- Motto: "The Matrix is My Burden to Bear."
- Weapon: Photon Eliminator Rifle
At the Autobot field command, housed at a Canadian Forces base due to NEST’s dissolution after the events in Shanghai and Egypt, Optimus Prime waited impatiently.
“Why haven’t Skids and Mudflap reported in yet? They should have been able to determine the root cause of the avalanches by now.”
Bumblebee looked up from the console he was manning, “You know the Twins, Prime, they like to goof around. Not like me, of course.”
“Hmm, you may be right. Any word from the Witwicky’s?”
“Negative, Sam and Mikaela are listed as missing in the last avalanche… I should have gone with them Prime. This could have been avoided.”
“No, Bumblebee, your presence on the trail would have disturbed the other humans, and even if you moved your fastest you could not have gotten there to help them.”
“At least let me go search for them. I can go in after the search teams leave for the night, bring them back to their parents and friends at least.”
“Very well, you have my permission. Please take care of them.”
Bumblebee stood up and left the command bunker, transforming as he reached the highway that would lead him west, and to the graves of his friends.
Optimus turned back to his monitors, and he found his mind wandering to his fallen comrades, and wondering how many more he would lose before the war finally came to its conclusion, or if he would be there to see it firsthand. So many lives, so many friends had been lost, many of them never receiving a proper send off because of the war, and grief at their sacrifice nearly overwhelmed him.
The headquarters radar beeped once, alerting Prime to Autobot signatures, one airborne, and another along the ground heading directly toward their position. And as quickly as they had appeared on the radar, they appeared before him as they blasted toward the hanger. One was a jet of obvious Cybertronian origin, and the other was a red flat-nosed tractor-trailer unit. The jet looped around before transforming at the top of the loop and landing on his feet. The semi pulled in and transformed combining with his trailer and both strode the hanger, both were heavily armored and armed.
“Optimus Prime.” The jet stated in a clear, booming voice.
“Who are you?”
“I am Star Saber, Autobot commander of Sector 1”
“And I am God Ginrai, commander of Sector 2”
Prime’s eyes narrowed, before recognition clicked “Saber, Ginrai…but how? What happened to you? You were just guards before – “
“Not anymore Prime,” Ginrai cut in, his temper flaring momentarily, “I mean, sir, we were but you see -”
“The Matrix of Leadership -” Star Saber continued
“Was destroyed, I destroyed it to protect the earth.”
“Is earned, not found. Isn’t that what the boy learned when he entered the Matrix? So it with both Ginrai and myself. We earned favor from the Matrix and have been have been transformed by its energies.”
“That’s impossible, I would have felt it in my spark if the Matrix would have found new Primes.”
“Bah, Primes are an old, out-dated concept, unfit for the war we now face.” Ginrai blurted, as his frustration increased, and he remembered the dogmatic Autobots who had refused to accept his command because they clung to lineage of the Primes so dearly, and couldn’t accept the Matrix would choose to work without a Prime.
“What Ginrai is trying to say is: we are not Primes, but Matrix-appointed commanders in the Autobot army. We have no interest in lineage, or heritage but rather in ending this conflict. We need you to return with us to Supreme Headquarters and rally the Autobots around yourself, last of the Primes, to unite the divisions that are growing in the Autobot ranks so that we can defeat the Decepticons once and for all.”
“No,” Optimus responded flatly “I must remain here and protect this world that the Allspark endangered.”
“See, I told you it would do no good Star Saber, this jalopy has taken too many knocks in the mainframe to see past this battlefield. He’s no better than Megatron in that regard.”
“Enough, Ginrai, go outside and see if you can receive any updates from the frontlines.”
Ginrai turned about smartly and exited the hanger, leaving Star Saber and Optimus alone. “I apologize for him Optimus, things have not gone well in Sector 2 and he is feeling the weight of leading soldiers to their death, and knows that his absence may worsen the situation.”
“Then why come at all?”
“Because, deep in his spark, he knows we need you. He knows we need a Prime to unite us and drive back the Decepticons.”
“I, I cannot. Not now, Megatron is still out there-“
“And what have you done about that? Have you led an offensive to kill him, to end the threat he poses?”
“With NEST we tried to, we hunted down the remaining Decepticons, we were on the verge of –“
The comm. buzzed to life “Prime, this is Bumblebee, I’ve found something.”
“What is it Bumblebee?”
“The Twins, Prime. They’re dead. It looks bad Prime, it looks like they never stood a chance.”
“I’m rolling out Bumblebee,” Prime said, switching off the comm. “And you’re going to take me there Star Saber.”
“Very well. You are the Prime, but,” Star Saber replied, as he drew face to face with Optimus “this conversation is not over.”
“Razorclaw, come in.”
Razorclaw sat up as the neural net alignment helmet pulled away and the top of his head plate was replaced and secured.
“What is it Soundwave?”
“Lord Megatron demands to see you and the Predacons on the Nemesis.”
“What is this about Soundwave? I’m very busy here, our projects are beginning to bear fruit, King of Be-“ Razorclaw caught himself, but it was too late.
“Project King of Beasts. The project to replicate and enhance the Devastator Project allowing the components to retain both primary and alt forms and their own independence.”
“How do you know?”
“Come now, Razorclaw all of the materials you requisitioned couldn’t possibly have been for your research on the humans or your own biomechanical glitch. And as for how I know the name well, your teammates do tend to mutter to themselves on open comm. channels.”
Blast you Soundwave. So you’ve known all along. Well there is nothing I can do about that now it seems.
“Megatron wants your technology sent to the Nemesis now for replication and integration.”
“I’ll send him the tech specs, but there is no way I can come to the Nemesis now.”
“Very well, but watch yourself Razorclaw, loyalty to Megatron and his commands are paramount for us Decepticons.” With that final statement, the comm. channel blipped and went dead.
Star Saber and Optimus Prime landed in the clearing where Bumblebee found the Twins bodies. Prime stepped off of Star Saber as they passed over and Star Saber looped around, transforming as he landed.
“This is barbaric. Who did this Bumblebee?”
“I can’t tell Prime. There are footprints similar to earth animals but the prints are obviously mechanical in origin. I have no idea what caused them, but I do know that they went that away deeper into the forest. Also, who’s the new bot?
“Bumblebee, this is Star Saber, commander of Sector 1”
Bumblebee stood up from his crouch over the Twins bodies and shook Star Saber’s hand.
“I’m pleased to meet you but I’ve got to get going, I’m looking for two human friends of mine. I’ll see you back at headquarters Prime.” Bumblebee transformed to his Camaro mode and tore off back down the gravel road to take the main highway that lead further into the mountain range, and closer, hopefully, to his friends so he could see them one last time.
As Bumblebee approached the tourist town of Banff his sensors began to indicate a single Decepticon energy signal south of the town skimming along the valley created by two sets of mountain ranges. Bumblebee pulled off the road, and drove into the brush before transforming to robot mode so he could use his optic sensors scoping feature. At a range of 2 kilometers and rising he saw a Decepticon hoverjet pull up and toward a cliff face. Bumblebee scanned around for humans before standing and following the Decepticon into the valley and toward the cliff.
Overlord will be so pleased with me! Not only did I figure out to increase the energy generation process of the humans, but I have two samples to bring back as well! And if my calculations are correct two human “engine” components should increase power exponentially! Oh Divebomb, thanks for letting me know about this place. Blood skimmed over the treetops of Banff National Park, illuminated by the cool white light of Earth’s moon. Upon reaching foot of the mountain where the two humans were stored, Blood transformed to robot mode without calling for man-bat like Pretender shell. Using his innate flight ability Blood began to scale the mountain, but was stopped violently as he was tackled to the ground. Bumblebee landed on top of him. Drawing his gun, pointing it in Blood’s face he asked “Who are you, Decepticon?” Blood responded in violence. He attacked by firing his dorsal jets, ramming his head into Bumblebee’s.
“Well, you are quite the tricky one aren’t you?” Blood opined as he stood “But you won’t interfere with my plan to take these humans to Overlord.”
“Oh, friends of yours? You Autobots sure have gotten soft since you came to Earth. Your sector 2 commander would have de-sparked me where I stood.”
“Enough talk!” Bumblebee roared as he launched himself at Blood. Blood sidestepped deftly, hammering Bumblebee in the back of the head with both fists, driving him into the ground. Bumblebee rolled, uprooted a tree and swung it into Blood’s torso. Blood responded in kind, and the two clashed, wood splintering in the quiet night. Blood’s tree shattered, and Bumblebee staggered under the blow momentarily. It was enough. Blood launched himself at Bumblebee, summoning his Pretender shell as he did so. Bumblebee tried to dodge Blood, and almost succeeded, but Blood’s Pretender tongue slipped around his throat, siphoning his energy in seconds.
“Well that was fun,” Blood chuckled as his tongue retracted into his mouth “But I’ve got business to attend to.” He once again shed his Pretender form and flew up to the cave above.
“You humans still here?” Blood called out in a fake sing-song voice as he entered the cave. “Ah, there you are. Oh my, Divebomb must have fed you again, you look much better than he last described. Have you finally developed a taste for the flesh of your own kind?”
“Why are you here? Why do you keep doing this to us?” Mikaela screamed at him “Haven’t you had enough of torturing us?”
“Indeed I have. I’ve come to set you free.”
“Whoa, what? How are you going to do that? You’re a Decepticon aren’t you?” Sam asked.
“Ah, you are a perceptive one aren’t you? Well, I am, but I have recently developed technology for erasing human minds, and I thought you might be anxious to forget the rather grisly things you’ve done up here.”
“Don’t do it!” Bumblebee yelled as he lurched weakly at Blood.
“Oh my, I must remember to finish my meals before I go and play.” Blood smirked coldly as he kicked Bumblebee into the side of the cave. Bumblebee slumped down, and the light of his eyes fizzled out.
“Bumblebee, no!” Sam cried out. Sudden realization forced itself into Sam’s mind. This is how it will be forever, I’ll always be caught between the Transformers and their war. I just want… I just want out. “Wait, wait! Stop. I’ll go with you. I’ve had enough, ever since I went to buy a car I’ve been caught up in the war, and there is no way out. I don’t want to remember any of this, I don’t want to live this life anymore.’
“Oh, well isn’t this a twist? Your Autobot friend comes charging in here looking to save you from the big bad Decepticon, and you elect to go along with me instead!? Razorclaw was right, your species really is something else. Oh well, Overlord is waiting, and I have to be away before Razorclaw suspects anything. Come on boy, and bring your friend with you.” Blood kneeled, and extended his hand “Come with me, I promise you won’t remember anything.”
Sam suddenly sprinted toward the exit of the cave, past Blood’s outstretched hand and hurled himself off of the cliff. I’m so sorry Mikaela, I just can’t do this anymore. I can’t be a pawn to them anymore. Sam thought as he plummeted into the night.
“Well, that was unexpected. I guess your lover really did want out. Now what will you do?”
“I’ll come with you,” Mikaela answered through tears and vomit.
“That’s a good girl,” Blood said as he scooped her up and into his cockpit as he transformed. “We’ll retrieve his body, but don’t worry I’ll keep it in storage, away from you. Believe it or not, I am a mech of my word, and once we reach our destination you won’t remember a thing.”
End of Act 1
Act II: Anxiety
“Welcome Decepticon warriors. Welcome to the Nemesis, and the tip of the spear that will pierce the spark of the Autobot resistance,” Megatron proclaimed to the six Decepticon warriors who stood before him. “I trust Soundwave handled your re-formatting and upgrade with his customary skill.”
“Yes he did, and I must say it is an honor to serve you almighty Megatron. Every Decepticon dreams of serving under your personal command, and so I am humbled that you requested my team and I to work for you in breaking the back of the Autobots and their pitiful rebellion against your rightful rule.”
“Leozack, you flatter me, but we have business to attend to. Show me your six-robot unification. Show me Liokaiser.”
“As you command, Megatron.”
The six robots stepped out of the Nemesis and onto the surface of Titan.
“All right troops! Let’s give this a go! Merge to form Liokaiser,” Leozack shouted as he transformed to his F-14 alt –mode before forming the chest of Liokaiser. Gaihawk also transformed, along with Hellbat as a MiG-29 and Dassault Rafale fighter jets respectively before forming Liokaiser’s left and right arms, with Jaruga, Killbison and Drillhorn transformed into a armored scout car, Geppard anti-aircraft tank, and Cybertonin drill tank to form the waist and legs of the giant gestalt.
“Excellent show my Decepticons. With this you shall be the most feared of all Decepticons.”
Starscream joined Megatron outside, “You mean second most feared of all Decepticons right?”
“Starscream, I’ve had almost enough of you. You accomplished very little in both of my absences, other than bring me back to life. Now, Liokaiser, make preparations to join the Predacons on Earth.”
“Yes, my lord!”
“Where is Blood?” Razorclaw roared at the other Predacons.
“Uh, gee, Razorclaw, we don’t know. It looks like he finished his work, and uh, left,” Tantrum muttered “All of the data is still in the mainframe, and a number of the humans are developing their protoforms at a very fast rate, as he promised.”
“You don’t say. I’m aware of that but why did he leave the base without my permission? Hnh, Divebomb check on the other experiment. I suppose I should be thankful though, the process is working and the survival among the females is high, as is their turn around period, and the males are behaving themselves after Blood got a hold of the delinquents.”
“Razorclaw,” snarled Tantrum “I’m picking up two Autobots close to where Headstrong and I disposed of the other annoyances.”
“Predacons, fuel up. We’re going hunting.”
“Alright! It’s play time!”
“Divebomb, prepare for reconnaissance, we’ll worry about the experiments later.”
“Blood, you’re back much sooner than I would have thought,” Overlord noted dully from his command chair. He was nearly rusted to the chair from inactivity. Despite being in command of a significant force of Decepticons it had been some time since Overlord had seen frontline combat since his last defeat at the hands of God Ginrai. He had been morose and withdrawn, although still able to conceive of tactics and command force with regular effectiveness, he rarely lead from the front, which had been his hallmark.
“The trip to earth went surprisingly well. You will again assume your title as Ambassador of Destruction soon enough.”
Overlord’s head cocked to the side, rust shaking and falling from his neck mechanisms “What was that?.”
“I simply mean, Your Excellency, that the Autobots have not seen you in sometime, and there are rumours, you see, about your current state. Some other Decepticon units are calling you the Ambassador of Rust, but not any of your own, they know of course of your ambitions both for yourself and the Decepticon Empire.”
“Of course. So what have you brought me?”
“Humans, my lord, inhabitants of earth, one is non-functional but the other is operating normally. I promised them I would make them forget their role as the Autobots pawns. As you can see,” Blood gestured to a crudely constructed holding cell that was displayed on main monitor “they had some form of emotional attachment to each other, and it will make the process I have in mind so much more beneficial to you.”
“You see in my research I watched how these humans processed energy, and I believe I can revive the one, replace their memories and re-configure them to act as supplemental engines for you.”
Overlord rose from his chair, shaking off pounds of oxidization, and the rust of accumulated depression and regression began flaking off his legs and torso. “Do it.”
“Star Saber, radio Ginrai for re-inforcements. What ever was here is worth investigating further.”
Prime then raised his own wrist communicator, “Bumblebee, come in. Report your status.”
The wrist comm. buzzed weakly before Bumblebee’s voice came in very faintly “P-prime, I am heading back to base…the Decepticons they took Sam and Mikaela, I couldn’t save him…he was tired of being … a pawn Prime…”
Prime was once again seized by an old sense of loss, one he had not felt in some time, not since the early days of the war and the fighting so long ago. I’ve brought destruction and death to a world that does not deserve to be caught up in the war. But what if I hadn’t ordered the AllSpark to be sent from Cybertron? The Decepticons may have found Earth sooner or later, and by then the Autobots would have been powerless to stop them. But –
“Ginrai, is on his way Prime. He’ll be here shortly.”
“Too bad that shortly will be too late Autobots!” A voice cut in from above.
Star Saber had enough time to look up before being swept aside by a giant hand that seemed to blot out the sun. Prime was able to dodge and roll back up to his feet to face the towering monstrosity that stood before him. The thing attacked with animalistic ferocity, brandishing a sword that was easily as tall Prime himself. Prime drew his Energon swords and caught the attacking blade in an X before his face. The force drove him back, his heels digging up dirt and brush. Shifting his momentum Prime fell backwards to try and draw his opponent off balance, but the monster remained on his feet and drew to his full height.
“So the rumours of this Prime having some brass were clearly accurate! This battle will be more fun than we thought.”
Star Saber, rose to his feet, and activated his thrusters, rocketing him toward the new menace. He landed on his enemies back, wrapped his arms around its head and attempted to wrench it off by bracing his feet on its back, and yanking with all the might in his servos.
“I don’t know who you are monster, but I’m taking you down.”
“The name is Predaking. Disengage interlock!”
The component members of Predaking returned to their animal forms, and resumed their assault. Razorclaw leapt at Prime. Prime rolled with the attack and tossed the lion into a grove of trees. Rampage circled around looking for an opening, but Prime transformed and rumbled toward him, forcing Rampage to leap out of the way. Tantrum snorted smoke and charged Star Saber, catching him at full stride and forcing him into the air. Star Saber transformed and engaged Divebomb who had been perched in a tree to waiting to strike. Headstrong thundered down at Prime from behind, and managed to lodge a horn in Prime’s tires, causing Prime to fishtail.
“Prime, we need to get out of here!” Star Saber shouted while dodging a missile fired by Divebomb.
“I’m gonna jet out of here, jump on as I come by,” Star Saber ordered as he deployed chaff and flares to confuse the Decepticons targeting arrays.
“Idiots,” Razorclaw cried, “Merge, quickly before they get away!” The Predacons responded quickly and began their merge sequence, but Star Saber burst through firing at Razorclaw as he went, knocking the process out of sync. Prime, jumped and caught hold of the Star Saber’s intake, and continued to fire behind to ensure they were not pursued.
“I’ve got a lock on Bumblebee’s location Prime, we’ll swing by, grab him and take him back to base for repairs.” Star Saber informed Optimus as they rocketed away from the battlefield.
“Fools,” Razorclaw murmured. “Alright, transform and head back to base. We’ve scared them off for now, but they’ll be back to find their human friends I’m sure.
“Overlord, the process is complete!” Blood spoke with absolute glee in his voice, “the humans have been transformed for your purposes, and your own adjustments for them are now complete. Allow me to introduce to you Lord Giga and Lady Mega, your Godmaster components!”
Overlord rotated his chair to face them as they entered the doorway. “I see, why give them such names though Blood?”
“To indicate their superiority to humanity, Your Excellency, and to describe the power that you yourself will have access to.”
Overlord nodded his approval, rose from his throne and approached the small armored figures. Lord Giga’s armor was blue in the torso and white in the arms, and Lady Mega’s coloration was the reverse. Overlord was pleased to see that they had chose to pay him homage in their choice of colors. Blood stood by wringing his hands with malicious glee at his creations, curious to see how Overlord would respond to them.
“I am Overlord. Remove your helmets, and stand before me.” The humans did so and stepped forward in unison. “Lord Giga, what is your purpose?”
“To serve you, and help you to fulfill your dreams.”
“And how will you do that?”
“By assisting you when you call upon us.”
“Lady Giga, who are the Autobots?”
Mikaela’s lips curled in a sneer “An impediment to our plans, and traitors to the galaxy.”
“She’s feisty, I like this one. Who are Sam and Mikaela Witwicky?”
“Weaklings,” Lord Giga replied, his eyes narrowing at the names.
“No more,” Lady Mega chimed in.
“Excellent,” Overlord declared, his lips turning up slightly in the corners “Now unite with me, and together we can rule bring about a new order of power and glory!”
“Yes, my lord!” the Godmaster components shouted, as they leapt forward, their bodies contorting and twisting with the upgrades Blood had worked into them, and they inserted themselves into two specially built slots on Overlord’s chest. Overlord roared with his new power, as it surged through circuits and servos, he could feel it, the symbiosis between the organic and the mechanical, three power units of two different types working in concert, a veritable symphony of destruction waiting to be unleashed on an unsuspecting audience.
“Blood, find me a battlefield. The Ambassador of Destruction has some ‘diplomacy’ to do with his fellow Cybertronians.”
Strident continued sitting at his post at the Sector Two command post but his mind was far away. He’d been stationed there for ages, listening to orders going out, and reports coming in. He felt like he’d been stuck in first gear since he emerged from the well of AllSparks. Of course he knew the stories of Optimus Prime becoming Prime after being just a data clerk for untold cycles (the length increased with every telling, at this rate Optimus would be a Prime a day after the Fallen fell) and he hoped to have such an opportunity for himself. To be a hero, or even a communications officer like Blaster, someone with position, someone that people listened to. That bot has gone places, seen things, maybe he even worked with Optimus Prime once, or Ultra Magnus if only I…
Lost in a reverie, Strident missed hearing the first perimeter alerts being sounded, the first casualty reports scrolled across a screen to his left but they barely registered, Another day, another loss, he thought, nothing new in Sector Two. Surely he would have responded to the second wave of alerts, heard the calls to contact commander Ginrai on Earth, to signal for reinforcements from Sector 1, to Primus-damnit, Strident, quit glitching out and do something, but by then the wall housing the command hub of sector two headquarters had already blown in, a Cybertronian hover tank and assault jet had flown in and blasted Strident’s compatriots to atoms, would have heard two voices call out “God On!” and the sound of a large Transformer changing form. And still he sat, far away from the war, dreaming of great deeds and personal glory. That’s when he felt the large hand encasing his cranium and lifting him from his chair, snapping him out of his reverie.
“Greetings weakling,” the words caused Strident’s spark to twitch “I seem to have caught you nearly off-line. If I had known about such a weak link in the Hub I would have attacked long ago. Oh well, the Space Bridge not taken, eh?”
Strident lashed out with his feet, trying to strike the larger Overlord, but, amused, Overlord simply held him out further so his feet struck air. Strident continued to kick and try to wrench himself free until Overlord tired of it and tossed him against a back wall. He felt something break in his lower back unit and he realized he was no longer to move his legs, or to transform. He pushed himself up to sitting. As he gazed back toward Overlord standing in triumph he saw other Decepticons fly in the hole that Overlord had caused, he recognized their forms with a feeling of dread: Blood, Dauros, and Gilmer, Overlord’s scientist and shock troopers. Then two more jets joined him, Hydra and Buster, Overlord’s elite soldiers and bodyguards, although it seemed Overlord no longer needed them in that capacity. He saw them illuminated by the star Alpha Centauri, saw the confident and malicious looks on their faces, saw Overlord gaze upon him imperiously, felt his sparks rhythm stutter, and knew with dread certainty he would never be a hero…
The pacification of the Hub went swiftly as Overlord once again displayed the brutal efficiency that earned him the title “Ambassador of Destruction” and the eternal ire of God Ginrai. Surging on the power of his new Godmaster components Overlord personally saw to the destruction of many of the Autobot resistors. He notched an impressive kill count that day, but Strident was not amongst the dead, no matter how much he wished he were among their number. Instead he found his mind tampered with, neural circuits re-routed by Overlord’s communications officer Stalker. Strident the dreamer was now Strident the nightmare because the words he now spoke over the Sector comm. frequencies would spell certain doom for many of his fellow Autobots “Fellow Sector 2 Autobots, the Hub is currently under siege by the Decepticons, we have held them at bay but they’re really giving us a pounding, we request immediate support from any surrounding Autobots forces. Repeat…” And so he continued on with enough conscience to know what was going to happen when they arrived, with enough conscience to know he would marked as traitor, that the truth of this broadcast would never be known…
As Skyquake and his Jet Corps finished laying thermal mines in proximity of the Hub, Overlord gathered the rest of his troops, the Pretenders. Hydra and Buster, Stalker and the Predators and addressed them “My fellow Decepticons, as your commander I have heard the rumors that some had begun to call me the Ambassador of Rust, but I assure you that I am still the Ambassador of Destruction, and we, my Decepticons, will usher in a new era of Decepticon domination! No longer will I be bound, or constrained by my feud with Ginrai. We shall lash out at the Autobots who have tried to destroy us, who have tried to make us subservient to their weak-will and ill-conceived notions of peace and brotherhood. The only brotherhood is one forged in war and destruction. There are only the Decepticons, and once we have cleared this sector of the Autobot stain we shall go to aid our brothers, and join forces with them. The days of self-aggrandizing Decepticons will come to an end, and a glorious new age of the Cybertronian Empire will rise, the Empire that is our spark-right! Today we are warriors, tomorrow we are legends!”
Overlord saw the enchanted look on his Decepticons and knew that they would fight and give their sparks for the Empire re-born, as it was intended to be before Megatron allowed his vendetta with to Prime blind him to the goals and aims of his very own army.
“Stalker, continue broadcasting through Strident’s frequency, set it to run automatically, and then station yourself near the communications array to jam the Autobot frequencies once the battle is begun. Skyquake, take your forces and make yourself scarce, we want to catch the Autobots between you and the Hub, so head out to a range that will allow you to avoid detection, but still engage quickly after the first round of mines detonates.”
“Yes, my liege. Troops, follow me.” Skyquake answered
“Hydra, Buster, upon analiysing the Autobots attack patterns over the last vorn, I see that they fight on a two dimensional plane, and organize themselves that way. I want you to strike from below, hide yourselves under the Hub , and then strike from below at the same time as Skyquake.
“Yes my lord,” Buster answered, “But where shall you be?”
“I will be in plain sight. I will offer their leader a chance to duel, or surrender, hopefully this will draw them in closer to the Hub in case they decide to continue their attack.”
“Isn’t that too risky?”
“Not at all, the Pretenders shall be above, and besides with my new upgrades there is no one in this sector who can stop me.”
Optimus Prime stood perplexed as Bumblebee finished recounting his encounter with Blood, and Blood’s subsequent escape with the two humans. So much has happened since we set out in search of the AllSpark. What other forces are out there gathering, plotting their assaul?. Everything is happening too quickly, first the appearance of Star Saber and Ginrai, then the deaths of Skids and Mudflap, and now Sam and Mikaela are gone.
“What are we going to do Prime? We can’t let the Decepticons keep calling the shots like this.” Star Saber opined in a grave voice.
“I say we roll back out there and smash those weird lookin’ Cons until somebody tells us what’s going on.” Ginrai cut in.
“ Star Saber, I want you to do a high-altitude scan of the mountain regions where we had our engagement, and where Bumblebee fought Blood. Ginrai and I will head out after you with Ironhide, Sideswipe and Jolt. Find their base, but do not engage until we all arrive.”
“Leozack, you may be the number two ‘Con out in Sector 1, but you’re on my turf now, so you had better watch your step.” Starscream called out in the poorly lit hallway leading to the Nemesis hangar and launch bay. Leozack and the rest of his unit all stopped and turned in unison.
“Is that so,” Leozack growled stepping forward, “and why is that? Do you plan on scrapping me if I garner too much attention?” he asked closing the distance so he was directly in Starscreams’s face “Do you plan on leaving me to die on earth if I ‘step out of line.’ Well what is it?”
Starscream was taken aback by Leozack’s boldness, but he also noticed the other five Cons under Leozack’s command sliding forward, their fingers were all itching in anticipation.
“Well, no, I simply wanted to make sure the chain of command was clear, you see, that if contradicting orders arise from Razorclaw or myself that you know mine are to be followed since I outrank him.”
“I serve Megatron alone. Not Razorclaw, and especially not you, you power-mad turncoat. I’ve read your files. I know all about your supposed ‘reign.’”
“What is going on here,” Megatron’s voice thundered in the narrow confines of the hallway.”
“Nothing Lord Megatron, Starscream was simply filling me in on the protocols of serving under your direct leadership.”
“Of course he was. You serve me, and my voice alone. That is all you need to know. Now, get into the dropship you seven. You have an appointment on earth to keep. Do not be late.”
“Come in Prime,” Star Saber radioed, I’m in position and have started by scan of the area, there seems to be an entrance to an underground complex of some magnitude inside the mountain range. The cave where Bumblebee tangled with Blood appears to be just that. There is a fair number of human bones collected up here. I would need Ratchet to make any sense of what’s going on here. I’m going to see if I can sneak into the base and bring it down on the Predacons heads."
“Roger that, Star Saber. I’ll alert Ratchet and have Bumblebee lead him there. However, we’re still a couple of hours away, be careful.”
“Will do, Prime. I’m en route.”
Star Saber snuck down the hallway as quietly as he could. So far he hadn’t encountered the Predacons, but he continued to hear their voices reverberating from further down. There was a lot of talk about humans, Energon, alt modes and things that didn’t make any sense to him. He came upon a gate that lead him down deeper into the bowels of mountain fortress. He eased open the latch, slipped inside and locked the gate behind him. He turned to face the room and his olfactory senses were assaulted by the stench. His optics adjusted to the low lighting and he was taken aback by what he saw. Humans in various stages of health and decay, many infused with raw Energon. Those who weren’t seemed despondent and far away. Those who had been infused with it were in various states of physical growth or deformation. Star Saber had no idea what it was that he was looking only that it couldn’t be good for the humans.
The smell was not so overwhelming as it once was, but still the sight sickened him. As an Autobot commander he’d seen a great number of atrocities committed by the Decepticons, but nothing like this. His first inclination was to blow the whole installation up and bring it down on the Predacons’ heads, but he couldn’t countenance anymore innocent casualties. I need Prime and Ginrai with their trailers to get them out of here, but how am I going to do that without a fight?
“Anyone home?” a voice called out in the darkness. Spawn of a glitch! Star Saber thought coldly as he searched quickly for a place to hide. All he found was an elevator shaft going further into the depths of the earth. Seeing no other immediate option he hopped down further into the darkness.
“Anyone home?” the voice rang out from the mountain’s entrance. Razorclaw and the other Predacons jumped and hastily flicked off their monitors, concealing their work.
“Is that Leozack?” Razorclaw responded. They had once trained at the Cybertron Defence force academy in the Intelligence & Apprehension department before being given commands of their teams and shipped off on their respective assignments. Razorclaw knew Leozack to be an excellent soldier, but also not a bot to be trusted.
“It is. We’ve come to give you a hand with your Autobot problem.”
“I see and you brought Starscream with you.”
“Don’t sound so thrilled Razorclaw. As one of Megatron’s elite bodyguards this assignment is almost beneath me. But, alas we twelve are to deal with Prime and his Autobots.”
“And how do you suggest we begin?” Razorclaw asked dryly.
Starscream gazed out at the Decepticons gathered in front of him, he knew that his position was tenuous given the caliber that both the Predacons and Beastforce presented. His gaze caught the security monitor and his eyes flared. “I suggest we begin with the Autobot who has obviously slipped past your security and has infiltrated your base!”
“Star Saber,” Leozack growled “So, this is where you went.”
Razorclaw’s head whipped around in disbelief. But there it was, an Autobot down in the hunting grounds. Obviously he had been so absorbed with his next project that he and his entire team had missed the interloper. “Divebomb, back up all of the files and comm. them to Soundwave. Also get him to re-deploy Laserbeak and Ratbat to the immediate area to scan for more Autobots. Rampage, release the rest of the hunting stock.”
“Razorclaw, Starscream and I will head down to deal with him,” Leozack called out as he and the rest of his squad hurried down to the labs, “I have a score to settle with this ‘Bot.”
Blast, there is nowhere to hide down here, Star Saber cursed as he searched for something, anything that was his size to take cover behind. There were plenty of smaller objects to hide behind, but nothing for an Autobot of his size. He noticed a small door open to his left, but his attention was drawn to a loud voice calling out from the opened elevator doors.
“Star Saber, Deszaras thought you had finally turned coward and fled. But instead we find you here, behind the Last Prime’s armor skirting, just like you were at the beginning.”
“Better than shameless self advancement Decepticon.”
At that moment Star Saber felt a sharp ping off his armor plating, followed by more, then a buckshot to his calf unit. His head turned in amazement to see humans firing small weapons at him. He wanted to tell them to stop, to tell them he wasn’t the enemy when Starscream and Leozack opened fire on him. Star Saber jetted up reflexively, but by doing so the Decepticon fire turned some of the humans that had been closest to him into red mist. Seeing his indecision Starscream transformed and rocketed toward Star Saber and driving him through the roof of the hunting grounds and through the floor of the labs and smashing through the cages of the humans. Star saber gripped Starscream by the nose of the jet and forced it around sending Starscream careening through more full cages and prison cells before he regained control by transforming, but not before implanting his head into one of the banks of computers.
Leozack came surging out of the elevator, blaster rifle blazing at Star Saber as he again rocketed up on his foot-thrusters trying to make his get away and into open sky to face his opponents. Leozack raked fire back and forth trying to catch Star Saber, and at least managed to hem him in, but instead saw another opportunity. As Starscream extracted his head, Star Saber dove for him, hoping to at least remove one threat from the equation. Leozack took careful aim before shouting “Starscream look out!” Star Saber vectored thrust downward, gaining altitude immediately allowing Leozack’s shot to pass cleanly beneath him, and to core Starscream through the brain module. Leozack grinned inwardly Another ‘Con off the list between me and total command of the Decepticons. Leozack feigned shock at his action, which allowed Star Saber to transform and rocket out of the lab, down the fortress hall and back out into the open sky.