[ti]Ep 3[/ti]Making an Impression [Closed] Apr 18, 2020 16:26:42 GMT -5
Post by Avalanche on Apr 18, 2020 16:26:42 GMT -5
Episode 3 | Week 1 | Day 4
Here is a portrait of a mecha ill at ease.
Start with the basics. She is tall, a towering, blocky figure, painted black with chrome accents, white armour panels adding highlights to her upper body. A huge slab of armour rests across her back; her shoulder guards are rounded, a thick stripe of wheel tread embedded in each. Thick limbs, dominated by heavy, oiled pistons, end in powerful hands with spiked bands across the knuckles. Blue optics glow from her wide, blunt features.
See the way that those hands clench and fidget. Notice the slight, guarded hunch to her shoulders. The way those massive tyres twitch back and forth restlessly in their housings.
She doesn't want to be here. She isn't sure she's doing the right thing. Not sure at all.
A stream of hissing clicks comes from behind her. [War machine, your coordinates are translated.]
"My name is Avalanche." The words are a deep rumble, huskily feminine.
Let the gaze pull back further; the Cybertronian is surrounded by spindly, many-jointed insects, frilled cuffs at each joint like chitinous crowns, a predatory shape to the insects that could bring to mind a grossly-magnified evolutionary cousin of the preying mantis. Above and around them, a nightmarish labyrinth stretches out in three dimensions, glistening silver mated to twisted rock, coated with unspeakable organic extrusions. Through rents in the forest of spires and towers that jut from walls, floor and ceiling with ragged lack of care, the wheeling starfield beyond pivots and twists as the hive tumbles according to its own strange geometries.
Another body speaks, grinding forelimbs together with a sound like scraping metal. The mind behind it is the same as before. [War machine, your resources are required.]
"I told you," she begins sharply, then dismisses the sentence with an angry flip of her hand. "I've given you read-access to the account. You want the currency? Show me the bridge."
Silence. The bodies shift and skitter, executing small autonomic processes unworthy of the hive's coordination. Then... [War machine, your presence is required.]
The bodies withdraw a little, opening a corridor for her between them. With an annoyed grunt, the heavily-armoured femme shifts; her arms pull back behind her, legs reconfiguring, heavy tyres hitting the ridged ground. The long, low form of a bridge laying machine rumbles forward, a small cockpit set back to the side and aft of her chassis, armoured vision slits betraying the military origins of the alien vehicle. She's angry. Very angry. But not really angry at the hive.
She's angry because of what she leaves behind.
The ground under her treads is treacherous. The strobing, unmistakable pulse of gravity generators thrums through it, lending a weight that she knows is mere illusion. But it's enough to keep her grounded, as she drives through a shifting, unmappable network of spit-slick tunnels, until she reaches her goal.
A teleportation gate, a huge torus of free-standing machinery and chitin at the centre of some ancient, tomblike chamber filled with glowing stalagtites.
[War machine, your resources are require-]
"Quiet." Her gaze focuses distantly, beyond the glistening walls, through the tumbling melange of rock and steel and organic detritus, out to the stars beyond. Do well. Don't let each other down. I might be gone, but I'm still watching you, you damn punks.
The insects ripple and rustle around her. [War machine, your resources are required.]
A deep sigh sounds from within the bridge-layer's heavy machinery. "I know. Transmitting passcode. You should have access now."
Another ripple twitches and jerks the insectoid bodies. Then, without ceremony, the centre of the portal tears open, rending a crackling violet corridor through unreality. [War machine, your presence is not required.]
She gazes at the strange, lightning-filled vortex, unlike any space bridge built by her own kind. The dregs of her reluctance to leave pull at her, like chains around her axles. "You sure this will take me to the planet I want?"
Several of the insects click and snap in unison, their concert louder than before. [War machine, your presence is not required.]
"Yeah. That's what they told me." Her engine barks, and she rolls steadily into the crackling, shifting void.
North America | Chicago Metropolitan Area
The tunnel ended in a wash of blue; Avalanche burst out of the rent in space, into the warm light of an alien sun. And then, without ceremony, she fell.
"Yaaah!" she howled, instinctively transforming as she tumbled through the air. She just about had the time to grab at the wide variety of nothing around her, wind whistling through her blunt fingers, before she slammed into the ground with a deafening metallic thud worthy of the footfall of Primus. A separate metallic crash marked her shield burying itself beside her, like a punctuation mark.
"Ow," she growled, rolling onto her back with a crunch of rubble beneath her. Brushing some loose bricks from her helm with the flat of her hand, she muttered, "If I ever get back out there-"
And then she stopped moving.
There were towers around her, but unlike the strange organic buttresses of the hives, these were neatly rectangular, with a dilapidated look to them. Such windows as she could see were tiny, in neat little rows. At the edge of her brand new, one-careful-owner crater, broken pipes were gushing water over the crumbled tarmac and pulverised brickwork that had given beneath her to break her fall.
In other words, she was in the middle of a native city. In the day. And if there were two things she knew about the natives of this remote planet, it was that they were very inquisitive, and they couldn't be allowed to know Cybertronians existed.
"Oh, scrap," she swore, jerking up into a sitting position, then scrabbled out of the hole. Seizing her shield, she yanked it out of the slot it had buried itself in, then flattened herself against the side of the nearest building - a building which, it turned out, was barely taller than she was.
A native vehicle screeched around the corner, then slammed to a dead stop just short of the exciting new housing development opportunity she'd punched into the middle of the street. The tiny faces behind the curving glass gaped up at her, optics widening.
"Scrap, scrap, scrap!" Turning, she slammed her shield against her back and transformed, jerking into movement the instant her wheels hit the pavement. The scale of her alt-mode was all wrong for the city, the original vehicle having been built for a species nearly twice as tall as the natives, and she'd been seen! Vehicles jerked out of her way, horns blaring, and sirens wailed in her wake, flashing lights reflecting off the sides of buildings. None of it boded well for her.
Shelter. Disguise. Escape. Literally any of the above would do. She roared down the narrow street, the wide, low shape of her alt-mode scraping the paint from empty vehicles she passed, hunting for anything that might distract the natives. Another vehicle pulled out of a side street in her wake and rolled after her; she accelerated, thankful to find the street straightening and widening. To her left, the wall of buildings broke to reveal greenery, with an expanse of water beyond. With no better option, she turned right.
Perhaps it was the echo of familiarity that caught her optic; in ages past, she'd been a construction mecha, and even at such a different scale, there were elements to the process that were universal. Her gaze alighted on a skeletal mess of girders, jutting from a rocky dirt-lot that lay jammed between the glittering miniature skyscrapers that fenced her in. She broke to the side, thumping over the trifling inconvenience of the curb, and plunged through the fence without noticeably slowing.
And there, thank Primus's intangible grace, beneath the nested girders overhead there sat a tangle of heavy vehicles, without a native in sight. Ploughing to a stop behind them, shielding herself from sight of the road, a sharp blue beam flashed out from her headlights. So much for her current, carefully chosen altmode - as fond as she was of it, it had to go, and fast.
Panels shifted and trembled, the spurious solidity of the bridge layer betraying itself as, with a groan of heavy machinery, it began to reconfigure into a new shape. Smaller wheels extruded, planting their treads into the dust as her chassis narrowed, growing taller. The cab shifted down her frame, armoured blinds withdrawing to reveal smooth glass, a row of little panels flipping over to reveal small orange lights along the cab-top. Tall chromed exhausts thrust upwards, a burst of black smoke erupting from them as her transformation began to settle... and then, as her optics settled on a triangular crimson and white sign that required no translation, an identical version emerged from her grille to form part of her bumper.
Where once there had been a single, beaten-up Mack RD686 dumptruck, now there were two, one with a sign warning of falling rocks riveted to the front. Translation protocols rifled the native tongue for an equivalent of her name, spelling it out in silver script down the nose of her cab, and there, at the end, an Autobot symbol gleamed dustily in the sun.
But she wasn't out of the woods yet. To stay still, and hope, or to keep running?
She didn't know. But there were bots around that would.
:: All Autobot garrisons, this is Avalanche. Rank, Commander. Just arrived on-planet. Witnessed emerging from bridge by native species. Currently in a metropolitan area; taken a native form, but it may not be enough. Request pickup ::