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This article is about the Autobot sniper - for the G.I. Joe anti-aircraft specialist, see Sergeant Backblast.
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  • Name: Backblast
  • Faction: Autobot
  • Species: Transformers
  • Function: SCOUT-SNIPER
  • Division: Infantry
  • Sub-Group: Suicide Jockeys
  • Type: OC
I'm not a very nice bot.

A former hit-mech, Backblast is not the usual type one would expect to find in the Autobots. Something of a sociopath, Backblast originally only joined the Autobots because he found the authoritarian nature of the Decepticons distasteful, and despite his best efforts to maintain his cold, detached nature, he has found himself developing a conscience, and something of his own unique moral code. He will do what he feels is 'right' - whether that's rescuing Decepticons from unicron cultists, or taking a full medical and repair course to help cure someone he considers a friend. Backblast is an armed scout car - meaning that while he looks and hits like a tank, he's much faster - and has much thinner armour. As a scout car, Backblast can get around very quickly; his six-wheel-drive amphibious chassis propels him at high speed towards his targets across almost any terrain - this is pivotal to his role as a scout for the Autobots. It also serves him well in escaping from fire when it's sent his way, and in getting into position to open fire with his big gun.

He is not a nice bot; before war broke out, he was a hitman, specialising in long-range single-target jobs. He joined the Autobots to escape Decepticon authoritarianism, and despite his best efforts he's found himself developing something of a moral code. While still undoubtedly a sociopath, Backblast will sometimes stop and actively consider whether his actions would be considered 'good' or 'evil', and do that which he thinks would be the 'good' option, and be damned the consequences, up to and including rescuing Decepticons from Unicron cultists. Once he has made up his mind that something is the 'right' thing to do, it can be very hard to change his mind.

Description

Standing before you is Backblast, according to his nametag. He's of average size, for his species, overall dark green in colour and about 20ft tall. He manages somehow to look both strong and fragile at the same time. He is very angular. His head has glowing blue optics, a black beret, and an angular moustache that gives him superficial resemblance to a member of the British SAS. This appearance has been somewhat ruined by his latest fashion accessory - the skin of an alloygator. He wears the head like a baseball cap, with the rest of the skin draped down his back.

His chest is formed from the nose and forward third of his ERC-90 altmode in the classic Autobot style, with his arms formed from the middle portions of the chassis. His arms are fairly thickly-built, though they lack external armour plates. His hips are formed roughly from the turret of the armed scout car, with the remaining portions of the scout car forming his legs.

In his arms, he's carrying his 90mm cannon. The long-barrelled rifle is almost as long as he is tall, with a bipod near the muzzle brake and an overly large, complex-looking scope mounted on top. The gun is bolt-action and single shot, capable of firing multiple different kinds of ammunition.

Almost as an afterthought, his pintle-mounted light machine gun perches on his left shoulder, a bit like a Predator's plasma cannon. When activated, the machine gun tracks where he looks.

History

Canonical/Pre-MUX/Theme History:

Backblast
Always be sure of your target.

Pre-War, Backblast was a hitman, one of the best. Kingslayer was nickname, before the war. He originally joined the Autobots because he felt that Decepticon domination would leave little room for the 'independent contractor' like himself. At first, he felt no real attachment to the Autobot moral cause, joining them out of personal pragmatism.

He joined the Suicide Jockeys, a small group of Autobots who signed up for the risky transport runs. Backblast is one of the few Suicide Jockeys who can't fly. As small, all-terrain scout, Backblast would scout the route for Encore, Fanfare and the others, or, if necessary escort them while they were running highly valuable or volatile cargo and, provide cover with the laser cannon he mounted at the time. When the other SJs were put into stasis, Backblast soon followed, finding life somewhat dull and uninteresting once his  favourite hauliers were on ice - and, there were folks who needed that energon far more than he did! Shortly after being defrosted, he saw and chose a Panhard chassis for his altmode , considering that it was quite close to the Cybertronian model he originally wore. He was then immediately deployed to a far outpost to scout and patrol, keeping an eye out for signs of trouble out on the fringe worlds. His patrols complete, Backblast is returning home to hopefully take more of an active role.

MUX History:

In 2017 Backblast was spotted on the campus of the University of Oregon.

Backblast's Crest

Backblast's Suicide Jockey crest

Later, he returned to Cybertron.

In May of that year Backblast took part in a successful strike against the Decepticon planetary engines under the ruins of Kalis.

Since venturing under Valvolux in 2018, Backblast now wears the skin of an alloygator as a trophy, Crocodile Dundee style.

In a turn that surprised everybody, as a response to Rartorata's poisoning of Dust Devil in mid-2018, Backblast undertook an intensive field repair course to help cure him. He doesn't seem to actually care about fixing mechs; instead he cares about solving their medical mysteries and difficult cases. He will avoid routine medical work at all costs, if he can help it.

Despite himself, Backblast finds himself starting to gain something of a conscience, a somewhat rigid moral code that will lead to him doing what he considers 'the right thing' even when it's clearly a bad idea.

OOC Notes

Logs / Posts

2017

May 03 - Suspicious Events

The Autobot spinny appears, followed by the dashing (he thinks) face of Backblast. From the looks of things he's in a sniper's hide somewhere on the rooftops of Iacon, or possibly inside one of the damaged building, it's hard to tell. And that's just the way he likes it.

"Just thought I ought to let you know, Autobot Browbeat was acting very strangely earlier. I interrupted an altercation between him and his 'friend' Bluster, and Dust Devil" He smirks. "Then Browbeat started acting very strangely. Much nicer than usual - you know, how an Autobot's supposed to act. I wouldn't normally think much of it, but there was a lot of short-range Con traffic in the air as I followed him to confirm my suspicions. Then one of the Insecticons appeared -presumably, he transformed- and pushed Bluster out of the way, saying that HE was the spy. I call bollocks on that, but we'd best run the usual OpSec reset and keep an eye on both of them, just to be sure."

He cuts the broadcast. But instead of the Autobot spinny, it displays four pieces of old Autobot hobo-sign, with the title 'SNIPER SIGNS - THESE MAY SAVE YOUR LIFE!'. Each symbol's meaning is explained: "Sniper nest - arrow indicates access route" "Kill Zone - arrow indicates location" "Potable energon - arrow indicates safe route" and "Enemy sniper kill zone - arrow indicates unsafe area"

Then the Autobot spinny appears.

May 3 - "The Return of Zetar"

Zetar returns, to Bishop's surprise and disbelief.

May 4 - "Backblast and Cuffs"

Cuffs visits Backblast in his sniper's nest.

Jul 11 - Wild Cybertron with Backblast

The autobot spinny appears, then fades away with a fancy effect to reveal the face of Backblast, somewhere in one of Cybertron's more wild areas, somewhere experiencing large growths of technoflora. It's hard to tell where. He appears to be deep under some cyberjungle canopy. Glowing plants surround him, and the air is rich with the hoots and chirps of various Cybertronian lifeforms in this raw, almost primordial area. Somehow, he manages to convey the appearance of exertion.
"Evening all." He says, cheerfully, tromping on through the undergrowth, the camera floating ahead of him. "My name's Backblast, and welcome to Wild Cybertron. I'm here well... I'm not going to tell you where I am exactly; I don't want this place spoiled by gawpers and tourists. This is young wilderness, it's fragile, dangerous. But... those of you who are experienced trackers will know how to find this place, without hurting it. For the rest of you... let this be an education, a reminder for if you're ever shot down and stuck out on your own here. And don't worry... I'll also be showing you some easier-to-access sights and places that are... almost as beautiful as this."
He takes his hand off his rifle to gesture out ahead of himself, stopping to admire the view. His camera drown pulls back away from him, showing he's stood atop a rocky outcropping overlooking a raw energon waterfall, It turns to show a wide expanse of Amazon-like cyberjungle. There's a slight break in the trees that suggests the course of a slowly widening river, leading to a distant energon lake.
The show goes on to explain several survival techniques in the wilderness of Cybertron, and how energon can be surprisingly easy to find now that life is returning to Cybertron. Backblast goes on to show some really nice vistas of Cybertron, including a few places where as well as energon, there's actual water starting to flow.
"Next week: Responsible Mudstomping: When is and isn't it acceptable to rip up the terrain? I'll be on Earth, showing some of the good - and bad- things that off-roaders like myself have done."
Backblast transforms into his ERC-90 altmode and rolls away. The view fades to black, with the words "Wild Cybertron" in white. The 'o' of Cybertron is the autobot logo.


Jul 24 - Wild Cybertron, Ep 2

The screen goes black, with the white Wild Cybertron logo. Some jaunty, 'adventurous' music plays, and the screen fades to reveal Backblast, stood somewhere on Salisbury Plain military range.

"Good evening everyone, I'm Backblast, and I'm here to talk about something dear to my heart." He sets his rifle butt down and leans the gun casually, taking a sip from a mug of energon tea. "And something that too few of my fellow Autobots think about!"

He glares sternly at the camera a moment. "And that's responsible green-laning. What not a lot of you realise is that these things…" He holds up his arm to show the wheel and tyre assembly. "...can be almost as big a threat to the environment as war and bombs. Whether you're an autobot or a human, or something else entirely, if, like me, you love off-roading, this one's for you."   He goes on to demonstrate how on mud or soft ground, wheels can rip up the surface , and over time can radically reshape the landscape. He also goes on to show responsible green-laning projects, either in areas of no other value like abandoned quarries, or in areas where they use large earth-moving equipment to repair the damage done. He, of course, also goes mud-stomping in those areas.

He finishes the show by showing off his amphibious ability by swimming across a small lake, towing a raft with a party on it. "Next week: Cybertron's new fauna: What to avoid, what to nurture, and what can help you."

September 12 - Autobot Attack on Toraxxis

Optimus Prime

Optimus Prime

After drugging the Decepticons with an energon additive that made them attack each other, the Autobots move in to capture the Toraxxis mega-refinery.

Nov 05 - New Arrival (Decepticon Board)

This message begins with static, both audio and visual, before displaying the Autobot spinny. Backblast's face appears onscreen. From the background, he's at the Rollout Bar.
"I know breaking into yer comm-net isn't exactly good manners, but I think you'll forgive me when you figure out why." The battered Autobot sniper sips from a cube of bright green energon "We got problems. Bigger problems than our war. You know I rescued Viper? If you don't, go check outside the hospital yeah? Dude needs some fuckin' help ASAP. Dude got himself kidnapped by the Seacons and then delivered to Unicron cultists. Whatever happened to him caused... some kinda rift in space. This dude showed up out of it."
The screen blanks to show the following image:

The Fallen

"Now these dudes are Unicronites. Anything they want to happen is bad news, and he's big, burning fiery bad news. Uh. Just thought you should know. Maybe you might wanna call off plan shit on the little guy for a while, before someone shits on us eh?"
Autobot spinny, which disintegrates into static as the intrusion countermeasure systems finally locate, and shut down Backblast's broadcast intrusion.

Nov 05 - Big Problems (Autobot Board)

The Suicide Jockey crest appears onscreen, followed by Backblast's face. He's in the Rollout Bar, and his expression is extremely serious. It also has burns, scorchmarks, and holes.

"We got problems." He says, tersely. "Seacons and Unicronites damn-near sacrificed a Con named Viper to Unicron. He's pretty messed up, possibly dead. Didn't leave him there for them to make sure... delivered him back to his own and legged it for here. Either way, they raised this guy."

The screen blanks to show the following image: The Fallen

Backblast's face re-appears. "Encore tells me he's - what did you say he was called?"

Encore's voice is heard, though the big bot isn't seen. "Th' Fallen. Megatronus, originally. Old, bad news. S'posed to be th' first true Decepticon. Legend has it he's so bad he was too much even for th' Decepticons, so they locked him up in subspace. Or killed him. Or maybe both, it's kindae hard tae filter the legends. "

Backblast nods. "So he's either never dead, or freshly back from the dead, and he's burning bad news. Some emissary of Unicron. This is bigger than our little war. So, I told the Cons."

Autobot spinny

December 03 - "Aboard the Disco Star"

The Fallen invades the Disco Star.

2018

Jul 27 - Intercept from the Con boards

Backblast appears on screen. He's in the temporary medical bay.

"I just pulled this off the Con boards. It's dated the 20th."

Clench appears on screen. "Valvolux is lost," he says bluntly. "I don't know what happened with Shockwave's forces, but we were overrun by a combined force of Autobots and Dominicons. We were doing well until Dominicus merged - even I have trouble taking on a combiner myself."

Backblast re-apppears. "So. We're now in a position where we can help Valvolux, rebuild the city. I think we should - and keep them neutral while we're at it. Just to give Old Megs the digit of disdain."

The Autobot spinny appears.

July 30 - "Time to Call in Some Help"

Backblast and Scales are stumped, so they ask an expert to help.

Aug 13 - To: Dust Devil (CC Imager)

This is a text message. It will appear to be random gibberish unless decoded - it is not a particularly strong encryption, but it is keyed to the personal codes of Imager and Dust Devil.

Dusty! Promised I'd show you something awesome when you woke up and got yourself mobile, I'm planning to make good on it. Let me know some times when it's good for you.

Imager: You'll want to see this too. I think it'll mean something for you, and... well. You helped save the life of the only mech I consider a true 'friend', a new experience for me. I owe you some thanks... and I don't like owing people anything.

Backblast.

August 15 - "Saying Hi to Snarl"

Cobra interrupts Scales and Snarl chatting in the desert.

Nov 02 - Scraphead Hunting

Backblast appears on screen. He looks to be in Camp Zero, and he looks... happy. He's still wearing his alloygator skin, and he's leaning on his rifle.

"So I hear it's shithead season." He says, with an unpleasant chuckle. "I hear we've got a shithead lurking in the sewers, kidnapping people. Hunting shitheads is my speciality. That said I'm not dumb enough to go down there on my own. I'll want... one, maybe two others. Sneaky people, not afraid of getting mucky, figuratively or literally. Hit me up, let me know what times you'll be available to drop everything and go sneaking."

He reaches up to turn the camera off. No spinny.

November 08 - Fallen Attack on Retoris

December 16 - "Commanding the CAT"

Elita has her covert team. Now, who do you put in charge in a team of intelligence agents?

2019

May 26 - Current status of Optimus Prime

Backblast appears on screen in medical, looking tired. Behind him, in a quarantine cell, Optimus Prime lays recharging on a slab. "Optimus Prime has temporarily stood down and placed himself into quarantine for medical reasons." he says, flatly. "I'm going to be blunt, and honest. Yes, this is due to the Nucleosis toxin. Until they are confirmed by his temporary replacement, disregard his last orders."

He sighs, sipping from a mug. "On a personal note, 1000 shanix to any mech who can tell me where Pharma is. If you bring him to Iacon alive, more is negotiable. Backblast out."

He reaches forward and cuts the feed.

Jul 16 - Wild Cybertron!

After some jaunty music, the Wild Cybertron logo fades to a black screen... and the sound fades into a cacophony of natural noises. Various turbofauna sings, caws, cackles, roars and screeches as Backblast - up a tree, and draped with camouflage - fades into view.

"I have found the most amazing place." He whispers. "Somewhere... well, somewhere that's not messing about. Just look at this!"

The camera pans across a river of natural energon, its turgid flow snaking along lazily as massive fat alloygators several times larger than their sewer counterparts wallow in the shallows. The camera pans up from the river and zooms in on a small, gazelle-like grazer, and then across to some avians, before snapping back to the grazer as it reaches the river to drink.

An alloygator explodes into motion, a great gout of murky energon erupting as it grabs the grazer around the head and drags it down to feed. "This is Wild Cybertron at its purest." He whispers. "It's brutal, natural... but look at the place. Have you ever seen anywhere more beautiful than this?"

Staying in the tree tops, Backblast moves deeper into the jungle, showing off multicoloured flowers, trees that pulse with veins of glowing light - then he suddenly holds out a hand, stopping his cameraman. Looking through Kingslayer, he gestures towards an apparently unremarkable patch of jungle. "It's Steve!" He whispers. "That's what I call him, anyway... look, zoom in close, near the cluster of purple flowers. Big cybercat, looks like the more stylish prototype of Ravage."

Down on the forest floor, only visible at a high zoom, a huge cybercat stares at something - before looking over its shoulder, in the vague direction of the camera, before leaping away and vanishing.

Backblast grins at the camera. "I won't tell you where we are." He whispers. "This place is hostile to us. Doesn't matter how big you are, something here can kill you - and it's not just the obvious."

He picks up a stick and gently pokes a pink, orchid-like flower nearby. The flower... clamps down onto it, growling, and backblast lifts it off its branch.

"This... orchid-thing blurrs the lines between turboflora and turbofauna. It's also venomous... highly lethal. Just for one example. If you don't know what you are doing, this place WILL kill you. If you do... well, it still could kill you. This is what I mean by raw Cybertron. This is untamed Cybertron - when our world was dying, this may well have been the last place where the original life survived. This... THIS is Wild Cybertron. It don't get much wilder..."

He trails off with a laugh, and then the Wild Cybertron logo appears, followed by the credits. Today's Guest Camera Operator is 'Dust Devil'.

Players

References


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