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An Exploration Mission (Closed; Att'n Vallermoore)

A staging-point for declarations of war and other major diplomatic events. [In character]

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Victorious Decepticons
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Postby Victorious Decepticons » Sat Aug 01, 2020 10:13 pm

CBA Headquarters


After everyone assembled, they were both amazed and intimidated by SolarTempest's new body. Few were surprised to learn that he intended to expand, though all were shocked when he admitted to upgrading because some of them might want to take over. Most leaders put on an act as if they weren't remotely concerned about something like that, and just "happened to" upgrade beforehand.

Soon, they would put the word out that they were actively looking for more members, and various bots would arrive to try to get accepted. SolarTempest would need some sort of initial screening challenge, even before there were any duels, to weed out any absolute duds who tried to get in. Perhaps he would set up some sort of test for them, whether it would be for raiding or something else.

SolarTempest also began thinking that his gang should do something more than just raiding. True Cybertronian syndicates were involved in multiple businesses, which is what made them syndicates instead of just large raid gangs. He knew that the ICC had its fingers in businesses ranging from problem solving to drug dealing, and also likely had many foreign politicians in its pockets. These politicians not only made sure that the ICC's operatives didn't get busted (or if they did, various "mishaps" would ensure that the prosecutions would fail), but also could be hired to make other people's business go more smoothly. This let the ICC offer "lobbying" services of a distinctly shady sort, usually to natives of the foreign planets they were operating on.

The ICC itself currently had no idea about SolarTempest's upgrade or its expansion plans. Even though their DomIntel contacts had the information, the ICC hadn't asked, and agents didn't just offer up info out of the blue.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Oil Fountain

After a day, the forest fire still raged near where Mighty Brilliance had spread its napalm. However, there was now a large area in the center that had been burned to the ground. By flying over the still-burning part, the gang could carefully land in this burned-out area and begin its operations.

The group did just that, and once there, got out its drilling equipment. Soon, the mechanical hum of a Decepticon oil pump filled their immediate area. From the other side of the fire, however, nothing could be heard. The roaring flames and crackling trees drowned it out.

"We'd better pump as fast as we can," Switchback said. "Once the fire is detected, the humans will send firefighting planes to dump foam on it. Not only is it quite unpleasant to get a bath in that, the pilots will see us. Of course, we could just shoot them down, but that'll motivate this place to improve their defenses against us more. It's better to be out of here before they start their anti-fire activities."

Vampire said, "I'm surprised that they'd try to put out the fire. I'd think they'd want to get rid of these nasty trees!"

Switchback explained, "They hate these trees in some ways, but in others, they're very important to the civilization here. These trees catch wild predators even more than they catch unwary Decepticons, and that keeps the cities safe. All the humans have to do is make sure to keep any seedlings that sprout in the populated areas from getting too big. This is done by a combination of spraying poisons and mowing, depending on how close to the big trees these unwanted sprouts happen to be."

"Also," Switchback went on, "They have figured out ways to harvest some of these. Humans wait until the trees are a few feet high - tall enough to use for timber, but not so tall that they have an insurmountable grip. However, in order to get more, they have to keep some of these big trees to produce seeds for their tree farms. So that's another reason they won't want the entire forest to burn."

With that in mind, the gang got to work. All of the pumping gear was attached, both to their new oil well and to their tanks, which were now out and ready to go. It would only take a few hours to pull up enough crude to fill all of their tankers, and another hour or two to break down their drilling equipment and get the tankers ready for liftoff.

Just as they were leaving, they heard the sound of big turboprop planes.

"That's the forest fire brigade," Switchback said. "If we don't leave now, they'll see us!"

~~~~~~~~~~~~~

DeathStrike decided that it would be best to find a place he could rent on a month-to-month basis. That way, if he got regular ICC work again, he wouldn't lose a lot of lease money if he decided to move closer to the town his capo was based in. Plus, in the current town, he saw that the housing was of a lower-middle class quality (or lack of quality), and he didn't want to commit to staying a long time at that level.

The house he had shared before, alas, would have been re-rented long ago. He had left to do his military stint, same as his roommate, and no place that was available for short-term stays would remain vacant that long. He also didn't want to go into the tunnels, finding that arrangement too insecure. Raiding a house crossed his mind, but since he was so new to this area, he didn't know which ones would be good targets. He also didn't know who might come back with 10 other gang members to reclaim a lost property. That made a straightforward rental the best bet.

Once he found a place and got himself set up there, it wouldn't take long for him to get a job. It had been a long time since there'd been enough Problem Solvers operating out of this area's ICC store outlet, and that meant that there was a lot of pent-up demand.
No war RPs; no open RPs.

Explosive .50 cal shells vs. Decepticons: REAL, IRL PROOF the Decepticons would laugh at them - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FeVTZlNQfPA
Newaswa wrote:What is the greatest threat to your nation?
Vallermoore wrote:The Victorious Decepticons.

Bluquse wrote:Imperialist, aggressive, and genociding aliens or interdimensional beings that would most likely slaughter or enslave us
rather than meet up to have a talk. :(

TurtleShroom wrote:Also, like any sane, civilized nation, we always consider the Victorious Decepticons a clear, present, and obvious threat we must respect, honor, and leave alone in all circumstances. Always fear the Victorious Decepticons.


The Huskar Social Union wrote: ... massive empires of genocidal machines.

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Vallermoore
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Founded: Mar 27, 2011
Inoffensive Centrist Democracy

Postby Vallermoore » Mon Aug 03, 2020 12:27 pm

CBA Headquarters

When within a few hours (as it was a non emergency summons, being Decepticons they were generally quite tardy, had it been a true emergency they would have arrived very quickly indeed) the CBA all got together, they marveled at their leader's grand gleaming new body from Ultimate Mods. One backfired in shock when he told them he feared some might want to take over. SolarTempest would need to set up at least some kind of fitness test to weed out the weaklings of Decepticon society. He considered a race with an acrobatics and targeting part done in the equivalent of the Cybertronian "countryside" or if that would cause trouble on some moon somewhere, with those who came last or got caught blasting the competition excluded from membership. As for a mental equivalent he asked his trusted Underboss Lightning Dust to set that up, which made Lightning Dust feel highly valued. They went to middle class areas and unfurled a banner that they were recruiting, and went to restaurants as well. Some places they stayed away from. Places like the Private Refinery were full of rather snooty ultra rich bots who didn't need to raid and normally didn't want to. And Crack and Adams was ICC territory and would provoke a violent reaction at best, and at worst the ICC trying to wipe them out of existence altogether.

Many bots liked what they saw and more then a hundred and fifty bots wanted to join, but although it might be very tempting to command that many, SolarTempest wanted to maintain proper standards, and also not have trouble getting enough loot for all of them-so that many of them would leave and maybe badmouth him in private to their close friends. Only thirty to forty bots would make it to the duel stage.

Luckily for the CBA Connect had not asked for information and paid the necessary bribes, and, being the closest thing on Cybertron to police, Domintel officers tended to be very "law-abiding" when it came to the few laws of Cybertron. Just leaking information without a reward certainly counted as narking, even if it was to the ICC rather then foreign police-and narking just for the heck of it, even more so as a Domintel officer , could easily lead to execution. With a key exception for foreign invasion fleets, which were too big for any one bot or small groups of bots to do anything about, Megatron HATED narks with the fire of a hundred suns, only hating hackers more. For now at least, the CBA could expand undisturbed.

**********
Oil Fountain

Soon enough the bots were pumping oil and they got out in time before the firefighting bots arrived. Both Warrior and Vampire thanked Switchback for his help in making things work well. They got the oil back without being attacked, and soon were sharing out the Cubes and feeling pleased with a raid well done.

*****
When DeathStrike got in touch with a landlord, the bot was in a strong body. Not quite Ultimate Mods level strong-but strong enough to wrestle a Scrounger to the ground, with fusion cannons attached instead of blasters. "I'm ChuckOut, but don't worry, I won't chuck you out for no reason if I rent to you, otherwise sooner or later nobody would want to rent any of my houses. I have three, one bigger then the others. What is the price that you are both able and willing to pay?"

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Victorious Decepticons
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Postby Victorious Decepticons » Thu Aug 06, 2020 5:52 pm

Rural Cybertron

The CBA had avoided DomIntel outright telling the ICC what was going on, but when it put up a big recruitment banner, there was no longer any need for that. Almost immediately, word got around, and some of this word went right to ICC members. Even DeathStrike, far from the CBA's advertising area, heard that there was a new group that might be worth paying attention to. He, however, wouldn't be following up on it since he was looking for work in his own area.

Soon enough, about 150 bots showed up at the field to try to advance to serious consideration. SolarTempest started them off with an aerobatics challenge, which quickly showed that 20 of the applicants were too n00bish to move on. Whether these were youngsters or just people who didn't practice their air skills enough, they clearly would be easy targets for SAMs and would get in the way of any advanced maneuvers. SolarTempest thanked them for trying, but sent these 20 on their way.

Next, all of the applicants engaged in a big paintball brawl. SolarTempest watched carefully, and when they got down to about 70 still-unpainted ones, he called a halt. These 70 would move onto the next phase.

Now, Lightning Dust appeared, towing a small enclosed cart behind him. He opened it up, revealing many cheap tablet computers.

"These tablets each contain a slightly different scenario, which you might encounter on a raid. They also have a couple of business scenarios on them. The raid scenarios are a bit different from what you'd usually encounter. We can all handle a raid where all we need to do is land on some undefended refinery and start pumping out their storage tanks. However, that's not what makes a raid gang great. What makes greatness is the ability to succeed even if the target is decently - or even impenetrably - defended. Obviously, if it's impenetrable, you'll need to find a way to get the oil that doesn't involve raiding in the standard sense."

"As for the business scenarios, we are the Cybertronian Business Association. With this expansion, we will likely be getting into some sort of business. You will each be presented with a business-type goal, whether that's selling cocaine or getting us a monopoly on a legal enterprise on some other planet. In these, whoever makes the most profit without any arrest attempts, serious law enforcement investigations, or - for legal enterprises - bans against their company or operations, will proceed to the next stage."

"There are 70 of you now, and we're accepting 50. That means that no matter how good you do, 20 of you will lose. Try not to be one of the 20."

~~~~~~~~~~~~

Above the field where they were gathered, a few Decepticons were flying to and fro. One had a paint job that, if seen in robot mode, would look like a tuxedo. This one circled lazily, like an eagle, letting the rising air currents created by the heat of the assembled bots do most of the work of holding him aloft. He watched the group intently, trying to decide whether to simply have his organization keep an eye on it or go ahead and send in his Market Share Protection Force.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~

It was clear that ChuckOut had a lot of experience with bad tenants, and that said tenants were expected to forcefully resist eviction. His body was built up well enough to defeat a Scrounger, and DeathStrike wondered how many of those he had chucked out in his time.

DeathStrike wasn't interested in the kind of dump that a Scrounger would be willing to rent, so he offered a full 2,000 Cubes per month. ChuckOut looked shocked that anyone who'd be dealing with him would have that kind of money, and he surprised DeathStrike by stalling for time to "get another house ready."

A few hours later, DeathStrike got a call to come to a specific address. When he got there, he saw a few fresh-looking blast marks in the pavement outside, along with a random piece of someone's scorched wing flap.

"This one should be suitable for someone of your means," he said, opening the door. The engine lock appeared to be brand-new, like it was installed just before DeathStrike had shown up. However, the inside still smelled of another person's exhaust, and appeared to have been hastily cleaned. Still, the overall quality was good, and what would be expected for this price in this area. Elsewhere, 2,000 Cubes a month might get only a small apartment, but in this town, it easily covered a solidly middle-class detached home.

DeathStrike took in the scene, and wondered if ChuckOut had just chucked someone out of their own house, raider-style, in order to create a previously-nonexistent vacancy in a "2,000-Cube/month house."
No war RPs; no open RPs.

Explosive .50 cal shells vs. Decepticons: REAL, IRL PROOF the Decepticons would laugh at them - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FeVTZlNQfPA
Newaswa wrote:What is the greatest threat to your nation?
Vallermoore wrote:The Victorious Decepticons.

Bluquse wrote:Imperialist, aggressive, and genociding aliens or interdimensional beings that would most likely slaughter or enslave us
rather than meet up to have a talk. :(

TurtleShroom wrote:Also, like any sane, civilized nation, we always consider the Victorious Decepticons a clear, present, and obvious threat we must respect, honor, and leave alone in all circumstances. Always fear the Victorious Decepticons.


The Huskar Social Union wrote: ... massive empires of genocidal machines.

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Vallermoore
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Posts: 4233
Founded: Mar 27, 2011
Inoffensive Centrist Democracy

Postby Vallermoore » Fri Aug 07, 2020 6:19 pm

Rural Cybertron

The number of bots who turned up may have been huge, but SolarTempest knew he had to maintain standards and couldn't just let everyone in no matter how impressive it might look. The first test was one of acrobatics, which weeded out those bots who were perhaps not fully adult yet or just plain bad fliers. Then there was a huge paintball battle to select 70 bots for the mental testing, and it was Lightning Dust's time to shine. The raids involved things such as hidden guns that only rose and started firing when the bot landed, other Decepticons who happened to own the oilfield and started blasting, booby traps and other such things to make it more of a challenge. The business scenarios varied. Some were plainly illegal, like selling illegal drugs, or selling non-Decepticon weapons and fireworks in countries where these were banned, or fake cutie marks for sapient ponies. But other things were on the face of it perfectly legal in the worlds where they were being sold, and the trick here was to undermine or outright destroy the competition in the area without being busted for it. Not all the bots could succeed at these tests. Lightning Dust had done things well.

Soon enough the bots who had done well had been selected and , after a short time to allow bots to prepare for it, dueling could start. As it turned out, none of the new bots would reach SolarTempest although one did win enough duels to reach in effect, number six. The bot below Lightning Dust decided to try and in effect become Underboss through proving his strength, but the former Vallermoorian military computer made said bot lose his best body instead with only 20% damage to his own body. Other then losing the body, the bot was not punished as at a time like this he in effect had a de facto right to try and level up. Lightning Dust was too loyal to SolarTempest to take the chance to challenge him, which was one of the reasons why he was the Underboss. After any light body damage had been repaired, it was time to find a target that would provide profit to the whole syndicate, and SolarTempest checked a Raid List for a decent target planet or moon. After the raid, they could then think of more semi-legal or even legal ways of bringing in Energon.

Above them, Connect himself watched and thought and decided to land and see SolarTempest with a polite but firm warning not to try and seize ICC assets or territory, as well as an offer of a job for which the CBA would be paid well. How he was received would determine ICC policy towards the expanding CBA. If things went bad, a couple of thousand ICC Problem Solvers could easily be set on them, but if things went well they would be accepted, tolerated and maybe even helped on occasion. There was no need to go to war just for the sake of it, which was bad for business and a distraction from bringing in Energon.

He landed, transformed and knocked on the CBA HQ door, asking politely to see SolarTempest and introducing himself as Connect, the Boss of the Interplanetary Commerce Commission.

**********

Clearly ChuckOut had more bad tenants then most landlord bots and had upgraded accordingly. DeathStrike, tough though he was, was glad he didn't have to fight a bot that seemed designed for taking on Scroungers, themselves bots that were designed for taking on other Decepticons. ChuckOut was surprised that this bot was that wealthy and stalled for time, then transformed and flew off. Soon enough he had a place ready, and DeathStrike handed over 6000 Cubes for three months. If the bot who owned this house came back in a spare body to get his house back, he would be another Problem to be Solved. DeathStrike wouldn't however just assume anyone knocking on the door was to be blasted on sight, as he didn't want to do something like blast an ICC capo that was coming to see him for example, but he was ready for such a thing. His mind boards turned to the thought of the tail he hoped to buy someday from Ultimate Mods, a gorgeous deadly thing that would help him solve many a future Problem. As a biological with such a tail, he had been fond of it and even slightly vain, keeping it clean and gleaming, something common amongst his kind before their death or enslavement, and it was the one thing he missed as a Decepticon. He looked about the house and found it good and had a short defrag.

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Victorious Decepticons
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Postby Victorious Decepticons » Sat Aug 08, 2020 6:55 pm

Before SolarTempest and Lightning Dust could decide on a place to raid, there was a knock at the door. SolarTempest checked a security camera, and was shocked to see what appeared to be Connect himself standing on the other side. Everyone with an interest in running or being part of a Syndicate recognized the paint job of the leader of the largest one on the planet.

SolarTempest seemed peaceful as he opened the door, but the sound of his battle-ready engine gave away the fact that he was ready for anything. He secretly had his blasters ready, too, with the energy level at the point just below where a glow would have appeared deep in the barrels.

After introducing himself, Connect gave his warning and then said he wanted to talk business. SolarTempest responded to the warning without anger, but was more skeptical about doing a job for the ICC. He didn't build up his own syndicate just to be a subcontractor for some other gang, not even this one!!

Despite his immediate urge to show the mob boss the door, he kept that to himself and asked for the details of the proposition. After all, the money might be good enough to make it worth their while - and worth the risk of some of the new members defecting to the ICC...

~~~~~~~~~~~

ICC Store

The angry bot, in what appeared to be a fairly generic body of average strength, stormed into the store with dark red eyes and a very roughly-running engine.

"I've got a problem, and I need it solved! ASAP!" He shouted down the counter at the clerk, who was currently standing at the other end. The clerk came over quickly, and soon said that the minimum price was a million Cubes. To his surprise, this average-looking guy said it wouldn't be an issue. In reality, it would amount to his life savings so far, but to him, it was worth it.

"And what is the nature of your problem?" The clerk asked, reminding him that the final price would depend on this. "Harder jobs need more Cubes."

The furious would-be customer began to describe his problem. He had been sitting at home, minding his own business, when some big brute blasted his door in with a double fusion cannon. He'd immediately come out the back door, jumped up with jet assist, went over his own roof, and intended to land ready for battle.

"The pile of reject parts blasted me before I could even aim!" He complained. "I got into this body, and came back intending to try a different tactic. But when I got there, the guy had already changed the lock, and worse, he was letting some bastard into MY HOUSE as if he was renting it out! Needless to say, I want these guys out of my property! Permanently!"

This brought no big reaction from the clerk. House recovery was a fairly common goal of individuals who hired Problem Solvers, though usually, the houses in question were more expensive than the ones in this area. Pride, however, caused more than one person to empty his vault to recover what was his, regardless of the actual financial value.

"Address?" The clerk asked, and when it was given, he punched it into the computer without much thought. Suddenly, however, his eyes looked wider.

The clerk explained, "I'm sorry, but we will not be able to take both of these jobs. The guy who defeated you can be taken on, but we have a conflict of interest when it comes to the 'tenant' in this case."

Now the customer looked ready to blow a gasket. "The jackass whose in my house is one of YOUR GUYS?! WTF is this!! I've never had any beef with you~"

"Well," the clerk said, "it is unlikely that he had anything to do with the takeover. He simply wanted to rent a house, and the landlord gave him the address. It was empty when he came to look at it, so he accepted it. At least, that's what our Non-Classified Internal Surveillance File is telling me. One thing is for sure: The one who actually took your house is not one of our associates."

The customer paced around a bit, showing high amounts of angry tension in his face.

"Just kill that raider then. What's his name, anyway, since you've got a file?"

The clerk nodded and punched a few keys. "ChuckOut."

The customer left. About an hour later, he returned with a vault key.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~

DeathStrike's communicator sounded, and when he answered, he was informed he had a job. "You'll get 600,000 Cubes," the store clerk informed him. It was actually a low percentage, but in exchange, DeathStrike would get jobs fed to him instead of having to go seek them on his own. He also wouldn't have to worry about being lured into ambushes at vault complexes when he tried to get his money - something that was always a risk for fully-independent Problem Solvers and similar professionals.

"For this job, the directive is simple: Kill your landlord. And, if you'd like another 10,000 Cubes as a bonus, move after you do it. Remember to get all of the Spares and Saves, assuming you take the job, that is."
No war RPs; no open RPs.

Explosive .50 cal shells vs. Decepticons: REAL, IRL PROOF the Decepticons would laugh at them - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FeVTZlNQfPA
Newaswa wrote:What is the greatest threat to your nation?
Vallermoore wrote:The Victorious Decepticons.

Bluquse wrote:Imperialist, aggressive, and genociding aliens or interdimensional beings that would most likely slaughter or enslave us
rather than meet up to have a talk. :(

TurtleShroom wrote:Also, like any sane, civilized nation, we always consider the Victorious Decepticons a clear, present, and obvious threat we must respect, honor, and leave alone in all circumstances. Always fear the Victorious Decepticons.


The Huskar Social Union wrote: ... massive empires of genocidal machines.

User avatar
Vallermoore
Senator
 
Posts: 4233
Founded: Mar 27, 2011
Inoffensive Centrist Democracy

Postby Vallermoore » Sun Aug 09, 2020 6:34 pm

SolarTempest wanted to tell Connect where to go, or even outright blast him, but he knew he had to act with extreme caution. With the force of his syndicate behind him, he could certainly make Connect lose a body-or maybe even his life until he was reinstalled by his Underboss or one of his capos. Unfortunately, the Interplanetary Commerce Commission was known to be at least 10,000 strong, not counting any unknown undercover members or allied syndicates. If they stopped what they were doing and came down hard, they could exterminate the Cybertronian Business Association's less then 100 members outright extremely quickly. Still, that would take time and Energon and choggle up everything else, and the fact that Connect-no Decepticon scammer would dare to pretend to be Connect out of fear of ICC retaliation-had come alone without even a bodyguard meant he didn't want to just start a fight. He was ready for battle, but he kept his urge to blast under control and the glow out of his blasters and allowed Connect to come inside.

Connect gave a polite bow to SolarTempest, and took from a panel a map made of durable foil-paper. To a human or sapient pony it would have been huge but to a Decepticon robot in a full size body it was normal map size even when fully opened. "This is a map of the Central Territories of the ICC, where we get 90% of our Energon from. If you don't raid or destroy those areas, perma-kill ICC members, or grow to more then 3500 bots, we will leave you and whatever you are up to alone, and I'll order my bots not to fight your Syndicate unless attacked or disrespected. None of our Problem Solvers will go after you unless attacked or you deliberately bad mouth them in public. Of course, other, non ICC Problem Solvers that we don't control might, but they are not the best of their kind. If you attack our core areas, outright kill our members, or get really large in numbers to the point that you could become a new IOPC, the whole ICC will come after you along with any close allies. I was also thinking that one of these months you could help us deal with some renegade IOPC bots-if you dealt with them you could take all their stuff as payment, but that would be in the future. Farewell. " He left, transformed and flew off. No doubt many of the CBA were thinking of blasting him, but he hadn't demanded all that much of them really, and they knew what would happen if they started a war with the Cybertronian Mafia. It would be a long time before they got anywhere near 3500 bots joining them, and there was plenty of places that were not important ICC territories, the universe being a very big place.

*******
DeathStrike's communicator sounded. It seemed a job would be coming his way. He had decided when he first earned this job that only an outright treasonous job would be turned down. If called upon to slay Megatron or a High General, there was no way he would try and do such a thing. Apart from that, he would try and take on every last contract-even if it cost a lot of Energon or ultimately resulted in him getting Solved instead of the Problem. He wanted to get a good reputation for reliability and deadliness and prove himself constantly to the ICC that no mistake had been made in letting him in.

When he got his orders, he knew that he could not just track down ChuckOut and engage him in combat, or he would lose a body and maybe his life. He would pay the needed bribe in the proper way to a Domintel agent to get information on his target. If his target had an offspring that was not as strong, he could , for example, kill the offspring, impersonate the offspring, poison ChuckOut with a poisoned Cube of Silicon Dioxide, turn his jammer on and kill him. Or he could buy a bomb-a very big one-and blow ChuckOut into bits. Or he might be able to hire a cargo-bot to kill ChuckOut, but there was danger in that. Cargo bots were notoriously bad tempered and dangerous, and had to be treated with care. He decided that three thousand Cubes should be a big enough bribe, delivered it and waited for the result.
Last edited by Vallermoore on Sun Aug 09, 2020 9:05 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Victorious Decepticons
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Postby Victorious Decepticons » Fri Aug 14, 2020 12:43 am

SolarTempest didn't say much out loud, but after Connect left, he and Lightning Dust exchanged clear-eyed, conniving glances. Connect's comment about "taking care of" rogue ICC members had let both of them know that there was such a thing as ICC rogues...and that if they could cajole some of those onto their side, they could provide valuable information into the workings of the massive syndicate. They also now knew that Connect saw a force of over 3,500 as a threat. Without a word, both of the CBA's top commanders had decided that what they needed to do was improve their strength so that they would be able to win when the day came to add Member #3,501.

For now, though, they had just expanded to 100 bots. It would be a long time before they were anywhere near the size needed to stand a chance against the ICC. Therefore, no actual planning was done for defeating that competition - yet.

They now looked at the map Connect had left, and soon superimposed an image of it over their general map. "They've got all of the best spots!" One of the onlooking members complained. He began to point out how much oil was believed to be within some of the ICC's operating planets.

"Don't worry about it too much," SolarTempest said. "It's a big universe. If we do our scouting right, we should be able to find an area that's quite rich enough for us - not only for a quick raid, but for ongoing drilling. And these planets here, they're marked 'inhabited.' Surely we'll be able to get up to some other sorts of 'business' there, if they haven't already been made aware of how Decepticons do such things..."

After some discussion, the group decided that the best move for now would be to make a massive raid. With so many members, they would be able to temporarily hold territory, and this both expanded and altered their options. There would be no point in seizing a refinery for a long time since the inhabitants would simply stop delivering oil to that location. However, if they took over an oil field in a remote area of some other planet, they'd be able to set up a supply line of cargo-bots between it and Cybertron that would let them drill and sell millions of barrels' worth of crude before the natives would be able to get enough military to the location to drive them away.

They pored over all of the known oil-containing worlds, but to their dismay, everything that was known about had been hit at least once. All of the planets that were known to have oil fields AND weak defense, alas, were claimed by other groups. The ICC held productive territory on most of them, and as for the rest, all but one of them were claimed by raid gangs at least as large as the CBA.

"This one is noted to be 'in flux,'" Lightning Dust said, cross-referencing one planet against his raid list. "That means that no gang has managed to hold it for long. Instead, there are frequent battles between gangs, with none of them having enough of an advantage to maintain control. With our 100 members, we might be able to change that."

SolarTempest thought for a while. He didn't want to miss an opportunity, but he also knew that fighting a serious battle could kill the profit - and possibly, a few CBA members along with it. However, he didn't know whether he'd face serious opposition or just a few guys. Another thought crossed his mind, which was that it'd be better to find an oil-rich planet that had not yet been explored by anyone.

Soon, SolarTempest gave his orders. "We will send scouts to potentially-lucrative planets. Two of you will check out this 'in flux' planet and bring back information so we can decide whether or not we should try to take its field. Five others will go to these planets here, and report back on whether they seem to have oil, and if so, how much defense is present. Go now! Then we can decide on what to raid."

Two of the experienced members took up the project of scouting the already-known and highly-disputed planet. Five of the new members went out to scout the unexplored worlds that SolarTempest had pointed out. Each of these went in a different direction so that the most possible data could be obtained. Going as Lone Scouts was dangerous, but it was the best way to cover a lot of territory in a reasonable amount of time. It also paid more.

~~~~~~~~~~~~

DeathStrike didn't get much information for 3,000 Cubes, but at least he wasn't immediately sent away. He learned that ChuckOut had no functioning Line members due to his offspring having been permanently deactivated in a duel with jammers running after having been caught trying to break into a vault complex. A few years later, ChuckOut's own Coder had also been deactivated; in this case it was due to a bad encounter with a nuclear-tipped SAM. Nukes, upon detonation, release an EMP pulse. This pulse had not only ensured that ChuckOut's Coder was deactivated as soon as the bomb blast breached his armor, but also jammed his mind-transfer attempt.

One interesting thing DeathStrike noticed on the report was that ChuckOut had a lot of enemies. In fact, he was noted as having 30 who were quite hateful of him. A smile crossed DeathStrike's face as he saw the final notation in the report: About 75% of these enemies were Scroungers who he had evicted at some point. That meant that there were 23 very strong people who wanted to kick ChuckOut's ass. Like most deadbeats, the evicted Scroungers hated the creditor instead of taking responsibility for their own nonpayment, and many dreamed of selling him to a foundry.

~~~~~~~~~

Alas, the report didn't say exactly who these people were or where to find them. To learn that from his DomIntel contact, DeathStrike would have to fork out another 10,000 Cubes. Even more notably, 3,000 Cubes had not been enough to obtain the locations of ChuckOut's Spares and Saves, which was even more important information. That, he had been told, would cost 25,000 Cubes. This meant that for both pieces of info, it'd be 35,000 more Cubes in total.

DomIntel agents knew which information was worth more money, and made it a point to give teaser hints about its existence but not actually divulge it until they got the higher payment. In cases where the one buying was a Problem Solver, they could almost always get paid for Spare and Save information, and being the agency they were, they knew full well that DeathStrike was interested in ChuckOut for problem-solving reasons. They would not be interested in selling the key information for cheap.
No war RPs; no open RPs.

Explosive .50 cal shells vs. Decepticons: REAL, IRL PROOF the Decepticons would laugh at them - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FeVTZlNQfPA
Newaswa wrote:What is the greatest threat to your nation?
Vallermoore wrote:The Victorious Decepticons.

Bluquse wrote:Imperialist, aggressive, and genociding aliens or interdimensional beings that would most likely slaughter or enslave us
rather than meet up to have a talk. :(

TurtleShroom wrote:Also, like any sane, civilized nation, we always consider the Victorious Decepticons a clear, present, and obvious threat we must respect, honor, and leave alone in all circumstances. Always fear the Victorious Decepticons.


The Huskar Social Union wrote: ... massive empires of genocidal machines.

User avatar
Vallermoore
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Posts: 4233
Founded: Mar 27, 2011
Inoffensive Centrist Democracy

Postby Vallermoore » Fri Aug 14, 2020 6:11 pm

SolarTempest looked at his Underboss, and the clear glow in their eyes said that one day, they would take on the ICC and hopefully vanquish it, so that the Cybertronian Business Association could take over as the new Cybertronian Mafia and number one syndicate. Now however was not the time to plan that, but the day they got member 3501, they would be ready for whatever the ICC could throw at them. For now, they planned a raid to keep everyone happy whilst they planned new things. There were many planets out there that were not ruled by the ICC, but all of the ones that were anywhere near had been targeted by Decepticons at least once. Some had been literally drained dry, others were owned by syndicates the size of the CBA or bigger, and others had many gangs fighting each other.

Various lone scouts were sent out to no less then five planets to check them out. One planet had been drained dry long ago and had nothing of interest.

One planet had an ocean of oil down below, but the problem here was the heat, the surface being nearly 500 degrees Centigrade as the planet had a thick carbon dioxide atmosphere and was very close to it's star. If they could somehow get the oil out without losing bodies due to key parts melting, they could potentially bring back a great deal of it, enough for all of them to be rich and for SolarTempest and Lightning Dust to be very rich indeed, rich enough if they wanted to buy either the finest bodies-even a Guaranteed Winner Package if that was what was wanted-the finest places to live except those in the Government District, or all sorts of smaller things. They would need to come up with defenses against the heat for them and their equipment though.

One planet seemingly had a lot of oil, but was inhabited by very high tech sapient ponies, with orbital platforms bearing weapons that were easily capable of destroying Decepticon bodies-and they were unlikely to be friendly towards Decepticons. Raiding it could work, but draining a lot of the oil was likely to be difficult.

Then there was a human owned planet that seemed to be roughly at the same level as Earth before it's takeover, that seemed promising.

The last one was lifeless and orbited a pulsar. Again, there seemed to be plenty of oil to get, but the problem was avoiding having radiation at a level that wiped the contents of the mind and motion boards. Cancer was not a problem for robots, but there was a dead body of a Decepticon on the surface, killed by the pulsar, most likely outright.

******
It turned out that impersonating a Coder or an offspring would not be an option for ChuckOut's planned demise-but he had foes, most of them Scroungers. DeathStrike decided to pay the extra Cubes needed for all the rest of the needed information. Even if he lost money carrying out the contract, it would mark him out as reliable. Apart from one day earning enough Energon to buy that tail from Ultimate Mods, one capable of destroying a Decepticon with a hit in the right place, he wanted to one day be seen as so good at Solving Problems, that Connect would be calling him personally when he had rather hard Problems to solve. He wanted to continually prove that he had what it took to be a Problem Solver, as long as his boards and fuel lines still worked. If he became a capo one day, all the better, but that wasn't his number one priority.

Once he had to info, he decided to risk meeting with the Scroungers, preferably on a one on one basis. Even if he did successfully persuade them to join with him to destroy ChuckOut, there was a danger that they might if enough of them were left see him as prey. In biological terms, it would be like teaming up with a pod of alligators or perhaps a hive of unpredictable Changelings. As long as he was Strong, and didn't anger the Scroungers, they were likely to join with him to take down their hated foe, but if he seemed weak, he could easily lose a body or his life. He deposited a Save with the right members of the ICC , had a shower and waxed himself to look properly Strong, and located one of the Scroungers, a purple and gold bot who had a few obviously very recently acquired dents. "I am DeathStrike, I have had problems with a bot called ChuckOut, and I'm looking for allies to perma-kill him and send him to the afterlife."

The Scrounger looked him up and down with neutral eyes, and then replied to him.

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