TF Prime: Proving Grounds Part 1b

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TF Prime: Proving Grounds Part 1b

Postby Stormtalon » Wed Dec 10, 2014 1:13 pm

Continuing Part 1

The sound of wing beats filled the sky. Scourge, leader of the Predacons, roared into the wind. Behind him, three roars answered. Scourge angled his wings and glided towards their destination: a cluster of nine spires glittering in the darkening twilight.

This was the Stratodome. During the Age of Exploration, this flight center sent specially designed Transformers into deep space. The central spire was the launch vehicle and the surrounding towers served now-forgotten functions.

Scourge circled around the central tower and faced his pack. Swift Icefang could hardly keep still whipping back and forth between the twins, Grimwing and Dreadwing. Both were gryphons. Grimwing having gray and green feathers while his brother sported blue and gray plumage.

“Fan out and search the area. Shockwave maintained many off site labs. Call out if you find any signs of one.”

The Predacons dispersed. Dreadwing flew north. Icefang darted into the cloudbank to the west. Grimwing disappeared behind the towers to the south. Scourge took the eastern quadrant. If this clue panned out, they might be adding new members to their pack soon.

* * *
“Cybertron control. Awaiting clearance.” A slightly peevish voice came over the comm.

Optimus Prime replied. “Cybertron control. We read you, Sky Lynx. Welcome home! An escort will guide you down.”

“I’m perfectly capable of landing myself. Just give me an approach vector.”

“Negative Sky Lynx. We have too many crafts in the air. Please wait.”

Sky Lynx sighed over the comm, “Understood.”

Prime looked up from the monitor and out the bridge’s view port. He spotted the white, red and blue shuttle as a crimson flyer swooped up to meet it. Suddenly, an explosion erupted on the shuttle’s starboard. Three bots jumped out, transformed and rocketed away. Prime smacked the console in front of him.

“We have got runners! Skyfire?”

“I’m on it.”

A white and red jet rocketed past on an intercept course. Sky Lynx’s crimson escort also veered off course in pursuit.

“Powerglide! We need you to bring Sky Lynx down.”

“You’ve got plenty for that. But 3 to 1 against hostiles? That’s the kind of challenge that gets my pumps pumping.”

“Powerglide?” Prime warned.

“It’s ok.” This came from Moonracer, a blue and green flyer also in the air. “I’ve got Sky Lynx.”

Prime switched off the radio. He would have some words with Powerglide and Moonracer when he got back. She needs to stop covering for him.

Optimus switched to the ship’s PA system.

“Emergency response team on the flight deck. We have a hot incoming.”

* * *

“Wonderful timing, Tailwind. It is a miracle we haven’t been shot out of the sky,” shouted an orange and black jet with forward swept wings.

A deep blue jet in the same model argued back. “If we waited, we’d be caught by the Autobots.”

“Tailwind! Crosswind! Stifle it! We have pursuers to lose. Execute: maneuver Lambda.”

“Yes, Headwind,” the first two said in unison and formed up behind their white and gray triplet.

Powerglide had all three on his scanners. All three shared the same vehicle mode: forward-swept wings with canards at the nosecone, a striker-class model from the early days of the war. Orange and blue peeled off and bank-turned in opposite directions.

Powerglide laughed. “Only two of you? Come on give me a challenge.”

The two jets circled behind him trying to pin him in scissor crossfire. Powerglide executed a widening corkscrew throwing in a lateral roll for flare. The two jets couldn’t get lock on him and lost speed trying to stay behind him. They didn’t notice Skyfire until he was shooting up their tail section.

“Thanks for the assist, boss. I’m on the leader!”

“Powerglide? Wait!” Skyfire warned.

Skyfire had his hands full chasing down with the other two. Powerglide wouldn’t have back up. The red Thunderbolt roared after the white and gray leader quickly gaining. He thought he was getting faster, but realized the leader was coming towards him.

“Robo-chicken it is,” Powerglide chuckled. He’d gone head-to-head against Ramjet enough times make him a strato-jousting master.

The leader maintained his heading. Powerglide didn’t waver either. At the last nano, the leader pitched and gave Powerglide a noseful of exhaust. It blinded him and when his vision cleared, the white and gray jet was gone.

“Powerglide? Do you still have the leader?” Skyfire radioed.

“Negative. He pulled a vanishing act. What about the other two?”

“Lost them in the trenches of Kaon.” Skyfire grumbled.

“So what do we do now?”

“What can we do besides report back to base?”

“And get chewed out by Prime. Sounds like loads of laughs.”

* * *
“Is this where the signal came from?” Tailwind asked skeptically.

Headwind answered, “No, this is the place the signal directed us. I couldn’t locate the signal’s point of origin.”

The three jets stood in the ruins of Dancitron. Before the war, Dancitron was THE club of Blaster City. Now, it was ruined shell of its former glamor. Deep blue Tailwind inspected the stage. The marquee lay on its side. The last acts remained burned on its screen. The Kiss Players followed by the Misfits and Cold Slither. Orange Crosswind walked to stairway leading to the mezzanine. It was destroyed like half the walls. Grey Headwind searched the bar. Of course, there was nothing behind the bar, but checked in case luck was with him.

From the sound booth overlooking the dance floor, Starscream smiled at the new arrivals.

“Finally, some ‘real’ Decepticons,” he whispered to himself.

Crosswind grumbled loudly. “I can’t believe it. The Autobots have our ship, our capital, our world! How did this happen? Megatron would never allow this.”

“He is not in a position to do anything about it.”

The three looked up and spotted Starscream. Tailwind and Crosswind looked relieved. Headwind scowled before covering it quickly with a smile.

Crosswind asked, “Starscream? Where is Megatron? Where are they holding our leader?”

Starscream put on a crestfallen mask. “I’m afraid the Autobots aren’t holding him anywhere. The cowards destroyed him.”

Crosswind and Tailwind took a stunned step back.

Blue Tailwind shook his head. “Megatron? No, never. He’s indestructible! You’re lying!”

“I understand you don’t want to believe it, but it is the truth. I saw it with my own eyes. Megatron fought his hated rival, Optimus Prime. He attacked with the ferocity of a true warrior, but in the end, it was a treacherous attack from behind by the cowardly Bumblebee which ended out master’s spark.”

Crosswind chuckled. “Autobots? Sneak attack?”

Tailwind nodded. “Yeah, I can buy ‘cowardly’, but when has any Autobots have the ball bearings for treachery.”

Headwind smirked quietly approving of his squad’s skepticism. Starscream plunged ahead.

“Believe what you want, but the facts won’t change. Megatron is dead. The Autobots are in control and only I have the skills to save the Decepticon cause. You can follow me or hide out until the Autobots hunt you down.”

The three Winds looked at each. A shrug passed between the three. Starscream was better than nothing… for now.

“We are with you… ‘Lord’ Starscream,” Headwind spoke for them all.

“What is your first command?” Headwind asked.

Starscream’s grin widened.

“First, we will need a base of operations. Some place safe from Autobot patrols, preferably some place we can easily access but the Autobots can not.”

“Sounds like you have a place in mind.” Headwind guessed.

“Indeed I do. The Stratodome.”

End of Part 1
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