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AJ_Impy
Jun 17, 2007



Yam Slacker

Skystrike

At least Slam could draw fire without being endangered. Skystrike took the opportunity to try and pinpoint the sniper without overly exposing himself.

Intelligence: +2-0

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Waador
Sep 11, 2001

Smashin' down the light.

Pillbug

Shadowcaster > Cloaked (Skill +4/-2)

Plot posted:

The analysis software all but confirms the theory - KVS isn't about flow rates or Energon transmission. They're looking for something far more important.
He spent a few moments considering the situation -- and, more importantly, reframing his analysis.

He had solved for the variables in the mystery, and in truth it hadn't taken him very long to do so, but what had been his reward? Secret knowledge, yes, but nothing representing a net gain. Indeed, his skill in applied cryptography had merely gifted him with a tremendous burden. Understanding the situation allowed him to predict with a fair degree of accuracy the next few moves on the board, and the rather unpleasant conversations that would follow. Moreover, he was now cursed: before this was over, he would have to slay at least one dragon, and while he would find it truly enjoyable to arrange the board in such a manner so as to ensure his victory, he found it truly annoying that, as usual, he would have to spend the majority of his time carefully averting disaster and calamity for people who could never be allowed to know the danger at hand. Put plainly, he was going to come off as a complete loving rear end in a top hat to everyone involved in this situation, because he couldn't afford for anyone to know he was actually a hero. If they knew the truth, after all, they would know why his actions were heroic, and the whole god drat cycle would repeat. 'Absolutely loving typical', he thought to himself.

Thankfully, as far as he could tell, the Decepticon forces were largely unaware of the risk they now faced -- a situation that needed to be maintained for as long as possible. With only three assailants on the ground, and given the context of the global blackout, the local Decepticon commander was almost certain to perceive this as an attack of opportunity, rather than a surgical strike. In truth, up until a few moments ago, that probably would have actually been an accurate description.

Taking stock of the situation, it seemed that all of the relevant advantages remained on his side, at least for the moment. The global blackout currently served as a significant distraction for both the Autobot and Decepticon forces, and until that matter was resolved their ability to coordinate was going to be impaired. Hardly reduced to zero, he supposed, but it at least created an opportunity for a particularly well-informed group to move about relatively unimpeded. He struggled to think of a way that he might maneuver Slam about the board unseen, though he supposed the answer was obvious -- mine tunnels, and the network of tunnels well below it. Even if cornered, his group shouldn't have any real difficulty escaping through the basement. He wasn't entirely convinced that Slam wouldn't generate a traceable seismic signature as he maneuvered through those tunnels in a doubtlessly graceful manner, but that was a problem for later.

He found himself struggling with the real question, though. Put plainly: did this new information actually change the plan? He didn't think so. While his recently recruited team of heroes would almost certainly not find a pen of captured slaves within the interior of the mine, he supposed there was an off chance that they might. They definitely wouldn't find an operational energy extraction operation, though they would likely find the next best thing: a cache of resources sufficient to support the equivalent of a covert Nazi dig site. They would still come out of this able to fuel themselves up, which had been the primary goal of the mission to begin with, and more likely than not there would be a sizable bounty of salvageable equipment, data, security codes, and other useful tidbits that would fuel his own rather quickly growing list of needs. While he found it rather hard to believe that the object of their search would simply be lying down there waiting to be recovered, he was rather confident that he could plunder the data they had on the dig in order to make an educated guess.

All of that would have to come later, though. Essentially, the plan was unchanged. He had no intention of going down to the surface until the threat was addressed, and while he didn't expect it would take the one-two combo of an invulnerable dinosaur and a glass cannon very long to resolve the situation, they would still need time. He might have to urge them to be a bit more careful with the collateral damage when next they were within signal range, but that would have to wait until the aforementioned cannon blew a new hole in the roof, or until one of the two actually capable of conversation crossed back through the main entryway.

In the meantime, he decided to start his own search ...of historical records. They had long since been archived well outside of his active memory, but the library of ancient Cybertron lived on somewhere within him. After all, when he had set off on his mission to begin with, he didn't want to go insane during the prolonged periods of interstellar transit and nearly constant radio silence. One had to take a few good books with them. Or, in his case, essentially all of them. That made it a rather frustrating problem, though: was it possible to find a single needle in a haystack built up over literal eons? He hoped so, he supposed.
pre:
Intelligence +4/-3
Consulting my historical archives for relevant information.
His search was simultaneously broad and targeted. He knew the object of the search -- the key -- but not the subject of the search. In this case, potential subjects included ways to detect or track the device, such as perhaps a telltale radiation signature or molecular composition, historical records of its location or believed location over the eons, risks involving its use or even mere presence within one's physical vicinity, historical accounts of it being successfully wielded, and perhaps most importantly, security systems that might have been put in place in whatever location it was or was rumored to have been sealed away. He wouldn't know what he was looking for until he found it, and he rather suspected he wouldn't find everything with any great deal of ease given the speed at which archived memory could be accessed. Thankfully, he currently had the benefit of a bit of time, and it was always good practice to draw a few cards from the deck to flesh out one's hand before making any risky plays.
__________________________________________________________________________________________
Status: Alt-Mode / Null-field Cloak / Jump Drive / Fuel Scoops
Mission Log
__________________________________________________________________________________________

Rhyos
Jan 2, 2006
It's probably my fault.

An odd quiet

Gunfire echoes down the corridors of the mine, but with a lack of return fire, eventually, everything goes quiet once again. Skystrike is able to tell the general area where the shot came from, judging from the ozone left behind in the beam's wake, but like most prepared snipers, they were likely well behind cover after the shot went off. The shot came from near the end of the southern branch - not much room to fall back in that position. As the group makes their way back to the center of the complex, keeping to cover along the way, it becomes difficult to tell the difference between falling debris and the movement of objects. Rocks crumble, steel groans, but as the group enters the central shaft, an awkward-sounding toomp~ sounds from the western corridor just before a bright purple flash envelops the room, a harsh electronic whine threatening to overload auditory sensors - it's a flashbang!

Didn't have much to go on in terms of movement, so I had to fiat some. Give me some rolls to resist - pick a stat you'd feel would be justified!

A beam of light through the keyhole

Archival searches show more matters of lore than of actual scientific fact. The Key to Vector Sigma has been said to control the Behemoths Below/The Sentinels/The Guardians of Primus, along with permitting access to Vector Sigma itself, a transdimensional supercomputer capable of Creation itself. It went without saying that access to either of those devices by either party would unleash a whole new kind of hell on Cybertron. As for how to find it, records didn't say much. Instinct, feeling, that resonating feeling in your cogs (or servos, it doesn't discriminate) were how it had been found in the past. With the war on, who knows who had it last or how it got to where it was.

Rhyos fucked around with this message at Aug 30, 2017 around 00:15

Waador
Sep 11, 2001

Smashin' down the light.

Pillbug

Shadowcaster > Cloaked (Skill +4/-2)

Plot posted:

As the group makes their way back to the center of the complex, keeping to cover along the way, it becomes difficult to tell the difference between falling debris and the movement of objects. Rocks crumble, steel groans, but as the group enters the central shaft, an awkward-sounding toomp~ sounds from the western corridor just before a bright purple flash envelops the room, a harsh electronic whine threatening to overload auditory sensors - it's a flashbang!
On the bright side, his companions had returned to the central shaft. The lens flare accompanying the tactical grenade suggested their stay would be a brief one, of course.

Compensating for thermal flare was not a particularly daunting challenge, particularly with the benefit of a few hundred kilometers in distance and a suite of sensors that run the gamut of the spectrum and -- if he was being honest -- more than one dimension. Zoom. Enhance. Edge detect. Radial blur decrystallization. He already had algorithms and filters loaded for just this sort of thing, as, unfortunately, they tended to come up more frequently than he would care to admit.
pre:
Intelligence +4/-1
Cleaning up the footage from the shaft.
Detecting and calculating the path of the grenade before it went off.
There seemed to be enough detail to make an educated guess. His sensors had already been focused on the central shaft, as he had wanted to make contact with his group at the earliest possible opportunity. Parsing the footage through his algorithms detected the flight path of the grenade before it went off, which provided all the key -- and frankly, rather mundane -- variables necessary to track its source. Although each were useless on their own, combining the velocity of the incoming projectile with the arc of the shot as it landed allowed for extrapolation of the remainder of the arc, and with that, its point of origin. The point of origin of a grenade was, of course, also rather likely to be the point of origin of the aptly named Load.

He decides to send a message down to Spinout and Skystrike. While probably not strictly necessary, he continues to be careful insofar as signal intelligence protocols demanded, bouncing the signal off of one of Cybertron's moons to protect his position. Old habits and all that. "You're making fast friends with the locals, it seems? Sending you his position relative to your own now. I assume he's going to move, but frankly he doesn't strike me as the speedy type. If you fire at his location before the sensor flare wears off, you'll probably get him. I doubt he'll be expecting you to pinpoint his location within a few inches less than a second after the grenade went off, after all. If you're unaccustomed to firing blind, just repeat after me: 'I do not shoot with my hand; he who shoots with his hand has forgotten the face of his father. I shoot with my mind.' There are a few other verses but they don't really apply here."

Shadowcaster (the past) posted:

He might have to urge them to be a bit more careful with the collateral damage when next they were within signal range, but that would have to wait until the aforementioned cannon blew a new hole in the roof, or until one of the two actually capable of conversation crossed back through the main entryway.
He also adds, "Separately, the situation on the ground is a bit more ...well, let's say important than I had first anticipated. If you could do your best to avoid collateral damage to any equipment, computers, or data storage devices they have laying around, that might be wise."

Plot posted:

Archival searches show more matters of lore than of actual scientific fact. The Key to Vector Sigma has been said to control the Behemoths Below/The Sentinels/The Guardians of Primus, along with permitting access to Vector Sigma itself, a transdimensional supercomputer capable of Creation itself. It went without saying that access to either of those devices by either party would unleash a whole new kind of hell on Cybertron. As for how to find it, records didn't say much. Instinct, feeling, that resonating feeling in your cogs (or servos, it doesn't discriminate) were how it had been found in the past. With the war on, who knows who had it last or how it got to where it was.
For his own part, he continued to contemplate the situation. The data was more lore and myth than fact, which he was in principle fine with -- in his earlier days, before accepting his mission beyond the stars, he had more than once been accused of walking a fine line between science and mysticism, after all. With no better information to go on, he would simply have to trust his instincts in this matter, and that was something he had been doing for a rather long time. Though he also entertained an alternative theory which would be worth indulging further, when circumstances were a bit less ...chaotic.
__________________________________________________________________________________________
Status: Alt-Mode / Null-field Cloak / Jump Drive / Fuel Scoops
Mission Log
__________________________________________________________________________________________

Rhyos
Jan 2, 2006
It's probably my fault.

Eyes from the Skies

The benefits of having a tactical satellite in your corner were quite numerous. Not only was Shadowcaster able to catch a good view of the flash grenade, his algorithms were able to provide a nice overlay atop the flare, outlining two targets - one advancing quickly up the south corridor, the other falling back down the west. Current positioning had the two separated, and while it made a pincer dangerous, it prevented the two from linking up.

AJ_Impy
Jun 17, 2007



Yam Slacker

Skystrike

The uplink data was all he needed. Locking on the advancing hostile in the south corridor. Narrow aperture, focused beam, minimum collateral damage...

+1/-0 firepower

AJ_Impy fucked around with this message at Aug 31, 2017 around 15:54

Rhyos
Jan 2, 2006
It's probably my fault.

Which Sun is Brighter?

The problem with going all-in is that if something unexpected happens, you can quickly find yourself in a compromising situation. In the split second it takes for Skystrike to get the information and line up the shot, the flare hadn't quite subsided enough for Lock's face to be quite visible - otherwise, the look of panic, shock, and surprise as the even brighter beam of light punches through his rifle arm would have made for rather sadistic comedy for the entity above. His movement compromised, Lock's advance abruptly halts as he seeks cover once more.

Potsticker
Jan 13, 2006



Spinout

Rhyos posted:

Give me some rolls to resist - pick a stat you'd feel would be justified!

Clearly this wasn't any sort of automated defenses at this point. Trying to get into a better position to fire from, Spinout was lucky enough to catch the flashbang sailing through the air and dove just in time to avoid being stunned.(Skill: +3/-0) Rolling on the ground she pulled up one of her legs, what was the bottom of her foot in robot mode and part of the back of her car mode opening up to reveal a hidden gun inside. These little surprises were just as helpful at surprising tailgaters as they were ambushers who thought she carried only the one sidearm.

Waador posted:

"You're making fast friends with the locals, it seems? Sending you his position relative to your own now."

Spinout was only too happy to receive the transmission. Clearly their benefactor was someone in a high place being able to access so much important data during the mission, though she hadn't actually considered that perhaps the high place was more literal than figurative. Letting loose with her boot cannon, Spinout added to Skystrike's volley with her own blast of energy. (Firepower: +1/-0)

Waador posted:

"Separately, the situation on the ground is a bit more ...well, let's say important than I had first anticipated. If you could do your best to avoid collateral damage to any equipment, computers, or data storage devices they have laying around, that might be wise."

That wasn't going to be the easiest thing, especially with Skystrike's big gun and Slam's big-- everything. At least Spinout was pretty confident that she wasn't going to accidentally damage any important systems or computers or whatever. You know, as long as she paid attention and kept her focus on moving and firing. Slowly she tried to advance on the target's position, performing a sort of dance as she fired continued shots from her big boot bottoms, hoping that the important equipment wasn't directly behind their target or anything.

Ryuujin
Sep 26, 2007
Dragon God


Slam

Slam does not like the annoying flies buzzing around and feebly attempting to bite him. After casually brushing off the previous attack he looks around and eventually figures out from the sound, the commotion, and the others' actions he eventually figures out where the attack came from. He stops his initial advance and prepares to swat the annoying fly that dared to attack him. He lumbers toward the attackers.

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Rhyos
Jan 2, 2006
It's probably my fault.

Urg - it sucks to have to shutter this, but there's simply too much happening at work lately for me to give it the attention it deserves. If you guys would like, I can provide all sorts of spoilers in Discord, or keep the hand hidden until I decide to run this again, if I get the time to do so. Another grand idea laid low by the woes of work!

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