- Motto: "Transform and smoke 'em!"
- Weapon: Twin Shoulder-Mounted Rocket Launchers
Hardhead was displeased that his first two shells had failed to hit their mark. These Cybertronians were not to be taken lightly, even for a herald. However, that displeasure was soon replaced with a feeling of accomplishment as the third shell exploded directly beneath the Combaticon interrogator, sending Vortex spiraling out of control and forcing him to the ground beneath the tree line. Of course, like a true Decepticon, the alien helicopter did not go down without a fight, firing off a barrage of rockets in the former Autobot’s direction. Multiple explosions went off all around the Stryker armored vehicle as it remained stationary. There were a few close calls, as a couple of missiles detonated close by, but no direct hits.
“Those almost tickled me,” Hardhead mused as he returned to his robot mode once the dust and debris had settled and immediately began scanning the area where Vortex had gone down. The green herald moved towards his prey as he caught sight of the fleeing Combaticon heading for the sea. Drawing out his pair of shatterblasters, the war veteran prepared to desecrate his Cybertronian target. “You can’t hide from me behind cover forever, ‘Con. When I get a clear shot, you’ll understand that your fate is already....”
Hardhead’s words were interrupted by the communication from Kup, ordering all Autobots to withdraw to the tree line or face the consequences of not doing so. The herald chuckled under his breath at the old timer’s ultimatum. If the aged mech only knew what he was really up against, he would not make such demands. Soon, very soon, Kup and the rest of them would understand that they were no longer in control of the situation.
Stopping his advance, Hardhead turned and walked back at a slow pace towards the tree line where Kup and the other Autobots were now hiding. A smile creeped across his faceplate as the veteran soldier reached the spot where Warpath’s headless body still lay. Moving past the stasis-locked crimson warrior, the green herald found the served cranial unit and picked it up in one hand before opening a comm line back to Kup and his group of saviors:
>>”I’m afraid, Kup, that Warpath will be unable to respond to your orders. You see, he got so carried away down here that he just lost his fraggin’ head! Ha ha ha!!”<<
Hardhead’s laughter echoed across the sands towards the edge of the shoreline as some of the Autobots took up flanking positions on both sides. It was of no concern to him as he then tossed Warpath’s cranium directly ahead into the trees where it would land near Kup and whomever else remained by his side. The decapitated head was intended as a warning as well as a sign that the war veteran would not be complying with any orders given by a mere Cybertronian.
>>”As for myself, well, if you want me, Kup, you’ll have to come out here and get me, old timer!! Ha ha ha!!!”<<
On Shore - Abandoned Storage Cave
Ricochet remained in a crouching position near the center of the cave while still holding on to the makeshift dagger he had obtained from a found piece of torn metal. With his cranial light shining straight ahead, the expert marksman carefully scanned the walls of the dark chamber for any signs of his tormentor. “Where are you, Darkride?! I know you’re here somewhere! Face me you cowardly slagger!!” There was no immediate response from the supernatural interrogator. Instead, the only voice he now heard was Kup’s, coming through his comm link. The message was a bit garbled as it had to pass through the thick walls of the cave, but the gunner could still ascertain the old timer's words. Hopefully, his response would reach the Autobots without much audio distortion.
>>”Kup, this is Ricochet. I read you. Unfortunately, I’m not able to come to you right at the moment. I’m currently trapped underground inside a collapsed cave with Darkride about a mile or so away from the beach. I’m sending my coordinates to you now. Be warned, Rodimus, Hardhead and Hex are all traitors! I know that may be very hard to believe, but they turned against Saferoute, Warpath and myself once we bounced down here! Darkride is with them, as well, and they are all exhibiting almost supernatural like agility and strength. Be extremely cautious when you approach them! They are no longer your friends! Do you read me?!”<<
Ricochet broke off his communiqué with Kup when he heard a sound coming from somewhere behind him. The marksman spun around, placing his free hand down on the ground to help balance himself. “We don’t have much more time, Darkride,” the black and gold mech said as he kept a close watch on the darkness that surrounded him, his makeshift dagger at the ready. “I know you like cutting yourself you sick, twisted fragger. But, why go to all that trouble when I can eviscerate you, myself? Heh. What? You think you’re the only one who likes to inflict pain and suffering on others? Well, you’re not. It’s one of the reasons I’m not well liked amongst my own comrades. So, why don’t we just end this little dance of ours and get down to business already before my ‘friends’ arrive?”