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Back to 2011 Logs Attack at the Observatory


Starscream Vortex Thundercracker Crackshot Skywarp

There's a whine of turbines outside, and Skywarp appears in the doorway. "I can't believe you guys got out without me. Do you know how slagging bored I've been?"

Starscream watches TC leave and Skywarp show up almost at the same time. "You can teleport, moron.. You have no excuse for being bored." he says and then glances over at Vortex tending to the Autobot. "So what does Soundwave think he can get out of that trashheap, Vortex?"

Crackshot continues to push back shakily, rather weakened form shock. Soon he was up against a little debris a little, lifting both hands. The words terrfied him and it showed in his tremors as he keeps his hands up, as though to protect himself.

Vortex does't bother to acknowledge Skywarp - despite that the teleportation ability is rather fascinating - but instead focuses very intently on Crackshot. Starscream's question aggravates him, and he fights the impulse to go over there and thump the Seeker. It takes him a moment of enforced stillness before the urge passes, and he's calm enough to reply. But instead of replying directly to Starscream, he crouches in front of the prisoner and speaks to him instead. "I think trashheap is a little unfair," he says. "I mean/

"I'm sure you can be helpful, can't you?" He looms closer, holding a fingers dangerously close to Crackshot's damaged face. "And that's all I really want. The more helpful you are, the nicer we can be."

Crackshot tilts his head back. One optic flickers, seeing a vague shadow that close to his face. He lifts his hands up to try and push the finger away, his arms still rather mobile as he growled weakly "Dont know... anything important. Just a trigger p-puller." he mutters, pathetically.

Skywarp just watches and rolls his optics at Starscream. All the fun, already over. This part's boring.

Vortex completely disagrees with that sentiment; this is one of the best bits. "I'm sure you're far more than that," he says to Crackshot. "You talk to people, don't you? You listen... Do you have friends back in Iacon?"

Starscream flicks a wing, "He's a trashheap if I say he is, Vortex." the Air Commander mutters but continues to watch, "Skywarp," he says quietly, "You're rolling your optics too loudly..."

A hand smacks at Vortex' again from the wounded Autobot "I mind my... own business." he simply husks, not responding to the second question. He watched the blurry shadow though.

Vortex laughs softly and draws back a little, just out of reach of Crackshot's hands. He doesn't mind being slapped around by the weakened Autobot, but it might be more productive if he gave him a little personal space. Just for now, anyway. "Even people who mind their own business hear things," he says softly. "Rumours, gossip... Nothing important, certainly nothing your superiors could punish you for if you repeated it under duress. And those nasty Seekers, looks like they shot you in the face. That looks a lot like duress to me." His optics brighten, visor flashing. "I know a rumour," he adds, as though it's the most exciting thing he's found out all vorn.

Crackshot puffs a little bit, his hands lowering. He pushes against the ground, trying to keep upright as he stared at Vortex's shadow. He wasn't sure what to think of this mech, but didnt trust it. All he knew was that he hurt, a lot. He wasn't even aware on who the other voice was. "D... Don't pay attention to that stuff. Just talk. If it's nothing imp... portant, then you don't need to hear it."

Vortex flicks his rotors, having noticed the direction of Crackshot's gaze and wanting to see if it really is the shadow he's focusing on. "Don't you want to know what I heard?" He affects upset, and makes his rotor blades droop sadly.

Crackshot couldnt see the difference between Vortex and his shadow at this point as he swallows painfully "Y... You're going to tell me anyways." he assumes.

"I heard," Vortex says, amping up the intrigue again, "that science division is working on something quite exciting. Something big..." He's heard nothing of the sort, except the hint from Soundwave, but exciting and big cover multiple sins, and he hopes they'll lead to more concrete information. Having noticed Crackshot's pained-looking swallow, he removes a /very/ small energon cube from a compartment in his arm and holds it up in front of his own face, making it look as though he's looking at it.

Starscream pulls out an enercig, lights it and causually watches Vortex go to work so to speak.

The glowing cube is like a bright bulb in fuzziness for Crackshot, and he cringes a little bit, as though expecting another weapon "B... big? " he pauses to think. What could it be? "n... Not sure what. Doing some weapons re.. reseach... always doing that... there's the ges..." he trails off suddenly, body tensing.

"Is there?" Vortex says, swishing the tiny amount of energon back and forth, and inhaling the fumes through his vents. "I'd heard that too," he lies. If only Crackshot had actually finished that word. "How about a trade? You tell me what you heard, and I'll tell you what I heard... and if you've heard something I haven't, then I might be allowed to make you a little more comfortable."

The mech's fists tighten a little bit as he leaned back once more. His mind whirled quickly through muddled pain "N... No.. Not my business." he responds finally, shakily. yeah, he knew what was gonna happen "J... Just go away. Not wanting any help from you."

"Surely you don't want help from them?" Vortex says in a shocked tone. He gestures with the cube at Starscream smoking his enercig and Skywarp who he's sure looks rather threatening to the prisoner. "That's the kind of help that'll lead you to the scrapheap. I, on the other hand..." He puts the cube away, and leans back in. "...can do a lot for you. But you have to be helpful, and right now, you're holding out on me."

Crackshot falls silent, though he was still trembling, especially when the seekers were mentioned. So they were stil there. He tried to activate his internal radio, but sparks crackld inside his head and he groaned a little bit "No. I can't tell you. I dont KNOW." he rasps a little heatedly.

Starscream tilts his head suddenly, "Whats the ges..? ges, what?" he flicks his spent cig away and looks up into the sky, "I want a copy of the report you give to Soundwave when you are done with the Autobot, Vortex." he looks back at the mech, "That is an order." he leaps up into the air, transforms and heads out.

"Sure you do," Vortex urges. He turns as Starscream leaves and offers an impertinent little wave. Then he gets back to the business of staring at Crackshot. He adopts a sweet tone, "You know about the experimental weapons... Tell me, are you fond of your fingers?"

Crackshot's hands curl up instinctively at that, pulling them closer to his sides "... I dont work with those weapons. I just know they're working on something." he responds, his voice small, and a little fearful. "I... I really dont."

"That's a shame," Vortex says as though he genuinely means it. "Because I don't like tearing off peoples' fingers, not without the right equipment. It can get all... messy. But there's something I dislike even more, and that's the words 'I don't know'."

Crackshot shudders again and shakes his head "I cant tell you what I d... dont know." he winces as he says the words that Vortex claims to dislike "B... But its true. D.. Dont work with the weapons... Pistols' a standard issue. "That much was true, even if he wielded two.

Vortex takes a long, slow look at where Crackshot's hidden his hands. "Hmmmm... That almost counts as helpful, but that was another 'I don't know'. I think that'll cost you a thumb." He makes a feint at Crackshot's arm, then pauses. "Unless..."

Crackshot jerks away - or tries to. He manages to move an inch or two sideays. Hands come into view, but only to push against the ground and slide himself sideways feebly, a grimace forming on his broken faceplate. "Dont work with the weapons or anything. J... Just a soldier and stargazer."

Vortex settles back again, one hand under his chin in an attitude of thought. "What was that word you said earlier, something to do with Autobot research, g... ges..." He waves his hand encouragingly.

Crackshots' lips thin out a little bit, his form tensing. Another harsh swallow. He could still see the glowing energon, but it didnt appeal to him at all. His tank churned "Can't say." he replies. Not 'I dont know'.

"Can't," Vortex says, "Or won't?"

The Autobot is quiet a long moment, then states "C-cant. And Wont. "

Vortex lunges forwards, hands either side of Crackshot's head, visor right up in the prisoner's face. "Don't you want to go home?"

With a startled yelp at how fast Vortex moves, Crackshots, arms come up in front of his face. He holds them there, between the two, although the glowing visor was visible to his broken sight. He trembled somewhat, and replied "Y... Yes. But I cant' tell you. Made a P... promise. Friends would be hurt."

Vortex revs his primary engine threateningly, his rotors making a clattering sound. "I'm going to tell you a secret," he hisses, "and I'm going to trust you, like your friends so obviously do." He presses closer, venting warm air over Crackshot's broken plating. "I've been ordered to kill you once I have the required information. I'm allowed to take as long as I like, and believe me, I like taking a long time. But... I need that information. And if a good little Autobot were to tell me just a few of those odd rumours - and I know they won't hurt anyone, because they're just rumours, aren't they? You already said you don't know anything important... Well, then I've got a cargo net in my hold, and no-one's going to look twice at a chopper transporting a heap of broken scrap out of Polyhex. No-one would know I haven't taken you offline for good."

Cringing, CRackshot curls up under Vortex, indeed terrified of the mech he could barely see. His arms come up again to shield his face once more, turning away. He listens to the words, and they chill him, his core torn between protecting his friends, and his own life. Somewhere, the scientist part of him spoke up "... Rumors aren't always true."

"Of course not," Vortex replies, remaining completely still. "Which makes it a far better bargain for you than for me, doesn't it now?"

Crackshot shivers a little bit "But if you know... its not true, then its worthless to you. " he states simply.

"That's where you're wrong!" Vortex cries. "I need this because my superiors need it. You don't think /I/ gave a frag if it's true or not, do you?"

Crackshot flinches a little bit, and mutters something like 'not caring about a decepticon's needs' under his breath. He slumps a little bit, exhausted. He shook his head, trying to clear it "Can't think. Hang on..."

"Mmmhmmm?" Vortex says encouragingly, but doesn't move.

Crackshot lowers his arms a little. They wobbled, as though it was hard to keep them up. His face twitched a few times, like he was blinking "Mind is all fuzzy." he explains, thinking much faster than it seemed. "Gerwalks."

"Very fuzzy, I think..." Vortex files the word away, in case it's useful, but he always likes to hedge his bets. "Have another try."

Crackshot shakes his head a little bit "g... Gerwalks." he insists, arms still up. His voice was very tense, a little higher. "That's what I overheard."

"Where did you overhear it?" Vortex asks, leaning just a little bit closer.

Crackshot scowls "Can't remember." he replies unhelpfully.

Vortex stands and shakes his head, his rotors again drooping. "That's no good," he says. "You've got to at least make it sound convincing. I can't take a bunch of 'I don't knows' and 'I can't remembers' back to my CO." He starts to pace, his visor glowing brightly. "What else did you hear?"

Crackshot replies "Th... That was it. I was concentrating." as he lowered his arms more, but they stayed in front of him, ready to come up again. He was hunched forwards still, staring straight ahead and downwards "F... Few words... t.. tripleformer, extra cogs. N... Not sure what it means. Not a doctor."

Vortex continues to pace. "So it really is a medical issue then," he says, to try to make it seem as though he already knows far more than he does. "Who has the extra cogs?"

Crackshot falls very silent at this, not saying a word for a few long moments. His fists clench a little bit as he slowly says the dreaded words "I... I dont know. NEver saw them."

So, there's more than one. "Where are they?" Vortex says, he crouches down again beside Crackshot and leans in. "How many are there?"

Crackshot leans back again, and to one side. He pushes himself along the ground to try and evade Vortex. "THey left. Not sure where to. Dont know. Said I never saw them." he replies, voice tense.

Vortex follows Crackshot down, keeping as close as he can. "/How many?/" he snarls.

Crackshot presses his metal back to the wall, the only thing keeping him from trembling now was how rigid his pistons were. He rasps "I... Dont... KNOW. " back, the amount of emotions running through him making his voice rise up in agitation. "NEver SAW them. I swear."

Vortex is convinced Crackshot is telling the truth, but he isn't about to lay off. "That's another "I don't know'," he says. "Pass me your hand."

Crackshot jerks his hands to his sides, into the gap at the ground and wall. He grimaced, shaking his head frantically "No."

"No?" Vortex snarls. "Really? Then tell me another rumour. Entertain me. Because Primus knows I'm getting some fun out of you whether you manage to convince me to let you live or not."

"I dont have any more! I dont pay attention to that stuff!" rasps Crackshot frantically "There's been NOTHING else happening! A few younger mechs talking about girls, that new movie coming out, but that's IT. I swear! Heck, I haven't even heard from PRIME! you have to believe me!"

"I don't have to believe anything," Vortex says. "But that was mildly entertaining. Let's try another, who's the medic associated with the Gerwalks project?"

"D... Directly? Didnt get his name... Works under Ratchet." stammers Crackshot. He shuddered again as he put a hand to his damaged head with a groan. "G... Go away... I hurt."

"I can put an end to that, one way or another," Vortex leers. "Just think of your bunk back in Iacon. Think of the medics and the equipment and the sensor blocks just waiting to make all that pain dissolve away." He grins under his mask and kneels up, looming again. "What was odd about the cogs?"

"I'm no medic. I'm an astronomer." mutters Crackshot softly, dropping his hand again "They didnt say. Really."

"Who didn't say?" Vortex asks, his tone again very sweet.

"I... I didnt see. I had my back turned to them." admits Crackshot, pulling his hands under him again.l

Crackshot says, "I think they said... a third mode? It... it makes sense, with what Gerwalks are..."

Vortex leans closer, his optics turns up to their brightest and the light dancing across Crackshot's damaged armour. "What are they?" he whispers.

Crackshot blinks again at that "... you dont know? Th... they're walking planes... k... Kkind of like half transformers..." he had heard the term somewhere, but couldnt remember. His mind was fuzzy.

"Seekers are kind of like walking planes," Vortex says. Were the Autobots developing new flight tech? It certainly wasn't outside the realm of possibility.

Crackshot rubs his head again, curling up a little bit more "Ger... Gerwalks are different. Seekers... Robot Mode, Jet mode. Gerwalks... Robot Mode, Jet mode, Jet with legs and arms. N... Not sureof the point... "

"Hmmm..." Vortex pulls back a little, having decided the silent treatment might help get a little more out of Crackshot. He stares.

Crackshot just sits there, either too pain fuddled or not aware of being stared at.

It takes Vortex a little while to realise that the silent treatment isn't going to get him anywhere, so instead, he sits down beside Crackshot and pats him gently on the arm. "Are you ready to go home?" he says, having no intention of taking him there just yet.

Crackshot jumps a little at the pat, startled by it. He puts a hand to that shoulder, as though burned. "you'd be shot if you went to Iacon." he remarks "J... Just leave me here. They'll F... Find me."

"Maybe," Vortex says. "Or maybe you'll have bled out by the time they get to you. Energon lines are so fragile."

Crackshot shivers at the comment, and remarks softly "I dont believe you would take me here. Your faction starts with the word 'decept'"

Vortex sighs and leans back against the wall. "You know what I think" he says.

"Y... you dont care about me anyways. Th... Threatened to remove fingers because I c... cannot tell you things I dont k...know."

"No I didn't," Vortex replies. "I warned you that those were the consequences for saying something I couldn't take to my superiors." He pokes at the edges of a wound. "Anyway, you want to know what I think? I think you want to live."

"I... I d.. do." admits Crackshot, his hand still on the unwounded shoulder, half curled up fearfully "T... They will be by s.. soon. Already overdue."

Now that doesn't bode well, although it could be a lie. "Then how about we go somewhere a little more private?" Vortex suggests. He moves to pick Crackshot up.

Grabbed suddenly by his arm, Crackshot is dragged to his feet. "What the - No!" he rasps, shaking his head "Just leave me here! D... Dont want any help." he tries to pull away, fumbling.

Vortex holds him higher, putting all the strain of his weight on his shoulder. "Then stop holding out on me," he snaps.

Crackshot struggles, finding a little last bit of energy as he is almost lifted off his feet by Vortex. He puffs "Let go! I'm NOT holding out." he almost growls. All he knew is if he went with Vortex, he'd never be found

"Sure you are!" Vortex snaps, and moves towards the exit.

"You've gotten what ou wanted." the Autobot struggled, as they stepped out. "Let me go now! Please!"

"Not all of it!" Vortex persists. He swings Crackshot around, not caring if he hits the wall or not. "What's the third mode?"

Crackshot staggers sideways, startled by the sudden change of direction. He slams into the side of the Observatory with a yelp of pain "A plane with legs and arms! I said that!" he barks, lifting his hands to tr and shove Vortex away.

"You said it was a triplechanger!" Vortex bears the shoving, and decides that the Autobot needs a good shaking. "You said there were more than one. Which is it?!"

"ITs a third mode!" rasps Crackshot as he was shaken, back clattering against the wall "Plane *ow* Robot, plane-bot thing! I didnt pick the mode." his wounds sparked a little.

"Useless!" Vortex lets go suddenly, and watches to see where the momentum will take the Autobot.

Crackshot doesnt expect that, and staggers to one side, crashing to the ground. HE gasped as he slid into the outer wall of the Observatory, sparking again. His remaining vision was filled with new damage reports. On the verge of going into stasis, he shuddered "T.. Told you what you wanted. N.. now go away." he stammered.

Vortex reviews what Crackshot has told him. Some true, he thinks, like Ratchet's involvement, or Ratchet's assistant whoever that was, and some complete and utter scrap. Pulling the truth from the scrap would take a while, but that could be entertaining. "But," Vortex says, "have you told me enough that I'm willing to go against my orders and leave you here alive?"

Crackshot grabs the ground, pulling himself against the wall further "Y... yes..." he pleaded "It.. Its all I know. N... nothing else of v... value."

"So you think that's of value, do you?" Vortex leans against the wall, looking suddenly very relaxed. He considers pulling out Crackshot's primary fuel pump, just to see how much energon the bot still has in him. "What about something that isn't of value?"

Crackshot lays there a moment, exhausted and in pain "P.. Pointles stuff. Targetting sc... scores... astronomy coordinates... " he lists off

"The name of Ratchet's assistant?" Vortex says. He kneels beside Crackshot and goes to prod his broken helm again.

Crackshot whimpers finally and lifts an arm over his head, jerking each time the damaged area ws prodded "Didnt see him... S.. Said that..." he stammered, his voice starting to fail now. "S.. STop, please..."

"Heh, no." Vortex laughs quietly to himself, highly amused as Crackshot's voice grows faint. He prods again. "Bye bye, Autoscrap."

Crackshot jerks again, hissing in pain before a bright spark flashes inside the wounds in his head. His body seizes up, then goes still with a puff of smoke.

Vortex snickers. OK, now that was fun. He isn't convinces of the usefulness of this particular subject, but at least he has something to take back to Soundwave. He stands and stretches, then heads outside to transform and take to the sky.