, the Cybertronian version of it. " asked *who* to come?"

Dust Devil chuckles, "Hey Bishop, don't ya like surprises? I mean its gotta be great fer yer reviews and stuff."

Bishop raises his hands in an awkward gesture. "Hey look...anything Leroy records counts as evidence, so if you're planning to take me to an alley somewhere, all I got to say is, "This ain't my first rodeo, pal. Do your worst." Bishop balls his hands into fists, waiting for what he assumes will be a punch to the face.

Backblast watches through his scope, listening with the microphone.

Dust Devil grins mischievously, "awww come on I need ta make up fer takin out some stress on ya before."

Bishop steps back into a fighting stance, and beckons Dust Devil with a hand. "How do they say on Earth? Come at me, bro!"

Behind Bishop, a figure emerges from Iacon's gates. Tall, black, and yellow, with a silver drill on its head, it looks to all the world like Zetar, the heroic Autobot who died during Trypticon's attack on Iacon, and whose last moments were recorded, for better or worse, by Bishop. Zetar comes up behind Bishop and looms over him, a rather pleasant smile on his face for someone who's dead. The only difference is his optics are normal Autobot blue instead of the feverish yellow he had when he died.

Dust Devil rolls his optics, "I totally have no interest in takin you anywhere." He motions behind Bishop, "Though my friend might be interested."

Backblast spits out a mouthfull of his enertea in surprise.

Bishop steps back, dropping his fists slowly as his mouth drops open. "Primus!"

<<Autobot>> Para-Droppable PITA Backblast says, "!"

Bishop quickly gains his wherewithal. "Leroy! Be sure to get in on sector 2! The light is coming down hard on his right profile and making his nose look all wonky."

Leroy 2 buzzes and chirps as it zooms in towards the Lazarusian Autobot, lights and cameras at full speed.

Backblast zooms in on Zetar's face, then starts sending a rapid coded message to Encore.

<<Autobot>> Para-Droppable PITA Backblast says, "SJ-22 to SJ-55... coded message follows. *Series of two digit numbers*"

Dust Devil grins at Zetar, "See buddy, I told you you were famous." Dark optics brighten. "Its amazing what happens around here sometimes Perhaps you might be interested in chattin with Zetar."

"Hi!" says Zetar brightly, not playing along very well with any plan to scare Bishop. "Dusty said to come out and say 'Hello.' Apparently you broadcast a eulogy of me when I died? That was very nice of you, and I appreciate it. I'm not sure we've met properly before I got crushed. I'm Zetar! Technically I'm a Multi-function Specialist, but usually I just dig holes in the ground. My life isn't usually as exciting as it's been lately."

Leroy 2 slides open a panel on its underside, allowing a small black boom mic to slide out. <pixelated for our younger viewers, of course>

Dust Devil laughs brightly, totally enjoying this. "See, I bring good things now and then. Even if I plan them a bit to make things more interesting."

Bishop approaches Zetar, though somewhat pensively. "So...uh...Zetar..." *coughs nervously* "So...alive again. How's that..uh...working for you?"

<<Autobot>> Dust Devil laughs, "Okay Bishop seems rather lost fer words."

<<Autobot>> Para-Droppable PITA Backblast says, "He ain't the only one"

<<Autobot>> Dust Devil says, "Oh uh...Yeah I kinda took Zetar fer a visit with a friend and he came back slightly healthier than when he left. Maybe I shoulda left a message."

Zetar beams. "Great, actually! I still can't believe it. One moment I'm being crushed, and the next I'm alive again -- thanks to Dust Devil, Spike, and Typhoon. They brought me to Vector Sigma, and he patched me back up again! Apparently I had some of his energy from when I touched him, and it kept me suspended 'til I could be brought back. However it worked, I'm not complaining -- I'm just glad to be back on my feet again!" Zetar's drill spins happily on his head.

<<Autobot>> Para-Droppable PITA Backblast listens to a reply from Encore. It's a series of incredulous and surprised sounding numbers, interspersed with swearwords. Bloody SJs and their codes.

Bishop snerks. "Wha...seriously?" He looks around, incredulously. "Okay, who is this really? Like I'm going to see the Ghost of Zetar Past and finally understand the true meaning of Christmas? Pftb. Nice try, whoever you are under that, why don't you go back and tell the editing department that whoever is trying to win the pool on being the first to record me on the blooper reel has *failed.*"

Zetar frowns, and looks over at Dust Devil in confusion. "Uh... I'm not sure what you mean. I'm Zetar. Back from the dead, I guess, though you're right -- that sounds weird." He shrugs his big black shoulders. "It's not a trick or anything -- Dusty just thought I should come out and say 'Hi.' So, uh, hello. I don't mean to keep you from your business -- I just wanted to say thanks for the nice words when you thought I was dead."

Dust Devil grins at Bishop, "You can pretend he's not real if you want. I'm sure that will just make things more interesting for everyone if they keep thinking Zetar is dead because of you."

Backblast laughs quietly as he listens to and decodes Encore's response. "Don't worry mate I'll get your confirmation... then I'd better get that confirmation off to Bumblebee." He mutters to himself. Keeping the microphone aimed, he listens, shaking his head. "Bloody hell. Degrease my exhausts and call me a Decepticon."

<<Autobot>> Para-Droppable PITA Backblast says, "55, this is 22. 05-14-03-15-18-05 09 03-15-14-06-09-18-13 20-08-09-19 09-19 26-05-20-01-18 03-15-14-06-09-18-13-09-14-07 26-05-20-01-18"

<<Autobot>> Dust Devil says, "I tried ta wait fer Encore, but he got busy and well...I didn't want to keep spike waitin."

<<Autobot>> Para-Droppable PITA Backblast says, "All good man, he knows. He knows."

<<Autobot>> Dust Devil says, "Didn't know fer sure what Alpha Trion and Vector Sigma had planned. But I owed SPike a chance ta talk ta Alpha Trion."

<<Autobot>> Para-Droppable PITA Backblast says, "No worries. Well I'll be damned, if I wasn't sp- on overwatch I'd not believe it myself."

Bishop scowls at Dust Devil. "Hey, I didn't kill anyone! That falling debris killed your friend...and, for the record, maybe he should have learned to *duck*. I'm interested in reporting the news, not some religious BS. Or is this the part where you tell me to open my hard drive to let the compassion files of Vector Sigma download into it?"

Bishop nods at Leroy 2. "Be sure to get a good long shot of whoever that is, Leroy. I'm gonna rip that footage down and find out who you are...and then expose you in my next broadcast! And you too, Dust're going down with your buddy, once I report this."

Zetar blinks, and looks between Bishop and Dust Devil with an 'I'm right here!' expression. "I was protecting people," he says quietly. As his cone spins in agitation, he frowns deeply. "I'm sorry you're not happy to see me, but there's no need for any of this. I have work to do, and obviously you do as well. Why don't we just go our separate ways and let bygones be bygones?" He glances longingly at Iacon's walls.

Dust Devil laughs, "Compassion? Nah, Vector Sigma isn't compassionate. He's matter-o-fact And Zetar would have ducked but he was tryin ta save me. But Hey, if you don't want ta report the news, I'll see if one of Blaster's tapes are interested. I know that too much factual material is dangerous fer you reporter types."

Dust Devil radios backblast, <>

Leroy 2's main light brightens as it focuses on Zetar, its lens whirring and clicking as it records and broadcasts back to the studio. If one were looking closely, they could see Bishop stomping towards Zetar in the reflection in his lens, pointing angrily at the surprised and newly not-dead Autobot.

<<Autobot>> Dust Devil says, "Hey Zetar, yer awesome. Don't let the reporter get you down."

Bishop points at Zetar angrily. "It's fake crap like this that gives *real* news a black eye, pal. So why don't you go back to the body shop where you got that done...which, by the way, is all wrong because Zetar's nose was much smaller than that and his face wasn't so derpy...and try to get your credits back." Bishop points at Dust Demon. "And you...what are you trying to pull here, anyway? This isn't news...this is...bullshit!"

Bishop seems to fold in half as he breaks down piece by piece, arms and legs folding inward as tires fold outward, as he becomes a totally bitchin' Action News van!

Zetar glances at the camera, frowning, and then back at the stomping, angry Bishop.

<<Autobot>> Powerdasher Zetar says, "Uh, thanks, Dusty. Is he supposed to be this angry? I'm not sure what I did."

"Uh, why don't you calm down, sir?" Zetar pleads, the drill on his head spinning faster. "This derpy expression is mine. This is real news, although really, it's no big deal. It's not like I'm Optimus Prime. I'm just an underground engineer who got a lucky break."

Bishop opens the side door and signals for the camera drone to enter. "C'mon...we have some *real* news to get the beat on." Bishop sends a radio transmission.

Backblast laughs quietly to himself as he watches sipping his drink.

Dust Devil grins even brighter, "Dude, see where we differ is that while yer tryin ta write news, I'm out makin news. Sometimes it ain't the best story, but I've seen things that your narrow mind couldn't probably conceive. I decide ta bring my friend ta you ta give you the scoop. But you can't handle it apparently. Have fun recordin Blurr winning the weekly races...again."

The camera drone hurriedly hovers into the open van door which Bishop slams shut.

Backblast laughs quietly to himself as he watches sipping his drink. He sends a radio transmission to Bishop. <<Bishop, mate... do you -really- want to be the guy who turned his back on this?>> He sends. <<I've been watching the whole thing... I'll happily leak this to your competitors. Oh it'll be potato quality, but they'll have got this news out before you.>>

<<Autobot>> Dust Devil says, "Zetar you are perfect! I'm gettin some revenge without even tryin.""

Bishop spins his tires, intentionally kicking up silica dust all over Dust Devil and Zetar as he roars out of the plain and towards the Decepticon troops in the distance.

<<Autobot>> Para-Droppable PITA Backblast says, "So, Dusty. JunkNet News or the DPN?"

Leroy 2 is left behind, looking somewhat forlorn as it seems to watch Bishop race away into the horizon and leaving him behind.

Zetar looks over as Bishop races for the line of Decepticon troops. He tenses in worry, for even someone as brusque and unpleasant as Bishop doesn't deserve to drive to his own death. At the last moment, however, the wall of Decepticon troops parts, letting Bishop through before they close ranks again. Zetar looks at Dust Devil in confusion. "What was that all about?" he asks. The drill on his head begins to slow as he calms down.

<<Autobot>> Para-Droppable PITA Backblast says, "D, Z. Come by the sniper nest there's a brew on if you want one"

Leroy 2 approaches Zetar, shooting him from every angle as he plays a pre-recorded audio file in Bishop's voice, "So, what comment do you have for our viewers?"

Dust Devil pats Zetar on the shoulder, "That is someone who can't understand the truth enough ta believe something amazing with his own optics. I'm glad you are back my friend, And I hope you get to go back to enjoying your job and bein the nice guy that you were to us."

<<Autobot>> Dust Devil says, "Lol, pick which news ya want. This was just great."

<<Autobot>> Bishop says, "Nice try. Just remember, kiddies...the pen is mightier than the sword."

Leroy 2 pulls back, recording the touching dialog from Dust Devil to Zetar.

<<Autobot>> Para-Droppable PITA Backblast says, "Right, right. Tea's up when ya want it"

Dust Devil smirks at Zetar, "Wanna have some Tea with Backblast?"

Zetar looks surprised as the floating camera talks to him in a canned query. "Oh, uh... I guess, uh... it's good to be back, and I look forward to working with the other Autobots again to defeat the evil Decepticons!" He grins brightly at the camera, and then glances towards the enemy line in the distance. Shrugging, he heads off with the intention of having some tea with Backblast.

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