Darkness. That was what every son and daughter of Lower Kaon were used to and raised in. There was a perpetual twilight in the underground arcologies, lit only by clusters of bioluminescent techno-lichens. Dug out over the course of vorns, the tunnel complexes had first served as Energon mines, but once the veins had run dry, they had been occupied by the underclasses. The coming of Functionist rule had only added to their ranks the dissidents, the Primalists, and Kaonian nationalists. Numerous attempts had been made by the Lords of Kolkular to clear them out, but they always returned. Here, in hollow halls of metal, the eyes of the Iaconian Functionaries would not fall upon them. Here, there was freedom to speak one's mind. Here, there was safety from the boot. Adrestia understood this fact well. She didn't know how long she'd been down here, since she'd escaped the ludus. Memories flashed through her mind of fire and clashing steel, of sharpened claws savagely arcing into armor plating and digging out bits of it. Something in these memories called out to the hamrammr in her - the shape-strength, the warp-spasm, the berserk fury. Part of her, deep down in the darkest recesses of her psyche, wished to experience it all again. Even though it was a desperate fight for her life against those out to kill or capture her, she felt the insane desire to relive it. She shook it off, banishing those intrusive thoughts from her mind. Now was not the time. Survival itself was at stake here. For much of her time here, she'd stuck with the destitute, the Energon derelicts on the verge of shutdown. But they all had ousted her, especially after learning she was a escaped gladiator. It was simply too much "heat" to keep her around, they all said. They were right. Eventually, someone from outside would descend into the depths and start asking questions. She didn't want to be around when that happened. A shape moved in the darkness within the tunnel to her right. Perhaps, she thought, it was one of the many troglodytic mechanimals that inhabited Lower Kaon. Adrestia hoped it was. She hadn't had anything to eat in a day or two, and the hunger pangs were getting to her. Thirteen, she was hungry. She'd kill to eat anything that came her way - even a gods-damned robo-rat, if one presented its soft underbelly to her. Instinctively lunging towards the form in the darkness, she found herself flying backwards just as quickly and with great force, into the wall of the tunnel. The figure came into clearer view now. She saw it was a 'mech, a powerfully-built one at that. He wore the yellow-and-black striped livery of a Energon miner over silvery grey plating. Adrestia was impressed almost immediately. The stranger seemed to radiate power and majesty, despite his seemingly low standing. "Rise, Adrestia di Kolkular." The miner spoke. "I would speak with you." His speech was a gravelly growl that betrayed his origins. Doing as she was told, the warrior rose to her feet. "My name is Megatron. You are pathetic now, but you were not always so. I am told that you were a Sister of Combatron." "It's the truth." Adrestia answered nonchalantly. It wasn't every day that she was recognized for who she was, and in truth, she had fallen so far she had half-forgotten those halcyon days. They had been days of glorious battle, in defense of the Crystal City, in service to King Atlas. "But that's past. What would you have with a broken knight?" "I have a grand vision of freedom for Kaon and beyond," Megatron explained. "I am in need of warriors. You will have food, and all that your heart desires, if you follow me to the surface to wage war in my name." "What I want," Adrestia said haltingly. "Is vengeance." She raised her hands in front of her - it wasn't there anymore, but what would be her face. In place of hands, too, there were now claws. All part of twisted Iaconian "reconditioning" to become a gladiator. "Vengeance against those who have done this to me." "And vengeance," He assured her. "You will have." Turning his back to her, he turned to leave - and Addy followed.