Title: We Monsters
Location: Kaon Fighting Pits
Date: 31 May 2015
Summary: Overlord is holding court when he receives a visit from Grimlock
-- Radio: Global -- Overlord says, "Good afternoon, Cybertron! This is Overlord, reporting live from the pits of Kaon, where we've just unloaded a fresh batch of Autobot prisoners. I wish you could see them. Despite living on energon dregs, fighting a hopeless battle, surrounded on all sides, they are unbowed, defiant and proud!"
-- Radio: Global -- Feint says, "What is the meaning of this? Megatron promised there would be no such things!"
-- Radio: Global -- Overlord says, "Did he? Nobody told *me*... heheh."
-- Radio: Global -- Feint says, "You're as terrible as ever."
-- Radio: Global -- Overlord says, "Thank you. These Autobots were caught raiding energon stores, and were taken prisoner with relatively little fanfare. And now, we need to decide what to do with them."
-- Radio: Global -- Feint says, "Turn them over to the authorities for proper sentencing and trial?"
-- Radio: Global -- Overlord says, "Oh, we could do that? Who's the highest-ranking Decepticon here? Me? Me!"
-- Radio: Global -- Grimlock says, "Hrrrn..."
-- Radio: Global -- Paddles says, "This is still on?"
-- Radio: Global -- Feint says, "Don't make me come out there and change your mind, Overlord."
-- Radio: Global -- Paddles says, "Just stay out of my sea. *grumble*"
-- Radio: Global -- Overlord says, "Still, nobody can say I'm not a good sport. I think I'll hold a gladiatorial exercise."
-- Radio: Global -- Feint says, "Those days are over. The Decepticons are trying to build a better future for Cybertron - or so that is what Megatron's stated. Am I to take it you don't intend to follow his orders?"
-- Radio: Global -- Overlord says, "Order has to be kept. They were taking Energon out of the mouths of law-abiding Cybertronians. What AM I supposed to do with them? Feed them, de-rust their tailpipes and let them go?"
-- Radio: Global -- Feint says, "We're working to save lives, not squander them. I'm sure arrangements can be made for a -proper- trial."
-- Radio: Global -- Chimera says, "There is no shame in death. Especially when it is that of the weak."
-- Radio: Global -- Paddles says, "I can agree to that, but only when such death is needed."
-- Radio: Global -- Feint says, "How many prisoners do you have?"
-- Radio: Global -- Overlord says, "Which is precisely what I had in mind. A trial by combat. If an Autobot is willing to fight me, and can beat me... I'll let them go. If not? Well. There's always mining to be done. Oh, I don't know. You know me. I'm *terrible* with prisoners, Feint. I just can't seem to hang onto them."
-- Radio: Global -- Feint says, "It's fortunate I was placed in Shockwave's hand rather than yours."
-- Radio: Global -- Overlord says, "Now that's the first time I've ever heard that. And I imagine it will be the last."
-- Radio: Global -- Paddles says, "Is this the new state of Cybertron? Posturing, aggression through words? How dull. New masters; same story."
-- Radio: Global -- Overlord says, "Anyway. Consider this the first Overlord Invitational. As the ranking authority in Kaon at this moment, I have carte blanche to handle the situation as I see fit, unless countermanded... and nobody's done that yet. Fight me. Beat me, and I'll let them go. If not? It's the mines for them."
-- Radio: Global -- Feint says, "As long as you don't kill them."
-- Radio: Global -- Overlord says, "You of all bots should know there's a lot I can do without killing someone, Feint."
-- Radio: Global -- Overlord says, "So, so much I can do."
-- Radio: Global -- Feint says, "Oh, I'm well aware."
-- Radio: Global -- Chimera says, "The mines? Hn, it would be more entertaining to pit them against each other."
-- Radio: Global -- Overlord says, "Oh, I agree! And if my hands weren't bound by Megatron's peace, I would be. However, they have to have a trial, and a trial requires an advocate."
-- Radio: Global -- Feint says, "These are living bots we're talking about, Chimera! Death is not -entertainment-."
-- Radio: Global -- Chimera sighs, "Things were so much better during the old days."
-- Radio: Global -- Overlord says, "Your idealism is beginning to *cloy*, Feint."
-- Radio: Global -- Chimera says, "Feint. Death is an /honor/."
-- Radio: Global -- Feint says, "Idealism? It's what kept me alive in the Institute and in the mines."
-- Radio: Global -- Overlord says, "Chimera, have I ever told you how *alluring* you are when you start talking about death?"
-- Radio: Global -- Feint says, "Ugh. Decepticons."
-- Radio: Global -- Paddles says, "To be fair, I've yet to hear anything uplifting about either side of this conflict."
-- Radio: Global -- Chimera chuckles, "Well now, it's so delightful to know someone shares my tastes."
-- Radio: Global -- Prowl says, "My faith in the wellbeing of this planet remains low."
The gladiator pits of Kaon. Where Overlord reigns as judge, jury, and sometimes executioner.
Right now, the pit holds Autobot prisoners, forced to their knees in energy-shackles, Decepticon guards standing watch over them.
Above the pit, Overlord sits on a throne -- yes, a throne -- looking *bored*. And that's bad. He sighs, and sits up, when a Decepticon brings him a tray with a cup of warm, spiked energon. "Honestly, I'm thinking I might kill them all just to *ruin* Feint's day."
-- Radio: Global -- Prowl says, "Functionism might have some flaws, but considering what I'm listening to, I can still see a need for its application in the future." -- Radio: Global -- Overlord says, "Ah, Prowl. Loyal lickspittle of the old order."
-- Radio: Global -- Paddles mutters. "It wasn't that old..."
-- Radio: Global -- Prowl says, "Overlord. Still the pit-fighting mass-murderer."
-- Radio: Global -- Overlord says, "You know, there are no more Primes for you to hench for, Prowl. You're a lackey without a master."
-- Radio: Global -- Prowl says, "I served Cybertron first."
-- Radio: Global -- Prowl says, "I will continue to serve Cybertron, even if the order has changed.
-- Radio: Global -- Overlord says, "You know, there is only one fundamental difference between us, Prowl--"
-- Radio: Global -- Prowl says, "A distinct lack of oil-lust?"
-- Radio: Global -- Overlord says, "When *I* set other bots up to die, at least I give them a weapon to die with."
-- Radio: Global -- Prowl says, "I think you're sadly mistaken, and, frankly, unable to move away from your days of glory. Even Megatron has abandoned the use of gladiatorial combat, and yet you're attempting to revive it. How long do you think you'll be allowed to keep flouting the present order - as illegally established as it is - and be tolerated?"
A set of heavy doors on the far side of the pit shivers, bending inwards from a blow.
Twice more the door caves outwards, bending badly in it's frame, a opening has appeared where the two meet and two sets of fingers slip through and take hold on either side.
Metal screams as it is torn from it's moorings and the doors fall heavily onto the pit's floor.
From the now open doorway, a figure lumbers in, almost as broad as he is tall, a optical band gleaming with a bright yellow light.
It is a thundering bellow as Grimlock comes fully into view.
-- Radio: Global -- Overlord says, "Justice must be harsh--ah! Somebody's answered my challenge."
Overlord looks up at the first impact on those doors. When they bow inward a second time, he *smiles*.
"*Grimlock*!" He says, leaning back in his throne. "Welcome! Welcome to Kaon." He gestures. "As you can see, the prisoners haven't been harmed!" He sighs, cheerfully, and then begins to stand up.
"And if you can beat me, they'll stay that way. I'm surprised, though. I wasn't expecting someone of your *muscle* to intervene on behalf of this shabby lot."
It... it was a challenge? Grimlock straightens from his murderous hunch, "You pulled this slag just to call someone out?!" he barked in return, a hand sweeping across the kneeling figures. Noone in their right mind would have answered, of course. Even squads must be shuffling their feet and thinking, 'Someone should do something!'
"You're a sadistic wreck, arn't you..." he surmised, voice slow and seething, a boiling kettle that was just starting to scream, "Alright! You wanted it, come and get it!" he demands, the handle of his flaming sword appearing in his hand, it's blade igniting with a crackling FWOOSH!
Overlord watches that sword, and his optics light up. "Oh, *YES*." He doesn't even descend into the pit, yet. Instead he calls up his rifle out of extradimensional storage. "Magnificent!"
He doesn't even bother to take more than a cursory aim, yet -- he just begins firing. He doesn't care if prisoners or even his own troops get caught in the crossfire.
A bellow of pain and budding anger, one of the shots find him, ripping into a shoulder, the armor yields in a fuming eruption that staggers him for just a breath before he knuckles
down and charges the throne stand. Shots zip by, he barrels past the line of prisoners, a scream and the feeling of something wet and warm tells him that there will be at least one less 'bot to save.
His charge falters and he drops into a stoop, legs folding beneath him and then releasing. It's a leap that sends him sailing up towards Overlord's throne. His arms reel up and back, both hands clutching the handle of his sword, ready to bring it down just as soon as Overlord falls within the reach of the blade.
"YES! *YES!*" Overlord watches Grimlock's charge, and what other bot on Cybertron would take in that sight and not *get out of the way*? He fires as Grimlock charges, and then when he leaps, he throws his rifle aside and moves in close to reach up and *grab* Grimlock's wrists, struggling with the mighty Autobot for control of that sword!
He leans in close, and grins. "Have you ever felt more alive than you do right now, Grimlock? The struggle is everything. Life and death, kill or *be killed*. Isn't it *sublime*?"
What Cybertronian would not buckle under that mighty strength?
Overlord does not buckle.
He rears his head back, suddenly, and then begins to smash it into Grimlock's, headbutting the Dinobot. *SMASH!* *SMASH!*
Paddles makes his way into the arena. The radio chatter was enough to, at the very least, pique the interest of an explorer-type. Opting for an out-of-the-way spot to watch, he leans back against a wall, arms crossed in front of him, and watches the clash of the titans taking place center-stage.
With a straining snarl, but not a straining Snarl, Grimlock pits his might against Overlord's, fighting to break the deadlock between them.
"Would.. you shut up-" he strains, "while I'm trying to kill y-!" he is interrupted by their meeting of the minds. A pained bark escapes him with the first impact of Overlord's helm against his. His optics flicker with static at every impact, head sent snapping away only to reel back in time for another, The world danced around him. He brought it back into focus with rage.
Shifting his weight, he brought the contest to a halt, sweeping his arms down and to the left before leading in with a lunging shoulder to Overlord's middle, trying to set the mech on his heels so that he would be off balance when Grimlock's fist came sweeping around like a wrecking ball.
When Grimlock shifts his weight like that, Overlord is caught and forced to shift his own -- he swings at Grimlock, but misses, and Grimlock catches him with that shoulder-block, throwing him off-balance and backward. "Ah--" And then Grimlock's fist catches Overlord straight on the faceplate, sending him backward and onto the arena floor with a tremendous CRASH.
He is still for a moment. But then there's the sound of a grinding transformation cog, and Overlord's body splits into two. The jet rockets upward as the tank positions itself and then fires at Grimlock, full-bore. *PCHOW!*
And if he moves to engage the tank? The jet strafes from behind.
Paddles is clearly not entertained, like some who may be coming to cheer on the combatants, but that's not to say he's not paying attention. There's a careful eye on style, and how much raw strength is applied over careful tactics... Not that he'd be any different if ever drawn into a fight, but...still. He glances away from the fight for a moment to eye other spectators.
At once, Grimlock and does and does not have the high ground. This is the problem with fighting Duocons!
For a moment, he exalted, the atmosphere of the pits held some sense of nostalgia. Were there a cheering crowd here, he would have thrown up his fists to bathe in the noise. As it was, he lurked too long on the throne platform. The grinding of a transformation cog was not something he wanted to hear.
He just managed to lurch out of the tank's firing line, he could feel his armor sizzle with the proximity of the blast. Instead of Grimlock, it found the throne, the force of the blast enough to send Grimlock sailing down into the pit where he landed with a tumble, crashing and smashing along until he could finally get his feet underneath him and hustle.
He should be transforming here, folding down into that battering ram of a tank, crashing into Overlord's lower portion while harrying his upper with a volley of SAMs. But he didn't, transforming was a very bad idea at this point in his life. Instead, he tried to keep out of the tank's firing arc, circling and trying to out-pace it's turret while he brought up his double-barreled rocket launcher. The weapon retrieved from some part of his anatomy and hefted skywards. He couldn't wait long for a target lock, trying to lead the target as best he could before firing off both rounds. SchWOOM, SchWOOM! their exhaust leaving trails of smoke in their wake.
What Cybertronian would not fear Grimlock? The strength, the firepower. What a thrill. Overlord continues to try to track Grimlock, locking in on him from ground and air before Grimlock responds in kind, those rockets striking. One hits the tank, and the other strikes the ground nearby, damaging it -- and as it's thrown across the arena the jet flies in low, cannons strafing Grimlock's back before Overlord is one again.
He looks up and wipes ichor away from his mouth, before he says "Look at us, Grimlock -- we're the same. Gladiators, built to *fight* and *win* and *kill*." He reaches into N-Space again, and withdraws an energy morning-star, the spikes on the head glowing red-hot.
He holds it out, and then begins to charge, swinging it at Grimlock, all technique gone now, as he tries to *beat* the Dinobot. "They! Will! Make! You! Obsolete!"
Thundercracker has decided to come see what all the back and forth on the radio was all about. He walks in right as Grimlock cuts loose with a couple of missiles at the Decepticon he heard going on on the radio. The Seeker finds a seat, sits and just watches, noticing the jet up above and the tank on the ground. Well thats interesting.
Quickly, Grimlock tries to reload his launcher, trying to socket a missile clip into place before the jet can zero in on him. He fails. Overlord's cannons speak and Grimlock cannot out pace them, the oil-stained floor chewed up by the strafing fire in his wake and then finally walked across his back in a series of impacts and explosions that hurl the dinobot to the floor in a pained cry, his 'launcher and the missile clip sent clattering away while he takes a moment to writhe on the floor, smoke pouring from breaches in his armor. Inside, something rouses, something terrible and hungry. He can feel the pain of his body wanting to take a shape it was never meant to.
He lurches to his feet, Overlords words ringing in his audials. He gives his head a shake, trying to collect himself, muster his will. He snarls to himself, looking up to find
Overlord on the offensive.
The Dynobot meets the charge but he is a bit slower, sluggish, unfocused. This fight now has two sides. The lack of concentration costs him, Overlord's mace hurtles in and crashes
into Grimlock's shoulder, the spikes punch through his armor and then are rent away. He staggers and reels. Another blow comes and he is batted about like a drunk, metal crunches and crumbles. The pain the anger it wells up and over flows.
The mace comes around once more but this time Grimlock's hand snaps up, the haft slapping into his palm, his fingers closing around it, halting it's arc."You're... right." he growls, voice labored, head hanging. "But... wrong." he continues, free hand balling into a fist. "Not... Gladiators." he claims, fist reeling back low, "We... MONSTERS!" optics gleam with a baleful red light as his fists comes up from near his hip, a thunderous uppercut seeking Overlord's jaw. "Only Grimlock... never want to be Monster!!!"
Grimlock's fist hammers Overlord's faceplate, which is now visibly cracked and leaking fluid. His optics fuzz. He brushes aside the warnings -- disengage? Things are just getting good. His head snaps to the side, and then he suddenly snaps it forward again. He grins, as he looks Grimlock in the face/ He refuses to relinquish his grip on the mace--probably a good move. "Yes. Monsters." He says. "It's what we were made to be. It's a Functionist death-grip. We can't ever be anything ELSE!"
Then he reaches down into a compartment in his armor, and comes out with a short energon knife--which he thrusts at Grimlock's side.
It's such a understated sound compared to the thunder and clamour that has rung off the walls of the murder pit. It is the sound of a knife so thin, so sharp, and so fine, that Grimlock barely even felt it slide through his armored hide and jab away at someting important inside. He gave a soft jerk, a lurch as if Cyberton had come to a gentle stop and behind his battered mask there was something that might have been a choke. Red optics flickered and Grimlock looked down at Overlord's hand. He could just see the knife's hilt and pummel protruding from either end of the mech's fist. "S'spawn of a-." he choked, voice halting in a cough, gleaming, purple fluid dripped from cracks and fractures in his mouthplate.
A hand clapped down on Overlord's wrist, it was almost instinct. Gripping it tight and halting what would have surely been a twist! Because Grimlock himself would have twisted that blade as well. His other hand freed the mace and the Dynobot staggered back, aiming a shove to Overlord's chest just to try and buy him some breathing room. He folded, crumbling to a knee. One hand slapped over the puncture while the other braced him up from the earth.
"K'kill..." he stammered. "I'm.. Me..." he struggled, hunching down. His body shuddered and shifted, his transformation cog grinding with a agonizing noise. "You... Me Kill!" he snarled as jagged plates ripped through his back, sweeping and sharp, they did not fold or slide into place but rather ripped through him, gleaming with his fluids. His body contorted and shifted, legs fusing and elongating into a long, tapering tail. His fingers elongated and rearranged themselves until they were taloned toes, his shoulder cowlings closing over a receeding head. Another took it's place, a long maw filled with dagger-like teeth and eyes that burned with hatred.
Reborn, the beast stomped and bellowed into the sky, mouth gaping wide as it howled it's presence to Cybertron.
"grrRAAAAGHW!!" Only... it was just kind of Grimlock hollaring.
There's a *Cruunch* as Grimlock's iron grip damages Overlord's hand, forcing him to drop the mace anyway. He lets go of the knife and leaves it buried in Grimlock's side, before he steps back, and transforms again -- preparing to use that heavy tank cannon to finish the mighty Autobot off. Only... he can't not watch.
"*In*credible!" His exclamation is brief, before he locks on and begins to fire -- again and again and again! And as he fires, he backs away. Blasts literally bounce off of Grimlock's hide and begin to devastate the floor and walls of the arena.
Thundercracker doesn't appreciate one of those blasts hits a little too close to where hes sitting. The Seeker stands and steps back up a couple of rows and then just watches. Hes had his internal recorder on this whole time for what its worth and will hand this all over to Megatron when its over -- whoever wins.
While the blasts do not penetrate, they are felt. The Beast jerks and staggers as round after round crashes against it's terrible hide and then goes crashing away into the walls of the pit, into the stands, rocketing upwards into the supports and rafters that hold the roof aloft. Beams and debris clatter down, the walls begin to buckle. This place may have been constructed by the greatest architect to ever grace the surface of Cybertron- (Hook), but it was not made to withstand this level of damage.
At the center of it, Grimlock roars once more, The Beast voicing it's anger at the unrelenting barrage before it charges, head low, maw open. It powers across the space between, long, loping strides devouring the space that Overlord had put between them even as shots thunder and pummel at it's hide, leaving it blast-marked and scorched. The beast closes with a final lunge, jaws gaping wide and seeking out one of the tanks treads with a snap of it's teeth.
That tread, built to navigate Cybertron's roughest terrain, is rent by those jaws like paper. Overlord howls, and suddenly his jet component comes racing down from above, blasting the back of Grimlock's head, as the tank tries to limp away.
Then there's a groan, and cracks begin to form in the floor of the arena.
Maybe to his credit -- the only good thing about him -- Overlord does not try to run. He *pours it on* from both sides, laying down a withering barrage of fire. "That's right,
Grimlock! You're an *ANIMAL*! I won't settle for anything less than THE ULTIMATE KILLING MACHINE!"
In any state, Grimlock's skull is notoriously thick, shrugging off gunfire as well as the ideas and opinions of others. But still, the cannon fire is felt, hammering against the back of his skull with all the gentle touch of a steam hammer. It buys the tank it's freadom while Grimlock turns, his tail sweeping through the air just over Overlord's turret. The Beast bellows it's rage at the flyer, turning to track it, foot steps stomping against the battered floor, causing the cracks to grow longer, deeper.
Sucking in air through it's narrowed nostrils, the monster takes a moment to inhale before disgorging a torrent of flame, a billowing column that sears the air in the jet's wake, leaving flames and weakened metal wherever the flames sear across!. It is only halted by another thunderous volley from the tank, crashing against Grimlock's broad side and forcing him to stagger, the flames ebbing out in a startled bark. It's head sweeps back towards the tang and it's maw opens once more, a cheery, cozy glow gleaming down it's throat for a moment before the flames come belching out once more.
It is a short lived inferno, a stalking step finds just the right spot, the jet fires and the ground gives way. The Beast falls, foot sinking into the sudden gap, it's weight crashing down on the broken floor. It scrambles, clawed forelimbs raking and scratching for purchase to right itself even in the face of the continued onslaught.
As the floor gives way, Overlord -- badly damaged -- transforms back into his robot mode and scrambles for safety. There is a din and a clamor as the bottom of the pit gives out--and then he loses his grip and is falling, falling down into the dark.
And as he falls, Overlord *laughs*.
Thundercracker once again has to take cover. Hes not one for audiance participation but hes not had much of a choice right now. The Blue Seeker finds better ground once more and watches the floor to the fighting pit give way and the Decepticon fall in... laughing?
Into the depths of the underpens, The Beast plummets, scratching and scrambling as the ground gives way beneath it. Rubble and debris rain down all around it and create a cairn atop it's form, tons upon tons of it weighting the beast down and finally ending it's rampage.
In it's incarceration, it becomes angry and in it's anger it struggles. It's struggles prove pointless and in this futility it grows more angry.
And crunching over the rubble comes a figure out of the dust. Overlord. One leg is smashed, one hand ruined, his body leaking energon from a dozen wounds. Somewhere, he found
Grimlock's rocket launcher. He lifts it in his one good hand, trembling.
Then he lowers the rocket launcher, and drops it. "No. Not like this. This isn't how gladiators die." He drops the rocket launcher, and then turns to limp away into the dark.
Grimlock has, completely by accident, stumbled upon the one instance where Overlord might not murder somebody in cold blood. ...Cold energon?
Paddles keeps to his dark corner of the arena and, even as the dust settles, still looks more unimpressed than anything. Indeed... if this is any indication of Cybertron's future state of existence and rule? He just shakes his head, stepping away without so much as a single round of applause for the combatants.