- Motto: "All I have to be is exceptional."
- Weapon: Battle Blades
What Is Now Iacon; Before Recorded Cybertronian History
So many warriors. So many laborers. So much... opportunity.
In the absence of the Guiding Hand and their creator-god, the Cybertronians searched for some way to find meaning and purpose. The remaining followers of Mortilus and the supporters of Primus continued to skirmish. No government had yet formed, no agreements had been made with their growing population. New life forms were coming online in "hot spots" and many of them wandered their damaged, scarred metal planet without knowing how or from where they arose.
And the Quintessons stepped in to offer them answers. Their philosophical woes were eradicated... they instead welcomed their new lives of slavery, and their previously aware colleagues were routed away. They chased away their fellow Cybertronians, fearing the dangerous outsiders and retreating into the comforting tendrils of their masters.
The city the Cybertronians built was the shining light in the Quintesson's fledgling empire. They worked without tire, building munitions and vehicles to expand their fleets and arm their warriors. When they finished their labor, they fought for their masters' amusement, and rebuilt themselves when the savage displays were done.
The Quintessons were near their goal. With their fleet of ships and soldiers, they could wipe away the Galactic Council and impose their rightful rule over a willing, understanding, grateful galaxy.
And then... the Quintessons overreached themselves. And they were betrayed.
The Quintessons sought the largest, rarest of Cybertronian lifeforms... they called them leviathans, for their tendency to lay dormant underground after creation, to counterbalance their massive energy use. The Quintessons wanted to use them as dreadnaughts for their fleet, but acquiring each was a significant challenge. A challenge that only became more difficult when the Cybertronians under their command asked why they would enslave others like themselves, instead of merely isolating themselves as they had before. They recognized that the leviathans were not kept under Quintesson command of their own free will.
From outside their depots and factories, a Cybertronian approached. He stepped onto their border and hoisted the Matrix, the last remnant of Solomus, Wisdom Incarnate. He came to free the imprisoned, not with force, but with words. He preached a message he claimed was the creed of his creator-god, Primus: "Freedom is the right of all sentient beings."
And with the power contained within the Matrix, he freed the leviathans from the Quintesson's grasp. A single burst of energy undid solar cycles of effort. The Cybertronians once under their sway saw a new source of power, and a message they wanted to embrace.
The Quintessons enacted an escape protocol, and with a handful of their loyal Cybertronians, evacuated their principality to the natives. They took what they had built and accepted what had been achieved. Without sufficient resources to attack the whole of the planet and more hot spots coming alive each meta-cycle, the Quintessons indulged in strategic retreat, leaving the denizens of Cybertron to their newfound "freedom".
But with only a handful of the mighty leviathans under their command and several of their former followers left, the Quintessons had unfinished business with the planet. They left a remnant of their communications network on the planet and a few loyal Cybertronians to slowly re-integrate into the Cybertronian population. As they formed a government under the leadership of the Matrix bearer, the Quintessons' agents destroyed their factories and living quarters and erased the remnants of their technology, and killed the scientists and engineers to the last.
And then they waited... waited until a group known as the Knights of Cybertron left the planet, scattering the leviathans to the stars. Their targets no longer on Cybertron, the Quintessons and their loyalists spread out to the dark corners of the galaxy in pursuit.
Their empire incomplete, the Quintessons' fleet would skirmish with locals and suffer unacceptable losses. More and more of their weapons and ships were lost, and their plans of galactic conquest became ever more remote.
Eventually, they redeployed to their home system to enforce control of their own territory, and waited...
...waited until their star collapsed and their planet fell into the accretion disk of the black hole.
Their empire shattered, the Quintessons returned to the one other staging ground they'd kept tabs on.
A planet engulfed in civil war, its own resources gone.
Until a Decepticon known as Shockwave found the answers to all their prayers. His plan -Regenesis- would create a new supply of fuel and Cybertronians would flock to each new source, and return to their old master's loving grip.
But the worlds targeted by Regenesis had crystals of their own. Crystals that the Quintessons had once revered, long before they recognized the mineral as a resource; before they had applied it to technology and thought of it as sustenance and warmth and light, bequeathed unto them by a creator they'd never known. All of it poisoned by Shockwave's missiles.
But all was not lost. From what they'd learned thus far, they could use the same technology to rebuild their lost fuel source, before their own reserves were gone.
All they needed was to find one intact.
Metrotitan Bridge- Present
Praefectus watched on the monitor as the Decepticon bruiser slammed into the tundra again. The explosion rocked the hole, delving deeper, ripping through the thick ice with ease.
Phaedrus drew up a hologram of the dig, measuring the distance to the missile. "16 meters unearthed. 329 to go. I'm reassigning the Nihilicons to provide structural support while the Decepticon digs."
"And the Decepticon commanding officer with the EMP generator?" Praefectus asked.
"I'm in the process of overwriting the brain module," Phaedrus explained. "The shell program will be in place in 2.3 breems."
"We cannot risk our own units on the surface more than 3 cycles," Praefectus instructed. "Your Decepticons had better play their appointed parts. If we cannot extract the missile in that time frame, this'll all have been for naught." Praefectus turned one eye to glare at his scientist. "I will not return to the Imperium with nothing."
"Understood, Commander," Phaedrus agreed. "I'll see to the process personally..."
The three Insecticons looked up at the space bridge generator, still perplexed. Barrage finally peeled his eyes away from it and examined the yellow crystals being fed through the titan's fuel intake. The space bridge's reactor was pulsing yellow, the energy field growing increasingly brighter, its flashes more random and violent.
"What did these squids do?" Venom asked, scratching his head.
"Who cares? We try and trigger the space bridge," Chop Shop answered. "Find the... mechanism... thing."
Barrage followed the fuel line further past the space bridge core... and found the crystals in their raw, uncut state, loaded into the fuel pump one by one. The Energon of the titan only grew brighter, and the fuel pump seemed to corrode ever more rapidly with each new crystal mingled with the innermost energon pumping into the space bridge.
Barrage hoisted one of the crystals and examined it. "Well, if we can't find it... you guys think this stuff is explosive?"
"What you thinking?" Venom asked.
"I'm thinking if we can't force this guy to jump back to Luna 1, we can at least stop him from going anywhere..."
Ransack and Terradive perched on the edge of the dig site, looking straight down, as their comrade Lugnut continued to bore ever deeper with one explosion or another.
"Why is Lugnut digging into the ice?" Terradive asked. "Think the Titan's underground? Beneath this dig site?"
Ransack ignored his colleague's lack of insight and focused on the terrain. A handful of other Cybertronians were following Lugnut's movements, installing support beams as their hole grew deeper. They were looking for something underground... but their area of search was far too small for a titan. It was centralized, with redundant supports attached on higher levels, as though anticipating a cave-in.
"There's something under the ice they want," Ransack answered. "Something they're in a hurry to grab."
"They?" Terradive asked. "Why is Lugnut helping them? Uh, whoever the "they" are again?"
Ransack searched through the intense snowstorm. He could vaguely make out the Metrotitan's city mode, barely illuminated by the lights illuminating the dig site.
"We need to find Lockdown, and he's not here," Ransack replied. "Take a look around for a vantage point and make sure we can get in cl-" He was cut off as the ice beneath the two gave way, and both Cybertronians briefly felt empty air beneath them. And they fell.
As Ransack tumbled down the dig hole, he saw Terradive transform and fly. Natural response, for a flier... but he was sure to be seen.
Ransack, however, fell and landed on the ice sheet. From his upside down vision of the scene, he saw Lugnut standing across the white ground, stopping his attack and turning his single eye on the Insecticon.
Lockdown looked at his left arm beneath the stasis cuff, waiting for the doctor to arrive.
When Phaedrus finally arrived with his brain module and datapad, his muscle waiting outside the cell. "Ready to join our empire, Decepticon?"
"I'm not very good at following orders," Lockdown answered.
"Really? Then why join up with such a faction?" Phaedrus asked, pointing his tendril at the badge on Lockdown's chest.
Lockdown mumbled something.
Phaedrus drew closer, just as the bounty hunter intended. "Once more, Decepticon."
"I said-" Lugnut began, sending the signal. "-I have other talents."
An electromagnetic pulse unleashed from the generator in his arm struck Phaedrus and the bailiffs. The scientist fell backwards, immobile, his guards slumping down after him.
Lockdown reached his foot to Phaedrus's datapad, flicking it back towards him. With no viable means of operating it, Lockdown went with plan B.
And smashed it in two.
The Nihilicons, once adding structural supports to the dig, ceased operation and fell silent, their limbs going prone, their support beams clattering to the icy floor.
Praefectus watched, impatient, and drew up his scientist on the comms. "Phaedrus, what is happening?"
Phaedrus looked at Lockdown as his commander continued to scream at him. "Your weapon's effect is temporary, Decepticon," Phaedrus told him. "And with its energy expenditure you cannot hope to immobilize my commander or the remaining bailiffs."
Lockdown finally extracted his arms, the stasis fields disabled either by his EMP or the loss of Phaedrus's handy tools. Either way...
"All I need it for is the titan, not you," Lockdown explained. "Once we jump out of here."
"Fool," Phaedrus spat. "There isn't enough energon left in this wreck to make the jump."
"Good to know," Lockdown said, adjusting his shoulder joints. "We'll have to drain some from your robot buddies then."
Lugnut saw another gladiator enter the arena. Someone dared to challenge him after seeing the Kaon Crusher use his fabled punch? Use it four times?
He remembered what he had to do.
Fight. Fight or die. Win.
Lugnut lunged for the spindly, scrawny competitor who dared to challenge him.
At the bottom of the dig, Ransack fled as Lugnut struck with his gravity singularity fist. Ice and rock erupted from the wall of the hole, as snow began spilling down. The immobilized Nihilicons were swept away or crushed by falling stones.
Ransack turned his attention to Lugnut, as the bruiser put the Insecticon back in the sights of his single eye.
Lugnut was one of the most powerful warriors the Decepticons had ever boasted. His fury could be matched only by Megatron, and the Kaon Crusher feared nothing.
But they did come smarter. Much smarter.
Ransack waited for Lugnut to charge... so he could bring the dig site down on top of his old comrade.
Better Lugnut than him...
On the bridge, Praefectus glared at his quite communicator. "Send the bailiffs," he instructed the nearest engineer. "Bring him back from the cell block."
Before the bailiffs could comply, the bridge door slid open, and an immobile Phaedrus was carelessly tossed within, crashing into one of the consoles.
Praefectus turned slowly, to see who would dare enter his command so brazenly.
Lockdown leveled his EMP at the tentacled cyborg commander. "Past time we had a talk, don't you think?"