- Motto: "All I have to be is exceptional."
- Weapon: Battle Blades
Machines stretching through the sky.
Early days, but fuel lines sucking up the lifeblood of Nebulos to power super structures outside the wishes of Nebulans, save for Zarak, fulfilling his pact with Scorponok.
The Decepticons had no interest in maintaining this fragile truce... they would conclude the business partnership once their own position was secure. And they'd hoard as much energy as they could siphon from the Nebulans, who already had begun to ration their resources.
Yet while these Decepticons -the ones under Scorponok and Turmoil- were greedily sucking up energy to build their shipyard, others within their ranks had been quietly supplying Nebulos with an answer to their pending energy concerns.
Gutcruncher had long spent the stellar cycles trading in Cybertronian spare parts at every shady starport he could, in return for shanix and new munitions to fund the Decepticon war effort. One resource, one spare part -spark casing- had slowly but surely ended up in the hands of the same buyer.
Vorath may have lost his post as Minister of Science, but he'd retained a substantial stipend from the government as well as his own wealth, and had bought up numerous Cybertronian spare parts in pursuit of understanding Zarak's new alien 'partners'. He was still acting in the best interest of Nebulos, to learn about these invaders. These enemies feigning partnership.
The Decepticons had been reluctant to share any of their technology, so Vorath had done all his research without assistance, relying entirely on the sales of Gutcruncher.
He'd assembled several complete chassis, but most of the parts were irrelevant. The most useful information had been gained from perusal of archived data within the brain modules, and then all his efforts were in gathering spark casing to be retrofitted with engines of his own invention. It had been simple to bind it together, to create the oversized sphere that would anchor a spark in place.
A hailing frequency rang from Vorath's long discarded government terminal. Though he was eager to complete his invention, he could indulge another meeting if it meant he could condescend to one of Zarak's drones far below his own intellectual level.
"What is it?" Vorath asked, slapping the terminal to life but ignoring the viewscreen displaying his correspondent.
"Vorath, this is Minister Arcana. Why has fuel been diverted from the capitol to your offsite laboratory?"
Arcana. His replacement as Zarak's favorite scientist... well his inferior, daring to question his judgment. He had remembered Arcana as anti-social and uncoordinated; completely unworthy of his new government badge.
"Despite my... discommendation, I have been researching alternative energy for Lord Zarak's government," Vorath answered, not deigning to look at Arcana.
"By siphoning away our own power?" Arcana asked. "You have not been authorized by this government to build or modify-"
"I am doing what I deem necessary," Vorath cut him off. "As a scientist, I'm sure you'll agree that the results are the only important factor to consider."
"If you don't want me to cut you off from the central router, then you will surrender your results," Arcana told him. "And you will comply with any and all inquiries to your research."
"Oh, you want to see evidence of my success?" Vorath asked, finally looking at Arcana. "I'm only too eager..."
Vorath turned his attention to one of his collected brain modules, and attached it to his government terminal's holographic display. "Memory playback, standard stellar cycle 1.33, Battle of Sherma Bridge."
Arcana and Vorath watched the playback rendered through their holograms, as a Decepticon comrade was struck by a mortar. The shrapnel damage ripped up his chassis, exposing the yellow-tinged metal of his spark chamber. He clutched at his chest, trying to contain the damage and hold his spark within, but ultimately he succumbed to the inevitable and fell, the tiny blue sphere leaving his frame.
Vorath paused the playback. "I've learned a great deal about the Decepticons' physiology... in particular, about this... this 'spark'. It seems to be a sort of energy source, tied into their brain module and their transformation cog. The Decepticons' lack redundant systems like we do; it all seems to tie into these three organs. This spark is unique among the three in that it leaves the body after expiration."
Vorath reactivated the playback, as the spark continued to ascend. "Shortly after death, the spark ascends for several seconds. Following the brief window..."
The Spark flashed. Its light shone brightly over the battlefield, and just as quickly it had disappeared.
"...following this, it departs the dimension entirely."
"This is fascinating intel, Vorath, but I fail to see what relevance-"
"There is more," Vorath continued. "I had to peruse several other memory files... access, standard stellar cycle 0.26, Slaughter Squared."
The scene changed to a gladiatorial arena, the Decepticon watching a battle between two warriors. One had fallen, the other held his weapon aloft.
"TIL ALL ARE ONE! TIL ALL ARE ONE!" roared the crowd.
"The Decepticons have little need for religion, but on their home planet they had some belief... some notion of their afterlife," Vorath continued. "It had many names. Matrix. Inferno. Pit. Allspark. Afterspark."
Vorath continued the footage, watching one warrior's death, and the spark rise from his frame, briefly linger, and fade away.
"Their sparks went to this place and joined together," Vorath explained. "Their sparks left this dimension as we know it and found another home...
"Memory playback, standard stellar cycle 0.29," Vorath instructed. From the Decepticons' memories, Vorath and Arcana watched as a downed soldier was attacked by a wild, canine-like creature, that specifically ripped away the chest and spark casing... and consumed the spark within. The canine grew larger, its spined carapace growing sharper and branching out...
"This spark is a fuel, for organics," Vorath explained. "And it seems we know where multiple sparks dwell... at the very least, we know of a potential entry point."
"This is admittedly fascinating, Vorath," Arcana conceded. "But I still don't see what you intend..."
Vorath sneered and drew up the first memory playback from the battle at Sherma Bridge. "The spark chamber is a sort of anchor that holds this spark in place. The casing is very durable... but it can be damaged. It can be cut. It can be welded."
Vorath punched in a new command in his terminal, turning his attention to the structure. The camera range expanded, showing Arcana what Vorath had built.
The spark casing he'd collected had been forged into a perfect sphere, far larger than he, taking up the entirety of his facility. The power lines were still filling the engines attached to the structure.
"I have built a spark chamber of my own," Vorath explained. "One that a Decepticon can be contained within... and die within."
"What are you proposing, Vorath?"
"That we test my hypothesis," Vorath answered. "That we find the passageway to this Afterspark, and tap into its energy."
"If we attempt to capture a Decepticon... if they even knew you had the parts of their comrades," Arcana warned. "This will break our alliance, Vorath!"
"The alliance is a farce," Vorath sneered. "The Decepticons will bleed our planet dry. I'm only going to take back energy they can't access... so we can have reserves of our own when they inevitably betray us."
"You're tampering with dangerous forces," Arcana muttered.
"Oh, yes," Vorath agreed. "That is what a good scientist does... he finds answers. All I need now is a test subject..."
"I will cut off all power from your laboratory," Arcana told him. "Zarak will be informed of your treasonous intent!"
"Cowardice! Weakness!" Vorath spat at him. "I will save our people from these Decepticons and give our planet limitless energy!"
Vorath turned to his engines. Not completely full... but it'd have to do.
"And I will go to the shipyards to find a suitable volunteer..."