Title: Old Grimlock and the Rust Sea
PCs: Grimlock Maggot
Location: Edge of the Rust Sea
Date: 21 April 2015
Summary: Grimlock has a bad experience with worms and tentacles
It was the strangled cry, the last strangled cry, of what remained of a slicer troop. Grimlock held onto it's shoulder as he watched the lights in it's eyes fade and then snuff out.
That done, Grimlock pulled his flaming sword from the ruin of it's chest and allowed the body to slump down amongst the remains of it's brethren... All of them laying very still and promising to become just a few more misshapen mounds that littered the sea.
Grunting, the Dynobot Commander drew his protective robe tighter. It was in tatters now, blasted and torn here and there but it would still hold true enough against the sea's stinging bite. "Last of 'em..." he uttered to himself as he disengaged his blade fully, it's snarling crackle dying away in an instant and leaving himself with nothing but the howl of the wind to keep him company.
Alone, yes, not the smartest choice... But it let him blow off some steam without having to worry about his boys. Besides, tracking this lot would hardly have been worth his full crew, not for what he was being paid to collect their heads.
Sometimes it is a necessary thing. Solitude can be a benefit to clearing the mind and distance can be enriching, to allow you the opportunity to focus on yourself. It also makes you an ideal target for an ambush.
Where Grimlock might have thought he found solid footing all of that is lost as the next moment is one consumed with a rumble. The ground shakes, cracks and splits as a figure - a large one - moves under it. A stench fills the air, one of old oil and rusted metal. The rumbling, the twisting shape under the surface draws closer ... and then stops.
Stillness returns to the land.
Only for a moment! The surface breaks as a column of a beast emerges, one that towers up as it bursts free from the ground and yet still much of it remains buried. The creature is that like a worm, a giant serpent that bare its fierce, toothy open mouth as it looks down on Grimlock and roars a mighty challenge.
Grimlock was just about to move onto the grizzly business of collecting his proof of employment, a foot braced on the chest of the freshest of the fallen while he stooped down, reaching towards the slicer's misshapen head.
It all came to a halt when surface churned, part of it wanted to just write it off as some cybertronian seismic shift. Another part knew better, the part of him that had wanted to do so much more than just dispatch the Slicers. He could feel it's hackles rising and his back started to itch like it was afflicted with a stubborn rust spot.
The hunch was proved right when the rust churned with the unseen movements of a monster. His gleaming, yellow optical band followed it in the shadow of his hood. The gleam dimmed in analogy to a narrowing of his eyes. The warning snarl that rattled behind his faceplate came unbidden.
His senses and sensors sharpened, something was coming, he knew it. the hilt of his sword was retrieved, clutched tightly in one hand as he waited. The reward for his patience was the beast. He staggered back with it's arrival, a foot trailing back to brace him against the sudden shock it sent through the compacted rust.
He stared upwards and thumbed the activating stud of his sword. It's blade was born with a sound like the lighting of a bonfire, a great rush of flame and then it's steady, roaring crackle. "I've seen uglier." he answered it's challenging bay.
With a bark of aggression, he drove forward, a second hand grasping the handle of his flaming blade as he charged towards the creature's rooted form. There is no guile nor tact. He is a mass of metal on a direct route to the creature's serpentine frame, his blade whipping about in a broad arc just as soon as he can close the distance.
There Grimlock stands, one lone figure - normally so tall, a giant over other bots even - yet now is dwarfed by the beast of a machine before him. And he charges in! Sword drawn and eyes glaring.
The monster's response? It slams downward with such force that winds whip out from that incoming smash. The sharp-toothed maw shuts to make a cudgel, one that means to flatten the Dynobot.
As it makes this attack more of the wretched beast pulls itself out from the tunnel it had burrowed to get here. Thick scaly plates make up the body, with sharp little talons - or legs - that exit from vents between those plates. Like a centipede it moves, and that tail end has a set of wicked looking barbs, pincers that snap in aggressive excitement to be free from the earth it crawled through to get here.
"The master," it speaks - the words hollow yet LOUD, grating and guttural - as it thrashes down at the spot it just smashed. "Will be his."
With all the pace of a steam roller, Grimlock's charge is not the most difficult thing to halt. The beast comes down like a hammer and Grimlock just barely manages to throw his arms up to try and disperse the full force of the blow.
He is brought to his knees with the force of the blow, the compacted rust beneath him crumbling and caving inwards beneath the combined bulk and sudden force of the two. He is left in a ankle deep hole beneath the monster, straining to keep it from crushing him as flat as it had desired! Cybernetic-sinew and hyper-tinsel musculature groan and strain underneath the effort. When the creature heaves itself up, he is tempted to just let it, he could recover from the blow and try and mount another attack... or he could be a Dynobot.
He takes hold, fingers seeking purchase between plates or making their own by sinking in. "You speak?!" Barked Grimlock, his surprise almost costing him his grip as he attempts to dig in fully!
He will hold on with a vengeance! Latching on like a mad dog as he brings his sword around for a hack or a slash at the creature's hide, "If your master wants me, he can come himself instead of sending over-grown Rust Worms!" the Commander bellowed, his ire buoying inside of him.
"You will meet the master," the beast bellows, not because it is in pain but because it wishes to be heard. The words, like thunder, echo across the landscape though you, Grimlock, are the only one here to hear them. There are no optics on this thing to turn in your direction as it ushers forth this threat so the volume is immense, to ensure that it is heard.
Even miles away, it could be.
As the Dynobot latches on the worm stretches skyward. It is mindless to the hacking and slashing that strikes across it, cutting away at it even. This thing is no stranger to pain inflicted upon it. Should Grimlock look, there are all manner of scars, patches and repair marks across all of it. Either many others have been in Grimlock's position before - prey for this thing to hunter and gather - or it has been handled by a less than merciful master, one that has fixed it only to unleash brutality upon it again. Or perhaps both. Plating is cut away and still it raises up, carrying Grimlock with it as it extends into the sky at a speed that carries it beyond the surface. Free of the ground the massive ting twists with incredible speed, seeking to curl around itself and the Dynobot that scales its side. Like a constrictor it balls about itself, to that when it hits the ground again it will be as one massive core, a cannonball that will kick up a sweeping dusty rust storm across the land.
The ground will rumble once more with this worm's movements, the landing, that it uses to announce, "Because I will bring you to him!"
Though his efforts seem fruitless, Grimlock persists! He hacks, he hews, he carves and chops at the beasts scar-mottled hide. Fighting for purchase, he'll even sink a kick in when he has to, trying to gain a toe hold as he probes and stabs away, hunting for something vital within the creatures bulk!
His gruesome search is halted when the beast enwraps him fully, arm caught at a angle that will not allow another stroke, however ungainly it might have been! He is left with only harsh language as his only weapon. He heaps it own with the same tenacity as he had before. "Your master can take this slaggin' invitation and drill it right up his-!" it continues from there, Grimlock struggling, turning and fighting, his titanic strength availing him little to no freedom against the greater bulk and mass of his enemy, physics simply disallowing Grimlock his escape!
And so, with the monster's words tolling like a great and horrible bell in his audials, Grimlock is enveloped by the beast, only his optics gleaming in the dark, stifling confines of the wyrm ball. He snarls and struggles, rage boiling up inside of him as a crimson hue creeps into his gaze. Were it not for the sudden, nauseating trip that was the rolling cannonball-trip, he would have fully lapsed into his beastial state... as it was, his gyroscope was screaming for mercy even if the rest of him was not!
Fortunately for Grimlock, the bulk of the landing is taken by the very beast that intends to defeat him. The worm shudders, a quake rippling along it as it lands - enough for the Dynobot to find some measure of freedom. Within the coils of that grand wormed monster, Grimlock shall find some freedom - though it is one bathed in shard of hacked plating and leaked energon. The worm bleeds, greatly, from its wounds. The fluid that fuels it is indeed the lifeblood of any Cybertronian, though it is thicker than it should be. Stale puss of old energon leaks from the worm, the fumes of which reek of decay and neglect.
Despite the wounds, still, the beast makes no effect to tend to them or really show any regard for them at all. It makes no effort to escape, no thought given to retreat. Why is that? The worm, after a moment of weakness in that landing, moves once more. It churns, seeking to catch Grimlock in a churning of its sides against itself, content to try to grind the Dynobot with its own body.
And it goes from a rolling hell to a crushing one, armor plates work together like grinding teeth and Grimlock is the jawbreaker between. His armor balks and shrieks, sparks fly as friction drags metal against metal, the only thing to ease the effort being the creature's fluids, their sickening stench clogging his olfactory sensors with the pungent smell of cybertronian biology. It makes his insides turn and twist, not with nausea but something entirely less pleasant. His resistance falters and there are none to reign him in.
It starts with pain, sharp and jolting. It brings a angry snarl into Grimlock's vulgar diatribe and causes his body to seize, back arching as something rips through his hull from the inside out. Violet gleaming fluids coat the first ridge that plunges out from within. A second joins it and Grimlock feels his legs knit together, combining and elongating into something tapering and whip-like. He curls in on himself, arms reaching out even as the hands recede into the wrist. Talons punch through around the empty socket and extend, they rake at the plating as arms become legs. His chest falls and the back platting snaps shut over the vacated area, thicker plating fully enclosing the mech that is becoming a beast.
And finally the maw, a set of jaws that ar long and narrow, lined with dagger-like teeth, optics that gleam like bale-fire, hateful and fierce.
His voice escapes the maw as it parts in a furious howl, there are now words to it, just a snarling bellow before the creature starts to writhe, rip, claw, bite, and shred. It is a buzzsaw of a creature, seeking out those wounds and boring into them with terrible glee. If it will not be released, it will dig it's way out!
It is a horrible thing, to be eaten from the inside outward. Coils of the worm make for layers that Grimlock must work his way through - chew his way through. Yet for all that labor, the beast gives no shriek, no cry of pain. Innards become its outsides, painted over the hull of the angry monster that eats away at it. The thick ichor of its lifeblood pumps, jets of it rupturing with each bite, each slashing claw, threatening to choke the senses if not the body. The sheer mass of the churning creature is more than a mouthful; it is a labor to bite away that much especially as it works against being consumed. It tears back, resists, struggles... but that is no match for the fury of a Dynobot, especially one strong enough to rule them all.
There comes a point when Grimlock is free of the swarming, dying mass that sought to cage and grind him. Will he show mercy then? Will freedom for Grimlock mean liberation for the beast, from the thing that has tore it apart? What was once a gigantic creature, miles long, is now little more than a loose jumble of broken metal, mauled bits and a pool of its own liquids. What strength that the worm has left it directs to the head, opening that huge jaw to reveal once more the rows upon rows of churning, sharp teeth as it, futilely, bites that the Dynobot. There is no real strength to that attack just as there is no strength left in this monster. What power it has is lost in its last words. "My master..."
Teeth grind against the hide of the monster that was Grimlock. He feels the pain, what little the wyrm has left to offer, it's fangs leave their last efforts in shallow grooves upon his chassis. Grimlock would have ended it here, he was the victor, his foe was defeated, lapsing from this life into the next. If it felt pain, surely it had had it's fill of it. This was not Grimlock however, this was a thing that consumed him, twisted him. It was a curse inside him, inside of his brethren. It did not send the wyrm off gently, it ripped and tore with relentless fury, it was beastly and primal. A enemy had stood before it, a enemy had challenged it, a enemy had failed. There was no mercy, one was strong, one was not. The thing that was once Grimlock would continue it's terrible work until the last synaptic shudder had ceased and when all was at last still and the saurian creature was caked in gore, he would stand triumphantly upon the ruin of his adversary and trumpet his victory into the wastes. It would be a sound that would send slicers creeping back into their holes, to send the cyber-fauna of the wastes far far away.
And all manner of life would flee from such an angry, defiant scream.
There is one, however, that answers that call with a hunger all his own.
The worm is slain, in nothing but pieces now, lifeless and defeated. Yet the task it was given has been completed. It was not sent here to defeat Grimlock, only slow him down. To tire the Dynobot out, to deplete his energy enough that he could be claimed - claimed by another monster. One not unlike Grimlock in some ways yet so very different in others. Where
Grimlock knows fury this primordial knows only its hunger. A thirst that is only sated by the strongest, most primal of morsels.
The worm's dying words were not a cry for help or an uncompleted vow to its master. Rather, they were in reverence, spoken in greeting. Standing on a ridge that overlooks the scene is a unfamiliar figure, though one Grimlock is destined to see a lot more of. Only the head is visible, and that is from the jaw up, as a smooth silver face surveys what transpires below. From the jaw down, this bot is covered in a tattered back veil of old robes that twist in the sharp winds of the Sea of rust, but do not reveal anything of the beast beneath them.
When this bot speaks, the words crawl over the senses, the voice raspy and low. The words creep, inching along with an unsettling feeling that each word must consume the preceding one. "Ahh, Grimlock. Know that the nourishment you provide will fuel me for a hundred thousand million years."
It had thought itself alone, it had thought itself a conqueror. None would oppose it, none would dare. It would wander the wastes, anger fed by the sting of the wind as it clawed at it's hide with a force that could not be butchered, it would have found shelter and slept. Grimlock would have found himself upon recovery, his body spent and heavy. A voice interrupts this chain of events before it can begin. With a snarl, the thing that is Grimlock turns a eye towards the entity and it's tattered raiment. The eye narrows and a growl rumbles in the creatures throat, lips pull back from teeth in a display that could be a sneer. The figures words are heard, they are understood, but they are discarded. It knows it's name, the consciousness that is the Dynobot stirs at the sound of it but the beast forces it back down into a unknowing depth.
This entity is a intruder, encroacher, another challenger to it's might, it's superiority. It turns to face him, tail whipping around in agitated swipes and lashes. Rearing back, the beast stomps a foot into the compacted rust and bellows it's answer to the entity's greeting, jaw gaping as it pours forth nothing but a threatening howl.
There is no mouth revealed to show a smile but this challenger... he seems *cheerful* as he moves to meet the charging Dynobot. There is no fear, no hesitation - like this is what is to be expected. What he *wanted*. "Sure delicious rage," he slurs as he rushes down the ridge, running to intercept Grimlock. "I can taste it from here. Your spark much be rich with it. Tainted to others, but to me... it will make the more fitting of meals."
As the figure nears Grimlock... he leaps! Arms extend to widen those tattered garments, though not opening them. Still all features are concealed but from beneath multiple tendrils whip forward, each slick with a sticky pale blue goo. These tentacles lash, slap and grab for the angry Grimlock. "You will return with me to my lair where I shall feast on the mightiest of beasts, and then from there I shall reclaim my rightful place on Cybertron! Me, Maggot, shall be known and feared once more!" The goo secreted over those tendrils stings upon contact, lingers and saps at the strength. A poison! One meant to induce (temporary) stasis.
"In time, all must fall to death, or the agents of it! Even the mightiest of us falls to it in time. That time for you, Grimlock, is now!"
It would bite him, it would claw him, it would rend at him with it's talons and introduce him to a world of predator and pray. A world in which Grimlock was the predator and all he could do was pray.
This was not to be, of course. The thing that was Grimlock was instead introduced to a world where stinging barbs, so small that they could easily pierce his hide without much trouble, found their way inside of him and released technotoxins, a poison that his systems, running hot and fast, spread through subsystems and mechanisms with terrible speed. The pain was like ants beneath his skin, his body growing heavy and stiff even as he tried to lash out, maw seeking to find the entity's face and relieve him of it's burdensome presence.
Claws reach in futile efforts... not because of the toxin but because they were too short for practical use. The rage burned in him but it was bottled, contained. The light in those hateful eyes blazed they promised so many things with just one heated look before they dimmed into unconsciousness.