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Log Title: The Spirit of Freedom: Act 3 - Yar, Predaking Off the Port Bow

The Spirit of Freedom

The Spirit of Freedom

Characters: Astrotrain Bumblebee Elita One Kup Predaking Imager Relay Slingshot Springer Arcee Teletraan-One Trebla

Location: On the hull of a starship in the middle of reentry

Date: ICly: 6/13/15 (Logged 7-10-15)

TP: The Spirit of Freedom TP

Summary: Predaking must be driven off the ship before he tears it apart, not that its going to last much longer as it is!

<<Autobot>> Ratchet says, "XXp, WX XXXX XX XXX UlXXX XXXnuX XXX Xf XXXrX. XX XXX reXXX"

<<Autobot>> As of this point, communication with Iacon is near impossible.

<<Autobot>> Elita One says, "XXXiXXX YXX XXX BXXXKXXX XX SXXXXXX XXu XXmX XXppXXX XX XXesXXXlXXX XXXmXXXXXiXXX"

<<Autobot>> Kup says, "What's that? You're breaking up, I can hardly...

<<Autobot>> Kup says, "Oh. That overgrown chewtoy did a number on our long range comms hub. Iacon can't hear us."

<<Autobot>> Elita One says, "XXlXX X XXed XoX XXX DeXcXX XX XX XXvXXtiXXXX immXXXXXXXX XXrrX"

<<Autobot>> Blaster says, "XXX XXiX XX XXXt XXXX XhoXX Xick beXXX X XXXX XX XXay XXXk XX XXrziXXX

<<Autobot>> Elita One says, "WXXt?"


 YOUR MUSIC: http://endlessvideo.com/watch?v=ohjsgSZ6xVU

 Now entering the worst of re-entry, the doomed ship of the line, the Spirit of Freedom, attempts to not break up in the atmosphere despite the obvious damage to it. A gaping hole in the side of the medbay doesn't aid the matters. Steely red haze fills the ship's leading points as the ship shudders and strains, Kup at the command, doing his damndest to ensure the ship can make it to Iacon... where it was meant to deliver a critically damaged Ultra Magnus.

 As the ship shudders again, pieces of it go flying, groaning under the weight and pressure of the strain, sending critical components and heavy armor flying up into the scrap encircling the planet, scrap from a six eon long war. << Bots...we...we gotta do SOMETHIN here, I'm lookin out the starboard side hull ramp and Predaking's up there doing his best to scrap us before we even make it through. We gotta get up there.>>

 The hesitant femme adds, <<Look..yeah..I know it..it sucks, but we got people counting on us, right? So anyone who can help, get up here. We can take him...yeah?>>


        Through a rather large hole in a hull reaches a pale green hand, attached to a rather powerful-looking green forearm. It grips the torn edge of the ship's outer skin and pulls, and almost immediately the matching hand and forearm appears. Together they haul the bulky green form of Springer out of the hole in the hull and onto the top of the ship. Springer looks battered and dented, but not at all beaten. His pale green jaw is set, and his blue optics glow with the fire of retribution.

        However, Springer's tone is light as he allows, "Alright, you giant house pet, you can pack a punch, I'll give you that." Springer steps solidly onto the hull, crouching slightly to maintain his balance on the shifting, bucking craft, and to keep his drag coefficient low. "However, I don't think I'm going to give you another chance to try that again. Autobots, concentrate on the weak points at the joints of his armor. I'm taking the big guy down - all the way to the planet if I have to!"


<<Autobot>> Imager says, "Uhh..okay, you heard the ...the Wrecker, confidence builder that is."

<<Autobot>> Relay says, "Whoa! Bolts and Rivets, Autobots you've got a problem! Hello, Can you hear me?" +INIT:  Springer is set up for this Combat Round.

<<Autobot>> Relay is a little known Cosmos repaint that just hangs out at Iacon mostly, but he IS spaceworthy at least.

Arcee begins heading along the hull ramp quickly, her laser-pistol drawn as she heads into the fray against a massive gestalt. Surely, they've faced worse odds at some point. "Here comes your 'something'," she exclaims, feeling less-than-confident about their chances but attempting to rein in that sinking feeling with ample amounts of determination.


<<Autobot>> Relay says, "Helloooo?"

<<Autobot>> Springer says, "We hear you, Relay!"

<<Autobot>> Springer says, "What's the bad news?"

<<Autobot>> Springer says, "I really don't have enough problems yet today! Give me a real challenge!"

<<Autobot>> Relay says, "Oh yes, Hello. You've got ...looks like..whats the red combiner? You've got that one on your hull! Looks like a problem to me."

<<Autobot>> Arcee says, "It's a definite problem, yes."


<<Autobot>> Springer says, "Yeah, I know. I'll take care of the combiner -- you keep trying to reach Iacon. We're going to need a welcoming team for our wounded, and the wounded Decepticons I'm about to make!"

<<Autobot>> Relay says, "Oh...okay. Uhm, okay, so I was told I can lend a hand here, but this reentry is playing havoc with my sensors. I'm not much of a fighter but I *do* have these EMP missiles which pack a punch, but I'd need telemetry to make the shot."

<<Autobot>> Relay says, "Or..well, I know this sounds a bit silly, but if I got enough hard data, its possible the long range weaponry from Iacon could...you know, shoot him off the hull. That's a risky thingy though! "

Devcon looks around at all the carnage within the shuttle and sighs, "I'm afraid.. I'm of no use to you guys in here.. I'll see what I can do to help out outside." and with that the mercenary leaps out of the gaping hole and transforms while maintaining radio contact with the orders.

With a twist of parts, folding of sections, Devcon transforms from a tall robot into his space cruiser form and is ready for flight.


<<Autobot>> Imager says, "Uhhh. yeah that's great, but I think I see a few problems."

<<Autobot>> Imager says, "See how he's been ripping up those gun turrents, well those big ole conduits are exposed now. That's bad for us, but its a pretty big environmental hazard."

<<Autobot>> Imager says, "We *could* try to get him to...I dunno punch or stomp onto a few of em, and hurt himself?"

<<Autobot>> Imager says, "and then there's that idea of Cuffs to use that bomb Soundwave had, but I dunno what to make of that."


<<Autobot>> Devcon says, "I'm going to see uif I can get him off the shuttle or at the very least stop damaginging it so you guys can make it to Iacon."

<<Autobot>> Springer says, "Risk comes from not knowing what you're doing. Do it, Devcon! We'll back you up."

Imager grimaces as she looks over Arcee, "Yeah...tell me about it, this is pretty bad right?" She motions to the ramp, "Second us non-spacy types get up there, its gonna be bad, all sorts of fire and heatwaves. Gotta stay in cover, right?"

 She takes a step up towards the ramp, fire streaming across the sky. The moment she does, an enormous wreck of metal and noise shudders the ship as one of the gun turrets is thrown, slamming into the ramp's bunker area for several moments, threatening the superstructure before it is caught in the atmosphere and ripped away. Giving a very concerned look, Imager grimaces to Arcee again, "Yeah, this'll be great." She shakes her head and readies her shotgun.


<<Autobot>> Imager says, "oh and I got some juice in me again, so I can do some emergency energon refueling if ya need. Assuming I'm not HOLY SPARKS THIS IS NASTY OUT HERE."

Slingshot enters along with the others. He sees the mess and makes a face. "Ugh, someone needs to do some cleaning up in here," he says, "Once we get rid of the problem." He looks around and grabs something so that he doesn't fall over when the ship shudders. "I'm sorta spacey-but-not-spacey."

<<Autobot>> Imager says, "Yeah, well, Slingshot, I'm not-spacey at all spacey, you got one up on me."


THEN:

As lasers and missiles filled the space around the Spirit of Freedom, another form was speeding its way through the chaos that almost always erupted between the two factions crossing no matter where it was or what over. The grey and purple shuttle wasn't yet fighting though even as it approached over what would be the top orientation of the much larger spacecraft, despite the conflict quickly escalating around it, and briefly firing retrothrusters to slow down as it pulled along the other craft.

"Okay you walking zoo, this is your stop," Astrotrain's echoing voice grumped as he tilted to the side some and opened the deployment hatch. "Get off so I can go bust some head gaskets before the fighting is over with!"

Ignoring the triplechanger transport's griping, the five Predacons can be seen jumping out and dropping towards the ship below. Despite the freefall Razorclaw's demeanor was as unflinching as it usually was. "Now it is time for the real hunt to begin. PREDACONS, COMBINE!"

Tantrum and Headstrong drop past him at the command, flipping over to reconfigure into their bulky limb modes. Divebomb jettisons his wing-pack, only for it to latch onto Razorclaw's back and briefly fire it's boosters to help reorient as his limbs partially fold in to form connection points. Just as the first two reach the ship the combiner torso locks in on top of them, and at the same time the rest of Divebomb slams into place as the left arm with enough remaining forch to pitch the form forward into landing on the ship in a three point stance that seems to shake the entire ship from the heavy impact and chucking broken shards of metal into the air around it. The position has the opposite shoulder angled back perfectly for Rampage to land on, shifting entirely into arm mode as the forming behemoth pushes off the cratered hull and rises up. Shoulder cannons lock into place, wings flare out behind the monster, and in the final touch Predaking's head ratchets up into place, optical band glowing with nothing but malicious intent.


NOW:

After having smashed a certain lean green machine literally through the ship when he tried to investigate, Predaking had turned his attention to his real purpose. Footsteps rang the interior like thunder as the giant stomped across the hull, crumpling external greeble with nary a concern towards it. An extended sensor array was slapped aside with no more thought than swatting an annoying fly.

Despite being harassed on all sides by Decepticons and only limitedly stocked the Autobots still tried to activate the external defenses. One gun battery rising from the ship turned to fire on the largest of invaders, but the blasts pounded Predaking's torso with little visible effect as he walked through the barrage. Clawed fingers clamped onto the sides of the offending machinery, and with only one yank ripped the battery free of the ship itself.

Then flung it away, the battery slamming into the hull and screeching horrifically as it skidded, sparks splaying in various directions from the friction as it careened right over the Autobots' exit ramp! Almost as if emphasizing the very words Imager just spoke.


Razorclaw shouts, "Predacons COMBINE!"

Predaking has arrived.

<<Autobot>> Relay says, "Wow, he's big...I'm just going to idle here...you know, away from him." 

A little grey Cosmos repaint darts around the main ship, bearing witness to the combiner's destructive efforts.

Once she's arrived out on the hull, Arcee gets her bearings, then she very cautiously ventures along one of the large metal seams connecting two of the hull's armor plates, anchoring herself with one arm while scoping out Predaking with her visor-targeter. "Hm. This is not a very good idea," she admits to herself reluctantly as she presses on; what choice do they have??

Focusing her aim on Predaking's arm-joint where it connects to the torso, she begins firing in the hopes of weakening or damaging the comparitively weaker connections there.

>> Arcee strikes Predaking with Heavy Laser <Medium>. <<


<<Autobot>> Imager says, "ya know...he really went after those guns."

 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=98dqUX9YUPE

As Autobots begin to converge onto the outer hull in response to the wrecakge the combiner has already caused Predaking takes note of the arrivals. Individuals are briefly scanned in turn, tactical subprocessors analyzing each and tagging the most and least likely threats amongst the crew. Several femmes, one Aerialbot but a low threat without the rest of his team, one of the few spacecapable Autobots inbound.. and Springer prying himself back out of the hull. But all this processes so quickly that it appears to be no more than instinctive response when Predaking turns his head in the Triplechanger's direction for a moment. "PREY SHOULD LEARN TO STAY DOWN," booms the growling voice as he lifts the rhino-head adorned leg and attempts to slam the foot down on top of him again. Lasers zing and zorch across the torso, but that also draws the hunter's attention back towards the ramps. Left arm raises in that direction, but fortunately the cannon mounted upon it isn't fully deployed yet and it's only a low-level (by combiner standards) energy burst that shoots from it, likely aiming more to mangle the hatchway and stall farther reinforcements than directly aimed at anyone, but just the intensity of that energy in proximity is not going to be pleasant.

>> Predaking misses Springer with Kick. <<

>> Predaking misses Arcee with Concussion-Blasters <Low>. <<

<<Autobot>> Imager says, "Whoa! Look out!"


        Springer takes a step forward, slowly drawing the long black sword off his back. "Autobots, try to drive Predaking backward onto one of the exposed conduits. Spread out physically so he can't hit more of us at once, but concentrate your fire for maximum damage. Imager - gather what data you can and beam it to Relay, who I hope will be able to forward it on to Iacon. I'll grab his attention and try to keep him off of you - If this doesn't work, it'll at least make for an interesting death!"

        When Predaking tries to squash him, the Wrecker leader crouches down, and with an incredible springing motion from his legs, leaps the entire length of Predaking's body, coming up even with his face. "Wow, someone sure built you ugly! Maybe I should do everyone a favor and remove that head before your mug turns someone to stone!" With both hands, Springer reaches his sword high above his head, and as he starts to drop, plunges it at Predaking's neck, putting his full falling weight behind the strike.

>> Springer misses Predaking with Sword. <<

Slingshot frowns at Predaking still tearing up the ship. "Man where's the rest of the Aerialbots when you need them," he grumbles, "Superion so could take him." For now he settles for firing his neutron rifle at the gestalt monstrosity. "Hey, Predaking! Chew on this!"

>> Slingshot strikes Predaking with Neutron Rifle <High>. <<

Devcon banks away from the shuttle and ignites his thursts to slow himself down, which bring his dangerouskly close to the masive Decepticon. The turret on his hull turns and errupts with a massive pillar of blue enrgy, fully intent on getting the monster's attwntion away from his comrades.

>> Devcon strikes Predaking with Plasma-Cannon <Medium>. <<

 The fire and atmosphere hit Imager the moment she breeches the mag-shield. Already the Autobots were engaging Predaking. The dread Predaking, Megatron's mightiest combiner. The list of assaults this monster has carried out fills her processor. The assault on Firebase Solace, the singlehanded dismantling of Breechhold Sapris, the 304th division's legendary Siegebreakers. All destroyed, all crushed beneath his heel.

 Already Predaking fires at the tiny Autobots, his 'prey'. The fact anyone was landing a hit now was insane anyway, a small shield forms before her optics, helping to shield herself from the fires of reentry. She draws her shotgun, a grimace of concentration on her face. The ship shudders beneath her, a wave of Predaking's vaunted might causes the ship to buckle. Imager aims her shotgun up, leading it a bit before the combiner, "Ya big red....erm...eh"

>> Imager strikes Predaking with Shotgun <Medium>. <<

<<Autobot>> Imager says, "I don't get it, why was he goin for those guns, I mean he didn't just shoot em to slag, he actually ripped them off their"

<<Autobot>> Imager says, "housings..."

<<Autobot>> Imager says, "Uhm...huh. okay bots, funny thought here"

<<Autobot>> Imager says, "You, uh...you guys know what these spots are? Those are live conduits, the main guns take a lot of power right? They're fed into these conduits, where they're held at the capacitors that are visible"

<<Autobot>> Imager says, "which needless to say is a bit unstable and ...considering there's like a dozen of these..."

<<Autobot>> Imager says, "You get what I'm sayin?"

<<Autobot>> Arcee says, "Wouldn't that take out the ship, though?"

<<Autobot>> Springer says, "Why don't you explain it like you were talking to someone who slept through Perceptor's lectures?"

<<Autobot>> Imager says, "Mhh kay"

<<Autobot>> Imager says, "so yeah it makes the ship pretty bad off, like a big ole...bomb. Guys, we're riding a bomb"

<<Autobot>> Springer says, "... And heading straight for Iacon."

<<Autobot>> Imager says, "and this is a new ship. I mean it was just built, it still has the initial Iacon shielding passcode on it. You know to pass through the shield uninterrupted for when it launched"

<<Autobot>> Imager says, "So yeah...we're heading to Iacon on a bomb, and there's no shield that will stop the hit"

<<Autobot>> Springer says, "Great! You got any good news?"

<<Autobot>> Imager says, "That's why Soundwave had that bomb on board! That's it. He was destabilizing the reactor to make a bigger boom."

<<Autobot>> Imager says, "as for good news, was kinda hoping you had something in that regard. We can't even tell Iacon to change the shield access codes!"

<<Autobot>> Springer says, "We have Defensor on the reactor to keep it shielded, but that's not going to do a lot of good for the rest of us! Gears, can you change the tragectory of the ship? Maybe aim for the Rust Spot? At least give Iacon a chance?"

<<Autobot>> Elita One says, "XXXenXXXX XXXXiX XX XXXeXXX XXX XXX XXmiXX Xn XXX XXst!"

Arcee just barely manages to duck out of the way of the energy surge from Predaking. "<< Springer, look out!! >>" she radios while still clinging to the hull for dear life. (Okay, this is getting ridiculous, time to get that little Relay guy working for us. The only thing that's going to help us now are Iacon's main guns,) she thinks as she sends a tightbeam to Relay. "<< Okay, listen, this is Arcee...I'm close enough to Predaking to where I can help you out a lot with telemetry data...just give me a moment... >>"

<<Autobot>> Springer says, "Easy for you to say, Elita! Relay, we have to get a message to Iacon!"

<<Autobot>> Bumblebee says, "We heard you, Springer, we're looking into it, but if we deviate too far, we're going to break up as it is. I...I don't know what to do."

GAME: Arcee PASSES a DEXTERITY roll of Above Average difficulty.

<<Autobot>> Relay says, "Got the telemetry, on it! Missiles loose!"

<<Autobot>> Springer says, "Better to break up en route than to destroy Iacon! Take the risk, 'Bee! We'll concentrate on getting Meow Mix off the hull!"

 A faint blue line spirals out from Relay, following Arcee's guideline. EMP roars as it connects with Predaking, slamming into his kneecap with wild abandon!

<<Autobot>> Relay says, "Wahoo, good hit!"

<<Autobot>> Relay says, "Erm, what was that about a message?"

<<Autobot>> Springer says, "You're our best bet for communications, Relay! Try to get through to Iacon and get them a warning!"

<<Autobot>> Springer says, "Tell them to fire at the Freedom if they have to!"

<<Autobot>> Relay says, "You...whahh? I'm not good with words, tell me what you want me to tell them!"

<<Autobot>> Imager says, "Uh..whoa"

<<Autobot>> Imager says, "...yeah...yeah okay, I'm with ya, Springer."

<<Autobot>> Imager says, "so uhm...what're we going to do about ole tall, red and beasty?"

<<Autobot>> Springer says, "Relay, tell them the Decepticons have turned the Freedom into a giant bomb, and that we're going to try to divert it away from Iacon, but if we can't -- they'll have to do what's necessary to save the city."

<<Autobot>> Relay says, "I'm on it. You guys take care, I'll be back in a flash!"

<<Autobot>> Relay says, "xxe XXXeXXXXoXX XXXe tXXXeX XXX XXXXdXX XXXo X XXaXX XXXb, XXX XXXt wXXX XXXng XX XXX tX XXXXrX iX XXXy fXXX XXXXX, XXX XX XX XXXt -- XXXXXl XXXe XX XX wXXXX nXXXXsXXX XX XXXe XXX XXXy."

<<Autobot>> Elita One says, "XXXt"

<<Autobot>> Imager says, "I got my grapplebeam, maybe we can do something with that."

<<Autobot>> Springer says, "Well, if Relay can get through to Iacon, maybe they can help target him off the ship, as unlikely as that is. Until then, it's up to us. Try to push him back into one of those exposed conduits -- maybe we can use their plan against them, at least in terms of taking out Mr. Eyesore."


<<Autobot>> Springer says, "Great, Imager. Maybe if we get him into position, you can pull while we push. Arcee, target his knees - let's take this big guy down!"

<<Autobot>> Kup says, "Ehhh, we've lost lateral controls! Come on you piece of junk, I know you got more in ya!"

<<Autobot>> Bumblebee says, "Activating the auxilary docking engines!" 

The ship gives a jump as the secondary engines explode into motion, sending out anti-grav on both sides of the hull, large cones of blue energy, as the ship tries to right itself.

Everything from energy blasts to plasma bursts crash across Predaking's form, but nothing seems to slow the juggernaut down as he stomps across the hull. Yet this was not just a monster that smashed through everything like a rampant cyclone, fearsome but unfocused. Predaking was not like those other mentally stunted combiners, despite his savage nature. A hunter had to be cunning, and pay attention to his sharp senses. Which is why at the last minute he simply just leans forward a bit, letting Springer sail right past his head. He might of taken a swing at the triplechanger, but his primary purpose still lays in mind. Destroy the ship, and all the meager prey dies with it. Take out the entire herd at once. Priorities. Which would be why after slamming his foot down from another step Predaking stops, and lets loose with a volley of explosive shells from the 'toes', trying to spread out more of a wide berth of destruction. However, Springer's advice to spread out does pay off to some regard, as only Imager is in the vicinity of the sections he's firing on. He does start to turn and raise an arm to fire after the bounty hunter, but it's right then that the EMP blast hits, and as sparks crackle around the right knee Predaking leers to the side a bit, assisted by the sudden ajustment motion of the ship, and his attempt to fire at Devcon goes far and wide.

>> Predaking strikes Imager with Mortars <Medium>. <<

<<Autobot>> Imager says, "Hrrgh"


        "Well, so much for that idea," Springer grins ruefully, falling back out of the sky. "I'm not about to give up that easily, though." Springer flips around and lands on the deck, but immediately bends his knees and crouches with the fall, leaping again in one fluid motion. He twirls his sword around by the handle as he goes for a lower target - the back of the same knee Relay targeted with his EMP. "You alright back there, Imager? Don't die on us - we're going to need you to fuel the after-party after we kick his giant rat pack back to the Manganese Mountains."

>> Springer strikes Predaking with Light-Saber. <<

<<Autobot>> Imager says, "Yeah...yeah I'm good."

<<Autobot>> Imager says, "Hey, where's my shield?"

<<Autobot>> Imager says, "I...I need it!"

Slingshot woots as his blast hits Predaking. Bullseye! But it'll take more than that to take the behemoth down. "I really, REALLY think we need Superion here," he says, firing another blast at Predaking.

>> Slingshot critically strikes Predaking with Neutron Blast <High>! <<

<<Autobot>> Imager says, "Yeah, yeah...okay, Keep him moving that way, If someone can hit the back of a knee or somethin..."

<<Autobot>> Springer says, "Workin' on it! Get those grapplers ready!"

Devcon watches the battle going on on the shuttle's hull and the open conduits, "Predaking must be tsopped at akl costs." and the massive space cruiser ignites it's FTLs amd propelling himseld into the massive getsalt fully intent no knockuing him ack a few steps if not taking him off the shuttle completely.

With a twist of parts, folding of sections, the space cruiser transforms into its robotic body, known as Devcon.

>> Devcon strikes Predaking with Crush. <<


<<Autobot>> Imager says, "WHOOPS!"


 The impact of Predaking's mortars find a target, just not the one he wanted. The whistle of mortars in the air cause the Femme to reflexive raise her shield for cover, the steel-shredding impact blunted by the intercession. Still, the Femme is knocked onto her aft by the explosion, sending her skidding for several feet. The ship's sudden lurch sends her skidding along side the large ship's frame. "No no no no!" She instinctively grasps her shield, holding onto part of the ship's hull with one hand, her feet dangling at one of the ridges on the ship, threatening to space her. "Gaaahh! No good no good!" Frantically she tries to adjust her shield onto her back, risking her life for the stupid thing, as she tries to keep her grip.

Arcee grimaces with annoyance as she listens to the radio chatter. Did Imager just get hit?? She sounded like she was still functional, thankfully. She didn't really have time to worry; now she had a moment to figure out her next move. What was that Springer said, take out Predacon's knee?? Her optics narrow as Devcon barrels into Predaking and causes significant damage. What she needed to do now was concentrate on getting the shot, which was easier said than done in this situation. In an acrobatic move, she slides her legs through a narrow aperature in the hull seam, and uses her legs to keep her anchored to the hull while she frees up both hands to target Predaking's knee-joint with her gun.

<<Autobot>> Elita One says, "Blaster, Red Alert, I need that shield code changed immediately! We can't let that ship back into Iacon" >>

Arcee strikes Predaking with Electricity Blaster <Medium>. <<

<<Autobot>> Imager says, "No can do on the move, Boss! Tryin not to die here!"


Predaking has Autobots swarming around him like obnoxious but dangerous hornets. Most of the attacks are just stings, but the abuse is piling up and internal systems are starting to succumb to the strain. Yet true to his reputation the Predacon behemoth soldiers on, heaving himself back into his massive stride with enough thunderous step. By this point his real intention should be obvious -- If he gets to the Engineering section, after the havok the Decepticons have already caused inside... The energy saber digs into the back of the already tortured limb, ensuring that when all this is over with Tantrum is going to have some lingering WhY DO mY SHoUldURs HurT issues. Electricity zaps the other as Arcee switchs to joining the attack. The giant's stride faulters, but that isn't enough. It's when Devcon uses the opening to SLAM into Predaking from behind, and despite the size difference, the momentum from his alt-mode is enough to compensate and send Predaking lurching forward. He throws out his massive hands to catch himself .. but one slams into that exposed conduit before he can realize it and adjust. Electricity surges from the damaged opening as several tons of more metal is thrust into to. But as the current arcs up through his form something much more terrifying happens. Once he realizes what has happened Predaking activates his own electrical field projectors, using them to draw more of the energy tearing through his body away from the already suffering systems. Visible arcs leap and roll across the monsters form as, instead of getting up, he -shoves his fist in farther-, forcing more of the electricity to conduct through his body. Until finally he throws his head back and with a savage roar the electrical field discharges, sending huge bolts of electricity leaping through the air from his form and arcing across the surface of the ship!

>> Predaking attacks Imager, Springer, Devcon, Slingshot, and Arcee with Electric Field, striking Imager, Arcee, Springer, and Devcon. <<

<<Autobot>> Imager says, "AAAHHHH!"

 The electricity grounds into Imager, her body built tough, but easily conducted. She screams in agony, reflexively reeling from the current, Her face lights up as she is struck, her optics and mouth aglow in crackles of electricty as she lets go of the ship, being cast off into space.


        Springer sees Imager nearly slide off the ship, and drops what he's doing, holstering his sword across his back and starting his way across the deck towards the fallen fueler as she hangs onto the side of the deck for dear life. Springer's nearly thrown off his feet as Predaking falls, and hazards a glance that way as Predaking starts to draw power from the ship for its own attack.

        Springer's blue optics then widen as electricity pulses out of the combiner, blasting right through Springer's frame and charring the thick green armor of his chest as the power courses over his frame. Springer's body jerks and pulses, and he falls to the deck twitching, nearly sliding right off past Imager and down to Iacon below.

        "We've... gotta stop... Predaking from getting to... engineering," Springer gasps, reaching for the weapons strapped securely to his right leg. It might be too late for him to save Imager, but it might not be too late to stop Predaking. Before the gestalt can get back up, Springer shakily draws his weapon, and aims it at the combiner's face. "Really... shouldn'tna done that," Springer gasps, and opens fire with his cyclone laser.

>> Springer strikes Predaking with Cyclone Laser <High>. <<

Slingshot manages to reflexively leap out of the way of the electrical surge that Predaking directs at the assembled Autobots. "DON'T TAZE ME, BRO!" he shouts at the gestalt, transforming and letting fly with his twin mortars. "Did everybody else go lights out?" Slingshot folds down into his Harrier Jump Jet mode.

>> Slingshot misses Predaking with Twin Mortar <High>. <<

<<Autobot>> Springer says, "Does this ship have escape pods? If so, I want all personnel not directly involved in flying the ship or fighting Predaking to get off the Freedom NOW. No sense all of us going down with the ship if we can't land it safely away from Iacon."

Devcon knocks out m,ots of his own systems when he rams into Predaking and while systems are busy rebootting so his self repair systems can kick in. He is lit up by electricity which makes his targetting systems go head. But he hears the cries of someone in distress. He musters what systems are working and ignites his engines and swoops on over to catch Imager as she falls off the shuttle, transforming in mid flight ad catching the femme in his arms and smiles, "Lets get you somewhere safe." gw says as he flies her back onto the shuttle and sets her body far from the fight. Standing back up he stares at Predaking, "This ends now."

<<Autobot>> Relay says, "Oh! Sorry, I..I forgot to tell you. Elita One said something about reconfiguring the shields....so...yes I do believe evacuating...was the gist of what...she was saying. Pretty sure at least."

<<Autobot>> Relay says, "Probably going to be an explosion...big one, probably."

<<Autobot>> Springer says, "Good! Do it! Relay, help if you can. We'll keep Predaking busy while the rest of you get off the ship."

<<Autobot>> Arcee says, "Aaaahhhgghh!!! ...Ugh. *long pause* ...I hear voices. Oh, okay, good, it's coming from here. Relay. I can...get you...telemetry...or. Or Springer. What. What do you need. Targeting. Little bit fried but I'm here."

<<Autobot>> Kup says, "Alright, the evac order's been given. All Autobots, abandon ship. Bumblebee and I will try to keep this thing steady for a bit longer, give them more time to set up the new command codes."

<<Autobot>> Springer says, "Arcee, help me keep Predacon tied down while everyone abandons ship!"

Imager tumbles...She was off the ship, tumbling behind... This was it for her. Her processor flashes back a million years and more. Seven eons ago, when she was built, and life was good. Music...music was her life. Then the war. And she had a team. The Femmes had their lives, even during the shutdown...and then darkness.

 Her optics snap open as Devcon actually catches her in mid angst. "HUH?" She looks startled at the big Mech, "OH!...oh hey....yeah...good call. Thanks."

Good thing there's not enough air to carry smell in space, because the smoke rolling out of Predaking's joints from fried components would be a horrific acidic stench to bear otherwise.... Though more frightening is that even with that, even the cyclonic forces blasting against him and mortars detonating nearby, Predaking is -still- moving. Metal screechs in protest as bits break off from hull and arm alike as Predaking rips it free of the now mangled conduit. He brings one leg up underneath himself, and goes to stand ... but the pressure being put on the mangled infrastructure is too much. It collapses beneath the weight, and whatever machinery Predaking's heel slams into because of it, it's more than the ship can take. The entire spacecraft lurchs and shakes from the explosion of brutalized machinery, even in orbital space flames and smoke starts to belch out of splitting seams.... But for the Autobots its a small phyrric blessing, as the detonation is enough to violently dislodge Predaking from the hull of the ship, disappearing into the clouds of smoke and debris gysering up from mangled ship systems that just cannot take the punishment any longer.

 LISTEN TO THIS https://www.youtube.com/embed/e79xJE_42LU?rel=0&start=1&end=56&autoplay=1

 From Iacon's view, a fiery pinprick of light lights up the nightsky. The Spirit of Freedom is disintegrating before the eyes of Iacon. The ship, now a third covered in flames, groans its dying breaths as it plummets to the city below.

 In the control room, Kup snarls at the screen, pulling up as hard as he can on the yoke. "Come on, Come on!" Bumblebee cries out from his station, "It's not working! We've lost the thrusters!" The Bee slams on a few more buttons, panic and frustration welling up on his face.

 From below, Autobots of all sort stare up into the night sky as the ship careens downward, trailing a blueish smoke that sparks with energon electricity in a foreboding cloud.

 Iacon's shield flickers as a new computational security code ripples through the shielding. Kup calls out over the comms, <<They did it, there's a new shield up...so now....now we abandon ship! Every Bot out! Don't forget Magnus either. Defensor, that's your job! The shield'll buffer your falls, BOTS OUT NOW!>>

GAME: Springer FAILS an AGILITY roll of Average difficulty.

<<Autobot>> Elita One says, "Spirit of Freedom come in!"

In space, nobody can hear you smell!

<<Autobot>> Springer says, "This is the freedom! Nice to hear from you, Elita! Shields up? We're comin' down hard!"

<<Autobot>> Elita One says, "The Iacon shield has been adjusted, evacuate the ship immediately. Emergency crews are on standby."

<<Autobot>> Standby says, "I'm sorry, what? I wasn't listening."

<<Autobot>> Elita One says, "Get to the medbays, Standby."

<<Autobot>> Elita One says, "Runway, We need emergency foam packets ready for immediate distribution."

<<Autobot>> Ratchet says, "Medical crews are standing by. What is Ultra Magnus' situation?"

<<Autobot>> Kup says, "Defensor has him, he'll come out of this better en the rest of us, of that I'm certain."

Arcee untangles herself from the hull, and begins drifting away from the doomed ship, attempting to at least glide in the general direction of Devcon. "Could I bother you for a lift??" she asks, still somewhat disoriented from the powerful blast which seared through her systems moments before.

<<Autobot>> Pipes says, "I...I really should abandon ship...Oh my, that's a long jump."

<<Autobot>> Arcee says, "Springer...wh...what are you still doing...get out of there, guys! All of you."

<<Autobot>> Relay says, "Pipes, old buddy! I'll home in on your signal!"

<<Autobot>> Pipes says, "Is there room for my toaster?"

<<Autobot>> Relay says, "Sure...just make it fast!"

Springer struggles to his feet, holstering his cyclone laser and looking around for the other Autobots. "Sounds like that's our cue to leave." He starts across the deck, falling more than once as the ship bucks and starts to break up around him. "Hope someone's down there to catch us!" Springer leaps off the edge of the ship, out into space over Iacon.

<<Autobot>> Kup says, "Any Bots stuck in a bad spot, we're going to sorta crash into the shield, get up high and jump off onto it if ya need to!"

Devcon picks Imager up in his arms once agin and reaches out to pull Arcee to him and he transforms around the injured femmebots so they're securely in his cruiser mode, the massive shioens it's cargo bay doors, "Springer get the Magnus and help get him aboard, we're out of here!"

<<Autobot>> Imager says, "Phew!"

<<Autobot>> Devcon says, "My weapons systems just came back online, show I blow up the shuttle before it crashes into Iacon?"

Springer calls out, "Got it, Devcon!" He lets Devcon handle Arcee and Imager and transforms into chopper mode to escort Defensor and Ultra Magnus back to Iacon.

<<Autobot>> Kup says, "Preciate the sentiment, kid, but Bee and I are tryin to get it to move a bit further off course to lessen the impact."

<<Autobot>> Defensor reports, "Ultra Magnus secured! I will get him safely back to Iacon. Defense shield up and on my way down to Iacon!"

Springer twists and folds, unfolding as well until a helicoptor has formed.

The Autobots have lost their new ship, but they saved their beloved capital city. That counts for something, considering how crushing the loss of Iacon -again- would of been. At the call to abandon ship Autobots take it to spark, those that can still stand helping the more wounded. Because abandoment is not the Autobot way. Ports open in various portions of the ailing ship, jettison escape pods into space. Until a massive grey hand rises over the edge of the ship and slams down, clawed tips tearing into metal once more, crushing several of those would-be pods beneath it. The other hand, stripped down almost bare to struts and servos from the conduit punch, soon follows. And despite all the odds Predaking drags himself up from where the giant had grabbed onto the underside of the ship to keep from falling off entirely. The combiner's bulk rises up onto the top of the crumbling ship, optics flaring at the Autobots trying to flee. An whine audible even in the thinness of space can be heard ominously as the cannon on Predaking's arm starts to power up fully... Until a familiar voice booms directly in the giant's head over a radio link only one top Decepticon has the access to. <<PREDAKING! THE AUTOBOTS HAVE RECHARGED THEIR SHIELD. FORGET IACON FOR NOW. MAKE SURE THAT ATROCITY DOESN'T HAVE ANYTHING LARGER THAN ATOMS LEFT OF IT FOR THEM TO RECLAIM!!>> The voice of Megatron being the only one the monsterous hunter heeds, Predaking dutifully turns his attention away from the fleeing Devcon and other craft.... And instead, dedication to his hunt and the command of his only master overriding any concern of self-preservation there may be, fires the full bore of his X-Ray Cannon directly into the engines section of the ship!

https://www.youtube.com/embed/e79xJE_42LU?rel=0&start=56

And with that, Autobots abandon the ship on its maiden voyage. Several dozen of them spill out onto the shield itself, its gentle sloped dome letting a decent amount of them land gently, a great deal more are sent off the side, sliding and falling a considerable distance. It’ll be damaging, and one heck of a repair bill, but they will survive. They’re Autobots, they’ve seen worse.

 On the control deck, red lights glare, as alarms go off, Kup still at the wheel. Bumblebee motions towards the door, "Kup, we have to GO!" The old warhorse grits his faceplate, "Be right there with ya, just gotta..."

 The ship raises just a little as it smashes into the Iacon shield, catching it low against the ship’s belly. A thunderous roar is heard as the ship buckles further, its flames consuming the ship even more. Armor and infrastructure melt and collapse as Predaking looms high, regaining his feet on the lost ship of the line. All enemies have abandoned the field of battle, he was victorious even in defeat.

Secondary explosions consume the cockpit. From her position below, Elita One surveys the situation grimly.

Slingshot jets out as soon as possible, hovering in place in case Kup jumps at the last second...

Moments later she points up to the ship of the line, "THERE!" The ship hits the wasteland outside Iacon, as two vehicles emerge from within the fires and chaos. Kup and Bumblebee, and hell is on their tail. Scrap and metal showers out before the ship as it impacts the planet, gouts of fire erupting from its sides, and with a final protest, a final death rattle the ship detonates into plasma and death, searing the optics of those watching as it adds yet another festering wound to Cybertron...

 And thus the first, and last tale of the Spirit of Freedom is known. From the life-saving rescue of Ultra Magnus  To the Decepticon ambush, to Predaking himself, all in an attempt to destroy the city of Iacon.

 In three eons, Cybertronians will still recall the hell on Cybertron that the crew of this ship went through.  And a brave few survivors may just be able to reply, "I was there...on the Spirit of Freedom."

Springer shifts outwards into his robot mode.

 Ladies and Gentlemen....Stan Bush https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1A3zgTzFk5U


HOURS LATER:

The Decepticons have gathered around their own, abiet smaller, crater in the surface of Cybertron. It wasn't until the last death throws of the Spirit, sure that his job and his master's will had been done, that Predaking finally jumped off. The return to Cybertron, even for that relatively short of a distance, had not been kind. As it was it was taking the Constructicons forever to dig the Predacons out of the crater. Divebomb had little more than his wings and general left. After the beating taken to his limb mode Tantrum had almost literally snapped in half at the impact. Rampage was tore apart armorwise from the climb back up, and not even Headstrong's stubborness had hung onto conciencness.

In the end, as the others were hoisted out of the massive hole by Hook and Scrapper, it was only Razorclaw himself that managed to climb out on his own, and even he was in terrible shape. Only slightly better than the time Elita One had blown up an entire munitions truck on him.

The mechanical lion turned his maned head towards where Megatron was standing, and managed to rumble out a confirming growl before finally collapsing himself.

Mission Success.

 A WEEK LATER:

Teletraan-One beeps to life in Mt. Hilary, 'WARNING...WARNING. UNIDENTIFIED SPACECRAFT APPROACHING.' Moments later, a similar line goes off in Autobot City itself, as Teletraan-Two echoes Casey Kasem's words. "UNIDENTIFIED SPACECRAFT APPROACHING."

 In the skies above, a heavily damaged two person shuttle roars into Earth's atmosphere. The pilot, a dashing young alien male, and his bride to be, struggle with the controls. "Trebla dear. The controls, they aren't responding!" The woman replies, "The Autobots are here on Earth, we have to reach out to them, and hurry!" She fills in the exposition, "If we don't reach them in time, our home planet Eurythma...is doomed."

 AUTOBOT SPINNY! NEXT TIME- SPOTLIGHT: IMAGER

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