::Should be you doing this,:: Powerglide snapped off as Jazz touched the defense link. ::Or you,:: he added when Ultra Magnus joined in.
::You're the native,:: was Jazz's distracted reply. Something felt off, wrong even, deep in his spark, but… it wasn't so unusual for Optimus to shield himself completely during battles.
::I am delegating ground authority to you, Ultra Magnus, anyway. Jazz, Megatron had a prisoner in the palace that was being handled with kid gloves. Security is reporting the prisoner escaped and then was left in the halls by the Lord Protector and the Prime. He is yours to deal with, and learn what you can. Thundercracker? Blitzwing?::
::Here,:: they acknowledged.
::Blitz, take the other transports and all the fast-drones we still have high. Thundercracker, I want the mid range Seeker class in atmo, armed with concussive rounds and drill lasers.::
::Sky Lynx and Scattorshot will join you, Blitzwing,:: Ultra Magnus said.
::Good, because my class is still flying light,:: the transport answered.
::Concussives?:: Thundercracker questioned.
::Hit them high, just as they enter, push their reentry off-vector. You should get in good laser sights as they try to correct,:: Powerglide explained. ::Common tactic on thick atmo worlds, where reentry is a slagging problem.::
::And ours is thicker than its ever been,:: Thundercracker sent back, admiring that little tactic. ::Alright, we're on it.::
::There seems to be a singular point of focus in the incoming forces, near where the temple had been,:: Ultra Magnus told them.
::Is there,:: Powerglide said firmly. ::Make that the main defense point for ground forces?::
Ultra Magnus sent his consensus, and then they all broke out of the command link to go do their best.
No enemy was going to wrest this planet away without destroying all of them first.
The invading fleet had taken damage, but they had been quick to cannibalize the weaker ones in hasty repairs, and moved to engage the heavy ships intercepting them above the planet. With so many drones, the few true warriors were finding it difficult to strategize now, and were operating under the orders to get in range for bombardment. With that driving focus, it was far easier for Blitzwing's part of the defense force to pick them apart than any of their previous engagements.
There were troop ships, carriers with drones meant to destroy, and those were the ones jockeying to get lower, sacrificing others around them to achieve planet-fall. The effort was met with a very thick concentration of the remaining Seekers doing just as Powerglide had suggested, with improvisation. After all, since they had stolen Skywarp's unique ability in a limited fashion, he felt it only just to teleport right over a shaken ship and blast it point blank as it tried to correct angles against atmo burn.
Consequently, there was very little for Ultra Magnus, his Autobots, and the native Cybertronians to truly fight at first.
Then four fliers were suddenly in the air, dropping a horde of small, scuttling metal-eaters, and they had more than enough to contend with for a fight.
"Roddy, you're not going to believe this. I've seen everything, and I don't believe it!" Springer called, tugging the young Prime to see the event stabilizing inside one of Metroplex's largest unused spaces.
"Springer, when you say that, you sound like…" Rodimus began, but seeing the solid pool of energy, large enough for a mech of good size to walk through, he had to stop.
~Bring more to defend me~
Rodimus Prime clutched at his helm, the weight of that voice rattling every processor he had. But it was undeniably a call that pulsed purely to his spark. He got control, steadying himself on Springer, who had reached for his cohort mate instantly. When he looked up, his face was calm, set, and… holding all the dignity of a true Prime. "Assemble all the fighters available in Metroplex to come here. Send an alert to Earth to those there they must come and guard this place, and be prepared to come if we call, through that."
"Through that? Where's that go, Roddy?"
Rodimus shook his helm. "Don't know how I know… but that takes us to Cybertron, and we are needed."
::That planetoid is in range!:: Blitzwing snapped over comms to all the various commanders involved in the fight. ::Slag, it's breaking apart into… NO!:: Communication broke off as Blitzwing had to maneuver sharply to protect Octane from being blindsided. The whole orb had begun disintegrating…or so they had thought until they realized each chunk that sloughed off was transforming into a new fighter or pod of drones.
::BLITZWING!:: Powerglide snapped off, still in atmosphere to coordinate the fight on all sides.
::Here… slag, that was close. We don't have the mech-power to handle it up here!::
Powerglide's processor worked around that, taking in the tactical displays he was being sent. He hated to give up the aerial advantage, but… they were going to be destroyed up there by sheer mass and numbers. ::Pull your drones in, all of you, and gate out!::
That hit him from Blitzwing and Thundercracker both.
::Regroup… craftily!:: Powerglide sent, seizing on the image of the moons, out of the immediate vectors and with shielding tech of their own to give to Blitzwing. There was a spark-pulse of hesitation, and then confirmation. He hoped that meant Blitzwing understood.
As single-tracked as the enemy was, maybe getting them out of sight would lead to the enemy forgetting about them for now.
::Thundercracker, prepare to pull back as well,:: Powerglide sent to the Seeker. ::We are going to have to meet them on the ground, with that kind of numeric advantage. The terrain favors us; we know it intimately.::
::Seekers were meant to fly,:: Thundercracker bridled.
::I know… which is why I want you to do what Blitzwing did. Leave me a token force, and pull the rest back to out of the battle range. Once we pin them down… you do what you proved vorns ago you're best at.:: Powerglide let the bitter amusement slide through his send, admitting that the strafing attacks from on high had been one of the most destructively effective Decepticon tactics.
::Might make a fighter of you yet,:: Thundercracker said in grudging approval.
::Scram before I shoot you myself,:: Powerglide sent back in gruff irritation… and a touch of pride. He was one of the smallest fliers, and not even an officer in the war, but he had the approval of big-time power players.