Scorponok took in the view around him. From all initial reports, satisfactory progress had been made on subduing and stripping this peaceful world just as they had planned. He was pleased that he would now be able to divert most of his attention to addressing more immediate concerns. After all, while the destruction of a whole planet could be done in mere hours - the assimilation of population the size of Nebulos had into the Decepticon Empire would take decades at minimum. The Autobot threat though - it was not going anywhere. This enigma they had uncovered on LV-117 however, it could shift the balance of power decisively to favor of the Deceptiocons.
"Admirably... not perfectly."
"True Cipher. However, it took the enormous energies wielded by the most powerful of the Omega Sentinels to defeat the beast." The enormous Decepticon warlord spoke up as Cipher finished playing the video recording.
Scorponok's gaze moved from the now paused recording to evaluate how his lieutenants had reacted towards the revelation. "That blast from Omega Supreme would have turned any single member of the entity into a pool of molten metal. And yet, they are able to absorb the blast as one. Yes, it forces separation but they all survive the encounter. Together they are obviously far more than sum of their parts - in terms of power and size both."
"This entity resides within an Autobot prison? The Elba system would not be an unreasonable distance from our current location. It remains within the boundaries of the 2nd Fleet's jurisdiction. I am still at something of a loss for words, High Commander. A weapon of this magnitude laying dormant for so long? I trust we are to reclaim it."
Cyclonus was the first one of Scorponok's inner circle to speak up. The reply to his question was a short one though, for more questions were to come.
"Energy and mass manipulation of this scale has to be added into the arsenal of the Decepticon Empire - there is no other option."
"How do the Autobots not know who they're holding? You would think that they would be more knowledgeable about those under their watchful optics. Or are they? Might it not also be possible that the Autobots may be aware of who they hold within the Elba system, and using it as lure to draw us in and away from Nebulos?"
"If the Autobots knew of our operation here on Nebulos, they would have acted with force by now Scourge." Scorponok replied as the notorious hunter-killer voiced out his concerns. The enormous Decepticon commander had asked these same questions from himself already prior his return to Nebulos. Fortress Maximus could never be underestimated. The Autobot commander was truly a worthy foe. The practical stalemate in the war between Scorponok's Decepticons and Maximus' Autobots was all the evidence one required. Deception was not part of Fortress Maximus' nature. For him to go to such lengths to deceive Scorponok - it was unthinkable. In addition, Scorponok knew more than he had revealed so far.
"The other question is one I cannot answer with certainty. According to the intel acquired by Hardshell and Decepticon Secret Service, the Autobots are keeping these six separated from each other. This indicates that they possess at least some level of knowledge regarding these six and the danger they present. Logic indicates that because at least three members of the original group of special forces that captured Jhiaxus still serve the enemy - they would have not forgotten. However, we also know that these six walked free after their original capture alongside Jhiaxus. Before Megatron's revolution, before their branding and service under the Decepticon banner and before they were captured again." He explained, keeping a short pause before continuing.
"It is very likely that these six have been surgically manipulated to forget their part in Jhiaxus' machinations. And given the immorality of the whole ordeal in comparison to Optimus Prime's modus operandi, I believe this technology was buried into Autobots' vast archives of illegal technologies alongside the likes of the vamparc ribbon and Gideon's glue. They did not let this information slip out, we run to it during a routine scan of uncharted star system. The chance of foul play is marginal at best."
"I’ve but one question, my Lord - when do we depart for the Elba system?"
Black Shadow's question was certainly one of those questions Scorponok had been expecting to hear. And truth to be told, he had not been able to properly decide the exact time table to follow despite of having gone through initial planning stage of their most imminent future priorities with Turmoil already prior traveling to Tenebrous from the Semper Tyrannis.
"When indeed? The Autobots did send already one frigate to investigate why their outpost went silent. It is only matter of time they come in with more force." Scorponok spoke out, his gaze falling upon Black Shadow, "It leaves two options. Either we wait and prepare for their return or take the iniative to our hands."
"I prefer the latter option. And for that we need an advantage over the enemy. I have one. But we may have another."
Fortress Maximus had been a thorn is his side for such a long time now. It seemed as if the universe itself was now presenting him with an opportunity to finally put an end to that old rivalry, and gain a massive new weapon at the same time. Perhaps it was time to pay the holding cells of Tenebrous a personal visit rather agreeing with Deadlock's suggestion of sending Scourge and Cyclonus to assist with the interrogation.
"The Autobots you captured. Show the highest ranking ones to me."