Semi-abandoned because I would love to get it done but don't have the time. The premise was 'how did various bots and cons end up in their respective armies?' I had plans for Bludgeon, Bugly and Bomburst, and possibly Xaaron and a few of the Wreckers. Ah, well. Here we have the only one I've finished, telling the history of a certain infamous warlord. Enjoy! (And feel free to play 'spot the cameo!') Children of the Revolution: Thunderwing Would the old fool never shut up? “Of course, Emirate.” Once again he had to go off on a tirade about fairness and harmony. “Indeed Emirate.” If the system were fair, we would be out of a job, you idiot. “Quite so Emirate.” Realisation dawned that Daacon had finally finished his rant. Thunderwing gave himself a mental kick and forced his face into a sympathetic smile. The Emirate of Altihex had had a small frame to begin with. Now, hunched in his life support chair, he cut a pathetic figure. To ‘the People’, it was an endearing image of the struggle against the odds. To Thunderwing, it merely underlined what he had known for vorns – the mech was a pacifistic moron whose inability to make tough decisions had helped block a potential solution to the Vos/Tarn war and thus led to their obliteration. With infinite politeness, Thunderwing bowed. “Might we be of further assistance tonight Emirate?” “No…I need…to rest…so much work…it has tired me. I will see you tomorrow…my friends.” With a murmured farewell, the blue and silver secretary turned from the broken shape of his employer and made for the door, not waiting for the smaller, green mech who had been standing by the data-feed screen. Outside, a drab corridor stretched in each direction, its monotony occasionally broken by some pointless sculpture. Thunderwing’s servile, pleasant mask dropped neatly away. “Gah! One more cycle with that self-absorbed cripple and I shall blow a fuse.” The data monitor tottering along just beside him was shocked. “How dare you say such things? Emirate Daacon is a great and kind mech!” “My dear Pinpoint, I only speak the truth. The ‘great’ Daacon is a weak, decrepit fool kept alive by a constant energon feed and his willingness to accede to anything Polyhex and Protihex demand.” “But…but he stood against them and Iacon when Xaaron tried to have Vos and Tarn invaded!” “Only because half the council reinforced that singularly foolish vote.” “Foolish? They stopped an invasion!” “By a peace keeping force!” Thunderwing stopped and took one of the several data pads from under his arm. “Ahem. ‘Casualty report from Incident 446’”, he read aloud, “‘Photonic Explosions, two, Vos Tarn regions. Page one, names ordered by rank. Shockwave, Governor, Tarn, missing, presumed terminated. Starscream, Lord, Vos, missing, presumed terminated. Tachyon, Lord, Vos, missing, presumed terminated. Overlord, Lord, Vos, missing, presumed terminated. Scorponok, High Architect, Tarn, missing, presumed terminated. Octus, General, Tarn, missing, presumed terminated. Onslaught, General, Vos, missing, presumed terminated.’” He paused, glancing at his companion. “There’s another thousand pages or so, most far more extensive than that. Should I go on?” Without waiting for an answer, he thrust the data pad back with its fellows and started walking again. “Had Xaaron had his way,” he snapped over his shoulder, “that report could have been halved, maybe even quartered and Vos and Tarn would most likely not be the craters they now are.” Pinpoint looked even more flustered as he was forced to half run to keep up. “Daacon couldn’t have known…he was only sticking with his beliefs.” The taller civil servant sighed. He clearly was not getting through. He stopped again, this time looking Pinpoint in the optic. “Look, there is nothing ‘great’ about Emirate Daacon. He’s a pacifist. Fine. But it stopped him from doing the right thing during the war. He’s a cripple because he jumped in front of a plasma flare to save some fellow workers. Great. But that just made the voters like him. It didn’t make him a magnificent states-mech. He’s weak. Like this city. Like most of the other Emirates and the entire system for that matter. I only work here for the pay. It’s the most sensible way to approach the job. The sooner you realise that all I’ve said is true, the better.” He watched Pinpoint’s face. It shifted through several emotions but still the zealous intent to refute the obvious remained. At last, the data monitor spoke. “How do you do it?” “Do what?” “Well…believe in all that but still…act all polite and friendly to the Emirate.” He had not really expected that. It was, he had to admit, a question he had often asked of himself. There were several answers. He gave the most dismissive. “It’s a knack.” Frustrated, Thunderwing swung on his heel and strode towards the lift. “See you tomorrow. Oh, and Pinpoint? Try and wake up to reality. It’s not such a bad place. * * * Viewing the city, Thunderwing decided he might have been exaggerating reality’s virtues. Some might have referred to the crowded streets as ‘bustling’, what with the transports vying for space in the roadway, the aircraft flitting overhead and the pedestrians ambling along. He simply saw the chaos of it all. As he stalked along, he swept the street with a brooding glare. A merchant column, headed by a grey, black and red speeder made its noisy way towards the Polyhex expressway. A gaggle of minibots hurtled down the pavement, energon cubes clutched in their hands. Seconds later, a security officer bounded after them, a snatch of his rapid communications burst reaching Thunderwing’s powerful audio sensors. “ –eetwise in pursuit of thieves in sector five! Send bac–” Oblivious to the chase, news screens plied their languid paths overhead. ‘Mech Tor/ Mech Clikt joint Hunt Meet announced!’ screamed one, ‘Mirage, Stepper and Harmony to attend!’ ‘Tarn/Vos refugee crisis growing!’ trumpeted another. “Energon prices spiralling!’ howled a third. It was all so…so…Thunderwing struggled for a word strong enough. So pointless. Energon costs had been rising for vorns now, boosted by the animosity between city-states and only partly relieved by the occasional off-world resource haul. The political system was in a mess. The aristocracy were hoarding and over-energising on anything they could seize. And Vos and Tarn’s destruction had sent the planetary economy into freefall. Yet amid the great, towering spires, within the sprawling city-states, everyone carried on as they always had. The Councils met. The Emirates waffled. Sentinel Prime kept up his futile speeches on world harmony. It was as if the vaporisation of thousands of beings, many of them truly great mechs, meant nothing. There. There was a perfect example of failing justice. Across the street, three mechs, one gold, one red and one blue, were sauntering along surrounded by a bunch of giggling femmes and taking it in turns to gulp down great swigs from the canister of energon they were carrying. How could such a large amount of high-grade fuel be allowed to remain in the hands of such…wastrels? What did they have to offer society in return? What value were they? He had reached a wide, open square, walled off on two sides by monolithic towers. Ahead was a perfect view of the Tracket Ridge. On one of the gloomy peaks squatted the bulky shape of the Temple of Vigilance. Warriors might live there, thought Thunderwing, but they might as well have been built into the structure for all the – A noise reached him. Voices. Talking about him. “Him? He wants him?” “Yes, he does.” “Why?” “How the slag should I know?” “Well…how do we…you know…” “Does it matter? What he wants, he gets.” Intrigued, Thunderwing spoke out loud. “Ummm…I couldn’t help overhearing that you what to…speak to me?” There was a moment’s silence. “I have excellent hearing,” he added Slowly, two sets of footsteps advanced towards his back. The mechs took up flanking positions. The one on the left was tall and white with purple trim, wings folded neatly across his back. The one on the right was stocky, with tan coloured armour, again trimmed with purple. The taller one spoke first. “Ah…yes…speak with you. Quite. You see…we represent someone who is very interested in your career.” “Yeah,” grunted the other, “He wants to have a few words with you about the future. Your future.” “My ‘career’? My ‘future’? What are you talking about?” “Let’s just say that your discontent is shared by many others,” answered the first speaker, “and it will be to your advantage to come to this address. Just ask the barman for a Decepticon Special.” Wordlessly, Thunderwing took the proffered data chip. “See ya’,” said the second with an unpleasant grin. With that, the two of them swaggered away, leaving the Emirate’s assistant to stare after them in astonishment. * * * The address on the data chip was located in an older region of the city. The buildings there huddled close to the ground, no more than five or six storeys each. The streets were grimy and badly lit. Few dared to travel those rotting roads and those that did were invariably of the most unpleasant designs. Thunderwing tried to suppress the urge to transform and fly back to central Altihex as fast as possible. The only comfort he had was in knowing that his defence blaster was in easy reach. But then again, that would be no use if an attacker came from behind or in large numbers or – With a small squeak, he flattened himself against the nearest building. Trying to see all ways at once he had nearly collided with the mountain of black metal coming the other way. For a few seconds, he thought that the monstrous figure was going to make use of the crude claws that were its hands. Instead, it gave him a dismissive kick and walked past. Thunderwing peeled himself out of the architecture and hurried on, even more nervous than before. There were great oil houses on Cybertron. Number 1917 was not one of them. The interior was worse lit than the street outside, probably to hide the fact that it was considerably filthier. None of the patrons looked up as Thunderwing entered. None of them seemed in a state where they particularly cared about such occurrences. A crimson flyer was flat on his faceplate beside what might have been the window seat if the shutters had not been corroded shut. Two near identical technician types were trying to remain upright. Their equally similar companion had already listed so far sideways that he was in danger of joining the flyer. In the far corner, a barely visible green shape with a dull yellow chest plate was staring intently at the tankard before him. With ever increasing trepidation, Thunderwing made his way to the bar. The bartender, a black and grey winged mech with a horned, purple helmet looked down his nasal protrusion at the ‘customer’. “May I be of service?” he asked in the tone of voice that made it perfectly clear that service was going to be rare and very expensive. “A Decepticon Special, err, please.” There was a long pause. “It’ll take a few breems to mix,” was the final reply and the bartender pointed to an alcove table, “Wait there.” Suddenly far more worried than before, the civil servant did as he was told. There was a mural on the wall above the table. Thunderwing studied it. He realised what it depicted. He looked sharply away, feeling ill. A few breams later, the front door opened. A bulky blue figure entered, its masked head swinging from side to side, finally settling on Thunderwing. The bartender hurried over, suddenly obsequious. Without deigning to acknowledge, the mech strode purposefully past the inebriated customers and sat down at the table directly opposite Thunderwing’s. A few seconds later, the bar was plunged into total darkness. Thunderwing panicked. He completely forgot about his higher vision functions and stood up, intending to make a dash for the door. “Scared?” The question rumbled out from the blackness just across the table. Slowly, the lighting returned, illuminating the massive silver mech. With an imperious gesture, he indicated the other’s vacated seat. “Sit down. You have nothing to fear from me.” The tone allowed no argument. Thunderwing sat. “I’m glad that you chose to come. You will not regret your decision.” He leaned closer, red optics glinting. “I have been watching you, my friend. Listening. I know what you think of Cybertron’s current condition. There are many others who agree with you.” He swept one hand through the air, indicating all that lay around them. “There is grave injustice. The weak suppress the strong. Energy is wasted on those who have no value. Among our race, there are those who by their very nature are superior yet they are ignored. Mechs like you and I, Thunderwing.” “Me?” He was hanging on every word. Everything he had been taught, all his cultural programming, denied what he was being told. But what he had come to realise through working for Daacon, his own opinions, his instincts…they praised the silver giant for speaking the truth and begged for more. Yes! Why not? He had skills others lack. He was superior! “You. You can fly. Your senses are incredibly powerful. You are strong. You are intelligent. You are one of us.” The mech’s hand rose again, this time to place a plate of metal in front of Thunderwing. It was an Autobrand…except it was not. It was sleeker, intimidating, cruel. “Our mark. Our standard. We are Decepticons. The true heirs to our world’s thrones. And we must take our places. We must depose the Autobots who have usurped us. Their weakness must fall before our strength.” “You mean a…a revolution?” “A revolution. A reformation.” “A war?” “That concerns you? You fear another Vos/Tarn conflict? Do not. This is a war of necessity, of justice. We shall simply remove the Autobots from power. We will be warriors fighting against workers. The casualties need only be minimal. And besides…what are a few deaths, what are a thousand deaths if the end result is a stable, powerful Cybertron?” It made sense. Cold, real sense. The end would far eclipse whatever means were used to achieve it. Thunderwing was left with only two questions. “When will this happen? How can I help make it happen?” “Ah, such eagerness. Yes, in time you will join us. And I will be honoured to have you by my side. But…” He leaned closer still. “I must be certain of your commitment. You must prove you can fight for us…serve us…kill for us. You must be tested. Initiated.” “What must I do?” “Come now! Consider my words. I talk of sweeping away the old order. Of the weak falling before the strong. Consider your position. What must you do?” It crystallised with incredible suddenness. “Daacon. I…I must…kill him?” The silver mech shrugged. “Weak components break. But remember,” and he seized Thunderwing’s shoulder, “there will be no turning back. Serve me and I can offer you the justice you seek. Fail me…” The threat was left hanging in the air. “When?” Thunderwing felt a burning sensation rise through his body, a desire and impatience the like of which he had never known before. “Soon, soon.” The other stood, releasing the civil servant. “Now we part. Complete your task, Thunderwing and I, Megatron, will gladly welcome you into the Decepticon army.” * * * The green shape had not moved since Thunderwing had entered the bar. It had made no sign of interest in the new arrivals or their departures. However, some time after Megatron and his aide had gone, when the bartender was busy dealing with a pair of staggering overloads, it rose silently. Moving with sober swiftness, it headed away from Number 1917 and towards the nearest communications exchange. * * * “Complete your test.” The words rang round Thunderwing’s head during the following days, even as pandemonium broke out across the city-states. Praxus fell first, annihilated by an army that had come from nowhere. Then Kalis succumbed, surrendering as its defences shattered. Slowly word got out. These were the actions of rebels, intent on revolution. They were led by a gladiator. They were ploughing a path towards Iacon. Dead Tarnians and Vosians had risen to fight in their ranks. They were called Decepticons. It was late evening as Thunderwing closed the terminal in his office and headed for the lifts. War might indeed have consumed the northern cities but it seemed that Altihex would escape for now. He knew better. For that morning, he had reactivated to find a box by his dwelling’s door. A box containing two items. The first was a data chip. It held one word: Tonight. The second was a long, thin energo-dagger, engraved with an elongated version of the Decepticon emblem. The dagger now nestled in his wrist storage compartment. He could feel it there, a deadly weight. And his mind was full of the task before him. The left shuddered to a halt. Its doors swished open. This was it then. He braced himself. The security guard barely spared Thunderwing a glance. It was hardly a novelty for the Emirate’s chief aide to remain after most of the staff had left. Despite what was happening in the neighbouring states, Daacon had insisted that Altihex would remain at peace and continue as usual. Security still remained vested in the civil guards who had always acted as the city’s protectors. This served to further reduce Thunderwing’s opinion of the crippled Autobot. He just wished that that made him feel better about what lay ahead. It was not that he lacked conviction. He desperately wanted to do all he could to aid the Decepticons, to become a Decepticon. But he had never killed in his existence. He had hardly ever had to cause any being physical harm. And now to have to take Daacon’s life… But, he reasoned as he crept through the deserted corridor, Daacon was not worth keeping alive. He was weak and stupid and he stood in the way of Megatron’s plans. As long as he sat in power, Altihex and its inhabitants would be unable to achieve their potential. He would be doing Cybertron a great service in destroying the crippled fool. Unfortunately, thinking about it kept making his internals threaten to seize up. The Emirate’s office door loomed ahead. The doors were open, evening light spilling through. Thunderwing steadied himself and edged along the wall until he was in a position to peer around the doorway. The vast windows were uncovered, providing a breathtaking view of the inner city’s skyscrapers. Framed against the faded orange light, Daacon was hunched in front of communications console, his chair hovering sedately on its repulsor beam. From the screen, Emirate Xaaron was looking down at the Altihexian with an expression of concern. “You cannot be serious about this,” he was saying, “The risks are far to great.” “I will not countenance it,” came the surprisingly forceful reply, “My city has always valued peace and friendship above power and influence. I refuse to change that, whatever may happen.” “Daacon, the Decepticons intend to raze Altihex to the ground! You must mobilise a force to defend your borders, or at least allow Sentinel Prime’s army to do it for you!” “Never! I will not, I cannot allow war here.” “War is coming to you whether you allow it or not. Megatron will not be swayed by pacifism. He must be met by the only thing he is capable of comprehending: violence.” Daacon sighed and leant back in his chair. Thunderwing could not see his face, but could imagine the look of pitying sadness. “Violence only leads to violence. Only death can come from it.” He shook his head tiredly. “After Vos and Tarn, I would have thought even you would have realised that.” “If you do not stand and fight, Megatron will slaughter your people!” Xaaron paused and struggled to compose himself. He was clearly loosing patience with his colleague. “Listen to me, Daacon, and listen well. Your life is in direct danger. You have been targeted for assassination.” “What are you talking about?” “In all the cities that have fallen to the Decepticons, there have been acts of murder committed immediately prior or during the initial attacks. The Emirates and their closest aides have been killed, sometimes by their closest aides. I have information that one of those in your inner offices has been corrupted. He has been task with ensuring your death –” “ENOUGH!” Daacon had hauled his pitiful frame erect and was glaring at the screen, fist clenched. “I will not listen to this nonsense! How dare you level such accusations against my staff? Thunderwing, Pinpoint, Hopscotch, Draconis…I would trust anyone of them with my life! Most of them have worked with me for years! They would never betray Altihex to warmongers!” Thunderwing felt his hands shaking. To hear Daacon saying…to know that he thought…that he had such faith… Megatron’s face rose into his mind, his words, his command. What was the pitiful, stupid trust of an old fool before the future security and might of Cybertron? Xaaron was trying to reply to Daacon’s tirade but was unable to get a word in edgeways. “It seems to me that all Iacon cares about is ensuring that the other cities dance to its tune! I will decide how I will approach Megatron and only I! I will not be bullied into senseless action by whatever ephemeral threats you spend your time concocting! I bid you good night, Xaaron.” It was only as Daacon reached for the off control that Thunderwing realised he was about to loose his advantage. Some instinct buried in his subconscious took over. While the Emirate was focused on the screen, his life-support units were exposed to a rear attack. While he was unaware of his aide’s presence, he could raise no alarm. In turning away from the fading image, he would see Thunderwing in the doorway, see the knife, would at last see the sense and truth in Xaaron’s words…and could bring security running. Thunderwing’s neural net hyper-energised. Time slowed down as sensory input speeded up. Daacon’s finger curved through the air to stab the control. Thunderwing swung himself fully into the room. The screen blinked out. The Emirate began to slump, fatigue catching up with him. His chair began to rotate. Thunderwing’s arm came round. A final tangle of emotions burst like fireworks in his brain, only to be sliced apart by the dreadful, enormity of the knife taking flight, slashing through the air and at last fulfilling its terrible function. Perception snapped back into real time. With a despairing rattle, Daacon tried to cry out, then slumped forward. The knife had embedded itself in his support chair’s central hub, sending a lethal charge through his systems. The repulsor unit spluttered then slowly failed, so that the body was gently lowered to the floor, to lay still and cold. For a few astroseconds, there was complete silence in the office, broken only by the distant hum of traffic and life. Then Thunderwing walked forward to stand over the dead Autobot. He had done it. He had completed his test. He had killed. He felt strange… History had just been written. Daacon was dead. Altihex had tasted the Decepticon’s might. And it had been his hand that had made it so. His blow that had changed everything. In one moment, all that might have been if Daacon had lived was gone and could never be. That was…power. To stop things being one way and make them be another. Simply by extinguishing one spark, by taking one life, by striking one blow, he had changed everything. He savoured the feeling. The feeling of superiority, of might, of power, of strength. It felt good. Footsteps reached his audio receptors, footsteps from the corridor, coming towards the office. With fear-filled swiftness, Thunderwing stooped and extracted the dagger, clutching it to his chest. He had no time to do anything else. Pinpoint walked in, his arms wrapped protectively around a stack of datapads. “Hello, Thunderwing,” he said brightly to his superior’s back, “I didn’t know you were still…” He trailed off, his optics fixing on the corpse. They widened in horror, his mouth working soundlessly. The pads clattered to the floor and the small green mech rushed to kneel by Daacon. “What happened? How did this happen? How could this happen?” He begins to babble with panic, giving Thunderwing time to move his knife out of sight. “I don’t know. I found him like this just before you came in.” Pinpoint’s hands touched the hole in support chair. “This…this looks like a…wound…he was killed by someone!” He looked up, optics wider still. “You don’t think…with all that’s been happening…who would want to do this?” “I don’t know…but there is nothing we can do for him.” “We have to go and get security.” “Yes – no, you stay here and make sure no one touches the body. I’ll go and raise the alarm.” Thunderwing made for the door and was nearly reached it. “Thunderwing…” Pinpoint’s voice trembled. The other looked around, then down. Energon was dripping slowly from the tip of the knife, falling from his hand to splash onto the floor. He made for the doorway but did not go through. Instead he hit the close control and the room was sealed. His instincts had taken over, just as they had when he had killed Daacon. Pinpoint started to back away. “You…you? W…why? In Primus’ name, why?” “Because it had to be done.” Thunderwing spoke softly as he advanced on the green clerk. “Had to be done? Y…you mean because of all those things you told me before…about him being a fool…” “Yes. Partly. And more.” “H…how could you? He never harmed anyone!” “It had to be done.” Pinpoint was rapidly backing himself towards the wall. Thunderwing brought the knife up. “But it’s…horrendous! You’ve taken a life! An innocent life! You have committed a crime beyond imagining!” “Do think properly, Pinpoint.” The older mech’s voice took on a lecturing tone. “Innocence is just another word for weakness. It’s an illusion created to help soften the blows of a failing system. And it is failing. It must be changed, and quickly. Those fit to lead must do so, those who are not must be removed. If we don’t act now, our world could collapse into chaos.” “But Daacon –” “Was an opponent of our cause. Would have been an opponent. And it was the will of Cybertron’s future ruler that he should die.” “Who? What ruler?” “Megatron.” Somehow Pinpoint managed to look even more horrified. He was about to make another weak willed, terrified accusation when his back hit the wall. Realisation dawned that his escape route was completely cut off. And for some reason, that seemed to give him new resolve. He stood up straighter and looked Thunderwing in the optic. “Look, Thunderwing. You have done something…terrible. But there are reasons. The rebellion, the work, your feelings about Daacon and the system – it’s clearly had some…impact on your logic circuits. This is wrong, and I think you know it. We can get help for you! There are doctors and scientists who can look after you! So please, stop this. Just give me the knife and let me help you.” Thunderwing kept advancing. “You don’t understand do you?” “Give me the knife, Thunderwing. Please.” They were barely two paces apart. “I want this. I want Megatron’s dream. I want Cybertron to be great.” “The knife. Please, Thunderwing.” “The old system won’t work. It must be changed.” One pace apart and he raised the knife to neck height. “Please. The knife. Give it to me.” “And I can change it. I can make that dream reality. And I don’t need your help.” “You do. Give me the knife.” Now only the length of the blade separated them. Thunderwing halted. “Would you even understand its use?” He looked into Pinpoint’s optics. They had dulled slightly with despair. The green mech began to whisper. “Primus, lord and maker, creator and watcher, primal program, eternal flame…protect my spark, guide me to –” Thunderwing silence him. The knife bit into metal, moving as easily as a stylus over a ‘pad. It was almost…enjoyable. He traced shapes through Pinpoint’s body, cutting across vital components until, finally, the gutted frame collapsed, joining Daacon on the floor. As if did, a vast, rumbling, ripping, roaring noise boomed out across the city, shaking the buildings to their foundations. He was so absorbed in watching the slumping mech that the shockwaves barely registered at first. When they did, he sprang to the window, expectant, eager, hungry to see what had happened. A whole swathe of structures on the edge of Altihex lay in smouldering ruins. His optics working in overdrive, Thunderwing could a cloud just see of mechs hanging in the air above the devastation. He knew that at their head would be Megatron. The Decepticons had arrived. They did not hold their positions for long. Soon hundreds of predatory shapes were hurtling overhead, jets, bombers, monsters – all engines of destruction, all intent on conquest. And far below, the ground was pummelled by the passage of vast tanks and heavily armed speedsters. Shells and bombs screamed out of the sky, pounding away at the helpless citizens. Lasers and disrupters blazed into the sides of skyscrapers. Shattered glass and twisted metal erupted in all directions, propelled by colossal balls of flame. The Temple of Vigilance, high on its holy peak, became an inferno and crumbled into blacked ruins. Thunderwing watch, rapt and fearful, ecstatic and horrified. He had thought that a knife gave him power? Any one of those warriors had weapons and skills so far beyond him as to be god-like. He might be able to change history – they could change the universe. Desire filled him. He would be like them, come Pit and Chaos, he would become as powerful as they were. No…he would be more powerful! He would stand shoulder to shoulder with Megatron, at the head of an army of titans! But he had to prove himself. Not just carry out his ‘test’ – that had been done. No, he would fight for the Decepticons, fight as he was. He would show them that he was more than worthy of their strength, that he truly was one of them. He could see a squad of security mechs racing to protect the inner city, which still stood remarkably intact before the onslaught. They had brought some heavy cannons onto the expressway, pulled from the depths of their storerooms. They were daring to take up arms against their superiors, daring to challenge the Decepticon war machines. They would have to die. He had no weapons other than the knife, still drenched in oil, and his defence blaster. But they would not be expecting an attack from the rear. And he had flight on his side. He was about to spring into action when he realised something. Turning back, Thunderwing walked to Daacon’s body. Seizing the Emirate’s head, he heaved and twisted until it came away in his hands, trailing cables and wires. Carefully, he stored it away. He cast a glance at Pinpoint, considering taking the clerk’s cranium as well. No, it would not fit. One trophy was enough for the moment, and it was what Megatron wanted. He gave a smile. “Poor little Pinpoint. Such a pity. Maybe I should have explained more. But somehow, I don’t think you would have understood.” He looked down at his Autobrand. That would have to go. Carefully, he prised it free from his armour. It gleamed slightly, the mask staring back at him almost accusingly. He casually tossed it aside. It held no value for him now. Thunderwing returned to the window and drew his blaster. It did not fit quite as comfortably in the hand as the knife, which he clamped to his waist, but it would do. He took careful aim, setting the gun to maximum power, and blew a hole in the glass. Someone started banging on the locked door, demanding entry. He ignored them and activated his repulsor drive. Casting a last glance at Pinpoint’s corpse, he smiled even wider. “I was right, you know. Reality isn’t such a bad place after all.” With that, he jumped from the building, jumped into the fires of war, into the fury of battle, into the glory of the Decepticon cause.