Episode 1: The Fall of Earth part 1 My name is Hot Shot. I am an Autobot warrior, and I have seen many battles. My people are called Transformers, and we have been fighting amongst ourselves for ages beyond remembrance. There are two factions: Autobots and Decepticons. These two factions have fought each other in many wars. The first major war I remember is the Second Minicon War. We had sent the tiny Transformers known as Minicons into the depths of space long before, until three humans reactivated them, and brought our war to Earth. We fought the Decepticons long and hard, even losing our leader, Optimus Prime, but the miracles of both the Minicons and the Autobot Matrix of Leadership brought him back. Not long after, the Minicons tried to prepare us for the coming of a great evil: Unicron, the Dark God. After a terrible battle, Unicron was defeated, thanks to the sacrifice of Megatron. Ten years later, the conflict known as the Energon War began. Megatron was reborn from the ruins of Unicron, and became known as Galvatron. Unicron also activated another proxy: Alpha Q. The two fought us to collect enough Energon to reactivate Unicron, and they were eventually successful. Optimus Prime, reformatted by the Matrix into a form that seemed as powerful as Primus himself, stopped the Dark God, but a greater evil was born from the ashes. Megatron was reborn. His powers rivaled, perhaps even surpassed Unicron’s, and his lust for power seemed to grow with it. He and one of Alpha Q’s last living creations, Ravage, laid waste to our forces. In the final battle, we destroyed Ravage. At the same time, Optimus Prime and Megatron brought their battle to a close, as they terminated each other and nearly destroyed the planet they dueled on. Almost immediately, Starscream, reborn by Alpha Q some time before, and Shockwave, a Decepticon prisoner, took leadership of the Decepticons. Starscream betrayed Shockwave, killing him, and proclaimed himself King of the Decepticons. Since then, we had been fighting a losing battle. We were driven off of Cybertron and every other Autobot-held world, until only Earth remained. We had to survive, because, if we didn’t, the universe would have been destroyed… “Where did they get to?” Jetfire wondered. His maroon armor managed to hide most of his scratches, but the white parts showed the years of abuse they had taken. Most of his right shoulder was missing, the Autobots no longer having the resources to repair such wounds. Even miracle worker Red Alert couldn’t do anything for him, except for patching it up. Wingsaber flew down from the starscape and transformed next to Jetfire. Like Jetfire, Wingsaber’s armor showed its wounds. His red, white, and blue body was burned, scratched, and pitted. Even one of his optics had gone out. “No trace of them, sir. I don’t see how an entire fleet could have disappeared like that.” Jetfire sighed, then looked downward at Earth. The Energon shield held up to the first bombardment, but there wasn’t enough energy to fire back. That’s where the Autobots like Jetfire and Wingsaber had come in, dogfighting with the faster, pristine Decepticon space warriors. They didn’t stay pristine for long. Jetfire thought. He, Wingsaber, and a handful of others had managed to send dozens of enemies streaking toward the Energon grid, with minimal casualties on their side, and like reports from across the globe. Jetfire was pleased by the results, but couldn’t help but wonder why the Decepticon fleet had pulled back to Mars. He opened his comm. “Hot Shot, you there? The Decepticons retreated in your direction. Did they pass by yet?” Hot Shot scanned the encampment in the valley below. Bunkers had been set up, and Decepticons were milling about, carrying munitions, energon supplements, or just plain wandering around. Mudflap’s building was obvious, being the grandest structure there. And it just happens to be the best guarded building here. Hot Shot thought. His comm. crackled to life. “Hot Shot, you there? The Decepticons retreated in your direction. Did they pass by yet?” Jetfire’s voice punched through the static. Hot Shot crawled back from his hiding spot to the small rock outcropping the Autobots were using as a recon base. “Not that I know of. Though they have set up a base in the valley. We’re scouting them out now.” “I copy. What’s their force deployment?” “Mudflap’s here, and he’s got enough housing for a few thousand troops. The rest must be with the fleet.” Hot Shot said. His partner, Inferno, went up to Hot Shot’s prior position. “Speaking of which, there’s a disturbance down at the camp, Hot Shot. Take a look.” Inferno called to Hot Shot. Hot Shot crawled over to the overlook and noticed something happening in Mudflap’s tent. Inferno reached over and activated the Audio Enhancers to listen in. Down in the camp, Mudflap’s guards shifted uneasily. Thundercracker and Chromia had entered moments earlier, and there had been heated discussion for a few minutes now. A few things had crashed recently, and it was getting worrisome. In a flash, Mudflap few out of the front door, tearing it from its hinges and skidding to the ground. The guards suppressed laughter; most of Mudflap’s soldiers liked the idea of anything that could put the blue mech on his skidplate. Chromia was the first to emerge, fuming. Her yellow optics had brightened considerably, actually casting slight shadows on her silver face. She stormed over to Mudflap and planted her purple, high-heeled foot on his chest, pinning him. Thundercracker emerged next, smiling slightly, gun arm slung on his shoulder. “Well, I guess you’ll think twice before making them comments, won’tcha?” he said in his southern accent. “He’d better, if he knows what’s good for him.” Chromia added threateningly. She pushed her foot further into Mudflap’s chest for emphasis. “Don’t deny the truth! Your reaction just confirmed it!” Mudflap shouted in his French accent. Chromia removed her foot from Mudflap. “You can check with Starscream when he gets here,” she hissed. Mudflap’s face fell as he got up. “Starscream’s coming here?” Chromia looked up at Mudflap, as she was a full head shorter than Mudflap. She smiled, optics dimming to normal. “That’s right. He’s coming here to oversee the final battle.” Thundercracker nodded. “Yep. He ain’t pleased with your tactics. Thinks you “toy with your prey” too much. That might be why I’m second-in-command, and you ain’t.” Mudflap stalked over to Thundercracker and stared down at the smaller mech. “It wouldn’t be hard to take that position from you,” he snarled. A shadow fell over the camp as a dagger-shaped Decepticon capital ship flew overhead. Only Chromia noticed. “Speak of the devil. You two,” She turned toward Thundercracker and Mudflap. “Maybe you can put aside your arguments long enough to give our leader the greeting he deserves?” “I know you will later,” Mudflap muttered. Chromia kicked him again. The trio marched over to the landing pad as the cruiser set down. Guards had already assembled at the landing ramp, three rows deep, facing each other. Others were assembled in rows, facing the ship. Chromia and Mudflap flanked Thundercracker as they marched toward the descending ramp. The ramp touched ground, and four pairs of guards marched down the ramp, followed closely by Starscream himself. The red and white mech stalked down the ramp, armor and crown glinting in the sunlight. Chromia and Mudflap knelt, only Thundercracker stood saluting. “Greetings, Thundercracker. I trust Mudflap took the news well?” Starscream asked, continuing on. Thundercracker walked with him, Chromia and Mudflap trailing. “As well as can be expected from ‘im. I explained why, and he understood.” He explained. Mudflap grumbled, Chromia glared at him, and neither of the Seekers in front of them took notice. “Good.” Starscream stopped at the edge of the pad and turned to face Mudflap. “Get your troops ready to mobilize. We will be leaving in one hour. Thundercracker, get back to the fleet. Prepare to move. We leave when Mudflap is finished. Move out.” The two mechs saluted and moved off to their assigned tasks. Starscream looked out to a distant ridge. Hot Shot immediately activated his comm. “Jetfire, this is Hot Shot. Something big is going down here. Starscream just arrived, and all the generals hare here. Starscream must be here to personally oversee this battle. Get ready to-“ “Get down!” Inferno shouted, before the rocks around the two mechs exploded. “Well, well, well. Lookie what we got here. Autorats in the rocks. Must be spyin’ on us.” Thundercracker said, his gray SU-27 Flanker jet mode. He launched another brace of four missiles at the Autobots. Hot Shot pulled free his rifle and returned fire. “Get back to the transport! I’ll draw his fire!” he shouted over the gunfire. “Got it!” Inferno transformed into his battered firetruck vehicle mode and sped off for the Autobot prowler. “Oh, I don’t think so!” Thundercracker yelled, and dove after Inferno. “And I really don’t think so!” Hot Shot returned, jumping up and grabbing on to Thundercracker’s wing. “Get off me!” Thundercracker entered a series of barrel rolls, trying to shake Hot Shot off. When the yellow Autobot did fall off, Thundercracker’s cockpit shattered. Hot Shot recovered in time to see Thundercracker crash to the ground. The Autobot sports car sped off towards the prowler. “Nice shot.” Hot Shot complimented. “Thanks.” Inferno replied, particle beam wrist rifle still smoking. The two entered the transport and sped away from Mars, hoping they got to Earth before the Decepticons did. “All right, all your systems are nominal. At least, as nominal as they can be with this lack of resources.” Red Alert said, closing his medical scanner. “Thanks, Brit.” Hot Shot said, hopping down from the table. “I told you to stop calling me that.” “Not my fault you picked a British accent.” Hot Shot shrugged. Red Alert sighed and scanned Inferno. “Same with you. All systems as good as they’re going to get.” He rubbed his red visor, weary. He’d been weary since the Autobots were forced off of Cybertron. Inferno hopped down from the table. “Thanks, Red. You’re the glue that keeps this team together.” Red Alert chuckled. “Glue is probably the only thing holding this team together.” He looked at his chest, which was once the front end of his ambulance mode. It had been years since he could properly transform, as replacement transformation cogs were always in short supply. His headlights were destroyed, and the doors which went over his shoulders were completely missing. The part that formed the roof of his ambulance mode had been removed, due to a rare case of cosmic rust after an injury. Inferno had sustained lighter damage by comparison. Most of his driver’s compartment had been destroyed in battle, and the halves of his blue battle mask had been blown off. The rest of his red armor merely bore scratches and burns. Hot Shot once had a good-looking car mode, a type of Aston Martin. Since the war began, the once-pristine yellow finish held scratches and dents. One of his doors, which hung over his shoulders in robot mode, had been ripped off. His windshields were missing, evidenced by his shins where the windshield went in robot mode. Red Alert wondered about some of these upgrades before the Energon War. Most of the bots just looked fat, especially Optimus before his reformatting. Hot Shot’s arms, though they were both shades of gray, his arms looked tiny compared to the rest of his body. Jetfire’s head also looked small compared to the rest of his bulky maroon frame. Inferno was probably the only well-proportioned bot around. Red Alert himself had declined the upgrades, having seen some of the results. He didn’t want to get started on Wingsaber. As if on cue, the red, white, and blue mech entered the room. “Red, my optic fell out again.” The mech held out the sky-blue optic. A trickle of Energon ran down his cracked golden mouthplate. His broad torso and slightly skinny arms held most of the red and white, his absurdly thick legs held most of the blue. Red Alert sighed again and took the optic from Wingsaber’s black hand. “Sometimes I envy the Decepticons. They actually have the resources to repair their men fully.” Red turned, fiddled with the optic, then gave it back to Wingsaber. “Here you go.” “Thanks, Red. But you shouldn’t say things like that. Most Autobots would sooner die than join the Decepticons. I know I’m one of them.” Wingsaber said, taking the optic and replacing it. “Wing, when we got into this pit, I knew it was only a matter of time before we lost. I’ve been doing everything I could to keep our people alive, but the Decepticons have won this war. This last battle is only a formality.” Red Alert replied. “I for one, will not. As long as my spark burns, I will not surrender to the Decepticons! Not now, not ever!” Wingsaber declared. “I heard that, Wing.” Inferno chimed in. “C’mon, Red. As long as there is one loyal Autobot living, the Autobots will live. We can’t give up hope yet. In fact, I have the feeling that the tide of this war will turn soon.” Starscream stood on the deck of his ship. He preferred it to the claustrophobic interiors of his vessels. He knew that others had issues with extra armor and other parts that were used in their alternate modes, but Starscream counted himself lucky that his reformatting left him with a relatively small wingspan. In fact, his proper wings were incredibly small. The majority of his wingspan was taken up by his rather large null ray cannons. They were predominantly white, with a red slice at the bottom, continuing at the same angle as it did on his stubby wings. The red on his wings was on the top part, white on the bottom, black trim at the edges. They could have been smaller, but Starscream discovered quickly that they housed a pair of Energon blades, only activated when he used his Cyber Key power. And, ironically enough, he had an Autobot to thank for them. Vector Prime had given him these powers, thinking the seeker was a good guy. He had led Starscream, Thundercracker, and a few other trusted generals to the reformatting chamber, where they received their Cyber Key powers. Starscream had gone first, followed closely by the others. After the reformatting, Vector Prime had tried to recruit them for a mission to save Cybertron. The ancient mech didn’t finish his proposal, as Starscream had had him taken prisoner for the duration of Starscream’s campaign to finish the Autobots. The reformatting had left them all with numerous improvements. Starscream himself now sported the two null ray cannons, the Energon blades, a pair of pulse blasters on his chest, mounted on either side and to the back of his long cockpit in starfighter mode, and an incredible speed increase. As a result, he was one of the most feared opponents ever had, surpassed only by Megatron. A smile crawled across his silver face as the blue ball that was Earth came into view. His purple optics brightened in anticipation. Megabolt was tapping his foot again. He was nervous. It was his first major battle, and he had every right to be so. But he’d been in small skirmishes before, but not since his operation. “Operation”, they’d called it. They just about rebuilt him, really. He tried not to think about it. The operation was incredibly painful, and he was still doing the therapy to recover. Three years now. Megastorm had never been too happy with Megabolt’s decision. Of course, Megastorm was happy where he was content not to do anything greater than be a regular joe. Megabolt couldn’t blame him for that. After all, having a legend as a father casts a pretty long shadow. Megabolt opened a panel on the neutron cannon on his arm. It was one of the new additions from his operation. They’d been forced to completely rebuild his old body to make this one and have the mass shifter work. He once was a silver tank with black trim, like his brother Megastorm, but now he was much different. His torso and upper arms were white, with dark purple blocky forearms with gold highlights, a similar design for his chestplate, where the Decepticon insignia was displayed. His upper legs were half black, half white, his shins purple with a gold streak going up the middle, and black dominated the rest of his legs, save for his feet. His head looked like he was wearing a white bucket over a normally silver head. Lime green optics stared out underneath. Behind his back was what looked like a large trigger, and just behind that held a pair of what looked like a barrel casing for a gun, spread behind him like wings. He closed up the panel after tweaking a few things and went back to sensors. He noticed they were closing in on Earth. He logged the entry and headed for the troop deck. When the ground invasion went out, he wanted to be with them and see how well his new body worked. “You wanted to speak to us, Skyblast?” Hot Shot asked. He, Jetfire, Inferno, and Wingsaber stood before one of the few remaining Omnicons, the only mechs who could process raw Energon. “Yeah. I managed to scrounge up some Energon stars. Hopefully they’ll give you enough of a boost to hold out.” Skyblast began handing out the red star-shaped clusters of compressed and refined Enegon. As Skyblast attached the stars to the access ports each mech carried. Once attached, the Energon immediately went to work repairing the broken systems of the Autobots. “Ahh. Much better.” Hot Shot sighed. “I feel better than I have in years!” Wingsaber exclaimed. “That hit the spot!” Inferno agreed. “I feel like I could fly circles around Starscream himself!” Jetfire declared. “Well, make them last. You won’t be getting any more. We’ve run out.” Skyblast said solemnly. “Don’t worry. We’ll make the best of it.” Hot Shot said. “All right, everyone, let’s get ready to take out the Deceptitrash!” Jetfire and Wingsaber hovered outside of the Energon shield, along with hundreds of other Autobot aerial warriors. They all knew that they would be going up against a far superior enemy, and Jetfire could tell they were on edge. He could see the Decepticon fleet in the distance. And fighting with demoralized troops was guaranteed to get him killed. Jetfire turned to face the assembled group. “All right, everyone, I know we’re all nervous. I am too. We are indeed going up against a superior enemy, but we mustn’t lose heart. Remember the Battle of Iacon? A few hundred Autobots held off at least ten thousand Decepticons for five days! Only when Megatron himself arrived did they pierce the Autobot defenses. “A great human general once said, ‘The objective of war is not to die for your country, but to make some other poor bastard die for his.’” The Decepticons were close now and deploying their aerial troops. “Now let’s see how many Decepticons we can make die for their cause! Autobots, ATTACK!” Thundercracker flew in front of the Decepticon air forces. He noticed the Autobots were charging at him. “Well, well, well. Looks like the Autobrats are comin’ to us! Kick in the afterburners and let’s git ‘er done!” Thundercracker’s engine flared as his afterburners shot him forward. His platoon followed suit. In seconds, they were close to the Autobot forces. “Give ‘em a volley!” he shouted, launching four of his plasma missiles. Thousands of energy rounds streaked into the Autobot formation. It split at the last second, flanking the Decepticon force. They began raining fire down into the Decepticons. “Break and attack!” Thundercraker ordered, spotting Jetfire and streaking towards him. Jetfire caught Thundercracker’s engine flare out of the corner of his optics. He brought his rifle to bear and sent a stream of energy at the incoming fighter. Thundercracker dodged, energy rounds streaking past him and into the battle. “That the best you got? I’ve seen blind mechs shoot better!” “Dodge this!” Jetfire retorted, blasting at the incoming seeker. Thundercracker dodged again, but Jetfire was there already. He smacked Thundercracker with the butt of his rifle, sending the seeker spiraling away. Jetfire sent off a few more rounds to finish the mech. Jetfire turned his attention to another Decepticon, when a bolt of energy shot past him. He looked down in time to see Thundercracker’s fist headed for his face. Jetfire recoiled from the impact, and Thundercracker kicked Jetfire in the abdominal plate. “It takes more’n that to finish me! But I bet this’ll finish you! CYBER KEY POWER!” Thundercracker shouted, as a bolt of energy shot from nowhere and into Thundercracker’s gun arm, opening it. The top and bottom halves of the barrel split and spread, extending the narrow orange cannon beneath. Jetfire stared. “So that’s the Decepticon’s secret weapon…” He braced himself for the incoming attack. Thundercracker’s weapon charged, then he let the energy beam fly at Jetfire. Jetfire dodged, and the energy lance sped straight past him… …and into an Energon Tower right below Jetfire. “No!” Jetfire screamed, watching the blast rip into the top of the tower, blasting it open. Fiery explosions rippled down its length a full mile. The entire section of the grid it held began to flicker and die. The explosions finally hit a critical system, blasting the tower apart and tearing the grid section it held to ribbons. Starscream saw the explosion from his ship and chuckled. The end was fast approaching, and there was nothing the Autobots could do to stop it. He commed Mudflap on the bridge. “Bring the fleet in. It is time to finish this.” He said, voice dripping with anticipation.