A side effect, intended or not, of Megatron's order for overtime: Goa has had plenty of time after-breem to get a feel for how the pits work. With all the cleanup, more of a feel for the pits themselves than he'd like -- they aren't called 'grease' for nothing, he's found. And, he's figured, why mess up a good thing? What better use for the little off-time he gets -- beyond recharge -- than to keep an eye on the ceremonies, the fights? Sticking in the audience during Shred's duel was enlightening ... even if he wasn't quite yet enough of a good Decepticon to be cheering for her. So /that's/ how you down something not made of meat.
As per the grounder's knack for making other Cybertronians either a fast friend or fast enemy, he waves off a couple of the maintenance crew -- checking up on his armor or something? -- as the gates roll open. Blades hanging at his shoulders, occasionally clicking against his back, Goa practically marches out into the arena, optics twitchily scanning for his opponent. Seems he's found some measure of pride in his work down here. Or at least confidence.
And who should come through those gates but the Air Commander himself? Starscream walks into the pit, glances around, then fixes his gaze on Goa. "So, you are to be my opponent? This should be interesting. Prepare yourself Soldier. I will not go easy on you!" He sets himself in an attack stance.
Slipstream returns to the sidelines to watch the next bout, which should be Goa and someone else.. who though isn't sure. It's going to be a surprise. Knowing Megatron, it won't be a surprise Goa will like too much.. or maybe he'll find some humor in it. As she settles she notices Starscream there. Megatron would instruct the two to make it a good clean fight of course.. yeah.. right!
Goa's optics find their focus, and the mech reflexively starts strafing to the side. That was interesting. Shred stripped her wings for the occasion -- wouldn't another seeker in the arena follow the example of a previous champion? Red, white... With a scuff of rubber against the -- might he add, meticulously sweeped -- ground, he stops in his tracks. "... Starscream?" His jaw hangs, antennae clicking out to adopt a baffled asymmetrical tilt. Well, what the /slag/. /That/ was why they wouldn't tell him. The mech's blades rise slightly and he regains his composure, antennae away. Did he know beforehand, or was he just being an arrogant fragger? Did he stage this? "I read that.." His optics reduce to thin red beams. "More prepared than you, /sir/." Goa spits the honorific, of course. He finds his mind wandering less to questions of conspiracy and more of what tactics the flier has on the ground... dental plates bared, Goa draws one scythe from his shoulder, snapping it straight. He holds it in a stabbing position in one hand, out to the side, the other ready to grapple.
Starscream of course is an arrogant fragger, and this matchup is just as much a surprise to him as it is to Goa. However, he doesn't let on. He darts towards Goa, attempting to grapple him to the ground. Now he'll put the Academy wrestling training to good use! He says nothing as he attempts to take Goa down with a flying tackle.
Starscream rolls 11
To slip away, Goa rolls 9.
Slipstream watches on quietly as the crowd starts cat calling for some action. Starscream naturally takes the first move. <Kick his aft plating in Goa.>
Goa bounces backward on his heels apprehensively as Starscream charges, a few meters until the seeker impacts. Bulrush the bull rusher...? The shock of the impact fuzzes his sensors a second, and the crowd rings in his audials for just a nanosec. Not the processor cycles or enough of a turborat's aft to process who they're cheering /for/. He doesn't put up much resistance going down, intentionally or environmentally, his roof slides rather smoothly against the arena floor, no traction. Maybe he could improve on Shred's strategy ... so long as he can keep his limbs free, anyway -- Goa curls his legs under him, putting his tires to Starscream's chest, and burns rubber. A moment afterward, he brings his afterburners on, temporarily enshrouding both fighters in smoke. They aren't anywhere near as powerful as a proper jet, but the explosive force has to hurt. In the meantime, the foot soldier’s arms flail with deceptive strength for their size -- the free hand grasping at whatever he can find (though a wing would be preferable), the armed one hooking the blade and struggling to get it snagged somewhere into Starscream's back. And given the opportunity, he'll just as eagerly bite and snap at the seeker's face. Clean fight, no bitterness at all...
To have a tangible effect with any of this flailing, Goa rolls 19.
To evade, Starscream rolls 7
Starscream yelps as something does get hooked into his back. The snapping Goa is liable to get a punch to the face from the Air Commander. He struggles to get whatever-it-is out of his back armor. "Insolent cur!" he shouts at Goa, "I am your superior. You cannot defeat me!" He then attempts to backhand his opponent.
Starscream rolls 3
To get a li'l electrogator action going on, Goa rolls 12.
Slipstream grimaces a bit as Goa gets caught by that flying tackle, but moves to take advantage of it if at all possible. <That's my grounder!> The crowd is cheering and screaming now as goa pulls that move off. <Show him what for!>
With an impassive look, unmoved by Starscream's screeching, Goa stabs that scythe in as deep as he can get it, and hangs on as if it were his free pass to Decepticon command's high grade supply. Spare hand dug into Starscream's shoulder, he finds he can't block the commander's strikes to his face. That doesn't stop him from trying -- for his troubles, Starscream gets a pair of sharp dental plates dug into his hand with a snap. Maybe that'll get him to shriek a minute and stay distracted while Goa releases his stabilizing grip and pulls a second scythe out. This one is locked at a 90 degree angle as well, and he pauses just a /fraction/ of an astrosecond before stabbing it forward, presumably to get it dug in like the other. No, just going for the jugular, as it were, wouldn't do. Goa wants to <humiliate> this mech.
To attack, Goa rolls 13.
To Evade, Starscream 5
Starscream yeowches again, and gets very, very angry. Trying to struggle free of the grip and the sharp pointies dug into him, he struggles to stand and then attempts to curb stomp his fellow combatant. Fuel leaks from the slice in his neck.
Slipstream applauds as Goa is getting the upper hand on Starscream, <That's it Goa, keep it up!> The crowds are just going nuts now, even if Megatron may look vaguely.. impressed?... hard to tell.. the mech is pulling a full on expressionless mask as he watches on.
Starscream rolls 7
To evade, Goa rolls 13.
His 'work' done, Goa continues to hang on for dear life. At the first, slightest opening, he heaves his arms forward with a burst at his heel exhausts, meaning to flip onto Starscream's back. With any luck, he'd be riding the jet out of this fight. Without it ... well, at least he'd (probably) land on his feet. The grounder himself is unusually soundless, no snarls or squawks of rage to be heard. Either he's in far too good a mood about this, or he /really/ hates it.
To pull off some acrobatics, Goa rolls 19.
To evade, Starscream rolls 10
"GET -OFF- ME, YOU!!!!" Starscream hollers as Goa lands on his back. Unwilling to be used as a conveyance, Starscream bucks forward in an attempt to dislodge Goa from his back, like a bucking Igyak. Hopefully pitching forward onto his hands will send the other Decepticon FLYING.
Slipstream stands now as she watches on, <That's it press your advantage, keep him unbalanced.> she sends over the link, cheering on the grounder in her way while the crowds continue to hoot and holler.
Starscream rolls 16
To hang on, Goa rolls 7.
Maybe not like Shred, but Starscream can /move/! Goa, barely after getting his heels dug into the air commander's back -- and he had the perfect smug expression for later, too! -- is caught off guard and sent ... well, flying. This happens to be one of those lucky, happy moments that he remembers he can fly. He stabilizes his tumble, lands crouched, and finally makes some noise -- a hiss, as he's curled back, presumably to leap back forward--? No, he leaps straight up, as fast as the boosters Shred installed will take him. Idiot ... at least he won't be racking up any points in 'predictability', but as an an /armored car/, Goa is just a little bit out of his element. (no attack roll)
And as Goa remembers he can fly, Starscream decides to. He tears off into the air after his combat partner, afterburners blazing. "You won't get away from me that easily," he says. If he catches Goa, he's going to try to fling him to the ground.
Starscream rolls a 9
Goa rolls a 6.
Slipstream watches on, studying how that just happened and offering a few pointers to help Goa get that upper hand again, <Go for his left side, seems to be protecting it just a hint. Try hitting the side and wing at once if you can.>
Goa takes advantage his one-or-two second gain to shout right back. "Do I ever?" He turns to face the incoming flier -- perhaps he has some idea to goad and regain a grip on Starscream -- and is just as soon gripped himself. And thrown again, though not for any lack of clawing at the other mech's arms and wing edges. He plummets like a rock, and lands with a thud that reverbs in the stands a little. Ow.
To do any damage with that grasping, Goa rolls 2.
To escape unscathed, Starscream rolls 13
Starscream rockets towards the ground, feet first. Another attempt at Curb stomping! Only from like, very high up. Hopefully Goa doesn't move too quickly once he hits bottom.
Starscream rolls 19
Goa rolls 15
Megatron's red steely gaze remains fixed on the fight. Megatron wonders why Starscream doesn't attack in that last round, especially since that leaves the air commander open to Goa's aggressive advantage. Lucky enough for the air commander, Goa misses his mark with his grasping.
Slipstream shakes her head a bit, <He's found your weak spot, need to counter when he goes for it Goa. Now then hit that wing near the body on the left side already.>
It does take Goa an unwise moment to reorient himself after the fall, optics refocusing on ... something falling, very fast, right at his face. Instantly he tucks all his limbs in and transforms, better every form of alignment in his engine than his jaw sheared off -- the impact warps his frame, as the comparatively thin armor of his underbody folds under the impact and weight of Starscream. <.. weak spot is not being armed.> It hurts like the pit ... but no bad fuel lines. Good. As soon as he gets the diagnostic, he rockets away on his rear engines, hoping to topple the seeker.
To disbalance and disorient, Goa rolls 16.
Starscream rolls a 19 for great justice
Starscream somehow manages...to not fall over! Instead he remains balanced on Goa. Who's taking whom for a ride, now? Yee-ha! And for good measure, Starscream attempts to dig his finger in to the already bent frame to keep his grip.
Megatron watches in amusement as Starscream lands on top of Goa, and rides on top of his vehicle form triumphantly. Megatron is pleased at Goa's current humiliation at the hands of Starscream as he chalks down another hit in Starscream's favor. Won't be long until the bell tolls...
No more eager to be toyed with than Starscream, Goa tires after a couple of bursts skidding along on his back. His opponent taking the hubris to poke and prod at his injuries is his cue to transform and grab at Screamer's extended arm, one hand digging into the elbow with a death grip, the other taking a swing at his face. He's either going to pull his opponent flat or drag himself to his feet.
To connect, Goa rolls 18.
To evade, Starscream rolls 9
Slipstream grimaces a bit at the impact, having to bring up the walls on the link with him to keep the pain at bay.
Hmph. Serves Starscream right for acting so smugly while riding on top Goa, as Starscream's complacency allows Goa to land his blow. Megatron chalks another hit up for Goa, and notes that this fight is surprisingly close... Goa must have been practicing. Either that, or Starscream is out of practice or complacent about his abilities.
Starscream ends up getting dragged and face punched. Enraged, the Air Commander tries to sweep Goa right off his feet. Literally. If there's one thing Seekers love doing, it's kicking. And if he doesn't kick Goa's legs out from under him, he will be very pissed indeed. "Have a nice trip, and I'll see you next fall!"
Starscream rolls a 13
Goa rolls 2.
Goa finally responds to all the noise on his link with Slipstream. Though with her dulling measures, it may be a lost cause ... his response to Starscream's kicking, on the other hand, is a hop, a jump, and a hover in the air on his burners. Bad idea. Redlining. They sputter out from under him, and he lands all too firmly on his feet. They are shortly swept from under him -- though the dialogue may be more painful... He collapses on Starscream, immediately hooks his fingers into the left side of his chassis under whatever plate he can find. If he can, he'll rip at it with all his might.
As Starscream lands his sixth hit, Megatron chalks up the win in Starscream's column. He expected no less than a win from his air commander, and would have given Starscream hell if he had lost to Goa. After the hit lands and the dust settles, Megatron sounds the bell to indicate the end of the fight.
Slipstream shakes her head a bit to Goa, <Can try, but you are talking to the femme that got beated by Nitrogear of all mechs.> she relays. But of course it is a lost cause when Starscream gets that last point he needs and Megatron calls it. <Nice try though.>
For ripping attack, Goa rolls 2.
to evade, Starscream rolls 2
Reroll: Goa rolls 15.
For Great Justice, Starscream rerolls 1
Starscream sure does get ripped. And not in a good way. He screams in abject pain as some armor is torn right off him. He retaliates by reaching out with his own fingers to try to pry and tear off some of Goa's armor. "You wretch!" he snaps, as he wrestles.
Starscream rolls a 10
To make off with his prize, Goa rolls 15.
The bell CONTINUES to ring, followed by Megatron's raspy voice. "DECEPTICONS! HALT!" Megatron will break out the thing he knows will stop the fight immediately, should the pair continue to fight. Such would be considered disobeying his commands, as he instructed at the start of the fight.
Slipstream sighs and shakes her head, <Goa just stop already before you get shot and we both end up in repair bay with an unhappy Robustus and Shred.>
After a few awkward twists to keep his inconveniently grip-sized, orange flank armor at worst a wire-width away from Starscream's hands, Goa wrestles himself free, standing and kicking his opponent's arm away before leaping out of reach, red plate still in hand. "You heard him," The grounder sneers down at the air commander. "Fight's over."
Starscream sneers, but relents. After all, what Megatron says, goes. "So it is," he says to Goa. He then turns to look at Megatron. "Well?" he asks, "What do you think?
Slipstream moves away from the sidelines now as the fight is over. "Robustus is around if you want to be fixed now... or you can always hope Shred is in the mood." she notes to them both over short range.
The assembled crowd breaks out into an even louder cheer. Starscream's final, victorious blow to Goa replays over the holo-vid while Megatron waits for the contenders to report before him. Chants of Starscream's name (however unlikely) are heard from the stands as the crowd awaits the official decision. Megatron rasps angrily at Starscream, "What do I think? What do I THINK!? Do you forget to address your EMPORER, Starscream? Now take your positions before me."
- quietly stashes his 'prize' in his subspace while Starscream and Megatron are doing their thing. He strides to take his place before Megatron, a half-cocked grin on even as he addresses the Decepticon Emperor. In a jovial tone, no less, like he was greeting an old friend. "Lord Megatron, great leader." It might be the rush ... but the outcome of this fight, even as it's chanted around him, doesn't seem to bother the little green mech at all.
Goa quietly stashes his 'prize' in his subspace while Starscream and Megatron are doing their thing. He strides to take his place before Megatron, a half-cocked grin on even as he addresses the Decepticon Emperor. In a jovial tone, no less, like he was greeting an old friend. "Lord Megatron, great leader." It might be the rush ... but the outcome of this fight, even as it's chanted around him, doesn't seem to bother the little green mech at all.
"Yes, Emperor Megatron," Starscream says somewhat sulkily. He takes his place as ordered, waiting for Megatron's further instructions. He casts a sideways daggers glance at Goa in the meantime.
Slipstream nudges Goa, <Supposed to KNEEL.>
Goa falls to one knee slowly.
Megatron finally addresses the contenders as they take their positions. The holo-vid turns to Megatron's steely mug as he announces the winner. "Decepticons. You both fought well and should take great pride in your performance today. The final scores are: Starscream, six. Goa, three. Declaring the winner by TKO: Starscream!" Megatron's raspy voice carries Starscream's name over the arena's loudspeakers, making the fight official. Cheers erupt from the crowd as they chant the name of their newest victor: Starscream.
Slipstream shakes her head a bit,
"Decepticons, rise. And Starscream, your public awaits." Megatron rasps, his open palm gesturing to the frantic crowd in the stands. "Gladiators, take your leave of the pits. You first, Goa." Megatron rasps, relaxing back into his tall metal throne. With this, the holo-vid immediately changes cameras, now displaying Starscream on live feed.
Goa feels Starscream's optics on him, and grins. As far as he is concerned, he's won this match. Of course a /real/ win would've been nice, but Megatron is the judge -- even if he'd ripped the commander's wings off and paraded them around, his name would never have gone up. He just needed to prove that he can, and would, overpower the mech in a straight-up fight. That he was up to it. He rises, and nods toward Starscream, without ever looking directly at him. "Should get those knives out of your back before some idiot tries to snag a souvenir." A moment's bow to Megatron, and he turns to leave the arena, head held high. Despite what words might be thrown at it from the stands.
Slipstream moves beside Goa as he heads out, <Did good out there. Maybe Starscream and Megatron will respect you a bit more now.>
Starscream also exits, feeling somewhat smugly self-satisfied. At least that whelp didn't beat him. He heads directly to the medic, with the intent of getting those blades out of his back. Because of the placement of his wings, he cannot reach them himself.