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 Post subject: Southern Wasteland
PostPosted: Thu Feb 19, 2009 11:14 pm 
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Yaahh! Arcee grunted as her foot connected with the busted drain grating, sending it flying a good distance into the air. She slowly lifted herself out of the moat and climbed onto the streets she had not seen since … well, she wasn’t really sure since when. She was lost; things had clearly changed. Last she remembered, she was lying in a med bay, surrounded by Decepticons. Rodimus was there, and they were both sporting Decepticon insignia. She could recall Megatron’s voice, reassuring her that she was among friends.
Primus… she groaned, as terrible memories began to form. Memories of things she had done. Could they really be true? And if so, what happened that caused her to be here now?
Stepping out into the light of Cybertron, she steadied herself and closed her eyes, trying to get her wits about her. For how long had she been trapped under the rubble of Kaon? Who had left her there? Her mind turned immediately to Rodimus. Opening her eyes and surveying herself, she now saw the many nicks and scuffs that peppered her plating. There were sizeable scratches along her chest and torso that revealed the softness of the Autobot pink underlying her now harsh and beaten purple. She … or possibly someone else … must have been trying to scratch off the Decepticon paint.
Suddenly, out of the corner of her eye, Arcee saw a shape forming in the distance. It was heading toward her, and appeared somewhat frantic. She began running toward it, the stiffness in her legs making it difficult to move too quickly. As she got closer, she began to recognize …

... Blackjack?

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PostPosted: Thu Feb 19, 2009 11:56 pm 
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It seemed he had been running forever across the wasteland of his nightmares. And still he had seen no other signs of life. Feeling less afraid the more he distanced himself from the bodies and the signs of war, Blackjack slowed his pace. He thought that at any moment, a Decepticon warrior might appear and he would have to fight for his very life. He hadn't felt fear like this since that day, when he had seen that look on her face and then nothing. He didn't even think anymore if he'd see Cambreaker, or Minerva, or Redline, or Rattrap, or anyone again. It was a hopeless situation. Now it was kill or be killed.

Then in the distance he saw a figure. It was moving slowly towards him, badly hurt and struggling to run. As he approached he could tell it was a female Transformer. She was mostly purple in coloration with splotches of pink showing through. There were wounds all over her body as if she'd been through hell itself and was returned to this world. Immediately he put two and two together. And then she called his name, full of surprise and wonder. He stopped running.

R...Roulette? Is that you? How...how is this possible. Am I really in the past? Or are you somehow alive?

He remembered thinking about ghosts. She had been purple with gold like his own, but never pink. He wondered what had happened to her. Doing nothing else, Blackjack just stood there wondering what else to say after so long.


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 24, 2009 12:11 am 
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Arcee stood and looked at Blackjack with surprise and confusion. He had called her “Roulette,” and while she had a fair indication that this was not her identity, Arcee’s memory was still so foggy that she could not be entirely certain as to whether or not she may have previously gone by such a moniker.
Roulette? No … Arcee shook her head and placed a hand on Blackjack’s shoulder. She stared intently and sincerely into his optics. It’s me, ‘Jack … it’s Arcee. Primus, it’s so good to see a friendly face.

Something within Blackjack began to stir at these words. Not Roulette … Arcee. The fear which clouded his mind was wearing off now that he had distanced himself from Dirge.
Ar-Arcee? Blackjack grasped onto the fembot’s arm as his senses returned and memories of her betrayal hit him square back to reality. ARCEE, he hissed...

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PostPosted: Tue Feb 24, 2009 12:28 pm 
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She had seemed confused as if she didn't understand what he was saying. Blackjack wondered if something had happened to her, maybe she'd forgotten. She walked up to him and put a hand on his shoulder. Then she told him that she wasn't Roulette. How could she not be Roulette? Who was she then? He'd never seen this fembot before.

It’s me, ‘Jack … it’s Arcee. Primus, it’s so good to see a friendly face.

Arcee? But...she was gone. She had been with Megatron when Iacon had fallen. She was Decepticon now. The war-torn landscape began to fade back into the wastelands of Cybertron. It had never been there. It was some trick of that Decepticon jet. He blinked, unsure of what to do. This couldn't be her, but now he remembered how she had been.

Ar-Arcee? he questioned, reaching out to touch her arm and see if this was also an illusion.

She had been an Autobot, full of pride. Her colors had been pink and white and she wore the familiar red symbol. Until that day when she and Rodimus had betrayed them. They had stood side by side with Megatron and fought against them. She was purple now, Decepticon colors. Yet, who was he to judge that.

ARCEE, he said more loudly and with anger in his voice. He released his grip and back away a few steps, drawing his rifle and pointing it at her.

What are you doing here, traitor? I thought you were one of Megatron's best friends now. You come to finish me off?

He readies his trigger finger, but doesn't fire. She seems different somehow, the pink showing through the purple and the honest tone of her voice. But Decepticons were known for their tricks.


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 24, 2009 11:22 pm 
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In the instant that Blackjack pulled out his rifle, Arcee knew it was true before he said the words—she was a traitor. The awful memories, those brief flashes of the past were true. She had stood with Megatron against her Autobot brethren, but by Primus, she couldn’t remember or understand why. What had brought her to such lengths?

It didn’t matter now—with Blackjack on the edge, this was not the time to consider what had happened. She was not afraid of the Autobot—as strong and capable as he was, deep down, she was convinced he did not have the ruthlessness to do her any real harm. He certainly wasn’t about to kill her. In the little time she knew him, Arcee had always had a soft spot for Blackjack. He talked tough, but she had detected a degree of gentleness under the surface.
Arcee stepped back—she had to show him she was not there for a fight.


‘Jack, please… she said, raising her hands. I don’t know what has happened or even how long it has been, but I’m not here to hurt anyone … least of all, you.

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PostPosted: Wed Feb 25, 2009 12:35 am 
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She seemed uncomfortable as he raised his weapon, yet she did not seem afraid. He wondered if it was because she had been found out. Or, maybe something had changed. The pink shone through the Decepticon purple. Or maybe she knew he was still disoriented and in little condition to fight. If she wanted to, he was certain, she could kill him in a quick strike that he wouldn't see coming. He was too distracted by trying to read her. He had never been very good at close quarters combat anyway.

Then she surprised him, she raised her hands and pleaded for him not to fire. Her words were entirely too strange. He couldn't pull the trigger, not now. Maybe he never would have been able to. He'd lost the edge that he'd once had. He remembered the days after the war, the days of his personal missions, the days when he'd rushed headlong into battle, ready to kill any Decepticon that stood in his path. Now, as he'd aged, that killer instinct was gone. He couldn't kill her, even if she was lying and setting a trap for him. There was something in the way she'd said it, every word. He dropped his rifle.

Primus...what happened? he said at first, much more softly and without the previous anger, things have changed a lot, Arcee. It seemed strange to him to be saying that name. Cambreaka has lead us across the galaxy and back here to Cybatron. But we thought we'd lost you. He was about to mention Rodimus, but thought better of it. Are you able to walk much more? We should get movin'. It would be good to get outta here and back to the otha Autobots.


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 25, 2009 9:44 pm 
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An immediate sense of relief overcame Arcee—for some reason, Blackjack actually took her for her word. Perhaps it was due to whatever had caused his earlier tantrum. Or, perhaps he actually did trust her. While she probably didn’t deserve for things to be that easy, she would more than gladly accept it. The question now was whether or not the other Autobots would be equally as receptive.
Are you able to walk much more? We should get movin’. It would be good to get outta here and back to the otha Autobots.
Arcee took a few steps. It hurts, but I think I can move okay. Just stiff. She gave herself a stretch, loosening her joints.
Everything is so murky to me, Blackjack … she said as they began to walk. I’m almost afraid to ask the questions that are stirring around in my head. They both paused briefly and glanced down at her half-scratched Decepticon symbol. Arcee looked Blackjack in the optics and they held one another’s gaze for a moment. Before she could face the other Autobots, she needed to know what had happened that had triggered her to switch sides. She hoped with utter desperation that she hadn’t done it of her own free will and sound mind.
…Why? she asked finally, knowing it was an unfair question.

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PostPosted: Thu Feb 26, 2009 12:12 am 
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She walked without his aid and in her condition this surprised Blackjack. He still didn't understand why he'd felt compelled to trust her. But there had been times, back then, when he'd trusted her. He'd met Arcee sometime before Optimus had decided to take his expedition in search of new energy sources, it was some time after Roulette's death, but he'd lost track of the time. He didn't remember where he'd first met her, but there hadn't been very many fembots (or bots in general) with her skill as a sharpshooter and he remembered time spent talking between rounds of competition at the firing range in Iacon. He'd lost a good deal of shanix to her. But it had only lasted for a short time and he'd never gotten to know Arcee as well as he'd hoped.

He stopped walking as he thought about these turn of events. Why was she returning now of all times? It seemed as though it was the least possible time for such a turn in the Autobot's luck that one of their own had returned from such a fate as she had. He glanced for a moment at the Decepticon symbol she still wore, although partially scratched off and he noticed she was glancing at the same. Both looked up at the same time and caught one another's gaze. She had been one of the friends he'd made in the time after Roulette's death, one of the few who had supported him. He felt as though this hand had been dealt him for that purpose, to pay her back for those days long ago. He opened his mouth as if to speak, but she was the one who caught the first word.

...Why?

And he didn't have an answer. What could he really say. She had betrayed them, handed Iacon over to Megatron, and then disappeared. And now she had reemerged, seemingly changed once more. It had never been in his nature to be the one to forgive a 'con for their actions, given his experiences. But he'd given it thought lately. Were they really so different? Arcee had been his friend then, and she was still. She deserved at least the benefit of the doubt.

I don't blame ya for anythin' that took place. I can't answer yer question, but I can forgive ya.

He broke her gaze and looked ahead. He had run so far into the wasteland he knew that he didn't know the way back. Hopefully help would arrive soon. And then what?


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 26, 2009 1:30 am 
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The two fighter's gleam as they fly into the wasteland south of Kaon. The search of the immediate surroundings had been fruitless and Nighteye had detected indeterminate movement in the general area. Rattrap veers to the west and watches the ground beneath, looking for any sign of their missing friend. Rattrap yells into the comm, over the engine noise.

Over Comms: Redline, how's she handling for you?

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PostPosted: Thu Feb 26, 2009 1:43 am 
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The plane lurches slightly as Redline gets the feel for the controls beneath her. Hearing Rattrap's question burst over the comms through the engine noise, she pulls the plane into a sharp turn and feels the rush of the G's pushing against her frame.

Over comms: I'm gettin' the hang of it. Anything on your side?

Just as she asks the question, Redline sees a dull form in the distance.

Over comms: There's something on the horizon to your 10 o'clock.

Redline eases the plane in Rattrap's direction to go investigate the first anomaly they had seen on the ground in this wasteland.

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PostPosted: Thu Feb 26, 2009 2:14 am 
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Rattrap peers out of the fighter in the direction Redline had pointed out. He could barely make out two figures amongst the bombed out rubble. When he had gotten a little closer, he could see Blackjack conversing with some pink transformer that he couldn't recognize at this distance.

Over Comms: Blackjack! You ok down there? Who's the pink femme, I thought Elita One was back at Iacon? Head west about half a click. We'll meet you there, the gunship should be there shortly.

Over Comms to Dinobot: Chopper-face, we found them. Sending you the coordinates for the LZ. Get your tailpipe over here.

Rattrap brings his fighter down in the landing zone they had picked and cracks open the cockpit. He climbs out and sits on the fighter's nose while he waits for the others to arrive.

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PostPosted: Thu Feb 26, 2009 7:13 am 
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Right away Vermin, Who does he mean by them? Dinobot lands at the LZ shortly after Rattrap. In the distance he can see Blackjack heading towards the gunship. Rattrap, why do I have an uneasy feeling here? Who is Blackjack walking with? Dinobot slowly starts charging his laser eye, feeling something uneasy about the current situation. Sludge, watch our backs, something feels a little strange.

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PostPosted: Thu Feb 26, 2009 1:31 pm 
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Redline eases the fighter onto the ground near where the other two ships had landed. It was getting a little crowded, but she manages to squeeze into the general area without breaking anything, which she is quite pleased with herself about.

She pops open the canopy and leaps to the ground, her joints and gears complaining at the height of the jump. As she stands, stretching from the flight, she sees that Blackjack and the femmebot he is with are much closer now. Leaning back into the fighter, Redline pulls out her field medic kit. She had gotten quite a bit better at this repair stuff since Minerva had arrived and had Redline working with her so much. The two 'bots were still a way off, but no one had any idea what happened to Blackjack to make him run off like that, so she figures she had better be ready.

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PostPosted: Thu Feb 26, 2009 4:05 pm 
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As he looks out across the horizon, Blackjack sees the two small specks in the sky. Something is coming, most likely Decepticon seekers, maybe even the one who he was facing off with. He steps in front of Arcee and draws his rifle, switching to long-range mode. Then a comm from Rattrap breaks over his communicator.

Yeah, we're fine Rattrap. We'll head to the LZ now.

He doesn't say more. He doesn't answer the question as to who she is. In a way, he was hoping to have walked back the entire way before other Autobots found them. Arcee would not be so easily accepted by the other Autobots, the ones who remembered. This much he knew. Especially not Cambreaker. Yet for some reason he felt it was his place to help her. He was the one who had found her in the wasteland and for some reason he felt as though she was trustworthy, that she was Autobot again.

As they approached, the designated LZ he still walked a little ahead of Arcee. He could see that Redline and Rattrap had landed and were waiting for them, Redline was preparing a medical kit. Then a moment later, the much larger gunship sets down and Blackjack can see Dinobot glaring in their direction, his eye glowing slightly. He grips his rifle, knowing that what he faces now may be more dangerous than any Decepticon attack. Sludge seems little excited when he recognizes Arcee, but he doesn't speak. The two lost Autobots walk to the center of the group of landed aircraft. Blackjack waits for the next move, not speaking.[/b]


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 26, 2009 5:23 pm 
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Upon recognizing Arcee, Rattrap jumps off his perch on the fighter. He grabs for his gun, before remembering that it lay in pieces outside of Kaon. Rattrap clenches his fist in frustration.

Blackjack, what in the name of the pit are you doing with that traitor?

Rattrap glances at Dinobot to gauge his reaction before returning his angry glare to the traitor.

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PostPosted: Thu Feb 26, 2009 6:22 pm 
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Dinobot looks at arcee and he clenches his claws in an attacking manner. His eye is glowing so bright, that heat is visibly coming off of it. Her purple paint is peeling off of her, but the decepticon symbol is still somewhat visible. He sees Blackjack start to grip his rifle a little harder. In a low and menacing growl, the only word Dinobot can muster, Traitor.

He starts to walk towards her, but Sludge, not knowing the situation stops him. Why Leader Dinobot angry with Arcee? She friend. Dinobot turns around to Sludge and tells him of her treatchery. She and Rodimus Prime left the autobots and sided with Megatron, causing us to lose Iacon and almost our lives. He whips back towards Arcee, The other gathered bots look nervously at Dinobot's reaction. How did you get here Traitor? Where is Rodimus? You both should be thrown in the smelting pools for what you've done! Rattrap grabs Dinobot keeping him from getting any closer

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PostPosted: Thu Feb 26, 2009 11:43 pm 
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She had asked him an impossible question, but he had given her the best answer:
I don’t blame ya for anythin’ that took place … he told her … I can’t answer yer question, but I can forgive ya.
His words could have brought tears to her eyes, had she not found the resolve to hold them back. After everything that had occurred—the details of which she could not recall, but only imagine—in some saintly manner, he was still willing to grant her forgiveness. She was truly touched, and wholeheartedly convinced she did not deserve such a friend, nor possibly even a second chance. She took notice of every time that he stepped before her, keeping himself ahead a little, trying to guard her, protect her from the wrath she’d potentially incur from the others. And with every movement, Arcee made a mental note to herself that she would pay Blackjack back for this. She would prove him absolutely right—she could, in fact, be trusted. And if she had to give up her life to show it, she would.
As they neared ever-closer to the Autobot meeting point, Arcee felt her body tense and her stomach turn. How was she going to handle this? They would surely be confrontational, perhaps even belligerent to start. As the others came into view, Arcee could see the expressions on their faces turn angry and sour when they realized who walked with Blackjack. She observed that he gripped his rifle a little tighter … this was not going to be easy, and she felt sorry for making Blackjack go through this on her behalf. Rattrap immediately jumped on his case, but Arcee had bigger things to worry about in Dinobot’s fiercely-glowing eye…

Traitor he spits, holding Sludge back. How did you get here, traitor? Where is Rodimus?
Rodimus … she had nearly forgotten. The truth was, she didn’t know his fate—for all she knew, he very well could have been responsible for her being left for dead. She opened her mouth to speak, but Dinobot was not finished with her.
You both should be thrown in the smelting pools for what you’ve done!
Arcee hung her head. What could she possibly say? She had no justification, and as such, could hardly bear to look the others in their eyes. Their anger and hatred was warranted, and she was stupid to hope for any sort of welcoming. Dinobot motioned toward her, hungry for a piece, but Rattrap held him back. She turned to Blackjack, pulling him aside.
Maybe this wasn’t such a good idea. She briefly glanced back at the others, who stood in solidarity against her. It frightened her to realize that she could no longer remember what it felt like to be standing alongside them. I don’t want to cause a fight between you and them. You shouldn’t have to go through this—not for me, not after what I’ve done. She looked out at the barren horizon, wondering if she’d be able to make it back to civilization alone. It would certainly provide a fitting punishment.

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PostPosted: Fri Feb 27, 2009 2:31 am 
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They reacted in much the way he had anticipated. The tension was high enough to be cut with an Energon knife. Rattrap's initial comment was expected, but not the level to which he could tell Dinobot was infuriated. He walks towards them, seemingly ready to pounce. He is first stopped by Sludge, but this does not last long. Then he is held back by Rattrap. Blackjack wonders why Rattrap is doing this. He doesn't think it is out of concern for Arcee's well-being but perhaps more for his own. In any case, he knows that he will have to owe the rat 'one' sometime in the near future.

But the damage will still done and he knew it. The words that Dinobot had uttered already had done as much damage to Arcee as an attack might. Except that in her damaged condition, Blackjack imagined it wouldn't be too difficult for a warrior of Dinobot's caliber to finish her off. He didn't want there to be fight between them, but perhaps it was inevitable.

She pulled him aside unexpectedly as Rattrap held Dinobot there for a moment longer. He could sense the hopelessness in her tone as she spoke. This was unlike the Arcee he remembered. But then again, they had all changed. He was a different 'bot now as he had been then and he knew it.

I don’t want to cause a fight between you and them. You shouldn’t have to go through this—not for me, not after what I’ve done.

She was right. He shouldn't have to go through it. In fact he still didn't understand why he was doing this. It just seemed to be the thing to do. If a long-lost comrade returned after being away for a long time, would it be a good idea to turn them away? He even felt the need to say so. But she also needed some encouragement. She needed to know that someone was on her side.

It doesn't matta what you've done. That wasn't you. That was someone else. he touched a spot where her natural pink could be seen through the purple. This is you.

Then he turned to the others, looking directly at Dinobot as he spoke. How would you feel if you knew you had done terrible things, things that made ya unworthy of wearin' an Autobot symbol? Yet you knew that you could make up for that if you were given a chance. I know it's easy to condemn and turn away someone who was fightin' for the otha side not long ago, but forgiveness is the Autobot way. That was what Optimus taught me. Now I don't think any of you knew the Optimus I'm talkin' about, but I'm sure you've heard that before. It's what being an Autobot is all about, doing what's right no matter what the cost is.


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 27, 2009 10:32 am 
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Rattrap stares at Arcee, he had seen 'Cons try to play the remorse card before, but never very effectively. She seems genuinely sorry to him, perhaps she deserved a second chance. Rattrap ponders silently for a minute before shaking his head to Dinobot.

We need to take her to Cambreaker and he will want her in one piece. Besides Dinobot, she looks about ready to fall apart. Do you really want to stain your honor by striking now?

Rattrap turns to Arcee and Blackjack.

Trait... Arcee, your fate isn't up to us. It's up to those you wronged most, the Autobot's you served with for years. Either way, its our duty to take you to Iacon.

Rattrap boards the gunship and signals Nighteye to recall the drone fighters. Rattrap makes for the bridge, in hopes that the others will follow instead of tearing each other apart.

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PostPosted: Fri Feb 27, 2009 12:31 pm 
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Redline finally lowers her weapon that she had raised after noting the increasing tension in the air. Not pointing it at anyone in particular, she was not sure what to make of the whole situation. Blackjack seemed comfortable around her, but she was also a traitor of the Autobots and none of them had any reason to trust her right now.

Rattrap makes his way into the gunship. Knowing Dinobot's heightened agitated state, Redline stays behind and turns to him, motioning him into the ship with a kind smile but a firmness about her. She knew that he must see some truth in Rattrap's words.

She then turned to Blackjack and Arcee, motioning them aboard as well. The sooner they got back to Iacon and Cambreaker, the sooner this would all be sorted out. She was not looking forward to that encounter, though, and was even dreading the confrontation that was sure to arise as soon as they arrived.

She was not sure what to think or do about the whole mess. While Arcee had betrayed them, she also looked in the worst shape Redline had ever seen a bot still functioning, and she was weakened greatly. She posed no real visible threat in her current state, as far as Redline could see.

Watching the two bots disappear into the shadows of the ship, Redline looked around her, making sure the drones were in place and everything was accounted for, then followed.

Once on the ship, she pulls out the scanner from her med kit and begins examining their systems, first Blackjack and then Arcee. Blackjack's systems appeared normal, though his circuits showed some signs of stress, nothing a little rest wouldn't resolve. Arcee, on the other hand, appeared to have many damaged systems and extensive circuit wear, but Redline wouldn't know the extent of her damages until they got her back to a medbay.

Sitting back in her chair, Redline joins the awkward, tense silence that had washed over the entire ship and it's inhabitants. This was going to be a long ride.

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