Title: Escape from the Institute Part I

PCs: Buzzkill, Drift, Hot Rod, Kickback, Nautica, Shrapnel, Skids

Location: Nova Cronum

Date: 09 November 2014

Summary: GMed by Noveria. Nautica and Insecticons break out under the cover of the other prongs of the attack!

All seems to be bustling as normal tonight at the Institute, at least from the outside. Lab technicians and lower ranking researchers are moving about, poking and prodding as usual. Test subjects are languishing in cells lining the sub basement levels.

The only thing that's different on this particular cycle is that security appears to have been heightened by a significant degree. Security sent here by Sentinel Prime himself patrol up and down the corridors, though none of them are posted outside. Outside was for the surveillance equipment, so they'd see their attackers coming once they got within range.

Oh, and Pharma isn't here, either, nor are any of the higher-ranking personnel. No, only 'expendable' types are here. People and things that the state doesn't care for if they happen to get caught in the crossfire. The plan? Arrest as many of the violent dissidents as possible, but if that's not possible, trap them in the building and blow them to microns with the charges that have already been set...

The entire sector might collapse, sure, but then the Senate can just blame it on the "terrorists". After all, they've been doing that sort of thing all along, and they did attack the facility so it'd be reasonable enough to accuse them of blowing it up. It makes total sense.

It's against Hot Rod's nature, but he's not the one starting the trouble. That comes elsewhere, in the form of Orion Pax, of all mechs, and Elita One, and /Megatron/ -- that one being to no one's surprise, at least. While Orion Pax and (most) of his Autobots hit above, Elita One, Megatron, Hot Rod and the others enter below, breaching the facility through tunnels scouted out by one particular little tunnel racer named Shiftlock that bring them up nice and close to the walls of the facility as mapped out by the mysterious hero of Nautica's unnamed coworker (who just happens to go by the name Brainstorm, but it's a mystery, so don't tell.)

While others advance ahead, Hot Rod holds his group just a moment to allow the initial response to rise in answer to the other groups. As reminder, he says, "Our goal is to find the prisoners and get them out safely. Stay focused on that, okay? We're here to save people. And that's what we're going to do." It's not a great speech. He'll do better with more practice.

Meanwhile, inside the facility itself, Nautica is making a point of sticking close to the bugs tonight. She paces within the room, periodically stopping to watch the heavily-armed new security in the space outside their lab. At least with Pharma already fled, she doesn't have to worry about him demanding translations of wavespeech afterwards, and so she speaks openly. +The Hollows who want to burn this place -- my friends -- are coming soon. When they come, the Hollows with guns will move to try to stop the, and they won't be watching us. This is our chance.+

Orion Pax sent Skids along with Hot Rod because of the mech's ability to work on-the-fly when things go wrong. The theoretician is still relatively new to the crowd here and remain quiet. He simply nods at Hot Rod's directives and pulls his Nitrogen rifle holds at the low-ready position.

+But what about you?+ Kickback asks Nautica. +Won't that make the device in your head go off?+ That's his primary concern beyond getting the other Insecticons out. He considers himself the least important person on this rescue food chain, and Nautica has been very good to him.

Buzzkill has no idea what time it is or how long she's been in this hell hole. All she knows is the gnawing hunger inside of her that can't be satiated even with the extra rations stealthily given to her by possibly the only empathetic hollow in the entire Institute. She lays on the floor of her small cell, legs bent and feet placed flat against one of the walls that she occasionally kicks out of boredom. Boredom is the biggest problem for her right now. Well, that and the hunger, of course. Oh, the hunger.. The Insecticon can't help but chew on her arm in a pathetic attempt to placate her impending starvation. +How well do you trust these friends?+ Buzzkill asks of Nautica, peeking out at her through her cage.

One might wonder why it is that a psychotic, high profile criminal named Drift is accompanying the group sent infiltrate the Institute, but the simple answer to that question is that Hot Rod attracts unusual friends. Namely violent and needy ones (like Drift). 

He glances suspiciously around at the other people present, skeptical of all of them except for Hot Rod. However, he makes no comment about it. For now. He simply nods, and follows Hot Rod, glancing momentarily over at the other quiet one Skids.

Optics spark with electricity as Shrapnel looks up at Nautica's words. He says nothing but its certainly proven that the outlier of the Insecticons has had enough of this place. Glancing to the others he checks to make sure each is ready in their own way. Barely even glancing at the guards as he decides to let others to make the first move for now.

Nautica might take consolation in the fact that she might have seen the last of Pharma for a while. He's had his fill of her--for now. After all he's certainly already gotten quite his fill of readings from her brain. Like everyone else who's still here, she's expendable. If that hadn't been the case, he wouldn't have installed that abominable device in her neural circuitry.

At any rate, once Hot Rod and his group approach, perimeter alerts go off in the security control room that had been set up on the fly just a solar cycle ago. Having fully expected this incursion, enforcers move quickly toward the location of the intruders, though instead of confronting them immediately, one of them opens a nearby ventilation duct and tosses a small EMP grenade out of it. The spherical device rolls down an incline toward the group, a small indicator light blinking softly. Those with keen observation skills--or simply those who are paying attention--might be able to react quickly enough before it goes off and blinds everyone for several potentially crucial seconds.

Well, keen observation skills puts /Hot Rod/ out. He's too busy watching to make sure Drift doesn't lunge at Skids and rip off his face for being an Autobot or something, before they even get in. Maybe someone else will warn him.

+What does it mean for us once we get out of here?+ Buzzkill asks, now leaning against the side of her cage, peering out like some kind of sad circus animal. +Where are we to go? Will we be captured again or simply killed?+ It's at that point that alarms start going off and some of the guards start freaking out and making a run towards what she assumes are the people coming to save them. Huh, guess this thing is really happening. To be honest, the wasp was almost positive the stories of rescue were a hoax.

+I'll be fine,+ Nautica replies to Kickback. She doesn't sound as confident as she should on that last point, however; it's not as if she's actually tested whether or not Pharma will fry her remotely during this. +Once we're free... you can seek asylum with the Camiens -- like me -- if you want. We're not from Cybertron; we're... a hive of our own, caught far from home. But it's only an offer; you'll be /free/, Buzzkill. It's not my place to tell you what to do.+

But as the guards' attention is drawn to the incoming group, she makes her way quickly over to each of the insecticon cages in turn. Pharma had, after all, allowed her to have it in the past, on the grounds that she could 'get herself eaten if she wanted to'. If luck is with them, he never bothered to change her code when he left, and the cages can be quickly unlocked.

Skids follow third in line in the formation behind Hot Rod and Drift. The theoretician advances slowly his optics looking for traps or security measures. He sees the small device fall. "Hug the walls!" he raises his nitrogen rifle and fires hoping to freeze the grenade's firing mechanism and sparing the group from an unpleasant start in this daring adventure.

>> Drift rolls one ten-sided die and gets: 2.

>> Skids rolls one ten-sided die and gets: 7.

Fully standing up as the guards start to move, Shrapnel crosses his arms as he listens to Buzz and Nautica. Personally the idea of being round more hollows does not appeal to him but guess he'll have to deal with it unless something happens. He doesn't voice this opinion but instead emits +Yes freedom, freedom.+

+If you can't get the doors open, Nautica, just stay back. We have to concentrate on getting out of here, all of us, or we won't make it out alive. Now is the time that we show them we are a hive that acts in -unity-!+ Psyching himself up as well as attempting to encourage others, he transforms inside his cell.

Kickback is ready to transform and ... well, maybe not rise up, but perhaps live up to his name.

When the grenade drops, Drift's optics widen. "Sl--" Before the grenade can go off, Drift takes Skids' advice and presses himself against the wall, grabbing Hot Rod in the process and making him faceplate into the wall rather unpleasantly.

Hot Rod doesn't even really get a chance to get a word out. He manages a sound, maybe, and it sounds like the start of a curse: "Scr--." Then he's being shoved face-first into the wall. Good start. Could be worse.

Buzzkill has no response to Nautica's suggestion. As enticing as it may be, she's still not sure on the whole 'trusting someone who doesn't turn into a giant bug' thing. She does respond to Kickback's words however; as cheesey as his little speech was, it still stirs up that feeling of Insecticon kinship inside of her.

"Yes! Together, we Insecticons can break any hollow bonds! Rise up, my brothers, and we shall reclaim OUR FREEDOM!" Buzzkill transforms into her wasp mode and begins slamming herself into the sides of her cell, intent on busting it right open with the power of COURAGE.

Nautica won't have any trouble opening the cells. Pharma wouldn't have bothered to change the codes. He knew the place was going to go to the afterspark, anyway. Why bother? Again, they're all expendable. He doesn't exactly give a slag.

Even if Hot Rod is not exactly very observant, Drift and Skids save the day for him, with one shouting a verbal warning and the other grabbing him and slamming him against a wall because clearly he's not going to react fast enough anyway. The EMP goes off, but our heroes don't take the worst of it, having jumped to the edge of its blast radius and shielded their sensors from it. However, the moment it goes off, three enforcers come charging through the doors, guns blazing without so much as a 'stop right there' or anything. What's the point, anyway? Not like they're going to surrender to a stun grenade. They'd better take advantage of the moment while Hot Rod and his team are busy shielding themselves from the EMP.

Be free, insecticon friends! Hopefully when Nautica unlocks the cage doors Buzzkill doesn't just go flying across the room, slamming herself into the side of the cage like that. +We'll need to move fast,+ the Camien informs the others, glancing through the window into the hallway beyond. One hand creeps to the quantum wrench at her side; it's hardly the most effective weapon out there, in terms of destructive power, but it's better than nothing.

[Combat:] Noveria misses Hot Rod and is left open to counter attack!

[Combat:] Drift partially blocks Noveria, taking less damage.

[Combat:] Noveria hits Skids!

Freeeeddddooommm! Kind of. Having the cell doors open is a start, at least. Also, Buzzkill totally goes flying out of the cage only to trip and smack face first into the floor. A rather disgraceful display but this whole situation has been pretty damn disgraceful so whatever. The wasp picks herself up and transforms as it's probably easier to run around the building as a humanoid-shaped robot as opposed to a giant flying insect. +Move fast,+ Buzzkill repeats in wave speech, only to finish at a full voiced shout. "AND KILL ANY HOLLOW THAT GETS IN YOUR WAY!"

She then bursts into a full sprint and throws herself through the window that separates them from the hallway even though there is most likely a door nearby. Hey, she's all pumped up and ready to go, she doesn't have time for things like doors. "WHERE IS THE JET-DOCTOR? I MUST HAVE HIS HEAD."

At least Hot Rod has started to pick up a few lessons when it comes to avoiding gunfire. Important lessons, too! Like ... /move/, and /don't be where they are shooting/. Not at all surprised by the enforcers emerging in the wake of the grenade, he drops low and lunges forward -- foolish, maybe; dangerous, definitely -- but it gets him right up close and friendly. He's in range to unleash a blast of fire at the enforcers to try to force them into flinching, and leaving them open to the other two.

[Combat:] Hot Rod hits Noveria!

Unlike the wasp, Shrapnel walks out trying not to push Nautica aside if she lingers. He watches Buzz charge forward but doesn't immediately follow after. For a moment he glances towards Kickback and Bombshell, sparks crisscrossing his body. Nodding to his brothers his optics quickly turn towards anyone coming their way.

"Don't worry about the jet-doctor, stay together and stay focused! There are guards here and they will attack you before you can get to him!" Kickback calls as he leaps out of the cell, and walks forward quickly on six legs towards Nautica. "Are you all right? Nothing happening to your head?" he asks in plain speech. "If you wish, you can climb aboard. I can move faster on six legs than you can on two."

Drift stumbles backwards when one of shots fired by the enforcer grazes him. "Slag..." he mutters, then his optics blaze crimson with rage. He pulls out his own blaster and charges the enemy, guns blazing. "Gloves off," he snarls.

[Combat:] Drift hits Noveria!

Skids gets hit by one of the guards that comes charging. It's a hit but nothing too bad, the night is still young. Still Skids holds back the whole 'beast-mode' thing and sticks to his rifle. "I am allright! Clean shot non-vital." The Autobot crouches to make a smaller target and aims for one of the guard firing a shot from his Nitrogen Rifle.

[Combat:] Skids misses Noveria and is left open to counter attack!

Unfortunately for Buzzkill, Pharma is nowhere to be seen. He's not even on-site, having taken his leave cycles before. Nautica's neural cortex doesn't get fried yet, so she's not falling over dead. When Buzzkill jumps out of the window into the corridor, she lands right in front of a patrol squad, who immediately open fire.

At the doors outside, Hot Rod lunges for his attacker, knocking him off his feet. The enforcer grunts and attempts to strike the flame-painted mech on the head with the blunt end of his weapon. The other two turn on Drift and Skids, one taking a hit from Drift and ducking behind the doorway for cover before taking a couple of potshots at him, while the other dodges Skids' N rifle and strafes sideways a bit in an attempt to flank him for a counterattack. It seems they are attempting to keep Hot Rod and company from progressing into the facility. Will they succeed?

Nautica dashes out into the hallway along with her insecticon entourage. (Or is she their pet Hollow? Maybe shouldn't think about that too hard.) Luckily as they skid straight into the waiting patrol that Buzzkill's angered, she already has her wrench at the ready. It's not the most elegant use of her beloved tool, but hey, a quantum wrench to the head can certainly take someone down if applied correctly.

[Combat:] Buzzkill partially blocks Noveria, taking less damage.

[Combat:] Noveria misses Hot Rod and is left open to counter attack!

[Combat:] Skids partially blocks Noveria, taking less damage.

[Combat:] Noveria misses Drift and is left open to counter attack!

[Combat:] Nautica misses Noveria and is left open to counter attack!

That's okay. Hot Rod has a thick helm. Ask anyone. Seriously. Ask people who haven't even met him, only seen him at a distance -- because he's not hard to spot at a distance. They'll take a look and say to themselves, 'Yep, that mech has a thick helm.' The attempt to strike him on the head scarcely earns his attention, it's such a glancing blow -- and then he returns the favor by giving the fallen enforcer a headbutt, right in the face, to take him out so that Hot Rod can move past him.

[Combat:] Hot Rod hits Noveria!

Electricity continues to surge across Shrapnels form and across the mandibles sticking out of his back as he charges out. He works to stay focused as his optics lock on the guards as he quickly raises both of his arms. It takes a moment remembering how close Nautica is as he unleashes a massive surge of energy at the patrol.

[Combat:] Shrapnel misses Noveria and is left open to counter attack!

Skids watches the guard attempting to flank him. A close shot hits the shoulder but slightly deflects off causing partial damage. Chaos everywhere, no one will notice. It is all in the wrist. Skids twitches his left wrist and out pops two double-barreled blasters. He fires a small burst at the guard hoping to either hit him hard or herd him into a vulnerable position.

[Combat:] Skids misses Noveria and is left open to counter attack!

As it turns out, Kickback was absolutely, one hundred percent correct about the whole guards thing. Buzzkill ducks out of the patrol's line of fire but not before taking a few shots to the leg in the process. She transforms back into her insect form almost immediately and flanks Nautica, lunging forwards and snapping her jaws at the guard the Camien failed to wrench to death. So close to tasting freedom once more, there's no way in hell she's going to let some Institute flunkies keep her down.

[Combat:] Buzzkill misses Noveria and is left open to counter attack!

Drift dodges the enforcer's shots, then goes straight for his attacker, swinging the barrel of his gun heftily at the enemy in an attempt to knock him out. "Hey," he says, glancing over at Skids who seems to be having a little bit of trouble. "You need help fending for yourself?" he says somewhat incredulously.

[Combat:] Drift misses Noveria and is left open to counter attack!

Kickback is trying very hard to be brave but he's never been an actual fight before. He's scared, but it's the thought of letting others down, especially the Queen, that screws his courage to the sticking place.

Still, there's fighting harder or fighting -smarter-. He looks for any kind of data terminal, because he wants to find a direct map OUT.

Unfortunately, Nautica's wrench, while useful, is hardly an effective weapon. It may pack a heavy punch if swung correctly but apparently the Camien -didn't- apply it correctly this time. The other Autobot ducks, and the patrol scatters somewhat, avoiding the electric surge while continuing to fire. The one in front seems to be in the way of Buzzkill's angry jaws, but a small arm shield emerges to block her attack and attempt to slam her against a wall. Didn't Nautica upgrade these guys? They don't seem to be doing so well! As Kickback searches for a terminal, he will find something on the wall a few paces down, though a group of battle drones seem to be headed toward it.

Meanwhile, outside Hot Rod seems to be have better luck. He really does have a thick helm. The headbutt knocks the soldier into stasis lock, though Drift and Skids aren't doing quite as well. Skids' shot goes wide as his opponent twists out of the way, attempting to get behind him now. Drift's gun melee also misses, and his foe aims to make a close-range shot to the midsection.

[Combat:] Noveria hits Nautica!

[Combat:] Noveria misses Buzzkill and is left open to counter attack!

[Combat:] Noveria misses Kickback and is left open to counter attack!

[Combat:] Noveria misses Hot Rod and is left open to counter attack!

[Combat:] Noveria hits Drift!

[Combat:] Noveria misses Skids and is left open to counter attack!

Hot Rod shakes his head as he gets to his feet, a little unsteady as he settles his processor. He starts to lunge for the hallway, then stops as the sound of continued gunfire behind gets through his -- as previously mentioned, /thick/ -- head. He twists, going for the nearer of the other two enforcers -- Drift's opponent -- to give him a sharp kick at the back of his knee. He doesn't shoot: too much danger of missing and hitting Drift.

[Combat:] Hot Rod misses Noveria and is open to counter attack!

Skids continues to focus on his opponent "I am theoretician and a diplomat not a warrior." He says dodging the shot and seeing an opportunity. Time to switch gears. Skids dashes towards the guard bobbing and weaving to make himself a difficult target. Once in range he takes a page out of Drift's book and goes for a jump kick.

[Combat:] Skids misses Noveria and is left open to counter attack!

Nautica is a great engineer and scholar, superb under pressure when it comes to equipment about to explode or destroy local spacetime. Unfortunately, what she is not so hot at is, clearly, fighting. No doubt if she applied herself to learning combat in the same manner she's learned so many other things, she could get good, but clearly this is not her lucky day. As the guard ducks under her wrench, she takes the very edge of Shrapnel's arcing electricity. Unfortunately, between the electrical charge and the blow to the head moments later from her security opponent, the module in her head overloads and shorts out. Her brain may be intact, but the resulting feedback sends the engineer straight into stasis lock and she drops to the floor.

"Argh!" Drift rages as his attacker hits his midsection. Then Hot Rod is on his turf and trying to attack his opponent. "Hey let me take care of myself!" he grumps at Hot Rod, shoving him just as he tries to kick the enforcer. Then he loads his blaster and aims several rounds at the guard.

[Combat:] Noveria partially blocks Drift, taking less damage.

Buzzkill's jaws snap shut but instead of tasting sweet hollow armor, she tastes only failure. The guard's follow up attempt to slam her into the wall doesn't go as planned, the wasp transforming into her robot mode and slipping past the shield. "I'm not going back in a cage. I am not a slave. I am a warrior!" She lunges at the guard, swinging her arms to grab him in a hold and tackle him right into the floor and which point she will lay waste to his face with both her fists, and maybe a headbutt or two.

[Combat:] Buzzkill hits Noveria!

Not evening noticing Nautica got get hit by his own attack, Shrapnel continues to move forward. He raises his arms to block several of the shots while charging. For now focusing on knocking several of the guards around.

[Combat:] Shrapnel hits Noveria!

Kickback transforms the moment he hears Nautica collapse. He's not about to let her lie there and get shot or recaptured. Letting Shrapnel and Buzzkill take point, he scoops up the Camien and makes sure the other Insecticons that have been held prisoner here stay together and fight for the safety of the whole.

Hot Rod's kick misses, because Drift shoved him right as he attempted it. GREAT TEAMWORK, GUYS. A couple of Drift's rounds go into the mech, though he throws a well-armored arm up to take the brunt of it before pointing it at Drift with guns blazing. Skids' evasive maneuvers keep his opponent frustrated in attempting to aim, but apparently his jump kick wasn't all that well aimed, either. The mech dodges, and goes for a punch to the thrust forward leg.

Shrapnel's electricity strikes this time, causing the patrol to falter and giving Buzzkill the opportunity to latch onto one of the Autobots. He falls to the floor, and attempts to throw her off of him, jabbing at her with the barrel of his rifle. The other guard seems to decide that Shrapnel is worthy of more firepower, and brings out a plasma cannon to blast at him as he's charging. The drones that had been heading toward that terminal Kickback was looking for have passed, perhaps headed to a different part of the conflict. The coast is clear for now, while the other Autobots are busy fending off Shrapnel and Buzzkill.

[Combat:] Noveria misses Drift and is left open to counter attack!

[Combat:] Skids partially blocks Noveria, taking less damage.

[Combat:] Buzzkill partially blocks Noveria, taking less damage.

Hot Rod stumbles back with a laugh, which is probably not the reaction that Drift wants to his grumping. "Scrap! Fine, okay." He leaves Drift to it. He holds up his hands and glances once between Drift and Skids. "Have fun, I'm going in!" He hesitates, but gives them a nod as he trusts them to take care of their opponents. He turns to head down the hall and calls ahead, "Nautica! Kickback?" The latter is much less sure than the former. As he goes, he looks for any other victims in the rooms that he passes.

[Combat:] Shrapnel partially blocks Noveria, taking less damage.

Fortunately for Skids he has well-armored mechly legs which cause the punch to land but most of the force is absorbed. It's just enough to mess with his balance as he lands from the attempted kick. Time to adjust the strategy. Skids drops down on one knee and tries to slam the butt of his rifle straight into the guard's knee joint. Hopefully something will twist and lock.

[Combat:] Skids hits Noveria!

Buzzkill gets rifle-jabbed to the face a few times before finally getting shoved off the guard completely. Originally her plan was to take these guys out real fast and move along but doing so is difficult when the other guys have guns. "Hrnn.. I don't have time for this!" the Insecticon snaps, lunging for the guard once more this time with the intention of wrestling his rifle out of his grip and repaying him for all his troubles by hitting him in the face with the butt of it.

[Combat:] Buzzkill misses Noveria and is left open to counter attack!

"..." Drift gives Hot Rod a surprised and annoyed look, optics wide. "If for whatever reason you thought that was cute and funny.." he grumbles. Then the enforcer is trying to shoot Drift again and he has to dodge. He moves to the left, then charges the enforcer, going for his neck.

[Combat:] Drift hits Noveria!

Kickback hears someone calling for him and for Nautica, but it's not a familiar voice. He debates on whether or not he should respond. After all, it could just be a trap to lure him out; however, the guards are all swarming towards somewhere else, indicating that these could -also- be the rescuers that were supposed to come for them. Holding Nautica to his chest in a bridal carry, he turns and snaps off roundhouse kick to the guard attacking Buzzkill, while shouting as loudly as he can, "HEEEEERREEEEEE!"

[Combat:] Kickback misses Noveria and is left open to counter attack!

"Urrgh!", Shrapnel emits as he's pushed back by the plasma shot. If he wasn't upset before he really is now. Which is a proven as he transform before moving to try and slam into the guards once again. Mandibles surging with energy.

[Combat:] Shrapnel hits Noveria!

Skids' opponent yelps as he slams the blunt end of his rifle into the mech's knee servo, sending him stumbling backward. Now's his chance to run after Hot Rod! Drift manages to wrest the other guard to the ground and latch his hands around the guy's neck, though he is putting up a hell of a fight, and brings up a knee to jab into Drift's already injured midsection.

Inside, there are definitely a lot more victims locked in testing chambers or cells all along the walls, barricaded by faintly glowing containment fields. It won't be long before Hot Rod runs into his friends, as Buzzkill is attempting to grab her opponent's gun, though he rolls out of the way just in time and points the weapon at her again with another shot. He then jumps to his feet, avoiding Kickback's roundhouse. Meanwhile, Shrapnel's foe is slammed backward and electrocuted causing him to be sent promptly into stasis lock. With most of the present opposition taken care of, all that's left to do is figure out how to get those cells open before reinforcements arrive from other parts of the facility...easy, right? Maybe...?

[Combat:] Noveria misses Drift and is left open to counter attack!

[Combat:] Noveria misses Buzzkill and is left open to counter attack!

That terminal in the wall a few paces down is still open...waiting...can anyone hack? Ah, too bad Nautica is out cold.

There! Hot Rod orients on the sound of the Kickback's shout, because it's all he's got to go on with Nautica out and not responding to his comms. Those comms get a little more frantic as he gets more and more silence. He's flat out running by the time he gets to the Insecticons, and he stumbles into a skidding halt. He's met Kickback ... once ... long ago. Spotting Nautica being carried, he asks with open worry, "How's Nautica? I've got medics on stand-by. This way. There are more prisoners on the way out, too."

Drift manages to shift his body to the side, avoiding the enforcer's blow to his midsection. He then tosses the guard aside with much force, aiming for a nearby window. After disposing of his enemy, Drift rushes to join Hot Rod, hoping to assist in any way possible. "Is everyone out yet..?" he asks.

[Combat:] Drift hits Noveria!

Skids follows after Hot Rod to lend a hand with the jailbreak, catching up he sees both Kickback and Nautica. His optics settle on Kickback and he remembers what his friend told him. "Seems you have friends in high places who want you out of here." He keeps an optic out for any incoming reinforcements.

The Queen did not forget him! He KNEW it! Kickback's hope swells. "Electricity, I think she might be injured but I am not certain," he explains to Hot Rod. "But that panel back there, it's the controls to the other cells. Someone needs to find a way to break its security codes so we can free everyone. I don't think I'll have time to kick down every door!"

Looking down at the guard Shrapnel twitches a bit as he almost goes feral but quickly stops himself. Moving away from the downed mech he transforms back to root mode, optics focusing on the so called 'rescuers' for a moment.

"Come on, let's go. Bring Nautica, this way--." Hot Rod gestures down the hallway the way they came and exchanges a glance with Drift and Skids. "So ... security codes? I guess we can't just shoot the panel, huh?" His problem solving is extremely limited, sometimes.

The shorted-out module finally clicks itself off, and Nautica comes out of stasis lock with a soft groan. Then she sits bolt upright as her comm system informs her that she has approximately 47 missed calls, all from Hot Rod. She quickly glances around, trying to take in the situation... oh, hey, there's Hot Rod. "I'm guessing," she remarks in Hot Rod's direction, albeit a little woozily, "that I don't actually need to return your call right now?"

They're in luck for now, no more reinforcements seem to be inbound at the moment. The only struggle going on right now is apparently Buzzkill and the last guard standing in this particular basement sector, which she seems to have well in hand...uh, right? She must, since no one seems to be helping her.

Now, the problem is getting those cells open before reinforcements arrive. And no, Hot Rod, shooting the terminal won't help, in fact, if someone looks at the display, they will find encrypted controls, and a map with red dots all over it. Red dots that clearly represent explosive charges planted all over the facility in various strategic locations designed to collapse the entire thing, trapping any unfortunate sparks who might be left inside when it goes off. There's no way to disarm them from here, but if whoever is handling the hacking missteps a bit (and shooting the terminal would -definitely- be a 'misstep')? It might send the entire facility right down on top of them...

Drift makes a face at Nautica, repressing any anger he might have towards her for disarming that bomb on Arcee. "Rod, don't. This isn't the time for 'blow up everything we can't figure out,'" Drift advises Hot Rod. He walks over to the terminal and inspects it, perhaps hoping to make sense of it. "Dammit," he mutters, looking at all the red dots.

Looking away from the hollows Shrapnel turns to where Buzzkill and the guard are still tangling. Making his way over he doesn't care if he knocks a bit of the femme's warrior pride as he focuses on the last mech. Taking a few moments as he raises both first aiming to slam them down on the guards head.

[Combat:] Shrapnel misses Noveria and is left open to counter attack!

Nautica straightens, looking at the panel that everyone's paying attention to. "Oh, Primus, /that/ isn't good. Those are the bombs...!" She gets to her feet, quickly moving to the panel; she's certainly more awake now. "This... I think I can break through the encryption fairly quickly. It's a nasty system, but I've spent quite a few megacycles wandering around in Institute systems; I should be able to use that to get this down quickly. Just... /no one/ touch it."

"GIVE ME YOUR GUN!" Buzzkill screams, making grabby hands for it again. She really wants that thing, like.. really bad. She killed a dude not too long ago over a tiny bit of energon, she has no moral objections to murdering this guy for something even better. In fact, she is so obsessed with getting that stupid thing that everything else has kind of become a blur in the background. Nautica? Kickback? Shrapnel? Those other guys? Whatever, that can wait. She reaches out to grab the guard's head in her hands so she can pull him in and take a bite out of his face.

[Combat:] Buzzkill misses Noveria and is left open to counter attack!

"Oh, hi!" Hot Rod gives Nautica a brilliant smile. "You need to be better returning your calls. Anyway, since you're awake -- yes, good! Panels!" He comes up behind Drift and Nautica to take a look. He keeps his hands, guns, flames, et cetera well away from the controls, but curiosity gets the better of him. He has to /look/. "Apparently I shouldn't blow it up." What a spoilsport, Drift.

This particular Autobot seems to be rather slippery. He twists away from Shrapnel's fists and brings up that shield again when Buzzkill attempts to grab his head, again attempting to bash -her- head with it while firing another shot at Shrapnel with a lighter sidearm on his other arm.

It's a good thing Nautica has been examining the Institute's systems for some time--this is what allows her to get the cell doors open without setting the charges off, though they have yet to be disarmed. Seems it can't be done from here, and would need upper-level access which is only possible from security control.

Those prisoners and test subjects who are actually able to move themselves hurry out of their confinement and make for the exits, doing their best to get past the additional security that had been on its way despite their battered state. Some of them, however, are in no state to get out of here on their own. They're going to need someone to carry their beaten and exhausted bodies out of here.

[Combat:] Noveria misses Shrapnel and is left open to counter attack!

[Combat:] Buzzkill partially blocks Noveria, taking less damage.

Buzzkill get's smacked right in the face, the force of the impact shattering her optic visor and breaking her nose, unleashing a torrent of energon that spills down her face. This stuns her for a moment, the Insecticon stumbling backwards and using a wall to prop herself up. She clenches her teeth and glares at the guard with the fury of a thousand scorned women but basically Buzzkill is starting to hurt and she is already exhausted from not eating properly so..screw it. "I've run out of time for this. Enjoy living with the knowledge that one day I will find you again and kill you properly!" And with that said, she rushes past the guard, giving him a shove in the process, towards the crowd of prisoners frantically making their escape. While they all suffered the same torment by the hands of the same people, Buzzkill is kind of, ohhh, racist? No, not kind of, she's extremely racist and as a result she makes the effort to only help Insecticons on their way out, completely ignoring any non-bug types and pretending they don't exist.

[Combat:] Buzzkill misses Noveria and is left open to counter attack!

"Great! You're amazing, Nautica." Hot Rod gives her a slap on the back -- rude, given that she was only just unconscious -- and then turns to bound off as soon as the cell controls are down. "Our cue," he says to Drift and Skids. To the Insecticons first, as well as other prisoners and subjects well enough to make for the exits, he calls, "Head out this way. Couple of medics -- /real/ medics, people who care--" Don't laugh, Knock Out. "--in the tunnels this way. We're all going to have to work as one to get out of here." And he sets an example, going to collect one of the more battered himself. He is so high on his own sense of heroism.

Shrapnel quickly moves to avoid the shop but doesn't go after the guard as he notices the others that are fleeing. Transforming he takes off and speeds towards the nearest exit.

Drift moves in front of Hot Rod, effectively blocking his view of the terminal. "No, exactly, you shouldn't," he reasserts. He looks up and around at all the prisoners and test subjects escaping, frowning. "We need to make sure everyone gets out of here safely to somewhere secure," he says.

Drift takes the initiative as well, helping several downed prisoners to their feet. "Where are we going, Rod?"

Hot Rod comms it with a gesture toward the walls: no trust that the Institute won't be listening, even now. << Tunnels head to Vos, >> he says. << With any luck, they'll think we're heading to Nyon. >>

Buzzkill finally reaches the rest of the group, a malnourished and wounded bee Insecticon draped over her shoulders. She takes a moment to look Hot Rod up and down before sneering. "Nice flames, loser."

"<Vos it is then>" Drift transforms, allowing the injured prisoners he was helping previously to climb on top of his alt mode as he heads for the tunnels. He passes Buzzkill, and upon hearing her abrasive comment, scolds, "You're just jealous you're not sexy like that." The comment was made in jest, despite it's inappropriateness. "<You and the other Insecticons coming with us to Vos>?" He comms Buzz.

There will be some victories and some losses--those who can move well on their own will easily make it out, though those who cannot...well, there are only so many rescuers and many, many resucees. But they'll just have to learn to run with what they can and grieve the losses later.

The enforcers don't try to pursue them at all, which might come as a surprise, but then again they are pretty busy with trying to prevent as many escapes as possible.

Shrapnel is silent and just goes flying into the tunnels. He ignores any comms coming his way instead just pushing his way through.

"Hey, thanks." Choosing to accept the compliment and not the insult, Hot Rod returns Buzzkill's sneer with a smile that tips only a little crooked. "She's probably just flirting, don't you think?" he asks Drift like a mech with /zero/ sense of self-preservation. He lingers as the exit continues, not only stopping to see that as many get out as possible, but also casting a hangdog look at the hallways leading deeper into the facility. Distant sounds of combat continue, and halls mined with explosives stand as a threat to the city above. But they have their orders, and there's no way that they can just leave the newly freed to wander the dark on their own. When they've done all that they can, he joins the flow melting out into the dark of the tunnels.

Buzzkill gives Drift a nasty look in response to his first comment, and then an even nastier look at Hot Rod's implication that she was flirting with him. Maybe she did find his paint job rather eye catching, and maybe he is being rather heroic right now, and maybe some other things she doesn't want to think about, that doesn't mean she was /flirting/ with him. That's just gross, right?

The femme huffs and readjusts the Insecticon she's carrying on her back before following him and the others out through the tunnel. she comms to Drift. <But anything is better than staying here so I suppose.>

Haha, Drift thinks to himself, she didn't didn't deny it. But he's also thinking Buzzkill isn't passing the bro test as girlfriend material for Hot Rod, so he doesn't comment on it anymore. "<Better get going then. We don't have all day to get out of here.>" And with that, he follows Hot Rod out of the facility.

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