The Bad Seed.

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The Bad Seed.

Postby Rodimus Prime » Thu Sep 07, 2017 5:18 am

Author's note:
This story takes place in the G1 continuity,
sometime after issue 80 of the US Marvel comics
and before the beginning of Regeneration One.


Hub Capital Iacon: Council Tower

Present Day


The red light just kept blinking. It meant he had a message. Probably more than one. Probably more than ten. His office, though spacious, seemed to be closing in on him. The events of the last few cycles had to be organized. He had to make sure they didn’t arouse any suspicion. If that happened, the attention would focus on him. And he did not want that. Did not need that. They did everything they could to make it look like it was a conflict between Decepticons. They were the more barbaric faction, after all. But were they still a faction? Officially? The war is over. Didn’t that mean the Decepticons ceased to be? Their only objective was to start an open armed conflict. And they sure as hell did that. Lasted 50000 vorns! Damn them! They destroyed the planet, almost ended the Transformer way of life, and...doesn’t matter. It’s over now. The Autobots won, that’s what mattered. Even if the price was staggering. Now, the most important thing was to make that sacrifice worth it. To make sure this never happens again. By any means necessary. Prowl looked out the window of his office. The view was...calming. In one of the tallest buildings in Iacon, his office was only about halfway up, but it still provided him a view over most of Iacon. Prowl was never one for extravagance, but he did insist on comfort when he chose this location. Space, view, and not too high off the ground. Comfort was a cop’s most important ally. Well, Prowl's most important ally, anyway. When he was looking at spaces, he wanted to make sure he was as close to the center of Iacon (and by that token, the center of Cybertron) life as possible. More importantly, he wanted to be close to where all the decisions were being made. Above his head, in this very tower. Here, the council chambers occupied the top third of the tower, with Optimus Prime’s living space at the top, below it Ultra Magnus’s quarters, followed by some of the other heavy hitters and decision makers. Then the council chambers where they actually convened to discuss the goings-on of the planet. And Prowl was in charge of making sure everything was hunky-dory. He was police chief after all.

His official title is Leader of the Body of Iacon Peace Officers and Law Enforcement. What a stupid title. Probably Magnus came up with it. Ultra Magnus. If he wasn’t such a good soldier, Prowl would think he was a worthless blowhard. Always spouting off about rules and regulations, and going by the book. But do the Decepticons follow them? Hell no! Magnus, and Prime, they want to do what they can to reintegrate them into Cybertron life, but some people just can’t be helped. Prowl knows this. He has seen enough of it in his time as a cop. So this time he’s prepared. Unless Optimus Prime decides to play god and risk all their lives. Again.

The blinking finally got to him, and Prowl leaned forward in his chair. He pressed the button on the panel, and the light stopped blinking. It went from red to green, and the message started playing.

It’s done.

The message was short and sweet, and that pleased Prowl. It meant he didn’t have to worry about complications, about cleaning up a mess. Everything went according to plan. He played the next message.

Prowl, this is Red Alert. I tried to reach you on your personal communicator, but I couldn’t. Are you out of range? Do you need a maintenance appointment? You know you should make sure all your systems are always at optimal levels. You never know when you need to rely on them for an extended period of time. I was trying to talk to you about the recent surge of violence in Kaon and the surrounding areas. You know, these confrontations between Decepticons? Seems like they’re fighting among themselves way too much these days. I don’t know, I think there’s something more going on. I just need to...well, we need to make sure that that’s all it is, you know? Get back to me soon. I got a few things I need to talk to you about.

No more messages. Prowl leaned back in his chair and contemplated Red Alert’s message. Why was he allowed to be an investigator anyway? Magnus knows full well his penchant for rash decisions and jumping to conclusions. His paranoia is a detriment, not an asset. Nonetheless, he is a member of Prowl’s police force, and by his past record, his top investigator. But he needs to be directed elsewhere, away from those Decepticon conflicts. But if Prowl transfers him to the other side of the planet, especially now, it’ll look like exactly what it is: Prowl getting him out of the way. Sidelining Red Alert has to be done carefully. But as far as Prowl is concerned, Decepticons killing other Decepticons is just the trash taking itself out. It’s just making life easier for the Autobots. Why bother ruining a good thing?

Prowl stood up. He once again looked out the window. The star providing Cybertron with natural light, Alpha Centauri, was just visible over the horizon. It was daybreak. Prowl knew he needed time on his recharge slab. The coming day was going to be...busy. He walked over to the wall, and stared straight ahead. In the wall, in a space carved out just for it, was his shotgun. The Flintlock-Sureshot Peacemaker 350 Hellfire Special. One of a kind. Prowl had Flintlock forge it for him in the early days, when he was just a rookie right out of the academy. Back then it wasn’t one of a kind, as Flintlock made one for all the old-timers. Kup had one, Ironhide. Probably even Inferno. But over time, they all either lost theirs, or simply traded up. And the old shotguns just went out of style in favor of more sleek, energy-saving weapons. No doubt, the 350 was an energon guzzler. Its shells, when fully loaded, took up almost half a tank of fuel. But Prowl didn’t mind. The 350 might have been big and slow, but in a firefight, it was the deadliest close-quarters combat weapon there was. The shells, after all, were compressed full of energon. And when they impacted a body... Prowl smiled at the thought. He remembered the first time he had it with him, and he cornered a perp after chasing him across half of Iacon. Back then, he was a rookie, and there weren’t nearly as many cops as there are now. But this was before the Decepticons. There wasn’t a huge need for law enforcement officers, as the planet was mostly peaceful. But that young punk… Well, let’s just say he won’t be stealing energon from retired miners anymore.

Prowl turned away from the display, and went back to his desk. He had things to do today. He needed to be organized more than usual. Nothing could be out of place. His desk communicator beeped, accompanied by an orange blinking light. That meant it was a call from inside the tower. Prowl pressed the answer button.

“Yes.” he said.

Prowl? This is Ultra Magnus.

“Hello, Magnus, what can I do for you?” Prowl asked, putting on his most jovial voice. Which wasn’t saying much.

"I need to see you up in my office. Soon. When can you make it up here?”

“As soon as you need me to.”

Good. Can you be here in two breems? I called an emergency meeting of sorts, and I would like you to be here.

“Sure, what is it about?”

I’ll explain everything when everyone is here.

“Everyone? Who else is coming?”

Prime, Grimlock, Jetfire, you and I. This is serious, I wanted all the top level officers present.

“Really? Well, then, I’ll be on my way.”

Thank you. See you soon.

“You bet.”

Prowl turned off his communicator. An early morning emergency meeting with all the shot-callers? This is serious! Scrap! If this is about what Prowl was thinking it was about, it was too soon! But he calmed himself down. There was no need to panic, not until Magnus gave him a good reason to. He just hoped the others covered their tracks properly. Hoped? Of course they did! He wouldn’t have picked them otherwise. Whatever this was about, Prowl had to remain calm and settled. Like everyone knows him to be. If they noticed that he was uneasy about the recent events, it might give them second thoughts about him. And that’s the last thing he needed right now. He composed himself, and headed to his door. He was ready. Well, as ready as he could be.
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Re: The Bad Seed.

Postby Rodimus Prime » Thu Sep 07, 2017 9:27 pm

The Tagan Heights

Present Day


“Come on, Misfire!” Slugslinger said. “You know we need this!”

“Uhh...yeah...but...it’s...so...damn....heavy!” Slugslinger answered.

The two flying ‘Cons dragged the heavy container across miles of rugged terrain, not daring to stop for any rest, at the risk of being discovered by Autobot patrols. Though they rarely come down this way, a stray surveillance drone is all it would take, and a security unit would be on them in a sparkbeat. But they needed this.

“I hope this is...uhh...worth it.” Misfire grunted as they dragged the container some more.

“You know what’s inside.” Slugslinger answered. “If we fly it, we’ll get noticed. Besides, as heavy as it is, I don’t even know if we could take off with it. So we gotta drag it.”

“Yeah, but couldn’t we...I don’t know...get a hauler?”

“Well, if you can find four wheels and a sturdy metal panel, and some way to attach them together, I guess we’re in business.”

“I didn’t realize you were an engineer.” Misfire replied sarcastically.

“I’m not. That’s the point.”

“What...uhh...point?”

“That there’s no other way to take this damn thing but the way we’re taking it! Now stop complaining and keep pushing! We’re getting close!”

‘Close’ was an abandoned warehouse not far from where they were. The Tagan Heights used to be a very vibrant industrial area of Cybertron, where a lot of factories and processing plants were located. All the natural metals and ores that were mined on other planets found their way here via interstellar shipping, where they were turned into all kinds of things. Supplies for Cybertron’s infrastructure, transportation, and later for Megatron’s machines of war.

“You know, amid all this scrap, I can’t believe we didn’t find one single working freight hauler.” Misfire said.

“Like I said...uhh...stop complaining! We’re almost there!”

Suddenly, a loud crash came from somewhere down the road, from the direction they were heading in. Both Decepticons snapped their heads in that direction, stopping their movement. Neither said anything, and there were no other noises. Everything was quiet. Very quiet. They didn’t move, waiting for any other sign that they were being followed or watched. Nothing. The place was a ghost town. Ruined buildings, some half torn down, some half rusted away. Piles of scrap all over the place. Everything was a shade of gray, or dark blue. Shadows were indistinguishable, even with the planet bathed in the light of Alpha Centauri. The Tagan Heights were just...eerie. All the time. Like a graveyard. That’s why Slugslinger, Misfire and the others chose it. It was remote and completely deserted. Or so they thought.

Maybe just some junk finally crumbling under its own weight.” Misfire whispered.

Could be.” Slugslinger whispered back.

Hey, why don’t you take a stroll over there and find out.” Misfire whispered again, a little amusement in his voice.

Not funny!

Okay, so we both go.

They looked at each other, and both drew their blasters. Slowly, they started walking towards the area where the noise came from. With blasters pointed ahead, they scanned the area. Everything was so...quiet. Too quiet.

“Who’s there?” Slugslinger asked loudly.

“Really?” Misfire turned to him in disbelief. “You seriously think if someone was here watching us without wanting to be noticed they would come out to answer you?”

“It was worth a shot.”

They took a few more steps toward the rubble. As they got closer, Misfire noticed the rust dust in the air.

“Something was definitely moving here.”

“Y-yeah.” Slugslinger answered, a little uneasiness creeping into his voice.

“Okay, whoever you are, come out! We know you’re there!” Misfire said loudly.

Nothing. Dead silence. The two ‘Cons again looked at each other, and finally Misfire took a step forward and with his other leg kicked the side of the pile. It gave way, crumbling further to the ground, revealing nothing but more scrap beneath.

“See?” Misfire said. “It’s just scrap. Just stuff rotting away even more.”

“Uh...yeah...I guess.”

“Right, so let’s get the package and get to the warehouse. The others are ready.”

Slugslinger nodded, and they turned to walk back for their loot. But as soon as they did, they stopped dead in their tracks. Behind them, without making a sound, stood the Stunticons. Motormaster, Wildrider, Breakdown, Dragstrip, and Dead End.

“Whoa!” Misfire said. “You guys scared the crap out of us!”

“What the hell took you so long?” Motormaster asked, in an uncharacteristically low and even voice.

The Stunticon commander was usually loud, boisterous and not a least bit rude. But his demeanor was the total opposite. This made Misfire and Slugslinger very uneasy.

“We...uhh...we were…” Slugslinger muttered.

“I don’t care.” Motormaster cut him off. “This is a time-sensitive operation. You should have had this back to the base already.”

“Well, it’s not exactly a light load.” Misfire said, gaining a little confidence back. “Maybe we could have gotten some help.”

“You know the rules.” Dragstrip suddenly spoke up. “If the Autobots spot more than two or three of us together, they become suspicious. We can’t look like anything other than defeated, pathetic losers. It keep their guard down and their attention off us.”

“Um...then what the hell is this?” Misfire asked, waving his arm around at all of them.

“This…” Motormaster replied. “This is the beginning of our new revolution. And it starts with that being put to good use, once it gets down to the warehouse.”

He pointed at the container. The other four Stunticons walked over to it, and each grabbed a corner. They lifted it, albeit not easily.

“Whoa...this is heavy!” Wildrider said.

“Just take it inside!” Motormaster suddenly roared.

The Stunticons said nothing, and carried the container into the nearest warehouse on the right. The rusted walls covered up what was inside, and the doors closed behind them on surprisingly quiet hinges. Like they’ve been oiled recently. Motormaster never took his optics off Slugslinger and Misfire.

“What took you two so long? You should have been back yesterday, before nightfall.” he said matter-of-factly.

“Like I said…” Slugslinger started again.

“It was heavy. Yes, you said that. But it shouldn’t have taken this long.” Motormaster squinted his optics. “Did you make...a detour somewhere?”

“What...what do you mean?” Misfire asked, becoming uneasy again.

“Did you go somewhere you weren’t supposed to?”

“Uhh...no...no we didn’t.”

“Did you have problems procuring the package?”

“No...it was exactly where you said it would be...but…”

“But what?” Motormaster asked, his hands curling into fists.

The movement was not lost on Misfire, who started visibly shaking.

“We...we were held...held up…”

“By who?”

“Autobot security.”

“Where?”

“Uhh…” Misfire couldn’t speak. “Uhh…”

“By the borderlands.” Slugslinger said calmly. “Before we picked up the box. Just a routine patrol. They just wanted to know what we were doing. You know, just harassing us.”

“Uh huh.” Motormaster said, not convinced. “So you weren’t followed.”

“Of course not.”

“Are you sure?”

“We did everything as Onslaught instructed. Everything.”

“Be-besides, if we were f-followed…” Misfire said. “They would be on us by now, wouldn’t they?”

He turned to Slugslinger.

“Right?”

“Yeah.”

Motormaster took a step toward them. The two flying ‘Cons were scared out of their wits. But they couldn’t run. Not now. If they did, they might get away, but their treachery would be revealed. And that would be...unfortunate.

“You two stay out here.” Motormaster said. “We’ll take care of the rest.”

He then turned around and walked to the warehouse door, opened it and went inside, the door quietly closing behind him. Once it was shut, the relief washed over Misfire and Slugslinger.

“Ohhh…” Misfire groaned. “I...I thought he knew…”

“If he did, we’d have been scrapped as soon as we got here.” Slugslinger answered. “But we have to be careful. He’s definitely suspicious.”

“But...but what do you think tipped him?”

“I don’t know. Maybe he’s just that way. You know, suspicious of everyone. I mean, they’re Stunticons. They’re idiots.”

“Y-yeah…”

“In any case, we have to be careful. If anyone finds…”

Suddenly, an explosion blew apart the warehouse, throwing both ‘Cons back. They landed on their backs, with fiery debris raining down on them. As they covered up, bits and pieces of Stunticons and Seekers fell all around them.
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Re: The Bad Seed.

Postby Rodimus Prime » Tue Sep 12, 2017 11:52 am

The Ruins of Darkmount

Some Time Ago


“This is so unnecessary.” Blades griped.

“Just let’s get this done.” Hotspot answered.

The Protectobot team, minus First Aid, was about to enter the ruins of the former Decepticon fortress in Polyhex, the ‘Cons’ wartime Cybertron command central. From here, the Decepticons ran the war, beginning with Megatron, then Straxus, Scorponok, and finally Thunderwing. After his death, and the crumbling of the Decepticon hierarchy, the fortress became more or less abandoned. Bludgeon, who assumed command after Thunderwing’s death, never returned here. Then Unicron arrived and ravaged the planet. And even though Cybertron survived, its surface was in ruins. Somehow, the planet began repairing itself, but not before jettisoning the ruined outer layer of its surface. This meant that the ruined buildings, roads, and any other structures that were damaged beyond repair, were simply floating into outer space. This made the Autobots’ search efforts even more dangerous. After his return to Cybertron, Optimus assumed command of the planet from Ultra Magnus, and took over command of the Autobot forces from Grimlock. His first order was to organize all Autobot forces to spreadout over the planet and search out any remaining Decepticons in hiding. They would be given two options: surrender and face the consequences, or be taken into custody by any means necessary. Prime instructed his lieutenants to not take any chances and not waste any time. If the Decepticons do not give up on first command, take them in by force. If they resist, that’s their choice. Most Autobots, much like Prime, were tired of the millions of years of fighting, and were happy to oblige. Some even looked for an excuse to waste some ‘Cons. Hotspot, however, wasn’t one of them. He may have despised the Decepticons, but his first duty was to save life. Ending a life was acceptable to him only if it meant saving someone else. Someone being threatened for no reason.

And here they were, following orders to clear out the former Decepticon high command base. His Protectobots would do their duty, but apparently not without some complaining. They were here without backup, partly because more Autobots couldn’t be spared, and partly because the latest information they had showed that Darkmount, and the entire city of Polyhex, has been abandoned for some time. Combine that with the damage it suffered during Unicron’s attack, and the place seemed like a lost cause. But then Magnus pointed out that the Decepticons might think of the same think and find it to be a very good hiding place. So Prime sent them down here, to flush out any Decepticons that might be around.

“Be careful.” Streetwise aid. “The place could be booby-trapped.”

“Oh, please.” Groove said as he kicked over a broken panel. “There’s nothing here. The ‘Cons gave up on this place a long time ago. We’re spinning our wheels.”

“Hey. Not all Decepticons are giving up.” Hotspot said. “The war is over, but some of them would rather die than give up.”

“I wish First Aid was here.” Blades said. “At least that way if we run into trouble we could combine.”

“Well, First Aid is now the Chief Medical Officer of the Autobots. He has more important things to do.” Streetwise said.

“So then we’re done? No more big guy?” Groove asked.

“Maybe we can…” Blades said.

“Enough!” Hotspot cut him off. “Pay attention to what we’re here to do! We’ll worry about a new team member later!”

“Hmph.” Groove grunted.

“Blades, Streetwise. You take the left side. Groove and I will go right.” Hotspot instructed. “When we approach the entrance, make sure you keep an optic on the walls. Look for holes and any other protrusions where someone can shoot at us from.”

“Got it.” Blades said.

“Copy.” Streetwise acknowledged.

“Fine.” Groove grunted.

They approached the base from the front. Even though a lot of it was in ruins already, it still felt ominous. The high walls, the dark openings. It gave Streetwise the creeps. He and Blades approaches slowly, one of them watching the front entrance, the other the walls.

“Scans are negative.” Blades said. “I don’t see anything. There’s no one here.”

“Just keep going and keep watching.” Streetwise answered. “Cover me. I’m going to approach the front gate.”

On the other side, Hotspot was already at the gate. He waited for Streetwise to walk up to the wall, and then he gave the signal. All for of them aimed their weapons in front of them, and Hotspot kicked in the smaller gate inside the bigger one.

“Nothing.” Groove. Said. “See? Nothing.”

The place was quiet and dark. Scrap everywhere. On the sides, the ramps up to the defense platforms were still intact, as were the huge, dual-barreled cannons that were mounted on the walls. This place was fortified heavier than any other base Streetwise has seen on Cybertron. Of course it was, it was the Decepticons’ home base. That also made him a little uneasy. Who knew what they might find once they got inside and to the lower levels. The ‘Cons committed horrible atrocities during the war, and most of their battle plans were conceived right here. As far as Streetwise was concerned, the destruction of this place couldn’t come soon enough. But until then, they had a job to do. They entered, Hotspot first. Groove followed, then Blades, ad finally Streetwise. They fanned out, each taking a section of the open area in front of the main building.

“Okay, how do we do this?” Groove asked. “Do we clear the outside first, and go in?”

“There’s nothing out here.” Blades said. “I say we go right in and get this over with.”

“No. We should exercise caution.” Streetwise added. “We don’t know…”

“But we do!” Blades said. “Look around! It’s empty!”

“Enough!” Hotspot said again. “We’re gonna do what we came for, and clear this place from front to back, top to bottom. Understood?”

“Yeah.” they all said in unison.

“First, we....”

“Look out!” Streetwise shouted.

The trail of the rocket lit up the dark base at the same time the sound of its launch reached them. The Protectobots all dove for cover, and the rocket slammed into the ground where they were standing. Groove rolled behind a metal post, and being the smallest, he was safe there. Streetwise and Blades got to their feet and ran back outside behind the main gate. Hotspot, being the biggest and slowest, wasn’t as lucky. He scrambled up on his feet to find cover, but the second rocket fired by someone standing in the entrance to the main building found its mark and hit Hotspot square in the back.

Aaarrrgghhh!!!” he screamed as the impact lurched him forward and off his feet, slamming him face-first into the wall next to the gate.

He was knocked out cold, and his back was on fire.

“Hotspot!” Groove shouted, and immediately returned fire.

Whoever was attacking them fired yet another rocket, right at where Groove was taking cover. He saw the rocket coming and dove away. The explosion lit up the entire area, and Groove was totally exposed. He had nowhere to hide. His momentary indecision whether to seek cover or check on Hotspot was his undoing. Suddenly, from other openings in the building, blaster fire rained down on him, hitting him from head to toe. He dropped his weapon, and tried to scramble to cover, but the laser blasts knocked him down again and he was heavily damaged. Blades and Streetwise returned fire from the main gate. They aimed at the newly revealed assailants, who were still in the shadows, but in their panic they unfortunately neglected the ‘Con with the rocket launcher. As Groove attempted to stand back up and limp to safety, yet another rocket sailed out from the front door of the building.

“Groove, get down!” Blades shouted.

But it was too late. As Groove’s optics widened and his mouth hung open, he didn’t have time to do anything. The rocket impacted his upper back, blowing his arms off his body and launching his head off his shoulders. His body dropped to his knees, and before he fell forward, another explosion erupted straight up out of his chest. His spark had overloaded and exploded, killing him.

“No! NO!” Blades shouted. “NOOO!!!

He ran out into the open, firing at anyone he could see.

“Blades, get back here!” Streetwise shouted at him. “Stop!”

Blades ran past Groove’s remains and slid down next to Hotspot.

“Boss!” he said frantically. “You alive?!”

“Uhhhh…” Hotspot groaned.

“Good, good!” Blades said. “Let’s get you…”

Blaster fire impacted over their heads in the wall behind them. Blades ducked down, covering Hotspot’s head. He tried to move the Protectobot leader, but he was too heavy. Across the open area, Streetwise was crouched behind another metal support post, firing at the front entrance to the main building. Whoever was in there was doing the most damage with that launcher, he had to be neutralized. The support post was withstanding the blaster shots, and Streetwise kept firing at the front door. Blades grabbed Hotspot by the shoulders and started dragging him near the wall.

“Uhh...st...stop…” Hotspot groaned. “You...can’t…”

“Well, then get up and help me!” Blades snapped back. “We gotta get out of here! This place is crawling with ‘Cons!”

As Hotspot tried to get to his feet, the rain of fire intensified, and they were both knocked against the wall. Blades had no choice but to cover up, and tried to fire back as much as he could. Suddenly, their worst fears were realized: from around the corner of the building came the Combaticons. Onslaught, Brawl, Swindle, Vortex and Blast Off. Other Decepticons were still firing at them, and Blades and Streetwise returned fire as best they could, hitting some of the Decepticons. But it wasn’t enough.

“Time to finish this.” Onslaught ordered. “Combaticons, combine!”

Dropping the rocket launcher he had been using, a grinning Swindle began his reconfiguration into one of Bruticus’s legs. Next to him, Brawl was doing the same thing. The flyers, Vortex and Blast Off, jumped up and began forming the arms. As Streetwise watched with horror, the five Combaticons joined together, and the monstrous form of Bruticus stood in front of him. The other Decepticons stopped firing their weapons. On the other side, Blades looked up and realized he and Hotspot were trapped.

“Oh, no, no, no, no!” he began scrambling to grab Hotspot and drag him away, but it was no use.

Bruticus took a few steps forward, standing over the Protectobots. They were pinned to the wall, unable to go anywhere. Streetwise ran out from behind his cover, but was immediately met with blaster fire from the other ‘Cons. He dove down, and laid face down on the ground. Most of the shots flew over his head, but the ‘Cons weren’t too worried about hitting him. As long as he was pinned down, he was not a threat. Bruticus, ignoring Streetwise, raised his cannon and amied at Blades and Hotspot. Blades knew this was it. He looked down at Hotspot who was lying face down, his back still smoldering, his face crushed from the impact with the wall. Maybe he’s not even conscious anymore, so he won’t even feel it. Blades thought to himself. He then turned to the hulking Decepticon taking aim at him. He raised his blaster, and began firing.

“Come on!” he shouted. “Do your worst!”

Putting up a hand to deflect Blades’s shots from his face, Bruticus returned fire from his monstrous cannon, almost disintegrating Blades. The burning wreckage of his body slammed into the wall and collapsed in a smoking, smoldering heap. Streetwise just looked on as Bruticus shifted his cannon and fired a shot into the prone, defenseless Hotspot. The Protectobot commander’s body blew apart, his right arm and leg flying towards Streetwise. The limbs landed almost on him, and it snapped him out of his shock. He knew he would meet with the same fate if he didn’t move. Self-preservation took over, and before the Decepticons could react, he transformed from his prone position into his police car mode and reversed out of the fortress. Outside, he spun 180 degrees and sped away, dodging the giant, black empty holes that used to be the smelting pools. Bruticus, way too slow to give chase, fired a couple of shots after him, but they both missed. Surprisingly, no other ‘Cons came after him.
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Re: The Bad Seed.

Postby Rodimus Prime » Wed Sep 13, 2017 4:28 pm

Hub Capital Iacon: Council Tower

Present Day


Prowl entered Ultra Magnus’s office on the 49th floor of the tower. It was no accident or random assignment that this entire floor belonged to Magnus. The floor above, the top floor, was Optimus Prime’s quarters. This is where his hab suite was, where he came to reflect, meditate, or whatever else they wanted to call Prime’s “alone time.” All Prowl knew that the office on the 49th floor should have been his. Anyone having a meeting with Optimus, or anyone attempting to see him for any reason, has to go through Ultra Magnus. The elevator stops on the 49th floor of the tower. From here, only one set of stairs lead up to Prime’s level, from the middle of the floor below. Right behind Magnus’s desk. The reason this irked Prowl to no end was because this blatantly made Ultra Magnus the last line of defense for Optimus Prime. His chief of security. A job Prowl felt he had earned and should have been entrusted to him. He didn’t care about having an office on the high levels. That’s not what it was about. He felt he was cheated. He had stuck by Prime’s side since the beginning. They graduated the police academy together so long ago, back when Prime was still Orion Pax. And Pax was, in Prowl’s opinion, a mediocre police officer, even though he meant well. He had the right motivation, but he was either unwilling or unable to go all the way when certain situations required it. Like with that energon-stealing punk Prowl blew away with his brand-new shotgun way back when. Prowl smiled at the memory.

However, as he entered the inner chamber of the office, where Magnus’s desk - and Prime’s stairs - was, the smile quickly vanished. He was greeted not by the serious-but-cordial Magnus, but by the openly hostile and glaring Grimlock. Prowl and Grimlock had history. After Unicron’s defeat, with his then-dying words, Optimus named Grimlock the new leader of the Autobots. And it was Prowl whom Prime entrusted the task of not only informing but ensuring that Grimlock did not fail. Prowl considered this a slap in the face, given all he and Prime have been through. Prowl would have liked command of the Autobots. He knew he could handle it. He even had temporary command on Earth for a while, when Shockwave kept Optimus prisoner. And the Autobots not only recovered from Shockwave’s total annihilation of them with his leadership, they also freed Optimus Prime and took the Ark back. Sure, the human Buster Witwicky and Jetfire had something to do with that, but had it not been for Prowl’s planning, those events would have never happened. But here and now, the only history Prowl had to remind him of old times was the unpleasant encounters he had with Grimlock over the years. The Dinobot commander said nothing, didn’t even offer a greeting. Just glared at Prowl. He attempted to return the glare, but even Prowl had to admit, he could not match Grimlock in intensity. He didn’t feel bad about it, very few Autobots could. He turned his head away from the hulking brute and sat down in one of the chairs to the side of the desk. Moments later, Ultra Magnus walked into the office from one of the side rooms.

“Magnus.” Prowl said pleasantly.

“Hello Prowl.” Magnus replied. “Grimlock.”

Grimlock still didn’t say anything, but at least he acknowledged Magnus with a nod.

“Am I early…?” Prowl asked. “We’re the only ones here.”

“No, you’re on time.” Magnus answered. “Prime, Blaster and Jetfire are on the way.”

“So what is this about? If we’re all called here…”

“Just a few moments longer.” Magnus cut him off.” “When everyone’s here.”

As if those were the magic words, Blaster and Jetfire walked into the office. They both gestured towards Grimlock, who once again nodded to them as a greeting.

“Magnus!” Jetfire said. “It’s been a while. Nice to see you.”

“You must be busy.” Magnus said. “I don’t see you in Iacon very often.”

“Well, you know, I am in charge of the Autobot air defenses. Silverbolt and I have all we can handle in trying to cover the entire planet. Luckily the newer squads of aerial drones are operating seamlessly. No more glitches.”

“Good, good. Blaster? How have you been?”

“Heh, same as yesterday, when the last time you saw me.” Blaster said, then jerked a thumb toward both Prowl and Grimlock, who were in the same general direction. “What are the grumps doing here?”

“Excuse me?” Prowl said and stood up.

But Blaster’s smirk turned into a smile as he clamped a hand on Prowl’s shoulder and slapped him on the back with the other.

“I’m messing with ya, buddy. Why so serious all the time?” he said jovially.

Prowl couldn’t hide his irritation, and Blaster got the message. He took his hands off Prowl and sat down in a chair on the other side of the desk.

“Alright, so what’s this about?” he asked pointedly.

“Like I told them, we’ll get into it when everyone’s here.” Magnus answered matter-of-factly.

And again, as if those were the magic words, Optimus Prime walked down the stairs to his quarters, appearing behind Ultra Magnus, who sat at his desk. As Prowl stood up and greeted Optimsu with a smile, the smile faded yet again just as quickly as it had when he saw Grimlock. Because Prowl saw someone else he disliked almost as much as Grimlock. Behind Prime, coming down the stairs without a word was Hot Rod. Unlike Grimlock, though, Hot Rod smiled at Prowl, but it wasn’t a friendly smile. It was that cocky, I’m-better-than-you smirk Hot Rod was known for, and it especially grated on Prowl’s circuits, because he knew that Hot Rod had been spending a lot of time with Optimus for some reason. As if Prime was teaching him...no, grooming him. But for what? A command position? That punk? Even if Optimus wanted to give up leadership of the Autobots, there were a lot of bots much more capable of leading than Hot Rod. No, it had to be something else. Had to be. Prime couldn’t be that shortsighted. But this line of thought was not what he needed to concentrate on right now, so Prowl put it out of his mind. Right now, he had to focus on the meeting, which was about to kick off since everyone was here. He had to be alert and ready to process whatever information the others revealed. It could be crucial to his immediate plans.

“Well, then.” Magnus said. “Now that everyone’s here, let’s get started.”

Prime sat down in the chair directly in front of Magnus, and Hot Rod took the seat next to him, between Prime and Prowl. Jetfire and Blaster sat on the other side, Jetfire next to Prime, Blaster next to him. Grimlock remained standing, somewhere over Prowl’s left shoulder. Prowl knew he did it on purpose just to irritate Prowl, but he tried to ignore it. However, he could not help himself to one comment.

“Why is he here?” he asked, and pointed to Hot Rod. “Last I checked, he holds no command position. Should he be present if this is a serious matter?”

Before Magnus could respond, Optimus turned to Prowl.

“He is here at my behest. Hot Rod is learning certain...methods of behavior from me, and this will be a good experience for him in decision-making. He needs to see how things work in our command structure.” Prime said.

“Alright.” Prowl said. “But why…?”

“That is of no consequence.” Prime said curtly. “He is here because I want him to be, and that should be good enough for you.”

Prowl’s jaw was clenched up. He wanted to respond very crudely, but he had to check himself, in consideration of Optimus’s position. But he knew that Grimlock’s face had to be of smug satisfaction right now. Prowl had been verbally reprimanded, even if the words themselves didn’t say so. Instead of saying anything, he just nodded quietly, and checked his wounded pride.

“Alright then.” Magnus said yet again. “Let’s get started.”

“We’re here because of the rash of apparent vigilantism that has been going on recently.” Jetfire said without any preamble. “It’s been very noticeable that Decepticons are being killed in very brutal ways.”

“Wasn’t it decided that it was conflict among Decepticons that led to the killings?” Prowl asked. “That’s hardly vigilantism.”

“Well, your police force has come to that conclusion, yes.” Jetfire said. “I read some reports from your inspectors. But I think it’s more serious than that.”

“What makes you think that?” Prime asked.

“Well, for one, the method of the killings.” Jetfire said. “The ‘Cons themselves aren’t very high profile, so most of these had gone under the radar, until Blaster here noticed a pattern in communications between ‘Cons, as well as the timing and places of the killings.”

“Yes.” Blaster took over. “It seems that whenever there’s a...I guess we can call it murder, several Decepticons alert the nearest Autobot police squad. Now why would they do this, if the killings were results of the ‘Cons policing themselves?”

“And besides, Decepticons have no weapons.” Grimlock said from behind Prowl. “They not allowed to carry firearms.”

“Just because they are not allowed, doesn’t mean they don’t have them.” Prowl answered forcefully, without turning to face Grimlock.

“Yes, that’s quite possible.” Prime said contemplatively.

“But the weapons the killings were committed with were high caliber blasters.” Jetfire said. “In close quarters. They weren’t taken out with a sniper rifle or with a blaster from far away. These shootings were close and with brute force. Like an execution.”

“Yes.” Blaster once again said. “The weapon used in the killings is something powerful yet blunt. Like maybe a modified cannon. Or…”

“Or a shotgun.” Hot Rod chimed in.

Though Hot Rod didn’t look at him, Prowl knew the statement was directed at him. Even though the police didn’t use shotguns anymore, everyone knew that it wasn’t because of Prowl. He had openly voiced his support for his officers carrying the weapon, but Magnus himself had ordered it discontinued and the police force equipped with something lighter and less…how did he put it?...destructive. This was the reason Prowl had to put his beloved Flintlock-Sureshot 350 in a glass case in his office.

“Shotguns are no longer used by the police, or any other Autobot squad.” Prowl said. “No matter their occupation. Which is why we should be looking at Decepticons for this. If, and I emphasize if, these killings are being committed with shotguns, they were acquired illegally, and it’s most likely ‘Cons are doing it.”

“But where would they get them?” Magnus asked.

“The black market, where else?” Prowl said. “When you ordered them obsolete, the police force was required to destroy them. So they were sent to the still-functioning smelting pools. And who did we have running the pools?”

“Decepticons.” Blaster answered. “Because only they knew how. Autobots didn’t have them before the war.”

“Exactly. We had Decepticons operating the pools.” Prowl said.

“So what are you saying?” Prime asked.

“I’m saying that it was Decepticons who handled the shipments of shotguns last, right before they were destroyed, and they could have…”

“But Autobots in charge of smelting pools.” Grimlock cut him off. “We make sure shotguns destroyed. Decepticons only do physical work with Autobots watching closely.”

“Yes.” Jetfire said. “But unfortunately that doesn’t mean every single Autobot is 100% trustworthy.”

Prime and Magnus both gave Jetfire an incredulous look.

“I’m sorry, but the option has to be considered.” Jetfire said. “Some bots are willing to take a little extra on the side to let some things slide. It’s just the way it is.”

“So it’s a possibility some of the shotguns made it out of the smelting pools without being melted down.” Magnus said.

“Looks like it.” Blaster added.

“I still think we’re focusing on the wrong aspect of the situation.” Prowl said, trying to steer them away from the shotguns.

“What do you mean?” Blaster asked.

“We shouldn’t be asking what, we should be asking why.” Prowl said. “That’s usually the starting point in any crime. That, combined with the how, will lead us to the who.

“I think in this instance, the how is a large-caliber hand-blaster.” Hot Rod said. “Or, again, a shotgun. The damage to the victims…”

“Have you even seen a police report?!” Prowl loudly cut him off. “I mean, what the hell do you know about police work?!”

“Alright!” Magnus interjected calmly. “No need for tempers to raise.”

“I’m sorry, but I can’t just let this punk question my experience and…”

“Hot Rod has been assisting me with evaluating the reports.” Prime cut off Prowl. “He has seen everything you have seen.”

“No.” Prowl answered, bitterness and a little hurt in his voice. “He has been looking at data disks of the crime reports. Maybe audio and visual records. But he’s not a cop. He hasn’t...he can’t see what I see when I arrive at a murder scene. And I resent the comparison that he sees things the same way I do, especially after all my experience as a police officer.”

“Look.” Hot Rod said, opening his hands and smiling towards Prowl. “I didn’t mean to insult your...experience and expertise. Of course I can’t see things the same way you do. It’s impossible. But the point is, your own inspectors signed off on the reports, which is as good as if you yourself had signed them, correct?”

Prowl had to admit, the punk got him with that one.

“Yeah.” he said.

“Well, then, the reports, approved by your experienced inspectors, state that the victims, all of them, were killed by a large-caliber weapon at close range. And unless ‘Cons are in the habit of carrying mountable cannons around with them, without security force noticing no less, it has to be shotguns. Procured illegally.”

“Alright.” Prowl grudgingly admitted, knowing that this was a step in the wrong direction. But if he protested any further, he ran the risk of arousing suspicion from the others. “Let’s say they were shotguns.”

“Alright then.” Jetfire said. “We have a starting point we all agree on.”

“Let me ask, why exactly are we all here for this discussion?” Prowl asked. “If this is a security matter, shouldn’t Magnus and I handle this on our own? I mean…”

“Because Decepticons can’t do this and get away with it.” Grimlock said again, from behind Prowl. “This is work of Autobots.”

What?!” Prime blurted out unexpectedly. “How did you come to this conclusion?”

“Simple.” Grimlock said. “Autobots carry weapons. Decepticons not allowed. Shotgun not small gun. Autobots disguise them as other weapons, perhaps even take them apart, and security teams not wiser. Then, when time comes, shotgun is reconfigured or reassembled, and used on Decepticons.”

“Sound theory, but couldn’t the Decepticons disassemble them and carry the parts around without arousing suspicion?” Magnus asked.

“No.” Grimlock said. “Security teams have scanners, both handheld and on vehicles, that recognize parts of weapons, and even more so, ammunition. So even if the guns taken apart, piece of them recognized when Decepticons go through checkpoints. But Autobots get pass, because they have permits. Especially police officers.”

What?!” Prowl snapped, and jumped out of his chair, facing Grimlock. “Are you seriously accusing my officers of this...this...heinousness?!”

“You heard me.” Grimlock calmly replied.

Prowl, with mouth agape, couldn’t respond.

“Okay.” Magnus said, standing up behind his desk. “Enough. Grimlock, I think you’re out of line. Prowl, sit back down.”

“But…” Prowl started to protest.

“I said, sit down.” Magnus said firmly.

Prowl turned around and looked directly at Prime.

“Optimus…” he said quietly. “You don’t...really believe this, do you?”

“It’s not something I had considered, I admit.” Prime said calmly. “But I can’t dismiss it, not matter how small the chance.”

“So...you’re accusing me...my police force, of being corrupt?”

“No, of course not.” Magnus answered instead of Prime. “But like Jetfire said, no one is perfect. It’s possible some Autobots have their own affairs on the side.”

“And that means killing Decepticons?” Prowl asked.

“Not all Autobots are happy about how the Decepticons are treated.” Blaster added. “Some are frustrated and upset about them being allowed to reassimilate. Some believe they should all be imprisoned and executed for the war.”

“If me recall, you were strong proponent of harsh punishment.” Grimlock said to Prowl.

“So were you!” Prowl shouted and pointed at Grimlock. “Don’t tell me you and your thugs didn’t apply your own brand of justice to the Decepticons!”

“We do what we do.” Grimlock said. “But we do in the open. To armed Decepticons. Not defenseless ones.”

“Enough of this.” Prowl said, composing himself. “I reject your theory that these killings are done by Autobot police. Shotguns? Yeah, I’ll give you that. It’s possible. But it’s not by my officers. I’ll swear to that.”

“Well, we’re still looking at more possibilities, of course.” Magnus said. “But we needed to get on the same page, because if these killings continue, the Decepticons will start protesting even louder and will become a problem to deal with. We can’t let them force our hand into treating them unfairly, especially after we agreed to allow them to become a part of our society without harsh repercussions, on the condition that they meet our terms.”

“Alright.” Optimus said, standing up. “Let’s leave it at this: Prowl, monitor these killings more closely. Go over the reports again if you have to, and look for things you didn’t think to look for before. Things that may not have been obvious. Everyone else, just keep doing your jobs, and pay more attention to the ‘Cons behavior. Whether they’re doing this or they’re precipitating it, I think their behavior is the key. We’ll figure this out sooner or later.”

“Sounds like a plan.” Magnus said. “I guess that’s it then.”

Prowl didn’t bother with niceties, he just turned around and walked out of the office, acting the right amount of offended and outraged. But inside, he was more panicked than anything. They were starting to put the pieces together.
Rodimus Prime
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Re: The Bad Seed.

Postby Rodimus Prime » Thu Sep 14, 2017 5:43 pm

The Tagan Heights

Present Day


Misfire sat up, brushing the smoking pieces of metal off his chest. He looked at Slugslinger, who was still unconscious, lying not far from him. He also had bits and pieces of not only the warehouse, but what seemed like body parts around him and on him. Misfire then looked around, surveying the damage. The warehouse was completely gone, in its place a flat smoking area with a crater in it. Smoking and smoldering debris was everywhere around them, in a wide circle. How big was this bomb? Misfire thought. And how long were we out…? Suddenly, he realized the urgency of the situation. They had to get out of here before an Autobot patrol showed up! No doubt the explosion was registered by the nearest security stations, and aerial drones fly over at a regular rate. They have to be on the way here! Misfire scrambled to his feet and stepped over to Slugslinger. He shook his friend by the shoulder, and he woke up.

“Come on, we have to go!” Misfire said.

“Uhhh...what…” Slugslinger said, still disoriented.

“There was an explosion.” Misfire answered. “The warehouse is gone. The others are gone. Let’s go. Before the patrols get here.

“How...long…?”

“It doesn’t matter! We need to leave! NOW!”

Slugslinger got to his feet, and Misfire started away from the rubble.

“Where...where are we going?” Slugslinger asked, as they stepped over smoking arms and legs, and other debris.

“I don’t know. We’re supposed to meet the Autobots tomorrow.”

“Meet…? Misfire, they gave us the bomb! They think we died!”

“What…? No, they told us to deliver the package and meet them back on the edge of the Sea of Rust, by the road back to Kaon! They would help us get to safety! That was the deal!”

“Of course they would say that! They wanted us to do their dirty work for them! Don’t you see? They couldn’t get close to this place, they would have been spotted far away. They needed us to get their little surprise here.”

“Yeah, but they said…”

“I know what they said. But don’t you think that if they were going to honor the deal they would have given us enough time to get out? I mean, the bomb went off as soon as we got it here!”

“Maybe...I...I don’t know…”

“I do. We were doublecrossed. We were supposed to die with the others in the explosion.”

“But…”

“No ‘buts.’ Smokescreen and Bluestreak doublecrossed us. But we’ll get them back! Somehow.”

“Maybe...maybe the Stunticons tampered with it when they got it inside and it went off before it was supposed to!”

“Misfire, listen to yourself! Are you actually going to defend the Autobots who tricked us into delivering a bomb to our own hideout?!”

“No...I’m...I’m just trying to see another explanation...I...I want to get out of here and...not have to worry anymore. I am sick of fighting. Sick of this war. They said they would be able to help us get into Autobot society without having to go through all the programs and other things they make us do.”

“Yeah, then what?”

“What do you mean?”

“Just because we become part of Autobot society, that won’t change who we are. We’ll still be ‘Misfire and Slugslinger, former Decepticons.’ Besides, Onslaught will still find us, after he figures out what happened back there.”

So...so...what do we do?”

“I...don’t know. We can’t trust anyone. Not now.”

“Well then…”

But before Misfire could finish his thought, they heard a roar from down the road. They had been walking on the side of a road leading from the Tagan Heights to the Sea of Rust. They couldn’t fly, for fear of being spotted by Autobot patrol drones. They would have been arrested and taken in for questioning, considering how close they were to the explosion. And for transforming. That wasn't allowed either. The Autobots were taking no chances with Decepticons anymore. Not after the war. They stopped and stepped off the road, trying to find cover behind some piles of scrap. Moments later, Bluestreak and Smokescreen came around the bend in the road, going right past them, towards the destroyed warehouse. They drove down to the destruction and transformed.

“Well, looks like it worked.” Smokescreen said with a smirk.

“Yeah.” Bluestreak said, with an intense look on his face. “The patrol is on the way.”

“I wonder how many we got.”

Bluestreak looked around, spotting severed limbs scattered around.

“We probably got them all. The intel said they were all gathered here.”

“Heh. Those two idiot ‘Cons had no idea what they were doing.”

“Yeah, I guess. But they were so eager to help us. They really just wanted to get away from this conflict.”

“Well, they deserved what they got. They shouldn’t have taken the Decepticons’ side in the first place.”

“I don’t know. Maybe we should have…”

“Bluestreak, you’re not feeling sorry for those ‘Cons, are you?”

“No, I’m not. But…”

“Well, then forget them. Casualties of the war they started! How many Autobots have they ambushed during the war? How many did they…”

“Alright, I got it. Don’t blow a fuse. Should we wait for the patrols?”

“No. Their first question will be why are we here. We’re supposed to be back in Crystal City’s ruins, remember?”

“Yeah. I guess we better get going, then.”

“Yeah. Just had to make sure this worked. I just hope we got all of them.”

They turned around and transformed back to vehicle mode. As they drove back down the road they came from, Misfire stepped out from his hiding place and into the road. Bluestreak came to a stop and transformed, not believing his optics. Smokescreen stopped and transformed behind him.

“Hey…” Misfire said. “You looking for us?”

Bluestreak didn’t know what to say. He was taken totally by surprise.

“Yeah, that’s what we were doing.” Smokescreen said, stepping out from behind Bluestreak. “You said ‘us.’ Where’s the other one?”

Slugslinger stayed in his hiding spot. He couldn’t believe Misfire was stupid enough to expose himself like that. When the Autobots transformed, Slugslinger noticed they were carrying shotguns stored on their backs. The 3 barrels pointing down, the handle sticking out above their shoulders. But those weapons were supposed to be outlawed. Illegal and destroyed. Slugslinger knew this, he had worked in the smelting pools where they were destroyed, back when the pools were still operational. But if these Autobots were carrying them…

“Slugslinger!” Misfire’s call interrupted his thought. “Come out, it’s alright! We’re safe.”

Slugslinger didn’t move. He was sure these Autobots were not being straight with them. Slugslinger had heard rumors of Decepticons being killed in brutal and unclear circumstances. Shotguns like that were definitely brutal.

‘Yeah, come on out.” Smokescreen said. “We need to finish this.”

Still, Slugslinger stayed in his spot. He didn’t like this. Something wasn’t right. He tried to take a peek out to the road. He saw Misfire and Bluestreak standing there, but Smokescreen was gone. Maybe he was just out of sight, standing a little bit further down. Bluestreak didn’t seem threatening. He and Misfire were just standing there, talking. Maybe they were discussing the next step in the plan…? To have Misfire and Slugslinger taken back to Iacon. To have their new lives started…? Could Slugslinger have just been paranoid…? NO! Slugslinger shook the thought from his head. This was a bad situation. They were unarmed, out here alone, with 2 Autobots who had no qualms about blowing up an entire warehouse full of Decepticons. He was right the first time. The Autobots didn’t expect to find them here. They thought he and Misfire were dead with the others. And now…

The faint noise snapped him out of his thoughts, and he turned his head. The 3 barrels of the huge weapon were staring him in the optics. At the end of the gun, Smokescreen was smirking. He had sneaked around and came up behind Slugslinger. He knew where he was the whole time.

“There you are.” he said. “We’ve been looking all over for you.”

“Listen...I…”

“Move.”

Slugslinger started walking out to the road where Bluestreak and Misfire were standing.

“Look what I found.” Smokescreen said as they reached the road.

“Hey…” Misfire said. “What are you doing…? You don’t need that gun. We’re...we’re not armed.”

“Good. That will make this much easier.” Smokescreen said and smashed Slugslinger in the back of the head with the shotgun’s barrels.

Slugslinger dropped to his knees, clutching the back of his head with both hands.

“Hey! What are you doing?!” Misfire protested loudly.

“Just taking care of loose ends.” Smokescreen said calmly, and put the shotgun barrels to the back of Slugslinger’s head.

“No…!” Misfire said, and turned to Bluestreak. “What is this…? This wasn’t our deal!”

Without turning to Smokescreen, Bluestreak pulled his own shotgun and held it to Misfire’s chest.

“Hurry up.” he said. “The patrols will be here any moment.”

“I know.” Smokescreen said.

But before he could pull the trigger, Slugslinger swung his left arm, knocking the gun away from his head. He spun around, still on his knees, and punched Smokescreen in the midsection with his right fist, doubling over the surprised Autobot. With his left fist, he threw an uppercut and smashed it into Smokescreen’s face. The Autobot dropped his shotgun and fell straight back, groaning. Slugslinger reached for the weapon at the same time Bluestreak turned his gun on Slugslinger. But before he could fire, Misfire grabbed it and shoved it away.

“No!” he shouted and tried to yank the gun from Bluestreak’s hands.

Slugslinger picked up the shotgun and aimed it at Bluestreak. He pulled the trigger, but nothing happened.

“What…?” he looked at the gun, and tried again. Nothing.

By then, Bluestreak had shaken Misfire off, and tried to aim at Slugslinger again. Slugslinger, thinking on his feet, grabbed the dazed Smokescreen and pulled him up, putting him in front of him so Bluestreak couldn’t shoot. He held the shotgun across Smokescreen’s chest, keeping him between himself and Bluestreak.

“Drop it!” he said to Bluestreak.

“No chance.” Bluestreak responded, his shotgun aimed at both Slugslinger’s and Smokescreen’s heads.

Misfire was scrambling back to his feet.

Drop it or I’ll kill him.” Slugslinger said.

“Go ahead. Try.” Bluestreak answered. “That gun won’t work for you. It needs his energy signature. The only way that gun fires is if he’s holding the grip.”

So that’s why the shotgun wouldn’t fire! Slugslinger knew he was in deep trouble. He had no options left. If he didn’t transform and take off, he was gonna die here. They both were. But before he could think about it any further, Smokescreen regained his full bearings and grabbed the barrels of the shotgun, wrenching it from Slugslinger’s hands. He then elbowed the Decepticon in the chest, and turned around, swinging the gun towards the ‘Con. The shotgun's handle smashed Slugslinger in the face, and he stumbled backwards. Smokescreen grabbed the gun the right way and pulled the trigger, the shotgun unleashing its full power from all 3 barrels. The energon shells impacted Slugslinger’s torso, nearly disintegrating him and almost separating his waist from his chest. His chest panel flipped up, ripping from its mountings. His arms flew out to the sides, and his legs kicked up in the air as his body fell straight back. Bluestreak turned back to Misfire, but in the momentary confusion Misfire ran. He was already far down the road. Bluestreak put his gun away and transformed. He went after Misfire, but his turbochargers were so loud Misfire heard them all the way from there. He looked back and saw Bluestreak coming for him. There was no other choice. If he wanted to live another day, he had to transform and fly away. That would put him on the Autobot aerial patrol’s radar, but it was still better than getting blown away by these Autobots. So he transformed and flew up and away. Bluestreak came to a stop and transformed.

“Damn it!” he said loudly.

He turned around and walked back to where Smokescreen was. Incredibly, he saw Slugslinger still alive, trying to get to his feet. His legs were barely attached to his torso, which was a smoldering wreck as well, but he was trying. Smokescreen just watched him, the shotgun in his hands, aimed at the Decepticon.

“What are you doing?” Bluestreak said. “We gotta go. The other one got away.”

“Doesn’t matter.” Smokescreen said calmly.

“What? But what if he gets caught by the air patrol? He’ll be taken to a security station for questioning. What if he spills his guts about us?”

“He’ll be a ranting lunatic. Nobody will believe him.”

Slugslinger made it to his feet.

“But even so, the station commander has to file a report on all Decepticon detainees. That report goes back to Iacon.”

“Yes, and Prowl is there. He will see it and take care of it.”

Slugslinger started stumbling down the road, away from the Autobots.

“But what if he doesn’t? What if Magnus sees it first? Or Jetfire?”

“You worry too much, Bluestreak. It’ll be fine.”

Slugslinger was slowly walking away from them.

“What about this one? We can’t just let him go.”

“I know.”

With that, Smokescreen took a few steps forward and caught up to Slugslinger, who was moving like a zombie. He was holding his sides and torso, where his insides were burning and falling out in smoldering chunks. The shotgun truly was a brutal weapon. No wonder it wasn’t used anymore. Smokescreen, however, didn’t seem to share that sentiment. He lifted his gun, with one hand, and put the barrels to the back of Slugslinger’s head. This time, the Decepticon was in no shape to fight back. Without any change in expression, Smokescreen pulled the trigger, and Slugslinger’s head disappeared from his shoulders in a fiery vanishing act. As the pieces flew in every direction, his legs took 3 more steps forward and his body dropped to his knees. His forward momentum then carried what was left of his upper body and he fell chest-first onto the road. Bluestreak looked on in silence, as Smokescreen put his gun away and transformed.

“Are you coming?” he asked.

Without a word, Bluestreak transformed as well and followed Smokescreen down the road. Behind them, one more small explosion signaled Slugslinger’s spark reaching critical level .
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Re: The Bad Seed.

Postby Rodimus Prime » Sat Sep 16, 2017 11:35 pm

The Ruins of Tarn

Some Time Ago


The city that gave the galaxy Megatron had always seemed dark and desolate, even before the war. Did that have anything to do with what he became? Who knows. It was a sprawling, dirty landscape, filled with ominous towers and buildings that all looked the same. They used to be the living quarters for miners, just like Megatron, who lived here and went to work from here. Back when Cybertron was largely unknown to the Transformer race. Back when no one knew anything about Primus, save for a select few in the Autobot hierarchy, old bots who held onto those secrets with their lives. Regardless, as time went on, these old bots and the ideals they beheld became obsolete. A certain segment of the population, calling themselves revolutionaries, rebelled against this system. And it started right here. In this city. Or rather, beneath it.

Down in the depths, away from the prying optics of the Autobots, the gladiatorial life flourished. Led by Megatron, who became one of its most infamous participants, this organized way of eliminating the weak links in the chain of revolution took on a life of its own. Soon, Megatron had all the support he needed, from those who were tired of being on the bottom of the Autobots system, those who wanted more but couldn’t have it, simply because of who they were born to be. Starscream, Soundwave, Astrotrain, even Grimlock. This is where the Decepticon revolution was born and this is where it needed to die, symbolically at least. The revolution, which turned into open war, had been dead for some time, as the Decepticon hierarchy imploded from the infighting and backstabbing it had endured for most of its existence. But to truly showcase its death to the remaining Decepticons, Tarn had to be destroyed. Wiped from the face of Cybertron.

And for that reason, the Technobots were here. Whether it was Prime’s orders, or maybe Magnus’s, Scattershot wasn’t sure. But the order came down: destroy Tarn. Every square inch of it. It was mostly empty, no one lived here anymore. When the war broke out, one of the first things Megatron did was leave this place, as it reminded him of who he was, where he came from. That can be a good thing, but it can also hinder an individual psychologically. So Megatron abandoned it, for the more practical and modern Darkmount base. But some remained, and even now some live here. Remnants of the old Decepticon ways, they stay here, not really hiding, but knowing that Autobots rarely ever come down here, just like Darkmount. Aerial patrol flies over regularly, but it’s been a long time since an Autobot set foot in this place. But here the Technobots are. Doing the dirty work.

The Technobots brought a squad of Autobots with them, simply as back up. They didn’t think they would need it, but there were still some derelicts living here, and they had to be removed before the explosives could be set off. Using the most updated blueprints they could find, the Technobots, accompanied by 2 Autobot drones each, fanned out and placed the explosives carefully, according to Scattershot’s plan. They had contemplated bringing down all the buildings one at a time, but it was deemed that it would take too long, and in the end it would just create a lot of rubble while leaving the underground structure largely intact. So Scattershot convinced Grimlock to allow him access to the Autobots’ nuclear arsenal, taking one large nuclear warhead along with six smaller ones, which would ensure the total destruction of the entire area, above and below ground. Optimus Prime wanted no sign of the gladiator arenas remaining. He called it a ‘cleansing’ of the planet, wiping out a bad part of its history. Grimlock had protested this, as the arenas were the very place Grimlock came from and learned how to fight, and more importantly, how to live. Scattershot had never known anyone personally from the arenas, as they were mostly Decepticons, except Grimlock and Inferno. But even Inferno wasn’t as experienced, as he was in the fights only for a short time, before Megatron finally revealed his grand plans. This made Inferno leave the gladiator ranks and join the Autobots outright. But Grimlock was here until the end, unable to decide which side he was supposed to be on, until Starscream made the choice for him on one fateful day.

But that’s history, and that history is about to be erased. The nukes have been set, the entire city cleared, and the Technobots were going back to their shuttle, to prepare take off before everything went sky high. Most of the Autobot squad that accompanied them was already back. Scattershot, Nosecone, Strafe and Afterburner were at the landing pad, waiting on Lightspeed, who had gone to place one of the smaller nukes. The idea was that by placing the large explosive in the middle of the city, in the lowest accessible level, and fanning out the 6 smaller nukes in equal distance and spacing from each other as well as the center, the explosions would be a chain reaction which destroyed the foundations of the entire city, collapsing the abandoned buildings above onto the underground structures of the gladiator arenas. That is, of course, if the nukes didn’t just outright incinerate everything, but Grimlock assured Scattershot that the nuke wasn’t that powerful, and the smaller ones would cause a ring of explosions, but nothing so powerful that there would be nothing left. Scattershot took Grimlock’s word, and now everything was set. All they were waiting for was Lightspeed’s return.

*** *** ***

Lightspeed’s optics flickered open. At first, he didn’t recognize where he was. His vision was blurry. His head was lit up in pain, and his right side was also on fire. He moved his head, and as his vision slowly cleared, he realized he was looking at his surroundings sideways. He was laying on the ground. What was he doing on the ground? Then it hit him: He had been attacked! But...by who? He couldn’t...he couldn’t remember! He sat up, shaking his head for a minute. The pain in his cerebral casing was subsiding, but the pain in his side...Lightspeed looked down, and his optics widened. He really was on fire! He had been shot! But...he remembered! The Combaticons! They were here! They were hiding down here in the depths! No! They...they took the nuke! Oh no! Lightspeed scrambled to his feet, but the damage to his side where he had been shot caused a fierce pain to shoot through his entire body, and he doubled over, holding his side. He stumbled, fell against a wall, then grabbed a pipe that was sticking out. After a few moments he steadied himself, finally clearing his head of the fog and the pain. He tried to put together the events of the last few breems. He was down here, setting up the small nuke. It had been prepped by the Dinobots, before it ever left the armory back in Iacon. All the Technobots had to do was place them in the pre-calculated spots, and activate the timers. Then...then the shots came. Someone fired on the Autobot drone soldiers who accompanied Lightspeed. After they brought the nuke in, they set it down and went back to the perimeter to stand watch, in case the earlier sweep missed someone who was still staying here. Lightspeed was left alone to complete the procedure, and he did. All except starting the countdown. That was because the blaster shots distracted him, and when he went to the entrance of the space that used to be the fighting arena to see what happened, he caught a shot right in the torso. He remembered now...the impact of the shot threw him backwards, and he fell on the ground. He tried to scramble to his feet as well as draw his gun at the same time, but the pain in his side was too much. By the time he regained his bearings and was able to focus on the entrance, the Combaticons had already got inside. Swindle was first, kicking Lightspeed’s gun out of his hand, followed by Brawl, who swung a fist and smashed it into the side of Lightspeed’s head. That shot didn’t knock him out, just dazed him and drove him back down on the ground. The next shot, however, did him in. As he was trying push himself back up, a direct hit to the back of his head turned his lights out until he came to just a few moments ago. He didn’t know which Combaticon it was, but it didn’t matter. He didn’t even see all of them, just Swindle, Brawl, and Onslaught, who came in just as Brawl punched him. What Lightspeed did know, was that the nuke was gone. He turned on his communicator.

“Uhhh…” he groaned. “Hel...hello…? Someone answer me…!”

Static.

“Scattershot! Come back!”

Static.

“Scattershot, do you copy? Come back! This is...uhhh...this is Lightspeed!”

Static.

“What’s going on…?” Lightspeed muttered to himself.

He then switched the frequency.

“Shuttle, this is Lightspeed.”

Static.

“What the hell is going on?!” he yelled to himself.

*** *** ***

At the shuttle, Scattershot was looking around. No sign of Lightspeed.

“Should we check on him?” Strafe asked. “He should have been back by now.”

“I can’t get him on the comm link.” Nosecone said. “Something’s messing with the signal.”

“Even from this close?” Scattershot asked. “He’s not that far away.”

“I don’t know.” Nosecone replied. “Maybe the nukes are interfering? The radioactive waves?”

“Ugh, don’t remind me.” Strafe said. “The sooner we get outta here and away from thos thinsg the better.”

“Agreed.” Scattershot said. “Let’s get on the shuttle and use the radio from the cockpit. Its boosted signal should be strong enough to reach him.”

“Yeah, but would he be able to answer?” Strafe asked back.

Both Scattershot and Nosecone shrugged, and turned to the shuttle. The drones, along with Afterburner, were standing by the ramp leading up to the side door. At Scattershot’s nod, they started walking up. Afterburner got inside first, and looked down the corridor leading from the cockpit to the cargo bay.

“Hey…” he said. “The cargo bay doors are open. I thought we shut them.

The drones filed in, some going down to the cockpit, some to the cargo bay. Afterburner walked after them, as Scattershot and the others arrived inside and looked down that way.

“What the hell?!” Afterburner said loudly.

The others looked down towards the cargo bay.

“One of the nukes is in here!” Afterburner shouted.

“What…?” Scattershot asked, dumbfounded.

He started walking down toward the cargo bay, but then saw Afterburner running back toward him.

“It’s armed! Get out! NOW!!!” he was screaming.

“How long…?” Scattershot asked after a moment’s hesitation.

But before Afterburner could answer, the corridor behind him lit up in the brightest light Scattershot had ever seen. The moment of realization of what happened and the actual energy blast from the nuclear warhead reached him at the same time. The last image in his cerebral circuits was Afterburner’s open mouth and alarmed optics. The scream froze on his face as the blast instantly vaporized him and did the same with the other 3 Technobots on board, as well as all the drone soldiers. The shuttle exploded in a violent flash of light, a moment later followed by a BOOM so loud it shook the ground for miles around. The nearby buildings also were flattened, and some others further away collapsed from the force of the shock wave as well as their foundations being rocked. There was nothing left of the shuttle or its surroundings, except a ball of fire that expanded up and out, the fire swallowing everything in its path.

*** *** ***

Lightspeed was running towards the shuttle as fast as his injury was letting him. Because of the damage to his torso, he couldn’t transform. He wasn’t even close, and that’s what saved him. He saw the brilliant flash of light coming from the direction he was heading in, and he instantly knew what happened. The Combaticons somehow got the stolen nuke to where the shuttle was, and set it off. He saw the fireball rise to the sky, and as he came to a stop, he turned around to run the other way. But the shock wave that accompanied the blast knocked him off his feet as well as shaking the buildings around him. Some stayed standing, some fell down. But it didn’t matter, in a few moments the blaze would reach here and incinerate everything anyway. Nonetheless, he got up and started running back where he came from, out of the city, as far from the blast as he could, as fast as he could. He was never gonna make it. Not in robot mode, anyway. But to transform...he just couldn’t. He couldn’t! But he had to! He initiated his transformation protocol and began configuring himself. The pain in his torso was unbearable. His shifting insides felt like someone was cutting them out with a laser saber. Finally, after a few agonizing moments, he was in vehicle mode. He couldn’t believe he didn’t pass out from the pain. But here he was, on 4 wheels, and speeding up. As much as it hurt him, he pushed his systems to the maximum, and he reached his top speed in a few seconds. The blastwave was still coming, but now he had a chance. He didn’t dare look back. Just drive. As hard as he could. As fast as he could. He made it out of the city limits, where there were no more buildings, just a flat plain. Lightspeed just kept going, as fast as he could. He outran the fire, which had slowed that far out from ground zero, and the nuke wasn’t that big anyway. But there were 5 more small ones and a big one! And they hadn’t exploded like they were supposed to! The thought brought a feeling of dread to Lightspeed. Had the Combaticons gotten all of them? But at that exact moment, his question was answered. The large nuclear warhead exploded, creating a flash of light many times more powerful than the smaller one. Moments later, the other 5 smaller ones exploded simultaneously, creating a ring of fire around the ever-expanding fireball that resulted in the big nuke. Lightspeed kept his speed up, even though his insides felt like they were burning as if he was caught in the nuclear blast. But he dared not stop. Behind him, the infamous city-state of Tarn was wiped off the face of Cybertron.
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Re: The Bad Seed.

Postby Rodimus Prime » Sun Sep 17, 2017 1:45 am

Hub Capital Iacon: Medical District

Some Time Ago


Streetwise stood outside the emergency room where Hotspot was being kept on life support. Miraculously, not only did he survive the Combaticons’ attack, but he stayed alive until Streetwise made it to the nearest security station. From there, he alerted central security command, and Jetfire himself flew out to Darkmount, followed by the Aerialbots. The Combaticons were still there, though they didn’t mess with Hotspot, probably thinking him dead, or Blades’ and Groove’s remains. They had separated by then, and when Jetfire showed up, they put up minimal resistance, by when the Aerialbots arrived, in the form of Superion, the ‘Cons hightailed it out of there. Some other ‘Cons stayed, or were left behind, and they paid the price. After Streetwise had detailed what happened to Jetfire as he was flying to Darkmount, Jetfire ordered the Aerialbots to combine before even arriving, and that they were to shoot any Decepticons they saw on sight. This would not go over well with Optimus Prime, or even Ultra Magnus, but Jetfire didn’t care. After learning how the Protectobots were trapped and 2 of them executed, he had no patience for the processes of the justice system. If the Combaticons gave up, they were to be taken into custody and put in prison. They likely weren’t going to see the outside for a long, long time, based on not only their actions against the Protectobots, but their actions previously during the war. But Jetfire knew they weren’t going to go without a fight. Sure, Swindle might try to weasel his way out of it with a deal, Brawl was probably too stupid to realize the trouble he was in, the two flyers were gonna do whatever Onslaught did, and the Combaticons leader was all too familiar to not only Jetfire, but to Silverbolt as well, who agreed wholeheartedly with Jetfire’s assessment of the situation. So Jetfire took it upon himself to skip the niceties and arrive at Darkmount with all guns blazing. Despite this, he found himself not only backing down, but close to being cornered in the firefight, until the Aerialbots arrived and took care of business. However, the Combaticons got away while the 6 Autobot flyers were busy with the rank-and-file ‘Cons that were also at the base. Streetwise had warned them about the large number, but Jetfire concentrated on the Combaticons, as they seemed to be organizing some sort of resistance to the Autobots’ new system. After Darkmount was secured, First Aid himself arrived with a medical team on his personal shuttle to see to Hotspot. He was crushed to learn about Groove and Blades, yet relieved when he saw Streetwise at the medical center when he got back with Hotspot. First Aid had taken well the new responsibilities of being the Chief Medical Officer, after Ratchet’s apparent demise on Earth. Both Optimus and Magnus expressed the utmost confidence in him, and he was voted into the new position unanimously by Prime, Magnus, Grimlock, Jetfire and Blaster. First Aid now occupied a seat on the council, being lead medical officer, and his word was just as important as the others’.

Still, his medical expertise did not include miracles, so he had to watch as his former commander held on to dear life with a faint spark. He had survived Bruticus’ point-blank shot due only to his superdense armor which he had installed to battle fires. This is why the rocket which hit him, even though it was an armor-piercer, didn’t do any major damage, and therefore the armor withstood the cannon blast from Bruticus. The impact was forceful enough to disconnect Hotspot’s limb joints, which is why he lost an arm and a leg, but those could be replaced. His spark-casing remained intact, as did his cerebral casing, even though he was in stasis-lock. First Aid knew he had a long way of recovery ahead of him. Damage like this couldn’t be repaired overnight. As the 2 remaining Protectobots stood outside Hotspot’s room, Magnus and Prowl walked toward them in the hallway.

“How is he?” Magnus asked before they even got there.

“He’s very lucky.” First Aid said. “Somehow, the blast hit him in the exact spot where his armor could radiate the impact evenly throughout his body. That’s the only reason he survived. Had the shot been a little bit higher, his spark-casing would have been damaged, or even completely crushed from the impact. If it was lower, it would have completely destroyed his torso, and the resulting system overload would have exploded his spark. So he’s extremely fortunate.”

“And you?” Magnus turned to Streetwise.

“I’m...I’ll be alright.” Streetwise said. “I’m just stressed over Hotspot.”

“You’re probably still in shock over the others.” First Aid said.

“How are you dealing with this?” Magnus asked First Aid.

“Well, I...I have a job to do.” First Aid responded, slightly bowing his head. “I have the entire planet to look after. I can’t stop just for one bot, even if that bot is a fellow Protectobot.”

“But it wasn’t just one bot.” Magnus said. “It was three of them.”

“I know. I’ll process it and deal with it the best I can. All I know is they weren’t the first, and unfortunately, they won’t be the last.”

“That’s true.” Prowl said, joining the conversation. “I think Jetfire was right in his reaction, though. Hopefully that sends a message to the remaining ‘Cons.”

“Well, Jetfire and I will have a chat regarding the situation.” Magnus said. “He’s back out at Darkmount, preparing the site to be demolished.”

“Demolished? How?” Streetwise asked.

“Nukes. We’re going to wipe it off the face of the planet.” Prowl answered for Magnus. “We’re doing it to a few other sites, mainly those that were prominent in the early stages of the war. Optimus Prime wants them gone. Not sure what practical good it will do, but at least it will bring a symbolic end to the Decepticons’ rise.”

“It will also remove scrapped parts of the surface of the planet, so that we can rebuild new and better communities in their places.” Magnus added. “Places that stand for peace and prosperity, instead of death and destruction.”

“I see.” Streetwise said. “And the Combaticons?”

“We’re still hunting them.” Magnus said. “They will be brought to justice.”

“Justice?” Streetwise asked back. “You actually plan to try to arrest them? After what they did?!”

“I understand you’re upset. But it’s the law.”

“Law?! How about their premeditation to murder fellow Autobots?! No way was what happened a coincidence or an accident! They set that up! Aren’t you going to consider that?! Aren’t you going to treat them as lethal fugitives?! So that the security patrol can kill them on sight?! That’s what they deserve!”

“Brother, calm down.” First Aid said, putting his hands on Streetwise’s shoulder and chest.

“Calm down?! Doesn’t this bother you?! They murdered our brothers and they’re being treated like common criminals?!”

“They’re NOT being treated as such, I assure you.” Magnus said firmly. “But, as I said, it’s the law. It has to be applied to everyone equally.”

‘What about the punishment fitting the crime?!” What about an optic of an optic?! What about fairness?!” Streetwise shouted, his whole body shaking in the process.

“Streetwise, it’ll be alright.” First Aid kept calming him. “They will get what they deserve. You know that.”

“Listen to him, Streetwise.” Magnus said. “Everything in its due time.”

“But until then? They get to just run around free? And probably do it to other Autobots?”

“Absolutely not.” Magnus said. “The Combaticons are being actively hunted, their capture the highest priority on the security protocols. They will be apprehended!”

With that, Magnus turned around and started walking back the way they came, but Prowl staying with the Protectobots.

“This is not happening!” Streetwise said. “How can he be so casual about this?”

“He’s doing what he thinks is the most productive.” Prowl said. “For the majority, and in the long run. If the law is circumvented for the Combaticons, soon others will demand swifter justice for other, perhaps lesser crimes as well. If it happens once, it’s easier to do it a second time. And that can only lead to a lawless society.”

“Yes, I understand that.” Streetwise said, a bit calmer. “But what they did, does that not merit a more serious consideration?”

“Of course it does.” Prowl said. “But like I said, Magnus is looking at the big picture. The biggest picture. The society we’re rebuilding on the entire planet. In order for that to succeed, laws not only must apply to everyone, but they must be upheld equally.”

“Ugh, whatever. All I know is, if I ever see a Combaticon again, law or no law, that’s a dead ‘Con!”

“Alright, Streetwise.” First Aid said. “You should probably sit down for a while. You’ve been through a lot. I checked you out, and physically you’re good to go, save for a few wounds from the gunfight. But otherwise, all you need is a nice long session on a recharge slab.”

“Yes...I suppose you’re right…”

“I’ll make sure he gets to his hab suite.” Prowl said to First Aid. “You probably have a lot of patients to attend to.”

“Well, my main concern is Hotspot, he has to be monitored constantly to make sure his systems don’t fail. It’s still a critical time for him.”

“Alright, then. You heard that, right Streetwise? The best thing you can do for Hotspot right now is get your own recuperation on your own. First Aid needs to be here to watch over him, as well as other other patients.”

“Yeah, I got it. I’m just…”

‘You’re still upset.” Prowl said. “And for good reason. But come with me, and we’ll get everything taken care of.”

“Alright then.” First Aid said. “Just go with Prowl, and I’ll check in on you later, alright?”

“Yeah. Let me know if something happens with Hotspot, good or bad.”

“I will.”

With that, First Aid went back into Hotspot’s room, and the other 2 started walking away down the corridor.

“I know you want justice for the others.” Prowl said. “But we have to respect Magnus’s orders.”

“We ‘have to?’ Sounds like you don’t really agree with what he said.”

“To be honest, Streetwise, I don’t. I see way too many reports of Decepticons committing crimes anywhere from simple assault and petty larceny to vandalism and even large scale attacks on Autobot establishments. Not all Decepticons are willing to go along with our new system, even if their only other option is to be outlaws.”

“Not surprising. That’s what they are to begin with, outlaws. You forget, Prowl, that I’m a cop, just like you? I see some of those reports as well.”

“No, I haven’t forgotten. But I know you also like to do things by the book, just like Magnus.”

“Well, just because something works, doesn’t mean it can’t be improved upon, or be flexible under certain circumstances.”

“I’m glad to hear you say that.” Prowl said with a slight smile, and put an arm around Streetwise. “You see, I’ve been thinking along the same lines, but I’m not sure if there’s anything that can be done. Not by me, anyway. Magnus and I work too close together. If I authorize some...how should I say, questionable operations, Magnus and Prime will certainly notice. I know Jetfire also favors some improvements to existing law, to allow for more...er, immediate punishment, but something like that would take a while to implement. But in the end, it would happen. Unfortunately, while Magnus drags the changes through all the proceedings, crimes such as what happened to your brother Protectobots will keep happening. They will keep happening because the perps know they can get away with it. Because even if they’re caught, they will be just thrown in jail until the trial and that could take a long, long time. Meanwhile, their victims, like your brothers, will wait in vain for justice.”

“But what can be done about that?” Streetwise asked. “I mean, it’s the law, and it has to be followed.”

“Yeah, as long as it’s done officially, the laws of the justice system apply to all accused members of our society.”

“‘Officially?’ What do you mean by that?”

“Like I said, the end result will still be the same. Justice will be delivered. But, sometimes it’s worth keeping things out of the justice system to avoid slowing it down even more.”

“Uhh...Prowl, are you saying what I think you’re saying?”

“I don’t know what you’re thinking. I’m simply saying that in the end, the Combaticons will pay for their crimes. They will be hunted down, apprehended or killed, depending on what they do. But if they do get apprehended, they will sit in prison for a while. Then their trial will take place, then their sentencing. And I know the end result will be their execution. But what if all that can be avoided, and they end up the same way?”

“Are you talking about...about killing them without giving them the chance to surrender?”

“Heh...I didn’t say that. I believe in upholding the law.”

“But if the end result is the same...why bother? I mean, I understand Magnus’s argument, but it’s just a big waste of time!”

“Well, what would you have us do? That’s how we deal with criminals. It’s the process.”

“It’s just that...if they can be dealt with much swifter, why waste the time and effort?”

“That’s the way I look at it.”

“Prowl, I’m not sure what you’re trying to get at, but I have a feeling that if I managed to hunt down the Combaticons, and didn’t make much of an effort to arrest them, I could count on you to look the other way.”

“As long as you make an effort, that’s all I can ask. That’s all the law can ask.”

“Yeah...yeah.”

“So why don’t we go someplace and talk about what exactly that means?”

“Alright...First Aid did say I should relax anyway.”

“Exactly.”

The 2 of them walked out of the medical facility, towards the outskirts of Iacon. Somewhere quiet. Somewhere secluded. Somewhere beyond the long arm of Ultra Magnus’s law.
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Re: The Bad Seed.

Postby Rodimus Prime » Sun Sep 17, 2017 11:20 pm

The Sea of Rust

Present Day


“So do you think he made it?” Smokescreen asked.

“I don’t know.” Bluestreak answered. “I haven’t heard anything.”

They were driving through the vast plain, with nothing and no one in sight. On Cybertron, the Sea of Rust was the largest single geographical feature on the surface of the planet. Both the Manganese Mountains and the Sonic Canyons came close, but neither was as large in area. If one is not equipped to traverse this desolate plain, bad things can happen out here. No one has been able to figure out why the Sea of Rust is here. Everywhere else on the planet, the surface is fit to be mined, to be built on, even with the destruction of a long galactic war as well as the attack by Unicron. But here? Out here nothing survives, no matter how deep the foundations are built, or how much new buildings are taken care of. Sooner or later, everything gets rusty. Everything. The Sea of Rust in an oval-shaped plain, resting between the Manganese Mountains to the East, the Tagan Heights to the West, Iacon to the North, and Kaon to the South. It was one of the reasons Shockwave made Kaon the capital of the Decepticon Empire. He built one of his infamous towers on the outskirts of the city, and he could watch Iacon from there, looking straight over the Sea of Rust. It made Iacon and Kaon close together, yet so far away, when the treacherous conditions of the desert were considered. During the day, when the Alpha Centauri star was high overhead, the Sea blazed in the heat, the rust dust burning anyone who dared to walk or drive on its surface. At night, it was cold and unforgiving, many bots suffering its crippling climate if their bodies weren’t properly insulated or maintained. Bottom line, unless a bot was in top notch condition, s/he had no business going through the Sea of Rust by him/herself. It was best to travel in a group, or take a shuttle over. The Sea could be crossed in a day by faster bots, and Blurr could probably do it in an afternoon, but bigger and slower bots are usually prone to breaking down from the dust above the surface as well as overheating or their systems seizing up in the cold at night. But Bluestreak and Smokescreen have done this a few times, and they knew how to prepare. A lot of times they would go around the Sea, staying in occupied territories, but that normally takes a couple of days. This time, they had no choice. They had to get back to Iacon as soon as possible. If Misfire was caught by an air patrol, or by himself decided to go to someone about what happened, they had some work to do to cover their tracks. They had to talk to Prowl, first and foremost, and it was not a conversation that could be done over a communicator. They could be overheard or even just routinely recorded. They couldn’t take that chance, not with what they have been doing.

“Well, I hope we get there in time, this is a mess I’d rather not get into.” Smokescreen said. “I mean, I really don’t care, it would just be a hassle. And to have to listen to Prowl lecture us about taking the necessary precautions. I mean, I agree with how he looks at most things, but damn, he can talk too much.”

“Yeah…”

“Hey. ‘Streak. Don’t worry bro. It’ll be alright. Like I said, even if he gets to spill his guts to someone, it’s a good chance he’ll be written off as a lunatic and thrown into a jail cell.”

“Yeah, that might be. But what if he doesn’t? What if someone actually takes him seriously and reports what he says? And what if the report gets by Prowl, and ends up on Magnus’s desk? Or worse yet, in the hands of Jetfire or Grimlock? You know Grimlock is just waiting for a reason to tear Prowl apart. And finding out that he has been covering up our little off-the-books missions would be just the right reason. I mean, we’re committing murder, for Primus’ sake! We’re…”

“Enough! If you had a problem with this, you should have stayed out of it! Bluestreak, what we’re doing is not ‘murder,’ as you say. It’s justice! Or at the very least, retribution! You know how many Autobots, humans, Nebulans, and other alien species the Decepticons killed during the war? I’m sure there were even entire planets they took over, wiping out entire races of beings! You know how Shockwave planned to win the war! His favorite form of conquest was terraforming! Destroy the environment of a species, and it will die out on its own. Shockwave always thought that Megatron’s ambition was one of his weaknesses, as it led to his brashness and bluster, the way he would go about conquering other worlds. Remember, the Decepticons’ original plan was to take over as many worlds as they could, bringing their rule to the entire galaxy. Sure, they overran Cybertron, but that was never going to be enough. Both Megatron and Shockwave openly said so.”

“Right, but how does that make what we’re doing right? Like you said, I went along with it because you and Prowl made a compelling argument about punishing the Decepticons, but I don’t know anymore. Killing unarmed Decepticons is still...just not right.”

“It’s called getting their comeuppance. Bluestreak, Prowl and I came to the conclusion that the new system being set up by the hierarchy, especially by Optimus Prime and Ultra Magnus, while good for the entire Autobot population in the long run, let’s some Decepticons through the cracks. ‘Cons who are guilty of monstrous atrocities during the war. You think Shockwave and Megatron were the only ones capable of genocide? Of ruthless eradication of innocent beings?”

“No, of course not…”

“Damn right! They’re all guilty! All of them! And with the new system, a lot of them will either spend a lot of time in a jail cell, or be allowed to outright walk around free. And that’s just appalling to me. How are they allowed to be even walking around? After what they did?! And just because the war is over, that doesn’t mean the ‘Cons are done with their ways! You hear about crimes against Autobots on a constant daily basis! So as far as I’m concerned, we’re just taking out the trash without waiting for the disposal unit to arrive.”

“I understand that. I told you and Prowl that I did, way back then. But I thought we would mostly be apprehending Decepticons, throwing them in prison. Not outright killing them.”

“But you had no problem doing it after you joined us. Hell, you even enjoyed it, once Prowl got you that shotgun.”

“No. I never enjoyed murder. The first few times we...we killed Decepticons, it was in self-defense. Remember? They attacked us, we fired on them to get them under control.”

‘Yet they died anyway. And you lost no time on a recharge slab over them. Did you?”

“No. I guess not.”

After that, they drove in silence for a while, keeping a watch on their systems. They were a little over halfway past the midpoint of the Sea, and the rust dust was starting to get thick on their bodies. But as long as they kept it off their cooling system and their wheels, they would be alright. After a little while Smokescreen picked up the conversation.

“So tell me, what made you decide to join our little cause anyway?” he asked Bluestreak. “I mean, I get that you agreed with Prowl about the justice needing to be swifter, but later on, Prowl had us do some things that were questionable even to me. And obviously you have a different idea of what swift justice is than we do.”

“Well, after the first few incidents, I just...I don’t know. I saw how the Decepticons were behaving, and I guess I came to the conclusion that in the end, they were gonna end up the same way. Whether they were tried and sentenced, or if they refused to surrender and had to be...taken out by force.”

“So you figured our way was the more efficient and sensible way.”

“More efficient, sure. Sensible? That’s what I’m having a problem with. Processing the things we’ve been doing lately. Like this last time. Those 2 ‘Cons just wanted to become a part of our new system without going through all the legal stuff. They just wanted new lives.”

“Yeah, without having to answer for their old ones. It doesn’t work that way.”

“But they were willing to do what it took. I mean…”

“Yeah. They helped us kill a bunch of their fellow Decepticons. Don’t you think that makes them even worse?”

“We didn’t exactly tell them what we were doing. They wanted to help, and we...no, you took advantage of that. And then…”

‘Wait! Wait! Are you hanging their treachery on me? As I recall, you were there as well! And it’s not like we had to twist their arms!”

“No. But I didn’t know what you had planned. I didn’t know the crate had a bomb in it. I thought you were gonna have them spy on their hideout so we can alert a security squad, or even Jetfire or Grimlock, and they would go deal with it! And where did you get that bomb, anyway?”

“Prowl’s orders were clear. We were to assess the situation and deal with it accordingly.”

“Prowl? So he gave you the explosives!”

“Yes. Yes, he did. When he said ‘deal with it accordingly,’ that’s what he had in mind.”

“And you followed his order without a second thought.”

“That’s what we agreed on when all this started. That’s what you agreed to when you joined us. Prowl is the boss, he makes the calls, we do the work. He supplies the weaponry, we execute the plan. Simple. In exchange, his hands stay clean, and we stay off the higher-ups’ radar. The Decepticons go down, and the system keeps moving smoothly. The ‘Cons don’t become a burden to our new society. Everybody wins.”

“But not all ‘Cons would become a burden! I think our latest mission proves that Misfire and Slugslinger were willing to become productive members of our society. All they asked was that we help them through the assimilation process faster. They wanted to get away from the Decepticon way of life, and they were willing to do what we asked in exchange. And we still treated them like the ‘Cons that straight up wanted to kill us. That’s what I’m having a problem with.”

“Well, when we get back to Iacon, you can voice your concerns to Prowl. Personally, I’m not going to keep going back and forth with you. It’s your conflict and you have to settle it. I made my choice, and I’m a bot of my word. I agreed to do a certain duty, and I am doing it. I take Prowl at his word that in the long run, what we’re doing helps us. The Autobots. That’s all the reassurance I need if my conscience ever decides to second-guess my actions.”

‘Well...maybe I will have a talk with Prowl when we get back. We’re supposed to meet him somewhere outside Iacon anyway, aren’t we?”

“Yes. We have a safe house on the outskirts, away from prying optics and security surveillance. Prowl carefully searched for it and picked it out a while ago. I have been meeting him there to get our latest assignments. We’ll be there soon. We’re about ⅔ of the way through the Sea.

*** *** ***

Prowl and Streetwise sat at the round table in the old abandoned repair station. It hadn’t been used for some time, as the newer, more updated buildings and equipment became the norm. They weren’t going to be able to use it forever, as Prowl knew the building, along with many like it, was scheduled to be demolished to ‘improve Iacon’s image,’ as Ultra Magnus had put it. But for now, it would do. Prowl would worry about finding another place later, as it became necessary.

“So what do you think?” he asked Streetwise.

“I...I’m not sure. It sounds good.” Streetwise answered. “I mean...it makes sense. But...it’s illegal. I want to help you...I just...I don’t know.”

“It’s only illegal if you consider the law forbidding it. The same law that allows scum like the Combaticons to walk around and do what they did!” Prowl responded, not angrily, but still forcefully. He didn’t want to overdo it and have Streetwise back out. But this was the moment of truth. If he was gonna add yet another Autobot to his cause, he had to keep up the pressure.

“Yeah...yeah, I know that.”

“Well, then? What’s the problem? I’m offering you not only a measure of revenge, and by that justice for your fellow Protectobots, but a way to be more productive in the justice system. Think about it! Every ‘Con you handle on your own will never see the inside of a jail cell or a justice hall. They will never be a burden to our new society that we’re trying to build! And you agree with me, they’re all guilty! All of them! For them, the end will be the same, no matter what road they take. Streetwise, you are a cop, just like me. You have seen what damage Decepticons do when they go unchecked. And I’m not even talking about the war. I’m talking about now. Right now. There’s a ‘Con out there right now, stealing from a hard-working Autobot. Or assaulting an unsuspecting bot on his way home from whatever job he has taken to be a productive part of our new system. And the system to deal with them is just too slow. They will keep getting away with it until someone puts a stop to them. Sure, eventually they will face a sentencing, but when will that be? Who knows? And for worse ‘Cons, like the murderers whom you survived, the system won’t even bring punishment. They will die before they surrender. You know this. So why wait? Why spend the time and resources to try to hunt them down and apprehend them? When in the end they will end up the same? And you won’t even get the satisfaction of delivering justice for your brothers yourself. Some other bot you might even know gets to do it. Or worse, some security patrol drone gets a lucky shot in, and the Combaticon will die thinking he got away with all the atrocities he had committed before he was caught.”

“Okay.” Streetwise said quietly. “I get your point. But how can the 2 of us make a difference? Even if the way we do things brings swifter justice, it’s just us against an untold number of Decepticons out there. How could we…”

He was interrupted by a sound coming from the side of the building. It was a ‘click’ at first, then a louder sound, and finally a ‘bang!’

“What...what was that?” Streetwise asked.

“That…” Prowl said with a smile. “...was the odds getting a little better in our mission to make this planet peaceful again.”

Smokescreen and Bluestreak came into the room and sat down at the table.

“What’s going on here?” Smokescreen asked, already suspecting the answer.

“We have a new supporter to our cause.” Prowl said.

“Your...so you’re involved in this as well?” Streetwise asked.

“Yes.” Smokescreen answered. “It can’t be done by yourself. You need others to help you. And I don’t want to be insensitive, but now that some of your...fellow teammates are gone, maybe it’s time you joined a new team.”

“Yeah...maybe you’re right.”

“I know I am. Since I started this, I feel so much better. Knowing I’m doing something to help our society move forward. To deliver justice for those who may never get otherwise.”

Bluestreak didn’t say anything, but when Streetwise looked at him, he smiled reassuringly.

“You’re doing the right thing.” Smokescreen said. “Trust me.”

“Alright.” Streetwise said. “I’m in.”
Rodimus Prime
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Re: The Bad Seed.

Postby Rodimus Prime » Mon Sep 18, 2017 12:59 am

Hub Capital Iacon: Central Police Headquarters

Present Day


Lightspeed was still on edge. He was at the main police station, arriving here after reaching one of the security posts on the outskirts of the city, then being transported to the Medical District. It turned out his blaster wound wasn’t very serious, he had just aggravated it some by transforming and pushing his systems to the maximum to get away from the nuclear blasts. His naturally fast speed also helped, but he was almost in overload by the time he reached the security outpost. Luckily, he was met by a security squad who was on standby to go to Tarn after the blasts, to begin a sweep for anyone who might have gotten injured, even though the entire area was cleared out. Or so they thought. After all, the Combaticons were there. But how? How could they show up without the security scans picking them up? Either by the aerial drone units or by the shuttle the Technobots had taken? This was bothering Lightspeed ever since he was patched up and brought to Central.

His thoughts were interrupted by the door opening, and Red Alert came in.

“Hey.” he said. “How are you holding up?”

“How?” Lightspeed answered, a bit perplexed. “I just survived an assault by the Combaticons, then outran a series of nuclear explosions. How do you think I’m feeling?!”

“”Yeah, I guess that was stupid of me to ask. I was just…”

“It’s alright. I’m sorry I snapped. I’m just...I’m just a little bit revved up over this. Have you heard from the others? I wasn’t able to get in touch with Scattershot before the blasts, and I haven’t heard from them yet. Have they contacted you?”

“Lightspeed, I...I’m sorry. From what we can gather so far, it looks like nobody else made it out of Tarn.”

“What...wait…what?! You mean…”

“We’re still searching the ruins. It finally settled down, the aftermath dissipated enough to have a crew go over the area with scanners. But the nukes did what they were supposed to do. They destroyed everything. Above and below the surface. Just like it was planned.”

“But...but we had a shuttle...and a squad of drones! They could…”

“I personally reviewed the surveillance recordings, as well as the flight logs for that shuttle. There’s no indication whatsoever that it lifted off before the blasts. I have been in contact with Blaster as well, he’s personally overseeing the evaluation of communication recordings from Tarn from the time you arrived until the moment the first nuke went off.”

“Yeah, I tried talking to them, but couldn’t get an answer...I thought maybe the nukes…”

“No, the nukes wouldn’t cause any interference. That’s not how they work.”

“Then what…?”

“Lightspeed, I got the report from the security outpost commander where you first arrived. It says here that you told them you were attacked by the Combaticons before you could set the final nuclear device. Is that correct?”

“Yes. Why would I say it if it wasn’t?”

“I’m not questioning your honesty. It’s just that you had been through a traumatic experience, when you got there your systems were all maxed out, and that can have adverse effects on a bot’s cerebral circuits. So I just wanted to make sure you can confirm the events now that you calmed down some and had a chance to collect yourself.”

“Yes. The Combaticons attacked me and they stole the nuke I was setting up. Do you think...do you think they attacked the others? I mean…”

“I don’t know much at this point. I’m still waiting on both the survey crew and Blaster’s report on communications. I just wanted to get your statement so that I can start piecing this together. Once we have more, we can start looking for the other Technobots. All we know for sure right now is that all the nukes went off as planned, except for one. It was not in the pre-planned coordinates, so the destruction wasn’t evenly carried out. Tarn is still in ruins, so the desired end result was still achieved, but the security recordings show that the first explosion was on the outskirts of the city, where your shuttle landed. In your statement you said the nuke was gone when you regained consciousness after being attacked, and the other explosions all took place as they were supposed to, so I think it’s safe to assume the nuke that exploded out of place was the one that was taken from you.”

‘Are...are you saying the shuttle was blown up?”

“Yes. And furthermore, I’m working on the theory that since the other nukes went off as planned, the other Technobots had returned to the shuttle after installing the explosives where they were supposed to go.”

“So...so what are you saying? That they all got blown up in the shuttle?! Is that…? No! I don’t believe it! No, they have to be out there somewhere! They’re just out of range, or something! They…”

“Lightspeed, I’m sorry, but so far all the evidence points to them being caught up in the blast. I know this is hard to hear, but I don’t want to give you false hope. But like I said, Blaster’s search could prove me wrong, as well as the survey crew’s findings. They’re going over the ruins right now. We should…”

The door opened again, interrupting Red Alert. Hot Rod walked in.

‘Hey, what are you doing here?” Red Alert asked. “I was expecting Prowl.”

“I just talked to Blaster.” Hot Rod said. He then looked down at Lightspeed, who was looking back at him half dreading bad news, half expecting good news. It made for a strange expression on his face.

‘It’s alright.” Red Alert said. “He has been briefed of my theory regarding his fellow Techobots.”

“Well, unfortunately your theory seems to be more and more accurate.” Hot Rod said somberly. “Blaster reviewed all the communication recordings, and it seems the Technobots never made it out of Tarn before the explosions. Except for Lightspeed here. The last recorded communication was Lightspeed trying to raise them on his comm-link. They hadn’t reported an attack or any malfunction with a nuke. It seems they were just waiting to take off before the explosions. They did try to raise you as well. But there seemed to be some interference to prevent you from communicating with each other.”

“Waiting...for me.” Lightspeed said quietly. “If I hadn’t gotten jumped...if I was more...vigilant, this wouldn’t have happened.”

“No, it’s not your fault.” Hot Rod said. “You did your job and so did they. Somehow the Combaticons managed to sneak in there and attack you. That’s not your responsibility, that’s a security issue. Which means it’s something Prowl needs to get to the bottom of. Someone didn’t perform a thorough enough security sweep before you went in there. We’ll figure it out.”

“Doesn’t matter.” Lightspeed said, still quietly. “ The others are dead. If it hadn’t been for the Combaticons, I would have done my job, gotten back to the shuttle, and we would have taken off in plenty of time. But they were waiting on me. So it’s…”

“NO.” Red Alert said. “Like I said, the first explosion was at the location of the shuttle. It’s not like the others just sat there waiting for the nukes to go off just because you hadn’t arrived. If they noticed something was off, they would have gone searching for you. Everything was going as planned. Until that first explosion.”

Before Lightspeed could respond, Prowl entered the room.

“Hey. I just got updated on the situation. I was…” he started to say, then stopped when he saw Hot Rod. “What are you doing here? This isn’t any of your concern!”

“I just brought Blaster’s report.” Hot Rod replied calmly. “ I thought Red Alert and Lightspeed should know as soon as possible.”

‘Yeah, and it’s my job to coordinate the investigations. Not yours. So why don’t you…”

“Hey!” Red Alert interrupted them. “Is this really necessary? Shouldn’t we be concentrating on getting to the bottom of this?”

“Right.” Prowl said, composing himself. “I just finished with the survey crew, and talked to Blaster. It seems the other Technobots never made it out of Tarn. The nuclear blast wiped away everything, but from all the data gathered, it’s now almost certain that the shuttle didn’t take off. We had aerial drones sweep the surrounding areas, even for the bodies of the others, i case they made it out of the blast zone, but couldn’t make it to a populated area, but nothing. They never left. I’m sorry, Lightspeed.”

Lightspeed didn’t say anything, just bowed his head at first, then buried his face in his hands. He had to face the certainty that his fellow Technobots were dead. Murdered by the Combaticons. He remained quiet for a few moments, then slammed both his hands down on the table.

“DAMN IT!!!” he shouted.

Hot Rod walked over to him and put a hand on his shoulder, and left the room without a word. Prowl also put a hand on Lightspeed’s shoulder, and he looked at Red Alert.

‘It’s alright.” Red Alert said. “I’ll finish here. You should get going on finding out if you had a lapse in security with the pre-blast sweeps. The Combaticons were there somehow, they got past our security checks.”

‘Yeah. I’m on it.” Prowl said and left the room.

*** *** ***

Hot Rod walked outside and stopped. He was trying to piece the events leading up to the explosions together, given Lightspeed’s account, Blaster’s report, and now the survey crew’s findings. How did the Combaticons get in there after Tarn had been locked down? After everyone was cleared out, it was supposed to be under tight security until the demolition. But they got in there somehow. Maybe he should have asked Prowl about it, since security is Prowl’s responsibility. He may not have been there personally, but in the end, he’s responsible for all security decisions. Well, Prowl really has to check with Ultra Magnus, but this was a planned routine operation, so Prowl handled it.

“Hey!” Prowl said loudly behind him, bringing Hot Rod out of his thoughts.

As Hot Rod turned around, Prowl reached him and shoved him in the chest with both hands.

“What the hell do you think you’re doing?! Security matters are my concern, not yours! Why don’t you go back to Prime and leave the important work to those of us who know what we’re doing!” Prowl said.

“First of all, Ultra Magnus sent me down here.” Hot Rod replied calmly. “Second, Prime told him to send me, because he expects a report back as soon as possible. Not through the regular channels. It seems the Combaticons have been very busy lately, and it’s making both Prime and Magnus nervous. Somehow they’re getting away with blatantly murdering Autobots, and they keep escaping. Third, if you put your hands on me again, police chief or not, we’re gonna go round and round. Understand?”

‘You little…” Prowl said and swung at Hot Rod.

Hot Rod ducked and shoved Prowl in the back.

“Stop!” Hot Rod said.

Without a word, Prowl turned to him and charged. Hot Rod sidestepped, and Prowl missed again with a tackle. But this time he swung backwards with his arm, and Hot Rod couldn’t avoid it. The fist slammed into the side of his head, sending him stumbling to the wall. Prowl followed up with another punch to the torso, then another to the other side of the head. Hot Rod pushed off the wall, ramming Prowl with his back. Prowl wrapped his arms around Hot Rod and threw him to the ground.

“Now...it’s time you learned some respect!”

He kicked Hot Rod, causing him to fold up on his knees. He went for another kick, but Hot Rod blocked it and yanked Prowl’s leg out from under him. Prowl fell down, and Hot Rod got on top of him, punching him in the shoulders and head. Prowl blocked most of the shots to his head, and Hot Rod got back up. Prowl rolled backwards over his own shoulders and got to his feet as well. They stepped toward each other, and grabbed each other by the chestplate. But Prowl, having police training, got leverage by shifting his body and managed to put Hot Rod into a full nelson hold. Hot Rod squirmed to get out of it, but he couldn’t. Prowl again shifted his body, causing Hot Rod to lose his balance. He went down face first, with Prowl on top of him. Prowl pinned him on the ground, and got his mouth close to Hot Rod’s audio receptors.

‘I don’t care what you have going on with Prime.” he said, half whispering, half hissing. “But stay the hell out of my way, you understand? You will never be my superior. Never. I’ll kill you first!”

With that, Prowl let Hot Rod go, and as he was getting back up, drove a knee into Hot Rod’s back. Hot Rod groaned, but stayed down. Prowl stood up and looked down at Hot Rod. He composed himself and turned around. Hot Rod struggled to his feet, dazed by the physical assault as much as by what Prowl had just said. He wanted to attack Prowl again, but he remained calm. Prowl had just made a big mistake. And next time, Hot Rod would be ready. Prowl waited for a moment to see what Hot Rod would do. But when the young bot didn’t commence an attack, Prowl smirked at his apparent superiority and simply walked back into the police station. Hot Rod slowly walked away, still processing what just happened, and what the repercussions would be. Prowl was a bad cop, and he had to be dealt with. But Hot Rod had to be careful. Prowl still held considerable status in the Autobot ranks, and an outright accusation would be foolish. He needed to be patient. The right time would come.
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Re: The Bad Seed.

Postby Rodimus Prime » Thu Sep 21, 2017 2:55 am

Unbeknownst to Prowl, the real threat to his plans was a lot closer than he thought. The Central Police Headquarters complex was a very large and intricate group of buildings, and even though Prowl was in charge of the entire thing (while still answering to Ultra Magnus), even he wasn’t aware of every single thing that was going on. Most things rarely concerned him anyway, that’s why he had subordinates, such as lieutenants and inspectors, to deal with the small stuff. Things like simple assaults, traffic infractions, and UDAs (Unauthorized Decepticon Activities) like transforming, carrying weapons, congregating in public and flying, among other things. One of these offenses was what brought Prowl’s as-yet-unknown threat into the other side of Central Police Headquarters: Misfire was indeed caught by and aerial squad as he flew away from Bluestreak and Smokescreen, and now here he was, sitting in a cell, awaiting a certain special someone to visit him.

Misfire had complied with the aerial patrol, landing immediately when he was ordered. Upon landing, he demanded to the squad leader that he be taken to an authority figure high up in Autobot security so that he could tell his story. When the squad leader was going to cite him for 1 count of UDA and let him go with his citation detailing his offense and penalty (loss of 50% of energon rations for one week), Misfire reared back and punched the squad leader in the face, prompting the others to tackle and restrain him. Assaulting a security patrol officer, even if it was a drone, is a higher profile offense, requiring the offender to spend one cycle in the nearest security holding station. So when Misfire was thrown into the jail cell on the outskirts of The Tagan Heights, he immediately became frantic, thinking that Smokescreen and Bluestreak would track him there. But as his luck would have it, the commander of the air security forces, Jetfire, was at that very station, doing some routine administrative work. When he heard the report of a Decepticon flyer being brought in who swore up and down that he was almost murdered by 2 Autobots, he decided to question the ‘Con himself. It didn’t take long for Jetfire to deduce that Misfire wasn’t just blowing waste out of his exhaust, and after a basic check of his mental faculties by an on-site medical assistant, he decided that Misfire’s claims had some validity, therefore requiring a more thorough interrogation. So Jetfire himself flew Misfire, in restraints and under guard of 4 air security drones, in a shuttle over to Iacon. En route, he notified Ultra Magnus of the situation. He had thought about contacting Prowl, but he was still contemplating the meeting they had the day before, and decided that Autobot vigilantes was still a sore subject with the police chief, so he took it a step further. He hated bothering Magnus, but police interrogations were not Jetfire’s strong suit, and if there was truth to Misfire’s claims, the matter was too important to be simply run up the chain of command. Magnus had to hear it first hand.

As Misfire sat in the interrogation room in the Central building, he could barely hold his thoughts together. He had escaped an explosion that killed more ‘Cons than he had seen die during the war, then saw his best friend be murdered by 2 ruthless Autobots who tricked them into delivering the explosives for that bomb attack, and finally he somehow managed to escape those 2 Autobots. Incredibly, someone actually believed him when he recounted his story, and not just someone, but an Autobot High Council member! So hopefully this was gonna go somewhere. But whoever they were waiting for had better get there soon, as Misfire’s cerebral circuits were on the verge of shorting out. He looked up from the table he was sitting at, his arms bound to the top. Jetfire stood off to the side, just looking at him.

“So…” Misfire started meekly. “...who are we waiting for?”

“Ultra Magnus.” Jetfire said matter-of-factly. “And you better be telling the truth, because if we waste his time on some scrap you thought would be funny to conjure, I’m gonna be somewhat perturbed. And that’s not something you want to be the cause of.”

“I...I’m...I’m not making this up...I promise. I can tell you exactly where…”

“Save it for Magnus. I believe you, for now. That’s why you’re here. Once you talk with him, he will make the call on what to do next.”

“Oh...alright…”

On cue, the door to the room opened, and Ultra Magnus walked in, barely able to fit his broad and high shoulders through. Behind him was Nightbeat, another Autobot detective.

“You know, the war is over.” Jetfire said to Magnus with a smile. “You don’t have to walk around in your armor all the time. Are you afraid that shiny white paint job will get scratched?”

Magnus replied with a slight smirk, then returned to being all business. He walked around the table and sat down opposite Misfire. Nightbeat walked over to the wall and leaned against it, keeping quiet. As the huge Autobot stared him down, Misfire felt like crawling under the table. Magnus looked like he was about to burst with rage. Unbeknownst to him, Magnus was calm and cool, that’s just how he looked. All the time. Apparently, it worked.

“Well, then.” Magnus started. “It was brought to my attention that you survived an attempt on your life by 2 Autobots. Is that correct?”

“Yes.” Misfire answered timidly.

“Can you identify them?”

“Y-yes. S-smokescreen and...and...B-bluestreak.”

“Are you certain?”

“Yes.”

“What makes you so sure?”

“I...I know their...physical appearances...and...and...they ref-referred to e-each other...by name.”

Magnus considered this for a moment. The ‘Con was obviously rattled, but in the report he was given on the way over included a basic mental evaluation signed off on by Jetfire, stating that Misfire was in control of his mental faculties, therefore he wasn’t delusional. So assuming he was not simply a very good actor, he was telling the truth. Which meant the rumors of Autobot vigilantism were not rumors at all. And if that was true, Magnus had a real problem on his hands.

“Alright.” Magnus said, then turned to Nightbeat and gave him a slight nod, then turned back to Misfire. “I know you’ve been asked this repeatedly, but I would like you to recount the events that led you to being here step by step, beginning with your first contact with these 2 Autobots.”

Magnus then stood up, and walked to the side. Nightbeat took his seat.

“Oh...to...to you?” Misfire looked at Nightbeat.

“Yes.” Nightbeat said. “Please begin. Be thorough and concise. Do not rush anything. Take your time if anything is hard to remember. We have all the time we need.”

“Oh...al...alright.” Misfire said. “I was given an assignment by Motormaster to pick up a crate in Kaon. I was told it would be waiting for me when I got there, and I was to go see Onslaught, leader of the Combaticons. Now I realize that us Decepticons are forbidden by your rules from identifying ranks and squad allegiances, but among us, we still refer to each other as we had during the war. We just don’t say it when we’re around Autobots. So I hope you don’t mind if I use rank and squad identification. You did tell me to recount the events as accurately as possible.”

“It’s fine. You have my permission.” Magnus said instead of Nightbeat.

“Very well. So I get to Kaon and find the designated meeting place. There, I’m approached by Blast Off, one of the Combaticons. He tells me to come to an area more secluded from where we were. It was kinda dark, so I was a little worried. But then, as we headed through a doorway, Slugslinger, my best friend and flying buddy, was standing there. He reassured me that everything was alright. Then we got to the back wall of a building adjacent to the one we met in, and stopped. There was nothing there. I was about to ask if there was a problem, when Blast Off reached down and grabbed what I thought was a piece of scrap metal on the ground. It turned out to be a door handle. He lifted it, and there was a stairway underneath, leading into the ground somewhere. He went first, then I followed, and Slugslinger came behind me, shutting the door over his head. We were in a corridor, and it led straight away from the door, under the building we stood behind just a moment ago. Not long after, we came to a room. On the other side was another door, presumably to more underground areas, but I never found out, because Blast Off stopped me. He told both Slugslinger and I to wait there, that he would be right back. He then went through the other door. A few moments later, Swindle came back, followed by Onslaught, then Vortex and Blast Off carrying the crate on one end, and Brawl carrying it on the other end. As we came to find out, that thing was really heavy. They put it down in front of us and opened it. Inside was an assortment of explosives and ammunition, anywhere from armor-piercing rockets to landmines and even sniper-rifle rounds. I couldn’t believe it. I knew that if a Decepticon was seen so much as walking by this stuff he would be thrown into a jail cell for a mega-cycle! And I was even more stunned by the fact that they even had it! I mean, where did they get it? Anyway, I didn’t ask questions. Onslaught never gave me the opportunity. He simply told me that Slugslinger and I were to deliver this to Motormaster’s hideout in the Tagan Heights. That the Stunticons and some of the seekers were planning a raid somewhere, and they would be using this ammo. So we just agreed to do it, and started to walk back out to the entrance. To tell you the truth, I didn’t want to do it, but Onslaught...well, the way he was talking, it was made clear to me that if we didn’t do this, we would be made to experience a significant amount of discomfort at the hands of the other Combaticons. So, Slugslinger and I just accepted, and we were on our way. The catch was we couldn’t fly it, so we had to take it by walking. From Kaon to the Tagan Heights. And we couldn’t get anyone else to help us, because as you Autobots define it, 3 or more Decepticons together is a congregation, and that’s illegal. The last thing we wanted was to get busted with all this stuff, so we stayed on the ground and out of the way, making it look like 2 lowly ‘Cons carrying some scrap to be disposed of. And we managed to fool everyone. Even the security drones. They checked us for weapons whenever we came to a checkpoint, but for some reason your sensors didn’t pick up on the ammo in the crate. Like it was disguised with something. I don’t know. Like I said, I never got to ask questions. The security guards at the Kaon border had us open it, but there was a layer of old parts on top of the ammo, and we told them we were just getting rid of some clutter from our hab suite. They believed us, and since their scanners didn’t show them anything but harmless parts, they let us go. So we…”

“So at this point you haven’t encountered Bluestreak and Smokescreen yet?” Nightbeat interrupted.

“I’m getting to that. We were about halfway between Kaon and the Tagan Heights, out there where all the old broken down freight-haulers are. I don’t know why we couldn’t get one of them working, so we didn’t have to drag that heavy…”

“Get back on point, please.” Nightbeat interrupted again.

“Oh...yeah, sure. So we’re out there, dragging the crate, because it was too heavy to just simply pick up and haul. Slugslinger had one corner, I had the other, and we’re moving along, slow but steady. Suddenly, out of nowhere, we hear a noise. We stop and turn around. Bluestreak is standing there.

What are you ‘Cons doing? What’s in there?’ Bluestreak asks.

‘Nothing. Just scrap.’ Slugslinger answers.

‘Yeah? We’ll see. Open it.’

‘Why? Are you police?’

‘He said open it. Now.’ Smokescreen says, stepping out from behind a freight-car on the other side.

‘You guys can’t tell us what to do. You’re not authority, and we’re not doing anything illegal.’

‘Here’s all the authority I need.’ Smokescreen says and draws his shotgun from behind him. He points it straight at Slugslinger, then looks at me. ‘Open it.’

‘Smokey…’ Bluestreak starts to say.

‘Relax. No security surveillance out here.’ Smokescreen cuts him off, saying it as much to us as to him.

Misfire opens the crate, and Bluestreak walks over to take a look.

‘What is it?’ Smokescreen asks.

‘Scrap. Just scrap and old parts. They’re telling the truth.’

‘Can’t be. These are ‘Cons. Look closer. Better yet, keep an optic on them. I’ll look.’

Smokescreen hands Bluestreak his shotgun, who doesn’t point it at the ‘Cons again, but has it at the ready just in case. Smokescreen goes to the crate, looks at it from the top. He then crouches down and looks at all the sides, checking for hidden openings and compartments. Apparently he doesn’t want to get all the scrap parts out of it just to check. He walks around to the other side, repeating his actions. What the Decepticons don’t know, however, is that Smokescreen places a proximity mine on the underside of the crate, where the weld seam is and the crate’s side doesn’t touch the ground. The only way to spot it would be if the ‘Cons laid down on the ground and looked up underneath it. But Smokescreen moves swiftly and fluently, and the Decepticons never notice it. They never find out, but Smokescreen sets the proximity mine to be triggered when it reads at least 5 different Decepticon energy signatures. That’s why the mine doesn’t explode even when it reaches its destination, until it’s inside the warehouse. Even with the 4 Stunticons picking it up, it wasn’t enough to trigger it. And apparently Motormaster and Misfire and Slugslinger weren’t standing close enough. But inside, the place was full of ‘Cons, and the mine went off. Smokescreen’s intention was to kill a few ‘Cons with the mine, as he figured there would be more of them coming around, because he didn’t trust the 2 ‘Cons carrying the crate to be just throwing away scrap. But even he had no idea he just attached a live explosive to an entire load of ammunition. So, in the end, blowing up an entire secret gathering of over 20 Decepticons was a totally unintentional accident.

‘Okay, fine.’ Smokescreen said to them after standing up. ‘You can keep going. But I still don’t believe that you’re just throwing stuff away. I think you’re up to something. But, you’re right, we’re not cops. We can’t stop you. But just know, there are security units hidden away even where you don’t suspect. So eventually you
will get caught.’

‘Whatever.’ Slugslinger answered. ‘We just want to get this done. We’re trying to work on getting into your new system, we don’t need any trouble.’

‘Is that so?’ Smokescreen asked. ‘In that case, we may be able to help.’

‘Really?’ Misfire asked. ‘How?’

‘Well, we have certain connections. We could probably speed up the process for you. At a price.’

There it is. Of course these Autobots wouldn’t do something just to be helpful.

‘What were you thinking?’ Misfire asks again, seeming eager to take advantage of the opportunity.

‘Hold on.’ Slugslinger says. ‘If we do something for you, you can get us to Iacon and get us through the security protocols and assimilation process? But you said you weren’t authority. So how can you?’

‘And like I said, we have connections.’

‘Smokey.’ Bluestreak said again. ‘Do you think that’s wise?’

‘Yeah, why not? If these 2 just want to start a new life, we can help them. And we can get a few things done in return. Things that would be...inconvenient for us to do.’

‘So I ask again.’ Misfire said. ‘What are the terms?’

‘Just take this load of scrap wherever you’re going.’ Smokescreen answered. ‘Then meet us on the border of the Heights and the Sea of Rust. You know the road.’

‘Yeah. We do.’ Misfire said. ‘We’ll be there. Tomorrow night.’

‘That sounds reasonable. We’ll talk then.’


“So when did they start shooting?” Nightbeat asked, bringing Misfire out of his storytelling.

“That didn’t happen until later. Until after we delivered the crate. Like I told him over there.” Misfire said, pointing to Jetfire. “The crate exploded once it was inside the warehouse. Clearly Smokescreen did something with it. We figured he put an explosive on it while he was pretending to examine it. But I doubt he even knew what was inside. Maybe he just wanted to kill the 2 of us. But if he did, why didn’t they just shoot us then and there? I guess we’ll never know. Unless you question them.”

“That will happen.” Magnus said matter-of-factly.

“Good. I mean, they killed Slugslinger without any provocation. They would have killed me as well, but I transformed and flew away. So that’s why I think their plan was to use us to kill more ‘Cons. So that they didn’t actually have to do the work. We unwittingly did it for them.”

Misfire then bowed and shook his head. A moment later, he looked back up.

“When we met them the following night, after we survived the bombing, it wasn’t where we agreed on. That’s how I knew they set us up. As soon as we left the Heights, they showed up. Which meant they were either following us or tracking us, just to see where we were going. Smokescreen said he was suspicious of us but couldn’t do anything. Well, he was right, he just didn’t know it. He had expected to kill us and maybe a few other ‘Cons he thought we were meeting out there for whatever reason, but he never realized how lucky he got. But when we ran into them, I could tell they were surprised. I tried to see if there was any reality to what they told us before, about helping us. Slugslinger warned me, but I was too set on trying to improve our situation. I mean, he might have been a jerk to us, but I figured in the end Smokescreen was an Autobot and he wouldn’t hurt us. We weren’t armed, nor were we being hostile in any way. We also weren’t breaking any rules, as far as they knew. But Smokescreen found Slugslinger anyway and shot him right in front of me. With that shotgun he had. Aren’t those illegal?”

“Describe the weapon.” Nightbeat said.

Oh...uh...yeah, it was a Flintlock-Sureshot 350. The kind the police used to use before the war. I guess during the war they became obsolete, because I didn’t see many of them. And after, they were outlawed for being too brutal and energy-consuming. With the shortage of energon, using those energon shells was a waste of energy, especially since there were more accurate and lighter sidearms built during the war.”

‘Yes, they were ordered destroyed in the smelting pools.” Magnus said.

“I know. Slugslinger and I worked the pools while they were still operational. That’s how I knew the Autobots weren’t supposed to have those guns.”

“Anything else you can tell us about the gun?” Nightbeat prompted.

“Uh...well, it had 3 barrels and no stock, just a handle. It was made up of the 2 parts, the trigger and breech, and the barrels. Simple but very effective. Anyway, after shooting ‘Slinger, Smokescreen ordered Bluestreak to shoot me, but it seemed that Bluestreak was hesitant. The few seconds he couldn’t make up his mind was enough for me to take off, and by the time he came after me, I had transformed and flew away. I knew I would get caught by the air patrol, but that was better than facing the business end of the shotgun. You know the rest of the story.”

“Alright. Thank you.” Nightbeat said, turned to Magnus and nodded.

Magnus in turn nodded to Jetfire, who pressed a button on the panel in the wall by the door. A moment later 2 police drones came in, and as they released Misfire’s restraints from the table, they lifted him up on his feet.

“Take him to a solitary confinement cell.” Jetfire said.

“What…?” Misfire said, his optics widening. “But...but I told you everything...I helped…”

“Yes, you did.” Magnus said. “Solitary confinement is for your own good. We will discuss the situation and you will be informed of our decision. But you can not speak about this to anyone until we get to the bottom of it.”

“Oh...I...I won’t say anything. To anyone.”

“You’ll understand if we’re cautious, just in case.” Jetfire said with a slight smirk. “After all, you’re a ‘Con.”

“Uh...well, I don’t have a choice, I guess…”

“I knew you’d understand. Take him.”

After the drones took Misfire away, Magnus, Jetfire and Nightbeat sat down around the table.

“So? Magnus prompted Nightbeat.

“He was telling the truth. The whole time.” Nightbeat responded. “My sensors didn’t pick up any indication that he was making any of it up.”

“Damn.” Magnus said quietly, surprising the other 2. Magnus never cursed. “I was hoping he was full of it, or at the very least exaggerating.”

“I know.” Jetfire said. “Now we have to track down Smokescreen and Bluestreak and question them.”

“I’ll notify Prowl and…” Nightbeat started to say.

“No!” Magnus firmly cut him off. “Absolutely not!”

“Oh...okay. Why?”

“Let’s just say that I have some suspicions about just how much Prowl allows our new rules to be bent.”

“Really? Prowl? He’s such a stickler for rules, though.”

“Yes. But in our last meeting he was...acting odd.”

“Come to think of it, he was.” Jetfire said. “The subject of vigilantes came up, and he was very adamant about it being false rumors. And when Hot Rod brought up the shotguns....”

“He lost his cool. I might be overreacting, but that indicates that he knew more than he led on regarding the subject. So at least until we talk to Bluestreak and Smokescreen, it’s best that Prowl is kept out of the loop. If he makes noise over it, I’ll deal with him. For now, locate those 2, and once you have them here, notify me.”

“You got it.” Jetfire said, and got up.

“And me?” Nightbeat asked.

“I’m not sure. Until we get Smokescreen and Bluestreak in here, I don’t know what else can be done. Wait. I know what you can do. Since Jetfire will go and deal with tracking down those 2, I want you to personally oversee Misfire’s safety. If, for some reason, Prowl does get wind of him being in custody and the story he has, he might interject himself into the matter. You have to keep that from happening.”

“Magnus, you don’t really think Prowl’s mixed up in this vigilante business, do you?”

“Like I said, I’m most likely overreacting, but I’d rather play it on the safe side. The very safe side.”

“Alright.” Nightbeat said and stood up as well. “I’ll make sure no one talks to the ‘Con.”

With that, Jetfire and Nightbeat left the interrogation room, leaving Magnus alone with his thoughts. Thoughts he did not like thinking.
Rodimus Prime
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Re: The Bad Seed.

Postby Rodimus Prime » Fri Sep 22, 2017 11:23 am

Hub Capital Iacon: Cybertronian Police Academy

A Long Time Ago


Graduation was something all the cadets looked forward to from the moment they stepped foot into the Police Academy complex. They all wanted to be police officers, to keep peace on the streets and in the communities of Cybertron. The Transformer race was a mostly peaceful, knowledge-hungry species, even though it had its detractors, like any society does. The governing body was the Council of Elders, but the social structure was based on how its members contributed to society. Each Transformer had his/her own role to play, mainly defined by that person’s alt mode. They did whatever they were made to do. Of course, this did not sit well with some, especially those whose roles were completing the menial tasks it takes to make this society keep moving forward. The miners, the repair workers, the haulers, and the other simple jobs that are required to be done every day, yet no one seems to think of. Then there are the public servants. Such as data clerks, utility maintenance workers, fire squads, emergency response teams, and the police. Above them were the more affluent members of society, like business owners, then above them the politicians and religious leaders, and finally the top echelon consisted of the combination of all three: the richest, most politically influential and religiously revered members, most of them with a seat on the High Council which governed the entire planet. The rules and laws the made were enforced by the grunts of the police force, the newest addition to which were this mega-cycle’s graduates. Among them its top graduate, Orion Pax, and his best friend Prowl. The 2 of them met at the registration office, and got to know each other over the long time it took to wait for being registered. Cybertron took its law enforcers seriously, and even just to get into the academy was a grueling process. Completing the training, not to mention being the top graduate, was a daring challenge. But both Pax and Prowl had the utmost confidence, determination, and respect for the law to become police officers. They both wanted order and justice, but even though they were almost inseparable in the academy, that’s where their main characteristics stopped. Orion Pax believed in the system being fair and equal to everyone, which according to him was what made it effective. Prowl on the other hand saw it as a tool of deterrence: once a criminal is identified, all aspects of the system were to be focused on providing punishment and rehabilitation for that individual. Orion Pax believed in prevention. Prowl advocated retribution. According to him, that was the most effective form of prevention of future crimes: display the punishment for those who commit crimes now, and it will serve as an example for those who think about doing it in the future. Orion Pax saw some merit in this, but he believed that his view on law enforcement was the more beneficial for society as a whole. If an officer could keep a criminal from committing a crime in the present in the first place, it decreases the presence of criminal element which would encourage crime in the future. No matter which side they looked at, their goal was common: keeping law and order on Cybertron. And they took perhaps their most important step towards that goal today: they graduated from the Academy.

“Hey! Pax!” Prowl shouted, as he ran to catch up to his friend.

Orion Pax, a soft-spoken yet assured bot, looked back and smiled at his friend. They had gone through training together, and Pax couldn’t count the times Prowl had helped him out. Pax had the ideologies of a noble law enforcer, but he always had trouble with the practical aspects of training. Things such as specific laws, codes, and even sub-sections of regulations. It was just too much. Prowl, on the other hand, thrived on it. He could memorize the entire Iacon Laws and Regulations Directory, and recite it from back to front. He knew every law that was ever approved by the Council. No wonder Commander Magnus was so high on him. But Pax was the top graduate because he was able to apply said laws to situations with more common sense than Prowl. Prowl was strictly by the book. He had 1 interpretation of the law which applied in a given situation, and he carried out straightforward. Pax could be more flexible, adapting to situations and the people involved in them. He could look at things more than 1 way. He was more personable. His people skills were better than Prowl’s, and to Magnus that made him a better police officer. Prowl was a bit disappointed when he learned about Pax being placed ahead of him, but not too much. After all, they were friends, and it was good to see 1 of them being at the top. But deep down, Prowl believed that he was a better cop, because he followed the law to the letter, and that’s what police officers were supposed to do. That was the only true way the laws could treat everyone equally. If it was applied to everyone equally, and the only way that happened is if it was followed to the letter, because those letters never changed, unlike their interpretations of them did, depending on who the officer was.

“So where are you off to?” Pax asked. “What’s your first assignment?”

“I’m going back to Petrex.” Prowl said, referring to his home city. “I wouldn’t have minded staying in Iacon, but being at home is good too. The city has a small police force, and they all know me there. I think that will make my job easy. Probably boring, as a matter of fact. Not much happening there, unlike here. You’re staying in Iacon, right?”

“Yes. 2nd Division.”

“Oh, that’s great! That’s Magnus’s personal detail! The only better job is 1st Division, which is direct security for the Council!”

“Yeah, I guess.”

“You guess? Don’t tell me you don’t like it! That’s a great job!”

“Prowl, I went to the Academy to be a police officer. To enforce laws on citizens, not be a babysitter. Even if I like Magnus.”

“Well, I think it’s a great opportunity. I wish I could get it.”

“I’m sure you were considered. Don’t worry, the next spot that opens up is probably yours. I know Magnus was very impressed with you.”

“I hope so. We’ll see. Where are you going?”

“I’m gonna visit Sentinel Prime and Alpha Trion. I want to personally thank them for their support. It was them who convinced me I should go to the Academy. You?”

“Nothing so glamorous. I was gonna stop by Flintlock’s shop, maybe see about getting my very own firearms. The police-issued blasters are alright, but I want something that’s more personal. More my style.”

“Like what?”

“Not sure yet. I’ll show you if I get something.”

‘“Alright. I guess I’ll see you later then.”

“Sure thing, Pax. Want to meet back here in a couple of cycles?”

“Yeah, sounds good.”

“Alright, see you then.”

*** *** ***

Prowl arrived and transformed in front of Flintlock’s shop a little while later. The building itself was not fancy, just a huge metal box with 1 entrance in the middle and a sign above saying “Guns Guns Guns” (in Cybertronian, of course). Inside, the building was split into 2 areas: the store where the guns were sold and the shop where the guns were made. Flintlock and Sureshot worked together in creating/building weapons. Flintlock owned the establishment, but Sureshot was the better gun designer, and they split the profits 60/40 Flintlock’s way, since he owned the building and bought all the supplies. But they worked together in building the weaponry, as each had his own talents. Flintlock was better at the larger, more simpler weapons, while Sureshot built smaller and more intricate guns, as well as any special orders they received. Something that couldn’t be mass produced, like a gun that someone specifically wanted built a certain way. Someone like Prowl.

“Hey buddy!” Sureshot called out as Prowl entered the shop.

“Hi. Just stopped in to see if it was ready.”

“Uh...no, not yet. I have the basic gun, but I wasn’t totally clear on your specifications, so I wanted to talk to you again before I built it. But I’ll get it done by the end of today now that you’re here. Just need you to come back to the shop for a minute.”

“Oh...alright.”

“How was the graduation, anyway? You ready to serve some justice?”

“You know I am.”

‘Well, this gun will definitely help you. Did Magnus approve it easily?”

“Well...uh...I didn’t exactly tell him what I was getting. Regulations state we are allowed the Academy-issued sidearm plus 1 weapon of our choosing, as long as it is designated as our backup weapon.”

“And you think a shotgun qualifies? Especially a shotgun with what you want me to do with it?”

Prowl gave Sureshot a half-smile as they entered the work area.

“Okay, whatever. You signed the required documents, as soon as the gun leaves the premises it’s 100% your responsibility.” Sureshot said, and showed Prowl to a side room.

Inside was a table with a mounted apparatus designed to hold the piece being worked on in place, as the work had to be very precise. With weapons, every single part had to adhere to the design plans to the exact measurement it required. There was no room for error. On the far wall were tools and protective equipment, as Sureshot sometimes worked with unstable material to mold and test the pieces he was working on. On the 2 side walls were the parts needed for anything from a small hand-blaster that could be hidden in an arm compartment to a large crossbow that had to be mounted on a bot’s back. They made even larger weapons, but those were more Flintlock’s area and those parts were in his area of the building. But the weapons Flintlock made were easier to build and took less time, so Flintlock spent just as much time up front selling the weapons as he did back here making them.

“Alright, here we are.” Sureshot said, and picked up the plain-looking, nondescript shotgun. “The Flintlock 350. You picked a good gun to start with. Lots of room to apply modifications, and the basic piece is very solid yet simple. I’ll have a lot of fun working on it.”

“Good. I don’t have a lot of things I want to add, just a few to make it more...effective.”

“Effective? Prowl, this gun fires compressed energon shells from all 3 barrels at the same time. You could bring down a combiner with this thing! Well, it would probably take you a few shots, but it’s definitely strong enough. Shooting a single bot? Forget about it! They’ll be dead before they hit the ground, if you hit them in the right spot.”

“That’s exactly why I want it. If my service weapon won’t be enough to take a perp down, I’m gonna need something with a little more...kick.”

“Okay, so what else am I doing to it? I mean, this thing is pretty destructive as it is. That’s why it hasn’t sold too well. Flintlock put a pretty high price on it, because he knows that once a bot buys this gun, they’ll never buy another one from him, because they won’t need to!”

“I need you to convert the bottom barrel. Into a grenade launcher.”

“A…what? Prowl, you know that’s not exactly legal.”

“There’s nothing specific in the regs about carrying a launcher.”

“Yeah, a launcher on its own. But a combo? Especially one you can wield as a gun? That’s kind of stretching the truth, isn’t it?”

“Trust me. There’s no law stating specifically ‘an officer is prohibited from carrying a weapon presented as on type while functioning as another type.’ Besides, if anyone asks, I’ll just tell them it is exactly what it looks like: a shotgun. If they need a demonstration, I’ll have it set on the energon shells and fire one off. It’ll be fine.”

“Alright. Like I said, you have the approved necessary documents. As soon as you step out of the shop with it, it’s your responsibility.”

“Thank you.”

“So just the launcher?”

“Uhh...no. I actually need you to custom fit the barrels so they can be detached at a moment’s notice, as well as have the 2 top barrels be able to attach to the bottom barrel end-to-end, so I have a launcher with the length of all 3 barrels. You know, for a longer shot.”

“Well. Haven’t done that before. I’ll see what I can do. The launcher will be just the basic grenade projectile?”

“Also, no. I want to use the Hellfire package.”

“The…” Sureshot’s optics widened a bit. “Prowl, that ammo is used on vehicle mounted launchers.”

“I know. But I’m sure you can make it work on the shotgun.”

‘Well, theoretically, yeah, but…”

“Then what’s the problem?”

“Why would a police officer need a military-grade explosive projectile on his personal weapon?” Sureshot asked pointedy.

“Because. I want to be prepared for anything.”

“Prowl, just carrying around the Hellfire loads will be a problem, not to mention dangerous! One stray shot in a firefight and you’re history.”

“Sureshot. It’s fine. It’s approved. I’m paying for it.”

Sureshot shook his head, then secured the shotgun to the mounted equipment.

“Alright...come back at the end of the day. It’ll probably take me until then to do it. I have to take the gun apart all the way, and work on the barrels from the inside as well as on the mountings and couplings on the end. That’s a lot of precise tooling.”

“I know you can do it. If anyone can, you can.”

“Yeah, yeah. I just hope you don’t end up blowing yourself up with it.”

“Thanks again, Sureshot. I’ll be back soon.”

Prowl then walked back out through the store area and after a few words of small-talk with Flintlock, he left.

*** *** ***

With their official duties not starting until the following day, Prowl and Pax spent the afternoon walking around Iacon. It was a nice day, and they didn’t know when they would see each other again, considering that Petrex, Prowl’s hometown, was almost on the other side of Cybertron.

“I’m really excited about this.” Prowl said. “Even though I probably won’t have as much fun at my job as you will at yours. Petrex is a small hole in the ground compared to Iacon.”

“Yeah, but look at it this way: you’ll be in a much safer environment, with a lot more time on your hands for even more self-improvement.”

“Haha, are you saying there is a lot wrong with me?”

“No, but no one is perfect. Everyone can improve on themselves one way or another. Use your time wisely, and you will become a much wiser bot as you get older.”

“Heh, sounds like you should have my job, Pax. Want to trade? I sure would like yours.”

“Actually, if it wasn’t for the prestige of being around the High Council and learned about Cybertron and our history, I might take you up on that. But, as it is, I can’t because that would offend both Magnus and Sentinel Prime. They both put a lot of faith in me, and…”

BOOM!!!


The explosion came from up ahead, and it was so powerful it knocked both of them off their feet, along with anyone standing in their vicinity. The sounds of twisted and broken metal were heard, followed by screams and finally a loud crash, as the building which just bore the brunt of the explosion collapsed. It was a smaller building, so the debris didn’t go far, but a lot of people nearby were hurt at least somewhat by the force of the blast and the impact from the flying scrap.

Pax shook his head and got to his feet, propping himself up against the wall of the nearest building. Prowl was also getting up, but he had a long, sharp piece of metal sticking out of his shoulder.

“Prowl…” Pax said, still gathering himself. “...you...you’re...hurt…”

“Uhh…” Prowl groaned, putting a hand to the injury. “It’s...not too bad. I’ll just…”

“DOWN WITH THE OPPRESSORS!!!” a bot running by them screamed. “LONG LIVE THE CAUSE!!!”

Pax looked after him, but his head was still clouded by the blast impact, so he couldn’t follow the bot. Prowl, meanwhile, leaned against the wall as well, and grabbed the piece of debris sticking out of him.

“Wait…” Pax said. “You...should wait...for a medic.”

Without a response, Prowl grabbed the piece of metal and pulled it from his shoulder. A little fluid trickled out, but otherwise it didn’t look bad. The wound was small, and Pax saw maybe a couple of wires.

“Looks...like a ruptured hydraulic line.” Prowl said. “I can’t move my shoulder as well as I should. If I could, I’d run after that punk.”

“Yeah...but, we should go see if people need help. I’m sure there were a lot of innocent bystanders hurt.”

“But what about the bomber? Don’t you think he should be chased down?”

“Yeah, but the injured is our first priority.”

“I’m sorry, Pax, but the injured are already injured. Nothing can be done for them by us. We would serve them better by going after whoever hurt them.”

“Prowl. How can you say that? We were trained in basic medical procedures, in case we need to tend to someone who is in critical condition following a crime. And there are a lot of people hurt over there!”

“Yeah, and there’s only the 2 of us. We can’t help everybody! So we might as well have put our training to better use and caught that perp who…”

BOOM!!!


The explosion this time was further away, and it didn’t affect the 2 of them much. Just took them by surprise.

“By Primus…!” Pax exclaimed with wide optics. “Come on, we gotta get up there! Those people were already hurt, this just made it worse!”

They started going towards the site of the first explosion. People were running in the opposite direction, some going around them, some brushing into them, and some outright hitting them, almost knocking them down. Every time someone bumped into Prowl, he winced in pain. He could barely lift his left arm because of his injured shoulder. The sight awaiting them was not pretty. There was debris everywhere, with people down with injuries anywhere from large wounds on their backs and chests to just simple scrapes and punctures. Pax searched the area with his scanners, looking for critical injuries and even dead bodies. He saw none. As he started to help a stumbling bystander, Prowl walked towards the other side of the mess, to see if he could find where the other explosion happened. Suddenly, as Prowl was about to help another injured bot, someone ran out from the stumbling, groaning crowd, knocking over the bot Prowl was about to help.

“DEATH TO THE OPPRESSORS!!!” the bot shouted as he ran past Prowl. “ALL HAIL MEGATRON!!!”

The rage inside Prowl exploded, and he took off after the bomber, forgetting all about helping people.

“Prowl...wait!” Pax shouted after him, but Prowl either didn’t hear or wasn’t listening. He was gone.

Pax turned back toward the injured, conflicted about whether he should go after Prowl, in case he needed help. He decided that his hands were put to better use here, helping others. He hoped Prowl would catch the bomber, otherwise his efforts would be totally wasted, when he could have helped the injured innocent. Pax shook his head, a bit disappointed in his friend and how he viewed the phrase taught to them by Magnus himself at the academy. ‘To Protect and Serve.’ Apparently it had a different meaning to Prowl than it did to Pax.

*** *** ***

Prowl’s shoulder was killing him. The injury that appeared to be minor at first, grew into a searing pain of fire as Prowl ran after the suspected bomber. He couldn’t transform, as the bot ran in and out of buildings, between them, and through a crowd that was a lot less disturbed than those near the explosions, so if Prowl gave chase in vehicle mode, he’d have to concentrate on avoiding the people instead of focusing on the perp. But he didn’t give up. He was in great shape, his systems top notch, and he kept up the pace. He wasn’t sure how he was gonna handle the perp with one arm once he caught up to him, but he would worry about that then. Startled people jumped out of the way as Prowl and the perp ran through the milling crowd. Buildings on either side kept spitting bystanders out, everyone going about their business. Prowl started to feel fatigue a bit, but wouldn’t stop. He couldn’t. This scrapheap had to be caught! The bomber ran past yet another building with people emerging from it, and he was finally tripped up by someone else who wasn’t watching where he was going when he ran out onto the walkway. Both of them went crashing down, and the moments it took for the bomber to get back up was enough for Prowl to catch up to him running at full speed. He tackled the bot with his good arm and shoulder, both of them smashing into the side of the building and tumbling back down on the ground. Hindered by his bad shoulder and arm, Prowl couldn’t get to his feet right away, and when both he and the bomber got up, the perp surprised him by punching him in the face and knocking him back against the wall. He then pinned Prowl to the wall with one arm and punched him in the torso with the other repeatedly.

“DRONE OF THE OPPRESSORS!!!” he shouted into Prowl’s face. “YOU DO THE TYRANTS’ BIDDING!!!”

As Prowl tried to shove him off, the bot grabbed Prowl’s injured shoulder and applied pressure.

“AAARRRGGGHHH!!!” Prowl screamed as he crumpled under the pain.

He went down to one knee and the bomber grabbed for his brand new badge he had put on his other shoulder at the graduation ceremony.

“No!” Prowl shouted, and got a knee in his face for a response.

It knocked him senseless for a few moments, enough for the bomber to rip off his badge. The bot then took off running again, and Prowl couldn’t follow. He got a good look at the bot, and memorized his every line and color scheme.

*** *** ***

Later, after Prowl sought medical care and returned to the scene of the bombing, he found Pax, still there, helping the injured and the medical personnel. After he told Pax about the encounter with the perp, Pax couldn’t help but lecture him on the foolish choice he made. ‘If he hadn’t run after the bomber, his injury wouldn’t be so bad, he could have helped more people, he’d still have his badge, blah blah blah…’ Prowl wasn’t in the mood. He remained calm and cordial, but he said goodbye to Pax, agreeing that they would meet up the next day before Pax started his first shift of duty and Prowl got on the shuttle to Petrex. Prowl then went by Flintlock’s shop and picked up his new gun. At least something good happened after graduation. As Prowl was walking back to his academy quarters to spend his final night in the place he called home for the last mega-cycle, he was looking at the shotgun, holding it up in his good arm, as his bad arm was in a sling to relieve the load on his bad shoulder. It was a beautiful piece, and even with the pain Prowl couldn’t help but smile. He decided to take a shortcut to get to his hab suite as soon as he could. He walked between 2 buildings, and as he was halfway through the alley, a door opened further down. Prowl thought nothing of it, as he was still looking at his gun. He didn’t have his service weapon, which he could have used earlier, he bemused with a frown. As he looked up, he stopped dead in his tracks. In front of him, with his back turned, was the very same perp Prowl had chased! He wasn’t sure what to do at first, but then he quickly recalled what had happened. Without a second through, Prowl got a stern look on his face, and lifted up the shotgun. He had loaded it with the energon shells in the top 2 barrels, even though Flintlock told him not to. But he wanted to feel it locked and loaded.

“Hey!” he shouted.

The bomber turned around, startled, and his optics went wide, at first with recognition of the gun aimed at him, and then recognition with who was aiming it.

“No...wait!” the perp said, holding out his arms. “I know what you want! Here!”

He then took out the badge he grabbed off Prowl, and threw it at him, the shiny piece of metal landing at Prowl’s feet. But Prowl didn’t even look down. He simply pulled the trigger. The 2 compressed energon shells exploded against the bomber’s chest, blowing him apart and killing him. Prowl lowered the gun and propped it against the wall. He then bent down, picked up his badge, and put it back on his good shoulder. He then picked up the gun, turned around and walked away back the way he came. His facial expression never changed.
Rodimus Prime
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Re: The Bad Seed.

Postby Rodimus Prime » Sat Sep 23, 2017 11:23 pm

City of Helex

Present Day


“I can’t believe it.” Smokescreen said. “They survived.”

“What? Who?” Bluestreak asked.

“The Stunticons. Some of them, anyway. I don’t see Dead End or Breakdown anywhere. Just Dragstrip, Wildrider and Motormaster. And a few Insecticons. Can’t make out which ones.”

Smokescreen was looking through a pair of enhanced binoculars, surveying the area. They were in the foothills of the Manganese Mountains, the former Decepticon city of Helex on the plains before them. It was one of the first 5 cities which came under Decepticon control after Megatron openly declared war, and it was next to last to be liberated, right before Kaon. Kaon had been the Decepticon stronghold for the 2nd half of the war, and the Decepticons fought for it bitterly until the end. But now Helex, much like Kaon, has been scheduled for nuclear demolition, just like Tarn and Darkmount had been before them. But Magnus and Grimlock, the architects of the planned destruction, learned from the massacre at both Darkmount and Tarn, and refused to send in anymore Autobot teams. But the cities had to be cleared ahead of the nukes being placed, otherwise the Decepticons would just do what they did at Tarn, and steal the nukes. Surveillance data showed that Decepticon activity was still high at both Helex and Kaon, even though the Decepticons had been ordered to evacuate both cities. The rank and file did, but some of the more prominent ‘Cons were still there, in hiding. ‘Cons who were wanted, preferably alive, to stand trial and be sentenced by an actual court. To Smokescreen, it was nothing but a circus. These ‘Cons deserved the harshest of punishments, and he was here to administer real justice. Swift justice. This time, however, they had to be more careful. The Autobots had stepped up aerial drone surveillance of Helex and its surroundings, and if Smokescreen and his cohorts acted out in the open, they would be caught even if they were successful. With him were Bluestreak, as usual, and Streetwise, on his first “mission.” After their little meeting at the repair shop, Prowl and Smokescreen had yet another talk with Streetwise, to make sure he was really ready for this. Prowl had approved his participation, but Smokescreen still had his doubts. Streetwise proclaimed his severe disdain for all Decepticon, following the Protectobots’ massacre, but talking was one thing, pulling the trigger of a shotgun in the face of an unarmed Decepticon was yet another. And Streetwise should make no mistake, Smokescreen thought, there was going to be some killing tonight.

“What did they survive?” Streetwise asked, as they crouched down behind some scrap that had been blown up the side of the nearest mountain following Unicron’s attack.

“We had…” Bluestreak started, but then stopped. Apparently he had his doubts about Streetwise as well.

“We had taken a previous opportunity to eliminate them.” Smokescreen said. “We thought it was a success. Apparently it wasn’t.”

“Maybe we should have checked the ruins a little better.” Bluestreak said.

“We couldn’t. The security patrol was on the way. Besides, we ended up having to clean up those loose ends anyway.”

“What loose ends?” Streetwise asked.

“Don’t worry about it. Point is, we thought we killed the Stunticons already, but here they are. This time, there will be no mistakes. Let’s go.”

They began slowly walking down towards the edge of the city, staying behind piles of debris, half-destroyed buildings, and whatever other cover they could find. They dared not transform, their engines would have given away their positions. The Decepticons had lookouts and other security measures, no doubt. This was one of the most important places for them, they wanted to make sure no Autobots intruded on them. After the war, along with the fight against Unicron, the Autobot ranks were depleted, but not as much as the Decepticons’. This was the main reason the Autobots were able to take control of most of Cybertron, even though they hadn’t gotten around to gaining firm control over some of these areas. They wanted to clean up Iacon, Crystal City, and a few other places that were of more importance to them before they got to all the Decepticon hideouts. The other big reason was that now the ‘Cons were without solid leadership. Decepticons who refused to surrender and become part of the new Autobot society, after having paid their penalties for their parts in the war, were in hiding, hoping they could organize once again and reignite their resistance. The closest to a leader they could count on was Soundwave, but he was holed up in Kaon, only sending out his little minions to deliver his messages in person, as any broadcast would be picked up by Autobot surveillance, even if it was sent by a master communicator like Soundwave. His problem was that the Autobots had Blaster, who was just as savvy in communications, and could counter and break any code Soundwave could come up with. The ‘Cons learned this the hard way, but Soundwave was not a fool, and it took only 1 lesson for him to change tactics. So now the Decepticons hiding in areas all over Cybertron had no way of instantly communicating, as everything had to be done in person. This made for a slow and messy organizing of their remaining forces, and this gave the Autobots plenty of time to hunt them and capture or kill as many of them as possible. Those choices were given to every Decepticon, and most of them chose to face judgment. But not tonight. Tonight would be no choice given. Tonight judgment would come at the end of a shotgun.

“So how do we do this?” Bluestreak said in a low voice. “I mean, once we get there. We might surprise them, but it’s still just 3 of us against who knows how many of them.”

“We’re not here to clean up the city.” Smokescreen said. “That will happen soon. That’s why we need to do this now. The Stunticons, especially Motormaster, will never be caught alive. They will cause as much damage as they can until they get killed. Same with the Combaticons and Predacons. But the Combaticons and Predacons are more organized and smarter. So they will have to be handled differently. The Stunticons? We can goad them into an open firefight, and kill them here and now. Think of the Autobot lives we will be saving, when it comes time for this city to be cleaned out for the demolition. Besides, it grinds my gears knowing they got away from our first attempt.”

“So...so we won’t even try to take them in?” Streetwise asked quietly.

“Of course not. Hasn’t Prowl made it clear to you what we’re doing here?” Smokescreen asked, a bit irritated. He knew this was Streetwise’s first time, so of course there would be some jitters, but he was told the facts plainly and clearly by both Prowl and Smokescreen.

“Uh...yeah. I got it.”

“Alright, then. I don’t want any hesitation when the time comes, you understand? It could mean your life, and more importantly, it could mean my life. Got it?”

“Yes. I got it.” Streetwise repeated.

“Good. Now let’s go. We gotta get closer to see how many are we dealing with exactly.”

They moved up, single file, to the first complete building in the city, and Smokescreen peered around the corner.

“Bluestreak, check the other side of the building, make sure there’s no surveillance of any kind. I see Dragstrip and Wildrider, but that’s it. Maybe the others moved back inside.”

Bluestreak did as he was told, and Streetwise took his spot behind Smokescreen once Bluestreak moved off.

“Okay. You just follow me and we’ll get closer on this side.” Smokescreen said to Streetwise. “Your gun ready?”

“Yeah.” Streetwise said, more firmly than before. “It’s ready.”

After their second meeting, Smokescreen gave Streetwise the shotgun, just like theirs. A Flintlock-Sureshot 350. Energon shells in all 3 barrels. Streetwise had never fired one before, as they were outlawed before he became a police officer in the Autobot ranks.So he had to familiarize himself with it. He took to it pretty quick, as it was a simple weapon, considering its destructive force. Load the shells in through the side breech, rack it on the bottom barrel, and it was ready to go. The setting could be moved from single shot, double shot, or 3-barrel, depending on what it was used for. Smokescreen kept his on 3-barrel, as he did not want to waste more time than necessary on a target. He had told Streetwise to keep it on doubt shot, as it would be enough for him the first time out. Once he was comfortable using it in an actual situation, he could set it on full blast. And this way the energon shells loaded into the bottom barrel could be racked into the top barrels once the top was empty, and this way the gun didn’t have to be reloaded as often. Had it been on single shot, the bottom barrel would be used, and the top 2 barrels would hold the extra shells. The shells themselves were simple yet very dangerous. They were cylindrical, and worked pretty much like shotgun shells on Earth, except once the firing pin hit the shell and caused it to be fired, the shell did not spit out buckshot. Instead, its front half, which was full of energon in its closest-to-unstable state, was separated from its back half, which contained the gunpowder used to fire the shell, and the half-shell full of energon and a small amount of explosive at the front end was shot out of the barrel at the target. When the shell impacted, the small amount of explosive detonated on contact, causing the energon in the shell to explode, thus causing the damage. One shell could penetrate a regular layer of armor and destroy most smaller or delicate parts inside a bot, depending on where it impacted. 2 shells could tear through heavier armor, and cause the insides of a bot to not only get ripped out, but whatever was left over inside to burn to nothing, guaranteeing certain stasis lock at the least. 3 shells, which is what Smokescreen always used, could render a bot helpless in moments, or if the shell hit the spark casing, kill him almost instantly, as soon as the energon reached the spark itself. When that happened, the spark overloaded and exploded, killing the bot who was shot.

“Good over here.” Bluestreak said from the other corner of the building.

“Alright. You move in from that side, we go from here.” Smokescreen said. “Remember, our targets are the Stunticons. In and out as fast as we can. Shoot any other ‘Cons if they get in the way, but we’re not here to get bogged down in a crossfire.”

Smokescreen then moved up to the front corner of the building, Streetwise behind him. From there, they could clearly see the open area between that building and the others. Only Dragstrip and Wildrider were out there, and they didn’t seem to be busy with anything. They were just talking. The problem was, from that position, Smokescreen was also more noticeable, if the Stunticons had turned around. Bluestreak was on the other side, and he gave the ready signal. Smokescreen couldn’t make up his mind. The 2 Stunticons were easy targets as they were, but if they attacked now, Motormaster would notice and get away. And Smokescreen wanted him the most, in the worst way. He held up a hand, signaling them to wait. Dragstrip and Wildrider seemed to be arguing about something. Moments later, they began pushing and shoving each other, and then came to taking swings at each other. This progressed into a full-blown fight, and the 2 ‘Cons wrestled each other to the ground, kicking and punching each other all the way down. Smokescreen couldn’t wait any longer, nor could he pass up the opportunity. He motioned for Bluestreak to move in, and he nodded to Streetwise behind him. The 3 of them moved simultaneously, and met at the corner of the building across the area where the ‘Cons were momentarily. Their fight had carried them down one side of the building the Autobots were hiding behind. Smokescreen stepped out from behind the corner, his shotgun raised and pointed at the 2 ‘Cons who were oblivious to him. Bluestreak followed, his shotgun pointed as well, to the side of Smokescreen. Streetwise was last, his shotgun pointed towards the sky. It was getting dark, but there were no light in Helex. Power had been cut out by the Autobots to the entire area, and whatever the ‘Cons did, they had to do it in the dark or by light they made for themselves. Smokescreen was now a few meters from the ‘Cons, who still hadn’t noticed him. Wildrider seemed to be winning the fight, as he was on top. As he leveled his gun at Wildrider’s back, a loud noise came from behind them.

“What is going on out here?” Motormaster’s bellowing voice followed the slamming of the door.

The Autobots were startled, and all 3 of them turned around. Motormaster, equally caught by surprise, froze in place. Before he could recover, Streetwise, to his credit, leveled his shotgun at him and unloaded into Motormaster’s chest. The blast knocked the big Stunticon off his feet, and set his chest on fire. He started screaming and rolling around on the ground. He was heavily armored, so the shells barely penetrated his armor, and didn’t touch his insides. But it still burned, and hurt like hell. Dragstrip and Wildrider scrambled to their feet, not sure whether to attack or run away, as they didn’t have any blasters. The Autobots had their backs to them, so they decided to attack. Dragstrip jumped on Bluestreak, as Wildrider tackled Smokescreen. Bluestreak, the more levelheaded of the 2, shook Dragstrip off, who was also the smallest Stunticon, and tried to aim his gun at him. Dragstrip recovered, grabbing the barrels of the gun, and wrestling Bluestreak to the ground, with the shotgun in both their grips. Smokescreen, meanwhile, dropped his shotgun when he was hit by Wildrider, and now the 2 of them were on the ground kicking and punching. Streetwise racked his shotgun again, and tried to shoot the 2 ‘Cons, but he couldn’t get a clear shot. So he turned his attention again to Motormaster, who was still screaming, but incredibly getting to his feet.

“You…!” he half-screamed half-grunted. “I’ll...kill...you!”

He then ran at Streetwise, who dove to the side, and Motormaster slammed into the wall. His chest was still burning, and the pain along with the smoke in his optics was not letting him think clearly. Instead of turning toward Streetwise, however, he kicked Smokescreen in the side, who was about to get control of Wildrider and was reaching for his gun. Smokescreen tumbled off, and Wildrider scrambled to his feet. But this was just enough time for Streetwise to recover, and he blasted the smaller Stunticon in the chest, same as Motormaster. Wildrider, however, wasn’t nearly as armored, and the blast tore a huge hole in his chest, pieces of his torso flying all over. The ‘Con screamed, and was flung backwards into Motormaster. The big ‘Con threw him down, and charged at Streetwise again. But he never made it, as Smokescreen shot him in the back. All 3 barrels were strong enough to knock him down, and as Bluestreak and Dragstrip were still wrestling to a standstill, Motormaster fell face-first in front of Streetwise.

“Finish him!” Smokescreen shouted, as he reloaded his gun. “Now!”

Streetwise aimed his shotgun at the back of Motormaster’s head, but couldn’t pull the trigger.

“But…” he muttered.

“Now!” Smokescreen yelled. “Remember Groove and Blades!”

Hearing the names of his murdered brothers, something snapped in Streetwise. He gripped the shotgun and pulled the trigger. Motormaster’s head blew apart, and his body shook. Smokescreen got up with his gun loaded, and kicked over the prone body. By now the chest covering had burned away, and Motormaster’s spark casing was visible in his chest. Smokescreen, without hesitation, blasted 3 shells into it, and jumped back.

“Get back!” he shouted to Streetwise.

The energon burned through the spark casing, and came in contact with the spark itself, overloading it and exploding it. The explosion was huge, as Motormaster was bigger and more powerful than a lot of ‘Cons, therefore he required a stronger spark. It also got Bluestreak and Dragstrip’s attention, who stopped fighting.

“No!” Dragstrip screamed. “NOOO!!!”

He started running towards Smokescreen and Motormaster’s wreckage. Streetwise and Bluestreak reacted simultaneously, Streetwise shooting Dragstrip in the chest, Bluestreak shooting him in the back. The impact tore the Stunticon apart, his arms ripping from his shoulders, his head blowing off his body. His legs stumbled and his burning torso fell down. There was barely anything left of it, except his spark casing. By now Smokescreen recovered as well and racked 3 more shells. He walked up to the burning wreckage that was Dragstrip’s remains, and put 3 more shells into his spark casing as well. He stepped back and watched the explosion with a smile on his face. This was retribution. True justice. Bluestreak and Streetwise walked up to him and they all watched the fire.

“Let’s go.” Smokescreen said. “Before the rest of them show up.”

They didn’t bother with being noticed now, as their mission was complete. Smokescreen transformed and took off towards the mountains. Bluestreak and Streetwise followed his lead. They all headed back towards Iacon.
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Re: The Bad Seed.

Postby Rodimus Prime » Mon Sep 25, 2017 8:43 pm

Hub Capital Iacon: Council Tower

Present Day


Ultra Magnus sat in his office, going over progress reports of the reintegration of former Decepticons into the new Cybertronian society. Magnus knew it would be difficult, but this was the only way to move the Transformers forward. Had the Decepticons been allowed to keep their distinction as such, the division between Autobot and Decepticon would have remained, and the Transformers would never be united. The former ‘Cons must understand that if they keep wanting to be separate, they will never be able to live on this planet. And the Autobots couldn’t in good conscience allow them to live anywhere else, knowing what they’re capable of. The only other option Magnus could come up with would be a colony planet, under Autobot control, on which all Decepticons would be confined. But that’s a last resort. And now there’s this vigilante problem. Magnus was hoping this wasn’t really a problem, that maybe it was just a few incidents that had nothing to do with each other. But now, with an apparent survivor of a vigilante attack, Misfire, in custody, it seems that this problem is not only very real, but is of imminent concern. And the possibility that Prowl is involved in any way is something Magnus dreads to even think about. Prowl has been entrusted with keeping order in Iacon since the Autobots made their triumphant return and liberated the planet. True, he was not Optimus Prime’s choice to lead when the time came, but Optimus Prime is not perfect, as some seem to think so. Magnus, for his part, would have chosen Prowl over Grimlock had he been in Prime’s place after the battle with Unicron. But now...Magnus didn’t even want to think about this. It was crazy.

“Magnus.”

Ultra Magnus turned around. Optimus Prime stood behind him. Magnus had been so lost in thought he didn’t hear Prime come down the stairs.

“Optimus. I’m sorry, I didn’t hear you come down.”

“It’s alright. How are we progressing with the Decepticons?”

“About as we expected.”

Optimus walked around Magnus’s large desk and took a seat opposite him.

“How many casualties so far?” Prime asked.

“Well, there have been a lot more Decepticons than Autobots. You know about the loss of the Technobots, and the attack on the Protectobots. Those are the main incidents. Otherwise, only some skirmishes and minor attacks, mostly resulting in instantly treatable injuries. On the Decepticon side, who knows? We had some reports regarding them fighting each other, and some of them had to be taken down by Autobot security squads, but otherwise, we don’t know. Not until all Decepticons are accounted for.”

“Do you think we should have handled it differently?”

“What do you mean?”

“Their reintegration. Should we have...put them all in detention first, then released them little at a time, allowing them time to get used to the way things are now?”

“I don’t know. Honestly, there’s no right way to do this. I think doing it the way we are doing it shows them that we’re willing to treat them as equals, despite all they have done, as long as they’re willing to play by our rules. Had we simply thrown them in jail to begin with, that might have made things less messy, but in the long run it would have done more damage, as they would never have trusted us.”

“I tried to be civil about this, knowing that a lot of them were manipulated or even intimidated into joining Megatron’s cause. Not all Decepticons are bad. But they still made that choice to support them instead of fight against them. This gives me a lot to be concerned about. I’m also dealing with trying to restore the Matrix, and it’s beginning to wear me down. I’m afraid that with all that has happened, I’m not the same as I was before Unicron arrived.”

“Of course you’re not, Prime. You’ve been through so much. The struggle against the Decepticons for all that time, experiencing death, more than once, and now, the burden of reuniting our race. It’s an immense amount of responsibility.”

“Something you know a lot about, isn’t it? Magnus, I hope you don’t think I’d forgotten what you have done for the Autobots, for this planet, while I was gone. You, Xaaron, the others. You kept this planet from being completely overrun by Decepticons. Their ambition and ruthlessness was a lot to stand up against and you did it without so much as a complaint. I can never thank you enough.”

“I was only doing my duty. Order on the planet is my first priority. You’ve known me ever since the Academy. I taught you a lot about being not only a law enforcer but a leader. But what you’ve had inside you from the beginning is what got you where you are. It’s why the Matrix chose you.”

“Yes, perhaps. But I can honestly say I don’t know if I had been able to lead as steadily as you have for as long as you did in my absence. And even after everything, you’re still here, working every day to make sure the planet returns to its once glorious prominence.”

“I appreciate you saying that. But I can’t help but wonder, if Cybertron ever returns to prominence, do you plan to lead it?”

“I...I can’t say. I mean, not that I don’t want to tell you, I mean I don’t know. The work I have been doing…”

“With Hot Rod.”

“Yes, with Hot Rod. It seems...it seems that the Matrix has become attached to hm.”

“Attached? How?”

“When I...died, the moment I released the Matrix’s energy against Unicron, in the subsequent explosion, I was shown the future of our race, even if only glimpses. It showed me...you, Grimlock, and Hot Rod.”

“Me? Doing what?”

“You and Grimlock were standing behind Hot Rod. But somehow, he was...different. More...mature. But when I returned, after the Last Autobot...revived me, I was certain that Hot Rod will be my successor as leader of this planet during its next golden age. And that it was my responsibility to get him there. My time, much like other Primes before me, will come to an end. I have done my share of leading, my share of fighting. It will be up to the next generation to take us into the future.”

“And you think Hot Rod will be the leader of the next generation of Transformers? He seems…”

“I understand your doubts. This is why I’m telling you what I saw. You and Grimlock...need to make sure he becomes a great leader. I will teach him everything I know, everything I learned through experience. But I can’t make him experience those things. The Matrix chooses Primes based on what times are ahead of us. I was chosen because the Matrix believed that I was best suited to carry us through this great conflict with the Decepticons. It recognized something inside me that even I didn’t know was there, when I was Orion Pax. But the Matrix knew. It always knows. And now it is pointing me towards Hot Rod. Whatever the future holds for our race, Hot Rod is the best choice to lead us through it. But he will need your support. Just like I did.”

“I suppose it’s something we will face together when the time comes. But until then, we do have some things we need to discuss.”

“About the Decepticons?”

“About these vigilante attacks. About who might be behind them and what that might mean for us.”

“Alright. Do you have any theories?”

“I have...suspicions. And you will not like them.”

“Let’s hear them. Maybe we can come up with something.”

“How much do you know about it?”

“Not much. I haven’t really kept up with everything that’s happened. I am still trying to come to terms with what to do about Megatron and how to proceed with the rebuilding of Cybertron. And I also have Hot Rod to worry about.”

“Alright, then let me start from the beginning. Soon after you returned, declaring the Decepticons defeated, a lot of Autobots actually began letting their guards down, thinking it was all over. I suppose the long time of fighting had worn them out. But when the Decepticons, some of them anyway, were allowed to return to the planet, even under the conditions we set up, a lot of Autobots became uneasy. They worried that the war wasn’t over after all, and that they had to be forced back to the fighting they thought they were finally free of. Well apparently some of them thought they weren’t going to let it go that far. At first, we were convinced it was Decepticons committing assaults on each other. But we had stripped them of all weaponry and placed strict rules on them. It would have made it very difficult for them to so brutally attack each other, especially with the evidence showing that they used powerful firearms. Even if they had obtained weapons without our knowledge, they would have used it against Autobots by now. Considering the Autobots’ high tension toward the continuation of conflict, combining that with the Decepticons presence and it makes for a very possible argument that there are rogue Autobots out there eliminating Decepticons so that they don’t have to be dealt with.”

“And I’m sure the murders of the Technobots and some of the Protectobots hasn’t helped.”

“No. But we have identified the Combaticons as the lone aggressors in both those situations, and we are actively hunting them as we speak. Somehow they still have armaments and with their military knowledge can apply them the most effectively.”

“The sooner we catch them the better. I would like answers to how they managed to arm themselves.”

“Prime, that could be a number of ways. Who knows how many Decepticon safehouses there are still on Cybertron. That’s why we haven’t been able to catch them or any other high profile Decepticons. The Stunticons, the Firecons, even the more higher ranked seekers. We simply don’t have the numbers to go over every single corner of the surface of Cybertron. And I don’t even want to mention all the underground tunnels and storage spaces still uncovered.”

“Yes, that is one of my main concerns. It’s why I can’t decide on how to rebuild Cybertron. Do we just fix the surface damage and go below once things are in order? Or do we rip it apart from the core and rebuild completely?”

“That would take a long time, Prime. And a lot of work. We have the time, with the war over, and I’m sure the Autobots are willing to do the work, but we simply don’t have the individuals.”

“But it would be the better way to go. Find and get rid of all of these secret hideouts. Clean up the entire planet once and for all. The attack by Unicron had began the process for us. He ripped apart so much of the surface, and even after his defeat, Cybertron kept falling apart.”

“We had decide that was due to the essence of Primus losing its influence on the planet’s physical realm, considering the psionic attack by Unicron on Primus himself, as well as the release of the Matrix energy which weakened Primus’s physical body, which is the planet itself.”

“Yes. Primus himself is the core of our planet, and he is still down there, slumbering. He has to keep himself unconscious, as being awake drains so much energy from the planet itself, especially now. That’s why the planet is falling apart. But that’s not necessarily a bad thing. If we let all the wrecked parts simply detach and float away, we could rebuild without cleaning up first. It would save us a lot of time.”

“That might be, but the work can’t get done unless we’re all on the same page. And until the Decepticons are properly assimilated, that won’t happen. We have to deal with the conflicts we’re facing now.”

“That is why you’re in charge of the policing and security of the planet, Magnus. You know how to handle the matters better. And you have Prowl and Grimlock helping you, as well as Jetfire and Blaster. I am trusting you to make the everyday processes of the planet and the new Cybertronian society work. Along with having to train Hot Rod, as well as trying to come to a conclusion about the future of our race, my conflict with Megatron is still not finished. He’s still out there somewhere, most likely on Earth. Until he, or his body, is recovered, I can’t look past him, and neither do the Decepticons. So I will be preparing to go back to Earth in the near future to begin my search for him. For now, you’re in command of Cybertron, I trust your judgment to handle all matters as you see fit.”

“Thank you for that, Optimus. I never doubted your confidence in me. And I am glad to know your view on things. However, the matter of this vigilantism is something I have a hard time figuring out. I was hoping you could give me some insight, perhaps help me decide.”

“Yes. You said you had suspicions.”

“I do. Unfortunately, it concerns you more seriously than you would suspect.”

“Really? How so?”

“Prowl.”

“What about him?”

“It’s not my opinion, but it has been pointed out to me that Prowl seems to be rather...dismissive of these vigilantes. He doesn’t seem to think there’s any real substance to it.”

“And you, what do you think?”

“As far as the vigilantism is concerned, it’s hard to ignore facts. I also came in contact with a supposed survivor of a vigilante attack who named specific Autobots who attacked him, using the same shotguns we discussed in the last meeting. But just because Prowl spoke out against both the vigilantes and the use of banned weapons, doesn’t make him a part of it. I like to think that with the history of service Prowl has had, he wouldn’t even consider such a thing, much less look the other way or even less outright joining it.”

“So why bring it to me?”

“Because. I am truly undecided. On one hand, I have almost concrete proof of this going on, at the hands of Autobots. On the other hand, I am left to wonder, how could this go on without our knowledge? If our police force and leadership is as solid as I think it is, why haven’t we stopped this yet?”

“And your conclusion?”

“I don’t have have one. That’s why I’m coming to you.”

“Well, Magnus, the way I see it is simple: let the facts speak for themselves. No one is infallible. No one. Not me, not you. Not Prowl. No one. So put personal feelings and views aside, and look at this strictly from a law enforcer perspective.”

“You’re right. That’s exactly what I should do. I have been concerned about what repercussions that would result in, and it kept me from seeing the big picture. Thank you, Prime, that makes it easier.”

“So what do you intend to do regarding Prowl?”

“He’s my direct subordinate, should anything happen to me he will take my place not only as the head law enforcer on Cybertron, but he will also get my seat on the Council. So I was very hesitant to even consider his involvement in this in any way.”

“I graduated the Academy with Prowl, you know that. He is a good cop. Very good. But as I said, no one is perfect.”

“What are you saying?”

“I can’t tell you what to do, Magnus. You have to make your own decision and live with the consequences. All I can tell you is you have my full support, no matter what you decide.”

“That’s good to…”

A blue light began blinking on the console on Magnus’s desk.

“Excuse me.”

He pressed a button.

“This is Ultra Magnus.”

Magnus, this is Jetfire. We have a problem.

“What happened?”

I’m in Helex. There was another vigilante attack.

Magnus and Prime looked at each other silently.

“Who?”

3 Stunticons. Motormaster, Dragstrip and Wildrider.

“Witnesses?”

Yes. And that is the problem.

“What did they say?”

That there were 3 assailants. 3 Autobots. With high-powered weapons, shooting explosive rounds.

“Did they identify them?”

Just 2 of them. Bluestreak and Smokescreen.

Prime leaned back in his chair, his optics wide.

“Are the witnesses reliable?” Magnus asked.

Well, 2 of them are ‘Cons, and one is a scavenger. A NAIL. So, that’s not 100% reliable. But considering what we know about those 2 already, can we take the chance?

“I suppose not. Where are you in tracking them down?”

That’s the other thing that gives this merit, Magnus. I went over their routines, and according to their last check-ins, Bluestreak and Smokescreen were supposed to be at the Southern end of the Sonic Canyons, overseeing a routine cleanup crew. They weren’t far from here. I was on my way to meet with them when this came up.

“Any indication on the supposed 3rd Autobot?”

No. Just that he was similar in build to Bluestreak and Smokescreen, and he had a red, white, and black paint job. But that doesn’t narrow it down much.

“No, I suppose not. I’ll contact Prowl and have him run down some profiles, see if anyone matches the paint scheme and was assigned to that part of the planet.”

Prowl? Are you sure?

“Yes. I talked it over with Prime, and I decided Prowl has to be involved. If we keep him shut out, we might miss something. If he is involved, his reaction to this will give me some idea about what is going on.”

Alright. Just be careful. Prowl isn’t stupid, and if he is indeed involved, then he has a bigger mean streak and we previously thought.

“I’ll handle him. You get those 2 in a security station and try to get to the bottom of this.”

I will. Keep me updated on Prowl, so I know what to expect.

“I will. Magnus out.”

Magnus disconnected the call, and looked at Prime.

“Looks like my decision will be tested sooner than I thought.” Magnus said.

“Yes. Let me know what happens. Personally, I hope you’re wrong about Prowl. Unfortunately, having known him since we were in the Academy, I can’t discount his involvement.”

Prime then stood up, and walked back around the desk, and back up the stairs, leaving Magnus to ponder that last statement. What did Prime mean by that? Has he known Prowl had a dark side all this time? If so, why did he keep it a secret? Does Prowl have something over Prime?
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Re: The Bad Seed.

Postby Rodimus Prime » Mon Sep 25, 2017 10:48 pm

Several floors below Magnus’s office.

The same time:


Prowl sat behind his desk, contemplating the events of the past few days. The meeting, his confrontation with Hot Rod, followed by his recruiting of Streetwise. He had to figure out how to keep himself away from Bluestreak and Smokescreen, yet at the same time keep them under his control. This situation was becoming unstable. Prowl had counted on the shotguns being identified, but he had expected those 2 to do a good enough job of making everything look like it was ‘Cons assaulting ‘Cons. He didn’t want even the mention of Autobot vigilantes in a small regional security center, never mind in the Council Tower itself. He had to get ahead of it somehow. What to do? What to do?

*knock knock*

“Who is it?” Prowl asked.

It’s Lightspeed.” the voice on the other side of the door said.

Prowl pressed a button on his desk, and the electronic locks clicked on the door, opening it. Lightspeed walked in and looked around the office.

“Wow. Nice.” he said.

“What can I do for you, Lightspeed?” Prowl asked, getting to the point.

“Uh...yeah. I was...I was wondering, would you be able to help me out?”

“With what?”

“I...uhh, have been thinking. After what happened in Tarn, I really don’t have any place to be regularly. I mean, with the other Technobots gone, I really don’t know what to do. So I was wondering if you could find something for me.”

“Me? Why me?”

“Well, you’re the police chief. You assign which Autobot goes where in the police force. And I want to do something to get back at those Decepticons. Now, I can’t ask you to put me on the squads hunting the Combaticons, but I would like to be a part of a police squad, going after ‘Cons in some way. I want to be useful.”

“Lightspeed…” Prowl started, then paused. “Have you been medically cleared yet?”

“Uhh, yeah, First Aid said I was good to go.”

“I mean, are you all together?” Prowl asked, tapping an index finger to the side of his head. “Up here.”

“Y-yeah...why wouldn’t I be?”

“Because. You suffered a serious emotional trauma. Your entire team was murdered. That doesn’t go away easily.”

“Prowl...I have been lost since they died. You understand? I feel worthless! I need something to do! Something productive, something towards capturing the Combaticons!”

“Lightspeed...sit down.” Prowl pointed to a seat opposite his on the other side of his desk. Lightspeed took it. Prowl pushed a button on his desk, and the door to his office closed and locked.

“Listen. Putting you on a squad to hunt the Combaticons is…” Prowl started.

“I didn’t ask for that!” Lightspeed cut him off. “I know that is out of the question. No matter how much I would like it.”

“Lightspeed. Please. Let me finish. Putting you on a squad to hunt the Combaticons would be exactly what I would do. Nothing gives a bot more motivation that seeking personal justice.”

Lightspeed couldn’t believe what he was hearing. His mouth slightly hung open, but he said nothing.

“However.” Prowl continued. “It’s not my call. And Ultra Magnus would never allow it, for the reasons you yourself stated. But is it something you would like to do, regardless of consequences?”

“What...what do you mean?”

“Would you want the chance to hunt down the Combaticons, even against Magnus’s orders, and face possible consequences, if it meant catching them and delivering justice to them?”

“I want nothing more than making those butchers pay for what they did to my brothers.”

Prowl smiled slightly.

“Good. Because I think there might be a way for you to do just that. But it comes with a price.”

“Name it. Whatever it is, it can’t be too high.”

“If I were to put you with other individuals who...let’s just say, feel the same way about Decepticons in general, as you do about the Combaticons specifically. And then, all of you together carry out special assignments on my orders, away from official police business.”

“Are...are you asking me to join a vigilante squad?” Lightspeed asked tentatively.

Prowl didn’t respond. He wished Lightspeed hadn’t used that word. It meant that he had strong feelings on the matter, one way or another. Prowl just couldn’t tell which way. If he asked Lightspeed to be on his squad and Lightspeed did not approve of such actions, he could tell someone that Prowl had asked him. And that’s almost as good as Prowl getting caught with a shotgun in his hand. But if Lightspeed was agreeable, he would be an asset. As Prowl told him, there’s no motivation like personal reasons to seek justice when someone feels they have been wronged. Lightspeed wouldn’t be doing this for the Autobots, or just because Prowl asked. He would be doing it for himself, and for the memory of his lost Technobot brothers. But what if he refuses? That would leave Prowl exposed. But Prowl thought it was worth the risk. And in the end, if Lightspeed refused, Prowl decided in an instant, he would never leave this office alive.

“I am asking you to deliver justice for your fallen brothers.” Prowl finally answered. “Let me ask you: if the other squads are successful in tracking and cornering the Combaticons, do you think they will be captured alive? Or do you think they will fight until death? Knowing what they have done, they must know that if they’re ever captured, they will never see the outside of a jail cell again.”

“Yes, I think they would force the Autobots to kill them first. Unless somehow they are totally caught by surprise.”

“So you agree that it is almost an overwhelming certainty that the Combaticons will die before they’re caught?”

“Yes.”

“Do you care who who brings them down, as long as they’re brought down? Or do you want the personal satisfaction knowing you’re the one who delivered justice for your fallen brothers?”

“I...I don’t know. I…”

“You know, I read the report on what happened in Tarn.” Prowl said in a softer tone. “Including your statement. That you were jumped by them. Shot in the back and then beaten down. The weapon responsible for your brothers’ deaths stolen from you.”

“Well...I...got shot in the side…”

“The principle is the same. They surprised you and attacked you when you least suspected. Then they subdued you and used the device for which you were responsible to murder the other Technobots.”

“What...what are you saying? That I share the responsibility in my brothers’ deaths?”

“No...of course not. But if you could have, would you have set off the nuke, killing yourself along with the Combaticons, if it meant keeping them from killing your brothers? If you knew then what you know now?”

“I...yes, I would have. To save them, I would have.”

“That’s the kind of resolve I was looking for. That’s the kind of resolve that gives a bot a titanium spine and bearings of chrome steel. That’s the kind of resolve I require from a bot who wants to join my squad to take care of business when the law moves too slow to do so.”

“So...you want me to be a part of your...squad?”

“I want you to carry out the punishment for the crimes perpetrated by not just the Combaticons, but all other Decepticons. You yourself said it, the Combaticons will die before they’re ever brought to trial. So why bother trying? Why bother wasting time and fuel to do something that will never happen. And I will take it one step further: I believe all Decepticons deserve harsh punishment for what they have done. All of them. Ultra Magnus and Optimus Prime are willing to let them back in with open arms. Well, I’m not. I can’t officially order Decepticons to be executed, because I have to follow orders. But I don’t have to agree with them. And I don’t have to sit idly by as the Decepticons bring down our society from the inside. So the bottom line is this: if you join me and the others already committed to cleaning up Cybertron, there’s no going back. You do as I say, when I say it. You become a part of another group, perhaps as close or even closer than the Technobots were. You will once again belong. Your life and actions will have noble meaning, you will further the progress of the Transformer race by eliminating all of its ills and wrongs. At the same time, you will not only get justice for your fallen brothers, but you will prevent their fates from happening to others. But the price of this is that you can’t say anything to anyone, especially not to those in charge. It is something you will have to keep to yourself until the day your spark expires. Is that something you’re prepared to do?”

Lightspeed didn’t answer. He sat quietly, first staring at Prowl, then starting at the wall behind him. Prowl did his best to project confidence, assurance and determination. To show Lightspeed he had absolute conviction in his words and in the actions they represented. This was the moment of truth. If Lightspeed agreed, he would become one of them, and Prowl will have strengthened his force. If he refused, Prowl wouldn’t let him leave the office alive. After a few more moments, Lightspeed refocused his optics on Prowl and leaned forward in his chair.

“If the system wasn’t so lenient on the Decepticons,” Lightspeed said, “and they weren’t treated as lightly as they have been, the Technobots would still be alive, because the Combaticons would never have been allowed to roam free as they were. I believe that while Prime and Magnus mean well, their justice system is ineffective and broken. The Decepticons have to be dealt with more thoroughly. That’s what I want to see done, and that’s what I want to do, if given the chance. I want to join your squad, for all the reasons you mentioned, and because I’m tired of seeing these ‘Cons get away with way too much. So yes, absolutely count me in.”

Prowl slowly started to smile, and finally reached across the desk with an open hand. A hand that was momentarily on the grip and trigger of a Flintlock 350 shotgun secured to the underside of Prowl’s desk, aimed squarely at Lightspeed’s torso. Had Lightspeed refused, it would have been the last thing he would have done. But instead, he grabbed Prowl’s hand and shook it, then they both stood up.

“So what now?” Lightspeed asked.

“I want you to go to an address I’m going to give you. There, you will meet the others, and they will fill you in on everything.”

“Alright. I’ll head there right away.”

“Good. They should be just returning from their latest mission. If you get there and no one else is there, just wait.”

“Got it. And thank you for offering this to me.”

“I trust you will not let me down. Not let Cybertron down. It’s time that we clean out the scrap and see Cybertron towards a bright future once again. A future without the rampant corrosion caused by those who are only out for themselves and are willing to step on anyone else to get their way.”

“You can count on me. Just tell me what to do.”

“Alright. Here’s the address.”

Prowl gave Lightspeed a small datadisk. Lightspeed inserted it into a drive port on his forearm.

“Once you arrive there, destroy the datadisk. The place is an abandoned repair station, and from then on, you will remember it by directions only. I don’t want the address to be seen by anyone else.”

“Understood.”

“Alright. After this, it’s highly unlikely that we’ll meet again, unless it’s an official matter. I haven’t participated in the squad’s missions, only gave the orders and arranged the means. That will not change. You will take your orders from Smokescreen. He’s in charge when I’m not present.”

“Smokescreen? He’s…”

“You will see when you get there, and will have everything explained to you. Good luck, and welcome aboard. Your dedication will go a long way in securing Cybertron’s peaceful future.”

Lightspeed then turned around as Prowl unlocked and opened the door from his desk, and walked out of the office, the door closing behind him.

*** *** ***

Not far away, only several floor above, Grimlock also sat in the office that was given him as a member of the Council. It was a space he rarely occupied, preferring to be out with his fellow Dinobots and overseeing the Autobots’ arsenal of weapons. His job is to maintain military control, as well as to defend the planet itself if any situations should arise that are non-terrestrial. Grimlock works closely with Jetfire in patrolling the nearby space, as well as looking out for the 2 moons Cybertron has, which are stations for both space cruisers and military operations. Weapons such as the nukes used to wipe out the former Decepticon cities and bases are stored on Moon Base 2, under heavy guard by the Dinobots themselves, and no Decepticons are allowed to travel in space between the planet and the moons. And after what happened in Tarn, Grimlock has refused to allow anyone access to more than simple ammunition for basic blasters, even to Autobot patrols. Any and every artillery and larger than a service blaster used by a peace officer is to be under strict Dinobot control. Magnus didn’t like it, but Grimlock gave him no choice. Prime, to his credit, stayed out of it, and First Aid, Jetfire and Blaster all agreed with Grimlock, so Magnus was outvoted. Now Grimlock focused on his highest priority: tracking down the Combaticons. Capturing them? If they were able. But Grimlock wasn’t very high on the theatrics of a trial either. He would much rather drive his energo-sword through Onslaught’s chest plate. But, that’s not the way they all agreed on, and Grimlock was willing to play by the rules, as long as he saw results.

*knock knock*

“Come in.” Grimlock said. His door didn’t work like Prowl’s, someone from the outside could open it. Grimlock wasn’t as paranoid as Prowl had become. He had no reason to be.

Hot Rod entered his office.

“I’m surprised to see you.” the young bot said. “You’re usually…”

“What you want?” Grimlock cut him off gruffly.

“I wanted to talk to you about Prowl.”

“What about him?”

“Well, I think what we discussed at the meeting may have more merit than we thought.”

“Just spit it out, Hot Rod. Me not Prime or Magnus. No need to dress it up.”

“Alright. I think there’s something to this vigilante business, and I think Prowl is involved. And if he isn’t, he at least knows more than he lets on.”

Hot Rod then proceeded to recount his encounter with Prowl at Central Headquarters.

“Interesting.” Grimlock said. “But not prove anything. Prowl always a dirty player.”

“But don’t you think he has an ulterior motive? I mean, isn’t that enough to make him a suspect?”

“Prowl always have ulterior motive. Prowl ambitious and shady. Not make him murderer. Me not like him, but me not ready to condemn him.”

“So am I overreacting, even with what happened between us?”

“Not what I said. But you need to be careful. Prowl old hand at politics. Magnus and Prime trust him. You need solid proof before making accusation.”

“Yeah...I guess. I..I suppose I just needed to talk to someone. And as you said Prime and Magnus still favor Prowl, so I didn’t think that was a good idea. I just wanted someone else to know that Prowl threatened my life, just in case…”

“In case what?”

“In case something happens to me.”

“Not worry. Too many optics around here for Prowl make move. And you always with Prime.”

“Yeah. But still. Thanks for the talk.”

“No problem.”

Hot Rod then turned around and walked out. Grimlock leaned back in his chair, and contemplated what Hot Rod just told him. Would Prowl really be bold enough to outright threaten Hot Rod with death? Even if no one believed him, just having Hot Rod talk about it would at least get the attention on Prowl. And if he is indeed involved in the vigilante attacks, it would be very arrogant to bring it on himself. But, Grimlock had to admit, arrogance was something Prowl had in spades. Grimlock was just surprised Prowl apparently also had an equal amount of stupidity to go along with it. He would have to keep a closer optic on Prowl from now on. Prime and Magnus may be blind to his underhanded ways, but Grimlock has seen through Prowl for a long time now. And sooner or later, he knew Prowl would make a mistake. Maybe this was it.
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Re: The Bad Seed.

Postby Rodimus Prime » Sun Oct 15, 2017 9:56 pm

The Ruins of Vos

Present Day


"Quiet.” Vortex said. “We don’t need to be making any more noise than necessary.”

The Combaticons walked through the debris, left over from the bombing raids conducted by the Aerialbots when the Autobots made their push to round up all the Decepticons left on Cybertron after Unicron was defeated. The first step in the plan devised by Grimlock and Ultra Magnus was to destroy any cities that were known to be Decepticon strongholds, and Vos was one of these, being one of the first five cities to fall during Megatron’s ascent. The next step would be ground troops sweeping the city, either capturing or killing any Decepticon they saw. Then finally, Vos was to be wiped off the face of Cybertron with nuclear weaponsin the effort to cleanse the planet of the ruins left by the war, and in essence the dark part of its history which was the war. But that hasn’t happened yet, and Onslaught knew for a fact that they still had time. Vos was the 5th city on the Autobots’ list, behind Darkmount, Tarn, Kaon and Helex. Places like Praxus and Tesarus were also on the list, but they weren’t of high importance. They were smaller and had been easily pacified by Autobot ground forces, and they were also easier to keep secured. But Vos was larger, though not as big as Tarn or Kaon, and that’s why the Combaticons chose it as their hideout. It was also the closest big city to Iacon without having to cross the Sea of Rust. And when the final phase of their plan was initiated, distance would make a big difference. Things would have to move fast and the Combaticons would have to make their way to Iacon as fast as possible. Thanks to their associate in the Autobot ranks, they were safe here. For now. They wouldn’t be searched for. But Onslaught knew that wasn’t forever. But it didn’t have to be.

“Do we have everything?” Swindle asked.

“Why are you asking me? Aren’t you supposed to have everything hooked up for us?” Vortex replied.

Blast Off and Brawl moved about without saying anything and Onslaught opened the door to their actual hideout building. It was an empty warehouse, with several metal crates the kind they gave to Misfire and Slugslinger sitting by the wall on one side. Onslaught walked in and made his way to a smaller enclosed area which used to be the office back when this warehouse was used for storing materials for shipment. He closed the door behind him and sat down.

“What’s with him?” Swindle asked.

“I don’t know.” Vortex replied. “He’s been acting like that ever since Tarn. Maybe there’s something wrong that he’s not telling us.”

“With the plan?”

“I don’t know. Why don’t you go ask him?”

Brawl and Blast Off walked in, each carrying a smaller metal crate. They set them down by the wall next to the door. The warehouse was dark, no lights. Its dark walls and high ceiling made it seem ominous, but it was an ideal place for a hideout, as it would be harder for the Autobots to trap them here if they found them. Brawl walked over by a wall and sat down on some debris that was solid enough to support him. There was scrap scattered all around, some stuff left over from whatever was stored here, and some pieces of the walls and ceiling that caved in during the bombing. Autobot patrol squads regularly walked through the city, but they never checked every building. So if they kept quiet and stayed out of sight, they would be okay. Besides, Blast Off set up some crude warning systems around the warehouse, so they would know if someone was getting close. Swindle walked over to the smaller room and knocked on the door.

“Come in.” Onslaught said.

“Hey boss.” Swindle said as he came in and closed the door behind him. “Everything okay?”

“Fine.”

“You sure? I mean…”

“Everything is fine.”

“Well...alright. What about the next phase of our plan?”

“It’s ready. We wait for the word.”

“Listen, maybe you should tell me who the contact is. I mean, in case something...you know, happens...to you.”

Onslaught stood up from the chair he was sitting in and rose to his full height in front of Swindle. Swindle, being the smallest Combaticon, was barely tall enough to reach Onslaught’s chest.

“Well then you better make sure nothing happens to me.” Onslaught said evenly and without emotion. “You’re a Combaticon. I am your commander. My safety is one of your responsibilities.”

“Y-yes…”

“Shut up. My responsibility is making sure this plan is effective, as well as knowing where and when to use you and the others to your fullest capabilities. That includes the contact. You don’t know who it is because you don’t need to know. All you need to know is when and where to be ready to do your part and this I have told you. So you and the others just wait until I say the word and then do as you’re told. Now get out. I need to go over the final details and wait for our signal.”

Swindle slowly backed out of the office without a word and shut the door behind him. Onslaught never was a very emotional bot, but this time he was especially cold and unnerving.

“So?” Vortex asked as Swindle walked up to the others. They were all sitting down now, everyone finding a spot to settle for the time being.

“So what?” Swindle asked annoyed.

“What do you mean ‘what?’ shorty?” Brawl spoke up, “What did he say?”

“He said we should just wait. And that he’s the boss and all we need to worry about is having his back, he’ll take care care of everything else.”

“Wait for how long?” Brawl asked.

“I don’t know. He didn’t say. Go in and ask him yourself if you want to know that bad!”

“Alright!” Vortex said. “Enough. He said we wait, so we wait. We all know what we need to do when the time comes.”

“Do you think this will really work?” Blast Off asked quietly, sitting behind them.

“Of course.” Vortex said as he turned to him. “We have it all planned out. Step by step.”

“How are we going to make it all the way to the Council Tower? Without being stopped?”

“It’s all arranged.”

“So Onslaught says.” Brawl said. “I still don’t see how it will work. The five of us and the crates? And are they even enough to do the job?”

“Everything will be fine.” Vortex said sternly. “Stop worrying.”

Inside the office, Onslaught sat quietly. The place was bare except for his chair, a desk against the wall, and a console on the desk. It looked old, parts of it were rusting on the outside. Some wires were showing, and the dust on it was thick. Onslaught looked at it stoically. Did it even work? It was supposed to. This is where his contact was going to call him. He was about to reach for the console receiver to check it when the blue light on it lit up. Incoming call. Onslaught pressed the button.

“I’m here.” he said.

Good. Is everything in place?” the voice on the other end asked.

“Yes. We are ready.”

Good. I have arranged for an unmarked transport vehicle for you and the cargo. It’s supposed to go to the spaceport so it the route will take it past the Tower. Once you’re there, you will have a limited window. I will make sure you can enter the ground floor and go to the underground storage area. The spare energon and the security squad’s armory is stored down there. You should be able to get better weapons and the fuel should make the explosion even bigger.

“When will it be here?”

It won’t. You will have to go get it. I couldn’t have it brought all the way to Vos without suspicion. You are to go to the old station on the border road to the Sea of Rust. It will be waiting for you there. Like I said, it’s unmarked, so it won’t look out of place. But that doesn’t mean you should take it for a joy ride. Just load it up as fast as you can and come to Iacon.

“Understood.”

You know the rest of the plan.

“Yes.”

Well, then this will be the last time we speak. If you fail, you will NOT get another opportunity.

“We will succeed.”

I expect you to.

The line went dead and Onslaught turned off the console. He stood up and walked out of the office.

“Vortex. Brawl. I have a location.” he said as the others all got on their feet. “Go to the old service station on the border road between Iacon and the Sea of Rust.”

“That’s on the other side of the city!” Swindle said. “It’ll take forever!”

“Patience. We can’t do anything rash. We have to stay under the radar. That means doing things methodically and inconspicuously. You 2 will pick up the transport vehicle and drive it back here.”

“What about us?” Swindle asked. “Me and Blast Off just wait until they come back? That could take…”

“No. You will go too. But you will be the decoys.”

“Decoys?” Blast Off asked.

“Yes. Once the transport vehicle is picked up, it cannot be stopped for any reason. Brawl and Vortex will have no documents with them, and the Autobot patrol won’t just let 2 Decepticons drive away without proof of proper occupation. So you will each take a skysled and travel ahead of the transport. Any time you come across a patrol, you occupy them long enough for Vortex and Brawl to drive by like it’s an ordinary delivery. If for whatever reason the transport does get stopped, you create a diversion.”

“How?” Swindle asked.

“I don’t know. Use your head. Just get the patrol’s attention away from the transport.”

Onslaught then gave Vortex a dataslug.

“Here’s the address. Once you command the transport, destroy the dataslug. If things should go wrong and you get stopped, you tell them you found it abandoned and pick it up to strip it for parts. Understood?”

“Of course.”

“And needless to say, do NOT lead them back here.”

“Yes, sir.”

“Alright. You all have your assignments. Get started. Our timers are synchronized, if you’re not back here by the designated time, I will consider the mission a failure and evacuate this area.”

Without a word, the other 4 Combaticons left the warehouse and Onslaught remained standing in the middle of it, looking at the crates by the wall, contemplating the planned events of the next couple of days. If all went as he planned, the Autobots’ rule would be short-lived and chaos would reign on Cybertron once again, allowing the Decepticons to take control once again.

*** *** ***

Iacon: Central Police Headquarters

Present Day


Red Alert and Hot Rod walked down a corridor toward the holding cells.

“So what do you think?” Hot Rod asked. “Is Misfire’s account enough to bring in Smokescreen and Blue Streak? At least for questioning?”

“Yeah, I think so. Jetfire is out looking for them right now. I mean, they were spotted near where the Stunticons were killed. That can’t be a coincidence.”

“I hope we’re wrong about this, honestly. To think that 2 decorated Autobots like Blue Streak and Smokescreen would do something like this…”

“I know. It’s tough to think about. But you know, I have suspoected something for a long time now.”

“Really?”

“Yes. You went through the reports, you didn’t see it?”

“I didn’t know what I was looking for at the time. Just that there were brutal killings among the Decepticons. The only thing stood out was that they were increasing in frequency. Then we found the shotguns.”

“Exactly. And by the way, those shotguns should have been destroyed.”

“Yeah. We figured out that some of them were stolen by the Decepticons who ran the smelting pools. I still haven’t gotten the records from back then on which Autobots were responsible for overseeing the pools’ shutdown. Once I have that maybe I can connect some more bots to this and get closer to whoever is responsible.”

“Do you have any theories?”

Hot Rod didn’t answer. It was too soon to mention any names. Besides, Red Alert worked for Prowl. And he was paranoid. What if he blabbed that Hot Rod had Prowl on his radar for the vigilantes? No. Hot Rod would keep his thoughts to himself.

“Hot Rod?” Red Alert prompted him.

“Oh...no, nothing solid. The evidence just isn’t there yet.”

“Oh. Alright. Well, what does Prime think? You’ve been spending a lot of time with him.”

“Yeah. There are some other things going on. Prime isn’t making these vigilantes a priority. That’s why I’m the one going through all the reports and doing these meetings. Ultra Magnus is keeping an eye on the progress as well, but for right now, the main investigators are you and Nightbeat. I’m just basically a messenger to keep Prime up to date.”

“I know. I have to answer to Prowl who makes the decisions with Ultra Magnus.”

They arrived at the processing hub where all the prisoners get documented before they get put into a holding cell. It wasn’t very busy, only a few Decepticons in restraints and a few Autobot guards and officers. 2 drones posted at each entrance.

“Okay, so where do we go from here?” Red Alert asked. “I mean, until Blue Streak and Smokescreen are brought in, we’re kinda stuck.”

“Yeah. I need to see Nightbeat and compare notes with him, and them I’m going back to the Tower. I have a few other things to attend to. What are you gonna do?”

“I’m gonna go through the daily reports from the substations, to see if anything else has come up or even looks suspicious. No detail is too small. I don’t want to overlook anything.”

“Alright. I’ll see you later then.”

They parted ways, Red Alert going toward his office down another corridor, while Hot Rod made his way down by the holding cells. He was looking for the one with Misfire in it. He knew Nightbeat would be in there, making sure no one (especially Prowl) has access to their witness. After checking with the desk droid, he went to the holding cell and entered the code given to him by Magnus. No one knew the code but Nightbeat, Magnus, and Hot Rod. No one else. Inside, Misfire was sitting by the wall, his restraints removed but his right leg was still in a single energo-shackle which was connected to the wall.

“Hot Rod.” Nightbeat greeted him.

He had a small desk set up in the opposite corner from Misfire, with a console on top of it. He was looking through reports as well, searching for any more clues in other assaults and murders. Like Red Alert said, no detail was too small.

“Nightbeat. Anything new?”

“Not yet. I was hoping I might find more similar crimes, so that at least we would have more witnesses, but nothing has jumped out at me.”

“Yeah, Red Alert is doing that as well, I just spoke to him.”

“Oh? I thought he was running down the leads on the Combaticons.”

“Well, maybe he’s doing that as well. But he told me he would look through the assault reports to see if he saw anything.”

“Well, an extra set of optics can’t hurt, I suppose. Anything new from Prime or Magnus?”

“No. Just keep doing what we’re doing. To be honest, though, I don’t think Magnus is sharing everything he’s considering. Especially when it comes to Prowl.”

Nightbeat looked at Hot Rod with a hint of alarm on his face. He then looked at Misfire and then back to Hot Rod. Hot Rod looked over at Misfire, then back at Nightbeat.

“I’m not worried about him. He isn’t going anywhere. He won’t talk to anyone.”

“Well, just be careful. Magnus ordered me to not let anyone near him besides the three of us. But Prowl is still the police chief and everyone in this building answers to him. If he finds out why Misfire is here he might want to get involved. Now, I’m not accusing Prowl of anything, but I’m going on Magnus’s word here. No one is to have any contact with the prisoner, espeically Prowl. If for whatevere reason he comes in contact with anyone else, I don’t want him blabbing about what we’re discussing here.”

“Come on, Nightbeat. He’s scared out of his wits. He won’t talk. He doesn’t want to be found by the vigilantes. No matter who they are.”

“Bottom line is, he is a Decepticon. They’re not to be trusted.”

“True enough.”

Hot Rod looked at Misfire again, then back at Nightbeat, who was back to perusing the reports of the day. Cybertron was no a crime-infested scrapheap, but it was still a large planet, and there were still Decepticons loose out there. And of course there were some Autobots as well who weren’t model citizens.

“Alright, I guess I’ll head back to the Tower. If anything comes up, you know where to reach me.”

“Right.” Nightbeat answered without looking up.

Hot Rod then punched in the code and the door opened. He walked out, the door closing behind him. As he made his way back down the way he came, Red Alert came around the corner in a hurry, bumping into him.

“Whoa!” Hot Rod said. “Something wrong?”

“Uhh...no...yes...no.” Red Alert answered.

“Well, which is it?”

“Uhh...come with me.”

They started walking down the other corridor towards Red Alert’s office.

“What?” Hot Rod asked impatiently.

“We just got a tip. It’s pretty solid.”

“On what?”

“The Combaticons. We may have found their hideout. It was reported by an anonymous caller that they were somewhere in Vos. In a warehouse.”

“You’re sure it’s reliable?”

“99%. We have a raid squad en route.”

“Alright. I’m going as well. Give me the location.”

“You’re sure?”

“Yeah. They’re the highest profiled criminals on Cybertron. I want to make sure we do everything possible to take them alive.”

“Alright. Vos is not close. Grab a shuttle and I’ll have the coordinates uploaded. You should arrive about the same time the team does.”

“Okay. Who’s the squad commander?”

“Well, we’re so certain of it that Prowl himself is taking charge.”

Hot Rod didn’t say anything. He just walked out toward the police shuttle bay and commandeered a prisoner transport vehicle. He had to get there before the strike team did, especially if it was led by Prowl. Hot Rod had a bad feeling that Prowl might have his own interests in mind above enforcing the law.
Rodimus Prime
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Re: The Bad Seed.

Postby Rodimus Prime » Wed Oct 18, 2017 12:23 am

Outskirts of Iacon: Abandoned Repair Station

Present Day


“So we just wait?” Blue Streak asked.

“Yeah.” Smokescreen answered. “Until Prowl contacts us again. In the meantime, we got a job. We just need to wait until they get here.”

“Who?” Streetwise asked.

Blue Streak looked at Smokescreen. The three of them sat around the same table Streetwise and Prowl sat at when Streetwise joined this crew. He had gone on his first mission with them, and he did well. Even though he hesitated, on the way back Smokescreen reassured him that is was fine, that it was his first time and he needed to go through that. But that he should know that what he did was the right thing, they took 3 very dangerous Decepticons off the streets of Cybertron. Streetwise felt better after that and he tried to get past the fact that he killed an unarmed Decepticon execution-style. But isn’t that what Prowl had told him they would be doing? Taking out the trash? And Streetwise had agreed. He knew what he was getting into. But talking about it and actually doing it were 2 different things. Still, Smokescreem was right: they had made Cybertron safer. The Stunticons were known not only for their recklessness but also for their ruthlessness, especially Motormaster. Combine that with their limited intelligence, and ability to combine, they were a very dangerous crew. They had to be dealt with. And Streetwise knew firsthand the kind of damage they had caused during the war. For some reason, Megatron had preferred Menasor to any other combiner team, and that gave the Stunticons a certain amount of freedom. Whereas Shockwave had made the Combaticons and Predacons his top soldiers, Megatron saw the Stunticons’ lack of control as an asset instead of a hindrance. Streetwise just had to get used to this, that’s all. It was for the good of the future of the Transformers, just like Prowl had said. Some bots simply slipped through the grasp of justice, but that didn’t mean they weren’t guilty. Streetwise didn’t feel bad about 3 violent Decepticons dying. But the way they killed them still bothered him. He had been a cop, after all. He had sworn to serve the members of the Transformer race with honor and truth, just like Prowl. And now here he was, taking out the worst of the worst. Just like Prowl. Except, Prowl wasn’t actually here. He may be orchestrating all this, but he doesn’t actually pull the trigger. He doesn’t actually see the sparks overload and explode, wiping their carriers off the face of the planet. Did that make Streetwise more responsible, he wondered. Has Prowl ever done anything above or outside of the law? Or does he just talk a good game? Did he ever…

*knock knock*


The knock on the door brought Streetwise out of his throughts. Before he could even turn his head, both Blue Streak and Smokescreen were on their feet. One moved to the front door, the other to the back door. There were hidden cameras covering both exits, and the small monitor in the sidepanel next to the back door were showing no movement by outside.

“Clear.” Blue Streak said in a low and steady voice.

“Up here.” Smokescreen answered.

Streetwise walked up to the front door and joined Smokescreen, followed by Blue Streak. On the screen in the wall they saw a single lone bot standing outside. It was Lightspeed.

“No one back there?” Smokescreen asked.

“Yeah. It’s clear.” Blue Streak answered.

“So this is who Prowl sent, huh?” Smokescreen asked, and opened the door.

Lightspeed took a step back when the door opened, on the other side were Smokescreen, Blue Streak, and Streetwise, pointing a shotgun at him.

‘Whoa, whoa.” he said, putting his hands up. “Prowl gave me the address to this place. He told me to…”

“Yeah, we know.” Smokescreen cut him off sternly. “Get inside before you get spotted.”

Lightspeed stepped inside, his hands still up in front of him, as Streetwise still had his gun up.

“Hey. Put that down.” Blue Streak said. “He’s a friend.”

Streetwise slowly lowered his gun.

“Y-yeah. I’m a friend.” Lightspeed repeated.

“Do you have the datadisk?” Smokescreen asked.

“Here.” Lightspeed said, and handed it over. Smokescreen took it and crushed it in his hand.

“I also brought a transport vehicle.” Lightspeed said. “It’s what I used to get here. Prowl told me to bring it, that it would be needed. It’s outside. A heavyload carrier, with a covered cargo space, unmarked.”

“Yeah, he told us.” Blue Streak said. “But it’s not for us.”

“It will be picked up by someone soon.” Smokescreen said. “And we’re all taking a ride to our next mission.”

“In the cargo transport?” Streetwise asked. “Where are we going?”

“To Vos. Prowl got a positive on the Combaticons’ location.”

“Who’s going to take us?”

“Don’t worry about it. Someone friendly to our way of delivering justice. Just be ready to go soon.”

“Alright.”

“So...so what exactly do you guys do here?” Lightspeed asked. “Prowl didn’t explain anything, he said you would tell me.”

Smokescreen looked at Streetwise, then at Lightspeed.

“It seems that both of you went through similar circumstances to get here. Both your former teams were ambushed and massacred by the Combaticons, and nothing was done to punish them. Yeah, Magnus and the others claimed that they were looking for them. But, honestly, if the Autobots really had as firm a control on the planet as they claim, wouldn’t they have found them by now? So you’re here because Prowl thought your personal motivation to see the Combaticons punished might be useful. Streetwise has already proven himself on his first mission. He got a taste of what we do, and I suspect he understands it better than he did when he joined us. So I will let him explain it to you, and let you get used to it. Blue Streak and I have been doing this for a while, having had a common reason to join. You two also have a common reason to join, seeking justice for your murdered fellow teammates. Let that be what keeps you guys together, and know that you’re each other’s backup and we’re all your new teammates.”

As Smokescreen was speaking, Blue Streak came up to them and handed Lightspeed a shotgun. Lightspeed took it, his optics wide with wonder and surprise.

“Do you know what that is?” Smokescreen asked.

“Uh...y-yeah.” Lightspeed answered. “It’s a Flintlock 350 shotgun. And it’s supposed to be illegal. Right?”

“Heh. Yeah. I’ll let Streetwise explain that to you as well. Blue Streak and I gonna go out and check out our ride. In the mean time, you and Streetwise can have a talk and he can bring you up to speed on what’s going on. Like I said, it’s better that he does it, because he’s fairly new as well and you have a similar viewpoint on this whole thing. We’ll be back in a few.”

“Alright.” Lightspeed said, holding up the shotgun, admiring it. It was sleek, with 3 black barrels and a silver handle and breech with chrome highlights. No stock.

As Smokescreen and Blue Streak walked outside, Lightspeed put the gun on the table and he sat down with Streetwise. Outside, Smokescreen and Blue Streak were standing in front of the transport vehicle, but they had no intention of looking it over.

“So what do you think?” Blue Streak asked. “Is this gonna work?”

“Of course. We went over every step 4 times. The plan is flawless. As long as those 2 in there are in the back of the carrier when the Combaticons pick it up. Who knows what they would do if they saw the ‘Cons, considering what had happened to the other Protectobots and Technobots.”

“Do we wait until we’re in Vos, back at the ‘Cons’ hideout? Or do we take them out before we get there? Together they could be more dangerous.”

“Well, there are supposed to be 2 of them coming here to get the carrier. We’re supposed to take them out. The other 3 are Prowl’s problem. He said he would take a special assault squad and deal with them.”

“Alright. But we have to make it look like we’re seeing them for the first time, and let those 2 in there go after them. That’s what Prowl said, anyway. Let their need for vengeance do the work for us. Once they kill the Combaticons, there’s no going back. They’ll be with us. I mean, Streetwise already showed us that he can do it. But if he wants to remove all doubt, he has to do it again.”

“When are they getting here?”

“No idea. They have to walk, and it takes a while to make their way here, especially now that they’re wanted. But I’m sure they’ll manage. They’ve eluded that Autobot patrols thus far.”

“Alright. Let’s go back inside and wait.”

The 2 of them turned back to the door and walked back inside.

*** *** ***

City of Tesarus


Before the War


The police shuttle flew slow and low over the landscape, coming up to the border of the city. The pilot had made the decision not to fly directly into the populated area, as it would tip off the terrorist group ther were after. This raid was top secret, they wanted to grab these bots at all costs, not only for what they did to Iacon, but to find out if there are more bombings planned. On the shuttle was a 6-bot team, as Magnus thought any more officers would arouse suspicion as soon as they got off the shuttle. As they were, they could pass for a simple routine reinforcement squad. But they were anything but. Along with Magnus, the shuttle held Sureshot, the sniper. He would cover their raid from the outside, in case their targets had backups. Rook, the bomb specialist. He was here to disarm and dispose of any explosives they would encounter. They were dealing with bombers, after all. Smokescreen, the raid expert. He is on the Iacon SWAT team, and his experience in gaining entry and capturing the suspects would be needed. He would be the point bot. Then there were the 2 rookies: Prowl and Orion Pax. Magnus wanted them here for a few reasons: first and foremost was backup. They would be last in line, behind Smokescreen, Rook and Magnus. Their main duty was controlling the suspects once they made contact and subduing them if needed, so that both Smokescreen and Rook can do their jobs, clearing their safehouse of other suspects as well as any explosives they might find. Magnus would coordinate the operation, getting physically involved only if it was necessary. The secondary reason for Pax and Prowl being here was experience. Magnus had held both of them in high regard, as they graduated their academy class in the top 2, and gaining experience in an anti-terrorist task force would only make them better police officers. Finally, they were both there when these so-called “freedom fighters” bombed those buildings in Iacon, they had seen the destruction first-hand. The bombers, calling themselves Decepticons and acting in the name of someone called Megatron, were holed up in a closed-down factory that used to make parts for heavy-duty mining machinery. According to intelligence Magnus was given, they were miners, disillusioned with the social system of Cybertron, where they were relegated to the lower ranks due to their alt modes and spark-levels. Magnus had spent a lot of time gathering information on this so-called movement, as well as its leader, this Megatron. He had not come across any hard evidence on this bot, nothing besides what was given in reports from other various parties. However, Magnus had come across another name several times as he was trying to connect some dots: Megatronus. This bot was apparently a miner, and an outspoken critic of the Cybertronian caste system. It seemed like he was present at a lot of rallies and demonstrations, as well as supposedly secret gatherings. It seemed that he was a “community organizer” among these demonstrators, spurring on the actions of others. This made Megatronus high on Magnus’s list of suspects, and he intended to get a location from the suspects they were attempting to arrest today, so that he could come face-to-face with this dissident and put an end to this uprising which these Decepticons called a “ freedom movement.” But the question still weighted heavily on Magnus: who was Megatron? Was he Megatronus, with his name simply shortened? Or was he someone else completely, someone in the shadows, controlling everything. The fact that he couldn’t find anything solid on him made Magnus question if this Megatron was even real, or at the very least if it was an alias for someone else. But more and more of the public demonstrations these Decepticons took part in featured their now-apparent battlecry: All hail Megatron!” So whoever this Megatron was, he stoked the fire of rebellion, causing mass murder and terror in Iacon and other cities. And Magnus intended to catch him and put an end to this nonsense in the swiftest way possible. Once these thugs were rounded up, Magnus himself would get everything out of them he needed to find this so-called leader, and that would be the end of this civil unrest. But for that to happen, these bombing suspects had to be caught alive. One had already been found dead in an alley in Iacon, his upper body blown apart by what appeared to be explosive charges. Did he commit suicide? If so, why didn’t he do it publicly, bringing even more attention to their so-called “cause?” There were no witnesses to his death, and security wasn’t very sophisticated in that area, so his last moments would forever remain a mystery. But Magnus doubted that the bomber had killed himself. He had a strong suspicion that someone tracked him to his hideout and dealt with him personally, vigilante style. He was investigating that theory as well, but it seemed to be a dead end. Right now, however, capturing the other 2 bombers was more important, and that’s what he was focusing on. If this raid was successful, no doubt the suspects would shed light on past and possible future attacks and give Magnus more suspects to go after, until finally he will find this mysterious Megatron.

“Alright, listen up.” Magnus said. “We want these bots alive, at all costs. It was pure chance that we found their hideout, and they will not make the same mistake again. We have to catch them and get more information out of them.”

The others, all sitting on the left side of the shuttle’s personnel area, looked at him without a word. The shuttle was smaller than a regular civilian transport, it was designed to carry a team of 10 police officers, including the squad commander. On the left were the benches for the members of the team, on the right were utility lockers and storage units for weapons, ammunition and protective gear. A small walking path divided the benches from the storage units. This walkway went all the way to the rear of the shuttle, where it ended in a T formation, to the left were 6 holding cells for caught suspects, to the right was the rear loading double doors of the shuttle. Each member was given the standard raid gear, consisting of extra upper body armor as well as a helmet with built in radio and visual enhancement equipment. Members were required to use their own police-issued blasters, or if they brought their backup weapons they were allowed to carry that as well. Explosives, such as grenades and timed devices, were strictly under the supervision of Rook, and used under the discretion of Magnus.

“Here’s the plan of attack.” Magnus continued. He was standing in the front of the personnel area, between the benches and the door to the cockpit. His back was to the door, and he was holding onto the overhead bars for stability as the shuttle descended. “We move in on the building, scanning for any hidden alarms and booby traps. Sureshot will take up his firing position on the tallest building within reasonable distance where he has the widest field of view. This will allow him to cover 3 of the building’s 4 sides. Now, the chance of any reinforcements arriving without being spotted by him is 25%, but that’s a chance we have to take. We might not get another opportunity like this. Once we gain entry, with Smokescreen leading the way, we clear every area on every floor. The building’s schematics should be uploaded in your databanks. Use them as you make your way from the ground to the upper levels. The building consists of several large manufacturing areas as well as a lot of smaller storage rooms and spaces that were offices before the operation shut down. Sureshot has infrared scanning, so he will be able to tell us the exact location of the suspects and how many of them there are inside the building. That is, of course, if they don’t have the equipment activated to cover their spark radiation. Prowl and Pax, you’re new at this. I wanted you here because I felt you could be useful as well as learn a few things. Also, you were at the last attack locations of these thugs and have seen the damage they have done, so I thought you might like to get some measure of justice. But remember: you’re not in this for yourself. You’re not judge and executioner. Your duty here is backing up Smokescreen, Rook and myself, and contain the suspects once we make contact. Understood?”

“Yes, sir.” Prowl and Pax answered in unison. They sat next to each other on the 2nd bench, with Smokescreen and Rook sitting in front of them.

“Good.” Magnus continued. “Now, once we clear the building and capture the suspects, Sureshot will send the signal to the shuttle, and it will arrive and hover over the building. By this time it won’t matter that others will see it, as we will have captured the bombers. But we must get back on the shuttle quickly, in case reinforcements are tipped off and try something. There are only 6 of us, we can’t go against an unknown number of the bombers’ associates. Our objective will be to make it to the roof, and there Sureshot will be able to cover us better. Anyone who wants to do something about us being there will have to get up on the roof as well, and will present an open target. Sureshot, do not shoot to kill, only to wound, unless it’s absolutely necessary to subdue the other suspect. This may lead to us being able to capture more suspects than just the 2 bombers, thus providing more sources of information for their plans. Clear?”

“Yes, sir.” Sureshot said, sitting on the very last bench, going over his sniper rifle.

“Good.” Magnus continued. “Rook, Smokescreen, this is not yor first time, you know what you have to do.”

Rook and Smokescreen both just nodded without saying anything.

“Alright. Get ready.” Magnus said.

Right on cue, the shuttle landed smoothly, and the rear doors opened. The team all picked up their protective gear and disembarked. The bombers’ hideout wasn’t far, and they made it there without bringing too much attention to themselves. Some bystanders wondered wat they were doing, but there were only 5 of them, so most people didn’t think it was a high profile operation. Sureshot had gone a different way, and he didn’t have protective gear, as he wasn’t participating in the entry. Magnus would have liked to do this at night, guaranteeing that they would go virtually unnoticed, but he couldn’t take the chance of the bombers moving on, so he had to greenlight this operation as soon as possible. Everyone was ready, and Magnus gave the signal. Smokescreen entered the building through the side door, and scanned for alarms and booby traps. He found none. These bombers were either very confident that they wouldn’t be found, very arrogant, or very incompetent. Or maybe a combination of all 3. After all, they didn’t bother disguising themselves or making a stealthy getaway after they set off the bombs, identifying themselves as Decepticons in front of everyone on the streets of Iacon as they ran from the destruction they caused. The rest of the team followed as planned, and they cleared the ground floor without any surprises. Sureshot had informed them that 4 spark signatures were in the building, all on the 2nd floor, slutered in one corner. If they were able to get the drop on them, they might catch all of them at once, without any resistance. Sureshot informed Magnus that the suspects had not reacted in any way to them entering the building. So far so good.

They quickly made their way up to the 2nd floor, with magnus taking point, followed by pax and Prowl. Rook began sweeping the area for explosives, either ones set to repel any intruders or even unarmed ones which would be used in future bombings. Magnus was sure there would be more. Smokescreen at this point was watching Rook’s back. Magnus, the commander of the police academy, had experience in abundance with all types of police operations. He could do this kind of incursion with his optics deactivated. Of course that didn’t mean it was to be done. Pax, right behind Magnus, was simply following protocol, just as he was taught at the academy. He had his service blaster at the ready, with no backup weapon. Prowl, behind Pax, had his shotgun locked and loaded. Magnus had questioned Prowl’s decision to use the weapon, as it was cumbersome and unwieldy in small areas. And they were there to capture suspects, not eliminate them. But the shotgun was Prowl’s backup weapon, and it wasn’t against the rules to have it. So Magnus let him bring it. As Rook and Smokescreen went down one hallway on the opposite side of the building where the suspects were, the other 3 made a straight line for the area where the bombers were according to Sureshot. They were almost there, but as Magnus took a peek around the last corner in the corridor, one of the suspects happened to be looking out the entrance of the room in his direction and spotted him.

“We got company!” he shouted, and the other could be heard scrambling, knocking over whatever equipment was in the room.

“Damn it!” Magnus cursed and drew his service blaster.

He charged in, the other 2 following. He had not yet become “Ultra” Magnus, and did not have the extra armor provided by his trailer in vehicle mode. He was smaller, only slightly bigger than Orion Pax, and could move more soothly in the small space, allowing the others a view of their targets. 2 of the suspects ran to the right after exiting the room, the other 2 went through another entrance to the left side.

“I got these 2!” Magnus said, motioning to the first 2 suspects. “You get them!”

Prowl and Pax nodded and took off after the other 2 Decepticons.

“Rook, Smokescreen!” Magnus said into the radio in his helmet. “2 suspects coming towards you!”

We’re ready.” came Rook’s reply.

Down the other way, the 2 Decepticons split up at the end of the hall, one going left, the other going right. Prowl and Pax said nothing to each other, they simply reacted. Pax being the first, took off to the left and Prowl chased the ‘Con going to the right. Prowl recognized him as the 1st ‘Con who ran past him after the explosions in Iacon. Regardless of the others’ involvement, this was the actual bomber who got away. Prowl relished the chance to catch him. On the radio, Sureshot informed them that the 3rd ‘Con that Pax was chasing had made a half circle and was now coming towards Rook and Smokescreen as well. The other 4 had quickly cornered and subdued the 3 suspects, but Prowl was now on his own with the last one. He had made it to a stairwell and began going up to the 3rd floor. Sureshot was in Prowl’s radio, guiding him as he could see the bomber’s spark signature through his rifle scope. The ‘Con made it up to the 3rd floor, but Prowl was right behind him. He didn’t have to worry about surprise attacks, as Sureshot told him every move the ‘Con made. Prowl got to the top of the stairs and went through the entrance. He was in a narrow corridor, with openings on both side.

He’s in the 3rd room on the right.” Sureshot’s voice came through the helmet. “He stopped. He’s fiddling with something. Be careful.

Prowl, acknowledge.” Magnus’s voice came over the radio. “We’re coming to your location.

“Got it.” Prowl said in a low voice. “Are the others in custody?”

Yes.” Magnus replied. “Don’t engage the last suspect unless you have to. We’ll be there in a moment.

“Acknowledged.” Prowl said and clicked off his helmet comm-link. He moved forward, the shotgun gripped in both hands and pointed forward. He reached the entrance to the room. He peeked inside, and not seeing anything, turned into the entrance, then stepped into the room, disobeying Magnus’s last order. The ‘Con was standing in the corner, his back to Prowl.

“Turn around.” Prowl said quietly but sternly. There were no lights in the building, and Alpha Centauri was already below the horizon. There was barely enough natural light to see.

The ‘Con turned around, with one hand up in front of him, the other moving towards the side of his head.

“Stop.” Prowl said. “Both your hands out in front of you. Do it now!”

He heard Magnus and Pax reach the top of the stairs and come through the entrance to the corridor. They would be here momentarily.

“You can’t stop us.” the Decepticon said. “You can’t stop the movement.”

His left hand had reached his head, and he had stuck something into the side. Prowl hadn’t seen it before, but it was a device to fry the cerebral circuits, erasing memories without killing the subject. This way not even a mnemosurgeon could find out what the suspect knew.

“Megatron will be victorious!” the ‘Con said, and twisted the device, activating it, just as Pax reached the entrance.

“He will be dealt with. Just like you.” Prowl said coolly and evenly, and pulled the shotgun’s trigger.

“Prowl, no!” Pax shouted, but it was too late. The dual energon shells exploded out of the top 2 barrels, impacting the ‘Con in the chest and left shoulder. He never got the chance to experience the memory wipe, and died with Prowl’s last words in his mind. His body was thrown against the corner by the chest explosion, and his left arm was flung off to the side by the impact of the shell on his shoulder. It landed almost next to the opposite wall. However, the memory wiping device was stuck in his head and activated, doing its job as the ‘Con’s lifeless body crumbled in the corner. His spark ignited, just as Magnus stepped into the room. Prowl and Pax covered up, shielding their faces from the explosion. The protective gear did its job and covered their bodies. Magnus stepped back out at the last moment, and the explosion didn’t affect him.

After everything calmed down, Pax and Prowl were walking back to the shuttle. They would each have to file an official report, and Pax was troubled by what he had seen.

“Why did you shoot him?” he asked Prowl point blank.

“What do you mean?” Prowl asked. “He was gonna charge me with what he had in his hand. I thought it was an explosive.”

“Prowl. I was here I saw it. He was standing in the corner, not making any moves. You shot him. He didn’t even have a weapon on his. Just the circuit-fryer.”

“I didn’t know that. I was getting dark. I thought he had a grenade. Pax, these bot were bombers. Magnus even told us to look out for explosives that they would use against us.”

“He had no weapons or explosives on his. And he was standing still. And you shot him. I saw it. I have to put it in the report.”

“You walked in when everything was already going down. You saw it wrong.”

“I don’t think I did.”

Prowl stopped walking and turned to Pax.

“Listen, put whatever you think you saw in your report. I’m not telling you otherwise. And I will put what actually happened in mine. I was there, you weren’t. End of story.”

Prowl then walked away, leaving Pax standing there, wondering what was happening. Was he just overreacting? Or did Prowl take a wrong turn somewhere and was now going down a dangerous path? What happened here tonight, combined with how Prowl reacted to the bombings back in Iacon, Pax felt doubt if Prowl was truly honoring the oath he took as a police officer. He knew one thing for certain: the words and actions of his friend were not those of a pubic servant but those of a vengeful and misguided individual. A vigilante. At that instant, Pax knew that things between he and Prowl would never be the same as before.
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Transformers Podcast: Twincast / Podcast #186 - NYCC 2017
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