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Log Title: The Trial

Acerbitas

Acerbitas

Characters: Acerbitas, Alley-Viper 910, Angel, Blast Off, Lowdown, Temera, Snarl

Location: Quintesson Spiral <Bellum>

Date: 9/2/2013

TP: Quintesson Invasion TP

Summary: Several of Earth's defenders have been captured by the Quintessons for 
one of their classic show trials.  Just a showy way of executing their prisoners, 
the Quintessons have been putting on these displays for thousands of years.  This 
time, though, they may have picked the wrong prisoners to execute.

Log

Bellum - Command Spire

Directly above the central shaft of the Bellum is the Command Spire. Five ports in the ceiling of the shaft each lead to a spiral staircase that winds up around an enormous cylinder at the base of the spire. This area serves as a prison block for those awaiting trial. Cells line the outside of the cylinder. Speakers and monitors throughout the area, none of them actually inside the cells, broadcast the trials for the other prisoners to see.

There's a stirring in one of the other cells. A distinctly non-synthesized groaning. Sounds like another human prisoner is waking up.

Angel is asleep for now, having finally passed out from exhaustion; he's been afraid to sleep. And for good reason. The Cobra sniper is murmuring in his sleep, distressed.

Lowdown shifts uncomfortably as he slowly swims back toward consciousness. He remembers being on patrol, and hearing Temera shriek... running through Los Angeles as spotting the Quintesson operative... then a lot of pain. Radiation. Skin blistering. He suddenly sits up with a start, almost hyperventilating immediately. He looks himself over... not even a scratch. "What the..."

>>BWEEEE!!!<< "Oh, me Snarl no should party." The dinobot's optics start to glow, coming back online. Rising up, he looks around, growling, "Where are we?" The laser bars causes him to groan, "Did me Snarl get put in brig again?"

Angel moans quietly in his sleep, curling up a bit. The dinobot's words startle him enough to wake him up, and he groans, sitting up slowly. "...." The Cobra blinks wearily, and looks over to Lowdown. "...Lowdown?" he asks, sounding confused. "...Dammit, I was hoping I'd wake up, back home..."

Lowdown is rather surprised to find himself no longer suffering from the lethal effects of neutron radiation. Pleasantly so. He looks around his own cell, the other voices not registering just yet. He notices the only other occupant of his cell is Temera and checks to make sure she has a pulse. That's about when he hears his name...

Lowdown does not recognize the voice, "Who's out there?"

Blast Off lies in his cell, optics dim. The shuttleformer was taken by Seawing after Bruticus was defeated in an epic battle on the beaches of Japan by Piranacon the other night. Seawing had remembered how the Combaticon had recently (nearly) single-handedly taken down the Quintesson ship he had been piloting- and Seawing wanted revenge, apparently. Blast Off has some signs of battle- his part of Bruticus took some damage and there are tears and cracks on his armor. The Combaticon's violet-gray optics slwoly start to come back online.

Snarl rises up, looking around, "Whedre is me Snarl?"

"It's me, Angel. We were holed up together in LA, remember?" the Cobra sniper calls from his cell. He pauses as he hears what sounds to him like a drunken Cybertronian grumble. "The Quintessons are holding us... for some reason." he answers, hopefully loud enough for the Cybertronian to hear.

Lowdown takes a few moments to let the information sink in, still primarly focused on making sure that his fellow Joe is alive and relatively healthy. The other voices are starting to filter into the moment, "Angel... yeah, I remember." Satisfied that Temera isn't going to implode or melt at a moment's notice, he stands up and goes toward the laser bars, "Snarl. Good to hear your voices. Who else is in here?"

Snarl grahs!, "ME NO WANT BE PART OF SQUID HEAD JAIL!" The dinobot transforms, and starts pacing the cell, his thagomizer showing off just how agitated he is
Snarl twists and lies down, transforming into his dino mode.

Blast Off continues to lie there for a moment as he returns to consciousness. Violet optics are fully bright now as he sits up, rubbing his head. Slaggit. Prison? Again? The previous Renegade Decepticon and Mercenary is no stranger to prison, but the last few times he was captured really did not go well for him. Having his body destroyed and his mind placed in a box for several millions years is not an experience he cares to repeat. He hears voices and, getting up, takes stock in his situation. He hears Lowdown's question and replies, "Snarl? You mean I'm stuck in here with an Autobot... and some fleshlings, from the sound of it? Great."

"There's an Alley Viper in here with me, but she hasn't woken up yet." Angel reports from his cell, getting to his feet. "...Any idea why the Quints captured us? I... really hope it's not to be experiment subjects..." he gulps quietly checking to make sure his suicide pill is still there.

Lowdown was genuinely pleased to hear Snarl's voice, which is unusual for him. He's not fond of the Transformers, but Snarl has actually earned a degree of appreciation from him, maybe even respect. Then Blast Off goes and ruins the moment. Ignoring the Decepticon's distaste, he goes on to report, "I've got another Joe in here with me... As for what they're planning to do with us, if there aren't any other prisoners in this area, they've probably got something special planned for us."

Snarl goes over to face the cage where Blast Off is, "ME SNARL GLAD ME NO IN CAGE WITH BLAST OFF! ME WOULD THAGOMIZE JUST FOR QUIET!" Turning, he goes over to where Lowdown is, "Me think they may put us on trial. If can call tossed to Sharkycons trial!"

Blast Off looks around his cell, trying to find a weakness, but with no success. Hearing one of the humans speak of "expiriment subjects" doesn't make him any happier. He replies to Lowdown, "Oh, I'm sure they do have something special planned. I single-handedly destroyed one of their ships... though has anyone else accomplished such a magnificent display of battle prowess? I would think not..." Then Snarl rages at the Combaticon. He huffs, "As if. I would run circles around a slow simpleton such as yourself." But Snarl's mention of a Sharcticon trial is less than pleasant to think about...

Angel pales a bit, though no one awake can see him right now to verify the fact. "What?! Fed to... those mechanical monsters?" He's not happy, an that's a huge understatement. He takes a couple deep breaths, trying to calm down. "..."

Lowdown forces himself to remain calm, not really sure what's going to happen next. Maybe this is that 'one last time' he's always making peace with. And if his comrades panic, that can be a series detriment at the wrong time, "Just stay focused, Angel. What's your cell look like?"

Temera awakens just a little bit, shifting slightly.

Lowdown hears his cellmate shifting and turns around, kneeling down beside her, "Hey, you alright?"

"Uh, it's... empty, sparse. I think it was built for a Cybertronian." Angel says. Forcing himself to focus on his surroundings helped calm the fidgetty sniper. "It's just me, and the Alley Viper here..."

Snarl goes over to where he hears the squishies, "Me think the squid heads had construct special cages for humans."

Temera moans softly and glances up. "Er... I'll be okay. What happened? I was hit with an electric charge, dont remember much after that."

Blast Off leans against the wall of his cell. The shuttle has looked it over for any signs of weakness or means of escape, but there are none to be found. Now he has nothing to do but wait, apparently. The space shuttle is used to long periods of nothing to do, given all his time flying through vast stretches of space. He just wishes he were in space right now, and not here.

Lowdown glances around the room again, speaking to Temera, "That guy hit me with something... nasty." He actually shivers at the memory, "I think they brought us into that tower after they knocked us out. We're in some kind of prison..."

Snarl finds spot to start to gnaw on, thagomizer swishing
Temera droops at that and nods. "Great."

There's a faint sound echoing from above, outside the cells. A tromp of heavy metal feet.

Angel sighs. "Another captive?" he wonders aloud.

Lowdown stands up, moving to the laser bars, his head tilted to one side. He listens intently for a few moments, "Don't think so... Footsteps sound too identical..."

Blast Off looks towards the sound, but remains silent, leaning against the cell wall with crossed arms.

Snarl looks up, having gnawed the corner off some armor. He looks up, "Me think squid heads have infestation!"

Angel snickers slightly at Snarl's comment. "They /are/ the infestation." he remarks.

Blast Off can't help but give a soft chuckle in agreement with Angel.

Temera frowns a little at that.

An entire squad of Bailiffs come marching down the spiral staircases, coming to stop in front of the captives' cells. Most of them carry tall pikes with glowing heads, but a few hold odd-looking rifles in their hands. The first aims into Angel's cell and fires an energy band at the Cobra sharpshooter. The band wraps around Angel tightly... not crushingly so, but far from comfortable.

"What the-Ahhh!" Angel doesn't have time to react as the creature fires a restraint at him; he manages to keep on his feet, barely. "I can't move my arms!"

Lowdown looks up as one of the toad-faced Bailiffs stop in front of his own cell. There's not a whole lot he can do right now. He just stands up, looking defiant and waiting for the inevitable.

One of the Bailiffs gestures to the unconscious Alley-Viper, reaching a pike handle through the bars. It croaks, "Wake up!" Meanwhile, two of the others level the glowing ends of their pikes at Snarl, "You! Transform!" The binding energy bands are fired into the rest of the cells.

Snarl looks at the guards, at the glowing pikes, "You serious? Me no think so!" He growls, moving toward the guards and the cage, thagomizer swishing!

Temera sighs as she opens her eyes a little more to see that. "Great..."

Lowdown was prepared for restraints as soon as the idea of being fed to Sharkticons is brought up. He braces for the energy band, grunting slightly as it tightens around him.

The Alley Viper slowly gets up, groggy. She doesn't get a chance to orientate herself before the energy band wraps around her. She lets out a small cry of suprise, but quickly falls silent.

Temera braces for the restraints around her, somewhat, as well.

Blast Off watches quietly from his cell.

Two of the Bailiffs focus on Blast Off, just in case he decides to play difficult. As for Snarl, one of the Bailiffs growls, "Transform now! Or else!" Dials are played with on the other restraint guns, and the energy bands around Angel begin to tighten further.

Talk about being on the horns of a dilemma. As a dinobot, Snarl wouldn't give a scraplet's butt worth of care about the humans. But, as an Autobot, he can't let humans die. It takes a few moments, before he growls, glares at the Bailiffs, and transforms, standing up. "Me so want kick stoopid bot's butt."
The stegosaurus flips backwards, shifting into his robot mode.

Angel lets out a whimper of pain as the energy bands tighten. "Oww!" He instintively struggles against the bands, panting with the effort. It takes a fair bit of effort just to not fall over.

Blast Off glares at the bailiffs, still leaning quietly against the wall. He seems almost relaxed... but he is a Decepticon sniper, after all, and appearances can be deceiving.

As Snarl complies, the Bailiffs take the pressure off of Angel. And once Snarl is in robot form, he is subjected to the same treatment as the rest. (Although his bands are considerably wider...) Once all six of the captives are in restraints, the Bailiffs lower the bars and step back. The one who seems to be in charge growls, "Step out!"

Angel mutters some nasty French cursewords under his breath, and slowly steps out of the cell, the Alley-Viper following behind him.

Snarl struggles a moment, before stepping toward the opening. It would be easy to say that one can watch the cogs running in the dinobot's skull.

Lowdown complies with the Bailiffs' orders. Without his weapon, there's really not a whole lot he can do.

Not having any weapons, and no opportunity to attack, Blast Off lets the bailiffs secure the restraints. He continues to regard them with a cold, distant stare, however. Just give me an opportunity, his gaze seems to say.....and you will find why I'm called a Combaticon.

Temera gets trudged out, sighing very softly at the situation, staying not far from Lowdown if she can.

The Bailiffs take posts between the various prisoners, with the majority of them at the rear of the parade. The group is summarily led up one of the spiral stairways...


Bellum - Tribunal Chamber

This is where the Quintesson Grand Tribunal holds court. The five spiral staircases lead up to a platform at the top of the cylinder. A trio of raised daises are where the three Judges of the Tribunal sit (or hover) when holding a session or a trial. The dais is attached to the walls at the back of the chamber, with a closed portal above the topmost dais. In the center of the chamber floor is a yawning pit, an orange glow flickering from below. This glow emanates from a pool within the pit, the water constantly churned by hungry Sharkticons. A long, metal plank stretches out from the trial floor to above the center of this pit. This is where the defendants stand. A large toggle, attended by an Executioner, allows the Quintessons to drop defendants to the Sharkticons below.

Acerbitas comes in from Bellum - Menagerie.
Acerbitas has arrived.
Acerbitas shifts to the face of Judgement.

The Tribunal Chamber is a wide-open room with vaulted ceilings. The primary source of illumination is the orange glow rising from the pit in the center of the floor. The Quintesson Tribunal is gathered on their respective daises, with Acerbitas occupying the highest spot in the middle. Several spherical machines with octopus-like tentacles float around the chamber, clearly floating cameras. There are several more Bailiffs strategically positioned around the chamber, an Executioner manning the dramatically oversized lever, and a prosecutor near the long platform that extends over the pit. The Prosecutor looks as the Bailiffs lead the prisoners toward the platform, "Begin transmission!"

<<CNN Live Report>> Once more, the Quintessons hijack the television signal. The scene playing on televisions across the world show the Tribunal Chamber once again. This time, a number of Bailiffs are leading an entire group of prisoners toward the platform hanging above the Sharkticon pit. It looks like all four of the major factions are represented: Snarl and Blast Off for the Autobots and Decepticons. Lowdown and Temera represent the Joes, while Angel and an Alley-Viper represent Cobra.

<<CNN Live Report>> Angel is... not being brave right now. He follows the other captives, his head hanging low. He's trying to at least not blubber like a kid, so good on him. "I... I don't wanna die... I wanna go home." he says quietly, his voice shaking. "I want this to be a bad dream..."

<<CNN Live Report>> The Alley-Viper holds her head high, refusing to be terrified of her sitiuation.

<<CNN Live Report>> Temera just growls as she's marched in, glaring at everyone and everything in defiance, including the 'judge'.

<<CNN Live Report>> Blast Off walks along, his expression unreadable. Of course, his optic visors and faceplate add to that look, which is just fine by him. He does wish that one fleshling would stop whining, however.... But at least the other seems to have some dignity.

<<CNN Live Report>> Lowdown remains surprisingly collected. Calm isn't the right word. He's tense as all hell, but it only shows a slight tightening of his expression.

<<CNN Live Report>> Snarl seems to be thinking of how he's gonna kick the scrap out of the bots around him, and rescue all the humans

<<CNN Live Report>> Acerbitas hovers on the tallest dais, the face of Judgement once more gazing over his court room. As the Bailiffs lead the prisoners out onto the end of the platform, he signals the Prossecutor to begin. The throaty voice of the xenomorphic Quintesson echoes through the chamber, "The prisoners have been chosen to represent their people and to answer for the crime of resisting Quintesson rule!"

<<CNN Live Report>> "Easy to say we're guilty, when they make the rules..." Angel mutters, raising his head up. He's clearly scared, eyes wide and face pale. "This isn't justice!" he yells.

<<CNN Live Report>> The Alley-Viper looks over at Angel, and shakes her head slightly. She remains silent, however.

<<CNN Live Report>> Blast Off sighs, but lets the whiny human do his thing. Hopefully the Quintessons will focus their attention on him, and the Combaticon will gain a little more time. He studies the crowd, trying to find something he could use or do to escape.

<<CNN Live Report>> Temera narrows her eyes and says nothing.

<<CNN Live Report>> Lowdown seems to be fidgeting nervously in his energy-band restraints. In truth, he's trying to inconspicuously take stock of the pockets he can reach. The Quintessons only confiscated the items that were clearly weapons or ammunition.

<<CNN Live Report>> Snarl growls, "Me no recognize Squid head's rule! Me Snarl say Quint... kint... Squinticons just floaty bullies! Me Snarl are DINOBOT! ME will kick your chassis!"

<<CNN Live Report>> Acerbitas shifts to the face of Wrath.
<<CNN Live Report>> Acerbitas spins around to the red-crowned face of wrath, the vampiric face hissing, "SILENCE, or you will be held in contempt!" One of his tentacles gestures to a Bailiff, who tightens the energy bands around Angel and Snarl. That done, he shift sback to the face of Judgement to hear the proceedings.
<<CNN Live Report>> Acerbitas shifts to the face of Judgement.
<<CNN Live Report>> "I have nothing /but/ contempt for this court, you five-faced connard!" Angel spits. He's scared, yes. But he's also really really mad now. Besides, if he's going to die, he'll die defiant.

<<CNN Live Report>> The Alley-Viper chuckles slightly, despite the grim situation they're in.

<<CNN Live Report>> Snarl snorts! "Me Snarl only HAVE contempt for Squiticons! Me crush your sharkycons!" He looks down at Angel as the human is getting squeezed, "You just bullies! If Grimlock was here him put foot so far up chassis you taste dirt when sneezing! Me can only try do Grimlock justice!" He thinks a few moments, then looks toward a Bailiff, "Do Squiticons sneeze?"

<<CNN Live Report>> The Prossecutor continues, "The crime of attacking a Quintesson structure on their rightly claimed territory. The citizens of Earth continue to harass Quintesson territory. Do the accused have any words to say in their defense?"

<<CNN Live Report>> Lowdown remains quiet as he finds something in his pocket that may prove to be useful, given what's below them right now. He discretely pulls one of two cylinders from a cargo pocket, side-stepping toward Angel. He mutters quietly, "Not the end I'd wished for, kid..." He takes the opportunity to pass the small air-bottle to Angel.

<<CNN Live Report>> Snarl laughs, "ME NO ATTACK STOOPID SQUINTICON STRUCTURE! Me Snarl just crush and mash sharkycons and fight fishycons! If Squinticons want me attack structure, let me free and me go and thagomize stoopid Squinticons!

<<CNN Live Report>> Angel glares at the Prosecutor. He takes the small bottle from Lowdown with nary a sign to signal he'd gotten it. "You have no right to our Earth, Quintesson!" the sniper yells out. He's still scared, but right now there really isn't anything to lose, is there?

<<CNN Live Report>> Blast Off looks up defiantly and says quietly, "I DID destroy one of your ships. I will escape here and I will do it AGAIN. You have no ownership of us. You are inferior to us, not superior. And I will be the one to show you that- again."

<<CNN Live Report>> The Prossecutor intones, "Your protests have been noted." Acerbitas' voice echoes over the proceedings again, "How do the accused plead?"

<<CNN Live Report>> Lowdown actually chooses to speak up for the court this time, "I plead guilty. Whatever you throw at us, we're going to keep fighting for this planet." He can't speak for the Decepticons, but dammit if he's not going to speak for the Joes.

<<CNN Live Report>> Snarl growls, "I plead you stoopid squinticons have heads splode from migraines!"

<<CNN Live Report>> Blast Off huffs, "I find it hard to believe, myself, but I must agree with the Autobot. His words may be ineloquent, but...I concur."

<<CNN Live Report>> "Guilty to what, defending ourselves?" Angel asks Lowdown. He laughs at Snarl's comment, a short desperate laugh, but it's there. "You know what, fine, guilty as charged! But you won't ever make us bow to you. Even to death we shall be defiant!"

<<CNN Live Report>> Temera simply keeps glaring up at the podium, the expression on her face clear what she thinks of all of it. She glances over at the others, nodding at what Lowdown and Angel said.

<<CNN Live Report>> The Alley Viper nods her head in agreement, sharing the sentaments of the others.

<<CNN Live Report>> The Prossecutor growls, "Your pleas have been noted." He turns toward the dais, "Has the Grand Tribunal reached a verdict?" Acerbitas doesn't even appear to confer with the other two Judges, "I have." The Prossecutor continues to go through the motions, because it's what Quintessons do, "Guilty or innocent?" Acerbitas shifts his ovoid form to the face of Death, "Innocent!" The Prossecutor turns to look at the Executioner standing by the lever, "Feed them to the Sharkticons!" With a yank on the almost comically oversized lever, the platform beneath the prisoners drops away.

<<CNN Live Report>> Angel resists the urge to scream as the platform suddenly drops away, sending him and the others falling down to the Sharkticon Pit below. As the energy bindings vanish mid fall, he brings the air bottle to his mouth. "Hope someone has a plan!!" he yells loudly, before hitting the surface of the pool.

<<CNN Live Report>> Lowdown tries his best to keep his balance as the platform drops away. The last thing he wants is to tumble uncontrollably into the orange water below. Unfortunately, he doesn't quite have the proper footing. With the other air bottle still gripped in his hand, and the energy band gone, he plunges into the swirling water. He immediately looks around to gain his bearings, growing rather concerned when he sees all the Sharkticons swimming around him...

<<CNN Live Report>> Temera doesn't manage to stay stable either. Oh well. She tumbles into the water, swearing softly and trying to scramble around once she hits it.

<<CNN Live Report>> As the sentence is carried out, Acerbitas' face begins to cackle. He rotates to the next face, and the next, cycling through each of them. Why should only one of his personalities get to enjoy the scene? A gesture from one of his tentacles, and the Quintessons cut the transmission.

<<CNN Live Report>> Snarl feels the floor drop away, and he's in free fall. He takes a deep breath, orienting himself, waiting. Surely they can't keep the restraints up all the way down. Nope! There they go! Now, to fly up to that level, and show that Squinticon what a skull splitting headache is like. Come on now... come on. "Me Snarl KNOW me can fly! Why no can fly now! You STOOPID CHEATING BULLY SQUINTICONS! NOW YOU MAKE SNARL REAL MAD!"


Bellum - Sharkticon Pit

The Quintessons are masters of ensnarement, paired with a sadistic flare for the dramatic. The first thing you may notice as you fall into this pit is a gentle downward pull, a side-effect of the gravitic equalizers that neutralize anti-gravity systems and inhibit flight. This wide, circular pool of water is constantly swirling by the motion of the circling Sharkticons within. Illuminated only by the orange glow of the water, one can see the black fins of the beasts cutting through the surface in search of their next meal.

Blast Off hears the sentence without much surprise. He feels the floor giving way and there is a slight nervous twitch of one of his wing aelerons as he begins to fall- and knows his flight systems are not working. The energy bands finally disappear and at least the Combaticon can defend himself.

He falls into the pool, seeing the Sharkticons approaching. His problem here?- up close and personal is not his style. He's not Brawl, who can punch his way through everything. Blast Off usually strikes from a distance with his blaster and jumps and evades attacks with ease... which is hard submerged in water. He waits for a Sharkticon to come closer... perhaps he can grab one and throw it at the others?

Temera falls into the pool, mostly trying to avoid drowningherself on accident initially.

Lowdown immediately tries to spot Temera, swimming toward her. He takes a breath from the air bottle before pushing it toward her, holding it and keeping beneath the water. If he's going to have to fight these things, he'd rather see all of them than only half of them.

Temera takes a breath then hands it back, frowning as she looks at the sharkticons, gesturing to her lack of weapons.

Angel lands in the pool with no grace at all, and immediately sinks beneath the water. He's trying to stay calm, and he swims awkwardly over to Lowdown. The Alley Viper swiming over to Temera, for lack of any other plan.

The Sharkticons circle the prisoners for a few moments, gradually closing in. Most of them seem to be more interested in the larger prey for the time being.

Lowdown nods to Temera. He's not exactly equipped to fight of mechanical balls of teeth, either. Spotting Angel having trouble in the water, he grabs the Sharpshooter by the arm and pushes him toward the surface.

Blast Off realizes that as much as he hates to admit it, Snarl is stronger and might actually have a shot fighting off the Sharkticons through sheer size and power. The Combaticon heads towards the Dinobot. "As much as I dislike this, you're Cybertronian, I'm Cybertronian... how about we fight them together and show these stupid creatures just who is superior?"

The Sharkticons swarm ever closer...

Temera gestures towards the surface for the Alley Viper, watching carefully for the sharks, not wanting to get taken unaware by them behind her.

Snarl hits the pool hard, the mini-tsunami possibly pushing the humans towards the edge of the pool. He looks at Blast Off, "Me not Cybertronian! Me like Female AUTOBOTS!" He blinks, "Me will fight sharkycons with you! We need help squishies survive too!" His gaze turns to the Sharkticons, "TIME TO MUNCH METAL! RAHR!" before transforming and starts... doggie paddling towards a group of sharkticons!
Snarl twists and lies down, transforming into his dino mode.

Angel is shoved towards the surface, and breaks through, gasping for air. He treads water as well as he can, looking around. "Merde, there HAS to be a way out of here." He helps the Alley Viper get the the surface. "Look, maybe there's a drainage grate or something down there..." he says dubiously.

As the Sharkticons close in, there's a pause. They move almost in synch, but not quite, turning inward to regard the prisoners. Green optics bulge above the water, and for a moment it looks like they might not attack. And then the Sharkticons lunge!

Blast Off faceplatepalms at Snarl's comment, then decides he doesn't have time to try to educate the Dinobot. All that matters is getting out of here alive. "Fine. Whatever. I'll help the... squishies, too, but ..yes, you go do that thing you do. Make sushi out of them. THAT'S RAW FISH, BY THE WAY." He does something he never expected to do- willingly place his back towards an Autobot, as he concentrates on the approaching Sharkticons. And... keeps an optic on the humans. Which feels really strange.
As the horde lunges, he advances towards the nearest Sharkticon, possibly using his own form to block its approach towards and shield a human as he does so. He tries to grab the creature, so he can throw it!
>> Blast Off strikes Sharkticon Pack with Punch. <<
>> Sharkticon Pack misses Blast Off with Kick. <<

Snarl realizes that perhaps stego mode is a bad thing to fight with in the water. He transforms back just as a sharkticon gets close enough that he can reach out and touch a sharkticon!
The stegosaurus flips backwards, shifting into his robot mode.
>> Snarl strikes Sharkticon Pack with Punch. <<
>> Sharkticon Pack strikes Snarl with Laser <Medium>. <<

Lowdown helps the others closer to the Cybertronians. This is not the time to drift away from the group. Knowning that he can't do much against the Sharkticons, he starts looking for anything he can use to his advantage.

Angel looks around as the Sharkticons lunge at the Cybertronians. He helps the Alley Viper stay relatively in the same place, as best as he can. "We can't tread water forever..." he muttters to himself. He holds on tight to the air bottle Lowdown gave him, not knowing what good it could do him.

Snarl is in full on mash mode, a fist snapping out to mash another sharkticon between the running lights
>> Snarl misses Sharkticon Pack with Heavy Punch. <<
>> Sharkticon Pack strikes Snarl with Bite. <<

Lowdown nods to Angel, and since he's closest right now, he grabs the air bottle from him. He takes a breath from it before diving underwater again to look for potential escape routes.
Lowdown kicks off of the closest solid object to dive deeper... in the case, that object being Blast Off's leg.

Blast Off successfully grabs the Sharkticon and throws it at another of its kind with a satisfying crunch. But it hardly makes a dent, of course, and they will eventually wear down. Unless... The Combaticon bends as he completes his throw and notices something below them in the tank itself. Is that a vent? He plunges down to see... it does appear to be something he might be able to escape through! He begins to try prying it off, but then remembers the agreement he just made. And Blast Off may be cold... but he also considers himself a civilized mech. He resurfaces and motions to Snarl. "Hey, Dinobrain! Down there- an escape route... maybe?"

Temera tries to take a breath quickly and get herself below as well, trying to keep her eyes open as she scrambles to swim down to the vent.

Lowdown also spots the vent. He reaches out to Temera, gesturing to his eyes, and pointing toward the bottom of the tank. He then reaches toward Angel, to let the sharpshooter know.

Blast Off notices the Dinobot looks ...a little bit busy. Great. He's got to HELP an Autobot now? Primus, he hopes this is not being televised. The Combaticon moves in to try landing a kick on one of the Sharkticons, trying to knock it off Snarl and help him.
>> Blast Off strikes Sharkticon Pack with Kick. <<

Temera looks and nods, moving to tap the Alley Viper and point it out to her, then swimming down for it.

Snarl looks to Blast Off, as he's got his arm deep in the Sharkticon's mouth, trying to pull out something vital while the thing gnaws on his arm. He turns his hand, before bashing on the bot's head with his free hand!
>> Snarl misses Sharkticon Pack with Bash. <<

Angel blinks as Lowdown signals him. The Joe wanted him to swim all the way down? His eyes go wide, but he nods. But, he still hesitates. The Alley-Viper nods at Temera's signal, and dives down without hesitating. Angel gulps, and follows, obviously not a good swimmer at all. He's mostly just flailing and hoping he gets to the vent.

Lowdown hangs back to make sure his fellow humans are going to make it safely. And, seeing that Angel is having problems, he grabs the front of the younger man's uniform. He kicks downward, Cobra in tow.

Temera keeps pushing downward, making sure she's headed for the right spot andwatching carefully.

Blast Off spots another Sharkticon heading towards Snarl's head as he is preoccupied with the first one. The Combaticon swings a punch at the creature, attempting to keep it away. "Stop fishing for Sharkticons... unless you want to be BAIT. Which..." He looks around, "Well, I suppose we already are bait, unfortunately... but let's escape this hook so we can net our own prey later...."
>> Blast Off strikes Sharkticon Pack with Punch. <<

As the humans dive lower, one of the Sharkticons catches a whiff of easy prey. It dives down, tail swishing and (somehow) propelling it toward the quartet of humans. Lowdown catches a glimpse of it out of the corner of his eyes, and shoves Angel away.
>> Sharkticon Pack strikes Lowdown with Kick. <<

Snarl growls, "NOT MY FAULT! Me TRYING end stoopid sharkycons and them no cooperating!" He tries to get his hand from the Sharkticon, so he can move to protect the humans better!
>> Snarl strikes Sharkticon Pack with Bash. <<
>> Sharkticon Pack misses Snarl with Claw. <<

Angel doesn't fight as Lowdown hauls him downward. He tries to aid the man by not struggling, instead concentrating on staying calm. That is, until Lowdown gets smacked by a Sharkticon. Eyes widening, he propels himself to the Joe's side, or tries to. He wasn't going to leave Lowdown behind. The Alley-Viper, meanwhile, has almost reached the vent, ignoring the Sharkticons.

Blast Off shrugs and shakes his head. He begins moving to punch another Sharkticon when he notes the humans in trouble. Well, he did agree with Snarl to help them. He (again) hopes that this is not televised as he heads towards the fleshlings...not to destroy them, or scoff at them, but to actually try to help them by punching away the beasts. He sees one going after Lowdown and strikes at it!
>> Blast Off strikes Sharkticon Pack with Punch. <<
>> Sharkticon Pack strikes Blast Off with Kick. <<

Snarl starts diving after the humans, following Blast Off, his hand ripped free of the SHarkticon's mouth. Reaching out, he tries to 'usher' the humans to the vent quicker, ignoring the sharkticons for the mooment

Lowdown tries to twist away from the Sharkticon as it barrels toward him. He manages to avoid getting chewed on, but he gets caugh by the clawed foot as it passes by. He's knocked end-over-end in the water, losing his bearing. It also knocks the wind clear out of him, bubbles drifting from lungs to the surface. He feels a hand close around his ankle, and it doesn't immediately occur to him that it's a human-sized hand. That's when another hand comes down from above and shoves him downward. Through it all, he makes note of a very sharp pain on the right side of his back.


Bellum - Overflow Pipes

The vent just below the surface of the water opens on an underwater pipe, just large enough for an average Cybertronian to stand upright in. It slopes gradually upward, the water level lowering to about four feet deep after a while. This is likely an overflow system for the Sharkticon Pit. Up ahead, echoing through the pipe, is the sound of rushing water. This becomes apparent as you venture on and come to a junction of three pipes, water pouring from each of them down a long shaft. The roaring of machinery can be heard through the deluge, making down a less-than-appealing option. Metal grates cover the other two pipes, leaving only one viable direction: up the shaft.

Blast Off succeeds in striking the Sharkticon and helping Lowdown escape from it, but is unable to get out of the way in time as the horde attacks him. Sharp teech rip into his arms and parts of his heat shields crack under the pressure. "Gahh!" He wrenches himself free, then swims down to escape through the vent.

Lowdown is practically shoved in through the broken vent by Snarl, kicking along the pipe once he's free of the force of the Dinobot's hand. He's still not sure what has ahold of his leg, so he tries to kick free.

Angel is likewise shoved into the vent by the Dinobot. (I'll have to thank him leter..._ He releases Lowdown's leg as the man starts kicking, and reaches for the air bottle on his belt. He takes a grateful breath, and offers it to the Alley Viper, how takes a breath as well. The two of them swim down the pipe, hoping that there's an end to the water soon...

Snarl looks decidedly pleased to have the humans inside before following, turning around to give the sharkticons a rude hand gesture.

Blast Off swims through, and closes the hatch behind them as the others escape. Then he turns to follow.

  • THWANG!* *THWANG-THWANG* That's the sound of Sharkticons slamming against a closed vent that they can't open. Booyah.

Lowdown manages to free himself from whatever had a hold on him. Once he regains his composure, he realizes that it was Angel. He gestures to the Cobra for the air bottle. It's been some time since he got the wind knocked out of him, and his lungs are starting to burn.

Angel nods and gets close enough to Lowdown to give the older man the air bottle. The Alley Viper comes up on his other side. Angel looks over at her and nods. He turns his gaze ahead swining as hard as he can.

Lowdown makes sure Temera is following before swimming down the pipe as well.

Snarl looks back at the septicon following. He would say that at least for the moment Blast Off is okay. He watches the humans seem to struggle, moving to help them along, mostly with gentle pushs.

Blast Off continues swimming behind them. Of course, now their backs on turned on HIM... but he'd rather get out of here than engage in backstabbing anyway. He's got his own moral codes... they may be rather cold, but they are there. For now, there is a truce.

The pipeline is probably a tight fit for Snarl, but he can fit easily enough. The pipeline continues to slope upward, the water eventually receding and giving the group of escapees room to breathe fresh air.

Temera relaxes and comes up as air is exposed, breathing quickly and looking around.

Angel pops his head above water, and gasps for air. The Alley Viper pops up next to him, although her breathing is much calmer. Angel looks around as the others make it to the 'shallows'. "...Where are we?" he asks between gasps.

Lowdown finally surfaces as well. He gradually walks to the shallows as well, placing a hand at the small of his back on the right side. Limping just a bit, he moves toward the side of the tunnel and leans against it. He slides down, his legs dipping back under the water, wincing in pain.

Lowdown groans, "Well... I guess that could have gone worse..."

Snarl pulls himself free of the water, stretching, "Stoopid Squinticons go and put escape in death trap. Them bad like Bond villians. More reason go and thagomize squid heads!" He looks at Lowdown, "You okay?"

Angel sloshes his way over to Lowdow. "That's putting it mildly." he remarks with a faint smile. He kneels down, looking tired. "How bad are you hurt Lowdown?" he asks, sound genuinely concerned for the other's well-being.

Blast Off follows the others. The water is not a problem for him like it is the humans, but he is still glad to finally be free of the hindrance. On land he can fight, and evade, and fly! But ...it appears he still can't fly, so he's still stuck with this lot for now. He looks around, trying to find a way out.

Lowdown presses his fingertips at various spots around his back, wincing at most of them. He hisses at a particularly tender spot, "Not the worst injury I've had..." He's not convinced that nothing's broken, but he doesn't seem concerned that anything will get worse just yet. He slowly gets back to his feet, looking around, "So where the hell are we?"

Snarl uses this opertunity to transform into his dino mode, "Me no know, but me think we can make life bad for Squinticons!"
Snarl twists and lies down, transforming into his dino mode.

Temera glances up at Snarl and around. "If we're lucky, I'd hope so."

Angel takes a little while to get back to his feet; he's clearly tired, and just as clearly not going to complain about it. "There has to be a way out from here; we just have to find it." The Alley Viper nods, shaking off some excess moisture.

Lowdown moves down the pipe, finally finding the junction that the noise seems to be coming from. He looks down... and then up...

Angel follows Lowdown, the Alley Viper close behind. He looks up, and then down. "...Now what?" he asks with a soft sigh. "The Cybertronians seem to be impaired still."

Lowdown peers down into the darkness where the water appears to be going. He looks over his shoulder, "You guys hear that?"

Temera frowns and nods. "Yeah, I do."

Angel frowns slightly, and tilts his head, listening. "Yeah, I do too."

Lowdown looks in the direction that the noise is not coming from, "Guess we gotta climb..." He turns back toward the Transformers, "Doesn't look like too tight a fit. Think you guys can make it up there?"

Blast Off looks up. "I can make it easily, even without flight." The Combaticon's agile form should have no problem scrambling up there, even without flight capability. He looks towards Snarl, less sure about his ability to do so. "What about you?"

Snarl looks up at Blast Off, then at the humans and the opening, "Me will make it. One way or nother."

Angel frowns slightly. "Maybe we should rest for a bit; you're hurt after all." he points out.

Lowdown considers Angel's words, "Y'know... that might not be a bad idea..." He moves a few paces back from the edge of the pipe and slides down to sit again, wincing, "Ow..." He starts going through his pockets again. All of them now, since he can reach them. One of them has a pack of sealed chemical handwarmers. Another has a couple MRE main meal pouches. Everyone knows you field strip your MRE's to conserve space. And the only thing more valuable than your weapon is an MRE spoon. He has three.

Angel nods in agreement, coming over to sit near the Joe sniper. The Alley Viper sits off a bit away, obviously not feeling like getting chummy with Lowdown. Angel goes through his own pockets; cellphone in a watertight carry case, a protein bar, a pack of gauze, a few alcohol wipes, and a small tube-bottle of Advil. He leaves the cyanide pill where it is, no need to pull it out. After a moment of pondering his inventory, he rips open the protien bar and starts devoring it. Between bites, he offers the Advil to Lowdown. "Here."

Lowdown tosses one of the hand-warmers and one of the MRE meals to Angel, "You'll need more than the protein bar." He offers another hand-warmer and MRE pack to Temera next.

" 'Water water, everywhere, but not a drop to drink." " Angel grumbles, taking the offered MRE and handwarmer gratefully. After fiddling ab ot, he starts warming the meal. "..." He shifts a bit, putting his back to the Joes. It's easy to tell that he's trying to hide whatever he's feeling fight now. He finishes off his protein bar, and tosses the wrapper into the water.

Lowdown would nromally scold the Cobra for tossing the MRE wrapper away where anyone could find it. However, maybe it'll clog up a vital system somewhere. So he lets it slide.

Angel barely waits long enough for the MRE to be 'warm' before starting to devour the meal apparently not even tasting it as he eats quickly, but not messily.

Lowdown, having doled out the last of the supplies to the others, finally starts in on his own. He notes the way Angel is eating, "That's the smart way. Most of these taste awful."

"Not as bad as Russian rations." Angel comments between mouthfuls of food. "Even not counting those, I've eaten worse." He continues eating quickly.

Lowdown nods slowly, munching on the enchilada MRE, "Same here. Uncooked lizard isn't exactly tasty..."

"...Can't be any worse than rat." Angel says with a shrug and a slight chuckle. "So why were you eating lizard?"

Lowdown is civil enough not to respond around a mouthful of food, "Rat's aren't as easy to find in the desert."

Temera takes the hand warmer and MRE, huddling up to the warmer quickly, before activating the pack and quietly waiting for it to be warm before opening anything.

"Hmm, you have a point." Angel says, finishing his MRE. He sighs, sounding just a bit more comfortable now that he had a belly full of food. He takes the handwarmer, and holds it in his hands, enjoying the heat. "I imagine rats are harder to catch, lest in the city.

Lowdown finishes his own MRE and considers what to do with the foil wrapper, "Rats usually taste better when cooked." Finally he just shrugs and tosses it into the water, watching it disappear out of the pipe. He looks at Temera focusing on the hand warmer. He slides up next to her so she's got another source of heat.

Temera doesn't hesitate to curl closer onto Lowdown, eating her MRE rather... quickly, once it's hot.

"If I was lucky enough to be able to cook 'em, they didn't taste so bad. Kinda like turkey, really." Angel says, tossing his refuse into the water. He tucks away his supplies, and leans against the wall, shivering slightly in his soaked clothing. "Man, I really hate getting wet." he grouses after a little while. The hand warmer is held close to his chest.

Lowdown puts an arm around Temera's shoulders, "You okay?" He looks over to Angel, "Well, we can rest here for a while and hope it's drier when we get higher up."

Temera glances over to lowdown, leaning her head in. "I'll be fine..." She falls asleep a few moments after, though.

Angel nods a bit. "Yeah, I hope so... " He shifts a bit, trying to get comfortable and failing. He curls up a bit, but he's still awake.

Lowdown doesn't plan on snuggling with Angel. He does offer some words of encouragement, though, "Hey, we're inside this tower's internal systems. We're in a position to do some serious damage."
Lowdown looks down at Temera, unable ot keep the concern from slipping into his features.

"I... suppose you got a point there, Lowdown." Angel says. "I... I just want to go home..." he admits, with a suprising amount of emotion.

Lowdown says, a bit more quietly, "Don't worry, kid. We'll get you out of here..." He hasn't looked up from Temera, so it's uncertain who the statement is directed to.

Angel isn't looking at Lowdown, so he doesn't him holding Temera. Otherwise he might ask an awkward question. He sighs softly, the exhaled breath whistled slightly. "...Thanks. I mean... you could just leave me here; I am Cobra, after all."

Lowdown looks over at the Cobra sharpshooter. He doesn't lie to himself, and pretend the thought hadn't crossed his mind. He also doesn't voice those thoughts. Instead, he just says, "There's bigger things at stake here right now. We're all getting outta here."

Angel smiles, but internally he was confused. Unlike in LA, where they needed each other, Lowdown really had no real reason to make sure Angel stayed alive - and that was flying in the face of what he had been told about Joes. He wasn't sure what to think. "I....thanks." he says, quietly, hoping that the other sniper doesn't notice his doubt.

Lowdown is starting to wish he'd put a thermal blanket in one of his pockets, but there's only so much convenience you can fit into a Swiss Army Knife. Unless you buy the one that's impractically oversized. Seriously, have you seen that thing? Lowdown puts both arms around Temera, but continues talking to Angel, "We can get back to trying to kill each other when there isn't an overwhelming alien threat trying to kill us all."

"Do we have to?" Angel asks suddenly. He blinks, and kind of cringes when he realises what he just said. "I mean... Ah dammit, don't tell anyone I said that."

Lowdown raises an eyebrow, tilting his head slightly. He's not really sure what to make of that statement. Finally, after a few moments of thought, "I won't tell anyone..."

Angel breathes a sigh of relief, glad that the Joe isn't pressing the issue. He's loyal to Cobra... isn't he? "Thank you." he says simply, his back still to Lowdown. Which is good for him right now.

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