Goa transforms into his vehicle mode as he leaves the Polyhex fortress. Vanilla patrol for him this cycle ... if his injuries didn't force him to be conservative after yesterday's fiasco that shredded his face and tires (the latter has auto-repaired to usable degree), then his conversation with Slipstream certainly had. He almost seems twitchy on the gears.
Slipstream exits not long after Goa, but just enough time to make it look like they were separate arrivals. Keeping up this appearance of things being normal is important to the femme at least. She glances over at him, "Do try to stay out of trouble, Gooey." she offers to him.
Goa sighs over the radio. "Look, its Goa logic alright, you say 'out of trouble', I hear 'trouble'." At least she seems to be hanging back now. Though he isn't sure whether to be less or more tense about that.
Megatron Megatron is already here in the hangar, standing nearly on the edge of open space. He appears deep within a cycle of thought, staring out into the orange-reddish hue of the horizon. As the two Cons enter the bay, he awaits for them to greet him.
Slipstream smiles a bit at the grounder, then notices the silvery form of Megatron. She straightens so quickly, offering the salute that Cons use to greet superiors. "Power to the Decepticons." its perfect rote.. too perfect. <Your logic will drive me crazy if I let it, love.> she notes softly via the link.
Goa grinds to a halt. He might not have noticed the Emperor standing there were it not for Slipstream's sudden change in demeanor. With a nanosec's reluctance, he transforms into an identical salute. "Sir."
Megatron returns the salute to his two Decepticons. "Power to the Decepticons." Lowering his salute, Megatron decides to inquire as to their tasking. "What tasking are you two headed out on?" Megatron asks directly and to the point.
Slipstream lifts her chin a bit, wings flexing slightly behind her. "Aerial patrols sir, staring here and circling around outwards until I hit all the areas we control, sir."
Goa glances over at the seeker. He rocks just a centimeter back and forth on his heel tires before returning his attention to Megatron. "Sir. Pa-- Enforcing the edge of Decepticon territory." <What does he want?> He asks over the bond, paralyzed with suspicion.
Megatron folds his hands in front of his red optics, and strums the top of his fingers together. "Excellent. While you two are out on patrols, I want you to run scans to find out where these shadow creatures came from. Do not enter their lair or disturb them. I do not want any more infections on my hands."
Slipstream looks a little stunned for a few long motions. "Scans..." she glances at Goa a moment, "I.. we.. we see what we can do sir.. though the notion of getting too close to them gives me the surges. One already tried to take me over once, there's a good chance they learned from their mistake and will try again."
Goa briefly wonders if Megatron is aware of his resistance to Shambleau occupation. Then he wonders why he cares so much -- he's getting an easy break. Neither thought makes him any less scared-stupid. "... c-certainly. Sir." He looks over at Slipstream, turning his helmet completely, more than a glance. That was the scared ... and now the stupid. "Ssss...Slipstream doesn't have to leave the sky." He looks back forward and up again, "The parasites don't like me. To infect, I mean. I can go looking without a problem." Why the details? Slagging CPU. They'd find their own way anyway.
"Hmmm." Megatron considers that for a moment, "Are you absolutely sure of that, Goa? I do not want to take any unnecessary risks. If you know you are immune, then conduct the scans. I want ZERO more infections of any of my troops." Megatron is making his point clear that he's trying to keep the both of you in tip-top shape
Slipstream looks at Goa sidelong, putting on her best 'brave soldier' face she can muster. She feels a surge of pride toward Goa that he wants to protect her from those things, especially after what happened to her. She looks back toward Megatron, "Sir, the only reason we even rid of those things was because of the crystals that came from the Blarney Comet. I'm not sure if my cure I got some cycles back is still working. Shred may know more."
Megatron thinks for a moment, weighing the benefits of conducting the scan, versus the risks of infection. He calculates that chance of infection would be low, considering he is not even having his Cons enter the lair. He just wants the lair FOUND.
Goa starts to shrink away slightly, but Slipstream manages to bring him back out of his shell. He plays it off as a shift before standing up tall instead. "I'm not certain, sir. Didn't have any trouble in their hive." The mech isn't as certain of the shambleau's intelligence as Slipstream is ... but he wasn't around to see what they can do to a transformer, either. "Someone's got to have a look." It was him or Firestorm, after all. But he was going to leave that detail out, if he could.
Starscream strokes his chin as he enters, hearing the conversation now. Ah, the infectious agent that caused some of the Decepticons to go mad...they were finally going to purge that from Cybertron once and for all? Sounds good to him. "Mighty Megatron, it would be my pleasure to lead a team of Decepticons to eliminate this threat."
Megatron 's red optics turn towards Starscream as he enters the hangar. "Ah, Starscream. Excellent. Go with Slipstream and Goa, and conduct scans for the lair of these shadow creatures. DO NOT Enter the lair. Also , disturb it as little as possible. I want ZERO more infections of my Decepticons."
Slipstream glances at Goa again, wondering when he went back down there to look into it.. or if she misheard him. "We will do our best, sir." she offers. Now only waiting to be dismissed.
Goa blinks at Starscream. He bites back a smirk as he remembers that he hasn't had any wing-walking practice in a while. "Understood." Performing the salute he only knows from imitating Slip, "Sir."
"As you command, Mighty Megatron," Starscream says, a little too cheerfully. His smile seems pasted on. Perhaps this will be his chance to show his Leader just how superior he is!
"Starscream, I expect a full report as to your findings and the location of the lair after your return. Now Go." Megatron points towards the open skies of the hangar, indicating it's time to head out.
Slipstream arrives to the Sealed Up Downramp area first, her scanners already working. She does /not/ like being down here. But to defy Megatron is insubordination which can equate to punishment. She rather deal with that thing that takes over bodies than Megatron. Ah the irony of that thought.
Goa is trundling pretty slow over ground. None of the typical impatience of the car -- he easily lags behind the seekers. He might've tried to snag a ride on Slipstream, but no sense in making her _land_ near there. And getting Starscream to agree to the same would've been ... interesting. Another time. His headlights click on as he starts getting a map of the area scanned out.
Starscream approaches the coordinates, scanning carefully. He hopes there's no creatures within. Now all that remained was what to do if they found anything. There was no way he was going inside the lair, so it was a good thing Megatron had forbidden it anyway.
The Shambleau are most active in this area that they call their home, though they stay near the lair as they await bodies to inhabit. Bodies coming here is few and far between, but it does happen. The approach of bodies stirs up the lair though as a few exit and wait to see if the approaching Decepticons come closer.
Slipstream approaches slowly, cautiously. Scanners working overtime to see if those things appear on her sensors. One of them shimmers her way, circling her like it is sizing her up. She catches the flicker of blackness. "They're heeerrreee."
Goa startles and blares on his horn like an idiot to see if that affects the invisible things in any way. <Get back in the sky, Slip. Now.>
Skystalker is also approaching the coordinates, however unlike other seeker's this reverse winged star fighter is high up in Cybertron's atmosphere.. well out of Shambleau range. His long ranged sensors and radar are picking up multiple bleeps from down below him. He thinks he'll just monitor things from up here, at least he's well out of trouble's way ad his missiles with the aid of the planet's gravity can still reach down to the planet’s surface.
Slipstream glances around, trying to spot the thing again. Also looking for the exact location of the lair itself so she doesn't bump right into the darn thing. That's when something comes out of the lair, just off to her right. A whole mob of creatures at first, snarling and vicious. She transforms out of panic, missing the fact that the one Shambleau slips into her and out of her quickly. Apparently her 'cure' is still working enough that the residual radiation will keep it at bay. But this one doesn't die like the first. This could be bad. "And what about you, mister Grounder." she mutters, flying a tight circle in the area as slow as she can manage. The mob of creatures is headed straight at Goa and Starscream both.
Goa kicks straight into reverse, flipping his scythes out in front of him with a loud ring of metal on metal. He couldn't see any of the shadow-things around. But he knew slagging well they were there, courtesy the crazy flickering in his optical sensors. He activates his afterburners, but doesn't do anything with them -- the reactor activity usually sets his crystals a-radiatin'. Goa keys his radio on the general Decepticon military frequency. "They're /ticked/. Suggest we back out."
Starscream backpedals very quickly as he sees what is coming. "AGH, I don't want to be infected!" he shouts as he keeps his optics on the shadow creatures and tries to put as much distance between himself and them. He's scanning them and not getting much information. "Agreed!" he says to Goa, "RETREAT!"
Slipstream fires upon the charging mob of creatures, killing several of them on the spot. What Shambleau is infecting them die with it since they are so well integrated with their hosts. Then two transformers come out of the lair, staring at the Decepticons. One is a elderly Decepticon, the other an elderly Autobot. Standing together, shoulder to shoulder, glaring after the mob that keeps going toward the group. "Are you seeing what I'm seeing?" she radios back, keeping her lasers going to kill more of the mob of creatures that are headed for Goa and Starscream.
Goa sighs to himself. Trust Starscream to turn a tactical suggestion into a shrieking, ingenious retreat -- well, it's a motivation to keep his composure, at least. He is slower in reverse than a mob of Shambleau zombies. However, his grenades are much faster than both. He lobs two flak grenades in front of himself, unsure how much damage he's done in the smoke and chaff. But aside, he can see more emerging from the ... well, THAT must be their lair. He makes note of that on his map, and takes scans of the new possessed as he continues to withdraw from the area. "Think so. Recognize anybody?"
The mob of creatures keep coming, their bodies splatter as the flak grenades trigger among them. The mob is dwindling quickly. This sends the two Transformers into action, stalking toward the group. But no weapons in hand.
Slipstream keeps shooting, striking creatures left and right. "Hmm, give me a bit to search my history banks." she murmurs. Circling around to get a good visual scan on both.
Starscream shrieks and starts shooting. "Back! BACK, you monsters!" he howls, trying to scare off the approaching mob.
Goa transforms onto his feet, scythes already in hand. He wasn't going to get much further rolling blindly, and these things look pretty shabby. One tries to blindside him and is summarily bisected without a second look. Probably fortunate that no other 'Cons are nearby -- calm as he's been so far, he's still twitchy as long as Slip's in danger. "Get your scan and go. We got what we came for."
Slipstream finishes her visual scans and heads toward Goa and Starscream. "Think I got a match on the Decepticon." she calls down. She took scans of the creatures as they died as well. Just for comparison to the live scans. Hopefully it will be all they need for now. "Sounds like a plan to me." she replies.
The biggest of the beasts snarl, coming to a halt as they stand next to the two elderly Transformers. Then they charge toward the group, one leaping up at Slipstream, another charging Goa, the third after Starscream. This is the last of the creatures too.
Goa knows plenty about mindless husks, and charging too. He isn't going to let this get him off balance -- he holds both blades up. If the thing's stupid enough to keep moving toward him, it'll skewer itself for him and save him the effort.
Slipstream feels something claw and bite into her wing and she comes down hard with an audible oof combined with the thunk of metal and shower of sparks from her impact. The thing snarls through its grip on her wing. The femme curses in a very unladylike manner from the pain. With her lasers facing toward the front, she cannot shoot the thing in jet form. She is forced to transform, the thing barely blinks as she shoves her pistol into its mouth and fires. It dies on the spot, but the grip on her wing remains. Jaws locked in place no doubt. She tries to shove that mouth open to free herself from the dead body. Slowly she works the teeth free and energon flows freely from her wounded wing. "Let's get the slag out of here." she growls.
<Slip!> is Goa's overwhelming thought -- distracting him the moment the creature plows face-first into his defense, no regard for its own safety as both blades sink into its shoulders and neck. He only gets a grip on what's happening after he's skidding along on his back; and starts kicking at its chest, blasting his primed afterburners to scorch the thing. That doesn't seem to perturb it, but the deeper his scythes sink in, the less inclined it is to snap at its face, and it soon collapses, hefted away to the Decepticon's side. That ... was stupid, is all he can muse to himself as he scrambles away from the hive.
Slipstream beats a retreat for home, but she's certainly not flying with that injury, she's running. Yes running. <i'll live.>she assures Goa, knowing he's probably following right after her. Starscream probably is already back at base. She frown and wills herself to hover up toward hanger bay, energon flowing from that wound only faster from the run over. She lands, glancing around to see if Megatron is still here. <Repair Bay with me.> she notifies Goa.
Megatron is in the hangar bay, like he was waiting for his troops' safe return. Upon seeing the battered crew's return, he addresses Starscream. "Starscream, get them to the Repair bay. Have Shred also scan for any signs of infection on all of you."
Goa botches his hover into Polyhex; the first sign the hangar sees of him is one claw-scythe hooking the edge of the platform. The rest of the green figure hoists itself in moments afterward. He'd been on his feet the whole way back to -- his /feet/ feet, not skating like he often would -- and his various energy capacitors were unhappy about it. <Get. Get, go.> He takes no mind to look around as he stumbles inside. But he does hear. "Found it, sir," he mumbles, ambling right on by.
Starscream nods at Megatron. "As you command," he says, moving as fast as his feet will carry him. "Come on, Goa, get to the repair bay now!"
Slipstream salutes Megatron briefly, already on her way to med bay.
<Decepticon> Slipstream says, "Incoming wounded Shred."
Slipstream moves into the med bay, Goa and Starscream no doubt right on her tail. The seeker femme takes a table, her wing is bearing damage from claws and a bite wound, the latter is leaking profusely. She finally lets her pain show a little, "Need a data pad." she mutters, "Want to upload those scans while they are fresh."
Goa botches his hover AGAIN, putting a new scratch in the edge of the science division's landing platform. He scrambles up with no more grace, and looks around for somebody to glare at. His tires were being an outright pain now. As soon as he catches back up to Slipstream, though, he seems much more preoccupied with quietly getting drones working on her wing. The information could wait a nanosec. Or, Primus forbid, Starscream could get it.
"There wasn't much to the scans," Starscream mutters, "It's like they are resistant to our efforts to probe them." He fortunately didn't get grabbed by a monster, since he's so fast. But barely fast enough...
Slipstream smiles at Goa's concern for her well being, the drones get to work on her damaged wing, stopping the flow of energon is their first priority. "That was ugly." she mutters softly, sighing in relief as the drones turn off her pain receptors. She glances Goa over to check if got injured or not.
Goa is covered in dust-n-scratches, his back's half-stripped again, and his face still has deep gouges in it from last cycle, but he seems alright. Now he steps -- tiptoes, even -- away to get Slipstream the device she wanted, but not without his glare from earlier landing on Starscream. The data pad lands on the femme's lap, and Goa stands next to her platform, arms crossed. "I don't think our sensors can," he adds. "What wavelengths did you try?"
Slipstream accepts the data pad and retracts the data jack from her helmet to plug it into the pad, "Every wavelength we know of, any scan I could think of, even a few I remembered from Academy days." she replies, uploading the data into the pad. She looks at Goa a few moments, "You make sure you get fixed."
Goa strums his fingers against his forearm's silver guard. "I am fixed," he quips. As soon, his stiffness melts. "You fine? Systems check?" He looks over his shoulder, "You too, Starscream. Anything running over nominal heat?"
Starscream double checks himself. "I appear to be functioning properly," he says.
Slipstream nods a little at Goa, deciding not to argue over it right now. She continues the download. "I'll be fine." she assures him, then the download is finished so she unplugs the jack and places it back into her helmet. "Let's see what I got here."
Goa hops right onto the table under Slipstream's good wing without a second thought. "You thought you'd placed them?" He looks into the data pad, curious.
Slipstream flicks through the scans, looking for the one on the Decepticon and Autobot. "Here we go." she brings up the visual first, "Ah there we are, let's see.." a few punches at the data pad to get a close up of the face. "Oh... dear... Primus..."
Goa puts a hand on her shoulder. "... Who is it?" He looks around the bay again before scooting closer, getting a better look. He doesn't seem to be recognizing anybody, but her ... He quirks his antennae to the sides. It's not like it could be the decay bothering her, after all.
Slipstream freezes the image, tapping over the keys on the data pad to bring up the historical files. She scrolls through the names until she hits the Y's then slows down. "Mmm, no.. no.. no.. ah ha. Here he is." she smiles proudly and brings up the name Yoketron. "Yes, that's him all right."
Goa looks between Slipstream and the pad. He doesn't know the name, but apparently she does. "You have a history? Or ..." He makes a slithering motion with his arm, to represent the shambleau. "He got a history with them? Way those things stopped for him..."
Slipstream scrolls through what there is on Yoketron, "He was dead before my time.. or at least it was presumed he was dead." she pause, "Woah.. he was a master of metallikato /and/ circuit-su. No wonder those things took him, he'd be a mighty ally." she frowns, still scrolling. "Let's see when did he get reported missing."
Goa sits up. History isn't his forte -- he takes a look at the drones' progress on Slipstream's wing instead, curious -- maybe hopeful -- if she won't need formal repairs.
Slipstream reads through his information, finally finding the last reported sighting of the mech in question, "Hmm, he's been gone awhile." she looks over at Goa and smiles. "Guess I've a report to do huh?" she asks.
Goa taps the side of the pad as he traces over the top edge of Slip's good wing. "Give me these files. I'll work on the Autobot." A mischievous glint suits his optics well. May as well hit two mechs with one stone, later on ...
Slipstream smiles a bit to his touch, then gives him the data pad. "I'll have to compose what I want to say in my report anyway." she notes, glancing at the work of the drones. "Where the slag is Shred? She should be here."
Goa takes a quick glance at the pad, then stashes it for later. He doesn't know anything now, and he'll have more time to commit the faces to memory later. "Probably in recharge. Don't think she flies much." He gives Slip another scan-over, "This work for now?"
Slipstream looks over at Goa a moment, then at the drones which are just about done. "Nearly. My report is about ready. I would like to see if you came up with anything on the Autobot that was obviously possessed as well."
Starscream hates doing reports and picks away at his.
Goa shakes his head. "Soon." He looks around the bay again, glancing at the air commander. "I ... should go to Cubicron for this one. You ... sorry." Goa looks sheepish about the idea, actually stepping back a little. <Best from the source.>
Slipstream frowns a bit at Goa, "And you are going there.. why?" she asks, the drone finishes up and she gets off the table. There's a report to file, data to give to scientists that can make sense of it.
"I want to see if there's been anyone else infected, for one." <And I want to talk to Shark.> Goa scuffs one tire against the floor ... and winces. Should probably get those rotated out, on second thought. He hops onto the table opposite Slipstream's and flags a drone over.
Slipstream moves to sit down and get her report in, send that data to Soundwave and Shockwave to study. "Hmm, a good idea. But good luck getting any Autobots to talk about that." she notes.
Goa lays his antenna back as Slip speaks aloud. Hm. A terse "thanks" is his reply -- in the meantime, the drones have pulled away both his shoulder tires, making his frame look a little wider and more awkward than it ought to be. "No booze this time. Promise."
Slipstream smiles a little, then hmms, "Considering where you are going, drink a glass. I think I'll get a recharge in after that little adventure."
Goa passes by Slipstream, a hand gently clapping to her shoulder. "If you insist," he chortles. <Have to.> More sober. He seems to regret not being here, but at least he has a clear image of what to do next. No need to hide.