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Scorponok: The Reckoning

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Scorponok: The Reckoning

Postby Henry921 » Wed Jan 29, 2014 5:44 am

Motto: "All I have to be is exceptional."
Weapon: Battle Blades
Summary: Seeking to rebuild his empire, Scorponok launches an assault on Luna 1 to seize an army of sparks for his future conquests.

Author's Note: This story takes place in current IDW continuity, following the events of MTMTE #21, and concurrently with Dark Cybertron. Be advised that there are spoilers regarding events following the 'Remain in the Light' arc.



Prologue


The one universal constant, my only certainty... is change.

"Where do you think you can crawl to?"

I was once a king. More, even than that, I was a symbol of power. I was what all Cybertronians should be.

"There's no escape from the reckoning, Scorponok."

Megatron fell in battle. I took my rightful place at the helm of his Decepticons, and punished him for his weakness.

And then he returned. He brought his friends with him.

"Now you may feed. But leave enough of him intact his pain centers continue to function."

The Terrorcons ripped me apart. The pain seared my cerebral cortex with endless jolts. The sight of the other Decepticon soldiers, watching my ignominious defeat, burned in my memory even brighter.

I fled. I searched, over and over, for the weapon that would make me stronger than Megatron. Megatron hadn't even bothered to send the DJD after me; what need had they to chase down a failure, when no Decepticon would ever follow him again?

-

"Lord Scorponok," the helmsman chimed in. "We've found a refueling station, mostly intact."

Scorponok mused in his command chair. "Where?"

"Drawing up astro-navigation," the helmsman replied, fumbling the controls a bit with his claws. "Temptoria, in the Argon Nebulae. The capital city of Sensenica was being used as a pink alchemy depot."

Pink alchemy. An inefficient process... but any suitable energon substitute would suffice. "Bring us in, Windrazor. Keep the weapons systems online and get me a visual."

"Lord Scorponok?" Twinstrike approached from his left. "Encrypted communication coming in."

"Point of origin?" Scorponok asked.

Twinstrike consulted his datapad. "Coming right at us."

Scorponok allowed himself a smirk. "Phase Sixers always have to make an entrance..."

-

"Dante, are you ready?"

"More than you could say. I have a whole new lease on life."

To conceal myself from Autobot and Decepticon alike, I left no evidence of my actions. Yet Ultra Magnus had left me wounded, as vulnerable as I had been after my defeat at Megatron's hand.

But I survived. I escaped. I continued.

Because I am strong. Because I can.

"As soon shall I. This pitiful existence will be tolerated no longer."

I made a pact with Abraham Dante. I made him wealthy on his planet, and he gave me my army and resources. I would have a planet rich with energon and a myriad of alternatives for substitutes. I would oust Megatron and the Autobots and forge a new Decepticon empire in fertile ground.

All I needed was time.

-

Scorponok lifted from his command chair and stood. His two subordinates cowered, rightfully terrified of his presence.

"Open the cargo airlock and allow the unidentified vessel to enter," Scorponok instructed. "Maintain your heading to Temptoria in my absence."

"Yes, Lord Scorponok."

He had been fortunate. Two Decepticons, left aimless following Megatron's defeat on Earth, had brought their ship right to him, searching for survivors in the barren wastes around G-9. They offered their assistance. Scorponok turned that offer to complete submission, and a display of his titanic power served as a statement of purpose.

Scorponok stepped to the edge of the port side of his small vessel. It was hardly ideal transport, but it was fuel efficient and inconspicuous, and enough to serve as his personal ship.

His new guest, however, was quite a bit taller. He barely squeezed in through the airlock, his bulky frame towering over even the mighty Scorponok.

"Welcome, Sixshot," Scorponok greeted. "I trust you have it?"

Sixshot glared at him. "I do not fail."

"Yes, I know," Scorponok smirked. "That's what I like best about you. But to business- do you have it?"

Sixshot reached back in the airlock behind him, dragging another heavy metal frame. "It was mostly intact. The scientist Jetfire had to leave in a hurry*, it seems... though it was designed for only one brain module at a time."

"I'll handle the modifications," Scorponok answered simply. "One subsumed by my will... no one will ever again go astray."

"A shame you'll have to remove the nega-core from my cortex," Sixshot replied, gaining some confidence. "You won't have any way to keep your weapon in line."

"Are you challenging me, Sixshot?" Scorponok asked. "I thought you'd learned your lesson."

Even though it was impractical to battle such a powerful combatant in a confined space, Scorponok could not quite conceal his taste for it. Years of isolation and torture had left him spoiling, hungering for a fight.

"Not today," Sixshot replied simply, resuming his composure. His face mask betrayed no emotion, no desire for battle.

"Good," Scorponok answered. "Then join us for planetfall."

"Yes, Scorponok."

Scorponok turned his back to him, leaving himself vulnerable as he dragged the axis cradle away. "Lord Scorponok."

Sixshot could barely stomach the words. His struggle to speak, combined with his impotence in the present situation only made Scorponok savor the moment more. "...Lord...Scorponok."

-

"My empire lies in ruins- because of you! But there's always revenge... sweet, langorous revenge."

"Yes! But it shall be mine."

The Dinobots had destroyed his Machination Empire, shattering my plans for Earth and conquest in a single attack. And now Shockwave interceded?!

I could not focus on the pragmatic. There was only revenge. Only rage.

I let instinct take over, and remembered my original training under the Decepticon banner. Remembered the credo: no one gets out alive.

But Shockwave... his persistence... my hatred of Grimlock and his mand subsided, when that self righteous senator began his attack. I would have his head!

"Vengeance? What do YOU know of vengeance, Shockwave? I always thought such emotional vagaries were alien to you."

"I learned. Evolved. A new subroutine, birthed in combat..."

He struck, with that powerful blaster of his. Whatever flaws Shockwave possessed, I could not deny there were moments he proved he was a warrior.

"...forged in fire."

-

Sensenica, Temptoria

Scorponok pointed at the remnants of the pink alchemy processor. "The dead are to be scavenged. If any still function, bring them before me."

Scorponok turned his claw to Sixshot. "You're more mobile than the others. Bring the remaining fuel stocks into the ship."

Such basic duties would offend even rank-and-file Decepticons. Making a warrior elite perform menial tasks only further enraged Sixshot, further goaded him towards rebellion.

Rebellion Scorponok could end with the flick of a switch.

Sixshot grunted and complied, stepping into the facility and beginning transport. Twinstrike returned first, in his beast mode, carrying a cassetticon and another beastformer in each mouth.

"These two are in stasis lock, my Lord," Twinstrike stated after spitting each to the ground. The cassetticon transformed into some bipedal theropod creature, and the larger beastformer was some unrecognizable monster, leaking lubricants from places where he wasn't wounded.

Almost like...

"Blot?" Scorponok wondered, lifting the beast with one claw. But on closer inspection... no, not Blot.

Blot had ripped out his fuel pump. Scorponok could not forget his mouth after that. This one resembled Blot... closely resembled.

But then, Windrazor and Twinstrike bore uncanny resemblance to two other members of the Terrorcons. Ordering them around had been quite therapeutic; helped his rage to subside.

And he was in need of new soldiers...

Scorponok turned to the cassetticon. Overkill. A vicious fighter, despite his small size. He had no ambitions but slaughtering whatever stood in his path.

Perfect.

"Any others?" Scorponok asked.

"Lord Scorponok?" came Windrazor on his communicator. "I've found a few conscious on the northern side of the facility."

Scorponok turned on his commlink. "Bring them before me. I'll offer them the usual choice."

-

Defeat. Again.

At the hands of Shockwave?

Impossible...

"I am... more powerful than you... I...will..."

"Yield."

A cannon in my face.

Death, right before my optics.

Again.

"At this distance, a focused ion blast will penetrate even your armor plating. The creature at the heart of you will perish. As I have no overriding imperative to truncate your existence, it would be logical to stand down your weapons systems immediately."

Abraham Dante felt pain. Fear. Whatever asset he'd been in battle before, now his weaknesses stood out. He'd lived all his life in comfort and safety, even when battling alongside Scorponok. Now... now he begged for his life. His fear was my fear. His weakness... my weakness.

Glorious death in battle, like a gladiator, or another defeat... a defeat from a calculator who never shut up.

"As you say... logical..."

Decepticons did not show mercy. Shockwave allowed me to live because I was outside of his plans. He cared for nothing, only that I was removed from his path.

I dragged myself up. Felt Dante's relief. Tried to shut out the feeling.

"I assume you have an exit strategy."

"Of course."

"Then USE it."

Grimlock wanted to continue. If nothing else, I could deny him the satisfaction. I could lick my wounds, as I had before.

Lick my wounds and start again.

-

Scorponok stepped to Windrazor's side, Twinstrike following at his heels. He stood over three survivors... one flier he could not recognize, and two beastformers he could never forget.

"Hello, Hun-Gar," Scorponok gloated, standing over the gluttonous Terrorcon commander. "Bad day?"

"Get fragged, Scorponok," he answered defiantly.

Lying beside him was Rippersnapper, unconscious. The flier was awake, watching events carefully.

"Defiant to the end?" Scorponok asked. "Good." He looked around, taking in the sight of the broken down, battle-scarred facility. "You were in command here?"

"Jointly," Hun-Gar answered. "Snaptrap was taken by the Autobots."

"Autobots?" Scorponok repeated. "So, you were defeated, then?" He laughed. "How the mighty have fallen..."

"Give me the opportunity to recharge, Scorponok, and I'll show you how mighty I can be..." Hun-Gar assured him.

The flier beside him quickly tried to interrupt. "Please... Scorponok? We're grateful for your help-"

"Shut up, Tailwind," Hun-Gar snapped. "Meet your end with dignity."

"End?!" Tailwind squeaked. "Please, Scorponok... I may have been cut**, but I still function! I can be of use to you!"

"Really?" Scorponok asked, still looking down at Hun-Gar. "Have you killed any of the Autobots your commander here failed to stop?"

"I... no..."

"No?" Scorponok repeated. "So you were defeated. You failed."

"I... uh..."

Scorponok lifted his left hand, each pincer on either side of Tailwind's head. "Pity."

He squeezed, and the flier said no more.

Hun-Gar continued to look up at Scorponok. "I won't give you the satisfaction."

"Oh, but you will," Scorponok assured him, turning his attention to the unconscious Rippersnapper. "Because it's not you I'll make example of next..."

-

Captured. Imprisoned.

Worse than death; left in the Autobots' hands, forced to endure their pontification and the stigma of being a prisoner of war.

But that torment was not his only one.

Denied the mercy of spark extraction, I rotted in my cell... while Abraham Dante rotted away.

"So thirsty..."

I had endured long stretches without fuel before. I'd stubbornly refused to let it get to him.

Yet here, Abraham Dante's suffering became my own. His final moments became my own.

Garrus-9 had no provisions for humans. No methods for their survival. Even connected to my life support systems, not all his needs could be met.

He withered away, slowly... and I felt each moment of his torment. Our torment.

I clawed at the walls. I wailed for help. I debased myself, begging the Autobots for mercy. Begging for help... for anything at all.

"Please..."

"Please..."

"...help me."

Abraham Dante had never gone without. His wealth had protected him.

Now he was dying alone, imprisoned, light years from his home planet.

"This is all your fault, Scorponok."

I did not pity him. I did not share his weakness. He was a means to an end.

But I felt his fear. His pain. My pact had come due.

Abraham Dante died, in the thrall of torment. I fell against the cell wall, immobile.

I died too.

-

Scorponok hoisted Rippersnapper in the air, holding him with both claws.

"I remember you Terrorcons being fierce hunters," Scorponok noted, Hun-Gar forced to watch. "Think all those trips to the far corners of the galaxy made you strong enough to hold together?"

He began to pull.

"Or do you break, like any other weak bot?"

Hun-Gar watched, trying to maintain his composure. Trying not to yield.

Remembering.

Hun-Gar fell to the ground, keeping his head low. "Please..."

"Please WHAT?" Scorponok demanded.

"Please, don't kill him, Scorponok..."

"Lord Scorponok."

Hun-Gar had stood before him and refused to acknowledge his command. Hun-Gar had once had Scorponok at his mercy, only reigning himself in at Megatron's order.

Scorponok would savor every moment of watching him beg on bended knee.

"Lord...Scorponok..."

Scorponok smiled and tossed Rippersnapper to the ground. "Excellent. I'll see that you and your Terrorcon friend are repaired."

"Why?" Hun-Gar asked.

"I have uses for you," Scorponok answered simply. "Letting you live to follow my every whim... that is a revenge I could scarcely have hoped for."

Scorponok pointed his right hand at Hun-Gar. "But hesitate in following even my simplest order... defy me even once, and I will kill every last one of your subordinates. To remind you of your place.

"To remind you who the strongest among us truly is."

-

Discarded. Left in the cell, immobile.

Left in darkness and death.

But I could not die. I was stronger than those who held me captive. Stronger than those who'd bested me.

I was a survivor. An example of what a Cybertronian should be.

Even death was not enough to stop me.

I would erase the shame of defeat, by scorching every last Cybertronian who remembered it.

And from their ashes, my empire would rise again.

I clenched my claw and lifted myself up.

Even death was not enough to stop me.

-

Windrazor and Twinstrike dragged Hun-Gar and his subordinates aboard, tossing them into one of the available CR*** tanks. Sixshot loaded the remaining fuel stock into the cargo bay.

Scorponok took his seat at the command chair, looking over his three subordinates.

"Resume your posts," Scorponok instructed. "And give me a new heading."

A phase sixer at his beck and call, a ship, a modest supply of fuel... and now, the next step in his grand design.

The axis cradle recovered from Jetfire, and now... the perfect test subjects for it.

A new empire was forming, with the lessons of the past fresh in his mind.

"There's no escape from the reckoning, Scorponok."

No, there was no escape. But there was a response.

To overcome. To be stronger.

And that, Scorponok had done.

The plan was in motion. All that remained was to find a staging ground.

And then his new Decepticon empire could be born.




-
* Transformers: Revelation
**More Than Meets the Eye #12: Before and After
*** Cryogenic Restoration
Last edited by Henry921 on Tue Feb 18, 2014 9:13 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Scorponok: The Reckoning

Postby Henry921 » Tue Feb 11, 2014 3:31 am

Motto: "All I have to be is exceptional."
Weapon: Battle Blades
Chapter One

One billion.

"Verify the figure," Scorponok ordered.

"There's no problem with the equipment, Lord Scorponok," Windrazor replied. "One billion life forms. All of them forged sparks."

One billion new lives. One billion new Cybertronians.

How was it even possible?

Scorponok contained his awe and remained stoic. "My empire will need its rank and file. If these new sparks can be indoctrinated early... I can surpass the might of Megatron's Decepticon empire, even at its peak.

"I will shepherd these sparks into my waiting arms, and a new Decepticon empire can be forged..." Scorponok continued, extending his hand. "...no, not just an empire. A new Cybertronian civilization under my command."

"Set a course, Windrazor," Scorponok instructed. "We go to pillage, and to recruit." He allowed himself a smirk. "A glorious new beginning."

Scorponok removed himself from his captain's seat and stepped to the back of his craft, passing Hun-Gar and Rippersnapper in the CR chambers, to his quarters, where Sixshot had placed the axis cradle.

A billion new soldiers... waiting to serve him.

Megatron had preached a message of peace through tyranny. Bringing order and stability by eliminating the free wills that had brought Cybertron to ruin in the first place; and installing a new, single ideology.

But he had stopped short of true, absolute control. He had ignored the musings of the scientist Thunderwing and the machinations of Shockwave... and perhaps most egregious of all, had passed over some of the most valuable technology Sixshot had found during the Expansion.

Megatron wanted his space bridge. He wanted it so much he passed over the other gifts Jhiaxus had offered... the nega-core and the axis cradle that could directly utilize it.

Sixshot accepted his position as Scorponok's lackey because of that. A living weapon was at Scorponok's beck and call, and Megatron had passed it up.

But even that was not enough. There was far more that could be done with this technology. All it required was a little ingenuity.

That was why Scorponok would prevail. Because unlike Megatron, he had the tool that would abolish free will completely, and he'd already implemented mobile controls on Earth, to directly supervise and instruct his underlings.

Free will had brought about his downfall, when Hun-Gar and his Terrorcons retrieved Megatron from Junkion. Free will had allowed Shockwave to operate independently, with all his intellect and resources. Free will had led Grimlock to reject his generous offer of alliance. Free will had left his closest ally, Sixshot, planning to betray him as soon as the nega-core was extracted for mass production.

Free will would be gone... once Scorponok finished his experimentation.

And his will alone would control a billion new soldiers... enough to bring any military in the galaxy to its knees.

Enough for the reckoning.

-

Luna 1, Office of the Duly Appointed Enforcer of the Tyrest Accord

Fortress Maximus didn't want to lie on his recharging slab. He didn't want to remember.

When Cybertronians recharged, their neural cluster remained active, and often engaged in mental exercises or evaluated the code of their memories. Max was having some trouble with the latter.

He had an excellent memory. Unfortunately, most of his memories were... unpleasant.

Torture, on Garrus-9, under Overlord and his Predator cronies.

Battle, endless battle with the Decepticons.

Or quiet guarding Garrus-9, when things were stable. Before the surge.

Max was warborn. He'd known no other life than to struggle for his continued survival. He had come to accept that his days would be full of fighting. He was stronger than the average Autobot, so he threw himself in the line of fire more frequently. He was serious and stern and taken seriously by his comrades, so Optimus promoted him, and eventually gave him a command of his own.

He'd enjoyed it, at first, to take charge of a prison. It was an escape from battle, and the reputation of himself and the prison alike kept the Decepticons away.

But the quiet... that he hadn't prepared himself for. The uncertainty; he'd never escape from. He'd never known peace. Even with his most dangerous prisoners separated spark from chassis, he could only perceive his environment as a temporary ceasefire. He expected to return to battle at any moment, expecting it to be more likely with each passing day.

He didn't understand peace. He didn't know how it felt. He worked as stable and safe a position as an Autobot could hope for in a galactic struggle for survival, and that just made him more insecure than ever before.

It wasn't that he wanted to fight... he just didn't know what life was like without needing to. He didn't want to struggle for his life every day, but he preferred that to uncertainty. Preferred that to quiet.

Now, quiet left him to reflect on his memories.

Overlord.

The Monstructor Six.

The Decepticon Secret Service.

Arcee.

His failures, all climbing in number. His deeds, all laid bare.

And yet... Overlord was dead. Max helped put him in his cage and watched Chromedome pull the trigger and put him down. The Decepticons were scattered and leaderless, and wherever Monstructor went to he wasn't causing any problems. His failures didn't seem so many now.

But he wasn't at peace. Not yet. How could he find peace when he'd lived his life without it? Was it even what he wanted?

His cerebral cortex didn't. He'd reviewed the memories every night, of battle and loss.

"Max!"

Max turned his attention to the door of his habitation suite and buzzed in his guest. "What is it, Outrigger?"

"Tyrest, sir! He's-"

-

Disappeared.

Just disappeared.

Red Alert knew his paranoia was justified. Keeping prisoners never seemed to work out well for the Autobots. All Red Alert knew about Tyrest came from secondhand accounts: unreliable at best. Fortress Maximus had been stationed on the Lost Light when Rodimus and the others battled and captured Tyrest. Max may have known a lot about prisons, but he didn't know his enemy. Not personally.

Details were key. In the smallest, most insignificant factoid there was a mountain of information to be processed and decoded. What had Tyrest said to the crew? How had he fought? Where would he have fled to? What happened to his allies? Were any of the technologies left behind on the moon still functional? There was so much of this moon left to explore and examine, and that Red Alert intended to accomplish.

But the prisoner had escaped, before he could gather any pertinent data. There had to be something his comrades had missed, some detail they'd overlooked.

Tailgate had deleted the data of the Tyrest Accord, so there was no help on the consoles. The Decepticon allies Tyrest had made were nowhere to be found, but had left no apparent ion trail to track for Rodimus and his crew to pursue. There were too many unanswered questions.

Fortunately, he had the best ears in the business.

Ears that could hear an alert back at his post, far from the brig. A ship, inbound, right when Tyrest had vanished?

Fortunately, he didn't believe in coincidences.

And he did believe that bringing a gun to a sudden arrival was a practical choice.

And he'd be sure to stop and get Max and Outrigger. Even unknown elements like them would be helpful in pursuing a fugitive.

Though he'd make sure they went first.

Red Alert cocked his particle beam rifle and readied himself for pursuit.
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Re: Scorponok: The Reckoning

Postby Henry921 » Sat Feb 22, 2014 5:24 am

Motto: "All I have to be is exceptional."
Weapon: Battle Blades
Chapter Two

"Commander?"

Scorponok lifted his head from the axis cradle. "What is it, Twinstrike?"

"We've analyzed the planet's surface," the twin-headed beast explained. "There's a lot of scrap lying around, but some of it's been configured into a settlement, and it's definitely Cybertronian. Don't know how many are there, or whether it's 'Bots or 'Cons."

"Take Overkill with you and scout the perimeter," Scorponok instructed, fiddling with his instruments as best he could with his pincer. "Do not engage without approval. Make sure they don't know we're here."

"Lord Scorponok, why not Windrazor?" Twinstrike asked. "Overkill is-"

"-not one of us, at least yet," Scorponok agreed. "But I have considered this variable. I need one of you here to keep an eye on Hun-Gar." He resumed welding the frame of the cradle. "I understand your concern, but do not question my orders."

"...Yes, Lord Scorponok."

"I forgive you this one," Scorponok assured. "Report back to me when you're done."

Twinstrike excused himself. Scorponok lifted his arc welder and examined the frame. "It'll do."

Scorponok tapped his chest with his free claw. "Sixshot, report to me. It's time to examine the nega-core."

-

"Disappeared?" Max repeated, already following Outrigger to the makeshift brig. "While Red Alert was inspecting the cell?"

"Yes, sir," Outrigger answered.

Max thought and walked. How could Tyrest have escaped? Maybe... Magnus had some kind of recall trigger that led him to Luna-1 in the first place. Tyrest might've had something similar that jumped him out of the cell... and someone of his mass warping any distance would've required an enormous energy expenditure, and he wouldn't travel very far. Max had prepared countermeasures at G-9 for just such an instance, given what a pain in the aft a quick skirmish with Skywarp had been for the Autobots.

But then, Tyrest had built a space bridge with parts savaged from titans. If he'd implemented the same technologies in his body... he'd heard Megatron had done something similar.

Red Alert met them in the hall (waiting at the corner, so he would be in flanking position), weapon at the ready. "Max, I think I have Tyrest's exit strategy. There's a ship on the perimeter; just got in."

"Well," Max nodded. "We might've gotten lucky. Let's see him back to his cell."

-

Sixshot did not ask for permission. He walked right into Scorponok's quarters, and stared his 'commander' down. "Ready to do this?" the six-changer demanded.

Scorponok smiled. "Have a seat, Sixshot. I'll examine the nega core manually."

Sixshot eyed Scorponok warily but complied, sitting in the cradle. He continued to glare at Scorponok from his seated position. "Try to be quick."

Scorponok stepped behind the cradle and drew a scalpel from his tools. "It's near your brain module. I'll have to be precise."

"I don't fear your tools," Sixshot assured him. "No matter how much you cut, once the nega core's gone I'll be free to rip your hand off."

"Oh, yes, I fully expect it," Scorponok answered, cutting into the chassis of Sixshot's skull. "One of us will be broken."

Scorponok flashed back on Megatron returning to Kolkular, taking revenge on him for his betrayal.

Megatron had been broken. But... not where it counted.

Sixshot... Scorponok would break him completely.

And then, when he had the nega core... Hun-Gar would be broken too.

And once he knew every last secret Jhiaxus placed in the sphere, then every individual will that ever opposed his would be broken. Even Megatron would bow to him once Scorponok was finished.

But for now... for now there were the individual wills of his crew, which would soon be gone.

And fate, it seemed, had led him to the perfect test subjects for the process.

-

Hun-Gar was barely aware in his CR chamber, but what cerebral activity he could muster was dedicated to plotting. Once he was out of the chamber, he'd grab Rippersnapper, get him functional, and rush the bridge. If Scorponok was in the way, he'd switch to beast mode and rip the scorpion in two.

Whatever Scorponok wanted him alive for wasn't for the benefit of anyone but Scorponok himself. He was worse than Starscream... at least Starscream kowtowed and took orders when the wind wasn't in his favor. Scorponok was too arrogant to see his own flaws.

Hun-Gar had faults. He wasn't as strong as Megatron, or intelligent as most of the unit commanders. He was a terrible glutton, who would occasionally lead his Terrorcons to a planet for a buffet of desirable fauna, rather than any strategic importance.

But he also cared about his Terrorcons. Blot and Rippersnapper had fought alongside him in the arena, and they'd worked together long enough to know each others' value. Cutthroat and Sinnertwin were remorseless killing machines, but they respected Hun-Gar for his strength and shared his love of the hunt.

Scorponok had been a gladiator too, but all he'd cared for was his own glory. He didn't comprehend the value of teammates; of trusting his life to his comrade.

Hun-Gar may have humbled himself to save his comrades' lives, but he wouldn't serve Scorponok.

One way or another, one of them was going to be a stain on the ship floor when it was done.

-

Max took some time to enjoy the terrain. Unlike G-9, Luna 1 was covered in metal, like Cybertron had been. But the surface was irregular and corrugated, which reminded him of the prison terrain. He hadn't usually indulged in patrols, but when he did, he was free of the uncertainty.

Rung had theorized Max had latent mode attachment, and had contributed to his usual state of tension and unease. Max was almost always in robot mode, and usually in his office responding to dozens of reports from his guards and requests from Autobot command for prisoner transfers. On slow days, however... patrolling the perimeter and running over rough terrain gave him something to do, something to help avoid thinking.

It wasn't much, in pursuit of a dangerous prisoner, but it was comforting. It was something.

Red Alert pulled up over the ledge behind him. It was annoying, how he insisted on favorable positioning...

"Any readings?" Max asked, still rolling along the terrain.

"Too many to count," Red Alert replied. "Even inactive, the sparks are throwing us off. Radar's basically useless. Not the first time I've said that, mind you..."

Outrigger rolled up behind him. "Then we use our eyes, Alert. You saw the viewscreen; this is the quadrant, right?"

"Assuming Tyrest mapped the planet right," Red Alert answered. "I hate operating on assumptions."

"You two stick together and pick a direction," Max instructed. "Contact me immediately if you see anything."

Red Alert was slow to accept, but complied. He made sure Outrigger took point, in case the former Circle of Light member decided to defy all logic and rejoin Tyrest. Red Alert's mind worked in odd ways.

Still, he was a good shot and had a keen eye for detail. And he and Outrigger could watch each others' backs.

Max didn't need the help.

-

Overkill stepped out into the light, in beast mode, glancing over at Twinstrike.

"And we just look? We don't fight?" Overkill snapped.

"Scorponok's orders," Twinstrike replied.

"Why look when you can destroy?" Overkill demanded. "Hun-Gar didn't put me on a tight leash."

"And how much did you destroy under his command?" Twinstrike asked, sniffing the ground with one of his heads.

"Not enough," Overkill boasted. "Never enough."

"Just don't mess with me on this," Twinstrike requested. "I won't boss you around. Just try to follow the instructions."

"And if we do find someone who objects to our... scouting?" Overkill asked.

"Then bite," Twinstrike answered. "And then run."

"Not my style," Overkill replied. "I think I have another tactic: no witnesses."

Twinstrike looked over the broken, discarded space bridge hulls on the horizon. "Typical Decepticon, I see."

"No one gets out alive," Overkill promised, reciting the dogmatic call.

He stamped the ground and marched to the horizon.

-

Scorponok hoisted the nega core, still stained with mech fluid from Sixshot's brain module. He examined it closely, and smiled.

Behind him, Sixshot rose, his skull casing still impacted by a deep cut.

Scorponok turned, pointing his free hand at Sixshot's face. "You're still wounded. You really want to do this now?"

Sixshot lifted one of the blasters from his waist. "I've waited long enough. I won't tolerate that smug face of yours' any longer."

Scorponok set the nega core down with his instruments. "Suit yourself..."

He turned and swung his claw for Sixshot's face.
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Re: Scorponok: The Reckoning

Postby Henry921 » Fri Feb 28, 2014 5:02 am

Motto: "All I have to be is exceptional."
Weapon: Battle Blades
Chapter Three


Previously

Lockdown watched as the three warriors ripped through the Legislators. He recognized the flash of light rising from the edge of the great sword in the purple one's hand- he'd seen that same concentrated spark energy once before*, when it cut through Braid, the first time Lockdown had encountered the Circle of Light.

And the one-horned warrior was fighting alongside the Wrecker, Whirl, and the Circle's remaining leader, Dai Atlas. Star Saber had yet to arrive, and the Vehicon troopers already in the fray were faring no better.

Lockdown considered his surviving crewmates. He turned to Barrage and Ransack. "Get your Insecticon brothers and fall back to the ship. We're pulling out."

"Tyrest won't be happy about that," Ransack pointed out. "Even if he loses all his lawmakers, he'll still win when he throws that switch."

"And if we're fortunate, he'll go through to whatever paradise he thinks is behind that old space bridge, and not give us a second thought," Lockdown pointed out. "We gave him the tech he wanted and deployed a few troops."

He glanced up at Terradive, fighting alongside the jets. The Circle of Light's flying members were dancing circles around the lower ranked troops, but Terradive was faring a little better...

"Terradive," Lockdown called over the commlink. "Fall back. We're getting out of here."

"Finally giving me an order I want to follow, Lockdown."

Lockdown switched to vehicle mode and fled into the scrapyard of broken titans, the buzzing of the Insecticons at his heels.


Today

A ship landed right outside the scrapyard. An opportunity beckoned to the stranded Decepticons, either for transport or the opportunity to barter for fuel for the Death's Head. Their chance to escape was in hand...

...and now Fortress Maximus was rushing right at it. He was alone and unsupported by any more of that orange Autobot's obnoxious crewmates, but the warden of G-9 was never to be underestimated.

Lockdown mulled over his options. He didn't know who'd arrived, but the vessel was Cybertronian. It could be Decepticons, and he'd ally with them... or it could be Autobots, and he'd be at even greater disadvantage. Terrdive was standing nearby, trident already in hand and blaster deployed.

"Hold," Lockdown sneered.

"What, and wait for Max to seize the ship right out from under us?" Terradive demanded. "Better to hit him from behind, while we still have some element of surprise."

"Don't be a fool," Lockdown answered. "Even between us and the Insecticons I wouldn't attack him... we'd need much bigger guns."

As if on cue, a pair of beasts emerged from the parked ship, one of whom Lockdown recognized as Overkill. The other was some form of twin-headed quadripedal reptile...

"Big enough for you?" Terradive asked.

Lockdown readied the emp generator on his wrist. "It'll do."

-

Within the CR tank, Blip felt himself regain use of his arm, the joint no longer severed by Autobot sword. He took in his surroundings, in the healing waves of the restoration module, and waited.

Hun-Gar... Hun-Gar must've rescued him, and fought off the invaders. Hun-Gar had taken Blip in, out of some sense of loyalty... loyalty for Blip's spark brother Blot, once Hun-Gar's partner in gladiatorial combat, and unwavering supporter in the ranks of the Terrorcons.


Now he was dead. Even light years from Cybertron, Blip felt Blot die, cut down by a sword then severed by shrapnel**. His loyalty to Hun-Gar and hatred of the Autobots had only intensified, and reminded him that whatever the higher ups were saying, the war wasn't over.

And now, Blip would pin his hopes on Hun-Gar. Anyone who could see the value in a misfit like himself, less powerful and barely smarter than Blot, was someone he would fight for to the ends of the galaxy.

When Hun-Gar opened that chamber, Blip would follow him with open arms.

-

Scorponok's claw clashed against Sixshot's wrist, barely scratching his heavy armor, built from the carbon atoms of a collapsed star. Sixshot shoved the scorpion back with minimal effort, and drew a great sword from his hip.

"I'm going to savor this," Sixshot promised, the sword already radiating his powerful green spark energy. He didn't need to fear overusing the weapon; if his spark's power had a limit, he'd never come close to reaching it.

Scorponok righted himself quickly, and bull rushed Sixshot, tackling him at the midsection. He used his momenutm and kept pushing, slamming Sixshot into the hull.

Sixshot responded in kind, kneeing Scorponok's midsection and pushing him away with a free hand. Scorponok landed spread eagled on the floor. Sixshot hoisted the great sword with both hands, ready to drive it down.

Scorponok had not forgotten the lessons of the arena. He'd been in many battles where the objective had been first to wound. He rolled to the side and let Sixshot dig into the floor. Scorponok swept his legs, taking Sixshot's feet from under him.

Unfortunately, Sixshot tucked and rolled, sliding under the swing of Scorponok's claw. Sixshot quickly rose to his feet and locked arms with Scorponok, quickly forcing the one time gladiator back.

Scorponok had his ace in the hole, but wouldn't play it just yet... not until he'd dealt Sixshot a wound.

But he was giving ground, and quickly running out of quarter space to use. So he used his head.

Slamming into Sixshot's skull casing fared little better than anywhere else on the Phase Sixer's body, his armor plating was so thick. But Scorponok was too determined -too stubborn- to leave less than a scar. A scar running over Sixshot's left optic, where Scorponok's cranial horn had scratched the surface.

Sixshot slammed Scorponok into the wall at last, pinning both arms. "That's enough savoring..."

"Agreed," Scorponok answered. "Sixshot... Reset. Pi-orion-actual-orbit.Enable."

Sixshot recognized the command coode. More importantly, so did his system, already powering down. His arms suddenly felt heavy; unsupported. He fell back, dropping to a knee as he heard the familiar whirring of his system reverting to stasis lock. "H-how...?"

Scorponok brushed one am. "Autonomy in my empire has a price. When Starscream allied with me to depose Megatron***, he turned over all the intel I needed to secure his place as my lieutenant.

"And you, my dear Sixshot... your will was always going to be subsumed by mine. Now- that process becomes more... direct."

-

Overkill and Twinstrike had barely gone a hundred meters when a bulky vehicle rolled right in their path, and in their sights. Twinstrike recognized it at once.

"Fortress Maximus-!"

Overkill knew the name. The warden of Garrus 9 had come into his path. A powerful warrior and well-respected, well-feared enemy was in his sights.

Overkill had never intended to be subtle. Whatever Scorponok's orders, the elimination of all witnesses was never a bad idea...

Overkill lunged at Max and bit into his tread.

Max, for his part, transformed quickly and shook the smaller bot off his shoulder. He drew his cannon and leveled it.

"Red-" he began, but paused. His first thought would've been to call Red Alert and inform him, but the security chief didn't use communicators... "Outrigger, I've reached the ship. We have Decepticon company."

Overkill snarled at him, the other one just watching him, both heads looking dumbfounded.

This, Max understood, this eagerness to fight. Where quiet left him uncertain and feeling doubt creeping in... sound and fury suited him just fine.

"Be ready to secure the area," Max continued as Overkill lunged for him. "And to cleanup."

Max caught Overkill at the neck, holding the casseticon aloft and leveling his hand cannon. "I'll handle the rest."

Max shot Overkill in the face, blasting off a good chunk of his lower jaw.

The warden threw the smaller Decepticon to the ground and pointed his cannon at the two head. "Who's next?"



-
*Transformers: Drift
**Robots in Disguise #11
***Transformers: Monstrosity
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Re: Scorponok: The Reckoning

Postby Henry921 » Sat Mar 15, 2014 2:47 am

Motto: "All I have to be is exceptional."
Weapon: Battle Blades
Chapter Four

Scorponok finished fumbling with the circuitry, keeping one cautious eye on Sixshot. The Phase Sixer remained comfortably in stasis lock on the floor, but he was still the most powerful Cybertronian aboard... and if he recovered, he'd kill Scorponok before he had time to utter the phrase again. Scorponok had played his trump card, and now he had to focus on finishing the mass production.

Fortunately, the ship was stocked... and he'd be ready in a few mega-cycles...

"Lord Scorponok!"

His communicator... "What is it, Twinstrike?" Scorponok asked, still focusing on his wiring.

"Overkill walked into trouble, Commander. There are Autobots on this planet!"

"Autobots?" Scorponok repeated. "How many?"

"One, Commander."

"One," Scorponok repeated, suppressing the urge to sigh. "The two of you can't handle one Autobot?"

"Well, Lord Scorponok-"

-

"-maybe not this Autobot."

Overkill spit up some energon and mech fluid, feeling it drain down where his chin used to be, falling onto his neck and left arm. He coughed and sputtered, but turned right back into the path of Max's gun, now angry in addition to being eager to fight.

Fortunately, Max responded in kind. He rammed Overkill in the midsection with the butt of his rifle, and dropped an elbow into the top of the casseticon's head, leaving a deep crack in the skull casing.

Overkill, however, refused to be put down. He snarled again and turned his missile pods in Max's direction, firing in a massive burst. Max transformed, shifting into a more heavily armored form and -more crucially- a form lower to the ground, allowing most of Overkill's missiles sailing over Max's head, a latter three pecking his shoulder. Max hit the gas and rammed into Overkill, pushing the casseticon back into the hull of his ship.

This, Max understood. There was no doubt or uncertainty in battle; not for him. Even when facing a 'Con stronger than he was, Max struck with reckless abandon, throwing himself in the path of danger. That was where he belonged, facing down the worst of Cybertron's scum. That was why he'd agreed to take up the mantle of enforcing the Tyrest Accord from Ultra Magnus: without a prison to hold the lowlifes, the only alternative was to beat the no-goodniks into submission so they'd never re-offend.

Decepticons rarely learned from their errors. That made his job easier.

For Max the hard part was holding back.

He shifted to robot mode and hoisted Overkill by his throat, and squeezed. The casseticon's neck shattered, and fuel leaked from the flamer tanks. Max tossed him to Luna-1's terrain, sputtering and leaking far too much fluid to be healthy.

"Try to use your flamethrower you'll blow your head off," Max told him. "Try to fire your missile pod the sparks will set you alight. Please, Decepticon... keep trying."

Overkill glared at him, but did not resist further, lying in a heap and leaking...

"Good boy," Max praised, before turning his attention to the twin-headed reptilian. "And you?"

Twinstrike, keeping his comm to Scorponok active, attempted to wave his arms. "Fortress Maximus... we didn't come here to pick a fight. Well, Overkill did-"

"Why are you here, Decepticon?" Max asked, keeping his rifle fixed on Twinstrike's left head.

"We saw the readings..." Twinstrike answered. "One billion new Cybertronian lives..."

-

"And what, you came to drum up some new recruits?"

Fortress Maximus. Of all the Autobots they could run into...

Scorponok glanced down at Sixshot, tuning out his subordinate's attempts to stall Max. He glanced back at the circuitry and the wiring...

"Twinstrike, backup is en route. Just hold out for a cycle... and then duck."

-

Lockdown, watching safely from cover above, watched Max tear through the cassetticon. While he wasn't enthusiastic about attacking beforehand, now he'd lost all taste for striking, even if the Autobot's back was turned.

He turned to Terradive. "Fall back and regroup with Ransack. Make absolutely sure that nobody can find the ship. Stay low, below radar range."

"You planning on fighting him solo now?" Terradive asked.

"Not fighting anymore; I'm changing tack." Lockdown explained. "We need whatever tech we can salvage from that ship, and we need to make sure we backed the winning side when the dust settled."

"Even if it means cooperating with an Autobot."

Lockdown leveled his EMP generator away from Max and focused on the beastformer.

Twinstrike was immobilized seconds later, ceasing his chatter and falling to his side, stiff as a board. Max glanced around until he spotted Lockdown, dropping from the cliff face and landing before him.

"A bounty hunter now?" Max asked. "What was that about?"

"I wanted to offer a hand," Lockdown replied. "And odd as it may sound, Autobot... I'm going to ask for cooperation. I believe we can help each other."

Behind the immobilized Twinstrike, the door of the ship hissed and slid open...

-

Sitting in the Axis Cradle, Scorponok directed the motions... the new chassis matching his movements, as intended. The reaction time was slightly slow... 0.06 seconds behind. The Headmaster had once been so simplistic; it drove Scorponok's sensors mad.

But desperate times...

-

From the ship he emerged, the top of his head scraping the roof of the ship. His motions seemed a little stiff and jerky, but that didn't make his presence any less imposing.

After all, Max knew what it meant to go toe-to-toe with a Phase Sixer. It hadn't ended well the first time, and the second time he'd had the benefit of assistance from two other Autobots. With his back to a dangerous and resourceful Decepticon bounty hunter and his backup still out in the distance, he was staring down an enemy he wasn't in a hurry to rush into battle.

Sixshot lifted a great sword in his right hand, his green spark energy flowing into the blade.

"So, then, Lockdown," Max began. "Still feel like helping?"

-

From the Axis Cradle, Scorponok saw what Sixshot saw. Even with his higher functions offline, Sixshot's hud remained intact and his readings were accurate.

Exactly as he anticipated. One of the greatest warriors of his species, completely under his control, stripped of all thought, all doubt, all ambition, all insubordination.

Perfect.

Scorponok directed Sixshot to move and lunged for the Autobot in his path.
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Re: Scorponok: The Reckoning

Postby Henry921 » Sat Mar 22, 2014 4:22 am

Motto: "All I have to be is exceptional."
Weapon: Battle Blades
Chapter Five

Fortress Maximus locked hands with Sixshot, already driven back by the pressure the phase sixer put on him. He tried to resist, but inch by inch he was pushed back, skidding along the rough metal of Luna-1's surface.

"Who are you working for, Sixshot?" Max demanded. "I thought you Phase Sixers only took your marching orders from Megatron!"

Sixshot did not reply. He made no sound at all, just pressing his attack. It wasn't right; something was off. Sixshot usually warned off Autobots from engaging him, boasting of his individual power and the strength of his design; his chassis forged from the carbon of a collapsed star and whatnot.

Now... no arrogance, no threats. Nothing. Were Sixshot not pushing him back, Max would think he was fighting an empty shell.

Lockdown watched the struggle, intrigued. Sixshot's movements were erratic, but still direct. Why was he just using his fists? Why not blast Max or cut him down? Sixshot might've wanted to show his strength and exert his dominance, but he'd use his voice. He'd use psychological warfare. He was chatty, and he liked to play with his food. Now he was all business, and with less efficiency than usual.

"Computer," Lockdown whispered. "Diagnostic: Sixshot's circuits."

"Acknowledged. Warrior Elite designate Sixshot: unit is in stasis lock. Weapon systems and HUD active. No brain module activity."

"How very interesting..." Lockdown mused, still watching the struggle. "Someone's pulling Sixshot's strings."

He glanced at the still open door to the ship.

"I think I know whom to ask," Lockdown added, turning his attention to the entrance.

Watching the bounty hunter head to the ship, Max called from under Sixshot's grip: "Lockdown! What are you doing?!"

"Oh, you needn't worry, warden," Lockdown assured him. "I'm not abandoning you. Yet, anyway."

-

Scorponok watched Max struggle through the viewscreen attached to his cradle. It was an intoxicating sight, made all the more satisfying knowing the impudent Sixshot was powerless to resist Scorponok's orders.

And when Fortress Maximus fell by his hand, it'd be all the statement of intent he needed. The Autobots' greatest warriors were no match for Decepticon ingenuity. And he, Scorponok, would have both the greatest warriors of the Decepticon army completely under his command, but a new staging ground and a billion new recruits to bolster his efforts.

And for now, he'd pull Sixshot's strings and enjoy tearing Fortress Maximus limb from limb...

-

Max, finally pushed back into the metal wall of a broken Metrotitan shoulder, had no more ground to give. Now Sixshot was driving him into the metal...

...it had gone long enough. Max turned the turrets on his legs towards Sixshot and fired, aiming for the optics. Sixshot did not retreat; did not falter, even when the bursts cracked open his left optic.

No retreat. No apparent pain. Sixshot was more determined that before... so much so he was completely implacable.

Maybe there was a way to exploit that.

Max turned his leg turrets on the wall behind him and blasted a deeper hole in the metal behind him, giving him leeway... room to escape. He finally released his grip on Sixshot's hands and drew back, shifting back into his vehicle mode and increasing the traction in his treads, climbing up the wall and letting Sixshot push right into the metal in Max's place.

Max shifted back to robot mode and drew his rifle, firing at the top of Sixshot's head. Slowly, Sixshot looked up at him, his reaction time still well below normal. The phase sixer pulled out his great sword once more and swung in Max's direction, residual spark energy surging from the surface of the blade, combining in the air to form a burst, which Max deftly avoided before it cut apart the corrugated metal he'd previously stood on.

Max drew his own sword -not able to recall the last time he drew the red blade- and clashed with Sixshot, trying to use the high ground to his advantage, slashing downwards. But Sixshot's great sword quickly lived up to its name... even with the advantage of gravity, Max was pushed back by the first swing. He struggled to keep his footing... until Sixshot took hold of his leg and swung the warden over his head, slamming Max back into Luna-1's surface.

Sixshot leveled the great sword at Max's chin, holding the edge just above his throat.

"Well?" Max asked. "Get it over with."

Sixshot prepared to comply... when the great sword was shot from the phase sixer's hand. The familiar residue of a particle beam shot sparked in his individual fingers. Sixshot turned his attention slowly upwards, to Red Alert and Outrigger above him.

"Hey, Max," Outrigger called. "Need a hand?"

-

Windrazor was sick of watching the dull, reflective steel of the CR chamber. Hearing the comm chatter from Scorponok and Twinstrike left him eager to exit the ship and join the fray.

Surely if he left Hun-Gar alone for a moment, while he was still undergoing repairs, Windrazor would be back before the old gladiator was strong enough to escape his confines.

But then... defying Scorponok's orders was a good way to lose your head, as he'd seen firsthand on Temptoria. Still... maybe he'd have a chance to join the battle before the Autbots were torn down.

"Well, well..."

Windrazor saw the reflection change in the CR chamber hull. A hook emerged from the shadows of the ship, right at the back of his head.

"...what have we here?"

Windrazor turned rapidly, swinging his clawed fingers towards the intruder, only to find an EMP generator in his face instead.

An immobilized Windrazor fell a moment later, and Lockdown stepped to the controls of the CR chamber. "Access the unit's core consciousness," he instructed the mainframe.

A few moments passed before a holographic projection of a familiar looking face... a big red head Lockdown had seen before, back in the early days of the Decepticon movement, when Megatron's activities were still restricted to Kaon.

"Hun-Gar?" Lockdown asked. "Is this your ship?"

"Not mine, bounty hunter," Hun-Gar replied. "Why are you here?"

"I'm looking for space drive parts and energon," Lockdown answered. "Or, if necessary... I could just use this ship to get off this moon."

"This ship belongs to Scorponok," Hun-Gar explained. "He's taken me and my soldiers hostage."

"And Sixshot and Overkill and... these other two," Lockdown inquired. "They're working for Scorponok as well?"

"They're not mine," Hun-Gar confirmed. "But Lockdown... if you can take what you need from this ship without disabling it, I think we can help each other."

"And why should I enter a partnership with you when I can just take what I need?" Lockdown asked.

"I know you don't want Scorponok running around," Hun-Gar replied. "He might interfere with your business. You let me out of this chamber, I'll point you to all the supplies we can spare... and then I'll rip him in two."

Lockdown feigned considering the offer, but it was a foregone conclusion: he had nothing to lose. "Agreed."

Lockdown turned to the CR chamber's control panel and began the process.

-

Red Alert and Outrigger dropped down to join Max, the three staring down Sixshot with weapons drawn. The phase sixer was still holding his great sword, and finally moving to draw his concussion blaster.

"What's the strategy, Max?" Outrigger asked.

"Something's wrong with him; he's slower than he should be," Max answered. "We split up, attack him from multiple angles. We'll wear him down eventually."

"You wanna split up again?" Red Alert asked. "Isn't that how we got in this mess in the first place?"

"It's only a mess until we fight our way out of it," Max replied. "You two flank him. I'll take him head on."

"Suits me," Outrigger agreed.

Red Alert and Outrigger moved to either side of the Phase Sixer while Max rushed the front, matching his cannon with Sixshot's concussion.

-

Scorponok became increasingly irritated as he tried to direct Sixshot's attacks, his hud constantly interrupted by one shot from either side, and Fortress Maximus keeping pressure on the front. They were wearing him down... slowly...

So much for warriors elite. Scorponok would have better luck facing them in-person.

Indeed, it seemed he'd have no choice but to improve the odds, opening his comm link. "Twinstrike, are you still at the battle site?"

No response.

"Overkill?"

Nothing.

"Windrazor!"

Empty air.

"Anyone!" Scorponok demanded, infuriated.

The door to his quarters slid open. A two headed beast lumbered in, snarling at him.

"Well..." Scorponok mused. "Why am I not surprised?"

Hun-Gar snarled. "Come out and face me, arachnid. Face me like a gladiator... so I can give you what's coming to you."

"What's coming to me, Hun-Gar..." Scorponok assured him, "...is victory over all these insignificant impediments. That's all you are. All you and your Terrorcons ever were."

"Well, then," Hun-Gar snarled. "I invite you to prove it."

The Terrorcon lunged, grabbing onto the Axis Cradle with both mouths, attempting to rip Scorponok out.

He couldn't allow his ultimate prize to be damaged. Scorponok exited, abandoning his direct control of Sixshot to deal with the more immediate threat.

"Very well," Scorponok agreed. "I will humble you again."

He shifted to his alternate mode and the gladiators locked horns.
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Re: Scorponok: The Reckoning

Postby Henry921 » Sun Mar 30, 2014 12:58 am

Motto: "All I have to be is exceptional."
Weapon: Battle Blades
Chapter Six

The Pits of Kaon, 4.22 million years ago

"Your opponent tonight is Scorponok," Megatron explained, watching from his seat while Hun-Gar stuffed his face with cheap energon goodies. "The crowd's been eager to see you go solo, and I thought I'd give you the one they want to see beaten the most."

"What about Blot and Rippersnapper?" Hun-Gar asked between mouthfuls.

"I'm keeping them in team competition... for now," Megatron explained. "Until I'm confident they can play to a crowd, they will be lost in the shuffle."

"And this Scorponok," Hun-Gar asked, finally swallowing his food, "why does the crowd want him dead?"

"He is arrogant; insufferably sure of his superiority," Megatron explained. "It even irritates me at times... I expect you'll be able to shut his mouth for a few nights."

Megatron wasn't expressing confidence in Hun-Gar's skills. He was stating a clear expectation. An expectation Hun-Gar would have to meet... or Megatron would cut him off from the energon rations, and leave him lean and hungry until he was back in the big guy's good graces.

"No problem," Hun-Gar agreed, descending the staircase from Megatron's throne to the arena floor. "Any tips?"

"He isn't as strong as he thinks he is," Megatron answered. "He will be overconfident."

"Good," Hun-Gar smiled. "Easy prey."

-

Today

Hun-Gar bit down on Scorponok's wrist joints, keeping his claws pinned. Scorponok struggled to wrench free but quickly changed tactics, trying to hit Hun-Gar with his stinger. Hun-Gar caught the tail between his claws and began pounding it against the back of Scorponok's head. Scorponok's rage began to increase, the failure of his plans compounding with Hun-Gar's rebellion. He pushed Hun-Gar against the wall of his quarters, breaking through the sheet metal and propping the Terrorcon against the stud.

"I was hoping you'd be smart enough to understand," Scorponok snarled. "But you always were just a stupid beast..."

Hun-Gar did not reply, keeping his mouths on Scorponok's wrists. Using his hind legs, Hun-Gar rotated his body, flipping up off the wall onto Scorponok's back, still bashing him with his own tail.

Scorponok's anger only grew. He cried out in rage and began shaking inordinately, trying to fling the twin-headed beast off. Hun-Gar, for his part, held his grip.

Until Scorponok finally pulled his tail free and drove the stinger into the Terrorcon's chest.

"You shouldn't have faced me wounded, Hun-Gar," Scorponok snarled.

Hun-Gar held his grip on Scorponok's wrists, but his systems were flaring up, warning him... his own HUD was starting to flicker...

-

Outside, Max and his two companions ceased their firing, as Sixshot appeared to... stand completely still.

"What happened?" Outrigger asked.

"Could be a trick," Red Alert suggested. "Trying to draw us into a false sense of security..."

Max dismissed Red Alert's concern. Even if Sixshot had been at a strategic disadvantage, his hull had barely suffered any damage. The missiles and positron bursts had just scratched his exterior, and Max's fists had only left a few dents. Max drew nearer, waving a hand in front of Sixshot's empty, unlit optics.

"He's... in stasis lock," Max observed. "But... still upward and mobile?"

"The 'Cons have come up with some new tricks," Red Alert mused. "Maybe they got tired of all their Phase Sixers fighting back and cut out the middleman."

"But who's pulling Sixshot's strings?" Max asked, disarming Sixshot of his Great Sword and glancing back at the ship he arrived in.

Just in time to see Lockdown bound out, a few space drive parts in hook. "Scorponok."

Red Alert immediately prepared to fire, but Max pushed his hand down. "Did you find what you were looking for, bounty hunter?"

"Scorponok and his friends have come to make problems for you," Lockdown answered. "I've disabled his Terrorcon cronies... only Scorponok and Hun-Gar remain online. Fortunately, they're not exactly on speaking terms."

"And why should we trust your intel, 'Con?" Red Alert demanded, drawing his particle beam cannon once again. "Last time we trusted the word of a Decepticon we were double crossed a cycle later."

"He could've shot me in the back but he didn't," Max answered. "It's not exactly 'trust' that I have for him, Red Alert, but I'm willing to hear him out."

"That's how business is supposed to work, Autobot," Lockdown smirked. "With a promise of mutually assured destruction."

"And what exactly did you take from Scorponok's ship?" Max asked.

"Just a few odds and ends," Lockdown answered.

"Two-faced 'Con," Red Alert snarled. "You and your cronies are the reason Rodimus and the others were trapped here*!"

"Nobody's perfect," Lockdown answered simply. "Right now my only aim is to leave this moon."

"And Tyrest... will he be leaving with you?" Red Alert inquired, pointing at the bounty hunter with a strong air of accusation.

"Tyrest?" Lockdown repeated. "He used his recall trigger. He's parsecs away from this system by now."

Max clenched his fist, but quickly dismissed his concern. "Then I guess my brig needs a new prisoner."

"Ask yourself, Fortress Maximus," Lockdown replied. "Would you rather capture me? Or the one prize Ultra Magnus wanted most? You want a bounty hunter? Or a bigger threat than me?"

Lockdown waved the parts in hand. "I took only enough to repair my ship; not to disable theirs'. If Scorponok's as smart as they say he is... he'll realize this is a lost cause."

"If Tyrest's really gone, better to bring this scum in," Red Alert countered. "He's the only one of Tyrest's cronies left for us to interrogate. He might have relevant intel."

"Seems to me you have a decision to make," Lockdown replied, reactivating his EMP generator. "Honor your word, Fortress Maximus and capture a dangerous Decepticon criminal... or we go right back to where we started."

Max considered his words, before glancing back towards Scorponok's ship... where Overkill was dragging himself and the other two-headed Terrorcon inside.

"Let him go," Max instructed his men.

"Sir?" Red Alert inquired, hoping Max would reconsider his orders.

"It's capture one Decepticon or capture five," Max replied. "And even if Lockdown does escape he'll leave a flight signature we can relay to Rodimus and the others."

Lockdown smiled. "Pragmatic, Maximus..." He shifted to his vehicle mode and headed out, while Max turned his attention to Scorponok's ship.

Ultra Magnus had warned him about the gray areas of enforcing the law. It was easy to deal with Decepticons once they'd already been processed and imprisoned, but the chaos of intergalactic conflict meant making hard decisions. Sometimes you let one crime go unpunished in pursuit of something bigger.

Sixshot, Scorponok, Hun-Gar. A much greater threat than Lockdown on his own.

Now he just needed to bring them in, or he'd have let one criminal go for nothing.

-

Scorponok tossed Hun-Gar to the floor, switching back to robot mode and grinding one neck under his heel. "You bested me once, Terrorcon," Scorponok told him. "But that will be forgotten by history. And you along with it."

Scorponok kicked Hun-Gar, driving the Terrorcon into the wall. "You will die at my order. But you don't deserve to die a warrior. You'll die a disposable pawn. I promise you that."

"Scorponok!"

The comm signal was garbled, weak. But he recognized the voice. "What is it, Overkill?"

"Autobots! Pursuing into the ship!"

"What is the status of Twinstrike? Or Windrazor?" Scorponok demanded.

"Immobilized. By the bounty hunter Lockdown."

Lockdown as well. Could nothing go as planned? "And the Autobots; they're the same Twinstrike reported?"

"Yes, Commander."

"Very well," Scorponok nodded. "Get my subordinates to the restoration module. I will deal with the Autobots personally."

Scorponok stepped over Hun-Gar and out onto the bridge, where Overkill struggled to place the larger Twinstrike into the CR chamber.

Such loyalty. At least one of his subordinates hadn't turned on him today... Scorponok sat in his command chair and waited.

He heard a heavy footstep land on the deck, as a large Autobot stepped onto the bridge, weapon in tow. "Halt!"

Scorponok had heard the voice during his incarceration. The warden had been only too happy to mock him after he'd been denied the mercy of spark extraction.

"Well, well," Scorponok mused, "Fortress Maximus."

He turned his chair and faced the former prison warden. "Welcome to my ship."

Max leveled his hand cannon. "You're coming with me."

"Oh, on the contrary," Scorponok replied. "You won't be going anywhere..."



-

*MTMTE #18
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Re: Scorponok: The Reckoning

Postby Henry921 » Sat Apr 12, 2014 7:38 am

Motto: "All I have to be is exceptional."
Weapon: Battle Blades
Chapter Seven


The Lost Light, Weeks Ago

"You were the Warden of Garrus-9?" Rung asked, starting a new line on his datapad.

"I've answered that question," Max snapped at him.

"Consistent answers are the surest signs of honesty and mental acuity," Rung replied. "It's also important how you answer. For most Cybertronians, their function is their most important character trait. Their work is more than a job, but a vocation. It is how we define ourselves."

Max grumbled to himself. Rung had a way of turning every snarky comment back. "Yes, I was."

"Was there any danger in your profession?" Rung asked.

"Of course," Max answered, trying to sound flat and neutral. "G9 housed the most dangerous Cybertronian criminals around; Decepticon or otherwise."

"How would you assess those criminals?" Rung asked.

"Every inmate was assigned a threat level and isolated accordingly," Max explained, regaining some confidence. Talking about his job -the only subject he knew more about than Rung would- helped him feel at ease. "Most often we'd extract and isolate the spark and keep the bodies on separate spark."

"And were there any prisoners you couldn't do that for?" Rung inquired.

"A few," Max confirmed. "Some were denied it, pending results from the Aequitas trials. Some of the Decepticons had separate defensive systems built into their bodies to prevent it. Some... some we just couldn't get to."

"And who couldn't you get to? What does that mean?"

"There was one... Scorponok. He'd performed some experiment... his head was a separate, living organic being. We weren't sure we could separate his core consciousness from his chassis. So we put him in solitary confinement and reinforced every section of his cell. We gave him the barest minimum energon to stay functional and left him to rot."

"Do you feel any guilt about that?" Rung asked.

"Guilt over what?" Max demanded. "He was a Decepticon. He got what he deserved."

Rung nodded, taking notes. "Max, why do Autobots take prisoners?"

"It's more humane," Max answered. "Optimus wanted to show the Decepticons that he -that we- were merciful. That we would try to reunify every Cybertronian, whatever badge he was wearing."

"And do you believe any of your prisoners were repentant and could be reformed?" Rung asked.

Max was quiet for several moments.

"Not that one," Max finally said. "Not Scorponok."

-

Today

Scorponok had never faced Fortress Maximus on even footing. Their prior meetings had always been with a reinforced wall dividing them, and Scorponok unarmed, humiliated, begging for the life of the fleshling he'd integrated into his systems. Max had seen Scorponok vulnerable and defeated, and the memory only fueled Scorponok's hunger for battle.

Fortress Maximus was powerful. But Scorponok was powerful too. The stasis-locked and still leaking chassis of Hun-Gar in his quarters was proof of that. The scars on Ultra Magnus, Grimlock, Megatron... were proof of that. And Maximus had sustained some injury, some fatigue while battling Sixshot. Whatever the labor of battle, the two were effectively on equal footing. Two gladiators set to do battle for the fate of a planet.

Scorponok needed no words for that. He charged at Fortress Maximus, locking claws with his fists. He pushed the warden back into the hull of the ship, ripping through the metal wall and depositing both warriors on the port side.

Max tried to aim his hand cannon, but Scorponok was keeping his arms hoisted. So Max thought with his feet, and let himself fall backwards, allowing Scorponok to think he'd gained ground... only for Max to press the cannons on his legs right onto Scorponok's stomach and fire round after round, cutting into his chassis.

Scorponok howled and pulled Max back up, striking repeatedly with his stinger tail while he held the warden aloft. Max took his licking and continued to wriggle his hand free, eventually lining up a shot and blasting into Scorponok's shoulder joint, eventually forcing the gladiator to drop him.

Scorponok drew back, shifting to his scorpion form so he could affect internal repairs. Still wounded, he kept Max at a distance, striking with his stinger, repeatedly cutting up the floor as Max rolled away.

Max eventually found new footing and waited for a solid opening... before jumping onto Scorponok's back and taking hold of his tail, driving the stinger into Scorponok's back, wedging it between his leg and shoulder joints.

Scorponok cried out again and flailed about, trying to hit Max with his good pincer, but Max drew back along Scorponok's spine and began firing into the back of the gladiator's head, one round after another, slowly cracking through the chassis...

Scorponok suffered, helpless to affect the outcome. He was... bested. Gladiatorial combat would have ended, or the event host would've ordered he be finished.

This result was unacceptable. Not when he finally had all the tools to see his ambition come to life.

He'd died once. Not again.

Fighting on through some combination of stubbornness and unmitigated anger, Scorponok ripped off his own leg joint to free his tail, and struck Max in the back with his stinger, finally pushing the warden off him and to the ship floor, between the escape pods and Twinstrike's station.

Scorponok took hold of Max's head with his good pincer, squeezing. "A valiant effort, but the end is the same," Scorponok boasted. "You fall before me, and I seize this arsenal of new sparks for my army."

"You're... dumber than you look," Max answered, struggling in his grip, flailing his arms towards Scorponok's wrist, only to be shoved away, both of Max's arms feeling around the floor, searching in vain for a weapon.

"Such insolence!" Scorponok growled. "We'll see if you keep up your defiance before Primus..."

"No, you don't understand," Max growled back. "The hot spot cooled. The sparks are here... but they'll never reignite. You won't harvest a single one."

"My instruments-"

"Wrong, just like ours," Max told him. "There's nothing of value on this planet now... nothing but us."

Scorponok snarled, increasing the pressure of his pincers. "Then I will take your spark as consolation. Any last words, Fortress Maximus?"

"Yeah... thanks for wasting enough time for me to get my gun."

Scorponok turned his optics away from Max's head to his arms, up from the ground and leveling a hand cannon at Scorponok's skull. Max fired, finally ripping through the chassis and exposing brain module.

Scorponok finally released him and drew back, covering his exposed head. If Max pressed his attack and struck his exposed weakness... even if Scorponok survived he could lose the data he'd gained.

"Commander!" came Overkill's voice. "Push him into the pod!"

The escape pods... Max was climbing to his feet, right before it. He was a massive bot... he may not fit...

But it was the only card left to play.

Scorponok charged, walking with one missing leg. His arms covered his head so he charged blind. He let his hatred guide him.

Max fired. Scorponok took each pot shot. He felt his arm detach from its damaged joint. He ignored it.

Max lined up his shot with Scorponok's skull. He applied pressure to the trigger...

...just as Scorponok finally plowed into his midsection. Max's shot went off balance and struck the ceiling. Scorponok pushed Max into the pod, his broad shoulders ripping away chunks of hull as the warden fell into it.

Overkill ambled behind him and hit the appropriate button. A hatch sealed, cutting the warriors off from each other just as Max had drawn a bead on Scorponok's head again.

"Set target," Scorponok commanded. "Maximum range. Get him out of my sight."

Overkill complied, still spilling mech fluid onto the hull. Max tried to shoot his way out, barely denting the hatch before the pod was launched. Scorponok watched Max sail out of sight, air from the moon rushing in.

Scorponok transformed back to robot mode, groaning in pain as the wounds in his shoulder, back, skull, tail... everywhere left him retching.

"WARNING! POWER RESERVES 79% DEPLETED! TRANSFORM IMMEDIATELY!"

No. He had to retreat. And for his plan, he'd need warriors, as he could no longer attain a force of one billion new Cybertronians to achieve his aims. He'd have to make do with what he had.

He'd let his anger fuel him.

"Override," Scorponok instructed. "Hold system off from stasis lock as long as possible."

Scorponok marched towards the exit, still sparking and shambling, but no longer feeling the pain. He was driven now; motivated.

And nothing would stand in his way.

He saw the two Autobots guarding Sixshot and Twinstrike. He didn't recognize either of them, but that was irrelevant. They were in his way.

Even with one arm and without his tail, Scorponok defeated them with ease, striking each one out from his path. He took hold of Twinstrike and hoisted the beastformer onto his shoulder. The red autobot rose and fired at him with some sort of particle beam. Scorponok screamed and struck him away again, hoisting Sixshot now, squishing Twinstrike between the two larger 'Cons. Scorponok ran into the ship, dumped both of them as soon as he was standing on hull, and dragged himself to his command chair.

"Begin take off sequence," Scorponok demanded.

"Warning. System configuration compromised. Power levels 33% depleted."

"Override! Start up!" Scorponok demanded.

"Acknowledged."

"Engage slipspace drive!" Scorponok pressed.

"Enter heading."

"Any heading!" Scorponok raged. "Get us out of here!"

-

High above, climbing in the planet's atmosphere, Lockdown had stopped the Death's Head to watch Scorponok's final battle with the Autobots. Even severely wounded he'd escaped. Fortress Maximus had suffered quite the misfortune...

"Tag that ship and follow their trail," Lockdown instructed Ransack at the helm. "Let's see where he runs."

Ransack complied, launching a probe back to the moon, discretely attaching to Scorponok's ship...

-

After breaking free of the pod, Max immediately headed back, driving over the rough terrain of broken Metrotitans... just in time to watch the ship rise over the metal horizon, beginning to rise through the atmosphere.

Scorponok was still alive and still aboard that ship. If he made...

...escape velocity...

Max watched the ship exit his visual range and leave the moon's atmosphere. He cursed as a streak of blue light rode out through the sky, and in an instant Scorponok was gone.
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Re: Scorponok: The Reckoning

Postby Henry921 » Thu Apr 17, 2014 6:35 am

Motto: "All I have to be is exceptional."
Weapon: Battle Blades
Chapter Eight

Luna-1

Max found Outrigger and Red Alert at the landing site, both in stasis lock. They'd been sent through the ringer, so at least Scorponok hadn't gotten away clean...

...but Max had let a dangerous Decepticon criminal slip through his fingers. He'd let Lockdown get away too, for the bigger score. Scorponok and his lackeys escaped, and Lockdown and his team had been let go. The only win he'd had was the intel on Tyrest; and exactly how he'd escaped.

He hated to lose. He was supposed to be strong enough to deal with this sort of problem... his fellow Autobots relied on him in tough spots. He took the responsibility on his shoulders, and the burden only grew heavier with every black mark on his record.

But they were all alive. So they could learn. He could learn and do better.

And once the Autobots could send a force to guard Luna-1 in his stead, he had a pair of flight signatures to follow and bring both Lockdown and Scorponok to the cramped cells he had waiting for them...

-

The Malgus Star Cluster

Scorponok drew up astro-navigation with his good claw as the ship pulled out of slipspace. He was nowhere near any settlement, surrounded by interstellar dust that obscured his galactic positioning signal, and his ship's power reserves and supplies were limited. He'd have to rely on impulse power to move out of the star system and find a port on his star maps the slipspace drive could reach.

And he'd have to leave the ship on autopilot while he repaired himself. Until Twinstrike and Windrazor recovered, he'd have no one he could rely on to pilot.

Overkill was climbing into the remaining CR chamber, leaving Scorponok with the immobilized Twinstrike and the stasis locked Sixshot. He'd deactivated receptors in his shoulder joint, so his missing arm wasn't bothering him too much... but the humiliation at being forced to retreat was giving him plenty of pain.

Scorponok returned to his quarters, to the Axis Cradle and the Nega-core. With his ship's resources depleted, he couldn't start mass production just yet... he'd need resources.

But there was other data to consider. The Nega-core he had in-hand was taken from Sixshot's brain module, but historical data indicated Jhiaxus used the same technology on three others, including the original gestalt, Monstructor.

If multiple Cybertronian minds could be controlled simultaneously, so much the better...

Scorponok turned his attention to his own computer's data tracks, to something he'd strong-armed from Swindle long ago... the preliminary data from Shockwave on Megatron's own combiner efforts. The data Swindle himself apparently utilized to create his own gestalt*, but the individual wills of the component parts had fought against each other and the project came undone.

With a single Nega-core, directed by Scorponok's own will... all the component minds would be his to control.

He may not have an army of a billion new Cybertronians, but there was something to look forward to.

"Hun-Gar!"

Scorponok turned his attention to outside his quarters, where Blip had found the stasis locked Hun-Gar. Scorponok stepped out to address the odorous Decepticon.

"Who did this?" Blip asked.

"Autobots, of course," Scorponok answered. "The former warden of Garrus-9, Fortress Maximus."

"Maximus..." Blip repeated. "He's strong."

"Yes," Scorponok agreed. "He brought a whole team with him; took a bit off even me. If I hadn't carried Hun-Gar out, he'd have been destroyed or captured... denied the fitting end of warriors like us.

"He entrusted command of his subordinates to me," Scorponok explained. "After I took you, Rippersnapper, and Overkill in... we put our differences aside, for the good of the Decepticon cause."

Blip listened, processing. Scorponok was quick to dissuade his attention, before he could dwell on any details. "Get him to the restoration module and see he is repaired. I want all my forces ready for a new offensive."

"Y-yes, Commander," Blip agreed, hoisting Hun-Gar up and carrying him away from Scorponok's quarters. Scorponok watched him depart, taking note of his upper body strength.

Blip would probably serve best as a load bearing limb...

-

The Death's Head, Echo Quadrant

"Lockdown, Scorponok's ship has dropped off my sensors," Ransack explained.

Lockdown only nodded, barely acknowledging the report. "Set course for the nearest star port. We'll see if any of Tyrest's other soldiers are in need of new leadership..."

-

Scorponok turned his attention to Hun-Gar and Rippersnapper in the CR tanks, while Blip went off to sulk. He accessed the computer of each machine and inputted some new programming.

"Scanning and replicating. 10.2 breems to completion."

Scorponok considered his available options. Twinstrike and Windrazor had been loyal subordinates, but they fit the process better than a casseticon like Overkill or a six-changer would.

Overkill had proven his mettle and at least a modicum of loyalty, and he wasn't very smart. He could remain conscious to witness Scorponok's triumph.

Sixshot, and Hun-Gar and his flunkies would never need to think again.





*The Transformers #5: Things Fall Apart, Part 4
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Re: Scorponok: The Reckoning

Postby Henry921 » Thu Apr 17, 2014 6:48 am

Motto: "All I have to be is exceptional."
Weapon: Battle Blades
Epilogue


Four Months Later

Scorponok placed the new Nega-core into his creation's brain module, and then took his seat in the Axis cradle. Overkill looked on as Scorponok set to work.

He felt the minds battling each other. He felt them battle him. Once Hun-Gar became aware of Scorponok's presence he turned feral, fighting desperately to be free of the arachnid's influence.

But his efforts were irrelevant. He was already battling four other minds for dominance. He could not fight Scorponok's will, not with the aid of the Axis cradle.

His struggle was delicious. The futility of it made it all the sweeter.

Scorponok suppressed the other four. Ignored Twinstrike and Windrazor's feelings of betrayal and Rippersnapper's feeling of loyalty to Hun-Gar and hatred for Scorponok. Blip, for his part, was far more cooperative.

At last he was able to control his creation, clenching its hand, once composed of Twinstrike's two heads and lower legs. It wasn't an ideal fist, but it was a powerful claw.

Scorponok took his first step, using Blip to carry the load. His second, on Rippersnapper, was a bit less steady, but Scorponok adapted to the shift in weight quickly. He'd grown accustomed to changing masses when shifting into his own beast mode.

His right arm, composed of Windrazor, had only the beak to serve as his fingers. It was similar enough to his own clawed hand that he found it preferable to the unwieldy heads and arms on his left.

It would take time for Scorponok to become accustomed to these changes... but his initial test was promising.

"A monster," Overkill muttered.

"No, my dear cassetticon, a miracle of science," Scorponok answered. "The legacy of Jhiaxus laid bare to serve the Decepticon cause."

"An abomination," Overkill continued, still muttering.

Scorponok liked that word, but it needed some adjustment. It suited the Terrorcons and their terrifying beast modes, but it needed some... punch.

"Abominus," Scorponok decided. "My first creation."

Scorponok directed his gestalt to stand beside the stasis locked Sixshot, no longer feeling the individual wills of its component parts.

As anticipated, the gestalt was rendered docile when it became the instrument of his will.

With Sixshot and this Abominus under his command and at his disposal, he could renew his plans of conquest.

The reckoning was at hand...
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