More Than Meets the Eye: False Flags

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More Than Meets the Eye: False Flags

Postby Henry921 » Fri May 30, 2014 7:37 pm

Motto: "All I have to be is exceptional."
Weapon: Battle Blades
Summary: The Quintessons seek to divert the attentions of the Cybertronians by provoking war with the Galactic Council.

Author's Note: This story takes place in current IDW continuity, following the events of MTMTE #28-30 and RID #28. Be advised there are spoilers for the recent story arcs. This story is in continuity with my earlier work "Forging the Star".



Prologue


Athenia, The Nalva System


"Cybertronian vessel, answer our hail," the captain instructed, watching it sit in orbit above the planet, home of the Arcadroids, getting set to host an intergalactic meeting; the Galactic Games.

There was no reply. It remained in synchronous orbit.

"Cybertronian vessel, this is Captain Fr'eirch of the Noble Apostate," the captain continued. "You are trespassing in Galactic Council space. You are hereby instructed to break orbit and exit this solar system."

Still there was no reply. Fr'eirch was becoming irritated waiting. "Raise the shields and move to attack position. Make it clear to them we're prepared to engage."

The Noble Apostate moved towards the vessel. Though the Galactic Council vessel dwarfed the Cybertronian ship, it was still a massive dreadnaught armed with numerous cannons.

The Galactic Games were already underway. Opening ceremonies had begun. Delegates from a thousand systems were taking their place for the opening, all celebrating -or at least paying lip service to- the cause of peace. The orbit of the Cybertronian vessel was moving them closer towards the capitol, where the delegations were meeting. One of Fr'eirch's subordinates had patched in a feed to Athenia's new's networks, watching a group of dignitaries directed to their seats around the playing field.

Fr'eirch gave them one final chance. "Cybertronian vessel, break orbit and leave the solar system. This is your final warning."

"Captain," a nearby ensign called, "we are being hailed."

"On screen," Fr'eirch ordered, hoping that there'd only be a bit of grandstanding and then everyone would go home after saving some face.

A massive one-eyed head stared him down, the optic glowing bright red and filling up the screen. "Captain," it greeted in a low, rumbling voice.

"Identity yourself," Fr'eirch instructed.

"I am Commander Lugnut of the New Cybertronian Alliance," the one-eyed bruiser answered. "We have come to bring a message to the inhabitants of the galaxy."

"Well, you have our attention," Fr'eirch conceded. "Say your piece."

Lugnut waved one massive claw on the screen. Fr'eirch could barely see behind the massive Cybertronian, but caught a glimpse of another figure in the dark moving to a terminal.

The Cybertronian vessel's engines fired. It sped through space towards the Noble Apostate.

"Evasive action!" Fr'eirch ordered. His helmsman complied, the ship beginning to turn...

...and the Cybertronian vessel's engines stopped, allowing the ship to move simply on impulse. It would still strike the Apostate, but at the ship's center, away from weapons, away from engines, away from life support.

"A wasted effort, Commander," Fr'eirch mocked. "You failed to-" He abruptly stopped speaking as he watched the ship before him begin to transform, massive arms sliding out from its frame, a head emerging from a newly formed chest...

"THREAT LEVEL 10!" Fr'eirch shouted. "ALL HANDS, BRACE FOR-"

The Titan slammed into the center of the Apostate. It extended both its arms and pulled on the vehicle's hull... and ripped right through it at the center.

Warning lights flailed about as Fr'eirch tried to make sense of the situation. "Damage report!" he ordered. "Get the weapons lined up on the target!"

The ship rocked again as the Titan took hold of the forward section, pulling it back from the aft and the debris inbetween.

Lugnut, still on screen, watched passively as Fr'eirch and his men struggled. The Titan fired engines once again, moving back to orbit over Athenia.

Lugnut rose a new, widespread hail. "Citizens of the galaxy, I am Commander Lugnut of the New Cybertronian Alliance. This is a statement of purpose."

The Metrotitan flung the forward section of the Apostate towards the planet... right over the capitol. With no engines to pull themselves out, the planet's gravity left them in freefall through the atmosphere.

"Abandon ship!" Fr'eirch ordered. "Abandon ship!"

"We bring you this message," Lugnut continued over his wide hail. "The galaxy belongs once again to the Cybertronians."

The Apostate's hull began to burn in the atmosphere. Escape pods jumped from the bridge and hoped for a better landing, even with instruments scrambled in atmosphere.

And the Apostate's forward section, lit up in flames, crashed onto the opening ceremony of the Galactic Games, burning or crushing thousands of patrons, athletes, and delegates. Flames from the explosion and debris fell elsewhere in the city, further incinerating Arcadroid citizens.

Those who survived and emerged from flame and rubble looked up in the sky to see -however briefly- the towering figure of a Metrotitan, outlined against the sun. It hovered there for a few seconds before disappearing in a brilliant blue flash, leaving their atmosphere empty, and their surface burning and crumbling to dust.

-

The Kuiper Belt, the Sol System

Aboard the Flagship of the Quintesson Empire, a long distance hail drew the attention of the Imperial Triumvirate. The three leaders activated it, and a hologram of their operative, Doctor Phaedrus, greeted them.

"Phase one is complete," Phaedrus reported.

"Any difficulty controlling your puppet?" a Triumvir asked.

"The shell program worked perfectly," Phaedrus answered. "He completed the mission and delivered our message. His... rather limited intellect only made controlling him that much easier."

"Excellent," another Triumvir nodded. "The Decepticon forces have already made landfall on Earth. We have to move them away quickly, or they may notice our Energon mining efforts. And our new supply of resources could be cut off... resources you will need to continue this charade, Doctor."

"The Galactic Council will be forced to act," Phaedrus assured. "The Decepticons do value the safety and autonomy of their planet. They will be recalled and they will defend it."

"And then the Council will wipe the Autobots and Decepticons from the face of Cybertron, and the Galactic Council will be left damaged, if not crippled," the third Triumvir observed. "We will be free to pillage every last shard of Energon from this system, and return to a re-ignited Cybertron with an army waiting to be forged under our rule."

"And at last, the Quintesson Empire shall emerge... victorious."
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Re: More Than Meets the Eye: False Flags

Postby Henry921 » Thu Jul 31, 2014 12:57 am

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


The Lost Light, five months, two weeks after takeoff from Cybertron

"Slipspace transmission detected," rang the computer. Mainframe pulled up the communications array from his terminal.

"We're being hailed," Mainframe called to the captain's chair, where Megatron sat, leaning lazily back in the command seat. Rodimus stood behind him, glaring daggers at the former Decepticon's back. "Encrypted; marked private."

"For whom?" Megatron asked, barely lifting his head to acknowledge Mainframe's report.

"The Duly Appointed Enforcer of the Tyrest Accord," Mainframe read from his terminal. "Guess it'd be a surprise if the entire galaxy knew UM's passed the torch..."

"Patch it through to him," Megatron instructed. "Let Commander Magnus deal with it as he sees fit. Maintain our course and heading."

Rodimus grumbled something that might've been assent. Mainframe complied and sent the comm request to Ultra Magnus's terminal.

-

"We're receiving an encrypted message for you... or your old job title, anyway," Mainframe reported to Magnus in his quarters. "Do you want to answer the hail?"

"Put it through," Magnus requested. Once Mainframe complied and switched off his comm systems, he sat at his private terminal and typed in the necessary passcodes, first for himself, and then for the unique signature of the Galactic Council.

He got up and stepped back from his terminal, allowing it to project a hologram of the messenger. Another, familiar-looking fleshing dressed in ornate robes. Magnus had expected an officer reporting a crime or a prospector sending a distress signal. He hadn't expected to be addressed by...

"A Councilor?" Magnus asked. "This must be serious."

"Ultra Magnus," the Councilor greeted with regal formality, extending his hand, showing a holographic display of his own. "I'm reporting to you a Cybertronian attack on the Galactic Games. A Commander Lugnut, claiming to represent an Autobot/Decepticon alliance, destroyed the Council dreadnaught Noble Apostate and inflicted thousands of civilian casualties."

Magnus watched as the Councilor showed him recovered footage from the coliseum on Athenia, and the attack from the atmosphere, and...

"A Metrotitan?!" Magnus asked, stunned as he watched the small footage playing in the Councilor's hand.

"Yes," the Councilor confirmed. "It caught the Apostate by surprise. The attackers engaged their space bridge and left the system before reinforcements arrived."

The Councilor concluded his own holographic presentation and returned his focus solely on Magnus. "The council has received innumerable complaints; even requests to be withdrawn from membership. The Athenian ambassador has threatened our expulsion from their system if this matter is not resolved.

"As the enforcer of the Tyrest Accord-" the Councilor continued, but Magnus raised his hand to silence him.

"I've abdicated that post," Ultra Magnus explained. "If you like, I can direct you to-"

"I'm afraid your name is the only one the Council has any faith in," the Councilor told him. "Given the apparent disappearance of Chief Justice Tyrest*, and the reputation of the rest of your peers, you may be the one Cybertronian the galaxy will believe at this point."

"I'm flattered," Magnus said, "but I know I won't like the next part of your message."

"No," the Councilor agreed. "The Council has prepared an expeditionary force to move into the Cybertronian system, in the event a vote is called to engage in military action."

"And what 'military action' would you take?" Magnus asked.

"A proportional response, to the thousands of civilians killed by your peers," the Councilor replied.

Magnus nodded grimly. All the Cybertronians still on Cybertron were left in a single place... a single bombardment from the Council's dreadnaughts could wipe out 90% of their race. "And what do you need from me?"

"No one wants war," the Councilor answered, "but a response has been called for. If you want to avoid an attack, we'll need you to surrender this 'Commander Lugnut' and any of his co-conspirators in the Autobot/Decepticon alliance."

"If I can't find him?" Magnus inquired.

"The Council will wait a reasonable amount of time," the Councilor replied. "but if you fail to meet our request, we will render judgment in absentia."

"How long?" Magnus asked.

"The next vote will be held in seven standard solar cycles," the Councilor replied. "I will contact you again at that time. If you do not have the Commander held prisoner, or substantial progress to sway the Council, we will yield to the will of the majority."

Magnus nodded. "Thank you for informing me. I will do what I can to ensure continued coexistence with the Council."

"Peace to you, Ultra Magnus," the Councilor concluded, offering a short bow before ending his communication.

Immediately, Magnus drew up files on his terminal, downloading the data on rogue Cybertronians. He'd meant to delete them after giving the data to Fortress Maximus, but old habits...

His data was months out of date, as he passed by files he should've closed... Bludgeon, Jhiaxus... and to Lugnut, whose file actually had a more recent update than many of his criminal peers. He'd been aboard the Lost Light, under the command of Lockdown, of all people.**

Magnus pulled up his commlink. "Trailcutter, report to the bridge." He then switched frequencies, setting up a three way call with the two reluctantly sharing the helm. "Captains, I need to meet with both of you immediately."

-

"Was he wearing a hat?" Rodimus asked.

"No," Ultra Magnus replied, exasperated.

"Well, you can probably take him at his word, then," Rodimus concluded.

"He was a Councilor, Rodimus, he-"

"Enough," Megatron instructed. "How long do we have?"

"A week," Magnus answered. "We have to give them Lugnut when the Councilor contacts us again."

"And if we don't?" Rodimus asked.

"War," Magnus answered simply. "The Council launches an attack on Cybertron... a 'proportional response', they call it."

"With everyone sheltered in Metroplex..." Megatron nodded, stroking his chin.

"...no survivors," Magnus confirmed.

"I don't know where Lockdown went," Trailcutter told him. "Haven't seen his flight signature since we headed back to Cybertron."

"Fortunately," Megatron intervened, "I know how to find him."

"You think he'll take your call?" Rodimus asked, pointing at the new red symbol on Megatron's chest. "He's probably heard things have changed."

"Fortunately, bounty hunters will always take the call of their best clients," Megatron replied, as he stepped over to Mainframe at his terminal.

"Tap into the Decepticon intelligence network," Megatron instructed, "Voice code ATT override. Type a message for me...

"Lockdown. Your lord and master wishes an audience."







*More Than Meets the Eye #21
**Spotlight: Trailcutter
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Re: More Than Meets the Eye: False Flags

Postby Henry921 » Wed Aug 13, 2014 2:59 am

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


Cybertron, Fortress Kolkular, Decepticon Capitol City Kaon -Three months after the fall of the Sentinel Prime

"Attention, Megatron," Soundwave reported from his side at his master's throne, "The bounty hunter has returned."

"Finally," Megatron sighed, lazily waving a hand to his door guard. "Show him in, Blackwall."

Blackwall opened the gates to Megatron's throne room, and in he stepped: the one-handed bounty hunter, dragging his prize of three Cybertronians, each wearing binding masks of gray steal, concealing their faces and optics, their hands bound by stasis cuffs. Their legs skidded along the floor of the throne room before they were tossed before Megatron.

The Decepticon leader deigned to stand up, examining the trio. "And these are...?"

"Rack, Ruin, and... I forget the third guy's name," the bounty hunter answered, waving his hooked hand in the general direction of the trio. "Spark siblings. To my knowledge, one of only four sets of triplets."

"Five," came the hollow reply of Shockwave, positioned at Megatron's left. "But they are the most ideal candidates to undergo the combiner process."

Megatron nodded, then stepped towards the bounty hunter. "You've done well...?"

"Lockdown."

"Lockdown," Megatron affirmed. "As promised, you will be given the 30,000 shanix reward, as well as your pick of weaponry from my armory. Blackwall, give him a badge."

Blackwall stepped briefly out of the throne room then quickly returned, handing Lockdown the purple badge. The bounty hunter hesitated than accepted it, glancing back at Megatron. "I didn't agree to join your revolution."

"There are only two factions left on Cybertron now," Megatron replied. "Only two ideologies dictate the future of this planet. The Autobots'... and mine. I may have need of your talents in the future, and this badge guarantees you are under my protection and can operate freely in my territory."

Megatron sat back in his throne. "You are among the privileged few now. This badge is a sign of strength and ability, and your place in my confidence."

Lockdown looked down at the badge and stepped out of the throne room.

Once Blackwall closed the door behind him, Lockdown tossed it to the ground and went on his way.

-

Argus IV, Outside Council Jurisdiction - Five months, sixteen days after the takeoff from Cybertron

"We're here, Captain."

Megatron sat at the captain's chair, glancing at his personal terminal, still displaying Lockdown's response to his instruction to meet. He was musing, and hadn't heard Mainframe's statement from the helm.

Rodimus, quick to remind the others he still had some authority aboard the Lost Light, replied from behind the captain's chair: "Take us in!"

"Uh, Captain, it might be wiser to move into orbit and send a landing party instead," Hound recommended from the tactical station.

Rodimus was quiet for a few nano-kliks then nodded. "Fine. Let's do that. Radio Magnus and get him up to the bridge."

Megatron finally turned his attention from his terminal and stood up, activating his own comm link on a wide frequency. "Trailcutter, Swerve, Nightbeat, Chromedome; report to the hangar. You'll be joining the landing party." He turned to Hound and Mainframe. "Move to geosynchronous orbit. We'll be back up in a megacycle, if that."

Rodimus was already on his way to the turbolift before Megatron could turn around. Once the two were descending from the bridge and alone in the elevator...

"Good choices," Rodimus told him. "Chromedome and Trailcutter hate you. Swerve is scared of you, but you're probably the only guy he hates enough to shoot at when he's afraid. Nightbeat might tolerate you, but he actually likes me."

"Fascinating," Megatron deadpanned.

"You really comfortable bringing this group with you in a confined space?" Rodimus asked.

"Trailcutter already dealt with Lockdown once before, Nightbeat and Chromedome will be able to read his reactions, and Swerve might have some knowledge about this seedy setting he's holed up in," Megatron replied. "And you... well, I'm sure you have some useful insights. Eventually."

Rodimus was briefly silent but quickly recovered his composure. "Didn't expect you to take the time to figure them out."

"My intelligence teams -the Justice Division, the Secret Service- provided files on every Autobot they could," Megatron replied. "I've known more about our comrades than you have for nearly two million years."

"'Our comrades'?" Rodimus repeated.

Megatron was silent.

-

Callum Trading District, the southern border of the Argus IV surface, shortly after

"You call this a bar?" Swerve asked, glancing around at the various organic patrons, most of whom were taller than he was. Swerve himself could barely see above the countertop.

"It's an ideal place to disappear," Nightbeat replied, glancing around. "They don't seem to be fleeing in terror of us..."

"Think this place does Engex, or will we need to use the bio filters?" Trailcutter inquired, looking at the various liquids behind the counter.

"We should've brought you along for the last bar trip, bud," Swerve replied, ever eager to strike up a conversation with his crewmate. "Singing's always better than watching Whirl and Cyclonus hurl chairs at the Stadovian federation goons..."

Megatron tuned them out, turning his attention to the back of the bar, away from the hustle and bustle of the counter. Turned away and saw him sitting at the rear, in a dark corner, with a long stretch of table to himself.

"Trailcutter, cover the exit," Megatron instructed. "Do not get distracted."

"Yeah, yeah," Trailcutter replied, crossing his arms and pouting.

"Nightbeat, Chromedome, with me," Megatron continued, walking towards the table.

"Aye, Captain," Chromedome answered, somewhere between snide sarcasm and complete indifference.

Once the trio were out of earshot, Rodimus passed 50 shanix to Trailcutter.

"I'll watch the door," Rodimus told him. "Have one on me."

Trailcutter complied before Rodimus had finished his sentence. The co-Captain turned to Swerve. "And you... make some friends. See if you can find out how long Lockdown's been here."

"Why?" Swerve wondered.

"If he's in neutral space, he's either chasing a bounty... or hiding," Rodimus answered. "And I think a Decepticon war criminal might be a good offering, if we need one for this mess with the Council."

-

Megatron sat down across from his former subordinate, Chromedome and Nightbeat taking a seat across from them. Close enough to see, too far to hear the low whispers.

"Hello Lockdown," Megatron greeted.

Lockdown turned his attention away from his drink just long enough to glance at the badge on Megatron's chest. "That's a good look for you. You always knew how to wear red."

Megatron briefly glanced at the purple Decepticon badge on Lockdown's chest. "The war is over."

"So I keep hearing," Lockdown mused. "But we're all still fighting each other. Only thing that's changed is Megatron lost his way."

"Then why'd you bother to tell me where you were?" Megatron asked.

"Had to see it for myself," Lockdown answered, staring down at his drink. "Autobot Megatron. It doesn't seem natural."

"You've been working with Autobots yourself lately," Megatron pointed out. "Are you still playing lapdog for the former Chief Justice?*"

"That's not what you came here to ask," Lockdown replied. "So just get to that part."

"Very well," Megatron agreed. "Where is Lugnut?"

Lockdown tilted the drink in his hand, quietly staring down at the remaining liquid. "Lugnut is dead."

"Don't play the fool," Megatron instructed. "Where is Lugnut?"

"I abandoned him on that iceball Arduria," Lockdown answered. "We met some of those squid aliens... you know the ones."

Megatron dropped his confidence for a moment. He leaned in close, to ensure neither of his compatriots could hear him. "Quintessons?"

"Is that what they're called?" Lockdown wondered. "They seemed to know a lot about us. They did something to Lugnut's brain... not that it took them much work."

"They're butchers," Megatron told him. "Deceivers. Were you working with them?"

"No, just trying to take the Titan they hijacked," Lockdown answered. "Remember the good old days, when you first sent me out there to find the Titans?"

Megatron reached over and took hold of the back of Lockdown's head, shoving him face first into his drink, shattering the glass and leaving a deep indentation in the table. The bounty hunter coughed out some Engex as nearby patrons quickly switched tables, moving further away from the two robots.

"Were. You. Working. With. Them?" Megatron asked again.

"No," Lockdown replied. "They were using the Titans for something... reworking them. Trying to use the gravity well of the space bridge to make something."

Megatron released Lockdown's head and stood up. "Hope I never need you again. I won't be so gentle the next time I need information."

"I was gonna' say... your punch isn't what I remember it being," Lockdown noted, wiping the Engex from his chin. "Your new badge must've made you soft."

"And your badge?" Megatron asked, not looking at him.

"It made me stronger," Lockdown replied. "You ought to know."

Megatron gestured to Chromedome and Nightbeat and the three headed away. Lockdown flagged down the nearest server for another round.

"Love the company you're keeping these days," Lockdown called after Megatron's retreating back.

"Hard to get a reading when he's face down like that," Nightbeat pointed out.

"Fun to watch, though," Chromedome noted.

"True," Nightbeat agreed.

"We're going back to the ship and changing course," Megatron told them.

"What'd you find out?" Nightbeat asked.

"That we have bigger problems than we thought."

"What's a bigger problem than all out war with the Galactic Council?" Chromedome asked.

Megatron was silent.

-

Fortress Kolkular, after Megatron's restoration and Scorponok's defeat

"Attention, Megatron," Soundwave reported. "The bounty hunter has returned."

"Finally," Megatron nodded, lazily waving his arm. Lugnut opened the door to his throne room, and Lockdown stepped in, carrying a burnt-out husk of Autobot chassis on his shoulder, dropping it before Megatron's throne.

"As requested, the Autobot scout Sidequest," Lockdown told Megatron. "Unfortunately, he wasn't willing to be captured alive... I'll let you have him for 40% off the asking price, if you still want a trophy."

Megatron did not look at the Autobot corpse placed before him, his attention fixated on Lockdown's chest. "Where is your badge?"

"What? Getting hung up on that?" Lockdown asked. "I travel off world all the time Megs, now that half the planet's bolted.** I have to play neutral sometimes to catch my mark."

"I told you before that you had to choose a side," Megatron told him, still seated in his throne. "There is no neutrality anymore."

"Megatron, come on," Lockdown requested. "Why are you getting hung up on this?"

"Because this badge is more than just a method of identification," Megatron answered. "It's a statement of purpose. A demonstration of strength."

"You know I work for you, Megatron-"

"You work for the highest bidder," Megatron told him. "Which happens to be me. I allowed you your autonomy, as I have many independent agents. I was blindsided by treachery often enough... from Scorponok, from Bludgeon, from Starscream -Primus knows from Starscream- but each of them still wore my badge. They each accepted their place and their role in the end."

"Megatron, I'd never betray you-"

"I believe you," Megatron confirmed. "Because after today, you work for no one else. Lugnut."

The bruiser closed the door. Lockdown turned and raised his EMP generator to fire on the guard, only for both his arms to be restrained by the former gladiator.

"Megatron, what are you doing?!"

"Soundwave," Megatron instructed.

Soundwave pressed a button above his chest. "Laserbeak, eject. Operation: branding."

Laserbeak transformed from his storage cassette mode and flew to Megatron's shoulder. Megatron rose from his throne and stepped towards Lockdown, still flailing in Lugnut's arms.

"Turn him to face me," Megatron instructed.

Lugnut complied, rapidly flipping Lockdown around. Megatron raised his left arm, Laserbeak walking from his shoulder to his forearm, the bird peering at Lockdown's chest.

"Initiate him," Megatron commanded.

Laserbeak's yellow eyes glowed a dark orange, and tiny lasers fired from each optic, cutting into Lockdown's chest and beginning to slice his chassis, delving into the spark chamber.

Lockdown screamed. "Megatron, you lying bastard! This isn't what we agreed upon!"

"I never lied," Megatron told him calmly, watching Laserbeak cut in. "I told you when we met. There are only two ideologies left: theirs'... and mine. My will alone dictates your actions now, bounty hunter.

"I will make you stronger," Megatron continued, speaking quietly even as Lockdown shrieked in pain. "You will be allowed a degree of autonomy, a measure of self-reliance. But your life belongs to me now and forever."

Once Laserbeak had finished etching, Megatron reached into Lockdown's chest and ripped out a piece of spark casing. He placed it on Lockdown's chest and let Laserbeak resume his laser cutting.

Megatron watched, Lockdown still howling. "Peace through tyranny... now and forever."






-
*More Than Meets the Eye: Remain in the Light
**Transformers: Monstrosity
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Re: More Than Meets the Eye: False Flags

Postby Henry921 » Thu Sep 18, 2014 5:46 am

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


The Lost Light, Megatron's Quarters

The energon he was forced to drink had a foul aftertaste. It was bitter to begin with, its taste barely distinguishable from empty air. But once he'd finished ingesting it, he tasted its uglier side.

Megatron had lived off artificial Energon for millions of years until he tasted Ore-13 on Earth. It never tasted quite the same as the real stuff he'd used to mine, but it was far preferable to something that both actively sapped his strength, but tasted terrible.

He wasn't always the most upbeat bot, but his drinks gave him less incentive to smile than ever. It was easy to frown when anticipating his fuel up.

Some people -Trailcutter came to mind- drank to escape. Megatron used to do the same with Impactor, to get away from the drudgery of the mines on Luna-2. Energon, even the cheap stuff the working classes bought, could help alleviate one's troubles with a good taste and a solid buzz.

The thought of the Quintessons being involved... it was impossible to forget that trouble, and the bitter drink in Megatron's hand did nothing to alleviate it. It was just one foul taste compounded by another.

"Captain, we'll be in the system in a breem."

Megatron engaged his communicator. "Understood, Mainframe. I'm on my way to the bridge."

Megatron set the bitter energon down, eager to be away from it. He reached his now free hand to his chest, running it over the Autobot insignia.

He wasn't the same anymore. When he'd reached out to the Quintessons he'd been misguided. Weak. Foolish.

Lugnut... would be easily coerced. Whatever the Quintessons promised him would probably be enough to sway his simple mind. Only Megatron's own word would dissuade him.

But would Lugnut still believe the word of Autobot Megatron? Would any Decepticon who had proclaimed loyalty with such ferocity?

Megatron had not kept track of Lugnut, losing contact sometime during the Surge. Megatron had become weary of Lugnut's constant (and inarticulate) praise and sent him off to attack an Autobot communications hub rather than join the push for Earth, and was glad to be rid of the voice, even if it was so loyal.

And now Megatron had to pay for that error. Banishing Lugnut to the depths of space had left a maniacal (and powerful) zealot for the Decepticon cause without the intelligence to resist the empty promises of former Decepticon business partners.

The past had come calling...

-

Arduria Surface

The Quintesson scientist Phaderus looked over the mine. The crystals were small, the total length of the vein still undetermined. But his Nihilicons were efficient miners, and meeting the Triumvirate's quota. For the first time in generations, his people were receiving real provisions they didn't have to alter and convert for mass consumption. They were mining two completely different strains of Energon: their own food supply from Arduria, and the fuel of their slaves from the Sol system. A perfectly implemented two-pronged energy project.

And the Triumvirate had blamed Phaedrus for the mess on Arduria... yet now, while the energon flowed in, no one had any complaints. Not when they could gorge themselves instead.

Soon their enemies would damage each other, and they could refocus a renewed war effort, using the weapons of the Cybertronians to rebuild their empire...

"Doctor Phaedrus: Perimeter alert. Spatial signature moving into the system."

Phaedrus activated the communicator on his datapad. "Understood. I will be en route to the bridge."

He looked out at the new Metrotitan entrusted to his care. Its predecessor hovered in the atmosphere above, a small white sun forging the new energon that would fuel the rebirth of the Quintesson Empire.

It was prematurely built, and had artificially aged as a result. It would not survive for billions of years; it would collapse in a few decades.

But things were happening quickly... and no matter how vast the galaxy was, without the Council or the Cybertronians in their way, the Quintessons would have the greatest empire in the cosmos.

-

The Lost Light- Bridge

Megatron sat down at the Captain's chair, feeling Rodimus burning a glare into the back of his head. He didn't allow himself to get comfortable: he expected to immediately react, and that feeling mingled with his own curiosity as to what the Quintessons had been up to in the millions of years since he'd last seen them.

"Commander, we are entering the Arduria system now," Mainframe reported from the helm.

"On screen," Megatron instructed to Hound, who drew up the image from his tactical station.

The entire bridge crew were left speechless at the sight of their view screen.

A planet... with a sun hovering in its atmosphere. The star of the system lingered in the background, but Arduria had a star of its own, illuminating a planet as barren and empty as an asteroid.

"Analysis," Megatron instructed after composing himself.

"The telemetry data we're receiving is completely inconsistent with what we knew," Perceptor reported from his terminal. "When Hardhead and Orion Pax last visited us* the data they provided us on Arduria described it as covered in ice."

"Did they report anything else?" Megatron inquired.

"Yes," Perceptor nodded grimly. "This planet was targeted by Shockwave with his Regenesis ore."

Megatron rose from his seat. "I need a landing party. Commander Magnus-"

"-can go with you this time," Rodimus finished. "Take whoever you want to bring."

"Not eager to visit this planet?" Megatron asked.

"Tired of chasing your ghosts," Rodimus replied. "Whatever you find on that rock, you'll just get us sidetracked and waste time digging up relics or fighting bounty hunters or something."

"I didn't realize you had difficulty indulging in minutiae," Megatron noted. "Considering your previous progress on this quest..."

"Suddenly I found a lot of incentive to find the Knights of Cybertron," Rodimus grumbled.

"Suit yourself," Megatron answered, leaving the Captain's chair. "Trailcutter, Mirage, Perceptor, report to the shuttle bay. You'll join Commander Magnus and myself for the away team."

"What is it about Trailcutter that prods you to bring him along?" Rodimus asked.

"He's defeated Lockdown and Lugnut before," Megatron answered. "The only other Cybertronian who can say that is myself."

Rodimus was speechless again.

-

Arduria Surface

Phaedrus observed the holographic schematic of the planet's atmosphere and watched the shuttle depart from the larger ship.

"A scouting party," Phaedrus noted. "We'll need to find some way to cut off their communications." He turned his attention to the Nihilicons, and their bulky leader.

"Are you ready for a fight?" he asked the bot at the forefront.

"Yes, Doctor," Lugnut intoned.

"Good. Go outside and punch the sun."

Lugnut lumbered away, while Phaedrus watched his schematic, integrating his datapad into the bridge controls.

The last time he'd pitted his Nihilicons against Cybertronian soldiers, his automatons had been ripped to shreds. He was eager to see just how improved his new Shell program really was...

... and then Phaedrus would take their corpses and increase the size of his army once again.




*Dark Cybertron Issue 1
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Re: More Than Meets the Eye: False Flags

Postby Henry921 » Sun Oct 19, 2014 5:52 am

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


Ultra Magnus had a spacious shuttle, if nothing else. It wasn't the most comfortable of ships, but accommodating a bot of Magnus's size (as well as room for a crew and a brig for at least two sizable prisoners) left plenty of space for a trimmer bot like Mirage to stretch, even on a short trip from the Lost Light to the barren rock with a star sticking out of it.

It was probably the weirdest thing he'd ever seen, but he didn't feel in awe. Perceptor was spouting off one theory after another about the phenomena, but Mirage didn't bother to listen. He knew all about things not fitting in with one's preconceived notions.

He glanced over at Trailcutter, looking about as cheery as he could without a drink in hand. Trailcutter... hadn't he been Trailblazer the other day? Or Trailbreaker? It was hard to keep track. Whatever his name was now, Trail... verber understood that sometimes strange things happened that science couldn't immediately explain. Things like a truck being able to create his own force field.

Or a speedster being able to turn invisible.

-

The Jhiaxian Academy, the past


"I've completed the diagnostic," Senator Shockwave explained, stepping past Mirage to a technical readout. "As per your request. I've yet to find any indication your cloak is in any way connected to your internal systems. There is no set mechanism."

"So you can't stop it?" Mirage asked.

"Short of placing you in stasis, I don't have any means of deactivating it," Shockwave explained. "You'll have to learn to live with it."

"What a waste of money," Mirage grumbled. "I donated to your little project specifically because-"

"-because you are an outlier," Shockwave interjected. "And like many before you, ingratiated with the Senate and their reverence for Functionist teachings. I'm guessing a socialite like yourself doesn't want to out himself in front of friends in such high places..."

Mirage had not expected to be cut to the quick... but this Shockwave was smarter than he looked. Smart and vain. Mirage could relate.

"I understand that fear," Shockwave continued, placing a hand on Mirage's shoulder. "Many of my students are not here because they intend to remain here indefinitely; only long enough to learn to control their powers. Most want nothing more than to fit in with the rest of society again."

"And you can't just... cure me?" Mirage pleaded.

"There's nothing wrong with you," Shockwave told him, about as flatly as someone so emotional could manage. "You have a gift. Adaptus blessed you with something truly unique."

"I don't feel blessed," Mirage muttered. "I feel... different. Not 'good' different. Not 'special' different. 'Out of place' different. 'Doesn't belong' different."

"The Functionists would have you believe that your alt mode dictates your place," Shockwave told him. "Those they subjugate, even those with millions of others sharing their form, would tell you 'everyone's shape serves a purpose. Outliers, too, have a purpose. They simply haven't found it yet.

"You, Mirage, will one day know why you are different, and you will embrace your gift. It's a part of you. Maybe even the very reason you exist."

-

Arduria, the present

"We've made planetfall, Captain," Magnus reported from the shuttle helm.

Megatron didn't miss a beat. "Perceptor, begin terrestrial analysis. Trailcutter, join me in securing a landing zone. Mirage, scout the settlement site. Reports every 100 meters. I want to measure the comm signal."

Mirage felt Megatron's request was a bit on the paranoid side -usually Mirage maintained radio silence when scouting- but complied. "Yes, Captain." He stepped out from the shuttle onto the barren rock, and once he established a good pace, switched to his vehicle mode and headed out over the terrain.

This was why he'd joined the Lost Light crew, Mirage thought. To explore the galaxy, both in search of the forerunners of his species, and to see the strange, new worlds untouched by the long civil war.

And perhaps when looking at worlds Cybertronians already visited... already drastically altered, he'd find a clue about the location of the Knights of Cybertron. Maybe the mad scientist Shockwave would have had some lost record of a stray flight signature, or a long lost holomatter recording.

"Nothing yet," Mirage muttered into his commlink.

Or perhaps he'd find some strange technology left behind that could expedite their quest.

"Still nothing," Mirage continued, the meters passing by in brief flashes as he reached his top speed. Not exactly Blurr, but faster than the average giant robot.

"Lotta rocks," he added, thinking he might punch up the conversation some. Unfortunately, Megatron didn't deign to respond.

There was another reason to join the quest: Megatron. Mirage had sympathized with the Decepticon cause, finding some sense of solidarity with their cry for equality and their criticisms of an undeniably corrupt Senate. He'd carefully directed some of his ample funds their way, ostensibly to provide for their rallies and improve their living conditions.

Only for Megatron to buy guns and hand one to every gladiator he could and take Kaon by force.

Disillusioned with the rebels turned oppressors, Mirage joined Optimus Prime when he rallied Cybertronians to retake Iacon*, but had considered it nothing more than a temporary, necessary alliance. He'd hoped once the battle ended he could part ways with the former lackey of the politicians.

But the war raged on. And didn't end. For four million years.

Pragmatists like Prowl and uncultured bruisers like Ironhide made him question his allegiance. Made him wonder if an Autobot victory would only restore the same ideologies he'd once fought against... really, he only fought alongside them because who they fought was even worse.

But now, Megatron was seeking redemption, or at least placing himself under Autobot supervision. It was a whole new world.

A world where a speedster who could turn invisible could explore the galaxy without having to swear allegiance to any one side when he agreed with neither.

"More rocks," Mirage added, hoping his deadpan dialogue was grating on Megatron a little. Guy was hard to read.

Maybe if he saw the size of some of these rocks-

-or the giant fortress emerging in the distance, surrounded by robots shambled together from other robots, dragging yellow crystals around.

Mirage immediately hit the brakes and transformed to robot mode. He concentrated, finding a suitable balance in his movement and calming his emotions; turning surprise and fear into motivation, to engage his body's natural defense mechanism. He felt the sensation as his body vanished from the visible spectrum, leaving the appearance of empty air where he stood.

He approached their encampment, observing the structure and its robot henchmen, appearing as miniscule dots beside the fortress.

"I've found the alien site," Mirage reported, hoping he was getting through. "There's some sort of mining going on."

"Mining?" Megatron repeated. "Of what?"

Mirage called upon his training, adjusting his optics yet keeping them cloaked as he looked towards the large hole the robots dragged their yellow crystals out of.

"Some kind of mineral," Mirage guessed. "Almost like raw energon crystals, but... a very garish yellow color."

"Hold your position," Megatron instructed. "We'll join you shortly."

"I'm waiting with baited breath," Mirage replied, looking down at the encampment, slowly unscoping his optics, pulling back from the mine the robots were collecting from...

...and seeing the brutish Lugnut walking right towards his position, leading a group of bigger cobbled together robots.

"Uh, Captain? Magnus?" Mirage called. "The bruiser's here."

"Lugnut?" Magnus chimed in.

"He's coming right at me," Mirage explained. "And I don't think he's bearing gifts."

"Do not let him see you," Megatron immediately commanded.

"Oh, you needn't worry, Captain," Mirage told him. "Not being seen is my specialty."

-

Iacon, before the uprising in Kaon

Mirage glanced up at the heavy loader before he delivered the second punch. He was floored, and the impact jostled loose one of the fuel lines in his mouth, causing him to spit up energon.

"You were warned, socialite," Senator Decimus told him from behind his enforcer. "You were funding the wrong side of this war."

"There... is no war," Mirage replied, before he was hoisted up by the heavy. "And where I send my Shanix isn't your business, Senator."

"It is if you want me to bite my tongue," Decimus told him. "I offered you a chance to fund my causes, and pledged to keep sending support to that little clinic Shockwave abandoned. Instead you sought to send your money to those ghastly miners on Luna 2."

"They needed it more than you did," Mirage told him. "More than the Senate... or I did."

"Well, I don't like those who can't honor a simple agreement," Decimus spat. "I rather need to teach you a lesson about it."

He waved his hand, and his heavy slammed Mirage to the ground again. Mirage felt a joint dislodge in his shoulder.

"You attended that academy you keep trying to fund, didn't you? I'd think you'd learn something... even at a school for freaks," Decimus mocked.

"I learned a lot then," Mirage told him. "I learned... everything I was capable of, and what I could do to use it."

Right before his optics, Decimus watched Mirage vanish. His heavy lackey immediately grabbed blindly in search, but grasped only empty air.

And Decimus felt an arm wrap around his neck and squeeze.

"Here's what's gonna happen now," Mirage told him, still completely invisible. "You call off your grunt. You make a sizable donation to the Jhiaxian academy before you head back to Luna 2. You do it today."

Decimus was trying to call on his lackey's aid, but Mirage's grip on his throat left him uttering nothing.

"And if you don't, if you disappoint me, I'll come to your chambers and take every last shanix you have," Mirage assured him. "You won't see me come; you won't know when I'm gone. You want an arrangement with me? Do what I say or you'll never feel safe again."

Mirage relaxed his grip and kicked Decimus in the back, dropping the Senator to the ground, his oversized cape falling on the rich fool's head.

"And maybe after you feel fear for the first time in your life... maybe then you'll know why I gave what I could for their sake."

Decimus was already shouting orders to his lackey, but Mirage was gone in an instant. Decimus could only impotently shout his displeasure.

Mirage had outed his abilities, and quite possibly made a very powerful political enemy. But that didn't matter. He'd used his powers to help the less fortunate, with the added bonus of humiliating someone wielding his power and status only for his own advancement.

And that was a great reason to exist.



*Transformers: Autocracy
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Re: More Than Meets the Eye: False Flags

Postby Henry921 » Wed Oct 29, 2014 6:29 am

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


Observing Arduria's topography from within Magnus's shuttle, Perceptor contrasted the intel now appearing before him with Optimus Prime's report on the planet and what little he and Jetfire had pieced together of Shockwave's notes following his death on Cybertron. Much of the data Shockwave had left behind was destroyed by the singularity caused by his chronal drive, but a few fragments had been recovered from Jhiaxus's ship, and added to the Autobots' shared pool of knowledge. Megatron had also suggested Soundwave may have intercepted some of Shockwave's data, but he'd disappeared and ended the Decepticon's brief alliance with the Autobots.* With what intel he could gathere, Perceptor had learned that Ore-6 on Arduria had altered the planet's thermodynamic properties, effectively preventing natural heat emissions from the core and distorting the atmosphere to the point it could not retain or capture warmth from the yellow giant star. The gases that covered the planet had been expunged, leaving only the exposed rocky core, now warmed by its own dwarf star on the planet's own surface.

Were the situation less grave and the danger less pressing, Perceptor would be ecstatic to study such a planet. A gas giant that once teemed with life, both organic and technological, converted into a frozen world, then broken down into a barren core with a sun tied to its surface. The sheer number of improbabilities were enough to make him skeptical, but his own optics and readings gave life to the miracle of science.

It reminded him why he wanted to be a scientist; the thrill of discovery and the appreciation for the beauty of the universe and the way changes could alter one's perceptions and beliefs. Bearing witness to the changes in the universe and recording it for history was the dream of many scientists.

Such opportunities were all too rare in war, where each scientific discovery was dismissed out of hand and doomed to be catalogued and lost in a sea of more pressing reports. Only discoveries with practical military considerations could be brought to bear, and only the most crucial ever reached Jetfire (and through him, Optimus). For four million years Perceptor had documented new fauna and witnessed incredible feats of chemistry, and yet he spent far more of his time improving the efficiency in heat sinks and trying to increase radar range for the Autobot communications hub.

And now, of course, he'd spent more time learning how to shoot efficiently, his perspective so very different from before. Where once he'd abhorred violence, now he'd done a brief stint as a full fledged Wrecker, aiding a covert ops unit both as their technical expert and as their marksman.

He didn't regret changing his focus. He didn't mind becoming more rounded, but part of his increased militarization was borne of despair; the belief that his scientific pursuits had lost their value and their joy after a war without end.

Yet now the war had ended, and Perceptor could be a scientist again. He could go explore the galaxy with friends and comrades, able to use his gun and his scanners in equal measure.

"Perceptor, Mirage has found Lugnut's encampment," Megatron called over the commlink. "We're moving out to rendezvous."

Perceptor was in no hurry to finish his analysis, but complied. "Yes, Captain; I'll be right out."

"Double time," Megatron commanded, before abruptly ending the call. Perceptor gave a weary sigh and downloaded the relevant data from the shuttle scanners to his HUD before heading to the ramp to exit.

Under Megatron's command. That he had not expected.

Prowl once told him that he'd developed a grudging respect for the Decepticons' order and cohesion**, and Perceptor witnessed it first hand. Megatron had the same charisma -the same strength and stature- that Optimus possessed that made following his command feel not only logical, but natural. His force of personality overwhelmed so many of the crew, that many of them now felt they were eager supporters of the bot who had once been their worst and most dangerous enemy.

Some were just in a hurry to find the Knights of Cybertron and get a good seat for his execution, but that was to be expected. War embittered some.

Perceptor was glad he could return from it still knowing he enjoyed the life he'd known before it.

-

"The Cybertronians? Again?" the Triumvir asked, his projection increasing in size before Phaedrus, as though to unequivocally demonstrate the judge's outrage.

"Yes," Phaedrus confirmed. "A scouting party has made landfall on the planet."

"Have they discovered the mining operation?" the Triumvir inquired.

"Not yet," Phaedrus answered. "According to our readings they've only just now assembled and departed their ship."

"We cannot allow them to discover our operation," the Triumvir told him. His face shifted to his second mask, the face of bitterness. "I recommend an immediate withdrawal of our forces from the system with whatever resources you can acquire. We must not allow the Cybertronians to interfere with our timetable."

"Your excellency, I need more time," Phaedrus requested. "I've barely touched this supply, and at least six more seams remain elsewhere on the planet."

The Triumvir's face spun once more, moving back to his first mask, the face of doubt. "Do you need to be reminded of how your last excursion went once the Cybertronians became involved?"

Phaedrus tried his best not to brush off the subtle insult. "My liege, I have no desire to attack them myself. I merely intend for our Cybertronian agent to divert their attention, if not batter them into retreat. Very few Cybertronians lack the sheer physical power of Lugnut."

The Triumvir's face remained static. "I expect a report in one megacycle that you have left the system. The moment you are overdue, Doctor, I will hold you in contempt."

Phaedrus bowed his head. "You are a gracious audience, my liege."

Phaedrus turned his attention back to his instruments, only to find a report from his Nihilicon miners, unanswered at his terminal.

"Report," Phaedrus coldly instructed.

"Primary... objective..." the Nihilicon strained to speak, its limited processor barely able to string together a statement. "Located... 400 meters..."

Phaedrus immediately took notice. "I'm asserting manual control. Prepare for conditional stand down."

The Nihilicon complied and entered stasis, before Phaedrus assumed manual control, driving the sparkless drone himself, his screen displaying its optics and HUD.

There he saw it; a broken, frosted over metal door. Its hinges had rusted and cracked from the moisture, and water pooled on the ground before it, but it had remained intact.

Phaedrus had once believed that Shockwave was specifically targeting worlds visited by the Quintessons themselves, until he remembered the myths once taught by their creator. That once the Quintessons had been expelled from Cybertron, their enemies had united under a single ruler and the former lords of the thirteen tribes had left their homes in one way or another, and built their burial places on the worlds they ruled in compensation for their loss.

And though Phaedrus had intended to return to Arduria only to recover Shockwave's technology and gather what energy his star had created, his motives became more oblique the longer his mining operation had gone on. Seven seams of crystal connected to a single point on the planet. Phaedrus had initially thought it might be prudent to centralize operations there, to most efficiently strip mine.

But further digging had unearthed specimens of the planet's dominant species, which according to the Galactic Council codex had been the Ardurian Roc, a curious species both organic and technological.

Like the Quintessons themselves... and like their creator.

Before Shockwave sterilized Arduria, it had been teeming with life, and generated boundless energy. Energy Shockwave had then harvested and poured into Cybertron, right from within that point where Phaedrus's Nihilicons now dug.

The source of the planet's energy... the place of both Phaedrus' and Shockwave's experiments... the birthplace of the Ardurian roc and the core of the Quintesson's operations...

...and the tomb of one of the leaders of the thirteen tribes.

Phaedrus could not afford to abandon the planet now. Not yet. He input a new command code, and his Nihilicons ceased mining operations, all of them not assigned to follow Lugnut moving to attack the door's hinges.

Phaedrus knew it would be behind that door... and would be worth whatever reprimand awaited him. Because once he held it and presented it before the leaders of his empire, the Quintessons would dominate not only the galaxy but all of creation.

And all that stood in the way would soon be eliminated by his unwitting Decepticon pawn...

-

Trailcutter led the convoy, with Megatron and Perceptor centered, and Ultra Magnus bringing up the rear. It made Perceptor uncomfortable to be so close to Megatron, but he tried to rationalize that as his own personal failing, rather than suspicion allowed to fester for millions of years.

"My analysis suggests that the intervention of Shockwave's Regenesis missile-" Perceptor began, but Megatron very abruptly cut him off.

"Provide a full report for me later," the Captain instructed. "Unless this is immediately relevant, I want you prepped for combat; not informing me of history."

It was disheartening, but Perceptor couldn't fault his logic, and so complied. They traveled in silence, moving ever closer to Mirage's position...

... and saw it in the distance. Not merely a fortress, but a Metrotitan in city mode, planted beside the dwarf star and a large mining operation.

Again he was agog with scientific glee, but his hopes to analyze were abruptly squashed. "Transform," Megatron instructed. "Battle positions!"

His comrades had already shifted, and so Perceptor followed suit, moving from his half-track expeditionary vehicle to robot mode, pulling out his sniper rifle and getting a better view of the mining site.

Almost immediately, he saw trouble in his path, as the burly Lugnut approached, leading a force of strange, cobbled together robots towards their position.

Megatron waved his hand and stepped forward. "Move to flanking positions," he instructed. "Keep your eyes on his subordinates and leave Lugnut to me."

Trailcutter and Ultra Magnus headed out, while Perceptor moved back, keeping his rifle scoped as Megatron stepped towards Lugnut and his allies.

Allies Perceptor could scarcely believe... Cybertronian parts mish-mashed together into horrific abominations, some wearing multiple faction symbols, some with no distinctive markings at all. Some without optics, some with only a single functioning arm, some with legs, some with treads, some as tall as Lugnut himself and one shorter than Tailgate. What were these monstrosities?

There was the downside to science. Some discoveries were far less beautiful to behold.





* Dark Cybertron
** All Hail Megatron Issue 15
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Re: More Than Meets the Eye: False Flags

Postby Henry921 » Thu Dec 11, 2014 3:36 am

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


Phaedrus observed the two monitors before him; one the tomb, the other Lugnut's crimson optic. He was obsessed with breaking down the metal door guarding his prize, but not so consumed that he couldn't spare attention to Lugnut and -more pressingly- Megatron, the leader of the Decepticons, walking right towards him.

Only Megatron... wore an Autobrand. His allies, slowly dispersing behind him, included Ultra Magnus, the sole Autobot the Galactic Council respected.

Lugnut's mental processes, previously barely a footnote to the shell program, threatened to overwhelm Phaedrus's control mechanism. His brain module patterns went from steady to frantic, as his simple mind failed to comprehend what he saw.

Phaedrus frantically tried to reassert control, finally turning attention away from the underground tomb. He needed Lugnut to maintain some composure in the face of this, to maintain the deception of his command.

To Lugnut... however, his mind wasn't sophisticated enough to dwell in despair and confusion. It turned to anger and betrayal, as his sense of loss morphed into volcanic rage.

That, at least, Phaedrus could use...

-

Trailcutter watched from Megatron's left as Lugnut ambled forward, keeping an eye on his hulking fists. He'd had the good fortune to not tangle with Lugnut aboard the Lost Light when he invaded alongside Lockdown*, and was in no hurry to try it now. He'd had the good luck to avoid combat most of his military career, and hoped to keep that streak up.

But those monstrous, unfinished, cobbled together bots flanking Lugnut... those weren't things that'd be open to a thoughtful discussion. At best they were very quiet scavengers, and at worst, the dead rebuilt somehow. Trailcutter could've really used a drink.

Magnus was calmer, waiting behind his Captain and drawing a bead on Lugnut. He had fought Lugnut before... or at least the Magnus armor had. His gravity fist had broken the chassis. No matter his insignificant brain power: he was a juggernaut, and not to be underestimated.

Megatron stopped walking, maintaining solid distance from his former subordinate, leaving a stretch of barren rock between them.

"Hello, Lugnut," Megatron greeted, with uncharacteristic trepidation. "Did you not receive the order to stand down and return home?"

Lugnut did not reply. His frame was shaking. His single optic gave him little room for emotional expression, but he was pretty clearly enraged.

"The war is over," Megatron told him, a little more firmly. "And what you've done now threatens all Cybertronians. Someone is manipulating you, and you need to tell me why you've gone along with this madness."

Lugnut did not answer, his fist clenching tightly.

"I am not your commander anymore," Megatron told him. "But you have to stop this, for the sake of Cybertron."

Behind the curtain, Phaedrus relaxed his grip... and let Lugnut speak his simple mind.

"You betrayed us," Lugnut intoned. "You abandoned us."

Megatron lowered his head. "Yes, I did. Because I no longer believe what I fought for was right. I no longer believe there's any reason to fight against each other.

"Our war destroyed most of our species, and eliminated millions more with each planet my Infiltration protocol consumed," Megatron continued. "And we gained nothing. We only bathed in each others' blood and let hatred and fear define who we were.

"I understand why you fight," Megatron told him. "I understand your anger. But you can be more than that. You can leave it behind and move on without it. You don't have to let all your anger consume you the way it did me."

"You betrayed us," Lugnut repeated. "You abandoned us."

Megatron pressed on. "The Autobots showed me that any Cybertronian could prove his worth, regardless of his strength or stature. We can find a place for you, Lugnut. On my ship. Or back on Cybertron. Or on Earth. Peace has finally come, and we can finally do whatever we wish with it."

"You betrayed us. You abandoned us."

"I don't regret that," Megatron assured him.

"You betrayed me. You abandoned me!" Lugnut finally raised his voice over his hollow intone. "You had finally won... and then you died, and then you left me to rot! And then left me to the Autobots, left me to Overlord, left me to Lockdown... left me to the squids!"

"Squids?" Megatron repeated, but was abruptly cut off by Lugnut's rant.

"You joined the Autobots!" Lugnut raged at him, "You...you..." His mind searched for further statement. He went through his history again, from the Surge failing and Megatron's reported death, to his imprisonment, to Overlord sacking Garrus-9, to Lockdown recruiting him... "Do you remember nothing?!"

"I remember which squad I assigned you to, and that your mission failed," Megatron told him. "Beyond that-"

"You abandoned me even before you put on that brand!" Lugnut roared. "I believed in you!"

Lugnut finally acted, deploying his gravity fist. Magnus immediately drew his rifle and fired on him. The bruiser rushed past and swung at Megatron.

And for the first time in battle with a subordinate... Megatron faltered.

The blow drove Megatron back, much to Lugnut's surprise. The bruiser was emboldened and pressed his attack. Megatron drew a battle pistol and fired at Lugnut, only to watch each energy bolt bounce off his armor.

"I can't believe I believed in you," Lugnut snarled. "Abandoning us made you weak!"

Magnus moved to intervene, only to narrowly avoid another blaster bolt, as the shambling, cobbled together minions rolled towards him to support their leader.

-

Phaedrus instilled a simple command into the shell program to agitate Lugnut further, and let his Cybertronian commander do the rest. He finally turned his attention back to the second screen, and saw his Nihilicons still assaulting the door handles... with the door on the ground.

Phaedrus issued the command for them to stop, narrowly avoiding the group beating one of their own to reach the metal door. He assumed manual control and turned attention to the now open interior of the tomb, ordering his Nihilicons towards a forgotten casket at the center of the underground room.

Six of his Nihilicons moved the roof of the casket aside and exposed its contents, briefly obscured by a cloud of dust and ash. Tucked under the withered arm of the long dead Prime was his prize.

"Bring it to me," Phaedrus ordered. "And board the ship... our destiny awaits."





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Re: More Than Meets the Eye: False Flags

Postby Henry921 » Thu Dec 25, 2014 7:26 am

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


Lugnut did not comprehend everything Megatron said, but the bruiser hung on his leader's every word. Someone who shared his background but had been blessed by Adaptus with intelligence and charisma had brought Lugnut into his inner circle and given him a new sense of purpose. Megatron had quite literally saved Lugnut's life, and he'd never been happier in his life. Even battling against the Autobots and struggling for his life and seeing other friends die in the line of duty, he was happy. The dull monotony he'd always known had been replaced by the thrill of battle and the acknowledgement of his leader as a valuable asset. He showered Megatron with genuine and effusive praise, and believed Megatron would save Cybertron from the corruption of the Senate and the Autobots. Lugnut had every reason to believe that: Megatron had saved him, and many others of the lower castes, and given them purpose and rewarded them for their loyal service. It had given Lugnut reason to live. Megatron had given Lugnut the gift of life itself.

Megatron, for his part, kept sending Lugnut to the front lines and entrusting him with important missions in hope the Kaon Crusher would finally be brought down by overwhelming Autobot numbers. Though Megatron had initially been flattered by Lugnut's praise and still placed some value on his loyalty, Lugnut became less and less useful as the war dragged on, as his immense energy requirements made protracted battle impossible, and his comments grated on Megatron's patience. Megatron saw Lugnut as having served his purpose, and his loyalty was less valuable when he had more competent, more intelligent, and equally loyal sub-commanders like Soundwave and Razorclaw to coordinate his plans. Megatron was eagerly awaiting the day he received a report of Lugnut's demise and news of the loss of an Autobot squad; dying in a blaze of glory.

But Lugnut failed to die, and then lost any sense of hope once he'd heard Megatron had died. Both of them ended up unhappy.

Megatron mused on the road he'd taken as he dodged another missile from Lugnut's shoulder cannon and moved in to fire at his exposed eye. Even in his vulnerable point, Lugnut shrugged off the weak blasts of Megatron's battle pistol and raged after him. Megatron drew back and dodged another swing, trying to draw the fight closer to his comrades.

However, upon moving closer as he retreated along the barren soil, Megatron saw his shipmates being overwhelmed by a swarm of cobbled-together robots. Trailcutter was keeping them at bay with his force field while Perceptor fired on them, and Ultra Magnus was tearing a path through them. The robots seemed slow and ineffectual, but they vastly outnumbered Megatron and his team, and the piling of corpses on the edge of Trailcutter's force field were wearing them down.

Megatron normally had no reason to retreat from battle: any Autobot short of Optimus Prime in his path was cut down and he moved on. But the poison he swallowed had left him brittle, and whatever the shortcomings in his personality, Lugnut was a powerful warrior.

"Ultra Magnus," Megatron called. "I suggest we switch battle positions."

Magnus replied with his fist, stepping in and punching Lugnut away from Megatron, finally putting a dent in the bruiser's chassis. Lugnut grunted as Magnus pressed his attack, delivering a second punch to Lugnut's stomach, the Kaon Crusher doubling over.

Finally pulled out from Lugnut's onslaught, Megatron stepped to Perceptor's side and began firing on the horde, his pistol proving far more effective against the frail bots.

Trailcutter was clearly straining to hold up his forcefield, so Megatron shifted focus and began brushing away the scrap metal littering the exterior of his bubble, firing blind with a free hand into the horde, leaving Perceptor to cover his flank.

Ultra Magnus continued to gain ground against Lugnut for several more seconds, driving him back with one jarring blow after another... until the crusher activated his gravity fist, and swung it to meet Magnus's own hand. The resulting blast engulfed both combatants in a ball of flame, and the shock waves struck Trailcutter and drove him into the dirt, his force field collapsing.

Megatron turned his attention back to Lugnut, as he tossed Magnus out of the way and resumed his attack.

"You betrayed me!" Lugnut roared. "Why?!"

Given his current state, Megatron opted to try using his head instead of his fists.

"I wanted you to die." Megatron stated simply.

Lugnut stopped in his tracks.

"I felt the Decepticons no longer needed you," Megatron told him. "So I sent you on one suicide mission after another, hoping you'd finally be gone. Hoping you'd die for the cause.

"But there is no cause anymore," Megatron continued. "The Decepticons still fighting the Autobots continue to fight a war with no purpose. They kill their fellow Cybertronians for no benefit.

"I wear this badge now," Megatron added, pointing to his chest, "because I am tired of seeing Cybertronians kill each other. I once believed that there was something to be gained from war; now I'm uncertain it's possible for anyone to win a war once it starts."

Lugnut was perplexed. "You wanted... me to die..."

"Yes," Megatron nodded. "I don't want you to be part of my life. I haven't for millions of years. But I don't want you to die anymore. I want you to start again. I want you to find a purpose without harming anyone."

Lugnut slumped forward. "You... the Decepticons... you... only reason... only reason I lived."

"It doesn't have to be that way," Megatron told him. "We don't have to fight each other. We don't have to live for the battle or define ourselves by the war. We can be more."

"That isn't what I want!" Lugnut roared back at him. "The Decepticons... you... were everything to me!"

Lugnut swung at Megatron again. In his weakened state, Megatron knew he'd be too slow to draw his pistol...

...but Lugnut's optic was struck by another blaster bolt. He stalled. He tried to press the attack, but his arms were pulled back as Ultra Magnus pulled him from behind. A force field drew up in Lugnut's path and he was struck from multiple angles.

Mirage finished re-materializing, weapon brandished and smoking. Trailcutter lifted from the dirt, pushing forward, hand extended to maintain his force field. Megatron caught on and joined Trailcutter in a charge, and both slammed into Lugnut alongside Magnus dragging him down, the three slamming him into the barren soil.

Magnus adjusted position and fired a shoulder missile right at Lugnut's face. The explosion broke through his armor and exposed his brain module. From 30 meters away Perceptor drew a bead and fired his sniper shot, chipping the exposed circuits. Lugnut tried to rise, but slowly fell back, his gears turning as he drifted towards stasis lock.

"You... abandoned me..." Lugnut muttered as his voice trailed off.

Megatron had little time for irreverence, and turned his attention back to the horde. He, Mirage, and Magnus refocused their efforts and shot at them. The bots continued to press the attack, but moved in an unchanging line, eager to march into their synchronized gunfire. Slowly but surely their numbers dwindled. Perceptor and Trailcutter joined their comrades, and the five Autobots finally repelled the attackers, reducing their number to a paltry dozen.

Just as their victory seemed complete, another shock wave blasted them backwards as the Metrotitan's city mode shifted to starship mode and began ascending.

"Perceptor, Magnus," Megatron called, "try to get a trace on it before it-"

But in that moment, the Titan engaged its space bridge, and disappeared in a flash of blue light.

Megatron turned his attention back to the shambling bots, still trying to attack, even after the wave knocked them over and their treads pointed uselessly in the air.

"Fascinating specimens," Perceptor noted.

Megatron kept his concerns to himself. "Undoubtedly. If you can safely acquire a specimen Perceptor, feel free. Ultra Magnus, Trailcutter..." he turned his attention to the stasis locked Lugnut. "...let's see if we can get this one before the Council."

-

The Kuiper Belt

"Incoming transmission," came the call of an adjutant on the Metrotitan bridge.

"Set up the display," the nearest Triumvir instructed, his two colleagues crowding around the holographic setup and the display of Phaedrus on his own ship's bridge. "Doctor, I hope you have a sound reason for being overdue."

Phaedrus was silent for several seconds, staring at something clutched in his tendril.

"Doctor?" another Triumvir asked.

"My liege, I thought Shockwave seeded the planet and tainted our ores to specifically target us," Phaedrus stated. "But I was wrong. The gas giant Arduria was touched by our forerunner Quintus, and the Rocs created by his hand."

"Mythology," barked one of the Triumvirate. "Legends and hearsay."

"I once believed that," Phaedrus nodded. "I believed in science, not myth. I believed we evolved into our techno-organic perfection. I did not accept Quintus as anything more than an ancestor, and dismissed the legends out of hand.

"But then I found the tomb... and then I saw this." He held up the object in his tendril.

"Impossible..." a Triumvir gasped.

"At the center of the seams was Quintus's tomb," Phaedrus explained, hoisting a small chunk of green rock. "And there, my Nihilicons found the key to siring techno-organic life. They brought me the genesis of our species..."

"The Emberstone."
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Re: More Than Meets the Eye: False Flags

Postby Henry921 » Thu Jan 22, 2015 8:10 am

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



Neutral Space, Three Days Later


"Captain, we've reached the coordinates," Mainframe called from the bridge.

Megatron briefly activated his commlink. "Allow Commander Magnus to do the talking. I'll be down shortly to escort the prisoner." He returned his attention to Perceptor and the scattered remains of the Cybertronian drone on his examining table. "Anything?"

"No residual spark energy," Perceptor answered, his right optic flickering as he scanned the remains. "Several different Cybertronians bound together, of similar build and size, though no singular cohesive alt-modes. Sufficient innermost energon, but separate power sources to regulate the flow between the spark chamber and T-cog. Fuel pump shows significant corrosion, and most curiously..." Perceptor opened the head casing, exposing several devices cobbled together in a horribly engorged skull. "... several brain modules in a single specimen."

"Same as Lugnut," Megatron noted.

"Exactly," Perceptor confirmed. "Whoever did this understood our physiology well; they compensated for the lack of mental capacity by programming multiple command routines into the skull, each confined to a single module to prevent from overwhelming the system. I doubt they could perform any particularly complex functions, but for basic tasks..." He allowed the sentiment to hang.

"And who, exactly, has this degree of knowledge about Cybertronian biology?" Megatron inquired.

Perceptor mulled it over. "Ratchet, Pharma, Shockwave, Thunderwing... one with an alibi, and three long dead."

"Not that long dead," Megatron replied. "Shockwave targeted Arduria as one of his Regenesis worlds..." He let the thought hang. He'd let Perceptor draw his own conclusion rather than complete the lie. A half-truth would give the scientist plenty to work with.

"I'll see if I can find any connection from what we've learned from his files," Perceptor replied earnestly. "I'll make sure we have a countermeasure ready should we encounter this technology again."

"Good," Megatron nodded. "I'll leave you to it, then."

Megatron stepped out of Perceptor's lab and headed to the shuttle bay, passing by Rung in the hall, deep in conversation with Crosscut. The psychiatrist was expecting Megatron for an evaluation in a few days...

Megatron put the thought out of his mind and focused on his task, stepping past his two crewmates and moving towards the shuttle, where Cyclonus and Skids stood guard over their prisoner.

"Hello, Lugnut," Megatron greeted.

What followed would not be pleasant.

-

"Commander, we're being hailed," Hound informed Magnus from his tactical station.

"On screen," Magnus instructed, rising to sit at attention in the captain's chair.

The Lost Light's viewscreen lit up, revealing another council captain, flanked by several heavily-armed men.

"I am Captain Descort of the Divine Light, representing the Galactic Council," he greeted, seeming tense. "Are you the Ultra Magnus who requested this parley?"

"Yes," Magnus confirmed. "We've found Commander Lugnut and wish to turn him over to the Council to face justice."

Descort seemed tentative. "We'll need you to deactivate your weapons and allow us to perform a system sweep. I'm sure you understand we have some... concerns."

"Take your time," Magnus replied. "We're happy to comply with the Council's request on this matter."

"Be aware, Ultra Magnus, were it any other Cybertronian contacting our fleet..." Descort let the threat hang.

"Hopefully we'll have this matter resolved," Magnus replied. "So those tensions can subside."

"Hopefully," Descort replied. "We will contact you again once we've finished our scan. Divine Light out."

Magnus watched the screen flicker and the transmission cut. "Hold us here," Magnus instructed Mainframe at the helm. "No movements. Boost shield power to compensate for debris. I don't want even the slightest hint of provocation."

Mainframe nodded and held the ship stationary. Magnus remained upright and alert, waiting...

-

"Autobot Megatron," Lugnut greeted, with uncharacteristic deadpan.

"Gentlemen, take a moment to recharge," Megatron instructed. "I'll monitor the prisoner until he's approved for transfer."

Once Cyclonus and Skids took their leave (and were safely well out of earshot) Megatron leaned closer. "Did you know who you were working for?"

Lugnut did not reply, staring ahead, single optic focused forward, expression unreadable.

"Do you recall anything of the technology they used to control you?" Megatron inquired.

Lugnut sat still.

Megatron changed tact. "Do you intend to tell the council what you've done? Will you admit to the crimes you committed?"

Lugnut just sat there.

"I suppose it doesn't matter," Megatron noted. "You revealed yourself to them. Your presence will matter far more than any words you speak."

Still Lugnut was stoic and silent.

"If you have nothing else to say, I'll leave you to your fate."

As Megatron turned to head away from the restrained Lugnut and his shuttle, the Kaon Crusher stated again: "You abandoned me."

"Yes," Megatron confirmed, not turning to face him. "I moved on."

"Before that," Lugnut replied, tone still quiet, lacking his typical bombast. "During the Surge. You chose to leave me behind... even when you still believed in the Decepticon cause."

"You outlived your usefulness," Megatron told him. "My plan would've eventually seen the elimination of more volatile elements from my faction anyway*. If you'd made it to Earth and joined the bulk of my forces, you'd have been destroyed."

"I pledged loyalty to you," Lugnut told him. "I gave my life to you."

Megatron still did not turn. "You wasted your life, Lugnut. You... I wish I could say you could've done more, but the way things played out, there really wasn't any other way things could've ended for you. I am sorry."

"Sorry?" Lugnut repeated. "The mighty Megatron deigns to apologize? When did you become so weak?" His expression finally changed into a sneer. "Maybe choosing to abandon so many of your followers drained the mighty Megatron of his strength. Maybe, in the end... you weren't powerful because of your own strength, but because you had to show off for us."

"Believe what you want," Megatron told him. "Just tell the council the truth when they ask."

"Happily," Lugnut answered, returning to a deadpan tone. "History will be kinder to me than to you. At least I brought glory to our race."

"Glory," Megatron repeated. "You still believe that?"

"The Decepticons still exist," Lugnut told him. "And I survived your plotting and your treachery. That means I'm strong."

>>"Captain, the Council has approved the prisoner transfer. They're awaiting delivery."<<

"I'm setting the shuttle to autopilot now," Megatron replied. "I'll be sending them the prisoner shortly."

Megatron stepped away from Lugnut to the rear of the shuttle bay to a console, inputting instructions for Lugnut's departure.

"I'm glad you're proud of who you are," Megatron told him. "I'm glad you can die happy."

Lugnut's stoic expression broke for a smug smile.

"But my life will matter more to me than my death," Megatron told him. "I'll do more with it without trying to destroy those weaker than myself. My goal was always peace.

"And to you, Lugnut... I take solace knowing you'd never have lived to see it anyway."

Lugnut's smug assurance turned to rage as he struggled in his binds, only to disappear as the shuttle door closed, cutting him off from sight. Megatron stepped out of the hangar as Lugnut's shuttle headed away towards the long arm of the Council's law.

"I've sent the good commander Lugnut on his way," Megatron informed Hound. "Tell Commander Magnus I'll relieve him in two breems; I need to stop by my quarters."

"Understood, Captain."

Megatron was silent for several cycles as he stepped into his quarters and sat on his recharge slab, staring into space, lost in thought.

For now, the crisis had been averted... or so he hoped. But the Quintessons had continued their schemes, and advanced quite a bit since they'd last carefully manipulated him. Perhaps they'd even co-opted and integrated Shockwave's plans, giving them access to even more powerful technology and a variety of resources...

"Quintessons," Megatron snarled in little more than a breath.

A breath that did not go unnoticed by the master of stealth, Ravage, listening under Megatron's bed.

-

Ultra Magnus waited for several moments after their shuttle docked with the Divine Light and the prisoner was taken into council custody. The nano-kliks seemed to crawl as he waited for an update...

Descort sent a hail and appeared on his viewscreen. "Commander Magnus," he greeted. "Thank you for this smooth transaction."

"Will this appease the Council?" Magnus asked.

"You provided us the war criminal, as we requested," Descort answered. "We do not hold your race responsible for the actions of an individual. However, be aware, several of our member species lost friends and delegates at the Galactic Games. Some have even withdrawn membership over this attack. There will be several more quadrants of space hostile to you now."

"More hostile you mean," Mainframe observed quietly.

"Thank you, Captain," Magnus loudly interjected. "Please pass our regards to the Council and reiterate our commitment to continued non-aggression."

"Of course," Descort replied. "Divine Light out."

His viewscreen turned off and Magnus watched the advance of space, as the Divine Light detached their shuttle and began its departure from the system, leaving their empty shuttle unscathed.

"Bring our ship in," Magnus instructed. "Then bring us back to our prior heading."

-

Hours passed. One the Lost Light was down to minimal staff, the master of stealth sent his report.

The Autobot Brainstorm left so many devices just lying around, and never seemed to notice when they went missing. It was only too easy for Ravage to send a signal from Brainstorm's workshop, then remove the evidence after the fact, placing the communicator near some unfortunately malfunctioning weapon and allowing nature to take its course.

Sending the message to his master... his friend.

The message that there was something out there Megatron feared.

-

Earth, several days later

"Galvatron," Soundwave called to his leader. "I've received a report from one of my sentries.

"Does the name 'Quintessons' mean anything to you?"






*All Hail Megatron Issue #11
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Re: More Than Meets the Eye: False Flags

Postby Henry921 » Thu Feb 05, 2015 4:50 am

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


Galactic Council Conference

"The witness will repeat the last statement for the record."

Lugnut sat motionless before his captors.

"Repeat your statement, Decepticon."

Lugnut glared at the holographic projections of the council. "Megatron now wears the badge of the Autobots. He has betrayed us."

The holograms vanished, leaving Lugnut in the dark while the council conferred among themselves.

"How convenient the Autobots neglected to mention this during their parley with Captain Descort... this provides entirely adequate pretense for war," mused a Councilor.

"War that the Autobots averted with a gesture of good faith," said another. "War we cannot support... publicly."

"But we've been preparing for regime change all along, and this new intel provides justification after the fact," one war hungry councilor ached.

"If the Cybertronians have a new leader installed, it cannot be at our hand," his colleague councilor reminded. "Instead, we must use a proxy..." Between the holograms of the councilors they drew up a map of their aligned star systems, including Nalva, and the devastated planet. "The Arcadroids have left our sphere of influence and seek to harm Cybertronian interests... they have the political will, they only lack sufficient weaponry to do so."

"We have been meaning to decommission several of our older vessels," the war hungry councilor noted. "We could offer them to the Nalva system in compensation for their losses, and as a gesture of continued cooperation after their departure."

"Everybody wins."

"What of the Decepticon?" one cautious councilor inquired.

"He's a war criminal," his colleague answered. "We eliminate him for all our members to see."


-

The Kuiper Belt


The Imperial Triumvirate waited in conference, before their lingering Metrotitan finally jumped into the system. They had only to wait a few moments to wait for the radiation from the space bridge discharge to dissipate until they heard from their subordinate, transmitting his hologram to them.

"Dr. Phaedrus, welcome back," greeted a triumvir. "I trust you have our prize?"

Phaedrus held up the Emberstone in his tendril. "I still have to commence further analysis, but I have already measured the energy it continues to emit. It is still functional, and it need only be seeded in a suitable locale."

"Earth," one triumvir stated.

"Yes," Phaedrus agreed. "The planet has sufficient biodiversity to allow a myriad of experimentation. We will easily be able to forge a second generation from the most powerful local fauna."

"There is the matter of the Decepticons," intoned the third triumvir. "Their landing on the planet and their alliance with the Earthlings. They are expanding in the solar system already."

"That is an asset, my liege," Phaedrus replied. "The Decepticons can make whatever allies they wish; they are incapable of honoring any agreement for any length of time. When we commence our activity, we will have a convenient scapegoat... and then we can add the Cybertronians' essence to our experimentation."

"And the Council?" the lead triumvir inquired.

"Open war was prevented, alas," Phaedrus conceded. "But I had a contingency for that, and the Autobot crew took the bait...they put my sleeper agent right in the Council's hands."

The triumvirs laughed, their judge masks spinning in delight.

"Then continue your experiments, Doctor... show us how our empire can grow."

-

The Oort Cloud, the reach of Sol's gravitational pull


Emerging at last from the dark gap, Ark-7 entered the Sol system, the ship's artificial gravity adjusting to the pull from the star.

"We're in, Optimus," Jetfire called from the helm. "A few days left, but the star's gravity will accelerate us. Should improve fuel efficiency drastically."

"Good to know," Optimus Prime agreed from the captain's seat. "Approach cautiously, Jetfire... we didn't leave on the best terms."

"Understatement, Prime," Jazz mused.

"Let us hope we can avoid any conflict this time around," Optimus hoped. "So that war does not continue to follow us."
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Re: More Than Meets the Eye: False Flags

Postby Rodimus Prime » Mon Jul 17, 2017 10:32 pm

Motto: "Laissez le bon temps rouler!"
Wow, this is really good! James Roberts should read it and take notes. Good job! ;)^
Burn wrote:Alpha Bravo...He's a helicopter in a team of jets. That's just dumb.
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