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Screaming Blue Murder, Chapter 33

A/N: Once again, I have to say “well, this and the next chapter were going to be one single thing, but it got all monster silly long and I had to divide it”. But! you will be relieved to hear, the next chapter (34) is the last, aside from the epilogue, which is all fangirly and horrible, so you may want to skip it. So! I hope to get the last two bits up in the next couple of days, and the magnum opus is finished.

…And I can (finally) get some sleep. :snores: (:is joking:)

I apologise profusely for being a doofus and adding cast members that I'm having a real hard time thinking how to relate to the plot. I knew I shouldn't have dragged so many characters in, particularly canon ones, but my brain has already gone a’splode. :( Maybe I'll do better next time!

Kiiiinda foreshadowing here with the whole thing with Siphon. ¬_¬ And I should confess to being greatly entertained by writing bitchy Cali. :D She's turned from sweet inoffensive little analyst into The Uber-Cow.

...Okay, I'll be quiet and get on with the story, yes? ;) And if you couldn’t see THIS coming, well, I don’t think I could be much more blatant. :P

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Screaming Blue Murder
Chapter 33

...Guess this is Primus’ way of letting me know I outlived my welcome.

Pulsar curled down on herself and offlined her optics, not really wanting to have to see the ground the very last instant before it made its final fatal meeting with her nose.

Goodbye world. Nice knowing you.

…although… how strange… she’d not realised how much impending doom would sound like a Seeker’s engine…

A hand closed on her ankle, and falling transitioned into flying an astro-second before she splashed herself across the jagged ground in a brightly-coloured pool of energon and coolant and chips of pale armour. “Told you I could catch you,” an insufferably smug voice said, amusedly, its owner giving her a little tug upwards and letting her attach around his torso. “Thought you didn’t like heights, anyway, so what are you doing flinging yourself of them?”

“I knew you were nearby. Just testing your reflexes!” she lied, feebly, cheek pressed up against the comforting, warm curve his cockpit, trying to stop herself shaking, although the latter was a bit of an exercise in futility right now. She wasn’t so much trembling as vibrating, hard enough for her shoulder-guards to actually be humming.

Skywarp rearranged his arms to stop her sliding, and snrk-ed amusedly. “Well, I know you’ve been itching for a rematch since I completely owned that blue aft of yours the other day…” he observed, and felt a tremor of amusement pass through her. “But now probably isn’t the appropriate time for it. We’ve still got a job to do.”

“I can wait. I’m still thinking how I can best return the favour, anyway, it’ll give me a bit longer to plan,” she agreed, dryly, and dared to glance down over her shoulder… She groaned at a wave of vertigo, feeling her gyroscopes skip nauseatingly in sympathy, and fixed her gaze back onto his chest. He’d climbed needlessly far up, in her (not-so-humble) opinion. “Can you see them?”

“Not yet-”

“You mean you let them escape?”

He narrowed his optics and glowered at her. “You want me to let you splat on the dirt from somewhere high up?” he challenged, and felt her reflexively tighten her grip. “Because I could have just chased him, you know.”

“Well if you weren’t quite so high up and far away, maybe we’d stand a better chance at spotting them-” she grumbled, quietly.

“Look, if you really want me to dump you on top of something really high and inaccessible, I will,” he scolded, and felt her tighten her grip. “I might even forget to fetch you back down, if you don’t stop whining.”

“Good luck getting me to let go,” she mumbled against his chest.

He snerked, quietly, and ran the fingers of one hand down her side. “I know all your tricks, remember?” he said, softly, feeling her fingers flex slackly against his shoulders.

“I’m going to stop playing fair one of these days,” she breathed, trying to get away from his teasing fingers. “You going to stop trying fragging about and try spot them, any time soon?”

He made a wordless little noise of pique. “All right, you’re the sharpshooter, you spot them,” he grumbled, and had flipped her over in his arms before she realised what he was about to do.

Pulsar squealed unashamedly and blared her siren in alarm, flailing her arms and clawing backwards, trying to secure a new hold on him. “Aai, Skywarp, Skywarp no, don’t do-… don’t do this!” she yelped, scrabbling her fingers across the arm around her chest. “I don’t want-”

“Ssh.” One of the restraining arms released a hand to cover her mouth, holding just hard enough to coax her to be quiet. “You have one of the most powerful engines in the sky at your back,” a voice reminded, softly. “And the only reason I would drop you is if you startle me by bleeping again. So keep your sirens off, and you’re okay. Okay?”

She mmf!-ed urgently and shook her head, trying to retreat backwards into him, latching her fingers around his hand.

“Look, just focus on the ground,” he instructed. “Not where we are in relation to it. Focus on the ground, and on your quarry. You’re not up in the air, you’re looking for little machines in a little city.”

She huffed hot air from her vents, and managed a little faint okay when he released her mouth.

“Now. Can you see them?” he wondered, scouring the ground below. Siphon and Cali had left the main street – apparently trying to evade aerial observation – but there didn’t look like there were very many places to hide inside, so they’d have to be on an alleyway, or something like it.

“Nothing yet,” Pulsar replied, quietly, trying to keep control of her pumps. “I hope they haven’t crossed the bridge.”

“I bet the fragger’s gone,” Skywarp groused, after almost a breem of fruitless searching. “I bet he’s inside or in a storm-drain or something-”

“I guess he must- hey, wait… no. No!” Pulsar yelped, urgently, actually letting go of his arms and pointing. “No, I see him! There, there! See!? At his current speed he’ll reach the bridge in half a breem. We’ve got to get him before he leaves the district!”

“Ah, oodles of time, then.” Skywarp dipped his angle, and began his descent. “What’s so important about the district past the bridge, anyway?”

“It’s neutral territory, pretty derelict, not many machines in residence, and there’s a million and one places they could hide. We could spend orns combing the place and they’d still slip the net.”

“Which makes it different to here because…?” He was already gunning for the bridge.

“This land is claimed. It’s not neutral territory. The gang that lives here won’t stand for this sort of intrusion for long, especially if it’s by a rival drugs baroness.”

Skywarp chuckled at the description. “You’re giving them way too much credit in all this,” he said, dryly. “You’re going to have to hang on for yourself, now,” he instructed, calmly, manhandling her back so she was facing him. “I need my arms free.”

“Why, what are you going to do?” She found her preferred seams in his armour, anyway – around his shoulders, somewhere where she could get a good grip, and only tickle a little bit – and snugged her fingers down into them, hooked her feet up over his lower legs.

“Gonna kill the bridge,” he replied, offhand, already making his approach run.

“What?!” She flashed him an alarmed look. “That’s the only way out of the district on this side!”

“Oh, yeah, because it’s really getting a whoole lot of use, right now,” he scoffed back. “I bet you can see the footprints in the dust from orbit. We’ll call it collateral damage.” She gave him a pleading look, and he cast his optics skywards, exaggeratedly. “And if it makes you stop chewing on my audios, I’ll only kill it a little bit. All right?”

“…right.” She could feel his weaponry charging, tucked so close between them; the air simmered with ions, made static prickle across her derma, sizzling between them and making her spark flicker in response. Wasn’t an entirely bad feeling…

He skimmed down along the bridge, and scattered just enough laser fire over it to make it impassable. The structure groaned as if in pain, and clunked quietly as components destabilised and slumped against each other, but overall it held itself up. “Let’s see him get across there in a hurry,” Skywarp observed, amusedly, depositing his passenger clumsily to her feet just at the mouth of the bridge. “We’ll divide and conquer,” he instructed, already wheeling skywards again. “You check down here, see if they’re hiding under anything. I can cover a bigger area from the sky. Right?”

“Right,” she agreed, shakily, drawing her pistol from her subspace and trying to regain a steady footing.

“And don’t try to be a hero and try and take the pipeline on alone again,” he added, over the comm. “You find him, you yell for backup!”

“He’s not so big,” she argued. “I’m pretty accurate, I can put him down-”

“That doesn’t matter, he’ll be wearing his baffle and your shot will go wide,” Skywarp argued. “You might manage one shot, but he won’t hang around for you to adjust your aim, he’ll just flatten you.”

“So what makes you think you’ll get him if I can’t?” She slunk along the wall, warily. “We’ve got the same class of weapon, yours are just bigger.”

Skywarp must have been pretty serious, because he didn’t even snicker at the dirty implications of her comment. “I’m airborne, and I’ve got firepower to spare, and if push comes to shove I can just stomp on him. If you get into a physical argument, he’ll snap you right in half.” There was a brief hesitation, and he added. “Same with Cali. Find her, ping me. Right?”

“Oh come on, even I’m big enough to take on Cali, surely-?”

“Ping me when you find her,” he repeated, a little more firmly. “Her and that crackpot pipeline have something really weird going on between ’em – and I mean really weird, even more than us two – and if she’s about, he won’t be too far behind.”

“Fair point,” she accepted, grimly, peeking around a corner and edging out into the street, clutching her pistol to her chest.

Skywarp’s engines had faded to a soft drone in the background and Pulsar had covered a fair distance when the little black figure slipped out of a side-street and began to make its way closer. She froze, fully aware that she was a pale coloured stick of armour plating that stuck out just as much as the little stick of dark coloured plating the other side of the street, and sure enough Calibrator glanced up, and their gazes met. The analyst visibly startled, and dove into a side-street.

-Found her-, Pulsar hastily pinged at Skywarp. -Make arrest?-

-Good to go-, he responded. -Watch yourself! Still no Siphon.-

-Will do.-

Even as she made her careful way towards the alleyway, Pulsar knew what she was turning herself into. Calibrator had lingered just long enough in view to get the Policebot to follow her, which Pulsar had oh-so-helpfully obliged by doing. And she knew Siphon lurked close by. Uncomfortably close by. Watching, waiting. Exposing herself like this made her more than a little uneasy… But if she had to bait the tanker out so Skywarp could get at him, then fine. She’d be the bait.

Calibrator seemed to be following the same philosophy. The alley was short enough that you could see the rift from the main street, so she had to have known what she was running into, and the fact that she’d backed herself into a corner. Steep, graffiti-covered walls corralled her in on either side, and the district rift fell hungrily away behind her. The derelict ground and old retaining fence had crumbled and rusted and rotted away many vorns ago, leaving just a gaping chasm a single footstep out past the rusted surfaces.

“I should advise you that you have the right to remain silent,” Pulsar said, gently, doing things by the book anyway. She moved forwards slowly, trying not to spook her former friend. “But anything you do say will be recorded, and may be used in evidence against you. Do you understand?”

Calibrator predictably exercised her rights – still backing up, moving along the less decrepit of the two walls, keeping her back to it so no dark teleporters could sneak up on her. She seemed to be thinking of trying to scale the rift itself – her long thin fingers would be ideal for scrambling over the broken rock-faces.

“I won’t shoot you, Cali,” Pulsar went on, lowering her pistol. “But if you don’t come peacefully, I’m entitled to use force.”

…then she realised that Calibrator wasn’t looking at her, but just past her shoulder. Damn. She’d been hoping to hear Siphon approach, but it looked like she’d been just a little bit too good as bait-

“Hey, femme!”

The voice startled her; she leaped around just in time to see Siphon loom up beside her.

“I still owe you for when you broke my knee,” he explained, leering, catching her upper-arm before she could bolt, and twisted instantly into a kick.

The impact didn’t just twist her knee the wrong way, it comprehensively shattered a dozen micro-servos inside. She gave a startled cry of pain and tottered backwards on one leg before the joint gave way altogether and pitched her into a wall. Oh. Oh, damn, it hurt. She caught herself awkwardly, half-suspended on one leg against the wall, her pistol skittering away across the pitted ground, and groaned at the chill of coolant racing down her lower leg, puddling in joint spaces. She concentrated on the relays in her hip and pinched the end of the line off before it could run her system dry.

Siphon continued his advance, slow and self-assured. “Aw, look, you sprang a leak.”

Just behind him, Calibrator had stopped her half-hearted attempt at an escape, morbid fascination on her face. What Pulsar found more bothersome was the fact the femme she’d long considered to be a friend looked utterly unconcerned at what Siphon was doing… she managed to focus long enough to send another anxious ping at Skywarp. -Both here, come ON!-

“You’re such a pain in the aft, femme. How many times do I have to kill you before you’ll get the hint and stay dead?” Siphon chuckled, weaving his way forwards, back and forth like a fighter fencing for a good hold. “Never mind. We’ll do it the simple way, this time.” He lifted his hand, and wiggled his incredibly long fingers. “I’ll just yank a few essential components out through your mouth. Wouldn’t be the first time I’ve done it. And I can promise that you won’t be getting back up afterwards!”

Pulsar closed her mouth and pursed her lips, drawing back away from him. And where was Skywarp?! Siphon already had her pinned down, both metaphorically and literally, now, and the teleport wasn’t answering! She sent yet another slightly more frantic ping at Skywarp.

“You can radio your lover all you like, he’s not coming,” Siphon jeered, sweetly, sensing the reason for her increasing distress, caressing his long fingers up under her chin. “He can’t hear you, you see? I’m broadcasting a nice little jamming signal alongside the field baffle. It’s really handy knowing a scientist, they can make all sorts of little toys to make life easier. But I guess we better be on the safe side anyway…” He snatched out a hand and seized her antennae, and yanked forwards even as she yelped in alarm and jerked backwards in an attempt to jolt her head free.

The fact he’d grabbed her positioning antenna and not her communications array was no barrier to the flash of silvery agony that shot all through her cortex and turned her vision into static. There was a long, slow tearing sensation, pulling all the way upwards through her throat as deeply-anchored fibres snapped and power wires pulled free. She squawked in a mixture of pain and anger and thrashed her fingers down across him, leaving a set of brilliant yellow finger gouges across his torso.

Siphon just laughed, and closed his fingers on her wrist. “Now where were we?” he wondered, lowering his voice to a seductive murmur, and trailing the fingers of his free hand over her lips. “You’re leaking again,” he observed, sweeping a finger through the energon that had followed the loose wires out of the wound behind her alarm blinker, and smirking as he sucked the fingertip clean. “Ahhhh, so delicate. It’ll be a shame to pull you to pieces.”

Pulsar squirmed under his pinioning weight, trying to push him off, but her bad knee wasn’t letting her get a lot of leverage. His clawing fingers were all over her again, prying at her lips, dancing a sinister pattern across her derma in an effort to get her distracted enough to release the way she’d locked her jaw closed-… Had to get Skywarp. Had to get him here, because it was only a matter of time before Siphon succeeded in getting his fingers right down her intakes. Her frenetic communications were going unheard, and she couldn’t very well open her mouth and shout-

Of course…! She was a member of the police, and all Policebots came pre-equipped with-

She dropped the gain on her hearing, and endured an astro-second or two more of his mauling while she recalibrated and ensured she was cool… then cycled a hot pulse of energy through her sirens, flashing her alarm lights into his face. Siphon gave a yipe! of pain and dropped her as if she was hot, covering his audios and tripping backwards over his own feet.

“Primus!” he swore, shooting a hateful glare at her. “Okay, time for games is over.” He snatched the unattended pistol up off the street and tracked the red laser-sight very briefly up over her abdomen-

There was the low thump of air molecules deforming, and Skywarp exploded out of nowhere, swearing noisily and scattering a barrage of laser fire around Siphon, throwing the tanker’s aim wild and forcing him into a hasty retreat. They crashed out into the street, Siphon fleeing with the enraged Seeker hot on his tail.

Pulsar swapped a look with Calibrator.

“Goodbye, Pulse,” Calibrator said, bowed fractionally, and managed a single step before there was a long, low, creaking groan from somewhere beneath her feet…

Skywarp’s deluge of laser fire hadn’t made any significant hits on Siphon, but it had apparently hit something critical in the ground. From somewhere inside the planet itself came another miserable long moan of inanimate pain, and the ground shuddered once before a dozen derelict internal supports gave way. The horizontal surface suddenly elected to be a slowly descending slope, pointing down into the rift. Calibrator ended up on her front on the floor, scrabbling her fingers for purchase.

Another series of dull, booming crunches sounded up from inside, and the ground sheared across the middle, walls toppling inwards. The underlying, decrepit old sublevel storage basement coughed dust into the atmosphere, and obediently swallowed all it was offered – walls, ground, supports, and the two alarmed machines trying uselessly to kick and scramble their way to safety.

0o0o0o0o0

Siphon flattened himself against a wall, and huffed quietly for cool air.

Ducking into a derelict series of old warehouses, the small tanker had temporarily managed to give his pursuer the slip. He could hear the fitful stop-start of engines as Skywarp half-paced half-flew frustratedly about looking for him, but guessed that so long as he could still hear engines, and they were still in the distance, he was pretty safe. He took the lull in the chase to vent the excess heat out of his systems and cool stressed components.

Once the engine noise had faded into the middle distance, Siphon took his chance. Finding a better hiding place was his top priority. He edged his way along the building’s inner wall, keeping back in the shadows on the off chance Skywarp was skulking about and the engines he could hear belonged to a distant shuttle, self-preservation taking over from his concerns for Cali. She was probably dead, anyway, probably slid all the way down into the ravine and gone crunch at the bottom. He sure wasn’t about to try and scale all the way down the treacherous wall just to find out, not with this crazy Seeker swooping about…!

Peeking through a gap in the ruined wall, he could see the bridge. It still smouldered a little, but he considered that if he waited a while until his pursuer had given up looking – may be an orn or two, but he’d always been fairly patient – he could still cross it, if he moved slowly and carefully enough.

He emerged carefully from the broad rear doors, and hesitated to check his surroundings…

There was a slap of exploding air and the roar of thrusters right by his audios, and before he could even turn around a pair of powerful hands had seized him under his arms and yanked him into the air. He gave a very unbefitting shriek of terror and flailed his feet, as if he could somehow get them to reconnect with the ground-

“You know, I heard you were jealous of me,” Skywarp said, sweetly, right next to the tanker’s audios. “Playing at being a powerful faction leader, trying to instil fear into the sparks of the public, mauling all over my squeaky little Policebot… So I figured I’d let you sample the one thing you were missing! Can’t be a Decepticon Seeker without flying, after all!”

“Put-… put me down!” Siphon wailed, kicking.

It was only after the words had left his vocal processor that he realised it had been the wrong thing to say.

“You want to go it alone? Aw, all right.” Skywarp exaggerated a disappointed tone… and let go.

Right over the rift.

“Figure I won’t be seeing you at the bottom after all!” the teleport called cheerfully after the helpless screams that rose up from the rift.

0o0o0o0o0

Five floors down from street level, the debris had finally stopped falling.

Pulsar lay half-buried in rubble, and feebly coughed dust from her vents. Ow. Oh, ow. She winced and flexed her banged-up shoulders, forced herself to sit up, and survey the wreckage; between them, they’d more than half-filled the large room with broken masonry, and an old landing stage gaped like a mouth onto the rift, a couple of metres behind her, its decayed old doors hanging back off their hinges like broken teeth. Calibrator lay motionless a few arm-lengths away, miraculously free of debris except for where a fallen pylon lay across one of her arms. Better get her out- Pulsar thought, grimly, and went to slide herself out from her own pile of detritus-

Pain flashed up her leg, and she realised her damaged joint had twisted around in such a way that she was now pretty well anchored. She groaned, irritably. Great. And it’ll take forever to dig myself out of here. She shovelled a handful or two of the loose grit out of the way, and was beginning on the larger chunks of broken concrete when she heard the soft moan from behind.

“Cali?” she looked back over her shoulder, and muggy green optics flickered at her.

“Pulse-…” Calibrator acknowledged, and huffed a small dust cloud. “That was, ah… ow. Exciting.”

“Are you hurt?”

Calibrator groaned, examining her pinned arm, but nodded. “Nothing a little bit of brain work won’t fix,” she confirmed, digging detritus out from under her arm, and after a few astro-seconds of work and a snarl of effort, she managed to slip her thin limb out from under the pylon. “Ahhh… there we go…” she hissed, wincing as energon streamed back into the pinched-off fuel lines, and flexed her fingers.

“What are you going to do now?” Pulsar wondered, quietly, watching as the analyst got back to her unsteady feet.

“Well, much as I hate to disappoint, but ‘help get you out’ isn’t on my list,” Calibrator smiled, brokenly. “I’ll be taking my leave of you, now. If it’s any consolation, I hope they find you before you bleed right out.”

Pulsar dabbed fingers to the still-oozing wound behind her side-light, and winced at the grit that had coated itself over the half-dried fuel.

“It’s a shame,” Calibrator went on, softly, picking her way carefully backwards over the rocks. “I wasn’t lying when I said I wanted a confidant, Pulse. We could have ruled together. The scientist, and her advisor.” Her lips pulled into a scornful smile. “But you’d rather reject my offer in favour of playing with the jet, of course. Would rather tangle yourself in the affairs of the opposing faction than hold up your own faction’s supposed noble values!”

“Cali, please. Stop this,” Pulsar implored, quietly. Distract her, distract her. Warp will be here any minute, I’ve got to keep her talking, keep her here. “I don’t want you to be hurt, but they’ll catch you eventually, and you’ve got nowhere to go-”

“Oh, please. I just have to climb down the rift walls and get into the tunnels, and then I can make it halfway around the globe unimpeded! Lay low for a vorn or two, get a new protoform, and I can start my way back up the ladder again. I may have been beaten this once, but I’m far from defeated!” She paused, perched atop the biggest heap of rubble like some sort of demon imp. “And if I remember right, you and that moronic teleporting airhead seemed to think you could catch me between just yourselves. Ha! Some hope! Look where it’s got you. Crippled and weaponless. Which leaves just that big dolt to try and find me. He couldn’t find his own aft if you gave him a map!”

“You don’t think he’s going to be alone for long, do you? His brothers will be along to join the hunt any time soon. Please, Cali, just give yourself up,” Pulsar groaned. “Starscream wants your head on a plate, after all the problems you orchestrated, but if you give up peacefully they might manage to keep him from killing you.”

“Give up so I can spend the next eternity in a secure institution for the criminally insane, my intellect blunted away to nothing, emotionally crippled?” Calibrator argued, grimly. “I don’t think I shall take you up on the offer. It doesn’t seem much better than just sitting back and allowing those fliers to dismantle me. I’d rather take my chances!”

“Look, I know Siphon’s been leading you on,” Pulsar tried one last tactic. Calibrator was still inching her way towards the gaping door, and she had to keep her here, somehow. “I know he’s been tricking you into doing all this, I’ve heard him. We could take this into account, we could reduce your sentence, we could help you…”

Calibrator’s features twisted into a snarl. “I will have you know that I was all the brains behind this program!” she snapped, insulted. “That stupid tanker never knew his limits, was always aiming higher than he could ever reach, taking the praise for things that were not his to claim! He was nothing. He was less than nothing!”

“What did he say to you, Cali? That you were special? Important to him? I know he twisted things to suit his purposes, Calibrator… We can help you, if you want it.”

“Oh, you… stupid, worthless little bike,” Calibrator hissed, poisonously. “Is that what everything always boils down to, to you? Who is sharing their berth or their spark with who? Ha! Exactly how many have had a ride on you now, hmm? Is there anyone left in the station that hasn’t sampled your harmonic? You don’t even have the common sense to keep things within your own faction! What a noble example of the breed, playing around with the Decepticon elite!” She smirked triumphantly at the pained way her former friend winced and looked away. “Shed your precious morals faster than the most promiscuous little undercity whore sheds her coverings at the sight of a pretty face. I bet you couldn’t tempt him into your dorm fast enough!”

It was painful to have to listen to the words and not argue with them. Skywarp was hardly her first – whatever in the Pit it was they had, now – but then she wouldn’t be able to confess to any particular expertise in anything like that, anyway. ‘Prissy little prude’ was Longbeam’s analysis, only a vorn or two ago. But she forced herself to endure the insults, because it was keeping Cali around for those precious few extra seconds, and Skywarp had already pinged her to let her know he was on his way back.

“You never know, once this is all over, maybe he’ll still take you in,” the analyst cooed, nastily. “Keep you in a cupboard, somewhere, ready and willing for when he feels the need to service his potency!” She smirked. “I don’t know if Decepticons have any need for little tarts like you, but at least it’ll be a form of employment once the police kick you out.”

“This might be your last chance to give up, Cali,” Pulsar offered, gently.

“Oh, I don’t think so. I think I will be gone, and you will be lucky to be dug out before you grey out altogether,” Calibrator said, sweetly, inclining her head and setting her crampon-like fingers into the debris. “Isn’t it a shame you have no gun, and can’t walk?”

-Where are you?- Pulsar pinged the frantic question to Skywarp. -She’s about to leave!-

Skywarp’s return ping was an angry, hasty jumble of mashed-together words. -Can’t TriANGulate YOurPOsition Where are youwhere areyou don’tyou DARE letherescape whereAREyou?-

Damn, of course. Siphon had torn out half her antennae, and she couldn’t put out a triangulation signal. She knew roughly where she was, but she couldn’t tell him.

Well, that sonic grenade worked well enough last time… and she was running out of time for any other options. Oh well. No time to reset or recalibrate, but here goes nothing.

She sucked in as big a draught as cold air as her systems would handle, then blasted her sirens as loud as they could possibly manage to go.

Calibrator staggered under the unexpected onslaught, clapped her hands over her audio receptors and almost matched the infernal noise with a cry of alarm of her own. Debris skidded beneath her feet and she caught herself just shy of the exit.

0o0o0o0o0

Way above, Skywarp had spent half a breem inscribing vapour trails in ever-decreasing circles and getting anxious that Cali had in fact still managed to give them the slip. Starscream and Thundercracker were both (at freaking last) on their way, with a half-dozen officers in tow, and he’d been avoiding their questions with an increasing desperation (Primus forbid they turn up and he had to admit to having neither target in his possession) when at last there was the distant whoo-oop of a siren from somewhere down below. At last.

Skywarp homed in on the sound, and the faint flicker of blue light that gleamed out onto the rubble on the broken ledge below, slightly to the west of his position, down in the rift. The little dark figure huddled in the mouth of the storage garage was easily recognised, in spite of the fact the large green optics were offline and the thin, spidery hands were clamped down over auditory vents.

He found himself a toehold, and disengaged his thrusters, settling delicately onto a space barely large enough for him to get his whole foot onto. The owner of the sirens must have seen him land, because the hideous noise at last coughed, and fell silent. Somewhere in the darkness, the dim blue glow from an exhausted pair of optics flickered, and went out. The low hum of air-conditioning fans continued, though, so he figured she must just have gone into stasis. Well, at least she was being kept out of trouble, back there.

Calibrator remained huddled down on herself until he gave her a prod in the upper arm, and she onlined her optics with a weary resignation.

“You gonna come peacefully?” Skywarp coaxed, elevating his voice to be heard over the throbbing afterload of Pulsar’s sonic assault, closing his fingers carefully around both her scrawny wrists.

“Don’t seem to have a lot of choice left in the matter,” Calibrator whispered, head hanging, and didn’t put up a struggle as he gathered her out of the debris and swept gracefully up to the buildings above.

“Just in case you forgot, you still have the right to remain silent,” Skywarp added, amusedly, as they came up. “But everything you say will still be recorded, and probably will be used in evidence against you.”

Calibrator closed her mouth, and elected once again to exercise her right to remain silent.

Comments

( 3 comments — Leave a comment )
_silverfox
Sep. 9th, 2008 09:02 pm (UTC)
Ah, but a mystery needs a large cast or it'll be too obvious - at least if you want your culprit to be somebody that's been introduced before. besides I just love the mix of different characters. It gives a picture of the diversity of Transformer society that makes Cybertron seem much more realistic.

One thing I felt was a bit odd here was the reading of rights during an arrest. It seems copied from human culture* which I feel shouldn't have that much influence on Cybertron. Surely Transformers had a legal system and police force long before Earth did.

* In fact, I'm not entirely sure it isn't typically American in this form. *tries to remember German and Austrian TV series, but hasn't watched any in years*
keaalu
Sep. 9th, 2008 09:18 pm (UTC)
Yeah, I know, I was just having a bit of fun with that. (That, and I wasn't sure what else to put in there, at the time...) I think I've been watching too many silly police dramas on the BBC recently. ;)

(Tried to give it a slightly more UK flavour, as I shamelessly plagiarised the structure of the my local police force for the ranks anyway. BWAHAHA. *is innocent really*)
_silverfox
Sep. 9th, 2008 09:43 pm (UTC)
I think I've been watching too many silly police dramas on the BBC recently.
And I haven't been watching any so long I can barely remember them - even longer than I have been watching next to no TV at all. (Oh, how I wish I could get BBC! The only TV I've watched this year at all was BBC Prime. I'm not sure whether that says more about me or about German TV.)

I don't think I've ever seen a UK police drama. All the ones I can think of right now are American, German or Austrian ... Well, there was this rather boring performance of An Inspector Calls at the Vienna English Theater they dragged us to in school. (Probably not the actors' fault. We read the text -probably simplified at that- so often beforehand that I knew most of it by heart by the time we finally got to see it. Might have been fine, if it had been unfamiliar.)
( 3 comments — Leave a comment )

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