Log Title: Megatron Scans Nyiragongo
Location: Democratic Republic of Congo
Mount Nyiragongo... one of the Republic of Congo's deadly volcanoes near its western border with Rwanda. Currently active, with a lava lake bubbling within its high summit, it is Megatron's current destination, along with a pair of yellow and red Seeker jets. He flies along low through the jungle as he approaches the tall volcano, currently paying little attention to the ground.
Major Bludd's travels have brought him to the Republic of Congo. Many nations of Africa have their political disputes, and political disputes frequently, in this part of the world, involve military action. Bludd rides along in a jeep with an African man in green fatigues.
"Direct your observations of the crater itself, I will join you shortly," Megatron commands the jets, both of whom respond with "Yes, Lord Megatron!" and pull upwards, transforming into their robot modes to land on the summit itself. The yellow one disappears into the crater itself while the red one remains on the rim. Megatron, meanwhile, lands near the base of the volcano, a device in hand which he aims at the volcano proper and activates it, sweeping it slowly along the volcano's geography, every so often adjusting dials on its control panel.
Major Bludd lifts a pair of binoculars to his eyes and scans the horizon. "Our patrols are very diligent," his African companion insists. "We will have no trouble from the Hutu, I assure you." Hearing a sound overhead, Bludd glances upward, momentarily removing the binocs from his eyes until he locates the dots in the sky in the distance, then replacing them. "I don't think the Hutus are the ones to give you troubles today," he grumbles, noting the telltale shape of the Decepticon leader far above. "Head toward the volcano there," he directs. "I wonder what they're up to."
The red Seeker turns towards the sound of the approaching Jeep, and activates his radio. "Earth vehicle approaching, Lord Megatron." Megatron looks up from his work, and hears the telltale sound of an approaching engine. "Acknowledged. Maintain your position until further notice." he commands, and returns to his scans. "Yes, Lord Megatron." comes the reply, and the red Seeker turns back to the crater, pulling out a device which he raises to his optics and begins to take snapshots of the crater and the lava lake within.
"That volcano is quite active," says the African as the jeep rumbles along. "I figured as much," Bludd replies, trying to keep his binoculars focused on the Decepticons at the top of the volcano. "Just the kind of place Megatron'd like to be. They've probably got some way to harness the energy it puts out. Trouble is, he's not the most patient guy around. I'd like a closer look."
Megatron finishes taking his readings with that device, and swaps it out for another that he sticks into the soil near the volcano's base, activating it. His audio receptors however continue to monitor the sound of the approaching vehicle.
"You want me to drive up /there/?" Bludd lets the binoculars drop against his chest and grabs his radio. "Yeah." He notes the African's incredulous expression. "Look, just drive up around there until it's not driveable anymore." He keys the radio and speaks into it. "Stark, I see some Decepticons up on Mount Niyang-- Ni-- the big bloody volcano out here. I'll just send you GPS coords." He listens for a moment as the jeep bounces up toward the volcano's cone. "Bring Alpha out to the base of the mountain, just in case they decide to hand me some trouble. Call it a mountaineering exercise." The African man slams the jeep to a sudden stop. "You are looking for trouble from Decepticons?" he screeches. "No, I'm not. If you wanna wait down here I'll come back for ya, or you can ride back to the encampment with the lads when they arrive. I'll go up on me own." The other man quickly hops out of the drivers seat and Bludd, shaking his head, takes the wheel and drives on up the mountain.
Megatron adjusts a few more dials on the device, and it begins sending pulses of electric blue energy along the shaft that is buried in the soil, which dissipates into the soil. Satisifed that the device is now doing what it should, he activates his radio. "Take thermal scans of the lava lake within the crater, and take off to get aerial photos of the region." The yellow Seeker responds, "Yes, Lord Megatron. I have completed a topographic scan of the crater." The red Seeker transforms and takes to the air, circling above the volcano at a few hundred feet. Megatron then leaves the device he has placed to do its work, and turns to face the narrow road leading up to the volcano.
Major Bludd looks up as the red jet takes off, maneuvering the jeep with difficulty up the rugged terrain. He pulls the vehicle off to the side of the pathway before he reaches the crater, seeing the Decepticon leader at the end of the road. His radio chirps and, gaze riveted on Megatron, he reaches to activate it. "Good, Stark," he says after listening a moment. "Make sure to collect our prospective employer whilst yer down there." He sits in the jeep, keeping its engine running as he watches to see what the Decepticons will do next.
Megatron takes a few steps towards the Jeep, stopping to return Bludd's gaze with a flash of red optics. "Sightseeing? One would think there were better sights in this jungle than a few Decepticons engaged in a bit of scientific research," he says, perhaps a hint of a smirk making its way onto his lip components, as his arms cross before him.
"You might say that," Bludd returns. "This volcano is quite active," he adds, parroting what the African told him earlier, "and I've never seen a volcano up close before." He nods toward the volcano's crater behind Megatron. "Interested in seismology, are you? Or maybe having a steam bath?"
"Indeed, one can not learn more about this planet's internal operation with a /dormant/ one," Megatron says with a bit of a sneer. "Seismology is exactly what we are interested in at the moment."
Major Bludd offers his own smirk in response to Megatron's sarcasm. "I reckon you're more interested in all that geologic energy bein' pumped outta that volcano," he says, shrugging. "Don't think anybody'll mind if you skim that off ... not that I think you care what anybody thinks about anything." He puts the jeep in park and leans back in his seat, folding his arms over his chest. "But what're you /really/ after, eh?"
"Under normal circumstances, you would be correct. However, this is merely... curiousity," Megatron says, the smug look on his face never wavering.
"Oh yeah?" Bludd's eyebrows rise in mock surprise. "Why don't I believe you? Ah, that's right: I can't imagine a Decepticon'd be 'curious' about anything that didn't involve acquisition of power or some kinda destruction." He holds up a hand to deflect the protest he's sure will follow his statement. "But you stick to yer story, mate, if y'want. No skin off my nose."
Megatron chuckles. "I see we understand each other only too well." he says with a smirk, as the device behind him ceases its pulsing and emits a beep. Stepping over to retrieve it, he shuts it off and stows it with the other device. "Our readings here are complete. Your view of the volcano at this point will be... unfettered." he says as he lifts off the ground, with the yellow Seeker emerging from the crater and transforming as he takes to the air. "Enjoy it while you can.." he says in a low grumble as he heads up to join his troops.
Major Bludd watches the Decepticons go, shaking his head as he reaches for his radio. "Stark, all clear up here. I'm heading down. See you in a bit." He puts the jeep in gear and heads back down the mountain.
Megatron flies off with a smirk on his face as he takes a position in the front of the two Seekers as they head west towards the Atlantic, soon to disappear over the horizon.