September 18, 2011, 3:56 PM
(Grease Pits, Polyhex)
The Stadium was almost full. This was quite anticipated by many, and as many off-duty mechs as possible came to attend. It was noisy too, seekers buzzing through the air to their seats back and forth. Some pre-show entertainment was going on, lesser gladiators combating and showing off their own skills in various rings around the main one.
Kick Off was not yet seen. He was in the back, going through final preparations. He had rarely spoken as he remained quiet, staring out the door on occasion, before looking back to one of the technicians, nodding and obliging them. His manager, Charr, was quite nervous too "Can't believe he'd do this. Not to one of my best." muttered the manager unhappily, one of the few NOT wanting Kick Off to die. Soon, the show will go on.
Megatron strides into the stadium. He hears the cheers of the assembled Decepticons as he enters, and his spark whirls. It has been a long time since he has fought in a gladiatorial bout of any kind, and for a brief moment the lights and the sound transport him back to a very different time. A time when he fought not to reinforce his might to an army that had sworn its loyalty, but for his very survival.
The impression is so strong that for a moment he almost waves to the crowd, remembering the many times he entered the arena roaring one of many slogans about how brutally anyone who crosses him dies.
That thought brings him back to himself. Long ago, he realized that Cybertron's warriors killing one another in the arena was a waste. Instead, he united them, forging a faction from their might and a vision from their rage. He thinks of that now, waiting for his opponent in this match. Killing Kick-Off would clearly demonstrate his might. And sometimes such things are necessary, particularly with the disloyal. But it will remain to be seen whether Kick-Off is one of those mechs it is worthwhile to keep alive.
Robustus had the excuse of everyone being here to watch the fight to get out of the medical bay. He stands with the gladiatorial medical staff, discussing with them the health of the gladiator and any issues that may arise during the fight. The medic came prepared for both participants, any injuries that may occur have been accounted for as he had readied a rolling cart full of parts. This cart currently is right next to him so he can keep track of it. He looks toward the entryway from whence Megatron walks out and applauds with the rest.
"Watch where you're slagging going!" Knifepoint snarls as yet another idiot bangs into his wings in the already-cramped space of the stadium. If they didn't stop that, slag the rules, he was going to stab the next one to do it. His attention is pulled away from those thoughts as the crowd starts to cheer, and he forces his way to the front of the area, ignoring the angry yells from the people around him. Grinning viciously, he leans forward against the railing, waiting for Kick-Off to come out and the fight to begin.
Hearing the arrival of the Emperor, Kick off stands carefully, moving to bow deeply in Megatrons' direction - not on the sands yet, but visible nonetheless as the grander mech makes the entrance. Charr sighs again and steps back, Kick off glancing to Robustus quietly. He then inhaled, venting nervously before making his way out to the sands.
He too, got cheers, but not quite as enthusiastically as Megatron. Most Gladiators had fans after all, although none could compare to Megatron. There was also boo-ing, and rattling venting of disapproval. He ignored it, marching with his weapon and his spear towards the center of the arena, optics kept straight forwards towards the Emperor's chestplate to meet him there. He stopped, to wait.
And then he dropped to a knee, as he always did before the Emperor. "Lord Megatron. I present myself here today, for punishment of a crime." he rumbles, his voice recorded and emitted to the rest of the stadium.
Megatron nods to Kick-Off. "You are here because you openly disrespected me, and disrespect to me is disrespect to the Empire itself." He narrows his optics. There are some who can get away with far more, and everyone knows it. Still, it's not difficult to guess at Kick-Off's origins; very few Decepticons have blue optics. And letting someone who does get away with blatant displays of disrespect would be a disaster in the making.
“But you have a reputation as a skilled gladiator, and perhaps those skills will allow you to redeem yourself today." His optics flare bright crimson and he frowns deeply, making it obvious to all how likely he thinks that to be. "Rise, and let us begin."
Robustus watches on quietly now that things are about to begin. A small smile creeping upon his lips as Kick-Off pays due respect to the Emperor.
Knifepoint chuckles quietly at Megatron's words. "Ah, Lord Megatron, kind even to those who don't deserve it." He murmurs, wings twitching slightly in amusement. Well, as long as Kick-Off winds up slagged, what does he care.
Keeping his head down, Kick Off listens to Megatrons' words. If he was scared or even nervous, there were very few signs. A bit of heavy venting, his body rigid as a statue as he listens to the speech. Then he stood, lifting both his weapons as he responds "Thank you my lord, for this chance to redeem myself." The rumbled sentence was rather hollow sounding, and he started to back up to the appropriate distance, moving into a combat stance - his spear held in the off-hand, ready to be moved to the other, while his other hand held the gun tightly, watching Megatron - allowing him the first move.
Megatron nods one last time; if Kick-Off had tried to attack first, everyone would have noticed -- including Megatron himself. He transforms his arm into his energon flail and swings it, racing toward his enemy with a roar. Once again, memories of past fights race through his processor and he takes strength from them now, his spark surging with battle rage.
Robustus waits for the first blow to land, there was no doubt bets on who'd land it first.
Startled at how FAST Megatron moved, Kick off only had moments to respond. His ranged weapon phased out, and he brought the spear around quickly - a longer-range weapon than the flail as that glowing ball of energon went right past the metal shaft of the spear, THROUGH part of Kick Off's arm. He bellowed in pain, the metal ripped as sparks flew. He pulled back a step to get his spear back into range, one-handedly dropping the tip under the arm of that flail and jabbing it to the gap in the armor with a grunt of effort, knowing he'll need power to do any real damage.
Megatron smirks as his mace connects, sending sparks flying. Then he grunts as his opponent's spear pierces his shoulder. He pulls his arm back and kicks hard at Kick-Off's chest, giving his shoulder a moment to recover before swinging his mace again.
Robustus grimaces twice but keeps his mouth shut and optics wide open as the injuries begin.
Knifepoint's smirk only widens as Megatron smashes part of Kick-Off's arm. Serves the glitchling right. One wing twitches in annoyance as Kick-Off manages to score a hit in retaliation, but he shrugs it off. Megatron will still make short work of the mech, after all.
Twisting, Kick off grasped the spear with the wounded arm as well, working to keep a grip on it. He took the kick, grunting as his reinforced chestplate compacted a full notable amount. Blue optics narrowed to sapphire slots, the gladiator shoved again with the spear, trying to peirce where he had moments ago without withdrawing it.
Charr paced behind Robustus "How's he doing? " he asked, then winced and looked away, unable to watch. not for the violence, but for other reasons.
Meanwhile a white form landed beside Knifepoint. A pause. Echo glanced to him. "Oh hey." he notes, not wanting to start a fight today as his optics quickly went to the battle "What did I miss?"
Robustus intones toward Charr, "As well as can be expected against a superior foe. I just hope he remembers what I told him."
Megatron twists away from the spear strike. It misses the cabling in his shoulder, but scores a deep line down his arm. It stings enough to make his optics flicker briefly, but he is a veteran of countless battles, in pits and out of them. He whirls his mace again and brings it down, aiming for his enemy's already-damaged chest.
Knifepoint scowls as Echo lands beside him, and he glares at the other mech. "Did we not have a conversation about you not speaking to me anymore?" He hisses, turning his attention back to the match dismissively.
This time, Kick-off was forced to leap back, receivinga glancing blow that left long scrapes that sparked from the energy flail down his chestplate, like the clawings of some great creature. He rumbled again, not speaking as he retreated a few steps, one hand to his chestplate a moment before flicking a little leaking fluid away. Sidestepping, he circles, waiting for an opening. Then his spear dissapears as he dives sideways, and then springs forwards, a signature move that gave him his arena name - Kick off in a flurry of sand that showered some people behind him as he lunged towards Megatron now, the full weight of his body behind the spear he held with a loud grunt of effort.
Charr blinks at Robustus, then asks suspiciously "What DID you tell my gladiator? "
Echo lifts both hands "Hey, just trying to make amends... ooh, " he falls silent, focusing now on the fight as Kick Off leapt forwards
Knifepoint narrows his optics as Kick-Off lunges toward Megatron, not bothering to look away from the fight as he responds to Echo. "You want amends, go to the Autoslag. The nicest thing you could ever do for me would be die slowly and horribly in a pit. Preferably at my hands."
Megatron drops into a deep crouch and twists to one side as Kick-Off lunges toward him. He isn't quite fast enough to evade the strike and the spear bites deeply into his side, the force of Kick-off's leap sending both of them crashing to the arena sands.
Megatron transforms his arm again -- this close to his enemy, there's no room to swing his mace -- and grabs for anything exposed that he can reach, his hands ripping at the cabling in his opponent's abdomen.
As the fight turned to true unarmed struggling, Kick off was on top at first. But as they both grappled for dominance he gasped, a few important pieces damaged by the ripping hands of the Emperor. He was above for only a moment, soon rolling across the sand. If he was pinned, it was over, and as he rocked to keep the roll going and perhaps turn their positions again, a fist swung sideways to hook at Megatron's faceplate, optics blazing almost white as for the first time since that day in medical bay, he stared at Megatron's own red optics.
"Eesh." mutters Echo, wondering who emptied their oilpan in Knifepoint's morning energon. He doesn't speak to the other again, staring as they started to roll. "Come on. Pin that groundpounder." he mutters, mostly to himself as he shouted then, cheering.
Charr meanwhile, cringes again and looks away, muttering unhappily beside Robustus "Let him yield, let him yield... "
Knifepoint stays silent himself, optics still narrowed as he watches Kick-Off struggle against Megatron. He pushes away from the railing slightly, straightening to be able to see the fight better.
Robustus watches on quietly, not saying a word, just keeping track of injuries and prioritizing as the fight draws out.
Megatron's faceplates buckle as Kick-Off's fist connects. He shakes his head to clear it and quickly recovers. A mech doesn't win in the deathmatch pits if one hit to the face brings him down for long. And as his optics refocus, he sees Kick-Off's blue optics flicker in fear.
He snickers softly. "You're not built for this, are you?" he rasps as they roll, trusting to his strength and weight. "You're big. You're strong. But you aren't made for war. You're trained for it, as best you can be. But you aren't one of us."
He arches back as they skid to a stop, to better sneer down at the mech pinned under him. "But that leaves you with two choices, gladiator: learn to be, or die."
Pinned fully, Kick-off twists under Megatron, trying every trick he could - and most of them would have worked against any other gladiator practically, except for this one. His hands grapple with Megatron's arms as the fight pauses a moment - a power struggle now, of sheer might between the two. Kick off grunted back, his voice tight and weak from putting his energy into his muscles for now "I... I strive my best to learn my... my place... My lord." his vocals static a little, chest grinding loudly as pistons and parts struggle to keep Megatron from throttling him or striking him.
Echo inhales a little bit, just as anxious as Knifepoint as he shouts "Finish him!"
Charr hears a few others shouting that, and comes to stand beside Robustus, optics wide, not sure to cheer on the emperor or hope for a mercy.
Knifepoint smirks as Kick-Off is pinned, leaning against the railing again. "Pathetic, glitchling." He murmurs, wings twitching in amusement. "I almost expected more from you."
Robustus frowns at the calls to 'finish him' and 'end it'. He moves to grab his cart of medical supplies, ready to run out there with the other medics.
Megatron's fists fly as he aims strike after strike at Kick-Off's already dented chest. He pulls at the mangled chest plates, tearing them open, the light from the spark beneath illuminating his silver face. He hears the crowd roar and knows very well what they are chanting for. A wave of emotion roils through his spark at the memory of hundreds of fights in the pits of Kaon, ending just like this, the fallen mechs' lives his to claim at his leisure as the stands erupted in triumphant cries.
He stops, willing himself to focus on the present. "I told you that you have a choice, Kick-Off. Change or die." His optics flare blindingly bright. "See that you make it, or I promise you: *you will be destroyed.* Not by me -- by your own weakness."
With that, he stands, glaring down at the defeated mech's ravaged frame.
Biting back the cries of pain, Kick Off's body twitched as the reinforced chestplate was torn along the earlier wounds, revealing the laser core chamber and internal wiring, the locked transformation cog and other things. His opticals flashed as screens of damage reports scrolled by, and only through sheer willpower was the pain emitted only by a short cry finally as the last peice was tossed across the floor of the arena. He stopped moving, struggling to stay online as he stared up at Megatron, half waiting for it, and willing to meet it with his own observing.
As the Emperor stood, he still did not move, but he panted out "Y.. yes my lord. I understand." in a pained voice.
Echo sits back, looking somewhat disappointed, but cheering also for his leader nonetheless.
Charr sighs, relieved and started to applaud.
Robustus glances back at Charr a moment, then over to the other medics as a stretcher is picked up. Then as one they rush the two participants.
Knifepoint tilts his helm slightly, expression going totally neutral as he watches Megatron rise and the medics enter the arena. He lets out a thoughtful hum before pushing himself away from the railing, shrugging to himself.
Echo sidesteps out of Knifepoint's way, watching him quizzically "Going already?"
Knifepoint cocks an optic ridge at Echo. "Unfortunately for you, I'm waiting to be dismissed. Lord Megatron has won, and made his decision to let the glitchling gladiator live, so the fight's over. Besides, I actually have work to do."
Ignoring the pain in his side, Megatron waves a hand as the medics approach him. "Decepticons," he calls in a ringing voice. "Remember what you have seen today. I called you here not only for entertainment but to remind you of something too many of you have begun to forget. We are warriors, united in purpose, the fist of a great Empire that soon will rise to crush its enemies. I fought once in these very pits, for the amusement of others. But amusement alone does not forge a destiny. Take pride in my victory over someone who doubted our might -- but remember that I fought today not only to avenge an insult to myself, but to demonstrate the worth of the Decepticon cause and the strength of those who fight for it."
Coughing a few times, Kick Off rolls a little to his side, a hand over his sparking chest now. His head hung, properly chastised and humble, although his optics still blazed as his venting system worked to cool his engine, the sand now a thick mud below him as the hover stretcher and Robustus arrives. "... Ugh." is all he could say to them.
Knifepoint smirks again, raising his voice for the first time since the fight began. "Glory to the Decepticon Empire!" He calls out over the cheers, "And its rightful leader!”