Transformers: Thunderhead

Discussion in 'Transformers Fan Fiction' started by Jasbraman, Dec 12, 2010.

  1. Jasbraman

    Jasbraman Eats Igyaks for breakfast

    Dec 12, 2010
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    So this is the first part of my new story series starring my OCs, plus canon characters running about in the G1 universe. I won't say too much more because you need to read the stories to get an idea of everything. I should warn you though, these chapters are preeeetty long. I will be updating this thread with more chapters as I complete them (which is a fairly long process). So without further ado, here is the first chapter of Transformers: Thunderhead!


    Assault on Outpost 41

    The interesting thing about space is that there is no sound, hardly surprising in a total vacuum. There is heat but you have to be close to a star to feel it. This is because space is at (temperature wise) absolute zero. Minus two hundred and seventy three degrees Celsius. Zero Kelvin. The third interesting thing about space, is that Cybertronians can function perfectly well at these temperatures, and in a total vacuum. The cargo ship Thunderhead was drifting in the void between solar systems, a vast grey pentagon covered in thick armour plating and a surprisingly large array of weaponry; ranging from small rapid fire pulse blasters, to two huge Sigma cannons, each capable of destroying a Nemesis class battle cruiser with a single shot. At the moment though, most of its systems were powered down. The only sign of activity was on the outer hull of the vessel. Two dark figures were moving along the hull towards the colossal engines. The two Cybertronians moved slowly through the vacuum bouncing carefully along the hull. A fourth interesting fact about space is that there is no up or down. It doesn’t matter what orientation your body (or in this case: chassis) you will always be ‘The Right Way Up’. The two figures arrived at a particular point on the engines where a large asteroid had become lodged, blocking the primary exhaust port. One of the figures (considerably smaller than the other) hopped onto the asteroid, metal hands digging into the surface of the rock to gain purchase.
    “I wasn’t expecting it to be so big.” The smaller figure said over an intercom of sorts.
    “Seems to be a standard lump of space rock.” The other said, running his hand over the pockmarked surface of the asteroid.
    “Mineral scan is turning up some low grade metals, nothing of particular use.”
    “Alright, lets get this slagging thing out of there. We’re already behind schedule for this job.”
    “Is it really worth the Energon to carry this…”
    “Torque, what have I told you about discussing jobs over unsecure comms?”
    “Oh yeah…But there’s no one around! Not for at least ten lightyears.”

    The larger figure looked at Torque, his optics glowing a dark purple.
    “Are you sure about that?”

    There was a small slow motion shower of dust and bits of rock as the asteroid came free. The bigger figure hefted the rock above his head and hurled it into space.
    “Quasar you slaggeeeeeeeerr!!”
    “Pay more attention then!”

    Blue jets flickered in the inky black and Torque landed rather forcefully on the hull.
    “You’re an aft pipe, did you know that?” He said
    “Oh shaddap and get back inside.”

    The airlock hissed open and the two stepped out into the corridor just as the ship was powering up. Lights came on in the clean white corridor, illuminating the two Cybertronians. Quasar was big even by Cybertronian standards. At least double the size of the Decepticon leader, he was a sight to behold. The lights reflected off his black and green armour plating, bearing the signs of many intense battles. He had large wings, which were folded down, and two symmetrical scars running down the platinum coloured polymer skin of his face. Torque was smaller than the average Cybertronian, a pair of high-density quartz goggles shielded his optics, and he had very shiny hubcaps on his wheels. He had a long sabre strapped to his back and sharp claws at the end of his slender fingers. Two turbo boosters were stowed away on his back. The pair both had Decepticon insignias branded onto their armour plating, but both had very deliberate scars running through them. Making their way down the corridor, they headed for the bridge. The walls of the corridor vibrated slightly as the ships engines started up.
    “Looks like Cobalt got the engines working again.” Torque said. His voice had an accent, probably from the East side of Kaon by the note of it. The door to the bridge slid back, and a tall thin ‘bot looked up from a blinking console.
    “Engines back online, transwarp drive up to fifty percent operational capcity.” Cobalt said.
    “Good. I want us at the rendezvous point last solar cycle.” Quasar replied, his voice was fairly normal, but had a booming quality to it that was heavy with age and experience.
    “Technically that’s not actually possible, unless we modified the transwarp drive to…” Cobalt began, and then saw the look Quasar was giving him.
    “Ah…you were being metaphorical.”
    “You really gotta get the hang of this whole sarcasm thing.”
    Cobalt turned and looked at the owner of the fourth voice. It was a large robot with a
    full-faced helm with gleaming golden optics. The faceplate looked like a thick grill and seemed to house a dull red glow.
    “I am a scientist, Prototron. If people won’t make themselves clear the first time…”
    “Man you autobot science guys are so stuck up…GAH!” A long thin dagger thudded into the wall behind Torque where it stuck fast.
    “Call me an Autobot again, Torque, and I shall remove your optics and…”
    Cobalt and Torque flinched. Quasar’s eyes slowly dimmed, and he rested his hands rather firmly on a console.
    “Keep arguing like this, and I’ll throw both you two whining slagheaps into the nearest black hole and no I DON’T want to know where the nearest black hole actually is.”
    Cobalt slowly closed his mouth.
    “Now we have that settled, I’m going down to the hold to brief Pulsar. I want this ship in transwarp in the next ten Meta cycles. And I won’t have any excuses.” With that, Quasar straightened up and cricked his neck with a noise like rivets bouncing off steel girders. He turned on his axle and strode off the bridge. The door closed behind him. Torque went over to the stiletto and pulled it out the wall.
    “Here.” He said, tossing it back to Cobalt, who caught it deftly, making the blade vanish about his person.
    “I hope you’re happy.” Torque said “You made the cantankerous old crankshaft annoyed.”
    Cobalt chuckled.
    “Torque? What did I tell you about unsecured comms?”
    Cobalt and Prototron burst out laughing as Torque’s optics widened.
    “Oooohhhhhh slaaaaaag…” he groaned.

    The large heavy doors to the massive cargo bay slid open with the clanking of well-oiled gears. Quasar stepped into the vast space, filled with boxes crates, equipment and various other items. The cargo hold was big enough for a Gestalt to stand up straight in. Pulsar was not standing up straight. She was sitting on the floor, legs crossed. She had a look of intense concentration on her face, and was tinkering with one of the huge ceiling mounted cargo cranes. Quasar had to look up to see the Gestalt’s face, even when she was sitting down. She had been a revolutionary new type of Gestalt, combining female autobots. The problems with intelligence with the other combiners didn’t seem to effect females, and their combined minds formed a considerable intelligence. The interesting thing about Pulsar, was that all of the component Autobots that made her were specifically designed to form a gestalt. As a result of this, Pulsar looked like a very heavily armoured female autobot, but over ten times the size. She was also had a rather fetching turquoise and silver paint job. Quasar rapped his knuckles against a crate to get their attention.
    “Managed to get it working yet?” Quasar asked
    “We appear to be having significant difficulty repairing the primary motor servos. We suspect it will take approximately thirty nano clicks to repair.”
    “That long eh?”
    “We apologise for the delay. It was rather severely damaged. And now it is fixed.”
    The crane whirred into life, sliding along its rail back into its stowed position.
    “Now then, We assume you are here to talk to us about the upcoming job, and Our inevitable role in the grand scheme of things?”
    “Nothing gets by you now does it?”
    “We detect sarcasm. We are assuming that Torque did not secure his communication systems again?”
    “You’d think he’d have had enough of scrubbing the coolant reprocessor from all that organic slime the grows there, but he never seems to learn. Anyway, that’s not what I’m here for.”
    “We Gathered. You do so rarely come down to the hold to visit before a Job.”
    “May I?”
    “We are sorry. Please continue.”
    “Thanks. Oh, and would you PLEASE stop talking like an Omega Sentinel? It’s driving my aural receptors wild.”
    “Sorry old man, didn’t know you needed a tune up.”
    “Har har very funny.”
    “Are you gonna tell Us the plan or what. We don’t have all solar cycle.”
    “Yes you do! Don’t give me none of your fumes girly, I can still take you to the servicers and don’t you forget it.”
    “Don’t lose your exhaust port. Just tell Us what you want Us to do.”

    “So what’s this plan of yours then?” Prototron asked as they sat around the table in the meeting room.
    “I’ve already informed Pulsar, and she didn’t like it. I suspect neither will any of you.”
    “Just spit it out awready!” Torque said impatiently.
    Quasar leaned back in his seat and clasped his fingers together.
    “We’re going to hit Outpost 41.”
    Torque made an audible squeak, Cobalt’s entire body seemed to go rigid, and Prototron let out a small puff of steam.
    “Told you you wouldn’t like it.”
    “O-Ou-Outpost 41? Y-you mean THE Outpost 41?” Torque asked, his voice shaking.
    “You do realise nobody has ever succeeded in attacking or even raiding that place?” Prototron asked, leaning forwards.
    “Chances of even a sizeable force of taking it are approximately four percent.”
    “I’m aware of all the statistics regarding that place. I’m also aware of that place’s reputation. But here’s the thing, while we’re cut off from our home base, we need Energon, we need supplies and technology to barter with. This ship is falling apart at the seams and is running at half power. We’re all running at less than seventy percent capacity. We need to do this job, or we’re well and truly shafted.”
    “But how do we do it? How do we make a raid on one of the most notorious Decepticon defensive stations in the quadrant?” Torque asked, “I’m down to fifty percent capacity and my tanks running on fumes. That’s just me, and I’m the most energy efficient one in this crew.”
    Quasar stood up, and pulled a Cygar out of his chest compartment. Placing it in his mouth, he picked up a blowtorch and held the flame to the end of the cylinder. The magnesium-copper alloy foil flared into life. The green crystals inside began to burn. Switching the blowtorch off, Quasar took a deep drag, and pressed a button under the table. A door in the wall slid open, revealing three Energon cubes. Venting a thick cloud of green tinged smoke from his helmet vents and olfactory sensor ports, Quasar looked at his team.
    “These are for the ones who take part in the mission. Pulsar is already on board with it and is energising as we speak.” Holding the cygar between his fingers, Quasar removed the burning cylinder and leaned forwards, placing his hands on the table. Smoke curled up around his face, seeming to simultaneously highlight and obscure his features. “The question is; are you feeling lucky?” He paused “Well, Are ya?”
    Prototron stood up and thumped his chest plate.
    “What’s the plan?” Torque asked with a crooked smile. Cobalt sighed.
    “I suppose I’m going to have to get my toolkit ready, aren’t I?” he said.

    Outpost 41 was a massive instillation located in orbit of the strategically important planet Osmios. It was almost half the size of the planet it orbited and had never been taken during its two million stellar cycle existence. The planet the outpost orbited had been dubbed the “Metal Planet” because its entire mantle and core were made up of elemental metals and metal ores. These metals ranged from mundane conductors like gold, used in circuitry and CPU upgrades, to the much rarer Cybertronium, which had been previously thought to only exist in the Cybertron system. Autobot prisoners and Decepticon dissenters and deserters mined the planet; with conditions in the mines being lethal from the guards and even other miners. Funeral pyres burned almost constantly on the surface, causing a thick, noxious atmosphere to develop. Even Cybertronians required shielding to exist on the surface. Outpost 41 had been built specifically to defend the planet. Armed to the teeth and capable of deploying armies of mindless drones, it was almost impregnable…unless of course you were attacking from the inside. This had been tried before by the Autobots, but had always met with failure. The defence systems inside the outpost were just as formidable as the ones outside… smaller, certainly, but no less effective. The crew of the outpost was actually quite small. A fifty or so Decepticons on the outpost, with two hundred more down on the planet. The rest of the forces were made up of the drones. Cheap to produce and surprisingly durable, the drones were mostly used as cannon fodder, armed with either standard blasters or heavy ordinance. They were not as tough or could bear the same firepower as Centurion Droids, but they could be deployed in greater numbers, sometimes simply overwhelming enemies with sheer numbers. During assaults on the Outpost, an automated production plant would activate in the Outpost and on the surface of the planet and produce huge quantities of these drones out of low-grade metals such as iron or copper. These drones were not even given weapons, and were so fragile against conventional Cybertronian weaponry, they were only used as kamikaze troops. Then there was the Controller of the outpost, a Decepticon powerhouse named Pummel. He’d been in charge of the outpost since he terminated the previous controller shortly after the station had been completed (Shockwave didn’t seem to mind too much), and as a result he knew every single strength and weakness of the place. It’s probably why he didn’t question it too much when a badly damaged Decepticon freight cruiser limped into the system requesting permission to dock. After the freighter had successfully coupled with the station, he had the sizeable entrance bay surrounded by drones armed with heavy blasters. He wasn’t even that surprised when the entrance bay door exploded. It’d happened before…quite a few times in fact. What he wasn’t expecting was only two figures to emerge from the smoke and debris. He also wasn’t expecting the drones to explode one by one in rapid succession. When the static cleared from the monitor he was watching, he saw a very familiar shape. Worryingly familiar. Reaching over to a console, Pummel pressed the comms button.
    “All forces return to Outpost 41. We have a code red. Quasar has entered the base.”

    “So exactly what part of the plan is this?!” Torque shouted as shots ricocheted off the wall behind him.
    “The part where we sneak into the production plant and take out the drone production plant?!” Cobalt shouted back.
    “Oh right! I thought this was the part where everything gets shafted!”
    Torque and Cobalt had entered the base through a service hatch on the outside of the outpost, but had been quickly located by Drones en route to the production plant. Now they were taking shelter round a corner.
    “We can’t stay here!” Cobalt yelled above the gunfire
    “No slag Nightbeat!” Torque yelled back
    “Look, we have to slow their drone production! The only way to do that is to go through them!”
    “Of course!”
    “What are you planning?!”
    Torque’s turbo boosters unfolded with a heavy clank, the jet intakes beginning to glow. He gripped his sabre, the long sharp blade reflecting the yellow blaster shots. He reached down to his side and drew a stub nosed shotgun from its holster.
    “Last one there’s a rusty sprocket!” He yelled, his boosters firing. He blasted out from cover, his legs blurring. Everything seemed to slow down for him. Shots slowed, showers of sparks seemed to be falling like gentle rain. Even Cobalt had slowed down. The scientist had broken cover as well, and seemed to be drawing his assault gun rather slowly. Torque had grown accustomed to this. All racing ‘bots experienced this while racing. He raised his shotgun, both barrels blazing as the first drone flew back, a large hole burning in its chest. The gun flipped open and the spent cartridges ejected out. Spinning on his heel, he brought the sabre around, slicing cleanly through the second drone, oil and hydraulic fluid spraying the wall. Two more cartridges ejected from a belt pouch and he caught them in guns loading breech during the spin. Snapping the gun shut with a flick of his wrist, he dropped low and skidded along the floor on one knee, taking out two drones with a blast from his weapon. His blade flashed twice and two more drones fell, his forward momentum scattering their pieces across the floor. From his crouched position, he braced himself, and launched from the ground into the air, somersaulting, and planting his feet firmly in the faceplate of another drone. He smiled as he felt the faceplate crack and a slow motion spray of oil erupted from the broken metal. As the drone hit the floor, he sprang forwards, rotating in the air like a drill, his blade whirring. Drones where thrown aside, great chunks of metal carved from their exoskeletons. Torque hit the floor at the end of the corridor, turbo boosters glowing as they cooled. Everything seemed to speed up again, and all the drones hit the floor at the same time. Pools of oil seeped across the floor, and hissed and bubbled when they hit his feet.
    “And that’s how you clear a corridor.” He said, turning to Cobalt.
    There was a sharp bark from Cobalt’s automatic rifle, and exactly three shots punched holes through the head of a drone that had come up behind Torque. The machines head exploded and it collapsed, twitching to the floor.
    “Indeed.” He said, stepping past his now somewhat rigid companion.
    “As impressive as it is to watch you decimate a corridor full of mindless drones, we really must be getting on.”
    “You’re just jealous.”
    “I assure you…” Cobalt’s gun barked again as he took out two more drones with highly precise bursts “…If I was jealous, I would tell you. As it happens, I am not.”
    “Always gotta have the last word, don’t ya?”
    “Of course.”
    Soon enough they arrived at the production plant, its great doors standing open as waves of drones poured out. Many of them were being made out of low-grade metals now. The iron ones were heavy, slow and brittle, some were made out of copper alloys which were to soft, and caused the drones to bend under their own weight. The duo entered the production bay guns blazing and blades flashing. The Cybertronian weaponry tore through the drone’s inferior armour like a hot spark through lubricating grease. Cobalt had set his gun to full auto, each bullet in the stream emanating from the glowing barrel finding a target. Drones were literally blasted into pieces by the fearsome weapon. One of Cobalt’s own designs, the weapon was based off the standard PX-15 Assault rifle, but it had been modified to have four rotating barrels and fired super dense armour penetrating rounds at such high velocity and with such accuracy, you could fire an entire belt of ammunition at one place and all the rounds would go through the same hole. Cobalt made good use of this. Each drone was hit with five shots; one to each shoulder joint, one to each hip joint, and one right between the optical scanners. The barrels spun their deadly dance until the ammo feed was empty. Then the gun was stowed and the knives came out. Even though he was a scientist at heart, Cobalt had become extremely skilled at termination. His face became a steely determined mask as he went about the grim business of deactivation, developing a knife throwing skill that even Quasar respected. His hands blurred and thin slivers of silver flew forth, skewering Drones through the central processors. Compartments around his waist opened revealing rows of the blades. His hands moved at lightning quick speeds, launching shards of death in all direction. Each blade was a kill shot, each trajectory meticulously calculated in a matter of nano-seconds. Two blades bounced off the walls and impacted on the primary control core. The hardened metal blades shattered a few inches from the core.
    “They have it shielded!” he called.
    Torque nodded, and suddenly became a black and silver blur across the floor. He shot up the side of a wall and was sailing through the air towards the core. The Drones had turned away from Cobalt to chase him, which gave the scientist plenty of time to reload. A hail of rounds ripped through the drones as Cobalt landed beside the control core. He a compartment in his armour opened and he withdrew a string of explosives. Attaching them to the core he set the timer.
    “We’re good to go!” He called
    Torque spun around, and jumped away from the core, pulling out a detonator switch and hit the button. The core exploded in a rather spectacular fashion. There was a loud bang, and a large ball of plasma blossomed in the air around it. There was a succession of three bright flashes, and then everything caught fire. Torque and Cobalt surveyed the carnage.
    “Shall we go? I think our work here is done.”
    “Indeed. Although how do you propose we get past all these drones that are still functioning?”
    “Same way we did before!”
    “I had the feeling you would say that. Ah well. The cargo hold is this way.”
    Coblat turned towards a corridor, casually spraying rounds into the hoards of drones, watching with a sort of guilty satisfaction as their outer shells were torn apart by his barrage.
    “You love it really.” Torque said, zipping past, shotgun blazing. “You notice how it gets easier when they aren’t armed with projectile weapons?” he continued.
    “Well yes, that might be because they aren’t shooting ba-”
    Cobalt was cut off when a small rocket narrowly missed his head.
    “Here we go again!”

    Meanwhile, Quasar and Prototron were carving a swathe through the drones as they headed for the outposts primary power core. Prototron was armed with a large glaive and his shoulder cannon, while Quasar wielded his arm mounted pulse laser and combat blade. Drones fell before them, and behind them were piles of twisted metal. The pulse laser flashed, and eight drones dropped or exploded, perfectly circular holes burnt right through them. Quasar, despite his size, was fast and flexible in combat. He had mastered the extremely rare Metallikato and was just as deadly with his body as he was with his weapons. His massive strength also helped in situations like this. As a former Decepticon, his chassis had been upgraded for battle. He still made sure the claws at the ends of his fingers were well maintained. He grabbed a drone by the head and crushed it like a lump of calcium carbonate, before hurling the broken shell into the throng before them.
    “How do you thing the others are doing?” Prototron asked, bracing himself against the floor with his glaive, before firing his shoulder cannon. The barrel recoiled back, launching a high explosive round through the air.
    “I’m sure they’re fine.” Quasar replied calmly, swatting flying debris away from his face. “They might bicker like a coupla’ Slaargs, but that don’t mean they’ll get taken out by trash like this.” His wrist mounted combat blade smashed through four more drones, sending shards of metal flying in all directions.
    “I’m surprised they haven’t sent proper Decepticons at us yet.” Prototron mused, his glaive shredding and tearing in deadly sweeping arcs.
    “They’re trying to wear us down. Use up our energy reserves. Not gonna happen though. These wastes of oil are barely a warm-up.”
    “There are rather a lot of them though…”
    “Whatsamatter? You feeling the strain over there?”
    “Strain? I’ll show you how much strain I’m under.”
    Prototron’s Torso rotated three hundred and sixty degrees, his legs folded under him, tank treads sliding into place, head vanishing inside his torso as he transformed into his tank form. With a roar of his engines, Prototron surged forwards, smashing drones aside like fragile crystal. His treads ground up broken bodies beneath him, and his cannon boomed; shaking the walls around them.
    “Okay! That’s more like it!” Quasar called. “Remember, seal the blast door behind you when you get to the next section!”
    “No problem! I got things held up here good and tight!”
    The doors at the end of the corridor slid shut behind Prototron. The dull boom of his tank form’s cannon could be heard beyond the doors.
    “Time for some space.” Quasar muttered, and tore a hole through the Outposts wall. There was a massive rush of air as the corridor depressurised rapidly. Enough to kill most organic life forms in a matter of nanoclicks. Quasar just continued tearing through the hull until he emerged in the cold silent vacuum of space. His faceplate activated, sliding across is mouth and olfactory sensor. Pushing himself away from the hull of the outpost, he back-flipped in slow motion, Wings unfolding. His body span around, plates and engines switching places, with heavy clunks (not that they could be heard), legs and arms folded inwards and wings expanded. His thermal lances slid under his wings, and his pulse laser converted itself into the beam cannon that sat a few meters back from his nosecone. Engines blazed and he shot out into space, coming round in a wide arc, weapons training on the station.
    “Three, two, one…”
    The station came alive as its guns were brought to the fore. Shots zipped past him as his huge Destroyer class form rocketed through the vacuum. His beam cannon opened up, sending focused rays of searing energy towards the Outpost. The first beam hit the station, tearing through its shielding and impacting on the hull, slicing a great rend in the armour. Which then exploded. Quasar’s beam cannon was a weaponised mining tool, which emitted a beam that was so highly charged it could split atoms, creating large explosions on anything it hit. The only way to use it safely was in the vacuum of space, where there was no air to interfere with the beam. It was this terrifying weapon Quasar was now unleashing on the Outpost. He strafed the gun batteries, blowing apart turrets and damaging cannons.
    “Why can’t you hit him?!” Pummel roared on the bridge. The view screens were showing Quasar wreaking havoc on the outside, while rumbles and explosions on the inside indicated the rest were still moving.
    “He’s to quick! And he’s using some kind of jamming device! We can’t get a clear lock!”
    “This station is designed to repel attacks from entire armies! How can you worthless protoforms be losing to these FOUR wretched individuals?!”
    “The drones aren’t up to it! Its like their fighting four Primes!”
    The Decepticon that said this particular line found his head bouncing off the wall opposite to where he had been sitting at his station. His body hit the floor with a clang. Pummel straightened up and cracked his neck joints.
    “Get the FRAG out there and TERMINATE THEM!” He yelled. “I don’t care if you have to slaughter all the drones to do it! JUST FRAGGING DO IT!”

    Launch bays under the outpost opened, and twenty seekers came pouring out, transforming into their jet modes. The other soldiers transformed into their various tank car and truck forms, and began racing down the corridors, hunting down the intruders. The first group encountered Prototron, who was stood atop a pile of twisted metal. His golden eyes glowed red as he saw the Decepticons enter the room.
    “At last! A challenge!” He roared, and leapt into the fray.
    The next group encountered Cobalt and Torque, who were busy raiding a cargo hold, tossing crates and supplies through a portable teleportal, which immediately closed when the Decepticons entered.
    “Oh hey! Proper target practice!” Torque said cheerfully.
    Quasar stood on top of the Outpost, the bodies of the twenty seekers floating around him. He still held one by the foot. Raising his arm he smashed the body through the hull, where it stuck.
    “Time to go say hello to an old friend.” He thought.
    He raised a leg and stomped down hard on the stations hull. It buckled. He raised a leg again, and stomped a hole through to the inner shell. Reaching down he began peeling away armour plating like aluminium foil. He dropped down into the station with a thunk. Everything seemed eerily quiet. The bodies of drones and Decepticons littered the floor around him. His footsteps echoed (and crunched) as he headed down the silent corridor towards the bridge. The walls were scorched and pitted. Large sections of flooring appeared to have exploded. Wires and cables hung from the ceilings like…wires and cables. Quasar entered a large round room with a flight of steps at one end, leading up to a large door. Defensive walls were still upright, many of them smashed, some had become jammed with debris and were stuck half way from rising from the floor. Slowly ascending the stairs, Quasar smiled to himself. The plan was going perfectly. Reaching forwards, his powerful fingers bit into the door. The metal buckled and groaned, and with a great tearing screech, the door was pulled from its housing. Stepping into the bridge, Quasar was confronted with a great number of blasters. Also Torque, Cobalt and Prototron on their knees in the middle of the bridge.
    “So good of you to join us.” Pummel said, stepping forwards, red eyes glittering.
    “Hmm…you guys got here faster than I expected.” Quasar said.
    “What do you mean? We’ve…”
    “Not you you idiot.”
    “Yeeeeah. Sorry ‘bout that boss.” Torque said.
    “Whatever am I going to do with you…”
    “ENOUGH! Its bad enough that you caused damage to my station, and now you slight me by IGNORING ME?!” Pummel thundered.
    “Well yeah. You aren’t exactly a threat to me.” Quasar said, pulling a Cygar seemingly out of nowhere.
    “Not a threat? You act so calmly while your subordinates are kneeling at my mercy! Drop your weapons and I may let them live.”
    “Oh really? You’re making an awful big deal out of things. Surely you can just let us go and leave it as that?”
    “You really are old and stupid, aren’t you Quasar? You should know better than anyone that to humiliate me in such a way is a one way ticket to The Pit!”
    “Yeah I do. That could be why I did it actually. I mean, taking your stuff was also a bonus.”
    “You are still as insufferable as always you cantankerous old crankshaft. It doesn’t matter now though. I’m going to offline you, and your crew. My troops from the planets surface will have retrieved the supplies you took. All in all, this has been a wasted effort. My humiliation will end here. You four will offline here, and nobody will be any the wiser that my mighty fortress was…breached.”
    “You sure still love the sound of your own voice.” Quasar said, lightning the Cygar with his laser, before pointing it at Pummel. A lot of guns were suddenly trained on him.
    “You’ve got struts, I’ll give you that.” Pummel said, sounding amused. “It won’t help you though, I have you where I want you, and reinforcements are on their way from the cargo hold as we speak.”
    “Are you quite sure about that?”
    “Well, in the time we’ve been talking, your reinforcements should have arrived here by now.”
    The assembled Decepticons glanced at each other.
    “What have you got planned?” Pummel queried, optics narrowing.
    “Well, your humiliation isn’t over. Mainly because you think you’ve captured three of my crew, and have me at a disadvantage.”
    “That’s right. All four of you are my prisoners!”
    “Well, my gun is still pointed at your head, and there are five of us.”
    “What do you me-”
    Pummel was interrupted when a fist the size of a shuttle smashed through the wall. Gigantic hands tore the bridge apart, ripping into the hull like so much corroded foil.
    “Gestalt!” Pummel yelled. “Battle formation alpha Q!”
    The confusion got even worse when Quasar opened up on the assembled Decepticons. Bright pulses from his laser filled the room as Decepticons fell, either offline or clutching massive injuries. Pulsar’s hand swept the assembled ‘cons aside like so many Insecticons, allowing Cobalt, Torque and Prototron to free themselves.
    “Sorry to have kept you waiting.”
    “Timing couldn’t have been better!” Torque said, grabbing his sabre.
    “Supplies have been secured, and enemy reinforcements have been eradicated.”
    “Good! Transform and get the slag out of here!” Quasar called.
    Pulsar scooped up Torque and pushed off from the station. Cobalt and Quasar jumped after her, transforming into their jet modes, thrusters blazing, they shot out into space. Prototron grabbed his glaive and jumped onto a console.
    “See you never!” He called, before leaping into space. His body contorted and twisted, transforming into his Cybertronian VTOL form, turbo boosters firing, he rocketed into space, leaving scorch-marks inside the bridge.
    “AFTER THEM!” Pummel roared.

    Prototron pulled alongside Cobalt’s needle like jet mode. Quasar dropped down beside Prototron in his Destroyer mode.
    “We have company.” He said over the comms.
    “The ship is on the dark side of Osmios’ moon.” Pulsar responded.
    “Good. Cobalt, you go with Pulsar and Torque. Get the ship fired up and ready to go. Proto and I will run interference. Move it!”
    “Roger that.”

    Quasar and Prototron peeled away from the others and headed back towards the perusing Decepticons. Many of them had transformed into jets, but more were coming equipped with jetpacks or flight modules.
    “I want them running with their fuel lines between their hydraulics!”
    “That won’t be a problem!”

    Quasar opened fire with Beam cannon and thermal lances, launching searing energy beams and plasma jets towards the oncoming enemies. Three explosions announced three direct hits as spark cores and fuel tanks detonated. The explosions were silent and short lived. No fire, only crackling flares of energy in the void. Prototron was armed with two missile pods and his tank gun became a devastating plasma cannon, launching crackling slugs of superheated ionised gas, which exploded with devastating effect. Missiles shot in all directions as the vicious dogfight ensued; searing bolts of energy flew through the vacuum. Quasar rolled out of the way of three incoming missiles, firing his beam cannon as he did so, unleashing a deadly spiral of energy. It struck the seeker that had launched the missiles, tearing him apart before detonating his spark core. Thermal lances spitting searing fire melted the chassis of any Deceticon that got in their path. Prototron had emptied his rocket pods in short order, and transformed back into robot mode. His foot thrusters were turned to maximum as he sailed through the blackness, glaive ripping armour plating, sending droplets of oil and Energon floating through the sky. Quasar transformed too, just as Pummel slammed into him. The two spiralled through the vacuum before Quasar kicked the other Cybertronian away from him. Thermal lances sliding into place over his shoulders, faceplate locking into position.
    “Lets dance you ugly son of Igyak.” He said
    Pummel soared forwards as Quasar unleashed a barrage from his thermal lances. Pummel avoided the first jet, but the second hit him in the shoulder causing his armour to bubble.
    “You’re gonna need more than those little welding torches to terminate me!”
    “Challenge accepted!”

    The two clashed again, Pummel living up to his name struck Quasar full in the face, causing the former Decepticon to fly back. Rotating his torso, Quasar fired back with his Laser, the pulse narrowly missing Pummel’s head and striking a seeker behind him. Pummel drew his own weapon, a needle rocket gun. It was a weapon the fired small rockets from a magazine at high speeds. The rockets packed quite a punch for something so small, especially when there was no air friction to slow them down. Squeezing the trigger Pummel unleashed a hail of almost invisible rockets, marked only by their boosters, towards Quasar. Quasar fired his thrusters and shot up, narrowly avoiding the barrage. Coming around he fired three pulses in rapid succession. The first pulse struck home, blasting a chunk out of Pummel’s arm. The second hit him squarely in the knee joint, slicing the leg off in a shower of electrical sparks. The third struck his abdomen, fusing the thick armour plating and superheating his internal circuits.
    “Its over Pummel!”
    “GAH! N-NEVER! I will fight you until there is nothing left of my spark! That is the Decepticon way! The way you abandoned!”

    “Then you are a fool!” Quasar shot forwards, wrist blade sliding from its housing. “But if that’s the way you want it, I shall terminate you like a Decepticon!”
    Pummel brought up his weapon and fired, spraying rounds towards his oncoming attacker. The rockets hit quasar and detonated, but Quasar’s armour was too tough. He kept on coming, arm outstretched, grabbing Pummel by the shoulder, talons tearing through armour into polymer skin and metal sinew. His bladed arm came forwards like the very fist of Primus, razor sharp blade punching through helmet and cranium and exploding out the back of Pummel’s head.
    “All…kzzzzrk…hail…sprbbrrrzzzzk…Me…gattttr…onnnn…” He stuttered, before his spark finally died.
    The remaining Decepticons, on seeing the death of their leader began to lose courage. Under the onslaught of Prototron who had inflicted massive casualties during Quasar and Pummel’s fight, their moral was breaking. It broke even quicker when the huge freighter came round the moon and began firing on them. Prototron and Quasar transformed and headed back towards the Thunderhead as it brought its mighty Sigma cannons to bear. The vacuum of space seemed to vibrate as the cannons charged their deadly payload. Massive fusion cores resided at the end of each gun, providing enough destructive energy to level an entire city in one shot. The cannons, now fully charged, released their unstoppable payload towards the Outpost. Beams the size of tower blocks lit up the eternal night with their eerie blue glow. The beams struck Outpost 41 without a sound, vaporising the station immediately under the beams, and shredding anything within their considerable radius. The beams slowly faded, leaving a broken and crippled Outpost. The Thunderhead slowly turned from the damage it had wrought and slipped quietly into Transwarp, leaving the system behind.

    Once they were a safe distance away from any Decepticon presence. Quasar had the ship drop out of ‘warp and come to a stop near an asteroid field. He stood in the cargo hold and inspected their haul.
    “You know…I really am genuinely impressed.” He said.
    “Well, you did say anything of value…which seemed to be everything.” Torque replied, as Cobalt sealed a rent in his arm.
    “I know I cleared at least two of their cargo holds before I came to meet up with you guys. Those portals worked like a dream.”
    “Thank you.” Cobalt said, “I had hoped they would come in useful.”
    “Oh they did.” Quasar replied “We even managed to get parts from an Omega Sentinel out of it. Not to mention enough Energon cubes to last us the next thousand solar cycles.”
    “Not to mention enough technology to fix and upgrade the ship.” Cobalt said, inspecting a box of spare parts.
    “And it’s all because our commander is a crazy old Crankshaft.” Torque quipped
    “Right, lets head for the nearest spaceport. We have some serious trading to do.”
    “Well, the nearest spaceport to us is run by a race of aliens known as the…hmm…their name appear unpronounceable unless you have three different mouths and sixteen olfactory sensors.”
    “I see.”
    “Its also the last known place a certain Combaticon was seen.”
    “Really now? Well, I think we should make haste before our good friend Swindle makes a run for it. As it happens, that little runt owes me rather a lot of Energon…”
  2. Jasbraman

    Jasbraman Eats Igyaks for breakfast

    Dec 12, 2010
    Trophy Points:
    Second chapter to Transformers: Thunderhead! This is all I have completed so far, but there will be many more chapters to come.


    The Gathering Storm

    The planet Radus was one of the few planets that remained totally neutral in the galaxy spanning Cybertronian civil war. Most other inhabited planets that lacked the technology to fend of the machine race became involved, whether they new it or not. Another name for Cybertronians were “Transformers”, alluding to their ability to assume the form of any vehicle native to an inhabited planet. Sometimes the inhabitants of a planet would exist for years, even centuries, without knowing a war was being fought right under their noses. But Radus was different. It had no strategic significance or importance, no valuable resources of any kind save a type of ore that produced inferior quality alloys. The entire southern hemisphere was totally dead as well. From the planets equator right down to its south pole, nothing existed. It was a vast expanse of black rock and dust. Great desolate plains of ash and sand dominated the horizon. In contrast, the northern hemisphere was a lush temperate zone, with clear oceans and lakes, rivers, forests and a fairly advanced civilisation. The main thing, however, that visitors first notice about the planet is the space station. It wasn’t just big; it was literally half the size of the planet itself. From halfway down the planet, the station started. It completely covered the southern hemisphere. From a distance it looked like the planet was sitting in a perfectly fitted bowl. The way it was kept in orbit was rather crude, but effective. On the planets surface in the south, rising from the blackened plains were great chains and cables. These massive anchors were bored into the ground into the very mantle of the planet. These chains were the size of small cities, keeping the giant station firmly fixed in orbit. It was easily the biggest spaceport in the galaxy…given that it actually had several spaceports. It was big enough to be divided into countries. It was at a spaceport in one of these “countries” the Thunderhead was now docked at. The country had been rather imaginatively named “Giant land”, because that was where all the races over a certain height were allowed to dock. It was hosting to a great deal of different species, mostly organic, all of them large (by Radian standards anyway, given the average height of a Radian was about six earth feet). The port city happened to be one of the shadier and least respectable ports on the station, rife with smuggling, piracy, extortion, gambling, brawling and the occasional lynching. The security forces, equipped with specialist exosuits designed to put the wearers on par with the visitors to the city, generally left things to their own devices, only getting involved if someone was actually killed. The city was full of dark and shady bars, catering to all kinds of customers. The bar was crowded and noisy, full of lumbering shapes of varying (large) sizes. It was extra noisy tonight because there were a group of very drunk Cordaxians, a race of very big armoured reptilians. They were a race of scavengers, relying more on their size and strength to get what they wanted. They also couldn’t hold their liquor nearly as well as they boasted. The loudest (and the drunkest) was ranting very loudly about how great he was at fighting.
    “I…I know ALLL the mart…martttlll…martial ARTS! EVER! E…even that…whatsername…Cyber…Cybertrininum…Cybertroninum…CYBERTRONINUM…one…Metallikattototoooooo…” He slurred (at varying volumes and levels of coherency). This particular statement elicited a rather metallic sounding snort of derision from a particularly large and bulky patron. A container of glowing yellow liquid sat in front of it. Patrons with a keen sense of smell and a Geiger counter would have been able to detect scents of cordite mixed with something fissionable rising from the tankard. The Cordaxian was having a hard time focusing on the one that had snorted. It was mostly in shadow, with purple glows coming from three points near what might have been its head.
    “Wasso funny? WASSO FUNNY!?” the lizard slurred, staggering up to the figure, and bouncing off it with a clang.
    “You pretending to know Metallikato. You don’t have nearly enough hydraulics to master even one technique.”
    “Oh. OH! You wannago! Do ya! Huh!”
    The dark figure pushed back its stool and stood up… and carried on standing up. The figure’s head brushed the cavernous ceiling; the three points of glowing purple light resolved themselves to be eyes and a mouth. The dim light now illuminated the hulking metal form of the Cybertronian. The bar had fallen silent. It was a rare sight these days to see a Cybertronian that wasn’t trying to kill another Cybertronian it what can only be described as “brutal combat”. It was even rarer to see one acting so openly like this.
    “No, I do not ‘want to go’. I’m fine here.”
    “I don’t like youuu…I’m gonna break yoooou in two like a-” The Cordaxian was cut off when a very large metal hand wrapped itself around his face and lifted him off the floor.
    “Somebody get the door.” The Cybertronian said. The door slid open, and through it flew a somewhat dazed Cordaxian, Who hit the floor and skidded quite a way before coming to a stop. He didn’t get back up again for a while.
    The bar had returned to normal (as normal as a bar like this could get) and the Cybertronian had gone back to drinking again.
    “I gotta thanks ya for not breaking any o’ moi stuff.” The bar…creature said. “Oi’ve ‘ad that goi comin’ in ‘ere ever bloody night makin’ trouble.”
    “Hmph. He shouldn’t be boasting about slag he doesn’t know about.”
    “You know, yer the third Transformer oi’ve seen in ‘ere.”
    Quasar, for that’s who this particular Cybertronian was, politely ignored the racial slurr (through gritted grinding belts).
    “Oh really?”
    “Yer. A little guy that were all browny yeller’ an’ black, ‘ad purple eyes loik yers. The over one was a big blue and white bastard wiv’ some fancy goggles and a lot of ordinance round his shoulders. Saw im’ talkin’ to some o’ the guards a while back.”
    “I see, well thanks for the informa-” It was Quasar’s turn to be interrupted when the door of the bar slammed open and a number of exosuited guards marched in. Followed closely by the rather intimidating form of Ultra Magnus.
    Quasar sighed, venting steam from the exhaust vents on his helmet. He could feel them marching over to him.
    “What do you want, Magnus?” he said.
    “What do you think I want, Quasar?” Ultra Magnus replied.
    “I’m assuming you’re here to arrest me for violating some rusting treaty or accord and you have the full cooperation of the local constabulary to bring me in with little hassle. That about sum it up?”
    “Well, seeing as you’re familiar with the drill, will you be coming quietly?”
    “I ain’t going anywhere.”
    “Sir, we are placing you under arrest, with views to hand you over to the appointed officer of the Cybertronian Wartime Treaty Council.” One of the exosuits said. “If you do not come quietly, we will be forced to use-”
    “Oh save it. I’m not going anywhere, and you don’t have the struts to make me.”
    “Look Quasar, we can do this my way or the hard way. This is your last chance.”
    “Fine. You are really persistent, you know that?” Quasar said in an exasperated manner, getting to his feet, picking Ultra Magnus up off the ground, and hurling him through a wall. Stepping out the hole, Quasar scanned the street. A blaster round impacted on his armour, making a black scorch mark. Looking up, he saw Ultra Magnus standing on the low roof of a building. The skyscrapers all around them rose up to the almost invisible ceiling of the station itself.
    “Alright. You chose the hard way.” Magnus said. “Don’t say I didn’t warn you.”
    At this, the street rapidly became deserted. The last time two Cybertronians had a fight in the city, nobody wanted to be in the way again.
    “Two million stellar cycles to early to take me in sparkling.” Quasar said. “But I’ll give you the run around if it’ll make you happy.”

    Torque and Cobalt were busy arguing with a parts dealer in the busy marketplace of the city. Torque was having a heated debate over the price of an energon converter. Cobalt was standing quietly next to him surveying the crowd. Pickpockets weren’t really a problem for them. Proximity sensors and a lack of obvious pockets or pouches saw to that. Also being a fourty foot machine man with a large number of weapons helped.
    “You can’t even use it! Why be so steep on the price?” Torque was saying.
    “Look, there have been lotsa youse Transformers ‘round these parts recently. I sell these converters cheaper’n anywhere else!”
    “Is that because it’s a pile of scrap?”
    “Look, you don’t want it, don’t buy it. But I ain’t droppin’ the price!”
    “And I’m saying I do want it, but I don’t want it at the price you’re selling it at, not with half the parts missing.”
    “Look, I got lotsa customers after a piece o’ Cyber tech, and if you ain’t gonna pay the price, I know plenty o’ guys that will.”
    “Pfeh, Fine, keep your pile of junk. I bet it couldn’t even convert rotting organic matter into Energon.”
    “Yeah get outta here ya walking junk pile!”
    Cobalt turned to Torque as they headed back into the crowd.
    “Do you think you could have been louder?” Cobalt asked
    “I reckon I could get a little more indignant when responding to their insults.”
    “Might help a little.”
    They realised that as they walked, the inhabitants of the city were becoming more and more mechanoid. They both stopped and looked up at a sign spanning the street.
    “Reckon he might be in there?” Torque asked
    “I think there is a distinct possibility yes.” Cobalt replied.
    The sign was made out of bits of scrap metal welded together to form the words ‘MACHINE TOWN’.
    Machine Town was a small section of the city which had been completely taken over by the various mechanical races that existed in the galaxy. The air was filled with the sounds of buzzing, whirring, clanking, beeping and the grating of gears and the pumping of hydraulics.
    “Although its night time on the planet, this station is still remarkably busy.”
    “Especially this bit.” Torque said, winding through the crowds.
    “What are the chances of finding an energon converter here?” Cobalt asked loudly
    “Better than with the scrap selling organics. Like they would know what to do with our Technology.”
    “You see any Cybertronian merchants?”
    “Naaah...I haven’t seen any more of us since we got here.”
    “That’s because hardly any of us are in the business of not killing each other.” came a voice from a side alley.
    Cobalt and Torque turned and saw another Cybertronian leaning against a wall. His colour scheme was a sandy yellow and black, with gleaming purple optics and a wide smile.
    “And you are?” Torque asked, feigning ignorance.
    “The name’s Swindle and supply is my game! You want something acquired, I got the contacts and the know how to get it for you.”
    “Oh really? So if I were to tell you we were after a mark four energon converter...”
    “I would say step right this way.”
    “Well then, let’s deal.” Torque said with a smile.
    They followed Swindle into the alleyway, Prototron watching from a roof opposite from where they were.
    They entered a small courtyard that was piled high with pieces of technology, not all of it Cybertronian.
    “Lessee...Mark four...Mark four...It’s here somewhere...Ah! Here we go!” Swindle pulled the converter out of a stack of similar looking devices.
    “The Energiser Mark four! Guaranteed to convert just about anything into refined energon! Sure it isn’t as good as the real thing, but in these harsh times, who can afford to complain! Am I right? Anyway, let’s get right down to it shall we? You buy this fine piece of equipment for five hundred and I’ll even sweeten the deal with a fine item of Quintesson technology. This here is the repulsion field generator used by the Quints to keep themselves afloat! Excellent quality. Only one careful owner, who sadly died, when he was ripped apart by an angry mob a few million stellar cycles ago...Anyway! We still have much to discuss and...” Swindle was interrupted in full entrepreneurial flow by a large explosion. The three Cybertronians looked at each other, and another explosion shook the buildings around them. Looking towards the end of the alley, they saw a great deal of panic, and then Quasar slamming into the ground, causing the metal floor to buckle and break. He rolled backwards and onto his feet just as Ultra Magnus landed feet first where he had landed.
    “U-Ultra Magnus? Here!” Swindle stammered “Scrap! Sorry friends, but I really gotta split! See you later maybe!” He turned and was about to transform when Prototron landed on him. The Combaticon hit the floor face first with a loud clang, his optics shutting off as he entered stasis lock.
    “I guess we should probably leave now.” He said, bending down and rolling Swindle onto his back.
    “Whose gonna tell Quasar?” Torque asked as the buildings shook again.
    “I will.” Cobalt said, stepping into the middle of the alley. “I can fly and transform into a jet.”
    “Oh thanks for that. I hadn’t realised what with us working together for the past MILLION STELLAR CYCLES.” Torque replied sarcastically.
    “Shut it Torque.” Prototron snapped, “It is the sensible choice. I can’t fly in robot mode, and we need my VTOL form to transport this hunk of slag back to the Thunderhead.”
    “Yeah yeah...Meet you back at the ship.” Torque said, waving his hand and transforming into his car form. Engines revving, Torque blasted into the street, spherical tyres screeching as he drifted round the corner and out of sight.
    Prototron picked up Swindle by the arm and jumped up to the top of a building. The force of the jump dented the floor they were standing on. Cobalt’s jets fired and he shot upwards as well. Once out of the tight confines of the alley, Prototron transformed into his VTOL form, hovering above the rooftops to give enough space for Cobalt to secure Swindle with toughened steel cables to his fuselage.
    “All done?”
    “Secured and ready for transport.”
    “We’ll meet you at the rendezvous on the planet’s surface.”
    “Roger that. Try not to get caught.”
    “Try not to get dismantled.”
    Prototron fired his vertical thrusters and ascended up towards the vaulted ceiling of the station. Rotating the primary engines back, he roared forwards, Swindle’s body swinging back on the cables. Cobalt watched them until they were clear from the battle zone, before zipping off towards the sounds of explosions. Buildings raced by below him and on all sides. He swerved out of the way of various other machines and other flying vehicles as they fled from the carnage ahead. Dodging around panicked residents, he flew to a halt and hovered above what appeared to be a warzone. Smashed exosuits were lying all around the epicentre of the conflict. Guards pulling each other out of the wreckage and from harm’s way, as the two Cybertronians fought. Columns of smoke rose from all around them, fire poured out of damaged systems as claxons across the city sounded. Apparently Cybertronians fighting were a serious cause for concern. Out of the smoke came a high velocity Ultra Magnus, followed closely by Quasar. Cobalt noticed that his leader was grinning. That meant he was enjoying himself, which meant that scrap was gonna get broken.

    Magnus slammed into a wall causing it to shatter, but before he could fall over, Quasar had shoulder slammed him through the building and out the other side. The two giants hit the floor and rolled back upright. Quasar’s armour was covered in scorch marks, cracks and dents and Ultra Magnus wasn’t looking so good either. Magnus spat out a glob of Energon mixed with oil, which sizzled when it hit the deck.
    “I’ll tell you what, Magnus; you’ve slagging well earned my respect for this.” Quasar said with a smile, wiping his chin with his arm. Energon was leaking out of a rend in the polymer skin above his left optic, and his combat blade had been snapped into three pieces. One of these pieces Magnus was currently pulling out of his thigh plating, followed by a small gush of hydraulic fluid. A distinct rattle was coming from both of the machine men as cooling systems worked overtime to keep their limbs functioning.
    “I have to admit, I didn’t think you’d be this tough.” Magnus replied, settling into a new fighting stance that favoured his injured leg.
    “I’ve survived whatever the galaxy has thrown at me so far, you ain’t even half as bad as some of the things I’ve faced.”
    “You sound like a really grumpy version of Kup.”
    “I’ll take that as a compliment.”
    The two combatants circled each other slowly, joints slicking and servo motors whirring. Quasar’s laser was currently folded down into his gauntlet. The disadvantage of having such a powerful weapon was that after extended periods of near constant use, it required massive amounts of cooling before it could be safely used again. Ultra Magnus suddenly leaped to the side, firing his last shoulder rocket. The red projectile screeched through the air. Quasar bent backwards and caught the rocket as it passed over him. His momentum lifted his legs off the ground, spinning him round in a back flip. As his legs went over his head, Quasar bent his body up so he was once again facing Magnus, and let go of the rocket. As soon as he did, things seemed to speed up again. The high explosive shot through the air, missing its intended target by a fibre optic cables breadth. It exploded behind Magnus, throwing him forwards. Rolling with this forwards momentum; the Autobot planted his fist firmly in Quasar’s intercostal supports. Quasar lurched to the side at the impact, bringing his arm down, grabbing hold of Magnus’ hand. Sparks were drawn as Quasar’s talons dug in. Raising his arm, he brought Magnus with him, side kicking him very hard in the chest, causing his adversaries chest plate to buckle.
    Quasar looked up and saw Cobalt hovering overhead.
    “The package has been secured! We’re headed to the rendezvous point now!”
    “I’ll be right there!”
    Magnus heaved himself off the floor, clutching his chest. He heaved and coughed up a blob of oil-tinged fuel.
    “Looks like we’re gonna have to cut it short Magnus.” Quasar said, stepping back. “I have other matters to attend to.”
    “Y-you mean...all this was a diversion?”
    “Pretty much. I enjoyed it though! It’s been a while since I had a proper brawl like that. Well, gotta jet. See you around!”
    With that, Quasar roared into the sky, transforming in synch with Cobalt, before they were enveloped in the green glow of an Orbital Bounce, and vanished. Ultra Magnus pulled himself upright, still clutching his chest. Retrieving his smashed blaster from a pile of wreckage, he activated his personal transporter, beaming himself back to his ship which was docked at the station. Once inside, he collapsed on the floor. Pulling himself into his chair, the automated repair systems activated.
    “I’m going to need some serious hardware for this, put me through to Autobot High Command.”

    Meanwhile, Quasar and Cobalt were descending slowly through the planet’s atmosphere. The Radians got rather tetchy when people came down to the planet’s surface, especially in the planets southern hemisphere. But given how vast the blackened plains were, it was almost impossible to police it. There were a few outposts in this barren land, but they were mostly there to stop illegal gangs from setting up hidden bases. Even when that did happen, it was only a few miles from the equator. Quasar and Cobalt were descending through the atmosphere in jet mode several thousand miles south of the equator. The dark underside of the station was obscured by the black clouds that swirled over the hostile terrain. The south of the planet was plunged into an eternal night, light only stemming from thunderstorms and active volcanoes that littered the landscape. It truly was a vision of hell, scarred by red rivers of fire. It was here that the Thunderhead had landed. On this planet, it was the size of a city, filling the horizon and towering high into the sky. Quasar and Cobalt dropped below the clouds and dived for the surface, pulling level with it just a few hundred yards before they would have hit the ground. They shot along at supersonic speeds, clouds of black dust and ash billowed up in their wake. They soon came into view of the Thunderhead, looming up in the distance like a great metal mountain. The vast rear loading bay doors stood open, and the immense form of Pulsar could be seen lifting large crates out and placing them on the ground. Quasar transformed in mid air and hit the ground, sliding along kicking up shards of rock and clouds of dust. He straightened up and walked the last few steps to where Pulsar was unloading the ship.
    “I see the teleportal technology helped get the ship onto the planet.” He said.
    “Yeah. We’d never have got it past their radar otherwise.” Pulsar replied. “You know, I was wondering why we didn’t sell half the stuff we got from Outpost 41, and you’re saying Swindle is the reason why?”
    “Yep. He knows a lot more than he lets on. It’s the reason he came to this planet in the first place.”
    “And you think there may be more Decepticons here?”
    “No, not Decepticons. Quintessons.”
    Pulsar dropped a large container, it landed on her foot. She yelped in surprise (quite a sound coming from a gestalt) losing balance and falling over backwards, the earth shook when she hit the ground.
    “Yeeep. They are here, and we want what they do. Problem is, we don’t know what this thing actually is.”
    “And we still want it?”
    “And you’re willing to fight Quintessons to get it?”
    “By the Pit...we’re all so scrapped.”
    “Oh come now, have a little faith in this old ‘bot eh?”
    “Fine, but don’t say I didn’t warn you.”
    “Duly noted. But now I have a Combaticon to interrogate.”

    The room was very dark. The only light coming from the purple glow of Swindle’s optics, as he sat, strapped to a chair.
    “Y’know…I have been in worse situations than this before.” He said aloud. There was no reply.
    “I mean, being Bruticus’ left leg…now THAT’S tough.”
    There was still no reply. Swindle closed his optics and sighed. Clearly they had no intention of terminating him. He knew enough about Quasar to know that if he wanted you dead, he’d come up to your face and do it personally. He rather suspected it had to do with the Quintessons and…that.
    There was a dull clunk in the darkness. Swindle’s optics flickered back into life.
    “I’m assuming that’s Quasar?”
    A bright flare of light caused Swindle to turn his head as the light stung his optics. Looking back once the light had faded, all he could see was a green glow. His olfactory sensors were detecting Cygar smoke. The Cygar flared green, briefly illuminating Quasar’s face.
    “Are we really gonna do this in such a cliché environment?” Swindle asked
    “Well, this is the only room on the ship with seat restraints, and the light crystal has gone.”
    “Oh. You knoooow…I could probably get you a lot of high quality light crystals at wholesale prices-”
    “Forever the business man. Come on. Lets go somewhere slightly less dingy.”
    The restraints on the chair slid back, and Swindle stood, rotating his joints several times. He followed Quasar out of the room and down the somewhat more brightly lit corridor.
    “I can’t help it. This greed is a part of my personality chip.” He said as they walked.
    “That excuse won’t work on me. I know your type a little to well for that.”
    “My ‘type’? Are you talking about my current faction affiliation, gestalt components or entrepreneurs like myself?”
    “I wonder about that. Ah, here we are.”
    They had arrived at another door, which slid open to reveal the conference room.
    “Pretty nice setup you got going here. Not the standard interior décor for a cargo ship of this make.”
    “That’s because its been rather extensively upgraded. Not without a little help from yourself.”
    “I always make sure that customers get the best I have to offer.”
    “Of course you do. Siddown.”
    Swindle sat. Adopting a look of cheerful ignorance.
    “Now then. You know how I like to deal, and you know I always come through on my end.”
    “One of my best customers.”
    “Indeed. Now, you probably know exactly why I’ve brought you here.”
    Swindle dropped the look of cheerful ignorance and replaced it with a rather more serious one.
    “You’re after what the Quints are after. Aren’t you?”
    “Whatever they have hidden here, I either want it, or I’ll want to destroy it. Now if I’ve heard about it, then Shockwave knows about it, and by that token, Jetfire knows about it too. This planet is going to become a battleground unless I get to that thing first. So what you are gonna tell me is what it is, what it does, where it is, and why the Quints want it so bad.”
    “Look. You really don’t want to be getting involved in this. It’s not something anyone in their right mind would do.”
    “I know you don’t do anything unless there’s something in it for you. So how’s about this; Ultra Magnus is after you. If he catches you, and he will, he will take you back to Cybertron to be tried before a military tribunal. You will be found guilty and sent to the maximum-security penal colony on Cybertron 12. The smallest planet in the Cybertron system. I can only guess what will happen to you after that.”
    “Not making a very good case for yourself at the moment.”
    “Cram it. All you have to do is give me all the information you have on this thing, and show me where it is. Once you’ve done that, I’ll make sure Magnus stays off your tailpipe for a good long while.”
    “And how will you do that?”
    “Either by lying to him, or by smashing his face in. Possibly both, depending on how stubborn he is.”
    “As attractive as that deal sounds. I’m not going to do it. I refuse. There are some things that are just too mad, even for a Combaticon. I’d rather take my chances with Ultra MagnuUGHS!” Swindle was cut off when Quasar slammed him into a wall. He hadn’t even seen him move. Quasar’s voice was very quiet, and heavy with the threat of further violence.
    “You will tell me everything I want to know. If you do not, then you put the race of this entire planet at risk. I won’t have that. Now you tell me everything you know about this, or I swear the last thing that will go through your head before you offline is my fist. Oh, and I’m being deadly serious.” He stepped back, letting the Decepticon drop to the floor.
    “Is that Ultra Magnus deal still open?” Swindle asked, rubbing his neck.
    “I knew you’d see it my way eventually.”
    “Look, all I know is that on this planet is hidden some kind of ancient Cybertronian artefact.” Swindle said, getting to his feet rubbing his neck.
    “Apparently it was hidden here by one of The Thirteen.”
    “Well I can see why the Quints would be after something like that. Any idea what it might actually be though?” Quasar said, rubbing his chin.
    “I dunno. A weapon maybe? Some kind of…of…super energon? The only thing I do know for certain is that its hidden in a mountain the locals call Old Metal Man.”
    “I see. Y’know, I think I’m starting to get an idea why the entire southern hemisphere of this planet is dead.” Quasar mused.
    “Look, I can give you the coordinates of the mountain, but that’s everything I know. I swear to Vector Sigma that’s all I know.”
    “Alright. Lets head to the bridge and you can give cobalt the coordinates. Bear in mind though, if this is a trap, you won’t leave this ship online.”

    The shuttle skimmed low across the blackened plains. Before it laid a vast mountain, its summit disappeared into the dark and stormy clouds. It had been squatting on the horizon for a number of Metacycles now, only getting bigger the closer they got.
    Swindle sat next to Prototron In the shuttle, occasionally shooting glances at the still form of his guard. There was something ominously threatening about him. He seemed to generate this aura of barely contained malice and violence. Then Swindle realised it might be the enormous tank gun on his back…or possibly the large glaive resting against his shoulder. He had protested against going, but Quasar had been rather persistent. With a sigh, Swindle looked out the window opposite where he was sitting, watching the depressing landscape whizz past. He privately wondered if Shockwave had received his coded message. If he had, it was highly likely the other Combaticons would be arriving at the mountain…if a team of Decepticons weren’t headed there already. Quasar entered the troop bay, and a small whirr emanated from Prototron as he powered up.
    “Right, we’re making our approach now. There’s a good chance the Quints have fortified their position, so we’ll be going in hot.”
    “So what about me? Am I just supposed to sit around and get picked off by some Quintesson sharpshooter?” Swindle asked
    “No, you are going to show us where the entrance is…even if we have to fight our way in there.”
    “You expect me to go up against Sharkticons with my bare hands?”
    “Not with your bare hands, no.”
    Quasar went over to a weapon locker and opened it, pulling out Swindle’s arm cannon and a blaster. He handed them to Swindle.
    “How do you know I won’t just shoot you in the back?” The Combaticon asked.
    “You can try.” Quasar said, “But Torque and Cobalt are too fast for you, and Prototron and myself are too tough.
    “I see.” Swindle said, attaching his cannon and holstering the blaster. “How much resistance are you expecting anyway?”
    It was at this point the shuttle was hit by a beam of energy that lanced out from the base of the mountain. It hit one of the stabilising fins, tearing a hole in the side of the shuttle. The vessel lurched to one side and began dropping towards the ground.
    “We’re losing altitude!” Cobalt called from the cockpit “I recommend we abandon ship and proceed in Sigma formation!”
    “Affirmative!” Quasar called back over the sound of the air roaring past and through the hole in the shuttle. “Proto! You take Torque, I’ve got Swindle! Cobalt, your on point! Go, go, go!”
    Quasar grabbed the rather bemused Swindle, and took aim at the hole in the wall with his laser. He fired a single pulse, which blew out half the ship. Running towards the hole with Swindle in tow, he leapt out, rapidly falling behind the shuttle. Transforming in mid air, he fired a grapple from his Destroyer form, which latched to the screaming Decepticon’s aft plating. Turbo jets firing, Quasar shot forwards, quickly catching up with the shuttle as Prototron leapt out, transforming into his VTOL form. Torque followed quickly, and deftly caught a tow cable Prototron had extended. The cockpit’s windshield exploded outwards as Cobalt Jumped out, holding on to the shuttles hull, he pulled himself out and ran across the top of the ship, leaping off the end as a second ray of energy struck the shuttle dead on, causing it to explode. Flaming debris smashed into the ground as Cobalt’s needle like jet form took up point position in front of the group. The ground zipped past them at immensely high speeds.
    “Evasive patter gamma!” Cobalt radioed.
    The flyers executed a synchronised roll while simultaneously pulling up as the energy weapon fired again, scorching through the air where they had been moments ago. They were quickly within range of the less powerful artillery guns. AA guns opened up, unleashing a devastating hail of charged rounds into the air. Prototron and Torque descended to the ground, and without slowing down, transformed. Torque’s car mode hit the ground, wheels screeching on the black rock beneath him. He lost no momentum however, his booster turbines lighting up. Prototron’s tank form hit the ground, engines roaring as his treads literally tore into the rock as he attempted to maintain speed. It worked. They approached the Quintesson emplacements, visible now. Manned by Sharkticons and Allicons, they fielded an impressive array of weaponry. Prototron’s main gun opened up with a tremendous crack like the sound of the earth splitting. The charged round screamed forwards, striking the Quintesson barricade, and exploding with such force it literally did crack the ground. Sharkticons and Allicons were thrown in all directions by the blast. A second and third shell tore into the barricades, causing stored ammunition to detonate. Torque screeched ahead, opening up with his (rarely used) Gatling guns. These weapons were only available to him in his transformed state, but they were lethal when he employed them. The solid metal rounds shredded the defenders like so much organic matter. Prototron screeched into a turn and began driving parallel to the barricade, turret pointed towards it, unleashing round after devastating round. Torque ramped through a hole in the barricade, transforming in mid air. His sabre was drawn as he hit the ground, slicing through Sharkticon armour, sending fountains of bluish oil into the air. There was a roar from overhead as Quasar and Cobalt appeared. Quasar seemed to have deposited Swindle somewhere, as he was no longer carrying the Combaticon. His Thermal Lances unleashed long thin jets of plasma, melting through anything it touched. Cobalt came in low, his ion gun firing a stream of ionised pellets, which exploded in a crackling ball of electricity. Prototron had transformed and was laying about him with his glaive, being backed up (surprisingly) by Swindle. The Combaticon fired his arm cannon and blaster with surprising accuracy and skill. Cobalt and Quasar transformed as well, joining the fight on the ground. Something had come over the Cybertronians. As they fought, an invisible cloud of hatred and rage descended over them. They tore through the Quintessons bodyguards with a savage ferocity that caused the already bewildered Sharkticons and Allicons to panic, and begin to break. The many years of war with the Quintessons had left bitter memories for all Cybertronians, even the ones that hadn’t taken part in those ancient wars. It was speculated this hatred had infected Vector Sigma as the first Thirteen fought against the Quintessons, as they each possessed part of the Spark of Primus. This malice was then passed into each Cybertronian given like by Vector Sigma, and came erupting forth like an unstoppable tide when confronted with the Quintessons and their allies. The Sharkticons and the Allicons had finally regrouped and began to counter attack. Using their numbers to their advantage, they began to slow the Cybertronian’s advance. That was until Pulsar arrived via Orbital Bounce.

    The hard ground was slick with spilt energon and oil. Hydraulic fluid spattered the rocks, and fires blazed everywhere. The Sharkticons and Allicons had regrouped by a set of massive excavated doors, leading the way into the mountain. The pile of bodies in front of the door was growing higher. The female gestalt had wreaked horrific damage upon the mountains defenders, smashing through their lines with ease. Built into the palm of each of her hands was an Epsilon Beam Emitter. The ultra violet beams of energy stripped whatever they touched down to the endoskeleton in a matter of nanoclicks, leaving a smoking twisted husk behind. The rage that afflicted Cybertronian’s when confronted with Quintessons was an almost supernatural force. It had been theorised by scientists that it was a defence mechanism installed to combat the Quintessons by Primus himself. Quasar lifted an Allicon above his head, tearing it in half with a terrifying battle cry, hurling the pieces at the remaining defenders. There was no semblance of organisation now, just blind panic. The Sharkticons and the Allicons were clambering over each other to escape, scrabbling at the great door, trying to escape up the mountain where they were picked off by Cobalt, whose face was twisted in a malicious sneer. Soon, there was silence. The only sounds were the crackling of fires and the dripping of oil. There was also the sound of air intakes working over time as the Cybertronians sucked down air to help cool their internal systems.
    “What the Pit was that?” Swindle asked, rubbing the back of his head.
    “Something that only happens to us when Quints are involved.” Quasar replied, shaking partially used energon off his hands. He stepped over the twisted remains of their opponents, crushing and crunching metal beneath his feet. He stopped before the great doors, running a hand over them. In the middle of the door was a pattern shaped like a Cybertronian hand. Quasar reached up and pressed his hand against it. There was a heavy clunk from inside the mountain, and a dull rumbling as the doors slid open.
    “Swindle, I reckon you’ve probably done enough now. You stay out here with Pulsar and guard the entrance. The rest of you are with me. Lets see what the Quints want so badly.”
    Prototron, Cobalt and Torque followed him inside the door, vanishing one by one into the darkness beyond. The ground shook as Pulsar sat down, resting her arms on her knees. Swindle looked up at the female gestalt. He’d never heard of anything like her before. He somewhat suspected that Autobots messed around with their own kind more than they liked to let on.
    “So…you get stuck with guard duty often?” he asked
    “Oh yes…but like we can really fit in that little tunnel.”
    “I suppose. So uhh…what’s it like being…you know…”
    “Combined? Well, unlike your Bruticus, We maintain our full mental faculties. Amalgamated perfectly into one consciousness. Our combined processing power is several times higher than the most brilliant Cybertronian mind.”
    “Good for you. Hey…can you detect the others energy readings anymore?”
    “Negative. They are beyond even our considerable sensor range. You’re friends on the other hand, are not.”
    “So the female Autobot noticed us, eh?”
    Swindle turned to see Onslaught and the other Combaticons emerging from around the base of the mountains.
    “I am impressed you know.” He continued. “I would like to pit ourselves against you with our intelligences intact…except for Brawl…he has no intelligence.”
    “Shut up Brawl, you know its true.”
    “Yeah, but you don’t need to say it like that!”
    As I was saying…Time for us is of the essence. Your friends have already entered, so we need you out of the way as soon as possible.”
    Pulsar sighed (like a gale) and stood, rock and dust raining off her.
    “Get on with it then.” She said.
    Swindle walked over to the other Combaticons, before turning to face the gestalt Autobot.
    “It was fun while it lasted.” He said with a sarcastic grin
    “Combaticons! Transform and merge into BRUTICUS!” Onslaught cried.
    Pulsar stepped back. And then further back. She had never faced another Gestalt before, so it was rather intimidating to be faced with one so infamous. What she hadn’t been prepared for was his sheer size. It was the first time she’d had to look up at an opponent.
    “Ohhhhhh Slag…”

    The Quintessons themselves were few in number now; most of the soldier caste had been wiped out, leaving only the scientist caste and the more dangerous Judges. Physically Quintessons were rather pathetic, having just about enough strength to pull a switch with their mechanical tentacles. The scientist caste often augmented themselves with robotic enhancements and cybernetic implants. The Judges were equally weak, but they had a much worse weapon than their scientific brethrens mechanical additions. They had phenomenal telekinetic abilities, which they used to fly through the air and manipulate anything from the smallest pebble to tearing apart several Cybertronians at once. The only reason the Cybertronian/Quintesson war didn’t drag on for longer, was the Judges inherent arrogance and cowardice. Despite their powers, they would much rather run away or let others do their dirty work for them, believing that they were above such mundane things. There were incidents during the war, where Judges left with no other options, had lashed out. One desperate Judge had wiped out an entire platoon of Cybertronian infantry before it was destroyed by a very well placed sniper round which took out its primary CPU. It was towards this that Quasar, Prototron, Torque and Cobalt were now headed. Currently they were standing around a large, circular, and very deep hole. The lights set up by the Quintessons barely cast a light into the darkness of the pit. Torque picked up a rock and tossed it in. There was no sound for a very long time.
    “Did anyone hear it hit the bottom?” He asked.
    “Not me.” Prototron replied, scratching his helmet, causing a small shower of sparks.
    “There’s no real way of knowing how deep it is, unless we enter ourselves.” Cobalt stated rather matter of factly. Quasar gave a gruff snort, and jumped into the hole. The other three listened for a moment. All that could be heard was whistling wind. Then silence. Then a very dull boom.
    “You’ll be pleased to note that this hole does have a bottom.” Came Quasar’s voice over the commlink.
    Prototron looked at the others.
    “Good enough for me!” he said cheerfully, and jumped in.
    Torque and Cobalt looked at each other, and then followed their larger comrades. They plummeted through the blackness of the hole, air whistling past them. There was another boom as Prototron hit the bottom. Slowly, a light began to grow at the bottom of the hole, and suddenly they were clear of the darkness, falling through a vast brightly lit cavern. Cobalt fired his jumpjets just before he hit the ground, landing gracefully on his feet. Torque hit the ground so hard he fell over. Standing up from his small impact crater, he looked around. There were two more (much larger) craters made by Quasar and Prototron, who were currently admiring the cavern. It was huge. Filled from floor to ceiling with glittering crystal stalactites and stalagmites, which seemed to glow and pulsate with a golden inner light.
    “This place…” Quasar was saying “Reminds me of somewhere…But I just can’t put a servo on it.”
    “Uhh…big guy?”
    “What is it Torque?”
    “We have company.”
    Quasar turned and saw a group of Sharkticons advancing out of a tunnel, armed to the teeth. They didn’t have a chance to attack though. The first volley from the crew turned them into so much shredded metal. As the smoke cleared, the quartet headed for the tunnel, slowing as they heard voices from up ahead. They emerged into an even bigger cavern. This time, they saw the Quintessons. Three scientists and one Judge, hovering eerily in the air on what seemed to be beams of energy. The three scientists seemed to be working very carefully at a variety of equipment. Huge cables and pipes snaked across the floor to…
    “Oh sweet Primus…” Torque hissed.
    “Vector Sigma!” Prototron whispered.
    “I’m speechless…” Cobalt muttered.
    “So that’s what they’re after.” Quasar mused. He ushered the other three back into the tunnel. What they had seen in the cavern was none other than the body of one of the First Thirteen. He was partially entombed in the rock, sitting upright, as if on a throne. His optics were long dead and his body showed signs of corrosion and decay, but his colossal form was unmistakable. Easily the size of the Citybot Metroplex, his ornate armour had lost none of its majesty over the millennia. The Quintessons had hooked the body up to their equipment, concentrating most of it around the chest area.
    “They’re after his spark.” Quasar whispered
    “But he’s dead! He doesn’t have a spark!” Torque replied
    “Technically true.” Cobalt answered.
    “What do you mean technically?”
    “You were never taught our history?”
    “Cobalt, I was a Decepticon. The only thing they teach us as protoforms and adolescents is to not make friends, survive as long as possible, and Megatron is basically a god.”
    “Yeah, to be honest I don’t really know much about our history either.” Prototron added.
    Quasar rubbed his optics and let out a small puff of steam.
    “Look, They say Primus created the First Thirteen, and in each of those Thirteen, he gave a small portion of his spark. That spark is eternal and has untold powers. Vector Sigma back on Cybertron IS Primus’ spark. In short, the Quintessons are after the shard of Primus’ spark that presumably still resides in the spark chamber of that member of the Thirteen.”
    “Could you abridge aeons of history any more?” Cobalt asked rather sarcastically.
    “We have no time for the fine details. If the Quints are here, then the shard is here. We cannot let them get their tentacles on it, or we are all slagged. Our little civil war will be nothing compared with what’s to come if they get that shard. We need to get it before they do.”
    “And then what?” Prototron asked, “The Autobots and the Decepticons have much better intelligence than we do, so there’s a good chance they know what it is. Once it emerges that we have it, every ‘bot under the stars is gonna come after us!”
    “Look, they haven’t seen us yet, so take up advantageous positions around this cavern, and be ready to act when I give the signal. We’ll deal with everything else later, but right now we need to get that shard!”

    Pulsar would liked to have gone in with the rest of her friends, especially if it meant she didn’t have to face the monstrous Bruticus by herself. She leapt to the side as his fist pulverised the ground where she had been moments before. She felt incredibly sluggish in this planet’s atmosphere, meaning her comparative speed as a gestalt was reduced. Bruticus didn’t appear to be having any such problems, throwing his massive body around like there was no resistance at all. Realising that this fight would end quickly if she engaged him in close quarters, Pulsar jumped back, raising her hands. The ultra violet light of the Epsilon Beams lit the landscape with an eerie purple glow. The beams struck Bruticus dead center, the radiation scorching his armour. Bruticus reeled back, chest plate smoking and glowing. There was no actual force behind the beams, but they caused severe damage to most things. Bruticus on the other hand seemed to be recovering rather well, with only superficial damage done to his outer shell. It was no wonder gestalts were treated with such awe and fear. Clearly her primary ranged weapons weren’t having enough of an effect, which meant she had to get creative. She jumped backwards and landed on the piles of Sharkticon and Allicon corpses, slipping slightly on the thick oil slick that covered the ground. A small smile curled her lip. She reached down and grabbed one of the shattered artillery guns. The barrel had exploded leaving sharp jagged edges. Raising her arm, she hurled the barrel like a javelin, and fired an Epsilon beam after it. The high-energy beam hit the barrel, causing it to shatter. The friction caused by the planets atmosphere caused the shards to melt, striking Bruticus as a molten shower of metal. The giant staggered as the glowing shrapnel struck his face, fusing to his optics. Roaring and flailing, Bruticus stepped heavily into the corpse-strewn battlefield, and slipped on the oil slick that covered the rocks beneath his massive feet. He toppled forwards, falling deceptively fast, hitting the ground with enough force to crack the solid stone of the mountain. The behemoth tried to push himself upright, but the ground was too slippery for something his size to gain a purchase on. His arms slipped out from under him and his face smashed into the ground. Pulsar sighed, venting steam from her cooling systems. Raising an arm, she hit the volatile mix of oil, processed energon and leaking blaster fuel that formed large pools with a blast from her Epsilon beam. The oily solution ignited almost instantly, flames roaring into the sky. As the flames hit Bruticus, He separated back into the Combaticons, who all looked rather worse for wear. Onslaught staggered to his feet, looking about him at the flames.
    “Blast Off! Vortex! Transform and get us out of here!”
    Pulsar watched her battered foes escaping the flames. She had managed to defeat Bruticus. It hadn’t been easy, but it had been done. Now all she could do was wait and see if her crewmates would ever emerge from the mountain.

    Quasar hit the wall very hard. The granite cracked and splintered, showering down around him as he slid to the cave floor. Things had gone from wrong to “up a slag pipe without thrusters” (as torque would so eloquently put it). Firstly a particularly observant Allicon had thwarted their ambush. The resultant fight had been going well until the Quintesson Judge had decided to join in. That’s when the scrap REALLY hit the turbine. Quasar had been thrown around the cavern a number of times now. Quintesson telekinesis was nothing to be sneered at, especially when Rage was in control.
    “Filthy wretch!” the red, horned face was shrieking. “You thought you and your pathetic band of worthless defects could best me?!”
    Quasar found himself flying through the air again. It was like some giant invisible hand was trying to crush him. He got slammed into a wall dislodging some stalactites that fell to the floor and shattered, sending large shards of crystal shooting in all directions. The Quintesson drew back, shielding itself from the shrapnel. The sharp pieces of crystal seemed to stop a few feet short of the hovering mechanoid, before dropping to the ground. It was about to resume its attack on Quasar, when another whole stalactite came hurtling towards it. The Quintesson raised a tentacle, and the large shard of crystal stopped dead. Prototron looked down from where he and hurled it.
    “Oh slag.” He said
    “Did you really think you would be able to harm me with THIS?” The Quintesson said, its face rotating round, revealing its judgemental personality.
    “You are all worthless to the point where there is no point in even acknowledging you!”
    “Well, that was kind of a distraction.” Prototron said, his eyes glowing.
    A dull clicking sound could be heard as the Quintessons face of Wisdom came alive.
    “Ah…It appears I have been tricked…”
    It couldn’t finish the sentence because Quasar brought his fist down as hard as he could onto the top of its body, smashing it to the floor. He moved swiftly, grabbing it by one of its faces he lifted it up and kicked it as hard as he could towards Prototron, who had retrieved his glaive. Swinging at the flying Quintesson, he sliced through three of its five faces, causing it to scream in agony. It tumbled through the air, landing in a crumpled heap on the floor. A pool of faintly glowing yellow liquid was spreading out from its broken body. Only the Death and the Wrath faces remained functional.
    “Cursed piles of scrap!” the wrathful face spat “To be slain by vial worthless creatures such as you! I spit on you! I curse your entire rac-“
    Quasar cut of its rant with a well-placed laser pulse after recovering his pulse laser from where it had fallen. Now only the Death face remained.
    “Kill me then, foul spawn of Primus.” The skeletal face hissed “It matters little if I die here. You and your race will eventually face the wrath of the Quintessons…you have merely delayed the inevitable.”
    “We’ll see.” Quasar replied, placing his foot on the Quintesson’s shell. He put all his weight on that foot, and crushed the Quintesson into a pile of sparking scrap.
    “By the Pitt…”
    Quasar and Prototron turned to see Torque supporting a rather dizzy looking Cobalt. All four of them had been hit pretty hard by the Judges initial attack, which had taken out everything mechanical in the entire cavern. Fortunately Cybertronians were much tougher than their Quintesson enemies, Quasar and Prototron in particular.
    “How’re you too holding up?” Quasar asked
    “Oh I’m fine…nothing a short spell in the repair bay won’t fix. I think Cobalt’s okay, he hit his head pretty hard and scrambled his CPU. Was spouting some gibberish about anti gravity emitters or something.”
    “The orange socket…” Cobalt said, trailing off into a confused mumble.
    “Huh…He must have smacked his cranium really hard.” Prototron said, picking up several pieces of his armour plating which had been blasted off.
    Quasar was standing in front of the massive and dark form of their predecessor.
    “He’s bigger than I imagined.” He said, holding his side where his struts had been damaged.
    “How do we get into his spark chamber?” Torque asked
    “We…ow…we don’t.” Cobalt said, rubbing the back of his head.
    “Nice to see you’re back with us.” Quasar replied.
    “Not to change the subject or anything, but what do you mean we don’t?” Prototron asked
    “More specifically, you don’t. Any of you. Only Scientists and medics know how to correctly access a spark chamber, which means I am the only one here that knows how to gain access. It’s hardly surprising the Quintessons couldn’t manage it.”
    “We are on a tight schedule here.” Quasar said “How do you know only you can do it?”
    “Oh I’m sure you could tear a hole in his chest with enough firepower.” Cobalt said, looking through the Quintesson technology that was scattered over the floor.
    “But in order to access his spark chamber without damaging anything you need to be careful and precise. This is basically the same as Open Spark Surgery, except I don’t have to worry about the patient offlining during the procedure.”
    He picked up what looked like some kind of torture device, and pressed a small panel in the side. Some kind of energy blade shot out of one end.
    “Idiots. They had the tools with them and they still couldn’t get it.”
    “Are you sure you can do this? I doubt one of the Thirteen has the same internal structure as we do.” Prototron said, glancing up at the silent behemoth.
    “We shall have to see, won’t we?” Cobalt replied wryly. His thrusters burnt into life, lifting him off the ground and up to the chest of the ancient Cybertronian. He slowly applied the Quintesson scalpel to the armour plating. Sparks shot up as he began cutting through the incredibly thick metal that made up the exo-structure of the Cybertronian.
    “How’s it coming!?” Quasar called up
    “Slowly! The armour plating is much thicker than I expected!” Cobalt called back, starting on the second cut. “It appears to be made out of some kind of Cybertronium alloy! Its much harder and denser than normal armour plating!”
    “Hey…can anyone else hear that?” Torque asked.
    “Hear what?” Prototron replied looking around.
    “Set your audio receptors to…463Hz.”
    “Hmm…Sounds like…drilling.” Quasar said.
    “Drilling? Could the Decepticons be trying to tunnel in?”
    No. I received a very distorted message from Pulsar saying the Decepticons had sent the Combaticons.”
    “Combaticons? Oh slag! Bruticus?!”
    “Don’t worry, our girl on the surface managed to kick his aft back into orbit.” Quasar said with a small smile.
    “So that means the drilling are Autobots?”
    “Must be. If they’re coming from the other side of the mountain, Pulsar won’t have spotted them.”
    There was a loud clang and a thud. A large rectangle of metal hit the cave floor, smashing a good chunk of the floor.
    “I’m through!” Cobalt called down.
    “Right! Keep going!” Quasar shouted back. “Prototron, Torque, you take that slab of metal up to the surface and rendezvous with Pulsar. Prep the ship for takeoff, I want to be out of here as soon as possible.”
    The two other Cybertronians nodded. Prototron transformed into his tank mode, stowing his cannon to make room for the slab of armour. Quasar reached down and hefted the slab onto Prototron.
    “Guuhh…Primus! This things heavy!” the tank grunted.
    “As long as you can shift it out of the shaft we came down, there shouldn’t be a problem.” Quasar said. “Torque, you watch his back, we don’t know how many Sharkticons could be hiding in these tunnels.”
    “Roger that.”
    “Move out!”
    Prototron’s engines roared and his tracks spun, before gripping the smooth surface of the cave floor. He lurched forwards, Torque transformed and sped off, overtaking Prototron and disappearing into the tunnel they came through.
    Quasar turned back to the body of one of the Thirteen. His thrusters fired, carrying him up to where Cobalt was working.
    “How’s it coming?” He asked as he landed opposite the scientist.
    “Slowly. His internal structure is similar to ours, but he lacks any form of hydraulic system.”
    “Kind of like me then?”
    “Yes, but his muscle fibre is…odd. Its like its not even inorganic, yet it is.”
    “You mean it hasn’t degraded yet?”
    “No. The conditions in this cave appear to be remarkably well suited for keeping inorganic beings preserved. Almost like a Cybertronian morgue.”
    “I wonder if that was the intention?”
    “Could have been. Ahh…there we go.”
    Cobalt removed another (smaller) rectangle of metal, revealing the Spark chamber. It was like a spherical cage held in place and protected by a complex series of supports and shock absorbers. The chamber appeared empty, until Cobalt reached in and triggered the mechanism for opening the chamber’s internal shielding. The cage opened, and the black spark housing slid apart, revealing a small golden rod. It was a perfect hexagon in shape and reflected the light in strange ways. Cobalt carefully reached in and touched the rod. A flash of light and a loud bang sent the scientist flying backwards. Cobalt turned in the air, activating his thrusters and bringing himself under control.
    “Are you alright?!” Quasar called.
    “Y-yes! It didn’t hurt at all…in fact I…I’m completely recharged! The damage to my exo-structure appears to have completely repaired.”
    “Healing properties? Then…” Quasar turned and looked up at the silent face of their mutual ancestor.
    “Nexus Prime.” He said.
    “Nexus Prime? You…you mean the…Oh. Oh my…”
    “Indeed…the source of all the energy to create Sparks. If this fell into Quintesson hands…our race would cease to be.”
    “By the Primes…we must get this back to Vector Sigma!”
    Quasar looked into the spark chamber. He cracked his knuckles and slowly reached into the chamber. He took hold of the rod and nearly went into stasis lock. The surge of energy the shot up his arm was unbelievable. He slowly began withdrawing the rod from his housing. He could see lines of blue energy creeping up his arm. His entire chassis shook. Countless warning signals were springing up in his vision. Sparks leapt from all his edges. He braced his legs against the body of Nexus, and pulled with all his considerable might, letting out a battle cry, electricity sparking off his teeth. The rod suddenly came free, causing Quasar to fall, hitting the ground with an explosion of blue light. Quasar slowly got to his feet, his entire body crackling with energy.
    “Gnnnhg…Didn’t the Quintessons have something to contain this with!” He yelled.
    Cobalt landed nearby, grabbing a strange looking sphere set into a square base. He fiddled around with it for a few seconds until a door in the top sprung open. Inside was a solid black mass, with a hexagonal hole in the center.
    “Put it here! Quickly!”
    Quasar slammed the rod into the hole, and Cobalt snapped the lid shut. Quasar collapsed on the floor, his cooling fans making an audible whirr.
    “Primus…” he gasped
    “This container appears to be filled with some kind of energy absorbing material. It should shield it from most, if not all sensory arrays.” Cobalt said.
    Quasar got to his feet and rubbed his optics.
    “Talk about an overcharge.” He said
    “”Quasar…your energy levels are off the charts…quite literally.” Cobalt said, activating his medi-scanner. “I suspect you’ll need to vent some of this excess energy or your internal batteries may overload under the strain.”
    “Lets get out of here first, then we can talk about excess energy.”
    “For once I agree.”
    “Good. Transform and-”
    A large portion of the ceiling giving way interrupted Quasar and number of Cybertronians came through the hole.
    “They have the shard!” one of them said
    “Wreckers! Engage and detain!”
    Quasar looked at Cobalt.
    “Get back to the ship! I’ll cover you!”
    Cobalt transformed, stowing the container in his cockpit and roaring out of the cave.
    Quasar turned to the Autobots that were rapidly approaching. Electricity was still sparking off him every time he moved.
    “So you’re the infamous Wreckers then?” he said, cracking his knuckles “Give it your best shot!”
    “Springer! Be careful, that’s Quasar…”
    “Yeah, I know Kup, But there’s only one of him and-”
    Springer was interrupted when a supercharged Quasar hit him so hard he went into stasis lock. The rest of the Wreckers looked somewhat taken aback.
    “I’d run if I were you.” Quasar said, raising his arm and activating his laser.

    The Thunderhead was sat next to the mountain. A teleportal was open underneath it, ready to head back into open space.
    “Where is he?” Torque said tensely, looking at the view screen on the bridge
    “He’ll be here. Don’t worry about it.” Prototron said. But his voice was tinged with worry for their leader.
    “I’m getting a strong energy reading coming from the mountain.” Cobalt said, looking up from his console.
    “This must be him.” Torque said, “There‘s no way it couldn’t be.”
    The large doors leading to the interior of the mountain suddenly exploded outwards, causing the three Cybertronians on the bridge to jump. Quasar shot from the doors in his jet mode, several Cybertronians flew out from the door with him, hitting the ground hard.
    Quasar transformed and landed, grabbing one of the Wreckers and stabbing him through the chest with his wrist blade. Tossing the body aside he headed for the ship.
    “Lower the ramp!” Torque said.
    But as the boarding ramp began to lower, a huge explosion knocked Quasar back.
    As the dust cleared, Quasar saw Ultra Magnus. Wearing a suit of Apex armour.
    “Quasar! You are under arrest!” Magnus announced.
    “Oh please.” Quasar said. “I’ve just wiped out half of your precious Wreckers. You really think you’ll do much better in your fancy oil can?”
    “I will only warn you once.” Magnus said, targeting the Apex armour’s impressive weapons array on Quasar. He didn’t get a chance to use it though. Quasar launched himself through the air, hitting Magnus dead center with all his bodyweight. Magnus toppled backwards, Quasar grabbing Magnus’ by the face, driving his head into the ground. The force of this blow allowed Quasar to leap through the air, and land on his feet. He sprinted towards the ship, bounding up the boarding ramp.
    “Get us out of here!” He shouted through his intercom.
    The ramp closed and the ship dropped through the teleportal, which closed with a small pop. Ultra Magus sat up and looked around.
    “What the slag just happened?” He asked, Energon leaking from his olfactory sensor.
  3. Thunderchild

    Thunderchild Well-Known Member

    Jul 16, 2009
    Trophy Points:
    Epic thus far, have you thought about commissioning an art piece of the Thunderhead's crew?
  4. Jasbraman

    Jasbraman Eats Igyaks for breakfast

    Dec 12, 2010
    Trophy Points:
    Behold Quasar! Commissioned from a good friend of mine. Art is copyrighted to her, Quasar is copyrighted to me.

  5. Thunderchild

    Thunderchild Well-Known Member

    Jul 16, 2009
    Trophy Points:
    Wow, Quasar's a BADA$$, I like how sinister his face is. Cant wait to read more.
  6. Latias Prime

    Latias Prime I'm only slightly crazy!

    Jul 4, 2009
    Trophy Points:
    Oh man, this is absolutely EPIC! Love the plot, the action, the characterization, the humor...Simply amazing! Jasbraman, you are a great writer. Although it's a little too early to determine where this story is going, I can say that you're off to a good start. Keep going!
  7. Jasbraman

    Jasbraman Eats Igyaks for breakfast

    Dec 12, 2010
    Trophy Points:
    Wooo! Third part is done! this one is pretty long as well, and has less action in it, but it does explore some of the backstory for my characters. I also doodled some (awful, TERRIBLE) sketches of the crew so you have a general idea of what they look like. I don't have them with me as I am currently in Sweden and on my Laptop, not my home computer. So I'll get round to uploading them to my DA page and posting the links in this thread when I get home. So until then, please enjoy the third chapter of Transformers: Thunderhead.


    Wrecked Memories

    The Thunderhead moved through space like a vast predatory bird…if that bird happened to be a mile across and shaped like a hexagon. Travelling between star systems was a long silent affair, with only the occasional asteroid cloud to provide any sort of excitement. Other stars twinkled off in the distance, the brightest of course being the closest star systems. Torque sat by himself in the bridge swivelling around on the captain’s chair. Cobalt was busy in his lab analysing the Shard, Prototron was busy cataloguing the stuff they hadn’t sold from Outpost 41, Pulsar was probably recharging in the hold and Quasar was...doing whatever it was he did in the downtime between jobs. Torque had always just imagined him sitting in his quarters smoking a Cygar. Torque sighed, air intakes rattling slightly. The bridge was mostly silent save for the occasional beep of the autopilot. He got up and stretched, his joints making slight pinging noises. He had never really been one for sitting around doing nothing, always wanting a bigger thrill out of life. He left the bridge and headed down the corridor. Sometimes he missed the days he spent in the Decepticons. He missed the days before the war even more. He had been a racer. One of the best in fact, he was the undefeated champion for five stellar cycles running. Of course that had all changed when that blue racer had turned up. First race and he had left everyone practically standing. Torque couldn’t believe it. Within the Stellar cycle he had become old news, all anyone wanted to hear about was this “Blurr” guy. Torque opened the door to his quarters and entered. The lights slowly flickered into life. His room was somewhat sparse. It had his recharging bed and a seldom-used desk. All over one wall were snapshots of his glory days. Winning races, the after parties, the publicity stunts, the commercials. Torque took off his square goggles and placed them on the desk. He didn’t know why he did this to himself. He knew dwelling on the past never did anyone any good but he couldn’t help it. That was just the kind of robot he was. He smiled to himself. The roar of the crowd was an exhilarating thing. The surge of energy from competing against some of the fastest Cybertronians was indescribable. That had all changed of course. He had been dropped from the roster in favour of newer faster models. He was still in his prime, the height of his career, but he had lost several races to the new comer, Blurr, and had been kicked out without so much as a thank you. He had been somewhat bitter about being let go from the races, entering a self-destructive downward spiral that eventually ended with him residing in the gutters of Iacon, stealing energon scraps wherever he could find them. It was about this time the Decepticons were making themselves known. It was mostly in the form of flyers and graffiti of their faction symbol sprayed on buildings. They were a somewhat radical party demanding all kinds of crazy things. Torque had just ignored them, having more pressing problems to deal with than politics. It was a while before the Decepticons started recruiting people to their cause. Offering energon handouts and a badge to anyone who was willing to join. Torque had decided he still wanted nothing to do with politics, so he had simply stolen a large quantity of energon from one of these recruitment stations and legged it. They had given chase of course, but they couldn’t match his speed and were soon left behind. The Energon had never tasted so good that night. He consumed it greedily in his little hidey-hole he had carved out for himself in the slums. Systems that had been offline for a good number of stellar cycles came back online. He felt he could take on the world. That was until a bunch of heavyset Decepticons burst in and slammed him against the wall. Instead of tearing his limbs off they just held him there. Another Decepticon had entered then. He was white and bore the Decepticon logo on his chest plate. The thing that really drew Torque’s optics was the absolutely ridiculous gun on his right arm.
    The two brutes had dropped Torque and the white Decepticon squatted down in front of him, red optics gleaming in the light.
    “Did you steal my Energon?” He had asked
    Torque having recently re-energised had been feeling more his old cocky and loud self.
    “Yeah. So what if I did? You guys were handing out anyway.” He had said in a rather defiant tone.
    “Handing it out to those who wished to join the cause, yes. Not to washed up empties like yourself.” The white Decepticon had stood up then, looking down at Torque.
    “What made you think you could simply take my Energon?” he had asked.
    Torque chuckled
    “I took it ‘cause I could. If I want something, I’m gonna take it. If I can’t take it I don’t deserve it.”
    “Then take all you want! Join the Decepticons and take back what you lost from our oppressors! You used to be great once. A peerless athlete, now a tragic victim of out corrupt society.”
    Torque looked at the purple badge that the white Decepticon had proffered.
    “If you decide to join us, come to Warehouse 63 in sector B93 one solar cycle from now. Bring this badge.”
    Torque had taken the badge somewhat nervously. He might be acting all big, but that gun still had most of his attention.
    “You ain’t gonna do anything to me?” he had asked.
    The white Decepticon had simply turned and left followed by his two grunts.

    Torque had gone to the warehouse not really sure what he was expecting to find. It turned out it was some kind of rally. All different shapes and sizes of Cybertronians were there. It was here he had run into one of his old mechanics from the races. They had been good friends back in the day. His name was Piston (a fairly common name) and the two had been pretty good friends. It turned out he had been fired and replaced not long after Torque had been let go. They were still reminiscing when the white Cybertronian had come out on a shoddy looking stage and had made a pretty speech about equality and a bunch of other things Torque didn’t really understand. The rest of the crowd seemed excited and were cheering and whooping. It was towards the end of the rally that the Iacon Defence Force had come smashing into the building and told everyone they were under arrest. That naturally didn’t go down to well with the riled up crowd, and it wasn’t long before the whole scene escalated into violence. Torque had to give the Decepticon’s credit though; they held their fire until the IDF opened up into the crowd. That was when the white Decepticon had unleashed hell. It turned out his big gun wasn’t just for show. The light the fusion cannon emitted lit up the warehouse like a solar flare. Torque would always remember what he said after he had fired.
    “They have cast the first stone! If you value freedom and equality, rise up with me and show them you are their equals!”
    The slag really hit the fan then. The crowd rose up and hit the IDF like an angry wave. Torque and Piston had been more concerned with getting out though. They managed to make it to a side door, just as it was kicked down and more IDF poured in. The first thing they had done was shoot Piston so full of holes you could have used him to strain lumpy oil. Torque watched his empty shell fall to the ground. He dimly remembered being ordered to get to the floor. After that it was a blur of rage and hatred. He had grabbed a knife from the belt of the IDF officer and jammed it up to the hilt in his neck. A mixture of energon and lubricants spurted from the wound and covered Torque. He wrenched the knife from the IDF officer and proceeded to move at very high speeds through the crowd, leaping on IDF officers with incredible savagery. The IDF were beginning to be overwhelmed, so they had called in air support. None came. Instead, a behemoth of a Flyer dropped through the roof of the Warehouse and proceeded to tear apart the IDF. It was only later Torque found out this had been Quasar. After the riot had ended, Torque had joined the Decepticon, getting praise from the white Cybertronian who was calling himself “Megatron”. It was after this that the rallies escalated into bloody riots. Soon, full-scale war had erupted with the Decepticons swiftly taking control of Kaon, The capital city of Cybertron’s southern hemisphere. The IDF had allied themselves with the Cybertron Defence Force to deal with this threat. Together the IDF and the CDF called themselves the Autobots, and thus the factions were created. Everything after that was a blur of horrific battles. Torque had found an innate talent for killing, which he put to good use. He racked up impressive numbers of kills during battles, and eventually became the head of his own rapid assault team. They were usually deployed as an ambush squad or to attack supply trains. It all seemed kind of pointless now though. The seemingly endless battles, the horror of it all. Torque rubbed his optics and looked over at his weapon cabinet. It only contained his sabre and his shotgun, though there were spaces for several more weapons. He went over to the cabinet and closed it. It was unlike him to reminisce like this.
    “Snap out of it Torque.” He said to himself with a smile “You’re beginning to think like an old scrapheap!”
    He went over to his recharge bed and lay down on it, staring at the ceiling. Yes, he was still fighting. Fighting against people he once called his brothers, not just the Autobots anymore. Now they were headed back to Cybertron with a piece of Primus himself. He really hoped Quasar had a plan for what to do when they got home. Home. That wasn’t a word he had thought of in a long while. He grinned.
    “We’re going home!” he said.

    Cobalt sat in his lab analysing the Shard. More specifically, he was analysing the housing the Quintessons had designed for it. It was unlike anything he had seen before. It seemed to take excess energy and remove it somehow. It couldn’t be destroying the energy. That was one of the fundamental laws of the universe. Energy can neither be created nor destroyed, only generated. Of course when he had tried to explain this to everyone they just gave him blank looks. Torque had of course decided to be confrontational about it, and argued that if energy is being generated, then it was being created. Cobalt had obviously tried to explain that the energy had to come from somewhere. Of course Torque hadn’t listened. Cobalt had long since given up trying to explain anything to him when he got like that. He closed the container of the shard with a click and set it aside. Walking over to his workbench he lifted a complicated looking device out of the debris that littered his lab and set it down in front of him. It was a prototype mass conversion device he had been working on for quite some time. The device itself was finished; the main snag was supplying it with enough power to miniaturise a full size Gestalt. He sighed and placed his elbows on the workbench, resting his chin in his three fingered hands. He stared at the device, the green light from his optics glimmering faintly on the shiny surface. He had constructed this thing for Pulsar. It was partly due to her that he was here right now. He smiled quietly to himself as he remembered that time. That time he was a scientist working for Autobot high command…

    Cobalt looked up and saw a young eager looking scientist running towards him. Cobalt was sitting in his lab filling out forms when the young Autobot came bursting in, joy plastered all over his face. The young bot’s name was Electrospray and he was a recently employed assistant at the Scientific Institute, which made up a branch of Autobot High Command.
    “Yes Electrospray?” Cobalt replied.
    “The committee has decided to look into funding for my new design of energon converter!” He announced proudly.
    Cobalt smiled.
    “Well done! I told you it would be a good idea to submit your plans to the committee!” He replied.
    “I know! They said they hadn’t seen efficiency figures like this since the first portable converter was invented! Jetfire himself told me he was impressed!”
    Electrospray had only recently graduated from the Autobot Academy, and had enrolled as an intern at the Scientific Institute. He had been put into the charge of Cobalt, who had worked at the institute since it’s founding a few years before the war started.
    “I think this calls for a little celebration.” Cobalt said, placing a hand on Electrospray’s shoulder. He got up and went over to his desk and opened a draw. He pulled out a bottle of faintly glowing yellow energon.
    “I’ve never had fissionable energon before.” Electrospray said, somewhat sheepishly.
    “Really? Well, there’s always a first time for everything!” Cobalt said, pouring out two glasses and handing one to Electrospray.
    “Cheers!” He said cheerfully, and downed the yellow liquid. Electrospray followed suit and nearly choked.
    “P-Primus! That’s…that’s…”
    “I was going to go for painful.”
    “Well, it takes some getting used to. Tell the truth, I’m not even supposed to have this. Not with the war going on and all.” Cobalt said, tapping his olfactory sensor.
    “I won’t tell anyone.” Electrospray said earnestly, causing Cobalt to burst out laughing.
    “Hey! I was being serious!”
    “I know! I know…aaaahh…I forgot how fun it was to have an intern.”
    “Yes! It gets ever so dull around here. I mean, we all do important work but everyone has become so serious what with the war and everything.”
    “They said it would be over by the Lunar Festival.”
    “Hmm well, it might if your Energon converter gets approved. Speaking of which….”
    Cobalt went over to a console on the wall where a light had begun flashing. He touched a panel and a screen blinked into life, with Jetfire on the other end.
    “Ah, Cobalt, there you are.” He said, “I have some rather good news for your assistant-“
    Jetfire was cut off by a loud crash from the lab.
    “What on Cybertron was that?”
    “Oh, that was Electrospray knocking pretty much everything over.”
    “Oh he’s there is he? Might as well let him in on this as well.”
    Electrospray came rushing over, anticipation lighting up his optics.
    “Has the committee decided on what to do with my energon converter?” he asked, his voice trembling slightly.
    “We have.”
    “That was quick.” Cobalt remarked
    “All the committee members came to the unanimous decision to put your energon converted into immediate mass production for distribution in the field.”
    “YES!” Electrospray punched the air, grinning from audio receptor to audio receptor.
    “Its not everyday you get a student so brilliantly minded.” Jetfire remarked as Electrospray went whooping around the lab. Cobalt was smiling too.
    “He is something else isn’t he? I’m surprised you didn’t take him on.”
    “Oh I would have loved too! But Prime has me far too busy these days. I just hope this war would be over so I can return to my research. Oh, that reminds me, how’s your work on the Solar Harvester coming?”
    Cobalt’s smile faded.
    “I think I’d better speak with you in person about that.”
    Soon, Cobalt was sat opposite Jetfire in the surprisingly small office given to the head of the Scientific Institute. The space seemed even smaller given Jetfire’s size.
    “So, what concerns you so about your Solar Harvester?” The large scientist asked.
    “Its just…its nearing completion. With Electro’s help the work has gone much faster than anticipated. I’m just concerned it’ll be misused.”
    “How so? It harvests the remaining energy from the hearts of white dwarf stars and red giants. I don’t really see what the problem is.”
    “Look. We both know that for most life to exist, be it technological or organic, a fully functioning star is required. That was why I designed it for White Dwarves and Red Giants. What concerns me is the way Sentinel Prime has been purloining our scientific breakthroughs and using them as weapons.”
    “Ahhh…I see. You’re worried he might see the Solar Harvester as a potential weapon?”
    “Yes. As much as I admire Sentinel for keeping order, I can’t help but feel concerned.”
    “Listen, if the first test gives promising results, I will make it clear to Sentinel that your device is strictly off limits.”
    “Thanks, Jetfire, you’re a good friend.”

    The war had escalated further than anyone could have imagined. It had been raging now for nearly a thousand stellar Cycles, with no sign of stopping. The air above Cybertron 6, the sixth planet in the Cybertron system, was filled with fire. The ship housing the Solar Harvester hung in the upper atmosphere while then battle raged below.
    “You can’t do this!” Cobalt screamed above the noise of battle.
    Sentinel Prime looked up from his discussion with Jetfire at the restrained scientist.
    “We are losing the battle for Cybertron 6!” Sentinel replied angrily. “I will not see another planet fall to the Decepticons!”
    “NO! You can’t use my design for this! It wasn’t meant for this!”
    “On the contrary. With a few minor adjustments we have turned your ‘Solar Harvester’ into a weapon that may well turn the tide of this war.”
    “How could you! Jetfire! Jetfire you promised me! You said you’d stop them!”
    Jetfire looked away.
    “I’m sorry…but Sentinel is right. We can’t lose more ground to the Decepticons.”
    Cobalt was shocked.
    “I…you…YOU! You altered the Harvester! You did it! You son of a SCRAP HEAP!”
    “Firing will commence momentarily.” Sentinel Prime said. “Once this battle is over, you will be taken back to Iacon and charged with Treason.”
    “You can’t do this! Please! Listen to me! Even if you’ve reversed the energy flow the radius of the blast will hit our troops as well!”
    “Firing in ten clicks!”
    “We have already ordered the retreat.” Sentinel said, looking down at Cobalt coldly.
    “Even if you have, the blast will still hit our troops! You’ll lose at least a quarter of the bots down there!”
    “Acceptable losses.”
    Cobalt was stunned. Acceptable losses? A quarter of their troops stationed on Cybertron 6 were acceptable losses?
    “Firing in three clicks!”
    “Theres no point in arguing. It cannot be stopped now.”
    Cobalt slumped back. His entire body shook.
    “Take him away.” Sentinel said to two soldiers.
    They grabbed cobalt by the arms and hoisted him up. Just then an explosion rocked the ship causing everyone to lose balance. Cobalt flew through the air and landed heavily, his restraining cuffs snapping as he landed on them. He was pretty sure the support strut in his upper left arm had snapped as well. He staggered to his feet as everyone else was recovering. He clenched his fist and raced over to the Solar Harvester controls. Unfortunately, Sentinel Prime had recovered as well. His massive hand snapped shut around Cobalt’s neck, lifting him off the floor and hurling him back.
    “Enough of this insubordination!” He roared. “How long until the Harvester is ready to fire?!”
    “One click! Wait! Theres someone in front of the emitter array!”
    Cobalt looked up, and saw Electrospray with a determined look on his face. He was wearing a stolen jet pack, and was hovering in front of the Harvester.
    “I won’t let you use Cobalt’s invention for this!” The young Autobot shouted defiantly. “This isn’t what the Autobots should stand for!”
    “How long!” Sentinel yelled.
    “We’re at full power and the target has been locked! But sir…”
    “Fire the weapon.”
    “You heard me! I said fire the damn weapon!”
    “But sir!”
    Sentinel grabbed the protesting technician and threw him out of the way.
    “Sentinel no!” Jetfire shouted, running forwards.
    Sentinel pulled his blaster from its holster and levelled it at Jetfire.
    “Don’t do something stupid Jetfire! I won’t lose a weapon this powerful!”
    “Electro! Run! Get out of here!” Cobalt screamed
    “No! I won’t go! They can’t just keep using our inventions for their war!”
    “I’ve had enough of all of you Primus damned SCIENTISTS!” Sentinel yelled, and slammed his fist down on the fire control.
    “Solar Harvester…activated.”
    Electrospray looked shocked.
    The beam of searing white light engulfed him, and lanced down to the planet.
    Cobalt couldn’t move. He couldn’t believe Sentinel had actually done this. The huge explosion could be seen from the ship. It had engulfed the Decepticon lines and a good portion of the retreating Autobots.
    “Sentinel…you…” Jetfire said, rage shaking in his voice.
    “I just won this battle.” Sentinel replied.
    There was silence. There was no noise from the surface below.
    “You…killed…my friend…” Cobalt said, getting to his feet.
    “He was stupid enough to get in the way.” Sentinel replied coldly. Blaster still pointed at Jetfire.
    “He doesn’t see me as a threat!” Cobalt thought, rage building inside him.
    “Now. We shall take this ship, and our new super weapon back to Cybertron and…and…” Sentinel’s body had suddenly begun shaking. Sparks leapt from the edges of his armour. A blue light began to shine on his chest.
    “W-what!?” He gasped, his entire body locking up.
    “The Matrix…” Jetfire breathed. “The Matrix is rejecting you!”
    “IT can’t…I am the Prime!...I lead…I lead the AutoboAAAAAAARGH!” Sentinel’s chest compartment flew open, and the Matrix shot out like a bolt of blue fire. It floated in the air for a few moments, before rocketing out of the ship, punching a hole in the side.
    “No! You’re mine!” Sentinel said
    “You are no longer Sentinel Prime.” Jetfire said, “You are now just little old Sentinel.”
    It was true; Sentinel wasn’t that old, but he seemed smaller now, weaker.
    “You…Killed…Electro.” Sentinel looked up, only to get a knife through the shoulder. He collapsed on the ground clutching his arm.
    “Cobalt! Stop it!” Jetfire exclaimed rushing forwards.
    Cobalt grabbed a blaster from the ground, raised it, and pulled the trigger. The shot hit Jetfire squarely in the leg, knocking him down.
    “You helped them! You’re just as guilty of Electro’s murder as he is!”
    “Ughkk…Cobalt…Stop this! You can still come back! Sentinel was rejected by the Matrix!”
    “I DON’T CARE!” Cobalt screamed, and ran forwards. Soldiers moved in front of him, blasters ready. Cobalt didn’t stop. He pulled a plasma scalpel from one of his belt compartments and activated his booster jets. He rocketed low along the floor, pulling up at the last second slicing open the face of one of the soldiers. The others began firing, but Cobalt was too nimble for them. He swooped down and stabbed his scalpel through the visor of another and took hold of his gun. He landed next to Sentinel, but as he levelled the gun at the former Prime, the Soldiers found their mark. The blaster shot hit Cobalt squarely in the back, knocking him into the solar harvester. A mixture of his energon rich blood and oil oozed down his back from the hole the blaster had torn in him. He coughed up more blood and clung to the Harvester for support.
    “Enough! That’s enough! He’s finished!” Jetfire called.
    “F-finished?” Cobalt wheezed, placing the barrel of the gun against the solar harvester. A very important part of the harvester marked “caution! Power supply!”
    “I’m only just getting started!” He said, and pulled the trigger.

    Cobalt looked up from his workbench. He grimaced and rubbed the slightly uneven patch of metal on his back. After he’d destroyed the solar harvester, everything had gone dark. He had awoken in deep space in the company of Pulsar, who had patched up the wound on his back. She said she had found him drifting out here dangerously low on energon. After that everything was blurry and confused. Despite all that, he had survived. He was different now. He could tell this. He had since upgraded his armour plating and trained rigorously in the arts of combat. Never again would he let another friend die in front of him. He had vowed to never let what happened to Electro happen to anyone else. Getting up from his workbench he went over to his desk and picked up a holodisk. He pressed a button on the side and a picture sprang into life. It was of Electrospray and himself. Electro was proudly sporting a medal awarded to him by Autobot High Command for his Energon converters. He wise grinning broadly and the Cobalt in the picture was smiling proudly. That had been the last time Cobalt had truly smiled. Cobalt placed the holodisk down and picked up Electro’s medal. It was still as bright as the day he had got it. Cobalt started to shake. He dropped to his knees clutching the medal. Why were all these feelings coming back to him now? All these memories he had suppressed. Optical lubricant began running down his face. He clutched the medal to his chest, hunched into a ball and screamed.
    The lid on the Shard’s case stood open. The Shard itself glowed softly…

    Pulsar sat hooked up to her recharge port. Given her size, Cobalt had had to rig up a makeshift recharge port. It basically consisted of a large cable and a plug at one end, and connected to the ships power supply at the other end. She sat leaning against the wall of the cargo hold she called her home. She looked out over the hold. It was mostly empty, save for a few empty containment vessels. She didn’t have much in the way of possessions; she couldn’t even remember anything from her life…lives before becoming a Gestalt. Her mind was made up of five other minds, the five component parts that made her body. Pulsar knew that they had been individuals before the combining process, but when their five consciousnesses were melded together, they produced Pulsar, a completely new personality. According to Cobalt she was an experiment by Autobot scientists to create the first perfectly functioning Gelstalt, without the unstable mental conditions of the other combiner teams. Their research had led them to the conclusion that the mind of female Cybertronians was ideal for the combiner process, as females being physically weaker than males, were more adept at working as an unconscious team, whether the individuals knew each other or not. It was some kind of genetic defence mechanism that allowed females to work on par with their male counterparts. Five female Autobots had volunteered to undergo the combiner process, having their chassis altered so that their alt modes could only be Pulsar. During the first test everything had run perfectly. The result of five minds forming one was Pulsar, a single conscious personality. Unfortunately all great scientific breakthroughs are accompanied by tragedy. During the third test run, a combat simulation, an uncontrolled energy surge damaged the transformation cogs for all five components. They were stuck as Pulsar. The effects proved to be irreversible; the scientists were at a loss as to what to do. It turned out that the technology was one of a kind, so in order to recover the transformation cogs; Pulsar would have to be disassembled. Pulsar knew that this would that not only she would go offline, but her five components would as well. She had come to the conclusion that if Autobots were meant to preserve life, then these scientists were clearly not Autobots. When they came to disassemble her, she had retaliated. When she was finished, the asteroid facility was nothing more than a twisted pile of metal, headed slowly towards a nearby star. Pulsar had rigged up a shuttle as a makeshift jetpack, and had run as far as the shuttles fuel would allow. She didn’t know how long she had drifted in deep space. Cybertronians were incredibly tough compared with most other races, capable of surviving in the total vacuum of space for long periods of time. There was a limit to this however, and after a certain point, all non-vital systems would shut down. This was the reason simple alt modes were not sufficient for deep space exploration. He drifting body had come to rest on a large moon trapped in the orbit of a gas giant. The moon itself had a very thin atmosphere, but it was enough to bring Pulsar back online. Dangerously low on Energy, she had explored the moons surface, finding nothing but grey dust and deep canyons. On her third solar cycle on the moon, she had come across an impact crater. Inside the crater were large crystals of raw, unrefined Energon. There was ancient wreckage lying within the crater that appeared to be of Cybertronian origin. It was an ancient seeder ship, sent out carrying raw energon to other planets. The idea was to allow the energon to grow within the planet, and then future generations of Cybertronians could track it down and mine the planets. This ship had not made it to its destination. From the wreckage pulsar managed to construct a very crude energon purifier and was able to begin extracting small amounts of pure energon. After her fiftieth solar cycle stuck on this moon, she began to pick up incredibly faint Cybertronian life signs from beyond the moons gravitational field. Eventually the life sign appeared to be coming from the moon itself. Pulsar had decided to investigate and discovered the battered and bleeding body of Cobalt. At first she did not know what to do, whether to just leave him to offline, or to take him back to her makeshift shelter and try to save him. She had decided upon the latter, and after a while, his systems slowly began to come back online. He seemed bewildered at first, not knowing where he was or what had happened. He eventually calmed down, and began telling Pulsar about what had happened to him. Pulsar had also relayed her story and he seemed very interested in her, revealing that he had been a scientist as well. Pulsar was distrustful at first, but it soon became apparent he was not like the scientists back at the facility. After an unknown amount of Stellar cycles, they began picking up the signal from a Decepticon freight ship. The ship and landed on the moons surface and, despite its size, only two Cybertronians emerged. One was huge, green and black in colour, his red optics glimmering in the darkness. The other one was black and white, and considerably smaller than his companion. Pulsar and Cobalt had eavesdropped on their conversation.
    “Would you mind telling me why we’re on this rock again?” The little one asked. His accent placing him as a resident of Kaon.
    “The scanners showed large amounts of raw energon on this moon. We’re going to need it if we’re to recover Prototron.” The large one replied. He sounded old, but he certainly didn’t look frail. Pulsar decided that as an Autobot, she should defeat these Decepticons before they could accomplish whatever mission it was they were talking about. They had broken cover and attacked. The little one had engaged Cobalt, and Pulsar went for the big one. In all the combat simulations, she had always bested every training drone, no matter how tough they were. She was understandably surprised when this abnormally large Decepticon had proceeded to beat her into stasis lock. She had awoken, restrained, in the cargo hold of the Decepticon ship with the large Decepticon looking down at her. He had explained that they were no longer Decepticons, and that they were headed to a Decepticon research facility to rescue an old comrade. Pulsar had asked why this should concern her. He had looked her straight in the optics and said, extremely bluntly:
    “Because you ain’t an Autobot, and you ain’t a Decepticon. I’m the only hope you have now.”
    It was funny to think that he was right. Pulsar smiled quietly to herself. Now she really thought about it, if it hadn’t been for Quasar, she and Cobalt probably would have wound up offline on that Primus forsaken moon. She frowned. It had been a while since she had gotten all sentimental like this. She looked up at the ceiling of the cargo hold.
    “The shard...” she muttered.

    Prototron finished cataloguing the last of the items they had taken from Outpost 41 but had not yet sold. He put down the datapad and cracked his knuckles. A few hours in the simulator were in order now. Suddenly he felt a strange surge behind his optics. He shook his head and blinked (well, his optics went off then back on), it was like he was supposed to be remembering something. It was impossible anyway; Quasar had had to wipe his memory chips to stop him from going mad. He didn’t remember why he would go mad, but that was the point, wasn’t it? He left the cargo hold and the lights shut down. A strange blue shimmering light was left hanging in the place he had been standing.

    It was dark in Quasar’s quarters. The only light came from his optics and the tip of the cygar he was smoking. He was sat in a chair, arms resting on the arms of the chair, cygar held between two fingers. He raised the metal foil cylinder up, and the tip flared up as he took a drag. There was a pause, and then a large cloud of smoke issued from Quasar’s mouth. This was a particularly good one, an Iaconian Special, unless he was mistaken. Quite a rare cygar these days what with the ban on them by the Autobots due to the war. He studied the glowing tip before tapping off the carbonized foil ash that had accumulated on the end. He took another drag, unleashing more smoke.
    “You might as well come out.” He said aloud.
    A faint blue shimmering light appeared in front of him. It appeared to say something, yet no words were issued.
    “I’ve been online for a very long time.” Quasar said “If I couldn’t tell when the spirit of a Prime was floating around my ship, I’d be a frag poor leader.”
    The lights seemed to waver before becoming brighter.
    “So that’s what you’ve been doing? Well, can’t blame you for wanting to know a little more about us.”
    The lights twinkled.
    “Ah yeah...Prototron. He was a friend of mine. I met him after he had just joined the Triple Changer task force. He was selected to be in the experiments to create the perfect warrior. A regular bloody super soldier. The process they devised sent him insane, so I had to erase his memory. If he ever remembers what happened to him, he’d probably go mad again. Then I’d have to slag him.”
    The lights flickered rapidly.
    “Don’t give me that! I’d give my spark for any member of my crew.”
    Quasar took another puff on his cygar and glared at the lights.
    “The real question is...what are you doing here? Or rather how are you here?”
    The lights seemed to condense and swirl before expanding again.
    “I thought it might have something to do with that shard. I suppose I shouldn’t be surprised.”
    The lights flickered.
    “I thought you had all the answers? Well, we’re taking you back to Cybertron, back to Vector Sigma.”
    The lights seemed to give off a quizzical air.
    “Former Decepticon. My crew and I only have loyalties to each other and to Primus. This war has taken too many innocent lives, both Cybertronian and from other races. I ain’t gonna stand by and watch entire planets get destroyed. Not anymore. If I can keep the shard out of Decepticon and Autobot hands, then I would have taken a step towards my goal by removing an unbelievably powerful weapon from the equation.”
    The lights swirled suddenly, and condensed into the form of Nexus Prime.
    “You are a strange one.” The words seemed to arrive at Quasar’s metaprocessor without going through his aural receptors first. “But I wonder if you will be able to do as you say? I sense great malice residing in your spark. Only those with a pure spark and good intentions may enter the core of Cybertron, and access Vector Sigma.”
    Quasar got to his feet and looked at the spirit of Nexus Prime.
    “Is that a challenge?” he asked.

    Cobalt had lain on the floor of his lab until the wave of uncontrolled emotion he had kept suppressed had subsided. After a while he had picked himself up and gone back to work on the mass converter. He tried to block out the memories of what happened all those stellar cycles ago, but it seemed impossible.
    “Why now?” he muttered, clutching his head “Why now Primus damn it!?”
    He grabbed a wrench and hurled it across the room. It crashed into the case that held the Shard, knocking it to the floor. The Shard came free of its housing and hit the floor. There was a flash of blue light, and all of Cobalt’s sensors went haywire and were overloaded by the energy surge. When his optics came back online, he picked himself up off the floor and stared at the mass converter. It was surrounded by a crackling blue aura. Cobalt reached out with a shaking hand and interfaced with it. It was operating at 100% capacity. He moved his arm away, transforming his hand back into a hand. He picked up the shard and looked at it. He felt a tingling sensation run up his arm as he placed it back into its case. He went back over to the mass converter and opened the power chamber. Where the powercore should have been was a ball of glowing energy. Inside this sphere was a sliver of the Shard.
    “Primus...” he breathed.

    An ambiguously short amount of time later, the entire crew was assembled in Pulsar’s cargo hold.
    “What’s this about?” Quasar asked.
    Cobalt, who was standing on scaffolding behind Pulsar, looked around Pulsar’s back, a look of excitement on his face. Well, that’s what everyone thought it was. Cobalt had never displayed any emotions other than anger and exasperation (the latter usually directed at Torque).
    “Its astonishing!” he said climbing down from the scaffold. “That shard is truly astonishing!”
    “Wow, what’s got your exhaust in a bunch?” Torque asked
    “The mass converter! I was having trouble finding a power supply small and powerful enough to make it work, but then I knocked the shard over and there was this big flash of light and then-”
    Quasar raised his hand, interrupting Cobalt’s accelerating tirade.
    “You knocked over the Shard?” he asked
    “Yes! The shard is fine but the really great part is that it somehow supplied more than enough power to...power...the mass conversion unit! Pulsar! Are you ready?”
    Pulsar looked down at the excited scientist.
    “As ready as I’ll ever be.”
    “Wait, are you saying you actually got the mass conversion unit working, and you’ve installed it in Pulsar?” Prototron asked.
    “Exactly! Now, everyone step back, the conversion process has rather a lot of fallout.”
    “Activating in 3...2...1...Gkkk...”
    There was a rapid burst of energy and a loud bang, like a bolt of lightning striking a sheet of metal. As the static cleared from everyone’s optical sensors, they saw Pulsar, standing in the middle of a blackened, scorched ring of soot. She was considerably smaller than she had been. She now stood the same height as Quasar.
    Cobalt went over to his instruments and began tapping away.
    “Yes! Complete mass conversion!” he crowed, “The converter is operating perfectly, and all energy readings are optimal.”
    “Wow.” Pulsar said, looking around “Everything seems so small.”
    Quasar, Prototron and Torque were looking slightly stunned.
    “What the Pit just happened?” Torque asked
    “Complete mass conversion!” Cobalt replied, “Pulsar is now approximately one fourth her original size. My readings show only one unusual side effect.”
    “What’s that?” Pulsar asked, sounding slightly worried.
    “Well, your size has been successfully decreased, now normally in mass conversion, everything is reduced in size. Power output, etcetera. But in your case the strength and power you have as a gestalt remains exactly the same.”
    “You mean I haven’t lost any of the power I wield as a gestalt?” Pulsar asked, looking at her hands.
    “Not a shred of it. In fact, it should be even more potent, as you’re focusing the same amount of power into a much smaller area.”
    “Good thing I got used to controlling my strength around you guys.”
    “You know...for once...I’m at a loss for what to say.” Torque said, rubbing the back of his head.
    “I think congratulations are in order!” Prototron said cheerfully “To both Pulsar and Cobalt!”
    Quasar lit up a Cygar and blew a large smoke ring.
    “Well I’ll be damned.” He said “Looks like we finally have our little family together at last.”
    The ship lurched suddenly and the proximity alarm began to go mad.
    “Alert! Alert! Autobot vessel approaching! Shots have been fired! Alert! Alert!
    “Everyone get to the bridge!” Quasar ordered.
    The noise from heavy mechanical feet boomed around the metal walls of the ships corridors as the five Cybertronians ran onto the bridge. Torque leapt down the ramp leading to the pilots chair, Prototron took up station at the gunners position, Cobalt took communications and navigation. Pulsar emerged onto the bridge, a place she had never seen before, and looked slightly confused.
    “Where do I go?!” she cried
    “You take tactical! You’ll work with Prototron to shoot these slaggers down!” Quasar replied, seating himself in the captain’s chair. Pulsar ran over to Prototron and took up the station opposite his.
    “Its the Wreckers!” Cobalt called “They want our unconditional surrender!”
    “Get this view screen up!” Quasar ordered. Torque pressed a few buttons on his console, and the view screen glowed into life. Tactical data and a number of other things were displayed, as well as a view of deep space, complete with the Wreckers heavily armed battle cruiser. As they watched, the guns of the Wrecker’s ship glowed, and silent beams of yellow energy shot through space and hit the Thunderhead’s shields.
    “Shields at ninety five percent!” Pulsar called.
    “Getting a message from Ultra Magnus!”
    “Put it up.” Quasar said, and Ultra Magnus’ face was displayed on the screen.
    “I’m taking you and you’re crew in, Quasar. I’m giving you one chance to surrender and to hand over the shard, or myself and the Wreckers will take you and the shard by force.”
    “By force? I’ll show you force you yellow plated fragger!” Quasar said, terminating the call.
    “Prototron! Target their primary weapon systems and their main propulsion engines!”
    “Targets acquired!”
    “Give those Autobot scraps hell!”

    The Thunderhead’s primary weapon battery opened fire. Six powerful ion cannons launched a devastating barrage at the Wrecker’s ship. The volley impacted hard on the Wrecker’s ships shields.
    “Their shields are down to seventy five percent!” Pulsar said “Their preparing to return fire!”
    “They must have seriously modded shields to take a pounding like that!” Torque said, fingers moving at a blur.
    “Torque, take us around for another pass. If their shields have been upgraded like that, then their weapons must have as well.” Quasar ordered, “Pulsar, begin charging the Sigma cannons. Prototron, I want you to fire as soon as the cannons are charged, meanwhile, fire at will!”
    “Yes sir!” Prototron said with glee.
    The Wrecker’s ship fired another barrage, striking the much larger Thunderhead and punching small holes in the shields.
    “They have Gamma Emitters!” Cobalt said “Those things were only in their test phase when I left the Autobots.”
    “Sigma cannons thirty percent charged!”
    “Take this you spawns of glitches!”
    The Thunderhead unleashed a storm of missiles and another volley from the ion cannons. The Wrecker’s ship took evasive manoeuvres, but were still hit by several of the missiles. The Thunderhead fired yet another volley from the ion cannons, three shots hitting home. The third shot passed through the Autobot ships shields and blew a hole in the hull, fire spewing into space and extinguishing almost instantly.
    “Sigma Cannons seventy percent charged!”
    The Autobot ship came round and fired its Gamma emitters. The beams of radiation stripped off whole sections of the Thunderheads shields.
    “Shields down to thirty percent!”
    The Thunderhead lurched violently as the Autobot ship fired through the holes in the shields.
    “Hull integrity is holding! I don’t think that ship is capable of bringing down one the size of the Thunderhead.”
    “Sigma cannons at ninety five percent!”
    The Thunderhead’s ion cannons fired again, this time taking out the Autobot ships primary engines.
    “Sigma cannons fully charged!”
    “Prototron! Fire when ready!”
    The Sigma Cannons glowed brightly in the inky black, before unleashing the deadly energy beam they emitted. It seared through space and hit the Wrecker’s ship dead on. There wasn’t even an explosion. As the light faded away, all that was left of the ship was the fading signals of escape pods.
    “Scans show that the entire crew made it off alive.” Cobalt said, looking up from his scanners.
    “You want me to go after them?” Torque asked
    “No. No point really. I think we made our message abundantly clear.” Quasar replied, leaning back in his chair.
    “Oh dear.”
    Everyone looked at Cobalt, who was staring at his readouts.
    “It appears the Autobot gamma emitters have advanced quite a bit, technologically speaking.”
    “What the Pit is wrong?” Quasar demanded
    “It appears that the gamma radiation from the emitters was so strong, it not only penetrated our shields, but passed through the entire ship as well.”
    “What does that mean?” Prototron asked
    “It means that anything in the path of that radiation is severely damaged. Unfortunately the radiation passed through one of the energon processing plants on deck fifty three.”
    “Oh slag...” Torque breathed.
    The explosion nearly split the ship in half. Warning lights had come on everywhere on the bridge. The red alert siren was blaring. Quasar hauled himself off the floor and grabbed onto his chair for support.
    “Damage report!”
    Cobalt dug his feet into the metal floor of the ship to gain purchase and dragged himself upright.
    “Deck fifty three has sustained catastrophic damage! Decks fifty four through fifty six have sustained heavy damage! Decks fifty two through fourty four appear to be on fire!”
    “Appear to be!?”
    “Well, the huge hole in the side of the ship is making it hard to tell!”
    “Torque! Do we still have engine power?!”
    “Main engines are offline!” Torque called from his station. He had energon blood running down his face from a cut above his right optic. “I only have manoeuvring thrusters online!”
    “Cobalt! Where’s the nearest planetary system?!” Quasar shouted above the noise of screeching metal and alarms.
    “There isn’t one! But what scanners I do have working indicate there is a large planetoid nearby!”
    “That’ll do! Help Torque get us there!
    “Wait! The fires have reached the ion batteries for the weapons array!”
    “Frag! The shielding on the store isn’t enough to last long against an Energon fuelled fire!” Quasar said, “Right! Torque and Cobalt! Get us to that planetoid! Pulsar and Proto, you get down to the hold and grab whatever you can! Priority items are tools and weapons! I’ll get to Cobalt’s lab and secure the shard! You have your orders, get to it!”

    Quasar, Pulsar and Prototron raced from the bridge, Pulsar and Prototron peeling off from Quasar, heading for the hold. Quasar pounded down the corridor and arrived at the elevator. Warning lights were flashing on the elevator panel, so he dug his talons into the doors and tore them out of the wall. He looked down the elevator shaft. He could see a seething cloud of purple fire blazing far below. He gritted his oral grinding belts and jumped into the shaft. He dropped down the shaft at incredible speed, doors to other decks shooting past him. He fired his thrusters and began to slow himself down. He came to a halt outside the door to the deck Cobalt’s lab was on. The purple fire was a lot closer now. Even Quasar could feel the intense heat of the flames through his Cybertronian skin. He pointed his laser at the door and blasted it off its runners. He landed in the corridor, which was severely damaged. Cables hung from the ceiling and panels were hanging off the wall. The ship shook again, electrical discharges burst from damaged conduits, gouts of flame spewed from the floor as gas and fuel lines ruptured. Quasar fought his way down the corridor, heaving aside fallen support beams and leaping over gaping holes that had opened up in the floor.
    “Bridge! What’s your status?!” he called into his commlink
    “We’re now in sight of the planetoid! It looks like it was dislodged from orbit around a star aeons ago!”
    “Alright! I want you to direct the ship towards the surface! Once we’re within its gravitational field, head down to the escape pods!”
    “Roger that!”
    Quasar skidded to a halt outside Cobalt’s lab. The door mechanism looked badly damaged. He wedged his fingers in the gap where the doors met, and heaved. The doors creaked and groaned, before something in the mechanism snapped, and the doors flew open. Quasar ran inside, grabbing the shard’s case. He opened the lid, and saw the shard was still inside, twinkling in the red emergency lighting. He snapped the lid shut and looked around. He spotted Cobalt’s medical kit still secured in its cabinet attached to the wall. He smashed the quartz windows of the cabinet and grabbed the kit. Leaving the lab, he looked up and down the corridor before heading further down the corridor to the emergency escape chute. The chute was a rapid way for crew members to reach the escape pod deck. He tossed the medical kit into the chute, and the magnetic coils activated, sucking the kit downwards. Quasar jumped in after it, and the magnetic forces inside the cute pulled him rapidly downwards. He raced passed decks that appeared to be on fire, before emerging with a heavy clang at the escape pods. He looked up just as Cobalt and Torque emerged from the chutes opposite him. The doors to the escape pod room suddenly burst inwards to reveal Pulsar and Prototron. Pulsar was carrying a huge amount of stuff with apparently little effort.
    “Perfect timing! Pulsar and Proto, load that stuff into an escape pod and launch it towards the planet’s surface!”
    Just as they were jettisoning the first escape pod, the ammunition store exploded. The ship shook violently and the emergency doors to the escape pod bay slammed shut.
    “Right! Everyone into the pods!”
    Cobalt jumped into the airlock of one pod, followed closely by Pulsar. the door sealed shut, and with a loud buzzing sound, the magnetic coils propelled the pod into space. They were closely followed by Prototron and Torque. Quasar was about to clamber into one of the remaining pods, when the room around him exploded.
    “Siddown Torque! You’ll destabilise the pod!”
    “But Quasar-”
    “Do you really think an explosion that small could take out Quasar?”
    “Thanks for the vote of confidence Proto.”
    A bolt of fire arced out of the flames, leaving an incandescent trail behind it. The trail died away and Quasar, in his bomber mode, shot towards the other escape pods. He rolled out of the way of falling debris. The massive Thunderhead began to enter the planet’s gravitational pull, large pieces breaking away as it began its unstoppable decent.
    “Scans show this planet barely has an atmosphere! Re-entry is going to be fast and hard!” Cobalt radioed.
    The escape pods and Quasar rocketed towards the planet’s surface. They hit the thin atmosphere which gave little resistance as they plummeted down. The Thunderhead entered the atmosphere, flames bursting from the multiple holes that now covered the wreckage. The huge ship smashed into the dark and dusty surface of the planet, flames spewing from the twisted metal. The escape pods hit the ground not far off from the crash site. Quasar landed beside the pods and looked at the burning wreckage.
    “Damn. They got us good.” He said.
  8. Thunderchild

    Thunderchild Well-Known Member

    Jul 16, 2009
    Trophy Points:
    New favorite swear = spawns of glitches

    lol, it's great.
  9. Jasbraman

    Jasbraman Eats Igyaks for breakfast

    Dec 12, 2010
    Trophy Points:
    Right then! Have some (terribly drawn) character images!

    Or just go here and look through the gallery.
  10. Karhukjnsi

    Karhukjnsi Universal Wrestler

    Jun 9, 2009
    News Credits:
    Trophy Points:
    Are they really copyrighted? Did you actually fill out the forms and have them legally approved and all this? If so, where did you get them?
  11. Jasbraman

    Jasbraman Eats Igyaks for breakfast

    Dec 12, 2010
    Trophy Points:
    I thought up the characters, they are my intellectual property.

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