304/Grand Theft Autobot

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Grand Theft Autobot
Date of Scene: 11 March 2017
Location: Decagon - Atrium
Synopsis: Hookshot and the Combaticons run a heist on one of the most secure fortresses on the planet.
Cast of Characters: Prowl, Onslaught, Hookshot, Vortex, Warpath

Onslaught has posed:
a href="htts://www.youtube.It was going to be a glorious heist./a

From within the Decagon's secondary entrances, and through the subtle machinations of Onslaught's plan, he, Vortex, and Hookshot had all gained entry into the center of Autobot communication and information...the Decagon!

<<Swindle...you and Blast Off, keep an eye out for that outbound disposal truck. Sic Brawl on it if it refuses to get commandeered...but no missiles. We need that memory sleeve intact.>>

Onslaught strolls through the building's layout, in his low-level disguise. Parts of his facemask had been subtly altered enough that face-recognizing software wouldn't be able to identify him. Which he needed because...
    Onslaught accesses a free-access terminal, dumping six data spikes into it, flooding the system with extraneous data...data that'd need to be processed.

The scene rewinds backwards.

Hookshot meets a visiting dignitary from Tarn, who has been desperately attempting to organize a faceplate to faceplate meeting with Autobot liasons. The dignitary was having enough political pressure put on him, that...
     The film speeds up momentarily....
That Hookshot could palm his identification chip.

Vortex had crossed against Hookshot in the hallway, moments later. It was public ground, so it was entirely feasible, expected even.
    But what was NOT expected was...
Hookshot crossing past the scan station, then palming the ID chip into Vortex' hand so he could slip into the maintenance tunnels.

It was a game of RFID-Tag. By juggling around the diplomatic 'all-access' ID chip, at just the right times. The three could coordinate their efforts.

Onslaught scouted the hallway leading to the computer cores. Here was the main threat. The Physio-scan systems. The systems that read body language itself in order to verify identity. It was going to be impossible to beat, which is why...
    Vortex is viewed slicing two of the main power lines in the maintenance area.

So power had to be rerouted, and that was going to be the gap of time needed...
    Onslaught is shown, clearing the distance to the computer hub, seconds ahead of the physio-scan laser-grid. He quickly removed a panel and flicked a single binary toggle on one of the massive memory sleeves. That one imperfection was all that it was going to take to cause that sleeve to be considered corrupted, the maintenance operation was bound to replace it shortly. Now they just had to leave.

    Onslaught emerges from the computer core, unnoticed.

Vortex appears out of the Maintenance corridor.
        And Hookshot catches the ID chip, passed back from Onslaught, from aboard the drone sentry.

It was needed to leave the high-security access area that Hookshot needed to be in to avoid the security scan. The three were going to make it. The music swelled in Onslaught's head. The three of them would leave at nearly the same time. The plan was working, and he loved it when a plan came together.

Vortex has posed:
Vortex is in disguise as well. He's a mech that gets out there and a mech that does horrible things. ALLEGEDLY does horrible things. Never been thoroughly caught or tried for the real nasty stuff, hehe. But, here he is, head down but stride confident- the posture of a mech with a menial job. His matte gray paintjob is instead a subtle and dull blue, easily looked past, and his visor has been removed to show his optic. Red, yes, but what a difference a lack of visor makes to a face. He just has to focus on not staring at anyone like prey and keeping his rotors down and still. Flashy rotors means being noticed. And he doesn't want to be noticed, he's just a mech doing his job here.

Vortex's claws twitch at his side, anxious to get out of the building. A job like this is always fun at first until he realizes just how still and un-touchy he has to be. Significantly less fun. But theres the exit. And if he glances over juuuuust enough- yes! There's Onslaught! His rotors swing up reflexlively, already anticipating being told what a good job he did. He twitches again before forcing the rotors back down. There's the exit. Concentrate on the exit. Be the exit. His steps quicken, eager to get out of the complex. He might even get a pat on the head from the Boss! Not that he needs his approval or anything...

Hookshot has posed:
     The plan was a work of art in and of itself. It had been a long time since Hookshot had actually worked with a team. Well. A competent one. Even longer since he wasn't the one calling the shots, which was something of a relief for Hookshot. Although mutli-faceted, he never was a mastermind, and though many times in the past he bluffed and postured as though he were, not having to maintain that facade allowed him to focus more on what he actually was good at: skullduggery and legerdemain. From retrieving the necessary ID and making sure an intern took the fall was just the beginning. Of course, the reason he was doing this was to get himself out of a frame job, but surely this intern wasn't going to be tried for terrorism, just for being a either careless of spiteful. Disgruntled workers make such wonderful patsies.
     Hookshot had to perform one costume change to make this work, and was appropriately suited for it. Because his disguises were physical, there was no real sensor that could be tipped off. Measures against holographic technology were moot. Presently he appears as a custodial worker, a blocky figure wielding an array of cleaning equipment. Gray and brownish orange. Ugly colours for an ugly job. Hookshot is lagging a little bit behind the others, as this disguise, to appear shorter, required him to walk with almost perprually bent knees. It forces him to sort of shuffle, which is fine as this disguise comes with mop-like bristles right on the feet to explain the bizare gait. His face is covered by a plate for sanitary reasons, and a flexible hose is coiled and wrapped around one of his shoulders. Although lagging, he was careful not to actualyl behind their very tight schedule.

Prowl has posed:
    While Onslaught and his team are sneaking around in the Decagon, Prowl is sitting in the command center on sublevel 2, down the hall from the armory vaults. He was busy sorting through communiques and reports from various contacts around the globe when one of his subordinates notified him of a power failure in sector 2B-7 near the sky spy network's primary data storage hub. The glitch was tracked to its source in a maintenance shaft along a southwest-facing wall. It would appear that two of the main cables were not functioning.

    He sighs. << Warpath, you're on patrol in 2B aren't you? We've got a malfunctioning power line in one of the maintenance shafts, I need you to investigate and get a tech crew on it if necessary. >> Was it sabotage? Possibly. << I'll be up shortly. >> True to his words, he gets up and immediately starts toward the gravlift. As he's walking, he gets more messages about how that dignitary from Tarn seems to be missing his ID badge. Never can trust anyone from Tarn any more, though...

Warpath has posed:
"And that's when she BLAM told him "Is that a jackshaft in your storage compartment or are you just happy to see--" And cue Prowl radioing right in middle of the punchline he was telling some of the rookies. Warpath restrains a sigh as he turns from the laughing mechs and taps his comm. <<Copy that, Prowl. I ain't no ZOW techie but I'll see what I can ZING do.>> Bullslagging with the troopers is going to have to wait.

"Sorry mechs, I'm getting called back WAMMO onto patrol." A quick salute as he steps back, then transforms and chugs off. Not that tanks are exceptionally fast.

Onslaught has posed:
Onslaught is on the jazz. The team is close at hand, and for a moment, Onslaught considers Hookshot to be a potential recruit. He's capricious and mercurial, but he's skilled, and honestly his quirks are no worse than the team's problems already. The main problem would be ensuring Brawl doesn't kill him. But that's also the main problem with Brawl.

Onslaught moves with purpose as he enters the security checkpoint on his exit. The final step to freedom. Only one of them needed the ID chip on the way out, and it ended up being the commander.

The lights blink red as he enters, a chirping single sound alerting the security staff to his position. He pauses, his hands up.

The guards approach as Onslaught radios in, <<We got all the way to the exit, Prowl's not as good as I had heard. I figure he would've stopped us at the elevator. Well then...>>

The guard approaches him in a firm, but no less respectful way. "Sir, I need you to approach the containment bay while we sort out this issue, we've recognized a defect in your security system." Onslaught nods, "Of course." He starts to be lead towards the side room, as the guard continues, "Sorry sir, we just need to ensure that everything is nominal."

Again Onslaught nods, but already the exits are blocked, the security grid coming alive. They were caught for the moment, and in that situation, sometimes the best tactic was to turn the offense.

"Again, I understand." Onslaught says politely to the guard, turning back to him to address him. He suddenly fires three shots into the guard's chest, sending him to the ground. Casually, he draws the mech's weapon as the guard falls, then takes careful aim, and headshots the security officer at the counter. <<Herd the crowd towards the security shielding, Vortex. We need them to apply pressure to it en masse, if we're going to beat this.>>

Vortex has posed:
Sosososoooooo close. He can taste freedom! He can-! When Onslaught is stopped in by security, Vortex stops as well. He watches closely, carefully, not moving. And as they move Onslaught- and he's being gracious with that thought, Ons only moves when he /wants/ to move- he turns and begins to pad after, rotors slowly rising. Just in case he's needed. And although he isn't needed to dispose of the guards- though he twitters upon seeing their bodies thunk to the floor- he is needed otherwise. His exposed optics simply glitter with the promise of chaotic mayhem and gorey retribution. << You got it, Boss. >>

Vortex's rotors come to life with a whirling symphony, stirring up air currents the bluster and buffer along walls and frames as he dashes off. Any mech caught in his blades may lose their limb or worse. He pulls out his sword, running its edge along the floors and walls to make a satisfying scraping sound. He cackles like a mad man, the sound carrying and disturbing. Nothing like some psychopath to herd a crowd towards security. "I'm gonna drain your innermost energon through a straw!" he croons, taking swipes and stabs. Shoo, run along to the security shielding like good lil cybersheep.

Hookshot has posed:
     No twittering or falling into the throes of glee for Hookshot when the plan goes from smooth to violent. Having been somewhat trailing, the rushing of security to deal with Vortex only causes Hookshot to behave as any custodian would -- step aside and gawk until being told to clear the area. Clearing the area would put Hookshot further away from the planned exit. Nonetheless, he sidesteps personelle who rush like lambs to the slaughter with a slow shake of his head. He redirects to the closest maintenance closet - he'd been counting them as he passed each of them.
     <<As much as I love to improvise, I will wait for your direction. Holing up in a nearby closet for now.>>

Prowl has posed:
    Prowl was heading down toward Warpath's location when the security systems start screech. Scrap, too late! He'd never expected the Decepticons to be so bold as to try sneakig into the Decagon. But whatever for? It had to be something specific for such a great risk...

    << Damn it! Beta squad get everyone out of there. Warpath, belay the investigation and get to the checkpoint--now! We can't let them escape. >> Rushing out of the gravlift he comes onto a scene full of chaos. Unfortunately since they had already gotten so close to the exit, there were a lot of civilians milling about the west lobby. It would have been different, if they'd been caught earlier down near the mainframe away from the public--the area could've easily been sealed off. But no, it's too dangerous to fire any of his missiles or use any grenades right now, not with innocents running about panicked. Security are trying to get them to safety, but that's not easy with the Combaticons attacking.

    Climbing a set of stairs, he reaches a 2nd-level walkway that looks over the lobby and spies Onslaught shooting down the mech at the counter. He draws a photon rifle and points it at the Combaticon's head. "Stand down now, Decepticon--before this gets ugly." he threatens. Hey, he's giving them a chance to surrender and that's generous right?

Warpath has posed:
A big maroon warrior with a big ol' cannon rolling onto the scene is good for intimidation, right? Of course it is!... though it might not help with the panic much. But they're already paniced, so Warpath isn't really going to bother concerning himself with that. Or demanding the Decepticons stand down. Because since when do they stand down? Or maybe he didn't hear Prowl demand they stand down first over the noise he's making. "Don't worry, I BLAM 'em in my sights!" The next 'blam' isn't his weird speech pattern, it's the sound of his cannon firing at the biggest obvious target in the room!

Onslaught has posed:
Onslaught tilted his head slightly at Prowl. And for the first time, at least in person, the two could regard each other. "Prowl." Onslaught says demurely, "You're eighteen seconds behind my expectations. I *expected* you to be four seconds *before* me, at least from what I heard. You can stop pretending to worry about friendly fire, we both know I'm packing more firepower than you do, and..." He regards the tankbot Warpath as his bulky frame enters the fray. "Tsk." He manages before a glancing shot hits him as he moves to cover.

<<Vortex, bodyguard Hookshot. Prowl's asset-focused, so he'll come to you. I'll remove the artillery from play."

From his crouched position, Onslaught eyes the security shielding, and all those fleeing innocents...

He leaps towards them, and raises his sonic rifle, returning fire at Warpath. Very shortly, Onslaught would be in the midst of the civilians, and that precious advantage would be his and his alone...

Vortex has posed:
Vortex reaches up to wipe some energon that spattered on his optic. Oh yeah, that's why he wears the visor. He shivers delightedly as he stalks over to some other civillians. Keep on running, lil cybersheep. The big bad turbowolf is coming and he's all hungry... Well, he was coming until he was put on guard duty. Ugh. << Understood. >> He stops to look around, rotors twitching. Slaggit, where'd he go.

<< Hey, Hooker. Congrats, you've been bumped up from part of the plan to protected asset and I get the pleasure of playing your guard. Where'd you go, I need an optic on you so that when we break free, I can get you out of here. >> And if they don't break free? Vortex has no qualms about killing anyone that's suddenly more burden than asset.

Hookshot has posed:
     Entering the closet had three functions. One, was because it was a reasonable action for his current disguise as a janitor. Two, it got him out of the way of messy combat. Thirdly, to get out of his present disguise which was severely hampering his mobility. With deft skill, all the secret catches had been released and Hookshot had shed most of the disguise, leaving himself exposed when he hears Vortex' tight beam. <<Copy, Vortex. Also copy that passive aggressive snark. How adorable. I'm just slipping into something more comfortable in the maintenance storage closet proximal to your current location.>>
     Having switched into his 'sneak armour' - light-weight and dark coloured set modeled for getting around quickly in tight quarters - Hookshot peers out of the closet, looking in either direction, and pinging Vortex with his current location.

Prowl has posed:
    "I didn't think you'd be ignorant enough to attempt something like this, to be honest." Prowl replies, though that isn't -entirely- true. "I suppose I was wrong." He curses again to himself as Onslaught runs into the crowds to shield himself. Clearly he's underestimated Prowl's aim, however. He opens fire then, attempting a head shot. Meanwhile, security are rushing to stop Vortex, although most of them are rookies compared to Prowl and Warpath. Still, they've got numbers on him, and if he doesn't hurry he might have trouble getting to Hookshot.

Warpath has posed:
The Combaticon commander's shots hit home, but despite putting some minor stress fractures in his armor Warpath literally laughs it off. "C'mon mech, that PING tickled!" But then Onslaught is trying to rush the crowd of paniced civvies. Even Warpath knows that shooting into a crowd is most times a bad idea, at least with how... bombastic he can get about it. So instead his cannon retracts into his torso to keep it from getting banged out of shape as the warrior charges, trying to tackle Onslaught before he can tackle the crowd.

Onslaught has posed:
Onslaught suffers a few more light hits. The two were restraining themselves as he expected. Sure, Prowl had hit him again, but he wasn't going to risk anything too major, not when there were civilians nearby. "Tickled, eh?" Onslaught takes the tackle, sprawling him down to the ground with Warpath. The two mechs hit the ground in a heap near the stairs. Onslaught puts a knee up into Warpath's side as he moves to stand, trying to recover before his enemy did. Mentally, Ons processed how long the backup power generators would be malfunctioning...probably a few minutes longer, unless someone was already repairing them. <<After you find Hookshot, backstab Prowl for me.>> He puts his foot atop Warpath, and then mode changes atop of him. "Lets see what else I can tickle then."
The large missile launcher had both rockets aimed up and to the side, right at Prowl's position...they shift slightly as he considers the security detail en route for Hookshot. Decisions Decisions.

As he waits, he actively attempts to just drive right over Warpath, grinding him into the steps as he does. Surely this would mean tank on SAM Launcher warfare shortly, and that was bound to be an easy fight.

Vortex has posed:
One guard does manage to get between Vortex and his target. And so, in return for the favor, Vortex lets his sword get between the mech's head and shoulders as he leaps over the guard. A spray of engergon hits his back, making him giggle as it drips into seams and through his rotor hub. And then he takes off, grinning at Hookshot in spirit. "See, not /that's/ passive-aggressive, Hooker." Ya know, because he aggressively passed through him. Hah.

Vortex offers up an arm for the asset as he trades sword for gun, taking shots at security to stick 'em in place. Primus, he loves his glue gun. "Keep a hand on me at all times so I know you're right here. I've got orders to get you out while the Boss handles things. Oh, and..." The rotary pauses to step further out so he can see Prowl and... Fires. Not a stab in the back but if the mech can't move, it makes the stabbing easier. "Alright, Hooker, let's go."

Prowl has posed:
    Again, with Vortex and his adhesive ammo. Prowl expected as much. "Vortex, you really ought to learn something a little less predictable." he remarks, even as the stuff gets in his servos again and slows him down. No matter, though, that's what the rifle is for. He doesn't fire right away though, given it has a pretty good range. "But then again, I have a pretty strong theory that you're actually -incapable- of learning, given our previous encounters."

Warpath has posed:
Success! ... Which becomes short-lived when Onslaught knocks him off with a knee to the midsection. Then transforms to flop on top of him before he can get back up. Warpath thuds to the floor a second time, this time with a grating groan as he slams into the surface beneath the missile carrier's bulk. Sparks fly as the truck's chassis grinds against the Autobot's frame as Onslaught drives off of him and back into the fray.

"What, leaving so WHAM soon?..." Instead of wasting time getting back onto his peds the rowdy warrior just transforms. "This party is just KAPOW getting started!" As soon as his cannon has locked back into place the tank turret swings to take aim, and open fire at the backside of the Combaticon, smoke billowing from the barrel in the shell's wake.

Sorry Prowl. But you should of known restraint wouldn't last long when it comes to someone like Warpath.

Hookshot has posed:
     "If that is your passive aggressive, I'd hate to see your confrontational side," Hookshot murmurs. The mech furrows his optic ridges a little, but then shrugs. Hookshot glances down at his own hand, moving each finger in sequences with spider-like grace. "Are you sure you aren't just making excuses to get close to me?" Hookshot responds. "Skilled as you may be, II'm sure keeping a hand on you would be rather hampering. Don't worry, I can keep well out of sight and keep up with you, sl long as you keep people from looking at the ceiling." Hookshot raises an arm and switches his hand out for a hook, his name sake. He fires his grapling hook upwards and then pulls himself up to the ceiling. Activating his magnets, Hookshot begins to half crawl, half run upside down along the ceiling, keeping up with Vortex with ease.

Onslaught has posed:
The Missile Turret system that is Onslaught ROCKS from the attack. He had anticipated the counterattack, and was pretty much just waiting for it to happen. Prowl had been distracted for the most part, there wasn't any further reason to stick around. A loud crackling sound echos throughout Onslaught's frame. <<Damn! Rounds are cooking off! Blowing the shield now!>> Onslaught actually retreats from Warpath's position, his missile turret shifting. "Oh the Autobots must love you, stupid and willing to die for nothing, lets expedite that process."

His missiles launch...IN the Decagon's lobby!

Oh in the future, it shall be a glorious sight displayed on custom spray-jobs for the Decepticons. Two large missiles arcing through the building, one towards Warpath, the other towards the shield wall nearby, a bit of overlapping fire. It would be a symbol of defiance, a rallying cry, and SwindleCo would rake in the profits. Now it didn't really matter to the Tactician, but it never hurt to do some recruiting. "We refuse to be defined, to be judged by our altmodes!." The missiles arc downward as he speaks, "But if you want to define me as a weapon of war...THEN SO BE IT!"

Explosions rip through the lobby as the two photon blasts go off, a deafening and concussive assault...and Onslaught's driving right towards it...

Vortex has posed:
Vortex hisses at Prowl like some sort of cybercat. The mech could piss him off something fierce. But this time, he doesn't strike out. He simply puts his weapon away and stares at Prowl. << Hooker, that's a neat ceiling trick. I want you to do the same thing to me, just to the bottom of my alt's undercarriage here in a moment. >>

Vortex waits for the missiles to hit- laying it on a bit thick there, Onsy but mechs'll eat it up- before he rushes forward in a flurry of transformation. His rotors spin, tilting him forward as he rockets forward and towards Prowl. He was bored of adhesive ammo? Fine, that's FINE. Maybe a flying blender will give him something to find interesting. << Right behind ya, Ons. Just trying to mince some Autobot up, I'll be just a moment. >>

Hookshot has posed:
     Clinging to a flying object is certainly something Hookshot has had practice with. <<With pleasure.>> Hookshot watches Vortex, steadying his one as he waits for the perfect moment. Once Vortex has transformed, he aims his grappling hook at Vortex undercarriage, latching onto the landing gear. In moments he is swinging through the air as the line between him and his hook gets reeled in, exposing himself. In moments, he has activated his magnets again and is holding on to the crazy chopper as firmly as he can - which k nowing the mech's reputation for erratic and jarring movements, will be necessary.

Warpath has posed:
Direct hit! That unfortunately doesn't actually stop Onslaught from leaving. Or from striking back by firing off his own big guns.. err missiles. "Oh KAWHAM me sidewa--" And that's when the explosions happen. Warpath may love explosions, but they're not nearly as fun when he's at the center of them. For a few moments there's nothing but thick smoke and embers to fill the field of vision.

But eventually Warpath staggers out of the smokey fume clouds in robot mode. Or maybe it's more of a swagger. At the very least he's not trying to show how much that hurt. Even if it's fairly obvious how unpleasant sitting in middle of a tactical strike is. Armor scorched and warped out of shape, a few segments of his treads flopping loosely from their fixture underneath his arms. "Now that one POW I felt." It probably still doesn't help that he's focused almost entirely on Onslaught, pulling out his sidearm and cracking off several bursts. Large cannon, explosive rounds and sonic blasters? No wonder Warpath is slightly audial deficient.

Prowl has posed:
    Prowl might have had the chance to notice Hookshot darting around on the ceiling previously, except Vortex comes flying into his face with whirling rotors. Though it didn't do much damage, it certainly kept him occupied. << Slag it, he's going for the shields. Warpath, don't let them get away! >>

    The missiles explode against the inside of the building. Hah, not exactly the best move for the Decepticons...especially in such a public place and knowing that Tarnian dignitary was here. What were they thinking? Well INS will be all over it, that's for sure. And then he -does- spot Hookshot, the thief having exposed himself as he grabbed onto Vortex's retreating alt mode. So -that's- what this had been all about.

    He transforms then and drives after them a careful calculated distance, just reaching the outer perimeter. Too close and he'd be as bad as Onslaught, too far and they'd have been out of range. He transforms again and fires an incendiary missile into the air just as the rotary reaches the street.

Onslaught has posed:
Everyone wins.

Its one of those facts of life when you have an altercation, a skirmish like this. Speaking of, he needed to talk to Skirmish later. Regardless, each side will declare how they're 'in the right' and that they 'proved things out on the field'. Those that were deigned to believe the Decepticons would do so. Those that were deigned to believe the Autobots would do so.

The Autobots would point the finger again, and prove, beyond a shadow of a doubt, how the Decepticons throw away life meaninglessly. And the Decepticons would point out how they managed they managed to bring a fight to the Decagon and make a statement. Innocents were injured... Onslaught scoffed as he took to the street. Innocents? To him, this was only the barest beginning of what he was best at. And with each escalation, things were going to be brought to a situation where his strengths were more and more important.

Smoke filled the Decagon, even as gunfire caught him as he drove out of the building, out of the shield. There would be panic in the streets soon, people in dismay, and in shock. Rescue crews, medics, engineers. And yet the objective is being completed, even in the middle of this. All the Combaticons needed was for that memory sleeve to get dumped, and they'd have everything they came for.

Business was looking up.

Vortex has posed:
Vortex's rotors aren't made for fighting and though they can damage things at velocity, they get damaged as well. That frellin' hurt. He takes note not to do that again any time soon as he makes haste after Onslaught, alt mode bobbing and weaving and generally less nauseating than usually. Rotor damage, even a tiny bit, is crippling for flight. Perhaps that's why Prowl's missile hits him directly. FRAG!

Vortex looses altitude. Slag, slag, slag... He manages to not crash into the ground and continue flying at a piddly little height. He just has to get far enough along for a pick up from Blast Off... Ya know, maybe his brother has a point. How does he always manage to get injur- OH SLAG, HOOKER WAS DOWN THERE. << ... Hey, Hookshot... You alive? Say nothing if you're dead and want to give me your jaw. >>

Hookshot has posed:
     <<I'm still attached to my jaw, explosions notwithstanding. Sorry, not this time.>> Crippling pain and extensive damage is no excuse not to banter. When the attack had hit, Hookshot may not have taken the brunt of the attack, being nestled among Vortex' landing gear, but to be able to physically alter himself easily and maintain such flexibility, he had to rely on very fragile armour. As such, he's not a very pretty sight, armour sloughed off in places, partially melted in others. But he still has a pretty jaw. If not for the damage, Hookshot would have transformed (a rare sight) and glided the rest of the way when he felt Vortex altitude dropping. As such, he was feeling it safer to hope the mech did not crash until they met up with Blast Off. <<.............Am I going to be compensated with free repairs for this?>>