508/A Foray Into Psybertron

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A Foray Into Psybertron
Date of Scene: 04 April 2018
Location: Rodion
Synopsis: A group of Autobots and Decepticons lead some expeditions into Psybertron.
Cast of Characters: Blast Off, Phantom, Prowl, Valour, Swivel, Hyperdrive, Ravage


Phantom has posed:
Though it hasn't even been a cycle, already it's visibly obvious all over Cybertron that the portal network has been put into place. In almost every city, or at least near to one, stand massive harvesting structures that sustain a portal to the alternate dimension. And if one were to stand but fifty meters from structure, one could feel the ground vibrating slightly from the function of the machinery that interconnects all of the portal devices.

In Rodion specifically, behind Maccadams, stands one of the aforementioned structures. Outside, a few guards linger, serving to monitor activity outside the complex and ward off any unwanted visitors...

Valour has posed:
    Valour is here early again, all eagerness and bravery. He's geared up for the trip to Psybertron, and armed as well, just in case it's not as abandoned as they've so far assumed. Wearing a clear mask that covers the lower half of his face, he looks around for those who will be joining him - presumably a mix of Decepticon heroes and Autobot villains on whom Valour probably shouldn't turn his back.

Prowl has posed:
    Well it's a good thing this excursion -is- authorized. Once the network was up and running, someone had to go and check on things from the other end at some point. And with so much at stake, it only seemed fitting for Prowl himself to make sure the job got done right. So, he and a small contigent of Autobot technicians had been outfitted with internal filters so as not to hinder their work, and are ready to pass through to the other side.

    Oh, yeah. And to make sure the Decepticons don't try anything funny. Like sabotage. He eyes Valour for a moment, as if to silently make it clear that he'd better not step over the line and that sneaking past the chief intel officer's notice would be no easy feat.

Swivel has posed:
    Despite her fear of the Psybertron, and despite her misgivings about tapping resources from a place still so mysterious, Swivel was quick to volunteer for the mission. And thus she had arrived geared up (admittedly with a second coat of the spray JUST to be safe). She stands alert and apprehensive among the other Autobot Villains assembled by Prowl. For the most part she is silent and not looking at anyone in particular.

Ravage has posed:
Ravage is here. Has always been here. Probably more than most of the 'watchers' who have stood sentry over the portals and the network being built. Of course, not everyone knows that... but that's just the way he works, after all.

But now, there's an actual mission. An operation. One where 'backup plans' are always brought up, discreetly put in place, but never really made public outside of the hushed whispers and rumors by the lower ranks in the forces.

As before, he's opted to take up a spot near, well, Swivel, which by proxy is also near Prowl, because of course he is... just lounging on some crates in waiting, ready to move but not moving until everyting is ready, tail lazily swishing about.

Phantom has posed:
If Quantum was here, he might recognize the guards standing outside the complex - they're mercenaries by trade, though rumor has it their political leanings are Decepticon. Prowl would know that... probably. And even if he doesn't, he'll notice the way they treat him disdainfully. They step aside in a sardonic fashion, gesturing dramatic. "Please, /sub-commander/, make yourself at home." Some of them laugh, others smirk. However, they don't give the party of Autobots any trouble other than slight verbal abuse.

And who else would show up late to this excursion, other than Phantom himself. He's currently riding on a high horse - after all, this alternate dimension had been his discovery. He pats Valour on the back, but when he notices Swivel, he grins and waves. "Are you ready to have an adventure today?" Everyone present may notice he's not wearing any gear.

Valour has posed:
    Valour scowls at Prowl, possibly the worst Autobot villain of the all, and voted Autobot Most Likely to End the Autobots' High Ground. Valour barely glances at Swivel, giving little indication of their recent not-entirely-hostile conversation. Instead his gaze flicks over to Ravage, lounging lazily on some crates. Valour suppresses a shiver, not believing for a second that Ravage isn't alert, aware, and deadly. When Phantom arrives and pats him on the back, Valour straightens up and focuses on the expert.

Prowl has posed:
    Prowl notes Ravage's presence. Swift and deadly--an excellent assassin but a glass cannon at the same time. Worth nothing in a contest of stamina or durability. One-trick operative, really. Same could be said for Phantom. Except he's a lot less reliable. Too bad for the Decepticons. Not that these sorts of people don't have their place.

    He ignores the guards' disrespectful attitude and motions the rest of his team forward, taking point himself to pass through the portal and into the unknown.

Swivel has posed:
    Swivel had dutifully ignored the antics of the mercenaries. Not with a grim an taciturn demeanor that would just challenge and dare them to try harder, but with an open, pleasant, yet unflinching expression. Unflinching until Phantom takes notice of her. She winces just a little at the attention, but manages to rally her smile. "Oh... it's always an adventure when yer about."
    Swivel's gaze had occasionally wandered over to Ravage, aware of him. She'd also nodded back in acknowledgement to Valour. She knew it was likely after their previous conversation that they might be likely they'd be in this mission together, so his presence isn't jarring or surprising in the least. Not like... ah but Swivel doesn't have time to dwell on things. Prowl is on the move. And thus Swivel falls in line and follows his lead into the portal, but not without some trepidation.

Ravage has posed:
Oh, movement. The feline perks up, both ears following suit before he slinks down to fall in step. After all, sure...the Autobots might be the /first/ ones through, but he won't let himself be the last...and he'll certainly make sure that any immediate hostilities are intercepted by Prowl and Co while he records those first vital moments.

And, naturally, he's going to keep close to Swivel. Something... well, his own reasons. Whatever they are is known to him.

Phantom has posed:
Phantom looks pleased when Valour gives him some degree of respect, and nods in his direction. When Swivel responds positively to his comment, he laughs. "Oh yes, of course! You mean that in a good way," he says. He falls behind her, following the Autobots into the portal.

The other dimension, as always, is foggy, dim and grimy - though the structures surrounding them look just like a dilapidated version of Maccadams. Somewhere in the distance, faint but vague sounds can be heard.

Valour has posed:
    Valour's black armour shimmers unusually from the psychosonophobic spray-on finish. He keeps his arm-lasers armed and his stun-spear in hand. Valour watches Prowl and the others go, but waits to follow Phantom's lead before following. After stepping through, he looks around quickly, cranking his sensors up to max. His wings quiver as his optics sweep left and right, trying to identify the sounds in the foggy distance.

Blast Off has posed:
Blast Off is here, too. Maybe he's been just avoiding having to look too hard at Swivel, or maybe he was running a bit late due to some calamity with a teammate and he JUST NOW got here, but he manages to slip through the portal with the rest of them, sporting a cool multi-vented faceplate on TOP of his faceplate for extra faceplatey goodness.

Prowl has posed:
    As soon as everyone is through, Prowl does a quick headcount for the Bots, ensuring that each one is accounted for. "All right you know the drill from the briefing. Let's get to work." he says firmly, as the techs get to work on checking that everything is in spec and in proper working order on this end of things. Scanners are brought out as various tests are being done.

Swivel has posed:
    Although Swivel is adequatrly protected, the sensor readings of being immersed in psychosonorum still cause a rise in anxiety. Of course she KNEW that would happen, but so many bad things had happened following those pings, it's hard not to feel skittish. She's tempted to disable the sensors since the technicians had all brought scanners with them. But erring on the side of caution, she leaves them be.
    Instead, Swivel takes a moment to get her first look at the world with a clear mind. "...I still wonder wot 'appened 'ere. Someone MUST 'ave built these structures. And something must 'ave 'appened to them." Unsaid, she continues in her mind that the very same could happen to her current company if they let their guard down. Swivel tentatively begins to walk away from the technicians, but does not dare leave line of sight of the group. She's just getting a closer look at the ruined buildings.

Ravage has posed:
Ravage takes stock as he steps through. If it impacts his sensors or sense of well-being, he doesn't let it show. Instead, he just keeps a curious but stoic look about him, carefully studying the place to get his bearings.

Honestly...it looks rather nice to him, but...well, that's him. He glances towards Prowl. "So...what's the plan here? We can sit here and watch you lot until the place turns to rust, but that won't benefit all of us. Shall we pair up? Shall we get some scout operations underway for those who are skilled at such?" He glances briefly at Swivel, "because I'm not against that at all."

Phantom has posed:
Phantom looks bored as he watches Prowl and his techies start running tests. "This is wasting time," he says, waving dismissively and proceeding past the Autobots. "I know everything about this place, I know where to go to find what we are needing."

He smiles at Ravage. "Yes, he is right, that is a fine idea. Anybody who wants to come with me to go to the right place, you can come with me! Or you can waste your time here, looking at boring tests."

Valour has posed:
    Valour speaks up at last. "I can help guard any scouting party - Autobot or Decepticon," he stresses, glancing between both groups. "Frankly, if we're here, we really should spread out and see what we can learn of this Cybertron, and what happened to it," he agrees. He bows his head slightly to Phantom. "You have the most knowledge of this world - lead on." Raising his stun-spear into a defensive position, Valour prepares to move out.

Blast Off has posed:
Blast Off is doing the silent, aloof sniper thing for now. He's not really talking very much but he follows the rest, sticking a little closer to the other Cons and eying the Bots, especially Prowl. However, at the moment his focus is their strange new environment. The Combaticon remains alert, hands ready to whip up his weapon should they encounter hostiles. Ravage and Swivel gain a glance, though he still remains silent. What he is NOT going to do, if he can help it, is follow Phantom too closely, however. He just doesn't trust that guy.

Prowl has posed:
    Prowl nods. "Yes, we should search for more nodes to drill into." Already, some conduits have been set up to begin drawing geothermal energy from the core of the planet, but anything to make the process more efficient, right? "Phantom, since you know the terrain best, you scout ahead. I'll stay here and oversee the testing." he sighs. "The rest of you may follow him or conduct your own investigation. But don't stray -too- far."

Swivel has posed:
    For Swivel, within line of sight also means within earshot. While examining the alternate Macaddam's, Swivel hears Ravage's mention of pairing off and looks over at the cat, catching his glance at her. She begins to walk back to the group as discussion of where to go and such are ongoing. Swivel casts a surreptitious glance at Blast Off, who is hanging back. She then turns her attention to Prowl as he consents to scouting parties conducting their own investigations.
    Swivel turns to address the group. "Phantom will lead folks to... energy sources." She guesses. "...but anyone interested in investigatin' the area for clues or 'idden dangers, come with me." Ignore the fact she's only a private.

Ravage has posed:
"Clues and dangers are my forte... I'll leave the engineers to scour the place for potential energy sources." He nods and turns to follow, and then simply sit, beside Swivel. Well, at least the Autobot won't be scouting alone.

Or unsupervised.

Phantom has posed:
Phantom nods at Valour, beaming and soaking in the respect. "Yes, yes. We can go separate ways. Anyone who wants to come with me, we are going east. That is the last place I looked, and I think there another node there .. we just have to find it," he reassures the group.

Phantom has posed:
Phantom nods at Valour, beaming and soaking in the respect. "Yes, yes. We can go separate ways. Anyone who wants to come with me, we are going east. That is the last place I looked, and I think there is another node there .. we just have to find it," he reassures the group.

He nods at Ravage, then says to the little fembot, "Oh Swivel, you should come, it will be really good! We are going to have an adventure for sure! Besides, I forgot how nice your company is!" He dutifully ignores Blast Off, of course. Transforming, he starts heading in the direction he specified.

Valour has posed:
    Valour suddenly looks torn, glancing between Phantom and Swivel. Used to following orders, Valour hesitates a fraction of a klik before making a decision. Choosing to support his faction over that of an Autobot, he takes off after Phantom, giving a quick look back over his shoulder before heading east.

Blast Off has posed:
Blast Off is happy to return the favor, and ignores Phantom as well. The Combaticon finally speaks, waving a hand as he steps towards Swivel and Ravage, "I suppose I'll come with you. Better than following *him*." HUff.

Hyperdrive has posed:
Hyperdrive makes a face as he carries supplies back and forth for the moment, "Still not sure this was the best idea...." He sighs. He could have stayed behind but then he couldn't keep an optic on Swivel and his other friends....okay just Swivel.

Prowl has posed:
    Prowl watches at Blast Off chooses Swivel over his own comrade. "Hm." A brow goes up as he finds the observation rather interesting, but doesn't comment on it. "If you run into any trouble alert me on comms. If that's not possible, use your flares." Well, they should know all that already, it's protocol. But sometimes reminders helped.

Swivel has posed:
    Somehow, Ravage opting to go with her, does not surprise Swivel. Which also unsettles her. Whether she's suspicious of Ravage or not is hard to tell as she just smiles and nods to him. "I'll be glad to 'ave your keen observational skills."
    Swivel shrugs and then waves to Phantom. "Maybe another toim, Phantom." Well. SOMEONE isn't shy about being familiar around an enemy. Seeing Phantom head to the east, Swivel tilts her head in the opposite direction, regarding those who have chosen to follow her, including Blast Off. She barely avoids managing to snort at Blast Off's reasoning. Oh dear. Did she just volunteer to actually lead people? Ooops. Best salvage this as best as possible.
     CLapping her hands together and then rubbing them, Swivel tries to speak clearly and project her voice. "Alroight. Radio is NOT the most reliable last I was 'ere." She nods to Prowl. "Use it if ya must, but don't rely on it - and as reminded, use flares if there's trouble. Make sure we all stay within loin of soight of each other for now." Swivel looks at Ravage in particular. "We're going west on foot for now so we can more easily move as a group."

Ravage has posed:
Ravage says, "Oh, radio is not needed. If we do run into a problem, I'm sure we can figure it out. We've the firepower and the intelligence to fight smart, not hard." He does, though, arm bombs...something indicated by the soft, barely seen light indicators flipping from red to green. Moving along, he doesn't quite take point, instead moving abreast of Swivel. "We've never really had the chance to talk, have we Swivel." He flickers a brief glance to Blast Off, just watching the mech's reaction as well to the situation."

Hyperdrive has posed:
Hyperdrive is following Swivel, his favorite pasttime but he's been mostly quiet. Of course Ravage's words make him shake his head. "Ya didn't see the thing that attacked Hot Rod. Course we didn't either, this ain't exactly a place I WANT ta see what all it can throw at us. But I'll gladly take yer weapons firin alongside mine if we do run inta somethin."

Phantom has posed:
Phantom continues heading east, towards supposedly where the node is. "Huh, guess you're too popular," Phantom calls playfully back at Swivel as they part ways. Ahead is a mountainous landscape with extensive subterrains beneath it, from which Valour may notice some eerie pulsing glows.

Ahead of Swivel is a massive cliff face that extends into the dark clouds above them. To the far side of the cliff face, there's a perfectly round opening that leads into what looks like a black abyss. It's on the outskirts of this otherworldly Rodion, but Swivel may definitely get some odd vibes from it - particularly from the fact that in the real Cybertron, it doesn't exist.

Valour has posed:
    Valour looks over the foreboding terrain. He activates his stun-spear, and then the jets beneath his boot-struts. "I'll scout ahead," he announces. "Make sure the way is clear." Without waiting for a response, Valour flies ahead, scanning the landscape and making his way slowly towards the eerily pulsing glow.

SCENE DIVERGENCE! To follow Phantom's group go here 513/The Other Cybertron

Blast Off has posed:
Hey Prowl, if you had to work with Phantom you'd choose Swivel too! Blast Off remains rather aloof, not looking at Swivel very much. He tries to stay closer to Ravage than the Autobot. He glances back at Ravage but doesn't say anything. No, the sniper is is doing his cold and aloof sniper routine to a T here. Hyperdrive gets a glance too, but again no.. like... words. Just a wicked, ribbed faceplate and those cold violet optics.

Prowl has posed:
    Prowl continues to oversee the testing at the portal, turning back to his work as soon as the others are out of sight. He starts going over some of the live data feeds as they come in from the testing the techs are running. Well -someone- has to do the boring work.

Swivel has posed:
    Swivel shakes her head as Ravage walks along side of her. She doesn't seem overly nervous about his presence. But there is nothing outright dismissive in her demeanor as she regards him. "Nope, we 'ave not." Swivel is already beginning to scan her surroundings as she moves along at a brisk pace, but no one should have any trouble keeping up with her. "Is there somethin' you wanna talk about?" She doesn't feel the need to remind to keep Ravage of all people focused on his surroundings. She just assumes he can multitask.
    The mention of the last time she was here with Hot Rod and Hyperdrive makes Swivel's pace become even quicker and her gait seems somehow more... agitated. "Well, there's no tellin' wot it was since no one could tell wot was wot thanks to the psychosonorum. For once we kin see this world for wot it truly is. A wastela - oh." Swivel comes to a stop, seeing the cliff and cave up ahead. She glances around for landmarks as if to reassure herself she's right where she thinks she is, at least, compared to Cybertron. Swivel visibly shudders.
    "This is... different." Swivel looks up. "We need optics in the sky," Swivel says, looking at Blast Off. While her tone is not commanding, it's clear she's expecting him to take action. "But I'd not go past those dark clouds. Just a quick look to see if there are any other differences in the landscape from our Cybertron, or if this is... anom...anonol... that word for unusual." Swivel then peers at Hyperdrive and Ravage. "I'm gunna take some readings and samples near that opening." Swivel points to the suspiciously smooth opening. "You two keep optics out for anything else... strange. 'Yperdroive, make sure ya got a flare ready just in case."

Ravage has posed:
What Swivel might be -or might not be- noticing is every few steps a small sphere drops from Ravage's side, rolling off. Is he keeping an 'eye' on things? Oh, and how. Indeed, probably making sure there's plenty of sensors scattered about to keep things monitored for a little while to come.

"Oh, it's rare I meet a neutral I haven't met before in operations. Or, well, former neutral." He tsks. "I thought, considering how frequently you liased with Blast Off here, you would be working alongside myself." He chuckles. "Well, I suppose in a sense now you are, so...my hunch was indeed spot-on, if not a bit...round-about-ish. Tell me about yourself? Where are you from? What drew you to what you do?"

Hyperdrive has posed:
Hyperdrive tries to keep his expression straight when Blast off is mentioned. He moves quicker to keep up with Swivel but again keeps quiet. His mouth ran a bit too much a bit ago. So now its time to listen.

Blast Off has posed:
Blast Off lifts an optic ridge at Swivel, but nods. He begins walking away from the group, only the slightest twitch and glance back at Ravage's mention of his name. He walks a distance, adding, "Very well, I shall go scout and inform you of anything unusual." Dusting non-existant dust from his arm, he looks quite self-important as he gives them all a brief nod, then transforms. The now much larger shuttle rockets off in a blast of icy smoke to survey the terrain.

Swivel has posed:
    Swivel smiles and nods to Blast Off, relieved when he does as she suggested. After all, she knows better than to order him around. Then, Swivel cautiously approaches the opening, feeling both enticed and repelled by it, listening to Ravage. When he mentions her meeting with Blast Off frequently she glances down at him a tiny mote of alarm leaking through her expression, and then looks straight ahead. Right. He was talking about before the war. Hopefully. "I'm from Nyon," Swivel responds as she puts her hands out in front of her near the opening, as if testing for something, feeling for something that isn't there. She then withdraws her hands. "Wot drew me to wot I do? D'you mean being an Autobot or...?" Swivel seeks clarification before saying too much as she kneels down, getting out a small tool and a small container. There's a grating noise as she tries to get some filings from the cliff face itself.
    Ravage and Hyperdrive may notice another slightly different scraping noise different from the one made by Swivel collecting her samples, followed by muffling scuttling. It tapers off into silence, suggesting whatever it was has moved away.
    Up in the sky Blast Off gets an even clearer view of the desolation of Psybertron. All of Rodion and everything around it is in shambles, but not from any obvious sign of attack. It just looks as though it was abandoned long ago and left to fall apart, its famous waterways mostly dried out. Other than the this anomalous cliff, it looks like their Cybertron, albeit from an earlier time. Upon gaining further altitude, there is a cloying sense of oppression emanating from the dark clouds above. It's not like the surreal fear induced by the psychosonorum, but there is nonetheless a sense of danger. To the east the clouds are lower, darker, and flashes of purple lightning can be seen in the distance.

Ravage has posed:
"Well, the 'what' can certainly be taken to mean the Autobots, or just the conflict in general, or perhaps scouting and slinking around, or even...out of Nyon, or to volunteer and come here... So many 'heres' to be drawn to."

He pauses as he turns an ear towards the scraping, followed soon thereafter by the majority of his own onboard sensors as he tries to place the scratching noise and pattern to something known. Or not...

It's gone soon enough, it seems, and he falls back in step with Swivel and Hyperdrive. "Truth of the matter is, we all have our own reasons behind what we do. Our motivations and convictions are our own, and our loyalties are undboutedly resolute and beyond contestation... am I right?"

Blast Off has posed:
Blast Off pushes higher, higher, taking in the desolation and decay all about him. When he reaches those dark clouds well, it's not /fear/ that drives him back down, simply common sense practicality. That's all! Now that he's scouted the area he heads back to the others. The shuttle broadcasts down, "<< This whole place looks abandoned. Everything is falling apart and I do not see any signs of life anywhere. Just decay and lightning out in the distance.

Swivel has posed:
    Swivel taps the small container her collected sample is in, then tucks it away. She tilts her head to Ravage as he... doesn't really clarify his question but rather broadens it. "Aaaah... er... hmmm. Well not sure I got toim to answer all the possibilities ya pointed out, and not sure you'd care to know them all." Although Swivel has suspicions otherwise. Swivel squints up at the sky for a moment, as if making sure Blast Off hadn't disappeared. But when the talk of loyalty comes up, Swivel glances back at Ravage. She very pointedly says nothing. It's that sort of nothing that says volumes.
    The scraping, scuttling sound doesn't exactly match a pattern, but certainly sounds like something small moving in a subterranean tunnel. The noise has stopped now. Whatever it was its either gone or decided to be very still.
    As Blast Off descends and reports, Swivel beckons him back down further. She then taps the side of her helmet. <<"Just barely made out wot you said.">> Swivel waits a moment and then faces the cave. "Well. My instincts are telling me to stay away from this cave... which probably means it's worth investigating." Swivel already knows she is going to regret this.

Ravage has posed:
The feline just watches Swivel carefully. Silence indeed. "Because, naturally, we all feel one side above all reproach. Middle ground is so...difficult to find and hardly worth seeking, much less entertaining. Or so I've been told."

He sorts the noises away, marking the location before transmitting it, and the scanned noises, to Swivel without a word. Blast Off is likewise just...given a brief notice of attention, his focus is on the cave. "I firmly agree. It's not worth dismissing. Great risks, great rewards, and all that." He steps into the cave, the plating on his body shimmering before the light bends around him and he vanishes from view. "I'll take point."

Blast Off has posed:
Blast Off descends and transforms again with a thud, suddenly taking up MUCH less space than he did a moment ago. He retains the same amount of attitude, however. Striding forward to reach the others, he looks around with an aloof air. Though the cave earns a slightly wary look. "We're going in *there*?" He doesn't sound very excited about this idea.

Swivel has posed:
    Swivel tilts her head. "I dunno. Middle ground sometoims 'as a unique vantage point. If you kin see past the chaos." Swivel says quietly. She receives the transmission of the noises and squints. "Er... if you 'ear any more of that comin' closer, or a screeching noise, let us know roight away."
    Swivel just might look a bit TOO relieved when Ravage takes point. She looks as disinclined to enter as Blast Off probably feels. And speaking of Blast Off, Swivel glances over her shoulder at him. "Well... if you 'urry you moight be able to catch up with Phantom and the group 'e flew off with." Swivel smiles sweetly. She then turns back to the cave, also hesitating a bit before stepping forward.
    The cave is, as expected, dark and foreboding. Not far in, it begins to slope downward. No scuttling noises return. In fact, there seems to be an unnerving silence all around. Cybertron, even in its depths, would have the humming, buzzing, grinding and noises even from the great depths - sounds of movement, sounds of life. But not here.

Ravage has posed:
Ravage is fine venturing down into the darkness, eyes glowing an eerie infrared to illuminate the things around him as he continues deeper into the cave. If Blast Off or Swivel were scared or timid about the things, then he's making up for it and...well, probably even silently taunting them with 'look, the cat's doing it, why can't you' posturing.

Blast Off has posed:
Blast Off huffs softly at Swivel's response, wing elevons twitching, faceplate jutting towards the sky. "What? Are you implying I am *scared* or something of a silly little cave? Hardly. Besides, I'll face whatever's down there before I face that buffoon, Phantom." He *tsks* and begins striding very purposefully into the cave behind them. He's totally got this.

Hyperdrive has posed:
Hyperdrive tries to follow but he keeps turning around to make sure nothing is coming up behind them. A frowns is visible on his face before he turns to try and catch back up to everyone else.

Swivel has posed:
    Normally, Swivel likes caves and tunnels. And she's fine in the dark. But this being Psybertron, she is just particularly on edge. Swivel was about to shift her vision, but then something gives her pause. Instead she turns on her headlights, looking at the unusual smooth sides to this 'cave'.
    "I'm not implyin' anythin'." Swivel says as she looks around, even her soft voice echoing off of the walls. "If you were afraid of such things, you'd not be in this awful place." Swivel strides onward.
    As the cave goes deeper into the darkness and the silence, there is a soft glow ahead. The source is difficult to discern, as the illumination seems to be reflecting off of an even thicker cloud of psychosonorum, refracting into a splendid plethora of colours. Despite the lack of a draft, there is a roiling, perpetual motion stirring within the miasma.
    Swivel slows down, her sensors pinging her frantically at the increase in saturation. Their protection against the insidious gas should hold up... but not indefinitely. Nonetheless Swivel seems unwilling to go forward. "Er... maybe we should turn back. Seems loik a dead end. Yeah..." It's too early to tell that it's a dead end, and most can see that much, even Hyperdrive when he catches up. Seems like someone is losing their nerve.

Ravage has posed:
Ravage is not so easily dissuaded, carefully manipulating his systems to better extend how long he'll manage in the foul place as sensors perform deep, broad sweeps in an effort to locate...well, anything, really. "You're more than welcome to leave. I don't intend to leave here without finding something, though."

Blast Off has posed:
"Well... Yes." Blast Off's bluster falters a little as the dark engulfs them and he picks up his pace to get a little bit closer to the femme. Only because of her headlights, totally the only reason. "Exactly..." He mutters, glancing about, trying not to let himself succumb to the mild claustrophobia he's already experiencing. He huffs softly to Ravage, "I'm not leaving either. Let us scout out this... awful place, as Swivel put it, and be done with this." As Swivel seems to lose her nerve, he stops and looks at her, violet optics glowing in the dimness. "...." Now he glances from person to person. "Well, *I'm* not afraid." Totally not.

Hyperdrive has posed:
Hyperdrive is really not liking being here at all. He looks at Swivel. "I don't like this place either." To ravage he frowns, "I'd rather leave than find our deaths but I'll stay as long as I need ta." Forcefields are wonderful things.

Swivel has posed:
    As earlier, where a silence told a lot, in Ravage's sensor sweeps, nothing seems to be the more puzzling response. Just beyond the gas cloud there isn't just mundane readings or intereference beyond, but simply nothing. A void.
    Swivel looks around, as if having forgotten she was sort of leading the charge to begin with. There's no one outranking her to tell her to keep going. Just Decepticons to make her look bad if she turns back. Oh. And a cadet more willing to stay than she is. The femme had almost turned around, her headlights sweeping over some small holes, roughly big enough to fit Ravage, perhaps a bit smaller, along the bottom of the concave tunnel walls. Swivel glances between Blast Off's and Hyperdrive before rolling back her shoulders and turning back around, facing the illuminated cloud. "Yeah, let's get this over with."
    Almost right after saying this, that familiar scuttling scraping noise is back, and it's coming closer and closer at an alarming rate.

Ravage has posed:
Ravage eyes the various openings and crevasses before looking back at the group, perhaps to really size them all up. Blast Off, too big. Hyperdrive, too big. Swivel...well, too shakey. Unreliable at best. Hrm. "I'm going in and dropping a sensor package. If I don't come back, assume the worst and don't follow."

And, with that, he's creeping his way into the nearest cutout hole that will fit him, more of those little sensor spheres shedding out of the compartment kept in the tail to roll along, probe ahead, and provide a bread-crumb trail back, the very same bread-crumb trail pinging his location all the while to the main group. <<Oh, the noise is back. I'll send some sensors to help triangulate, but you may have to tighten up your lugnuts and do some investigation yourself as well,>> is tightbeamed to Swivel, no less. <<I don't trust the other two further than I can throw them when it comes to sensor packages for detecting anomalies. Maybe the breakable one....maybe.>>

Blast Off has posed:
"Good," Blast Off nods to Swivel before turning to glance back where Hyperdrive is joining them. The Combaticon stiffens a little, that aloof look lingering, before he turns to look at the various holes and crevasses. When the rumbling starts up again, he tenses further, bringing his ionic blaster out of subspace and readying it. "What is..." His words drift into nothingness as he decides being quiet might be a better choice right now. The shuttleformer scans as best he can for what might be approaching and again tries not to imagine the whole cave falling in. It won't do that, right?

Hyperdrive has posed:
Hyperdrive stays close to swivel while also frying to keep an optic on blastoff. His small crame befinning fo hum a little as he preps his forcefield. "i have a bad feeling about this"

Swivel has posed:
    Swivel begins to put her hand out in protest as Ravage heads out. "I'm not sure that's..." A good idea? Well it doesn't matter. Ravage will do what Ravage does, and Swivel knows she lacks the authority and experience to even try to demand he stay within line of sight. Sneaking is what he does, after all, right? Swivel withdraws her hand, glancing back at the cloud as she receives Ravage's transmission and sensor packages. Mostly.
    As Ravage pokes into one of the hole he'll be made quickly aware that something is rushing towards his location. And it is very unlikely whatever it is will be small enough to pass by him in such a tight squeeze. It's even more likely that whatever it is was what created these smaller tunnels. A collision is likely if Ravage doesn't take action.
    Swivel motions for Hyperdrive to come closer. "Um... so... 'ow far and 'ow big KIN those forcefields reach?" She asks very quietly. And tensely. She doesn't like the sound of the scuttling. It sounds a bit like... trouble. "Though this gear is tested, I don't think it was ever tested in as 'igh concentrations as wot lies a'ead - and any of is gettin' exposed would be a danger to us all. So I'm gunna say if we can't get through it to the other side after a breem, we just backtrack and leave it be. If we risk it at all. Not gunna make anyone do an...thing... frag..."
    The scuttling noises are also coming closer and seem to be coming from all sides.

Ravage has posed:
<<Something is coming.>> It's about all Ravage gets out before he, in turn, is making his way back and attempting to get clear of whatever it is rushing down his chosen tunnel, his own systems scanning intently in an effort to try and collect whatever data he can to send it back to the other three left in the tunnel itself.

Or, well, he's picking the most convenient one to send the information to. It just so happens that his 'Bot on Speed-Dial' for fire support is...well, the fragile one, Blast Off. <<Evading. Do with it what you can. Retreat if needed. I can see myself out if need be.>>

Blast Off has posed:
Blast Off does not like this, no Sir. The Combaticon can hear ...*things* getting closer, and there's nowhere to fly, which makes the spacer feel especially trapped right now. He glances back the way they came, half-tempted to head back, but he can't let himself run scared. Not when others are watching. He's a Combaticon, frag it all. He's just bracing himself for a fire fight when he gets Ravage's message. The shuttle swings his weapon up, preparing himself as the data comes in, pointing towards a likely hole and waiting for something to emerge from it. He radios back, << Understood. >> The sniper's not much on small talk, after all.

Hyperdrive has posed:
Hyperdrive isnt liking this. he looks to swivel. "I can expand it ta include the cons but its gonna seriously drain my systems. I can rig it ta stay up longer but someone may have ta carry me since itllstart consuming my other systems. "

Swivel has posed:
    As Ravage backs out, his readings and what he can glimpse of something in the tunnel just ahead of him are similar to those of the monsters that had been unofficially dubbed Psycho Stalkers. However, the cat manages to keep ahead of it.
    Through the holes, familiar cylindrical heads poke out. At first they all seem to be turning every which way. However after a moment of this disorganized movement, all of them turn in unison towards Swivel, Blast Off, and Hyperdrive, light glinting off of many rows of countless teeth. Remember these guys?
    Being the brave and valiant leader Swivel is NOT, Swivel squeaks hides behind the cadet with forcefield tech, and stays well out of Blast Off's way. "Someone'll carry ya if it comes to that. Pits, I'LL carry you if I 'ave to." Swivel then leans in closer to Hyperdrive, whispering, "I know 'ow ya feel about me... but if you can't get a forcefield around everyone if it comes to that - do NOT priotize me. I kin take a few 'its - others 'ere cannot."

Ravage has posed:
Ravage barrels out of the tunnel as soon as he can to get clear of the...thing, trusting Blast Off to do what the marksman does best and NOT MISS.

Seriously. Now would probably be a very bad time to get on an unlucky streak.

But that's not all, the cat skids to a halt and lets his own systems run a quick structural scan of the cave. <<I think I can set off an explosive charge that...hopefully will either totally disable them, disorient them, chase them off, or cause the hole cave to collapse. Retreat is advised ahead of the detonation. Give me a moment to get the charges in place.>>

Blast Off has posed:
It's a good thing for Blast Off's ego that he isn't hearing any of these things people keep saying. He DOES hear Ravage's plan, though, and while it is a good one his nerves are just getting worse. Actually bring the cave down on PURPOSE? Yeah, he wants out of here fast. But first things first. The Psycho Stalkers arrive. Blast Off's violet optics brighten momentarily and a wing elevon twitches, but he quickly settles himself in for a shot. He's got a job to do, and nerves or not, he's very much a professional about that. The sniper takes aim, using all the skill- and Ravage's data- that he has, and then fires at what he hopes would be the most distracting and disrupting 'worm' to take out in regards to the others- and buy the Cybertronians a little time.

Hyperdrive has posed:
Hyperdrive nods to swivel though quietly disagreeing. "Just tell me when and it'll be alot easier if everyone is kinda close together when ya decide fer me ta throw the field up. If we get too many hits it'll go down and I might not be any good fer fightin after that." He is tense but ready to do his part. "Did I mention I thought this was a really bad idea?"

Swivel has posed:
    BLAMMO! One of the larger Psycho Stalkers looked about ready to claw its way out when it meets a most voilent end, its whole body rupturing into a gorey explosion of fluids and bits of metal, splattering across the walls. Whats left is not even remotely identifiable as little more than a job well down - although more is left of it than was left of poor Washer. This causes a deal of excitement among the other creatures. The ones closest to the impact draw back into their tunnels to seek cover.
    "Sounds loik a plan t'me!" Swivel says hurriedly to Ravage. She motions back the way they came. "Let's get outta 'ere and let Ravage do 'is thing!" Swivel motions to Blast Off to come closer. "For best protection we'll 'ave to stay together while we fall back." Eyeing the monsters uneasily, Swivel finally gets out her whip just in case she needs to deter any creatures that get too close.
    Some of the creatures from the other side of the tunnel from the one Blast Off obliterated scurry out of their tunnels. Some of them are darting towards the gas cloud, while a fraction of them head towards Blast Off, chittering and screeching.

Ravage has posed:
Ravage gets himself clear before adopting a rather agressive posture, one of the missiles mounted on his frame arming with the blink of an ominous red light. The shadows and refracting light cloaking his form shimmer and fade, and the warhead is released towards the back of the cavern to really, well, do as he said. Scare them, destroy them, or just bring that part of the cavern down on them. "I hope you're all moving...because this could also just make them very, very angry."

Blast Off has posed:
Blast Off smirks under the faceplate as his shot hits exactly where planned, but OF COURSE. However, the worms aren't scared off for long and as they begin approaching again he starts backing towards Swivel and Hyperdrive. He glances to them, "Alright, I'm coming. I..." He cuts short upon sight of that whip, pausing for a fraction of a second before continuing, "...I'll cover us as we leave." As more worms rush towards him, he quickens his pace, turning on his purple rocket heel to take a few more shots to try and buy them a little more time. "Ready when you are." When the signal is given he'll start trying to retreat. And as Ravage acts, that signal seems to be given. Welp, time to go.

Swivel has posed:
    It seems that Ravage's bold maneuver does several of the above! It destroys some of the monsters, scares others back into hiding, infuriates the ones already enroute to Blast Off, and begins to bring down the tunnel. The walls shake and some of the first chunks of debris come down, landing amidst the gas cloud, causing it to scatter and waft closer to the fleeing Cybertronians. But they have protective gear for that, so no worries, right?
    Swivel is worried. Looks like they need to outrun gas, collapse, AND angry monsters. She doesn't argue with Blast Off electing to cover them. She begins to run as fast as she can intiially, but then slows down making sure she doesn't outpace Blast Off or Hyperdrive. Hopefully Ravage can catch up as well and stay within Hyperdrive's forcefield range. Just in case. She fights every urge to transform - for she knows Blast Off could not keep up on foot and doubts there is room for him to transform in these confined spaces.
    The few angry and determined monsters lunge themselves at Blast Off, only to slam into Hyperdrive's forcefield as they retreat. A vague shimmery outline and a few creatures smushed in faces are seen as they slowly slide down the barrier, falling to the ground. They don't remain down long, but seem to have lost their drive, letting out hisses before darting into bolt holes. One of them doesn't make it, however, as a large chunk of ceiling crashes down, squishing the hapless creature.

Ravage has posed:
Ravage huffs. Well, there's a bit of pride about that whole explosion and the results it brings about, but...well, now it's time to run, and he's off as fast as he can manage to get going. He does, of course, glance to make sure the others are moving as well as they can, and that's probably enough to slow him down just to the point that the sting of falling debris is felt.

But he'll gladly call it a 'mission accomplished', going so far as to mark the rubble for later exploration at, perhaps, his own leisure.

Blast Off has posed:
Blast Off retreats, still trying to cover for Swivel and Hyperdrive (and Ravage, though the cat is hard to keep track of). The shuttleformer keeps stepping back, then shooting, then eating up some new ground back towards the entrance. Yet it's still not enough... he's built for the air, not crawling underground, and when the explosion occurs he is quickly overcome by the rubble- except he *isn't*.... thanks to Hyperdrive. The Combaticon flings his arms up defensively, then realizes he's still in one piece. Oh. Arms lowering, he looks over at the Autobot, then concentrates on trying to scramble out of there while he still can, moving with the others inside the forcefield.

Swivel has posed:
    Composure? Who NEEDS composure? Who can run for their life with dignity? Even Blast Off's presence isn't enough to temper Swivel from screaming and urging everyone frantically to hurry up as things begin to come crashing around them. As the domino effect of systematic collpase closes in on their heels, Swivel finds herself almost transforming. There is that click and shift as the T-cog begins it sequence. But it is cut short as Swivel reminds herself that she told everyone to stick close together. If she broke formation, Hyperdrive just might follow, leaving the Decepticons behind. And to what fate? Swivel instead just keeps her faith that Hyperdrive and his forcefield will keep them all safe. However, she is also aware with each crushing piece of debris it deflects, Hyperdrive will grow weaker. She keeps an optic on him for sign of wearing, ready to grab him and drag him at even the slightest sign of faltering.
    At last - there is the minimal light of the overcast outside! Swivel cheers at the sight of it, and they all burst out into safety.
    Behind them the cave collapses behind them. Ravage may also be away that some of his sensors have stopped sending signals - probably crushed in the explosion or maybe even gobbled up by those monsters. At least, that seems likely. But there is a groaning sound and the whole cliff face seems to sway. Slowly the area around the cave isn't just falling apart, but puckering, as if some even greater force were pulling it in on itself. This is more damage than a mere blast, even expertly deployed, should cause. Oddly, the ground beneath their feet is stable, even as the massive cliff continues to bend in on itself. Soon, the cave they entere through is no longer accessible, and the cliff has bent and doubled over on itself to a large extent. But it seems to have finally stopped.

Hyperdrive has posed:
Hyperdrive finds out his feet have become lead weights and though he has gotten out of the tunnel unscathed by boulders, he's not looking so hot. Or rather he is looking too hot. Once they're clear, Hyperdrive falls to his knees as a whine escapes his frame. Thermal scans would show his internals being dangerously hot from the overuse of his ability. Optics darken and he sits there, trying to cool down. Hopefully everything got squished.

Ravage has posed:
Ravage wasn't unscathed, but then again no one escaped without scrapes, scratches, and apparently some thermal exhaustion. Ravage looks back at the collapsed rubble and debris before arming up another rocket and just standing by in waiting. That nice little, 'just in case' while Swivel and (probably) Blast Off tend to Hyperdrive. You know, the two with arms and hands.

Blast Off has posed:
Blast Off's vents seem to be heaving a little faster than normal even once he's safely outside. His frame is tense, fists balled up, gripping his rifle with an iron hold as he stares at the cave in. He doesn't move much, just watching....and possibly regaining composure. His stare seems to reach much further than his eye could possibly see. Then, with a twitch of wings and a glance skywards- for there it is, the lovely if thunderous sky, he finally lets out a soft vent and turns to the others. There he notices Hyperdrive. Glancing between the others, he settles on Swivel. The Combaticon hesitates to make any move, however. "Is he... well?," he asks quietly.

Swivel has posed:
    It takes Swivel a few loping strides for her to come to a stop, and when she does, she whirls around to watch the further collapse. But she doesn't watch for long as Hyperdrive gets her attention immediately. Without much hesitation she is crouching beside Hyperdrive. "I'm 'ere buddy, you jus' rest." Swivel grabs out a canteen that is only a quarter full, but its filled with one of her favourite blends - coolant and energon. "'Ere, try some of this..." she says, passing it to Hyperdrive. Swivel then looks up at Blast Off. From her expression, one can gather she's concerned but not downright panicked. "I think we're done 'ere. If you two wanna go back to the portal, 'Yperdroive and I will catch up once 'e 'as 'ad some rest. I've got flares 'andy, so if anything more goes wrong, I kin get my point across."
    Ravage's vigilance is rewarded by its own lack of necessity. Nothing further comes out. Nothing further falls towards them.

Ravage has posed:
Ravage looks at Swivel, then Hyperdrive, and finally Blast Off. "Go ahead, Blast Off. Let them know we're coming. I'll remain. I want to collect some data from scans anyway." That's his excuse, at least, and not one to take any other thoughts on the matter, he just sits himself down and lets his sensors link up with all those dropped little spheres earlier, seeing which ones are active and gathering the localized data they were meant to. Nothing too exhaustive, but enough to make it...interesting, perhaps.

As for Swivel and Hyperdrive? Well, other than being nearby, armed, and attentative, he pays them no mind for the time being. Not overtly, at least.

Hyperdrive has posed:
Hyperdrive doesn't look up right away but if he doesn't get something in him to cool down, it'll be worse on him. He does have to wince when he takes a drink of Swivel's canteen. He then finishes it off looking a bit guilty, "S-sorry...ow. That totally feels as bad as I thought it might. But...it worked." He ends up laying flat on his back, just trying to allow everything to settle and finish cooling off "Everyone's okay right?:

Blast Off has posed:
Blast Off remains standing there. Swivel encourages him to leave, as does Ravage, yet still he remains. The shuttleformer looks back to the wreckage, then to the Autobots, then ahead to where they all need to go. He stands there a long time, occasionally glancing to various locations, or people, or just nothing in particular.

Then suddenly, the shuttleformer subspaces his weapon and rolls his shoulders, letting out a loud and annoyed hufffffff. "So I leave you all and if the worms come back and eat you, *I* look bad and the Autobots blame the Decepticons. I think not. No, there's only one thing to do. One very annoying thing to do." With a very put-upon siiiiigh, the very standoffish shuttle steps closer to Hyperdrive, looming over the two small 'Bots...and then reaches down to carefully pick the injured and exhausted mech up. Unless Hyperdrive somehow scoots away, he'll find himself in the Combaticon's arms. A Combaticon who is acting quite put out by this... yet his hold is extremely gentle.

Swivel has posed:
    Swivel nods to Ravage. As he he seems to pay no mind to them, she in turn offers him little attention. Although she remains aware of his presence. Not that she inhibits herself overly. . "Yeah. Everyone's okay." Swivel reassures. "Whew, was that CLOSE! But I knew we'd get out okay, because I 'ad me lucky charm on me!" Swivel brings out the necklace he'd given her, swinging the bauble in front of Hyperdrive's face like a pendulum. "See?" Seeing Blast Off approach, Swivel quickly tucks it away. NOTHING to see here. She edges away, watching Blast Off with mild astonishment. Is he... trying to lift Hyperdrive? Swivel... says nothing. Best not draw attention to it.

Hyperdrive has posed:
Hyperdrive would probably be speaking a mile a minute and complaining and stuff. But....lucky for everyone here, he's too blasted tired and has a major case of heartburn...spark burn? Either way he's undercharged and overheated. So as much as he would like to be a pain in the aft for the combaticon, he's lifted like he's inconsequential and Hyper is stuck looking down at Swivel, rather helpless at this point. "I...err...umm....Y-ya don't have ta....ow......" And yes he's still pretty darn hot in a physical state of matter way.

Blast Off has posed:
Blast Off catches a glimpse of... something in Swivel's hand, and stifles a small frown, some slight... is it jealousy? But no, he's made his move and he's going to do the right thing here. Even if it IS kind of annoying. But he owes the mech, and... maybe he even feels a little bad about killing his friend. Maybe. Not that he'll ever admit it. No. He looks down at Hyperdrive, demeanor as aloof and haughty as ever, but his hold remains gentle. "No, I don't. Now hold still." He allows himself another put-upon huff, adjusting his grip on the Autobot draped over his arms so that his heat shields protect him from Hyperdrive's overheating body. He hardly feels it. That armor of his may be fragile but it's an excellent temperature shield. "Ready?" he asks Swivel, ready to get back, and making sure to look quite aloof. Nothing sentimental here at all, nope.

Swivel has posed:
    "More than ready!" Swivel shirps back. Swivel falls in step walking very close to Blast Off as they head back to where Prowl and the portal are (hopefully) waiting. She keeps glancing up at Hyperdrive in Blast Off's arms. Fairly confident that walking thise close there won't be a lot of interference, she tightbeams Blast Off. <<"Thank you. I know you don't like *touching* just anyone if you can avoid it.">> Let alone a dirty little Autobot. But Swivel refrains from adding that bit. It would taint the sincerity of her gratitude. She also keeps herself from patting the oh so aloof sniper on the arm. Not with both Hyperdrive AND Ravage around to catch even a subtle touch. And they're off, back to the portal.

Hyperdrive has posed:
Hyperdrive is moved around until Blast off is comfy. He sighs and then looks at Swivel, smiling, "Ya still have it...I'm glad.." He lets his head flop back down since well, that takes effort. "Glad we didn't get further in. I don't know if we'd have made it out. And really don't wanna be squished."

Blast Off has posed:
Swivel is right about how Blast Off usually avoids touch as much as possible. And apparently it is taking all his energy now just to deal with such a thing, for the sniper remains mostly silent. He gives Hyperdrive a nod, then looks down to give Swivel a meaningful glance after receiving her message. It remains brief, though. No long looks here with others around, right? Then he begins the journey back to the portal where Hyperdrive can get repairs and they can find safety.

Hyperdrive has posed:
Hyperdrive is being carried by a con. And if it wasn't for the fact that he's not in any shape to walk back, he'd complain. As it stands, he'll probably be laughed at for being saved by the decepticon. Sigh. Hyperdrive is apparently aware that he's should be on his best behavior since he stays completely still.